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Excerpts describing the Heruls (Eruli) and related topics
From HISTORY OF THE WARS by PROCOPIUS (Translated by H.B.Dewing)

Book I, i

Procopius of Caesarea has written the history of the wars which Justinian, Emperor of the Romans, waged against the barbarians of the East and of the West, relating seperately the events of each one to the end that the long course of time may not overwhelm deeds of singular importance through lack of a record, and thus abandon them to oblivion and utterly obliterate them. The memory of these events he deemed would be a great thing and most helpful to men of the present time, and to future generations as well, in case time should ever again place men under similar stress. ... Furthermore he had assurance that he was especially competent to write the history of these events, if for no other reason, because it fell to his lot, when appointed advisor to general Belisarius (527 AD), to be an eye-witness of practically all the events he described. It was his conviction that while cleverness is appropriate to rhetoric, and inventiveness to poetry, truth alone is appropriate to history.


Book I, xiii

The extremity of the left straight trench which joined the cross trench as far as the hill, which rises here, was held by Bouzes with a large force of horsemen and by Pharas the Herulian with three hundred of his nation (Daras 530 AD). ... In the late afternoon a certain detachment of horsemen ... came against the forces of Bouzes and Pharas. And the Romans retired a short distance to the rear. ... and again Bouzes and Pharas stationed themselves in their own position.

Book I, xiv

Then Pharas came before Belisarius and Hermogenes, and said:"It does not seem to me that I shall do the enemy great harm if I remain here with the Eruli; but if we conseal ourselves at this slope, and then the Persians have begun the fight, if we climb up this hill and suddenly come upon their rear, shooting from behind them, we shall in all propability do them the greatest harm." Thus he spoke, and, since it pleased Belisarius and his staff, he carried out this plan.

Book I, xxiv

(Nika uprise 532 AD) All hopes of the emperor were centered upon Belisarius and Mundus, of whom the former, Belisarius, had recently returned from the Persian War bringing with him a following which was both powerful and imposing ... Mundus had been appointed general of the Illyrians, and by mere chance had happened to come under summons to Byzantium on some necessary errand, bringing with him Erulian barbarians. ...

... Then a great outcry arose, as was natural, and Mundus, who was standing not far away, was eager to join the fight - for he was a daring and energetic fellow - but he was at a loss as to what he should do under the circumstances; when, however, he observed that Belisarius was in struggle, he straightaway made a sally into the hippodrome through the entrance which they called the Gate of Death. Then indeed from both sides the partisams of Hypatius were assailed with might and main and destroyed. ... And there perished among the populace on that day more than thirty thousands.

Book II, xxiv

(542 AD) And already Chosroes had abandoned Adarbiganon a little before through fear of the plague and was off with his whole army into Assyria, where the pestilence had not as yet become epidemic. Valerianus accordingly encamped close by Theodosiopolis with the troops under him;and with him was arrayed Narses, who had with him Armenians and some of the Eruli. And Martinus, the General of the East together with Ildiger and Theoctistus, reached the fortress of Citharizon ... And Philemouth and Beros with the Eruli who were under them came into the territory of Chorzianene .... And when on the following day this was found out by Philemouth and Beros, the leaders of the Eruli, they straightaway followed. ....

Book II, xxv

And first Narses with the Eruli and those of the Romans who were under him, engaged with the enemy, and after a hard hand-to-hand struggle, he routed the Persians who were before him. And the barbarians in flight ascended on the run to the fortress, and in so doing they inflicted terrible injury upon one another in the narrow way. And then Narses urged his men forward and pressed still harder upon the enemy, and the rest of the Romans joined the action. But all of a sudden the men who were in the ambush, as it has been said, came out of the cabins along the narrow alleys, and killed some of the Eruli, falling unexpectedly upon them, and they struck Narses himself a blow on the temple. And his brother Isaac carried him out from among the fighting men, mortally wounded. And he died shortly afterwards, having proved himself a brave man in this engagement. Then, as was to be expected, great confusion fell upon the Roman army, and Nabedes let out the whole Persian force upon his opponents. And the persians, shooting into great masses of the enemy in the narrow alleys, killed a large number without difficulty, and particularly of the Eruli who had at the first fallen upon the enemy with Narses and were fighting for the most part without protection. For the Eruli have neither helmet nor corselet nor any other protective armour, except a shield and a thick jacket, which they gird about them before they enter into a struggle. And indeed the Erulian slaves go into battle without even a shield, and when they prove themselves brave men in war, then their masters permit them to protect themselves in battle with shields. Such are the customs of the Eruli.


Book III, ii

There were many Gothic nations in earlier times, just as also at the present, but the greatest and most important of all are the Goths, Vandals, Visigoths and Gepaedes. In ancient times, however, they were named Sauromatae and Melanchlaeni (Black-cloaks); and there were some too who called these nations Getic. All these, while they are distinguished from one another by their names, as has been said, do not differ in anything else at all. For they all have white bodies and fair hair, and are tall and handsome to look upon, and they use the same laws and practise a common religion. For they are all of the Arian faith, and have one language called Gothic; and, as it seems to me, they all came originally from one tribe ....

Book IV, iv

And there followed with them also four hundred Eruli, whom Pharas led.

Book IV, iv

(533 AD) ... and so he chose out soldiers, with Pharas as their leader, and set them to maintain the siege of the mountain. Now this Pharas was energetic and thoroughly serious and upright in every way, although he was an Erulian by birth. And for an Erulian not to give himself over to treachery and drunkenness, but to strive after uprightness, is no easy matter and merits abundant praise. But not only was it Pharas who maintained orderly conduct, but also all the Erulians who followed him. This Pharas, then, Belisarius commanded to estanlish himself at the foot of the mountain during the winter and to keep close guard, so that it would neither be possible for Gelimer to leave the mountain nor for any supplies to be brought in to him. And Pharas acted accordingly. Then Belisarius turned to the other Vandals ... In the house of Gelimer there was a certain scribe named Boniface, a Libyan ... exceedingly faithful to Gelimer.

Book IV, vi

Now when this was learned by Pharas, he wrote to Gelimer as follows: "I too am a barbarian and not accustomed to writing and speaking, nor am I skilful in these matters. But that which I am forced as a man to know, having learned from the nature of things, this I am writing to you. What in the world has happened to you, my dear Gelimer, that you have cast, not yourself alone, but your whole family besides, into this pit? ... And yet wh would it not be better in every way to be a slave among the Romans and beggared, than to be monarch on mount Papua with Moors as your subject? But of course it seems to you the very height of disgrace even to be a fellow slave with Belisarius! Away with the thought, most excellent Gelimer. Are not we, who also are born of noble families, proud that we are now in the service of an emperor? And indeed they say that it is the whish of the Emperor Justinian to have you enrolled in the senate ....

Gelimer ... wrote in reply as follows: "...Farewell, then, dear Pharas, and send me a lyre and one loaf of bread and a sponge, I pray you." When this reply was read by Pharas, he was at a loss for some time, being unable to understand the final words of the letter. ... When Pharas heard this, he was deeply moved, and lamenting the fortune of men, he did as was written and sent all the things which Gelimer desired of him.However he relaxed the siege not a whit, but kept watch more closely than before. ...

Gelimer ... wrote to Pharas as follows: "... For there has come to my mind your advice, which I am far from wishing to disregard. ... For I, indeed, as soon as you give me the pledges (from Belisarius), shall put both myself into your hands and these kinsmen of mine and the Vandals, as many as are here with us." ... And when these men had come to Pharas, they went with him to a certain place by the foot of the mountain, where Gelimer came at their summons, and after receiving the pledges just as he wished he came with them to Carthage.

Book IV, xiv

And it came about during this year that a most dread portent took place. For the sun gave forth its light without brightness, like the moon, during this whole year, and it seemed exceedingly like the sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear nor such as it accustomed to shed. And from the time when this thing happened men were free neither from war nor pestilence nor anything other thing leading to death. And it was the time when Justinian was in the tenth year of his reign (536 AD).

Book IV, xiv

In the Roman army there were, as it happened, not less than one thousand soldiers of the Arian faith; and most of these were barbarians, some of these being of the Erulian nation. Now these men were urged on to the mutiny by the priests of the Vandals with the greatest zeal. For it was not possible to them to worship God in their accustomed way, but they were excluded both from all their sacraments and from all sacred rites. For the emperor Justinian did not allow any Christian who did not espouse the orthodox faith to receive baptism or any other sacrament.

Book IV, xvii

And when Stotzas came close to the enemy and saw the standard of Germanus, he exhorted his men and began to charge against him. But the mutinous Eruli who were arrayed about him did not follow and even tried with all their might to prevent him, saying that they did not know the character of the forces of Germanus, but that they did know that those arrayed on the enemy's right would by no means withstand them. If therefore, they should advance against these, they would not give away themselves and turn to flight, but would also in all probability, throw the rest of the Roman army into confusion; but if they should attack Germanus and be driven back and put to rout, their whole couse would be ruined on the spot. And Stotzas was persuated by these words, and permitted the others to fight with the men of Germanus, while he himself with the best men went against John ....


Book VI, iv

(536 AD) With these words Belisarius encouraged the Roman populace and then dismissed them; and Procopius, who wrote this story, he immidiately commanded to go to Naples. For the rumour was going that the emperor had sent an army there. And he commisioned him to load as many ships as possible with grain, to gather all the soldiers who at the moment had arrived from Byzantium .... But the city of Albani, which was situated on the Appian Way at the same distance from the city, he had already, as it happened, sent Gontharis with a number of Eruli, and these the Goths had driven out from there by force not long afterward.

Book VI, xiii

Now this Narses was an eunuch and guardian of the royal treasures, but for the rest keen and more energetic than would be expected of an eunouk. And five thousand soldiers followed him ... among whom were Justinus, general of Illyricum, and another Narses ... And about two thousand of the Erulian nation also followed him commanded by Visandus, Aluith and Phanitheus.

Book VI, xiv

Now as to who in the world the Eruli are, and how they entered into the alliance with the Romans, I shall forthwith explain. They used to dwell beyound the Ister River from of old, worshipping a great host of gods, whom it seemed to them holy to appease even by human sacrifices. And they observed many costums wich were not in accordance with those of other men. For they were not permitted to live either when they grew old or when they fell sick, but as soon one of them was overtaken by old age or by sickness, it became necessary for him to ask his relatives to remove him from the world as quickly as possible. And these relatives would pile up a quantity of wood to a great height and lay the man at the top of the wood, and then they would send one of the Eruli, but not a relative to the man, to his side with a dagger; for it was unlawful for a kinsman to be his slayer. And when the slayer of their relative had returned, they would straightaway burn the hole pile of wood, beginning in the edges. And after the fire had ceased, they would immediately collect the bones and bury them in the earth. And when a man of the Eruli died, it was necessary for his wife, if she laid claim to virtue and wished to leave a fair name behind her, to die not long afterward beside the tomb of her husband by hanging herself in a rope. And if she died not do this, the result was that she was in ill repute thereafter and an offence to the relatives to her husband. Such were the customs observed by the Eruli in ancient times.

But as time went on they became superior to all the barbarians who dwelt about them both in power and in numbers, and, as was natural, they attacked and vanquished them severally and kept plundering their possessions by force. And finally they made the Lombards, who were Christians, together with several other nations, subject and tributary to themselves, though the barbarians of that region were not accustomed to that sort of thing; but the Eruli were led to take this course by love of money and lawless spirit. When however Anastasius took over the Roman empire [491 AD], the Eruli, having no longer anyone in the world whom the could assail, laid down their arms and remained quiet, and they observed peace in this way for a space of three years. But the people themselves, being exeedingly vexed, began to abuse their leader Rodolphus without restraint, and going to him constantly they called him covardly and effiminate, and railed at him in a most unruly matter, taunting him with certain other names besides. And Rodolphus, being quite unable to bear the insult, marched against the Lombards, who were doing no wrong, without charging against them any fault or alleging any violation of their agreement, but bringing upon them a war which had no real cause. And when the Lombards got word of this, they sent to Rodolphus and made inquery and demanded that he should state the charge on account of which the Eruli were coming against them in arms, agreeing that if they had deprived the Eruli of any of the tribute, then they would instantly pay it with large interest; and if their grievance was that only a moderate tribute had been imposed upon them, then the Lombards would never be reluctant to make it greater. Such were the offers which the envoys made, but Rodolphus with a threat sent them away and marched forward. And they again sent other envoys to him on the same mission and supplicated him with many entreaties. And when the second envoys had fared in the same way, a third embassy came to him and forbade the Eruli on any account to bring upon them a war without excuse. For if they should come against them with such a purpose, they too not willingly, but under direst necessety, would array themselves against their assailants, calling upon God as their witness, the slightest breath of whose favour, turning the scales, would be a match for all the strength of men; and he in all likelyhood, would be moved by the causes of the war and would determine the issue of the fight for both sides accordingly. So they spoke, thinking in this way to terrify their assailants, but the Eruli, shrinking from nothing whatever, decided to meet the Lombards in the battle. And when the two armies came close to one another, it so happened that the sky above the Lombards was obscured by a sort of cloud, black and very thick, but above the Eruli it was exceedingly clear. And judging by this one would have supposed that the Eruli were entering a conflict to their own harm; for there can be no more forbidding portent than this for barbarians as they go into battle. However, the Eruli gave no heed even to this, but in absolute disregard of it they advanced against their enemy with utter contempt, estimating the outcome of war by mere superiority of numbers. But when the battle came to close quarters, many of the Eruli perished and Rodolphus himself also perished, and the rest fled at full speed, forgetting all their courage. And since their enemy followed them up, the most of them fell on the field of battle and only a few succeded in saving themselves.

For this reason the Eruli were no longer able to tarry in their ancestral homes, but departing from there as quickly as possible they kept moving forward, traversing the whole country which is beyound the Ister River, together with their wives and children. But when they reached a land where the Rogi dwelt of old, a people who had joined the Gothic host and gone to Italy, they settled in that place. But since they were pressed by famine, because they were in a barren land, they removed from there not long afterwards, and came to a place close to the country of the Gepaedes. And at first the Gepeades permitted them to dwell there and be neighbours to them, since they came as suppliants. But afterwards for no good reason the Gepeades began to practise unholy deed upon them. For they violated their women and seized their cattle and other property, and abstained from no wickedness whatever, and finally began an unjust attack upon them. And the Eruli unable to bear all this any longer, crossed the Ister River and decided to live as neighbours to the Romans in that region; this was during the reign of the Emperor Anastasius, who received them with great friendliness and allowed them to settle where they were. But a short time afterwards these barbarians gave him offence by their lawless treatment of the Romans there, and for this reason he sent an army against them. And the Romans after defeating them in battle, slew most of their number, and had amble opportunity to destroy them all. But the remainder of them threw themselves upon the mercy of the generals and begged them to spare their lives and to have them as allies and servants of the emperor thereafter. And when Anastasius learned this, he was pleased, and consequently a number of the Eruli were left; however they neither became allies of the Romans, nor did they do them any good.

But when Justinian took over the empire [527 AD], he bestowed upon them good lands and other possessions, and thus completely succeeded in winning their friendship and persuaded them all to become Christians. As a result of this they adopted a gentler manner of life and decided to submit themselves wholly to the laws of the Christians, and in keeping with the terms of their alliance they are generally arrayed with the Romans against their enemies. They are still, however, faithless toward them, and since they are given to avarice, they are eager to do violence to their neighbours, feeling no shame at such conduct. And they mate in an unholy manner, especially men with asses, and they are the basest of all men and utterly abandoned rascals.

Afterwards, although some few of them remained at peace with the Romans, as will be told by me in the following narrative, all the rest revolted for the following reason. The Eruli, displaying their beastly and fanatical character against their own ”rex”, one Ochus by name, suddenly killed the man for no good reason at all, laying against him no other charge that they wished to be without a king thereafter. And yet even before this, while their king did have the title, he had practically no advantage over any citizen whomsoever. But all claimed the right to sit with him and eat with him, and whoever wished insulted him without restraint; for no men are less bound by convention or more unstable than the Eruli. Now when the evil deed had been accomplished, they were immediately rependant. For they said that they were not able to live without a ruler and without a general; so after much deliberation it seemed to them best in every way to summon one of their royal family from the island of Thule. And the reason for this I shall now explain.

Book VI, xv

When the Eruli, being defeated by the Lombards in the above-mentioned battle, migrated from their ancestral homes, some of them, as has been told by me above, made their home in the country of Illyricum, but the rest were averse to crossing the Ister River, but settled at the very extremity of the world; at any rate, these men, led by many of the royal blood, traversed all the nations of the Sclaveni one after the other, and after next crossing a large tract of barren country, they came to the Varni, as they are called. After these they passed the nations of the Dani, without suffering violence at the hands of the barbarians there. Coming thence to the ocean, they took to the sea, and putting in at Thule, remained there on the island.

Now Thule is exceedingly large; for it is more than ten times greater than Britain. And it lies far distant from it toward the north. On this island the land is for the most part barren, but in the inhabited country thirteen very numerous nations are settled; and there are kings over each nation. In that place a very wonderful thing takes [417]place each year. For the sun at the time of the summer solstice never sets for forty days, but appears constantly during this whole time above the earth. But not less than six months later, at about the time of the winter solstice, the sun is never seen on this island for forty days, but never-ending night envelops it; and as a result of this dejection holds the people there during this whole time, because they are unable by any means to mingle with one another during this interval. And although I was eager to go to this island and become an eye-witness of the things I have told, no opportunity ever presented itself. However, I made enquiry from those who come to us from the island as to how in the world they are able to reckon the length of the days, since the sun never rises nor sets there at the appointed times. And they gave me an account which is true and trustworthy. For they said that the sun during those forty days does not indeed set just as has been stated, but is visible to the people there at one time toward the east, and again toward the west. Whenever, therefore, on its return, it reaches the same place on the horizon where they had previously been accustomed to see it rise, they reckon in this way that one day and night have passed. When, however, the time of the nights arrives, they always take note of the courses of the moon and stars and thus reckon the measure of the days. And when a time amounting to thirty-five [419]days has passed in this long night, certain men are sent to the summits of the mountains—for this is the custom among them—and when they are able from that point barely to see the sun, they bring back word to the people below that within five days the sun will shine upon them. And the whole population celebrates a festival at the good news, and that too in the darkness. And this is the greatest festival which the natives of Thule have; for, I imagine, these islanders always become terrified, although they see the same thing happen every year, fearing that the sun may at some time fail them entirely.

But among the barbarians who are settled in Thule, one nation only, who are called the Scrithiphini, live a kind of life akin to that of the beasts. For they neither wear garments of cloth nor do they walk with shoes on their feet, nor do they drink wine nor derive anything edible from the earth. For they neither till the land themselves, nor do their women work it for them, but the women regularly join the men in hunting, which is their only pursuit. For the forests, which are exceedingly large, produce for them a great abundance of wild beasts and other animals, as do also the mountains which rise there. And they feed exclusively upon the flesh of the wild beasts slain by them, and clothe themselves in their skins, and since they have neither flax nor any implement with which to sew, they fasten these skins together by the sinews of the animals, and in this way manage to cover the whole body. And indeed not even their infants are nursed in the same way as among the rest of mankind. For the children of the Scrithiphini do not feed upon the milk of women nor do they touch their mother's breast, but they are nourished upon [421]the marrow of the animals killed in the hunt, and upon this alone. Now as soon as a woman gives birth to a child, she throws it into a skin and straightway hangs it to a tree, and after putting marrow into its mouth she immediately sets out with her husband for the customary hunt. For they do everything in common and likewise engage in this pursuit together. So much for the daily life of these barbarians.

But all the other inhabitants of Thule, practically speaking, do not differ very much from the rest of men, but they reverence in great numbers gods and demons both of the heavens and of the air, of the earth and of the sea, and sundry other demons which are said to be in the waters of springs and rivers. And they instantly offer all kinds of sacrifices, and make oblations to the dead, but the noblest of the sacrifices, in their eyes, is the first human being whom they have taken captive in war; for they sacrifice him to Ares, whom they regard as the greatest god. And the manner in which they offer up the captive is not by sacrificing him on an alter only, but also by hanging him to a tree, or throwing him among thorns, or killing him by some of the other most cruel forms of death. Thus, then, do the inhabitants of Thule live. And one of the most numerous nations there are the Gauti [Gautoi], and it was next to them that the incoming Eruli settled at the time of question.

On the present occasion, therefore, the Eruli who dwelt among the Romans, after the murder of their king had been perpetrated by them, sent some of their notables to the island of Thule to search out and bring back whomsoever they were able to find there of royal blood. And when these men reached the island, they found many there of the royal blood, but they selected the one man who pleased them most and set out with him on the return journey. But this man fell sick and died when he had come to the country of the Dani. These men therefore went a second time to the island and secured another man, Datius by name. And he was followed by his brother Aordus and two hundred youths of the Eruli in Thule. But since much time passed while they were absent on this journey, it occured to the Eruli in the neighbourhood of Singidunum [Beograd] that they were not consulting their own interests in importing a leader from Thule against the wishes of the Emperor Justinian. They therefor sent envoys to Byzantium, begging the emperor to send them a ruler of his own choise. And he straightaway sent them one of the Eruli who had on time been sojourning in Byzanteum, Suartuas by name. At first the Eruli welcomed him and did obeisance to him and rendered the costumary obediance to his commands; but not many days later a messenger arrived with the tidings that the men from the island of Thule were near at hand. And Suartuas commanded them to go out to meet those men, his intention being to destroy them, and the Eruli, approving his purpose, immediately went with him. But when the two forces were one day’s journey distant from each other, the kings men all abandoned him at night and went over of their own accord to the newcomers, while he himself took the flight and set out unattended for Byzantium. Thereupon the emperor earnestly undertook with all his power to restore him to his office, and the Eruli, fearing the power of the Romans, decided to submit themselves to the Gepides. This, then, was the cause of the revolt of the Eruli.

Book VI, xviii

For the Eruli, they said, and Narses' own spearmen and guards, and the troops commanded by Justinus and John himself, together with the forces of Aratius and the other Narses, amounted not less than ten thousand men, brave soldiers and especially capable warriors, and they did not wish the subjugation of Italy to be reckoned to the credit of Belisarius alone. ...

Book VI, xix

But since the barbarians defended themselves manfully, many fell in the fight, and among them Phanitheus, the leader of the Eruli. (Caecena)

Book VI, xxii

( 540 AD) ... he recalled Narses immidiately and appointed Bellisarius commander in-chief for the whole war. Thus it was that Narses returned to Byzantium bringing some few of the soldiers. But the Eruli, seeing that Narses was departing from Italy, refused to remain there longer, although Belisarius promised that they would receive many benefits from himself and from the emperor, if they remained; but they all packed up their baggage and withdrew, going first to Liguria. There they happened upon the army of Uraias, and they sold all the slaves and the animals they were taking with them to the enemy, and, having thus aquired a great amount of money, they took an oath that they would never array themselves against the Goths or do battle with them. Thus they made their withdrawal in peace and came into the land of the Veneti. But upon meeting Vitalius there, they forthwith began to repent of the wrong they had done to emperor Justinian. And seeking to clear themselves of the charge against them, they left there Visandus, one of their commanders, with his forces, but all the rest betook themselves to Byzantium under the leadership of Aluith and Philemuth, the latter having taken the command after Phaniteus was killed in Caesena.

Book VII, i

While the other commanders were remaining quiet on account of this situation, Vitalius alone (for he happened to have in Venetia a numerous army comprising with others a great throng of barbarian Eruli) had courage to battle with Ildibadus, fearing, as actually happened, that at a later time when his power had grown greatly they would be no longer able to check him.. But in the fierce battle which took place near the city of Tarbesium, Vitalius was badly defeated and fled, saving some few men, but losing the most of them there. In this battle many Eruli fell and among them Visandus, the leader of the Eruli, was killed.

Book VII, xiii

(545 AD) The emperor also sent Narses the eunuch to the rulers of the Eruli, in order to persuade the most of them to march to Italy. And many of the Eruli followed him, commanded by Philemuth and certain others, and they came with him into the land of Thracia. For the intention was that, after passing the winter there, they should be depatched to Belisarius at the opening of the spring. And they were accompanied also by John whom they called the Glutton. And it so fell out that during this journey they unexpectedly rendered a great service to the Romans. For a great throng of the barbarians, the Sclaveni, had, as it happened, recently crossed the Ister, plundering the adjoining country and enslaved a very great number of Romans. Now the Eruli suddenly came upon these barbarians and joined battle with them, and, although far outnumbered, they unexpectedly defeated them, and some they slew, and the captives they released one and all to go to their homes.

Book VII, xxvi

And once outside the camp they ran up into the mountains, many of which rise close by, and thus were saved. Among these was Jogn himself and Arufus, the leader of the Eruli.

Book VII, xxvii

(547 AD) ... Later on the emperor sent Verus with three hundred Eruli ... Now Verus was the first to put in at Dryus, and he left his ships there, being quite unwilling to remain at the place, where Johns army was, and went forward on horseback with his command. For this man was not of serious temper, but was utterly addicted to the disease of drunkenness, and consequently he was always possessed by a spirit of reckless daring. And when they had come to the city of Brundisium, they made a camp and remained there.

And when Totila learned this, he said: "Verus has one of two things, either a powerful army or a very silly head.. Let us then proceed against him instantly, that either we may make trial of the man's army, or that he may realize his own silliness." So Totila with these words marched against him with a numerous army; and the Eruli, spying the enemy already at hand, took refuge in a wood, which was close by. And the enemy surrounded them and killed more than two hundred, and were about to lay hands on Verus himself and the rest of the force, who were hiding among the thorn-bushes, but fortune came with their aid and saved them unexpectedly. For the ships in which Varazes and the Armenians under him were sailing suddenly put in at the shore there. ...

Book VII, xxxiii

(548 AD)... Now the Emperor Justinian had bestowed upon the Lombards the city of Noricum (Noreia/Neumarkt) and the strongholds of Pannonia, as well as many other towns and a great amount of money. It was because of that the Lombards departed from their ancestral homes and settled at the south side of the Ister River, not far from the Gepeades. They in their turn plundered the population of Dalmatia and Illyricum as far as the boundaries of Epidamnus ... Other towns of Dacia also, about the city of Singidunum, had been taken over by the Eruli as a gift from the emperor, and here they are settled at the present time, overrunning and plundering Illyricum and the Tracian towns very generally. Some of them have even become Roman soldiers serving among the foederati, as they are called. So whenever envoys of the Eruli are sent to Byzantium, representing the very men who are plundering Roman subjects, they collect all their contributions from the emperor without the least difficulty and carry them off home.

Book VII, xxxiv

... But later on the Gepeades and the Lombards, having come to be neighbours became exceedingly hostile toward one another. ... Accordingly the Lombards sent envoys to Emperor Justinian begging him to send them an army. ... Now the Gepeades were ruled at that time by Thorisin and the others by Audoin. ... First the Lombards came into the emperor's precense and spoke as follows: "...the Goths formerly hold the land of Dacia (inferior?) as a tributary province, while all the Gepeades dwelt originally on the other side of the Ister, being in such mortal terror of the Gothic power, on the one hand, that they never succeeded in crossing the stream. ... For behold, at the very moment the Gepeades saw that the Goths had been driven from all Dacia ... the cursed wretches have dared to trepass upon your territory in every part. ... the Romans will justly take sides with us, seeing that we have been in agreement from the first as regards religion, they will stand in opposition to our oponents for the simple reason that they are Arians." Thus spoke the Lombards.

"...Indeed thou hast bestowed upon the Franks and the nation of the Eruli and these Lombards such generous gifts of both cities and lands, O Emperor, that no one could enumerate them. ..." Such was the speech of the Gepeades... but he made a sworn alliance of arms with the Lombards, and then send them ten thousand horsemen ... They also took with them as allies fifteen hundred Eruli, commanded by Philemuth and others. For, except for these, the whole nation of the Eruli, to the number of three thousand, were arrayed with the Gepeades, since they had revolted from the Romans not long before for a cause which I have set forth above.

Now a detachment of the Romans who were marching to join the Lombards as allies unexpectedly chanced upon some of the Eruli with Aordus, the brother of the their ruler. And a fierce battle ensued in which the Romans were victorious, and they slew both Aordus and many of the Eruli. ... Then the Gepeades ... strightway settled their disagreement with the Lombards ... When the Roman army learned this, they found themselves in a very perplexing situation. For neither were they able to continue their advance nor could they retrace their steps, because the generals feared lest both Gepeades and Eruli would overrun and plunder the land of Illyricum.

Book VII, xxxv

When Vaces was ruler of the Lombards he had a nephew named Risiulfus, who according to the law would be called to the royal power whenever Vaces should die. So Vaces, seeking to make provision that the kingdom should be conferred upon his own son, brought an unjustified accusation against Risiulfus and penalised the man with banishment. He then departed from his home with a few friends and fled immidiately to the Varni leaving behind him two children. But Vaces bribed the barbarians to kill Risiulfus....

Now not long after this Vaces fell sick and passed from the world, and the rule of the Lombards fell to Valdarus (Ovaldaros græsk)), the son of Vaces. But since he was very young, Audoin was apointed regent over him and administered the government. And since he possessed great power as a result of this, he himself seized the rule after no long time, the child had immidiately passed the world by a natural death. Now when the war arose between the Gepeades and the Lombards as already told...

Book VII, xxxvii

It was at that time that Verus with a band of excellent warriors whom he had gathered about himcame to an engagement not far from the city of Ravenna with the Goths who were in Picenum, and he not only lost many of his followers but was also killed himself after shewing himself a brave man in the encounter.

Book VII, xxxix

But as commander in-chief against Totila and the Goths he (Justinian) appointed Germanus, his nephew. ... And he further instructed him to take with him to Italy both Philemuth the Herulian with his troops and his own son-in-law John.

Book VIII, iv

... But beside the exact point where the outlet of the (Maeotic) Lake commences dwell the Goths who are called Tetraxitae, a people who are not very numerous, but they reverence and observe the rites of the Christians sa any people do. ... Now as to wether these Goths were once of the Arian belief, as the other Gothic nations are ... I am not able to say, for they themselves are entirely ignorant on the subject. ...

Book VIII, iv

Now beyond the Maeotic Lake ... were the Goths called Tetraxitae ... but the Goths and the Visigoths and Vandals were located far from them as were other Gotic nations. These Tetraxitae were called also Scythians in ancient times, because alle the nations who held these regions are called in general Scythians...

Book VIII, ix

Venilus he had also sent there already with an army, as well as Odonachus, Babas from Trache, and Uligagus of the Eruli.

Book VIII, xxv

(551 AD) Now the leaders of this army were, first, Justinus and Justinian, the sons of Germanus; second Aratius; third Suartuas, who had previously been appointed by Justinian ruler over the Eruli (but when those who had come from the island of Thulerose against him, as told by me in the previous narrative, he had returned in flight to the emperor, and immetiately became general of the Roman forces in Byzantium); and lastly Amalfridas ...

Book VIII, xxvi

(552 AD) And he (Narses) had also with him more than three thousand of the Erulian nation, all horsemen, commanded by Philemuth and others, besides a great number of Huns. ... Besides these there was Aruth of the nation of the Eruli, who from boyhood had admired Roman ways and had made the daughter of Mauricius son of Mundus his married wife, being himself a most valiant fighter, and bringing with him a large number of the Eruli who were especially distinguished in the Perils of war. ... Naturally, then, when he (Narses) was appointed General against Totila and the Goths, ech and every one desired most eagerly to serve under him, some wishing to repay him for old favours, and others probably expecting, as was natural, to receive great gifts from his hand. But the Eruli and the other barbarians were particularly well disposed towards him, having been especially well treated by him.

Book VIII, xxviii

But certain of the Eruli by some chance encountered them there and slew Usdrilas, and since he was identified by a Roman they cut off his head, and coming into the Roman camp displayed it to Narses and so strengthened the courage of all; for they inferred from what had happened that Heaven was hostile to the Goths ...

Book VIII, xxx

The Varney dwell beyond the Ister River and extend as far as to the Northern Ocean along the river Rhine, which separates them from the Franks and other nations who dwell in that region. Now among all these nations which in ancient times dwelt on both sides of the Rhine river each people had its particular name, but the whole group was called in common German(ic)s. The island of Brittia lies in this part of the ocean not far from the coast, being about two hundred stades off and approximately opposite the mouth of the Rhine, and between the islands of Britain and Thule. For while Britain lies to the west about a line with the extreme end of Spain ... Brittia is towards the rear of Gaul ... The island of Brittia is inhabited by three very numerous nations, each having one king over it. And the names of these nations are Angili, Frissones and Brittones ... And so great appears to be the population of these nations that every year they emigrate thence in large companies ... and go to the land of the Franks. And the Franks allow them to settle ...

The Varni, not long ago, were ruled by a man named Hermegisclus. He ... had made the sister of Theodibert, ruler of the Franks, his wedded wife. ... And wether he really comprehended the bird's voice, or, possessing some other knowledge, simply made a mysterious pretence of comprehending the bird's prophecy, he at any rate immidiately told those with him that he would die forty days later. ... So he spoke ... and fulfilled his destiny. Then the son of Hermegisclus, Radigis, after taking over the kingdom of the Varni ... became wedded to his step-mother.

Book VIII, xxx

And Totila likewise, seeing his men in abject terror of the Roman army, called them all together here and spoke as follows: "... And do not think that Huns and Lombards and Eruli, hired by them with I know not how much money, will ever endanger themselves for them to the point of death. For life with them is not so cheap as to take second place to silver in their estimation, but I well know that after making an appearance og fighting they will desert with all their speed, either because they have received their pay, or as carrying the orders of their own commanders."

Book VIII, xxxi

But at the center of the phalanx Narses had placed the Lombards and the nation of the Eruli and all the other barbarians, causing them to dismount from their horses and making them infantry, in order that, if it should chance that they turned cowards in the engagement or deserted, they might not be too eager to fly.

Book VIII, xxxii

Such was the conclusion of the reighn and the life of Totila, who had ruled the Goths eleven years. But the end which came to him was not worthy of his past achievements, for everything had gone well with the man before that, and his end was not consumerate with his deeds.

Book VIII, xxxiii

Meanwhile Philemuth and the Eruli were harassing another section, and the rest followed at a great distance from them.

Book VIII, xxxiii

But finallty the barbarians sent to Narses som of their notables ... they were desirous from now to acknowledge defeat and give up the struggle, not however to obey the emperor, but to live in independence with some of the other barbarians ... Narses followed this suggestion, and they came to terms, agreeing that the remainder of the barbarians, after receiving their money should depart immediately from all Italy and that they should no longer wage war against the Romans.Now a thousand Goths ... proceeded to the city of Ticinum and the country beyond the Po. But all the rest gave sworn pledges and confirmed al details of the aggreement. Thus the Romans ... brought to an end this Gothic war, the history of which Procopios has written.

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Herulian names: Agripas, Alaric**, Aluith, (Andonnoballus), Aordus, Arufus, Aruth, Batemodus*, Beros, Datius (Todasius), Fulkaris**, Hariso*, Herila**, (Maiorinus), Naulobatos**, Ochus, Phanitheus, Phara, Philemuth, Rodolphus, Silinga**, Silvimar*, Sindia*, Sindual (Sintvalt)**, Suartuas, Visandus, Uligagus
* Tombstones, Concordia
** Other sources

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