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When Tiridates appeared on the frontiers of Armenia, he was received with an unfeigned transport of joy and loyalty. During twenty-six years, the country had experienced the real and imaginary hardships of a foreign yoke. The Persian monarchs adorned their new conquest with magnificent buildings; but those monuments had been erected at the expense of the people, and were abhorred as badges of slavery. The apprehension of a revolt had inspired the most rigorous precautions: oppression had been aggravated by insult, and the consciousness of the public hatred had been productive of every measure that could render it still more implacable. We have already remarked the intolerant spirit of the Magian religion. The statues of the deified kings of Armenia, and the sacred images of the sun and moon, were broke in pieces by the zeal of the conqueror; and the perpetual fire of Ormuzd was kindled and preserved upon an altar erected on the summit of Mount Bagavan. 55 It was natural, that a people exasperated by so many injuries, should arm with zeal in the cause of their independence, their religion, and their hereditary sovereign. The torrent bore down every obstacle, and the Persian garrisons retreated before its fury. The nobles of Armenia flew to the standard of Tiridates, all alleging their past merit, offering their future service, and soliciting from the new king those honors and rewards from which they had been excluded with disdain under the foreign government. 56 The command of the army was bestowed on Artavasdes, whose father had saved the infancy of Tiridates, and whose family had been massacred for that generous action. The brother of Artavasdes obtained the government of a province. One of the first military dignities was conferred on the satrap Otas, a man of singular temperance and fortitude, who presented to the king his sister 57 and a considerable treasure, both of which, in a sequestered fortress, Otas had preserved from violation. Among the Armenian nobles appeared an ally, whose fortunes are too remarkable to pass unnoticed. His name was Mamgo, ! his origin was Scythian, and the horde which acknowledge his authority had encamped a very few years before on the skirts of the Chinese empire, 58 which at that time extended as far as the neighborhood of Sogdiana. 59 Having incurred the displeasure of his master, Mamgo, with his followers, retired to the banks of the Oxus, and implored the protection of Sapor. The emperor of China claimed the fugitive, and alleged the rights of sovereignty. The Persian monarch pleaded the laws of hospitality, and with some difficulty avoided a war, by the promise that he would banish Mamgo to the uttermost parts of the West, a punishment, as he described it, not less dreadful than death itself. Armenia was chosen for the place of exile, and a large district was assigned to the Scythian horde, on which they might feed their flocks and herds, and remove their encampment from one place to another, according to the different seasons of the year. They were employed to repel the invasion of Tiridates; but their leader, after weighing the obligations and injuries which he had received from the Persian monarch, resolved to abandon his party. The Armenian prince, who was well acquainted with this merit as well as power of Mamgo, treated him with distinguished respect; and, by admitting him into his confidence, acquired a brave and faithful servant, who contributed very effectually to his restoration. 60
Footnote 55: Moses of Chorene. Hist. Armen. l. ii. c. 74. The statues had been erected by Valarsaces, who reigned in Armenia about 130 years before Christ, and was the first king of the family of Arsaces, (see Moses, Hist. Armen. l. ii. 2, 3.) The deification of the Arsacides is mentioned by Justin, (xli. 5,) and by Ammianus Marcellinus, (xxiii. 6.)
Footnote 56: The Armenian nobility was numerous and powerful. Moses mentions many families which were distinguished under the reign of Valarsaces, (l. ii. 7,) and which still subsisted in his own time, about the middle of the fifth century. See the preface of his Editors.
Footnote 57: She was named Chosroiduchta, and had not the os patulum like other women. (Hist. Armen. l. ii. c. 79.) I do not understand the expression.
Footnote !: Mamgo (according to M. St. Martin, note to Le Beau. ii. 213) belonged to the imperial race of Hon, who had filled the throne of China for four hundred years. Dethroned by the usurping race of Wei, Mamgo found a hospitable reception in Persia in the reign of Ardeschir. The emperor of china having demanded the surrender of the fugitive and his partisans, Sapor, then king, threatened with war both by Rome and China, counseled Mamgo to retire into Armenia. "I have expelled him from my dominions, (he answered the Chinese ambassador;) I have banished him to the extremity of the earth, where the sun sets; I have dismissed him to certain death." Compare Mem. sur l'Armenie, ii. 25. - M.
Footnote 58: In the Armenian history, (l. ii. 78,) as well as in the Geography, (p. 367,) China is called Zenia, or Zenastan. It is characterized by the production of silk, by the opulence of the natives, and by their love of peace, above all the other nations of the earth. Note: See St. Martin, Mem. sur l'Armenie, i. 304.
Footnote 59: Vou-ti, the first emperor of the seventh dynasty, who then reigned in China, had political transactions with Fergana, a province of Sogdiana, and is said to have received a Roman embassy, (Histoire des Huns, tom. i. p. 38.) In those ages the Chinese kept a garrison at Kashgar, and one of their generals, about the time of Trajan, marched as far as the Caspian Sea. With regard to the intercourse between China and the Western countries, a curious memoir of M. de Guignes may be consulted, in the Academie des Inscriptions, tom. xxii. p. 355.
Footnote 60: See Hist. Armen. l. ii. c. 81.
For a while, fortune appeared to favor the enterprising valor of Tiridates. He not only expelled the enemies of his family and country from the whole extent of Armenia, but in the prosecution of his revenge he carried his arms, or at least his incursions, into the heart of Assyria. The historian, who has preserved the name of Tiridates from oblivion, celebrates, with a degree of national enthusiasm, his personal prowess: and, in the true spirit of eastern romance, describes the giants and the elephants that fell beneath his invincible arm. It is from other information that we discover the distracted state of the Persian monarchy, to which the king of Armenia was indebted for some part of his advantages. The throne was disputed by the ambition of contending brothers; and Hormuz, after exerting without success the strength of his own party, had recourse to the dangerous assistance of the barbarians who inhabited the banks of the Caspian Sea. 61 The civil war was, however, soon terminated, either by a victor or by a reconciliation; and Narses, who was universally acknowledged as king of Persia, directed his whole force against the foreign enemy. The contest then became too unequal; nor was the valor of the hero able to withstand the power of the monarch, Tiridates, a second time expelled from the throne of Armenia, once more took refuge in the court of the emperors. * Narses soon reestablished his authority over the revolted province; and loudly complaining of the protection afforded by the Romans to rebels and fugitives, aspired to the conquest of the East. 62
Footnote 61: Ipsos Persas ipsumque Regem ascitis Saccis, et Russis, et Gellis, petit frater Ormies. Panegyric. Vet. iii. 1. The Saccae were a nation of wandering Scythians, who encamped towards the sources of the Oxus and the Jaxartes. The Gelli where the inhabitants of Ghilan, along the Caspian Sea, and who so long, under the name of Dilemines, infested the Persian monarchy. See d'Herbelot, Bibliotheque
Footnote *: M St. Martin represents this differently. Le roi de Perse * * * profits d'un voyage que Tiridate avoit fait a Rome pour attaquer ce royaume. This reads like the evasion of the national historians to disguise the fact discreditable to their hero. See Mem. sur l'Armenie, i. 304. - M.
Footnote 62: Moses of Chorene takes no notice of this second revolution, which I have been obliged to collect from a passage of Ammianus Marcellinus, (l. xxiii. c. 5.) Lactantius speaks of the ambition of Narses: "Concitatus domesticis exemplis avi sui Saporis ad occupandum orientem magnis copiis inhiabat." De Mort. Persecut. c. 9.
Neither prudence nor honor could permit the emperors to forsake the cause of the Armenian king, and it was resolved to exer the force of the empire in the Persian war. Diocletian, with the calm dignity which he constantly assumed, fixed his own station in the city of Antioch, from whence he prepared and directed the military operations. 63 The conduct of the legions was entrusted to the intrepid valor of Galerius, who, for that important purpose, was removed from the banks of the Danube to those of the Euphrates. The armies soon encountered each other in the plains of Mesopotamia, and two battles were fought with various and doubtful success; but the third engagement was of a more decisive nature; and the Roman army received a total overthrow, which is attributed to the rashness of Galerius, who, with an inconsiderable body of troops, attacked the innumerable host of the Persians. 64 But the consideration of the country that was the scene of action, may suggest another reason for his defeat. The same ground on which Galerius was vanquished, had been rendered memorable by the death of Crassus, and the slaughter of ten legions. It was a plain of more than sixty miles, which extended from the hills of Carrhae to the Euphrates; a smooth and barren surface of sandy desert, without a hillock, without a tree, and without a spring of fresh water. 65 The steady infantry of the Romans, fainting with heat and thirst, could neither hope for victory if they preserved their ranks, nor break their ranks without exposing themselves to the most imminent danger. In this situation they were gradually encompassed by the superior numbers, harassed by the rapid evolutions, and destroyed by the arrows of the barbarian cavalry.

The king of Armenia had signalized his valor in the battle, and acquired personal glory by the public misfortune. He was pursued as far as the Euphrates; his horse was wounded, and it appeared impossible for him to escape the victorious enemy. In this extremity Tiridates embraced the only refuge which appeared before him: he dismounted and plunged into the stream. His armor was heavy, the river very deep, and at those parts at least half a mile in breadth; 66 yet such was his strength and dexterity, that he reached in safety the opposite bank. 67 With regard to the Roman general, we are ignorant of the circumstances of his escape; but when he returned to Antioch, Diocletian received him, not with the tenderness of a friend and colleague, but with the indignation of an offended sovereign. The haughtiest of men, clothed in his purple, but humbled by the sense of his fault and misfortune, was obliged to follow the emperor's chariot above a mile on foot, and to exhibit, before the whole court, the spectacle of his disgrace. 68
Footnote 63: We may readily believe, that Lactantius ascribes to cowardice the conduct of Diocletian. Julian, in his oration, says, that he remained with all the forces of the empire; a very hyperbolical expression.
Footnote 64: Our five abbreviators, Eutropius, Festus, the two Victors, and Orosius, all relate the last and great battle; but Orosius is the only one who speaks of the two former.
Footnote 65: The nature of the country is finely described by Plutarch, in the life of Crassus; and by Xenophon, in the first book of the Anabasis
Footnote 66: See Foster's Dissertation in the second volume of the translation of the Anabasis by Spelman; which I will venture to recommend as one of the best versions extant.
Footnote 67: Hist. Armen. l. ii. c. 76. I have transferred this exploit of Tiridates from an imaginary defeat to the real one of Galerius.
Footnote 68: Ammian. Marcellin. l. xiv. The mile, in the hands of Eutropoius, (ix. 24,) of Festus (c. 25,) and of Orosius, (vii 25), easily increased to several miles
As soon as Diocletian had indulged his private resentment, and asserted the majesty of supreme power, he yielded to the submissive entreaties of the Caesar, and permitted him to retrieve his own honor, as well as that of the Roman arms. In the room of the unwarlike troops of Asia, which had most probably served in the first expedition, a second army was drawn from the veterans and new levies of the Illyrian frontier, and a considerable body of Gothic auxiliaries were taken into the Imperial pay. 69 At the head of a chosen army of twenty-five thousand men, Galerius again passed the Euphrates; but, instead of exposing his legions in the open plains of Mesopotamia he advanced through the mountains of Armenia, where he found the inhabitants devoted to his cause, and the country as favorable to the operations of infantry as it was inconvenient for the motions of cavalry. 70 Adversity had confirmed the Roman discipline, while the barbarians, elated by success, were become so negligent and remiss, that in the moment when they least expected it, they were surprised by the active conduct of Galerius, who, attended only by two horsemen, had with his own eyes secretly examined the state and position of their camp. A surprise, especially in the night time, was for the most part fatal to a Persian army. "Their horses were tied, and generally shackled, to prevent their running away; and if an alarm happened, a Persian had his housing to fix, his horse to bridle, and his corselet to put on, before he could mount." 71 On this occasion, the impetuous attack of Galerius spread disorder and dismay over the camp of the barbarians. A slight resistance was followed by a dreadful carnage, and, in the general confusion, the wounded monarch (for Narses commanded his armies in person) fled towards the deserts of Media. His sumptuous tents, and those of his satraps, afforded an immense booty to the conqueror; and an incident is mentioned, which proves the rustic but martial ignorance of the legions in the elegant superfluities of life. A bag of shining leather, filled with pearls, fell into the hands of a private soldier; he carefully preserved the bag, but he threw away its contents, judging that whatever was of no use could not possibly be of any value. 72 The principal loss of Narses was of a much more affecting nature. Several of his wives, his sisters, and children, who had attended the army, were made captives in the defeat. But though the character of Galerius had in general very little affinity with that of Alexander, he imitated, after his victory, the amiable behavior of the Macedonian towards the family of Darius. The wives and children of Narses were protected from violence and rapine, conveyed to a place of safety, and treated with every mark of respect and tenderness, that was due from a generous enemy to their age, their sex, and their royal dignity. 73
Footnote 69: Aurelius Victor. Jornandes de Rebus Geticis, c. 21.
Footnote 70: Aurelius Victor says, "Per Armeniam in hostes contendit, quae fermo sola, seu facilior vincendi via est." He followed the conduct of Trajan, and the idea of Julius Caesar.
Footnote 71: Xenophon's Anabasis, l. iii. For that reason the Persian cavalry encamped sixty stadia from the enemy.
Footnote 72: The story is told by Ammianus, l. xxii. Instead of saccum, some read scutum.
Footnote 73: The Persians confessed the Roman superiority in morals as well as in arms. Eutrop. ix. 24. But this respect and gratitude of enemies is very seldom to be found in their own accounts.
Part III.

While the East anxiously expected the decision of this great contest, the emperor Diocletian, having assembled in Syria a strong army of observation, displayed from a distance the resources of the Roman power, and reserved himself for any future emergency of the war. On the intelligence of the victory he condescended to advance towards the frontier, with a view of moderating, by his presence and counsels, the pride of Galerius. The interview of the Roman princes at Nisibis was accompanied with every expression of respect on one side, and of esteem on the other. It was in that city that they soon afterwards gave audience to the ambassador of the Great King. 74 The power, or at least the spirit, of Narses, had been broken by his last defeat; and he considered an immediate peace as the only means that could stop the progress of the Roman arms. He dispatched Apharban, a servant who possessed his favor and confidence, with a commission to negotiate a treaty, or rather to receive whatever conditions the conqueror should impose. Apharban opened the conference by expressing his master's gratitude for the generous treatment of his family, and by soliciting the liberty of those illustrious captives. He celebrated the valor of Galerius, without degrading the reputation of Narses, and thought it no dishonor to confess the superiority of the victorious Caesar, over a monarch who had surpassed in glory all the princes of his race. Notwithstanding the justice of the Persian cause, he was empowered to submit the present differences to the decision of the emperors themselves; convinced as he was, that, in the midst of prosperity, they would not be unmindful of the vicissitudes of fortune. Apharban concluded his discourse in the style of eastern allegory, by observing that the Roman and Persian monarchies were the two eyes of the world, which would remain imperfect and mutilated if either of them should be put out.
Footnote 74: The account of the negotiation is taken from the fragments of Peter the Patrician, in the Excerpta Legationum, published in the Byzantine Collection. Peter lived under Justinian; but it is very evident, by the nature of his materials, that they are drawn from the most authentic and respectable writers.
"It well becomes the Persians," replied Galerius, with a transport of fury, which seemed to convulse his whole frame, " to expatiate on the vicissitudes of fortune, and calmly to read us lectures on the virtues of moderation. Let them remember their own moderation, towards the unhappy Valerian. They vanquished him by fraud, they treated him with indignity. They detained him till the last moment of his life in shameful captivity, and after his death they exposed his body to perpetual ignominy." Softening, however, his tone, Galerius insinuated to the ambassador, that it had never been the practice of the Romans to trample on a prostrate enemy; and that, on this occasion, they should consult their own dignity rather than the Persian merit. He dismissed Apharban with a hope that Narses would soon be informed on what conditions he might obtain, from the clemency of the emperors, a lasting peace, and the restoration of his wives and children. In this conference we may discover the fierce passions of Galerius, as well as his deference to the superior wisdom and authority of Diocletian. The ambition of the former grasped at the conquest of the East, and had proposed to reduce Persia into the state of a province. The prudence of the latter, who adhered to the moderate policy of Augustus and the Antonines, embraced the favorable opportunity of terminating a successful war by an honorable and advantageous peace. 75
Footnote 75: Adeo victor (says Aurelius) ut ni Valerius, cujus nutu omnis gerebantur, abnuisset, Romani fasces in provinciam novam ferrentur Verum pars terrarum tamen nobis utilior quaesita.
In pursuance of their promise, the emperors soon afterwards appointed Sicorius Probus, one of their secretaries, to acquaint the Persian court with their final resolution. As the minister of peace, he was received with every mark of politeness and friendship; but, under the pretence of allowing him the necessary repose after so long a journey, the audience of Probus was deferred from day to day; and he attended the slow motions of the king, till at length he was admitted to his presence, near the River Asprudus in Media. The secret motive of Narses, in this delay, had been to collect such a military force as might enable him, though sincerely desirous of peace, to negotiate with the greater weight and dignity. Three persons only assisted at this important conference, the minister Apharban, the prefect of the guards, and an officer who had commanded on the Armenian frontier. 76 The first condition proposed by the ambassador is not at present of a very intelligible nature; that the city of Nisibis might be established for the place of mutual exchange, or, as we should formerly have termed it, for the staple of trade, between the two empires. There is no difficulty in conceiving the intention of the Roman princes to improve their revenue by some restraints upon commerce; but as Nisibis was situated within their own dominions, and as they were masters both of the imports and exports, it should seem that such restraints were the objects of an internal law, rather than of a foreign treaty. To render them more effectual, some stipulations were probably required on the side of the king of Persia, which appeared so very repugnant either to his interest or to his dignity, that Narses could not be persuaded to subscribe them. As this was the only article to which he refused his consent, it was no longer insisted on; and the emperors either suffered the trade to flow in its natural channels, or contented themselves with such restrictions, as it depended on their own authority to establish.
Footnote 76: He had been governor of Sumium, (Pot. Patricius in Excerpt. Legat. p. 30.) This province seems to be mentioned by Moses of Chorene, (Geograph. p. 360,) and lay to the east of Mount Ararat. Note: The Siounikh of the Armenian writers St. Martin i. 142. - M.
As soon as this difficulty was removed, a solemn peace was concluded and ratified between the two nations. The conditions of a treaty so glorious to the empire, and so necessary to Persia Persian, may deserve a more peculiar attention, as the history of Rome presents very few transactions of a similar nature; most of her wars having either been terminated by absolute conquest, or waged against barbarians ignorant of the use of letters.

I. The Aboras, or, as it is called by Xenophon, the Araxes, was fixed as the boundary between the two monarchies. 77 That river, which rose near the Tigris, was increased, a few miles below Nisibis, by the little stream of the Mygdonius, passed under the walls of Singara, and fell into the Euphrates at Circesium, a frontier town, which, by the care of Diocletian, was very strongly fortified. 78 Mesopotomia, the object of so many wars, was ceded to the empire; and the Persians, by this treaty, renounced all pretensions to that great province.

II. They relinquished to the Romans five provinces beyond the Tigris. 79 Their situation formed a very useful barrier, and their natural strength was soon improved by art and military skill. Four of these, to the north of the river, were districts of obscure fame and inconsiderable extent; Intiline, Zabdicene, Arzanene, and Moxoene; ! but on the east of the Tigris, the empire acquired the large and mountainous territory of Karduene, the ancient seat of the Karduchians, who preserved for many ages their manly freedom in the heart of the despotic monarchies of Asia. The ten thousand Greeks traversed their country, after a painful march, or rather engagement, of seven days; and it is confessed by their leader, in his incomparable relation of the retreat, that they suffered more from the arrows of the Karduchians, than from the power of the Great King. 80 Their posterity, the Kurds, with very little alteration either of name or manners, * acknowledged the nominal sovereignty of the Turkish sultan.

III. It is almost needless to observe, that Tiridates, the faithful ally of Rome, was restored to the throne of his fathers, and that the rights of the Imperial supremacy were fully asserted and secured. The limits of Armenia were extended as far as the fortress of Sintha in Media, and this increase of dominion was not so much an act of liberality as of justice. Of the provinces already mentioned beyond the Tigris, the four first had been dismembered by the Parthians from the crown of Armenia; 81 and when the Romans acquired the possession of them, they stipulated, at the expense of the usurpers, an ample compensation, which invested their ally with the extensive and fertile country of Atropatene. Its principal city, in the same situation perhaps as the modern Tauris, was frequently honored by the residence of Tiridates; and as it sometimes bore the name of Ecbatana, he imitated, in the buildings and fortifications, the splendid capital of the Medes. 82

IV. The country of Iberia was barren, its inhabitants rude and savage. But they were accustomed to the use of arms, and they separated from the empire barbarians much fiercer and more formidable than themselves. The narrow defiles of Mount Caucasus were in their hands, and it was in their choice, either to admit or to exclude the wandering tribes of Sarmatia, whenever a rapacious spirit urged them to penetrate into the richer climes of the South. 83 The nomination of the kings of Iberia, which was resigned by the Persian monarch to the emperors, contributed to the strength and security of the Roman power in Asia. 84 The East enjoyed a profound tranquillity during forty years; and the treaty between the rival monarchies was strictly observed till the death of Tiridates; when a new generation, animated with different views and different passions, succeeded to the government of the world; and the grandson of Narses undertook a long and memorable war against the princes of the house of Constantine.
Footnote 77: By an error of the geographer Ptolemy, the position of Singara is removed from the Aboras to the Tigris, which may have produced the mistake of Peter, in assigning the latter river for the boundary, instead of the former. The line of the Roman frontier traversed, but never followed, the course of the Tigris. To the east of the Tigris is another less considerable river, named also the Chaboras, which D'Anville calls the Centrites, Khabour, Nicephorius, without quoting the authorities on which he gives those names. Gibbon did not mean to speak of this river, which does not pass by Singara, and does not fall into the Euphrates. See Michaelis, Supp. ad Lex. Hebraica. 3d part, p. 664, 665. - G.
Footnote 78: Procopius de Edificiis, l. ii. c. 6.
Footnote 79: Three of the provinces, Zabdicene, Arzanene, and Carduene, are allowed on all sides. But instead of the other two, Peter (in Excerpt. Leg. p. 30) inserts Rehimene and Sophene. I have preferred Ammianus, (l. xxv. 7,) because it might be proved that Sophene was never in the hands of the Persians, either before the reign of Diocletian, or after that of Jovian. For want of correct maps, like those of M. d'Anville, almost all the moderns, with Tillemont and Valesius at their head, have imagined, that it was in respect to Persia, and not to Rome, that the five provinces were situate beyond the Tigris.
Footnote !: See St. Martin, note on Le Beau, i. 380. He would read, for Intiline, Ingeleme, the name of a small province of Armenia, near the sources of the Tigris, mentioned by St. Epiphanius, (Haeres, 60;). These provinces do not appear to have made an integral part of the Roman empire; Roman garrisons replaced those of Persia, but the sovereignty remained in the hands of the feudatory princes of Armenia. A prince of Carduene, ally or dependent on the empire, with the Roman name of Jovianus, occurs in the reign of Julian. - M.
Footnote 80: Xenophon's Anabasis, l. iv. Their bows were three cubits in length, their arrows two; they rolled down stones that were each a wagon load. The Greeks found a great many villages in that rude country.
Footnote *: I traveled through this country in 1810, and should judge, from what I have read and seen of its inhabitants, that they have remained unchanged in their appearance and character for more than twenty centuries Malcolm, note to Hist. of Persia, vol. i. p. 82. - M.
Footnote 81: According to Eutropius, (vi. 9, as the text is represented by the best Mss.,) the city of Tigranocerta was in Arzanene. The names and situation of the other three may be faintly traced.
Footnote 82: Compare Herodotus, l. i. c. 97, with Moses Choronens. Hist Armen. l. ii. c. 84, and the map of Armenia given by his editors.

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