Page:15 decisive battles of the world Vol 1 (London).djvu/304

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among the rocks, at which each burned to drink.[1]

Although three centuries had passed away since the Germanic conquerors of Rome had crossed the Rhine, never to repass that frontier stream, no settled system of institutions or government, no amalgamation of the various races into one people, no uniformity of language or habits had been established in the country at the time when Charles Martel was called on to repel the menacing tide of Saracenic invasion from the south. Gaul was not yet France. In that, as in other provinces of the Roman empire of the West, the dominion of the Caesars had been shattered as early as the fifth century, and barbaric kingdoms and principalities had promptly arisen on the ruins of the Roman power. But few of these had any permanency, and none of them consolidated the rest, or any

considerable number of the rest, into one coherent and organized civil and political society. The

  1. Δέονθ ώς, δηρινθήτην,
    Ωτ' όρεος κορυφησι περί κταμένης έλάφοιο
    Αμφω πεινάοντε, μέγα φρονέοντε μάχεσθον.

    Il. π. 756

    Ως δ' ότε συν άκάμαντα λέων έζιήσατο χάρμη,
    Τώ τ' όρεος κορυφησι μέγα φρονέοντε μάχεσθον,
    Πίδακος άμφ' όλίγης' έθέλσυσί δε πιέμεν άμφω
    Πολλά δέ τ' άσθμαίνοντα λέων έδάμασσε βιηφιν.

    Il. π. 823.