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His band of barbarians formed but. the nucleus of a growing power, which soon swelled into the magnitude, and assumed the likeness, of a burning mountain.
"His own dexterity, and the discontents of Africa, soon forti. fied the Vandal powers by the accession of numerous and active allies. The ports of Mauritana, which border on the great desert and the Atlantic Ocean, were filled. with a fierce and untractable race of men, whose savage temper had been exasperated rather than reclaimed by their dread of the Roman arms. The Moors, regardless of any future consequences, embraced the alliance of the enemies of Rome; and a crowd of naked savages rushed from the woods and vallies of Mount Atlas to satiate their revenge on the polished tyrants, who had injuriously expelled them from their native sovereignty of the land.*
“ The long and narrow tract of the African coast, was filled with frequent monuments of Roman art and magnificence. On a sud-. den, the seven fruitful provinces, from Tangiers to Tripoli, were overwhelmed by an invasion of the Vandals. The Vandals, where they found resistance, seldom gave quarter ; and the deaths of their valiant countrymen were expiated by the ruin of the cities under whose walls they had fallen. The calamities of war were aggravated by the licentiousness of the Moors, and the fanaticism of the donatists. The maritime colony of Hippo, about two handred miles westward of Carthage, had formerly acquired the distinguished epithet of Regius, from the residence of Numidian kings; and some remains of trade and populousness still adhere to the modern city, which is known in Europe by the corrupted name of Bona. The city of Hippo was burnt by the Vandals. The loss of a second batile irretrievably decided the fate of Africa. And Carthage was at length (in the year 439) surprised by the Vandals, five hundred and eighty years after the destruction of the city and republic by the younger Scipio.
“The Vandals and Alarici, who followed the successful standard of Genseric, had acquired a rich.and fertile territory, which stretched along the coast fieom Tangier to Tripoli ; but their narrow limits were pressed and confined on either side by the sandy des. ert and the Mediterranean. The discovery and conquest of the black nations that might dwell beneath the torrid zone, could not tempt the rational ambition of Genseric; but he cast his eyes towards the sea; he resolved to create a new naval power, and his bold enterprise was executed with steady and active perseverance. The woods of Mount Atlas afforded an inexhaustible nursery of timber; this new subjects were skilled in the art of navigation and
* Gibbon's Hist. vol. vi. pp. 14–16, chap. 33.
ship-building; he animated his daring Vandals to embrace a mode of warfare which would render every maritime country accessible to their arms; the Moors and Africans were allured by the hope of plunder; and, after an interval of six centuries, the fleet that issued from the port of Carthage, again claimed the empire of the Mediterranean. The success of the Vandals, the conquest of Sicily, the sack of Palermo, and the frequent descents on the coast of Lucania, awakened and alarmed the mother of Valentinian, and the sister of Theodosius,” &c.*
Unlike the storm of hail and fire, which consisted of various elements, the great mountain was a single, or individual object, and was the symbol of Genseric alone, or of the destruction which he wrought along the whole coast of Africa, and on the fleets of Rome. The maritime colonies of Rome in Africa were for ever separated from the empire. The ports from which three thousand and two hundred vessels are said to have issued, in a previous revolt against Rome, were all finally reduced to the sway of Genseric, A.D. 439: a great part of the commerce and naval power of Rome was thus extinguished ; its revenues and maritime supplies, as chiefly derived from Africa ceased'; a line of cdast extending to ninety days journey; formed no longer a part of the Roman empire; the third part of the sea became blood, and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died : and, LASTLY, it is said, the third part of the ships were destroyed.
“The naval power of Rome was unequal to the task of saving even the imperial city from the ravages of the Vandals. Sailing from Africa, they disembarked at the port of Ostia, and Rome and its inhabitants were delivered to the licentiousness of: Vandals and Moors, whose blind passions revenged the injuries of Carthage. The pillage lasted fourteen days and nights; and all that yet remained of public and private wealth, of sacred or profane treasure, was diligently transported to the vessels of Genseric. In the forty-five years that had elapsed since the Gothic invasion, the pomp and luxury of Rome were in some measure restored, and it was difficult either to escape or to satisfy the avarice of a
* Gibbon's Hist, vol, vi, c. 36.
conqueror, who possessed leisure to collect, and ships to transport the wealth of the capital.”.
After Genseric had secured the empire of the Mediterranean, the emperors of Rome and of Constantinople, strove in vain to dispossess him of his power. Majorian, unable to defend the long extended coast of Italy from the depredations of a naval war,' made great and strenuous preparation for the invasion of Africa, and a fleet was constructed to transport his army.
“The woods of the Appenines were felled; the arsenals and manufactures of Ravenna and Misenum were restored; Italy and Gaul vied with each other in liberal contributions to the public service; and the imperial. navy of three hundred long gallies, with an adequate proportion of transports and smaller vessels, was collected in the secure and capacious harbour of Carthagena in Spain. But Genseric was saved from impending and inevitable ruin by the treachery of some powerful subjects, envious or apprehensive of their master's success. Guided by their secret intelligence, he surprised the unguarded fleet in the bay of Carthagena; many of the ships were sunk, or taken, or burnt, and the preparations of three years were destroyed in a single.day.t
Italy continued to be long inflicted by the incessant depredations of the Vandal pirates. In the spring of each year they equipped a formidable navy in the port of Carthage ; and Genseric himself, though in a very advanced age, still commanded in person the most important expeditions. His designs were concealed with impenetrable secrecy till the moment that he hoisted sail. When he was asked by his pilot, what course he should steerleave the determination to the winds,' replied the barbarian, with pious arrogance— they will transport us to the guilty coast whose inhabitants have provoked the divine justice.' — The Vandals repeatedly visted the coasts of Spain, Liguria, Tuscany, Campania, Leucania, Brutium, Apulia, Calabria, Venetia, Dalmatia, Epirus, Greece, and Sicily; they were tempted to subdue the island of Sardinia, so advantageously placed in the centre of the Mediterranean, and their arms spread desolation or terror from the cola umn of Hercules to the mouth of the Nile. In the treatment of his unhappy prisoners, he sometimes consulted his avarice, and sometimes his cruelty; he massacred five hundred noble citizens of Zante, or Zaynthus, whose mangled bodies he cast into the Ionian sea.”
* Gibbon's Hist. vol. vi. pp. 152, 153. | Ibid. pp. 180—182. Ibid, pp. 187, 188.
A last and desperate attempt to dispossess Genseric of the sovereignty of the sea, was made in the year 468, by the emperor of the east.
“ The whole expense of the African campaign amounted to the sum of one hundred and thirty thousand pounds of gold, about five millions two hundred thousand pounds sterling. The fleet that sailed from Constantinople to Carthage, consisted of eleven hundred and thirteen ships, and the number of soldiers and mariners exceeded one hundred thousand men. The army of Heraclius, and the fleet of Marcellinus, either joined or seconded the imperial lieutenant. The wind became favourable to the designs of Genseric. He manned his largest ship of war with the bravest of the Moors and Vandals, and they towed after them many large barks filled with combustible materials. In the obscurity of the night these destructive vessels were impelled against the unguarded and unsuspecting fleet of the Romans, who were awakened by a sense of their instant danger. Their close and crowded order assisted the progress of the Fire, which was communicated with rapid and irresistible violence; and in the noise of the wind, the crackling of the flames, the dissonant cries of the soldiers and marines, who could neither command nor obey, increased the horror of the nocturnal tumult. Whilst they laboured to extricate themselves from the fire-ships, and to save at least a part of the navy, the gallies of Genseric assaulted them with temperate and disciplined valour; and many of the Romans who escaped the fury of the flames were destroyed or taken by the victorious Vandals. After the failure of this great expedition, Genseric again became the “ tyrant of the sea,” the coasts of Italy, Greece, and Asia were again exposed to his revenge and avarice. Tripoli and Sardinia returned to his obedience; he added Sicily to the number of his provinces; and before he died, in the fulness of years and of glory, he beheld the final extinction of the empire of the west,”*
The fulness of the comment needs nothing to complete it, but a repetition of the text. And the second angel sounded, and, as IT WERE, a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea ; and the third part of the sea became blood ; and the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.
* Gibbon's Hist. pp. 203, 205.
And the third angel sounded, amd there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; and the name of the star is called wormwood; and many men died of the waters because they were made bitter.
A third angel sounded ;-and a third name is associated with the downfall of the Roman empire. The sounding of the trumpets manifestly denotes the order of the commencement, not the period of the duration, of the wars, or events, which they represent. When the second angel sounded, there was seen, as it were, a great mountain burning with fire. When the third angel sounded, there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp: The symbol, in each instance, is expressly a similitude, -and the one is to the other in comparative and individual resemblance as a burning mountain to a falling star : each of them was great. The former was cast into the sea, the latter was first seen as falling, and it fell upon
the fountains and rivers of waters. There is a discrimination in the similitude, in the description, and locality, which obviously implies a corresponding difference in the object represented.
On such plain and preliminary observations we may look to the intimation given in the third trumpet, and to the achievements of Attila, the third name mentioned by Gibbon, and associated in equal