Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER LXIX - The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 12
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CHAPTER LXIX - Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 12 
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ed. J.B. Bury with an Introduction by W.E.H. Lecky (New York: Fred de Fau and Co., 1906), in 12 vols. Vol. 12.
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State of Rome from the Twelfth Century — Temporal Dominion of the Popes — Seditions of the City — Political Heresy of Arnold of Brescia — Restoration of the Republic — The Senators — Pride of the Romans — Their Wars — They are deprived of the Election and Presence of the Popes, who retire to Avignon — The Jubilee — Noble Families of Rome — Feud of the Colonna and Ursini.
In the first ages of the decline and fall of the Roman empire our eye is invariably fixed on the royal city which had given laws to the fairest portion of the globe. We contemplate her fortunes, at first with admiration, at length with pity, always with attention; and, when that attention is diverted from the capital to the provinces, they are considered as so many branches which have been successively severed from the Imperial trunk. The foundation of a second Rome on the shores of the Bosphorus has compelled the historian to follow the successors of Constantine; and our curiosity has been tempted to visit the most remote countries of Europe and Asia, to explore the causes and the authors of the long decay of the Byzantine monarchy. By the conquest of Justinian we have been recalled to the banks of the Tiber, to the deliverance of the ancient metropolis; but that deliverance was a change, or perhaps an aggravation, of servitude. Rome had been already stripped of her trophies, her gods, and her Cæsars; nor was the Gothic dominion more inglorious and oppressive than the tyranny of the Greeks. In the eighth century of the Christian era, a religious quarrel, the worship of images, provoked the Romans to assert their independence; their bishop became the temporal as well as the spiritual father of a free people; and of the Western empire, which was restored by Charlemagne, the title and image still decorate the singular constitution of modern Germany.1 The name of Rome must yet command our involuntary respect; the climate (whatsoever may be its influence) was no longer the same;2 the purity of blood had been contaminated through a thousand channels; but the venerable aspect of her ruins, and the memory of past greatness, rekindled a spark of the national character. The darkness of the middle ages exhibits some scenes not unworthy of our notice. Nor shall I dismiss the present work till I have reviewed the state and revolutions of the Roman city, which acquiesced under the absolute dominion of the popes about the same time that Constantinople was enslaved by the Turkish arms.
In the beginning of the twelfth century,3 the era of the first crusade, Rome was revered by the Latins, as the metropolis of the world, as the throne of the pope and the emperor, who, from the eternal city, derived their title, their honours, and the right or exercise of temporal dominion. After so long an interruption, it may not be useless to repeat that the successors of Charlemagne and the Othos were chosen beyond the Rhine in a national diet; but that these princes were content with the humble names of kings of Germany and Italy, till they had passed the Alps and the Apennine, to seek their Imperial crown on the banks of the Tiber.4 At some distance from the city, their approach was saluted by a long procession of the clergy and people with palms and crosses; and the terrific emblems of wolves and lions, of dragons and eagles, that floated in the military banners, represented the departed legions and cohorts of the republic. The royal oath to maintain the liberties of Rome was thrice reiterated, at the bridge,5 the gate, and on the stairs of the Vatican; and the distribution of a customary donative feebly imitated the magnificence of the first Cæsars. In the church of St. Peter,6 the coronation was performed by his successor;7 the voice of God was confounded with that of the people; and the public consent was declared in the acclamations of “Long life and victory to our lord the pope! Long life and victory to our lord the emperor! Long life and victory to the Roman and Teutonic armies!”8 The names of Cæsar and Augustus, the laws of Constantine and Justinian, the example of Charlemagne and Otho, established the supreme dominion of the emperors; their title and image was engraved on the papal coins;9 and their jurisdiction was marked by the sword of justice, which they delivered to the prefect of the city. But every Roman prejudice was awakened by the name, the language, and the manners of a Barbarian lord. The Cæsars of Saxony or Franconia were the chiefs of a feudal aristocracy; nor could they exercise the discipline of civil and military power, which alone secures the obedience of a distant people, impatient of servitude, though perhaps incapable of freedom. Once, and once only, in his life, each emperor, with an army of Teutonic vassals, descended from the Alps. I have described the peaceful order of his entry and coronation; but that order was commonly disturbed by the clamour and sedition of the Romans, who encountered their sovereign as a foreign invader: his departure was always speedy, and often shameful; and, in the absence of a long reign, his authority was insulted, and his name was forgotten. The progress of independence in Germany and Italy undermined the foundations of the Imperial sovereignty, and the triumph of the popes was the deliverance of Rome.
Of her two sovereigns, the emperor had precariously reigned by the right of conquest; but the authority of the pope was founded on the soft, though more solid, basis of opinion and habit. The removal of a foreign influence restored and endeared the shepherd to his flock. Instead of the arbitrary or venal nomination of a German court, the vicar of Christ was freely chosen by the college of cardinals, most of whom were either natives or inhabitants of the city. The applause of the magistrates and people confirmed his election; and the ecclesiastical power that was obeyed in Sweden and Britain had been ultimately derived from the suffrage of the Romans. The same suffrage gave a prince, as well as a pontiff, to the capital. It was universally believed that Constantine had invested the popes with the temporal dominion of Rome; and the boldest civilians, the most profane sceptics, were satisfied with disputing the right of the emperor and the validity of his gift. The truth of the fact, the authenticity of his donation, was deeply rooted in the ignorance and tradition of four centuries; and the fabulous origin was lost in the real and permanent effects. The name of Dominus, or Lord, was inscribed on the coin of the bishops; their title was acknowledged by acclamations and oaths of allegiance; and, with the free or reluctant consent of the German Cæsars, they had long exercised a supreme or subordinate jurisdiction over the city and patrimony of St. Peter. The reign of the popes, which gratified the prejudices, was not incompatible with the liberties of Rome; and a more critical inquiry would have revealed a still nobler source of their power: the gratitude of a nation, whom they had rescued from the heresy and oppression of the Greek tyrant. In an age of superstition, it should seem that the union of the royal and sacerdotal characters would mutually fortify each other, and that the keys of paradise would be the surest pledge of earthly obedience. The sanctity of the office might indeed be degraded by the personal vices of the man; but the scandals of the tenth century were obliterated by the austere and more dangerous virtues of Gregory the Seventh and his successors; and, in the ambitious contests which they maintained for the rights of the church, their sufferings or their success must equally tend to increase the popular veneration. They sometimes wandered in poverty and exile, the victims of persecution; and the apostolic zeal with which they offered themselves to martyrdom must engage the favour and sympathy of every Catholic breast. And sometimes, thundering from the Vatican, they created, judged, and deposed the kings of the world; nor could the proudest Roman be disgraced by submitting to a priest whose feet were kissed, and whose stirrup was held, by the successors of Charlemagne.10 Even the temporal interest of the city should have protected in peace and honour the residence of the popes; from whence a vain and lazy people derived the greatest part of their subsistence and riches. The fixed revenue of the popes was probably impaired: many of the old patrimonial estates, both in Italy and the provinces, had been invaded by sacrilegious hands; nor could the loss be compensated by the claim rather than the possession of the more ample gifts of Pepin and his descendants. But the Vatican and Capitol were nourished by the incessant and increasing swarms of pilgrims and suppliants; the pale of Christianity was enlarged, and the pope and cardinals were overwhelmed by the judgment of ecclesiastical and secular causes. A new jurisprudence had established in the Latin church the right and practice of appeals;11 and, from the North and West, the bishops and abbots were invited or summoned to solicit, to complain, to accuse, or to justify before the threshold of the apostles. A rare prodigy is once recorded, that two horses, belonging to the Archbishops of Mentz and Cologne, repassed the Alps, yet laden with gold and silver;12 but it was soon understood that the success, both of the pilgrims and clients, depended much less on the justice of their cause than on the value of their offering. The wealth and piety of these strangers were ostentatiously displayed; and their expenses, sacred or profane, circulated in various channels for the emolument of the Romans.
Such powerful motives should have firmly attached the voluntary and pious obedience of the Roman people to their spiritual and temporal father. But the operation of prejudice and interest is often disturbed by the sallies of ungovernable passion. The Indian who fells the tree that he may gather the fruit,13 and the Arab who plunders the caravans of commerce, are actuated by the same impulse of savage nature, which overlooks the future in the present, and relinquishes for momentary rapine the long and secure possession of the most important blessings. And it was thus that the shrine of St. Peter was profaned by the thoughtless Romans, who pillaged the offerings, and wounded the pilgrims, without computing the number and value of similar visits, which they prevented by their inhospitable sacrilege. Even the influence of superstition is fluctuating and precarious; and the slave, whose reason is subdued, will often be delivered by his avarice or pride. A credulous devotion for the fables and oracles of the priesthood most powerfully acts on the mind of a Barbarian; yet such a mind is the least capable of preferring imagination to sense, of sacrificing to a distant motive, to an invisible, perhaps an ideal, object, the appetites and interests of the present world. In the vigour of health and youth, his practice will perpetually contradict his belief; till the pressure of age, or sickness, or calamity awakens his terrors and compels him to satisfy the double debt of piety and remorse. I have already observed that the modern times of religious indifference are the most favourable to the peace and security of the clergy. Under the reign of superstition they had much to hope from the ignorance, and much to fear from the violence, of mankind. The wealth, whose constant increase must have rendered them the sole proprietors of the earth, was alternately bestowed by the repentant father and plundered by the rapacious son; their persons were adored or violated; and the same idol, by the hands of the same votaries, was placed on the altar or trampled in the dust. In the feudal system of Europe, arms were the title of distinction and the measure of allegiance; and amidst their tumult the still voice of law and reason was seldom heard or obeyed. The turbulent Romans disdained the yoke, and insulted the impotence, of their bishop;14 nor would his education or character allow him to exercise, with decency or effect, the power of the sword. The motives of his election and the frailties of his life were exposed to their familiar observation; and proximity must diminish the reverence which his name and his decrees impressed on a Barbarous world. This difference has not escaped the notice of our philosophic historian: “Though the name and authority of the court of Rome were so terrible in the remote countries of Europe, which were sunk in profound ignorance, and were entirely unacquainted with its character and conduct, the pope was so little revered at home that his inveterate enemies surrounded the gates of Rome itself and even controlled his government in that city; and the ambassadors, who, from a distant extremity of Europe, carried to him the humble, or rather abject, submissions of the greatest potentate of the age, found the utmost difficulty to make their way to him and to throw themselves at his feet.”15
Since the primitive times, the wealth of the popes was exposed to envy, their power to opposition, and their persons to violence. But the long hostility of the mitre and the crown increased the numbers, and inflamed the passions, of their enemies. The deadly factions of the Guelphs and Ghibelines, so fatal to Italy, could never be embraced with truth or constancy by the Romans, the subjects and adversaries both of the bishop and emperor; but their support was solicited by both parties; and they alternately displayed in their banners the keys of St. Peter and the German eagle. Gregory the Seventh, who may be adored or detested as the founder of the papal monarchy, was driven from Rome, and died in exile at Salerno. Six-and-thirty of his successors,16 till their retreat to Avignon, maintained an unequal contest with the Romans; their age and dignity were often violated; and the churches, in the solemn rites of religion, were polluted with sedition and murder. A repetition17 of such capricious brutality, without connection or design, would be tedious and disgusting; and I shall content myself with some events of the twelfth century, which represent the state of the popes and the city. On Holy Thursday, while Paschal officiated before the altar, he was interrupted by the clamours of the multitude, who imperiously demanded the confirmation of a favourite magistrate.18 His silence exasperated their fury; his pious refusal to mingle the affairs of earth and heaven was encountered with menaces and oaths, that he should be the cause and the witness of the public ruin. During the festival of Easter, while the bishop and the clergy, barefoot and in procession, visited the tombs of the martyrs, they were twice assaulted, at the bridge of St. Angelo and before the Capitol, with volleys of stones and darts. The houses of his adherents were levelled with the ground; Paschal escaped with difficulty and danger; he levied an army in the patrimony of St. Peter; and his last days were embittered by suffering and inflicting the calamities of civil war. The scenes that followed the election of his successor Gelasius the Second were still more scandalous to the church and city. Cencio Frangipani,19 a potent and factious baron, burst into the assembly furious, and in arms: the cardinals were stripped, beaten, and trampled under foot; and he seized, without pity or respect, the vicar of Christ by the throat. Gelasius was dragged by his hair along the ground, buffeted with blows, wounded with spurs, and bound with an iron chain in the house of his brutal tyrant. An insurrection of the people delivered their bishop; the rival families opposed the violence of the Frangipani; and Cencio, who sued for pardon, repented of the failure rather than of the guilt of his enterprise. Not many days had elapsed when the pope was again assaulted at the altar. While his friends and enemies were engaged in a bloody contest, he escaped in his sacerdotal garments. In this unworthy flight, which excited the compassion of the Roman matrons, his attendants were scattered or unhorsed; and, in the fields behind the church of St. Peter, his successor was found alone and half dead with fear and fatigue. Shaking the dust from his feet, the apostle withdrew from a city in which his dignity was insulted and his person was endangered; and the vanity of sacerdotal ambition is revealed in the involuntary confession that one emperor was more tolerable than twenty.20 These examples might suffice; but I cannot forget the sufferings of two pontiffs of the same age, the second and third of the name of Lucius. The former, as he ascended in battle-array to assault the Capitol, was struck on the temple by a stone, and expired in a few days;21 the latter was severely wounded in the persons of his servants.22 In a civil commotion several of his priests had been made prisoners; and the inhuman Romans, reserving one as a guide for his brethren, put out their eyes, crowned them with ludicrous mitres, mounted them on asses, with their faces to the tail, and extorted an oath that in this wretched condition they should offer themselves as a lesson to the head of the church. Hope or fear, lassitude or remorse, the characters of the men and the circumstances of the times, might sometimes obtain an interval of peace and obedience; and the pope was restored with joyful acclamations to the Lateran or Vatican, from whence he had been driven with threats and violence. But the root of mischief was deep and perennial;23 and a momentary calm was preceded and followed by such tempests as had almost sunk the bark of St. Peter. Rome continually presented the aspect of war and discord; the churches and palaces were fortified and assaulted by the factions and families; and, after giving peace to Europe, Calixtus the Second alone had resolution and power to prohibit the use of private arms in the metropolis.24 Among the nations who revered the apostolic throne, the tumults of Rome provoked a general indignation; and, in a letter to his disciple Eugenius the Third, St. Bernard, with the sharpness of his wit and zeal, has stigmatised the vices of the rebellious people.25 “Who is ignorant,” says the monk of Clairvaux, “of the vanity and arrogance of the Romans? a nation nursed in sedition, cruel, untractable, and scorning to obey, unless they are too feeble to resist. When they promise to serve, they aspire to reign; if they swear allegiance, they watch the opportunity of revolt; yet they vent their discontent in loud clamours, if your doors or your councils are shut against them. Dexterous in mischief, they have never learned the science of doing good. Odious to earth and heaven, impious to God, seditious among themselves, jealous of their neighbours, inhuman to strangers, they love no one, by no one are they beloved; and, while they wish to inspire fear, they live in base and continual apprehension. They will not submit; they know how to govern; faithless to their superiors, intolerable to their equals, ungrateful to their benefactors, and alike imprudent in their demands and their refusals. Lofty in promise, poor in execution: adulation and calumny, perfidy and treason, are the familiar arts of their policy.” Surely this dark portrait is not coloured by the pencil of Christian charity;26 yet the features, however harsh and ugly, express a lively resemblance of the Romans of the twelfth century.27
The Jews had rejected the Christ when he appeared among them in a plebeian character; and the Romans might plead their ignorance of his vicar when he assumed the pomp and pride of a temporal sovereign. In the busy age of the crusades, some sparks of curiosity and reason were rekindled in the Western world; the heresy of Bulgaria, the Paulician sect, was successfully transplanted into the soil of Italy and France; the Gnostic visions were mingled with the simplicity of the Gospel; and the enemies of the clergy reconciled their passions with their conscience, the desire of freedom with the profession of piety.28 The trumpet of Roman liberty was first sounded by Arnold of Brescia,29 whose promotion in the church was confined to the lowest rank, and who wore the monastic habit rather as a garb of poverty than as an uniform of obedience. His adversaries could not deny the wit and eloquence which they severely felt; they confess with reluctance the specious purity of his morals; and his errors were recommended to the public by a mixture of important and beneficial truths. In his theological studies, he had been the disciple of the famous and unfortunate Abelard,30 who was likewise involved in the suspicion of heresy; but the lover of Eloisa was of a soft and flexible nature; and his ecclesiastic judges were edified and disarmed by the humility of his repentance. From this master Arnold most probably imbibed some metaphysical definitions of the Trinity, repugnant to the taste of the times; his ideas of baptism and the eucharist are loosely censured; but a political heresy was the source of his fame and misfortunes. He presumed to quote the declaration of Christ that his kingdom is not of this world: he boldly maintained that the sword and the sceptre were entrusted to the civil magistrate; that temporal honours and possessions were lawfully vested in secular persons; that the abbots, the bishops, and the pope himself must renounce either their state or their salvation; and that, after the loss of their revenues, the voluntary tithes and oblations of the faithful would suffice, not indeed for luxury and avarice, but for a frugal life in the exercise of spiritual labours. During a short time the preacher was revered as a patriot; and the discontent, or revolt, of Brescia against her bishop was the first-fruits of his dangerous lessons. But the favour of the people is less permanent than the resentment of the priest; and, after the heresy of Arnold had been condemned by Innocent the Second31 in the general council of the Lateran the magistrates themselves were urged by prejudice and fear to execute the sentence of the church. Italy could no longer afford a refuge; and the disciple of Abelard escaped beyond the Alps, till he found a safe and hospitable shelter in Zurich, now the first of the Swiss cantons. From a Roman station,32 a royal villa, a chapter of noble virgins, Zurich had gradually increased to a free and flourishing city, where the appeals of the Milanese were sometimes tried by the Imperial commissaries.33 In an age less ripe for reformation, the precursor of Zuinglius was heard with applause; a brave and simple people imbibed, and long retained, the colour of his opinions; and his art, or merit, seduced the bishop of Constance, and even the pope’s legate, who forgot, for his sake, the interest of their master and their order. Their tardy zeal was quickened by the fierce exhortations of St. Bernard;34 and the enemy of the church was driven by persecution to the desperate measure of erecting his standard in Rome itself, in the face of the successor of St. Peter.
Yet the courage of Arnold was not devoid of discretion: he was protected, and had perhaps been invited, by the nobles and people; and in the service of freedom his eloquence thundered over the seven hills. Blending in the same discourse the texts of Livy and St. Paul, uniting the motives of gospel and of classic enthusiasm, he admonished the Romans how strangely their patience and the vices of the clergy had degenerated from the primitive times of the church and the city. He exhorted them to assert the inalienable rights of men and Christians; to restore the laws and magistrates of the republic; to respect the name of the emperor; but to confine their shepherd to the spiritual government of his flock.35 Nor could his spiritual government escape the censure and control of the reformer; and the inferior clergy were taught by his lessons to resist the cardinals, who had usurped a despotic command over the twenty-eight regions or parishes of Rome.36 The revolution was not accomplished without rapine and violence, the effusion of blood, and the demolition of houses; the victorious faction was enriched with the spoils of the clergy and the adverse nobles. Arnold of Brescia enjoyed or deplored the effects of his mission; his reign continued above ten years, while two popes, Innocent the Second and Anastasius the Fourth, either trembled in the Vatican or wandered as exiles in the adjacent cities. They were succeeded by a more vigorous and fortunate pontiff, Adrian the Fourth,37 the only Englishman who has ascended the throne of St. Peter; and whose merit emerged from the mean condition of a monk, and almost a beggar, in the monastery of St. Albans. On the first provocation, of a cardinal killed or wounded in the streets, he cast an interdict on the guilty people; and, from Christmas to Easter, Rome was deprived of the real or imaginary comforts of religious worship. The Romans had despised their temporal prince: they submitted with grief and terror to the censures of their spiritual father; their guilt was expiated by penance, and the banishment of the seditious preacher was the price of their absolution. But the revenge of Adrian was yet unsatisfied, and the approaching coronation of Frederic Barbarossa was fatal to the bold reformer, who had offended, though not in an equal degree, the heads of the church and state. In their interview at Viterbo,38 the pope represented to the emperor the furious ungovernable spirit of the Romans; the insults, the injuries, the fears, to which his person and his clergy were continually exposed; and the pernicious tendency of the heresy of Arnold, which must subvert the principles of civil as well as ecclesiastical subordination. Frederic was convinced by these arguments, or tempted by the desire of the Imperial crown; in the balance of ambition, the innocence or life of an individual is of small account; and their common enemy was sacrificed to a moment of political concord. After his retreat from Rome, Arnold had been protected by the viscounts of Campania, from whom he was extorted by the power of Cæsar: the prefect of the city pronounced his sentence; the martyr of freedom was burnt alive in the presence of a careless and ungrateful people; and his ashes were cast into the Tiber, lest the heretics should collect and worship the relics of their master.39 The clergy triumphed in his death; with his ashes, his sect was dispersed; his memory still lived in the minds of the Romans. From his school they had probably derived a new article of faith, that the metropolis of the Catholic church is exempt from the penalties of excommunication and interdict. Their bishops might argue that the supreme jurisdiction, which they exercised over kings and nations, more specially embraced the city and diocese of the prince of the apostles. But they preached to the winds, and the same principle that weakened the effect, must temper the abuse, of the thunders of the Vatican.
The love of ancient freedom has encouraged a belief that as early as the tenth century, in their first struggles against the Saxon Othos, the commonwealth was vindicated and restored by the senate and people of Rome; that two consuls were annually elected among the nobles; and that ten or twelve plebeian magistrates revived the name and office of the tribunes of the commons.40 But this venerable structure disappears before the light of criticism. In the darkness of the middle ages, the appellations of senators, of consuls, of the sons of consuls, may sometimes be discovered.41 They were bestowed by the emperors, or assumed by the most powerful citizens, to denote their rank, their honours,42 and perhaps the claim of a pure and patrician descent; but they float on the surface, without a series or a substance, the titles of men, not the orders of government;43 and it is only from the year of Christ one thousand one hundred and forty-four, that the establishment of the senate is dated as a glorious era, in the acts of the city.44 A new constitution was hastily framed by private ambition or popular enthusiasm; nor could Rome, in the twelfth century, produce an antiquary to explain, or a legislator to restore, the harmony and proportions of the ancient model. The assembly of a free, of an armed people will ever speak in loud and weighty acclamations. But the regular distribution of the thirty-five tribes, the nice balance of the wealth and numbers of the centuries, the debates of the adverse orators, and the slow operation of votes and ballots could not easily be adapted by a blind multitude, ignorant of the arts, and insensible of the benefits, of legal government. It was proposed by Arnold to revive and discriminate the equestrian order; but what could be the motive or measure of such distinction?45 The pecuniary qualification of the knights must have been reduced to the poverty of the times: those times no longer required their civil functions of judges and farmers of the revenue; and their primitive duty, their military service on horseback, was more nobly supplied by feudal tenures and the spirit of chivalry. The jurisprudence of the republic was useless and unknown; the nations and families of Italy, who lived under the Roman and Barbaric laws, were insensibly mingled in a common mass; and some faint tradition, some imperfect fragments, preserved the memory of the Code and Pandects of Justinian. With their liberty, the Romans might doubtless have restored the appellation and office of consuls, had they not disdained a title so promiscuously adopted in the Italian cities that it has finally settled on the humble station of the agents of commerce in a foreign land. But the rights of the tribunes, the formidable word that arrested the public counsels, suppose, or must produce, a legitimate democracy. The old patricians were the subjects, the modern barons the tyrants, of the state; nor would the enemies of peace and order, who insulted the vicar of Christ, have long respected the unarmed sanctity of a plebeian magistrate.46
In the revolution of the twelfth century, which gave a new existence and era to Rome, we may observe the real and important events that marked or confirmed her political independence. I. The Capitoline hill, one of her seven eminences,47 is about four hundred yards in length and two hundred in breadth. A flight of an hundred steps led to the summit of the Tarpeian rock; and far steeper was the ascent before the declivities had been smoothed and the precipices filled by the ruins of fallen edifices. From the earliest ages, the Capitol had been used as a temple in peace, a fortress in war: after the loss of the city, it maintained a siege against the victorious Gauls; and the sanctuary of empire was occupied, assaulted, and burnt in the civil wars of Vitellius and Vespasian.48 The temples of Jupiter and his kindred deities had crumbled into dust; their place was supplied by monasteries and houses; and the solid walls, the long and shelving porticoes, were decayed or ruined by the lapse of time. It was the first act of the Romans, an act of freedom, to restore the strength, though not the beauty, of the Capitol;49 to fortify the seat of their arms and counsels; and, as often as they ascended the hill, the coldest minds must have glowed with the remembrance of their ancestors. II. The first Cæsars had been invested with the exclusive coinage of the gold and silver; to the senate they abandoned the baser metal of bronze or copper;50 the emblems and legends were inscribed on a more ample field by the genius of flattery; and the prince was relieved from the care of celebrating his own virtues. The successors of Diocletian despised even the flattery of the senate: their royal officers at Rome, and in the provinces, assumed the sole direction of the mint; and the same prerogative was inherited by the Gothic kings of Italy, and the long series of the Greek, the French, and the German dynasties. After an abdication of eight hundred years, the Roman senate asserted this honourable and lucrative privilege; which was tacitly renounced by the popes, from Paschal the Second to the establishment of their residence beyond the Alps. Some of these republican coins of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries are shewn in the cabinets of the curious. On one of these, a gold medal, Christ is depictured, holding in his left hand a book with this inscription, “The vow of the Roman senate and people: Rome, the capital of the world”; on the reverse, St. Peter delivering a banner to a kneeling senator in his cap and gown, with the name and arms of his family impressed on a shield.51 III. With the empire, the prefect of the city had declined to a municipal officer; yet he still exercised in the last appeal the civil and criminal jurisdiction; and a drawn sword, which he received from the successors of Otho, was the mode of his investiture and the emblem of his functions.52 The dignity was confined to the noble families of Rome; the choice of the people was ratified by the pope; but a triple oath of fidelity must have often embarrassed the prefect in the conflict of adverse duties.53 A servant, in whom they possessed but a third share, was dismissed by the independent Romans; in his place they elected a patrician; but this title, which Charlemagne had not disdained, was too lofty for a citizen or a subject; and, after the first fervour of rebellion, they consented without reluctance to the restoration of the prefect. About fifty years after this event, Innocent the Third, the most ambitious, or at least the most fortunate, of the pontiffs, delivered the Romans and himself from this badge of foreign dominion; he invested the prefect with a banner instead of a sword, and absolved him from all dependence of oaths or service to the German emperors.54 In his place an ecclesiastic, a present or future cardinal, was named by the pope to the civil government of Rome; but his jurisdiction has been reduced to a narrow compass; and in the days of freedom the right or exercise was derived from the senate and people. IV. After the revival of the senate,55 the conscript fathers (if I may use the expression) were invested with the legislative and executive power; but their views seldom reached beyond the present day; and that day was most frequently disturbed by violence and tumult. In its utmost plenitude, the order or assembly consisted of fifty-six senators,56 the most eminent of whom were distinguished by the title of counsellors; they were nominated, perhaps annually, by the people; and a previous choice of their electors, ten persons in each region or parish, might afford a basis for a free and permanent constitution. The popes, who in this tempest submitted rather to bend than to break, confirmed by treaty the establishment and privileges of the senate, and expected from time, peace, and religion the restoration of their government. The motives of public and private interest might sometimes draw from the Romans an occasional and temporary sacrifice of their claims; and they renewed their oath of allegiance to the successor of St. Peter and Constantine, the lawful head of the church and the republic.57
The union and vigour of a public council was dissolved in a lawless city; and the Romans soon adopted a more strong and simple mode of administration. They condensed the name and authority of the senate in a single magistrate or two colleagues; and, as they were changed at the end of a year or of six months, the greatness of the trust was compensated by the shortness of the term. But in this transient reign, the senators of Rome indulged their avarice and ambition; their justice was perverted by the interest of their family and faction; and, as they punished only their enemies, they were obeyed only by their adherents. Anarchy, no longer tempered by the pastoral care of their bishop, admonished the Romans that they were incapable of governing themselves; and they sought abroad those blessings which they were hopeless of finding at home. In the same age, and from the same motives, most of the Italian republics were prompted to embrace a measure, which, however strange it may seem, was adapted to their situation, and productive of the most salutary effects.58 They chose, in some foreign but friendly city, an impartial magistrate, of noble birth and unblemished character, a soldier and a statesman, recommended by the voice of fame and his country, to whom they delegated for a time the supreme administration of peace and war. The compact between the governor and the governed was sealed with oaths and subscriptions; and the duration of his power, the measure of his stipend, the nature of their mutual obligations, were defined with scrupulous precision. They swore to obey him as their lawful superior; he pledged his faith to unite the indifference of a stranger with the zeal of a patriot. At his choice, four or six knights and civilians, his assessors in arms and justice, attended the Podestà,59 who maintained at his own expense a decent retinue of servants and horses; his wife, his son, his brother, who might bias the affections of the judge, were left behind; during the exercise of his office, he was not permitted to purchase land, to contract an alliance, or even to accept an invitation in the house of a citizen; nor could he honourably depart till he had satisfied the complaints that might be urged against his government.
It was thus, about the middle of the thirteenth century, that the Romans called from Bologna the senator Brancaleone,60 whose ame and merit have been rescued from oblivion by the pen of an English historian. A just anxiety for his reputation, a clear foresight of the difficulties of the task, had engaged him to refuse the honour of their choice; the statutes of Rome were suspended, and his office prolonged to the term of three years. By the guilty and licentious he was accused as cruel; by the clergy he was suspected as partial; but the friends of peace and order applauded the firm and upright magistrate by whom those blessings were restored. No criminals were so powerful as to brave, so obscure as to elude, the justice of the senator. By his sentence, two nobles of the Annibaldi family were executed on a gibbet; and he inexorably demolished, in the city and neighbourhood, one hundred and forty towers, the strong shelters of rapine and mischief. The bishop, as a simple bishop, was compelled to reside in his diocese; and the standard of Brancaleone was displayed in the field with terror and effect. His services were repaid by the ingratitude of a people unworthy of the happiness which they enjoyed. By the public robbers, whom he had provoked for their sake, the Romans were excited to depose and imprison their benefactor; nor would his life have been spared, if Bologna had not possessed a pledge for his safety. Before his departure, the prudent senator had required the exchange of thirty hostages of the noblest families of Rome: on the news of his danger, and at the prayer of his wife, they were more strictly guarded; and Bologna, in the cause of honour, sustained the thunders of a papal interdict. This generous resistance allowed the Romans to compare the present with the past; and Brancaleone was conducted from the prison to the Capitol amidst the acclamations of a repentant people. The remainder of his government was firm and fortunate; and, as soon as envy was appeased by death, his head, enclosed in a precious vase, was deposited on a lofty column of marble.61
The impotence of reason and virtue recommended in Italy a more effectual choice: instead of a private citizen, to whom they yielded a voluntary and precarious obedience, the Romans elected for their senator some prince of independent power, who could defend them from their enemies and themselves. Charles of Anjou and Provence, the most ambitious and warlike monarch of the age, accepted at the same time the kingdom of Naples from the pope and the office of senator from the Roman people.62 As he passed through the city, in his road to victory, he received their oath of allegiance, lodged in the Lateran palace, and smoothed, in a short visit, the harsh features of his despotic character. Yet even Charles was exposed to the inconstancy of the people, who saluted with the same acclamations the passage of his rival, the unfortunate Conradin; and a powerful avenger, who reigned in the Capitol, alarmed the fears and jealousy of the popes. The absolute term of his life was superseded by a renewal every third year; and the enmity of Nicholas the Third obliged the Sicilian king to abdicate the government of Rome. In his bull, a perpetual law, the imperious pontiff asserts the truth, validity, and use of the donation of Constantine, not less essential to the peace of the city than to the independence of the church; establishes the annual election of the senator; and formally disqualifies all emperors, kings, princes, and persons of an eminent and conspicuous rank.63 This prohibitory clause was repealed in his own behalf by Martin the Fourth, who humbly solicited the suffrage of the Romans. In the presence, and by the authority, of the people, two electors conferred, not on the pope, but on the noble and faithful Martin, the dignity of senator and the supreme administration of the republic,64 to hold during his natural life, and to exercise at pleasure by himself or his deputies. About fifty years afterwards, the same title was granted to the emperor Lewis of Bavaria; and the liberty of Rome was acknowledged by her two sovereigns, who accepted a municipal office in the government of their own metropolis.
In the first moments of rebellion, when Arnold of Brescia had inflamed their minds against the church, the Romans artfully laboured to conciliate the favour of the empire, and to recommend their merit and services in the cause of Cæsar. The style of their ambassadors to Conrad the Third and Frederic the First is a mixture of flattery and pride, the tradition and ignorance of their own history.65 After some complaint of his silence and neglect, they exhort the former of these princes to pass the Alps and assume from their hands the Imperial crown. “We beseech your Majesty not to disdain the humility of your sons and vassals, not to listen to the accusations of our common enemies; who calumniate the senate as hostile to your throne, who sow the seeds of discord, that they may reap the harvest of destruction. The pope and the Sicilian are united in an impious league to oppose our liberty and your coronation. With the blessing of God, our zeal and courage has hitherto defeated their attempts. Of their powerful and factious adherents, more especially the Frangipani, we have taken by assault the houses and turrets; some of these are occupied by our troops, and some are levelled with the ground. The Milvian bridge, which they had broken, is restored and fortified for your safe passage; and your army may enter the city without being annoyed from the castle of St. Angelo. All that we have done, and all that we design, is for your honour and service, in the loyal hope that you will speedily appear in person to vindicate those rights which have been invaded by the clergy, to revive the dignity of the empire, and to surpass the fame and glory of your predecessors. May you fix your residence in Rome, the capital of the world; give laws to Italy and the Teutonic kingdom; and imitate the example of Constantine and Justinian,66 who, by the vigour of the senate and people, obtained the sceptre of the earth.”67 But these splendid and fallacious wishes were not cherished by Conrad the Franconian, whose eyes were fixed on the Holy Land, and who died without visiting Rome soon after his return from the Holy Land.
His nephew and successor, Frederic Barbarossa, was more ambitious of the Imperial crown; nor had any of the successors of Otho acquired such absolute sway over the kingdom of Italy. Surrounded by his ecclesiastical and secular princes, he gave audience in his camp at Sutri68 to the ambassadors of Rome, who thus addressed him in a free and florid oration: “Incline your ear to the queen of cities; approach with a peaceful and friendly mind the precincts of Rome, which has cast away the yoke of the clergy and is impatient to crown her legitimate emperor. Under your auspicious influence, may the primitive times be restored. Assert the prerogatives of the eternal city, and reduce under her monarchy the insolence of the world. You are not ignorant that, in former ages, by the wisdom of the senate, by the valour and discipline of the equestrian order, she extended her victorious arms to the East and West, beyond the Alps, and over the islands of the ocean. By our sins, in the absence of our princes, the noble institution of the senate has sunk in oblivion; and, with our prudence, our strength has likewise decreased. We have revived the senate and the equestrian order; the counsels of the one, the arms of the other, will be devoted to your person and the service of the empire. Do you not hear the language of the Roman matron? You were a guest, I have adopted you as a citizen; a Transalpine stranger, I have elected you for my sovereign;69 and given you myself, and all that is mine. Your first and most sacred duty is, to swear and subscribe that you will shed your blood for the republic; that you will maintain in peace and justice the laws of the city and the charters of your predecessors; and that you will reward with five thousand pounds of silver the faithful senators who shall proclaim your titles in the Capitol. With the name, assume the character, of Augustus.” The flowers of Latin rhetoric were not yet exhausted; but Frederic, impatient of their vanity, interrupted the orators in the high tone of royalty and conquest. “Famous, indeed, have been the fortitude and wisdom of the ancient Romans; but your speech is not seasoned with wisdom, and I could wish that fortitude were conspicuous in your actions. Like all sublunary things, Rome has felt the vicissitudes of time and fortune. Your noblest families were translated to the East, to the royal city of Constantine; and the remains of your strength and freedom have long since been exhausted by the Greeks and Franks. Are you desirous of beholding the ancient glory of Rome, the gravity of the senate, the spirit of the knights, the discipline of the camp, the valour of the legions? you will find them in the German republic. It is not empire, naked and alone, the ornaments and virtues of empire have likewise migrated beyond the Alps to a more deserving people;70 they will be employed in your defence, but they claim your obedience. You pretend that myself or my predecessors have been invited by the Romans: you mistake the word; they were not invited, they were implored. From its foreign and domestic tyrants, the city was rescued by Charlemagne and Otho, whose ashes repose in our country; and their dominion was the price of your deliverance. Under that dominion your ancestors lived and died. I claim by the right of inheritance and possession, and who shall dare to extort you from my hands? Is the hand of the Franks71 and Germans enfeebled by age? Am I vanquished? Am I a captive? Am I not encompassed with the banners of a potent and invincible army? You impose conditions on your master; you require oaths: if the conditions are just, an oath is superfluous; if unjust, it is criminal. Can you doubt my equity? It is extended to the meanest of my subjects. Will not my sword be unsheathed in the defence of the Capitol? By that sword the Northern kingdom of Denmark has been restored to the Roman empire. You prescribe the measure and the objects of my bounty, which flows in a copious but a voluntary stream. All will be given to patient merit; all will be denied to rude importunity.”72 Neither the emperor nor the senate could maintain these lofty pretensions of dominion and liberty. United with the pope, and suspicious of the Romans, Frederic continued his march to the Vatican: his coronation was disturbed by a sally73 from the Capitol; and, if the numbers and valour of the Germans prevailed in the bloody conflict, he could not safely encamp in the presence of a city of which he styled himself the sovereign. About twelve years afterwards he besieged Rome, to seat an antipope in the chair of St. Peter; and twelve Pisan galleys were introduced into the Tiber; but the senate and people were saved by the arts of negotiation and the progress of disease; nor did Frederic or his successors reiterate the hostile attempt. Their laborious reigns were exercised by the popes, the crusades, and the independence of Lombardy and Germany; they courted the alliance of the Romans; and Frederic the Second offered in the Capitol the great standard, the Caroccio of Milan.74 After the extinction of the house of Swabia, they were banished beyond the Alps; and their last coronations betrayed the impotence and poverty of the Teutonic Cæsars.75
Under the reign of Hadrian, when the empire extended from the Euphrates to the ocean, from Mount Atlas to the Grampian Hills, a fanciful historian76 amused the Romans with the picture of their infant wars. “There was a time,” says Florus, “when Tibur and Præneste, our summer-retreats, were the objects of hostile vows in the Capitol, when we dreaded the shades of the Arician groves, when we could triumph without a blush over the nameless villages of the Sabines and Latins, and even Corioli could afford a title not unworthy of a victorious general.” The pride of his contemporaries was gratified by the contrast of the past and the present: they would have been humbled by the prospect of futurity; by the prediction that after a thousand years Rome, despoiled of empire and contracted to her primeval limits, would renew the same hostilities on the same ground which was then decorated with her villas and gardens. The adjacent territory on either side of the Tiber was always claimed, and sometimes possessed, as the patrimony of St. Peter; but the barons assumed a lawless independence, and the cities too faithfully copied the revolt and discord of the metropolis. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries the Romans incessantly laboured to reduce or destroy the contumacious vassals of the church and senate; and, if their headstrong and selfish ambition was moderated by the pope, he often encouraged their zeal by the alliance of his spiritual arms. Their warfare was that of the first consuls and dictators, who were taken from the plough. They assembled in arms at the foot of the Capitol; sallied from the gates, plundered or burnt the harvests of their neighbours, engaged in tumultuary conflict, and returned home after an expedition of fifteen or twenty days. Their sieges were tedious and unskilful: in the use of victory, they indulged the meaner passions of jealousy and revenge; and, instead of adopting the valour, they trampled on the misfortunes, of their adversaries. The captives, in their shirts, with a rope round their necks, solicited their pardon. The fortifications and even the buildings of the rival cities were demolished, and the inhabitants were scattered in the adjacent villages. It was thus that the seats of the cardinal bishops, Porto, Ostia, Albanum, Tusculum, Præneste, and Tibur, or Tivoli, were successively overthrown by the ferocious hostility of the Romans.77 Of these,78 Porto and Ostia, the two keys of the Tiber, are still vacant and desolate: the marshy and unwholesome banks are peopled with herds of buffaloes, and the river is lost to every purpose of navigation and trade. The hills, which afford a shady retirement from the autumnal heats, have again smiled with the blessings of peace; Frascati has arisen near the ruins of Tusculum; Tibur, or Tivoli, has resumed the honours of a city;79 and the meaner towns of Albano and Palestrina are decorated with the villas of the cardinals and princes of Rome. In the work of destruction, the ambition of the Romans was often checked and repulsed by the neighbouring cities and their allies; in the first siege of Tibur, they were driven from their camp; and the battles of Tusculum80 and Viterbo81 might be compared, in their relative state, to the memorable fields of Thrasymene and Cannæ. In the first of these petty wars, thirty thousand Romans were overthrown by a thousand German horse, whom Frederic Barbarossa had detached to the relief of Tusculum; and, if we number the slain at three, the prisoners at two, thousand, we shall embrace the most authentic and moderate account. Sixty-eight years afterward, they marched against Viterbo, in the ecclesiastical state, with the whole force of the city; by a rare coalition, the Teutonic eagle was blended, in the adverse banners, with the keys of St. Peter; and the pope’s auxiliaries were commanded by a count of Toulouse and a bishop of Winchester.82 The Romans were discomfited with shame and slaughter; but the English prelate must have indulged the vanity of a pilgrim, if he multiplied their numbers to one hundred, and their loss in the field to thirty, thousand men. Had the policy of the senate and the discipline of the legions been restored with the Capitol, the divided condition of Italy would have offered the fairest opportunity of a second conquest. But in arms the modern Romans were not above, and in arts they were far below, the common level of the neighbouring republics. Nor was their warlike spirit of any long continuance; after some irregular sallies, they subsided in the national apathy, in the neglect of military institutions, and in the disgraceful and dangerous use of foreign mercenaries.
Ambition is a weed of quick and early vegetation in the vineyard of Christ. Under the first Christian princes, the chair of St. Peter was disputed by the votes, the venality, the violence, of a popular election; the sanctuaries of Rome were polluted with blood; and, from the third to the twelfth century, the church was distracted by the mischief of frequent schisms. As long as the final appeal was determined by the civil magistrate, these mischiefs were transient and local; the merits were tried by equity or favour; nor could the unsuccessful competitor long disturb the triumph of his rival. But, after the emperors had been divested of their prerogatives, after a maxim had been established that the vicar of Christ is amenable to no earthly tribunal, each vacancy of the holy see might involve Christendom in controversy and war. The claims of the cardinals and inferior clergy, of the nobles and people, were vague and litigious; the freedom of choice was over-ruled by the tumults of a city that no longer owned or obeyed a superior. On the decease of a pope, two factions proceeded, in different churches, to a double election: the number and weight of votes, the priority of time, the merit of the candidates, might balance each other; the most respectable of the clergy were divided; and the distant princes who bowed before the spiritual throne could not distinguish the spurious from the legitimate idol. The emperors were often the authors of the schism, from the political motive of opposing a friendly to an hostile pontiff; and each of the competitors was reduced to suffer the insults of his enemies, who were not awed by conscience, and to purchase the support of his adherents, who were instigated by avarice or ambition. A peaceful and perpetual succession was ascertained by Alexander the Third,83 who finally abolished the tumultuary votes of the clergy and people, and defined the right of election in the sole college of cardinals.84 The three orders of bishops, priests, and deacons were assimilated to each other by this important privilege; the parochial clergy of Rome obtained the first rank in the hierarchy: they were indifferently chosen among the nations of Christendom; and the possession of the richest benefices, of the most important bishoprics, was not incompatible with their title and office. The senators of the Catholic church, the coadjutors and legates of the supreme pontiff, were robed in purple, the symbol of martyrdom or royalty; they claimed a proud equality with kings; and their dignity was enhanced by the smallness of their number, which, till the reign of Leo the Tenth, seldom exceeded twenty or twenty-five persons. By this wise regulation all doubt and scandal were removed, and the root of schism was so effectually destroyed that in a period of six hundred years a double choice has only once divided the unity of the sacred college. But, as the concurrence of two thirds of the votes had been made necessary, the election was often delayed by the private interest and passions of the cardinals; and, while they prolonged their independent reign, the Christian world was left destitute of an head. A vacancy of almost three years had preceded the elevation of Gregory the Tenth, who resolved to prevent the future abuse; and his bull, after some opposition, has been consecrated in the code of the canon law.85 Nine days are allowed for the obsequies of the deceased pope and the arrival of the absent cardinals. On the tenth, they are imprisoned, each with one domestic, in a common apartment, or conclave, without any separation of walls or curtains; a small window is reserved for the introduction of necessaries; but the door is locked on both sides, and guarded by the magistrates of the city, to seclude them from all correspondence with the world. If the election be not consummated in three days, the luxury of their tables is contracted to a single dish at dinner and supper; and after the eighth day they were reduced to a scanty allowance of bread, water, and wine. During the vacancy of the holy see, the cardinals are prohibited from touching the revenues, or assuming, unless in some rare emergency, the government of the church; all agreements and promises among the electors are formally annulled; and their integrity is fortified by their solemn oaths and the prayers of the Catholics. Some articles of inconvenient or superfluous rigour have been gradually relaxed, but the principle of confinement is vigorous and entire: they are still urged by the personal motives of health and freedom to accelerate the moment of their deliverance; and the improvement of ballot, or secret votes, has wrapt the struggles of the conclave86 in the silky veil of charity and politeness.87 By these institutions the Romans were excluded from the election of their prince and bishop; and in the fever of wild and precarious liberty they seemed insensible of the loss of this inestimable privilege. The emperor Lewis of Bavaria revived the example of the great Otho. After some negotiation with the magistrates, the Roman people was assembled88 in the square before St. Peter’s; the pope of Avignon, John the Twenty-second, was deposed; the choice of his successor was ratified by their consent and applause. They freely voted for a new law, that their bishop should never be absent more than three months in the year and two days’ journey from the city; and that, if he neglected to return on the third summons, the public servant should be degraded and dismissed.89 But Lewis forgot his own debility and the prejudices of the times: beyond the precincts of a German camp, his useless phantom was rejected; the Romans despised their own workmanship; the anti-pope implored the mercy of his lawful sovereign;90 and the exclusive right of the cardinals was more firmly established by this unseasonable attack.
Had the election been always held in the Vatican, the rights of the senate and people would not have been violated with impunity. But the Romans forgot, and were forgotten, in the absence of the successors of Gregory the Seventh, who did not keep, as a divine precept, their ordinary residence in the city and diocese. The care of that diocese was less important than the government of the universal church; nor could the popes delight in a city in which their authority was always opposed and their person was often endangered. From the persecution of the emperors and the wars of Italy, they escaped beyond the Alps into the hospitable bosom of France; from the tumults of Rome they prudently withdrew to live and die in the more tranquil stations of Anagni, Perugia, Viterbo, and the adjacent cities. When the flock was offended or impoverished by the absence of the shepherd, they were recalled by a stern admonition that St. Peter had fixed his chair, not in an obscure village, but in the capital of the world; by a ferocious menace that the Romans would march in arms to destroy the place and people that should dare to afford them a retreat. They returned with timorous obedience; and were saluted with the account of an heavy debt, of all the losses which their desertion had occasioned, the hire of lodgings, the sale of provisions, and the various expenses of servants and strangers who attended the court.91 After a short interval of peace, and perhaps of authority, they were again banished by new tumults, and again summoned by the imperious or respectful invitation of the senate. In these occasional retreats, the exiles and fugitives of the Vatican were seldom long or far distant from the metropolis; but in the beginning of the fourteenth century, the apostolic throne was transported, as it might seem, for ever, from the Tiber to the Rhône; and the cause of the transmigration may be deduced from the furious contest between Boniface the Eighth and the king of France.92 The spiritual arms of excommunication and interdict were repulsed by the union of the three estates and the privileges of the Gallican church; but the pope was not prepared against the carnal weapons which Philip the Fair had courage to employ. As the pope resided at Anagni, without the suspicion of danger, his palace and person were assaulted by three hundred horse, who had been secretly levied by William of Nogaret, a French minister, and Sciarra Colonna, of a noble but hostile family of Rome. The cardinals fled; the inhabitants of Anagni were seduced from their allegiance and gratitude; but the dauntless Boniface, unarmed and alone, seated himself in his chair, and awaited, like the conscript fathers of old, the swords of the Gauls. Nogaret, a foreign adversary, was content to execute the orders of his master: by the domestic enmity of Colonna, he was insulted with words and blows; and during a confinement of three days his life was threatened by the hardships which they inflicted on the obstinacy which they provoked. Their strange delay gave time and courage to the adherents of the church, who rescued him from sacrilegious violence; but his imperious soul was wounded in a vital part; and Boniface expired at Rome in a frenzy of rage and revenge. His memory is stained with the glaring vices of avarice and pride; nor has the courage of a martyr promoted this ecclesiastical champion to the honours of a saint: a magnanimous sinner (say the chronicles of the times), who entered like a fox, reigned like a lion, and died like a dog. He was succeeded by Benedict the Eleventh, the mildest of mankind. Yet he excommunicated the impious emissaries of Philip, and devoted the city and people of Anagni by a tremendous curse, whose effects are still visible to the eyes of superstition.93
After his decease, the tedious and equal suspense of the conclave was fixed by the dexterity of the French faction. A specious offer was made and accepted, that, in the term of forty days, they would elect one of the three candidates who should be named by their opponents. The archbishop of Bordeaux, a furious enemy of his king and country, was the first on the list; but his ambition was known; and his conscience obeyed the calls of fortune and the commands of a benefactor, who had been informed by a swift messenger that the choice of a pope was now in his hands. The terms were regulated in a private interview; and with such speed and secrecy was the business transacted that the unanimous conclave applauded the elevation of Clement the Fifth.94 The cardinals of both parties were soon astonished by a summons to attend him beyond the Alps; from whence, as they soon discovered, they must never hope to return. He was engaged, by promise and affection, to prefer the residence of France; and, after dragging his court through Poitou and Gascony, and devouring, by his expense, the cities and convents on the road, he finally reposed at Avignon,95 which flourished above seventy years96 the seat of the Roman pontiff and the metropolis of Christendom. By land, by sea, by the Rhône, the position of Avignon was on all sides accessible; the southern provinces of France do not yield to Italy itself; new palaces arose for the accommodation of the pope and cardinals; and the arts of luxury were soon attracted by the treasures of the church. They were already possessed of the adjacent territory, the Venaissin county,97 a populous and fertile spot; and the sovereignty of Avignon was afterwards purchased from the youth and distress of Jane, the first queen of Naples, and countess of Provence, for the inadequate price of fourscore thousand florins.98 Under the shadow of the French monarchy, amidst an obedient people, the popes enjoyed an honourable and tranquil state, to which they long had been strangers; but Italy deplored their absence; and Rome, in solitude and poverty, might repent of the ungovernable freedom which had driven from the Vatican the successor of St. Peter. Her repentance was tardy and fruitless; after the death of the old members, the sacred college was filled with French cardinals,99 who beheld Rome and Italy with abhorrence and contempt, and perpetuated a series of national and even provincial popes, attached by the most indissoluble ties to their native country.
The progress of industry had produced and enriched the Italian republics: the era of their liberty is the most flourishing period of population and agriculture, of manufactures and commerce; and their mechanic labours were gradually refined into the arts of elegance and genius. But the position of Rome was less favourable, the territory less fruitful; the character of the inhabitants was debased by indolence, and elated by pride; and they fondly conceived that the tribute of subjects must for ever nourish the metropolis of the church and empire. This prejudice was encouraged in some degree by the resort of pilgrims to the shrines of the apostles; and the last legacy of the popes, the institution of the holy year,100 was not less beneficial to the people than to the clergy. Since the loss of Palestine, the gift of plenary indulgences, which had been applied to the crusades, remained without an object; and the most valuable treasure of the church was sequestered above eight years from public circulation. A new channel was opened by the diligence of Boniface the Eighth, who reconciled the vices of ambition and avarice; and the pope had sufficient learning to recollect and revive the secular games, which were celebrated in Rome at the conclusion of every century. To sound, without danger, the depth of popular credulity, a sermon was seasonably pronounced, a report was artfully scattered, some aged witnesses were produced; and on the first of January of the year thirteen hundred the church of St. Peter was crowded with the faithful, who demanded the customary indulgence of the holy time. The pontiff, who watched and irritated their devout impatience, was soon persuaded, by ancient testimony, of the justice of their claim; and he proclaimed a plenary absolution to all Catholics who, in the course of that year, and at every similar period, should respectfully visit the apostolic churches of St. Peter and St. Paul. The welcome sound was propagated through Christendom; and at first from the nearest provinces of Italy, and at length from the remote kingdoms of Hungary and Britain, the highways were thronged with a swarm of pilgrims who sought to expiate their sins in a journey, however costly or laborious, which was exempt from the perils of military service. All exceptions of rank or sex, of age or infirmity, were forgotten in the common transport; and in the streets and churches many persons were trampled to death by the eagerness of devotion.101 The calculation of their numbers could not be easy nor accurate; and they have probably been magnified by a dexterous clergy, well apprised of the contagion of example; yet we are assured by a judicious historian, who assisted at the ceremony, that Rome was never replenished with less than two hundred thousand strangers; and another spectator has fixed at two millions the total concourse of the year. A trifling oblation from each individual would accumulate a royal treasure; and two priests stood night and day, with rakes in their hands, to collect, without counting, the heaps of gold and silver that were poured on the altar of St. Paul.102 It was fortunately a season of peace and plenty; and, if forage was scarce, if inns and lodgings were extravagantly dear, an inexhaustible supply of bread and wine, of meat and fish, was provided by the policy of Boniface and the venal hospitality of the Romans. From a city without trade or industry, all casual riches will speedily evaporate; but the avarice and envy of the next generation solicited Clement the Sixth103 to anticipate the distant period of the century. The gracious pontiff complied with their wishes; afforded Rome this poor consolation for his loss; and justified the change by the name and practice of the Mosaic Jubilee.104 His summons was obeyed; and the number, zeal, and liberality of the pilgrims did not yield to the primitive festival. But they encountered the triple scourge of war, pestilence, and famine;105 many wives and virgins were violated in the castles of Italy; and many strangers were pillaged or murdered by the savage Romans, no longer moderated by the presence of their bishop.106 To the impatience of the popes we may ascribe the successive reduction to fifty, thirty-three, and twenty-five years; although the second of these terms is commensurate with the life of Christ. The profusion of indulgences, the revolt of the Protestants, and the decline of superstition have much diminished the value of the jubilee; yet even the nineteenth and last festival was a year of pleasure and profit to the Romans; and a philosophic smile will not disturb the triumph of the priest or the happiness of the people.107
In the beginning of the eleventh century, Italy was exposed to the feudal tyranny, alike oppressive to the sovereign and the people. The rights of human nature were vindicated by her numerous republics, who soon extended their liberty and dominion from the city to the adjacent country. The sword of the nobles was broken; their slaves were enfranchised; their castles were demolished; they assumed the habits of society and obedience; their ambition was confined to municipal honours, and in the proudest aristocracy of Venice or Genoa each patrician was subject to the laws.108 But the feeble and disorderly government of Rome was unequal to the task of curbing her rebellious sons, who scorned the authority of the magistrate within and without the walls. It was no longer a civil contention between the nobles and the plebeians for the government of the state; the barons asserted in arms their personal independence; their palaces and castles were fortified against a siege; and their private quarrels were maintained by the numbers of their vassals and retainers. In origin and affection, they were aliens to their country;109 and a genuine Roman, could such have been produced, might have renounced these haughty strangers, who disdained the appellation of citizens and proudly styled themselves the princes of Rome.110 After a dark series of revolutions, all records of pedigree were lost; the distinction of surnames was abolished; the blood of the nations was mingled in a thousand channels; and the Goths and Lombards, the Greeks and Franks, the Germans and Normans, had obtained the fairest possessions by royal bounty or the prerogative of valour. These examples might be readily presumed; but the elevation of an Hebrew race to the rank of senators and consuls is an event without a parallel in the long captivity of these miserable exiles.111 In the time of Leo the Ninth, a wealthy and learned Jew was converted to Christianity, and honoured at his baptism with the name of his godfather, the reigning pope. The zeal and courage of Peter, the son of Leo, were signalised in the cause of Gregory the Seventh, who entrusted his faithful adherent with the government of Hadrian’s mole, the tower of Crescentius, or, as it is now called, the castle of St. Angelo. Both the father and the son were the parents of a numerous progeny; their riches, the fruits of usury, were shared with the noblest families of the city; and so extensive was their alliance that the grandson of the proselyte was exalted, by the weight of his kindred, to the throne of St. Peter. A majority of the clergy and people supported his cause; he reigned several years in the Vatican; and it is only the eloquence of St. Bernard, and the final triumph of Innocent the Second, that has branded Anacletus with the epithet of antipope. After his defeat and death, the posterity of Leo is no longer conspicuous; and none will be found of the modern nobles ambitious of descending from a Jewish stock. It is not my design to enumerate the Roman families which have failed at different periods, or those which are continued in different degrees of splendour to the present time.112 The old consular line of the Frangipani discover their name in the generous act of breaking or dividing bread in a time of famine; and such benevolence is more truly glorious than to have enclosed, with their allies the Corsi, a spacious quarter of the city in the chains of their fortifications; the Savelli, as it should seem a Sabine race, have maintained their original dignity;113 the obsolete surname of the Capizucchi is inscribed on the coins of the first senators; the Conti preserve the honour, without the estate, of the counts of Signia;114 and the Annibaldi must have been very ignorant, or very modest, if they had not descended from the Carthaginian hero.115
But among, perhaps above, the peers and princes of the city, I distinguish the rival houses of Colonna and Ursini, whose private story is an essential part of the annals of modern Rome. I. The name and arms of Colonna116 have been the theme of much doubtful etymology; nor have the orators and antiquarians overlooked either Trajan’s pillar, or the columns of Hercules, or the pillar of Christ’s flagellation, or the luminous column that guided the Israelites in the desert. Their first historical appearance in the year eleven hundred and four attests the power and antiquity, while it explains the simple meaning, of the name. By the usurpation of Cavæ, the Colonna provoked the arms of Paschal the Second; but they lawfully held in the Campagna of Rome the hereditary fiefs of Zagarola and Colonna; and the latter of these towns was probably adorned with some lofty pillar, the relic of a villa or temple.117 They likewise possessed one moiety of the neighbouring city of Tusculum: a strong presumption of their descent from the counts of Tusculum, who in the tenth century were the tyrants of the apostolic see. According to their own and the public opinion, the primitive and remote source was derived from the banks of the Rhine;118 and the sovereigns of Germany were not ashamed of a real or fabulous affinity with a noble race, which in the revolutions of seven hundred years has been often illustrated by merit and always by fortune.119 About the end of the thirteenth century, the most powerful branch was composed of an uncle and six brothers, all conspicuous in arms or in the honours of the church. Of these, Peter was elected senator of Rome, introduced to the Capitol in a triumphant car, and hailed in some vain acclamations with the title of Cæsar, while John and Stephen were declared Marquis of Ancona and Count of Romagna, by Nicholas the Fourth, a patron so partial to their family that he has been delineated in satirical portraits imprisoned as it were in a hollow pillar.120 After his decease, their haughty behaviour provoked the displeasure of the most implacable of mankind. The two cardinals, the uncle and the nephew, denied the election of Boniface the Eighth; and the Colonna were oppressed for a moment by his temporal and spiritual arms.121 He proclaimed a crusade against his personal enemies: their estates were confiscated; their fortresses on either side of the Tiber were besieged by the troops of St. Peter and those of the rival nobles; and after the ruin of Palestrina or Præneste, their principal seat, the ground was marked with a ploughshare, the emblem of perpetual desolation. Degraded, banished, proscribed, the six brothers, in disguise and danger, wandered over Europe without renouncing the hope of deliverance and revenge. In this double hope, the French court was their surest asylum: they prompted and directed the enterprise of Philip; and I should praise their magnanimity, had they respected the fortune and courage of the captive tyrant. His civil acts were annulled by the Roman people, who restored the honours and possessions of the Colonna; and some estimate may be formed of their wealth by their losses, of their losses by the damages of one hundred thousand gold florins, which were granted them against the accomplices and heirs of the deceased pope. All the spiritual censures and disqualifications were abolished122 by his prudent successors; and the fortune of the house was more firmly established by this transient hurricane. The boldness of Sciarra Colonna was signalised in the captivity of Boniface, and long afterwards in the coronation of Lewis of Bavaria; and by the gratitude of the emperor the pillar in their arms was encircled with a royal crown. But the first of the family in fame and merit was the elder Stephen, whom Petrarch loved and esteemed as an hero superior to his own times and not unworthy of ancient Rome. Persecution and exile displayed to the nations his abilities in peace and war; in his distress he was an object, not of pity, but of reverence; the aspect of danger provoked him to avow his name and country; and when he was asked, “Where is now your fortress?” he laid his hand on his heart, and answered, “Here.” He supported with the same virtue the return of prosperity; and, till the ruin of his declining age, the ancestors, the character, and the children of Stephen Colonna, exalted his dignity in the Roman republic, and at the court of Avignon. II. The Ursini migrated from Spoleto:123 the sons of Ursus, as they are styled in the twelfth century, from some eminent person who is only known as the father of their race. But they were soon distinguished among the nobles of Rome, by the number and bravery of their kinsmen, the strength of their towers, the honours of the senate and sacred college, and the elevation of two popes, Celestin the Third and Nicholas the Third, of their name and lineage.124 Their riches may be accused as an early abuse of nepotism; the estates of St. Peter were alienated in their favour by the liberal Celestin;125 and Nicholas was ambitious for their sake to solicit the alliance of monarchs; to found new kingdoms in Lombardy and Tuscany; and to invest them with the perpetual office of senators of Rome. All that has been observed of the greatness of the Colonna will likewise redound to the glory of the Ursini, their constant and equal antagonists in the long hereditary feud which distracted above two hundred and fifty years the ecclesiastical state. The jealousy of pre-eminence and power was the true ground of their quarrel; but, as a specious badge of distinction, the Colonna embraced the name of Ghibelines and the party of the empire; the Ursini espoused the title of Guelphs and the cause of the church. The eagle and the keys were displayed in their adverse banners; and the two factions of Italy most furiously raged when the origin and nature of the dispute were long since forgotten.126 After the retreat of the popes to Avignon, they disputed in arms the vacant republic; and the mischiefs of discord were perpetuated by the wretched compromise of electing each year two rival senators. By their private hostilities, the city and country were desolated, and the fluctuating balance inclined with their alternate success. But none of either family had fallen by the sword, till the most renowned champion of the Ursini was surprised and slain by the younger Stephen Colonna.127 His triumph is stained with the reproach of violating the truce; their defeat was basely avenged by the assassination, before the church-door, of an innocent boy and his two servants. Yet the victorious Colonna, with an annual colleague, was declared senator of Rome during the term of five years. And the muse of Petrarch inspired a wish, a hope, a prediction, that the generous youth, the son of his venerable hero, would restore Rome and Italy to their pristine glory; that his justice would extirpate the wolves and lions, the serpents and bears, who laboured to subvert the eternal basis of the marble column.128
[1 ][But no longer, as the Roman empire ceased to exist in 1806 (August) when Francis II. resigned the Imperial Crown. He had taken the new title of Emperor of Austria in 1804.]
[2 ]The Abbé Dubos, who, with less genius than his successor Montesquieu, has asserted and magnified the influence of climate, objects to himself the degeneracy of the Romans and Batavians. To the first of these examples he replies, 1. That the change is less real than apparent, and that the modern Romans prudently conceal in themselves the virtues of their ancestors. 2. That the air, the soil, and the climate of Rome have suffered a great and visible alteration (Réflexions sur la Poésie et sur la Peinture, part ii. sect. 16). [The chief work now on the subject of this and the two following chapters is Gregorovius, Geschichte der Stadt Rom in Mittelalter, which has been excellently translated into English by Mrs. Hamilton.]
[3 ]The reader has been so long absent from Rome, that I would advise him to recollect or review the 49th chapter, in the viiith volume of this history.
[4 ]The coronation of the German Emperors at Rome, more especially in the xith century, is best represented from the original monuments by Muratori (Antiquitat. Italiæ medii Ævi, tom. i. dissertat. ii. p. 99, &c.) and Cenni (Monument. Domin. Pontif., tom. ii. diss. vi. p. 261), the latter of whom I only know from the copious extract of Schmidt (Hist. des Allemands, tom. iii. p. 255-266). [Cenni quotes the Ordo coronationis given by Cencius Camerarius, which critics variously refer to Henry III. and Henry VI. See Waitz, Die Formeln der deutschen Königs- und der römischen Kaiserkrönung vom 10ten bis 12ten Jahrhundert (in the Abhandlungen of the Göttingen Gesellschaft der Wiss., 1873, No. 18); and Schwarzer, Die Ordines der Kaiserkrönung (in Forschungen zur deutschen Geschichte, xxii. 161 sqq., 1882). The coronations of the 9th century have been treated by W. Sickel in his article on Die Kaiserkrönungen von Karl bis Berengar, in the Historische Zeitschrift, N. F. xlvi. 1 sqq.]
[5 ][The emperor “first took an oath to the Romans at the little bridge on the Neronian field faithfully to observe the rights and usages of the city. On the day of the coronation he made his entrance through the Porta Castella close to St. Angelo and here repeated the oath. The clergy and the corporations of Rome greeted him at the church of St. Maria Traspontina on a legendary site called the Terebinthus of Nero” (Gregorovius, op. cit., Eng. Tr., iv. 59).]
[6 ][It may be noted that Henry V., crowned at St. Peter’s 1111, 13th April, was the first emperor crowned at Rome who was not crowned in the city.]
[7 ][The interesting ceremony at St. Peter’s — as it was performed in the 12th century at all events — deserves more particular notice. Gregorovius thus describes it (ib. p. 59, 60): Having arrived at the steps, the king dismounted and “stooped to kiss the pope’s foot, tendered the oath to be an upright protector of the Church, and was adopted by him as the son of the Church. With solemn song both king and pope entered the Church of St. Maria in Turri beside the steps of St. Peter’s, and here the king was formally made Canon of the Cathedral. He then advanced, conducted by the Lateran Count of the Palace and by the Primicerius of the Judges to the silver door of the cathedral, where he prayed and the Bishop of Albano delivered the first oration. Innumerable mystic ceremonies awaited the king in St. Peter’s itself. Here a short way from the entrance was the Rota Porphyretica, a round porphyry stone inserted in the pavement, on which the king and pope knelt. The Imperial candidate here made his Confession of Faith, the Cardinal-bishop of Portus placed himself in the middle of the Rota and pronounced the second oration. The king was then draped in new vestments, was made a cleric in the sacristy by the pope, was clad with a tunic, dalmatica, pluviale, mitre and sandals, and was then led to the altar of St. Maurice, whither his wife, after similar but less fatiguing ceremonies, accompanied him. The Bishop of Ostia here anointed the king on the right arm and the neck and delivered the third oration.” After this followed the chief ceremony. The pope placed a ring on the king’s finger, girt him with a sword, and placed the crown on his head. Then the emperor, having taken off these symbols, “ministered to the pope as subdeacon at mass. The Count Palatine afterwards removed the sandals and put the red Imperial boots with the spurs of St. Maurice upon him.”]
[8 ]Exercitui Romano et Teutonico! The latter was both seen and felt; but the former was no more than magni nominis umbra.
[9 ]Muratori has given the series of the papal coins (Antiquitat. tom. ii. diss. xxvii. p. 548-554). He finds only two more early than the year 800; fifty are still extant from Leo III. to Leo IX. with the addition of the reigning emperor; none remain of Gregory VII. or Urban II.; but in those of Paschal II. he seems to have renounced this badge of dependence. [There are no Papal denarii between Benedict VII. (ob. 984) and Leo IX. But, as Gregorovius observes (op. cit. iv. p. 78 note), this is an accident, for coins must have been struck. In the 11th century we have one coin of Leo IX. and one of Paschal II. The interval between Paschal and Benedict XI. (ob. 1304) is filled by the coinage of the Senate; but, after the installation of the Senate, “solidi Papae” (sous of the Pope) are still spoken of. See Gregorovius, ib. p. 498.]
[10 ]See Ducange, Gloss. mediæ et infimæ Latinitat. tom. vi. p. 364, 365, Staffa. This homage was paid by kings to archbishops, and by vassals to their lords (Schmidt, tom. iii. p. 262); and it was the nicest policy of Rome to confound the marks of filial and of feudal subjection.
[11 ]The appeals from all the churches to the Roman Pontiff are deplored by the zeal of St. Bernard (de Consideratione, l. iii. tom. ii. p. 431-442, edit. Mabillon, Venet. 1750), and the judgment of Fleury (Discours sur l’Hist. Ecclésiastique, iv. and vii.). But the saint, who believed in the false decretals, condemns only the abuse of these appeals; the more enlightened historian investigates the origin, and rejects the principles, of this new jurisprudence.
[12 ]Germanici . . . summarii non levatis sarcinis onusti nihilominus repatriant inviti. Nova res! quando hâctenus aurum Roma refudit? Et nunc Romanorum consilio id usurpatum non credimus (Bernard, de Consideratione, l. iii. c. 3, p. 437). The first words of the passage are obscure, and probably corrupt.
[13 ]Quand les sauvages de la Louisiane veulent avoir du fruit, ils coupent l’arbre au pied et cueillent le fruit. Voilà le gouvernement despotique (Esprit des Loix, l. v. c. 13); and passion and ignorance are always despotic.
[14 ]In a free conversation with his countryman Adrian IV., John of Salisbury accuses the avarice of the pope and clergy: Provinciarum deripiunt spolia, ac si thesauros Crœsi studeant reparare. Sed recte cum eis agit Altissimus, quoniam et ipsi altis et sæpe vilissimis hominibus dati sunt in direptionem (de Nugis Curialium, l. vi. c. 24, p. 387). In the next page, he blames the rashness and infidelity of the Romans, whom their bishops vainly strove to conciliate by gifts instead of virtues. It is pity that this miscellaneous writer has not given us less morality and erudition, and more pictures of himself and the times.
[15 ]Hume’s History of England, vol. i. p. 419. The same writer has given us, from Fitz Stephen, a singular act of cruelty perpetrated on the clergy by Geoffrey, the father of Henry II. “When he was master of Normandy, the chapter of Seez presumed, without his consent, to proceed to the election of a bishop; upon which, he ordered all of them, with the bishop elect, to be castrated, and made all their testicles be brought him in a platter.” Of the pain and danger they might justly complain; yet, since they had vowed chastity, he deprived them of a superfluous treasure.
[16 ]From Leo IX. and Gregory VII. an authentic and contemporary series of the lives of the Popes, by the Cardinal of Arragon [Nicolò Roselli (ob. 1362)], Pandulphus Pisanus, Bernard Guido, &c. is inserted in the Italian historians of Muratori (tom. iii. p. i. p. 277-685), and has been always before my eyes. [This collection of Lives, printed by Muratori under the false title of the Cardinal of Aragon, is contained in the Liber Censuum sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae (which is noticed above, vol. x. p. 100, note 54). The Lives were also published, as Acta Vaticana, by Baronius in his Annales ecclesiastici (scattered about under the various years); and his text is said to be better than that of Muratori. There is a new edition of the Liber Censuum (put together 1192 by Cencius Camerarius) by P. Fabre. On the whole subject cp. Fabre’s Etude sur le Liber censuum de l’église romaine, 1892.]
[17 ]The dates of years . . . may, throughout this chapter, be understood as tacit references to the Annals of Muratori, my ordinary and excellent guide. He uses, and indeed quotes, with the freedom of a master, his great Collection of the Italian Historians, in xxviii. volumes; and, as that treasure is in my library, I have thought it an amusement, if not a duty, to consult the originals.
[18 ][The magistrate meant is the Prefect of the City (cp. below, p. 89), the criminal judge of Rome. His election often caused party conflicts. Paschal wished a son of Pierleone to be chosen, and the riot was marked by an attack on the fortress of the Pierleoni near the theatre of Marcellus.]
[19 ]I cannot refrain from transcribing the high-coloured words of Pandulphus Pisanus (p. 384): Hoc audiens inimicus pacis atque turbator jam fatus Centius Frajapane, more draconis immanissimi sibilans, et ab imis pectoribus trahens longa suspiria, accinctus retro gladio sine more cucurrit, valvas ac fores confregit. Ecclesiam furibundus introiit, inde custode remoto papam per gulam accepit, distraxit, pugnis calcibusque percussit, et tanquam brutum animal intra limen ecclesiæ acriter calcaribus cruentavit; et latro tantum dominum per capillos et brachia, Jesu bono interim dormiente, detraxit, ad domum usque deduxit, inibi catenavit et inclusit.
[20 ]Ego coram Deo et Ecclesiâ dico, si unquam possibile esset, mallem unum imperatorem quam tot dominos (Vit. Gelas. II. p. 398). [Henry V., called in by the Frangipani, appeared in Rome on 11th March, 1119. Gelasius escaped to Gaeta. Gregorovius appropriately observes that “the flight to Gaeta was repeated 729 years later in the history of Pius IX” (iv. 383).]
[21 ][Godfrey of Viterbo, in Muratori vii. p. 461.]
[22 ][The sources for this outrage on Lucius III. (who finally sought the emperor’s protection at Verona, where he died) are: Sigebertus Gemblacensis, Auctarium Aquicinense, ad ann. 1184 (Bethmann’s ed. of Sigibert in the Monum. Germ. Hist. vi. p. 300 sqq. has superseded all others); Albertus Stadensis (= Annales Stadenses, in Mon. Germ. Hist. xvi.) 1183.]
[23 ][As Gregorovius puts it (iv. 609): “The spirit of Arnold still survived in Rome, and each Pope was obliged to win toleration for himself or else to live in exile.”]
[24 ][Calixtus also forbade the fortification of churches. See Mansi, Concilia xxi. 285. He restored the Lateran.]
[25 ]Quid tam notum seculis quam protervia et cervicositas Romanorum? Gens insueta paci, tumultui assueta, gens immitis et intractabilis usque adhuc, subdi nescia, nisi cum non valet resistere (de Considerat. l. iv. c. 2, p. 441). The saint takes breath, and then begins again: Hi, invisi terræ et cælo, utrique injecere manus, &c. (p. 443).
[26 ]As a Roman citizen, Petrarch takes leave to observe that Bernard, though a saint, was a man; that he might be provoked by resentment, and possibly repent of his hasty passion, &c. (Mémoires sur la Vie de Pétrarque, tom. i. p. 330).
[27 ]Baronius, in his index to the xiith volume of his Annals, has found a fair and easy excuse. He makes two heads, of Romani Catholici and Schismatici; to the former, he applies all the good, to the latter all the evil, that is told of the city.
[28 ]The heresies of the xiith century may be found in Mosheim (Institut. Hist. Eccles. p. 419-427), who entertains a favourable opinion of Arnold of Brescia. In the 6th volume, I have described the sect of the Paulicians, and followed their migration from Armenia to Thrace and Bulgaria, Italy and France.
[29 ]The original pictures of Arnold of Brescia are drawn by Otho bishop of Frisingen (Chron. l. vii. c. 31, de Gestis Frederici I. l. i. c. 27, l. ii. c. 21), and in l. iii. of the Ligurinus [composed in 1186-7], a poem of Gunther, who flourished 1200, in the monastery of Paris [not Paris, but Päris, in Elsass], near Basil (Fabric. Bibliot. Latin. med. et infimæ Ætatis, tom. iii. p 174, 175). The long passage that relates to Arnold, is produced by Guilliman (de Rebus Helveticis, l. iii. c. 5, p. 108). [Gibbon does not seem to know of the attack made on the genuineness of the poem “Ligurinus” by Senckenberg in his Parerga Gottingensia, i. (1737). Up to the year 1871, the orthodox view of critics was that the work was a forgery. But the authorship of Gunther was proved by Pannenborg in the Forschungen zur deutschen Geschichte, xi. p. 163 sqq. (1871). Cp. his Programm “Der Verfasser des Ligurinus,” 1883. There is a German translation of the poem by T. Vulpinus, 1889. On Arnold of Brescia, see Giesebrecht’s monograph, Arnold von Brescia.]
[30 ]The wicked wit of Bayle was amused in composing, with much levity and learning, the articles of Abélard, Foulques, Heloise, in his Dictionnaire Critique. The dispute of Abelard and St. Bernard, of scholastic and positive divinity, is well understood by Mosheim (Institut. Hist. Eccles. p. 412-415).
We may applaud the dexterity and correctness of Ligurinus, who turns the unpoetical name of Innocent II. into a compliment. [For the acts of the Lateran Council see Mansi, Concil. xxi. p. 523 sqq.]
[32 ]A Roman inscription of Statio Turicensis has been found at Zurich (d’Anville, Notice de l’ancienne Gaule, p. 642-644); but it is without sufficient warrant that the city and canton have usurped and even monopolised the names of Tigurum and Pagus Tigurinus. [See Otto of Freisingen, Gesta Frederici, ii. 29.]
[33 ]Guilliman (de Rebus Helveticis, l. iii. c. 5, p. 106) recapitulates the donation ( 833) of the emperor Lewis the Pious to his daughter the abbess Hildegardis. Curtim nostram Turegum in ducatu Alamanniæ in pago Durgaugensi, with villages, woods, meadows, waters, slaves, churches, &c., a noble gift. Charles the Bold gave the jus monetæ, the city was walled under Otho I., and the line of the bishop of Frisingen,
[34 ]Bernard, epistol. cxcv. cxcvi. tom. i. p. 187-190. Amidst his invectives, he drops a precious acknowledgment, qui utinam quam sanæ esset doctrinæ quam districtæ est vitæ. He owns that Arnold would be a valuable acquisition for the church. [Bernard himself — though he opposed Arnold as a heretic — strongly condemned the temporal dominion of the Pope, in his De Consideratione. He observes, for instance: nemo militans Deo implicet se negotiis secularibus. Cp. Gregorovius, op. cit. iv. p. 483-4.]
[35 ]He advised the Romans,
Nor is the poetry of Gunther different from the prose of Otho.
[36 ]See Baronius ( 1148, No. 38, 39) from the Vatican MSS. He loudly condemns Arnold ( 1141, No. 3) as the father of the political heretics whose influence then hurt him in France.
[37 ]The English reader may consult the Biographia Britannica, Adrian IV., but our own writers have added nothing to the fame or merits of their countryman.
[38 ][The meeting was close to Nepi. See Muratori, Antiq. Ital. i. 117.]
[39 ]Besides the historian and poet already quoted, the last adventures of Arnold are related by the biographer of Adrian IV. (Muratori, Script. Rerum Ital. tom. iii. p. i. p. 441, 442). [The circumstances of the death of Arnold of Brescia are dark; it happened near Soracte, not in the city. Cp. Gregorovius, op. cit. p. 544. A new and important source was discovered not many years ago — an anonymous Latin poem entitled Gesta Friderici imperatoris in Italia, describing the Lombard wars of Frederick Barbarossa up to the battle of Carcano in 1160. (It has been proposed to ascribe the authorship to Thadeus de Roma.) It was published in 1887 (Gesta di Federico I. in Italia) by E. Monaci, as vol. i. of the Fonti per la storia d’Italia. But the passage relating to Arnold of Brescia was printed in 1878 in vol. i. of the Archivio della Società Romana di storia patria.]
[40 ]Ducange (Gloss. Latinitatis mediæ et infimæ Ætatis, Decarchones, tom. ii. p. 726) gives me a quotation from Blondus (decad. ii. l. ii.): Duo consules ex nobilitate quotannis fiebant, qui ad vetustum consulum exemplar summæ rerum præessent. And in Sigonius (de Regno Italiæ, l. vi. Opp. tom. ii. p. 400) I read of the consuls and tribunes of the xth century. Both Blondus, and even Sigonius, too freely copied the classic method of supplying from reason or fancy the deficiency of records.
[41 ]In the panegyric of Berengarius (Muratori, Script. Rer. Ital. tom. ii. p. i. p. 408), a Roman is mentioned as consulis natus in the beginning of the xth century. Muratori (dissert. v.) discovers, in the years 952 and 956, Gratianus in Dei nomine consul et dux, Georgius consul et dux; and in 1015, Romanus, brother of Gregory VIII., proudly, but vaguely, styles himself consul et dux et omnium Romanorum senator. [No such body as a Senate existed at Rome from the 8th to the 12th century; and the word Senatus frequently occurring not only in chronicles but even in Acts of Councils signifies merely the Roman nobility. For example Benzo describes a meeting of the adherents of the Imperial party in 1062 as an “assembly of the Senate.” Thus senator meant a noble. But it was sometimes assumed as a title in a more pregnant sense, implying municipal authority, as when Alberic styled himself omnium Romanorum Senator; and his father-in-law Theophylactus had already borne the title Consul or Senator of the Romans, and the son of Theophylactus was called Son of the Consul, and his wife Theodora the Senatrix. Compare Gregorovius op. cit. iii. p. 293-5. Though there is no reason to suppose that the Romans elected consuls annually in this age (10th century), it seems that “a Consul of the Romans was elected as Princeps of the nobility from its midst; confirmed by the Pope; and placed as a Patricius at the head of the jurisdiction and administration of the city.” Gregorovius, ib. p. 253. The Counts of Tusculum used to style themselves Consuls and Senators of the Romans. Gregorovius, iv. p. 138.]
[42 ]As late as the xth century, the Greek emperors conferred on the dukes of Venice, Naples, Amalfi, &c. the title of ὕπατος, or consuls (see Chron. Sagornini, passim); and the successors of Charlemagne would not abdicate any of their prerogatives. But, in general, the names of consul and senator, which may be found among the French and Germans, signify no more than count or lord (Signeur, Ducange, Glossar.). The monkish writers are often ambitious of fine classic words. [The title consul was borne in the 12th century, denoting the judiciary and ruling magistracy. Cp. Gregorovius, op. cit. iv. 459.]
[43 ]The most constitutional form is a diploma of Otho III. ( 998), Consulibus senatus populique Romani; but the act is probably spurious. At the coronation of Henry I. 1014, the historian Dithmar (apud Muratori, Dissert. xxiii.) describes him, a senatoribus duodecim vallatum, quorum sex rasi barbâ alii prolixâ mystice incedebant cum baculis. The senate is mentioned in the panegyric of Berengarius (p. 406).
[44 ][Just before this revolution the Romans had been involved in a war for the possession of Tivoli. The place had surrendered to the Pope, and they had demanded it from him. The revolution followed. “In 1143,” says Gregorovius, “Rome made an attempt to form such an association of the different classes as had been formed in Milan, Pisa, Genoa, and other cities” (iv. p. 449). The lesser nobility joined the burghers, seized the Capitoline, declared themselves the Senate. Thus a free burgher class was established, and the despotism of the nobility who were the supporters of the Pope was overthrown: this is the significance of the revolution of 1143. The first civic constitution (1144) was framed under the influence of Jordan Pierleone. — Pope Lucius II. turned to Conrad III., but got no help. Then the Senate invited Conrad to come and rule in Rome (1149 or 1150). See Otto of Freisingen, i. 28.]
[45 ]In ancient Rome, the equestrian order was not ranked with the senate and people as a third branch of the republic till the consulship of Cicero, who assumes the merit of the establishment (Plin. Hist. Natur. xxxiii. 3; Beaufort, République Romaine, tom. i. p. 144-155).
[46 ]The republican plan of Arnold of Brescia is thus stated by Gunther: —
But of these reformations, some were no more than ideas, others no more than words.
[47 ]After many disputes among the antiquaries of Rome, it seems determined that the summit of the Capitoline hill next the river is strictly the Mons Tarpeius, the Arx; and that, on the other summit, the church and convent of Araceli, the barefoot friars of St. Francis occupy the temple of Jupiter (Nardini, Roma Antica, l. v. c. 11-16). [This conclusion is incorrect. Both the Tarpeian Rock and the Temple of Jupiter were on the western height; the Arx was on the eastern, which is now crowned by the Church of St. Maria in Aracœli. For the determination of the site of the temple, a passage in the Graphia (a collection of ceremonial formularies which was perhaps drawn up for Otto III., in imitation of the Byzantine ceremonials) was of great importance: “On the summit of the fortress over the Porticus Crinorum was the Temple of Jupiter and Moneta.” This portico belonged to the Forum olitorium; as was shown by excavations in the Caffarelli gardens.
[48 ]Tacit. Hist. iii. 69, 70.
[49 ][The old Tabularium, in the saddle between the two summits, became the Senate-house. Cp. Gregorovius, op. cit. iv. 477.]
[50 ]This partition of the nobler and the baser metals between the emperor and senate must, however, be adopted, not as a positive fact, but as the probable opinion of the best antiquaries (see the Science des Médailles of the Père Joubert, tom. ii. p. 208-211, in the improved and scarce edition of the Baron de la Bastie).
[51 ]In his xxviith dissertation on the Antiquities of Italy (tom. ii. p. 559-569), Muratori exhibits a series of the senatorian coins, which bore the obscure names of Affortiati [= of strong gold], Infortiati, Provisini [from Provins, in Champagne], Paparini. [Those which are perhaps earliest have Roman. pricipe round the image of St. Peter, and Senat. popvl. q.r. round St. Paul.] During this period, all the popes, without excepting Boniface VIII., abstained from the right of coining. which was resumed by his successor Benedict XI. and regularly exercised in the court of Avignon.
[52 ]A German historian, Gerard of Reicherspeg (in Baluz. Miscell. tom. v. p. 64, apud Schmidt, Hist. des Allemands, tom. iii. p. 265), thus describes the constitution of Rome in the xith century: Grandiora urbis et orbis negotia spectant ad Romanum pontificem itemque ad Romanum Imperatorem; sive illius vicarium urbis præfectum, qui de suâ dignitate respicit utrumque, videlicet dominum papam cui facit dominum, et dominum imperatorum a quo accipit suæ potestatis insigne, scilicet gladium exertum. [Contelorius, De præfecto Urbis.]
[53 ]The words of a contemporary writer (Pandulph. Pisan. in Vit. Paschal. II. p. 357, 358) describe the election and oath of the prefect in 1118, inconsultis patribus . . . loca præfectoria . . . laudes præfectoriæ . . . comitiorum applausum . . . juraturum populo in ambonem sublevant . . . confirmari eum in urbe præfectum petunt.
[54 ]Urbis præfectum ad ligiam fidelitatem recepit, et per mantum quod illi donavit de præfecturâ eum publice investivit, qui usque ad id tempus juramento fidelitatis imperatori fuit obligatus, et ab eo præfecturæ tenuit honorem (Gesta Innocent. III. in Muratori, tom. iii. p. i. p. 487).
[55 ]See Otho Frising. Chron. vii. 31, de Gest. Frederic. I. l. i. c. 27.
[56 ]Our countryman, Roger Hoveden, speaks of the single senators, of the Capuzzi family, &c. quorum temporibus melius regebatur Roma quam nunc ( 1194) est temporibus lvi. senatorum (Ducange, Gloss. tom. vi. p. 191. Senatores).
[57 ]Muratori (dissert. xlii. tom. iii. p. 785-788) has published an original treaty: Concordia inter D. nostrum papam Clementem III. et senatores populi Romani super regalibus et aliis dignitatibus urbis, &c. 44° senatus. The senate speaks, and speaks with authority: Reddimus ad præsens . . . habebimus . . . dabitis presbyteria . . . jurabimus pacem et fidelitatem, &c. A chartula De tenimentis Tusculani, dated in the 47th year of the same era, and confirmed decreto amplissimi ordinis senatus, acclamatione P. R. publice Capitolio consistentis. It is there we find the difference of senatores consiliarii and simple senators (Muratori, dissert. xlii. tom. iii. p. 787-789). [The transactions here touched on belong to the revolution of 1188, which deserved a more particular notice. Pope Clement III. (1187-91) was forced to make a formal treaty, which implied a new constitution. The Pope was recognised as overlord; he had the right of investing the Senate; the Senators took an oath of loyalty to him; he had the right of coining, and enjoyed the old revenues of the see; he was bound to supply £100 a year for the walls of the city and to pay the militia; he abandoned Tusculum to the Romans to destroy, though it was under his protection. The Pope, by this agreement, gave up all legislative authority and rights of government; his power depended on his lands and estates. It is to be noted that this constitution completely ignored the Imperial authority. See Gregorovius, iv. p. 620.]
[58 ]Muratori (dissert. xlv. tom. iv. p. 64-92) has fully explained this mode of government; and the Oculus Pastoralis, which he has given at the end, is a treatise or sermon on the duties of these foreign magistrates.
[59 ]In the Latin writers, at least of the silver age, the title of Potestas was transferred from the office to the magistrate: —
[60 ]See the life and death of Brancaleone, in the Historia Major of Matthew Paris, p. 741, 757, 792, 797, 799, 810, 823, 833, 836, 840. The multitude of pilgrims and suitors connected Rome and St. Albans; and the resentment of the English clergy prompted them to rejoice whenever the popes were humbled and oppressed. [There had been another revolution in 1191. Since 1143 the majority of the Senate had been plebeian; the nobles gained admission by degrees, and after the time of Clement III. and Celestine III. it numbered more patricians of ancient lineage than burghers or knights. Hence discontent and revolution. In 1191 the populace overthrew the Constitution and made Benedict Carushomo the summus senator. Under him the first municipal statute seems to have been issued. Epp. Innocentii iii. lib. ii. n. 239. See Gregorovius, op. cit. iv. 632.]
[61 ]Matthew Paris thus ends his account: Caput vero ipsius Brancaleonis in vase pretioso super marmoream columneam collocatum, in signum sui valoris et probitatis, quasi reliquias superstitiose nimis et pompose sustulerunt. Fuerat enim superborum potentum et malefactorum urbis malleus et exstirpator, et populi protector et defensor, veritatis et justitiæ imitator et amator (p. 840). A biographer of Innocent IV. (Muratori, Script. tom. iii. p. i. p. 591, 592) draws a less favourable portrait of this Ghibelline senator.
[62 ]The election of Charles of Anjou to the office of perpetual senator of Rome is mentioned by the historians in the viiith volume of the Collection of Muratori, by Nicholas de Jamsilla (p. 592), the monk of Padua (p. 724), Sabas Malaspina (l. ii. c. 9, p. 808), and Ricordano Malespini (c. 177, p. 999).
[63 ]The high-sounding bull of Nicholas III. which founds his temporal sovereignty on the donation of Constantine, is still extant; and, as it has been inserted by Boniface VIII. in the Sexte of the Decretals, it must be received by the Catholics, or at least by the Papists, as a sacred and perpetual law.
[64 ]I am indebted to Fleury (Hist. Ecclés. tom. xviii. p. 306) for an extract of this Roman act which he has taken from the Ecclesiastical Annals of Odericus Raynaldus, 1281, No. 14, 15.
[65 ]These letters and speeches are preserved by Otho [Otto], Bishop of Frisingen (Fabric. Bibliot. Lat. med. et infim. tom. v. p. 186, 187), perhaps the noblest of historians; he was son of Leopold, marquis of Austria; his mother, Agnes, was daughter of the emperor Henry IV.; and he was half-brother and uncle to Conrad III. and Frederic I. He has left, in seven [eight] books, a Chronicle of the Times; in two, the Gesta Frederici I., the last of which is inserted in the vith volume of Muratori’s historians. [The chronicle is edited by Wilmans in Mon. Germ. Hist. xx. p. 116 sqq., and separately in the Script. rer. Germ. 1867. (German translation by Kohl, 1881.) The Gesta is also edited by Wilmans in the same volume of the Monumenta; and by Waitz (1884) in the series of the Script. rer. Germ. (German translation by Kohl, 1883). The name of the Chronicle was originally De duabus civitatibus. It is a History of the World, and its object is to prove that, while the secular civitas or kingdom is ephemeral and transitory, the Church, or the kingdom of God, is eternal. Cp. the brief characteristic of Otto in Giesebrecht’s Geschichte der deutschen Kaiserzeit, p. 394 sqq.]
[66 ]We desire (said the ignorant Romans) to restore the empire in eum statum, quo fuit tempore Constantini et Justiniani, qui totum orbem vigore senatus et populi Romani suis tenuere manibus.
[67 ]Otho Frising. de Gestis Frederici I. l. i. c. 28, p. 662-664.
[68 ][For the meeting with Pope Hadrian at Sutri, and the following events, see Giesebrecht’s Geschichte der deutschen Kaiserzeit, v. p. 60 sqq.]
[69 ]Hospes eras, civem feci. Advena fuisti ex Transalpinis partibus; principem constitui.
[70 ]Non cessit nobis nudum imperium, virtute suâ amictum venit, ornamenta sua secum traxit. Penes nos sunt consules tui, &c. Cicero or Livy would not have rejected these images, the eloquence of a Barbarian born and educated in the Hercynian forest.
[71 ]Otho of Frisingen, who surely understood the language of the court and diet of Germany, speaks of the Franks in the xiith century as the reigning nation (Proceres Franci, equites Franci, manus Francorum); he adds, however, the epithet of Teutonici.
[72 ]Otho Frising. de Gestis Frederici I. l. ii. c. 22, p. 720-723. These original and authentic acts I have translated with freedom, yet with fidelity.
[73 ][The coronation ceremony was over, when the sally was made.]
[74 ]From the Chronicles of Ricobaldo and Francis Pipin, Muratori (dissert. xxvi. tom. ii. p. 492) has transcribed this curious fact, with the doggrel verses that accompanied the gift.
Ne si dee tacere (I now use the Italian Dissertations, tom. i. p. 444) che nell’ anno 1727, una copia desso Caroccio in marmo dianzi ignoto si scopri, nel Campidoglio, presso alle carcere di quel luogo, dove Sisto V. l’avea falto rinchiudere. Stava esso posto sopra quatro colonne di marmo fina colla sequente inscrizione, &c. to the same purpose as the old inscription.
[75 ]The decline of the Imperial arms and authority in Italy is related with impartial learning in the Annals of Muratori (tom. x.-xii.); and the reader may compare his narrative with the Histoire des Allemands (tom. iii. iv.) by Schmidt, who has deserved the esteem of his countrymen.
[76 ]Tibur nunc suburbanum et æstivæ Præneste deliciæ nuncupatis in Capitolio votis petebantur. The whole passage of Florus (l. i. c. 11) may be read with pleasure, and has deserved the praise of a man of genius (Oeuvres de Montesquieu, tom. iii. p. 634, 635, quarto edition).
[77 ]Ne a feritate Romanorum, sicut fuerant Hostienses, Portuenses, Tusculanenses, Albanenses, Labicenses, et nuper Tiburtini destruerentur (Matthew Paris, p. 757). These events are marked in the Annals and Index (the xviiith volume) of Muratori.
[78 ]For the state or ruin of these suburban cities, the banks of the Tiber, &c. see the lively picture of the P. Labat (Voyage en Espagne et en Italie), who had long resided in the neighbourhood of Rome; and the more accurate description of which P. Eschinard (Roma, 1750, in octavo) has added to the topographical map of Cingolani.
[79 ]Labat (tom. iii. p. 233) mentions a recent decree of the Roman government, which has severely mortified the pride and poverty of Tivoli: in civitate Tiburtinâ non vivitur civiliter.
[80 ]I depart from my usual method of quoting only by the date the Annals of Muratori, in consideration of the critical balance in which he has weighed nine contemporary writers who mention the battle of Tusculum (tom. x. p. 42-44).
[81 ]Matthew Paris, p. 345. This bishop of Winchester was Peter de Rupibus, who occupied the see thirty-two years ( 1206-1238), and is described, by the English historian, as a soldier and a statesman (p. 178, 399).
[82 ][Lucas Savelli, who became Senator in 1234, passed an edict claiming Tuscany and the Campagna as the property of the Roman people. Pope Gregory IX. fled from Rome, and Viterbo was his chief support. “What,” asks Gregorovius, “would have been the fate of the Papacy, had the city succeeded in becoming a civic power such as Milan or Pisa?” (v. p. 172). Frederic II. saw himself unwillingly forced to assist the Pope.]
[83 ]See Mosheim, Institut. Histor. Ecclesiast. p. 401, 403. Alexander himself had nearly been the victim of a contested election; and the doubtful merits of Innocent had only preponderated by the weight of genius and learning which St. Bernard cast into the scale (see his life and writings).
[84 ]The origin, titles, importance, dress, precedency, &c. of the Roman cardinals, are very ably discussed by Thomassin (Discipline de l’Eglise, tom. i. p. 1262-1287); but their purple is now much faded. The sacred college was raised to the definite number of seventy-two, to represent, under his vicar, the disciples of Christ.
[85 ]See the bull of Gregory X. [issued at Lyons, at the Great Council] approbante sacro concilio, in the Sexte of the Canon Law (l. i. tit. 6, c. 3), a supplement to the Decretals, which Boniface VIII. promulgated at Rome in 1298, and addressed to all the universities of Europe.
[86 ]The genius of Cardinal de Retz had a right to paint a conclave (of 1665), in which he was a spectator and an actor (Mémoires, tom. iv. p. 15-57); but I am at a loss to appreciate the knowledge or authority of an anonymous Italian, whose history (Conclavi de’ Pontifici Romani, in 4to, 1667) has been continued since the reign of Alexander VII. The accidental form of the work furnishes a lesson, though not an antidote, to ambition. From a labyrinth of intrigues, we emerge to the adoration of the successful candidate; but the next page opens with his funeral.
[87 ]The expressions of Cardinal de Retz are positive and picturesque: On y vécut toujours ensemble avec le même respect et la même civilité que l’on observe dans le cabinet des rois, avec la même politesse qu’on avoit dans la cour de Henri III., avec la même familiarité que l’on voit dans les collèges; avec la même modestie qui se remarque dans les noviciats; et avec la même charité, du moins en apparence, qui pourroit être entre des frères parfaitement unis.
[88 ]Richiesti per bando (says John Villani) senatori di Roma, e 52 del popolo, et capitani de’ 25, e consoli (consoli?), et 13 buone huomini, uno per rione. Our knowledge is too imperfect to pronounce how much of this constitution was temporary, and how much ordinary and permanent. Yet it is faintly illustrated by the ancient statutes of Rome.
[89 ]Villani (l. x. c. 68-71, in Muratori, Script. tom. xiii. p. 641-645) relates this law, and the whole transaction, with much less abhorrence than the prudent Muratori. Any one conversant with the darker ages must have observed how much the sense (I mean the nonsense) of superstition is fluctuating and inconsistent. [Gregorovius observes (vi. 160): “This important revolution was the consequence of the sojourn of the Popes at Avignon, the effect of the quarrel which John XXII. so foolishly invoked with the empire, and of the reforming principles of the monarchy, with which was associated the Franciscan schism. The high-handed doings of John and Lewis, their tedious actions at law, the extensive researches into the imperial and papal authority, formed the close of this mediaeval struggle, which now passed into more intellectual regions. The age of the reformation began; the ecclesiastical severance of Germany and Italy was perceptible in the distance and became inevitable as soon as the political severance was accomplished.”]
[90 ]In the first volume of the Popes of Avignon, see the second original Life of John XXII. p. 142-145, the confession of the anti-pope, p. 145-152; and the laborious notes of Baluze, p. 714, 715.
[91 ]Romani autem non valentes nec volentes ultra suam celare cupiditatem gravissimam contra papam movere cœperunt questionem, exigentes ab eo urgentissime omnia quæ subierant per ejus absentiam damna et jacturas, videlicet in hospitiis locandis, in mercimoniis, in usuris, in redditibus, in provisionibus, et in aliis modis innumerabilibus. Quod cum audisset papa, præcordialiter ingemuit et se comperiens muscipulatum, &c., Matt. Paris, p. 757. For the ordinary history of the popes, their life and death, their residence and absence, it is enough to refer to the ecclesiastical annalists, Spondanus and Fleury.
[92 ]Besides the general historians of the church of Italy and of France, we possess a valuable treatise, composed by a learned friend of Thuanus, which his last and best editors have published in the appendix (Histoire particulière du grand Différend entre Boniface VIII. et Philippe le Bel, par Pierre du Puis, tom. vii. p. xi. p. 61-82). [Tosti, Storia di Bonifacio VIII. The bulls of Boniface have been edited from the Vatican archives by Degon, Faucon and Thomas, 1884-90.]
[93 ]It is difficult to know whether Labat (tom. iv. p. 53-57) be in jest or in earnest when he supposes that Anagni still feels the weight of this curse, and that the corn-fields, or vineyards, or olive trees are annually blasted by Nature, the obsequious handmaid of the popes.
[94 ]See in the Chronicle of Giovanni Villani (l. viii. c. 63, 64, 80, in Muratori, tom. xiii.) the imprisonment of Boniface VIII. and the election of Clement V., the last of which, like most anecdotes, is embarrassed with some difficulties.
[95 ]The original lives of the eight popes of Avignon, Clement V. John XXII. Benedict XII. Clement VI. Innocent VI. Urban V. Gregory XI. and Clement VII., are published by Stephen Baluze (Vitæ Paparum Avenionensium; Paris, 1693, 2 vols. in 4to), with copious and elaborate notes, and a second volume of acts and documents. With the true zeal of an editor and a patriot, he devoutly justifies or excuses the characters of his countrymen.
[96 ]The exile of Avignon is compared by the Italians with Babylon and the Babylonish captivity. Such furious metaphors, more suitable to the ardour of Petrarch than to the judgment of Muratori, are gravely refuted in Baluze’s preface. The Abbé de Sade is distracted between the love of Petrarch and of his country. Yet he modestly pleads that many of the local inconveniences of Avignon are now removed; and many of the vices against which the poet declaims had been imported with the Roman court by the strangers of Italy (tom. i. p. 23-28).
[97 ]The comtat Venaissin was ceded to the popes, in 1273, by Philip III., king of France, after he had inherited the dominions of the count of Toulouse. Forty years before the heresy of Count Raymond had given them a pretence of seizure, and they derived some obscure claim from the xith century to some lands citra Rhodanum (Valesii Notitia Galliarum, p. 459, 610; Longuerue, Description de la France, tom. i. p. 376-381).
[98 ]If a possession of four centuries were not itself a title, such objections might annul the bargain; but the purchase-money must be refunded, for indeed it was paid. Civitatem Avenionem emit . . . per ejusmodi venditionem pecuniâ redundantes, &c. (2da Vita Clement. VI. in Baluz. tom. i. p. 272; Muratori, Script. tom. iii. p. ii. p. 565). [Recherches historiques concernant les droits du Pape sur la ville et l’état d’Avignon, 1768.] The only temptation for Jane and her second husband was ready money, and without it they could not have returned to the throne of Naples.
[99 ]Clement V. immediately promoted ten cardinals, nine French and one English (Vita 4ta, p. 63, et Baluz. p. 625, &c.). In 1331, the pope refused two candidates recommended by the king of France, quod xx. Cardinales, de quibus xvii. de regno Franciæ originem traxisse noscuntur, in memorato collegio existant (Thomassin, Discipline de l’Eglise, tom. i. p. 1281). [In the year 1378 the college consisted of 23 cardinals, 16 of them were at Rome and included 7 Limousins, 4 French, 1 Spaniard, and 4 Italians. See Gregorovius, vi. 491.]
[100 ]Our primitive account is from Cardinal James Caietan [= Jacopo Stefaneschi, cardinalis S. Georgii ad Velum aureum] (Maxima Bibliot. Patrum, tom. xxv.); and I am at a loss to determine whether the nephew of Boniface VIII. be a fool or a knave; the uncle is a much clearer character.
[101 ][“The way that led from the city across the Bridge of St. Angelo to St. Peter’s was too narrow; a new street was therefore opened in the walls along the river, not far from the ancient tomb known as the Meta Romuli. [Gregorovius reads pontem for portum in the passage in Stefaneschi which describes this.] The bridge was covered with booths which divided it in two, and in order to prevent accidents it was enacted that those going to St. Peter’s should keep to one side of the bridge, those returning to the other.” This arrangement is referred to by Dante, Inferno, xviii. v. 28 sqq.: —
See Gregorovius, v. p. 560-1.]
[102 ]See John Villani (l. viii. c. 36) in the xiith, and the Chronicon Astense in the xith, volume (p. 191, 192) of Muratori’s Collection. Papa innumerabilem pecuniam ab eisdem accepit, nam duo clerici, cum rastris, &c.
[103 ]The two bulls of Boniface VIII. and Clement VI. are inserted in the Corpus Juris Canonici (Extravagant. Commun. l. v. tit. ix. c. 1, 2).
[104 ]The sabbatic years and jubilees of the Mosaic law (Car. Sigon. de Republicâ Hebræorum, Opp. tom. iv. l. iii. c. 14, 15, p. 151, 152), the suspension of all care and labour, the periodical release of lands, debts, servitude, &c., may seem a noble idea, but the execution would be impracticable in a profane republic; and I should be glad to learn that this ruinous festival was observed by the Jewish people.
[105 ][It was shortly after the abdication of Rienzi (1347) and the devastations of the Black Death.]
[106 ]See the Chronicle of Matteo Villani (l. i. c. 56), in the xivth volume of Muratori, and the Mémoires sur la Vie de Pétrarque, tom. iii. p. 75-89.
[107 ]The subject is exhausted by M. Chais, a French minister at the Hague, in his Lettres Historiques et Dogmatiques sur les Jubilés et les Indulgences; la Haye, 1751, 3 vols. in 12mo: an elaborate and pleasing work, had not the author preferred the character of a polemic to that of a philosopher.
[108 ]Muratori (Dissert. xlvii.) alleges the Annals of Florence, Padua, Genoa, &c., the analogy of the rest, the evidence of Otho of Frisingen (de Gest. Fred. I. l. ii. c. 13), and the submission of the marquis of Este.
[109 ]As early as the year 824, the emperor Lothaire I. found it expedient to interrogate the Roman people, to learn from each individual by what national law he chose to be governed (Muratori, Dissert. xxii.).
[110 ]Petrarch attacks these foreigners, the tyrants of Rome, in a declamation or epistle, full of bold truths and absurd pedantry, in which he applies the maxims, and even prejudices, of the old republic, to the state of the xivth century (Mémoires, tom. iii. p. 157-169).
[111 ]The origin and adventures of this Jewish family are noticed by Pagi (Critica, tom. iv. p. 435, 1124, No. 3, 4), who draws his information from the Chronographus Maurigniacensis [in Migne, Patr. Lat. 180, p. 131 sqq.], and Arnulphus Sagiensis de Schismate (in Muratori Script. Ital. tom. iii. p. i. p. 423-432). The fact must in some degree be true; yet I could wish that it had been coolly related, before it was turned into a reproach against the antipope.
[112 ]Muratori has given two dissertations (xli. and xlii.) to the names, surnames, and families of Italy. Some nobles, who glory in their domestic fables, may be offended with his firm and temperate criticism; yet surely some ounces of pure gold are of more value than many pounds of base metal.
[113 ][“The foundation of the house of the Savelli, which was probably German, was due to the nepotism of their member Pope Honorius [III.], and they only rose to power after his time.” Gregorovius, v. p. 118.]
[114 ][See the references in Gregorovius, v. p. 6.]
[115 ]The cardinal of St. George, in his poetical, or rather metrical, history of the election and coronation of Boniface VIII. (Muratori, Script. Ital. tom. iii. p. i. p. 641, &c.), describes the state and families of Rome at the coronation of Boniface VIII. ( 1295): —
The ancient statutes of Rome (l. iii. c. 59, p. 174, 175) distinguish eleven families of barons, who are obliged to swear in concilio communi, before the senator, that they would not harbour or protect any malefactors, outlaws, &c. — a feeble security! [The Anibaldi family rose to prominence c. 1230. See Gregorovius, v. 158.]
[116 ]It is pity that the Colonna themselves have not favoured the world with a complete and critical history of their illustrious house. I adhere to Muratori (Dissert. xlii. tom. iii. p. 647, 648).
[117 ]Pandulph. Pisan. in Vit. Paschal. II. in Muratori, Script. Ital. tom. iii. p. i. p. 335. The family has still great possessions in the Campagna of Rome; but they have alienated to the Rospigliosi this original fief of Colonna (Eschinard, p. 258, 259).
[118 ] Te longinqua dedit tellus et pascua Rheni, says Petrarch; and, in 1417, a duke of Guelders and Juliers acknowledges (Lenfant, Hist. du Concile de Constance, tom. ii. p. 539) his descent from the ancestors of Martin V. (Otho Colonna): but the royal author of the Memoirs of Brandenburg observes that the sceptre in his arms has been confounded with the column. To maintain the Roman origin of the Colonna, it was ingeniously supposed (Diario di Monaldeschi, in the Script. Ital. tom. xii. p. 533) that a cousin of the emperor Nero escaped from the city and founded Mentz in Germany.
[119 ]I cannot overlook the Roman triumph or ovation of Marco Antonio Colonna, who had commanded the pope’s galleys at the naval victory of Lepanto (Thuan. Hist. l. vii. tom. iii. p. 55, 56; Muret. Oratio x. Opp. tom. i. p. 180-190).
[120 ]Muratori, Annali d’Italia, tom. x. p. 216, 220.
[121 ]Petrarch’s attachment to the Colonna has authorised the Abbé de Sade to expatiate on the state of the family in the fourteenth century, the persecution of Boniface VIII., the character of Stephen and his sons, their quarrels with the Ursini, &c. (Mémoires sur Pétrarque, tom. i. p. 98-110, 146-148, 174-176, 222-230, 275-280). His criticism often rectifies the hearsay stories of Villani, and the errors of the less diligent moderns. I understand the branch of Stephen to be now extinct.
[122 ]Alexander III. had declared the Colonna who adhered to the emperor Frederic I. incapable of holding any ecclesiastical benefice (Villani, l. v. c. 1); and the last stains of annual excommunication were purified by Sixtus V. (Vita di Sisto V. tom. iii. p. 416). Treason, sacrilege, and proscription are often the best titles of ancient nobility.
Monaldeschi (tom. xii. Script. Ital. p. 533) gives the Ursini a French origin, which may be remotely true. [Cp. Gregorovius, v. p. 39 sqq.]
[124 ]In the metrical life of Celestin V. by the Cardinal of St. George (Muratori, tom. iii. p. i. p. 613, &c.), we find a luminous and not inelegant passage (l. i. c. iii. p. 203, &c.): —
Muratori (Dissert. xlii. tom. iii.) observes that the first Ursini pontificate of Celestin III. was unknown; he is inclined to read Ursi progenies.
[125 ]Filii Ursi, quondam Cœlestini papæ nepotes, de bonis ecclesiæ Romanæ ditati (Vit. Innocent. III. in Muratori, Script. tom. iii. p. i.). The partial prodigality of Nicholas III. is more conspicuous in Villani and Muratori. Yet the Ursini would disdain the nephews of a modern Pope. [Fra Salimbene of Parma said of Nicholas III. that he built Sion in his kinsfolk (ædificavit Sion in sanguinibus). The expression is quoted by Gregorovius, v. 490. Compare Dante, Inferno, xix. v. 70-2, where he is alluded to as “figliuol dell’ orsa.”]
[126 ]In his fifty-first Dissertation on the Italian Antiquities, Muratori explains the factions of the Guelphs and Ghibelines.
[127 ]Petrarch (tom. i. p. 222-230) has celebrated this victory according to the Colonna; but two contemporaries, a Florentine (Giovanni Villani, l. x. c. 220) and a Roman (Ludovico Monaldeschi [S. R. I. xii.], p. 533, 534), are less favourable to their arms.
[128 ]The Abbé de Sade (tom. i. notes, p. 61-66) has applied the vith Canzone of Petrarch, Spirto Gentil, &c., to Stephen Colonna the Younger.