One of the noblest possessions of the Roman Empire was the province of ancient Gaul. Much blood and treasure had been expended in its conquest; infinite wisdom, moderation, and vigour had been displayed in the means taken to attach it to the dominion of the Caesars; and the passing of several centuries had strongly cemented the union, and incorporated the conquered with their conquerors. Unwieldy bulk, enfeebling luxury, intestine divisions, and universal corruption soon, however, began to draw down the impending destruction upon the head of the imperial city. Attack after attack, invasion following invasion, left her still weaker under each succeeding monarch; province after province was wrested from her sway, till at length Odoacer, chief of the Scyrri, raised his standard in Italy; Romulus Augustulus yielded the empty symbols of an authority he did not possess; and the Roman Empire was no more...
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