Page 1054

1054 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

The palace of the Gothic monarch at Ravenna was after the style of the later emperors of the West. The ministers of state

were the praetorian prefect, the prefect of

Rome, the master of the offices, etc., with

the names and duties of whom the Romans

were long familiar. The government of the

fifteen "Regions" of Italy was assigned to

seven consulars, three correctors, and five

presidents; and the forms of administration

were derived from the existing statutes of the

Romans. In the courts of the country the

proceedings were determined by the nationality of the parties to the cause. When the

action was between Roman and Roman, then

the trial was conducted according to the

practice of the Empire. If the parties were

Gothic, then the Gothic statutes were employed; and in case of a suit of a Roman

and a Goth, a mixed court heard and determined the cause.

In the management of the affairs of the

state, Theodoric exhibited much wisdom and

liberality. Instead of persecuting the friends

of Odoacer, he appointed Liberius, one of the

firmest supporters of the Herulian regime, to

be praetorian prefect. He took into his council the two authors, Cassiodorus and Boethius,

and deferred to their prudent advice. While

learning was thus patronized, Theodoric also

took pains to encourage the revival of Roman

institutions by at least a respectful use of the

old republican forms. The descendants of

the patricians were flattered by hearing the

name of the Republic; and the Roman poor

were pleased with the old-time distribution of

provisions. The games were reinstituted in

feeble imitation of the splendor of Imperial

times. The African lion again bounded into

the arena, and the gladiator and gymnast exhibited their prowess and skill before a mixed

multitude of Germans and Italians.

In the year A. D. 500, Theodoric visited

Rome, where he was received with honor.

For six months the Gothic king remained at

the ancient capital of the Caesars, where his

manners and morals were justly applauded

by those who as children had witnessed the

extinction of the Empire. The still remaining landmarks of power, such as the column and forum of Trajan and the theater of Pompey, made a profound impression upon the

mind of Theodoric, who conceived from these

remnants of Roman glory a shadowy notion

of what the Eternal City had been in the

days of her renown. He formed the design

of preserving, as far as possible, from further

decay the grand monuments of a civilization

which no longer existed. He issued edicts to

prevent further injury to the great works

which the city still possessed, and appointed

architects and set aside revenues to repair

and restore those structures which were falling into ruin. This liberal patronage was

likewise extended to the works of art which

the city still possessed, and even the barbarians became emulous of their king in the

work of rescuing from oblivion the trophies

of the ancient world.

When his brief residence at the old capital

expired, Theodoric returned to Ravenna. He

set an example not only to those of the court,

but even to the humble. With his own hand

he pruned and cared for an orchard, and

found an actual delight in all the pursuits of

peace. When his borders were troubled by

the barbarians, he removed his court to Verona. Not only that capital and Ravenna,

but also the cities of Spoleto, Naples, and Pavia, exhibited in the multiplication of their

churches and other buildings, which now for

the first time showed the pointed architecture

of the Goths, the manifest presence of a master spirit at the helm of state. Society became more settled and happy than at any time during the previous century. The agricultural interests of the state were rapidly

revived, and the mines of Dalmatia and Bruttium were again worked with profit.

In religious faith Theodoric, like his people, was an Arian. This fact opened a chasm

between the Goths and the Italians, the latter

accepting the Nicene creed. The king, however, was little disposed to trouble or be

troubled in matters of faith. He and his

Gothic subjects pursued their own way, and

the orthodox Catholics, theirs. Those of the

Goths who preferred to apostatize to the Athanasian belief were permitted to do so without

persecution. The whole career of Theodoric