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till 483 that the Amal, having wasted Thrace and Macedon so fiercely that even his own army could no longer find food, at last came to terms with Zeno, on being made magister militum, and granted additional lands in Moesia and Dacia for his tribesmen. The son of Triarius had died a year earlier: he had again burst out into insurrection against the emperor, and was mustering an army on the Thracian coast when he was slain in a strange manner. A restive horse threw him against a spear which was standing by the door of his tent, and he was pierced to the heart. His son Recitach continued his rebellion, but Theodoric the Amal, who wished to see no other Gothic chief but himself in the Balkan peninsula, slew the young man, and incorporated his warriors with the main body of the Ostrogoths.
The utter helplessness which Zeno showed in dealing with the two Theodorics may be attributed in a large measure to his troubles at home. In 479, the year when he had failed to support Theodoric the Amal in the Balkans, his throne had nearly been overturned by a rising in Constantinople. Marcianus and Procopius, the two sons of Anthemius, the late emperor of the West, who were popular with the citizens of the capital, formed a plot for overthrowing the emperor, in which they enlisted many men of importance. They surprised the palace and massacred the body-guard, but Zeno escaped, brought over his faithful Isaurians from Asia, and crushed the rebellion after a vigorous street fight. In 482-3 he had a prolonged misunderstanding with his commanderin-chief Illus, the Isaurian general who had put down the rebellion of Basiliscus five years before. Zeno neither banished nor fully trusted him. He left him in office, but was nervously on his guard, and always thwarting his Minister. It is said that, with or without his consent, the Empress Ariadne endeavoured to procure the assassination of Illus.
In 483, the year in which Theodoric the Amal made his peace with Zeno, a certain Leontius raised a rebellion in Syria. Illus, who was sent to put him down, had grown tired of serving his suspicious and ungrateful master, and joined in the revolt. He and Leontius seized Antioch, where the
latter was proclaimed emperor, and got possesLeontius,483. sion of Cappadocia, Cilicia, and north Syria. It
is said that they designed to re-establish paganism, a project which seems absolutely incredible in the very end of the fifth century, when the heathen were no more than a forlorn remnant scattered among a zealous Christian population. The empress-dowager Verina, who was living in exile in Cappadocia, joined herself to them,and adopted Leontius as her son. But the rebels took more practical measures to support their cause when they applied for aid to Odoacer the king in Italy, and to the Persian monarch Balas. Both promised aid, but, before they could send it, Zeno had put the rebellion down. He induced his late enemy Theodoric to join his army, and the Goths and Isaurians combined easily got the better of Leontius. Syria submitted, and the rebel emperor and Illus, after a long and desperate defence in a castle in Cappadocia, were taken and slain.1
Zeno enjoyed comparative peace after Leontius' rebellion had been crushed, and was still more fortunate when, in 488, he induced Theodoric the Amal to move his Ostrogoths out of Moesia and go forth to conquer Italy. How Theodoric fared in Italy we have already related. His departure was of enormous benefit to the empire, and, for the first time since his accession, Zeno was now able to exercise a real authority over his European provinces. They were left to him in a most fearful state of desolation: ten years of war, ranging over the whole tract south of the Danube and north of Mount Olympus, had reduced the land to a wilderness. Whole districts were stripped bare of their inhabitants, and great gaps of waste territory were inviting new enemies to enter the Balkan peninsula, and occupy the deserted country-side.
1 This fort—it was called Castellum Papirii—is said to have held out for the incredibly long period of four years after all the rest of the rebellious districts had been subdued, and only to have fallen by treachery. North of the Balkans the whole provincial population seems to have been well-nigh exterminated. When the Ostrogoths abandoned the country there was nothing left ,.
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between the mountains and the Danube but a Balkan few military posts and their garrisons, nor was penm5ulathe country replenished with inhabitants till the Slavs spread over the land in the succeeding age. Illyria and Macedonia had not fared so badly, but the net result of the century of Gothic occupation in the Balkan peninsula had been to "/ thin down to a fearful extent the Latin-speaking population of the Eastern Empire. All the inland of Thrace, Moesia, and Illyricum had hitherto employed the Latin tongue: with the thinning out of its inhabitants the empire became far more Asiatic and Greek than it had before been.
When the Ostrogoths migrated to Italy, the empire acquired > a new set of neighbours on its northern frontier, the nomad Ugrian horde of the Bulgarians on the lower Danube, and the Teutonic tribes of the Gepidae, Heruli, and Lombards on * the middle Danube and the Theiss and Save. Contrary to what might have been expected, none of these races pushed past the barrier of Roman forts along the river 10 occupy Moesia. They vexed the empire with nothing worse than occasional raids, and did not come to settle within its limits.
Zeno's ecclesiastical policy demands a word of notice. He was himself orthodox, but not fanatical: the Church being at the moment grievously divided by the Monophysite schism, to which the Churches of Egypt and Palestine had attached themselves, he thought it would be possible and expedient to lure the heretics back within the fold by slightly modifying the Catholic statement of doctrine. In 482, though he was in the midst of his struggle with Theodoric the Amal, he found time to draft his 'Henoticon,' or Edict of Comprehension. The Monophysites held that there was but one nature in our Lord, as opposed to the orthodox view, that both the human and the divine element were fully present in His person. Zeno put into his 'Henoticon' a distinct statement that Christ was both God and man, but did not insert the words 'two natures,' which formed the orthodox shibboleth. But his well-meant scheme fell utterly flat. The heretics were not satisfied, and refused to conform, while the Catholics held that Zeno's it was a weak concession to heterodoxy, and con
Henoticon. demned Zeno for playing with schism. The patriarch, Acacius, who had assisted him to draft the 'Henoticon,' was excommunicated by the Bishop of Rome, and the churches of Italy and Constantinople were out of communion for more than thirty years, owing to an edict that had been intended to unite and not to divide.
The last years of Zeno's reign were far more undisturbed by war and rebellion than its earlier part. He survived till 491, when he died of epilepsy, leaving no heir to inherit his throne. He had had two sons, named Leo and Zeno: the first had died, while still a child, in 474; the second killed himself by evil living, when on the threshold of manhood, long ere his father's death.
The right of choosing Zeno's successor fell nominally into the hands of the Senate and people, really into those of the widowed Empress Ariadne and the Imperial Guard. The daughter of Leo made a wise choice in recommending to the suffrages of the army and people Anastasius of Dyrrhachium, an officer of the silentarii,1 who was universally esteemed for his piety and virtue.
Anastasius was a man of fifty-two or fifty-three, who had spent most of his life in official work in the capital, and was specially well known as an able and economical financier. He was sincerely religious, and spent many of his leisure hours as a lay preacher in the church of St. Sophia, till he was inhibited from giving instruction by the Patriarch Euphemius, who detected Monophysitism in his sermons. He had once proposed to take orders, and had been spoken of as a candidate for the
1 A body-guard, whose duty it was to preserve silence around the emperor's private apartments.
bishopric of Antioch. Yet, in spite of his religious fervour, he was never accused of being unworldly or unpractical. Anastasius was a man of blameless life, learned Character of and laborious, slow to anger, a kind and liberal Anastasius. master, and absolutely just in all his dealings. 'Reign as you have lived,' was the cry of the people when he first presented himself to them clad in the imperial purple. Only two objections were ever made to him—the first, that he leaned towards the Monophysite heresy; the second, that his court was too staid and puritanical for the taste of the multitude, who had loved the pomp and orgies of the dissolute Zeno. He earned unpopularity by suppressing gladiatorial combats with wild beasts, and licentious dances.
Six weeks after his accession the new emperor married the Empress-Dowager Ariadne, who had been the chief instrument in his election. She was a princess of blameless life, and had done much in the previous reign to redeem the illrepute of her first husband. It was a great misfortune for the empire that she bore her second spouse no heir to inherit his throne.
The commencement of the reign of Anastasius was troubled by a rebellion of the Isaurians. Zeno had not only formed an Imperial Guard of his countrymen, but had filled the civil service with them, and encouraged them to settle as merchants and traders in Constantinople. They had been much vexed when the sceptre passed to the Illyrian Anastasius, and entered into a conspiracy to seize his person, and proclaim Zeno's brother, Longinus, as emperor. A few months after his accession they rose in the capital and obtained possession of part of the city near the palace, but the majority of the people and army were against them, and they were put down after a sharp street fight, in which the great Hippodrome was burnt. Longinus was captured, and compelled to take orders. He died long after as a priest in Egypt. Anastasius, after this riot, dismissed all the Isaurian officers from the public service. They returned to their homes in Asia Minor,