<1r> [Editorial Note 1]

The fourth Trumpet [Editorial Note 2]

In the years 533 and 534 a war was fought in Africa by which the Kingdom of the Vandals met its end at the hands of Belisarius. The following year began the notorious Ostrogothic War in Italy, by which the whole region was fearfully devastated for more than twenty consecutive years. From the beginning of the Trumpets until now no lasting war had been waged against the Region north of Rome. Accordingly, since almost the whole of this war was fought in Dalmatia, Liburnia, the Venetian region, Lombardy, Tuscia and other areas of the Gothic Empire which lay to the north of Rome, we shall be justified in asserting that a northern wind now began to blow, [Editorial Note 3] and the fourth Trumpet began to sound.

But in order to make the history of this Trumpet clearer, we must describe the prior condition of Italy from the fall of the Caesars, and how the affairs of the Italians began once again to flourish from that time.

When, then, Odoacer had held what was left of the Western Empire for a decade, Theodoric [Editorial Note 4], king of the Ostrogoths, invades his kingdom, and when both are exhausted by the war, they divide the kingdom between them. Later, once Odoacer was killed, Theodoric reigns alone for thirty seven years, holding very many territories beneath his sway and governing all things with the greatest prudence and prosperity, so that he was a terror to foreigners. [1] He held Italy, Sicily, Rhaetia [Editorial Note 6], Noricum, Dalmatia (together with Liburnia, Istria and the part of the Suevi there [Editorial Note 7]) there, as well as the Pannonnia [Editorial Note 8] in which Singidon [Editorial Note 9] and Sirmium are situated; he also held much of Gaul, and for this reason he was involved in wars against the Franks. The Alemanni paid him tribute. Moreover the same Theodoric ruled Spain as Protector of Amalarich <2r> his grandson. All this you may see partly in Procopius, [Editorial Note 10] partly in Cassiodorus. [Editorial Note 11] Hence Ennodius in his Panegyric addressed to this Theodoric said that the Roman Realms had been restored to their earlier boundaries. [Editorial Note 12] The same Theodoric, says Cassiodorus, while treating the Senate with wonderful affability, gave corn-doles to the Roman plebs, and repaired the admirable walls of the City, assigning each year for this purpose a very large sum of money; under his happy Government very many cities are restored, highly fortified strongholds are built, astonishing palaces arise; the marvels of antiquity are surpassed by his great works. [Editorial Note 13] Theodoric, says [2]Procopius, was reputed to be a Tyrant, but in truth he furnished an example of a true Emperor, one who was in no way inferior to any of those who from the beginning had been highly esteemed in that office; and with his customary humanity, he treated both Goths and Italians with equal and supreme benevolence, so that his Rule pleased everybody, a thing most difficult to achieve. [Editorial Note 14]

With such Government Theodoric and his successor Athalaric sustained the West for 42 years; so that the Historian Evagrius calls them the Governors of the Western Empire [Editorial Note 15] and others write that the Western Empire had been transferred to the Goths. And Procopius who participated in these events, [Editorial Note 16] shows the Goths arguing with Belisarius (at the beginning of this Trumpet) as follows. Having undertaken the Government of Italy, we have secured the preservation of both the laws and the Constitution no less than any other of the previous Emperors. – The sanctuaries of the Romans are held in such respect by us <3r> that no one who has taken refuge in them has been violated by any of our countrymen. In addition it is Romans who to this day hold all the urban magistracies [Editorial Note 17]; no Gothic man has had a share of them. Let anyone who thinks that we do not proclaim the truth here come forward. One may also instance the Consular office; though it was granted to the Goths by the Emperor of the East [Editorial Note 18], yet they have freely permitted the Romans to enjoy it. [Editorial Note 19]

In this manner, then, the Western Empire flourished under the Goths at the beginning of this Trumpet: the name of the Emperor was changed, but the Imperial government of the City was completely preserved. For before the rise of the Caesars it had consisted of Senate and Consuls, and it could not come to an end before these were abolished. The Caesars had fallen at the previous Trumpet; this one put an end to the remaining Imperial offices. The History of the Gothic War, by which this came about, we shall now describe.

[3]Justinian, then, Emperor of the East, declares war on the Goths in the ninth year of his Reign,[4] soon after Theodatus had succeeded Athalaric, and sends Mundus into Dalmatia. [Editorial Note 24] He overcomes the Goths in battle and occupies Salonae. Two more battles followed, in one of which the Goths were victorious, in the other the Romans; and Mundus, commander of the Romans, is slain. The Goths then occupy Salonae again, and again are put to flight by a new army of Romans led by Constantianus, and the whole of Dalmatia and Liburnia is taken from them.

Meanwhile Belisarius, sailing from Africa in the first year of this war, invades Sicily, and after occupying its cities, sails in the second year to Italy, besieges <4r> Naples a very well-fortified city, and takes it by stratagem; and there is a massive slaughter of the citizens. Proceeding thence to Rome with his army, he receives the surrender ✝[5] of the City 4 Id. Decemb. [Editorial Note 25], and the Goths flee in fear. Hereupon several places transfer their allegiance from the Goths to Belisarius of their own accord, and in particular the Samnites, the Calabrians, and the Apulians. Others follow, particularly maritime cities among which [Editorial Note 26] was Beneventum, so that Belisarius obtained the submission of the whole of Italy between the Ionian gulf and Samnium. He then sends Bessas to Thuscia to occupy those parts. Bessas captures by force the very well-fortified city of Narnia among the Thusci. Constantianus also occupies Spoletum, Perusia and other towns of Thuscia. When he heard this, Vitiges, King of the Goths, who had now succeeded Theodatus, sends the commanders, Unilas and Pissas, with a strong army against them. There were two battles, the first indecisive, but in the second the Romans are victorious, and wholly destroy the enemy. Vitiges had already sent the Commanders Asinarius and Uligisilaus with very large forces into Dalmatia, so that they might bring it under the control of the Goths. With them he also sends a fleet of long boats to besiege Salonae on all sides by land and by sea. And apart from Goths, Asinarius collected a huge army of Barbarians from the Suavian [Editorial Note 27]. Province which the Goths held. [6]But Vitiges soon proceeds with his army against Belisarius and the city of Rome leading as much as 150,000 horse and foot, the greatest part of which <5r> was furnished with arms, or had horses which themselves were armoured, and he is also informed by inhabitants coming to him from the city of Rome that the forces of Belisarius are also very large [Editorial Note 28], [7]and on 9 Kal Mart. [Editorial Note 29] of the third year of this war they begin a siege of the city. Many fall on both sides – indeed thirty thousand Goths in one battle. The force of Belisarius is reduced to five thousand, but is restored by new recruits from the East. Through this whole siege there were six or seven battles before winter. On the orders of Belisarius, John traverses Picenum with a thousand horsemen, and thoroughly devastates it with fire and sword, and captures Ariminum from which the Goths flee. When the Goths heard this, they lifted the siege (which had now lasted for a year and nine days), and then they fortify various towns with garrisons and besiege Ariminum. Belisarius sends a band of Isaurians and Thracians into Liguria, and they capture Milan. Hearing this, Vitiges sends very large forces there, and Belisarius liberates Ariminum from the siege, but the Goths, overrunning the whole of Liguria, finally storm Milan and level it with the ground.

Meanwhile, as the Farmers were not cultivating the lands where the wars were taking place, a very terrible famine arose. The areas near Urbeventanum [Editorial Note 30] were afflicted with the greatest dearth. Aemilia was so distressed that the inhabitants of the country abandoned their homes and left their goods behind and took refuge in the territory of Picenum, not expecting that the regions of that Province, being near the sea, would be completely overwhelmed with the same want of necessities. The Thusci were eating bread made from ground acorns. Hence many people were attacked by diseases which spread as if into cattle [Editorial Note 31], and perished <6r> with few survivors. Among the people of Picenum [Editorial Note 32] they say that no less than fifty thousand men perished of hunger [Editorial Note 33] and far more beyond the Ionian gulf. [Editorial Note 34]

These things happened in the first four years of this war. It would take a long time to tell the events that followed in the next sixteen years as different nations were called in to help on either side. Imagine the great devastation caused by the massacre of the people of Milan in the aforementioned siege, a massacre which Procopius describes as follows.[8] The Goths spend a very great deal of time in the siege of Milan, and those who were besieged inside the city suffered severely from hunger. They were driven to desperation by their terrible situation, and ate dogs and mice and other loathsome things which had never before been used as food by human beings. [Editorial Note 35] And a bit later: The Goths level with the ground the very extensive city of Milan, and butcher three hundred thousand men there without any respect for age; they took the women into slavery, and gave them as a present to the Burgundians, so as to render them the thanks they had earned by entering into an alliance with them in the war. [Editorial Note 36]

But if you want a general estimate of the slaughter committed in the whole of this twenty year war, here is one that is actually from Procopius himself, an eye-witness [Editorial Note 37]. Describing the slaughter in Africa in his Secret History [Editorial Note 38] he compares it with the slaughter in Italy in the following way. Justinian, he says, so devastated the length and breadth of Africa that it is unusual, and indeed noteworthy, to come across a single person in a journey of many days there. Of Vandals, there used to live here <7r> as many as one hundred and sixty thousand men who bore arms; and who could tell the number of children and women and slaves? Who could tell the number of the old indigenous Africans, who lived in the cities and tended the fields and engaged in commerce on the sea? I myself [Editorial Note 39] observed their infinite numbers, as I was there for a long time. The Mauretanians were far greater in number than all of these, and they perished to a man with their wives and children. Here too a large part of the Roman army and those foreigners who followed its banners, fell. For these reasons I am not sure one is putting the number high enough if one asserts that in Africa five million persons perished. [Editorial Note 40] – Though Italy is three times bigger than Africa, yet even more than Africa it has been emptied of human beings; from this one may infer the magnitude of this slaughter; for I have described the beginning of the Italian war above. By stationing tax officials here, he immediately overturned and ruined everything. Before the Italian war the Empire of the Goths stretched from the territory of the Gauls all the way to the boundary of Dacia where the city of Sirmium is. But at the time when the Roman forces were in Italy, the Germani occupied a great part of the territory of the Gallicani and the Venetici. And Sirmium and the adjacent territories were held by the Gepides. This vast tract of land is completely destitute of human beings; partly they were destroyed in war, and partly by the plague or the diseases that are consequent upon wars. [Editorial Note 41]

Because of these wars the Kingdom of the Ostrogoths <8r> came to an end in the Year 552, but the war did not end before the year 555, when an immense army of Germans under Leutharis and Buccellinus which had been sent to succour the Goths and had been oppressing Italy for some time, was completely exterminated. < insertion from f 8v > ✝ and what was left of the Goths surrendered to the Romans; or rather not until a year or two later when Sindon, Count of the Goths, defected from Narses, and brought in Amingus, the ally of Buccellinus, to assist him, but was overcome by Narses. < text from f 8r resumes > There followed immediatelyb[9] [Editorial Note 42] the war of the Heruli under Sindual in Tuscia; of them Anastasius saysc[10] that they destroyed the whole of Italy [Editorial Note 43]. Then the Lombards, [Editorial Note 44] the most ferocious enemies of all, entered Italy by way of Sirmium under their leader Alboind[11]. They first occupy the whole of Venetia; then they invade Insubria, capture Milan, and harass Italy with continuous warsc[12] for thirty eight years, particularly at the time of Popes Benedict [Editorial Note 48] and Pelagius II. At that time, under their thirty tyrants, they forced almost the whole of Italy into submission, making such slaughter (as Anastasius says) as no one remembers happening in a generation. Gregory the Great is a good witness how terribly Italy suffered as a result of the conflict between the Lombards and the Greeks. In this period he became Bishop of the City of Rome, and saw and shared the miseries he has described. We shall instance a passage or two from him.

A little before this Lombard invasion, as this same Gregory tells us, a Revelation was made to a certain Bishop Redemptus in these words: The end of all flesh is come. The end of all flesh is come. The end of all flesh is come. Gregory explains this as follows, thinking it was said of the end of the world. Soon after that Prophecy f[13] those terrible signs in the heaven <9r> followed so that fiery spears and fiery darts were seen from the direction of the North. Not long afterwards the savage Lombard nation was drawn from the scabbard of its habitation, and fell violently upon our necks; and the human race, which had growng[14] in this land like an abundant harvest – so very numerous was the population – was cut down and withered away. For cities have been depopulated, walled towns sacked, Churches incinerated, Monasteries of men and of women destroyed, estates emptied of people, and the land, now bereft of anyone to cultivate it, lies empty in solitude; no Owner inhabits it, Beasts have occupied the places previously held by a multitude of human beings. What is happening in other parts of the world I do not know; for in this land in which we live, the {world} [Editorial Note 50] is not predicting its end but displaying it. [Editorial Note 51] On this passage of Gregory's h[15] Baronius has commented as follows. Lest anyone think that the aforesaid Oracle about the end of all flesh was false, he should recognise that it is not the end of the world that is signified by these words but the destruction of the Italian people; just as it is clear, long ago, that God was making a threat through his Prophet, when he saidi[16], Thus says the Lord God to the land of Israel: The end is coming; the end is coming upon the four quarters of the earth; Now the end is upon you, etc. [Editorial Note 53] Just as the Prophet was not signalling the destruction of the world when he warned of the end of all flesh, but was even so prefiguring imminent disasters, so we must understand in the same way the predictions made to Redemptus. [17]Certainly an end of the Western Empire could be said to have arrived in some sense at the time when the Lombards invaded Italy and became its masters. For after a period when a few Exarchs were sent by the Emperors from Constantinople to Italy – their seat was at Ravenna – though the Lombards were dominant all this time, <10r> the Empire of the west completely collapsed, and it was not restored until Charlemagne, and there was this difference that the empire itself was transferred to the Gauls. Certainly the extreme harshness of such a violent attack as that inflicted by the coming of the Lombards could be understood as foreshadowed by divinely given prophecies which were believed to signify the end of the world. We may see from a single consideration how very much Italy suffered at the hands of the Lombards. If, as Procopius tells us [Editorial Note 54], the Lombards perpetrated far worse atrocities than the enemy at the time when they were allies of the Emperor and came to assist Italy in its difficulties in the war against the Goths, so that it was necessary to dismiss them, how are we to imagine they behaved when they had become enemies and invaded Italy with hostile intent. Certainly such enormous suffering occurred everywhere that Pope Gregory himself – and not some unreliable person – judged that the last day was now hard upon them, threatening the conflagration of the whole world.

After this, I do not know that we can say anything more significant about these disasters; and yet from the many lamentations of Gregory I will not hesitate to add the following which was made in a speech to the people. k[18]Cities have been destroyed, walled towns have been sacked, the countryside has been depopulated, the earth has been reduced to solitude. No dweller remains in the countryside, almost no inhabitant in the city. And yet these small remnants of the human race themselves are still stricken every day without ceasing, and the whippings of divine justice have no end. Rome herself, at one time the evident Mistress of the world, in what condition do we see her surviving now, battered in so many ways by innumerable evils, by the distress of her citizens, by the attacks of her enemies, by the extent <11r> of her ruins. – Behold, now all the powerful men of this world have been taken away from her. Behold, the people have dwindled away. – For where is the Senate? where now is the populace? the bones have wasted away, the flesh has been reduced to nothing, for the whole order of secular offices has been abolished, yet still every day the sword-thrusts and innumerable troubles oppress the few of us who remain. – Empty now, Rome is on fire. Why do we speak of the people? The very buildings, we see, are crashing down amid the spreading ruins; and now that the men have passed away, even l[19] the walls are falling down. Behold her now desolate, prostrate, overcome with lamentations, etc. – And we know that these things which we tell of the prostration of the city of Rome have happened in all the Cities of the world; for other places are desolated by {disaster}, others consumed by the sword, others tortured with hunger, others swallowed up in gaping chasms in the earth. Let us therefore contemn with all our heart this present world, which is perished indeed. [Editorial Note 55]

Of the wars waged outside the Western Empire, those which the Huns waged [Editorial Note 56] by their frequent invasions of Illyricum and Thrace (Territories in northern Europe), seem more dire and longer-lasting. These and the rest throughout the Roman world can generally be related to the Winds. But the first place is rightly given to the Gothic and Lombard wars because they were the most terrible, and the very ones by which the prophecy of this Trumpet, which is about the extinction of the western Empire, was fulfilled and brought to a conclusion.

Nor was the earth devastated only by wars but by the hunger and deadly diseases which are commonly spawned and aggravated by wars. You have heard something about these from Procopius above. He tells us that a half of those who did not perish by war were destroyed by disease during the Reign <12r> of Justinian. Furthermore a pestilent disease arose at that time and scourged the whole earth m[20] It raged for fifty two years and more (which was about the length of this Trumpet), and devastated and exhausted all regions beyond measure. But there is no need to mention every detail. It is abundantly clear from what we have said that the stroke of this trumpet, more grievous than the previous three, not only completely destroyed the remnant and name of the Empire, but also left the region almost bereft of inhabitants as the Italian nation was very nearly extinguished. Undoubtedly God had reserved the heaviest of his blows for the head of the Apostasy, and inflicted it last, as he attempted to correct a most obdurate people with the heaviest chastisements, before he willed to leave them luxuriating in their sins.

And now since these things have been signified by the smiting of a third part of the Sun, Moon and Stars so that a third part of them was obscured, the Sun and the Moon will have to be understood as the Emperor of the East and the person next to him in dignity, whether this be the Empress or some other person. By their light will have to be understood the splendour and glory of the Imperial Cities of Rome and Constantinople, through which those Luminaries illuminated the Empire. And by the third part of their light will have to be understood the splendour of the City of Rome, by means of which they illuminated Italy, Sicily, Africa, Dalmatia, Rhaetia, Noricum, Liburnia and a part of Pannonia, i.e. the remnants of the Western empire, which were about a half of it, and thus a third part of the lands on which the Roman Sun shone at the beginning of this Trumpet. Similarly, a third part of the stars will have to be understood as the Consuls, Senators, Patricians, Praetors, Quaestors, Prefects of the City, Masters of the soldiers and the other high offices of the Western Empire, all of which survived intact until the beginning of this Trumpet, <13r> and down to this time shone as stars in this third part of the Roman Sky. But now they have been smitten and completely deprived of their light. I relate all these things to the Emperor of the East as the unique Sun in the Sky of the Roman Empire rather than to the King of the Goths, both because the Goths never involved themselves in the government of the Western Empire but left it all to the Romans, as if they had become protectors rather than lords of the West; and because the Emperor of the East had jurisdiction over this Empire and on that ground claimed it back by warfare. (Before the war began, Theodatus, king of the Goths, solemnly agreed that he derived his right to rule from the Emperor and n[21] that the primacy in his kingdom always belonged to the Emperor, and (since these concessions were not enough) he promised under oath that he would retire from his Kingship, and confer it upon the Emperor, and he only failed to surrender it at a moment when he was exhilarated by a wave of good fortune.) [Editorial Note 57] And the final reason is that the Emperor by means of his Dukes had taken the Imperial City and part of their sway away from the Goths and Vandals before the onset of the darkness.

Moreover, by the words the day did not shine for a third part of it and the night similarly [Editorial Note 58] we will have to understand the duration of the darkness of a third part of the Sun Moon and Stars, that is, the obscured state, or Eclipse, of the western Empire – interpreting day and night of one and the same period of darkness, which with respect to the sun is called day and with respect to the Moon and the stars is called night. For here the Sun, Moon and Stars do not shine by turns to make days and nights alternately, as is the case in the system of the world, but they shine together and are obscured together. / And now the beginning of the day and night of the Westerners, of which a third part is obscured, will coincide with the beginning of the kingdom of the Beast which is and was not (A.C. 395), since that Beast is the eighth King, that subject of the Prophecy of the Trumpets that begins together with them and ends with them, and it is the day and night of this Beast which is obscured.

Furthermore, the beginning of the darkness falls at the beginning of the Siege of Rome, o[22] Feb 20 A.C. 537, i.e., at the beginning of the third year of the Gothic war. In the first year the war affected only Dalmatia and Sicily, in the second it reached Rome, but it did not touch Rome before the siege that lasted for a year and <14r> nine days, and was so fierce that before the winter there were six or seven battles, apart from skirmishes of lesser note; not to mention p[23] also the plundering within the city and the serious famine which afflicted the city. At that time without doubt the high offices of the West, the light and splendour of the Empire, began to be obscured. For now the soldier was everything, with the consequence that only the names survived of the high offices, mere shadows of their former dignity, and indeed not even the names. For nearly all the Magistracies were abolished by the Roman commanders once they took control of the City. The Consuls themselves came to an end in the fourth year after this siege, and four years after that the remaining senators were scattered for ever. In any case in the year 545 the Goths besiege the city for a second time, and in the following year starve it out and capture it. Of the common people only five hundred were found to be remaining in the city. The rest had left the city for other lands or had perished, overcome by hunger and pestilence. Then, says Procopius,[24] Totila, King of the Goths, summons the Men of the Senatorial order from the city to him, and begins to make many reproaches against them, upbraiding and rebuking them. He particularly blamed them because though they had received many benefits from Theodoric, and had always been appointed to all the urban [Editorial Note 65] magistracies by him in the past, and with his permission had governed the State, so that apart from anything else, they were furnished with great wealth, yet, despite all this, they had shown themselves extremely ungrateful to the Goths who had done them these services. He then asked whether they had suffered any ill from the Goths, and he also compelled them to declare whether any good thing still came to them from Justinian, and to enumerate each of their complaints in detail – that they had been deprived by Justinian of almost all the magistracies, that they had often been beaten by his tax-collectors, and that though they were hard-pressed by the war, they were still compelled to pay tribute to the Greeks as if they had been at peace, and other such things. [Editorial Note 66] After this, Totila destroyed a part of the walls, <15r> removed all the resources, took all the citizens away captive, with their wives and children, into Campania and Lucania with him, and departed, leaving the city completely empty of every single inhabitant. Thus this disaster brought to a climax the Darkness which the Siege had earlier brought on, as subsequent events confirmed. For after Rome q[25] had remained empty of people for forty days or more, Belisarius slipped into it with a handful of men. The Goths return and invest him there, but in vain. However, three years later they capture the City in another siege, and lose it once again three years after that when the Romans besieged them; and at that time they kill in their anger three hundred sons of senators. By these frequent sieges and disasters, I say, Rome was confirmed in its distress, so that henceforth it was subjected to Ravenna, the Seat of the Exarchs, like some kind of ignoble Dukedom; it was afflicted by the wars of the Lombards until the end of this Seal; and it crumbled away as the buildings collapsed for want of inhabitants.

I place the end of the darkness in the year 607, when Pope Boniface III obtained from the Emperor Phocas, the concession that Rome should be the head of all the Churches, and convened a Council and made a public proclamation. For the Lombard wars r[26] [Editorial Note 67] lasting right down to the Papacy of Sabinianus or the year 607, brought Rome and Italy, as we learn from Gregory, to the deepest degree of darkness. But now as a lasting peace was made, Italy began to recover from its ills, and s[27] in the year 607 Rome once again, by the aforesaid concession of Phocas, became the Mistress of the World. She began then to illuminate at least the West with a new sun and new stars, i.e., with the Pope and the Cardinals and the rest of the Pontifical Court, who from now on put the darkness to flight, until they surpassed in splendour all the rest of <16r> the princes of the West.

Given then that the desolation of the City, coming between the fall of the civil and the rise of the Ecclesiastical Empire, is a period of darkness, and given that the day and night of which the night is the third part is to be taken from the beginning of the reign of the Beast, the length of the whole day and night from the beginning of the reign of the Beast A.C. 395 Jan.     to the end of the darkness A.C. 607 will be 212 years and some months, and a third part of it 70 years and some months. And similarly the period from the beginning of the year 537 to about the middle of the year 607 will be 70 years and some months. Since these things agree, they fulfil the Prophecy that the day was not bright for a third of its course, and the night similarly.

By these events the prophecy about the desolation of Tyre for seventy years [Editorial Note 74] was also fulfilled. For, as we have shown at Posit      this prophecy denotes the desolation of the imperial City for seventy years, coming as it does between the fall of the civil Empire and the rise of the Ecclesiastical, and being synchronous with this Trumpet. Since all of these have now been fulfilled to the letter, and cannot be applied to any other time, they demonstrate that this trumpet has been applied by us to the correct and proper time.

The Vial too which corresponds to this Trumpet confirms its application very well. It is said that this was poured out on the Sun, and that it was given to the sun to scorch men with fire, and that the men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God. [Editorial Note 75] That is, by the pouring out of this Vial, the supreme power on earth was inflamed and incited to afflict men with war, and men were violently afflicted with war. For the Sun denotes the supreme power on earth, i.e., the Emperor,[28] and heat and fire are emblems of war. And now the thing has so come about. <17r> For the Emperor of the East started the wars of this Trumpet by dispatching his armies into {Italy} in order to claim those {regions} for himself.[29] Theodatus, King of the Goths, sought peace by every means. He brought it about that the Senate interceded with the Emperor for peace, and that the Roman Bishop himself set off as Legate to the Emperor with the same mission.     He solemnly promised that every year he would pay a golden Crown of three hundred pounds [Editorial Note 77] in weight, that he would derive his right to rule from the Emperor, and that in the kingdom of the Goths the same honour would be paid to the Emperor as to himself,[30] for example by the stamping of both names on the coins of the Goths and by the public acclamations of the people in which the Emperor would always be named before the King of the Goths. [Editorial Note 79] But the Emperor rejecting all this with contempt, demanded the kingdom, and invaded to get it. It was not the Goths, but the Greeks who were now invading the nations of the West and, by invading it, scorching them with wars.

Nor was Justinian only the author of wars, but through his commanders he also afflicted Italy more than the Goths themselves. This is the testimony of the Oration of Totila to the captured senators, quoted above [Editorial Note 80]. Procopius too[31] states the same thing. The Chiefs of the Roman army, he says, and the very soldiers were plundering the property of the subjects, there was no insolent act or crime they did not commit, and they had the women they fancied in the garrisons, and devoted themselves to riotous living and drunkenness. But the soldiers themselves, showing themselves disobedient and insubordinate to their commanders, fell into every sort of inappropriate and disgraceful behaviour. As for the Italians moreover, all of them were left to suffer great hardship at the hands of both armies; for they were not only deprived of their lands by the enemy but they lost all their moveable property to the soldiers of the Emperor, as the conqueror [Editorial Note 81]. In addition to this, <18r> while they were suffering from lack of necessities, it was their fate to be beaten with impunity and even put to death; for though the Roman soldiers could not protect their own people when they were being harassed by the enemy, they were not ashamed either of their own disgraceful actions; by their crimes they finally caused the Italians to long for the return of the barbarians. [Editorial Note 82]

I have now expounded the wars of the first four Trumpets, these wars being signified by the same number of winds. Their function was to smite the Earth and the Sea and the rivers and the Sky of the Romans, i.e., every part of the Roman world, the light itself being finally extinguished; or to smite the Empire by degrees until it was finally consumed and ceased to be. And since this was accomplished and fulfilled by means of the wars we have so far described, it is certain that we have drawn out the interpretation correctly to this point. By means of these winds he who was a stumbling-block [Editorial Note 83] was removed from the midst, and now the revelation of the man of sin is to be expected [Editorial Note 84]; but this is not the place to explicate that matter; we must pursue the story of the Trumpets. Since these four Trumpets are concerned with the same subject, namely the fall of the Western Empire, they have been correctly linked with the figure of the four winds, and are separated from the Trumpets that follow by means of the angel who comes between them and cries Woe. For the following Trumpets are wars of a new kind, wars that are far more grievous.

[Editorial Note 1] Abbreviations used: OCD: Oxford Classical Dictionary, 3rd. edn., ed. S. Hornblower and A. Spawforth (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2003; ODB: Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, ed. A.P. Kazhdan (Oxford: Oxford University Press 1991). Both are available online.

[Editorial Note 2] Cf. Revelation, 8.12.

[Editorial Note 3] Cf. Revelation, 7.1.

[Editorial Note 4] This name is often spelt 'Theoderic'. But 'Theodoricus' is the consistent form throughout this typescript; and Gibbon uses 'Theodoric'. Procopius's Greek transliterates as Theuderichos, at least in modern editions.

[1] ✝ The words of Grotius are in his Prolegomena. [Editorial Note 5]

[Editorial Note 5] Presumably the Prolegomena to Grotius, De jure belli ac pacis. Newton possessed an edition of the De iure published in Amsterdam in 1667. Harrison 719. Possibly Hugo Grotius, Prolegomena to the Law of War and Peace, tr. F.W. Kelsey (New York: Liberal Arts Press 1957), p. 19 n. 23, which cites a couple of passages of Procopius.

[Editorial Note 6] This is the correct spelling, as at f 12r below

[Editorial Note 7] This seems to be the conglomeration of peoples who are also known as 'Suebi; see OCD, sv. Suebi.

[Editorial Note 8] The Roman province of Pannonia had been subdivided into smaller administrative units.

[Editorial Note 9] Presumably Singidunum.

[Editorial Note 10] Career of Theoderic: Wars 5.1.9 ff. (=Gothic War, 1.1.9ff.) The wars of Justinian are sometimes enumerated consecutively in Procopius's History of the Wars of Justinian, in which case the Gothic War occupies bks. 5-8; sometimes separately for each war, in which case the Gothic War consists of four books numbered 1-4. Newton uses the latter system. Procopius, History of the Wars, ed. with trans. H. B. Dewing, vols. 1-5 (1914-28) of Procopius, 7 vols., Loeb Library. Procopius Caesariensis, Opera Omnia, ed. J. Haury and G. Wirth, vol. II, De Bellis libri V-VIII (Monachii et Lipsiae: K.G. Saur 2001), Bibliotheca Teubneriana.

[Editorial Note 11] Would this be a reference to Cassiodorus's Chronica?

[Editorial Note 12] Ennodius, 'Panegyricus dictus Theoderico' in Magni Felicis Ennodii Opera (Berlin: Weidmann 1885), pp. 203-14. This volume is Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Auctores Antiquissimi, vol. 7.

[Editorial Note 13] Cassiodori Senatoris Chronica, §1339, in Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Auctores Antiquissimi, vol. 11, p. 160.

[2] Procop de bell. Got. l 1.

[Editorial Note 14] Cf. Procopius, Wars, 5.1.29-30 (=Gothic War, 1.29-30)

[Editorial Note 15] This looks like Evagrius Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History, 4.19 (169), where Theoderic is described as tēs Romaiōn exēgēsamenos archēs, 'leader of the empire of the Romans'. The Ecclesiastical History of Evagrius Scholasticus, tr. Michael Whitby (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press 2000), p. 219. Evagrii Scolastici ... Ecclesiae Historiae libri sex, ed. H. Valesius (Oxonii: e Typographeo Academico 1844).

[Editorial Note 16] Procopius was aide and counsellor to Belisarius throughout the wars, and carried out many special missions for him. See OCD, s.v. Procopius, and Brill's New Pauly: Encyclopedia of the Ancient World, 17 vols. (Leiden/Boston 2002-2010). Both works are available online.

[Editorial Note 17] 'Urbanos' does not translate Procopius's Greek text correctly, at least the text of modern editions, which translate as 'offices of the state'. Perhaps the text Newton was using had tas tes polews archas instead of tas tes politeias archas.

[Editorial Note 18] This clause does not seem to translate the Greek text correctly, at least not the text of modern editions.

[Editorial Note 19] Procopius, Wars, 6.17-20 (Gothic War, 2.6.17-20).

[3] A.C. 535.

[4] One can find these wars more fully described in Procopius, Jornandes [Editorial Note 20], Historia Miscella, [Editorial Note 21] Agathias, Sigonius [Editorial Note 22] and Aventinus [Editorial Note 23]. We have not based our brief account here solely on Procopius.

[Editorial Note 20] This seems to be the historian now commonly known as Jordanes.

[Editorial Note 21] Historia Miscella; see n. 37 above.

[Editorial Note 22] Newton possessed two histories by Sigonius. Harrison, 1512, 1513.

[Editorial Note 23] This may be the Bavarian historian, Johannes Aventinus (1477-1534).

[Editorial Note 24] For this and the following paragraphs, cf. Procopius, Wars, 5.5 ff. (Gothic War, 1.5 ff.).

[5] ✝ Anastasius in the Life of Pope Silverius

[Editorial Note 25] 10th. December. Newton's note acknowledges 'Anastas. in vita Silverij P.' for the date. This is the Life of Pope Silverius, §4, in the Liber Pontificalis; English translation by Davis, p. 56. The Liber Pontificalis was falsely attributed to Anastasius, Librarian of the Roman Church c. 810-c. 879. The Book of Pontiffs (Liber Pontificalis) ed. and tr. Raymond Davis 2nd. edn. (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press 2000).

[Editorial Note 26] Some such word as 'urbes' seems to be needed, e.g., 'praesertim maritimae urbes inter quas'.

[Editorial Note 27] Perhaps 'the Suevian Province' is intended; see f 2r above

[6] Procopius

[Editorial Note 28] The quotation is from Procopius, Wars, 5.16.11 (Gothic War, 1.16.11).

[7] Anastasius in the Life of Silverius

[Editorial Note 29] 21st. February. In his note [7] Newton acknowledges for the date 'Anastasius in vita Silverij'. See [Anastasius], Liber Pontificalis, 60, 'Silverius', §4 (Davis, p. 56);

[Editorial Note 30] See Procopius, Wars, 6.20.3-11 (=Gothic War, 2.20.3-11).

[Editorial Note 31] The Latin translation does not correspond here to the Greek text of modern editions, which translates as 'were attacked by all sorts of diseases, as one would expect'.

[Editorial Note 32] guessing 'in Piceno' or 'in Picentibus' for 'Picentes', which is ungrammatical; it is ἐν Πικηνῷ in Greek, 'in Picenum'.

[Editorial Note 33] Newton seems to hesitate between 'inedia' and 'per inediam'.

[Editorial Note 34] For this paragraph cf. Procopius, Wars, 6.20.15-21 (=Gothic War, 2.20.15-21).

[8] Procopius, Gothic War, bk. 2.

[Editorial Note 35] Procopius, Wars, 6.21.26 (= Gothic War, bk. 2.21.26).

[Editorial Note 36] Procopius, Wars, 6.21.39 (= Gothic War, bk. 2.21.39).

[Editorial Note 37] The Greek word would now be written αὐτόπτῃ, but Newton prefers to put the breathing on the first letter of an initial diphthong.

[Editorial Note 38] Procopius, Anecdota, otherwise known as Secret History. Newton possessed a bilingual edition of 1623. Harrison 1352. Procopius, The Anecdota or Secret History, with trans. H. B. Dewing, vol. 6 (1935) of Procopius, 7 vols., Loeb Library. Procopius Caesariensis, Opera Omnia, ed. J. Haury and G. Wirth, vol. III Historia quae dicitur arcana (Monachi et Lipsiae: K.G. Saur, 2001).

[Editorial Note 39] Reading 'ego' for 'eo'.

[Editorial Note 40] Procopius, Secret History [Anecdota], 18.5-8.

[Editorial Note 41] Procopius, Secret History [Anecdota], 18.13-19.

[9] b Historia Miscella, bk. 18

[Editorial Note 42] The Historia Miscella is available in Migne, Patrologia Latina (1844-55), vol. 95. Newton's passage may perhaps be at col. 1145D; the name is there spelt 'Sindual'.

[10] c Anastasius in the Life of John III.

[Editorial Note 43] Liber Pontificalis, 63 'John III', 2 (Davis, p. 61). In Davis's translation the name is spelt 'Sindual'. Gibbon, Decline and Fall 4: 451 calls him 'Sindbal': Gibbon, Edward, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ed. J. B. Bury, 7 vols. (London: Methuen, 1909-14).

[Editorial Note 44] The transcript consistently spells this 'Longobardi'; the usual spelling in modern texts is 'Langobardi'.

[11] d Platina in the Life of John III.

[12] e We reckon that it is now twenty seven years that we have been living in this city among the swords of the Lombards. Gregory the Great, bk. 4, Epist. 34. [Editorial Note 45] We cannot find suitably expressive words to explain how much we have been afflicted both by daily sword-thrusts and by how great incursions of the Lombards for lo! the length of thirty five years. Gregory the Great to the Emperor Phocas, Indiction 6. [Editorial Note 46] Epist. 45. bk. 11. [Editorial Note 47] Roman Edition.

[Editorial Note 45] Gregory, Epistles, bk. 5, epist. 34 (1 June 595), in The Letters of Gregory the Great, ed. and tr. John R.C. Martyn, 3 vols. (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies 2004), vol. 2, p. 357.

[Editorial Note 46] Originally a tax, the indiction became in Byzantine times a dating device.

[Editorial Note 47] Gregory, Epistles, bk. 13, epist. 39 (July 603) in Letters, tr. Martyn, vol. 3, p. 854.

[Editorial Note 48] a conjecture for the non-existent Bonosus. Cf. [Anastasius], Liber Pontificalis, 64, 'Benedict I and 65, 'Pelagius II' (Davis, pp. 62-3).

[13] f. Gregory the Great, Dialogues, bk. 3. ch. 38.

[14] g. You see how few survive of that innumerable mass of people, and yet still every day we are beaten by whips, overwhelmed by sudden accidents, afflicted by new and unexpected disasters. Gregory the Great, Homilies on Luke, 21 [Editorial Note 49].

[Editorial Note 49] Cf. Gregorius Magnus, Homiliae in Evangelia, ed. R. Etaix (Turnholt: Brepols 1999). Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina, vol. 141.

[Editorial Note 50] supplying mundus from the Latin text of the Dialogues

[Editorial Note 51] Gregory, Dialogues, 3.38.2-3. Grégoire le Grand, Dialogi, ed. A. de Vogüé, tr. P. Antin (Paris: du Cerf, 1978-80). Newton possessed Gregory, Opera omnia, 4 vols. Paris 1705. Harrison 701.

[15] h Baronius, Annales, 567, § 15, 16. [Editorial Note 52]

[Editorial Note 52] Or possibly, 'Baronius, under the Year 567, §15, 16'. Newton possessed Caesar Baronius, Annales ecclesiastici, 12 vols. in 6. Coloniae Agrippinae 1609-13. Harrison 120.

[16] i Ezekiel 7.

[Editorial Note 53] Cf. Ezekiel 7.2.

[17] NB

[Editorial Note 54] Procopius, Wars, 8.33.2 (Gothic War, 4.33.2)

[18] k. Gregory the Great in Homilies on Ezekiel, 18.

[19] l. There is an old Prophecy: Rome will not be destroyed by Peoples, but it will be worn down by thunderbolts, whirlwinds and earthquakes, and will wither agway of itself. The mysteries of this Prophecy have been made clearer than light to us, as we cast our eyes over the crumbling walls in this city, the fallen houses, the Churches destroyed by whirlwind, and see that its buildings, worn out by sheer old age, are levelled with the ground by increasingly frequent collapses. Gregory the Great, Dialogues, bk. 2, Ch. 35.

[Editorial Note 55] Gregory, Homilies on Ezekiel, 2.6.22-4. Sancti Gregorii Magni Homiliae in Hiezechihelem Prophetam, ed. M. Adriaen (Turnholti: Brepols 1971), II Homilia VI. 22-4. Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina, vol. 142.

[Editorial Note 56] Reading 'gesserunt' for 'gessunt'.

[20] m. Evagrius History, bk. 4, ch. 28.

[21] n. Procopius, Gothic War, bk. 1.

[Editorial Note 57] Cf. Procopius, Wars, 5.6.1-13 (Gothic War, 1.6.1-13)

[Editorial Note 58] Revelation 8.12.

[22] o. The first year of the Gothic war fell, as Procopius tells us, in the Consulate of Belisarius, i.e., in the year <13v> 535, hence the beginning of the siege will fall in the third year 537. This is confirmed from Marcellinus [Editorial Note 59]; he not only refers the beginning of this siege to the second year after the Consulate of Belisarius in Indiction 15, i.e. the year 537, but also the events of the other years of this war, as narrated by Procopius, to the appropriate years of the Consuls and indictions. Moreover this Siege occurred when 60 years had passed after the occupation of Rome by Odoacer (Procopius,      Evagrius bk. 4, ch. 19 [Editorial Note 60]). Odoacer occupied Rome in A.C. [Editorial Note 61] 476 (Marcellinus [Editorial Note 62]. Cassiodorus [Editorial Note 63].). Therefore, as Anastasius has given the date as 9 Kal. Mart., the beginning of the siege will be February 20th. in the Year 537. [Editorial Note 64]

[Editorial Note 59] Marcellini Comitis Chronicon in Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Auctores Antiquissimi, vol. 11, p. 105.

[Editorial Note 60] Evagrius, Ecclesiastical History, 4.19; tr. Whitby, p. 219: 'Rome again came under Roman control after 60 years'

[Editorial Note 61] anno Christi, 'in the year of Christ'.

[Editorial Note 62] Marcellini Comitis Chronicon in Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Auctores Antiquissimi, vol. 11, p. 91. It has been argued that Marcellinus was the first to date the fall of the Roman empire in the west to 476 (ODB, s.v. Marcellinus Comes).

[Editorial Note 63] Cassiodori Senatoris Chronica in Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Auctores Antiquissimi, vol. 11, pp. 158-9.

[Editorial Note 64] This does not appear to be the correct equivalent for '9 Kal. Mart'. In f 5r above it is given as 21st. February, which is correct.

[23] p. See Anastasius.

[24] Procopius, Gothic War, bk. 3.

[Editorial Note 65] As above at f 3r, 'urban magistracies' looks like a mistranslation of ten politeian, 'the government' or 'the state'

[Editorial Note 66] Procopius, Wars, 7.21.12-14 (=Gothic War, 21.12-14).

[25] q Marcellinus, Chronicon

[26] r. Anastasius and Platina in the Life of Sabinianus

[Editorial Note 67] [Anastasius], Liber Pontificalis, 67 'Sabinian', 1 (tr. Davis, p. 64: 'peace was made with the Lombard people'); 'Platina in Vita Sabiniani'. B. Platina, The Lives of the Popes, tr. W. Benham, 2 vols. (London: Griffith, n.d.), vol. 1, pp. 140-1, 'a peace was made with the Lombards'. Newton possessed Bartolomeo Platina, Historia de vitis Pontificum Romanorum (Coloniae 1600). Harrison 1323.

[27] s. The Emperor Phocas began his reign on November 23, A.C. 602, as Petavius proved in Rationarium Temporum [Editorial Note 68] and in the notes to the Breviarium of Nicephorus [Editorial Note 69], from the Alexandrian Chronicle [Editorial Note 70], Theophanes [Editorial Note 71], Paulus <15v> Diaconus, Zonaras, Cedrenus [Editorial Note 72] and others. And Gregory the Great died in the year {illeg} de P{illeg}tis, P. Diac [Editorial Note 73], Bede, {Anastasius Regino} Marianus Scotus {illeg}

[Editorial Note 68] Newton possessed Denis Petau (Petavius), Rationarium temporum ... ed. ultima ... (Franequerae, 1694). Harrison 1286.

[Editorial Note 69] Nicephorus I, patriarch of Constantinople, 806-15; the Breviarium Newton cites is presumably a Latin translation of Nicephorus's Historia Syntomos.

[Editorial Note 70] This is a guess; cf. ODB, s.v. Alexandrian Era.

[Editorial Note 71] This looks like Theophanes the Confessor, Chronographia.

[Editorial Note 72] Cf. ODB, s.v. Kedrenos.

[Editorial Note 73] This looks like the aforementioned Paulus Diaconus (Paul the Deacon).

[Editorial Note 74] Cf. Isaiah, 23.15-18; Jeremiah, 25.11-12.

[Editorial Note 75] Cf. Revelation, 16.8-9.

[28] Fig.

[29] Procopius, Gothic War, bk. 1, and Baronius, Annales [Editorial Note 76]

[Editorial Note 76] See Newton's n. [15]

[Editorial Note 77] Cf. Procopius Wars, 5.6.2

[30] Today we have coins which have been discovered bearing on one side the inscription DN. IUSTINIANUS AVG and on the other DN. THEODAHATHUS REX. Baronius, Annales, 536 § 8. [Editorial Note 78]

[Editorial Note 78] See Newton's n. [15]

[Editorial Note 79] Procopius Wars, 5.6.1-13 (Gothic War, 1.6.1-13).

[Editorial Note 80] f 14r above.

[31] Procopius, Gothic War bk. 3

[Editorial Note 81] 'ut dominantis' seems to represent nothing in Procopius's Greek.

[Editorial Note 82] Procopius, Wars, 7.9.1-4 (=Gothic war, 3.9.1-4).

[Editorial Note 83] Cf. Revelation 2.14. But perhaps 'impedimento' should simply be translated 'obstacle'.

[Editorial Note 84] Cf. 2 Thessalonians, 2: 3.

© 2017 The Newton Project

Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

Faculty of History, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL - newtonproject@history.ox.ac.uk

Privacy Statement

  • University of Oxford
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • JISC