Young Folks' History of Rome eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 189 pages of information about Young Folks' History of Rome.

There was one more war for this great man when the wild Bulgarians invaded Thrace, and though his soldiers were little better than timid peasants, he drove them back and saved the country.  But Justinian grew more and more jealous of him, and, fancying untruly that he was in a plot for placing Justin on the throne, caused him to be thrown into prison, and sent him out from thence stripped of everything, and with his eyes torn out.  He found a little child to lead him to a church door, where he used to sit with a wooden dish before him for alms.  When it was known who the blind beggar was, there was such an uproar among the people that Justinian was obliged to give him back his palace and some of his riches; but he did not live much longer.

Though Justinian behaved so unjustly and ungratefully to this great man and faithful servant, he is noted for better things, namely, for making the Church of St. Sophia, or the Holy Wisdom, which Constantine had built at Constantinople, the most splendid of all buildings, and for having the whole body of Roman laws thoroughly overlooked and put into order.  Many even of the old heathen laws were very good ones, but there were others connected with idolatry that needed to be done away with; and in the course of years so many laws and alterations had been made, that it was the study of a lifetime even to know what they were, or how to act on them.  Justinian set his best lawyers to put them all in order, so that it might be more easy to work by them.  The Roman citizens in Greece, Italy, and all the lands overrun by the Teutonic nations were still judged by their own laws, so that this was a very useful work; and it was so well done that the conquerors took them up in time, and the Roman law was the great model studied everywhere by those who wished to understand the rules of jurisprudence, that is, of law and justice.  Thus in another way Rome conquered her conquerors.

Justinian died in 563, and was succeeded by his nephew Justin, whose wife Sophia behaved almost as ill to Narses as Theodora had done to Belisarius, for while he was doing his best to defend Italy from the savage tribes who were ready at any moment to come over the Alps, she sent him a distaff, and ordered him back to his old slavery in the palace.

CHAPTER XLVI.

POPE GREGORY THE GREAT.

563—­800.

No sooner was Narses called home than another terrible nation of Teutones, who had hitherto dwelt in the North, began to come over the Alps.  These were the Longbeards, or Lombards, as they were more commonly called; fierce and still heathen.  Their king, Alboin, had carried off Rosamond, the daughter of Kunimund, king of the Gepids, another Teutonic tribe.  There was a most terrible war, in which Kunimund was killed and all his tribe broken up and joined with the Lombards.  With the two united, Alboin invaded Italy and conquered all the North.  Ravenna, Verona,

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Young Folks' History of Rome from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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