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Veranilda
George Gissing

Page 1 of 654


Veranilda 

By George Gissing 


CHAPTER I 

THE VANQUISHED ROMAN 

Seven years long had the armies of Justinian warred against the
Goths in Italy.  Victor from Rhegium to Ravenna, the great commander
Belisarius had returned to the East, Carrying captive a Gothic king.
The cities of the conquered land were garrisoned by barbarians of
many tongues, who bore the name of Roman soldiers; the Italian
people, brought low by slaughter, dearth, and plague, crouched under
the rapacious tyranny of governors from Byzantium. 

Though children born when King Theodoric still reigned had yet
scarce grown to manhood, that golden age seemed already a legend of

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