IV. THE GOTHS AT RAVENNA.*

"NOBILISSIMA urbium Ravenna," says the Lombard historian Paul the Deacon, in his geographical description of Italy, while for no other city does he find any higher epithet than those which simply express wealth, "locuples," "ditissima," and "opulentissima." That the like epithet should be bestowed on the city by the early geographer who wrote within its walls, and that later local historians, especially when the glory of Ravenna had passed away, should hardly be able to speak of their city without some rhetorical burst in praise of its antiquity and its greatness,§ is less to be wondered at. Ravenna fills a place in the history of the world which is wholly its own, and which no other city on earth shares with it. Its historical greatness, and the existing monuments which are the records of that greatness, all come within a few centuries, and those are centuries in monuments of which no other spot on earth is so rich. At Ravenna we must not look for either of those classes of monuments, one or other of which commonly form the monumental wealth of other

____________________
*
[The references to Paul and Agnellus were in 1872 necessarily made to the texts in Muratori. Since then revised texts have appeared in the new series of Monumenta Germaniœ Historica in the volume of Scriptores Rerum Langobardicarum et Italicarum, Hanover, 1878. The new editor, Dr. Holder-Egger, allows Agnellus to use his natural bad Latin, which was reformed in the older edition.]
§
See a most gushing outpouring of this sort from a certain Prior Rudolf, in the Spicilegium Ravennatis Historiæ ap. Muratori, vol. i. part. ii. p. 537.
Paulus Diaconus, ii. 19; ap. Muratori, i. 433.
Geographus Ravennas, iv. 31. Ravenna nobilissima, in qua, licet idiota, ego hujus cosmographiæ expositor, Christo adjuvante, genitus sum."

-121-

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Historical Essays
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface. v
  • Contents xi
  • I. First Impressions of Rome. 1
  • Ii. the Illyrian Emperors and Their Land. 22
  • Diocletian's Place in Architectural History. 62
  • Iii. Augusta Treverorum. 68
  • The Panegyrists of the Fourth Century 118
  • Iv. the Goths at Ravenna. 121
  • V. Race and Language. 173
  • The Jews in Europe. 227
  • Vi. the Byzantine Empire. 231
  • Vii. First Impressions of Athens. 278
  • Viii. Mediæval and Modern Greece. 303
  • Ix. the Southern Slaves. 379
  • X. Sicilian Cycles. 428
  • Xi. the Normans at Palermo. 437
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