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whose work is also lost to us. But, though the method lends
itself to the multiplication of vain subtleties, it is absolutely
indispensable for scientific historiography. It is in fact part
of the science of evidence. The distinction of primary and
derivative authorities might be used as a test. The untrained
historian fails to recognize that nothing is added to the value
of a statement of Widukind by its repetition by Thietmar or
Ekkehard, and that a record in the Continuation of Theophanes
gains no further credibility from the fact that it likewise occurs
in Cedrenus, Zonaras, or Glycas. On the other hand, it is
irrelevant to condemn a statement of Zonaras as made by a
modern Greek". The question is, where did he get it??

The difficult questions connected with the authorship and
compilation of the Historia Augusta have produced a chestful
of German pamphlets, but they did not trouble Gibbon. The
relationships of the later Greek chronicles and histories are
more difficult and intricate even than the questions raised by
the Historia Augusta, but he did not even formulate a prudent
interrogation. Ferdinand Hirsch, thirty years ago, cleared
new roads through this forest, in which George the Monk and
the Logothete who continued him, Leo Grammaticus and
Simeon Magister, John Scylitzes, George Cedrenus, and Zonaras
lived in promiscuous obscurity.

Criticism, too, has rejected some sources from which Gibbon Example of
drew without suspicion. In the interest of literature we may untrust-
perhaps be glad that like Ockley he used with confidence the sources
now discredited Al Wakidi. Before such maintained perfec-
tion of manner, to choose is hard; but the chapters on the
ongin of Mahometa nism and its first triumphs against the
Einpire would alone be enough to win perpetual literary fame.
Without Al Wakidi's romance they would not have been

use of


Gibbon had a notion of this, but did not apply it methodically. See in
ths vol., p. 448, note 60 : " but those modern Greeks had the opportunity of con-
waiting many writers which have since been lost". And see, in general, his
Freisca to the fourth volume of the quarto ed.

the Verona List (published by Mommsen), which, dating from
297 A.D., shows Diocletian's reorganization. The modifications
which were made between this year and the beginning of the
fifth century when the Notitia Dignitatum was drawn up, can
largely be determined not only by lists in Rufus and Ammianus,
but, as far as the eastern provinces are concerned, by the
Laterculus of Polemius Silvius. Thus, partly by critical
method applied to Polemius, partly by the discovery of a new
document, we are enabled to rectify the list of Gibbon, who
adopted the simple plan of ascribing to Diocletian and Con-
stantine the detailed organization of the Notitia. Otherwise
our knowledge of the changes of Diocletian has not been greatly
augmented; but our clearer conception of the Principate and
its steady development towards pure monarchy has reflected
light on Diocletian's system; and the tendencies of the third
century, though still obscure at many points, have been made
more distinct. The constitutional and administrative history
of the Empire from Diocletian forward has still to be written

Gibbon's forty-fourth chapter is still not only famous, but
admired by jurists as a brief and brilliant exposition of the
principles of Roman law. To say that it is worthy of the
subject is the best tribute that can be paid to it. A series of
foreign scholars of acute legal ability has elaborated the study
of the science in the present century. The manuscript of Gaius
is the new discovery to be recorded; and we can imagine with
what interest Gibbon, were he restored to earth, would com-
pare in Gneist's parallel columns the Institutions with the elder

But whoever takes up Gibbon's theme now will not be con-
tent with an exposition of the Justinianean Law.
on to its later development in the subsequent centuries, in the
company of Zachariä von Lingenthal and Heimbach.

Such a
study has been made possible and comparatively easy by the
works of Zachariä; among whose achievements I may single



He must go

Roman law


out his restoration of the Ecloga, which used to be ascribed to
Leo VI., to its true author Leo III. ; a discovery which illumin-
ated in a most welcome manner the Isaurian reformation.

Not a few entirely new texts, of considerable importance as
historical sources, have been printed during the nineteenth
century. Among these may be mentioned the treatise De
magistratibus of John Lydus, the History of Psellus, the
Memoir of Cecaumenus, the history of the Ottoman conquest
by Critobulus.3 Fresh light has also been thrown on many
periods by Syriac, Arabic, Armenian, and Ethiopic sources,
drawn from the obscurity of their MSS., such as Zacharias of
Mytilene, John of Ephesus, Sebaeos, John of Nikiu, Tabari.
I may specially refer to the Book of the Conquest of the Morea, The
first published by Buchon, and recently edited critically by of Morea
Schmitt. It is a mixture of fiction and fact, but invaluable for
realising the fascinating though complicated history of the
« Latin” settlements in Greece. That history was set aside
by Gibbon, with the phrase, “I shall not pursue the obscure History of
and various dynasties that rose and fell on the continent or in after the
the isles,” though he deigns to give a page or two to Athens. Conquest
But it is a subject with unusual possibilities for picturesque
treatment, and out of which, Gibbon, if he had apprehended
the opportunity, and had possessed the materials, would have
made a brilliant chapter. Since Finlay, who entered into this
episode of Greek history with great fulness, the material has
been largely increased by the researches of Hopf.




Having illustrated by examples the advantages open to an
historian of the present day, which were not open to Gibbon, for
dealing with Gibbon's theme,-improved and refined methods,
a closer union of philology with history, and ampler material -
we may go on to consider a general defect in his treatment of

* Some of the new texts which have been published are important for the help
they give in determining the relations of our sources, though they supply no now
information ; e.g., the chronicle of Theodosius of Melitene published by Tafel.

. The history of mediæval Athens has been recorded at length in an attractive
work by Gregoroviųs, the counterpart of his great history of mediæval Rome,


of the

ter Em-


the Later Empire, and here too exhibit, by a few instances,
progress made in particular departments.

Gibbon ended the first half of his work with the so-called
fall of the Western Empire in 476 A.D.-a date which has been
fixed out of regard for Italy and Rome, and should strictly be 480
A.D. in consideration of Julius Nepos. Thus the same space is
devoted to the first three hundred years which is allowed to the
remaining nine hundred and eighty. Nor does the inequality
end here. More than a quarter of the second half of the work
deals with the first two of these ten centuries. The mere state-
ment of the fact shows that the history of the Empire from
Heraclius to the last Grand Comnenus of Trebizond is merely
a sketch with certain episodes more fully treated. The personal
history and domestic policy of all the Emperors, from the son
of Heraclius to Isaac Angelus, are compressed into one chapter.
This mode of dealing with the subject is in harmony with the
author's contemptuous attitude to the “ Byzantine” or “Lower'

But Gibbon's account of the internal history of the Empire
iniform-after Heraclius is not only superficial; it gives an entirely false

impression of the facts. If the materials had been then as
well sifted and studied as they are even to-day, he could not
have failed to see that beneath the intrigues and crimes of the
Palace there were deeper causes at work, and beyond the
revolutions of the Capital City wider issues implied. Nor had
he any conception of the great ability of most of the Emperors
from Leo the Isaurian to Basil II., or, we might say, to
Constantine the conqueror of Armenia. The designation of the

story of the later Empire as a “uniform tale of weakness and
- : as to misery"5 is one of the most untrue, and most effective, judg-

ments ever uttered by a thoughtful historian. Before the out-
rage of 1204, the Empire was the bulwark of the West.

Against Gibbon's point of view there has been a gradual
reaction which may be said to have culminated during the last

-60 im-
ssion as





5 Chap. xlviii. ad init., where a full statement of his view of the later Empire
will be found.


twenty years of the nineteenth century. It was begun by Finlay's

Finlay, whose unprosperous speculations in Greece after the
Revolution prompted him to seek for the causes of the insecurity
of investments in land, and, leading him back to the year 146
B.C., involved him in a history of the “ Byzantine Empire”
which embedded a history of Greece. The great value of
Finlay's work lies not only in its impartiality and in his trained
discernment of the commercial and financial facts underlying
the superficial history of the chronicles, but in its full and
trustworthy narration of the events. By the time that Mr.
Tozer's edition of Finlay appeared in 1876, it was being recog.
nized that Gibbon's word on the later Empire was not the last.
Meanwhile Hertzberg was going over the ground in Germany, other re-
and Gfrörer, whose ecclesiastical studies had taken him into
those regions, had written a good deal of various value. Hirsch's
Byzantinische Studien had just appeared, and Rambaud's ad-
mirable monograph l'Empire grec au xme siècle. M. Sathas was
bringing out his Bibliotheca Græca medii aevi--including two
volumes of Psellus—and was beginning his Documents inédits.
Professor Lambros was working at his Athens in the Twelfth
Century and preparing his editio princeps of the great Arch-
bishop Akominatos. Hopf had collected a mass of new materials
from the archives of southern cities. In England, Freeman
was pointing out the true position of New Rome and her Em-
perors in the history of Europe.

These tendencies have since increased in volume and velo-
city. It may be said that the subject entered on a new stage
through the publication of Professor Krumbacher's History of
Byzantine Literature. The importance of this work, of vast Krum-

scope and extraordinary accuracy, can only be fully understood
by the specialist. It has already promoted and facilitated the
progress of the study in an incalculable measure; and it was

Since then a Greek scholar, K. Paparrigopulos, has covered the whole his-
tory of Greece from the earliest times to the present century, in his 'lotopía toû
"Ελληνικού έθνους.

* Geschichte der byzantinischen Litteratur (565-1453), 1891; second greatly
enlarged edition (with co-operation of Ehrhard and Gelzer), 1897.



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