Page 1000

1000 UNIVERSAL HISTORY- THE ANCIENT WORLD.

Constantinople. The partisans were known as the

"Blue" and the "Green" faction, from the

color of their badges. Nearly all the people

of the city were adherents of the one or the

other of these parties, and violent tumults

were the not infrequent result of contentions

engendered at the circus. The reigning sovereign and the members of the Imperial house-

hold condescended to participate in these unseemly broils. Justinian and Theodora were

zealous partisans of the Blue faction, and that

party was the upholder of orthodoxy in religion as against the schismatics and heretics.

Five years after the beginning of the new

reign, the Green party gained a temporary

ascendancy in Constantinople, and in the struggles which ensued for the mastery, a great

part of the city was reduced to ashes. The

insurgents proceeded to revolution, and a

certain Hypatius, nephew of Anastasius, was

proclaimed Emperor. The government, however, was saved from overthrow by the energies of Belisarius, who now appears on the

scene as the greatest general of the age. The

Blue party was restored to authority; the insurrection was suppressed, and Hypatius put

to death.

In the foreign relations of the government,

Justinian used both money and force. The

Persians, under Chosroes, had again begun

the war, which had slumbered for a season.

From them a truce was purchased, and then

Belisarius was sent with a large army to suppress Gelimer, who had usurped the throne of

the Vandals in Africa. The expedition was

crowned with success. Carthage was taken

and Gelimer was sent a prisoner to Constantinople. The Vandal kingdom was overthrown

and the Arian heresy, of which Gelimer had

been the defender, was suppressed.

These movements tended powerfully to

restore the influence of the Empire in the

West. Belisarius established stations in Spain

and then carried his victorious arms through

Sicily into Italy. In that country, Athalaric,

the grandson of Theodoric the Great, was now

dead; and after the regency of his mother,

Amalasontha, the Ostrogothic throne had passed

to Theodatus. Belisarius conquered Naples

and advanced on Rome, where the people rose

in revolt, deposed and killed Theodatus, and

in 536 opened the gates to the army of Belisarius. Three years afterwards he reduced

Ravenna, overthrew Vitiges, King of the Ostrogoths, and was on the eve of restoring the

whole of Italy to Justinian, when the latter,

filled with envy at the fame acquired by his

great general, recalled him to Constaninople.

In 541 Chosroes was driven beyond the confines of Syria. A little later, when Totila, the

successor of Vitiges, having restored the kingdom at Ravenna, was marching on Rome, Belisarius was summoned by his master and

again sent into Italy; but the jealous fit soon

returned, and the command of the army was

transferred to Narses. In 552 the ancient capital, which had been already four times taken

during Justinian's reign, again fell into Iris

power. Totila was slain in battle, and his successor Teias, the last of the Ostrogothic kings

of Italy, perished in the following year.

The Franks and Alemanni now poured down

from the North, but Narses defeated them and

established himself as "Exarch of Ravenna"-

holding his fief subject to the Emperor of the

East.

Chosroes I., king of Persia, had meanwhile

renewed the conflict, and the war continued

with varying successes until 561, when Justinian purchased a peace by the payment of

an enormous annual tribute. The barbarians

beyond the Danube were also bought off from

their incursions, and the line of fortresses along

the river was extended and strengthened.

In the administration of civil affairs there

was little to be commended in the reign of

Justinian. His methods were tyrannical; his

habits luxurious. Corruption and bribery

were the favorite means of attaining the ordinary ends of government. The public buildings of the time were ostentatious rather than

grand. The church of St. Sophia, founded

by Constantine in 325, was rebuilt and ornamented with extravagant expenditures. The

disposition of the Emperor was fully illustrated

in his treatment of Belisarius. This able veteran, after he was superseded by Narses, was

driven into disgrace and privacy until the year

559, when an invasion of the Empire by the

Bulgarians again made him necessary to