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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

ALTHOUGH ambassadors were despatched to treat of peace, the enemies of Alaric at the court of the emperor sedulously guarded against the conclusion of any treaty with him. But as an embassy was sent to him by Innocent, bishop of Rome, and as an imperial edict reached him about the same time, summoning him to appear before the emperor, Alaric repaired to the city of Ariminum, which is two hundred and ten stadia distant from Ravenna. He encamped beyond the walls of the city, and Jovius, the prætorian prefect of Italy, held a conference with him, and conveyed his demands to the emperor, one of which was, that he might be appointed to the generalship of the cavalry and infantry. The emperor gave full power to Jovius to grant Alaric as much money and corn as he might desire, but firmly refused to confer the military dignity to which he aspired. Jovius waited in the camp of Alaric the return of the messenger who had been despatched to the emperor, and had the imprudence to cause the imperial reply to be read aloud in the presence of all the barbarians. On finding that the appointment he had demanded was denied him, Alaric ordered the trumpets to be sounded, and marched towards Rome. Jovius, apprehensive of being suspected of siding with Alaric, committed a still greater act of imprudence by taking an oath on the safety of the emperor, and compelling the principal officers to swear that they would never consent to any terms of peace with Alaric. The barbarian chief, however, soon after changed his mind, and sent word he did not desire any post of rank or dignity, but was willing to act as an ally of the Romans, I provided that they would grant him a certain quantity of corn, and some territory of secondary importance to them, in which he might establish himself.








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