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and organised a rebellion in their native hills. A second Longinus, who had been magister militum in Thrace, put himself at the head of the insurrection, which lingered on for five years (491-496), but was never a serious danger to the empire. The rebels were beaten whenever they ventured into Rebellions tne plains, and only maintained themselves so in isauria, long by the aid of the mountain-castles with which 492-496. their rugged land was studded. In 496 their last
fastnesses were stormed, and their chief, the ex-magister, taken and executed. Anastasius punished the communities which had been most obstinate in the rebellion by transferring them to Thrace, and settling them on the wasted lands under the Balkans, where he trusted that these fearless mountaineers would prove an efficient guard to keep the passes against the barbarians from beyond the Danube.
The Asiatic provinces of the empire had no further troubles till 502, when a war broke out between Anastasius and Kobad king of Persia. The Mesopotamian frontier had been singularly quiet for the last century; there had been no serious war with the great Oriental monarchy to the East since Julian's unfortunate expedition in 362. The same age which had seen the Teutonic migrations in Europe had been marked in inner Asia by a great stirring of the Huns and other Turanian tribes beyond the Caspian, and while the Roman emperors had been busy on the Danube, the Sassanian kings had been hard at work defending the frontier of the Oxus. In a respite from his Eastern troubles Kobad made some demands for money on Anastasius, which the emperor refused, and war soon followed. It began with several disasters for the Romans, and Amida, the chief fortress^ of Mesopotamia, was stormed in 503. Nisibis fell later in the same year, and when War with Anastasius sent reinforcements to the East he Persia, appointed so many generals with independent
503-505. authority that the whole Roman army could never
be united, and the commanders allowed themselves to be taken in detail and defeated in succession. In 504, however, the fortune of war turned, when the supreme authority in the field was bestowed on Celer, the magister officiorum; he recovered Amida after a long siege, and began to press forward beyond the Persian frontier. Kobad was at the same time assailed by the Huns from beyond the Oxus, and gladly made peace, on terms which restored the frontier of both parties to the line it had occupied in 502. Anastasius provided against future wars by building two new fortresses of the first class on the Persian frontier, Daras in Mesopotamia, and Theodosiopolis farther north on the borders of Armenia. These places served to break the force of the Persian attack thirty years later, when the successors of Kobad and Anastasius again fell to blows. The Persian war, like the Isaurian, had only afHicted a very limited district,—the province beyond the Euphrates,—and no raids had penetrated so far as Syria. Indeed, during the whole reign of Anastasius, the only serious trouble to which the Asiatic half of the empire was exposed was a Hunnish raid from beyond the Caucasus, which in 515 caused grave damage in Pontus, Cappadocia, and Lycaonia. This invasion, however, was an isolated misfortune, followed by no further incursions of the nomads of the Northern Steppes.
The European provinces—now as in the time of Zeno—had a far harder lot. The Slavs and Bulgarians repeatedly crossed the Danube and pressed over the desolated plains of Moesia to assail Thrace. More than once the Bulgarians defeated a Roman army in the field, and their ravages were at last pushed so far southward that Anastasius built in 512 the celebrated wall which bears his name, running from the Black Sea to Propontis, thirty-five miles west of Constantinople. These lines, extending for more than fifty miles across the eastern projection of Thrace, served to defend at least the immediate neighbourhood of the capital against the restless horsemen from beyond the Danube. Macedonia and Illyricum seem to have suffered much less than Thrace during this period; the Slavs who bordered on them were as yet not nearly such a
PERIOD I. D
dangerous enemy as the Bulgarians, while the Ostrogoths of Italy, on reconquering Pannonia, proved more restful neighbours to the north-western provinces of the empire than they had been in the previous century.
It was in the reign of Anastasius that one of the most characteristic features in the social life of Constantinople is brought forward into prominence fqr the first time. This was the growing turbulence of the 'Blues and Greens," the factions of the Circus. From the very beginning of the Roman Empire these clubs had existed, but it was only at Constantinople that they became institutions of high political importance. There the rivalry of the Blues and Greens was not confined to the races of the Circus, but was carried into every sphere of life. Nor was it any longer only the young men of sporting and fashionable proclivities that joined the 'factions.' They served as clubs or political associations for all classes, from the ministers of state down to the poorest mechanics, and formed bonds of union between bodies of churchmen or supporters of dynastic claims. It is hard for an Englishman The Blues to realise this extraordinary development of what and Greens. ^ad once been a mere rivalry of the Hippodrome. To make a parallel to it we should have to suppose that all who mount the light or the dark blue on the day of the Oxford and Cambridge boat race were bitterly jealous of each other—let us say, for example, that all Dark Blues were Conservatives and Anglicans, and all Light Blues were Radicals and Dissenters. If this were so, we can imagine that in times of political stress every boat race might be followed by a gigantic free-fight. This, however, was exactly what occurred at Constantinople; the 'Blue' faction had become identified with Orthodoxy, and with a dislike for the family of Anastasius. The 'Green' faction included all the Monophysites and other heterodox sects, and was devoted to the person and dynasty of Anastasius. In any time of trouble the celebration of games in the Hippodrome ended with a fierce riot of the two factions. No wonder that the just and peaceable emperor
strove to suppress shows of all sorts, and in especial showed a dislike for the disloyal 'Blue ' faction.
The worst of Anastasius' domestic troubles were due to the suspicion of heterodoxy that clung to him. In 511 when he added to the hymn called the Trisagion the apparently harmless clause 6 oTavpcodcts Si' ^/.las as an epithet of the Godhead, the orthodox populace of Constantinople headed by the Blue faction burst out into sedition. It was only quelled by the old Emperor presenting himself before the people in the Hippodrome, without crown or robe, and announcing his intention of abdicating. So great was the confidence which his justice and moderation had inspired in all ranks and classes, that the proposal filled the whole multitude with dismay, and they rose unanimously to bid him resume his diadem.
But the grievance against the Monophysite tendencies of Anastasius was not destined to be forgotten. In 514 an ambitious general named Vitalian, who held a Rebellion of command in Moesia, rose in arms, alleging as Vitalian, 514. the cause of his rebellion, not only certain misdeeds committed in that province by the emperor's nephew Hypatius, but also the dangerous heterodoxy of Anastasius' religious opinions. When Hypatius was removed from his office the greater part of Vitalian's army returned to its allegiance, and the rebel then showed how much importance was to be attached to his religious scruples, by calling in the heathen Bulgarians and Huns to his aid. At the head of an army composed of these barbarians he maintained himself in Moesia for some time. The emperor, somewhat unwisely, replaced his nephew Hypatius in command, and sent him with a large army to put down the rebel; but, while the Romans lay encamped on the sea-shore near Varna, they were surprised by a night attack of the enemy and completely scattered. Many thousand men were driven over the cliffs into the sea and crushed or drowned, while Hypatius himself was taken prisoner (sr4). The old emperor was driven, by concern for his nephew's life, to make peace. He ransomed Hypatius for 15,000 lbs. of gold, and granted Vitalian the post of magistcr militum in Thrace. The pardoned rebel for the remainder of Anastasius' reign occupied himself in strengthening his position on the Danube, being determined to make a bold stroke for the imperial throne when old age should remove the octogenarian ruler of Constantinople.
In spite of all his troubles with the two Longini, king Kobad and Vitalian, Anastasius may be called a successful and prosperous ruler. All these rebellions had been of mere local import, and for the whole twenty-seven years of his reign the greater part of the empire had enjoyed peace and plenty. The best testimony to his good administration is the fact that at his accession he found the treasury emptied by the wasteful Zeno, and that at his death he left it filled with 320,000 lbs. weight of gold, or ^"15,000,000 in hard cash. This was in spite of the fact that he was a merciful and lenient administrator, and had actually abolished several imports including the odious Chrysargyron or income-tax. Nor was the money collected at the cost of neglecting proper expenditure. Anastasius had erected many military works,—in especial his great wall in Thrace, and the strong fortress of Daras—and restored many ruined cities. 'He never sent away petitioners empty, whether they represented a city, a fortress, or a seaport.' He left an army of 150,000 men in a good state of discipline and composed for its larger half of native troops, with a frontier intact alike on east and west and north.
The good old man died in 518; his wife Ariadne had preceded him to the grave three years before. He had refrained from appointing as his colleague his nephew Hypatius, whom many had expected him to adopt, and the empire was left absolutely masterless. The great State officials, the Imperial Guard, and the Senate had the election of a new Caesar thrown upon their hands. The most obvious candidates for the throne were Hypatius, whom the Green faction should have supported, and the magister militum Vitalian, who at once took arms to