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A History Of The Church In Six Books by Evagrius

I NOW proceed to relate what occurred in Italy; events which have also been treated very distinctly by Procopius, the Rhetorician, down to his own times.

After Theodoric, as I have already detailed, had captured Rome and utterly destroyed its king Odoacer, and had closed his life in possession of the Roman sovereignty, his wife Amalasuntha held the reins of government, as guardian of their common son Athalaric; a woman rather of a masculine temperament, and administering affairs accordingly. She was the first person who led Justinian to entertain a desire for the Gothic war, by sending an embassy to him on the formation of a conspiracy against herself. On the death, however, of Athalaric at a very early age, Theodatus, a kinsman of Theodoric, was invested with the sovereignty of the West, but abdicated when Justinian had despatched Belisarius to that quarter; being a person addicted rather to literature, and altogether wanting in military experience; while Vitiges, an able soldier, was in command of his forces. From the materials which the same Procopius has collected, one may gather that Vitiges abandoned Rome on the arrival of Belisarius in Italy; who at once marched upon the city. The Romans readily opened their gates to him; a result mainly brought about by Silverius, their bishop, who, with this view, had sent to him Fidelis, formerly assessor to Athalaric. They accordingly surrendered their city to him without resistance: and thus Rome, after an interval of sixty years, again fell into Roman hands on the ninth day of the month Apellæns, called by the Latins December. The same Procopius writes, that, when the Goths were besieging Rome, Belisarius, suspecting Silverius of a design to betray the city, transports him to Greece and appoints Vigilius in his room.








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