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5.52. Seuerus.


Compare 1587 edition: 1 [figure appears here on page 78] THis Seue|rus as they Emperoure of Rome,Seuer [...] began to rule this Ile (as authors af|firme) in ye yere of oure Lorde 207. & gouer|ned the ſame [...] 4. yeres & odde moneths. At length, hearing that one Fulgẽtius as then a leader of the Pictes was entred into the bordures of his countrey on this ſyde Dur|ham, he rayſed an hoſt of Britaynes & Romans, with the which he marched towards his enimies: and meeting with the ſaid Fulgentius in a place neere vnto Yorke, in the ende after ſore fighte, Seuerus was ſlayne, when he hadde ruled thys [figure appears here on page 78] land for the ſpace almoſt of fiue yeeres as before is ſayd, and was after buried at Yorke, leauyng behinde him two ſonnes, the one named Geta, & the other Baſſianus. This Baſſianus beeyng borne of a Brittiſh woman, ſucceeded his father in the gouernemente of Britayne, in the yeare of the incarnation of our Lord .211.211 The Romanes would haue had Geta created King of Britaine, bearing more fauoure to him bycauſe he hadde a Romane Lady to his mother: but the Britaines moued with the like reſpect, helde with Baſſia|nus. And therevpon warre was rayſed betwixte the two brethren, & comming to trie their quar|rell by battell, Geta was ſlayne, and Baſſianus with ayde of the Britaynes, remayned victor, & ſo continued Kyng, till at length he was ſlayne by one Carauſius a Britaine, borne but of lowe birth, howbeit right valiant in armes, and there|fore well eſteemed: In ſomuch that obteynyng of the Senate of Rome the keeping of the coaſts of Britayne, that he might defend the ſame from the malice of ſtraungers as Pictes and other, he drew to him a great number of Souldiers & ſpe|cially of Britaines, to whome hee promiſed that if they would make him king, hee would cleerely deliuer them from the oppreſſion of the Romaine ſeruitude. Wherevpon the Britaynes rebellyng againſt Baſſianus, ioined themſelues to Carau|ſius, who by their ſupport, vanquiſhed and ſlewe the ſayd Baſſianus, after he had raigned ſixe, or as ſome affirme .xxx. yeares.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 Thus farre out of the Engliſhe and Brittiſhe writers, the whiche howe farre they vary from a likelyhood of troth, yee ſhall heare what the ye ap|prooued hiſtoriographers, Greekes, and Latines, [...]. writing of theſe matters, haue recorded.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 The Emperour Seuerus receiuing aduertiſe|ment from the Lieutenant of Britayne that the people there moued Rebellion, and waſted the countrey with roades & forrayes, ſo that it was needefull to haue the prince himſelfe to come thi|ther with a greate power to reſiſt ye enimies, he of an ambitious mind reioyced not a little for thoſe newes, bycauſe hee ſawe occaſion offered to ad|uãce his renoume and fame with increaſe of new victories nowe in the Weſt, after ſo many tri|umphes purchaſed & got by him in the Eaſt and North partes of the world. Herevpon though he was of great age, yet the deſire that he had ſtil to winne honor, cauſed him to take in hand to make a iourney into this land, and ſo being furniſhed of al things neceſſary, he ſet forwards, being carried EEBO page image 79 for the more part in a litter for his more eaſe: for yt beſide his feebleneſſe of age, he was alſo troubled with ye goute. [...]onius and [...]. He toke with him his two ſonnes, Antonius Baſſianus and Geta, vpon purpoſe as was thought, to auoyde occaſions of ſuche incõ|uenience as he perceyued might grow by diſcord, moued betwixte thẽ through flatterers and ma|licious ſycophants whiche ſoughte to ſet them at variance: whiche to bring to paſſe, he perceyued there ſhould want no meane whileſt they conti|nued in Rome, amid ſuch pleaſures and idle pa|ſtimes as were dayly there frequented: and ther|fore he cauſed them to attend him in this iour|ney into Britayne, that they mighte learne to liue ſoberly, and after the manner of menne of warre.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 [...]e Emperor [...]erus arri| [...] in Bri| [...]y [...]ne.Seuerus being thus on his iourney towardes Britayne, ſtayed not by the way, but with all diligence ſpedde him foorthe, and paſſing the Sea very ſwiftly, entred this Iſle, and aſſembled a mightie power togither, meaning to aſſayle hys enimies, and to purſue the warre againſte them to the vttermoſt. The Britaynes greatly ama|ſed with this ſodayne arriuall of the Emperoure, and hearing that ſuch preparation was made a|gainſt them, ſent Ambaſſadors to him to intreat of peace, & to excuſe their rebellious doings. But Seuerus delaying time for aunſwere, as he that was deſirous to atchieue ſome high enterpriſe a|gainſt the Britaines, for the which he might de|ſerue ye ſurname of Britannicus, which he great|ly coueted, ſtill was buſie to prepare all thyngs neceſſary for the warre, and namely, cauſed a great number of bridges to bee made to lay ouer the bogges and mariſhes, ſo that his ſouldiers might haue place to ſtand vppon, and not to bee encõbred for lacke of firme groũd whẽ they ſhuld cope with their enimies: [...]erodianus. for the more parte of Britaine in thoſe dayes (as Herodianus writeth) was full of fennes, and marres grounds, by rea|ſon of the often flowings and waſhing of the ſea tides: by the whiche marres grounds the enimies being therto accuſtomed, wold runne & ſwimme in the waters, [...]e meaneth the North [...]itaynes or [...]age Bri| [...]ynes as wee [...]y call them and wade vp to the middle at their pleaſure, going for the more parte naked, ſo that they paſſed not on the mudde and myres, for they knewe not the vſe of wearing clothes, but ware hoopes of Iron about their middles and neckes, eſteeming the ſame as an ornamente and token of riches, as other barbarous people did golde.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 Moreouer, they marked, or (as it were) payn|ted their bodies in diuers ſortes and with ſundry ſhapes and figures of beaſtes and foules, & there|fore they vſed not to weare any garmentes, that ſuche paynting of their bodyes mighte the more appearantly be ſeene, which they eſtemed a great brauerie.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 They were as the ſame Herodianus wri|teth, a people giuen muche to the warre, and de|lighted in ſlaughter and bloudſhed, vſing none o|ther weapons or armure but a ſlender buckler, a Iaueline,The furniture of the ſauage Britaynes. and a ſworde tyed to their naked bo|dyes: for as for headpeece or Habergeon, they e|ſteemed not, bicauſe they thought the ſame ſhuld be an hinderance to them when they ſhould paſſe ouer any marres, or be driuen to ſwimme anye waters, or flee to the bogges.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 Moreouer, to ſuffer hunger, colde, and trauell, they were ſo vſed and enured therwith, that they would not paſſe to lie in the bogges and myres coueted vp to the chynne, withoute caring for meate for the ſpace of diuers dayes togither: and in the wooddes they woulde liue vpon rootes and barkes of trees. Alſo they vſed to prepare for thẽ|ſelues a certayne kynde of meate, of the whiche if they receyued but ſo muche as amounted to the quantitie of a beane, they would thinke them ſelues ſatiſfyed, and feele neyther hunger nor thirſt.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 The one halfe of the Ile or little leſſe was ſubiect vnto the Romaynes, the other were go|uerned of themſelues, the people for the moſt part hauing the rule in their handes.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 Seuerus therefore meaning to ſubdue the whole, and vnderſtandyng theyr nature, and the manner of their making warre, prouided him ſelfe of all things expedient for the annoyance of them and help of his own ſouldiers, and appoin|ting his ſonne Geta to remayne in that parte of the Iſle which was ſubiect to the Romaynes, he tooke with him his other ſonne Antoninus, and with his army marched foorthe, and entred into the confynes of the enimies, and there beganne to waſt and forrey the countrey, whereby there enſued diuers conflictes and ſkirmiſhes betwixte the Romaynes and the inhabitantes, the victory ſtill remayning with the Romaynes ſide: but the enimies eaſily eſcaped withoute any greate loſſe, vnto the wooddes, Mountaynes, bogges, and ſuch other places of refuge, as they knew to be at hand, whither the Romaynes durſt not followe, nor once approche, for feare to bee entrapped and encloſed by the Britaynes that were ready to returne and aſſayle their enimies vppon e|uery occaſion of aduauntage that myghte bee offered.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 This manner of dealing ſore troubled the Romaynes, and ſo hindred them in their pro|cedings,Dion Caſsius. that no ſpeedy ende coulde bee made of that war: the Britaynes woulde oftentimes of purpoſe lay their Cattell, as Oxen, Kyne, Sheepe, and ſuche like, in places conueniente, to bee as a ſtale to the Romaynes, and when the Romaynes ſhoulde make to them to fetche the ſame away, being diſtant from the reſidue of the army a good ſpace, they would fall vpõ them EEBO page image 80 and diſtreſſe them. Beſide this, the Romaynes were muche anoyed with the vnwhole ſomneſſe of the waters whiche they were forced to drinke, and if they chanced to ſtray abrode, they were ſnapped vp by ambuſhes which the Calidonians layde for them, and when they were ſo feeble that they could not through wante of ſtrength keepe pace with their fellowes as they marched in or|der of battell, they were ſlayne by their owne fel|lowes, leaſt they ſhould be left behinde for a pray to the enimies. Hereby there died in this iourney of the Romaine army, at the point of fiftie thou|ſand men: but yet woulde not Seuerus returned till he had gone through the whole Iſle, and [...]o came to the vttermoſt partes of all the Countrey now called Scotland, and finally came backe a|gayne to the other parte of the Iſle ſubiect to the Romaynes, the inhabitantes whereof, named by Dion Caſſius Meatae: but firſt he cõſtreyned the other whome the ſame Dion nameth Caledonij, to conclude a league with him, with ſuch condi|tions as they were compelled to departe with no ſmall portion of the countrey, and to deliuer vnto him their armour and weapons.

[figure appears here on page 80]

Compare 1587 edition: 1 In the meane time, the Emperoure Seuerus being worne with age fell ſicke, ſo that hee was conſtreyned to abide at home within that part of the Ile which obeyed ye Romans, and to appoint his ſon Antoninus to take charge of the army a|brode. But Antoninus not regarding ye enimies, attempted little or nothing againſte them, but ſoughte wayes howe to winne the fauoure of the ſouldiers and men of war, that after his fathers death (for which he dayly looked) he mighte haue their aide & aſſiſtance to be admitted Emperoure in his place. Nowe when hee ſaw that his Father bare out his ſickneſſe longer time than he would haue wiſhed, he practiſed with Phiſitions and o|ther of his fathers ſeruaunts to diſpatche him by one meane or other.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 Whileſt Antoninus thus negligẽtly looked to his charge, the Britaynes began a new Rebelli|on, not only thoſe yt were lately ioyned in league with the Emperoure, but the other alſo whiche were ſubiects to the Romane Empire. Seuerus tooke ſuche diſpleaſure, that he called togither the Souldiers, and commaunded them to inuade the countrey, and to kill al ſuch as they might meete with in any place withoute reſpect, and that hys cruell commaundement he expreſſed in theſe ver|ſes taken out of Homer.

Compare 1587 edition: 1
Nemo manus fugiat vestros, caedem cruentam, Iliadu [...]
Non foetus grauida mater quem geſsit in aluo,
Horrendam effugiat caedem.
Let none eſcape your bloudy handes,
nor direſome ſlaughter flie,
No not the babe vnborne, which in
the mothers wombe doth lie.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 But whileſt he is thus diſquieted with ye Re|bellion of the Britaynes, & the diſloyall practiſes of his ſon Antoninus, which to him were not vn|knowen. For the wicked ſonne had by diuers at|tempts diſcouered his trayterous and vnnatural meanings. At lẽgth, rather through ſorrow and griefe, than by force of ſickneſſe, he waſted away, [...] Dion Ca [...] & departed this life at Yorke the third day before ye Nones of February, after he had gouerned the Empire by the ſpace of .17. yeeres .8. moneths & . [...]. days. He liued .65. yeres .9. moneths & .17. days: he was borne the third Ides of April by that which before is recited out of Herodyan & Dion Caſſi|us of ye maners & vſages of thoſe people, agaynſt whome Seuerus helde war heere in Britayne: it may be coniectured, yt they were the Pictes, the whiche poſſeſſed in thoſe dayes a greate parte of Scotland, and with continual incurſiõs & rodes waſted & deſtroied ye bordures of thoſe countreys EEBO page image 81 which were ſubiect to the Romains. To kepe thẽ back therfore & to repreſſe their inuaſions Seue|rus (as ſome write) either reſtored ye former wall made by Adrian, [...]opius. [...]. or elſe newely buylt an o|ther ouerthwarte the yle from the eaſt ſea to the weſt, [...]. Caſsius. conteining in length .232. miles. This wall was not made of ſtone, but of turfe & earth ſup|ported with ſtakes & pyles of wood, [...]. and defended on the back with a deepe trenche or ditche, & alſo fortified with diuers toures & turrets buylt and erected vpon ye ſame wall or rampire ſo nere to|gither, [...] Boetius that the ſoũd of trumpets being placed in the ſame, might be hearde betwixte, and ſo war|ning giuen from one to an other vpon the fyrſte deſcrying of the enimies.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 Seuerus being departed out of this life in the yere of our lord .211. [...]lidor. nus. [...]rodia 211. his ſon Antoninus otherwiſe called alſo Baſſianus, wold fayn haue vſurped ye whole gouernment into his own hands, attemp|ting with bribes & large promiſes, to corrrupt the mindes of the ſouldiors: but when he perceiued yt his purpoſe wold not forward as he wiſhed in yt behalf, he concluded a league with the enimies, & making peace with thẽ, returned back towardes Yorke, and came to his mother & brother Geta, with whom he took order for the burial of his fa|ther. And firſt his body being brent (as the maner was) the aſhes were put into a veſſel of gold, and ſo conueyed to Rome by the two brethren and the empreſſe Iulia, that was mother to Geta the yonger brother, & mother in law to the elder, An|toninus Baſſianus, and by all meanes poſſible ſought to mainteyn loue & concorde betwixt the brethren, which now at the firſt toke vpon them to rule the empire equally togither: but the am|bition of Baſſianus was ſuch, that finally vpon deſire to haue the whole rule himſelfe, he founde meanes to diſpatche his brother Geta, breaking one day into his chãber, & ſlaying him euẽ in his mothers lap, & ſo poſſeſſed the gouernmẽt alone, [figure appears here on page 81] til at lẽgth he was ſlain at Edeſſa a citie in Me|ſopotamia by one of his own ſoldiors, as he was about to vntruſſe his pointes to doe the of [...]e of nature, after he had reigned the ſpace of .vj.Sextus Au|relius. yeares as is aforeſayde.

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