Online Library of Liberty

A collection of scholarly works about individual liberty and free markets. A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.

Advanced Search

Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 11 [1776]

0214-11_tp
Title Page
0214-11_toc
Original Table of Contents or First Page

Edition used:

Edward Gibbon, 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. 11. http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/1404

Available in the following formats:
Facsimile PDF 15.5 MB This is a facsimile or image-based PDF made from scans of the original book.
Kindle 829 KB This is an E-book formatted for Amazon Kindle devices.
EBook PDF 1.44 MB This text-based PDF or EBook was created from the HTML version of this book and is part of the Portable Library of Liberty.
HTML 1.06 MB This version has been converted from the original text. Every effort has been taken to translate the unique features of the printed book into the HTML medium.

About this Title:

The eleventh volume of a 12 volume set of Gibbon’s magesterial history of the end of the Roman Empire, one of the greatest works of history written during the Enlightenment.

Copyright information:

The text is in the public domain.

Fair use statement:

This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.

Table of Contents:

Edition: current; Page: [a]
THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE
vol. xi
Edition: current; Page: [i]
lf0214-11_figure_001.jpg
Edition: current; Page: [ii]

THE WORKS OF EDWARD GIBBON

HISTORY OF ROME

VOLUME XI

new york

FRED DeFAU & COMPANY

publishers

Edition: current; Page: [iii]
THE HISTORY OF THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE
BY EDWARD GIBBON
EDITED BY J. B. BURY, M.A.
WITH AN INTRODUCTION by THE RT. HON. W. E. H. LECKY
VOL. XI
NEW YORK
FRED DE FAU & COMPANY PUBLISHERS
Edition: current; Page: [iv]

Copyright, 1907,

FRED DE FAU & COMPANY.

Norwood Press

Edition: current; Page: [v]

CONTENTS OF THE ELEVENTH VOLUME

  • List of Illustrations . . . . . . . . . page xiii
  • CHAPTER LXI Partition of the Empire by the French and Venetians — Five Latin Emperors of the Houses of Flanders and Courtenay — Their Wars against the Bulgarians and Greeks — Weakness and Poverty of the Latin Empire — Recovery of Constantinople by the Greeks — General Consequences of the Crusades
    • ad 1204 Election of the Emperor Baldwin I. . . . . . . 1
    • Division of the Greek Empire . . . . . . . 4
    • 1204 Revolt of the Greeks . . . . . . . . 9
    • 1204-1222 Theodore Lascaris, Emperor of Nice . . . . 10
    • The Dukes and Emperors of Trebizond . . . . . 10
    • The Despots of Epirus . . . . . . . . 12
    • 1205 The Bulgarian War . . . . . . . . . 13
    • Defeat and captivity of Baldwin . . . . . . 15
    • Retreat of the Latins . . . . . . . . 16
    • Death of the Emperor . . . . . . . . 17
    • 1206-1216 Reign and character of Henry . . . . . . 18
    • 1217 Peter of Courtenay, Emperor of Constantinople . . . 22
    • 1217-1219 His Captivity and Death . . . . . . . 23
    • 1221-1228 Robert, Emperor of Constantinople . . . . . 23
    • 1228-1237 Baldwin II. and John of Brienne, Emperors of Constantinople . . . . . . . . . . . 25
    • 1237-1261 Baldwin II. . . . . . . . . . 28
    • The Holy Crown of Thorns . . . . . . . 30
    • 1237-1261 Progress of the Greeks . . . . . . . 33
    • 1259 Michael Palæologus, the Greek Emperor . . . . . 34
    • 1261 Constantinople recovered by the Greeks . . . . . 35
    • General Consequences of the Crusades . . . . . 38
    • Digression on the Family of Courtenay
    • 1020 Origin of the Family of Courtenay . . . . . . 43
    • 1101-1152 I. The Counts of Edessa . . . . . . . 44
    • II. The Courtenays of France . . . . . . . 45
    • 1150 Their Alliance with the Royal Family . . . . . 46
    • III. The Courtenays of England . . . . . . 49
    • The Earls of Devonshire . . . . . . . . 50
    Edition: current; Page: [vi]
  • CHAPTER LXII The Greek Emperors of Nice and Constantinople — Elevation and Reign of Michael Palæologus — His false Union with the Pope and the Latin Church — Hostile Designs of Charles of Anjou — Revolt of Sicily — War of the Catalans in Asia and Greece — Revolutions and Present State of Athens
    • Restoration of the Greek Empire . . . . . . 54
    • 1204-1222 Theodore Lascaris . . . . . . . . 54
    • 1222-1255 John Ducas Vataces . . . . . . . 55
    • 1255-1259 Theodore Lascaris II. . . . . . . . 57
    • 1259 Minority of John Lascaris . . . . . . . . 59
    • Family and Character of Michael Palæologus . . . . 60
    • His Elevation to the Throne . . . . . . . 63
    • 1260 Michael Palæologus Emperor . . . . . . . 65
    • 1261 Recovery of Constantinople . . . . . . . 66
    • Return of the Greek Emperor . . . . . . . 67
    • Palæologus blinds and banishes the young Emperor . . . 68
    • 1262-1268 Is excommunicated by the Patriarch Arsenius . . . 70
    • 1266-1312 Schism of the Arsenites . . . . . . . 70
    • 1259-1282 Reign of Michael Palæologus . . . . . . 72
    • 1273-1332 Reign of Andronicus the Elder . . . . . 72
    • 1274-1277 His Union with the Latin Church . . . . . 73
    • 1277-1282 His Persecution of the Greeks . . . . . 76
    • 1283 The Union Dissolved . . . . . . . . 78
    • 1266 Charles of Anjou subdues Naples and Sicily . . . . 78
    • 1270 Threatens the Greek Empire . . . . . . . 80
    • 1280 Palæologus instigates the Revolt of Sicily . . . . . 81
    • 1282 The Sicilian Vespers . . . . . . . . . 83
    • Defeat of Charles . . . . . . . . . 84
    • 1303-1307 The Service and War of the Catalans in the Greek Empire 85
    • 1204-1456 Revolution of Athens . . . . . . . 89
    • Present State of Athens . . . . . . . . 92
  • CHAPTER LXIII Civil Wars, and Ruin of the Greek Empire — Reigns of Andronicus, the Elder and Younger, and John Palæologus — Regency, Revolt, Reign, and Abdication of John Cantacuzene — Establishment of a Genoese Colony at Pera or Galata — Their Wars with the Empire and City of Constantinople
    • 1282-1320 Superstition of Andronicus and the Times . . . 94
    • 1320 First Disputes between the Elder and Younger Andronicus . 97
    • 1321-1328 Three Civil Wars between the two Emperors . . . 99
    • 1325 Coronation of the Younger Andronicus . . . . . 99
    • 1328 The Elder Andronicus abdicates the Government . . . 101
    • 1332 His Death . . . . . . . . . . . 102
    • 1328-1341 Reign of Andronicus the Younger . . . . . 102
    • His two wives . . . . . . . . . . 103
    • 1341-1391 Reign of John Palæologus . . . . . . 104
    • Fortune of John Cantacuzene . . . . . . . 104Edition: current; Page: [vii]
    • He is left Regent of the Empire . . . . . . 106
    • 1341 His Regency is attacked . . . . . . . . 106
    • By Apocaucus, the Empress Anne of Savoy, and the Patriarch 106
    • Cantacuzene assumes the Purple . . . . . . 108
    • 1341-1347 The Civil War . . . . . . . . . 109
    • Victory of Cantacuzene . . . . . . . . 110
    • 1347 He re-enters Constantinople . . . . . . . 114
    • 1347-1355 Reign of John Cantacuzene . . . . . . 114
    • 1353 John Palæologus takes up arms against him . . . . 116
    • 1355 Abdication of Cantacuzene . . . . . . . 117
    • 1341-1351 Dispute Concerning the Light of Mount Thabor . . 118
    • 1261-1347 Establishment of the Genoese at Pera or Galata . . 120
    • Their Trade and Insolence . . . . . . . 122
    • 1348 Their War with the Emperor Cantacuzene . . . . 123
    • 1349 Destruction of his Fleet . . . . . . . . 124
    • 1352 Victory of the Genoese over the Venetians and Greeks . . 125
    • Their Treaty with the Empire . . . . . . . 127
  • CHAPTER LXIV Conquests of Zingis Khan and the Moguls from China to Poland — Escape of Constantinople and the Greeks — Origin of the Ottoman Turks in Bithynia — Reigns and Victories of Othman, Orchan, Amurath the First, and Bajazet the First — Foundation and Progress of the Turkish Monarchy in Asia and Europe — Danger of Constantinople and the Greek Empire
    • 1206-1227 Zingis Khan, first Emperor of the Moguls and Tartars . 129
    • His Laws . . . . . . . . . . . 131
    • 1210-1214 His Invasion of China . . . . . . . 135
    • 1218-1224 Of Carizme, Transoxiana, and Persia . . . . 137
    • 1227 His Death . . . . . . . . . . . 139
    • 1227-1295 Conquests of the Moguls under the Successors of Zingis 140
    • 1234 Of the Northern Empire of China . . . . . . 141
    • 1279 Of the Southern . . . . . . . . . 142
    • 1258 Of Persia, and the Empire of the Caliphs . . . . . 143
    • 1242-1272 Of Anatolia . . . . . . . . . 145
    • 1235-1245 Of Kipzak, Russia, Poland, Hungary, etc. . . . 145
    • 1241 Battle of Liegnitz . . . . . . . . . 146
    • Battle of Mohi . . . . . . . . . . 147
    • 1242 Of Siberia . . . . . . . . . . 149
    • 1227-1259 The Successors of Zingis . . . . . . . 150
    • 1259-1368 Adopt the Manners of China . . . . . . 151
    • 1259-1300 Division of the Mogul Empire . . . . . . 152
    • 1240-1304 Escape of Constantinople and the Greek Empire from the Moguls . . . . . . . . . . 153
    • 1304 Decline of the Mogul Khans of Persia . . . . . 155
    • 1240 Origin of the Ottomans . . . . . . . . 155
    • 1299-1326 Reign of Othman . . . . . . . . 156
    • 1326-1360 Reign of Orchan . . . . . . . . 157
    • 1326-1339 His Conquest of Bithynia . . . . . . . 159
    • 1300 Division of Anatolia among the Turkish Emirs . . . 159
    • 1312 Loss of the Asiatic Provinces . . . . . . . 160Edition: current; Page: [viii]
    • 1310-1523 The Knights of Rhodes . . . . . . . 161
    • 1341-1347 First Passage of the Turks into Europe . . . . 162
    • 1346 Marriage of Orchan with a Greek Princess . . . . 163
    • 1353 Establishment of the Ottomans in Europe . . . . 165
    • Death of Orchan and his Son Soliman . . . . . 166
    • 1360-1389 The Reign and European Conquests of Amurath I. . 166
    • The Janizaries . . . . . . . . . . 168
    • 1389-1403 The reign of Bajazet I. Ilderim . . . . . 169
    • His Conquests from the Euphrates to the Danube . . . 169
    • 1396 Battle of Nicopolis . . . . . . . . . 171
    • 1396-1398 Crusade and Captivity of the French Princes . . . 172
    • 1355-1391 The Emperor John Palæologus . . . . . 175
    • Discord of the Greeks . . . . . . . . 176
    • 1391-1425 The Emperor Manuel . . . . . . . 177
    • 1395-1402 Distress of Constantinople . . . . . . 178
  • CHAPTER LXV Elevation of Timour or Tamerlane to the Throne of Samarcand — His Conquests in Persia, Georgia, Tartary, Russia, India, Syria, and Anatolia — His Turkish War — Defeat and Captivity of Bajazet — Death of Timour — Civil War of the Sons of Bajazet — Restoration of the Turkish Monarchy by Mahomet the First — Siege of Constantinople by Amurath the Second
    • Histories of Timour, or Tamerlane . . . . . . 180
    • 1361-1370 His first Adventures . . . . . . . . 183
    • 1370 He ascends the Throne of Zagatai . . . . . . 185
    • 1370-1400 His Conquests . . . . . . . . . 186
    • 1380-1393 I. Of Persia . . . . . . . . . 186
    • 1370-1383 II. of Turkestan . . . . . . . . 187
    • 1390-1396Of Kipzak, Russia, etc. . . . . . . . 188
    • 1398, 1399 III. of Hindostan . . . . . . . . 190
    • 1400 His War against Sultan Bajazet . . . . . . 193
    • Timour invades Syria . . . . . . . . 196
    • Sacks Aleppo . . . . . . . . . . 197
    • 1401 Damascus . . . . . . . . . . . 198
    • And Bagdad . . . . . . . . . . 199
    • 1402 Invades Anatolia . . . . . . . . . 200
    • Battle of Angora . . . . . . . . . 201
    • Defeat and Captivity of Bajazet . . . . . . 202
    • The Story of his Iron Cage disproved by the Persian Historian of Timour . . . . . . . . . . 203
    • Attested, 1. by the French . . . . . . . 205
    • — 2. by the Italians . . . . . . . . 206
    • — 3. by the Arabs . . . . . . . . 207
    • — 4. by the Greeks . . . . . . . . 207
    • — 5. by the Turks . . . . . . . . 208
    • Probable Conclusion . . . . . . . . . 208
    • 1403 Death of Bajazet . . . . . . . . . 209
    • Term of the Conquests of Timour . . . . . . 209Edition: current; Page: [ix]
    • 1404, 1405 His Triumph at Samarcand . . . . . . 211
    • 1405 His Death on the Road to China . . . . . . 213
    • Character and Merits of Timour . . . . . . 213
    • 1403-1421 Civil Wars of the Sons of Bajazet . . . . . 217
    • 1. Mustapha . . . . . . . . . . 218
    • 2. Isa . . . . . . . . . . . 218
    • 1403-1410 3. Soliman . . . . . . . . . 219
    • 1410 4. Mousa . . . . . . . . . . . 219
    • 1413-1421 5. Mahomet I. . . . . . . . . . 220
    • 1421-1451 Reign of Amurath II. . . . . . . . 220
    • 1421 Re-union of the Ottoman Empire . . . . . . 221
    • 1402-1425 State of the Greek Empire . . . . . . 222
    • 1422 Siege of Constantinople by Amurath II. . . . . . 224
    • 1425-1448 The Emperor John Palæologus II. . . . . . 225
    • Hereditary Succession and Merit of the Ottomans . . . 225
    • Education and Discipline of the Turks . . . . . 227
    • Invention and Use of Gunpowder . . . . . . 230
  • CHAPTER LXVI Application of the Eastern Emperors to the Popes — Visits to the West, of John the First, Manuel, and John the Second, Palæologus — Union of the Greek and Latin Churches, Promoted by the Council of Basil, and Concluded at Ferrara and Florence — State of Literature at Constantinople — Its Revival in Italy by the Greek Fugitives — Curiosity and Emulation of the Latins
    • 1339 Embassy of the Younger Andronicus to Pope Benedict XII. . 232
    • The Arguments for a Crusade and Union . . . . . 233
    • 1348 Negotiation of Cantacuzene with Clement VI. . . . . 235
    • 1355 Treaty of John Palæologus I. with Innocent VI. . . . 238
    • 1369 Visit of John Palæologus to Urban V. at Rome . . . 239
    • 1370 His Return to Constantinople . . . . . . . 241
    • Visit of the Emperor Manuel . . . . . . . 242
    • 1400 To the Court of France . . . . . . . . 242
    • — England . . . . . . . . . 243
    • 1402 His Return to Greece . . . . . . . . 244
    • Greek Knowledge and Descriptions . . . . . . 245
    • Of Germany . . . . . . . . . . 245
    • Of France . . . . . . . . . . . 246
    • Of England . . . . . . . . . . 247
    • 1402-1417 Indifference of Manuel towards the Latins . . . 248
    • 1417-1425 His Negotiations . . . . . . . . 249
    • His Private Motives . . . . . . . . . 250
    • His Death . . . . . . . . . . . 251
    • 1425-1437 Zeal of John Palæologus II. . . . . . . 252
    • Corruption of the Latin Church . . . . . . 252
    • 1377-1429 Schism . . . . . . . . . . 253
    • 1409 Council of Pisa . . . . . . . . . . 253
    • 1414-1418 Of Constance . . . . . . . . . 253
    • 1431-1443 Of Basil . . . . . . . . . . 254Edition: current; Page: [x]
    • Their Opposition to Eugenius IV. . . . . . . 254
    • 1434-1437 Negotiations with the Greeks . . . . . . 255
    • 1437 John Palæologus embarks in the Pope’s Galleys . . . 256
    • 1438 His Triumphal Entry at Venice . . . . . . 260
    • — into Ferrara . . . . . . . . . 261
    • 1438, 1439 Council of the Greeks and Latins at Ferrara and Florence 262
    • Negotiations with the Greeks . . . . . . . 266
    • 1438 Eugenius deposed at Basil . . . . . . . 269
    • Re-union of the Greeks of Florence . . . . . . 269
    • 1440 Their Return to Constantinople . . . . . . 270
    • 1449 Final Peace of the Church . . . . . . . 271
    • 1300-1453 State of the Greek Language at Constantinople . . 271
    • Comparison of the Greeks and Latins . . . . . 274
    • Revival of the Greek Learning in Italy . . . . . 276
    • 1339 Lessons of Barlaam . . . . . . . . . 276
    • 1339-1374 Studies of Petrarch . . . . . . . . 277
    • 1360 Of Boccace . . . . . . . . . . 279
    • 1360-1363 Leo Pilatus, first Greek Professor at Florence, and in the West . . . . . . . . . . . 279
    • 1390-1415 Foundation of the Greek Language in Italy by Manuel Chrysoloras . . . . . . . . . 281
    • 1400-1500 The Greeks in Italy . . . . . . . . 283
    • Cardinal Bessarion, etc. . . . . . . . . 283
    • Their Faults and Merits . . . . . . . . 284
    • The Platonic Philosophy . . . . . . . . 286
    • Emulation and Progress of the Latins . . . . . 288
    • 1447-1455 Nicholas V. . . . . . . . . . 288
    • 1428-1492 Cosmo and Lorenzo of Medicis . . . . . 289
    • Use and Abuse of Ancient Learning . . . . . . 291
  • CHAPTER LXVII Schism of the Greeks and Latins — Reign and Character of Amurath the Second — Crusade of Ladislaus, King of Hungary — His Defeat and Death — John Huniades — Scanderbeg — Constantine Palæologus, last Emperor of the East
    • 1428-1492 Comparison of Rome and Constantinople . . . 293
    • 1440-1448 The Greek Schism after the Council of Florence . . 296
    • Zeal of the Orientals and Russians . . . . . . 297
    • 1421-1451 Reign and Character of Amurath II. . . . . 300
    • 1442-1444 His double Abdication . . . . . . . 302
    • 1443 Eugenius forms a League against the Turks . . . . 303
    • Ladislaus, king of Poland and Hungary, marches against them 306
    • The Turkish Peace . . . . . . . . . 307
    • 1444 Violation of the Peace . . . . . . . . 307
    • Battle of Warna . . . . . . . . . . 309
    • Death of Ladislaus . . . . . . . . . 311
    • The Cardinal Julian . . . . . . . . . 312
    • John Corvinus Huniades . . . . . . . . 313
    • 1456 His Defence of Belgrade, and Death . . . . . . 315Edition: current; Page: [xi]
    • 1404-1413 Birth and Education of Scanderbeg, Prince of Albania . 316
    • 1443 His Revolt from the Turks . . . . . . . 318
    • His Valour . . . . . . . . . . . 318
    • 1467 And Death . . . . . . . . . . . 320
    • 1448-1453 Constantine, the last of the Roman or Greek Emperors . 321
    • 1450-1452 Embassies of Phranza . . . . . . . 323
    • State of the Byzantine Court . . . . . . . 325
  • Appendix . . . . . . . . . . . . 327
Edition: current; Page: [xii] Edition: current; Page: [xiii]

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

  • Ruins of the Forum . . . . . . Frontispiece
    • From a photograph.
  • Map Illustrating the Crusades . . . . . . page 38
  • The Acropolis, Athens . . . . . . . 92
    • From a photograph.
  • The Bosphorus . . . . . . . . . 126
    • From a photograph.
  • Bagdad . . . . . . . . . . . 200
    • From a painting by E. Radclyffe.
  • Constantinople . . . . . . . . . 250
    • From a painting by J. Cousen.
Edition: current; Page: [xiv] Edition: current; Page: [1]

THE HISTORY OF THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE

CHAPTER LXI

Partition of the Empire by the French and Venetians — Five Latin Emperors of the Houses of Flanders and Courtenay — Their Wars against the Bulgarians and Greeks — Weakness and Poverty of the Latin Empire — Recovery of Constantinople by the Greeks — General Consequences of the Crusades

After the death of the lawful princes, the French and Venetians, confident of justice and victory, agreed to divide and regulate their future possessions.1 It was stipulated by treaty, that twelve electors, six of either nation, should be nominated; that a majority should choose the emperor of the East; and that, if the votes were equal, the decision of chance should ascertain the successful candidate. To him, with all the titles and prerogatives of the Byzantine throne, they assigned the two palaces of Boucoleon and Blachernæ, with a fourth part of the Greek monarchy. It was defined that the three remaining portions should be equally shared between the republic of Venice and the barons of France; that each feudatory, with an honourable exception for the Edition: current; Page: [2] doge, should acknowledge and perform the duties of homage and military service to the supreme head of the empire; that the nation which gave an emperor should resign to their brethren the choice of a patriarch; and that the pilgrims, whatever might be their impatience to visit the Holy Land, should devote another year to the conquest and defence of the Greek provinces. After the conquest of Constantinople by the Latins, the treaty was confirmed and executed; and the first and most important step was the creation of an emperor. The six electors of the French nation were all ecclesiastics, the abbot of Loces, the archbishop elect of Acre in Palestine, and the bishops of Troyes, Soissons, Halberstadt, and Bethlehem, the last of whom exercised in the camp the office of pope’s legate; their profession and knowledge were respectable; and, as they could not be the objects, they were best qualified to be authors, of the choice. The six Venetians were the principal servants of the state, and in this list the noble families of Querini and Contarini are still proud to discover their ancestors. The twelve assembled in the chapel of the palace; and, after the solemn invocation of the Holy Ghost, they proceeded to deliberate and vote. A just impulse of respect and gratitude prompted them to crown the virtues of the doge; his wisdom had inspired their enterprise; and the most youthful knights might envy and applaud the exploits of blindness and age. But the patriot Dandolo was devoid of all personal ambition, and fully satisfied that he had been judged worthy to reign. His nomination was overruled by the Venetians themselves; his countrymen, and perhaps his friends,2 represented, with the eloquence of truth, the mischiefs that might arise to national freedom and the common cause from the union of two incompatible characters, of the first magistrate of a republic and the emperor of the Edition: current; Page: [3] East. The exclusion of the doge left room for the more equal merits of Boniface and Baldwin; and at their names all meaner candidates respectfully withdrew. The marquis of Montferrat was recommended by his mature age and fair reputation, by the choice of the adventurers and the wishes of the Greeks; nor can I believe that Venice, the mistress of the sea, could be seriously apprehensive of a petty lord at the foot of the Alps.3 But the count of Flanders was the chief of a wealthy and warlike people; he was valiant, pious, and chaste; in the prime of life, since he was only thirty-two years of age; a descendant of Charlemagne, a cousin of the king of France, and a compeer of the prelates and barons who had yielded with reluctance to the command of a foreigner. Without the chapel, these barons, with the doge and marquis at their head, expected the decision of the twelve electors. It was announced by the bishop of Soissons, in the name of his colleagues: “Ye have sworn to obey the prince whom we should choose: by our unanimous suffrage, Baldwin, count of Flanders and Hainault, is now your sovereign, and the emperor of the East.” He was saluted with loud applause, and the proclamation was re-echoed throughout the city by the joy of the Latins and the trembling adulation of the Greeks. Boniface was the first to kiss the hand of his rival, and to raise him on the buckler; and Baldwin was transported to the cathedral and solemnly invested with the purple buskins. At the end of three weeks he was crowned by the legate, in the vacancy of a patriarch; but the Venetian clergy soon filled the chapter of St. Sophia, seated Thomas Morosini on the ecclesiastical throne, and employed every art to perpetuate, in their own nation, the honours and benefices of the Greek church.4 Without delay, the successor of Edition: current; Page: [4] Constantine instructed Palestine, France, and Rome of this memorable revolution. To Palestine he sent, as a trophy, the gates of Constantinople and the chain of the harbour;5 and adopted from the Assise of Jerusalem the laws or customs best adapted to a French colony and conquest in the East.6 In his epistles, the natives of France are encouraged to swell that colony and to secure that conquest, to people a magnificent city and a fertile land, which will reward the labours both of the priest and the soldier. He congratulates the Roman pontiff on the restoration of his authority in the East; invites him to extinguish the Greek schism by his presence in a general council; and implores his blessing and forgiveness for the disobedient pilgrims. Prudence and dignity are blended in the answer of Innocent.7 In the subversion of the Byzantine empire, he arraigns the vices of man and adores the providence of God; the conquerors will be absolved or condemned by their future conduct; the validity of their treaty depends on the judgment of St. Peter; but he inculcates their most sacred duty of establishing a just subordination of obedience and tribute, from the Greeks to the Latins, from the magistrate to the clergy, and from the clergy to the pope.

In the division of the Greek provinces,8 the share of the Edition: current; Page: [5] Venetians was more ample than that of the Latin emperor. No more than one fourth was appropriated to his domain; a clear moiety of the remainder was reserved for Venice; and the other moiety was distributed among the adventurers of France and Lombardy. The venerable Dandolo was proclaimed despot of Romania, and invested, after the Greek fashion, with the purple buskins. He ended, at Constantinople, his long and glorious life; and, if the prerogative was personal, the title was used by his successors till the middle of the fourteenth century, with the singular though true addition of lords of one fourth and a half of the Roman empire.9 The doge, a slave of the state, was seldom permitted to depart from the helm of the republic; but his place was supplied by the bail, or regent, who exercised a supreme jurisdiction over the colony of Venetians; they possessed three of the eight quarters of the city; and his independent tribunal was composed of six judges, four counsellors, two chamberlains, two fiscal advocates, and a constable. Their long experience of the Eastern trade enabled them to select their portion with discernment; they had rashly accepted the dominion and defence of Hadrianople; but it was the more reasonable aim of their policy to form a chain of factories and cities and islands along the maritime coast, from the neighbourhood of Ragusa to the Hellespont and the Bosphorus. The labour and cost of such extensive conquests exhausted their treasury; they abandoned their maxims of government, adopted a feudal system, and contented themselves with the homage of their nobles,10 for the possessions Edition: current; Page: [6] which these private vassals undertook to reduce and maintain. And thus it was that the family of Sanut acquired the duchy of Naxos, which involved the greatest part of the Archipelago. For the price of ten thousand marks the republic purchased of the marquis of Montferrat the fertile island of Crete, or Candia, with the ruins of an hundred cities;11 but its improvement was stinted by the proud and narrow spirit of an aristocracy;12 and the wisest senators would confess that the sea, not the land, was the treasury of St. Mark. In the moiety of the adventurers, the marquis Boniface might claim the most liberal reward; and, besides the isle of Crete, his exclusion from the throne was compensated by the royal title and the provinces beyond the Hellespont. But he prudently exchanged that distant and difficult conquest for the kingdom of Thessalonica, or Macedonia, twelve days’ journey from the capital, where he might be supported by the neighbouring powers of his brother-in-law the king of Hungary.13 His progress was hailed by the voluntary or reluctant acclamations of the natives; and Greece, the proper and ancient Edition: current; Page: [7] Greece, again received a Latin conqueror,14 who trod with indifference that classic ground. He viewed with a careless eye the beauties of the valley of Tempe; traversed with a cautious step the straits of Thermopylæ; occupied the unknown cities of Thebes, Athens, and Argos;15 and assaulted the fortifications of Corinth and Napoli,16 which resisted his arms. The lots of the Latin pilgrims were regulated by chance, or choice, or subsequent exchange; and they abused, with intemperate joy, the triumph over the lives and fortunes of a great people. After a minute survey of the provinces, they weighed in the scales of avarice the revenue of each district, the advantage of the situation, and the ample or scanty supplies for the maintenance of soldiers and horses. Edition: current; Page: [8] Their presumption claimed and divided the long-lost dependencies of the Roman sceptre; the Nile and Euphrates rolled through their imaginary realms; and happy was the warrior who drew for his prize the palace of the Turkish sultan of Iconium.17 I shall not descend to the pedigree of families and the rent-rolls of estates, but I wish to specify that the counts of Blois and St. Pol were invested with the duchy of Nice and the lordship of Demotica;18 the principal fiefs were held by the service of constable, chamberlain, cup-bearer, butler, and chief cook; and our historian, Jeffrey of Villehardouin, obtained a fair establishment on the banks of the Hebrus, and united the double office of marshal of Champagne and Romania. At the head of his knights and archers each baron mounted on horseback to secure the possession of his share, and their first efforts were generally successful. But the public force was weakened by their dispersion; and a thousand quarrels must arise under a law, and among men, whose sole umpire was the sword. Within three months after the conquest of Constantinople, the emperor and the king of Thessalonica drew their hostile followers into the field; they were reconciled by the authority of the doge, the advice of the marshal, and the firm freedom of their peers.19

Two fugitives, who had reigned at Constantinople, still asserted the title of emperor; and the subjects of their fallen throne might be moved to pity by the misfortunes of the elder Edition: current; Page: [9] Alexius, or excited to revenge by the spirit of Mourzoufle. A domestic alliance, a common interest, a similar guilt, and a merit of extinguishing his enemies, a brother and a nephew, induced the more recent usurper to unite with the former the relics of his power. Mourzoufle was received with smiles and honours in the camp of his father Alexius; but the wicked can never love, and should rarely trust, their fellow-criminals: he was seized in the bath, deprived of his eyes, stripped of his troops and treasures, and turned out to wander an object of horror and contempt to those who with more propriety could hate, and with more justice could punish, the assassin of the emperor Isaac and his son. As the tyrant, pursued by fear or remorse, was stealing over to Asia, he was seized by the Latins of Constantinople, and condemned, after an open trial, to an ignominious death. His judges debated the mode of his execution, the axe, the wheel, or the stake; and it was resolved that Mourzoufle20 should ascend the Theodosian column, a pillar of white marble of one hundred and forty-seven feet in height.21 From the summit he was cast down headlong, and dashed in pieces on the pavement, in the presence of innumerable spectators, who filled the forum of Taurus, and admired the accomplishment of an old prediction, which was explained by this singular event.22 The fate of Alexius is less tragical: Edition: current; Page: [10] he was sent by the marquis a captive to Italy, and a gift to the king of the Romans; but he had not much to applaud his fortune, if the sentence of imprisonment and exile were changed from a fortress in the Alps to a monastery in Asia. But his daughter, before the national calamity, had been given in marriage to a young hero, who continued the succession, and restored the throne, of the Greek princes.23 The valour of Theodore Lascaris was signalised in the two sieges of Constantinople. After the flight of Mourzoufle, when the Latins were already in the city, he offered himself as their emperor to the soldiers and people; and his ambition, which might be virtuous, was undoubtedly brave. Could he have infused a soul into the multitude, they might have crushed the strangers under their feet; their abject despair refused his aid; and Theodore retired to breathe the air of freedom in Anatolia, beyond the immediate view and pursuit of the conquerors. Under the title, at first of despot, and afterwards of emperor, he drew to his standard the bolder spirits, who were fortified against slavery by the contempt of life; and, as every means was lawful for the public safety, implored without scruple the alliance of the Turkish sultan. Nice, where Theodore established his residence, Prusa and Philadelphia, Smyrna and Ephesus, opened their gates to their deliverer; he derived strength and reputation from his victories, and even from his defeats; and the successor of Constantine preserved a fragment of the empire from the banks of the Mæander to the suburbs of Nicomedia, and at length of Constantinople. Another portion, distant and obscure, was possessed by the lineal heir of the Comneni, a son of the virtuous Manuel, a grandson of the tyrant Andronicus. His name was Alexius; and the epithet of great was applied perhaps to his stature, rather than to his exploits. By the Edition: current; Page: [11] indulgence of the Angeli,24 he was appointed governor or duke of Trebizond:25 his birth gave him ambition, the revolution independence; and, without changing his title, he reigned in peace from Sinope to the Phasis, along the coast of the Black Sea. His nameless son and successor26 is described as the vassal of the sultan, whom he served with two hundred lances; that Comnenian prince was no more than duke of Edition: current; Page: [12] Trebizond, and the title of emperor was first assumed by the pride and envy of the grandson of Alexius. In the West, a third fragment was saved from the common shipwreck by Michael, a bastard of the house of Angeli,27 who, before the revolution, had been known as an hostage, a soldier, and a rebel. His flight from the camp of the marquis Boniface secured his freedom; by his marriage with the governor’s daughter he commanded the important place of Durazzo, assumed the title of despot, and founded a strong and conspicuous principality in Epirus, Ætolia, and Thessaly, which have ever been peopled by a warlike race. The Greeks, who had offered their service to their new sovereigns, were excluded by the haughty Latins28 from all civil and military honours, as a nation born to tremble and obey. Their resentment prompted them to show that they might have been useful friends, since they could be dangerous enemies; their nerves were braced by adversity; whatever was learned or holy, whatever was noble or valiant, rolled away into the independent states of Trebizond, Epirus, and Nice; and a single patrician is marked by the ambiguous praise of attachment and loyalty to the Franks. The vulgar herd of the cities and the country would have gladly submitted to a mild and regular servitude; and the transient disorders of war would have been obliterated by some years of industry and peace. But peace was banished, and industry was crushed, in the disorders of the feudal system. The Roman emperors of Constantinople, if they were endowed with abilities, were armed with power for the protection of their Edition: current; Page: [13] subjects; their laws were wise and their administration was simple. The Latin throne was filled by a titular prince, the chief, and often the servant, of his licentious confederates: the fiefs of the empire, from a kingdom to a castle, were held and ruled by the sword of the barons; and their discord, poverty, and ignorance extended their ramifications of tyranny to the most sequestered villages. The Greeks were oppressed by the double weight of the priest, who was invested with temporal power, and of the soldier, who was inflamed by fanatic hatred: and the insuperable bar of religion and language for ever separated the stranger and the native. As long as the crusaders were united at Constantinople, the memory of their conquest and the terror of their arms imposed silence on the captive land; their dispersion betrayed the smallness of their numbers and the defects of their discipline; and some failures and mischances revealed the secret that they were not invincible. As the fear of the Greeks abated, their hatred increased. They murmured; they conspired; and, before a year of slavery had elapsed, they implored or accepted the succour of a Barbarian, whose power they had felt, and whose gratitude they trusted.29

The Latin conquerors had been saluted with a solemn and early embassy from John, or Joannice, or Calo-John, the revolted chief of the Bulgarians and Walachians. He deemed himself their brother, as the votary of the Roman pontiff, from whom he had received the regal title and an holy banner; and in the subversion of the Greek monarchy he might aspire to the name of their friend and accomplice. But Calo-John was astonished to find that the count of Flanders had assumed the pomp and pride of the successors of Constantine; and his ambassadors were dismissed with an haughty message, that the rebel must deserve a pardon by touching with Edition: current; Page: [14] his forehead the footstool of the Imperial throne. His resentment30 would have exhaled in acts of violence and blood; his cooler policy watched the rising discontent of the Greeks; affected a tender concern for their sufferings; and promised that their first struggles for freedom should be supported by his person and kingdom. The conspiracy was propagated by national hatred, the firmest band of association and secrecy: the Greeks were impatient to sheathe their daggers in the breasts of the victorious strangers; but the execution was prudently delayed, till Henry, the emperor’s brother, had transported the flower of his troops beyond the Hellespont. Most of the towns and villages of Thrace were true to the moment and the signal: and the Latins, without arms or suspicion, were slaughtered by the vile and merciless revenge of their slaves. From Demotica, the first scene of the massacre, the surviving vassals of the count of St. Pol escaped to Hadrianople; but the French and Venetians who occupied that city were slain or expelled by the furious multitude; the garrisons that could effect their retreat fell back on each other towards the metropolis; and the fortresses that separately stood against the rebels were ignorant of each other’s and of their sovereign’s fate. The voice of fame and fear announced the revolt of the Greeks and the rapid approach of their Bulgarian ally; and Calo-John, not depending on the forces of his own kingdom, had drawn from the Scythian wilderness a body of fourteen thousand Comans, who drank, as it was said, the blood of their captives, and sacrificed the Christians on the altars of their gods.31

Edition: current; Page: [15]

Alarmed by this sudden and growing danger, the emperor despatched a swift messenger to recall Count Henry and his troops; and, had Baldwin expected the return of his gallant brother, with a supply of twenty thousand Armenians, he might have encountered the invader with equal numbers and a decisive superiority of arms and discipline. But the spirit of chivalry could seldom discriminate caution from cowardice; and the emperor took the field with an hundred and forty knights, and their train of archers and serjeants. The marshal, who dissuaded and obeyed, led the vanguard in their march to Hadrianople; the main body was commanded by the count of Blois; the aged doge of Venice followed with the rear; and their scanty numbers were increased on all sides by the fugitive Latins. They undertook to besiege the rebels of Hadrianople; and such was the pious tendency of the crusades that they employed the holy week in pillaging the country for their subsistence, and in framing engines for the destruction of their fellow-Christians. But the Latins were soon interrupted and alarmed by the light cavalry of the Comans, who boldly skirmished to the edge of their imperfect lines; and a proclamation was issued by the marshal of Romania, that on the trumpet’s sound the cavalry should mount and form, but that none, under pain of death, should abandon themselves to a desultory and dangerous pursuit. This wise injunction was first disobeyed by the count of Blois, who involved the emperor in his rashness and ruin. The Comans, of the Parthian or Tartar school, fled before their first charge; but, after a career of two leagues, when the knights and their horses were almost breathless, they suddenly turned, rallied, and encompassed the heavy squadrons of the Franks. The count was slain on the field; the emperor was made prisoner; and, if the one disdained to fly, if the other refused to yield, their personal bravery made a poor atonement for their ignorance or neglect of the duties of a general.32

Edition: current; Page: [16]

Proud of his victory and his royal prize, the Bulgarian advanced to relieve Hadrianople and achieve the destruction of the Latins. They must inevitably have been destroyed, if the marshal of Romania had not displayed a cool courage and consummate skill, uncommon in all ages, but most uncommon in those times, when war was a passion rather than a science. His grief and fears were poured into the firm and faithful bosom of the doge; but in the camp he diffused an assurance of safety, which could only be realised by the general belief. All day he maintained his perilous station between the city and the Barbarians: Villehardouin decamped in silence at the dead of night; and his masterly retreat of three days would have deserved the praise of Xenophon and the ten thousand. In the rear the marshal supported the weight of the pursuit; in the front he moderated the impatience of the fugitives; and, wherever the Comans approached, they were repelled by a line of impenetrable spears. On the third day, the weary troops beheld the sea, the solitary town of Rodosto,33 and their friends, who had landed from the Asiatic shore. They embraced, they wept; but they united their arms and counsels; and, in his brother’s absence, Count Henry assumed the regency of the empire, at once in a state of childhood and caducity.34 If the Comans withdrew from the summer-heats, seven thousand Latins, in the hour of danger, deserted Constantinople, their brethren, and their vows. Some partial success was overbalanced by the loss Edition: current; Page: [17] of one hundred and twenty knights in the field of Dusium; and of the Imperial domain no more was left than the capital, with two or three adjacent fortresses on the shores of Europe and Asia. The king of Bulgaria was resistless and inexorable; and Calo-John respectfully eluded the demands of the pope, who conjured his new proselyte to restore peace and the emperor to the afflicted Latins. The deliverance of Baldwin was no longer, he said, in the power of man: that prince had died in prison; and the manner of his death is variously related by ignorance and credulity. The lovers of a tragic legend will be pleased to hear that the royal captive was tempted by the amorous queen of the Bulgarians; that his chaste refusal exposed him to the falsehood of a woman and the jealousy of a savage; that his hands and feet were severed from his body; that his bleeding trunk was cast among the carcases of dogs and horses; and that he breathed three days before he was devoured by the birds of prey.35 About twenty years afterwards, in a wood of the Netherlands, an hermit announced himself as the true Baldwin, the emperor of Constantinople, and the lawful sovereign of Flanders. He related the wonders of his escape, his adventures, and his penance, among a people prone to believe and to rebel: and, in the first transport, Flanders acknowledged her long-lost sovereign. A short examination before the French court detected the impostor, who was punished with an ignominious death; but the Flemings still adhered to the pleasing error; and the countess Jane is accused by the gravest historians of sacrificing to her ambition the life of an unfortunate father.36

In all civilised hostility a treaty is established for the Edition: current; Page: [18] exchange or ransom of prisoners; and, if their captivity be prolonged, their condition is known, and they are treated according to their rank with humanity or honour. But the savage Bulgarian was a stranger to the laws of war; his prisons were involved in darkness and silence; and above a year elapsed before the Latins could be assured of the death of Baldwin, before his brother, the regent Henry, would consent to assume the title of emperor. His moderation was applauded by the Greeks as an act of rare and inimitable virtue. Their light and perfidious ambition was eager to seize or anticipate the moment of a vacancy, while a law of succession, the guardian both of the prince and people, was gradually defined and confirmed in the hereditary monarchies of Europe. In the support of the Eastern empire Henry was gradually left without an associate, as the heroes of the crusade retired from the world or from the war. The doge of Venice, the venerable Dandolo, in the fulness of years and glory, sunk into the grave. The marquis of Montferrat was slowly recalled from the Peloponnesian war to the revenge of Baldwin and the defence of Thessalonica. Some nice disputes of feudal homage and service were reconciled in a personal interview between the emperor and the king; they were firmly united by mutual esteem and the common danger; and their alliance was sealed by the nuptial of Henry with the daughter of the Italian prince. He soon deplored the loss of his friend and father. At the persuasion of some faithful Greeks, Boniface made a bold and successful inroad among the hills of Rhodope: the Bulgarians fled on his approach; they assembled to harass his retreat. On the intelligence that his rear was attacked, without waiting for any defensive armour, he leaped on horseback, couched his lance, and drove the enemies before him; but in the rash pursuit he was pierced with a mortal wound; and the head of the king of Thessalonica was presented to Calo-John, who enjoyed the honours, without the merit, of victory. It is here, at this melancholy event, that the pen or the voice of Jeffrey of Villehardouin Edition: current; Page: [19] seems to drop or to expire;37 and, if he still exercised his military office of marshal of Romania, his subsequent exploits are buried in oblivion.38 The character of Henry was not unequal to his arduous situation: in the siege of Constantinople, and beyond the Hellespont, he had deserved the fame of a valiant knight and a skilful commander; and his courage was tempered with a degree of prudence and mildness unknown to his impetuous brother. In the double war against the Greeks of Asia and the Bulgarians of Europe, he was ever the foremost on shipboard or on horseback; and, though he cautiously provided for the success of his arms, the drooping Latins were often roused by his example to save and to second their fearless emperor. But such efforts, and some supplies of men and money from France, were of less avail than the errors, the cruelty, and the death of their most formidable adversary. When the despair of the Greek subjects invited Calo-John as their deliverer, they hoped that he would protect their liberty and adopt their laws; they were soon taught to compare the degrees of national ferocity, and to execrate the savage conqueror, who no longer dissembled his intention of dispeopling Thrace, of demolishing the cities, and of transplanting the inhabitants beyond the Danube. Many towns and villages of Thrace were already evacuated; an heap of ruins marked the place of Philippopolis, and a similar calamity was expected at Demotica and Hadrianople by the first authors of the revolt. They raised a cry of grief and repentance Edition: current; Page: [20] to the throne of Henry; the emperor alone had the magnanimity to forgive and trust them. No more than four hundred knights, with their serjeants and archers, could be assembled under his banner; and with this slender force he fought and repulsed the Bulgarian, who, besides his infantry, was at the head of forty thousand horse. In this expedition, Henry felt the difference between an hostile and a friendly country; the remaining cities were preserved by his arms; and the savage, with shame and loss, was compelled to relinquish his prey. The siege of Thessalonica was the last of the evils which Calo-John inflicted or suffered; he was stabbed in the night in his tent; and the general, perhaps the assassin, who found him weltering in his blood, ascribed the blow, with general applause, to the lance of St. Demetrius.39 After several victories the prudence of Henry concluded an honourable peace with the successor of the tyrant, and with the Greek princes of Nice and Epirus. If he ceded some doubtful limits, an ample kingdom was reserved for himself and his feudatories; and his reign, which lasted only ten years, afforded a short interval of prosperity and peace. Far above the narrow policy of Baldwin and Boniface, he freely entrusted to the Greeks the most important offices of the state and army; and this liberality of sentiment and practice was the more seasonable, as the princes of Nice and Epirus had already learned to seduce and employ the mercenary valour of the Latins. It was the aim of Henry to unite and reward his deserving subjects of every nation and language; but he appeared less solicitous to accomplish the impracticable union of the two churches. Pelagius, the pope’s legate, who acted as the sovereign of Constantinople, had interdicted the worship of the Greeks, and sternly imposed the payment of tithes, the double procession of the Holy Ghost, and a blind Edition: current; Page: [21] obedience to the Roman pontiff. As the weaker party, they pleaded the duties of conscience, and implored the rights of toleration: “Our bodies,” they said, “are Cæsar’s, but our souls belong only to God.” The persecution was checked by the firmness of the emperor;40 and, if we can believe that the same prince was poisoned by the Greeks themselves, we must entertain a contemptible idea of the sense and gratitude of mankind. His valour was a vulgar attribute which he shared with ten thousand knights; but Henry possessed the superior courage to oppose, in a superstitious age, the pride and avarice of the clergy. In the cathedral of St. Sophia, he presumed to place his throne on the right hand of the patriarch; and this presumption excited the sharpest censure of Pope Innocent the Third.41 By a salutary edict, one of the first examples of the laws of mortmain, he prohibited the alienation of fiefs; many of the Latins, desirous of returning to Europe, resigned their estates to the church for a spiritual or temporal reward; these holy lands were immediately discharged from military service; and a colony of soldiers would have been gradually transformed into a college of priests.42

The virtuous Henry died at Thessalonica, in the defence of that kingdom, and of an infant, the son of his friend Boniface. In the two first emperors of Constantinople, the male line of the counts of Flanders was extinct. But their sister Yolande was the wife of a French prince, the mother of a numerous progeny; and one of her daughters had married Andrew, king of Hungary, a brave and pious champion of the cross. By Edition: current; Page: [22] seating him on the Byzantine throne, the barons of Romania would have acquired the forces of a neighbouring and warlike kingdom; but the prudent Andrew revered the laws of succession; and the princess Yolande, with her husband, Peter of Courtenay, count of Auxerre, was invited by the Latins to assume the empire of the East. The royal birth of his father, the noble origin of his mother, recommended to the barons of France the first-cousin of their king. His reputation was fair, his possessions were ample, and in the bloody crusade against the Albigeois the soldiers and the priests had been abundantly satisfied of his zeal and valour. Vanity might applaud the elevation of a French emperor of Constantinople; but prudence must pity, rather than envy, his treacherous and imaginary greatness. To assert and adorn his title, he was reduced to sell or mortgage the best of his patrimony. By these expedients, the liberality of his royal kinsman, Philip Augustus, and the national spirit of chivalry, he was enabled to pass the Alps at the head of one hundred and forty knights and five thousand five hundred serjeants and archers. After some hesitation, Pope Honorius the Third was persuaded to crown the successor of Constantine; but he performed the ceremony in a church without the walls, lest he should seem to imply, or to bestow, anyright of sovereignty over the ancient capital of the empire. The Venetians had engaged to transport Peter and his forces beyond the Adriatic, and the empress, with her four children, to the Byzantine palace; but they required, as the price of their service, that he should recover Durazzo from the despot of Epirus. Michael Angelus, or Comnenus, the first of his dynasty, had bequeathed the succession of his power and ambition to Theodore, his legitimate brother, who already threatened and invaded the establishments of the Latins. After discharging his debt by a fruitless assault, the emperor raised the siege to prosecute a long and perilous journey over land from Durazzo to Thessalonica. He was soon lost in the mountains of Epirus; the passes were fortified; his provisions exhausted; he was delayed and Edition: current; Page: [23] deceived by a treacherous negotiation; and, after Peter of Courtenay and the Roman legate had been arrested in a banquet, the French troops, without leaders or hopes, were eager to exchange their arms for the delusive promise of mercy and bread. The Vatican thundered; and the impious Theodore was threatened with the vengeance of earth and heaven; but the captive emperor and his soldiers were forgotten, and the reproaches of the pope are confined to the imprisonment of his legate. No sooner was he satisfied by the deliverance of the priest and a promise of spiritual obedience, than he pardoned and protected the despot of Epirus. His peremptory commands suspended the ardour of the Venetians and the king of Hungary; and it was only by a natural or untimely death43 that Peter of Courtenay was released from his hopeless captivity.44

The long ignorance of his fate, and the presence of the lawful sovereign, of Yolande, his wife or widow, delayed the proclamation of a new emperor. Before her death, and in the midst of her grief, she was delivered of a son, who was named Baldwin, the last and most unfortunate of the Latin princes of Constantinople. His birth endeared him to the barons of Romania; but his childhood would have prolonged the troubles of a minority, and his claims were superseded by the elder claims of his brethren. The first of these, Philip of Courtenay, who derived from his mother the inheritance of Namur, had the wisdom to prefer the substance of a marquisate to the shadow of an empire; and on his refusal, Robert, the second of the sons of Peter and Yolande, was called to the throne of Constantinople. Warned by his Edition: current; Page: [24] father’s mischance, he pursued his slow and secure journey through Germany and along the Danube; a passage was opened by his sister’s marriage with the king of Hungary; and the emperor Robert was crowned by the patriarch in the cathedral of St. Sophia. But his reign was an era of calamity and disgrace; and the colony, as it was styled, of New France yielded on all sides to the Greeks of Nice and Epirus. After a victory, which he owed to his perfidy rather than his courage, Theodore Angelus entered the kingdom of Thessalonica, expelled the feeble Demetrius, the son of the marquis Boniface, erected his standard on the walls of Hadrianople, and added, by his vanity, a third or fourth name to the list of rival emperors. The relics of the Asiatic province were swept away by John Vataces, the son-in-law and successor of Theodore Lascaris, and who, in a triumphant reign of thirty-three years, displayed the virtues both of peace and war. Under his discipline, the swords of the French mercenaries were the most effectual instrument of his conquests, and their desertion from the service of their country was at once a symptom and a cause of the rising ascendant of the Greeks. By the construction of a fleet he obtained the command of the Hellespont, reduced the islands of Lesbos and Rhodes,45 attacked the Venetians of Candia, and intercepted the rare and parsimonious succours of the West. Once, and once only, the Latin emperor sent an army against Vataces; and, in the defeat of that army, the veteran knights, the last of the original conquerors, were left on the field of battle. But the success of a foreign enemy was less painful to the pusillanimous Robert than the insolence of his Latin subjects, who confounded the weakness of the emperor and of the empire. His personal misfortunes will prove the anarchy of the government and the ferociousness of the times. The amorous youth had neglected his Greek Edition: current; Page: [25] bride, the daughter of Vataces, to introduce into the palace a beautiful maid, of a private, though noble, family of Artois; and her mother had been tempted by the lustre of the purple to forfeit her engagements with a gentleman of Burgundy. His love was converted into rage; he assembled his friends, forced the palace gates, threw the mother into the sea, and inhumanly cut off the nose and lips of the wife or concubine of the emperor. Instead of punishing the offender, the barons avowed and applauded the savage deed,46 which, as a prince and as a man, it was impossible that Robert should forgive. He escaped from the guilty city to implore the justice or compassion of the pope; the emperor was coolly exhorted to return to his station; before he could obey, he sunk under the weight of grief, shame, and impotent resentment.47

It was only in the age of chivalry that valour could ascend from a private station to the thrones of Jerusalem and Constantinople. The titular kingdom of Jerusalem had devolved to Mary, the daughter of Isabella, and Conrad of Montferrat, and the grand-daughter of Almeric or Amaury. She was given to John of Brienne, of a noble family in Champagne, by the public voice, and the judgment of Philip Augustus, who named him as the most worthy champion of the Holy Land.48 In the fifth crusade, he led an hundred thousand Latins to the conquest of Egypt; by him the siege of Damietta was achieved; and the subsequent failure was Edition: current; Page: [26] justly ascribed to the pride and avarice of the legate. After the marriage of his daughter with Frederic the Second,49 he was provoked by the emperor’s ingratitude to accept the command of the army of the church; and, though advanced in life, and despoiled of royalty, the sword and spirit of John of Brienne were still ready for the service of Christendom. In the seven years of his brother’s reign Baldwin of Courtenay had not emerged from a state of childhood, and the barons of Romania felt the strong necessity of placing the sceptre in the hands of a man and a hero. The veteran king of Jerusalem might have disdained the name and office of regent; they agreed to invest him for his life with the title and prerogatives of emperor, on the sole condition that Baldwin should marry his second daughter and succeed at a mature age to the throne of Constantinople.50 The expectation, both of the Greeks and Latins, was kindled by the renown, the choice, and the presence of John of Brienne; and they admired his martial aspect, his green and vigorous age of more than fourscore years, and his size and stature, which surpassed the common measure of mankind.51 But avarice and the love of ease appear to have chilled the ardour of enterprise; his troops were disbanded, and two years rolled away without action or honour, till he was awakened52 by the dangerous alliance of Vataces, emperor of Nice, and of Azan, king of Bulgaria.53 They besieged Constantinople by sea Edition: current; Page: [27] and land, with an army of one hundred thousand men, and a fleet of three hundred ships of war; while the entire force of the Latin emperor was reduced to one hundred and sixty knights and a small addition of serjeants and archers. I tremble to relate that, instead of defending the city, the hero made a sally at the head of his cavalry; and that, of fortyeight squadrons of the enemy, no more than three escaped from the edge of his invincible sword. Fired by his example, the infantry and citizens boarded the vessels that anchored close to the walls; and twenty-five were dragged in triumph into the harbour of Constantinople. At the summons of the emperor, the vassals and allies armed in her defence; broke through every obstacle that opposed their passage; and, in the succeeding year, obtained a second victory over the same enemies. By the rude poets of the age, John of Brienne is compared to Hector, Roland, and Judas Maccabæus;54 Edition: current; Page: [28] but their credit and his glory receives some abatement from the silence of the Greeks.55 The empire was soon deprived of the last of her champions; and the dying monarch was ambitious to enter paradise in the habit of a Franciscan friar.56

In the double victory of John of Brienne, I cannot discover the name or exploits of his pupil Baldwin, who had attained the age of military service, and who succeeded to the Imperial dignity on the decease of his adopted father.57 The royal youth was employed on a commission more suitable to his temper; he was sent to visit the Western courts, of the pope more especially, and of the king of France; to excite their pity by the view of his innocence and distress; and to obtain some supplies of men or money for the relief of the sinking empire. He thrice repeated these mendicant visits, in which he seemed to prolong his stay and postpone his return; of the five-and-twenty years of his reign, a greater number were spent abroad than at home; and in no place did the emperor deem himself less free and secure than in his native country and his capital. On some public occasions, his vanity might be soothed by the title of Augustus and by the honours of the purple; and at the general council of Lyons, when Frederic the Second was excommunicated and deposed, his Oriental colleague was enthroned on the right hand of the pope. But how often was the exile, the vagrant, the Imperial beggar humbled with scorn, insulted with pity, and degraded in his own eyes and Edition: current; Page: [29] those of the nations! In his first visit to England he was stopt at Dover by a severe reprimand that he should presume, without leave, to enter an independent kingdom. After some delay, Baldwin, however, was permitted to pursue his journey, was entertained with cold civility, and thankfully departed with a present of seven hundred marks.58 From the avarice of Rome he could only obtain the proclamation of a crusade, and a treasure of indulgences: a coin whose currency was depreciated by too frequent and indiscriminate abuse. His birth and misfortunes recommended him to the generosity of his cousin, Lewis the Ninth; but the martial zeal of the saint was diverted from Constantinople to Egypt and Palestine; and the public and private poverty of Baldwin was alleviated, for a moment, by the alienation of the marquisate of Namur and the lordship of Courtenay, the last remains of his inheritance.59 By such shameful or ruinous expedients he once more returned to Romania, with an army of thirty thousand soldiers, whose numbers were doubled in the apprehension of the Greeks. His first despatches to France and England announced his victories and his hopes; he had reduced the country round the capital to the distance of three days’ journey; and, if he succeeded against an important though nameless city (most probably Chiorli),60 the frontier would be safe and the passage accessible. But these expectations (if Baldwin was sincere) quickly vanished like a dream; the troops and treasures of France melted away in his unskilful Edition: current; Page: [30] hands; and the throne of the Latin emperor was protected by a dishonourable alliance with the Turks and Comans. To secure the former, he consented to bestow his niece on the unbelieving sultan of Cogni; to please the latter, he complied with their Pagan rites: a dog was sacrificed between the two armies; and the contracting parties tasted each other’s blood, as a pledge of their fidelity.61 In the palace or prison of Constantinople, the successor of Augustus demolished the vacant houses for winter-fuel, and stripped the lead from the churches for the daily expenses of his family. Some usurious loans were dealt with a scanty hand by the merchants of Italy; and Philip, his son and heir, was pawned at Venice as the security for a debt.62 Thirst, hunger, and nakedness are positive evils; but wealth is relative; and a prince, who would be rich in a private station, may be exposed by the increase of his wants to all the anxiety and bitterness of poverty.

But in this abject distress the emperor and empire were still possessed of an ideal treasure, which drew its fantastic value from the superstition of the Christian world. The merit of the true cross was somewhat impaired by its frequent division; and a long captivity among the infidels might shed some suspicion on the fragments that were produced in the East and West. But another relic of the Passion was preserved in the Imperial chapel of Constantinople; and the crown of thorns, which had been placed on the head of Christ, was equally precious and authentic. It had formerly been the practice of the Egyptian debtors to deposit, as a security, the mummies of their parents; and both their honour and religion were bound for the redemption of the pledge. In the same manner, and in the absence of the emperor, the barons of Romania borrowed the sum of thirteen thousand one hundred and thirty-four Edition: current; Page: [31] pieces of gold,63 on the credit of the holy crown; they failed in the performance of their contract; and a rich Venetian, Nicholas Querini, undertook to satisfy their impatient creditors, on condition that the relic should be lodged at Venice, to become his absolute property if it were not redeemed within a short and definite term. The barons apprised their sovereign of the hard treaty and impending loss; and, as the empire could not afford a ransom of seven thousand pounds sterling, Baldwin was anxious to snatch the prize from the Venetians, and to vest it with more honour and emolument in the hands of the most Christian king.64 Yet the negotiation was attended with some delicacy. In the purchase of relics, the saint would have started at the guilt of simony; but, if the mode of expression were changed, he might lawfully repay the debt, accept the gift, and acknowledge the obligation. His ambassadors, two Dominicans, were despatched to Venice, to redeem and receive the holy crown, which had escaped the dangers of the sea and the galleys of Vataces. On opening a wooden box, they recognised the seals of the doge and barons, which were applied on a shrine of silver; and within this shrine the monument of the Passion was enclosed in a golden vase. The reluctant Venetians yielded to justice and power; the emperor Frederic granted a free and honourable passage; the court of France advanced as far as Troyes in Champagne, to meet with devotion this inestimable relic; it was borne in triumph through Paris by the king himself, barefoot, and in his shirt; and a free gift of ten thousand marks of silver reconciled Baldwin to his loss. The success of this transaction tempted the Latin emperor to Edition: current; Page: [32] offer with the same generosity the remaining furniture of his chapel:65 a large and authentic portion of the true cross; the baby-linen of the Son of God; the lance, the spunge, and the chain of his Passion; the rod of Moses; and part of the scull of St. John the Baptist. For the reception of these spiritual treasures, twenty thousand marks were expended by St. Louis on a stately foundation, the holy chapel of Paris, on which the muse of Boileau has bestowed a comic immortality. The truth of such remote and ancient relics, which cannot be proved by any human testimony, must be admitted by those who believe in the miracles which they have performed. About the middle of the last age, an inveterate ulcer was touched and cured by an holy prickle of the holy crown:66 the prodigy is attested by the most pious and enlightened Christians of France; nor will the fact be easily disproved, except by those who are armed with a general antidote against religious credulity.67

The Latins of Constantinople68 were on all sides encompassed and pressed: their sole hope, the last delay of their ruin, was in the division of their Greek and Bulgarian enemies; Edition: current; Page: [33] and of this hope they were deprived by the superior arms and policy of Vataces, emperor of Nice. From the Propontis to the rocky coast of Pamphylia, Asia was peaceful and prosperous under his reign; and the events of every campaign extended his influence in Europe. The strong cities of the hills of Macedonia and Thrace were rescued from the Bulgarians; and their kingdom was circumscribed by its present and proper limits, along the southern banks of the Danube. The sole emperor of the Romans could no longer brook that a lord of Epirus, a Comnenian prince of the West, should presume to dispute or share the honours of the purple; and the humble Demetrius changed the colour of his buskins, and accepted with gratitude the appellation of despot. His own subjects were exasperated by his baseness and incapacity: they implored the protection of their supreme lord. After some resistance, the kingdom of Thessalonica was united to the empire of Nice;69 and Vataces reigned without a competitor from the Turkish borders to the Adriatic gulf. The princes of Europe revered his merit and power; and, had he subscribed an orthodox creed, it should seem that the pope would have abandoned without reluctance the Latin throne of Constantinople. But the death of Vataces, the short and busy reign of Theodore his son, and the helpless infancy of his grandson John suspended the restoration of the Greeks. Edition: current; Page: [34] In the next chapter I shall explain their domestic revolutions; in this place it will be sufficient to observe that the young prince was oppressed by the ambition of his guardian and colleague, Michael Palæologus, who displayed the virtues and vices that belong to the founder of a new dynasty. The emperor Baldwin had flattered himself that he might recover some provinces or cities by an impotent negotiation. His ambassadors were dismissed from Nice with mockery and contempt. At every place which they named, Palæologus alleged some special reason which rendered it dear and valuable in his eyes: in the one he was born; in another he had been first promoted to military command; and in a third he had enjoyed, and hoped long to enjoy, the pleasures of the chase. “And what, then, do you propose to give us?” said the astonished deputies. “Nothing,” replied the Greek, “not a foot of land. If your master be desirous of peace, let him pay me, as an annual tribute, the sum which he receives from the trade and customs of Constantinople. On these terms I may allow him to reign. If he refuses, it is war. I am not ignorant of the art of war, and I trust the event to God and my sword.”70 An expedition against the despot of Epirus was the first prelude of his arms. If a victory was followed by a defeat; if the race of the Comneni or Angeli survived in those mountains his efforts and his reign; the captivity of Villehardouin, prince of Achaia, deprived the Latins of the most active and powerful vassal of their expiring monarchy.71 The republics of Venice and Genoa disputed, Edition: current; Page: [35] in the first of their naval wars, the command of the sea and the commerce of the East. Pride and interest attached the Venetians to the defence of Constantinople: their rivals were tempted to promote the designs of her enemies, and the alliance of the Genoese with the schismatic conqueror provoked the indignation of the Latin church.72

Intent on his great object, the emperor Michael visited in person and strengthened the troops and fortifications of Thrace. The remains of the Latins were driven from their last possessions; he assaulted without success the suburbs of Galata;73 and corresponded with a perfidious baron,74 who proved unwilling, or unable, to open the gates of the metropolis. The next spring,75 his favourite general, Alexius Strategopulus, whom he had decorated with the title of Cæsar, passed the Hellespont with eight hundred horse and some infantry,76 on a secret expedition. His instructions enjoined him to approach, to listen, to watch, but not to risk Edition: current; Page: [36] any doubtful or dangerous enterprise against the city. The adjacent territory between the Propontis and the Black Sea was cultivated by an hardy race of peasants and outlaws, exercised in arms, uncertain in their allegiance, but inclined by language, religion, and present advantage to the party of the Greeks. They were styled the volunteers,77 and by their free service the army of Alexius, with the regulars of Thrace and the Coman auxiliaries,78 was augmented to the number of five and twenty thousand men. By the ardour of the volunteers, and by his own ambition, the Cæsar was stimulated to disobey the precise orders of his master, in the just confidence that success would plead his pardon and reward. The weakness of Constantinople, and the distress and terror of the Latins, were familiar to the observation of the volunteers; and they represented the present moment as the most propitious to surprise and conquest. A rash youth, the new governor of the Venetian colony, had sailed away with thirty galleys and the best of the French knights, on a wild expedition to Daphnusia, a town on the Black Sea, at a distance of forty leagues;79 and the remaining Latins were without strength or suspicion. They were informed that Alexius had passed the Hellespont; but their apprehensions were lulled by the smallness of his original numbers, and their imprudence had not watched the subsequent increase of his army. If he left his main body to second and support his operations, he might advance unperceived in the night with a chosen Edition: current; Page: [37] detachment. While some applied scaling-ladders to the lowest part of the walls, they were secure of an old Greek, who would introduce their companions through a subterranean passage into his house;80 they could soon on the inside break an entrance through the golden gate, which had been long obstructed; and the conqueror would be in the heart of the city, before the Latins were conscious of their danger. After some debate, the Cæsar resigned himself to the faith of the volunteers; they were trusty, bold, and successful; and in describing the plan I have already related the execution and success.81 But no sooner had Alexius passed the threshold of the golden gate than he trembled at his own rashness; he paused, he deliberated, till the desperate volunteers urged him forwards by the assurance that in retreat lay the greatest and most inevitable danger. Whilst the Cæsar kept his regulars in firm array, the Comans dispersed themselves on all sides; an alarm was sounded, and the threats of fire and pillage compelled the citizens to a decisive resolution. The Greeks of Constantinople remembered their native sovereigns; the Genoese merchants, their recent alliance and Venetian foes; every quarter was in arms; and the air resounded with a general acclamation of “Long life and victory to Michael and John, the august emperors of the Romans!” Their rival Baldwin was awakened by the sound; but the most pressing danger could not prompt him to draw his sword in the defence of a city which he deserted, perhaps, with more pleasure than regret: he fled from the palace to the sea-shore, where he descried the welcome sails of the Edition: current; Page: [38] fleet returning from the vain and fruitless attempt on Daphnusia. Constantinople was irrecoverably lost; but the Latin emperor and the principal families embarked on board the Venetian galleys, and steered for the isle of Eubœa, and afterwards for Italy, where the royal fugitive was entertained by the pope and Sicilian king with a mixture of contempt and pity. From the loss of Constantinople to his death, he consumed thirteen years, soliciting the Catholic powers to join in his restoration: the lesson had been familiar to his youth; nor was his last exile more indigent or shameful than his three former pilgrimages to the courts of Europe. His son Philip was the heir of an ideal empire; and the pretensions of his daughter Catherine were transported by her marriage to Charles of Valois, the brother of Philip the Fair, king of France. The house of Courtenay was represented in the female line by successive alliances, till the title of emperor of Constantinople, too bulky and sonorous for a private name, modestly expired in silence and oblivion.82

After this narrative of the expeditions of the Latins to Palestine and Constantinople, I cannot dismiss the subject without revolving the general consequences on the countries that were the scene, and on the nations that were the actors, of these memorable crusades.83 As soon as the arms of the Franks were withdrawn, the impression, though not the memory, was erased in the Mahometan realms of Egypt and Syria. The faithful disciples of the prophet were never tempted by Edition: current; Page: [none] Edition: current; Page: [39] a profane desire to study the laws or language of the idolaters; nor did the simplicity of their primitive manners receive the slightest alteration from their intercourse in peace and war with the unknown strangers of the West. The Greeks, who thought themselves proud, but who were only vain, shewed a disposition somewhat less inflexible. In the efforts for the recovery of their empire they emulated the valour, discipline, and tactics of their antagonists. The modern literature of the West they might justly despise; but its free spirit would instruct them in the rights of man; and some institutions of public and private life were adopted from the French. The correspondence of Constantinople and Italy diffused the knowledge of the Latin tongue; and several of the fathers and classics were at length honoured with a Greek version.84 But the national and religious prejudices of the Orientals were inflamed by persecution; and the reign of the Latins confirmed the separation of the two churches.

lf0214-11_figure_002.jpg

If we compare, at the era of the crusades, the Latins of Europe with the Greeks and Arabians, their respective degrees of knowledge, industry, and art, our rude ancestors must be content with the third rank in the scale of nations. Their successive improvement and present superiority may be ascribed to a peculiar energy of character, to an active and imitative spirit, unknown to their more polished rivals, who at that time were in a stationary or retrograde state. With such a disposition, the Latins should have derived the most early and essential benefits from a series of events which Edition: current; Page: [40] opened to their eyes the prospect of the world, and introduced them to a long and frequent intercourse with the more cultivated regions of the East. The first and most obvious progress was in trade and manufactures, in the arts which are strongly prompted by the thirst of wealth, the calls of necessity, and the gratification of the sense or vanity. Among the crowd of unthinking fanatics, a captive or a pilgrim might sometimes observe the superior refinements of Cairo and Constantinople: the first importer of windmills85 was the benefactor of nations; and, if such blessings are enjoyed without any grateful remembrance, history has condescended to notice the more apparent luxuries of silk and sugar, which were transported into Italy from Greece and Egypt. But the intellectual wants of the Latins were more slowly felt and supplied; the ardour of studious curiosity was awakened in Europe by different causes and more recent events; and, in the age of the crusades, they viewed with careless indifference the literature of the Greeks and Arabians. Some rudiments of mathematical and medicinal knowledge might be imparted in practice and in figures; necessity might produce some interpreters for the grosser business of merchants and soldiers; but the commerce of the Orientals had not diffused the study and knowledge of their languages in the schools of Europe.86 If a similar principle of religion repulsed the idiom of the Koran, it should have excited their patience and curiosity to understand the original text of the gospel; and the same grammar would have unfolded the sense of Plato and the beauties of Homer. Yet in a reign of sixty years, the Latins of Constantinople disdained the speech and learning of their subjects; and the manuscripts were the only Edition: current; Page: [41] treasures which the natives might enjoy without rapine or envy. Aristotle was indeed the oracle of the Western universities; but it was a Barbarous Aristotle; and, instead of ascending to the fountain-head, his Latin votaries humbly accepted a corrupt and remote version from the Jews and Moors of Andalusia. The principle of the crusades was a savage fanaticism; and the most important effects were analogous to the cause. Each pilgrim was ambitious to return with his sacred spoils, the relics of Greece and Palestine;87 and each relic was preceded and followed by a train of miracles and visions. The belief of the Catholics was corrupted by new legends, their practice by new superstitions; and the establishment of the inquisition, the mendicant orders of monks and friars, the last abuse of indulgences, and the final progress of idolatry flowed from the baleful fountain of the holy war. The active spirit of the Latins preyed on the vitals of their reason and religion; and, if the ninth and tenth centuries were the times of darkness, the thirteenth and fourteenth were the age of absurdity and fable.

In the profession of Christianity, in the cultivation of a fertile land, the Northern conquerors of the Roman empire insensibly mingled with the provincials and rekindled the embers of the arts of antiquity. Their settlements about the age of Charlemagne had acquired some degree of order and stability, when they were overwhelmed by new swarms of invaders, the Normans, Saracens,88 and Hungarians, who replunged the Western countries of Europe into their former state of anarchy and barbarism. About the eleventh century, Edition: current; Page: [42] the second tempest had subsided by the expulsion or conversion of the enemies of Christendom: the tide of civilisation, which had so long ebbed, began to flow with a steady and accelerated course; and a fairer prospect was opened to the hopes and efforts of the rising generations. Great was the success, and rapid the progress, during the two hundred years of the crusades; and some philosophers have applauded the propitious influence of these holy wars, which appear to me to have checked, rather than forwarded, the maturity of Europe.89 The lives and labours of millions, which were buried in the East, would have been more profitably employed in the improvement of their native country: the accumulated stock of industry and wealth would have overflowed in navigation and trade; and the Latins would have been enriched and enlightened by a pure and friendly correspondence with the climates of the East. In one respect I can indeed perceive the accidental operation of the crusades, not so much in producing a benefit, as in removing an evil. The larger portion of the inhabitants of Europe was chained to the soil, without freedom, or property, or knowledge; and the two orders of ecclesiastics and nobles, whose numbers were comparatively small, alone deserved the name of citizens and men. This oppressive system was supported by the arts of the clergy and the swords of the barons. The authority of the priests operated in the darker ages as a salutary antidote: they prevented the total extinction of letters, mitigated the fierceness of the times, sheltered the poor and defenceless, and preserved or revived the peace and order of civil society. But the independence, rapine, and discord of the feudal lords were unmixed with any semblance of good; and every hope of industry and improvement was crushed by the iron weight of the martial aristocracy. Among the causes that Edition: current; Page: [43] undermined the Gothic edifice, a conspicuous place must be allowed to the crusades. The estates of the barons were dissipated, and their race was often extinguished, in these costly and perilous expeditions. Their poverty extorted from their pride those charters of freedom which unlocked the fetters of the slave, secured the farm of the peasant and the shop of the artificer, and gradually restored a substance and a soul to the most numerous and useful part of the community. The conflagration which destroyed the tall and barren trees of the forest gave air and scope to the vegetation of the smaller and nutritive plants of the soil.

Digression on the Family of Courtenay

The purple of three emperors who have reigned at Constantinople will authorise or excuse a digression on the origin and singular fortunes of the house of Courtenay,90 in the three principal branches: I. Of Edessa; II. Of France; and III. Of England; of which the last only has survived the revolutions of eight hundred years.

I. Before the introduction of trade, which scatters riches, and of knowledge, which dispels prejudice, the prerogative of birth is most strongly felt and most humbly acknowledged. In every age the laws and manners of the Germans have discriminated the ranks of society: the dukes and counts, who shared the empire of Charlemagne, converted their office to an inheritance; and to his children each feudal lord bequeathed his honour and his sword. The proudest families are content to lose, in the darkness of the middle ages, the Edition: current; Page: [44] tree of their pedigree, which, however deep and lofty, must ultimately rise from a plebeian root; and their historians must descend ten centuries below the Christian era, before they can ascertain any lineal succession by the evidence of surnames, of arms, and of authentic records. With the first rays of light91 we discern the nobility and opulence of Atho, a French knight: his nobility, in the rank and title of a nameless father; his opulence, in the foundation of the castle of Courtenay, in the district of Gatinois, about fifty-six miles to the south of Paris. From the reign of Robert, the son of Hugh Capet, the barons of Courtenay are conspicuous among the immediate vassals of the crown; and Joscelin, the grandson of Atho and a noble dame, is enrolled among the heroes of the first crusade. A domestic alliance (their mothers were sisters) attached him to the standard of Baldwin of Bruges, the second count of Edessa: a princely fief, which he was worthy to receive, and able to maintain, announces the number of his martial followers; and, after the departure of his cousin, Joscelin himself was invested with the county of Edessa on both sides of the Euphrates. By economy in peace his territories were replenished with Latin and Syrian subjects: his magazines with corn, wine, and oil; his castles with gold and silver, with arms and horses. In a holy warfare of thirty years he was alternately a conqueror and a captive; but he died like a soldier, in an horse-litter at the head of his troops; and his last glance beheld the flight of the Turkish invaders who had presumed on his age and infirmities. His son and successor, of the same name, was less deficient in valour than in vigilance; but he sometimes forgot that dominion is acquired and maintained by the same arts. He challenged the hostility of the Turks, without securing the friendship of the prince of Antioch; and, amidst the Edition: current; Page: [45] peaceful luxury of Turbessel, in Syria,92 Joscelin neglected the defence of the Christian frontier beyond the Euphrates. In his absence, Zenghi, the first of the Atabeks, besieged and stormed his capital, Edessa, which was feebly defended by a timorous and disloyal crowd of Orientals; the Franks were oppressed in a bold attempt for its recovery, and Courtenay ended his days in the prison of Aleppo. He still left a fair and ample patrimony. But the victorious Turks oppressed on all sides the weakness of a widow and orphan; and, for the equivalent of an annual pension, they resigned to the Greek emperor the charge of defending, and the shame of losing, the last relics of the Latin conquest. The countess-dowager of Edessa retired to Jerusalem with her two children: the daughter, Agnes, became the wife and mother of a king; the son, Joscelin the Third, accepted the office of seneschal, the first of the kingdom, and held his new estates in Palestine by the service of fifty knights. His name appears with honour in all the transactions of peace and war; but he finally vanishes in the fall of Jerusalem; and the name of Courtenay, in this branch of Edessa, was lost by the marriage of his two daughters with a French and a German baron.93

II. While Joscelin reigned beyond the Euphrates, his elder brother, Milo, the son of Joscelin, the son of Atho, continued, near the Seine, to possess the castle of their fathers, which was at length inherited by Rainaud, or Reginald, the youngest of his three sons. Examples of genius or virtue must be rare in the annals of the oldest families; and, in a remote age, their pride will embrace a deed of rapine and Edition: current; Page: [46] violence; such, however, as could not be perpetrated without some superiority of courage, or at least of power. A descendant of Reginald of Courtenay may blush for the public robber who stripped and imprisoned several merchants, after they had satisfied the king’s duties at Sens and Orleans. He will glory in the offence, since the bold offender could not be compelled to obedience and restitution, till the regent and the count of Champagne prepared to march against him at the head of an army.94 Reginald bestowed his estates on his eldest daughter, and his daughter on the seventh son of King Louis the Fat; and their marriage was crowned with a numerous offspring. We might expect that a private should have merged in a royal name; and that the descendants of Peter of France and Elizabeth of Courtenay would have enjoyed the title and honours of princes of the blood. But this legitimate claim was long neglected and finally denied; and the causes of their disgrace will represent the story of this second branch. 1. Of all the families now extant, the most ancient, doubtless, and the most illustrious is the house of France, which has occupied the same throne above eight hundred years, and descends, in a clear and lineal series of males, from the middle of the ninth century.95 In the age of the crusades it was already revered both in the East and West. Edition: current; Page: [47] But from Hugh Capet to the marriage of Peter no more than five reigns or generations had elapsed; and so precarious was their title that the eldest sons, as a necessary precaution, were previously crowned during the lifetime of their fathers. The peers of France have long maintained their precedency before the younger branches of the royal line; nor had the princes of the blood, in the twelfth century, acquired that hereditary lustre which is now diffused over the most remote candidates for the succession. 2. The barons of Courtenay must have stood high in their own estimation, and in that of the world, since they could impose on the son of a king the obligation of adopting for himself and all his descendants the name and arms of their daughter and his wife. In the marriage of an heiress with her inferior or her equal, such exchange was often required and allowed; but, as they continued to diverge from the regal stem, the sons of Louis the Fat were insensibly confounded with their maternal ancestors; and the new Courtenays might deserve to forfeit the honours of their birth, which a motive of interest had tempted them to renounce. 3. The shame was far more permanent than the reward, and a momentary blaze was followed by a long darkness. The eldest son of these nuptials, Peter of Courtenay, had married, as I have already mentioned, the sister of the counts of Flanders, the two first emperors of Constantinople; he rashly accepted the invitation of the barons of Romania; his two sons, Robert and Baldwin, successively held and lost the remains of the Latin empire in the East, and the granddaughter of Baldwin the Second again mingled her blood with the blood of France and of Valois. To support the expenses of a troubled and transitory reign, their patrimonial estates were mortgaged or sold; and the last emperors of Constantinople depended on the annual charity of Rome and Naples.

While the elder brothers dissipated their wealth in romantic Edition: current; Page: [48] adventures, and the castle of Courtenay was profaned by a plebeian owner, the younger branches of that adopted name were propagated and multiplied. But their splendour was clouded by poverty and time: after the decease of Robert, great butler of France, they descended from princes to barons; the next generations were confounded with the simple gentry; the descendants of Hugh Capet could no longer be visible in the rural lords of Tanlay and of Champignelles. The more adventurous embraced, without dishonour, the profession of a soldier; the least active and opulent might sink, like their cousins of the branch of Dreux, into the condition of peasants. Their royal descent, in a dark period of four hundred years, became each day more obsolete and ambiguous; and their pedigree, instead of being enrolled in the annals of the kingdom, must be painfully searched by the minute diligence of heralds and genealogists. It was not till the end of the sixteenth century, on the accession of a family almost as remote as their own, that the princely spirit of the Courtenays again revived; and the question of the nobility provoked them to assert the royalty of their blood. They appealed to the justice and compassion of Henry the Fourth; obtained a favourable opinion from twenty lawyers of Italy and Germany, and modestly compared themselves to the descendants of King David, whose prerogatives were not impaired by the lapse of ages, or the trade of a carpenter.96 But every ear was deaf, and every circumstance was adverse, to their lawful claims. The Bourbon kings were justified by the neglect Edition: current; Page: [49] of the Valois; the princes of the blood, more recent and lofty, disdained the alliance of this humble kindred; the parliament, without denying their proofs, eluded a dangerous precedent by an arbitrary distinction and established St. Louis as the first father of the royal line.97 A repetition of complaints and protests was repeatedly disregarded: and the hopeless pursuit was terminated in the present century by the death of the last male of the family.98 Their painful and anxious situation was alleviated by the pride of conscious virtue; they sternly rejected the temptations of fortune and favour; and a dying Courtenay would have sacrificed his son, if the youth could have renounced, for any temporal interest, the right and title of a legitimate prince of the blood of France.99

III. According to the old register of Ford Abbey, the Courtenays of Devonshire are descended from Prince Florus, the second son of Peter, and the grandson of Louis the Fat.100 This fable of the grateful or venal monks was too respectfully Edition: current; Page: [50] entertained by our antiquaries, Camden101 and Dugdale;102 but it is so clearly repugnant to truth and time, that the rational pride of the family now refuses to accept this imaginary founder. Their most faithful historians believe that, after giving his daughter to the king’s son, Reginald of Courtenay abandoned his possessions in France, and obtained from the English monarch a second wife and a new inheritance. It is certain, at least, that Henry the Second distinguished in his camps and councils a Reginald, of the name, arms, and, as it may be fairly presumed, of the genuine race of the Courtenays of France. The right of wardship enabled a feudal lord to reward his vassal with the marriage and estate of a noble heiress; and Reginald of Courtenay acquired a fair establishment in Devonshire, where his posterity has been seated above six hundred years.103 From a Norman baron, Baldwin de Brioniis, who had been invested by the Conqueror, Hawise, the wife of Reginald, derived the honour of Okehampton, which was held by the service of ninety-three knights; and a female might claim the manly offices of hereditary viscount or sheriff, and of captain of the royal castle of Exeter. Their son Robert married the sister of the earl of Devon; at the end of a century, on the failure of the family of Rivers,104 his great-grandson, Hugh the Second, succeeded to a title which was still considered as a territorial dignity; and twelve earls of Devonshire, of the name of Edition: current; Page: [51] Courtenay, have flourished in a period of two hundred and twenty years. They were ranked among the chief of the barons of the realm; nor was it till after a strenuous dispute that they yielded to the fief of Arundel the first place in the parliament of England; their alliances were contracted with the noblest families, the Veres, Despensers, St. Johns, Talbots, Bohuns, and even the Plantagenets themselves; and in a contest with John of Lancaster, a Courtenay, bishop of London, and afterwards archbishop of Canterbury, might be accused of profane confidence in the strength and number of his kindred. In peace, the earls of Devon resided in their numerous castles and manors of the west; their ample revenue was appropriated to devotion and hospitality; and the epitaph of Edward, surnamed, from his misfortunes, the blind, from his virtues, the good, earl, inculcates with much ingenuity a moral sentence, which may, however, be abused by thoughtless generosity. After a grateful commemoration of the fifty-five years of union and happiness, which he enjoyed with Mabel his wife, the good earl thus speaks from the tomb: —

  • What we gave, we have;
  • What we spent, we had;
  • What we left, we lost.105

But their losses, in this sense, were far superior to their gifts and expenses; and their heirs, not less than the poor, were the objects of their paternal care. The sums which they paid for livery and seisin attest the greatness of their possessions; and several estates have remained in their family since the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. In war, the Courtenays of England fulfilled the duties, and deserved the honours, of chivalry. They were often entrusted to levy and command the militia of Devonshire and Cornwall; they often attended their supreme lord to the borders of Scotland; and in foreign Edition: current; Page: [52] service, for a stipulated price, they sometimes maintained fourscore men at arms and as many archers. By sea and land they fought under the standard of the Edwards and Henries; their names are conspicuous in battles, in tournaments, and in the original list of the order of the Garter; three brothers shared the Spanish victory of the Black Prince; and in the lapse of six generations the English Courtenays had learned to despise the nation and country from which they derived their origin. In the quarrel of the two Roses, the earls of Devon adhered to the house of Lancaster, and three brothers successively died either in the field or on the scaffold. Their honours and estates were restored by Henry the Seventh; a daughter of Edward the Fourth was not disgraced by the nuptials of a Courtenay; their son, who was created marquis of Exeter, enjoyed the favour of his cousin, Henry the Eighth; and in the camp of Cloth of Gold he broke a lance against the French monarch. But the favour of Henry was the prelude of disgrace; his disgrace was the signal of death; and of the victims of the jealous tyrant, the marquis of Exeter is one of the most noble and guiltless. His son Edward lived a prisoner in the Tower, and died an exile at Padua; and the secret love of Queen Mary, whom he slighted, perhaps for the princess Elizabeth, has shed a romantic colour on the story of this beautiful youth. The relics of his patrimony were conveyed into strange families by the marriages of his four aunts; and his personal honours, as if they had been legally extinct, were revived by the patents of succeeding princes. But there still survived a lineal descendant of Hugh, the first earl of Devon, a younger branch of the Courtenays, who have been seated at Powderham Castle above four hundred years, from the reign of Edward the Third to the present hour. Their estates have been increased by the grant and improvement of lands in Ireland, and they have been recently restored to the honours of the peerage. Yet the Courtenays still retain the plaintive motto, which asserts the innocence, and deplores the fall, of Edition: current; Page: [53] their ancient house.106 While they sigh for past greatness, they are doubtless sensible of present blessings; in the long series of the Courtenay annals, the most splendid era is likewise the most unfortunate; nor can an opulent peer of Britain be inclined to envy the emperors of Constantinople, who wandered over Europe to solicit alms for the support of their dignity and the defence of their capital.

Edition: current; Page: [54]

CHAPTER LXII

The Greek Emperors of Nice and Constantinople — Elevation and Reign of Michael Palæologus — His false Union with the Pope and the Latin Church — Hostile Designs of Charles of Anjou — Revolt of Sicily — War of the Catalans in Asia and Greece — Revolutions and Present State of Athens

The loss of Constantinople restored a momentary vigour to the Greeks. From their palaces the princes and nobles were driven into the field; and the fragments of the falling monarchy were grasped by the hands of the most vigorous or the most skilful candidates. In the long and barren pages of the Byzantine annals,1 it would not be an easy task to equal the two characters of Theodore Lascaris and John Ducas Vataces,2 who replanted and upheld the Roman standard at Nice in Bithynia. The difference of their virtues Edition: current; Page: [55] was happily suited to the diversity of their situation. In his first efforts the fugitive Lascaris commanded only three cities and two thousand soldiers; his reign was the season of generous and active despair; in every military operation he staked his life and crown; and his enemies, of the Hellespont and the Mæander, were surprised by his celerity and subdued by his boldness. A victorious reign of eighteen years expanded the principality of Nice to the magnitude of an empire. The throne of his successor and son-in-law, Vataces, was founded on a more solid basis, a larger scope, and more plentiful resources; and it was the temper as well as the interest of Vataces to calculate the risk, to expect the moment, and to ensure the success of his ambitious designs. In the decline of the Latins I have briefly exposed the progress of the Greeks: the prudent and gradual advances of a conqueror, who, in a reign of thirty-three years, rescued the provinces from national and foreign usurpers, till he pressed on all sides the Imperial city, a leafless and sapless trunk, which must fall at the first stroke of the axe. But his interior and peaceful administration is still more deserving of notice and praise.3 The calamities of the times had wasted the numbers and the substance of the Greeks; the motives and the means of agriculture were extirpated; and the most fertile lands were left without cultivation or inhabitants. A portion of this vacant property was occupied and improved by the command, and for the benefit, of the emperor; a powerful hand and a vigilant eye supplied and surpassed, by a skilful management, the minute diligence of a private farmer; the royal domain became the garden and granary of Asia; and without impoverishing the people the sovereign acquired a fund of innocent and productive wealth. According to the nature of the soil, his lands were sown with corn or planted with vines; Edition: current; Page: [56] the pastures were filled with horses and oxen, with sheep and hogs; and, when Vataces presented to the empress a crown of diamonds and pearls, he informed her with a smile that this precious ornament arose from the sale of the eggs of his innumerable poultry. The produce of his domain was applied to the maintenance of his palace and hospitals, the calls of dignity and benevolence; the lesson was still more useful than the revenue; the plough was restored to its ancient security and honour; and the nobles were taught to seek a sure and independent revenue from their estates, instead of adorning their splendid beggary by the oppression of the people, or (what is almost the same) by the favours of the court. The superfluous stock of corn and cattle was eagerly purchased by the Turks, with whom Vataces preserved a strict and sincere alliance; but he discouraged the importation of foreign manufactures, the costly silks of the East and the curious labours of the Italian looms. “The demands of nature and necessity,” was he accustomed to say, “are indispensable; but the influence of passion may rise and sink at the breath of a monarch”; and both his precept and example recommended simplicity of manners and the use of domestic industry. The education of youth and the revival of learning were the most serious objects of his care; and, without deciding the precedency, he pronounced with truth that a prince and a philosopher4 are the two most eminent characters of human society. His first wife was Irene, the daughter of Theodore Lascaris, a woman more illustrious by her personal merit, the milder virtues of her sex, than by the blood of the Angeli and Comneni, that flowed in her veins and transmitted the inheritance of the empire. After her death, he was contracted to Anne, or Constance, a natural daughter of the emperor Frederic the Second;5 but, as the bride had Edition: current; Page: [57] not attained the years of puberty, Vataces placed in his solitary bed an Italian damsel of her train;6 and his amorous weakness bestowed on the concubine the honours, though not the title, of lawful empress. His frailty was censured as a flagitious and damnable sin by the monks; and their rude invectives exercised and displayed the patience of the royal lover. A philosophic age may excuse a single vice, which was redeemed by a crowd of virtues; and, in the review of his faults, and the more intemperate passions of Lascaris, the judgment of their contemporaries was softened by gratitude to the second founders of the empire.7 The slaves of the Latins, without law or peace, applauded the happiness of their brethren who had resumed their national freedom; and Vataces employed the laudable policy of convincing the Greeks of every dominion that it was their interest to be enrolled in the number of his subjects.

A strong shade of degeneracy is visible between John Vataces and his son Theodore; between the founder who sustained the weight, and the heir who enjoyed the splendour, of the Imperial crown.8 Yet the character of Theodore was Edition: current; Page: [58] not devoid of energy; he had been educated in the school of his father, in the exercise of war and hunting: Constantinople was yet spared; but in the three years of a short reign he thrice led his armies into the heart of Bulgaria.9 His virtues were sullied by a choleric and suspicious temper: the first of these may be ascribed to the ignorance of control; and the second might naturally arise from a dark and imperfect view of the corruption of mankind. On a march in Bulgaria he consulted on a question of policy his principal ministers; and the Greek logothete, George Acropolita, presumed to offend him by the declaration of a free and honest opinion. The emperor half unsheathed his scymetar; but his more deliberate rage reserved Acropolita for a baser punishment. One of the first officers of the empire was ordered to dismount, stripped of his robes, and extended on the ground in the presence of the prince and army. In this posture he was chastised with so many and such heavy blows from the clubs of two guards or executioners that, when Theodore commanded them to cease, the great logothete was scarcely able to rise and crawl away to his tent. After a seclusion of some days, he was recalled by a peremptory mandate to his seat in council; and so dead were the Greeks to the sense of honour and shame that it is from the narrative of the sufferer himself that we acquire the knowledge of his disgrace.10 The cruelty Edition: current; Page: [59] of the emperor was exasperated by the pangs of sickness, the approach of a premature end, and the suspicion of poison and magic.11 The lives and fortunes, the eyes and limbs, of his kinsmen and nobles were sacrificed to each sally of passion; and, before he died, the son of Vataces might deserve from the people, or at least from the Court, the appellation of tyrant. A matron of the family of the Palæologi12 had provoked his anger by refusing to bestow her beauteous daughter on the vile plebeian who was recommended by his caprice. Without regard to her birth or age, her body, as high as the neck, was enclosed in a sack with several cats, who were pricked with pins to irritate their fury against their unfortunate fellow-captive. In his last hours the emperor testified a wish to forgive and be forgiven, a just anxiety for the fate of John, his son and successor, who, at the age of eight years, was condemned to the dangers of a long minority. His last choice entrusted the office of guardian to the sanctity of the patriarch Arsenius, and to the courage of George Muzalon, the great domestic, who was equally distinguished by the royal favour and the public hatred. Since their connection with the Latins, the names and privileges of hereditary rank had insinuated themselves into the Greek monarchy; and the noble families13 were provoked by the elevation of a worthless Edition: current; Page: [60] favourite, to whose influence they imputed the errors and calamities of the late reign. In the first council after the emperor’s death, Muzalon, from a lofty throne, pronounced a laboured apology of his conduct and intentions: his modesty was subdued by an unanimous assurance of esteem and fidelity; and his most inveterate enemies were the loudest to salute him as the guardian and saviour of the Romans. Eight days were sufficient to prepare the execution of the conspiracy. On the ninth,14 the obsequies of the deceased monarch were solemnised in the cathedral of Magnesia,15 an Asiatic city, where he expired, on the banks of the Hermus and at the foot of Mount Sipylus. The holy rites were interrupted by a sedition of the guards: Muzalon, his brothers, and his adherents were massacred at the foot of the altar; and the absent patriarch was associated with a new colleague, with Michael Palæologus, the most illustrious, in birth and merit, of the Greek nobles.16

Of those who are proud of their ancestors, the far greater part must be content with local or domestic renown: and few there are who dare trust the memorials of their family to the public annals of their country. As early as the middle of the eleventh century, the noble race of the Palæologi17 Edition: current; Page: [61] stands high and conspicuous in the Byzantine history: it was the valiant George Palæologus who placed the father of the Comneni on the throne; and his kinsmen or descendants continue, in each generation, to lead the armies and councils of the state. The purple was not dishonoured by their alliance; and, had the law of succession, and female succession, been strictly observed, the wife of Theodore Lascaris must have yielded to her elder sister, the mother of Michael Palæologus, who afterwards raised his family to the throne. In his person, the splendour of birth was dignified by the merit of the soldier and statesman: in his early youth he was promoted to the office of Constable or commander of the French mercenaries; the private expense of a day never exceeded three pieces of gold; but his ambition was rapacious and profuse; and his gifts were doubled by the graces of his conversation and manners. The love of the soldiers and people excited the jealousy of the court; and Michael thrice escaped from the dangers in which he was involved by his own imprudence or that of his friends. I. Under the reign of Justice and Vataces, a dispute arose18 between two officers, one of whom accused the other of maintaining the hereditary right of the Palæologi. The cause was decided, according to the new jurisprudence of the Latins, by single combat: the defendant was overthrown; but he persisted in declaring that himself alone was guilty; and that he had uttered these rash or treasonable speeches without the approbation or knowledge of his patron. Yet a cloud of suspicion hung over the innocence of the constable; he was still pursued by the whispers of malevolence; and a subtile courtier, the archbishop of Philadelphia, urged him to accept the judgment of God in the fiery proof of the ordeal.19 Three days before the trial, the Edition: current; Page: [62] patient’s arm was enclosed in a bag and secured by the royal signet; and it was incumbent on him to bear a red-hot ball of iron three times from the altar to the rails of the sanctuary, without artifice and without injury. Palæologus eluded the dangerous experiment with sense and pleasantry. “I am a soldier,” said he, “and will boldly enter the lists with my accusers; but a layman, a sinner like myself, is not endowed with the gift of miracles. Your piety, most holy prelate, may deserve the interposition of Heaven, and from your hands I will receive the fiery globe, the pledge of my innocence.” The archbishop started; the emperor smiled; and the absolution or pardon of Michael was approved by new rewards and new services. II. In the succeeding reign, as he held the government of Nice, he was secretly informed that the mind of the absent prince was poisoned with jealousy; and that death or blindness would be his final reward. Instead of awaiting the return and sentence of Theodore, the constable, with some followers, escaped from the city and the empire; and, though he was plundered by the Turkmans of the desert, he found an hospitable refuge in the court of the sultan. In the ambiguous state of an exile, Michael reconciled the duties of gratitude and loyalty; drawing his sword against the Tartars; admonishing the garrisons of the Roman limit; and promoting, by his influence, the restoration of peace, in which his pardon and recall were honourably included. III. While he guarded the West against the despot of Epirus, Michael was again suspected and condemned in the palace; and such was his loyalty or weakness that he submitted to be led in chains above six hundred miles from Durazzo to Nice. The civility of the messenger alleviated his disgrace; the emperor’s sickness dispelled his danger; and the last breath of Theodore, which recommended his infant son, Edition: current; Page: [63] at once acknowledged the innocence and the power of Palæologus.

But his innocence had been too unworthily treated, and his power was too strongly felt, to curb an aspiring subject in the fair field that was offered to his ambition.20 In the council after the death of Theodore, he was the first to pronounce, and the first to violate, the oath of allegiance to Muzalon; and so dexterous was his conduct that he reaped the benefit, without incurring the guilt, or at least the reproach, of the subsequent massacre. In the choice of a regent, he balanced the interests and passions of the candidates; turned their envy and hatred from himself against each other, and forced every competitor to own that, after his own claims, those of Palæologus were best entitled to the preference. Under the title of Great Duke, he accepted or assumed, during a long minority, the active powers of government; the patriarch was a venerable name; and the factious nobles were seduced, or oppressed, by the ascendant of his genius. The fruits of the economy of Vataces were deposited in a strong castle on the banks of the Hermus,21 in the custody of the faithful Varangians; the constable retained his command or influence over the foreign troops; he employed the guards to possess the treasure, and the treasure to corrupt the guards; and, whatsoever might be the abuse of the public money, his character was above the suspicion of private avarice. By himself, or by his emissaries, he strove to persuade every rank of subjects that their own prosperity would rise in just proportion to the establishment of his authority. The weight of taxes was suspended, the perpetual theme of popular complaint; and he prohibited the trials by the ordeal and judicial combat. These Edition: current; Page: [64] barbaric institutions were already abolished or undermined in France22 and England;23 and the appeal to the sword offended the sense of a civilised,24 and the temper of an unwarlike, people. For the future maintenance of their wives and children the veterans were grateful; the priest and the philosopher applauded his ardent zeal for the advancement of religion and learning; and his vague promise of rewarding merit was applied by every candidate to his own hopes. Conscious of the influence of the clergy, Michael successfully laboured to secure the suffrage of that powerful order. Their expensive journey from Nice to Magnesia afforded a decent and ample pretence; the leading prelates were tempted by the liberality of his nocturnal visits; and the incorruptible patriarch was flattered by the homage of his new colleague, who led his mule by the bridle into the town, and removed to a respectful distance the importunity of the crowd. Without renouncing his title by royal descent, Palæologus encouraged a free discussion into the advantages of elective monarchy; and his adherents asked, with the insolence of triumph, What patient would trust his health, or what merchant would abandon his vessel, to the hereditary skill of a physician or a Edition: current; Page: [65] pilot? The youth of the emperor and the impending dangers of a minority required the support of a mature and experienced guardian; of an associate raised above the envy of his equals, and invested with the name and prerogatives of royalty. For the interest of the prince and people, without any views for himself or his family, the Great Duke consented to guard and instruct the son of Theodore; but he sighed for the happy moment when he might restore to his firmer hands the administration of his patrimony, and enjoy the blessings of a private station. He was first invested with the title and prerogatives of despot, which bestowed the purple ornaments, and the second place in the Roman monarchy. It was afterwards agreed that John and Michael should be proclaimed as joint emperors, and raised on the buckler, but that the pre-eminence should be reserved for the birth-right of the former. A mutual league of amity was pledged between the royal partners; and, in case of a rupture, the subjects were bound, by their oath of allegiance, to declare themselves against the aggressor: an ambiguous name, the seed of discord and civil war. Palæologus was content; but on the day of his coronation, and in the cathedral of Nice, his zealous adherents most vehemently urged the just priority of his age and merit. The unseasonable dispute was eluded by postponing to a more convenient opportunity the coronation of John Lascaris; and he walked with a slight diadem in the train of his guardian, who alone received the Imperial crown from the hands of the patriarch. It was not without extreme reluctance that Arsenius abandoned the cause of his pupil; but the Varangians brandished their battle-axes; a sign of assent was extorted from the trembling youth; and some voices were heard, that the life of a child should no longer impede the settlement of the nation. A full harvest of honours and employments was distributed among his friends by the grateful Palæologus. In his own family he created a despot and two sebastocrators; Alexius Strategopulus Edition: current; Page: [66] was decorated with the title of Cæsar; and that veteran commander soon repaid the obligation, by restoring Constantinople to the Greek emperor.

It was in the second year of his reign, while he resided in the palace and gardens of Nymphæum,25 near Smyrna, that the first messenger arrived at the dead of night; and the stupendous intelligence was imparted to Michael, after he had been gently waked by the tender precaution of his sister Eulogia. The man was unknown or obscure; he produced no letters from the victorious Cæsar; nor could it easily be credited, after the defeat of Vataces and the recent failure of Palæologus himself, that the capital had been surprised by a detachment of eight hundred soldiers. As an hostage, the doubtful author was confined, with the assurance of death or an ample recompense; and the court was left some hours in the anxiety of hope and fear, till the messengers of Alexius arrived with the authentic intelligence, and displayed the trophies of the conquest, the sword and sceptre,26 the buskins and bonnet,27 of the usurper Baldwin, which he had dropt in Edition: current; Page: [67] his precipitate flight. A general assembly of the bishops, senators, and nobles was immediately convened, and never perhaps was an event received with more heartfelt and universal joy. In a studied oration, the new sovereign of Constantinople congratulated his own and the public fortune. “There was a time,” said he, “a far-distant time, when the Roman empire extended to the Adriatic, the Tigris, and the confines of Ethiopia. After the loss of the provinces, our capital itself, in these last and calamitous days, has been wrested from our hands by the Barbarians of the West. From the lowest ebb, the tide of prosperity has again returned in our favour; but our prosperity was that of fugitives and exiles; and, when we were asked, Which was the country of the Romans? we indicated with a blush the climate of the globe and the quarter of the heavens. The Divine Providence has now restored to our arms the city of Constantine, the sacred seat of religion and empire; and it will depend on our valour and conduct to render this important acquisition the pledge and omen of future victories.” So eager was the impatience of the prince and people that Michael made his triumphal entry into Constantinople only twenty days after the expulsion of the Latins. The golden gate was thrown open at his approach; the devout conqueror dismounted from his horse; and a miraculous image of Mary, the Conductress, was borne before him, that the divine Virgin in person might appear to conduct him to the temple of her Son, the cathedral of St. Sophia. But, after the first transport of devotion and pride, he sighed at the dreary prospect of solitude and ruin. The palace was defiled with smoke and dirt, and the gross intemperance of the Franks; whole streets had been consumed by fire, or were decayed by the injuries of time; the sacred and profane edifices were stripped of their ornaments; and, as if they were conscious of their approaching exile, the industry of the Latins had been confined to the work of pillage and destruction. Trade had expired under the pressure of anarchy and distress; and the number of Edition: current; Page: [68] inhabitants had decreased with the opulence of the city. It was the first care of the Greek monarch to reinstate the nobles in the palaces of their fathers; and the houses or the ground which they occupied were restored to the families that could exhibit a legal right of inheritance. But the far greater part was extinct or lost; the vacant property had devolved to the lord; he repeopled Constantinople by a liberal invitation to the provinces; and the brave volunteers were seated in the capital which had been recovered by their arms. The French barons and the principal families had retired with their emperor; but the patient and humble crowd of Latins was attached to the country, and indifferent to the change of masters. Instead of banishing the factories of the Pisans, Venetians, and Genoese, the prudent conqueror accepted their oaths of allegiance, encouraged their industry, confirmed their privileges, and allowed them to live under the jurisdiction of their proper magistrates. Of these nations, the Pisans and Venetians preserved their respective quarters in the city; but the services and powers of the Genoese deserved at the same time the gratitude28 and the jealousy of the Greeks. Their independent colony was first planted at the sea-port town of Heraclea in Thrace. They were speedily recalled, and settled in the exclusive possession of the suburb of Galata, an advantageous post, in which they revived the commerce, and insulted the majesty, of the Byzantine empire.29

The recovery of Constantinople was celebrated as the era of a new empire: the conqueror, alone, and by the right of the sword, renewed his coronation in the church of St. Sophia; and the name and honours of John Lascaris, his pupil and lawful sovereign, were insensibly abolished. But his claims still lived in the minds of the people; and the royal youth must speedily attain the years of manhood and ambition. Edition: current; Page: [69] By fear or conscience, Palæologus was restrained from dipping his hands in innocent and royal blood; but the anxiety of an usurper and a parent urged him to secure his throne by one of those imperfect crimes so familiar to the modern Greeks. The loss of sight incapacitated the young prince for the active business of the world: instead of the brutal violence of tearing out his eyes, the visual nerve was destroyed by the intense glare of a red-hot bason,30 and John Lascaris was removed to a distant castle, where he spent many years in privacy and oblivion. Such cool and deliberate guilt may seem incompatible with remorse; but, if Michael could trust the mercy of Heaven, he was not inaccessible to the reproaches and vengeance of mankind, which he had provoked by cruelty and treason. His cruelty imposed on a servile court the duties of applause or silence; but the clergy had a right to speak in the name of their invisible master; and their holy legions were led by a prelate, whose character was above the temptations of hope or fear. After a short abdication of his dignity, Arsenius31 had consented to ascend the ecclesiastical throne of Constantinople, and to preside in the restoration of the church. His pious simplicity was long deceived by the arts of Palæologus; and his patience and submission might soothe the usurper, and protect the safety of the young prince. On the news of his inhuman treatment, the patriarch unsheathed the spiritual sword; and superstition, on this occasion, was enlisted in the cause of humanity and justice. Edition: current; Page: [70] In a synod of bishops, who were stimulated by the example of his zeal, the patriarch pronounced a sentence of excommunication; though his prudence still repeated the name of Michael in the public prayers. The Eastern prelates had not adopted the dangerous maxims of ancient Rome; nor did they presume to enforce their censures, by deposing princes, or absolving nations from their oaths of allegiance. But the Christian who had been separated from God and the church became an object of horror; and, in a turbulent and fanatic capital that horror might arm the hand of an assassin or inflame a sedition of the people. Palæologus felt his danger, confessed his guilt, and deprecated his judge: the act was irretrievable; the prize was obtained; and the most rigorous penance, which he solicited, would have raised the sinner to the reputation of a saint. The unrelenting patriarch refused to announce any means of atonement or any hopes of mercy; and condescended only to pronounce that, for so great a crime, great indeed must be the satisfaction. “Do you require,” said Michael, “that I should abdicate the empire?” And at these words he offered, or seemed to offer, the sword of state. Arsenius eagerly grasped this pledge of sovereignty; but, when he perceived that the emperor was unwilling to purchase absolution at so dear a rate, he indignantly escaped to his cell, and left the royal sinner kneeling and weeping before the door.32

The danger and scandal of this excommunication subsisted above three years, till the popular clamour was assuaged by time and repentance; till the brethren of Arsenius condemned his inflexible spirit, so repugnant to the unbounded forgiveness of the gospel. The emperor had artfully insinuated that, if he were still rejected at home, he might seek, in the Roman pontiff, a more indulgent judge; but it was far more easy and Edition: current; Page: [71] effectual to find or to place that judge at the head of the Byzantine church. Arsenius was involved in a vague rumour of conspiracy and disaffection; some irregular steps in his ordination and government were liable to censure; a synod deposed him from the episcopal office; and he was transported under a guard of soldiers to a small island of the Propontis. Before his exile, he sullenly requested that a strict account might be taken of the treasures of the church; boasted that his whole riches, three pieces of gold, had been earned by transcribing the Psalms; continued to assert the freedom of his mind; and denied, with his last breath, the pardon which was implored by the royal sinner.33 After some delay, Gregory, bishop of Hadrianople, was translated to the Byzantine throne; but his authority was found insufficient to support the absolution of the emperor; and Joseph, a reverend monk, was substituted to that important function. This edifying scene was represented in the presence of the senate and people; at the end of six years, the humble penitent was restored to the communion of the faithful; and humanity will rejoice that a milder treatment of the captive Lascaris was stipulated as a proof of his remorse. But the spirit of Arsenius still survived in a powerful faction of the monks and clergy, who preserved above forty-eight years in an obstinate schism. Their scruples were treated with tenderness and respect by Michael and his son; and the reconciliation of the Arsenites was the serious labour of the church and state. In the confidence of fanaticism, they had proposed to try their cause by a miracle; and, when the two papers that contained their own and the adverse cause were cast into a fiery brazier, they expected that the Catholic verity would be respected by the flames. Alas! the two papers were indiscriminately consumed, and this unforeseen accident Edition: current; Page: [72] produced the union of a day, and renewed the quarrel of an age.34 The final treaty displayed the victory of the Arsenites; the clergy abstained during forty days from all ecclesiastical functions; a slight penance was imposed on the laity; the body of Arsenius was deposited in the sanctuary; and in the name of the departed saint the prince and people were released from the sins of their fathers.35

The establishment of his family was the motive, or at least the pretence, of the crime of Palæologus; and he was impatient to confirm the succession, by sharing with his eldest son the honours of the purple Andronicus, afterwards surnamed the Elder, was proclaimed and crowned emperor of the Romans, in the fifteenth year of his age; and, from the first era of a prolix and inglorious reign, he held that august title nine years as the colleague, and fifty as the successor, of his father. Michael himself, had he died in a private station, would have been thought more worthy of the empire; and the assaults of his temporal and spiritual enemies left him few moments to labour for his own fame or the happiness of his subjects. He wrested from the Franks several of the noblest islands of the Archipelago, Lesbos, Chios, and Rhodes;36 his brother Constantine was sent to command in Malvasia and Sparta; and the eastern side of the Morea, from Argos and Napoli to Cape Tænarus, was repossessed by the Greeks.37 This effusion of Christian blood was loudly Edition: current; Page: [73] condemned by the patriarch; and the insolent priest presumed to interpose his fears and scruples between the arms of princes. But, in the prosecution of these Western conquests, the countries beyond the Hellespont were left naked to the Turks; and their depredations verified the prophecy of a dying senator, that the recovery of Constantinople would be the ruin of Asia. The victories of Michael were achieved by his lieutenants; his sword rusted in the palace; and, in the transactions of the emperor with the popes and the king of Naples, his political arts were stained with cruelty and fraud.38

I. The Vatican was the most natural refuge of a Latin emperor, who had been driven from his throne; and Pope Urban the Fourth appeared to pity the misfortunes, and vindicate the cause, of the fugitive Baldwin. A crusade, with plenary indulgence, was preached by his command against the schismatic Greeks; he excommunicated their allies and adherents; solicited Louis the Ninth in favour of his kinsman; and demanded a tenth of the ecclesiastic revenues of France and England for the service of the holy war.39 The subtile Greek, who watched the rising tempest of the West, attempted to suspend or soothe the hostility of the pope, by suppliant embassies and respectful letters; but he insinuated that the establishment of peace must prepare the reconciliation and obedience of the Eastern church. The Roman court could not be deceived by so gross an artifice; and Michael was admonished that the repentance of the son should precede the forgiveness of the father; and that faith Edition: current; Page: [74] (an ambiguous word) was the only basis of friendship and alliance. After a long and affected delay, the approach of danger and the importunity of Gregory the Tenth compelled him to enter on a more serious negotiation; he alleged the example of the great Vataces; and the Greek clergy, who understood the intentions of their prince, were not alarmed by the first steps of reconciliation and respect. But, when he pressed the conclusion of the treaty, they strenuously declared that the Latins, though not in name, were heretics in fact, and that they despised those strangers as the vilest and most despicable portion of the human race.40 It was the task of the emperor to persuade, to corrupt, to intimidate, the most popular ecclesiastics, to gain the vote of each individual, and alternately to urge the arguments of Christian charity and the public welfare. The texts of the fathers and the arms of the Franks were balanced in the theological and political scale; and, without approving the addition to the Nicene creed, the most moderate were taught to confess that the two hostile propositions of proceeding from the Father by the Son, and of proceeding from the Father and the Son, might be reduced to a safe and catholic sense.41 The supremacy of the pope was a doctrine more easy to conceive, but more painful to acknowledge; yet Michael represented to his monks and prelates that they might submit to name the Roman bishop as the first of the patriarchs, and that their distance and discretion would guard the liberties of the Eastern church from the mischievous consequences of the right of appeal. He protested that he would sacrifice his Edition: current; Page: [75] life and empire rather than yield the smallest point of orthodox faith or national independence; and this declaration was sealed and ratified by a golden bull. The patriarch Joseph withdrew to a monastery, to resign or resume his throne, according to the event of the treaty; the letters of union and obedience were subscribed by the emperor, his son Andronicus, and thirty-five archbishops and metropolitans, with their respective synods; and the episcopal list was multiplied by many dioceses which were annihilated under the yoke of the infidels. An embassy was composed of some trusty ministers and prelates; they embarked for Italy, with rich ornaments and rare perfumes for the altar of St. Peter; and their secret orders authorised and recommended a boundless compliance. They were received in the general council of Lyons, by Pope Gregory the Tenth, at the head of five hundred bishops.42 He embraced with tears his longlost and repentant children; accepted the oath of the ambassadors, who abjured the schism in the name of the two emperors; adorned the prelates with the ring and mitre; chaunted in Greek and Latin the Nicene creed, with the addition of filioque; and rejoiced in the union of the East and West, which had been reserved for his reign. To consummate this pious work, the Byzantine deputies were speedily followed by the pope’s nuncios; and their instruction discloses the policy of the Vatican, which could not be satisfied with the vain title of supremacy. After viewing the temper of the prince and people, they were enjoined to absolve the schismatic clergy who should subscribe and swear their abjuration and obedience; to establish in all the churches the use of the perfect creed; to prepare the entrance of a cardinal legate, with the full powers and dignity of his office; and to instruct the emperor in the advantages which he Edition: current; Page: [76] might derive from the temporal protection of the Roman pontiff.43

But they found a country without a friend, a nation in which the names of Rome and Union were pronounced with abhorrence. The patriarch Joseph was indeed removed; his place was filled by Veccus,44 an ecclesiastic of learning and moderation; and the emperor was still urged by the same motives, to persevere in the same professions. But, in his private language, Palæologus affected to deplore the pride, and to blame the innovations, of the Latins; and, while he debased his character by this double hypocrisy, he justified and punished the opposition of his subjects. By the joint suffrage of the new and the ancient Rome, a sentence of excommunication was pronounced against the obstinate schismatics; the censures of the church were executed by the sword of Michael; on the failure of persuasion, he tried the arguments of prison and exile, of whipping and mutilation: those touchstones, says an historian, of cowards and the brave. Two Greeks still reigned in Ætolia, Epirus, and Thessaly, with the appellation of despots; they had yielded to the sovereign of Constantinople; but they rejected the chains of the Roman pontiff, and supported their refusal by successful arms. Under their protection, the fugitive monks and bishops assembled in hostile synods, and retorted the name of heretic with the galling addition of apostate; the prince of Trebizond was tempted to assume the forfeit title of emperor; and even the Latins of Negropont, Thebes, Athens, and the Morea forgot the merits of the convert, to join, with open or Edition: current; Page: [77] clandestine aid, the enemies of Palæologus. His favourite generals, of his own blood and family, successively deserted or betrayed the sacrilegious trust. His sister Eulogia, a niece, and two female cousins conspired against him; another niece, Mary queen of Bulgaria, negotiated his ruin with the sultan of Egypt; and in the public eye their treason was consecrated as the most sublime virtue.45 To the pope’s nuncios, who urged the consummation of the work, Palæologus exposed a naked recital of all that he had done and suffered for their sake. They were assured that the guilty sectaries, of both sexes and every rank, had been deprived of their honours, their fortunes, and their liberty: a spreading list of confiscation and punishment, which involved many persons, the dearest to the emperor, or the best deserving of his favour. They were conducted to the prison, to behold four princes of the royal blood chained in the four corners, and shaking their fetters in an agony of grief and rage. Two of these captives were afterwards released, the one by submission, the other by death; but the obstinacy of their two companions was chastised by the loss of their eyes; and the Greeks, the least adverse to the union, deplore that cruel and inauspicious tragedy.46 Persecutors must expect the hatred of those whom they oppress; but they commonly find some consolation in the testimony of their conscience, the applause of their party, and, perhaps, the success of their undertaking. But the hypocrisy of Michael, which was prompted only by political motives, must have forced him to hate himself, to despise his followers, and to esteem and envy the rebel champions, by whom he was Edition: current; Page: [78] detested and despised.47 While his violence was abhorred at Constantinople, at Rome his slowness was arraigned and his sincerity suspected; till at length Pope Martin the Fourth excluded the Greek emperor from the pale of a church into which he was striving to reduce a schismatic people. No sooner had the tyrant expired than the union was dissolved and abjured by unanimous consent; the churches were purified; the penitents were reconciled; and his son Andronicus, after weeping the sins and errors of his youth, most piously denied his father the burial of a prince and a Christian.48

II. In the distress of the Latins, the walls and towers of Constantinople had fallen to decay; they were restored and fortified by the policy of Michael who deposited a plenteous store of corn and salt provisions, to sustain the siege which he might hourly expect from the resentment of the Western powers. Of these, the sovereign of the Two Sicilies was the most formidable neighbour; but, as long as they were possessed by Mainfroy, the bastard of Frederic the Second, his monarchy was the bulwark rather than the annoyance of the Eastern empire. The usurper, though a brave and active prince, was sufficiently employed in the defence of his throne; his proscription by successive popes had separated Mainfroy from the common cause of the Latins; and the forces that might have besieged Constantinople were detained in a Edition: current; Page: [79] crusade against the domestic enemy of Rome. The prize of her avenger, the crown of the Two Sicilies, was won and worn by the brother of St. Louis, by Charles, count of Anjou and Provence, who led the chivalry of France on this holy expedition.49 The disaffection of his Christian subjects compelled Mainfroy to enlist a colony of Saracens, whom his father had planted in Apulia; and this odious succour will explain the defiance of the Catholic hero, who rejected all terms of accommodation: “Bear this message,” said Charles, “to the sultan of Nocera, that God and the sword are umpire between us; and that he shall either send me to paradise, or I will send him to the pit of hell.” The armies met, and, though I am ignorant of Mainfroy’s doom in the other world, in this he lost his friends, his kingdom, and his life, in the bloody battle of Benevento. Naples and Sicily were immediately peopled with a warlike race of French nobles; and their aspiring leader embraced the future conquest of Africa, Greece, and Palestine. The most specious reasons might point his first arms against the Byzantine empire; and Palæologus, diffident of his own strength, repeatedly appealed from the ambition of Charles to the humanity of St. Louis, who still preserved a just ascendant over the mind of his ferocious brother. For a while the attention of that brother was confined at home by the invasion of Conradin, the last heir of the Imperial house of Swabia; but the hapless boy sunk in the unequal conflict; and his execution on a public scaffold taught the rivals of Charles to tremble for their Edition: current; Page: [80] heads as well as their dominions. A second respite was obtained by the last crusade of St. Louis to the African coast; and the double motive of interest and duty urged the king of Naples to assist, with his powers and his presence, the holy enterprise. The death of St. Louis released him from the importunity of a virtuous censor; the king of Tunis confessed himself the tributary and vassal of the crown of Sicily; and the boldest of the French knights were free to enlist under his banner against the Greek empire. A treaty and a marriage united his interest with the house of Courtenay; his daughter, Beatrice, was promised to Philip, son and heir of the emperor Baldwin; a pension of six hundred ounces of gold was allowed for his maintenance; and his generous father distributed among his allies the kingdoms and provinces of the East, reserving only Constantinople, and one day’s journey round the city, for the Imperial domain.50 In this perilous moment, Palæologus was the most eager to subscribe the creed, and implore the protection, of the Roman pontiff, who assumed, with propriety and weight, the character of an angel of peace, the common father of the Christians. By his voice the sword of Charles was chained in the scabbard; and the Greek ambassadors beheld him, in the pope’s antichamber, biting his ivory sceptre in a transport of fury, and deeply resenting the refusal to enfranchise and consecrate his arms. He appears to have respected the disinterested mediation of Gregory the Tenth; but Charles was insensibly disgusted by the pride and partiality of Nicholas the Third; and his attachment to his kindred, the Ursini family, alienated the most strenuous champion from the service of the church. The hostile league against the Greeks, of Philip the Latin emperor, the king of the Two Sicilies, and the republic of Venice, was ripened into execution; Edition: current; Page: [81] and the election of Martin the Fourth, a French pope, gave a sanction to the cause. Of the allies, Philip supplied his name, Martin, a bull of excommunication, the Venetians, a squadron of forty galleys; and the formidable powers of Charles consisted of forty counts, ten thousand men at arms, a numerous body of infantry, and a fleet of more than three hundred ships and transports. A distant day was appointed for assembling this mighty force in the harbour of Brindisi; and a previous attempt was risked with a detachment of three hundred knights, who invaded Albania and besieged the fortress of Belgrade. Their defeat might amuse with a triumph the vanity of Constantinople; but the more sagacious Michael, despairing of his arms, depended on the effects of a conspiracy; on the secret workings of a rat, who gnawed the bow-string51 of the Sicilian tyrant.

Among the proscribed adherents of the house of Swabia, John of Procida forfeited a small island of that name in the bay of Naples. His birth was noble, but his education was learned; and, in the poverty of exile, he was relieved by the practice of physic, which he had studied in the school of Salerno. Fortune had left him nothing to lose except life; and to despise life is the first qualification of a rebel. Procida was endowed with the art of negotiation, to enforce his reasons and disguise his motives; and, in his various transactions with nations and men, he could persuade each party that he laboured solely for their interest. The new kingdoms of Charles were afflicted by every species of fiscal and military oppression;52 and the lives and fortunes of his Italian subjects were sacrificed to the greatness of their Edition: current; Page: [82] master and the licentiousness of his followers. The hatred of Naples was repressed by his presence; but the looser government of his vicegerents excited the contempt, as well as the aversion, of the Sicilians; the island was roused to a sense of freedom by the eloquence of Procida; and he displayed to every baron his private interest in the common cause. In the confidence of foreign aid, he successively visited the courts of the Greek emperor and of Peter, king of Arragon,53 who possessed the maritime countries of Valentia and Catalonia. To the ambitious Peter a crown was presented, which he might justly claim by his marriage with the sister of Mainfroy, and by the dying voice of Conradin, who from the scaffold had cast a ring to his heir and avenger. Palæologus was easily persuaded to divert his enemy from a foreign war by a rebellion at home; and a Greek subsidy of twenty-five thousand ounces of gold was most profitably applied to arm a Catalan fleet, which sailed under an holy banner to the specious attack of the Saracens of Africa. In the disguise of a monk or beggar, the indefatigable missionary of revolt flew from Constantinople to Rome, and from Sicily to Saragossa; the treaty was sealed with the signet of Pope Nicholas himself, the enemy of Charles; and his deed of gift transferred the fiefs of St. Peter from the house of Anjou to that of Arragon. So widely diffused and so freely circulated, the secret was preserved above two years with impenetrable discretion; and each of the conspirators imbibed the maxim of Peter, who declared that he would cut off his left hand, if it were conscious of the intentions of his right. The mine was prepared with deep and dangerous artifice; but it may be questioned whether the instant explosion of Palermo were the effect of accident or design.

On the vigil of Easter, a procession of the disarmed citizens Edition: current; Page: [83] visited a church without the walls; and a noble damsel was rudely insulted by a French soldier.54 The ravisher was instantly punished with death; and, if the people was at first scattered by a military force, their numbers and fury prevailed: the conspirators seized the opportunity; the flame spread over the island; and eight thousand French were exterminated in a promiscuous massacre, which has obtained the name of the Sicilian Vespers.55 From every city the banners of freedom and the church were displayed; the revolt was inspired by the presence or the soul of Procida; and Peter of Arragon, who sailed from the African coast to Palermo, was saluted as the king and saviour of the isle. By the rebellion of a people on whom he had so long trampled with impunity, Charles was astonished and confounded; and in the first agony of grief and devotion he was heard to exclaim, “O God! if thou hast decreed to humble me, grant me at least a gentle and gradual descent from the pinnacle of greatness.” His fleet and army, which already filled the sea-ports of Italy, were hastily recalled from the service of the Grecian war; and the situation of Messina exposed that town to the first storm of his revenge. Feeble in themselves, and yet hopeless of foreign succour, the citizens would have repented and submitted, on the assurance of full pardon and their ancient privileges. But the pride of the monarch was already rekindled; and the most fervent entreaties of the legate could extort no more than a promise, that he would forgive the remainder, after a chosen list of eight hundred rebels had been yielded to his discretion. The despair of Edition: current; Page: [84] the Messinese renewed their courage; Peter of Arragon approached to their relief;56 and his rival was driven back by the failure of provision, and the terrors of the equinox, to the Calabrian shore. At the same moment, the Catalan admiral, the famous Roger de Loria, swept the channel with an invincible squadron: the French fleet, more numerous in transports than in galleys, was either burnt or destroyed; and the same blow assured the independence of Sicily and the safety of the Greek empire. A few days before his death, the emperor Michael rejoiced in the fall of an enemy whom he hated and esteemed; and perhaps he might be content with the popular judgment that, had they not been matched with each other, Constantinople and Italy must speedily have obeyed the same master.57 From this disastrous moment, the life of Charles was a series of misfortunes; his capital was insulted, his son was made prisoner, and he sunk into the grave without recovering the isle of Sicily, which, after a war of twenty years, was finally severed from the throne of Naples, and transferred, as an independent kingdom, to a younger branch of the house of Arragon.58

I shall not, I trust, be accused of superstition; but I must remark that, even in this world, the natural order of events Edition: current; Page: [85] will sometimes afford the strong appearances of moral retribution. The first Palæologus had saved his empire by involving the kingdoms of the West in rebellion and blood; and from these seeds of discord uprose a generation of iron men, who assaulted and endangered the empire of his son. In modern times our debts and taxes are the secret poison, which still corrodes the bosom of peace; but in the weak and disorderly government of the middle ages it was agitated by the present evil of the disbanded armies. Too idle to work, too proud to beg, the mercenaries were accustomed to a life of rapine: they could rob with more dignity and effect under a banner and a chief; and the sovereign, to whom their service was useless and their presence importunate, endeavoured to discharge the torrent on some neighbouring countries. After the peace of Sicily, many thousands of Genoese, Catalans,59 &c., who had fought, by sea and land, under the standard of Anjou or Arragon were blended into one nation by the resemblance of their manners and interest. They heard that the Greek provinces of Asia were invaded by the Turks: they resolved to share the harvest of pay and plunder; and Frederic, king of Sicily, most liberally contributed the means of their departure. In a warfare of twenty years, a ship, or a camp, was become their country; arms were their sole profession and property; valour was the only virtue which they knew; their women had imbibed the fearless temper of their lovers and husbands; it was reported that, with a stroke of their broad sword, the Catalans could cleave a horseman and an horse; and the report itself was a powerful weapon. Roger de Flor was the most popular of their chiefs; and his personal merit overshadowed the dignity of his prouder rivals of Arragon. The offspring of a marriage between a Edition: current; Page: [86] German gentleman60 of the court of Frederic the Second and a damsel of Brindisi, Roger was successively a templar, an apostate, a pirate, and at length the richest and most powerful admiral of the Mediterranean. He sailed from Messina to Constantinople, with eighteen galleys, four great ships, and eight thousand adventurers; and his previous treaty was faithfully accomplished by Andronicus the Elder, who accepted with joy and terror this formidable succour.61 A palace was allotted for his reception, and a niece of the emperor was given in marriage to the valiant stranger, who was immediately created Great Duke or Admiral of Romania. After a decent repose, he transported his troops over the Propontis, and boldly led them against the Turks; in two bloody battles thirty thousand of the Moslems were slain; he raised the siege of Philadelphia, and deserved the name of the deliverer of Asia. But, after a short season of prosperity, the cloud of slavery and ruin again burst on that unhappy province. The inhabitants escaped (says a Greek historian) from the smoke into the flames; and the hostility of the Turks was less pernicious than the friendship of the Catalans. The lives and fortunes which they had rescued, they considered as their own; the willing or reluctant maid was saved from the race of circumcision for the embraces of a Christian soldier; the exaction of fines and supplies was enforced by licentious rapine and arbitrary executions; and, on the resistance of Magnesia, the Great Duke besieged a city of the Roman empire.62 These disorders he excused by the wrongs and passions Edition: current; Page: [87] of a victorious army; nor would his own authority or person have been safe, had he dared to punish his faithful followers, who were defrauded of the just and covenanted price of their services. The threats and complaints of Andronicus disclosed the nakedness of the empire. His golden bull had invited no more than five hundred horse and a thousand foot-soldiers; yet the crowd of volunteers, who migrated to the East, had been enlisted and fed by his spontaneous bounty. While his bravest allies were content with three byzants, or pieces of gold, for their monthly pay, an ounce or even two ounces of gold were assigned to the Catalans, whose annual pension would thus amount to near an hundred pounds sterling; one of their chiefs had modestly rated at three hundred thousand crowns the value of his future merits; and above a million had been issued from the treasury for the maintenance of these costly mercenaries. A cruel tax had been imposed on the corn of the husbandman: one third was retrenched from the salaries of the public officers; and the standard of the coin was so shamefully debased that of the four-and-twenty parts only five were of pure gold.63 At the summons of the emperor, Roger evacuated a province which no longer supplied the materials of rapine; but he refused to disperse his troops; and, while his style was respectful, his conduct was independent and hostile. He protested that, if the emperor should march against him, he would advance forty paces to kiss the ground before him; but, in rising from this prostrate attitude, Edition: current; Page: [88] Roger had a life and sword at the service of his friends. The Great Duke of Romania condescended to accept the title and ornaments of Cæsar; but he rejected the new proposal of the government of Asia, with a subsidy of corn and money, on condition that he should reduce his troops to the harmless number of three thousand men. Assassination is the last resource of cowards. The Cæsar was tempted to visit the royal residence of Hadrianople: in the apartment, and before the eyes, of the empress, he was stabbed by the Alani63a guards;64 and, though the deed was imputed to their private revenge, his countrymen, who dwelt at Constantinople in the security of peace, were involved in the same proscription by the prince or people. The loss of their leader intimidated the crowd of adventurers, who hoisted the sails of flight, and were soon scattered round the coasts of the Mediterranean. But a veteran band of fifteen hundred Catalans or French stood firm in the strong fortress of Gallipoli on the Hellespont, displayed the banners of Arragon, and offered to revenge and justify their chief by an equal combat of ten or an hundred warriors. Instead of accepting this bold defiance, the emperor Michael, the son and colleague of Andronicus, resolved to oppress them with the weight of multitudes: every nerve was strained to form an army of thirteen thousand horse and thirty thousand foot; and the Propontis was covered with the ships of the Greeks and Genoese. In two battles by sea and land, these mighty forces were encountered and overthrown by the despair and discipline of the Catalans; the young emperor fled to the palace; and an insufficient guard of light horse was left for the protection of the open country. Victory renewed the hopes and numbers of the adventurers: Edition: current; Page: [89] every nation was blended under the name and standard of the great company; and three thousand Turkish proselytes deserted from the Imperial service to join this military association. In the possession of Gallipoli,65 the Catalans intercepted the trade of Constantinople and the Black Sea, while they spread their devastations on either side of the Hellespont over the confines of Europe and Asia. To prevent their approach, the greatest part of the Byzantine territory was laid waste by the Greeks themselves: the peasants and their cattle retired into the city; and myriads of sheep and oxen, for which neither place nor food could be procured, were unprofitably slaughtered on the same day. Four times the emperor Andronicus sued for peace, and four times he was inflexibly repulsed, till the want of provisions, and the discord of the chiefs, compelled the Catalans to evacuate the banks of the Hellespont and the neighbourhood of the capital. After their separation from the Turks, the remains of the great company pursued their march through Macedonia and Thessaly, to seek a new establishment in the heart of Greece.66

After some ages of oblivion, Greece was awakened to new misfortunes by the arms of the Latins. In the two hundred and fifty years between the first and the last conquest of Constantinople, that venerable land was disputed by a multitude of petty tyrants; without the comforts of freedom and genius, Edition: current; Page: [90] her ancient cities were again plunged in foreign and intestine war; and, if servitude be preferable to anarchy, they might repose with joy under the Turkish yoke. I shall not pursue the obscure and various dynasties that rose and fell on the continent or in the isles;67 but our silence on the fate of Athens68 would argue a strange ingratitude to the first and purest school of liberal science and amusement. In the partition of the empire, the principality of Athens and Thebes was assigned to Otho de la Roche, a noble warrior of Burgundy,69 with the title of Great Duke,70 which the Latins understood in their own sense, and the Greeks more foolishly derived from the age of Constantine.71 Otho followed the standard of the marquis of Montferrat; the ample state, which he acquired by a miracle of conduct or fortune,72 was Edition: current; Page: [91] peaceably inherited by his son and two grandsons,73 till the family, though not the nation, was changed, by the marriage of an heiress, into the elder branch of the house of Brienne. The son of that marriage, Walter de Brienne, succeeded to the duchy of Athens; and, with the aid of some Catalan mercenaries, whom he invested with fiefs, reduced above thirty castles of the vassal or neighbouring lords. But, when he was informed of the approach and ambition of the great company, he collected a force of seven hundred knights, six thousand four hundred horse, and eight thousand foot, and boldly met them on the banks of the river Cephisus in Bœotia.74 The Catalans amounted to no more than three thousand five hundred horse and four thousand foot; but the deficiency of numbers was compensated by stratagem and order. They formed round their camp an artificial inundation: the duke and his knights advanced without fear or precaution on the verdant meadow; their horses plunged into the bog; and he was cut in pieces, with the greatest part of the French cavalry. His family and nation were expelled; and his son, Walter de Brienne, the titular duke of Athens, the tyrant of Florence, and the constable of France, lost his life in the field of Poitiers. Attica and Bœotia were the rewards of the victorious Catalans; they married the widows and daughters of the slain; and during fourteen years the great company was the terror of the Grecian states. Their factions drove them to acknowledge the sovereignty of the house of Arragon;75 and, during the remainder of the fourteenth century, Athens, as a government Edition: current; Page: [92] or an appanage, was successively bestowed by the kings of Sicily. After the French and Catalans, the third dynasty was that of the Accaioli, a family, plebeian at Florence, potent at Naples, and sovereign in Greece. Athens, which they embellished with new buildings, became the capital of a state that extended over Thebes, Argos, Corinth, Delphi, and a part of Thessaly; and their reign was finally determined by Mahomet the Second, who strangled the last duke, and educated his sons in the discipline and religion of the seraglio.76

Athens,77 though no more than the shadow of her former self, still contains about eight or ten thousand inhabitants: of these, three fourths are Greeks in religion and language; and the Turks, who compose the remainder, have relaxed, in their intercourse with the citizens, somewhat of the pride and gravity of their national character. The olive-tree, the gift of Minerva, flourishes in Attica; nor has the honey of Mount Hymettus lost any part of its exquisite flavour;78 but the languid trade is monopolised by strangers; and the agriculture of a barren land is abandoned to the vagrant Walachians. The Athenians are still distinguished by the subtlety and acuteness of their understandings; but these qualities, unless ennobled by freedom and enlightened by study, will degenerate into a low and selfish cunning; and it is a proverbial saying of the country, “From the Jews of Edition: current; Page: [none] Edition: current; Page: [93] Thessalonica, the Turks of Negropont, and the Greeks of Athens, good Lord, deliver us!” This artful people has eluded the tyranny of the Turkish bashaws by an expedient which alleviates their servitude and aggravates their shame. About the middle of the last century, the Athenians chose for their protector the Kislar Aga, or chief black eunuch of the seraglio. This Æthiopian slave, who possesses the sultan’s ear, condescends to accept the tribute of thirty thousand crowns; his lieutenant, the Waywode, whom he annually confirms, may reserve for his own about five or six thousand more; and such is the policy of the citizens that they seldom fail to remove and punish an oppressive governor. Their private differences are decided by the archbishop, one of the richest prelates of the Greek church, since he possesses a revenue of one thousand pounds sterling; and by a tribunal of the eight geronti or elders, chosen in the eight quarters of the city. The noble families cannot trace their pedigree above three hundred years; but their principal members are distinguished by a grave demeanour, a fur cap, and the lofty appellation of archon. By some, who delight in the contrast, the modern language of Athens is represented as the most corrupt and barbarous of the seventy dialects of the vulgar Greek;79 this picture is too darkly coloured; but it would not be easy, in the country of Plato and Demosthenes, to find a reader, or a copy, of their works. The Athenians walk with supine indifference among the glorious ruins of antiquity; and such is the debasement of their character that they are incapable of admiring the genius of their predecessors.80

lf0214-11_figure_003.jpg
Edition: current; Page: [94]

CHAPTER LXIII

Civil Wars, and Ruin of the Greek Empire — Reigns of Andronicus, the Elder and Younger, and John Palæologus — Regency, Revolt, Reign, and Abdication of John Cantacuzene — Establishment of a Genoese Colony at Pera or Galata — Their Wars with the Empire and City of Constantinople

The long reign of Andronicus1 the Elder is chiefly memorable by the disputes of the Greek church, the invasion of the Catalans, and the rise of the Ottoman power. He is celebrated as the most learned and virtuous prince of the age; but such virtue and such learning contributed neither to the perfection of the individual nor to the happiness of society. A slave of the most abject superstition, he was surrounded on all sides by visible and invisible enemies; nor were the flames of hell less dreadful to his fancy than those of a Catalan or Turkish war. Under the reign of the Palæologi, the choice of the patriarch was the most important business of the state; the heads of the Greek church were ambitious and fanatic monks; and their vices or virtues, their learning or ignorance, were equally mischievous or contemptible. By his intemperate discipline, the patriarch Athanasius2 excited the hatred Edition: current; Page: [95] of the clergy and people: he was heard to declare that the sinner should swallow the last dregs of the cup of penance; and the foolish tale was propagated of his punishing a sacrilegious ass that had tasted the lettuce of a convent-garden. Driven from the throne by the universal clamour, Athanasius composed, before his retreat, two papers of a very opposite cast. His public testament was in the tone of charity and resignation; the private codicil breathed the direst anathemas against the authors of his disgrace, whom he excluded for ever from the communion of the Holy Trinity, the angels, and the saints. This last paper he enclosed in an earthen pot, which was placed, by his order, on the top of one of the pillars in the dome of St. Sophia, in the distant hope of discovery and revenge. At the end of four years, some youths, climbing by a ladder in search of pigeons’ nests, detected the fatal secret; and, as Andronicus felt himself touched and bound by the excommunication, he trembled on the brink of the abyss which had been so treacherously dug under his feet. A synod of bishops was instantly convened to debate this important question; the rashness of these clandestine anathemas was generally condemned; but, as the knot could be untied only by the same hand, as that hand was now deprived of the crosier, it appeared that this posthumous decree was irrevocable by any earthly power. Some faint testimonies of repentance and pardon were extorted from the author of the mischief; but the conscience of the emperor was still wounded, and he desired, with no less ardour than Athanasius himself, the restoration of a patriarch by whom alone he could be healed. At the dead of night a monk rudely knocked at the door of the royal bed-chamber, announcing a revelation of plague and famine, of inundations and earthquakes. Andronicus started from his bed, and spent the night in prayer, till he felt, or thought that he felt, a slight motion of the earth. The emperor, on foot, led the bishops and monks to the cell of Athanasius; and, after a proper resistance, the saint, from whom this message Edition: current; Page: [96] had been sent, consented to absolve the prince and govern the church of Constantinople. Untamed by disgrace and hardened by solitude, the shepherd was again odious to the flock; and his enemies contrived a singular and, as it proved, a successful mode of revenge. In the night they stole away the foot-stool or foot-cloth of his throne, which they secretly replaced with the decoration of a satirical picture. The emperor was painted with a bridle in his mouth, and Athanasius leading the tractable beast to the feet of Christ. The authors of the libel were detected and punished; but, as their lives had been spared, the Christian priest in sullen indignation retired to his cell; and the eyes of Andronicus, which had been opened for a moment, were again closed by his successor.

If this transaction be one of the most curious and important of a reign of fifty years, I cannot at least accuse the brevity of my materials, since I reduce into some few pages the enormous folios of Pachymer,3 Cantacuzene,4 and Nicephorus Gregoras,5 who have composed the prolix and languid story of the times. The name and situation of the emperor John Cantacuzene might inspire the most lively curiosity. His memorials of forty years extend from the revolt of the younger Andronicus to his own abdication of the empire; and it is observed that, like Moses and Cæsar, he was the principal actor in the scenes which he describes. But in this eloquent work we should vainly seek the sincerity of an hero or a penitent. Edition: current; Page: [97] Retired in a cloister from the vices and passions of the world, he presents not a confession, but an apology, of the life of an ambitious statesman. Instead of unfolding the true counsels and characters of men, he displays the smooth and specious surface of events, highly varnished with his own praises and those of his friends. Their motives are always pure; their ends always legitimate; they conspire and rebel without any views of interest; and the violence which they inflict or suffer is celebrated as the spontaneous effect of reason and virtue.

After the example of the first of the Palæologi, the elder Andronicus associated his son Michael to the honours of the purple; and, from the age of eighteen to his premature death, that prince was acknowledged, above twenty-five years, as the second emperor of the Greeks.6 At the head of an army, he excited neither the fears of the enemy nor the jealousy of the court; his modesty and patience were never tempted to compute the years of his father; nor was that father compelled to repent of his liberality either by the virtues or vices of his son. The son of Michael was named Andronicus from his grandfather, to whose early favour he was introduced by that nominal resemblance. The blossoms of wit and beauty increased the fondness of the elder Andronicus; and, with the common vanity of the age, he expected to realise in the second, the hope which had been disappointed in the first, generation. The boy was educated in the palace as an heir and a favourite; and, in the oaths and acclamations of the people, the august triad was formed by the names of the father, the son, and the grandson. But the younger Andronicus was speedily corrupted by his infant greatness, while he beheld, with puerile impatience, the double obstacle that hung, and Edition: current; Page: [98] might long hang, over his rising ambition. It was not to acquire fame, or to diffuse happiness, that he so eagerly aspired; wealth and impunity were in his eyes the most precious attributes of a monarch; and his first indiscreet demand was the sovereignty of some rich and fertile island, where he might lead a life of independence and pleasure. The emperor was offended by the loud and frequent intemperance which disturbed his capital; the sums which his parsimony denied were supplied by the Genoese usurers of Pera; and the oppressive debt, which consolidated the interest of a faction, could be discharged only by a revolution. A beautiful female, a matron in rank, a prostitute in manners, had instructed the younger Andronicus in the rudiments of love; but he had reason to suspect the nocturnal visits of a rival; and a stranger passing through the street was pierced by the arrows of his guards, who were placed in ambush at her door. That stranger was his brother, Prince Manuel, who languished and died of his wound; and the emperor Michael, their common father, whose health was in a declining state, expired on the eighth day, lamenting the loss of both his children.7 However guiltless in his intention, the younger Andronicus might impute a brother’s and a father’s death to the consequence of his own vices; and deep was the sigh of thinking and feeling men, when they perceived, instead of sorrow and repentance, his ill-dissembled joy on the removal of two odious competitors. By these melancholy events, and the increase of his disorders, the mind of the elder emperor was gradually alienated; and, after many fruitless reproofs, he transferred on another grandson8 his Edition: current; Page: [99] hopes and affection. The change was announced by the new oath of allegiance to the reigning sovereign and the person whom he should appoint for his successor; and the acknowledged heir, after a repetition of insults and complaints, was exposed to the indignity of a public trial. Before the sentence, which would probably have condemned him to a dungeon or a cell, the emperor was informed that the palace courts were filled with the armed followers of his grandson; the judgment was softened to a treaty of reconciliation; and the triumphant escape of the prince encouraged the ardour of the younger faction.

Yet the capital, the clergy, and the senate adhered to the person, or at least to the government, of the old emperor; and it was only in the provinces, by flight, and revolt, and foreign succour, that the malecontents could hope to vindicate their cause and subvert his throne. The soul of the enterprise was the great domestic, John Cantacuzene; the sally from Constantinople is the first date of his actions and memorials; and, if his own pen be most descriptive of his patriotism, an unfriendly historian has not refused to celebrate the zeal and ability which he displayed in the service of the young emperor. That prince escaped from the capital under the pretence of hunting; erected his standard at Hadrianople; and, in a few days, assembled fifty thousand horse and foot, whom neither honour nor duty could have armed against the Barbarians. Such a force might have saved or commanded the empire; but their counsels were discordant, their motions were slow and doubtful, and their progress was checked by intrigue and negotiation. The quarrel of the two Andronici was protracted, and suspended, and renewed, during a ruinous period of seven years. In the first treaty the relics of the Greek empire were divided: Constantinople, Thessalonica, and the islands were left to the elder, while the younger acquired the sovereignty of the greatest part of Thrace, from Philippi to the Byzantine limit. By the second treaty he stipulated the payment of his troops, his immediate coronation, and an Edition: current; Page: [100] adequate share of the power and revenue of the state. The third civil war was terminated by the surprise of Constantinople, the final retreat of the old emperor, and the sole reign of his victorious grandson. The reasons of this delay may be found in the characters of the men and of the times. When the heir of the monarchy first pleaded his wrongs and his apprehensions, he was heard with pity and applause; and his adherents repeated on all sides the inconsistent promise that he would increase the pay of the soldiers and alleviate the burdens of the people. The grievances of forty years were mingled in his revolt; and the rising generation was fatigued by the endless prospect of a reign whose favourites and maxims were of other times. The youth of Andronicus had been without spirit, his age was without reverence; his taxes produced an annual revenue of five hundred thousand pounds; yet the richest of the sovereigns of Christendom was incapable of maintaining three thousand horse and twenty galleys, to resist the destructive progress of the Turks.9 “How different,” said the younger Andronicus, “is my situation from that of the son of Philip! Alexander might complain that his father would leave him nothing to conquer; alas! my grandsire will leave me nothing to lose.” But the Greeks were soon admonished that the public disorders could not be healed by a civil war; and their young favourite was not destined to be the saviour of a falling empire. On the first repulse, his party was broken by his own levity, their intestine discord, and the intrigues of the ancient court, which tempted each malecontent to desert or betray the cause of rebellion. Andronicus the Younger was touched with remorse, or fatigued with business, or deceived by negotiation; pleasure rather than power was his aim; and the Edition: current; Page: [101] licence of maintaining a thousand hounds, a thousand hawks, and a thousand huntsmen was sufficient to sully his fame and disarm his ambition.

Let us now survey the catastrophe of this busy plot and the final situation of the principal actors.10 The age of Andronicus was consumed in civil discord; and, amidst the events of war and treaty, his power and reputation continually decayed, till the fatal night in which the gates of the city and palace were opened without resistance to his grandson. His principal commander scorned the repeated warnings of danger; and retiring to rest in the vain security of ignorance, abandoned the feeble monarch, with some priests and pages, to the terrors of a sleepless night. These terrors were quickly realised by the hostile shouts which proclaimed the titles and victory of Andronicus the Younger; and the aged emperor, falling prostrate before an image of the Virgin, despatched a suppliant message to resign the sceptre and to obtain his life at the hands of the conqueror. The answer of his grandson was decent and pious; at the prayer of his friends, the younger Andronicus assumed the sole administration; but the elder still enjoyed the name and pre-eminence of the first emperor, the use of the great palace, and a pension of twenty-four thousand pieces of gold, one half of which was assigned on the royal treasure, and the other on the fishery of Constantinople. But his impotence was soon exposed to contempt and oblivion; the vast silence of the palace was disturbed only by the cattle and poultry of the neighbourhood, which roved with impunity through the solitary courts; and a reduced allowance of ten thousand pieces of gold11 was all that he Edition: current; Page: [102] could ask and more than he could hope. His calamities were embittered by the gradual extinction of sight: his confinement was rendered each day more rigorous; and during the absence and sickness of his grandson, his inhuman keepers, by the threats of instant death, compelled him to exchange the purple for the monastic habit and profession. The monk Antony had renounced the pomp of the world: yet he had occasion for a coarse fur in the winter-season; and, as wine was forbidden by his confessor, and water by his physician, the sherbet of Egypt was his common drink. It was not without difficulty that the late emperor could procure three or four pieces to satisfy these simple wants; and, if he bestowed the gold to relieve the more painful distress of a friend, the sacrifice is of some weight in the scale of humanity and religion. Four years after his abdication, Andronicus, or Antony, expired in a cell, in the seventy-fourth year of his age; and the last strain of adulation could only promise a more splendid crown of glory in heaven than he had enjoyed upon earth.12

Nor was the reign of the younger, more glorious or fortunate than that of the elder, Andronicus.13 He gathered the fruits of ambition: but the taste was transient and bitter; in the supreme station he lost the remains of his early popularity; and the defects of his character became still more conspicuous to the world. The public reproach urged him to march in person against the Turks; nor did his courage fail in the hour of trial; but a defeat and wound were the only trophies of his expedition in Asia, which confirmed the establishment of the Ottoman monarchy. The abuses of the civil government Edition: current; Page: [103] attained their full maturity and perfection; his neglect of forms, and the confusion of national dresses, are deplored by the Greeks as the fatal symptoms of the decay of the empire. Andronicus was old before his time; the intemperance of youth had accelerated the infirmities of age; and, after being rescued from a dangerous malady by nature, or physic, or the Virgin, he was snatched away before he had accomplished his forty-fifth year. He was twice married; and, as the progress of the Latins in arms and arts had softened the prejudices of the Byzantine court, his two wives were chosen in the princely houses of Germany and Italy. The first, Agnes at home, Irene in Greece, was daughter of the duke of Brunswick. Her father14 was a petty lord15 in the poor and savage regions of the north of Germany;16 yet he derived some revenue from his silver mines;17 and his family is Edition: current; Page: [104] celebrated by the Greeks as the most ancient and noble of the Teutonic name.18 After the death of this childless princess, Andronicus sought in marriage Jane, the sister of the count of Savoy;19 and his suit was preferred to that of the French king.20 The count respected in his sister the superior majesty of a Roman empress; her retinue was composed of knights and ladies; she was regenerated and crowned in St. Sophia, under the more orthodox appellation of Anne; and, at the nuptial feast, the Greeks and Italians vied with each other in the martial exercises of tilts and tournaments.

The empress Anne of Savoy survived her husband. Their son, John Palæologus, was left an orphan and an emperor, in the ninth year of his age; and his weakness was protected by the first and most deserving of the Greeks. The long and cordial friendship of his father for John Cantacuzene is alike honourable to the prince and the subject. It had been formed amidst the pleasures of their youth; their families were almost equally noble;21 and the recent lustre of the purple was amply compensated by the energy of a private Edition: current; Page: [105] education. We have seen that the young emperor was saved by Cantacuzene from the power of his grandfather; and, after six years of civil war, the same favourite brought him back in triumph to the palace of Constantinople. Under the reign of Andronicus the Younger, the great domestic ruled the emperor and the empire; and it was by his valour and conduct that the isle of Lesbos and the principality of Ætolia were restored to their ancient allegiance. His enemies confess that, among the public robbers, Cantacuzene alone was moderate and abstemious; and the free and voluntary account which he produces of his own wealth22 may sustain the presumption that it was devolved by inheritance, and not accumulated by rapine. He does not indeed specify the value of his money, plate, and jewels; yet, after a voluntary gift of two hundred vases of silver, after much had been secreted by his friends and plundered by his foes, his forfeit treasures were sufficient for the equipment of a fleet of seventy galleys. He does not measure the size and number of his estates; but his granaries were heaped with an incredible store of wheat and barley; and the labour of a thousand yoke of oxen might cultivate, according to the practice of antiquity, about sixty-two thousand five hundred acres of arable land.23 His pastures were stocked with two thousand five hundred brood mares, two hundred camels, three hundred mules, five hundred asses, five thousand horned cattle, fifty thousand hogs, and seventy thousand sheep:24 a precious record of Edition: current; Page: [106] rural opulence, in the last period of the empire, and in a land, most probably in Thrace, so repeatedly wasted by foreign and domestic hostility. The favour of Cantacuzene was above his fortune. In the moments of familiarity, in the hour of sickness, the emperor was desirous to level the distance between them, and pressed his friend to accept the diadem and purple. The virtue of the great domestic, which is attested by his own pen, resisted the dangerous proposal; but the last testament of Andronicus the Younger named him the guardian of his son and the regent of the empire.

Had the regent found a suitable return of obedience and gratitude, perhaps he would have acted with pure and zealous fidelity in the service of his pupil.25 A guard of five hundred soldiers watched over his person and the palace; the funeral of the late emperor was decently performed; the capital was silent and submissive; and five hundred letters, which Cantacuzene despatched in the first month, informed the provinces of their loss and their duty. The prospect of a tranquil minority was blasted by the Great Duke or Admiral Apocaucus; and, to exaggerate his perfidy, the Imperial historian is pleased to magnify his own imprudence in raising him to that office against the advice of his more sagacious sovereign. Bold and subtle, rapacious and profuse, the avarice and ambition of Apocaucus were by turns subservient to each other; and his talents were applied to the ruin of his country. His arrogance was heightened by the command of a naval force and an impregnable castle, and, under the mask of oaths and flattery, he secretly conspired against his benefactor. The female court of the empress was bribed and directed; he encouraged Anne of Savoy to assert, Edition: current; Page: [107] by the law of nature, the tutelage of her son; the love of power was disguised by the anxiety of maternal tenderness; and the founder of the Palæologi had instructed his posterity to dread the example of a perfidious guardian. The patriarch John of Apri was a proud and feeble old man, encompassed by a numerous and hungry kindred. He produced an obsolete epistle of Andronicus, which bequeathed the prince and people to his pious care: the fate of his predecessor Arsenius prompted him to prevent, rather than punish, the crimes of an usurper; and Apocaucus smiled at the success of his own flattery, when he beheld the Byzantine priest assuming the state and temporal claims of the Roman pontiff.26 Between three persons so different in their situation and character, a private league was concluded: a shadow of authority was restored to the senate; and the people was tempted by the name of freedom. By this powerful confederacy, the great domestic was assaulted at first with clandestine, at length with open, arms. His prerogatives were disputed; his opinions slighted; his friends persecuted; and his safety was threatened both in the camp and city. In his absence on the public service, he was accused of treason; proscribed as an enemy of the church and state; and delivered, with all his adherents, to the sword of justice, the vengeance of the people, and the power of the devil: his fortunes were confiscated; his aged mother was cast into prison; all his past services were buried in oblivion; and he was driven by injustice to perpetrate the crime of which he was accused.27 From the review of his preceding conduct, Cantacuzene appears to have been guiltless of any treasonable designs; and Edition: current; Page: [108] the only suspicion of his innocence must arise from the vehemence of his protestations, and the sublime purity which he ascribes to his own virtue. While the empress and the patriarch still affected the appearance of harmony, he repeatedly solicited the permission of retiring to a private, and even a monastic, life. After he had been declared a public enemy, it was his fervent wish to throw himself at the feet of the young emperor, and to receive without a murmur the stroke of the executioner: it was not without reluctance that he listened to the voice of reason, which inculcated the sacred duty of saving his family and friends, and proved that he could only save them by drawing the sword and assuming the Imperial title.

In the strong city of Demotica, his peculiar domain, the emperor John Cantacuzenus was invested with the purple buskins; his right leg was clothed by his noble kinsmen, the left by the Latin chiefs, on whom he conferred the order of knighthood. But even in this act of revolt he was still studious of loyalty; and the titles of John Palæologus and Anne of Savoy were proclaimed before his own name and that of his wife Irene. Such vain ceremony is a thin disguise of rebellion, nor are there perhaps any personal wrongs that can authorise a subject to take arms against his sovereign; but the want of preparation and success may confirm the assurance of the usurper that this decisive step was the effect of necessity rather than of choice. Constantinople adhered to the young emperor; the king of Bulgaria was invited to the relief of Hadrianople; the principal cities of Thrace and Macedonia, after some hesitation, renounced their obedience to the great domestic; and the leaders of the troops and provinces were induced, by their private interest, to prefer the loose dominion of a woman and a priest.28 The army of Cantacuzene, in sixteen divisions, was stationed on the Edition: current; Page: [109] banks of the Melas, to tempt or intimidate the capital; it was dispersed by treachery or fear; and the officers, more especially the mercenary Latins, accepted the bribes, and embraced the service, of the Byzantine court. After this loss, the rebel emperor (he fluctuated between the two characters) took the road of Thessalonica with a chosen remnant; but he failed in his enterprise on that important place; and he was closely pursued by the Great Duke, his enemy Apocaucus, at the head of a superior power by sea and land. Driven from the coast, in his march, or rather flight, into the mountains of Servia, Cantacuzene assembled his troops to scrutinise those who were worthy and willing to accompany his broken fortunes. A base majority bowed and retired; and his trusty band was diminished to two thousand, and at last to five hundred, volunteers. The cral,29 or despot of the Servians, received him with generous hospitality; but the ally was insensibly degraded to a suppliant, an hostage, a captive; and, in this miserable dependence, he waited at the door of the Barbarian, who could dispose of the life and liberty of a Roman emperor. The most tempting offers could not persuade the cral to violate his trust; but he soon inclined to the stronger side; and his friend was dismissed without injury to a new vicissitude of hopes and perils. Near six years the flame of discord burnt with various success and unabated Edition: current; Page: [110] rage: the cities were distracted by the faction of the nobles and the plebeians — the Cantacuzeni and Palæologi; and the Bulgarians, the Servians, and the Turks were invoked on both sides as the instruments of private ambition and the common ruin. The regent deplored the calamities of which he was the author and victim: and his own experience might dictate a just and lively remark on the different nature of foreign and civil war. “The former,” said he, “is the external warmth of summer, always tolerable, and often beneficial; the latter is the deadly heat of a fever, which consumes without a remedy the vitals of the constitution.”30

The introduction of barbarians and savages into the contests of civilised nations is a measure pregnant with shame and mischief; which the interest of the moment may compel, but which is reprobated by the best principles of humanity and reason. It is the practice of both sides to accuse their enemies of the guilt of the first alliances; and those who fail in their negotiations are loudest in their censure of the example which they envy and would gladly imitate. The Turks of Asia were less barbarous, perhaps, than the shepherds of Bulgaria and Servia;31 but their religion rendered them the Edition: current; Page: [111] implacable foes of Rome and Christianity. To acquire the friendship of their emirs, the two factions vied with each other in baseness and profusion; the dexterity of Cantacuzene obtained the preference; but the succour and victory were dearly purchased by the marriage of his daughter with an infidel, the captivity of many thousand Christians, and the passage of the Ottomans into Europe, the last and fatal stroke in the fall of the Roman empire. The inclining scale was decided in his favour by the death of Apocaucus, the just, though singular, retribution of his crimes. A crowd of nobles or plebeians, whom he feared or hated, had been seized by his orders in the capital and the provinces; and the old palace of Constantine was assigned for the place of their confinement. Some alterations in raising the walls and narrowing the cells had been ingeniously contrived to prevent their escape and aggravate their misery; and the work was incessantly pressed by the daily visits of the tyrant. His guards watched at the gate, and, as he stood in the inner court to overlook the architects, without fear or suspicion, he was assaulted and laid breathless on the ground, by two resolute prisoners of the Palæologian race,32 who were armed Edition: current; Page: [112] with sticks and animated by despair. On the rumour of revenge and liberty, the captive multitude broke their fetters, fortified their prison, and exposed from the battlements the tyrant’s head, presuming on the favour of the people and the clemency of the empress. Anne of Savoy might rejoice in the fall of an haughty and ambitious minister; but, while she delayed to resolve or to act, the populace, more especially the mariners, were excited by the widow of the Great Duke to a sedition, an assault, and a massacre. The prisoners (of whom the far greater part were guiltless or inglorious of the deed) escaped to a neighbouring church; they were slaughtered at the foot of the altar; and in his death the monster was not less bloody and venomous than in his life. Yet his talents alone upheld the cause of the young emperor; and his surviving associates, suspicious of each other, abandoned the conduct of the war, and rejected the fairest terms of accommodation. In the beginning of the dispute, the empress felt and complained that she was deceived by the enemies of Cantacuzene; the patriarch was employed to preach against the forgiveness of injuries; and her promise of immortal hatred was sealed by an oath under the penalty of excommunication.33 But Anne soon learned to hate without a teacher: she beheld the misfortunes of the empire with the indifference of a stranger: her jealousy was exasperated by the competition of a rival empress; and, on the first symptoms of a more yielding temper, she threatened the patriarch to convene a synod and degrade him from his office. Their incapacity and discord would have afforded the most decisive advantage; but the civil war was protracted by the weakness Edition: current; Page: [113] of both parties; and the moderation of Cantacuzene has not escaped the reproach of timidity and indolence. He successively recovered the provinces and cities;34 and the realm of his pupil was measured by the walls of Constantinople; but the metropolis alone counterbalanced the rest of the empire; nor could he attempt that important conquest, till he had secured in his favour the public voice and a private correspondence. An Italian, of the name of Facciolati,35 had Edition: current; Page: [114] succeeded to the office of Great Duke: the ships, the guards, and the golden gate were subject to his command; but his humble ambition was bribed to become the instrument of treachery; and the revolution was accomplished without danger or bloodshed. Destitute of the powers of resistance or the hope of relief, the inflexible Anne would have still defended the palace, and have smiled to behold the capital in flames, rather than in the possession of a rival. She yielded to the prayers of her friends and enemies; and the treaty was dictated by the conqueror, who professed a loyal and zealous attachment to the son of his benefactor. The marriage of his daughter with John Palæologus was at length consummated: the hereditary right of the pupil was acknowledged; but the sole administration during ten years was vested in the guardian. Two emperors and three empresses were seated on the Byzantine throne; and a general amnesty quieted the apprehensions, and confirmed the property, of the most guilty subjects. The festival of the coronation and nuptials was celebrated with the appearance of concord and magnificence, and both were equally fallacious. During the late troubles, the treasures of the state, and even the palace, had been alienated or embezzled: the royal banquet was served in pewter or earthenware; and such was the proud poverty of the times that the absence of gold and jewels was supplied by the paltry artifices of glass and gilt leather.36

I hasten to conclude the personal history of John Cantacuzene.37 He triumphed and reigned; but his reign and triumph were clouded by the discontent of his own and the adverse faction. His followers might style the general amnesty Edition: current; Page: [115] an act of pardon for his enemies and of oblivion for his friends:38 in his cause their estates had been forfeited or plundered; and, as they wandered naked and hungry through the streets, they cursed the selfish generosity of a leader who, on the throne of the empire, might relinquish without merit his private inheritance. The adherents of the empress blushed to hold their lives and fortunes by the precarious favour of an usurper; and the thirst of revenge was concealed by a tender concern for the succession, and even the safety, of her son. They were justly alarmed by a petition of the friends of Cantacuzene, that they might be released from their oath of allegiance to the Palæologi and entrusted with the defence of some cautionary towns: a measure supported with argument and eloquence; and which was rejected (says the Imperial historian) “by my sublime and almost incredible virtue.” His repose was disturbed by the sound of plots and seditions; and he trembled lest the lawful prince should be stolen away by some foreign or domestic enemy, who would inscribe his name and his wrongs in the banners of rebellion. As the son of Andronicus advanced in the years of manhood, he began to feel and to act for himself; and his rising ambition was rather stimulated than checked by the imitation of his father’s vices. If we may trust his own professions, Cantacuzene laboured with honest industry to correct these sordid and sensual appetites, and to raise the mind of the young prince to a level with his fortune. In the Servian expedition39 the two emperors showed themselves in cordial harmony to the troops and provinces; and Edition: current; Page: [116] the younger colleague was initiated by the elder in the mysteries of war and government. After the conclusion of the peace, Palæologus was left at Thessalonica, a royal residence and a frontier station, to secure by his absence the peace of Constantinople, and to withdraw his youth from the temptations of a luxurious capital. But the distance weakened the powers of control, and the son of Andronicus was surrounded with artful or unthinking companions, who taught him to hate his guardian, to deplore his exile, and to vindicate his rights. A private treaty with the cral or despot of Servia was soon followed by an open revolt; and Cantacuzene, on the throne of the elder Andronicus, defended the cause of age and prerogative, which in his youth he had so vigorously attacked. At his request, the empress-mother undertook the voyage of Thessalonica, and the office of mediation: she returned without success; and unless Anne of Savoy was instructed by adversity, we may doubt the sincerity, or at least the fervour, of her zeal. While the regent grasped the sceptre with a firm and vigorous hand, she had been instructed to declare that the ten years of his legal administration would soon elapse; and that, after a full trial of the vanity of the world, the emperor Cantacuzene sighed for the repose of a cloister, and was ambitious only of an heavenly crown. Had these sentiments been genuine, his voluntary abdication would have restored the peace of the empire, and his conscience would have been relieved by an act of justice. Palæologus alone was responsible for his future government; and, whatever might be his vices, they were surely less formidable than the calamities of a civil war, in which the Barbarians and infidels were again invited to assist the Greeks in their mutual destruction. By the arms of the Turks, who now struck a Edition: current; Page: [117] deep and everlasting root in Europe, Cantacuzene prevailed in the third conquest in which he had been involved; and the young emperor, driven from the sea and land, was compelled to take shelter among the Latins of the isle of Tenedos. His insolence and obstinacy provoked the victor to a step which must render the quarrel irreconcileable; and the association of his son Matthew, whom he invested with the purple, established the succession in the family of the Cantacuzeni. But Constantinople was still attached to the blood of her ancient princes; and this last injury accelerated the restoration of the rightful heir. A noble Genoese espoused the cause of Palæologus, obtained a promise of his sister, and achieved the revolution with two galleys and two thousand five hundred auxiliaries. Under the pretence of distress they were admitted into the lesser port; a gate was opened, and the Latin shout of “Long life and victory to the emperor John Palæologus!” was answered by a general rising in his favour. A numerous and loyal party yet adhered to the standard of Cantacuzene; but he asserts in his history (does he hope for belief?) that his tender conscience rejected the assurance of conquest: that, in free obedience to the voice of religion and philosophy, he descended from the throne and embraced with pleasure the monastic habit and profession.40 So soon as he ceased to be a prince, his successor was not unwilling that he should be a saint; the remainder of his life was devoted to piety and learning; in the cells of Constantinople and Mount Athos, the monk Joasaph was respected as the temporal and spiritual father of the emperor; and, if he issued from his retreat, it was as the minister of peace, to subdue the obstinacy, and solicit the pardon, of his rebellious son.41

Edition: current; Page: [118]

Yet in the cloister, the mind of Cantacuzene was still exercised by theological war. He sharpened a controversial pen against the Jews and Mahometans;42 and in every state he defended with equal zeal the divine light of Mount Thabor, a memorable question which consummates the religious follies of the Greeks. The fakirs of India43 and the monks of the Oriental church were alike persuaded that in total abstraction of the faculties of the mind and body the purer spirit may ascend to the enjoyment and vision of the Deity. The opinion and practice of the monasteries of Mount Athos44 will be best represented in the words of an abbot who flourished in the eleventh century. “When thou art alone in thy cell,” says the ascetic teacher, “shut thy door, and seat thyself in a corner; raise thy mind above all things vain and transitory; recline thy beard and chin on thy breast; turn thy eyes and thy thoughts towards the middle of thy belly, the region of the navel; and search the place of the heart, the seat of the soul. At first, all will be dark and comfortless; but, if you persevere day and night, you will feel an ineffable joy; and no sooner has the soul discovered the place of the heart than it is involved in a mystic and ethereal light.” This light, the production of a distempered fancy, the creature of an empty stomach and an empty brain, was adored by the Quietists as the pure and Edition: current; Page: [119] perfect essence of God himself; and, as long as the folly was confined to Mount Athos, the simple solitaries were not inquisitive how the divine essence could be a material substance, or how an immaterial substance could be perceived by the eyes of the body. But in the reign of the younger Andronicus these monasteries were visited by Barlaam,45 a Calabrian monk, who was equally skilled in philosophy and theology; who possessed the languages of the Greeks and Latins; and whose versatile genius could maintain their opposite creeds, according to the interest of the moment. The indiscretion of an ascetic revealed to the curious traveller the secrets of mental prayer; and Barlaam embraced the opportunity of ridiculing the Quietists, who placed the soul in the navel; of accusing the monks of Mount Athos of heresy and blasphemy. His attack compelled the more learned to renounce or dissemble the simple devotion of their brethren; and Gregory Palamas introduced a scholastic distinction between the essence and operation of God.46 His inaccessible essence dwells in the midst of an uncreated and eternal light; and this beatific vision of the saints had been manifested to the disciples on Mount Thabor, in the transfiguration of Christ. Yet this distinction could not escape the reproach of polytheism; the eternity of the light of Thabor was fiercely denied; and Barlaam still charged the Palamites with holding two eternal substances, a visible and an invisible God. From the rage Edition: current; Page: [120] of the monks of Mount Athos, who threatened his life, the Calabrian retired to Constantinople, where his smooth and specious manners introduced him to the favour of the great domestic and the emperor. The court and the city were involved in this theological dispute, which flamed amidst the civil war; but the doctrine of Barlaam was disgraced by his flight and apostacy; the Palamites triumphed; and their adversary, the patriarch John of Apri, was deposed by the consent of the adverse factions of the state. In the character of emperor and theologian, Cantacuzene presided in the synod of the Greek church, which established, as an article of faith, the uncreated light of Mount Thabor; and, after so many insults, the reason of mankind was slightly wounded by the addition of a single absurdity. Many rolls of paper or parchment have been blotted; and the impenitent sectaries, who refused to subscribe the orthodox creed, were deprived of the honours of Christian burial; but in the next age the question was forgotten; nor can I learn that the axe or the faggot were employed for the extirpation of the Barlaamite heresy.47

For the conclusion of this chapter I have reserved the Genoese war, which shook the throne of Cantacuzene and betrayed the debility of the Greek empire. The Genoese, who, after the recovery of Constantinople, were seated in the suburb of Pera or Galata, received that honourable fief from the bounty of the emperor. They were indulged in the use of their laws and magistrates; but they submitted to the duties of vassals and subjects: the forcible word of liegemen48 was borrowed Edition: current; Page: [121] from the Latin jurisprudence; and their podestà, or chief, before he entered on his office, saluted the emperor with loyal acclamations and vows of fidelity. Genoa sealed a firm alliance with the Greeks; and, in case of a defensive war, a supply of fifty empty galleys, and a succour of fifty galleys completely armed and manned, was promised by the republic to the empire. In the revival of a naval force it was the aim of Michael Palæologus to deliver himself from a foreign aid; and his vigorous government contained the Genoese of Galata within those limits which the insolence of wealth and freedom provoked them to exceed. A sailor threatened that they should soon be masters of Constantinople, and slew the Greek who resented this national affront; and an armed vessel, after refusing to salute the palace, was guilty of some acts of piracy in the Black Sea. Their countrymen threatened to support their cause; but the long and open village of Galata was instantly surrounded by the Imperial troops; till, in the moment of the assault, the prostrate Genoese implored the clemency of their sovereign. The defenceless situation which secured their obedience exposed them to the attack of their Venetian rivals, who, in the reign of the elder Andronicus, presumed to violate the majesty of the throne. On the approach of their fleets, the Genoese, with their families and effects, retired into the city; their empty habitations were reduced to ashes; and the feeble prince, who had viewed the destruction of his suburb, expressed his resentment, not by arms, but by ambassadors. This misfortune, however, was advantageous to the Genoese, who obtained, and imperceptibly abused, the dangerous licence of surrounding Galata with a strong wall; of introducing into the ditch the waters of the sea; of erecting lofty turrets; and of mounting a train of military engines on the rampart. The narrow bounds in which they had been circumscribed were insufficient for the growing colony; each day they acquired some addition of landed property; and the adjacent hills were covered with their villas and castles, which they joined and protected by Edition: current; Page: [122] new fortifications.49 The navigation and trade of the Euxine was the patrimony of the Greek emperors, who commanded the narrow entrance, the gates, as it were, of that inland sea. In the reign of Michael Palæologus, their prerogative was acknowledged by the sultan of Egypt, who solicited and obtained the liberty of sending an annual ship for the purchase of slaves in Circassia and the Lesser Tartary: a liberty pregnant with mischief to the Christian cause, since these youths were transformed by education and discipline into the formidable Mamalukes.50 From the colony of Pera the Genoese engaged with superior advantage in the lucrative trade of the Black Sea; and their industry supplied the Greeks with fish and corn, two articles of food almost equally important to a superstitious people. The spontaneous bounty of nature appears to have bestowed the harvests of the Ukraine, the produce of a rude and savage husbandry; and the endless exportation of salt fish and caviar is annually renewed by the enormous sturgeons that are caught at the mouth of the Don, or Tanais, in their last station of the rich mud and shallow water of the Mæotis.51 The waters of the Oxus, the Caspian, the Volga, and the Don opened a rare and laborious passage for the gems and spices of India; and, after three months’ Edition: current; Page: [123] march, the caravans of Carizme met the Italian vessels in the harbours of Crimea.52 These various branches of trade were monopolised by the diligence and the power of the Genoese. Their rivals of Venice and Pisa were forcibly expelled; the natives were awed by the castles and cities, which arose on the foundations of their humble factories; and their principal establishment of Caffa53 was besieged without effect by the Tartar powers. Destitute of a navy, the Greeks were oppressed by these haughty merchants, who fed or famished Constantinople, according to their interest. They proceeded to usurp the customs, the fishery, and even the toll of the Bosphorus; and, while they derived from these objects a revenue of two hundred thousand pieces of gold, a remnant of thirty thousand was reluctantly allowed to the emperor.54 The colony of Pera or Galata acted, in peace and war, as an independent state; and, as it will happen in distant settlements, the Genoese podestà too often forgot that he was the servant of his own masters.

These usurpations were encouraged by the weakness of the elder Andronicus, and by the civil wars that afflicted his age and the minority of his grandson. The talents of Cantacuzene were employed to the ruin, rather than the restoration, of the empire; and after his domestic victory he was condemned to an ignominious trial, whether the Greeks or the Genoese should reign in Constantinople. The merchants of Pera were offended by his refusal of some contiguous lands, some commanding heights, which they proposed to cover with new fortifications; and in the absence of the emperor, who was detained at Demotica by sickness, they ventured to brave Edition: current; Page: [124] the debility of a female reign. A Byzantine vessel, which had presumed to fish at the mouth of the harbour, was sunk by these audacious strangers; the fishermen were murdered. Instead of suing for pardon, the Genoese demanded satisfaction; required, in an haughty strain, that the Greeks should renounce the exercise of navigation; and encountered, with regular arms, the first sallies of the popular indignation. They instantly occupied the debateable land; and by the labour of a whole people, of either sex and of every age, the wall was raised, and the ditch was sunk, with incredible speed. At the same time they attacked and burnt two Byzantine galleys; while the three others, the remainder of the Imperial navy, escaped from their hand; the habitations without the gates, or along the shore, were pillaged and destroyed; and the care of the regent, of the empress Irene, was confined to the preservation of the city. The return of Cantacuzene dispelled the public consternation: the emperor inclined to peaceful counsels; but he yielded to the obstinacy of his enemies, who rejected all reasonable terms, and to the ardour of his subjects, who threatened, in the style of scripture, to break them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Yet they reluctantly paid the taxes that he imposed for the construction of ships and the expenses of the war; and, as the two nations were masters, the one of the land, the other of the sea, Constantinople and Pera were pressed by the evils of a mutual siege. The merchants of the colony, who had believed that a few days would terminate the war, already murmured at their losses; the succours from their mother-country were delayed by the factions of Genoa; and the most cautious embraced the opportunity of a Rhodian vessel to remove their families and effects from the scene of hostility. In the spring, the Byzantine fleet, seven galleys and a train of smaller vessels, issued from the mouth of the harbour and steered in a single line along the shore of Pera; unskilfully presenting their sides to the beaks of the adverse squadron. The crews were composed of peasants and mechanics; nor was their ignorance Edition: current; Page: [125] compensated by the native courage of Barbarians. The wind was strong, the waves were rough; and no sooner did the Greeks perceive a distant and inactive enemy, than they leaped headlong into the sea, from a doubtful to an inevitable peril. The troops that marched to the attack of the lines of Pera were struck at the same moment with a similar panic; and the Genoese were astonished, and almost ashamed, at their double victory. Their triumphant vessels, crowned with flowers, and dragging after them the captive galleys, repeatedly passed and repassed before the palace. The only virtue of the emperor was patience, and the hope of revenge his sole consolation. Yet the distress of both parties interposed a temporary agreement; and the shame of the empire was disguised by a thin veil of dignity and power. Summoning the chiefs of the colony, Cantacuzene affected to despise the trivial object of the debate; and, after a mild reproof, most liberally granted the lands, which had been previously resigned to the seeming custody of his officers.55

But the emperor was soon solicited to violate the treaty, and to join his arms with the Venetians, the perpetual enemies of Genoa and her colonies. While he compared the reasons of peace and war, his moderation was provoked by a wanton insult of the inhabitants of Pera, who discharged from their rampart a large stone that fell in the midst of Constantinople. On his just complaint, they coldly blamed the imprudence of their engineer; but the next day the insult was repeated, and they exulted in a second proof that the royal city was not beyond the reach of their artillery. Cantacuzene instantly signed his treaty with the Venetians; but the weight of the Roman empire was scarcely felt in the balance of these opulent and powerful republics.56 From the straits of Gibraltar to the Edition: current; Page: [126] mouth of the Tanais, their fleets encountered each other with various success; and a memorable battle was fought in the narrow sea, under the walls of Constantinople. It would not be an easy task to reconcile the accounts of the Greeks, the Venetians, and the Genoese;57 and, while I depend on the narrative of an impartial historian,58 I shall borrow from each nation the facts that redound to their own disgrace and the honour of their foes. The Venetians, with their allies, the Catalans, had the advantage of number; and their fleet, with the poor addition of eight Byzantine galleys, amounted to seventy-five sail; the Genoese did not exceed sixty-four; but in those times their ships of war were distinguished by the superiority of their size and strength. The names and families of their naval commanders, Pisani and Doria, are illustrious in the annals of their country; but the personal merit of the former was eclipsed by the fame and abilities of his rival. They engaged in tempestuous weather; and the tumultuary conflict was continued from the dawn to the extinction of light. The enemies of the Genoese applaud their prowess; the friends of the Venetians are dissatisfied with their behaviour; but all parties agree in praising the skill and boldness of the Catalans, who, with many wounds, sustained the brunt of the action. On the separation of the fleets, the event might appear doubtful; but the thirteen Genoese galleys, that had been sunk or taken, were compensated by a double loss of the allies: of fourteen Venetians, ten Catalans, and two Greeks; and even the grief of the conquerors expressed Edition: current; Page: [none] Edition: current; Page: [127] the assurance and habit of more decisive victories. Pisani confessed his defeat by retiring into a fortified harbour, from whence, under the pretext of the orders of the senate, he steered with a broken and flying squadron for the isle of Candia, and abandoned to his rivals the sovereignty of the sea. In a public epistle,59 addressed to the doge and senate, Petrarch employs his eloquence to reconcile the maritime powers, the two luminaries of Italy. The orator celebrates the valour and victory of the Genoese, the first of men in the exercise of naval war; he drops a tear on the misfortunes of their Venetian brethren; but he exhorts them to pursue with fire and sword the base and perfidious Greeks; to purge the metropolis of the East from the heresy with which it was infected. Deserted by their friends, the Greeks were incapable of resistance; and, three months after the battle, the emperor Cantacuzene solicited and subscribed a treaty, which for ever banished the Venetians and Catalans, and granted to the Genoese a monopoly of trade and almost a right of dominion.60 The Roman empire (I smile in transcribing the name) might soon have sunk into a province of Genoa, if the ambition of the republic had not been checked by the ruin of her freedom and naval power. A long contest of one hundred and thirty years was determined by the triumph of Venice; and the factions of the Genoese compelled them to seek for domestic peace under the protection of a foreign lord, the duke of Milan, or the French king. Yet the spirit of commerce survived that of conquest; and the colony of Pera still awed the capital, and navigated the Euxine, till it was involved by the Turks in the final servitude of Constantinople itself.

lf0214-11_figure_004.jpg
Edition: current; Page: [128]

CHAPTER LXIV

Conquests of Zingis Khan and the Moguls from China to Poland — Escape of Constantinople and the Greeks — Origin of the Ottoman Turks in Bithynia — Reigns and Victories of Othman, Orchan, Amurath the First, and Bajazet the First — Foundation and Progress of the Turkish Monarchy in Asia and Europe — Danger of Constantinople and the Greek Empire

From the petty quarrels of a city and her suburbs, from the cowardice and discord of the falling Greeks, I shall now ascend to the victorious Turks, whose domestic slavery was ennobled by martial discipline, religious enthusiasm, and the energy of the national character. The rise and progress of the Ottomans, the present sovereigns of Constantinople, are connected with the most important scenes of modern history; but they are founded on a previous knowledge of the great eruption of the Moguls and Tartars, whose rapid conquests may be compared with the primitive convulsions of nature, which have agitated and altered the surface of the globe. I have long since asserted my claim to introduce the nations, the immediate or remote authors of the fall of the Roman empire; nor can I refuse myself to those events which, from their uncommon magnitude, will interest a philosophic mind in the history of blood.1

From the spacious highlands between China, Siberia, and the Caspian Sea, the tide of emigration and war has repeatedly been poured. These ancient seats of the Huns and Turks Edition: current; Page: [129] were occupied in the twelfth century by many pastoral tribes of the same descent and similar manners, which were united and led to conquest by the formidable Zingis. In his ascent to greatness, that Barbarian (whose private appellation was Temugin) had trampled on the necks of his equals. His birth was noble; but it was in the pride of victory that the prince or people deduced his seventh ancestor from the immaculate conception of a virgin.2 His father had reigned over thirteen hordes, which composed about thirty or forty thousand families; above two-thirds refused to pay tithes or obedience to his infant son; and, at the age of thirteen, Temugin fought a battle against his rebellious subjects. The future conqueror of Asia was reduced to fly and to obey; but he rose superior to his fortune; and, in his fortieth year, he had established his fame and dominion over the circumjacent tribes. In a state of society in which policy is rude and valour is universal, the ascendant of one man must be founded on his power and resolution to punish his enemies and recompense his friends. His first military league was ratified by the simple rites of sacrificing an horse and tasting of a running stream: Temugin pledged himself to divide with his followers the sweets and the bitters of life; and, when he had shared among them his horses and apparel, he was rich in their gratitude and his own hopes. After his first victory, he placed seventy caldrons on the fire, and seventy of the most guilty rebels were cast headlong into the boiling water. The sphere of his attraction was continually enlarged by the ruin of the proud and the submission of the prudent; Edition: current; Page: [130] and the boldest chieftains might tremble, when they beheld, enchased in silver, the skull of the khan of the Keraites,3 who under the name of Prester John had corresponded with the Roman pontiff and the princes of Europe. The ambition of Tegumin condescended to employ the arts of superstition; and it was from a naked prophet, who could ascend to heaven on a white horse, that he accepted the title of Zingis,4 the Most Great; and a divine right to the conquest and dominion of the earth. In a general couroultai, or diet, he was seated on a felt, which was long afterwards revered as a relic, and solemnly proclaimed Great Khan or emperor of the Moguls5 and Tartars.6 Of these kindred though rival Edition: current; Page: [131] names, the former had given birth to the Imperial race; and the latter has been extended, by accident or error, over the spacious wilderness of the North.

The code of laws which Zingis dictated to his subjects was adapted to the preservation of domestic peace and the exercise of foreign hostility. The punishment of death was inflicted on the crimes of adultery, murder, perjury, and the capital thefts of an horse or ox; and the fiercest of men were mild and just in their intercourse with each other. The future election of the great khan was vested in the princes of his family and the heads of the tribes; and the regulations of the chase were essential to the pleasures and plenty of a Tartar camp. The victorious nation was held sacred from all servile labours, which were abandoned to slaves and strangers; and every labour was servile except the profession of arms. The service and discipline of the troops, who were armed with bows, scymetars, and iron maces, and divided by hundreds, thousands, and ten thousands, were the institutions of a veteran commander. Each officer and soldier was made responsible, under pain of death, for the safety and honour of his companions; and the spirit of conquest breathed in the law that peace should never be granted unless to a vanquished and suppliant enemy.7 But it is the religion of Zingis that best deserves our wonder and applause. The Catholic inquisitors of Europe, who defended nonsense by cruelty, might have been confounded by the example of a Edition: current; Page: [132] Barbarian, who anticipated the lessons of philosophy8 and established by his laws a system of pure theism and perfect toleration. His first and only article of faith was the existence of one God, the author of all good, who fills, by his presence, the heavens and earth, which he has created by his power. The Tartars and Moguls were addicted to the idols of their peculiar tribes; and many of them had been converted by the foreign missionaries to the religions of Moses, of Mahomet, and of Christ. These various systems in freedom and concord were taught and practised within the precincts of the same camp; and the Bonze, the Imam, the Rabbi, the Nestorian, and the Latin priest enjoyed the same honourable exemption from service and tribute. In the mosch of Bochara, the insolent victor might trample the Koran under his horse’s feet, but the calm legislator respected the prophets and pontiffs of the most hostile sects. The reason of Zingis was not informed by books; the khan could neither read nor write; and, except the tribe of the Igours, the greatest part of the Moguls and Tartars were as illiterate as their sovereign.9 The memory of their exploits was preserved by tradition; sixty-eight years after the death of Zingis, these traditions were collected and transcribed;10 the brevity of their domestic annals Edition: current; Page: [133] may be supplied by the Chinese,11 Persians,12 Armenians,13 Edition: current; Page: [134] Syrians,14 Arabians,15 Greeks,16 Russians,17 Poles,18 Hungarians,19 and Latins;20 and each nation will deserve credit Edition: current; Page: [135] in the relation of their own disasters and their own defeats.21

The arms of Zingis and his lieutenants successively reduced the hordes of the desert, who pitched their tents between the wall of China and the Volga; and the Mogul emperor became the monarch of the pastoral world, the lord of many millions of shepherds and soldiers, who felt their united strength, and were impatient to rush on the mild and wealthy climates of the South. His ancestors had been the tributaries of the Chinese emperors; and Temugin himself had been disgraced by a title of honour and servitude.22 The court of Pekin was astonished by an embassy from its former vassal, who in the tone of the king of nations exacted the tribute and obedience which he had paid, and who affected to treat the Son of Heaven as the most contemptible of mankind. An haughty answer disguised their secret apprehensions; and their fears were soon justified by the march of innumerable squadrons, who pierced on all sides the feeble rampart of the great wall. Ninety cities were stormed, or starved, by Edition: current; Page: [136] the Moguls; ten only escaped; and Zingis, from a knowledge of the filial piety of the Chinese, covered his vanguard with their captive parents; an unworthy and, by degrees, a fruitless abuse of the virtues of his enemies. His invasion was supported by the revolt of an hundred thousand Khitans, who guarded the frontier; yet he listened to a treaty; and a princess of China, three thousand horses, five hundred youths, and as many virgins, and a tribute of gold and silk, were the price of his retreat. In his second expedition, he compelled the Chinese emperor to retire beyond the yellow river to a more southern residence. The siege of Pekin23 was long and laborious: the inhabitants were reduced by famine to decimate and devour their fellow-citizens; when their ammunition was spent, they discharged ingots of gold and silver from their engines; but the Moguls introduced a mine to the centre of the capital; and the conflagration of the palace burnt above thirty days. China was desolated by Tartar war and domestic faction; and the five northern provinces were added to the empire of Zingis.

Edition: current; Page: [137]

In the West, he touched the dominions of Mohammed, sultan of Carizme, who reigned from the Persian gulf to the borders of India and Turkestan; and who, in the proud imitation of Alexander the Great, forgot the servitude and ingratitude of his fathers to the house of Seljuk.24 It was the wish of Zingis to establish a friendly and commercial intercourse with the most powerful of the Moslem princes; nor could he be tempted by the secret solicitations of the caliph of Bagdad, who sacrificed to his personal wrongs the safety of the church and state. A rash and inhuman deed provoked and justified the Tartar arms in the invasion of the southern Asia. A caravan of three ambassadors and one hundred and fifty merchants was arrested and murdered at Otrar,25 by the command of Mohammed; nor was it till after a demand and denial of justice, till he had prayed and fasted three nights on a mountain, that the Mogul emperor appealed to the judgment of God and his sword. Our European battles, says a philosophic writer,26 are petty skirmishes, if compared to the numbers that have fought and fallen in the fields of Asia. Seven hundred thousand Moguls and Tartars are said to have marched under the standard of Zingis and his four sons. In the vast plains that extend to the north of Edition: current; Page: [138] the Sihon or Jaxartes, they were encountered by four hundred thousand soldiers of the sultan; and in the first battle, which was suspended by the night, one hundred and sixty thousand Carizmians were slain. Mohammed was astonished by the multitude and valour of his enemies:27 he withdrew from the scene of danger, and distributed his troops in the frontier towns, trusting that the Barbarians, invincible in the field, would be repulsed by the length and difficulty of so many regular sieges. But the prudence of Zingis had formed a body of Chinese engineers, skilled in the mechanic arts, informed, perhaps, of the secret of gunpowder, and capable, under his discipline, of attacking a foreign country with more vigour and success than they had defended their own. The Persian historians will relate the sieges and reduction of Otrar, Cogende, Bochara, Samarcand, Carizme, Herat, Merou, Nisabour, Balch, and Candahar; and the conquest of the rich and populous countries of Transoxiana, Carizme, and Chorasan. The destructive hostilities of Attila and the Huns have long since been elucidated by the example of Zingis and the Moguls; and in this more proper place I shall be content to observe that, from the Caspian to the Indus, they ruined a tract of many hundred miles, which Edition: current; Page: [139] was adorned with the habitations and labours of mankind, and that five centuries have not been sufficient to repair the ravages of four years. The Mogul emperor encouraged or indulged the fury of his troops; the hope of future possession was lost in the ardour of rapine and slaughter; and the cause of the war exasperated their native fierceness by the pretence of justice and revenge. The downfall and death of the sultan Mohammed, who expired unpitied and alone in a desert island of the Caspian Sea, is a poor atonement for the calamities of which he was the author. Could the Carizmian empire have been saved by a single hero, it would have been saved by his son Gelaleddin, whose active valour repeatedly checked the Moguls in the career of victory. Retreating, as he fought, to the banks of the Indus, he was oppressed by their innumerable host, till, in the last moment of despair, Gelaleddin spurred his horse into the waves, swam one of the broadest and most rapid rivers of Asia, and extorted the admiration and applause of Zingis himself. It was in this camp that the Mogul emperor yielded with reluctance to the murmurs of his weary and wealthy troops, who sighed for the enjoyment of their native land. Incumbered with the spoils of Asia, he slowly measured back his footsteps, betrayed some pity for the misery of the vanquished, and declared his intention of rebuilding the cities which had been swept away by the tempest of his arms. After he had repassed the Oxus and Jaxartes, he was joined by two generals, whom he had detached with thirty thousand horse, to subdue the western provinces of Persia. They had trampled on the nations which opposed their passage, penetrated through the gates of Derbend, traversed the Volga and the desert, and accomplished the circuit of the Caspian Sea, by an expedition which had never been attempted and has never been repeated. The return of Zingis was signalised by the overthrow of the rebellious or independent kingdoms of Tartary; and he died in the fulness of years and glory, with his last breath exhorting and Edition: current; Page: [140] instructing his sons to achieve the conquest of the Chinese empire.

The harem of Zingis was composed of five hundred wives and concubines; and of his numerous progeny, four sons, illustrious by their birth and merit, exercised under their father the principal offices of peace and war. Toushi28 was his great huntsman, Zagatai29 his judge, Octai his minister, and Tuli his general; and their names and actions are often conspicuous in the history of his conquests. Firmly united for their own and the public interest, the three brothers and their families were content with dependent sceptres; and Octai, by general consent, was proclaimed Great Khan, or emperor of the Moguls and Tartars. He was succeeded by his son Gayuk, after whose death the empire devolved to his cousins, Mangou and Cublai, the sons of Tuli, and the grandsons of Zingis.30 In the sixty-eight years of his four first successors, the Moguls subdued almost all Asia and a large portion of Europe. Without confining myself to the order of time, without expatiating on the detail of events, I shall present a general picture of the progress of their arms. I. In the East; II. In the South; III. In the West; and, IV. In the North.

I. Before the invasion of Zingis, China was divided into Edition: current; Page: [141] two empires or dynasties of the North and South;31 and the difference of origin and interest was smoothed by a general conformity of laws, language, and national manners. The Northern empire, which had been dismembered by Zingis, was finally subdued seven years after his death. After the loss of Pekin, the emperor had fixed his residence at Kaifong, a city many leagues in circumference, and which contained, according to the Chinese annals, fourteen hundred thousand families of inhabitants and fugitives. He escaped from thence with only seven horsemen, and made his last stand in a third capital, till at length the hopeless monarch, protesting his innocence and accusing his fortune, ascended a funeral pile, and gave orders that, as soon as he had stabbed himself, the fire should be kindled by his attendants. The dynasty of the Song, the native and ancient sovereigns of the whole empire, survived above forty-five years the fall of the Northern usurpers; and the perfect conquest was reserved for the arms of Cublai. During this interval, the Moguls were often diverted by foreign wars; and, if the Chinese seldom dared to meet their victors in the field, their passive courage presented an endless succession of cities to storm and of millions to slaughter. In the attack and defence of places, the engines of antiquity and the Greek fire were alternately employed; the use of gunpowder, in cannon and bombs, appears as a familiar practice;32 and the sieges were conducted by the Mahometans and Franks, who had been liberally invited Edition: current; Page: [142] into the service of Cublai. After passing the great river, the troops and artillery were conveyed along a series of canals, till they invested the royal residence of Hamcheu, or Quinsay, in the country of silk, the most delicious climate of China. The emperor, a defenceless youth, surrendered his person and sceptre; and, before he was sent in exile into Tartary, he struck nine times the ground with his forehead, to adore in prayer or thanksgiving the mercy of the Great Khan. Yet the war (it was now styled a rebellion) was still maintained in the southern provinces from Hamcheu to Canton; and the obstinate remnant of independence and hostility was transported from the land to the sea. But, when the fleet of the Song was surrounded and oppressed by a superior armament, their last champion leaped into the waves with his infant emperor in his arms. “It is more glorious,” he cried, “to die a prince than to live a slave.” An hundred thousand Chinese imitated his example; and the whole empire, from Tonkin to the great wall, submitted to the dominion of Cublai. His boundless ambition aspired to the conquest of Japan; his fleet was twice shipwrecked; and the lives of an hundred thousand Moguls and Chinese were sacrificed in the fruitless expedition. But the circumjacent kingdoms, Corea, Tonkin, Cochinchina, Pegu, Bengal, and Thibet, were reduced in different degrees of tribute and obedience by the effort or terror of his arms. He explored the Indian Ocean with a fleet of a thousand ships; they sailed in sixty-eight days, most probably to the isle of Borneo, under the equinoctial line; and, though they returned not without spoil or Edition: current; Page: [143] glory, the emperor was dissatisfied that the savage king had escaped from their hands.

II. The conquest of Hindostan by the Moguls was reserved in a later period for the house of Timour; but that of Iran, or Persia, was achieved by Holagou33 Khan, the grandson of Zingis, the brother and lieutenant of the two successive emperors, Mangou and Cublai. I shall not enumerate the crowd of sultans, emirs, and atabeks, whom he trampled into dust; but the extirpation of the Assassins, or Ismaelians34 of Persia, may be considered as a service to mankind. Among the hills to the south of the Caspian, these odious sectaries had reigned with impunity above an hundred and sixty years; and their prince, or imam, established his lieutenant to lead and govern the colony of Mount Libanus, so famous and formidable in the history of the crusades.35 With the fanaticism of the Koran, the Ismaelians had blended the Indian transmigration and the visions of their own prophets; and it was their first duty to devote their souls and bodies in blind obedience to the vicar of God. The daggers of his missionaries were felt both in the East and West; the Christians and the Moslems enumerate, and perhaps multiply, the illustrious victims that were sacrificed to the zeal, avarice, or resentment of the old man (as he was corruptly styled) of the mountain. But these daggers, his only arms, were broken Edition: current; Page: [144] by the sword of Holagou, and not a vestige is left of the enemies of mankind, except the word assassin, which, in the most odious sense, has been adopted in the languages of Europe. The extinction of the Abbassides cannot be indifferent to the spectators of their greatness and decline. Since the fall of their Seljukian tyrants, the caliphs had recovered their lawful dominion of Bagdad and the Arabian Irak; but the city was distracted by theological factions, and the commander of the faithful was lost in a harem of seven hundred concubines. The invasion of the Moguls he encountered with feeble arms and haughty embassies. “On the divine decree,” said the caliph Mostasem, “is founded the throne of the sons of Abbas: and their foes shall surely be destroyed in this world and in the next. Who is this Holagou that dares to arise against them? If he be desirous of peace, let him instantly depart from the sacred territory, and perhaps he may obtain from our clemency the pardon of his fault.” This presumption was cherished by a perfidious vizir, who assured his master that, even if the Barbarians had entered the city, the women and children, from the terraces, would be sufficient to overwhelm them with stones. But, when Holagou touched the phantom, it instantly vanished into smoke. After a siege of two months, Bagdad was stormed and sacked by the Moguls; and their savage commander pronounced the death of the caliph Mostasem, the last of the temporal successors of Mahomet; whose noble kinsmen, of the race of Abbas, had reigned in Asia above five hundred years. Whatever might be the designs of the conqueror, the holy cities of Mecca and Medina36 were protected by the Arabian desert; but the Moguls spread beyond the Tigris and Euphrates, pillaged Aleppo and Damascus, and threatened to join the Franks in the deliverance of Jerusalem. Egypt was lost, Edition: current; Page: [145] had she been defended only by her feeble offspring; but the Mamalukes had breathed in their infancy the keenness of a Scythian air: equal in valour, superior in discipline, they met the Moguls in many a well-fought field; and drove back the stream of hostility to the eastward of the Euphrates. But it overflowed with resistless violence the kingdoms of Armenia and Anatolia, of which the former was possessed by the Christians, and the latter by the Turks. The sultans of Iconium opposed some resistance to the Mogul arms, till Azzadin sought a refuge among the Greeks of Constantinople, and his feeble successors, the last of the Seljukian dynasty, were finally extirpated by the khans of Persia.

III. No sooner had Octai subverted the Northern empire of China, than he resolved to visit with his arms the most remote countries of the West.37 Fifteen hundred thousand Moguls and Tartars were inscribed on the military roll; of these the Great Khan selected a third38 which he entrusted to the command of his nephew Batou, the son of Tuli;39 who reigned over his father’s conquests to the north of the Caspian Sea. After a festival of forty days, Batou set forwards on this great expedition; and such was the speed and ardour of his innumerable squadrons that in less than six years they had measured a line of ninety degrees of longitude, a fourth part of the circumference of the globe. The great rivers of Asia and Europe, the Volga and Kama, the Don and Borysthenes, the Vistula and Danube, they either swam with their horses, or passed on the ice, or traversed in leathern Edition: current; Page: [146] boats, which followed the camp and transported their waggons and artillery. By the first victories of Batou,40 the remains of national freedom were eradicated in the immense plains of Turkestan and Kipzak.41 In his rapid progress, he overran the kingdoms, as they are now styled, of Astracan and Cazan; and the troops which he detached towards Mount Caucasus, explored the most secret recesses of Georgia and Circassia. The civil discord of the great dukes or princes of Russia betrayed their country to the Tartars. They spread from Livonia to the Black Sea, and both Moscow and Kiow, the modern and the ancient capitals, were reduced to ashes: a temporary ruin, less fatal than the deep and perhaps indelible mark which a servitude of two hundred years has imprinted on the character of the Russians.42 The Tartars ravaged with equal fury the countries which they hoped to possess and those which they were hastening to leave. From the permanent conquest of Russia, they made a deadly, though transient, inroad into the heart of Poland and as far as the borders of Germany. The cities of Lublin and Cracow were obliterated; they approached the shores of the Baltic; and in the battle of Lignitz, they defeated the dukes Edition: current; Page: [147] of Silesia, the Polish palatines, and the great master of the Teutonic order,43 and filled nine sacks with the right ears of the slain. From Lignitz, the extreme point of their western march, they turned aside to the invasion of Hungary;44 and the presence or spirit of Batou inspired the host of five hundred thousand men: the Carpathian hills could not be long impervious to their divided columns; and their approach had been fondly disbelieved till it was irresistibly felt. The king, Bela the Fourth, assembled the military force of his counts and bishops; but he had alienated the nation by adopting a vagranthorde of forty thousand families of Comans; and these savage guests were provoked to revolt by the suspicion of treachery and the murder of their prince. The whole country north of the Danube was lost in a day, and depopulated in a summer; and the ruins of cities and churches were overspread with the bones of the natives, who expiated the sins of their Turkish ancestors. An ecclesiastic, who fled from the sack of Waradin, describes the calamities which he had seen or suffered; and the sanguinary rage of sieges and battles is far less atrocious than the treatment of the fugitives, who had been allured from the woods under a promise of peace and pardon, and who were coolly slaughtered as soon as they had performed the labours of the harvest and vintage. In the winter, the Tartars passed the Danube on the ice, and advanced to Gran or Strigonium, a German colony, and the metropolis of the kingdom. Thirty engines were planted against the walls; the ditches were filled with sacks of earth and dead bodies; and, after a promiscuous massacre, three hundred noble matrons were slain in the presence of the khan. Of all the cities and fortresses of Hungary, three alone survived the Tartar invasion, and the unfortunate Bela hid his head among the islands of the Adriatic.

Edition: current; Page: [148]

The Latin world was darkened by this cloud of savage hostility; a Russian fugitive carried the alarm to Sweden; and the remote nations of the Baltic and the ocean trembled at the approach of the Tartars,45 whom their fear and ignorance were inclined to separate from the human species. Since the invasion of the Arabs in the eighth century, Europe had never been exposed to a similar calamity; and, if the disciples of Mahomet would have oppressed her religion and liberty, it might be apprehended that the shepherds of Scythia would extinguish her cities, her arts, and all the institutions of civil society. The Roman pontiff attempted to appease and convert these invincible Pagans by a mission of Franciscan and Dominican friars; but he was astonished by the reply of the khan, that the sons of God and of Zingis were invested with a divine power to subdue or extirpate the nations; and that the pope would be involved in the universal destruction, unless he visited in person, and as a suppliant, the royal horde. The emperor Frederic the Second embraced a more generous mode of defence; and his letters to the kings of France and England and the princes of Germany represented the common danger, and urged them to arm their vassals in this just and rational crusade.46 The Tartars themselves were awed by the fame and valour of the Franks; the town Edition: current; Page: [149] of Neustadt in Austria was bravely defended against them by fifty knights and twenty crossbows; and they raised the siege on the appearance of a German army. After wasting the adjacent kingdoms of Servia, Bosnia, and Bulgaria, Batou slowly retreated from the Danube to the Volga to enjoy the rewards of victory in the city and palace of Serai, which started at his command from the midst of the desert.47

IV. Even the poor and frozen regions of the North attracted the arms of the Moguls: Sheibani Khan, the brother of the great Batou, led an horde of fifteen thousand families into the wilds of Siberia; and his descendants reigned at Tobolskoy above three centuries, till the Russian conquest. The spirit of enterprise which pursued the course of the Oby and Yenisei must have led to the discovery of the Icy Sea. After brushing away the monstrous fables, of men with dogs’ heads and cloven feet, we shall find that, fifteen years after the death of Zingis, the Moguls were informed of the name and manners of the Samoyedes in the neighbourhood of the polar circle, who dwelt in subterraneous huts, and derived their furs and their food from the sole occupation of hunting.48

While China, Syria, and Poland were invaded at the same time by the Moguls and Tartars, the authors of the mighty Edition: current; Page: [150] mischief were content with the knowledge and declaration that their word was the sword of death. Like the first caliphs, the first successors of Zingis seldom appeared in person at the head of their victorious armies. On the banks of the Onon and Selinga, the royal or golden horde exhibited the contrast of simplicity and greatness; of the roasted sheep and mare’s milk which composed their banquets; and of a distribution in one day of five hundred waggons of gold and silver. The ambassadors and princes of Europe and Asia were compelled to undertake this distant and laborious pilgrimage; and the life and reign of the great dukes of Russia, the kings of Gregoria and Armenia, the sultans of Iconium, and the emirs of Persia were decided by the frown or smile of the Great Khan. The sons and grandsons of Zingis had been accustomed to the pastoral life; but the village of Caracorum49 was gradually ennobled by their election and residence. A change of manners is implied in the removal of Octai and Mangou from a tent to an house; and their example was imitated by the princes of their family and the great officers of the empire. Instead of the boundless forest, the enclosure of a park afforded the more indolent pleasures of the chase; their new habitations were decorated with painting and sculpture; their superfluous treasures were cast in fountains, and basons, and statues of massy silver; and the artists of China and Paris vied with each other in the service of the Great Khan.50 Caracorum contained two streets, the Edition: current; Page: [151] one of Chinese mechanics, the other of Mahometan traders; and the places of religious worship, one Nestorian church, two moschs, and twelve temples of various idols, may represent, in some degree, the number and division of inhabitants. Yet a French missionary declares that the town of St. Denys, near Paris, was more considerable than the Tartar capital; and that the whole palace of Mangou was scarcely equal to a tenth part of that Benedictine abbey. The conquests of Russia and Syria might amuse the vanity of the Great Khans; but they were seated on the borders of China; the acquisition of that empire was the nearest and most interesting object; and they might learn from their pastoral economy that it is for the advantage of the shepherd to protect and propagate his flock. I have already celebrated the wisdom and virtue of a mandarin who prevented the desolation of five populous and cultivated provinces. In a spotless administration of thirty years, this friend of his country and of mankind continually laboured to mitigate or suspend the havoc of war; to save the monuments, and to rekindle the flame, of science; to restrain the military commander by the restoration of civil magistrates; and to instil the love of peace and justice into the minds of the Moguls. He struggled with the barbarism of the first conquerors; but his salutary lessons produced a rich harvest in the second generation. The northern and by degrees the southern empire acquiesced in the government of Cublai, the lieutenant and afterwards the successor of Mangou; and the nation was loyal to a prince who had been educated in the manners of China. He restored the forms of her venerable constitution; and the victors submitted to the laws, the fashions, and even the prejudices of the vanquished people. This peaceful triumph, which has been more than once repeated, may be ascribed, in a great measure, to the numbers and servitude of the Chinese. The Mogul army was dissolved in a vast and populous country; and their emperors adopted with pleasure a political system which gives to the prince the solid substance of despotism and leaves Edition: current; Page: [152] to the subject the empty names of philosophy, freedom, and filial obedience. Under the reign of Cublai, letters and commerce, peace and justice, were restored; the great canal of five hundred miles was opened from Nankin to the capital; he fixed his residence at Pekin,51 and displayed in his court the magnificence of the greatest monarch of Asia. Yet this learned prince declined from the pure and simple religion of his great ancestor; he sacrificed to the idol Fo; and his blind attachment to the lamas of Thibet and the bonzes of China52 provoked the censure of the disciples of Confucius. His successors polluted the palace with a crowd of eunuchs, physicians, and astrologers, while thirteen millions of their subjects were consumed in the provinces by famine. One hundred and forty years after the death of Zingis, his degenerate race, the dynasty of the Yuen, was expelled by a revolt of the native Chinese;53 and the Mogul emperors were lost in the oblivion of the desert. Before this revolution, they had forfeited their supremacy over the dependent branches of their house, the khans of Kipzak and Russia, the khans of Zagatai or Transoxiana, and the khans of Iran or Persia. By their distance and power, these royal lieutenants had soon been released from the duties of obedience; and, after the death of Cublai, they scorned to accept a sceptre or a title from his unworthy successors. According to their respective situation, they maintained the simplicity of the pastoral life or assumed the luxury of the cities of Asia; but the princes and their hordes were alike disposed for the reception of a foreign worship. After some hesitation between the Gospel and the Koran, they Edition: current; Page: [153] conformed to the religion of Mahomet; and, while they adopted for their brethren the Arabs and Persians, they renounced all intercourse with the ancient Moguls, the idolaters of China.

In this shipwreck of nations, some surprise may be excited by the escape of the Roman empire, whose relics, at the time of the Mogul invasion, were dismembered by the Greeks and Latins. Less potent than Alexander, they were pressed, like the Macedonian, both in Europe and Asia, by the shepherds of Scythia; and, had the Tartars undertaken the siege, Constantinople must have yielded to the fate of Pekin, Samarcand, and Bagdad. The glorious and voluntary retreat of Batou from the Danube was insulted by the vain triumph of the Franks and Greeks;54 and in a second expedition death surprised him in full march to attack the capital of the Cæsars. His brother Borga carried the Tartar arms into Bulgaria and Thrace; but he was diverted from the Byzantine war by a visit to Novogorod, in the fifty-seventh degree of latitude, where he numbered the inhabitants and regulated the tributes of Russia. The Mogul khan formed an alliance with the Mamalukes against his brethren of Persia; three hundred thousand horse penetrated through the gates of Derbend; and the Greeks might rejoice in the first example of domestic war. After the recovery of Constantinople, Michael Palæologus,55 at a distance from his court and army, was surprised and surrounded in a Thracian castle by twenty thousand Tartars. But the object of their march was a private interest; they came to the deliverance of Azzadin,56 the Turkish sultan; and were content with his person and Edition: current; Page: [154] the treasure of the emperor. Their general Noga, whose name is perpetuated in the hordes of Astracan, raised a formidable rebellion against Mengo Timour, the third of the khans of Kipzak; obtained in marriage Maria, the natural daughter of Palæologus; and guarded the dominions of his friend and father. The subsequent invasions of a Scythian cast were those of outlaws and fugitives; and some thousands of Alani and Comans, who had been driven from their native seats, were reclaimed from a vagrant life and enlisted in the service of the empire. Such was the influence in Europe of the invasion of the Moguls. The first terror of their arms secured rather than disturbed the peace of the Roman Asia. The sultan of Iconium solicited a personal interview with John Vataces; and his artful policy encouraged the Turks to defend their barrier against the common enemy.57 That barrier indeed was soon overthrown; and the servitude and ruin of the Seljukians exposed the nakedness of the Greeks. The formidable Holagou threatened to march to Constantinople at the head of four hundred thousand men; and the groundless panic of the citizens of Nice will present an image of the terror which he had inspired. The accident of a procession, and the sound of a doleful litany, “From the fury of the Tartars, good Lord, deliver us,” had scattered the hasty report of an assault and massacre. In the blind credulity of fear, the streets of Nice were crowded with thousands of both sexes, who knew not from what or to whom they fled; and some hours elapsed before the firmness of the military officers could relieve the city from this imaginary foe. But the ambition of Holagou and his successors was fortunately diverted by the conquest of Bagdad and a long vicissitude of Syrian wars; their hostility to the Moslems inclined them to unite with the Greeks and Franks;58 and their Edition: current; Page: [155] generosity or contempt had offered the kingdom of Anatolia as the reward of an Armenian vassal. The fragments of the Seljukian monarchy were disputed by the emirs who had occupied the cities or the mountains; but they all confessed the supremacy of the khans of Persia; and he often interposed his authority, and sometimes his arms, to check their depredations, and to preserve the peace and balance of his Turkish frontier. The death of Cazan,59 one of the greatest and most accomplished princes of the house of Zingis, removed this salutary control; and the decline of the Moguls gave a free scope to the rise and progress of the Ottoman Empire.60

After the retreat of Zingis, the sultan Gelaleddin of Carisme had returned from India to the possession and defence of his Persian kingdoms. In the space of eleven years, that hero fought in person fourteen battles; and such was his activity that he led his cavalry, in seventeen days, from Teflis to Kerman, a march of a thousand miles.61 Yet he was oppressed by the jealousy of the Moslem princes and the innumerable armies of the Moguls; and after his last defeat Gelaleddin perished ignobly in the mountains of Curdistan. His death dissolved a veteran and adventurous army, which included under the name of Carizmians, or Corasmins, many Turkman hordes that had attached themselves to the sultan’s fortune. The bolder and more powerful chiefs invaded Edition: current; Page: [156] Syria and violated the holy sepulchre of Jerusalem; the more humble engaged in the service of Aladin, sultan of Iconium; and among these were the obscure fathers of the Ottoman line.62 They had formerly pitched their tents near the southern banks of the Oxus, in the plains of Mahan and Nesa; and it is somewhat remarkable that the same spot should have produced the first authors of the Parthian and Turkish empires. At the head or in the rear of a Carizmian army, Soliman Shah was drowned in the passage of the Euphrates; his son, Orthogrul, became the soldier and subject of Aladin, and established at Surgut,63 on the banks of the Sangar, a camp of four hundred families, or tents, whom he governed fifty-two years both in peace and war. He was the father of Thaman, or Athman, whose Turkish name has been melted into the appellation of the caliph Othman;64 and, if we describe that pastoral chief as a shepherd and a robber, we must separate from those characters all idea of ignominy and baseness. Othman possessed, and perhaps surpassed, the ordinary virtues of a soldier; and the circumstances of time and place were propitious to his independence and success. The Seljukian dynasty was no more; and the distance and decline of the Mogul khans soon enfranchised him from the control of a superior. He was situate on the verge of the Greek empire; the Koran sanctified his gazi, or holy war, against the infidels; and their political errors unlocked the passes of Mount Olympus, and invited him to descend into the plains of Bithynia. Till the reign of Palæologus, these passes had been vigilantly guarded by the militia of the country, who were repaid by their own safety and an exemption Edition: current; Page: [157] from taxes. The emperor abolished their privilege and assumed their office; but the tribute was rigorously collected, the custody of the passes was neglected, and the hardy mountaineers degenerated into a trembling crowd of peasants without spirit or discipline. It was on the twenty-seventh of July, in the year twelve hundred and ninety-nine of the Christian era, that Othman first invaded the territory of Nicomedia;65 and the singular accuracy of the date seems to disclose some foresight of the rapid and destructive growth of the monster. The annals of the twenty-seven years of his reign would exhibit a repetition of the same inroads; and his hereditary troops were multiplied in each campaign by the accession of captives and volunteers. Instead of retreating to the hills, he maintained the most useful and defensible posts; fortified the towns and castles which he had first pillaged; and renounced the pastoral life for the baths and palaces of his infant capitals. But it was not till Othman was oppressed by age and infirmities that he received the welcome news of the conquest of Prusa, which had been surrendered by famine or treachery to the arms of his son Orchan. The glory of Othman is chiefly founded on that of his descendants; but the Turks have transcribed or composed a royal testament of his last counsels of justice and moderation.66

Edition: current; Page: [158]

From the conquest of Prusa we may date the true era of the Ottoman empire. The lives and possessions of the Christian subjects were redeemed by a tribute or ransom of thirty thousand crowns of gold; and the city, by the labours of Orchan, assumed the aspect of a Mahometan capital; Prusa was decorated with a mosch, a college, and an hospital of royal foundation; the Seljukian coin was changed for the name and impression of the new dynasty; and the most skilful professors of human and divine knowledge attracted the Persian and Arabian students from the ancient schools of Oriental learning. The office of vizir was instituted for Aladin, the brother of Orchan; and a different habit distinguished the citizens from the peasants, the Moslems from the infidels. All the troops of Othman had consisted of loose squadrons of Turkman cavalry, who served without pay and fought without discipline; but a regular body of infantry was first established and trained by the prudence of his son.67 Edition: current; Page: [159] A great number of volunteers was enrolled with a small stipend, but with the permission of living at home, unless they were summoned to the field; their rude manners and seditious temper disposed Orchan to educate his young captives as his soldiers and those of the prophet; but the Turkish peasants were still allowed to mount on horseback and follow his standard, with the appellation and the hopes of freebooters. By these arts he formed an army of twenty-five thousand Moslems; a train of battering engines was framed for the use of sieges; and the first successful experiment was made on the cities of Nice and Nicomedia. Orchan granted a safe-conduct to all who were desirous of departing with their families and effects; but the widows of the slain were given in marriage to the conquerors; and the sacrilegious plunder, the books, the vases, and the images were sold or ransomed at Constantinople. The emperor, Andronicus the Younger, was vanquished and wounded by the son of Othman;68 he subdued the whole province or kingdom of Bithynia, as far as the shores of the Bosphorus and Hellespont; and the Christians confessed the justice and clemency of a reign which claimed the voluntary attachment of the Turks of Asia. Yet Orchan was content with the modest title of emir; and in the list of his compeers, the princes of Roum or Anatolia,69 his military forces were surpassed by the emirs of Ghermian and Caramania, each of whom could bring into Edition: current; Page: [160] the field an army of forty thousand men. Their dominions were situate in the heart of the Seljukian kingdom; but the holy warriors, though of inferior note, who formed new principalities on the Greek empire, are more conspicuous in the light of history. The maritime country from the Propontis to the Mæander and the isle of Rhodes, so long threatened and so often pillaged, was finally lost about the thirtieth year of Andronicus the Elder.70 Two Turkish chieftains, Sarukhan and Aidin, left their names to their conquests and their conquests to their posterity. The captivity or ruin of the seven churches of Asia was consummated; and the Barbarous lords of Ionia and Lydia still trample on the monuments of classic and Christian antiquity. In the loss of Ephesus, the Christians deplored the fall of the first angel, the extinction of the first candlestick of the Revelations;71 the desolation is complete; and the temple of Diana Edition: current; Page: [161] or the church of Mary will equally elude the search of the curious traveller. The circus and three stately theatres of Laodicea are now peopled with wolves and foxes; Sardes is reduced to a miserable village; the God of Mahomet, without a rival or a son, is invoked in the moschs of Thyatira and Pergamus; and the populousness of Smyrna is supported by the foreign trade of the Franks and Armenians. Philadelphia alone has been saved by prophecy, or courage. At a distance from the sea, forgotten by the emperors, encompassed on all sides by the Turks, her valiant citizens defended their religion and freedom above four-score years, and at length capitulated with the proudest of the Ottomans. Among the Greek colonies and churches of Asia, Philadelphia is still erect, a column in a scene of ruins: a pleasing example that the paths of honour and safety may sometimes be the same.72 The servitude of Rhodes was delayed above two centuries by the establishment of the knights of St. John of Jerusalem.73 Under the discipline of the order that island emerged into fame and opulence; the noble and warlike monks were renowned by land and sea; and the bulwark of Christendom provoked and repelled the arms of the Turks and Saracens.

The Greeks, by their intestine divisions, were the authors of their final ruin.74 During the civil wars of the elder and Edition: current; Page: [162] younger Andronicus, the son of Othman achieved, almost without resistance, the conquest of Bithynia; and the same disorders encouraged the Turkish emirs of Lydia and Ionia to build a fleet, and to pillage the adjacent islands and the sea-coast of Europe. In the defence of his life and honour, Cantacuzene was tempted to prevent or imitate his adversaries by calling to his aid the public enemies of his religion and country. Amir, the son of Aidin, concealed under a Turkish garb the humanity and politeness of a Greek; he was united with the great domestic by mutual esteem and reciprocal services; and their friendship is compared, in the vain rhetoric of the times, to the perfect union of Orestes and Pylades.75 On the report of the danger of his friend, who was persecuted by an ungrateful court, the prince of Ionia assembled at Smyrna a fleet of three hundred vessels, with an army of twenty-nine thousand men; sailed in the depth of winter, and cast anchor at the mouth of the Hebrus. From thence, with a chosen band of two thousand Turks, he marched along the banks of the river, and rescued the empress, who was besieged in Demotica by the wild Bulgarians. At that disastrous moment the life or death of his beloved Cantacuzene was concealed by his flight into Servia; but the grateful Irene, impatient to behold her deliverer, invited him to enter the city, and accompanied her message with a present of rich apparel and an hundred horses. By a peculiar strain of delicacy the gentle Barbarian refused, in the absence of an unfortunate friend, to visit his wife or to taste the luxuries of the palace, sustained in his tent the rigour of the winter; and rejected the hospitable gift, that he might share the hardships Edition: current; Page: [163] of two thousand companions, all as deserving as himself of that honour and distinction. Necessity and revenge might justify his predatory excursions by sea and land; he left nine thousand five hundred men for the guard of his fleet; and persevered in the fruitless search of Cantacuzene, till his embarkation was hastened by a fictitious letter, the severity of the season, the clamours of his independent troops, and the weight of his spoil and captives. In the prosecution of the civil war, the prince of Ionia twice returned to Europe; joined his arms with those of the emperor; besieged Thessalonica, and threatened Constantinople. Calumny might affix some reproach on his imperfect aid, his hasty departure, and a bribe of ten thousand crowns, which he accepted from the Byzantine court; but his friend was satisfied; and the conduct of Amir is excused by the more sacred duty of defending against the Latins his hereditary dominions. The maritime power of the Turks had united the pope, the king of Cyprus, the republic of Venice, and the order of St. John, in a laudable crusade; their galleys invaded the coast of Ionia; and Amir was slain with an arrow, in the attempt to wrest from the Rhodian knights the citadel of Smyrna.76 Before his death, he generously recommended another ally of his own nation, not more sincere or zealous than himself, but more able to afford a prompt and powerful succour, by his situation along the Propontis and in the front of Constantinople. By the prospect of a more advantageous treaty, the Turkish prince of Bithynia was detached from his engagements with Anne of Savoy; and the pride of Orchan dictated the most solemn protestations that, if he could obtain the daughter of Cantacuzene, he would invariably fulfil the duties of a subject and a son. Parental tenderness was silenced by the voice of ambition; the Greek clergy connived at the Edition: current; Page: [164] marriage of a Christian princess with a sectary of Mahomet; and the father of Theodora describes, with shameful satisfaction, the dishonour of the purple.77 A body of Turkish cavalry attended the ambassadors, who disembarked from thirty vessels before his camp of Selybria. A stately pavilion was erected, in which the empress Irene passed the night with her daughters. In the morning, Theodora ascended a throne, which was surrounded with curtains of silk and gold; the troops were under arms; but the emperor alone was on horseback. At a signal the curtains were suddenly withdrawn, to disclose the bride, or the victim, encircled by kneeling eunuchs and hymenæal torches: the sound of flutes and trumpets proclaimed the joyful event; and her pretended happiness was the theme of the nuptial song, which was chaunted by such poets as the age could produce. Without the rites of the church, Theodora was delivered to her Barbarous lord; but it had been stipulated that she should preserve her religion in the harem of Boursa; and her father celebrates her charity and devotion in this ambiguous situation. After his peaceful establishment on the throne of Constantinople, the Greek emperor visited his Turkish ally, who, with four sons, by various wives, expected him at Scutari, on the Asiatic shore. The two princes partook, with seeming cordiality, of the pleasures of the banquet and the chase; and Theodora was permitted to repass the Bosphorus, and to enjoy some days in the society of her mother. But the friendship of Orchan was subservient to his religion and interest; and in the Genoese war he joined without a blush the enemies of Cantacuzene.

In the treaty with the empress Anne, the Ottoman prince Edition: current; Page: [165] had inserted a singular condition, that it should be lawful for him to sell his prisoners at Constantinople or transport them into Asia. A naked crowd of Christians of both sexes and every age, of priests and monks, of matrons and virgins, was exposed in the public market; the whip was frequently used to quicken the charity of redemption; and the indigent Greeks deplored the fate of their brethren, who were led away to the worst evils of temporal and spiritual bondage.78 Cantacuzene was reduced to subscribe the same terms; and their execution must have been still more pernicious to the empire; a body of ten thousand Turks had been detached to the assistance of the empress Anne; but the entire forces of Orchan were exerted in the service of his father. Yet these calamities were of a transient nature; as soon as the storm had passed away, the fugitives might return to their habitations; and at the conclusion of the civil and foreign wars Europe was completely evacuated by the Moslems of Asia. It was in his last quarrel with his pupil that Cantacuzene inflicted the deep and deadly wound, which could never be healed by his successors, and which is poorly expiated by his theological dialogues against the prophet Mahomet. Ignorant of their own history, the modern Turks confound their first and their final passage of the Hellespont,79 and describe the son of Orchan as a nocturnal robber, who, with eighty companions, explores by stratagem an hostile and unknown shore. Soliman, Edition: current; Page: [166] at the head of ten thousand horse, was transported in the vessels, and entertained as the friend, of the Greek emperor. In the civil wars of Roumania, he performed some service and perpetrated more mischief; but the Chersonesus was insensibly filled with a Turkish colony; and the Byzantine court solicited in vain the restitution of the fortresses of Thrace. After some artful delays between the Ottoman prince and his son, their ransom was valued at sixty thousand crowns, and the first payment had been made, when an earthquake shook the walls and cities of the provinces; the dismantled places were occupied by the Turks; and Gallipoli, the key of the Hellespont, was rebuilt and repeopled by the policy of Soliman. The abdication of Cantacuzene dissolved the feeble bands of domestic alliance; and his last advice admonished his countrymen to decline a rash contest, and to compare their own weakness with the numbers and valour, the discipline and enthusiasm, of the Moslems. His prudent counsels were despised by the headstrong vanity of youth, and soon justified by the victories of the Ottomans. But, as he practised in the field the exercise of the jerid, Soliman was killed by a fall from his horse; and the aged Orchan wept and expired on the tomb of his valiant son.

But the Greeks had not time to rejoice in the death of their enemies; and the Turkish scymetar was wielded with the same spirit by Amurath the First, the son of Orchan and the brother of Soliman. By the pale and fainting light of the Byzantine annals,80 we can discern that he subdued without resistance the whole province of Roumania or Thrace, from the Hellespont to Mount Hæmus and the verge of the capital; and that Hadrianople was chosen for the royal seat of his government and religion in Europe.81 Constantinople, Edition: current; Page: [167] whose decline is almost coeval with her foundation, had often, in the lapse of a thousand years, been assaulted by the Barbarians of the East and West; but never till this fatal hour had the Greeks been surrounded, both in Asia and Europe, by the arms of the same hostile monarchy. Yet the prudence or generosity of Amurath postponed for a while this easy conquest; and his pride was satisfied with the frequent and humble attendance of the emperor John Palæologus and his four sons, who followed at his summons the court and camp of the Ottoman prince. He marched against the Sclavonian nations between the Danube and the Adriatic, the Bulgarians, Servians, Bosnians, and Albanians; and these warlike tribes, who had so often insulted the majesty of the empire, were repeatedly broken by his destructive inroads. Their countries did not abound either in gold or silver; nor were their rustic hamlets and townships enriched by commerce or decorated by the arts of luxury. But the natives of the soil have been distinguished in every age by their hardiness of mind and body; and they were converted by a prudent institution into the firmest and most faithful supporters of the Ottoman greatness.82 The vizir of Amurath reminded his sovereign that, according to the Mahometan law, he was entitled to a fifth part of the spoil and captives; and that the duty might easily be levied, if vigilant officers were stationed at Gallipoli, to watch the passage, and to select for his use the stoutest and most beautiful of the Christian youth. The advice was followed; the edict was proclaimed; many thousands of the European captives were educated in religion Edition: current; Page: [168] and arms; and the new militia was consecrated and named by a celebrated dervish. Standing in the front of their ranks, he stretched the sleeve of his gown over the head of the foremost soldier, and his blessing was delivered in these words: “Let them be called Janizaries (Yengi cheri, or new soldiers); may their countenance be ever bright! their hand victorious! their sword keen! may their spear always hang over the heads of their enemies; and, wheresoever they go, may they return with a white face!83 Such was the origin of these haughty troops, the terror of the nations, and sometimes of the sultans themselves. Their valour has declined, their discipline is relaxed, and their tumultuary array is incapable of contending with the order and weapons of modern tactics;84 but at the time of their institution, they possessed a decisive superiority in war; since a regular body of infantry, in constant exercise and pay, was not maintained by any of the princes of Christendom. The Janizaries fought with the zeal of proselytes against their idolatrous countrymen; and in the battle of Cossova the league and independence of the Sclavonian tribes was finally crushed.85 As the conqueror walked over Edition: current; Page: [169] the field, he observed that the greatest part of the slain consisted of beardless youths; and listened to the flattering reply of his vizir, that age and wisdom would have taught them not to oppose his irresistible arms. But the sword of his Janizaries could not defend him from the dagger of despair; a Servian soldier started from the crowd of dead bodies, and Amurath was pierced in the belly with a mortal wound. The grandson of Othman was mild in his temper, modest in his apparel, and a lover of learning and virtue; but the Moslems were scandalised at his absence from public worship; and he was corrected by the firmness of the mufti, who dared to reject his testimony in a civil cause: a mixture of servitude and freedom not unfrequent in Oriental history.86

The character of Bajazet, the son and successor of Amurath, is strongly expressed in his surname of Ilderim, or the lightning; and he might glory in an epithet which was drawn from the fiery energy of his soul and the rapidity of his destructive march. In the fourteenth year of his reign,87 he incessantly moved at the head of his armies, from Boursa to Hadrianople, from the Danube to the Euphrates; and, though he strenuously laboured for the propagation of the law, he invaded, with impartial ambition, the Christian and Mahometan princes of Europe and Asia. From Angora to Amasia and Erzeroum, the northern regions of Anatolia were reduced to his obedience; he stripped of their hereditary possessions his brother emirs, of Ghermian and Caramania, of Aidin and Edition: current; Page: [170] Sarukhan; and after the conquest of Iconium the ancient kingdom of the Seljukians again revived in the Ottoman dynasty. Nor were the conquests of Bajazet less rapid or important in Europe. No sooner had he imposed a regular form of servitude on the Servians and Bulgarians, than he passed the Danube to seek new enemies and new subjects in the heart of Moldavia.88 Whatever yet adhered to the Greek empire in Thrace, Macedonia, and Thessaly acknowledged a Turkish master. An obsequious bishop led him through the gates of Thermopylæ into Greece; and we may observe, as a singular fact, that the widow of a Spanish chief, who possessed the ancient seat of the oracle of Delphi, deserved his favour by the sacrifice of a beauteous daughter. The Turkish communication between Europe and Asia had been dangerous and doubtful, till he stationed at Gallipoli a fleet of galleys, to command the Hellespont and intercept the Latin succours of Constantinople. While the monarch indulged his passions in a boundless range of injustice and cruelty, he imposed on his soldiers the most rigid laws of modesty and abstinence; and the harvest was peaceably reaped and sold within the precincts of his camp.89 Provoked by the loose and corrupt administration of justice, he collected, in a house, the judges and lawyers of his dominions, who expected that in a few moments the fire would be kindled to reduce them to ashes. His ministers trembled in silence; but an Æthiopian buffoon presumed to insinuate the true cause of the evil; and future venality was left without excuse by annexing an adequate salary to the office of Cadhi.90 The Edition: current; Page: [171] humble title of Emir was no longer suitable to the Ottoman greatness; and Bajazet condescended to accept a patent of Sultan from the caliphs who served in Egypt under the yoke of the Mamalukes:91 a last and frivolous homage that was yielded by force to opinion, by the Turkish conquerors to the house of Abbas and the successors of the Arabian prophet. The ambition of the sultan was inflamed by the obligation of deserving this august title; and he turned his arms against the kingdom of Hungary, the perpetual theatre of the Turkish victories and defeats. Sigismond, the Hungarian king, was the son and brother of the emperors of the West; his cause was that of Europe and the church; and, on the report of his danger, the bravest knights of France and Germany were eager to march under his standard and that of the cross. In the battle of Nicopolis, Bajazet defeated a confederate army of an hundred thousand Christians, who had proudly boasted that, if the sky should fall, they could uphold it on their lances. The far greater part were slain or driven into the Danube; and Sigismond, escaping to Constantinople by the river and the Black Sea, returned after a long circuit to his exhausted kingdom.92 In the pride of victory, Bajazet threatened that he would besiege Buda; that he would subdue Edition: current; Page: [172] the adjacent countries of Germany and Italy; and that he would feed his horse with a bushel of oats on the altar of St. Peter at Rome. His progress was checked, not by the miraculous interposition of the apostle, not by a crusade of the Christian powers, but by a long and painful fit of the gout. The disorders of the moral, are sometimes corrected by those of the physical, world; and an acrimonious humour falling on a single fibre of one man may prevent or suspend the misery of nations.

Such is the general idea of the Hungarian war; but the disastrous adventure of the French has procured us some memorials which illustrate the victory and character of Bajazet.93 The duke of Burgundy, sovereign of Flanders, and uncle of Charles the Sixth, yielded to the ardour of his son, John count of Nevers; and the fearless youth was accompanied by four princes, his cousins, and those of the French monarch. Their inexperience was guided by the Sire de Coucy, one of the best and oldest captains of Christendom;94 but the constable, admiral, and marshal of France95 commanded Edition: current; Page: [173] an army which did not exceed the number of a thousand knights and squires. Those splendid names were the source of presumption and the bane of discipline. So many might aspire to command that none were willing to obey; their national spirit despised both their enemies and their allies; and in the persuasion that Bajazet would fly or must fall, they began to compute how soon they should visit Constantinople, and deliver the holy sepulchre. When their scouts announced the approach of the Turks,96 the gay and thoughtless youths were at table, already heated with wine; they instantly clasped their armour, mounted their horses, rode full speed to the vanguard, and resented as an affront the advice of Sigismond, which would have deprived them of the right and honour of the foremost attack. The battle of Nicopolis would not have been lost, if the French would have obeyed the prudence of the Hungarians; but it might have been gloriously won, had the Hungarians imitated the valour of the French. They dispersed the first line, consisting of the troops of Asia; forced a rampart of stakes, which had been planted against the cavalry; broke, after a bloody conflict, the Janizaries themselves; and were at length overwhelmed by the numerous squadrons97 that issued from the woods, and charged on all sides this handful of intrepid warriors. In the speed and secrecy of his march, in the order and evolutions of the battle, his enemies felt and admired the military talents of Bajazet. They accuse his cruelty in the use of victory. After reserving the count of Nevers, and four-and-twenty lords, whose birth and riches were attested by his Latin interpreters, the remainder of the French captives, who Edition: current; Page: [174] had survived the slaughter of the day, were led before his throne; and, as they refused to abjure their faith, were successively beheaded in his presence. The sultan was exasperated by the loss of his bravest Janizaries; and if it be true that, on the eve of the engagement, the French had massacred their Turkish prisoners,98 they might impute to themselves the consequences of a just retaliation. A knight, whose life had been spared, was permitted to return to Paris, that he might relate the deplorable tale and solicit the ransom of the noble captives. In the meanwhile the count of Nevers, with the princes and barons of France, were dragged along in the marches of the Turkish camp, exposed as a grateful trophy to the Moslems of Europe and Asia, and strictly confined at Boursa, as often as Bajazet resided in his capital. The sultan was pressed each day to expiate with their blood the blood of his martyrs; but he had pronounced that they should live, and either for mercy or destruction his word was irrevocable. He was assured of their value and importance by the return of the messenger, and the gifts and intercessions of the kings of France and of Cyprus. Lusignan presented him with a gold salt-cellar of curious workmanship and of the price of ten thousand ducats; and Charles the Sixth despatched by the way of Hungary a cast of Norwegian hawks, and six horse-loads of scarlet cloth, of fine linen of Rheims, and of Arras tapestry, representing the battles of the great Alexander. After much delay, the effect of distance rather than of art, Bajazet agreed to accept a ransom of two hundred thousand ducats for the count of Nevers and the surviving princes and barons; the marshal Boucicault, a famous warrior, was of the number of the fortunate; but the admiral of France had been slain in the battle; and the constable, with the Sire de Coucy, died in the prison of Boursa. Edition: current; Page: [175] This heavy demand, which was doubled by incidental costs, fell chiefly on the duke of Burgundy, or rather on his Flemish subjects, who were bound by the feudal laws to contribute for the knighthood and captivity of the eldest son of their lord. For the faithful discharge of the debt, some merchants of Genoa gave security to the amount of five times the sum: a lesson to those warlike times that commerce and credit are the links of the society of nations. It had been stipulated in the treaty that the French captives should swear never to bear arms against the person of their conqueror; but the onerous restraint was abolished by Bajazet himself. “I despise,” said he to the heir of Burgundy, “thy oaths and thy arms. Thou art young, and mayest be ambitious of effacing the disgrace of misfortune of thy first chivalry. Assemble thy powers, proclaim thy design, and be assured that Bajazet will rejoice to meet thee a second time in a field of battle.” Before their departure, they were indulged in the freedom and hospitality of the court of Boursa. The French princes admired the magnificence of the Ottoman, whose hunting and hawking equipage was composed of seven thousand huntsmen, and seven thousand falconers.99 In their presence, and at his command, the belly of one of his chamberlains was cut open, on a complaint against him for drinking the goat’s milk of a poor woman. The strangers were astonished by this act of justice; but it was the justice of a sultan who disdains to balance the weight of evidence or to measure the degrees of guilt.

After his enfranchisement from an oppressive guardian, John Palæologus remained thirty-six years the helpless and, Edition: current; Page: [176] as it should seem, the careless spectator of the public ruin.100 Love, or rather lust, was his only vigorous passion; and in the embraces of the wives and virgins of the city the Turkish slave forgot the dishonour. of the emperor of the Romans. Andronicus, his eldest son, had formed, at Hadrianople, an intimate and guilty friendship with Sauzes, the son of Amurath; and the two youths conspired against the authority and lives of their parents. The presence of Amurath in Europe soon discovered and dissipated their rash counsels; and, after depriving Sauzes of his sight,101 the Ottoman threatened his vassal with the treatment of an accomplice and an enemy, unless he inflicted a similar punishment on his own son. Palæologus trembled and obeyed; and a cruel precaution involved in the same sentence the childhood and innocence of John, the son of the criminal. But the operation was so mildly, or so unskilfully, performed that the one retained the sight of an eye and the other was afflicted only with the infirmity of squinting. Thus excluded from the succession, the two princes were confined in the tower of Anema; and the piety of Manuel, the second son of the reigning monarch, was rewarded with the gift of the Imperial crown. But at the end of two years the turbulence of the Latins and the levity of the Greeks produced a revolution; and the two emperors were buried in the tower from whence the two prisoners were exalted to the throne. Another period of two years afforded Palæologus and Manuel the means of escape. It was contrived by the magic or subtlety of a monk, who was alternately named the angel or the devil. They fled to Scutari; their adherents armed in their cause; and the two Byzantine factions displayed the ambition and animosity with which Cæsar and Pompey had disputed the Edition: current; Page: [177] empire of the world. The Roman world was now contracted to a corner of Thrace, between the Propontis and the Black Sea, about fifty miles in length and thirty in breadth; a space of ground not more extensive than the lesser principalities of Germany or Italy, if the remains of Constantinople had not still represented the wealth and populousness of a kingdom. To restore the public peace, it was found necessary to divide this fragment of the empire; and, while Palæologus and Manuel were left in possession of the capital, almost all that lay without the walls was ceded to the blind princes, who fixed their residence at Rhodosto and Selybria.102 In the tranquil slumber of royalty, the passions of John Palæologus survived his reason and his strength; he deprived his favourite and heir of a blooming princess of Trebizond; and, while the feeble emperor laboured to consummate his nuptials, Manuel, with an hundred of the noblest Greeks, was sent on a peremptory summons to the Ottoman porte. They served with honour in the wars of Bajazet; but a plan of fortifying Constantinople excited his jealousy; he threatened their lives; the new works were instantly demolished; and we shall bestow a praise, perhaps above the merit of Palæologus, if we impute this last humiliation as the cause of his death.

The earliest intelligence of that event was communicated to Manuel, who escaped with speed and secrecy from the palace of Boursa to the Byzantine throne. Bajazet affected a proud indifference at the loss of this valuable pledge; and, while he pursued his conquests in Europe and Asia, he left the emperor to struggle with his blind cousin, John of Selybria, who, in eight years of civil war, asserted his right of primogeniture. At length the ambition of the victorious sultan pointed to the conquest of Constantinople; but he listened to the advice of his vizir, who represented that such an enterprise might unite the powers of Christendom in a second and more formidable Edition: current; Page: [178] crusade. His epistle to the emperor was conceived in these words: “By the divine clemency, our invincible scymetar has reduced to our obedience almost all Asia, with many and large countries in Europe, excepting only the city of Constantinople; for beyond the walls thou hast nothing left. Resign that city; stipulate thy reward; or tremble for thyself and thy unhappy people at the consequences of a rash refusal.” But his ambassadors were instructed to soften their tone, and to propose a treaty, which was subscribed with submission and gratitude. A truce of ten years was purchased by an annual tribute of thirty thousand crowns of gold; the Greeks deplored the public toleration of the law of Mahomet; and Bajazet enjoyed the glory of establishing a Turkish cadhi and founding a royal mosch in the metropolis of the Eastern church.103 Yet this truce was soon violated by the restless sultan. In the cause of the prince of Selybria, the lawful emperor,104 an army of Ottomans again threatened Constantinople; and the distress of Manuel implored the protection of the king of France. His plaintive embassy obtained much pity, and some relief; and the conduct of the succour was entrusted to the marshal Boucicault,105 whose religious chivalry was inflamed by the desire of revenging his captivity on the infidels. He sailed with four ships of war from Aiguesmortes to the Hellespont; forced the passage, which was guarded by seventeen Turkish galleys; landed at Constantinople a supply of six hundred men at arms and sixteen hundred archers; and reviewed them in the adjacent plain, without condescending to number or array the multitude of Greeks. By his presence, the blockade was raised Edition: current; Page: [179] both by sea and land; the flying squadrons of Bajazet were driven to a more respectful distance; and several castles in Europe and Asia were stormed by the emperor and the marshal, who fought with equal valour by each other’s side. But the Ottomans soon returned with an increase of numbers; and the intrepid Boucicault, after a year’s struggle, resolved to evacuate a country which could no longer afford either pay or provisions for his soldiers. The marshal offered to conduct Manuel to the French court, where he might solicit in person a supply of men and money; and advised in the meanwhile that, to extinguish all domestic discord, he should leave his blind competitor on the throne. The proposal was embraced; the prince of Selybria was introduced to the capital; and such was the public misery that the lot of the exile seemed more fortunate than that of the sovereign. Instead of applauding the success of his vassal, the Turkish sultan claimed the city as his own; and, on the refusal of the emperor John, Constantinople was more closely pressed by the calamities of war and famine. Against such an enemy prayers and resistance were alike unavailing; and the savage would have devoured his prey, if, in the fatal moment, he had not been overthrown by another savage stronger than himself. By the victory of Timour, or Tamerlane, the fall of Constantinople was delayed about fifty years; and this important though accidental service may justly introduce the life and character of the Mogul conqueror.

Edition: current; Page: [180]

CHAPTER LXV

Elevation of Timour, or Tamerlane, to the Throne of Samarcand — His Conquests in Persia, Georgia, Tartary, Russia, India, Syria, and Anatolia — His Turkish War — Defeat and Captivity of Bajazet — Death of Timour — Civil War of the Sons of Bajazet — Restoration of the Turkish Monarchy by Mahomet the First — Siege of Constantinople by Amurath the Second

The conquest and monarchy of the world was the first object of the ambition of Timour. To live in the memory and esteem of future ages was the second wish of his magnanimous spirit. All the civil and military transactions of his reign were diligently recorded in the journals of his secretaries;1 the authentic narrative was revised by the persons best informed of each particular transaction; and it is believed in the empire and family of Timour that the monarch himself composed the commentaries2 of his Edition: current; Page: [181] life and the institutions3 of his government.4 But these cares were ineffectual for the preservation of his fame, and these precious memorials in the Mogul or Persian language were concealed from the world, or at least from the knowledge of Europe. The nations which he vanquished exercised a base and impotent revenge; and ignorance has long repeated the tale of calumny,5 which had disfigured the birth and character, the person, and even the name of Tamerlane.6 Yet his real merit would be enhanced, rather than debased, by the elevation of a peasant to the throne of Asia; nor can his lameness be a theme of reproach, unless he had the weakness to blush at a natural, or perhaps an honourable, infirmity.

Edition: current; Page: [182]

In the eyes of the Moguls, who held the indefeasible succession of the house of Zingis, he was doubtless a rebel-subject; yet he sprang from the noble tribe of Berlass: his fifth ancestor, Carashar Nevian, had been the vizir of Zagatai, in his new realm of Transoxiana; and, in the ascent of some generations, the branch of Timour is confounded, at least by the females,7 with the Imperial stem.8 He was born forty miles to the south of Samarcand, in the village of Sebzar,9 in the fruitful territory of Cash, of which his fathers were the hereditary chiefs, as well as of a toman of ten thousand horse.10 His birth11 was cast on one of those periods of anarchy which Edition: current; Page: [183] announce the fall of the Asiatic dynasties and open a new field to adventurous ambition. The khans of Zagatai were extinct; the emirs aspired to independence; and their domestic feuds could only be suspended by the conquest and tyranny of the khans of Kashgar, who, with an army of Getes or Calmucks,12 invaded the Transoxian kingdom. From the twelfth year of his age Timour had entered the field of action; in the twenty-fifth, he stood forth as the deliverer of his country;13 and the eyes and wishes of the people were turned towards an hero who suffered in their cause. The chiefs of the law and of the army had pledged their salvation to support him with their lives and fortunes; but in the hour of danger they were silent and afraid; and, after waiting seven days on the hills of Samarcand, he retreated to the desert with only sixty horsemen. The fugitives were overtaken by a thousand Getes, whom he repulsed with incredible slaughter, and his enemies were Edition: current; Page: [184] forced to exclaim, “Timour is a wonderful man; fortune and the divine favour are with him.” But in this bloody action his own followers were reduced to ten, a number which was soon diminished by the desertion of three Carizmians.14 He wandered in the desert with his wife, seven companions, and four horses; and sixty-two days was he plunged in a loathsome dungeon, from whence he escaped by his own courage and the remorse of the oppressor. After swimming the broad and rapid stream of the Jihoon, or Oxus, he led during some months the life of a vagrant and outlaw, on the borders of the adjacent states. But his fame shone brighter in adversity; he learned to distinguish the friends of his person, the associates of his fortune, and to apply the various characters of men for their advantage, and above all for his own. On his return to his native country, Timour was successively joined by the parties of his confederates, who anxiously sought him in the desert; nor can I refuse to describe, in his pathetic simplicity, one of their fortunate encounters. He presented himself as a guide to three chiefs, who were at the head of seventy horse. “When their eyes fell upon me,” says Timour, “they were overwhelmed with joy; and they alighted from their horses; and they came and kneeled; and they kissed my stirrup. I also came down from my horse, and took each of them in my arms. And I put my turban on the head of the first chief; and my girdle, rich in jewels and wrought with gold, I bound on the loins of the second; and the third I clothed in my own coat. And they wept, and I wept also; and the hour of prayer was arrived, and we prayed. And we mounted our horses and came to my dwelling; and I collected my people and made a feast.” His trusty bands were soon increased by the bravest of the tribes; he led them against a superior foe; and after some vicissitudes of war the Getes were Edition: current; Page: [185] finally driven from the kingdom of Transoxiana. He had done much for his own glory; but much remained to be done, much art to be exerted, and some blood to be spilt, before he could teach his equals to obey him as their master. The birth and power of emir Houssein compelled him to accept a vicious and unworthy colleague, whose sister was the best beloved of his wives. Their union was short and jealous; but the policy of Timour, in their frequent quarrels, exposed his rival to the reproach of injustice and perfidy; and, after a small defeat, Houssein was slain by some sagacious friends, who presumed, for the last time, to disobey the commands of their lord. At the age of thirty-four,15 and in a general diet, or couroultai, he was invested with Imperial command; but he affected to revere the house of Zingis; and, while the emir Timour reigned over Zagatai and the East, a nominal khan served as a private officer in the armies of his servant. A fertile kingdom, five hundred miles in length and in breadth, might have satisfied the ambition of a subject; but Timour aspired to the dominion of the world; and before his death the crown of Zagatai was one of the twenty-seven crowns which he had placed on his head. Without expatiating on the victories of thirty-five campaigns; without describing the lines of march, which he repeatedly traced over the continent of Asia; I shall briefly represent his conquests in I. Persia, II. Tartary, and III. India;16 and from thence proceed to the more interesting narrative of his Ottoman war.

I. For every war, a motive of safety or revenge, of honour or zeal, of right or convenience, may be readily found in the Edition: current; Page: [186] jurisprudence of conquerors. No sooner had Timour reunited to the patrimony of Zagatai the dependent countries of Carizme and Candahar, than he turned his eyes towards the kingdoms of Iran or Persia. From the Oxus to the Tigris that extensive country was left without a lawful sovereign since the death of Abousaid, the last of the descendants of the great Holacou.17 Peace and justice had been banished from the land above forty years; and the Mogul invader might seem to listen to the cries of an oppressed people. Their petty tyrants might have opposed him with confederate arms; they separately stood, and successively fell; and the difference of their fate was only marked by the promptitude of submission or the obstinacy of resistance. Ibrahim, prince of Shirwan or Albania, kissed the footstool of the Imperial throne. His peace-offerings of silks, horses, and jewels were composed, according to the Tartar fashion, each article of nine pieces; but a critical spectator observed that there were only eight slaves. “I myself am the ninth,” replied Ibrahim, who was prepared for the remark; and his flattery was rewarded by the smile of Timour.18 Shah Mansour, prince of Fars or the proper Persia, was one of the least powerful, but most dangerous, of his enemies. In a battle under the walls of Shiraz, he broke, with three or four thousand soldiers, the coul or main body of thirty thousand horse, where the emperor fought in person. No more than fourteen or fifteen guards remained near the standard of Timour; he stood firm as a rock, and received on his helmet two weighty strokes of a scymetar;19 the Moguls rallied; the head of Mansour was thrown at his feet, Edition: current; Page: [187] and he declared his esteem of the valour of a foe by extirpating all the males of so intrepid a race. From Shiraz, his troops advanced to the Persian Gulf; and the richness and weakness of Ormuz20 were displayed in an annual tribute of six hundred thousand dinars of gold. Bagdad was no longer the city of peace, the seat of the caliphs; but the noblest conquest of Houlacou could not be overlooked by his ambitious successor. The whole course of the Tigris and Euphrates, from the mouth to the sources of those rivers, was reduced to his obedience. He entered Edessa; and the Turkmans of the black sheep were chastised for the sacrilegious pillage of a caravan of Mecca. In the mountains of Georgia, the native Christians still braved the law and the sword of Mahomet; by three expeditions he obtained the merit of the gazie, or holy war; and the Prince of Teflis became his proselyte and friend.

II. A just retaliation might be urged for the invasion of Turkestan, or the Eastern Tartary. The dignity of Timour could not endure the impunity of the Getes; he passed the Sihoon, subdued the kingdom of Cashgar, and marched seven times into the heart of their country. His most distant camp was two months’ journey, or four hundred and eighty leagues to the north-east of Samarcand; and his emirs, who traversed the river Irtish, engraved in the forests of Siberia a rude memorial of their exploits. The conquest of Kipzak, or the Western Tartary,21 was founded on the double motive of aiding the distressed Edition: current; Page: [188] and chastising the ungrateful. Toctamish, a fugitive prince, was entertained and protected in his court; the ambassadors of Auruss Khan were dismissed with an haughty denial, and followed on the same day by the armies of Zagatai; and their success established Toctamish in the Mogul empire of the North. But, after a reign of ten years, the new khan forgot the merits and the strength of his benefactor, the base usurper, as he deemed him, of the sacred rights of the house of Zingis. Through the gates of Derbend, he entered Persia at the head of ninety thousand horse; with the innumerable forces of Kipzak, Bulgaria, Circassia, and Russia, he passed the Sihoon, burnt the palaces of Timour, and compelled him, amidst the winter snows, to contend for Samarcand and his life. After a mild expostulation, and a glorious victory, the emperor resolved on revenge; and by the east and the west of the Caspian and the Volga, he twice invaded Kipzak with such mighty22 powers that thirteen miles were Edition: current; Page: [189] measured from his right to his left wing. In a march of five months, they rarely beheld the footsteps of man; and their daily subsistence was often trusted to the fortune of the chase. At length the armies encountered each other; but the treachery of the standard-bearer, who, in the heat of action, reversed the Imperial standard of Kipzak, determined the victory of the Zagatais; and Toctamish (I speak the language of the Institutions) gave the tribe of Toushi to the wind of desolation.23 He fled to the Christian duke of Lithuania; again returned to the banks of the Volga; and, after fifteen battles with a domestic rival, at last perished in the wilds of Siberia. The pursuit of a flying enemy carried Timour into the tributary provinces of Russia; a duke of the reigning family was made prisoner amidst the ruins of his capital; and Yeletz, by the pride and ignorance of the Orientals, might easily be confounded with the genuine metropolis of the nation. Moscow trembled at the approach of the Tartar, and the resistance would have been feeble, since the hopes of the Russians were placed in a miraculous image of the Virgin, to whose protection they ascribed the casual and voluntary retreat of the conqueror. Ambition and prudence recalled him to the south, the desolate country was exhausted, and the Mogul soldiers were enriched with an immense spoil of precious furs, of linen of Antioch,24 and of ingots of gold and silver.25 On the banks of the Don, or Tanais, he received an humble deputation from the consuls Edition: current; Page: [190] and merchants of Egypt,26 Venice, Genoa, Catalonia, and Biscay, who occupied the commerce and city of Tana, or Azoph, at the mouth of the river. They offered their gifts, admired his magnificence, and trusted his royal word. But the peaceful visit of an emir, who explored the state of the magazines and harbour, was speedily followed by the destructive presence of the Tartars. The city was reduced to ashes; the Moslems were pillaged and dismissed; but all the Christians who had not fled to their ships were condemned either to death or slavery.27 Revenge prompted him to burn the cities of Serai and Astrachan, the monuments of rising civilisation; and his vanity proclaimed that he had penetrated to the region of perpetual daylight, a strange phenomenon, which authorised his Mahometan doctors to dispense with the obligation of evening prayer.28

III. When Timour first proposed to his princes and emirs the invasion of India or Hindostan,29 he was answered by a murmur of discontent: “The rivers! and the mountains and Edition: current; Page: [191] deserts! and the soldiers clad in armour! and the elephants, destroyers of men!” But the displeasure of the emperor was more dreadful than all these terrors; and his superior reason was convinced that an enterprise of such tremendous aspect was safe and easy in the execution. He was informed by his spies of the weakness and anarchy of Hindostan; the soubahs of the provinces had erected the standard of rebellion; and the perpetual infancy of Sultan Mahmoud was despised even in the harem of Delhi. The Mogul army moved in three great divisions; and Timour observes with pleasure that the ninety-two squadrons of a thousand horse most fortunately corresponded with the ninety-two names or epithets of the prophet Mahomet. Between the Jihoon and the Indus, they crossed one of the ridges of mountains, which are styled by the Arabian geographers the Stony Girdles of the Earth. The highland robbers were subdued or extirpated; but great numbers of men and horses perished in the snow; the emperor himself was let down a precipice on a portable scaffold, the ropes were one hundred and fifty cubits in length; and, before he could reach the bottom, this dangerous operation was five times repeated. Timour crossed the Indus at the ordinary passage of Attok; and successively traversed, in the footsteps of Alexander, the Punjab, or five rivers,30 that fall into the master-stream. From Attok to Delhi the high-road measures no more than six hundred miles; but the two conquerors deviated to the south-east; and the motive of Timour was to join his grandson who had achieved by his command the conquest of Moultan. On the eastern bank of the Hyphasis, on the edge of the desert, the Macedonian hero halted and wept; the Mogul entered the desert, reduced the fortress of Batnir, and stood in arms before the gates of Delhi, a great and flourishing city, which had subsisted three centuries under the Edition: current; Page: [192] dominion of the Mahometan kings. The siege, more especially of the castle, might have been a work of time; but he tempted, by the appearance of weakness, the sultan Mahmoud and his vizir to descend into the plain, with ten thousand cuirassiers, forty thousand of his foot-guards, and one hundred and twenty elephants, whose tusks are said to have been armed with sharp and poisoned daggers. Against these monsters, or rather against the imagination of his troops, he condescended to use some extraordinary precautions of fire and a ditch, of iron spikes and a rampart of bucklers; but the event taught the Moguls to smile at their own fears; and, as soon as these unwieldy animals were routed, the inferior species (the men of India) disappeared from the field. Timour made his triumphal entry into the capital of Hindostan; and admired, with a view to imitate, the architecture of the stately mosch; but the order or licence of a general pillage and massacre polluted the festival of his victory. He resolved to purify his soldiers in the blood of the idolaters, or Gentoos, who still surpass, in the proportion of ten to one, the numbers of the Moslems. In this pious design, he advanced one hundred miles to the north-east of Delhi, passed the Ganges, fought several battles by land and water, and penetrated to the famous rock of Coupele, the statue of the cow, that seems to discharge the mighty river, whose source is far distant among the mountains of Thibet.31 His return was along the skirts of the northern hills; nor could this rapid campaign of one year justify the strange foresight of his emirs that their children in a warm climate would degenerate into a race of Hindoos.

Edition: current; Page: [193]

It was on the banks of the Ganges that Timour was informed, by his speedy messengers, of the disturbances which had arisen on the confines of Georgia and Anatolia, of the revolt of the Christians, and the ambitious designs of the sultan Bajazet. His vigour of mind and body was not impaired by sixty-three years and innumerable fatigues; and, after enjoying some tranquil months in the palace of Samarcand, he proclaimed a new expedition of seven years into the western countries of Asia.32 To the soldiers who had served in the Indian war, he granted the choice of remaining at home or following their prince; but the troops of all the provinces and kingdoms of Persia were commanded to assemble at Ispahan and wait the arrival of the Imperial standard. It was first directed against the Christians of Georgia, who were strong only in their rocks, their castles, and the winter-season; but these obstacles were overcome by the zeal and perseverance of Timour; the rebels submitted to the tribute or the Koran; and, if both religions boasted of their martyrs, that name is more justly due to the Christian prisoners, who were offered the choice of abjuration or death. On his descent from the hills, the emperor gave audience to the first ambassadors of Bajazet, and opened the hostile correspondence of complaints and menaces, which fermented two years before the final explosion. Between two jealous and haughty neighbours, the motives of quarrel will seldom be wanting. The Mogul and Ottoman conquests now touched each other in the neighbourhood of Erzeroum and the Euphrates; nor had the doubtful limit been ascertained by time and treaty. Each of these ambitious monarchs might accuse his rival of violating his territory, of threatening his vassals, and protecting his rebels; and, by the name of rebels, each understood the fugitive princes, whose kingdoms he had usurped and whose life or liberty he implacably pursued. The resemblance of character Edition: current; Page: [194] was still more dangerous than the opposition of interest; and, in their victorious career, Timour was impatient of an equal, and Bajazet was ignorant of a superior. The first epistle33 of the Mogul emperor must have provoked instead of reconciling the Turkish sultan, whose family and nation he affected to despise.34 “Dost thou not know that the greatest part of Asia is subject to our arms and our laws? that our invincible forces extend from one sea to the other? that the potentates of the earth form a line before our gate? and that we have compelled Fortune herself to watch over the prosperity of our empire? What is the foundation of thy insolence and folly? Thou hast fought some battles in the woods of Anatolia; contemptible trophies! Thou hast obtained some victories over the Christians of Europe; thy sword was blessed by the apostle of God; and thy obedience to the precept of the Koran, in waging war against the infidels, is the sole consideration that prevents us from destroying thy country, the frontier and bulwark of the Moslem world. Be wise in time; reflect; repent; and avert the thunder of our vengeance, which is yet suspended over thy head. Thou art no more than a pismire; why wilt thou seek to provoke the elephants? Alas! they will trample thee under their feet.” In his replies, Bajazet poured forth the indignation of a soul which was deeply stung by such unusual contempt. After retorting the basest reproaches on the thief and rebel of the desert, the Ottoman recapitulates his boasted victories in Iran, Edition: current; Page: [195] Touran, and the Indies; and labours to prove that Timour had never triumphed, unless by his own perfidy and the vices of his foes. “Thy armies are innumerable: be they so; but what are the arrows of the flying Tartar against the scymetars and battle-axes of my firm and invincible Janizaries? I will guard the princes who have implored my protection; seek them in my tents. The cities of Arzingan and Erzeroum are mine; and, unless the tribute be duly paid, I will demand the arrears under the walls of Tauris and Sultania.” The ungovernable rage of the sultan at length betrayed him to an insult of a more domestic kind: “If I fly from my arms,” said he, “may my wives be thrice divorced from my bed; but, if thou hast not courage to meet me in the field, mayest thou again receive thy wives after they have thrice endured the embraces of a stranger.”35 Any violation, by word or deed, of the secrecy of the harem is an unpardonable offence among the Turkish nations;36 and the political quarrel of the two monarchs was embittered by private and personal resentment. Yet in his first expedition Timour was satisfied with the siege and destruction of Suvas, or Sebaste, a strong city on the borders of Anatolia; and he revenged the indiscretion of the Ottoman on a garrison of four thousand Armenians, who were buried alive for the brave and faithful discharge of their duty.37 As a Musulman, he seemed to respect the pious occupation of Bajazet, who was still engaged in the blockade of Constantinople; and, after this salutary lesson, the Mogul conqueror Edition: current; Page: [196] checked his pursuit, and turned aside to the invasion of Syria and Egypt. In these transactions, the Ottoman prince, by the Orientals, and even by Timour, is styled the Kaissar of Roum, the Cæsar of the Romans: a title which, by a small anticipation, might be given to a monarch who possessed the provinces, and threatened the city, of the successors of Constantine.38

The military republic of the Mamalukes still reigned in Egypt and Syria; but the dynasty of the Turks was overthrown by that of the Circassians;39 and their favourite Barkok, from a slave and a prisoner, was raised and restored to the throne. In the midst of rebellion and discord, he braved the menaces, corresponded with the enemies, and detained the ambassadors of the Mogul, who patiently expected his decease, to revenge the crimes of the father on the feeble reign of his son Farage. The Syrian emirs40 were assembled at Aleppo to repel the invasion; they confided in the fame and discipline of the Mamalukes, in the temper of their swords and lances, of the purest steel of Damascus, in the strength of their walled cities, and in the populousness of sixty thousand villages; and, instead of sustaining a siege, they threw open their gates and arrayed their forces in the Edition: current; Page: [197] plain. But these forces were not cemented by virtue and union; and some powerful emirs had been seduced to desert or betray their more loyal companions. Timour’s front was covered with a line of Indian elephants, whose turrets were filled with archers and Greek fire; the rapid evolutions of his cavalry completed the dismay and disorder; the Syrian crowds fell back on each other; many thousands were stifled or slaughtered in the entrance of the great street; the Moguls entered with the fugitives; and, after a short defence, the citadel, the impregnable citadel of Aleppo, was surrendered by cowardice or treachery. Among the suppliants and captives, Timour distinguished the doctors of the law, whom he invited to the dangerous honour of a personal conference.41 The Mogul prince was a zealous Musulman; but his Persian schools had taught him to revere the memory of Ali and Hosein; and he had imbibed a deep prejudice against the Syrians, as the enemies of the son of the daughter of the apostle of God. To these doctors he proposed a captious question, which the casuists of Bochara, Samarcand, and Herat were incapable of resolving. “Who are the true martyrs, of those who are slain on my side, or on that of my enemies?” But he was silenced, or satisfied, by the dexterity of one of the cadhis of Aleppo, who replied, in the words of Mahomet himself, that the motive, not the ensign, constitutes the martyr; and that the Moslems of either party, who fight only for the glory of God, may deserve that sacred appellation. The true succession of the caliphs was a controversy of a still more delicate nature, and the frankness of a doctor, too honest for his situation, provoked the emperor to exclaim, “Ye are as false as those of Damascus: Moawiyah was an usurper, Yezid a tyrant, and Ali alone is the lawful successor of the prophet.” A prudent explanation restored his tranquillity; Edition: current; Page: [198] and he passed to a more familiar topic of conversation. “What is your age?” said he to the cadhi. “Fifty years.” “It would be the age of my eldest son. You see me here (continued Timour) a poor, lame, decrepit mortal. Yet by my arm has the Almighty been pleased to subdue the kindgoms of Iran, Touran, and the Indies. I am not a man of blood; and God is my witness that in all my wars I have never been the aggressor, and that my enemies have always been the authors of their own calamity.” During this peaceful conversation, the streets of Aleppo streamed with blood, and re-echoed with the cries of mothers and children, with the shrieks of violated virgins. The rich plunder that was abandoned to his soldiers might stimulate their avarice; but their cruelty was enforced by the peremptory command of producing an adequate number of heads, which, according to his custom, were curiously piled in columns and pyramids; the Moguls celebrated the feast of victory, while the surviving Moslems passed the night in tears and in chains. I shall not dwell on the march of the destroyer from Aleppo to Damascus, where he was rudely encountered, and almost overthrown, by the armies of Egypt. A retrograde motion was imputed to his distress and despair: one of his nephews deserted to the enemy; and Syria rejoiced in the tale of his defeat, when the sultan was driven, by the revolt of the Mamalukes, to escape with precipitation and shame to his palace of Cairo. Abandoned by their prince, the inhabitants of Damascus still defended their walls; and Timour consented to raise the siege, if they would adorn his retreat with a gift or ransom; each article of nine pieces. But no sooner had he introduced himself into the city, under colour of a truce, than he perfidiously violated the treaty; imposed a contribution of ten millions of gold; and animated his troops to chastise the posterity of those Syrians who had executed or approved the murder of the grandson of Mahomet. A family which had given honourable burial to the head of Hosein, and a colony of artificers whom he sent to labour Edition: current; Page: [199] at Samarcand, were alone reserved in the general massacre; and, after a period of seven centuries, Damascus was reduced to ashes, because a Tartar was moved by religious zeal to avenge the blood of an Arab.42 The losses and fatigues of the campaign obliged Timour to renounce the conquest of Palestine and Egypt; but in his return to the Euphrates he delivered Aleppo to the flames; and justified his pious motive by the pardon and reward of two thousand sectaries of Ali, who were desirous to visit the tomb of his son. I have expatiated on the personal anecdotes which mark the character of the Mogul hero; but I shall briefly mention43 that he erected on the ruins of Bagdad a pyramid of ninety thousand heads; again visited Georgia; encamped on the banks of Araxes; and proclaimed his resolution of marching against the Ottoman emperor. Conscious of the importance of the war, he collected his forces from every province; eight hundred thousand men were enrolled on his military list;44 but the splendid commands of five and ten thousand horse may be rather expressive of the rank and pension of the chiefs than of the genuine number of effective soldiers.45 In the pillage Edition: current; Page: [200] of Syria, the Moguls had acquired immense riches; but the delivery of their pay and arrears for seven years more firmly attached them to the Imperial standard.

During this diversion of the Mogul arms, Bajazet had two years to collect his forces for a more serious encounter. They consisted of four hundred thousand horse and foot,46 whose merit and fidelity were of an unequal complexion. We may discriminate the Janizaries, who have been gradually raised to an establishment of forty thousand men; a national cavalry, the Spahis of modern times; twenty thousand cuirassiers of Europe, clad in black and impenetrable armour; the troops of Anatolia, whose princes had taken refuge in the camp of Timour, and a colony of Tartars, whom he had driven from Kipzak, and to whom Bajazet had assigned a settlement in the plains of Hadrianople. The fearless confidence of the sultan urged him to meet his antagonist; and, as if he had chosen that spot for revenge, he displayed his banners near the ruins of the unfortunate Suvas. In the meanwhile, Timour moved from the Araxes through the countries of Armenia and Anatolia: his boldness was secured by the wisest precautions; his speed was guided by order and discipline; and the woods, the mountains, and the rivers were diligently explored by the flying squadrons, who marked his road and preceded his standard. Firm in his plan of fighting in the heart of the Ottoman kingdom, he avoided their camp; dexterously inclined to the left; occupied Cæsarea; traversed the salt desert and the river Halys; and invested Angora: while the sultan, immoveable and ignorant in his post, compared the Tartar swiftness to the crawling of a snail.47 He returned on the wings of indignation to the Edition: current; Page: [none] Edition: current; Page: [201] relief of Angora; and, as both generals were alike impatient for action, the plains round that city were the scene of a memorable battle, which has immortalised the glory of Timour and the shame of Bajazet. For this signal victory, the Mogul emperor was indebted to himself, to the genius of the moment, and the discipline of thirty years. He had improved the tactics, without violating the manners, of his nation,48 whose force still consisted in the missile weapons, and rapid evolutions, of a numerous cavalry. From a single troop to a great army, the mode of attack was the same: a foremost line first advanced to the charge, and was supported in a just order by the squadrons of the great vanguard. The general’s eye watched over the field, and at his command the front and rear of the right and left wings successively moved forwards in their several divisions, and in a direct or oblique line; the enemy was pressed by eighteen or twenty attacks; and each attack afforded a chance of victory. If they all proved fruitless or unsuccessful, the occasion was worthy of the emperor himself, who gave the signal of advancing to the standard and main body, which he led in person.49 But in the battle of Angora, the main body itself was supported, on the flanks and in the rear, by the bravest squadrons of the reserve, commanded by the sons and grandsons of Timour. The conqueror of Hindostan ostentatiously shewed a line of elephants, the trophies, rather than the instruments, of victory: the use of the Greek fire was familiar to the Moguls and Ottomans; but, had they borrowed from Europe the recent invention of gunpowder and cannon, the artificial thunder, Edition: current; Page: [202] in the hands of either nation, must have turned the fortune of the day.50 In that day, Bajazet displayed the qualities of a soldier and a chief; but his genius sunk under a stronger ascendant; and, from various motives, the greatest part of his troops failed him in the decisive moment. His rigour and avarice had provoked a mutiny among the Turks; and even his son Soliman too hastily withdrew from the field. The forces of Anatolia, loyal in their revolt, were drawn away to the banners of their lawful princes. His Tartar allies had been tempted by the letters and emissaries of Timour;51 who reproached their ignoble servitude under the slaves of their fathers, and offered to their hopes the dominion of their new, or the liberty of their ancient, country. In the right wing of Bajazet, the cuirassiers of Europe charged with faithful hearts and irresistible arms; but these men of iron were soon broken by an artful flight and headlong pursuit; and the Janizaries, alone, without cavalry or missile weapons, were encompassed by the circle of the Mogul hunters. Their valour was at length oppressed by heat, thirst, and the weight of numbers; and the unfortunate sultan, afflicted with the gout in his hands and feet, was transported from the field on the fleetest of his horses. He was pursued and taken by the titular khan of Zagatai; and after his capture, and the defeat of the Ottoman powers, the kingdom of Anatolia submitted to the conqueror, who planted his standard at Kiotahia, and dispersed on all sides the ministers of rapine and destruction. Mirza Mehemmed Sultan, the eldest and best beloved of his grandsons, was despatched to Boursa with thirty thousand Edition: current; Page: [203] horse; and such was his youthful ardour that he arrived with only four thousand at the gates of the capital, after performing in five days a march of two hundred and thirty miles. Yet fear is still more rapid in its course; and Soliman, the son of Bajazet, had already passed over to Europe with the royal treasure. The spoil, however, of the palace and city was immense; the inhabitants had escaped; but the buildings, for the most part of wood, were reduced to ashes. From Boursa, the grandson of Timour advanced to Nice, even yet a fair and flourishing city; and the Mogul squadrons were only stopped by the waves of the Propontis. The same success attended the other mirzas and emirs in their excursions; and Smyrna, defended by the zeal and courage of the Rhodian knights, alone deserved the presence of the emperor himself. After an obstinate defence, the place was taken by storm; all that breathed was put to the sword; and the heads of the Christian heroes were launched from the engines, on board of two carracks, or great ships of Europe, that rode at anchor in the harbour. The Moslems of Asia rejoiced in their deliverance from a dangerous and domestic foe, and a parallel was drawn between the two rivals, by observing that Timour, in fourteen days, had reduced a fortress which had sustained seven years the siege, or at least the blockade, of Bajazet.52

lf0214-11_figure_005.jpg

The iron cage in which Bajazet was imprisoned by Tamerlane, so long and so often repeated as a moral lesson, is now rejected as a fable by the modern writers, who smile at the vulgar credulity.53 They appeal with confidence to the Edition: current; Page: [204] Persian history of Sherefeddin Ali, which has been given to our curiosity in a French version, and from which I shall collect and abridge a more specious narrative of this memorable transaction. No sooner was Timour informed54 that the captive Ottoman was at the door of his tent, than he graciously stepped forwards to receive him, seated him by his side, and mingled with just reproaches a soothing pity for his rank and misfortune. “Alas!” said the emperor, “the decree of fate is now accomplished by your own fault: it is the web which you have woven, the thorns of the tree which yourself have planted. I wished to spare, and even to assist, the champion of the Moslems; you braved our threats; you despised our friendship; you forced us to enter your kingdom with our invincible armies. Behold the event. Had you vanquished, I am not ignorant of the fate which you reserved for myself and my troops. But I disdain to retaliate; your life and honour are secure; and I shall express my gratitude to God by my clemency to man.” The royal captive shewed some signs of repentance, accepted the humiliation of a robe of honour, and embraced with tears his son Mousa, who, at his request, was sought and found among the captives of the field. The Ottoman princes were lodged in a splendid pavilion; and the respect of the guards could be surpassed only by their vigilance. On the arrival of the harem from Boursa, Timour restored the queen Despina and Edition: current; Page: [205] her daughter to their father and husband; but he piously required that the Servian princess, who had hitherto been indulged in the profession of Christianity, should embrace without delay the religion of the prophet. In the feast of victory, to which Bajazet was invited, the Mogul emperor placed a crown on his head and a sceptre in his hand, with a solemn assurance of restoring him with an increase of glory to the throne of his ancestors. But the effect of this promise was disappointed by the sultan’s untimely death: amidst the care of the most skilful physicians, he expired of an apoplexy at Akshehr, the Antioch of Pisidia, about nine months after his defeat. The victor dropped a tear over his grave; his body, with royal pomp, was conveyed to the mausoleum which he had erected at Boursa; and his son Mousa, after receiving a rich present of gold and jewels, of horses and arms, was invested by a patent in red ink with the kingdom of Anatolia.

Such is the portrait of a generous conqueror, which has been extracted from his own memorials, and dedicated to his son and grandson, nineteen years after his decease;55 and, at a time when the truth was remembered by thousands, a manifest falsehood would have implied a satire on his real conduct. Weighty, indeed, is this evidence, adopted by all the Persian histories;56 yet flattery, more especially in the East, is base and audacious; and the harsh and ignominious treatment of Bajazet is attested by a chain of witnesses, some of whom shall be produced in the order of their time and country. 1. The reader has not forgot the garrison of French, whom the marshal Boucicault left behind him for the Edition: current; Page: [206] defence of Constantinople. They were on the spot to receive the earliest and most faithful intelligence of the overthrow of their great adversary; and it is more than probable that some of them accompanied the Greek embassy to the camp of Tamerlane. From their account, the hardships of the prison and death of Bajazet are affirmed by the marshal’s servant and historian, within the distance of seven years.57 2. The name of Poggius the Italian58 is deservedly famous among the revivers of learning in the fifteenth century. His elegant dialogue on the vicissitudes of fortune59 was composed in his fiftieth year, twenty-eight years after the Turkish victory of Tamerlane,60 whom he celebrates as not inferior to the illustrious Barbarians of antiquity. Of his exploits and discipline, Poggius was informed by several ocular witnesses; nor does he forget an example so opposite to his theme as the Ottoman monarch, whom the Scythian confined like a wild beast in an iron cage and exhibited a spectacle to Asia. I might add the authority of two Italian chronicles, perhaps of an earlier date, which would prove at least that the same story, whether false or true, was imported into Europe with Edition: current; Page: [207] the first tidings of the revolution.61 3. At the time when Poggius flourished at Rome, Ahmed Ebn Arabshah composed at Damascus the florid and malevolent history of Timour, for which he had collected materials in his journeys over Turkey and Tartary.62 Without any possible correspondence between the Latin and the Arabian writer, they agree in the fact of the iron cage; and their agreement is a striking proof of their common veracity. Ahmed Arabshah likewise relates another outrage, which Bajazet endured, of a more domestic and tender nature. His indiscreet mention of women and divorces was deeply resented by the jealous Tartar. In the feast of victory, the wine was served by female cup-bearers; and the sultan beheld his own concubines and wives confounded among the slaves, and exposed, without a veil, to the eyes of intemperance. To escape a similar indignity, it is said that his successors, except in a single instance, have abstained from legitimate nuptials; and the Ottoman practice and belief, at least in the sixteenth century, is attested by the observing Busbequius,63 ambassador from the court of Vienna to the great Soliman. 4. Such is the separation of language that the testimony of a Greek is not less independent than that of a Latin or an Arab. I suppress the names of Chalcondyles and Ducas, who flourished in a later period, and who speak in a less positive tone; but more attention is due to George Phranza,64 protovestiare of the last emperors, and who was born a year before the battle of Edition: current; Page: [208] Angora. Twenty-two years after that event, he was sent ambassador to Amurath the Second; and the historian might converse with some veteran Janizaries, who had been made prisoners with the sultan and had themselves seen him in his iron cage. 5. The last evidence, in every sense, is that of the Turkish annals, which have been consulted or transcribed by Leunclavius, Pocock, and Cantemir.65 They unanimously deplore the captivity of the iron cage; and some credit may be allowed to national historians, who cannot stigmatise the Tartar without uncovering the shame of their king and country.

From these opposite premises, a fair and moderate conclusion may be deduced. I am satisfied that Sherefeddin Ali has faithfully described the first ostentatious interview, in which the conqueror, whose spirits were harmonised by success, affected the character of generosity. But his mind was insensibly alienated by the unseasonable arrogance of Bajazet; the complaints of his enemies, the Anatolian princes, were just and vehement; and Timour betrayed a design of leading his royal captive in triumph to Samarcand. An attempt to facilitate his escape, by digging a mine under the tent, provoked the Mogul emperor to impose a harsher restraint; and, in his perpetual marches, an iron cage on a waggon might be invented, not as a wanton insult, but as a rigorous precaution. Timour had read in some fabulous history a similar treatment of one of his predecessors, a king of Persia; and Bajazet was condemned to represent the person, and expiate the guilt, of the Roman Cæsar.66 But the strength of his mind and body Edition: current; Page: [209] fainted under the trial, and his premature death might, without injustice, be ascribed to the severity of Timour. He warred not with the dead; a tear and a sepulchre were all that he could bestow on a captive who was delivered from his power; and, if Mousa, the son of Bajazet, was permitted to reign over the ruins of Boursa, the greatest part of the province of Anatolia had been restored by the conqueror to their lawful sovereigns.

From the Irtish and Volga to the Persian Gulf, and from the Ganges to Damascus and the Archipelago, Asia was in the hand of Timour; his armies were invincible, his ambition was boundless, and his zeal might aspire to conquer and convert the Christian kingdoms of the West, which already trembled at his name. He touched the utmost verge of the land; but an insuperable, though narrow, sea rolled between the two continents of Europe and Asia;67 and the lord of so many tomans, or myriads of horse, was not master of a single galley. The two passages of the Bosphorus and Hellespont, of Constantinople and Gallipoli, were possessed, the one by the Christians, the other by the Turks. On this great occasion, they forgot the difference of religion, to act with union and firmness in the common cause. The double straits were guarded with ships and fortifications; and they separately withheld the transports which Timour demanded of either nation, under the pretence of attacking their enemy. At the same time, they soothed his pride with tributary gifts and suppliant embassies, and prudently tempted him to retreat with the honours of victory. Soliman, the son of Bajazet, implored his clemency for his father and himself; accepted, by a red patent, the investiture of the kingdom of Romania, which he already held by the sword; and reiterated Edition: current; Page: [210] his ardent wish of casting himself in person at the feet of the king of the world. The Greek emperor68 (either John or Manuel) submitted to pay the same tribute which he had stipulated with the Turkish sultan, and ratified the treaty by an oath of allegiance, from which he could absolve his conscience as soon as the Mogul arms had retired from Anatolia. But the fears and fancy of nations ascribed to the ambitious Tamerlane a new design of vast and romantic compass: a design of subduing Egypt and Africa, marching from the Nile to the Atlantic Ocean, entering Europe by the Straits of Gibraltar, and, after imposing his yoke on the kingdoms of Christendom, of returning home by the deserts of Russia and Tartary. This remote and perhaps imaginary danger was averted by the submission of the sultan of Egypt; the honours of the prayer and the coin attested at Cairo the supremacy of Timour; and a rare gift of a giraffe, or camelopard, and nine ostriches represented at Samarcand the tribute of the African world. Our imagination is not less astonished by the portrait of a Mogul, who, in his camp before Smyrna, meditates and almost accomplishes the invasion of the Chinese empire.69 Timour was urged to this enterprise by national honour and religious zeal. The torrents which he had shed of Musulman blood could be expiated only by an equal destruction of the infidels; and, as he now stood at the gates of paradise, he might best secure his glorious entrance by demolishing the idols of China, founding moschs in every city, and establishing the profession of faith in one God and his prophet Mahomet. The recent expulsion of the house of Zingis was an insult on the Mogul Edition: current; Page: [211] name; and the disorders of the empire afforded the fairest opportunity for revenge. The illustrious Hongvou, founder of the dynasty of Ming, died four years before the battle of Angora; and his grandson, a weak and unfortunate youth, was burnt in a palace, after a million of Chinese had perished in the civil war.70 Before he evacuated Anatolia, Timour despatched beyond the Sihoon a numerous army, or rather colony, of his old and new subjects, to open the road, to subdue the Pagan Calmucks and Mungals, and to found cities and magazines in the desert; and, by the diligence of his lieutenant, he soon received a perfect map and description of the unknown regions from the source of the Irtish to the wall of China. During these preparations, the emperor achieved the final conquest of Georgia; passed the winter on the banks of the Araxes; appeased the troubles of Persia; and slowly returned to his capital, after a campaign of four years and nine months.

On the throne of Samarcand,71 he displayed, in a short repose, his magnificence and power; listened to the complaints of the people; distributed a just measure of rewards and punishments; employed his riches in the architecture of palaces and temples; and gave audience to the ambassadors of Egypt, Arabia, India, Tartary, Russia, and Spain, the last of whom presented a suit of tapestry which eclipsed the pencil of the Oriental artists. The marriage of six of the emperor’s grandsons was esteemed an act of religion as well as of paternal tenderness; and the pomp of the ancient caliphs was revived in their nuptials. They were celebrated in the gardens of Canighul, decorated with innumerable tents and pavilions, which displayed the luxury of a great city and the Edition: current; Page: [212] spoils of a victorious camp. Whole forests were cut down to supply fuel for the kitchens; the plain was spread with pyramids of meat and vases of every liquor, to which thousands of guests were courteously invited. The orders of the state and the nations of the earth were marshalled at the royal banquet; nor were the ambassadors of Europe (says the haughty Persian) excluded from the feast; since even the casses, the smallest of fish, find their place in the ocean.72 The public joy was testified by illuminations and masquerades; the trades of Samarcand passed in review; and every trade was emulous to execute some quaint device, some marvellous pageant, with the materials of their peculiar art. After the marriage-contracts had been ratified by the cadhis, the bridegrooms and their brides retired to their nuptial chambers; nine times, according to the Asiatic fashion, they were dressed and undressed; and at each change of apparel pearls and rubies were showered on their heads, and contemptuously abandoned to their attendants. A general indulgence was proclaimed; every law was relaxed, every pleasure was allowed; the people was free, the sovereign was idle; and the historian of Timour may remark that, after devoting fifty years to the attainment of empire, the only happy period of his life were the two months in which he ceased to exercise his power. But he was soon awakened to the cares of government and war. The standard was unfurled for the invasion of China: the emirs made their report of two hundred thousand, the select and veteran soldiers of Edition: current; Page: [213] Iran and Turan; their baggage and provisions were transported by five hundred great waggons, and an immense train of horses and camels; and the troops might prepare for a long absence, since more than six months were employed in the tranquil journey of a caravan from Samarcand to Pekin. Neither age nor the severity of the winter could retard the impatience of Timour; he mounted on horseback, passed the Sihoon on the ice, marched seventy-six parasangs, three hundred miles, from his capital, and pitched his last camp in the neighbourhood of Otrar, where he was expected by the angel of death. Fatigue, and the indiscreet use of iced water, accelerated the progress of his fever; and the conqueror of Asia expired in the seventieth year of his age, thirty-five years after he had ascended the throne of Zagati. His designs were lost; his armies were disbanded; China was saved; and, fourteen years after his decease, the most powerful of his children sent an embassy of friendship and commerce to the court of Pekin.73

The fame of Timour has pervaded the East and West; his posterity is still invested with the Imperial title; and the admiration of his subjects, who revered him almost as a deity, may be justified in some degree by the praise or confession of his bitterest enemies.74 Although he was lame of Edition: current; Page: [214] an hand and foot, his form and stature were not unworthy of his rank; and his vigorous health, so essential to himself and to the world, was corroborated by temperance and exercise. In his familiar discourse he was grave and modest, and, if he was ignorant of the Arabic language, he spoke with fluency and elegance the Persian and Turkish idioms. It was his delight to converse with the learned on topics of history and science; and the amusement of his leisure hours was the game of chess, which he improved or corrupted with new refinements.75 In his religion, he was a zealous, though not perhaps an orthodox, Musulman;76 but his sound understanding may tempt us to believe that a superstitious reverence for omens and prophecies, for saints and astrologers, was only affected as an instrument of policy. In the government of a vast empire, he stood alone and absolute, without a rebel to oppose his power, a favourite to seduce his affections, or a minister to mislead his judgment. It was his firmest maxim that, whatever might be the consequence, the word of the prince should never be disputed or recalled; but his foes Edition: current; Page: [215] have maliciously observed that the commands of anger and destruction were more strictly executed than those of beneficence and favour. His sons and grandsons, of whom Timour left six-and-thirty at his decease, were his first and most submissive subjects; and, whenever they deviated from their duty, they were corrected, according to the laws of Zingis, with the bastonade, and afterwards restored to honour and command. Perhaps his heart was not devoid of the social virtues; perhaps he was not incapable of loving his friends and pardoning his enemies; but the rules of morality are founded on the public interest; and it may be sufficient to applaud the wisdom of a monarch, for the liberality by which he is not impoverished, and for the justice by which he is strengthened and enriched. To maintain the harmony of authority and obedience, to chastise the proud, to protect the weak, to reward the deserving, to banish vice and idleness from his dominions, to secure the traveller and merchant, to restrain the depredations of the soldier, to cherish the labours of the husbandman, to encourage industry and learning, and, by an equal and modern assessment, to increase the revenue without increasing the taxes, are indeed the duties of a prince; but, in the discharge of these duties, he finds an ample and immediate recompense. Timour might boast that, at his accession to the throne, Asia was the prey of anarchy and rapine, whilst under his prosperous monarchy, a child, fearless and unhurt, might carry a purse of gold from the East to the West. Such was his confidence of merit that from this reformation he derived excuse for his victories and a title to universal dominion. The four following observations will serve to appreciate his claim to the public gratitude; and perhaps we shall conclude that the Mogul emperor was rather the scourge than the benefactor of mankind. 1. If some partial disorders, some local oppressions, were healed by the sword of Timour, the remedy was far more pernicious than the disease. By their rapine, cruelty, and discord, the petty tyrants of Persia might afflict their subjects; but whole Edition: current; Page: [216] nations were crushed under the footsteps of the reformer. The ground which had been occupied by flourishing cities was often marked by his abominable trophies, by columns or pyramids of human heads. Astracan, Carizme, Delhi, Ispahan, Bagdad, Aleppo, Damascus, Boursa, Smyrna, and a thousand others were sacked, or burnt, or utterly destroyed, in his presence, and by his troops; and perhaps his conscience would have been startled if a priest or philosopher had dared to number the millions of victims whom he had sacrificed to the establishment of peace and order.77 2. His most destructive wars were rather inroads than conquests. He invaded Turkestan, Kipzak, Russia, Hindostan, Syria, Anatolia, Armenia, and Georgia, without a hope or a desire of preserving those distant provinces. From thence he departed, laden with spoil; but he left behind him neither troops to awe the contumacious, nor magistrates to protect the obedient, natives. When he had broken the fabric of their ancient government, he abandoned them to the evils which his invasion had aggravated or caused; nor were these evils compensated by any present or possible benefits. 3. The kingdoms of Transoxiana and Persia were the proper field which he laboured to cultivate and adorn as the perpetual inheritance of his family. But his peaceful labours were often interrupted, and sometimes blasted, by the absence of the conqueror. While he triumphed on the Volga or the Ganges, his servants, and even his sons, forgot their master and their duty. The public and private injuries were poorly redressed by the tardy rigour of inquiry and punishment; and we must be content to praise the Institutions of Timour, as the specious Edition: current; Page: [217] idea of a perfect monarchy. 4. Whatsoever might be the blessings of his administration, they evaporated with his life. To reign, rather than to govern, was the ambition of his children and grandchildren,78 the enemies of each other and of the people. A fragment of the empire was upheld with some glory by Sharokh, his youngest son; but after his decease, the scene was again involved in darkness and blood; and before the end of a century Transoxiana and Persia were trampled by the Uzbeks from the North, and the Turkmans of the black and white sheep. The race of Timour would have been extinct, if an hero, his descendant in the fifth degree, had not fled before the Uzbek arms to the conquest of Hindostan. His successors (the Great Moguls79) extended their sway from the mountains of Cashmir to Cape Comorin, and from Candahar to the Gulf of Bengal. Since the reign of Aurungzebe, their empire has been dissolved; their treasures of Delhi have been rifled by a Persian robber; and the riches of their kingdoms is now possessed by a company of Christian merchants, of a remote island in the Northern Ocean.

Far different was the fate of the Ottoman monarchy. The massy trunk was bent to the ground, but no sooner did the hurricane pass away than it again rose with fresh vigour and more lively vegetation. When Timour, in every sense, had evacuated Anatolia, he left the cities without a palace, a treasure, or a king. The open country was overspread with hordes of shepherds and robbers of Tartar or Turkman origin; the recent conquests of Bajazet were restored to the emirs, one of whom, in base revenge, demolished his sepulchre; and Edition: current; Page: [218] his five sons were eager, by civil discord, to consume the remnant of their patrimony. I shall enumerate their names in the order of their age and actions.80 1. It is doubtful, whether I relate the story of the true Mustapha, or of an impostor who personated that lost prince.81 He fought by his father’s side in the battle of Angora; but, when the captive sultan was permitted to inquire for his children, Mousa alone could be found; and the Turkish historians, the slaves of the triumphant faction, are persuaded that his brother was confounded among the slain. If Mustapha escaped from that disastrous field, he was concealed twelve years from his friends and enemies, till he emerged in Thessaly and was hailed by a numerous party as the son and successor of Bajazet. His first defeat would have been his last, had not the true, or false, Mustapha been saved by the Greeks and restored, after the decease of his brother Mahomet, to liberty and empire. A degenerate mind seemed to argue his spurious birth; and, if, on the throne of Hadrianople, he was adored as the Ottoman sultan, his flight, his fetters, and an ignominious gibbet delivered the impostor to popular contempt. A similar character and claim was asserted by several rival pretenders; thirty persons are said to have suffered under the name of Mustapha; and these frequent executions may perhaps insinuate that the Turkish court was not perfectly secure of the death of the lawful prince. 2. After his father’s captivity, Isa82 reigned for some time in the neighbourhood of Edition: current; Page: [219] Angora, Sinope, and the Black Sea; and his ambassadors were dismissed from the presence of Timour with fair promises and honourable gifts. But their master was soon deprived of his province and life by a jealous brother, the sovereign of Amasia; and the final event83 suggested a pious allusion that the law of Moses and Jesus, of Isa and Mousa, had been abrogated by the greater Mahomet. 3. Soliman is not numbered in the list of the Turkish emperors; yet he checked the victorious progress of the Moguls, and after their departure united for a while the thrones of Hadrianople and Boursa. In war, he was brave, active, and fortunate; his courage was softened by clemency; but it was likewise inflamed by presumption, and corrupted by intemperance and idleness. He relaxed the nerves of discipline in a government where either the subject or the sovereign must continually tremble; his vices alienated the chiefs of the army and the law; and his daily drunkenness, so contemptible in a prince and a man, was doubly odious in a disciple of the prophet. In the slumber of intoxication, he was surprised by his brother Mousa; and, as he fled from Hadrianople towards the Byzantine capital, Soliman was overtaken and slain in a bath, after a reign of seven years and ten months. 4. The investiture of Mousa degraded him as the slave of the Moguls; his tributary kingdom of Anatolia was confined within a narrow limit, nor could his broken militia and empty treasury contend with the hardy and veteran bands of the sovereign of Romania. Mousa fled in disguise from the palace of Boursa; traversed the Propontis in an open boat; wandered over the Walachian and Servian hills; and, after some vain attempts, ascended the throne of Hadrianople, so recently stained with the blood of Soliman. In a reign of three years and a half, his troops were victorious against the Christians of Hungary and the Morea; but Mousa was ruined by his timorous disposition Edition: current; Page: [220] and unseasonable clemency. After resigning the sovereignty of Anatolia, he fell a victim to the perfidy of his ministers and the superior ascendant of his brother Mahomet. 5. The final victory of Mahomet was the just recompense of his prudence and moderation. Before his father’s captivity, the royal youth had been entrusted with the government of Amasia, thirty days’ journey from Constantinople and the Turkish frontier against the Christians of Trebizond and Georgia. The castle, in Asiatic warfare, was esteemed impregnable; and the city of Amasia,84 which is equally divided by the river Iris, rises on either side in the form of an amphitheatre, and represents, on a smaller scale, the image of Bagdad. In his rapid career, Timour appears to have overlooked this obscure and contumacious angle of Anatolia; and Mahomet, without provoking the conqueror, maintained his silent independence, and chased from the province the last stragglers of the Tartar host. He relieved himself from the dangerous neighbourhood of Isa; but in the contests of their more powerful brethren his firm neutrality was respected; till, after the triumph of Mousa, he stood forth the heir and avenger of the unfortunate Soliman. Mahomet obtained Anatolia by treaty and Romania by arms; and the soldier who presented him with the head of Mousa was rewarded as the benefactor of his king and country. The eight years of his sole and peaceful reign were usefully employed in banishing the vices of civil discord, and restoring, on a firmer basis, the fabric of the Ottoman monarchy.85 His last care was the choice of two vizirs, Bajazet and Ibrahim,86 who might guide the youth of his son Amurath; and such was their Edition: current; Page: [221] union and prudence that they concealed, above forty days, the emperor’s death, till the arrival of his successor in the palace of Boursa. A new war was kindled in Europe by the prince, or impostor, Mustapha; the first vizir lost his army and his head; but the more fortunate Ibrahim, whose name and family are still revered, extinguished the last pretender to the throne of Bajazet, and closed the scene of domestic hostility.

In these conflicts, the wisest Turks, and indeed the body of the nation, were strongly attached to the unity of the empire; and Romania and Anatolia, so often torn asunder by private ambition, were animated by a strong and invincible tendency of cohesion. Their efforts might have instructed the Christian powers; and, had they occupied, with a confederate fleet, the straits of Gallipoli, the Ottomans, at least in Europe, must have been speedily annihilated. But the schism of the West, and the factions and wars of France and England, diverted the Latins from this generous enterprise; they enjoyed the present respite without a thought of futurity; and were often tempted by a momentary interest to serve the common enemy of their religion. A colony of Genoese,87 which had been planted at Phocæa88 on the Ionian coast, was enriched by the lucrative monopoly of alum;89 and their tranquillity, Edition: current; Page: [222] under the Turkish empire, was secured by the annual payment of tribute. In the last civil war of the Ottomans, the Genoese governor, Adorno, a bold and ambitious youth, embraced the party of Amurath; and undertook, with seven stout galleys, to transport him from Asia to Europe. The sultan and five hundred guards embarked on board the admiral’s ship, which was manned by eight hundred of the bravest Franks. His life and liberty were in their hands; nor can we, without reluctance, applaud the fidelity of Adorno, who, in the midst of the passage, knelt before him, and gratefully accepted a discharge of his arrears of tribute. They landed in sight of Mustapha and Gallipoli; two thousand Italians, armed with lances and battle-axes, attended Amurath to the conquest of Hadrianople; and this venal service was soon repaid by the ruin of the commerce and colony of Phocæa.

If Timour had generously marched at the request, and to the relief of, the Greek emperor, he might be entitled to the praise and gratitude of the Christians.90 But a Musulman, who carried into Georgia the sword of persecution, and respected the holy warfare of Bajazet, was not disposed to pity or succour the idolaters of Europe. The Tartar followed the impulse of ambition; and the deliverance of Constantinople was the accidental consequence. When Manuel abdicated the government, it was his prayer, rather than his hope, that the ruin of the church and state might be delayed beyond his unhappy days; and, after his return from a Western pilgrimage, he expected every hour the news of the sad catastrophe. On a sudden, he was astonished and rejoiced by the intelligence Edition: current; Page: [223] of the retreat, the overthrow, and the captivity of the Ottoman. Manuel91 immediately sailed from Modon in the Morea; ascended the throne of Constantinople; and dismissed his blind competitor to an easy exile in the isle of Lesbos. The ambassadors of the son of Bajazet were soon introduced to his presence; but their pride was fallen, their tone was modest; they were awed by the just apprehension lest the Greeks should open to the Moguls the gates of Europe. Soliman saluted the emperor by the name of father; solicited at his hands the government or gift of Romania; and promised to deserve his favour by inviolable friendship, and the restitution of Thessalonica, with the most important places along the Strymon, the Propontis, and the Black Sea. The alliance of Soliman exposed the emperor to the enmity and revenge of Mousa. The Turks appeared in arms before the gates of Constantinople; but they were repulsed by sea and land; and, unless the city was guarded by some foreign mercenaries, the Greeks must have wondered at their own triumph. But, instead of prolonging the division of the Ottoman powers, the policy or passion of Manuel was tempted to assist the most formidable of the sons of Bajazet. He concluded a treaty with Mahomet, whose progress was checked by the insuperable barrier of Gallipoli: the sultan and his troops were transported over the Bosphorus; he was hospitably entertained in the capital; and his successful sally was the first step to the conquest of Romania. The ruin was suspended by the prudence and moderation of the conqueror; he faithfully discharged his own obligations, and those of Soliman; respected the laws of gratitude and peace; and left the emperor guardian of his two younger sons, in the vain hope of saving them from the jealous cruelty of their brother Amurath. But the execution of his last testament would have Edition: current; Page: [224] offended the national honour and religion; and the divan unanimously pronounced that the royal youths should never be abandoned to the custody and education of a Christian dog. On this refusal, the Byzantine councils were divided; but the age and caution of Manuel yielded to the presumption of his son John; and they unsheathed a dangerous weapon of revenge, by dismissing the true or false Mustapha, who had long been detained as a captive and hostage, and for whose maintenance they received an annual pension of three hundred thousand aspers.92 At the door of his prison, Mustapha subscribed to every proposal; and the keys of Gallipoli, or rather of Europe, were stipulated as the price of his deliverance. But no sooner was he seated on the throne of Romania than he dismissed the Greek ambassadors with a smile of contempt, declaring, in a pious tone, that, at the day of judgment, he would rather answer for the violation of an oath than for the surrender of a Musulman city into the hands of the infidels. The emperor was at once the enemy of the two rivals; from whom he had sustained, and to whom he had offered, an injury; and the victory of Amurath was followed, in the ensuing spring, by the siege of Constantinople.93

The religious merit of subduing the city of the Cæsars attracted from Asia a crowd of volunteers, who aspired to the crown of martyrdom. Their military ardour was inflamed Edition: current; Page: [225] by the promise of rich spoils and beautiful females; and the sultan’s ambition was consecrated by the presence and prediction of Seid Bechar, a descendant of the prophet,94 who arrived in the camp, on a mule, with a venerable train of five hundred disciples. But he might blush, if a fanatic could blush, at the failure of his assurances. The strength of the walls resisted an army of two hundred thousand Turks;95 their assaults were repelled by the sallies of the Greeks and their foreign mercenaries; the old resources of defence were opposed to the new engines of attack; and the enthusiasm of the dervish, who was snatched to heaven in visionary converse with Mahomet, was answered by the credulity of the Christians, who beheld the Virgin Mary, in a violet garment, walking on the rampart and animating their courage.96 After a siege of two months, Amurath was recalled to Boursa by a domestic revolt, which had been kindled by Greek treachery, and was soon extinguished by the death of a guiltless brother. While he led his Janizaries to new conquests in Europe and Asia, the Byzantine empire was indulged in a servile and precarious respite of thirty years. Manuel sank into the grave; and John Palæologus was permitted to reign, for an annual tribute of three hundred thousand aspers, and the dereliction of almost all that he held beyond the suburbs of Constantinople.

In the establishment and restoration of the Turkish empire, the first merit must doubtless be assigned to the personal Edition: current; Page: [226] qualities of the sultants; since, in human life, the most important scenes will depend on the character of a single actor. By some shades of wisdom and virtue they may be discriminated from each other; but, except in a single instance, a period of nine reigns and two hundred and sixty-five years is occupied from the elevation of Othman to the death of Soliman, by a rare series of warlike and active princes, who impressed their subjects with obedience and their enemies with terror. Instead of the slothful luxury of the seraglio, the heirs of royalty were educated in the council and the field; from early youth they were entrusted by their fathers with the command of provinces and armies; and this manly institution, which was often productive of civil war, must have essentially contributed to the discipline and vigour of the monarchy. The Ottomans cannot style themselves, like the Arabian caliphs, the descendants or successors of the apostle of God; and the kindred which they claim with the Tartar khans of the house of Zingis appears to be founded in flattery rather than in truth.97 Their origin is obscure; but their sacred and indefeasible right, which no time can erase and no violence can infringe, was soon and unalterably implanted in the minds of their subjects. A weak or vicious sultan may be deposed and strangled; but his inheritance devolves to an infant or an idiot; nor has the most daring rebel presumed to ascend the throne of his lawful sovereign.98 While the transient dynasties of Asia have been continually subverted by a crafty vizir in the palace or a victorious general in the Edition: current; Page: [227] camp, the Ottoman succession has been confirmed by the practice of five centuries, and is now incorporated with the vital principle of the Turkish nation.

To the spirit and constitution of that nation a strong and singular influence may, however, be ascribed. The primitive subjects of Othman were the four hundred families of wandering Turkmans, who had followed his ancestors from the Oxus to the Sangar; and the plains of Anatolia are still covered with the white and black tents of their rustic brethren. But this original drop was dissolved in the mass of voluntary and vanquished subjects who, under the name of Turks, are united by the common ties of religion, language, and manners. In the cities, from Erzeroum to Belgrade, that national appellation is common to all the Moslems, the first and most honourable inhabitants; but they have abandoned, at least in Romania, the villages and the cultivation of the land to the Christian peasants. In the vigorous age of the Ottoman government, the Turks were themselves excluded from all civil and military honours; and a servile class, an artificial people, was raised by the discipline of education to obey, to conquer, and to command.99 From the time of Orchan and the first Amurath, the sultans were persuaded that a government of the sword must be renewed in each generation with new soldiers; and that such soldiers must be sought, not in effeminate Asia, but among the hardy and warlike natives of Europe. The provinces of Thrace, Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, and Servia became the perpetual seminary of the Turkish army; and, when the royal fifth of the captives was diminished by conquest, an inhuman tax, of the fifth child, or of every fifth year, was rigorously levied on the Christian families.100 At the age of twelve or fourteen Edition: current; Page: [228] years,101 the most robust youths were torn from their parents; their names were enrolled in a book; and from that moment they were clothed, taught, and maintained for the public service. According to the promise of their appearance, they were selected for the royal schools of Boursa, Pera, and Hadrianople, entrusted to the care of the bashaws, or dispersed in the houses of the Anatolian peasantry. It was the first care of their masters to instruct them in the Turkish language; their bodies were exercised by every labour that could fortify their strength; they learned to wrestle, to leap, to run, to shoot with the bow, and afterwards with the musket; till they were drafted into the chambers and companies of the Janizaries, and severely trained in the military or monastic discipline of the order. The youths most conspicuous for birth, talents, and beauty were admitted into the inferior class of Agiamoglans, or the more liberal rank of Ichoglans, of whom the former were attached to the palace, and the latter to the person of the prince. In four successive schools, under the rod of the white eunuchs, the arts of horsemanship and of darting the javelin were their daily exercise, while those of a more studious cast applied themselves to the study of the Koran and the knowledge of the Arabic and Persian tongues. As they advanced in seniority and merit, they were gradually dismissed to military, civil, and even ecclesiastical employments; the longer their stay, the higher was their expectation; till, at a mature period, they were admitted into the number of the forty agas, who stood before the sultan, and were promoted by his choice to the government of provinces and the first honours of the empire.102 Such a mode of institution was Edition: current; Page: [229] admirably adapted to the form and spirit of a despotic monarchy. The ministers and generals were, in the strictest sense, the slaves of the emperor, to whose bounty they were indebted for their instruction and support. When they left the seraglio, and suffered their beards to grow as the symbol of enfranchisement, they found themselves in an important office, without faction or friendship, without parents and without heirs, dependent on the hand which had raised them from the dust, and which, on the slightest displeasure, could break in pieces these statues of glass, as they are aptly termed by the Turkish proverb.103 In the slow and painful steps of education, their character and talents were unfolded to a discerning eye: the man, naked and alone, was reduced to the standard of his personal merit; and, if the sovereign had wisdom to choose, he possessed a pure and boundless liberty of choice. The Ottoman candidates were trained by the virtues of abstinence to those of action; by the habits of submission, to those of command. A similar spirit was diffused among the troops; and their silence and sobriety, their patience and modesty, have extorted the reluctant praise of their Christian enemies.104 Nor can the victory appear doubtful, if we compare the discipline and exercise of the Janizaries with the pride of birth, the independence of chivalry, the ignorance of the new levies, the mutinous temper of the veterans, and the vices of intemperance and disorder which so long contaminated the armies of Europe.

Edition: current; Page: [230]

The only hope of salvation for the Greek empire and the adjacent kingdoms would have been some more powerful weapon, some discovery in the art of war, that should give them a decisive superiority over their Turkish foes. Such a weapon was in their hands; such a discovery had been made in the critical moment of their fate. The chymists of China or Europe had found, by casual or elaborate experiments, that a mixture of saltpetre, sulphur, and charcoal produces, with a spark of fire, a tremendous explosion. It was soon observed that, if the expansive force were compressed in a strong tube, a ball of stone or iron might be expelled with irresistible and destructive velocity. The precise era of the invention and application of gunpowder105 is involved in doubtful traditions and equivocal language; yet we may clearly discern that it was known before the middle of the fourteenth century; and that, before the end of the same, the use of artillery in battles and sieges, by sea and land, was familiar to the states of Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and England.106 The priority of nations is of small account; none could derive any exclusive benefit from their previous or superior knowledge; and in the common improvement they stood on the same level of relative power and military science. Nor was it possible to circumscribe the secret within the pale of the church; it was disclosed to the Edition: current; Page: [231] Turks by the treachery of apostates and the selfish policy of rivals; and the sultans had sense to adopt, and wealth to reward, the talents of a Christian engineer. The Genoese who transported Amurath into Europe must be accused as his preceptors; and it was probably by their hands that his cannon was cast and directed at the siege of Constantinople.107 The first attempt was indeed unsuccessful; but in the general warfare of the age the advantage was on their side who were most commonly the assailants; for a while the proportion of the attack and defence was suspended; and this thundering artillery was pointed against the walls and turrets which had been erected only to resist the less potent engines of antiquity. By the Venetians, the use of gunpowder was communicated without reproach to the sultans of Egypt and Persia, their allies against the Ottoman power. The secret was soon propagated to the extremities of Asia; and the advantage of the European was confined to his easy victories over the savages of the new world. If we contrast the rapid progress of this mischievous discovery with the slow and laborious advances of reason, science, and the arts of peace, a philosopher, according to his temper, will laugh or weep at the folly of mankind.

Edition: current; Page: [232]

CHAPTER LXVI

Applications of the Eastern Emperors to the Popes — Visits to the West, of John the First, Manuel, and John the Second, Palæologus — Union of the Greek and Latin Churches, promoted by the Council of Basil, and concluded at Ferrara and Florence — State of Literature at Constantinople — Its Revival in Italy by the Greek Fugitives — Curiosity and Emulation of the Latins

In the four last centuries of the Greek emperors, their friendly or hostile aspect towards the pope and the Latins may be observed as the thermometer of their prosperity or distress, as the scale of the rise and fall of the Barbarian dynasties.1 When the Turks of the house of Seljuk pervaded Asia and threatened Constantinople, we have seen at the council of Placentia the suppliant ambassadors of Alexius imploring the protection of the common father of the Christians. No sooner had the arms of the French pilgrims removed the sultan from Nice to Iconium than the Greek princes resumed, or avowed, their genuine hatred and contempt for the schismatics of the West, which precipitated the first downfall of their empire. The date of the Mogul invasion is marked in the soft and charitable language of John Vataces. After the recovery of Constantinople, the throne Edition: current; Page: [233] of the first Palæologus was encompassed by foreign and domestic enemies; as long as the sword of Charles was suspended over his head, he basely courted the favour of the Roman pontiff, and sacrificed to the present danger his faith, his virtue, and the affection of his subjects. On the decease of Michael, the prince and people asserted the independence of their church and the purity of their creed; the elder Andronicus neither feared nor loved the Latins; in his last distress, pride was the safeguard of superstition; nor could he decently retract in his age the firm and orthodox declarations of his youth. His grandson, the younger Andronicus, was less a slave in his temper and situation; and the conquest of Bithynia by the Turks admonished him to seek a temporal and spiritual alliance with the Western princes. After a separation and silence of fifty years, a secret agent, the monk Barlaam, was despatched to Pope Benedict the Twelfth; and his artful instructions appear to have been drawn by the master-hand of the great domestic.2 “Most holy father,” was he commissioned to say, “the emperor is not less desirous than yourself of an union between the two churches; but in this delicate transaction he is obliged to respect his own dignity and the prejudices of his subjects. The ways of union are twofold, force and persuasion. Of force, the inefficacy has been already tried; since the Latins have subdued the empire, without subduing the minds, of the Greeks. The method of persuasion, though slow, is sure and permanent. A deputation of thirty or forty of our doctors would probably agree with those of the Vatican, in the love of truth and the unity of belief; but on their return, what would be the use, the recompense, of such agreement? the Edition: current; Page: [234] scorn of their brethren, and the reproaches of a blind and obstinate nation. Yet that nation is accustomed to reverence the general councils which have fixed the articles of our faith; and, if they reprobate the decrees of Lyons, it is because the Eastern churches were neither heard nor represented in that arbitrary meeting. For this salutary end it will be expedient, and even necessary, that a well-chosen legate should be sent into Greece, to convene the patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, and, with their aid, to prepare a free and universal synod. But at this moment,” continued the subtle agent, “the empire is assaulted and endangered by the Turks, who have occupied four of the greatest cities of Anatolia. The Christian inhabitants have expressed a wish of returning to their allegiance and religion; but the forces and revenues of the emperor are insufficient for their deliverance; and the Roman legate must be accompanied, or preceded, by an army of Franks, to expel the infidels and open a way to the holy sepulchre.” If the suspicious Latins should require some pledge, some previous effect of the sincerity of the Greeks, the answers of Barlaam were perspicuous and rational. “1. A general synod can alone consummate the union of the churches: nor can such a synod be held till the three Oriental patriarchs, and a great number of bishops, are enfranchised from the Mahometan yoke. 2. The Greeks are alienated by a long series of oppression and injury: they must be reconciled by some act of brotherly love, some effectual succour, which may fortify the authority and arguments of the emperor and the friends of the union. 3. If some difference of faith or ceremonies should be found incurable, the Greeks, however, are the disciples of Christ, and the Turks are the common enemies of the Christian name. The Armenians, Cyprians, and Rhodians are equally attacked; and it will become the piety of the French princes to draw their swords in the general defence of religion. 4. Should the subjects of Andronicus be treated as the worst of schismatics, of heretics, of pagans, Edition: current; Page: [235] a judicious policy may yet instruct the powers of the West to embrace an useful ally, to uphold a sinking empire, to guard the confines of Europe; and rather to join the Greeks against the Turks than to expect the union of the Turkish arms with the troops and treasures of captive Greece.” The reasons, the offers, and the demands of Andronicus were eluded with cold and stately indifference. The kings of France and Naples declined the dangers and glory of a crusade: the pope refused to call a new synod to determine old articles of faith; and his regard for the obsolete claims of the Latin emperor and clergy engaged him to use an offensive superscription: “To the moderator3 of the Greeks, and the persons who style themselves the patriarchs of the Eastern churches.” For such an embassy, a time and character less propitious could not easily have been found. Benedict the Twelfth4 was a dull peasant, perplexed with scruples, and immersed in sloth and wine; his pride might enrich with a third crown the papal tiara, but he was alike unfit for the regal and the pastoral office.

After the decease of Andronicus, while the Greeks were distracted by intestine war, they could not presume to agitate a general union of the Christians. But, as soon as Cantacuzene had subdued and pardoned his enemies, he was anxious to justify, or at least to extenuate, the introduction of the Turks into Europe and the nuptials of his daughter with a Edition: current; Page: [236] Musulman prince. Two officers of state, with a Latin interpreter, were sent in his name to the Roman court, which was transplanted to Avignon, on the banks of the Rhone, during a period of seventy years; they represented the hard necessity which had urged him to embrace the alliance of the miscreants, and pronounced by his command the specious and edifying sounds of union and crusade. Pope Clement the Sixth,5 the successor of Benedict, received them with hospitality and honour, acknowledged the innocence of their sovereign, excused his distress, applauded his magnanimity, and displayed a clear knowledge of the state and revolutions of the Greek empire, which he had imbibed from the honest accounts of a Savoyard lady, an attendant of the empress Anne.6 If Clement was ill endowed with the virtues of a priest, he possessed, however, the spirit and magnificence of a prince, whose liberal hand distributed benefices and kingdoms with equal facility. Under his reign, Avignon was the seat of pomp and pleasure; in his youth he had surpassed the licentiousness of a baron; and the palace, nay, the bedchamber, of the pope was adorned, or polluted, by the visits of his female favourites. The wars of France and England were adverse to the holy enterprise; but his vanity was amused by the splendid idea; and the Greek ambassadors returned with two Latin bishops, the ministers of the pontiff. On their arrival at Constantinople, the emperor and the nuncios admired each other’s piety and eloquence; and their frequent conferences were filled with mutual praises and promises, Edition: current; Page: [237] by which both parties were amused and neither could be deceived. “I am delighted,” said the devout Cantacuzene, “with the project of our holy war, which must redound to my personal glory as well as to the public benefit of Christendom. My dominions will give a free passage to the armies of France: my troops, my galleys, my treasures, shall be consecrated to the common cause; and happy would be my fate, could I deserve and obtain the crown of martyrdom. Words are insufficient to express the ardour with which I sigh for the re-union of the scattered members of Christ. If my death could avail, I would gladly present my sword and my neck; if the spiritual phœnix could arise from my ashes, I would erect the pile and kindle the flame with my own hands.” Yet the Greek emperor presumed to observe that the articles of faith which divided the two churches had been introduced by the pride and precipitation of the Latins: he disclaimed the servile and arbitrary steps of the first Palæologus; and firmly declared that he would never submit his conscience, unless to the decrees of a free and universal synod. “The situation of the times,” continued he, “will not allow the pope and myself to meet either at Rome or Constantinople; but some maritime city may be chosen on the verge of the two empires, to unite the bishops, and to instruct the faithful, of the East and West.” The nuncios seemed content with the proposition; and Cantacuzene affects to deplore the failure of his hopes, which were soon overthrown by the death of Clement and the different temper of his successor. His own life was prolonged, but it was prolonged in a cloister; and, except by his prayers, the humble monk was incapable of directing the counsels of his pupil or the state.7

Yet, of all the Byzantine princes, that pupil, John Palæologus, Edition: current; Page: [238] was the best disposed to embrace, to believe, and to obey the shepherd of the West. His mother, Anne of Savoy, was baptised in the bosom of the Latin church: her marriage with Andronicus imposed a change of name, of apparel, and of worship; but her heart was still faithful to her country and religion; she had formed the infancy of her son, and she governed the emperor, after his mind, or at least his stature, was enlarged to the size of man. In the first year of his deliverance and restoration, the Turks were still masters of the Hellespont; the son of Cantacuzene was in arms at Hadrianople; and Palæologus could depend neither on himself nor on his people. By his mother’s advice, and in the hope of foreign aid, he abjured the rights both of the church and state; and the act of slavery,8 subscribed in purple ink and sealed with the golden bull, was privately entrusted to an Italian agent. The first article of the treaty is an oath of fidelity and obedience to Innocent the Sixth and his successors, the supreme pontiffs of the Roman and Catholic church. The emperor promises to entertain, with due reverence, their legates and nuncios; to assign a palace for their residence, and a temple for their worship; and to deliver his second son Manuel as the hostage of his faith. For these condescensions, he requires a prompt succour of fifteen galleys, with five hundred men at arms and a thousand archers, to serve against his Christian and Musulman enemies. Palæologus engages to impose on his clergy and people the same spiritual yoke; but, as the resistance of the Greeks might be justly foreseen, he adopts the two effectual methods of corruption and education. The legate was empowered to distribute the vacant benefices among the ecclesiastics who should subscribe the creed of the Vatican; three schools were instituted to instruct the youth of Constantinople in the language and Edition: current; Page: [239] doctrine of the Latins; and the name of Andronicus, the heir of the empire, was enrolled as the first student. Should he fail in the measures of persuasion or force, Palæologus declares himself unworthy to reign; transfers to the pope all regal and paternal authority; and invests Innocent with full power to regulate the family, the government, and the marriage of his son and successor. But this treaty was neither executed nor published. The Roman galleys were as vain and imaginary as the submission of the Greeks; and it was only by the secrecy, that their sovereign escaped the dishonour, of this fruitless humiliation.

The tempest of the Turkish arms soon burst on his head; and, after the loss of Hadrianople and Romania, he was enclosed in his capital, the vassal of the haughty Amurath, with the miserable hope of being the last devoured by the savage. In this abject state, Palæologus embraced the resolution of embarking for Venice and casting himself at the feet of the pope. He was the first of the Byzantine princes who had ever visited the unknown regions of the West, yet in them alone he could seek consolation or relief; and with less violation of his dignity he might appear in the sacred college than at the Ottoman Porte. After a long absence, the Roman pontiffs were returning from Avignon to the banks of the Tiber; Urban the Fifth,9 of a mild and virtuous character, encouraged or allowed the pilgrimage of the Greek prince; and, within the same year, enjoyed the glory of receiving in the Vatican the two Imperial shadows who represented the majesty of Constantine and Charlemagne. In this suppliant visit, the emperor of Constantinople, whose vanity was lost in his distress, gave more than could be expected of empty sounds and formal submissions. A previous trial was imposed; Edition: current; Page: [240] and, in the presence of four cardinals, he acknowledged, as a true Catholic, the supremacy of the pope and the double procession of the Holy Ghost. After this purification, he was introduced to a public audience in the church of St. Peter: Urban, in the midst of the cardinals, was seated on his throne; the Greek monarch, after three genuflexions, devoutly kissed the feet, the hands, and at length the mouth of the holy father, who celebrated high mass in his presence, allowed him to lead the bridle of his mule, and treated him with a sumptuous banquet in the Vatican. The entertainment of Palæologus was friendly and honourable; yet some difference was observed between the emperors of the East and West;10 nor could the former be entitled to the rare privilege of chanting the gospel in the rank of a deacon.11 In favour of his proselyte Urban strove to rekindle the zeal of the French king and the other powers of the West; but he found them cold in the general cause and active only in their domestic quarrels. The last hope of the emperor was in an English mercenary, John Hawkwood,12 or Acuto, who, with a band of adventurers, the White Brotherhood, had ravaged Italy from the Alps to Calabria; sold his services to the hostile states; and incurred a just excommunication by shooting his Edition: current; Page: [241] arrows against the papal residence. A special licence was granted to negotiate with the outlaw; but the forces, or the spirit, of Hawkwood were unequal to the enterprise; and it was for the advantage perhaps of Palæologus to be disappointed of a succour that must have been costly, that could not be effectual, and which might have been dangerous.13 The disconsolate Greek14 prepared for his return, but even his return was impeded by a most ignominious obstacle. On his arrival at Venice, he had borrowed large sums at exorbitant usury; but his coffers were empty, his creditors were impatient, and his person was detained as the best security for the payment. His eldest son Andronicus, the regent of Constantinople, was repeatedly urged to exhaust every resource, and, even by stripping the churches, to extricate his father from captivity and disgrace. But the unnatural youth was insensible of the disgrace, and secretly pleased with the captivity of the emperor; the state was poor, the clergy was obstinate; nor could some religious scruple be wanting to excuse the guilt of his indifference and delay. Such undutiful neglect was severely reproved by the piety of his brother Manuel, who instantly sold or mortgaged all that he possessed, embarked for Venice, relieved his father, and pledged his own freedom to be responsible for the debt. On his return to Constantinople, the parent and king distinguished his two sons with suitable rewards; but the faith and manners of the slothful Palæologus had not been improved by his Roman pilgrimage; and his apostacy or conversion, Edition: current; Page: [242] devoid of any spiritual or temporal effects, was speedily forgotten by the Greeks and Latins.15

Thirty years after the return of Palæologus, his son and successor, Manuel, from a similar motive, but on a larger scale, again visited the countries of the West. In a preceding chapter, I have related his treaty with Bajazet, the violation of that treaty, the siege or blockade of Constantinople, and the French succour under the command of the gallant Boucicault.16 By his ambassadors, Manuel had solicited the Latin powers; but it was thought that the presence of a distressed monarch would draw tears and supplies from the hardest Barbarians;17 and the marshal who advised the journey, prepared the reception, of the Byzantine prince. The land was occupied by the Turks; but the navigation of Venice was safe and open; Italy received him as the first, or at least as the second, of the Christian princes; Manuel was pitied as the champion and confessor of the faith; and the dignity of his behaviour prevented that pity from sinking into contempt. From Venice he proceeded to Padua and Pavia; and even the duke of Milan, a secret ally of Bajazet, gave him safe and honourable conduct to the verge of his dominions.18 On the confines of France,19 the royal officers undertook the care of his person, journey, and expenses; Edition: current; Page: [243] and two thousand of the richest citizens, in arms and on horseback, came forth to meet him as far as Charenton, in the neighbourhood of the capital. At the gates of Paris, he was saluted by the chancellor and the parliament; and Charles the Sixth, attended by his princes and nobles, welcomed his brother with a cordial embrace. The successor of Constantine was clothed in a robe of white silk and mounted on a milkwhite steed — a circumstance, in the French ceremonial, of singular importance. The white colour is considered as the symbol of sovereignty; and, in a late visit, the German emperor, after an haughty demand and a peevish refusal, had been reduced to content himself with a black courser. Manuel was lodged in the Louvre; a succession of feasts and balls, the pleasures of the banquet and the chase, were ingeniously varied by the politeness of the French, to display their magnificence and amuse his grief. He was indulged in the liberty of his chapel; and the doctors of the Sorbonne were astonished, and possibly scandalised, by the language, the rites, and the vestments of his Greek clergy. But the slightest glance on the state of the kingdom must teach him to despair of any effectual assistance. The unfortunate Charles, though he enjoyed some lucid intervals, continually relapsed into furious or stupid insanity; the reins of government were alternately seized by his brother and uncle, the dukes of Orleans and Burgundy, whose factious competition prepared the miseries of civil war. The former was a gay youth, dissolved in luxury and love; the latter was the father of John, count of Nevers, who had so lately been ransomed from Turkish captivity; and, if the fearless son was ardent to revenge his defeat, the more prudent Burgundy was content with the cost and peril of the first experiment. When Manuel had satiated the curiosity, and perhaps fatigued the patience, of the French, he resolved on a visit to the adjacent island. In his progress from Dover, he was entertained at Canterbury with due reverence by the prior and monks of St. Austin; and, on Blackheath, King Henry the Fourth, with the English Edition: current; Page: [244] court, saluted the Greek hero (I copy our old historian), who, during many days, was lodged and treated in London as Emperor of the East.20 But the state of England was still more adverse to the design of the holy war. In the same year, the hereditary sovereign had been deposed and murdered; the reigning prince was a successful usurper, whose ambition was punished by jealousy and remorse; nor could Henry of Lancaster withdraw his person or forces from the defence of a throne incessantly shaken by conspiracy and rebellion. He pitied, he praised, he feasted, the emperor of Constantinople; but, if the English monarch assumed the cross, it was only to appease his people, and perhaps his conscience, by the merit or semblance of this pious intention.21 Satisfied, however, with gifts and honours, Manuel returned to Paris; and, after a residence of two years in the West, shaped his course through Germany and Italy, embarked at Venice, and patiently expected, in the Morea, the moment of his ruin or deliverance. Yet he had escaped the ignominious necessity of offering his religion to public or private sale. The Latin church was distracted by the great schism; the kings, the nations, the universities, of Europe were divided in their obedience between the popes of Rome and Avignon; and the emperor, anxious to conciliate the friendship of both parties, abstained from any correspondence with the indigent and unpopular rivals. His journey coincided with the year of the jubilee; but he passed through Italy without desiring or deserving the plenary indulgence which abolished the guilt or penance of the sins Edition: current; Page: [245] of the faithful. The Roman pope was offended by this neglect; accused him of irreverence to an image of Christ; and exhorted the princes of Italy to reject and abandon the obstinate schismatic.22

During the period of the crusades, the Greeks beheld, with astonishment and terror, the perpetual stream of emigration that flowed, and continued to flow, from the unknown climates of the West. The visits of their last emperors removed the veil of separation, and they disclosed to their eyes the powerful nations of Europe, whom they no longer presumed to brand with the name of Barbarians. The observations of Manuel and his more inquisitive followers have been preserved by a Byzantine historian of the times;23 his scattered ideas I shall collect and abridge; and it may be amusing enough, perhaps instructive, to contemplate the rude pictures of Germany, France, and England, whose ancient and modern state are so familiar to our minds. I. Germany (says the Greek Chalcondyles) is of ample latitude from Vienna to the Ocean; and it stretches (a strange geography!) from Prague in Bohemia to the river Tartessus and the Pyrenæan Mountains.24 The soil, except in figs and olives, is sufficiently fruitful; the air is salubrious; the bodies of the natives are Edition: current; Page: [246] robust and healthy; and these cold regions are seldom visited with the calamities of pestilence or earthquakes. After the Scythians or Tartars, the Germans are the most numerous of nations; they are brave and patient, and, were they united under a single head, their force would be irresistible. By the gift of the pope, they have acquired the privilege of choosing the Roman emperor;25 nor is any people more devoutly attached to the faith and obedience of the Latin patriarch. The greatest part of the country is divided among the princes and prelates; but Strasburg, Cologne, Hamburg, and more than two hundred free cities are governed by sage and equal laws, according to the will, and for the advantage, of the whole community. The use of duels, or single combats on foot, prevails among them in peace and war; their industry excels in all the mechanic arts; and the Germans may boast of the invention of gunpowder and cannon, which is now diffused over the greatest part of the world. II. The kingdom of France is spread above fifteen or twenty days’ journey from Germany to Spain, and from the Alps to the British Ocean, containing many flourishing cities, and among these Paris, the seat of the king, which surpasses the rest in riches and luxury. Many princes and lords alternately wait in his palace and acknowledge him as their sovereign; the most powerful are the dukes of Bretagne and Burgundy, of whom the latter possesses the wealthy province of Flanders, whose harbours are frequented by the ships and merchants of our own and the more remote seas. The French are an ancient and opulent people; and their language and manners, though somewhat different, are not dissimilar from those of the Italians. Vain of the Imperial dignity of Charlemagne, of their victories over the Saracens, and of the exploits of their Edition: current; Page: [247] heroes, Oliver and Rowland,26 they esteem themselves the first of the Western nations; but this foolish arrogance has been recently humbled by the unfortunate events of their wars against the English, the inhabitants of the British Island. III. Britain, in the ocean and opposite to the shores of Flanders, may be considered either as one or as three islands; but the whole is united by a common interest, by the same manners, and by a similar government. The measure of its circumference is five thousand stadia: the land is overspread with towns and villages; though destitute of wine, and not abounding in fruit-trees, it is fertile in wheat and barley, in honey and wool; and much cloth is manufactured by the inhabitants. In populousness and power, in riches and luxury, London,27 the metropolis of the isle, may claim a pre-eminence over all the cities of the West. It is situate on the Thames, a broad and rapid river, which, at the distance of thirty miles, falls into the Gallic Sea; and the daily flow and ebb of the tide affords a safe entrance and departure to the vessels of commerce. The king is the head of a powerful and turbulent aristocracy: his principal vassals hold their estates by a free and unalterable tenure; and the laws define the limits of his authority and their obedience. The kingdom has been often afflicted by foreign conquest and domestic sedition; but the natives are bold and hardy, renowned in arms and victorious in war. The form of their shields or targets is derived from the Italians, that of their swords from Edition: current; Page: [248] the Greeks; the use of the long bow is the peculiar and decisive advantage of the English. Their language bears no affinity to the idioms of the continent; in the habits of domestic life, they are not easily distinguished from their neighbours of France; but the most singular circumstance of their manners is their disregard of conjugal honour and of female chastity. In their mutual visits, as the first act of hospitality, the guest is welcomed in the embraces of their wives and daughters; among friends, they are lent and borrowed without shame; nor are the islanders offended at this strange commerce and its inevitable consequences.28 Informed as we are of the customs of old England, and assured of the virtue of our mothers, we may smile at the credulity, or resent the injustice, of the Greek, who must have confounded a modest salute29 with a criminal embrace. But his credulity and injustice may teach an important lesson: to distrust the accounts of foreign and remote nations, and to suspend our belief of every tale that deviates from the laws of nature and the character of man.30

After his return, and the victory of Timour, Manuel reigned many years in prosperity and peace. As long as the sons of Bajazet solicited his friendship and spared his dominions, he was satisfied with the national religion; and his leisure was Edition: current; Page: [249] employed in composing twenty theological dialogues for its defence.31 The appearance of the Byzantine ambassadors at the council of Constance32 announces the restoration of the Turkish power, as well as of the Latin church; the conquest of the sultans, Mahomet and Amurath, reconciled the emperor to the Vatican; and the siege of Constantinople almost tempted him to acquiesce in the double procession of the Holy Ghost. When Martin the Fifth ascended, without a rival, the chair of St. Peter, a friendly intercourse of letters and embassies was revived between the East and West. Ambition on one side and distress on the other dictated the same decent language of charity and peace. The artful Greek expressed a desire of marrying his six sons to Italian princesses; and the Roman, not less artful, despatched the daughter of the marquis of Montferrat, with a company of noble virgins, to soften, by their charms, the obstinacy of the schismatics. Yet, under this mask of zeal, a discerning eye will perceive that all was hollow and insincere in the court and church of Constantinople. According to the vicissitudes of danger and repose, the emperor advanced or retreated; alternately instructed and disavowed his ministers; and escaped from an importunate pressure by urging the duty of inquiry, the obligation of collecting the sense of his patriarchs and bishops, and Edition: current; Page: [250] the impossibility of convening them at a time when the Turkish arms were at the gates of his capital. From a review of the public transactions, it will appear that the Greeks insisted on three successive measures, a succour, a council, and a final reunion, while the Latins eluded the second, and only promised the first as a consequential and voluntary reward of the third. But we have an opportunity of unfolding the most secret intentions of Manuel, as he explained them in a private conversation without artifice or disguise. In his declining age the emperor had associated John Palæologus, the second of the name and the eldest of his sons, on whom he devolved the greatest part of the authority and weight of government. One day, in the presence only of the historian Phranza,33 his favourite chamberlain, he opened to his colleague and successor the true principle of his negotiations with the pope.34 “Our last resource,” said Manuel, “against the Turks is their fear of our union with the Latins, of the warlike nations of the West, who may arm for our relief, and for their destruction. As often as you are threatened by the miscreants, present this danger before their eyes. Propose a council; consult on the means; but ever delay and avoid the convocation of an assembly, which cannot tend either to our spiritual or temporal emolument. The Latins are proud; the Greeks are obstinate: neither party will recede or retract; Edition: current; Page: [none] Edition: current; Page: [251] and the attempt of a perfect union will confirm the schism, alienate the churches, and leave us, without hope or defence, at the mercy of the Barbarians.” Impatient of this salutary lesson, the royal youth arose from his seat and departed in silence; and the wise monarch (continues Phranza) casting his eyes on me, thus resumed his discourse: “My son deems himself a great and heroic prince; but alas! our miserable age does not afford scope for heroism or greatness. His daring spirit might have suited the happier times of our ancestors; but the present state requires not an emperor, but a cautious steward of the last relics of our fortunes. Well do I remember the lofty expectations which he built on our alliance with Mustapha; and much do I fear that his rash courage will urge the ruin of our house, and that even religion may precipitate our downfall.” Yet the inexperience and authority of Manuel preserved the peace and eluded the council; till, in the seventy-eighth year of his age, and in the habit of a monk, he terminated his career, dividing his precious moveables among his children and the poor, his physicians, and his favourite servants. Of his six sons,35 Andronicus the Second was invested with the principality of Thessalonica, and died of a leprosy soon after the sale of that city to the Venetians and its final conquest by the Turks. Some fortunate incidents had restored Peloponnesus, or the Morea, to the empire; and in his more prosperous days Manuel had fortified the narrow isthmus of six miles36 with a stone wall and one hundred and fifty-three towers. The wall was overthrown by the first blast of the Ottomans; the fertile peninsula might have been sufficient for the four younger brothers, Theodore and Constantine, Demetrius Edition: current; Page: [252] and Thomas; but they wasted, in domestic contests, the remains of their strength; and the least successful of the rivals were reduced to a life of dependence in the Byzantine palace.

lf0214-11_figure_006.jpg

The eldest of the sons of Manuel, John Palæologus the Second, was acknowledged, after his father’s death, as the sole emperor of the Greeks. He immediately proceeded to repudiate his wife and to contract a new marriage with the princess of Trebizond; beauty was in his eye the first qualification of an empress; and the clergy had yielded to his firm assurance that, unless he might be indulged in a divorce, he would retire to a cloister and leave the throne to his brother Constantine. The first, and in truth the only, victory of Palæologus was over a Jew,37 whom, after a long and learned dispute, he converted to the Christian faith; and this momentous conquest is carefully recorded in the history of the times. But he soon resumed the design of uniting the East and West; and, regardless of his father’s advice, listened, as it should seem, with sincerity to the proposal of meeting the pope in a general council beyond the Adriatic. This dangerous project was encouraged by Martin the Fifth, and coldly entertained by his successor Eugenius, till, after a tedious negotiation, the emperor received a summons from a Latin assembly of a new character, the independent prelates of Basil, who styled themselves the representatives and judges of the Catholic church.

The Roman pontiff had fought and conquered in the cause of ecclesiastical freedom; but the victorious clergy were soon exposed to the tyranny of their deliverer; and his sacred character was invulnerable to those arms which they found so keen and effectual against the civil magistrate. Their great charter, the right of election, was annihilated by appeals, evaded by trusts or commendams, disappointed by reversionary Edition: current; Page: [253] grants, and superseded by previous and arbitrary reservations.38 A public auction was instituted in the court of Rome: the cardinals and favourites were enriched with the spoils of nations; and every country might complain that the most important and valuable benefices were accumulated on the heads of aliens and absentees. During their residence at Avignon, the ambition of the popes subsided in the meaner passions of avarice39 and luxury: they rigorously imposed on the clergy the tributes of first-fruits and tenths; but they freely tolerated the impunity of vice, disorder, and corruption. These manifold scandals were aggravated by the great schism of the West, which continued above fifty years. In the furious conflicts of Rome and Avignon, the vices of the rivals were mutually exposed; and their precarious situation degraded their authority, relaxed their discipline, and multiplied their wants and exactions. To heal the wounds, and restore the monarchy, of the church, the synods of Pisa and Constance40 were successively convened; but these great Edition: current; Page: [254] assemblies, conscious of their strength, resolved to vindicate the privileges of the Christian aristocracy. From a personal sentence against two pontiffs, whom they rejected, and a third, their acknowledged sovereign, whom they deposed, the fathers of Constance proceeded to examine the nature and limits of the Roman supremacy; nor did they separate till they had established the authority, above the pope, of a general council. It was enacted that, for the government and reformation of the church, such assemblies should be held at regular intervals; and that each synod, before its dissolution, should appoint the time and place of the subsequent meeting. By the influence of the court of Rome, the next convocation at Sienna was easily eluded; but the bold and vigorous proceedings of the council of Basil41 had almost been fatal to the reigning pontiff, Eugenius the Fourth. A just suspicion of his design prompted the fathers to hasten the promulgation of their first decree, that the representatives of the church-militant on earth were invested with a divine and spiritual jurisdiction over all Christians, without excepting the pope; and that a general council could not be dissolved, prorogued, or transferred, unless by their free deliberation and consent. On the notice that Eugenius had fulminated a bull for that purpose, they ventured to summon, to admonish, to threaten, to censure, the contumacious successor of St. Peter. After many delays, to allow time for repentance, they finally declared that, unless he submitted within the term of sixty Edition: current; Page: [255] days, he was suspended from the exercise of all temporal and ecclesiastical authority. And to mark their jurisdiction over the prince as well as the priest, they assumed the government of Avignon, annulled the alienation of the sacred patrimony, and protected Rome from the imposition of new taxes. Their boldness was justified, not only by the general opinion of the clergy, but by the support and power of the first monarchs of Christendom: the emperor Sigismond declared himself the servant and protector of the synod; Germany and France adhered to their cause; the duke of Milan was the enemy of Eugenius; and he was driven from the Vatican by an insurrection of the Roman people. Rejected at the same time by his temporal and spiritual subjects, submission was his only choice; by a most humiliating bull, the pope repealed his own acts and ratified those of the council; incorporated his legates and cardinals with that venerable body; and seemed to resign himself to the decrees of the supreme legislature. Their fame pervaded the countries of the East; and it was in their presence that Sigismond received the ambassadors of the Turkish sultan,42 who laid at his feet twelve large vases, filled with robes of silk and pieces of gold. The fathers of Basil aspired to the glory of reducing the Greeks, as well as the Bohemians, within the pale of the church; and their deputies invited the emperor and patriarchs of Constantinople to unite with an assembly which possessed the confidence of the Western nations. Palæologus was not averse to the proposal; and his ambassadors were introduced with due honours into the Catholic senate. But the choice of the place appeared to be an insuperable obstacle, since he refused to pass the Alps or the sea of Sicily, and positively required that the synod should be adjourned to some convenient city in Italy, or at least on the Danube. The other articles of this treaty were more readily stipulated: it was Edition: current; Page: [256] agreed to defray the travelling expenses of the emperor, with a train of seven hundred persons,43 to remit an immediate sum of eight thousand ducats44 for the accommodation of the Greek clergy; and in his absence to grant a supply of ten thousand ducats, with three hundred archers, and some galleys for the protection of Constantinople. The city of Avignon advanced the funds for the preliminary expenses; and the embarkation was prepared at Marseilles with some difficulty and delay.

In his distress, the friendship of Palæologus was disputed by the ecclesiastical powers of the West; but the dexterous activity of a monarch prevailed over the slow debates and inflexible temper of a republic. The decrees of Basil continually tended to circumscribe the despotism of the pope and to erect a supreme and perpetual tribunal in the church. Eugenius was impatient of the yoke; and the union of the Greeks might afford a decent pretence for translating a rebellious synod from the Rhine to the Po. The independence of the fathers was lost if they passed the Alps; Savoy or Avignon, to which they acceded with reluctance, were described at Constantinople as situate far beyond the Pillars of Hercules;45 the emperor and his clergy were apprehensive Edition: current; Page: [257] of the dangers of a long navigation; they were offended by an haughty declaration that, after suppressing the new heresy of the Bohemians, the council would soon eradicate the old heresy of the Greeks.46 On the side of Eugenius, all was smooth and yielding and respectful; and he invited the Byzantine monarch to heal, by his presence, the schism of the Latin, as well as of the Eastern, church. Ferrara, near the coast of the Adriatic, was proposed for their amicable interview; and with some indulgence of forgery and theft a surreptitious decree was procured, which transferred the synod, with its own consent, to that Italian city. Nine galleys were equipped for this service at Venice and in the isle of Candia; their diligence anticipated the slower vessels of Basil. The Roman admiral was commissioned to burn, sink, and destroy;47 and these priestly squadrons might have encountered each other in the same seas where Athens and Sparta had formerly contended for the pre-eminence of glory. Assaulted by the importunity of the factions, who were ready to fight for the possession of his person, Palæologus hesitated before he left his palace and country on a perilous experiment. His father’s advice still dwelt on his memory; and reason must suggest that, since the Latins were divided among themselves, they could never unite in a foreign cause. Sigismond dissuaded the unseasonable adventure; his advice was impartial, since he adhered to the council; and it was enforced by the strange belief that the German Cæsar would nominate Edition: current; Page: [258] a Greek his heir and successor in the empire of the West.48 Even the Turkish sultan was a counsellor whom it might be unsafe to trust, but whom it was dangerous to offend. Amurath was unskilled in the disputes, but he was apprehensive of the union, of the Christians. From his own treasures, he offered to relieve the wants of the Byzantine court; yet he declared, with seeming magnanimity, that Constantinople should be secure and inviolate in the absence of her sovereign.49 The resolution of Palæologus was decided by the most splendid gifts and the most specious promises. He wished to escape, for a while, from a scene of danger and distress; and, after dismissing, with an ambiguous answer, the messengers of the council, he declared his intention of embarking in the Roman galleys. The age of the patriarch Joseph was more susceptible of fear than of hope; he trembled at the perils of the sea, and expressed his apprehension that his feeble voice, with thirty, perhaps, of his orthodox brethren, would be oppressed in a foreign land by the power and numbers of a Latin synod. He yielded to the royal mandate, to the flattering assurance that he would be heard as the oracle of nations, and to the secret wish of learning from his brother of the West to deliver the church from the yoke of kings.50 The five cross-bearers, or dignitaries of St. Sophia, were bound to attend his person; and one of these, the great ecclesiarch Edition: current; Page: [259] or preacher, Sylvester Syropulus,51 has composed52 a free and curious history of the false union.53 Of the clergy that reluctantly obeyed the summons of the emperor and the patriarch, submission was the first duty, and patience the most useful virtue. In a chosen list of twenty bishops, we discover the metropolitan titles of Heraclea and Cyzicus, Nice and Nicomedia, Ephesus and Trebizond, and the personal merit of Mark and Bessarion, who, in the confidence of their learning and eloquence, were promoted to the episcopal rank. Some monks and philosophers were named to display the science and sanctity of the Greek church; and the service of the choir was performed by a select band of singers and musicians. The patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem appeared by their genuine or fictitious deputies, the primate of Russia represented a national church, and the Greeks might contend with the Latins in the extent of their spiritual empire. The precious vases of St. Sophia were exposed to the winds and waves, that the patriarch might officiate with becoming splendour; whatever gold the Edition: current; Page: [260] emperor could procure was expended in the massy ornaments of his bed and chariot;54 and, while they affected to maintain the prosperity of their ancient fortune, they quarrelled for the division of fifteen thousand ducats, the first alms of the Roman pontiff. After the necessary preparations, John Palæologus, with a numerous train, accompanied by his brother Demetrius, and the most respectable persons of the church and state, embarked in eight vessels with sails and oars, which steered through the Turkish straits of Gallipoli to the Archipelago, the Morea and the Adriatic Gulf.55

After a tedious and troublesome navigation of seventy-seven days, this religious squadron cast anchor before Venice; and their reception proclaimed the joy and magnificence of that powerful republic. In the command of the world, the modest Augustus had never claimed such honours from his subjects as were paid to his feeble successor by an independent state. Seated on the poop, on a lofty throne, he received the visit, or, in the Greek style, the adoration, of the Doge and senators.56 They sailed in the Bucentaur, which was accompanied by twelve stately galleys; the sea was overspread with innumerable gondolas of pomp and pleasure; the air resounded with music and acclamations; the mariners, and even the vessels, were dressed in silk and gold; and in all the Edition: current; Page: [261] emblems and pageants the Roman eagles were blended with the lions of St. Mark. The triumphal procession, ascending the great canal, passed under the bridge of the Rialto; and the Eastern strangers gazed with admiration on the palaces, the churches, and the populousness of a city that seems to float on the bosom of the waves.57 They sighed to behold the spoils and trophies with which it had been decorated after the sack of Constantinople. After an hospitable entertainment of fifteen days, Palæologus pursued his journey by land and water, from Venice to Ferrara; and on this occasion the pride of the Vatican was tempered by policy to indulge the ancient dignity of the emperor of the East. He made his entry on a black horse; but a milk-white steed, whose trapings were embroidered with golden eagles, was led before him; and the canopy was borne over his head by the princes of Este, the sons or kinsmen of Nicholas, marquis of the city, and a sovereign more powerful than himself.58 Palæologus did not alight till he reached the bottom of the staircase; the pope advanced to the door of the apartment; refused his proffered genuflexion; and, after a paternal embrace, conducted the emperor to a seat on his left hand. Nor would the patriarch descend from his galley, till a ceremony, almost equal, had been stipulated between the bishops of Rome and Constantinople. The latter was saluted by his brother with a kiss of union and charity; nor would any of the Greek ecclesiastics submit to kiss the feet of the Western primate. On the opening of the synod, the place of honour in the centre was claimed by the temporal and ecclesiastical Edition: current; Page: [262] chiefs; and it was only by alleging that his predecessors had not assisted in person at Nice or Chalcedon that Eugenius could evade the ancient precedents of Constantine and Marcian. After much debate, it was agreed that the right and left sides of the church should be occupied by the two nations; that the solitary chair of St. Peter should be raised the first of the Latin line; and that the throne of the Greek emperor, at the head of his clergy, should be equal and opposite to the second place, the vacant seat of the emperor of the West.59

But, as soon as festivity and form had given place to a more serious treaty, the Greeks were dissatisfied with their journey, with themselves, and with the pope. The artful pencil of his emissaries had painted him in a prosperous state; at the head of the princes and prelates of Europe, obedient, at his voice, to believe and to arm. The thin appearance of the universal synod of Ferrara betrayed his weakness; and the Latins opened the first session with only five archbishops, eighteen bishops, and ten abbots, the greatest part of whom were the subjects or countrymen of the Italian pontiff. Except the duke of Burgundy, none of the potentates of the West condescended to appear in person or by their ambassadors; nor was it possible to suppress the judicial acts of Basil against the dignity and person of Eugenius, which were finally concluded by a new election. Under these circumstances, a truce or delay was asked and granted, till Palæologus could expect from the consent of the Latins some temporal reward for an unpopular union; and, after the first session, the public proceedings were adjourned Edition: current; Page: [263] above six months. The emperor, with a chosen band of his favourites and Janizaries, fixed his summer residence at a pleasant spacious monastery, six miles from Ferrara; forgot, in the pleasures of the chase, the distress of the church and state; and persisted in destroying the game, without listening to the just complaints of the marquis or the husbandman.60 In the meanwhile, his unfortunate Greeks were exposed to all the miseries of exile and poverty; for the support of each stranger, a monthly allowance was assigned of three or four gold florins; and, although the entire sum did not amount to seven hundred florins, a long arrear was repeatedly incurred by the indigence or policy of the Roman court.61 They sighed for a speedy deliverance, but their escape was prevented by a triple chain: a passport from their superiors was required at the gates of Ferrara; the government of Venice had engaged to arrest and send back the fugitives; and inevitable punishment awaited them at Constantinople: excommunication, fines, and a sentence which did not respect the sacerdotal dignity, that they should be stripped naked and publicly whipped.62 It was only by the alternative of hunger or dispute that the Greeks could be persuaded to open the first conference; and they yielded with extreme reluctance to Edition: current; Page: [264] attend, from Ferrara to Florence, the rear of a flying synod. This new translation was urged by inevitable necessity: the city was visited by the plague; the fidelity of the marquis might be suspected; the mercenary troops of the duke of Milan were at the gates; and, as they occupied Romagna, it was not without difficulty and danger that the pope, the emperor, and the bishops explored their way through the unfrequented paths of the Apennine.63

Yet all these obstacles were surmounted by time and policy. The violence of the fathers of Basil rather promoted than injured the cause of Eugenius: the nations of Europe abhorred the schism, and disowned the election, of Felix the Fifth, who was successively a duke of Savoy, an hermit, and a pope; and the great princes were gradually reclaimed by his competitor to a favourable neutrality and a firm attachment. The legates, with some respectable members, deserted to the Roman army, which insensibly rose in numbers and reputation: the council of Basil was reduced to thirty-nine bishops and three hundred of the inferior clergy;64 while the Latins of Florence could produce the subscriptions of the pope himself, eight cardinals, two patriarchs, eight archbishops, fifty-two bishops, and forty-five abbots, or chiefs of religious orders. After the labour of nine months, and the debates of twenty-five sessions, they attained the advantage and glory of the reunion of the Greeks. Four principal questions had been agitated between the two churches: 1. The use of unleavened bread in the communion of Christ’s Edition: current; Page: [265] body; 2. The nature of purgatory; 3. The supremacy of the pope; and 4. The single or double procession of the Holy Ghost. The cause of either nation was managed by ten theological champions: the Latins were supported by the inexhaustible eloquence of Cardinal Julian; and Mark of Ephesus and Bessarion of Nice were the bold and able leaders of the Greek forces. We may bestow some praise on the progress of human reason by observing that the first of these questions was now treated as an immaterial rite, which might innocently vary with the fashion of the age and country. With regard to the second, both parties were agreed in the belief of an intermediate state of purgation for the venal sins of the faithful; and, whether their souls were purified by elemental fire was a doubtful point, which in a few years might be conveniently settled on the spot by the disputants. The claims of supremacy appeared of a more weighty and substantial kind; yet, by the Orientals, the Roman bishop had ever been respected as the first of the five patriarchs; nor did they scruple to admit that his jurisdiction should be exercised agreeable to the holy canons: a vague allowance which might be defined or eluded by occasional convenience. The procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father alone, or from the Father and the Son, was an article of faith which had sunk much deeper into the minds of men; and in the sessions of Ferrara and Florence the Latin addition of filioque was subdivided into two questions, whether it were legal, and whether it were orthodox. Perhaps it may not be necessary to boast on this subject of my own impartial indifference; but I must think that the Greeks were strongly supported by the prohibition of the council of Chalcedon against adding any article whatsoever to the creed of Nice or rather of Constantinople.65 In earthly affairs, it is not easy to Edition: current; Page: [266] conceive how an assembly of legislators can bind their successors invested with powers equal to their own. But the dictates of inspiration must be true and unchangeable; nor should a private bishop, or a provincial synod, have presumed to innovate against the judgment of the Catholic church. On the substance of the doctrine, the controversy was equal and endless: reason is confounded by the procession of a deity; the gospel, which lay on the altar, was silent; the various texts of the fathers might be corrupted by fraud or entangled by sophistry; and the Greeks were ignorant of the characters and writings of the Latin saints.66 Of this, at least, we way be sure, that neither side could be convinced by the arguments of their opponents. Prejudice may be enlightened by reason, and a superficial glance may be rectified by a clear and more perfect view of an object adapted to our faculties. But the bishops and monks had been taught from their infancy to repeat a form of mysterious words; their national and personal honour depended on the repetition of the same sounds; and their narrow minds were hardened and inflamed by the acrimony of a public dispute.

While they were lost in a cloud of dust and darkness, the pope and emperor were desirous of a seeming union, which could alone accomplish the purposes of their interview; and the obstinacy of public dispute was softened by the arts of private and personal negotiation. The patriarch Joseph had sunk under the weight of age and infirmities; his dying voice breathed the counsels of charity and concord, and his vacant benefice might tempt the hopes of the ambitious clergy. The ready and active obedience of the archbishops of Russia and Nice, of Isidore and Bessarion, was prompted and recompensed by their speedy promotion to the dignity of cardinals. Bessarion, in the first debates, had stood forth the most Edition: current; Page: [267] strenuous and eloquent champion of the Greek church; and, if the apostate, the bastard, was reprobated by his country,67 he appears in ecclesiastical story a rare example of a patriot who was recommended to court favour by loud opposition and well-timed compliance. With the aid of his two spiritual coadjutors, the emperor applied his arguments to the general situation and personal characters of the bishops, and each was successively moved by authority and example. Their revenues were in the hands of the Turks, their persons in those of the Latins; an episcopal treasure, three robes and forty ducats, were soon exhausted;68 the hopes of their return still depended on the ships of Venice and the alms of Rome; and such was their indigence that their arrears, the payment of a debt, would be accepted as a favour and might operate as a bribe.69 The danger and relief of Constantinople might excuse some prudent and pious dissimulation; and it was insinuated that the obstinate heretics who should resist the consent of the East and West would be abandoned in a hostile land to the revenge or justice of the Roman pontiff.70 Edition: current; Page: [268] In the first private assembly of the Greeks, the formulary of union was approved by twenty-four, and rejected by twelve, members; but the five cross-bearers of St. Sophia, who aspired to represent the patriarch, were disqualified by ancient discipline; and their right of voting was transferred to an obsequious train of monks, grammarians, and profane laymen. The will of the monarch produced a false and servile unanimity, and no more than two patriots had courage to speak their own sentiments, and those of their country. Demetrius, the emperor’s brother, retired to Venice, that he might not be witness of the union; and Mark of Ephesus, mistaking perhaps his pride for his conscience, disclaimed all communion with the Latin heretics, and avowed himself the champion and confessor of the orthodox creed.71 In the treaty between the two nations several forms of consent were proposed, such as might satisfy the Latins without dishonouring the Greeks; and they weighed the scruples of words and syllables, till the theological balance trembled with a slight preponderance in favour of the Vatican. It was agreed (I must entreat the attention of the reader), that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son, as from one principle and one substance; that he proceeds by the Son, being of the same nature and substance; and that he proceeds from the Father and the Son, by one spiration and production. It is less difficult to understand the articles of the preliminary treaty: that the pope should defray all the expenses of the Greeks in their return home; that he should annually maintain two galleys and three hundred soldiers for the defence of Constantinople; that all the ships which transported pilgrims to Jerusalem Edition: current; Page: [269] should be obliged to touch at that port; that, as often as they were required, the pope should furnish ten galleys for a year, or twenty-six months; and that he should powerfully solicit the princes of Europe, if the emperor had occasion for landforces.

The same year, and almost the same day, were marked by the deposition of Eugenius at Basil, and, at Florence, by his reunion of the Greeks and Latins. In the former synod (which he styled indeed an assembly of demons), the pope was branded with the guilt of simony, perjury, tyranny, heresy, and schism;72 and declared to be incorrigible in his vices, unworthy of any title, and incapable of holding any ecclesiastical office. In the latter, he was revered as the true and holy vicar of Christ, who, after a separation of six hundred years, had reconciled the Catholics of the East and West, in one fold and under one shepherd. The act of union was subscribed by the pope, the emperor, and the principal members of both churches; even by those who, like Syropulus,73 had been deprived of the right of voting. Two copies might have sufficed for the East and West; but Eugenius was not satisfied, unless four authentic and similar transcripts were signed and attested as the monuments of his victory.74 On a memorable day, the sixth of July, the successors Edition: current; Page: [270] of St. Peter and Constantine ascended their thrones; the two nations assembled in the cathedral of Florence; their representatives, Cardinal Julian, and Bessarion, Archbishop of Nice, appeared in the pulpit, and, after reading, in their respective tongues, the act of union, they mutually embraced, in the name and the presence of their applauding brethren. The pope and his ministers then officiated according to the Roman liturgy; the creed was chanted with the addition of filioque; the acquiescence of the Greeks was poorly excused by their ignorance of the harmonious, but inarticulate, sounds;75 and the more scrupulous Latins refused any public celebration of the Byzantine rite. Yet the emperor and his clergy were not totally unmindful of national honour. The treaty was ratified by their consent: it was tacitly agreed that no innovation should be attempted in their creed or ceremonies; they spared, and secretly respected, the generous firmness of Mark of Ephesus; and, on the decease of the patriarch, they refused to elect his successor, except in the cathedral of St. Sophia. In the distribution of public and private rewards, the liberal pontiff exceeded their hopes and his promises; the Greeks, with less pomp and pride, returned by the same road of Ferrara and Venice; and their reception at Constantinople was such as will be described in the following chapter.76 The success of the first trial encouraged Eugenius to repeat the same edifying scenes; and the deputies of the Armenians, the Maronites, the Jacobites of Syria and Egypt, the Nestorians, and the Ethiopians were successively introduced, to kiss the feet of the Roman pontiff, and to announce the obedience and the orthodoxy of the East. These Oriental Edition: current; Page: [271] embassies, unknown in the countries which they presumed to represent,77 diffused over the West the fame of Eugenius; and a clamour was artfully propagated against the remnant of a schism in Switzerland and Savoy, which alone impeded the harmony of the Christian world. The vigour of opposition was succeeded by the lassitude of despair: the council of Basil was silently dissolved; and Felix, renouncing the tiara, again withdrew to the devout or delicious hermitage of Ripaille.78 A general peace was secured by mutual acts of oblivion and indemnity; all ideas of reformation subsided; the popes continued to exercise and abuse their ecclesiastical despotism; nor has Rome been since disturbed by the mischiefs of a contested election.79

The journeys of three emperors were unavailing for their temporal, or perhaps their spiritual, salvation; but they were productive of a beneficial consequence, the revival of the Greek learning in Italy, from whence it was propagated to the Edition: current; Page: [272] last nations of the West and North. In their lowest servitude and depression, the subjects of the Byzantine throne were still possessed of a golden key that could unlock the treasures of antiquity; of a musical and prolific language, that gives a soul to the objects of sense and a body to the abstractions of philosophy. Since the barriers of the monarchy, and even of the capital, had been trampled under foot, the various Barbarians had doubtless corrupted the form and substance of the national dialect; and ample glossaries have been composed, to interpret a multitude of words of Arabic, Turkish, Sclavonian, Latin, or French origin.80 But a purer idiom was spoken in the court and taught in the college; and the flourishing state of the language is described, and perhaps embellished, by a learned Italian,81 who, by a long residence and noble marriage,82 was naturalised at Constantinople about Edition: current; Page: [273] thirty years before the Turkish conquest. “The vulgar speech,” says Philelphus,83 “has been depraved by the people, and infected by the multitude of strangers and merchants, who every day flock to the city and mingle with the inhabitants. It is from the disciples of such a school that the Latin language received the versions of Aristotle and Plato, so obscure in sense, and in spirit so poor. But the Greeks who have escaped the contagion are those whom we follow; and they alone are worthy of our imitation. In familiar discourse, they still speak the tongue of Aristophanes and Euripides, of the historians and philosophers of Athens; and the style of their writings are still more elaborate and correct. The persons who, by their birth and offices, are attached to the Byzantine court are those who maintain, with the least alloy, the ancient standard of elegance and purity; and the native graces of language most conspicuously shine among the noble matrons, who are excluded from all intercourse with foreigners. With foreigners do I say? They live retired and sequestered from the eyes of their fellow-citizens. Seldom are they seen in the streets; and, when they leave their houses, it is in the dusk of evening, on visits to the churches and their nearest kindred. On these occasions, they are on horseback, covered with a veil, and encompassed by their parents, their husbands, or their servants.”84

Among the Greeks, a numerous and opulent clergy was Edition: current; Page: [274] dedicated to the service of religion; their monks and bishops have ever been distinguished by the gravity and austerity of their manners; nor were they diverted, like the Latin priests, by the pursuits and pleasures of a secular and even military life. After a large deduction for the time and talents that were lost in the devotion, the laziness, and the discord of the church and cloister, the more inquisitive and ambitious minds would explore the sacred and profane erudition of their native language. The ecclesiastics presided over the education of youth; the schools of philosophy and eloquence were perpetuated till the fall of the empire; and it may be affirmed that more books and more knowledge were included within the walls of Constantinople than could be dispersed over the extensive countries of the West.85 But an important distinction has been already noticed: the Greeks were stationary or retrograde, while the Latins were advancing with a rapid and progressive motion. The nations were excited by the spirit of independence and emulation; and even the little world of the Italian states contained more people and industry than the decreasing circle of the Byzantine empire. In Europe, the lower ranks of society were relieved from the yoke of feudal servitude; and freedom is the first step to curiosity and knowledge. The use, however rude and corrupt, of the Latin tongue had been preserved by supersition; the universities, from Bologna to Oxford,86 were peopled with thousands Edition: current; Page: [275] of scholars; and their misguided ardour might be directed to more liberal and manly studies. In the resurrection of science, Italy was the first that cast away her shroud; and the eloquent Petrarch, by his lessons and his example, may justly be applauded as the first harbinger of day. A purer style of composition, a more generous and rational strain of sentiment, flowed from the study and imitation of the writers of ancient Rome; and the disciples of Cicero and Virgil approached, with reverence and love, the sanctuary of their Grecian masters. In the sack of Constantinople, the French, and even the Venetians, had despised and destroyed the works of Lysippus and Homer; the monuments of art may be annihilated by a single blow; but the immortal mind is renewed and multiplied by the copies of the pen; and such copies it was the ambition of Petrarch and his friends to possess and understand. The arms of the Turks undoubtedly pressed the flight of the Muses; yet we may tremble at the thought that Greece might have been overwhelmed, with her schools and libraries, before Europe had emerged from the deluge of Barbarism; that the seeds of science might have been scattered by the winds, before the Italian soil was prepared for their cultivation.

The most learned Italians of the fifteenth century have confessed and applauded the restoration of Greek literature, after a long oblivion of many hundred years.87 Yet in that Edition: current; Page: [276] country, and beyond the Alps, some names are quoted: some profound scholars, who, in the darker ages, were honourably distinguished by their knowledge of the Greek tongue; and national vanity has been loud in the praise of such rare examples of erudition. Without scrutinising the merit of individuals, truth must observe that their science is without a cause and without an effect; that it was easy for them to satisfy themselves and their more ignorant contemporaries; and that the idiom, which they had so marvellously acquired, was transcribed in few manuscripts, and was not taught in any university of the West. In a corner of Italy it faintly existed as the popular, or at least as the ecclesiastical, dialect.88 The first impression of the Doric and Ionic colonies has never been completely erased; the Calabrian churches were long attached to the throne of Constantinople; and the monks of St. Basil pursued their studies in Mount Athos and the schools of the East. Calabria was the native country of Barlaam, who has already appeared as a sectary and an ambassador; and Barlaam was the first who revived, beyond the Alps, the memory, or at least the writings, of Homer.89 He is described, by Edition: current; Page: [277] Petrarch and Boccace,90 as a man of a diminutive stature, though truly great in the measure of learning and genius; of a piercing discernment, though of a slow and painful elocution. For many ages (as they affirm) Greece had not produced his equal in the knowledge of history, grammar, and philosophy; and his merit was celebrated in the attestations of the princes and doctors of Constantinople. One of these attestations is still extant; and the emperor Cantacuzene, the protector of his adversaries, is forced to allow that Euclid, Aristotle, and Plato were familiar to that profound and subtle logician.91 In the court of Avignon, he formed an intimate connection with Petrarch,92 the first of the Latin scholars; and the desire of mutual instruction was the principle of their literary commerce. The Tuscan applied himself with eager curiosity and assiduous diligence to the study of the Greek language; and, in a laborious struggle with the dryness and difficulty of the first rudiments, he began to reach the sense, and to feel the spirit, of poets and philosophers whose minds were congenial to his own. But he was soon deprived of the society and lessons of this useful assistant. Barlaam relinquished his fruitless embassy; and, on his return to Greece, he rashly provoked the swarms of fanatic monks by attempting to substitute the light of reason to that of their navel. After a separation of three years, the two friends again met in the court of Naples; but the generous pupil renounced the fairest occasion of improvement; and by his recommendation Barlaam Edition: current; Page: [278] was finally settled in a small bishopric of his native Calabria.93 The manifold avocations of Petrarch, love and friendship, his various correspondence and frequent journeys, the Roman laurel, and his elaborate compositions in prose and verse, in Latin and Italian, diverted him from a foreign idiom; and, as he advanced in life, the attainment of the Greek language was the object of his wishes rather than of his hopes. When he was about fifty years of age, a Byzantine ambassador, his friend, and a master of both tongues, presented him with a copy of Homer; and the answer of Petrarch is at once expressive of his eloquence, gratitude, and regret. After celebrating the generosity of the donor, and the value of a gift more precious in his estimation than gold or rubies, he thus proceeds: “Your present of the genuine and original text of the divine poet, the fountain of all invention, is worthy of yourself and of me; you have fulfilled your promise and satisfied my desires. Yet your liberality is still imperfect: with Homer you should have given me yourself: a guide, who could lead me into the fields of light, and disclose to my wondering eyes the specious miracles of the Iliad and Odyssey. But, alas! Homer is dumb, or I am deaf; nor is it in my power to enjoy the beauty which I possess. I have seated him by the side of Plato, the prince of poets near the prince of philosophers; and I glory in the sight of my illustrious guests. Of their immortal writings, whatever had been translated into the Latin idiom, I had already acquired; but, if there be no profit, there is some pleasure in beholding these venerable Greeks in their proper and national habit. I am delighted with the aspect of Homer; and, as often as I embrace the silent volume, I exclaim, with a sigh, Illustrious bard! with what pleasure should I listen to thy song, if my sense of hearing were not obstructed and lost Edition: current; Page: [279] by the death of one friend, and in the much lamented absence of another! Nor do I yet despair; and the example of Cato suggests some comfort and hope, since it was in the last period of age that he attained the knowledge of the Greek letters.”94

The prize which eluded the efforts of Petrarch was obtained by the fortune and industry of his friend Boccace,95 the father of the Tuscan prose. That popular writer, who derives his reputation from the Decameron, an hundred novels of pleasantry and love, may aspire to the more serious praise of restoring in Italy the study of the Greek language. In the year one thousand three hundred and sixty, a disciple of Barlaam, whose name was Leo or Leontius Pilatus, was detained in his way to Avignon by the advice and hospitality of Boccace, who lodged the stranger in his house, prevailed on the republic of Florence to allow him an annual stipend, and devoted his leisure to the first Greek professor who taught the language in the Western countries of Europe. The appearance of Leo might disgust the most eager disciple: he was clothed in the mantle of a philosopher, or a mendicant; his countenance was hideous; his face was overshadowed with black hair; his beard long and uncombed; his deportment rustic; his temper gloomy and inconstant; nor could he grace his discourse with the ornaments or even the perspicuity of Latin elocution. But his mind was stored with a treasure of Greek learning; history and fable, philosophy and grammar, were alike at his Edition: current; Page: [280] command; and he read the poems of Homer in the schools of Florence. It was from his explanation that Boccace composed and transcribed a literal prose version of the Iliad and Odyssey, which satisfied the thirst of his friend Petrarch, and which perhaps, in the succeeding century, was clandestinely used by Laurentius Valla, the Latin interpreter. It was from his narratives that the same Boccace collected the materials for his treatise on the genealogy of the heathen gods; a work, in that age, of stupendous erudition, and which he ostentatiously sprinkled with Greek characters and passages, to excite the wonder and applause of his more ignorant readers.96 The first steps of learning are slow and laborious: no more than ten votaries of Homer could be enumerated in all Italy; and neither Rome nor Venice nor Naples could add a single name to this studious catalogue. But their numbers would have multiplied, their progress would have been accelerated, if the inconstant Leo, at the end of three years, had not relinquished an honourable and beneficial station. In his passage, Petrarch entertained him at Padua a short time: he enjoyed the scholar, but was justly offended with the gloomy and unsocial temper of the man. Discontented with the world and with himself, Leo depreciated his present enjoyments, while absent persons and objects were dear to his imagination. In Italy, he was a Thessalian, in Greece, a native of Calabria; in the company of the Latins, he disdained their language, religion, and manner: no sooner was he landed at Constantinople, than he again sighed for the wealth of Venice and the elegance of Florence. His Italian friends were deaf to his importunity; he depended on their curiosity and indulgence, and embarked on a second voyage; but, on his entrance into the Adriatic, the Edition: current; Page: [281] ship was assailed by a tempest, and the unfortunate teacher, who, like Ulysses, had fastened himself to the mast, was struck dead by a flash of lightning. The humane Petrarch dropped a tear on his disaster; but he was most anxious to learn whether some copy of Euripides or Sophocles might not be saved from the hands of the mariners.97

But the faint rudiments of Greek learning, which Petrarch had encouraged and Boccace had planted, soon withered and expired. The succeeding generation was content for a while with the improvement of Latin eloquence; nor was it before the end of the fourteenth century that a new and perpetual flame was rekindled in Italy.98 Previous to his own journey, the emperor Manuel despatched his envoys and orators to implore the compassion of the Western princes. Of these envoys, the most conspicuous or the most learned was Manuel Chrysoloras,99 of noble birth, and whose Roman ancestors are supposed to have migrated with the great Constantine. After visiting the courts of France and England, where he obtained some contributions and more promises, the envoy was invited to assume the office of a professor; and Florence had again the honour of this second invitation. By his knowledge, not only of the Greek but of the Latin tongue, Chrysoloras deserved the stipend and surpassed the expectation of the republic; Edition: current; Page: [282] his school was frequented by a crowd of disciples of every rank and age; and one of these, in a general history, has described his motives and his success. “At that time,” says Leonard Aretin,100 “I was a student of the civil law; but my soul was inflamed with the love of letters; and I bestowed some application on the sciences of logic and rhetoric. On the arrival of Manuel, I hesitated whether I should desert my legal studies or relinquish this golden opportunity; and thus, in the ardour of youth, I communed with my own mind — Wilt thou be wanting to thyself and thy fortune? Wilt thou refuse to be introduced to a familiar converse with Homer, Plato, and Demosthenes? with those poets, philosophers, and orators, of whom such wonders are related, and who are celebrated by every age as the great masters of human science? Of professors and scholars in civil law, a sufficient supply will always be found in our universities; but a teacher, and such a teacher, of the Greek language, if he once be suffered to escape, may never afterwards be retrieved. Convinced by these reasons, I gave myself to Chrysoloras; and so strong was my passion that the lessons which I had imbibed in the day were the constant subject of my nightly dreams.”101 At the same time and place the Latin classics were explained by John of Ravenna, the domestic pupil of Petrarch;102 the Italians, who illustrated their age and country, were formed in this double school; and Florence became the fruitful Edition: current; Page: [283] seminary of Greek and Roman erudition.103 The presence of the emperor recalled Chrysoloras from the college to the court, but he afterwards taught at Pavia and Rome with equal industry and applause. The remainder of his life, about fifteen years, was divided between Italy and Constantinople, between embassies and lessons. In the noble office of enlightening a foreign nation, the grammarian was not unmindful of a more sacred duty to his prince and country; and Emanuel Chrysoloras died at Constance, on a public mission from the emperor to the council.

After his example, the restoration of the Greek letters in Italy was prosecuted by a series of emigrants, who were destitute of fortune, and endowed with learning, or at least with language. From the terror or oppression of the Turkish arms the natives of Thessalonica and Constantinople escaped to a land of freedom, curiosity, and wealth. The synod introduced into Florence the lights of the Greek church and the oracles of the Platonic philosophy; and the fugitives who adhered to the union had the double merit of renouncing their country not only for the Christian but for the Catholic cause. A patriot who sacrifices his party and conscience to the allurements of favour may be possessed, however, of the private and social virtues; he no longer hears the reproachful epithets of slave and apostate; and the consideration which he acquires among his new associates will restore in his own eyes the dignity of his character. The prudent conformity of Bessarion was rewarded with the Roman purple; he fixed his residence in Italy; and the Greek cardinal, the titular Edition: current; Page: [284] patriarch of Constantinople, was respected as the chief and protector of his nation.104 His abilities were exercised in the legations of Bologna, Venice, Germany, and France; and his election to the chair of St. Peter floated for a moment on the uncertain breath of a conclave.105 His ecclesiastical honours diffused a splendour and pre-eminence over his literary merit and service: his palace was a school; as often as the cardinal visited the Vatican, he was attended by a learned train of both nations;106 of men applauded by themselves and the public; and whose writings, now overspread with dust, were popular and useful in their own times. I shall not attempt to enumerate the restorers of Grecian literature in the fifteenth century; and it may be sufficient to mention with gratitude the names of Theodore Gaza, of George of Trebizond, of John Argyropulus, and Demetrius Chalcondyles, who taught their native language in the schools of Florence and Rome. Their labours were not inferior to those of Bessarion, whose purple they revered, and whose fortune was the secret object of their envy. But the lives of these grammarians were humble and obscure; they had declined the lucrative paths of the church; their dress and manners secluded them from the commerce of the world; and, since they were confined to the merit, they might be content with the rewards, of learning. From this character Janus Lascaris107 Edition: current; Page: [285] will deserve an exception. His eloquence, politeness, and Imperial descent recommended him to the French monarchs; and in the same cities he was alternately employed to teach and to negotiate. Duty and interest prompted them to cultivate the study of the Latin language; and the most successful attained the faculty of writing and speaking with fluency and elegance in a foreign idiom. But they ever retained the inveterate vanity of their country: their praise, or at least their esteem, was reserved for the national writers, to whom they owed their fame and subsistence; and they sometimes betrayed their contempt in licentious criticism or satire on Virgil’s poetry and the oratory of Tully.108 The superiority of these masters arose from the familiar use of a living language; and their first disciples were incapable of discerning how far they had degenerated from the knowledge, and even the practice, of their ancestors. A vicious pronunciation,109 which they introduced, was banished from Edition: current; Page: [286] the schools by the reason of the succeeding age. Of the power of the Greek accents they were ignorant; and those musical notes, which, from an Attic tongue and to an Attic ear, must have been the secret soul of harmony, were to their eyes, as to our own, no more than mute or unmeaning marks, in prose superfluous and troublesome in verse.109a The art of grammar they truly possessed; the valuable fragments of Apollonius and Herodian were transfused into their lessons; and their treatises of syntax and etymology, though devoid of philosophic spirit, are still useful to the Greek student. In the shipwreck of the Byzantine libraries, each fugitive seized a fragment of treasure, a copy of some author, who, without his industry, might have perished; the transcripts were multiplied by an assiduous, and sometimes an elegant, pen; and the text was corrected and explained by their own comments or those of the elder scholiasts. The sense, though not the spirit, of the Greek classics was interpreted to the Latin world; the beauties of style evaporate in a version; but the judgment of Theodore Gaza selected the more solid works of Aristotle and Theophrastus, and their natural histories of animals and plants opened a rich fund of genuine and experimental science.110

Yet the fleeting shadows of metaphysics were pursued with more curiosity and ardour. After a long oblivion, Plato was revived in Italy by a venerable Greek,111 who taught in the Edition: current; Page: [287] house of Cosmo of Medicis. While the synod of Florence was involved in theological debate, some beneficial consequences might flow from the study of his elegant philosophy; his style is the purest standard of the Attic dialect; and his sublime thoughts are sometimes adapted to familiar conversation, and sometimes adorned with the richest colours of poetry and eloquence. The dialogues of Plato are a dramatic picture of the life and death of a sage; and, as often as he descends from the clouds, his moral system inculcates the love of truth, of our country, and of mankind. The precept and example of Socrates recommended a modest doubt and liberal inquiry; and, if the Platonists, with blind devotion, adored the visions and errors of their divine master, their enthusiasm might correct the dry dogmatic method of the Peripatetic school. So equal, yet so opposite, are the merits of Plato and Aristotle that they may be balanced in endless controversy; but some spark of freedom may be produced by the collision of adverse servitude. The modern Greeks were divided between the two sects; with more fury than skill they fought under the banner of their leaders; and the field of battle was removed in their flight from Constantinople to Rome. But this philosophic debate soon degenerated into an angry and personal quarrel of grammarians; and Bessarion, though an advocate for Plato, protected the national honour, by interposing the advice and authority of a mediator. In the gardens of the Medici, the academical doctrine was enjoyed by the polite and Edition: current; Page: [288] learned; but their philosophic society was quickly dissolved; and, if the writings of the Attic sage were perused in the closet, the more powerful Stagirite continued to reign the oracle of the church and school.112

I have fairly represented the literary merits of the Greeks; yet it must be confessed that they were seconded and surpassed by the ardour of the Latins. Italy was divided into many independent states; and at that time it was the ambition of princes and republics to vie with each other in the encouragement and reward of literature. The fame of Nicholas the Fifth113 has not been adequate to his merits. From a plebeian origin he raised himself by his virtue and learning: the character of the man prevailed over the interest of the pope; and he sharpened those weapons which were soon pointed against the Roman church.114 He had been the friend of the most eminent scholars of the age; he became their patron; and such was the humility of his manners that the change was scarcely discernible either to them or to himself. If he pressed the acceptance of a liberal gift, it was not as the measure of desert, but as the proof of benevolence; and, when modest merit declined his bounty, “Accept it,” would he say with a consciousness of his own worth; “you will not always have a Nicholas among ye.” The influence of the holy see pervaded Christendom; and he exerted that influence in the search, not of benefices, but of books. From the ruins of the Byzantine libraries, from the darkest monasteries of Germany Edition: current; Page: [289] and Britain, he collected the dusty manuscripts of the writers of antiquity; and, wherever the original could not be removed, a faithful copy was transcribed and transmitted for his use. The Vatican, the old repository for bulls and legends, for superstition and forgery, was daily replenished with more precious furniture; and such was the industry of Nicholas that in a reign of eight years he formed a library of five thousand volumes. To his munificence the Latin world was indebted for the versions of Xenophon, Diodorus, Polybius, Thucydides, Herodotus, and Appian; of Strabo’s Geography, of the Iliad, of the most valuable works of Plato and Aristotle, of Ptolemy and Theophrastus, and of the fathers of the Greek church. The example of the Roman pontiff was preceded or imitated by a Florentine merchant, who governed the republic without arms and without a title. Cosmo of Medicis115 was a father of a line of princes, whose name and age are almost synonymous with the restoration of learning; his credit was ennobled into fame; his riches were dedicated to the service of mankind; he corresponded at once with Cairo and London; and a cargo of Indian spices and Greek books was often imported in the same vessel. The genius and education of his grandson Lorenzo rendered him, not only a patron, but a judge and candidate, in the literary race. In his palace, distress was entitled to relief, and merit to reward; his leisure-hours were delightfully spent in the Platonic academy; he encouraged the emulation of Demetrius Chalcondyles and Angelo Politian; and his active missionary, Janus Lascaris, returned from the East with a treasure of two hundred manuscripts, fourscore of which were as yet unknown in the libraries of Europe.116 The rest of Edition: current; Page: [290] Italy was animated by a similar spirit, and the progress of the nation repaid the liberality of her princes. The Latins held the exclusive property of their own literature; and these disciples of Greece were soon capable of transmitting and improving the lessons which they had imbibed. After a short succession of foreign teachers, the tide of emigration subsided; but the language of Constantinople was spread beyond the Alps; and the natives of France, Germany, and England117 imparted to their country the sacred fire which they had kindled in the schools of Florence and Rome.118 In the productions of the mind, as in those of the soil, the gifts of nature are excelled by industry and skill; the Greek authors, forgotten on the banks of the Ilissus, have been illustrated on those of the Elbe and the Thames; and Bessarion or Gaza might have envied the superior science of the Barbarians: the accuracy of Budæus, the taste of Erasmus, the copiousness of Stephens, the erudition of Scaliger, the discernment of Reiske or of Bentley. On the side of the Latins, the discovery of printing was a casual advantage; but this useful art has been applied by Aldus, and his innumerable successors, to perpetuate and multiply the works of antiquity.119 A single manuscript imported from Greece Edition: current; Page: [291] is revived in ten thousand copies; and each copy is fairer than the original. In this form, Homer and Plato would peruse with more satisfaction their own writings; and their scholiasts must resign the prize to the labours of our Western editors.

Before the revival of classic literature, the Barbarians in Europe were immersed in ignorance; and their vulgar tongues were marked with the rudeness and poverty of their manners. The students of the more perfect idioms of Rome and Greece were introduced to a new world of light and science; to the society of the free and polished nations of antiquity; and to a familiar converse with those immortal men who spoke the sublime language of eloquence and reason. Such an intercourse must tend to refine the taste, and to elevate the genius, of the moderns; and yet, from the first experiments, it might appear that the study of the ancients had given fetters, rather than wings, to the human mind. However laudable, the spirit of imitation is of a servile cast; and the first disciples of the Greeks and Romans were a colony of strangers in the midst of their age and country. The minute and laborious diligence which explored the antiquities of remote times might have improved or adorned the present state of society: the critic and metaphysician were the slaves of Aristotle; the poets, historians, and orators were proud to repeat the thoughts and words of the Augustan age; the works of nature were observed with the eyes of Pliny and Theophrastus; and some pagan votaries professed a secret devotion to the gods of Homer and Plato.120 The Italians Edition: current; Page: [292] were oppressed by the strength and number of their ancient auxiliaries: the century after the deaths of Petrarch and Boccace was filled with a crowd of Latin imitators, who decently repose on our shelves; but in that era of learning it will not be easy to discern a real discovery of science, a work of invention or eloquence, in the popular language of the country.121 But, as soon as it had been deeply saturated with the celestial dew, the soil was quickened into vegetation and life; the modern idioms were refined; the classics of Athens and Rome inspired a pure taste and a generous emulation; and in Italy, as afterwards in France and England, the pleasing reign of poetry and fiction was succeeded by the light of speculative and experimental philosophy. Genius may anticipate the season of maturity; but in the education of a people, as in that of an individual, memory must be exercised, before the powers of reason and fancy can be expanded; nor may the artist hope to equal or surpass, till he has learned to imitate, the works of his predecessors.

Edition: current; Page: [293]

CHAPTER LXVII

Schism of the Greeks and Latins — Reign and Character of Amurath the Second — Crusade of Ladislaus, King of Hungary — His Defeat and Death — John Huniades — Scanderbeg — Constantine Palæologus, last Emperor of the East

The respective merits of Rome and Constantinople are compared and celebrated by an eloquent Greek, the father of the Italian schools.1 The view of the ancient capital, the seat of his ancestors, surpassed the most sanguine expectations of Emanuel Chrysoloras; and he no longer blamed the exclamation of an old sophist, that Rome was the habitation, not of men, but of gods. Those gods and those men had long since vanished; but, to the eye of liberal enthusiasm, the majesty of ruin restored the image of her ancient prosperity. The monuments of the consuls and Cæsars, of the martyrs and apostles, engaged on all sides the curiosity of the philosopher and the Christian; and he confessed that in every age the arms and religion of Rome were destined to reign over the earth. While Chrysoloras admired the venerable beauties of the mother, he was not forgetful of his native country, her fairest daughter, her Imperial colony; and the Byzantine patriot expatiates with zeal and truth on the eternal advantages of nature and the more transitory glories of art and Edition: current; Page: [294] dominion, which adorned, or had adorned, the city of Constantine. Yet the perfection of the copy still redounds (as he modestly observes) to the honour of the original; and parents are delighted to be renewed, and even excelled, by the superior merit of their children. “Constantinople,” says the orator, “is situate on a commanding point, between Europe and Asia, between the Archipelago and the Euxine. By her interposition, the two seas and the two continents are united for the common benefit of nations; and the gates of commerce may be shut or opened at her command. The harbour, encompassed on all sides by the sea and the continent, is the most secure and capacious in the world. The walls and gates of Constantinople may be compared with those of Babylon; the towers are many; each tower is a solid and lofty structure; and the second wall, the outer fortification, would be sufficient for the defence and dignity of an ordinary capital. A broad and rapid stream may be introduced into the ditches; and the artificial island may be encompassed, like Athens,2 by land or water.” Two strong and natural causes are alleged for the perfection of the model of new Rome. The royal founder reigned over the most illustrious nations of the globe; and, in the accomplishment of his designs, the power of the Romans was combined with the art and science of the Greeks. Other cities have been reared to maturity by accident and time; their beauties are mingled with disorder and deformity; and the inhabitants, unwilling to remove from their natal spot, are incapable of correcting the errors of their ancestors and the original vices of situation or climate. But the free idea of Constantinople was formed and executed by a single mind; and the primitive model was improved by the obedient zeal of the subjects and successors of the first Edition: current; Page: [295] monarch. The adjacent isles were stored with an inexhaustible supply of marble; but the various materials were transported from the most remote shores of Europe and Asia; and the public and private buildings, the palaces, churches, aqueducts, cisterns, porticoes, columns, baths, and hippodromes, were adapted to the greatness of the capital of the East. The superfluity of wealth was spread along the shores of Europe and Asia; and the Byzantine territory, as far as the Euxine, the Hellespont, and the long wall, might be considered as a populous suburb and a perpetual garden. In this flattering picture, the past and the present, the times of prosperity and decay, are artfully confounded; but a sigh and a confession escape from the orator, that his wretched country was the shadow and sepulchre of its former self. The works of ancient sculpture had been defaced by Christian zeal or Barbaric violence; the fairest structures were demolished; and the marbles of Paros or Numidia were burnt for lime or applied to the meanest uses. Of many a statue, the place was marked by an empty pedestal; of many a column, the size was determined by a broken capital; the tombs of the emperors were scattered on the ground; the stroke of time was accelerated by storms and earthquakes; and the vacant space was adorned, by vulgar tradition, with fabulous monuments of gold and silver. From these wonders, which lived only in memory or belief, he distinguishes, however, the porphyry pillar, the column and colossus of Justinian,3 and the church, Edition: current; Page: [296] more especially the dome, of St. Sophia: the best conclusion, since it could not be described according to its merits, and after it no other object could deserve to be mentioned. But he forgets that a century before the trembling fabrics of the colossus and the church had been saved and supported by the timely care of Andronicus the Elder. Thirty years after the emperor had fortified St. Sophia with two new buttresses, or pyramids, the eastern hemisphere suddenly gave way; and the images, the altars, and the sanctuary were crushed by the falling ruin. The mischief indeed was speedily repaired; the rubbish was cleared by the incessant labour of every rank and age; and the poor remains of riches and industry were consecrated by the Greeks to the most stately and venerable temple of the East.4

The last hope of the falling city and empire was placed in the harmony of the mother and daughter, in the maternal tenderness of Rome and the filial obedience of Constantinople. In the synod of Florence, the Greeks and Latins had embraced, and subscribed, and promised; but these signs of friendship were perfidious or fruitless;5 and the baseless fabric of the union vanished like a dream.6 The emperor and his prelates returned in the Venetian galleys; but, as they touched at the Morea and the isles of Corfu and Lesbos, the subjects of the Edition: current; Page: [297] Latins complained that the pretended union would be an instrument of oppression. No sooner did they land on the Byzantine shore than they were saluted, or rather assailed, with a general murmur of zeal and discontent. During their absence, above two years, the capital had been deprived of its civil and ecclesiastical rulers; fanaticism fermented in anarchy; the most furious monks reigned over the conscience of women and bigots; and the hatred of the Latin name was the first principle of nature and religion. Before his departure for Italy, the emperor had flattered the city with the assurance of a prompt relief and a powerful succour; and the clergy, confident in their orthodoxy and science, had promised themselves and their flocks an easy victory over the blind shepherds of the West. The double disappointment exasperated the Greeks; the conscience of the subscribing prelates was awakened; the hour of temptation was past; and they had more to dread from the public resentment than they could hope from the favour of the emperor or the pope. Instead of justifying their conduct, they deplored their weakness, professed their contrition, and cast themselves on the mercy of God and of their brethren. To the reproachful question, What had been the event or use of their Italian synod? they answered, with sighs and tears, “Alas! we have made a new faith; we have exchanged piety for impiety; we have betrayed the immaculate sacrifice; and we are become Azymites.” (The Azymites were those who celebrated the communion with unleavened bread; and I must retract or qualify the praise which I have bestowed on the growing philosophy of the times.) “Alas! we have been seduced by distress, by fraud, and by the hopes and fears of a transitory life. The hand that has signed the union should be cut off; and the tongue that has pronounced the Latin creed deserves to be torn from the root.” The best proof of their repentance was an increase of zeal for the most trivial rites and the most incomprehensible doctrines; and an absolute separation from all, without excepting their prince, who preserved some Edition: current; Page: [298] regard for honour and consistency. After the decease of the patriarch Joseph, the archbishops of Heraclea and Trebizond had courage to refuse the vacant office; and Cardinal Bessarion preferred the warm and comfortable shelter of the Vatican. The choice of the emperor and his clergy was confined to Metrophanes of Cyzicus: he was consecrated in St. Sophia, but the temple was vacant; the cross-bearers abdicated their service; the infection spread from the city to the villages; and Metrophanes discharged, without effect, some ecclesiastical thunders against a nation of schismatics. The eyes of the Greeks were directed to Mark of Ephesus, the champion of his country; and the sufferings of the holy confessor were repaid with a tribute of admiration and applause. His example and writings propagated the flame of religious discord; age and infirmity soon removed him from the world; but the gospel of Mark was not a law of forgiveness; and he requested with his dying breath that none of the adherents of Rome might attend his obsequies or pray for his soul.7

The schism was not confined to the narrow limits of the Edition: current; Page: [299] Byzantine empire. Secure under the Mamaluke sceptre, the three patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem assembled a numerous synod; disowned their representatives at Ferrara and Florence; condemned the creed and council of the Latins; and threatened the emperor of Constantinople with the censures of the Eastern church. Of the sectaries of the Greek communion, the Russians were the most powerful, ignorant, and superstitious. Their primate, the cardinal Isidore, hastened from Florence to Moscow,8 to reduce the independent nation under the Roman yoke. But the Russian bishops had been educated at Mount Athos; and the prince and people embraced the theology of their priests. They were scandalised by the title, the pomp, the Latin cross, of the legate, the friend of those impious men who shaved their beards and performed the divine office with gloves on their hands and rings on their fingers. Isidore was condemned by a synod; his person was imprisoned in a monastery; and it was with extreme difficulty that the cardinal could escape from the hands of a fierce and fanatic people.9 The Russians refused a passage to the missionaries of Rome, who aspired to convert the pagans beyond the Tanais;10 and their refusal Edition: current; Page: [300] was justified by the maxim that the guilt of idolatry is less damnable than that of schism. The errors of the Bohemians were excused by their abhorrence for the pope; and a deputation of the Greek clergy solicited the friendship of those sanguinary enthusiasts.11 While Eugenius triumphed in the union and orthodoxy of the Greeks, his party was contracted to the walls, or rather to the palace, of Constantinople. The zeal of Palæologus had been excited by interest; it was soon cooled by opposition: an attempt to violate the national belief might endanger his life and crown; nor could the pious rebels be destitute of foreign and domestic aid. The sword of his brother Demetrius, who, in Italy, had maintained a prudent and popular silence, was half unsheathed in the cause of religion; and Amurath, the Turkish sultan, was displeased and alarmed by the seeming friendship of the Greeks and Latins.

“Sultan Murad, or Amurath, lived forty-nine, and reigned thirty years, six months, and eight days. He was a just and valiant prince, of a great soul, patient of labours, learned, merciful, religious, charitable; a lover and encourager of the studious, and of all who excelled in any art or science; a good emperor, and a great general. No man obtained more or greater victories than Amurath; Belgrade alone withstood his attacks. Under his reign, the soldier was ever victorious, the citizen rich and secure. If he subdued any country, his first care was to build moschs and caravanseras, hospitals, and colleges. Every year he gave a thousand pieces of gold to the sons of the Prophet; and sent two thousand five hundred to the religious persons of Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem.”12 This portrait is transcribed from the historian of the Edition: current; Page: [301] Othman empire; but the applause of a servile and superstitious people has been lavished on the worst of tyrants; and the virtues of a sultan are often the vices most useful to himself, or most agreeable to his subjects. A nation ignorant of the equal benefits of liberty and law must be awed by the flashes of arbitrary power: the cruelty of a despot will assume the character of justice; his profusion, of liberality; his obstinacy, of firmness. If the most reasonable excuse be rejected, few acts of obedience will be found impossible; and guilt must tremble where innocence cannot always be secure. The tranquillity of the people and the discipline of the troops were best maintained by perpetual action in the field; war was the trade of the Janizaries; and those who survived the peril and divided the spoil applauded the generous ambition of their sovereign. To propagate the true religion was the duty of a faithful Musulman: the unbelievers were his enemies, and those of the Prophet; and, in the hands of the Turks, the scymetar was the only instrument of conversion. Under these circumstances, however, the justice and moderation of Amurath are attested by his conduct and acknowledged by the Christians themselves; who consider a prosperous reign and a peaceful death as the reward of his singular merits. In the vigour of his age and military power, he seldom engaged in a war till he was justified by a previous and adequate provocation; the victorious sultan was disarmed by submission; and in the observance of Edition: current; Page: [302] treaties his word was inviolate and sacred.13 The Hungarians were commonly the aggressors; he was provoked by the revolt of Scanderbeg; and the perfidious Caramanian was twice vanquished and twice pardoned by the Ottoman monarch. Before he invaded the Morea, Thebes had been surprised by the despot; in the conquest of Thessalonica,14 the grandson of Bajazet might dispute the recent purchase of the Venetians; and, after the first siege of Constantinople, the sultan was never tempted, by the distress, the absence, or the injuries of Palæologus to extinguish the dying light of the Byzantine empire.

But the most striking feature in the life and character of Amurath is the double abdication of the Turkish throne; and, were not his motives debased by an alloy of superstition, we must praise the royal philosopher,15 who, at the age of forty, could discern the vanity of human greatness. Resigning the sceptre to his son, he retired to the pleasant residence of Magnesia; but he retired to the society of saints and hermits. It was not till the fourth century of the Hegira that the religion of Mahomet had been corrupted by an institution so adverse to his genius; but in the age of the crusades the various orders of Dervishes were multiplied by the example Edition: current; Page: [303] of the Christian, and even the Latin, monks.16 The lord of nations submitted to fast, and pray, and turn round in endless rotation with the fanatics who mistook the giddiness of the head for the illumination of the spirit.17 But he was soon awakened from this dream of enthusiasm by the Hungarian invasion; and his obedient son was the foremost to urge the public danger and the wishes of the people. Under the banner of their veteran leader, the Janizaries fought and conquered; but he withdrew from the field of Varna, again to pray, to fast, and to turn round with his Magnesian brethren. These pious occupations were again interrupted by the danger of the state. A victorious army disdained the inexperience of their youthful ruler; the city of Hadrianople was abandoned to rapine and slaughter; and the unanimous divan implored his presence to appease the tumult, and prevent the rebellion, of the Janizaries. At the well-known voice of their master, they trembled and obeyed; and the reluctant sultan was compelled to support his splendid servitude, till, at the end of four years, he was relieved by the angel of death. Age or disease, misfortune or caprice, have tempted several princes to descend from the throne; and they have had leisure to repent of their irretrievable step. But Amurath alone, in the full liberty of choice, after the trial of empire and solitude, has repeated his preference of a private life.

After the departure of his Greek brethren, Eugenius had not been unmindful of their temporal interest; and his tender regard for the Byzantine empire was animated by a just apprehension Edition: current; Page: [304] of the Turks, who approached, and might soon invade, the borders of Italy. But the spirit of the crusades had expired; and the coldness of the Franks was not less unreasonable than their headlong passion. In the eleventh century, a fanatic monk could precipitate Europe on Asia for the recovery of the holy sepulchre; but, in the fifteenth, the most pressing motives of religion and policy were insufficient to unite the Latins in the defence of Christendom. Germany was an inexhaustible storehouse of men and arms;18 but that complex and languid body required the impulse of a vigorous hand; and Frederic the Third was alike impotent in his personal character and his Imperial dignity. A long war had impaired the strength, without satiating the animosity, of France and England;19 but Philip, duke of Burgundy, was a vain and magnificent prince; and he enjoyed, without danger or expense, the adventurous piety of his subjects, who sailed, in a gallant fleet, from the coast of Flanders to the Hellespont. The maritime republics of Venice and Genoa were less remote from the scene of action; and their hostile fleets were associated under the standard of St. Peter. The kingdoms of Hungary and Poland, which covered, as it were, the interior pale of the Latin church, were the most nearly concerned to oppose the progress of the Turks. Arms were the patrimony of the Scythians and Sarmatians; and these nations might appear equal to the contest, could they Edition: current; Page: [305] point, against the common foe, those swords that were so wantonly drawn in bloody and domestic quarrels. But the same spirit was adverse to concord and obedience; a poor country and a limited monarch are incapable of maintaining a standing force; and the loose bodies of Polish and Hungarian horse were not armed with the sentiments and weapons which, on some occasions, have given irresistible weight to the French chivalry. Yet, on this side, the designs of the Roman pontiff and the eloquence of Cardinal Julian, his legate, were promoted by the circumstances of the times;20 by the union of the two crowns on the head of Ladislaus,21 a young and ambitious soldier; by the valour of an hero, whose name, the name of John Huniades, was already popular among the Christians and formidable to the Turks. An endless treasure of pardons and indulgences were scattered by the legate; many private warriors of France and Germany enlisted under the holy banner; and the crusade derived some strength, or at least some reputation, from the new allies, both of Europe and Asia. A fugitive despot of Servia exaggerated the distress and ardour of the Christians beyond the Danube, who would unanimously rise to vindicate their religion and liberty. The Greek emperor,22 with a spirit unknown to his fathers, engaged to guard the Bosphorus, and to sally from Constantinople at the head of his national and Edition: current; Page: [306] mercenary troops. The sultan of Caramania23 announced the retreat of Amurath and a powerful diversion in the heart of Anatolia; and, if the fleets of the West could occupy at the same moment the straits of the Hellespont, the Ottoman monarchy would be dissevered and destroyed. Heaven and earth must rejoice in the perdition of the miscreants; and the legate, with prudent ambiguity, instilled the opinion of the invisible, perhaps the visible, aid of the Son of God and his divine mother.

Of the Polish and Hungarian diets, a religious war was the unanimous cry; and Ladislaus, after passing the Danube, led an army of his confederate subjects as far as Sophia, the capital of the Bulgarian kingdom.24 In this expedition they obtained two signal victories, which were justly ascribed to the valour and conduct of Huniades. In the first, with a vanguard of ten thousand men, he surprised the Turkish camp; in the second, he vanquished and made prisoner the most renowned of their generals, who possessed the double advantage of ground and numbers. The approach of winter and the natural and artificial obstacles of Mount Hæmus arrested the progress of the hero, who measured a narrow interval of six days’ march from the foot of the mountains to the hostile towers of Hadrianople and the friendly capital of the Greek empire. The retreat was undisturbed; and the entrance into Buda was at once a military and religious triumph. An ecclesiastical procession was followed by the king and his warriors on foot; he nicely balanced the merits and rewards of the two nations; and the pride of conquest Edition: current; Page: [307] was blended with the humble temper of Christianity. Thirteen bashaws, nine standards, and four thousand captives were unquestionable trophies; and, as all were willing to believe and none were present to contradict, the crusaders multiplied, with unblushing confidence, the myriads of Turks whom they had left on the field of battle.25 The most solid proof and the most salutary consequence of victory was a deputation from the divan to solicit peace, to restore Servia, to ransom the prisoners, and to evacuate the Hungarian frontier. By this treaty, the rational objects of the war were obtained: the king, the despot, and Huniades himself, in the diet of Segedin, were satisfied with public and private emolument; a truce of ten years was concluded; and the followers of Jesus and Mahomet, who swore on the Gospel and the Koran, attested the word of God as the guardian of truth and the avenger of perfidy. In the place of the Gospel, the Turkish ministers had proposed to substitute the Eucharist, the real presence of the Catholic deity; but the Christians refused to profane their holy mysteries; and a superstitious conscience is less forcibly bound by the spiritual energy, than by the outward and visible symbols, of an oath.26

During the whole transaction the cardinal-legate had observed a sullen silence, unwilling to approve, and unable to oppose, the consent of the king and people. But the diet was not dissolved before Julian was fortified by the welcome intelligence that Anatolia was invaded by the Caramanian, and Thrace by the Greek emperor; that the fleets of Genoa, Venice, and Burgundy were masters of the Hellespont; and Edition: current; Page: [308] that the allies, informed of the victory, and ignorant of the treaty, of Ladislaus, impatiently waited for the return of his victorious army. “And is it thus,” exclaimed the cardinal,27 “that you will desert their expectations and your own fortune? It is to them, to your God, and your fellow-Christians, that you have pledged your faith; and that prior obligation annihilates a rash and sacrilegious oath to the enemies of Christ. His vicar on earth is the Roman pontiff; without whose sanction you can neither promise nor perform. In his name I absolve your perjury and sanctify your arms; follow my footsteps in the paths of glory and salvation; and, if still ye have scruples, devolve on my head the punishment and the sin.” This mischievous casuistry was seconded by his respectable character and the levity of popular assemblies. War was resolved on the same spot where peace had so lately been sworn; and, in the execution of the treaty, the Turks were assaulted by the Christians; to whom, with some reason, they might apply the epithet of Infidels. The falsehood of Ladislaus to his word and oath was palliated by the religion of the times; the most perfect, or at least the most popular, excuse would have been the success of his arms and the deliverance of the Eastern church. But the same treaty which should have bound his conscience had diminished his strength. On the proclamation of the peace, the French and German volunteers departed with indignant murmurs; the Poles were exhausted by distant warfare, and perhaps disgusted with foreign command; and their palatines accepted the first licence and hastily retired to their provinces and castles. Even Hungary was divided by faction or restrained by a Edition: current; Page: [309] laudable scruple; and the relics of the crusade that marched in the second expedition were reduced to an inadequate force of twenty thousand men. A Walachian chief, who joined the royal standard with his vassals, presumed to remark that their numbers did not exceed the hunting retinue that sometimes attended the sultan; and the gift of two horses of matchless speed might admonish Ladislaus of his secret foresight of the event. But the despot of Servia, after the restoration of his country and children, was tempted by the promise of new realms; and the inexperience of the king, the enthusiasm of the legate, and the martial presumption of Huniades himself were persuaded that every obstacle must yield to the invincible virtue of the sword and the cross. After the passage of the Danube, two roads might lead to Constantinople and the Hellespont: the one direct, abrupt, and difficult, through the mountains of Hæmus; the other more tedious and secure, over a level country, and along the shores of the Euxine; in which their flanks, according to the Scythian discipline, might always be covered by a moveable fortification of waggons. The latter was judiciously preferred: the Catholics marched through the plains of Bulgaria, burning, with wanton cruelty, the churches and villages of the Christian natives; and their last station was at Warna, near the seashore, on which the defeat and death of Ladislaus have bestowed a memorable name.28

It was on this fatal spot that, instead of finding a confederate fleet to second their operations, they were alarmed by the approach of Amurath himself, who had issued from his Magnesian solitude and transported the forces of Asia to the Edition: current; Page: [310] defence of Europe. According to some writers, the Greek emperor had been awed, or seduced, to grant the passage of the Bosphorus; and an indelible stain of corruption is fixed on the Genoese, or the pope’s nephew, the Catholic admiral, whose mercenary connivance betrayed the guard of the Hellespont.29 From Hadrianople, the sultan advanced, by hasty marches, at the head of sixty thousand men; and, when the cardinal and Huniades had taken a nearer survey of the numbers and order of the Turks, these ardent warriors proposed the tardy and impracticable measure of a retreat. The king alone was resolved to conquer or die; and his resolution had almost been crowned with a glorious and salutary victory. The princes were opposite to each other in the centre; and the Beglerbegs, or generals of Anatolia and Romania, commanded on the right and left against the adverse divisions of the despot and Huniades. The Turkish wings were broken on the first onset; but the advantage was fatal; and the rash victors, in the heat of the pursuit, were carried away far from the annoyance of the enemy or the support of their friends. When Amurath beheld the flight of his squadrons, he despaired of his fortune and that of the empire: a veteran Janizary seized his horse’s bridle; and he had magnanimity to pardon and reward the soldier who dared to perceive the terror, and arrest the flight, of his sovereign. A copy of the treaty, the monument of Christian perfidy, had been displayed in the front of battle; and it is said that the sultan in his distress, lifting his eyes and his hands to heaven, implored the protection of the God of truth; and called on the prophet Jesus himself to avenge the impious mockery of his name and religion.30 With inferior numbers Edition: current; Page: [311] and disordered ranks, the king of Hungary rushed forwards in the confidence of victory, till his career was stopped by the impenetrable phalanx of the Janizaries. If we may credit the Ottoman annals, his horse was pierced by the javelin of Amurath;31 he fell among the spears of the infantry; and a Turkish soldier proclaimed with a loud voice, “Hungarians, behold the head of your king!” The death of Ladislaus was the signal of their defeat. On his return from an intemperate pursuit, Huniades deplored his error and the public loss; he strove to rescue the royal body, till he was overwhelmed by the tumultuous crowd of the victors and vanquished; and the last efforts of his courage and conduct were exerted to save the remnant of his Walachian cavalry. Ten thousand Christians were slain in the disastrous battle of Warna. The loss of the Turks, more considerable in numbers, bore a smaller proportion to their total strength; yet the philosophic sultan was not ashamed to confess that his ruin must be the consequence of a second and similar victory. At his command, a column was erected on the spot where Ladislaus had fallen; but the modest inscription, instead of accusing the rashness, recorded the valour, and bewailed the misfortune, of the Hungarian youth.32

Edition: current; Page: [312]

Before I lose sight of the field of Warna, I am tempted to pause on the character and story of two principal actors, the cardinal Julian, and John Huniades. Julian33 Cæsarini was born of a noble family of Rome; his studies had embraced both the Latin and Greek learning, both the sciences of divinity and law; and his versatile genius was equally adapted to the schools, the camp, and the court. No sooner had he been invested with the Roman purple than he was sent into Germany to arm the empire against the rebels and heretics of Bohemia. The spirit of persecution is unworthy of a Christian; the military profession ill becomes a priest; but the former is excused by the times; and the latter was ennobled by the courage of Julian, who stood dauntless and alone in the disgraceful flight of the German host. As the pope’s legate, he opened the council of Basil; but the president soon appeared the most strenuous champion of ecclesiastical freedom; and an opposition of seven years was conducted by his ability and zeal. After promoting the strongest measures against the authority and person of Eugenius, some secret motive of interest or conscience engaged him to desert, on a sudden, the popular party. The cardinal withdrew himself from Basil to Ferrara; and, in the debates of the Greeks and Latins, the two nations admired the dexterity of his arguments and the depth of his theological erudition.34 In his Edition: current; Page: [313] Hungarian embassy we have already seen the mischievous effects of his sophistry and eloquence, of which Julian himself was the first victim. The cardinal, who performed the duties of a priest and a soldier, was lost in the defeat of Warna. The circumstances of his death are variously related; but it is believed that a weighty incumbrance of gold impeded his flight, and tempted the cruel avarice of some Christian fugitives.

From an humble or at least a doubtful origin, the merit of John Huniades promoted him to the command of the Hungarian armies. His father was a Walachian, his mother a Greek: her unknown race might possibly ascend to the emperors of Constantinople; and the claims of the Walachians, with the surname of Corvinus, from the place of his nativity, might suggest a thin pretence for mingling his blood with the patricians of ancient Rome.35 In his youth, he served in the wars of Italy, and was retained, with twelve horsemen, by the bishop of Zagrab; the valour of the white knight36 was soon conspicuous; he increased his fortunes by a noble and wealthy marriage; and in the defence of the Hungarian borders he won, in the same year, three battles against the Turks. By his influence, Ladislaus of Poland obtained the crown of Hungary; and the important service was rewarded by the title and office of Waivod of Transylvania. The Edition: current; Page: [314] first of Julian’s crusades added two Turkish laurels on his brow; and in the public distress the fatal errors of Warna were forgotten. During the absence and minority of Ladislaus of Austria, the titular king, Huniades was elected supreme captain and governor of Hungary; and, if envy at first was silenced by terror, a reign of twelve years supposes the arts of policy as well as of war. Yet the idea of a consummate general is not delineated in his campaigns; the white knight fought with the hand rather than the head, as the chief of desultory Barbarians, who attack without fear and fly without shame; and his military life is composed of a romantic alternative of victories and escapes. By the Turks, who employed his name to frighten their perverse children, he was corruptly denominated Jancus Lain, or the Wicked; their hatred is the proof of their esteem; the kingdom which he guarded was inaccessible to their arms; and they felt him most daring and formidable, when they fondly believed the captain of his country irrecoverably lost. Instead of confining himself to a defensive war, four years after the defeat of Warna he again penetrated into the heart of Bulgaria; and in the plain of Cossova sustained, till the third day, the shock of the Ottoman army, four times more numerous than his own. As he fled alone through the woods of Walachia, the hero was surprised by two robbers; but, while they disputed a gold chain that hung at his neck, he recovered his sword, slew the one, terrified the other; and, after new perils of captivity or death, consoled by his presence an afflicted kingdom. But the last and most glorious action of his life was the defence of Belgrade against the powers of Mahomet the Second in person. After a siege of forty days, the Turks, who had already entered the town, were compelled to retreat; and the joyful nations celebrated Huniades and Belgrade as the bulwarks of Christendom.37 About a month Edition: current; Page: [315] after this great deliverance, the champion expired; and his most splendid epitaph is the regret of the Ottoman prince, who sighed that he could no longer hope for revenge against the single antagonist who had triumphed over his arms. On the first vacancy of the throne, Matthias Corvinus, a youth of eighteen years of age, was elected and crowned by the grateful Hungarians. His reign was prosperous and long. Matthias aspired to the glory of a conqueror and a saint; but his purest merit is the encouragement of learning; and the Latin orators and historians, who were invited from Italy by the son, have shed the lustre of their eloquence on the father’s character.38

In the list of heroes, John Huniades and Scanderbeg are commonly associated;39 and they are both entitled to our notice, since their occupation of the Ottoman arms delayed the ruin of the Greek empire. John Castriot, the father of Edition: current; Page: [316] Scanderbeg,40 was the hereditary prince of a small district of Epirus or Albania, between the mountains and the Adriatic Sea. Unable to contend with the sultan’s power, Castriot submitted to the hard conditions of peace and tribute; he delivered his four sons as the pledges of his fidelity; and the Christian youths, after receiving the mark of circumcision, were instructed in the Mahometan religion, and trained in the arms and arts of Turkish policy.41 The three elder brothers were confounded in the crowd of slaves; and the poison to which their deaths are ascribed cannot be verified or disproved by any positive evidence. Yet the suspicion is in a great measure removed by the kind and paternal treatment of George Castriot, the fourth brother, who, from his tender youth, displayed the strength and spirit of a soldier. The successive overthrow of a Tartar and two Persians, who carried a proud defiance to the Turkish court, recommended him to the favour of Amurath, and his Turkish appellation of Scanderbeg (Iskender beg), or the lord Alexander, is an indelible memorial of his glory and servitude. His father’s principality was reduced into a province; but the loss was compensated by the rank and title of Sanjiak, a command of five thousand horse, and the prospect of the first dignities of Edition: current; Page: [317] the empire. He served with honour in the wars of Europe and Asia; and we may smile at the art or credulity of the historian, who supposes that in every encounter he spared the Christians, while he fell with a thundering arm on his Musulman foes. The glory of Huniades is without reproach: he fought in the defence of his religion and country; but the enemies who applaud the patriot have branded his rival with the name of traitor and apostate. In the eyes of the Christians the rebellion of Scanderbeg is justified by his father’s wrongs, the ambiguous death of his three brothers, his own degradation, and the slavery of his country; and they adore the generous though tardy zeal with which he asserted the faith and independence of his ancestors. But he had imbibed from his ninth year the doctrines of the Koran; he was ignorant of the Gospel; the religion of a soldier is determined by authority and habit; nor is it easy to conceive what new illumination at the age of forty42 could be poured into his soul. His motives would be less exposed to the suspicion of interest or revenge, had he broken his chain from the moment that he was sensible of its weight; but a long oblivion had surely impaired his original right; and every year of obedience and reward had cemented the mutual bond of the sultan and his subject. If Scanderbeg had long harboured the belief of Christianity and the intention of revolt, a worthy mind must condemn the base dissimulation, that could only serve to betray, that could promise only to be forsworn, that could actively join in the temporal and spiritual perdition of so many thousands of his unhappy brethren. Shall we praise a secret correspondence with Huniades, while he commanded the vanguard of the Turkish army? shall we Edition: current; Page: [318] excuse the desertion of his standard, a treacherous desertion, which abandoned the victory to the enemies of his benefactor? In the confusion of a defeat, the eye of Scanderbeg was fixed on the Reis Effendi, or principal secretary; with a dagger at his breast, he extorted a firman or patent for the government of Albania; and the murder of the guiltless scribe and his train prevented the consequences of an immediate discovery. With some bold companions, to whom he had revealed his design, he escaped in the night, by rapid marches, from the field of battle to his paternal mountains. The gates of Croya were opened to the royal mandate; and no sooner did he command the fortress than George Castriot dropped the mask of dissimulation, abjured the Prophet and the sultan, and proclaimed himself the avenger of his family and country. The names of religion and liberty provoked a general revolt: the Albanians, a martial race, were unanimous to live and die with their hereditary prince; and the Ottoman garrisons were indulged in the choice of martyrdom or baptism. In the assembly of the states of Epirus, Scanderbeg was elected general of the Turkish war; and each of the allies engaged to furnish his respective proportion of men and money. From these contributions, from his patrimonial estate, and from the valuable salt-pits of Selina, he drew an annual revenue of two hundred thousand ducats;43 and the entire sum, exempt from the demands of luxury, was strictly appropriated to the public use. His manners were popular; but his discipline was severe; and every superfluous vice was banished from his camp; his example strengthened his command; and under his conduct the Albanians were invincible in their own opinion and that of their enemies. The bravest adventurers of France and Germany were allured by his fame and retained in his service; his standing militia consisted of eight thousand horse and seven thousand foot; the horses were small, the men were active; but he viewed with Edition: current; Page: [319] a discerning eye the difficulties and resources of the mountains; and, at the blaze of the beacons, the whole nation was distributed in the strongest posts. With such unequal arms, Scanderbeg resisted twenty-three years the powers of the Ottoman empire; and two conquerors, Amurath the Second and his greater son, were repeatedly baffled by a rebel whom they pursued with seeming contempt and implacable resentment. At the head of sixty thousand horse and forty thousand Janizaries,44 Amurath entered Albania: he might ravage the open country, occupy the defenceless towns, convert the churches into moschs, circumcise the Christian youths, and punish with death his adult and obstinate captives, but the conquests of the sultan were confined to the petty fortress of Sfetigrade; and the garrison, invincible to his arms, was oppressed by a paltry artifice and a superstitious scruple.45 Amurath retired with shame and loss from the walls of Croya, the castle and residence of the Castriots; the march, the siege, the retreat, were harassed by a vexatious and almost invisible adversary;46 and the disappointment might tend to embitter, perhaps to shorten, the last days of the sultan.47 In the fulness of conquest, Mahomet the Second still felt at his bosom this domestic thorn; his lieutenants Edition: current; Page: [320] were permitted to negotiate a truce; and the Albanian prince may justly be praised as a firm and able champion of his national independence. The enthusiasm of chivalry and religion has ranked him with the names of Alexander and Pyrrhus, nor would they blush to acknowledge their intrepid countryman; but his narrow dominion and slender powers must leave him at an humble distance below the heroes of antiquity, who triumphed over the East and the Roman legions. His splendid achievements, the bashaws whom he encountered, the armies that he discomfited, and the three thousand Turks who were slain by his single hand, must be weighed in the scales of suspicious criticism. Against an illiterate enemy, and in the dark solitude of Epirus, his partial biographers may safely indulge the latitude of romance; but their fictions are exposed by the light of Italian history; and they afford a strong presumption against their own truth by a fabulous tale of his exploits, when he passed the Adriatic with eight hundred horse to the succour of the king of Naples.48 Without disparagement to his fame, they might have owned that he was finally oppressed by the Ottoman powers; in his extreme danger, he applied to Pope Pius the Second for a refuge in the ecclesiastical state; and his resources were almost exhausted, since Scanderbeg died a fugitive at Lissus, on the Venetian territory.49 His sepulchre was soon violated Edition: current; Page: [321] by the Turkish conquerors; but the Janizaries, who wore his bones enchased in a bracelet, declared by this superstitious amulet their involuntary reverence for his valour. The instant ruin of his country may redound to the hero’s glory; yet, had he balanced the consequences of submission and resistance, a patriot, perhaps, would have declined the unequal contest which must depend on the life and genius of one man. Scanderbeg might indeed be supported by the rational though fallacious hope that the pope, the king of Naples, and the Venetian republic would join in the defence of a free and Christian people, who guarded the sea-coast of the Adriatic and the narrow passage from Greece to Italy. His infant son was saved from the national shipwreck; the Castriots50 were invested with a Neapolitan dukedom, and their blood continues to flow in the noblest families of the realm. A colony of Albanian fugitives obtained a settlement in Calabria, and they preserve at this day the language and manners of their ancestors.51

In the long career of the decline and fall of the Roman empire, I have reached at length the last reign of the princes of Constantinople, who so feebly sustained the name and majesty of the Cæsars.52 On the decease of John Palæologus, who survived about four years the Hungarian crusade,53 the Edition: current; Page: [322] royal family, by the death of Andronicus and the monastic profession of Isidore, was reduced to three princes, Constantine, Demetrius, and Thomas, the surviving sons of the emperor Manuel. Of these the first and the last were far distant in the Morea; but Demetrius, who possessed the domain of Selybria, was in the suburbs, at the head of a party; his ambition was not chilled by the public distress; and his conspiracy with the Turks and the schismatics had already disturbed the peace of his country. The funeral of the late emperor was accelerated with singular and even suspicious haste; the claim of Demetrius to the vacant throne was justified by a trite and flimsy sophism, that he was born in the purple, the eldest son of his father’s reign. But the empress-mother, the senate and soldiers, the clergy and people, were unanimous in the cause of the lawful successor; and the despot Thomas, who, ignorant of the change, accidentally returned to the capital, asserted with becoming zeal the interest of his absent brother. An ambassador, the historian Phranza, was immediately despatched to the court of Hadrianople. Amurath received him with honour, and dismissed him with gifts; but the gracious approbation of the Turkish sultan announced his supremacy, and the approaching downfall of the Eastern empire. By the hands of two illustrious deputies, the Imperial crown was placed at Sparta on the head of Constantine.54 In the spring, he sailed from the Morea, escaped the encounter of a Turkish squadron, enjoyed the acclamations of his subjects, celebrated the festival of a new reign, and exhausted by his donatives the treasure, or rather the indigence, of the state. The emperor immediately resigned to his brothers the possession of the Morea, and the brittle friendship of the two princes, Demetrius and Thomas, was confirmed in their mother’s presence Edition: current; Page: [323] by the frail security of oaths and embraces. His next occupation was the choice of a consort. A daughter of the doge of Venice had been proposed; but the Byzantine nobles objected the distance between an hereditary monarch and an elective magistrate; and in their subsequent distress the chief of that powerful republic was not unmindful of the affront. Constantine afterwards hesitated between the royal families of Trebizond and Georgia; and the embassy of Phranza represents in his public and private life the last days of the Byzantine empire.55

The protovestiare, or great chamberlain, Phranza, sailed from Constantinople as minister of a bridegroom; and the relics of wealth and luxury were applied to his pompous appearance. His numerous retinue consisted of nobles and guards, of physicians and monks; he was attended by a band of music; and the term of his costly embassy was protracted above two years. On his arrival in Georgia or Iberia, the natives from the towns and villages flocked around the strangers; and such was their simplicity that they were delighted with the effects, without understanding the cause, of musical harmony. Among the crowd was an old man, above an hundred years of age, who had formerly been carried away a captive by the Barbarians,56 and who amused his hearers with a tale of the wonders of India,57 from whence he had returned to Portugal by an unknown sea.58 From Edition: current; Page: [324] this hospitable land Phranza proceeded to the court of Trebizond, where he was informed by the Greek prince of the recent decease of Amurath. Instead of rejoicing in the deliverance, the experienced statesman expressed his apprehension that an ambitious youth would not long adhere to the sage and pacific system of his father. After the sultan’s decease, his Christian wife Maria,59 the daughter of the Servian despot, had been honourably restored to her parents: on the fame of her beauty and merit, she was recommended by the ambassador as the most worthy object of the royal choice; and Phranza recapitulates and refutes the specious objections that might be raised against the proposal. The majesty of the purple would ennoble an unequal alliance; the bar of affinity might be removed by liberal alms and the dispensation of the church; the disgrace of Turkish nuptials had been repeatedly overlooked; and, though the fair Maria was near fifty years of age, she might yet hope to give an heir to the empire. Constantine listened to the advice, which was transmitted in the first ship that sailed from Trebizond; but the factions of the court opposed his marriage; and it was finally prevented by the pious vow of the sultana, who ended her days in the monastic profession. Reduced to the first alternative, the choice of Phranza was decided in favour of a Georgian princess; and the vanity of her father was dazzled by the glorious alliance. Instead of demanding, according to the primitive and national custom, a price for his daughter,60 he offered a portion of fifty-six thousand, with an annual pension of five thousand, ducats; and the services of the Edition: current; Page: [325] ambassador were repaid by an assurance that, as his son had been adopted in baptism by the emperor, the establishment of his daughter should be the peculiar care of the empress of Constantinople. On the return of Phranza, the treaty was ratified by the Greek monarch, who with his own hand impressed three vermilion crosses on the Golden Bull, and assured the Georgian envoy that in the spring his galleys should conduct the bride to her Imperial palace. But Constantine embraced his faithful servant, not with the cold approbation of a sovereign, but with the warm confidence of a friend, who, after a long absence, is impatient to pour his secrets into the bosom of his friend. “Since the death of my mother and of Cantacuzene, who alone advised me without interest or passion,61 I am surrounded,” said the emperor, “by men whom I can neither love nor trust nor esteem. You are not a stranger to Lucas Notaras, the great admiral: obstinately attached to his own sentiments, he declares, both in private and public, that his sentiments are the absolute measure of my thoughts and actions. The rest of the courtiers are swayed by their personal or factious views; and how can I consult the monks on questions of policy and marriage? I have yet much employment for your diligence and fidelity. In the spring you shall engage one of my brothers to solicit the succour of the Western powers; from the Morea you shall sail to Cyprus on a particular commission; and from thence proceed to Georgia to receive and conduct the future empress.” “Your commands,” replied Phranza, “are irresistible; but deign, great Sir,” he added, with a serious smile, “to consider that, if I am thus perpetually absent from my family, my wife may be tempted either to seek another husband or to throw herself into a monastery.” After laughing at his apprehensions, the emperor more gravely consoled him Edition: current; Page: [326] by the pleasing assurance that this should be his last service abroad, and that he destined for his son a wealthy and noble heiress; for himself, the important office of great logothete, or principal minister of state. The marriage was immediately stipulated; but the office, however incompatible with his own, had been usurped by the ambition of the admiral. Some delay was requisite to negotiate a consent and an equivalent; and the nomination of Phranza was half declared and half suppressed, lest it might be displeasing to an insolent and powerful favourite. The winter was spent in the preparations of his embassy; and Phranza had resolved that the youth his son should embrace this opportunity of foreign travel, and be left, on the appearance of danger, with his maternal kindred of the Morea. Such were the private and public designs, which were interrupted by a Turkish war, and finally buried in the ruins of the empire.62

Edition: current; Page: [327]

APPENDIX
ADDITIONAL NOTES BY THE EDITOR

1.: AUTHORITIES

Laonicus Chalcondyles1 belonged to a good Athenian family. He went twice as an ambassador to the Sultan Murad, and was on both occasions imprisoned. His History in 10 books covers the period 1298-1463, and thus includes the fall of the Empire of Trebizond. He was a man of great ability, and, though we may wish that he had not set it before himself to imitate Herodotus and Thucydides, we must recognise the talent which he displayed in handling a most intractable period of history. It is very interesting to pass from his predecessors in the series of the Byzantine historians to this writer. We no longer watch events from the single and simple standpoint of Constantinople. The true theme of Chalcondyles is not the decline of the diminished empire, but the growth and development of the Ottoman State.2 The centre of events shifts with the movements of the sultan. The weakest point of Chalcondyles is his chronology. (Ed. Baumbach (Geneva), 1615; ed. Bekker (Bonn), 1843.)

Ducas was a grandson of Michael Ducas (a scion of the imperial family of that name), who is mentioned as having taken part in the struggle between Cantacuzenus and John Palaeologus in the 14th century. He was secretary of the Genoese podestà at Phocaea, before the siege of Constantinople, and afterwards he was employed by the Gattilusi of Lesbos as an ambassador to the sultan. His connection with the Genoese helped, probably, to determine his ecclesiastical views; he was a hearty supporter of union with the Latin Church, as the great safeguard against the Turks. His History covers the period 1341-1462; he is more accurate than Chalcondyles. In language he is not a purist; his work is full of foreign words. (Ed. Bullialdus (Paris), 1649; ed. Bekker (Bonn), 1834, with a 15th cent. Italian translation, which fills up some gaps in the Greek.)

George Phrantzes (cp. above, p. 250, note 33), born 1401, was secretary of the Emperor Manuel, whose son Constantine he rescued at Palias in 1429. In 1432 Protovestiarios, he was made Prefect of Sparta in 1448, and then elevated to the post of Great Logothete. See further above, p. 250 and p. 322 sqq. Taken prisoner on the capture of Constantinople (cp. vol. xii. p. 47), he fled to the Peloponnesus, visited Italy, and ended his life as Brother Gregory in a monastery of Corfu, where he composed his Chronicle. This work, when Gibbon wrote, was accessible only in the Latin translation of Pontanus (1604). The Greek original was first published by F. K. Alter (Vienna, 1796), from an inferior MS. An improved text was issued by Bekker Edition: current; Page: [328] in the Bonn series, 1838.3 The history covers a longer period than that of Chalcondyles; beginning ad 1258, it comes down to ad 1476, the year before the work was completed. Bk. 1 comes down to the death of Manuel, Bk. 2, to the death of John; Bk. 3 treats of the reign of Constantine and the capture of the city; Bk. 4 the events of the following twenty-three years. The high position which he held in the State and his opportunities of knowledge render Bks. 2 and 3 especially valuable. He is naturally a good hater of the Turks, from whom he had suffered so much. His style is not pedantic like that of Chalcondyles. (Biographical Monograph by G. Destunis in the Zhurnal Ministerstva narodn. prosv., vol. 287, p. 427 sqq., 1893.)

Critobulus of Imbros wrote a history of the deeds of Mohammad II. from ad 1451 to 1467. Although he is not out of sympathy with his countrymen, he has thrown his lot in with the conquerors, and he writes from the Turkish point of view. This is the interesting feature of his work, which is thus sharply contrasted with the histories of Chalcondyles and Ducas. He inscribes the book, in a dedicatory epistle, to Mohammad himself, whom he compares to Alexander the Great. Like Ducas and Chalcondyles, he describes the siege of Constantinople at second hand; but like theirs his very full description is a most valuable source for comparison with the accounts of the eyewitnesses. He can indeed be convicted of many small inaccuracies. For example, he states that Giustiniani was wounded in the chest, and that Constantine was slain near the Cercoporta; and in other parts of his work, his chronology is at fault. He was an imitator of Thucydides, and puts Thucydidean speeches into the mouth of Mohammad. But he does not scruple to use a “modern” foreign word like τούϕακες, “guns” (from the Turkish; cp. modern Greek τουϕέκι, a gun). The history of Critobulus is extant in an MS. at Constantinople, and it was first published by C. Müller, in the 2nd part of vol. v. of Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum, p. 40 sqq., 1870, with very useful notes.

The description of Murad’s siege of Constantinople by John Cananus is mentioned above, p. 224, note 93; and that of the siege of Thessalonica in 1430, by John Anagnostes, on p. 302, note 14.

The chronicle of the last years of the empire is briefly told in the anonymous Ekthesis Chronike, a work of the 16th century, published by C. Sathas in Bibl. Graec. Med. Aev. vii. p. 556 sqq. (1894). A new edition of this little work by Prof. Lampros is in preparation.

It remains to mention the Anonymous Dirge concerning Tamurlane, Θρη̂νος περὶ Ταμυρλάγγου, written during the campaign of Timur into Asia Minor. It is published by Papadimitriu in the Lietopis ist.-phil. obschestva of Odessa (Vizant. Otdiel.), ii. p. 173 sqq. (Older, bad ed. in Wagner’s Medieval Greek Texts, p. 105 sqq.) Timur’s name also appears in this poem as Ταμυρλάνης (l. 47) and Τεμύρης (l. 41).

Rashīd ad-Dīn, born 1247 at Hamadān was originally a physician, but became Vizir of Persia, 1298. He was executed by Abū Said in 1318. In the preface to his Jāmi at-Tawārīkh he acknowledges his obligations to a minister of Mongol birth and name, who was versed in Turkish and Mongolian history. He refers to the Altan depter, a book of Mongol annals which was in the Khan’s treasury, text and Russian translation by J. N. Berezin, 1858 sqq.

Edition: current; Page: [329]

Alā ad-Dīn Ata-mulk Juvainī composed a work entitled Jahān Kushāi (a history of the Conqueror of the World) on the last ten years of Chingiz, and coming down as far as ad 1257. Born in Khorāsān in ad 1227-8, he visited the court of Mangū Khān c. ad 1249. His work (of which there is a MS. in the British Museum) has never been printed, though he is one of the best authorities on the history of his time. But it has been largely used by D’Ohsson and others. For his biography see Fundgruben des Orients, i. 220-34.

Minhāj-i-Sirāj Jūzjānī, son of a cadi of the army of Mohammad Ghōrī, lived c. ad 1200-70, and wrote his history, the Tabākāt-i-Nāsirī, about the middle of the century, at the court of Nāsir ad-Dīn Mahmūd, King of Delhi. Beginning with the Patriarchs, he brought his history down to his own day, and Bk. 23 is occupied with the incursions of the Turks and Mongols, — the Karā-Khitāy Chingiz and his successors, to ad 1259. The author writes in a clear straightforward style, and supports his narrative by references to sources. The work was translated by Major Raverty in the Bibliotheca Indica (1848, etc.), and there are large extracts in Elliot and Dowson, History of India as told by its own historians, ii. 266 sqq.

The second and third Books of the Memoirs of Tīmūr are the Institutions and Designs which were translated by Major Davy (1783) and used by Gibbon. Book iv. coming down to 1375 ad has since been translated by Major Charles Stewart, 1830 (The Mulfuzāt Timūry, or autobiographical Memoirs of the Moghul Emperor Timūr). The original memoirs were written in Turkish (in the “Jagtay Tūrky language”) and were rendered into Persian by Abū Tālib Husainī. The English translations are made from the Persian version.

Mirza Haidar lived in the 16th century and was a cousin of the famous Bābar. His Tarīkh-i-Rashīdī (transl. by Elias and Ross, see above p. 133, note 12, with learned apparatus of introduction and notes) is “the history of that branch of the Moghul Khans who separated themselves, about the year 1321, from the main stem of the Chaghatai, which was then the ruling dynasty in Transoxiana; and it is the only history known to exist of this branch of the Moghuls” (Elias, ib. p. 7). There are two parts of the work; the second contains memoirs of the author’s life, etc., which do not concern any events touched upon by Gibbon. In the first part, written in 1544-6 in Cashmir, the author follows the history of two dynasties: the Khans of Moghulistān, beginning with Tughluk Tīmūr; and their vassals the Dughlāt amīrs of Eastern Turkestan, from one of whom Haidar was descended. This part of the work is based largely on oral traditions, but the author also made use of the work of Sharaf ad-Dīn. Mr. Elias criticises “the weakness of the chronology and the looseness with which numbers and measurements are made.”

Of Chinese authorities for the history of the Mongols, the most important is the annals entitled Yuan Shi, of which Bretschneider (Mediaeval Researches for Eastern Asiatic Sources, 1888) gives the following account (vol. i. p. 180 sqq.). In 1369 “the detailed records of the reigns of the thirteen Yüan emperors were procured, and the emperor (Hungwu) gave orders to compile the history of the Yüan [Mongols], under the direction of Sung Lien and Wang Wei. The work, which occupied sixteen scholars, was begun in the second month of 1369 and finished in the eighth month of the same year. But as at that time the record of the reign of Shun ti (the last Mongol emperor in China) was not yet received, the scholar Ou yang Yu and others were sent to Pei p’ing to obtain the required information. In the sixth month of 1370 the Yüan Shi was complete.” There were various subsequent Edition: current; Page: [330] editions. “The Yüan Shi has been compiled from official documents. Perhaps we must except the biographies, for which the information was probably often derived from private sources. It seems that the greater part of the documents on which the Chinese history of the Mongols is based had been drawn up in the Chinese language; but in some cases they appear to have been translated from the Mongol. I conclude this from the fact that in the Yüan Shi places are often mentioned, not, as usually, by their Chinese names, but by their Mongol names represented in Chinese characters” (p. 183). The Yuan Shi (p. 185 sqq.) is divided into four sections: (1) consists of the lives of the 13 Mongol Khans in Mongolia and China, and the annals of their reigns from Chingiz to Shun ti (1368); (2) memoirs (geographical, astronomical, politico-economical notices; regulations on dress, rites, public appointments, etc.; military ordinances, etc.); (3) genealogical tables and lists; (4) about a thousand biographies of eminent men of the period [Bretschneider observes that these biographies “bear evidence to the liberal views of the Mongol emperors as to the acknowledgment of merit. They seem never to have been influenced by national considerations”]; and notices of foreign lands and nations south and east of China (e.g., Korea, Japan, Burma, Sumatra).

An abstract of the annals of the Yüan shi is contained in the first ten chapters of the Yüan shi lei pien (an abbreviated History of the Mongols) which were translated by Gaubil in his Histoire de Gentchiscan (see above p. 133, note 11). From this abstract, and the Yüan shi and another work entitled the Shi Wei (Woof of History), Mr. R. K. Douglas compiled his Life of Jinghiz Khān, 1877.

The Yüan ch‘ao pi shi, Secret History of the Mongol dynasty, is a Chinese translation of a Mongol work, which was completed before 1240. It contains the early history of the Mongols, the reign of Chingiz, and part of the reign of Ogotai; and it was translated into Chinese in the early period of the Ming dynasty. An abridgment of this work was translated into Russian by Palladius, and published in 1866 in the Records of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission at Peking, vol. 4. It was only six years later that Palladius found that the work was extant in a fuller form. Bretschneider says: This document “corroborates generally Rashid-eddin’s records, and occasionally we find passages in it which sound like a literal translation of the statements of the Persian historiographer. This proves that Rashid had made use of the same source of information as the unknown author of the Yüan ch‘ao pi shi. As to the dates in the latter work, they are generally in accordance with the dates given by the Mohammadan authors; but in a few cases the Yüan ch‘ao pi shi commits great chronological blunders and misplacements of events, as, for instance, with respect to the war in the west.”

In his work cited above Bretschneider has rendered accessible other Chinese documents bearing on Mongol history, especially some relations of Chinese travellers and envoys; for example, an extract (i. p. 9 sqq.) from the Si Yu Lu (Description of Journey to the West) of Ye-lü Ch’u ts‘ai, a minister of Chingiz who attended him to Persia, 1219-24. (There is a biography of this Ye-lü in the Yüan Shi.) Bretschneider makes valuable contributions to the difficult subject of geographical identifications, and discusses among other documents the account of the Armenian prince Haithon’s visit to Mongolia, written by Guiragos Gandsaketsi. This Haithon I. must not be confounded with Haithon, the monk of Prémontré, mentioned by Gibbon (above p. 133, note 13). The account of Guiragos was translated into French by Klaproth (Nouv. Journ. Asiat., p. 273 sqq., 1833) from a Russian Edition: current; Page: [331] version by Argutinski; but the history of Guiragos has since been translated by Brosset.

Ssanang Ssetsen, a prince of the tribe of Ordus and a descendant of Chingiz, born ad 1604, wrote in Turkish a history of the eastern Mongols which he finished in 1662. It was thus written after the Manchus had conquered China and overthrown the Mongols. The earlier part of the book is practically a history of Tibet. The account of the origin of the Mongols is translated from Chinese sources. The author is a zealous Buddhist and dwells at great length on all that concerned the interests of his religion; other matters are often dismissed far too briefly. The relation of the career of Chingiz is marked by many anachronisms and inaccuracies. The work was made accessible by the German translation of I. J. Schmidt, under the title: Geschichte der Ostmongolen und ihres Fürstenhauses, 1829.

Modern Works. Finlay, History of Greece, vol. iii. J. von Hammer, Geschichte des osmanischen Reiches, vol. i. 1834. J. W. Zinkeisen, Geschichte des osmanischen Reiches in Europa, vol. i., 1840. Sir H. H. Howorth, History of the Mongols (see above, p. 133, note 12). Gregorovius, History of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages (see vol. xii. p. 66, note 2).

For a sketch of the history of the Ottoman Turks: S. Lane-Poole, Turkey (Story of the Nations); La Jonquière, Histoire de l’empire Ottoman.

For the laws, constitution, etc., of the Ottoman empire, the chief work is Mouradja d’Ohsson’s Tableau général de l’empire Ottoman, 7 vols. 1788-1824.

2.: THE ACCIAJOLI — (P. 92)

If Gibbon had been more fully acquainted with the history of the family of the Acciajoli, he would have probably devoted some pages to the rise of their fortunes. They rose to such power and influence in Greece in the 14th century that the subjoined account, taken from Finlay (vol. iv. p. 157 sqq.) — with a few additions in square brackets — will not be out of place.

“Several members of the family of Acciajoli, which formed a distinguished commercial company at Florence in the thirteenth century, settled in the Peloponnesus about the middle of the fourteenth, under the protection of Robert, king of Naples. Nicholas Acciajoli was invested, in the year 334, with the administration of the lands which the company had acquired in payment or in security of the loans it had made to the royal House of Anjou; and he acquired additional possessions in the principality of Achaia, both by purchase and grant, from Catherine of Valois, titular empress of Romania and regent of Achaia for her son prince Robert. [It is disputed whether he was her lover.] The encroachments of the mercantile spirit on the feudal system are displayed in the concessions obtained by Nicholas Acciajoli in the grants he received from Catherine of Valois. He was invested with the power of mortgaging, exchanging, and selling his fiefs, without any previous authorisation from his suzerain. Nicholas acted as principal minister of Catherine during a residence of three years in the Morea; and he made use of his position, like a prudent banker, to obtain considerable grants of territory. He returned to Italy in 1341 and never again visited Greece; but his estates in Achaia were administered by his relations and other members of the banking house at Florence, many of whom obtained considerable fiefs for themselves through his influence.

“Nicholas Acciajoli was appointed hereditary grand seneschal of the kingdom of Naples by Queen Jeanne, whom he accompanied in her flight to Provence when she was driven from her kingdom by Louis of Hungary. Edition: current; Page: [332] On her return he received the rich country of Amalfi, as a reward for his fidelity, and subsequently Malta was added to his possessions. He was an able statesman and a keen political intriguer; and he was almost the first example of the superior position the purse of the moneyed citizen was destined to assume over the sword of the feudal baron and the learning of the politic churchman. Nicholas Acciajoli was the first of that banking aristocracy which has since held an important position in European history. He was the type of a class destined at times to decide the fate of kingdoms and at times to arrest the progress of armies. He certainly deserved to have his life written by a man of genius, but his superciliousness and assumption of princely state, even in his intercourse with the friends of his youth, disgusted Boccaccio, who alone of Florentine contemporaries could have left a vivid sketch of the career which raised him from the partner of a banking-house to the rank of a great feudal baron and to live in the companionship of kings. Boccaccio, offended by his insolence, seems not to have appreciated his true importance as the type of a coming age and a new state of society; and the indignant and satirical record he has left of the pride and presumption of the mercantile noble is by no means a correct portrait of the Neapolitan minister. Yet even Boccaccio records in his usual truthful manner that Nicholas had dispersed powerful armies, though he unjustly depreciates the merit of the success, because the victory was gained by combinations effected by gold, and not by the headlong charge of a line of lances. [Boccaccio dedicated his Donne illustri to Niccolo’s sister Andrea, the countess of Monte Oderisio.]

“Nicholas Acciajoli obtained a grant of the barony and hereditary governorship of the fortress of Corinth in the year 1358. He was already in possession of the castles of Vulcano [at Ithome], Piadha near Epidauros, and large estates in other parts of the Peloponnesus. He died in 1365;1 and his sons Angelo and Robert succeeded in turn to the barony and government of Corinth. Angelo mortgaged Corinth to his relative [second cousin], Nerio Acciajoli, who already possessed fiefs in Acbaia, and who took up his residence at Corinth on account of the political and military importance of the fortress as well as to enable him to administer the revenues of the barony in the most profitable manner.

“Nerio Acciajoli, though he held the governorship of Corinth only as the deputy of his relation, and the barony only in security of a debt, was nevertheless, from his ability, enterprising character, great wealth, and extensive connections, one of the most influential barons of Achaia; and, from the disorderly state of the principality he was enabled to act as an independent prince.”

“The Catalans were the constant rivals of the Franks of Achaia, and Nerio Acciajoli, as governor of Corinth, was the guardian of the principality against their hostile projects. The marriage of the young countess of Salona [whose father Count Lewis died 1382] involved the two parties in war. The mother of the bride was a Greek lady; she betrothed her daughter to Simeon [Stephen Ducas], son of the prince of Vallachian Thessaly; and the Catalans, with the two Laurias at their head, supported this arrangement. But the barons of Achaia, headed by Nerio Acciajoli, pretended that the Prince of Achaia as feudal suzerain of Athens was entitled to dispose of the hand of the countess. Nerio was determined to bestow the young countess, with all Edition: current; Page: [333] her immense possessions, on a relative of the Acciajoli family, named Peter Sarrasin.2 The war concerning the countess of Salona and her heritage appears to have commenced about the year 1386 [1385]. The Catalans were defeated; and Nerio gained possession of Athens, Thebes, and Livadea.”

“About the commencement of the year 1394 Ladislas, king of Naples, conferred on him by patent the title of Duke of Athens — Athens forming, as the king pretended, part of the principality of Achaia.”

Nerio died in 1394. His illegitimate son Antonio inherited Thebes and Livadia, and wrested to himself the government of Athens, which Nerio’s will had placed under the protection of Venice on behalf of his daughter (the wife of Count Tocco of Cephalonia). Under Antonio “Athens enjoyed uninterrupted tranquillity for forty years. The republic of Florence deemed it an object worthy of its especial attention to obtain a commercial treaty with the duchy, for the purpose of securing to the citizens of the republic all the privileges enjoyed by the Venetians, Catalans, and Genoese.” The conclusion of this treaty is almost the only event recorded concerning the external relations of Athens during the long reign of Antonio. The Athenians appear to have lived happily under his government; and he himself seems to have spent his time in a joyous manner, inviting his Florentine relations to Greece, and entertaining them with festivals and hunting parties. Yet he was neither a spendthrift nor a tyrant; for Chalcocondylas, whose father lived at his court, records that, while he accumulated great wealth with prudent economy, he at the same time adorned the city of Athens with many new buildings. He died in 1435, and was succeeded by Nerio II., grandson of Donato, the brother of Nerio I.

[Buchon, Nouvelles Recherches, vols. i. and ii.; L. Tanfani, Niccolo Acciajoli, 1863; Hopf, Hist. Duc. Att. Fontes; Gregorovius, Geschichte der Stadt Athen im Mittelalter, vol. ii.]

3.: THE ISLAND DYNASTIES AFTER THE LATIN CONQUEST — (P. 89)

The facts about the history of the Greek islands during the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries were enveloped in obscurity, and fictions and false hypotheses were current, until the industry of Professor C. Hopf drew the material from the archives of Vienna and Venice. His publications rendered the work of Buchon and Finlay obsolete so far as the islands are concerned. He won the right of referring with contempt to Buchon’s schönrednerische Fabeleien und Finlays geistreich-unkritischer Hypothesenwust. The following list of the island-lordships is taken from his Urkunden und Zusätze zur Geschichte der Insel Andros und ihrer Beherrscher in dem Zeitraume von 1207 to 1566, published in the Sitzungsberichte of the Vienna Academy, 1856, vol. 21, p. 221 sqq.

1Ceos and Seriphos were under the Greek Empire from 1269 to 1296.
1Ceos and Seriphos were under the Greek Empire from 1269 to 1296.
Corfu. Venetian 1207-c. 1214; to Despotate of Epirus c. 1214-1259; King Manfred and Filippo Chinardo 1259-1267; Neapolitan 1267-1386; Venetian 1386-1797.
Cefalonia, Zante, Ithaca. Despotate of Epirus 1205-1337; Greek Empire 1337-1357; the Tocchi 1357-1482.
Santa Maura. Despotate of Epirus 1205-1331; Giorgi 1331-1362; the Tocchi 1362-1482.
Paxo. With Cefalonia 1205-1357; St. Ippolyto 1357-1484; Ugoth (Gotti) 1484-1527. With Cerigotto 1527-1797.
Cerigo (Cythera). The Venieri 1207-1269; the Monojanni 1267-1309; the Venieri 1309-1797.
Cerigotto. The Viari 1207-1655; the Foscarini and Giustiniani 1655-1797.
Salamis. With Athens.
Aegina. With Carystos 1205-1317; Aragonese 1317-c. 1400; Cavopena c. 1400-1451; Venetian 1451-1537.
Delos, Gyaros, Cythnos (Patmos). With Naxos. [Sanudo allowed Patmos, the apostle’s island, to preserve its independence.]
Tinos and Miconos. The Ghisi 1207-1390; Venetian 1390-1718. (Held in fief by Venetian counts belonging to the houses of Bembo, Quirini, and Fabieri 1407-1429.)
Andros. The Dandoli 1207-1233; the Ghisi 1233-c. 1250; the Sanudi c. 1250-1384; the Zeni 1384-1437; the Sommaripa 1437-1566.
Syra. With Naxos.
Zia (Ceos).1 ¼: The Giustiniani 1207-1366; the da Coronia 1366-1464; the Gozzadini 1464-1537.
     { ¼: The Michieli 1207-1355; the Premarini 1355 forward.
     { ½: The Ghisi 1207-1328; the Premarini 1328-1375.
          { 9/16: The Premarini 1375-1537.
          { 3/16: The Sanudi 1375-1405; the Gozzadini 1405-1537.
Serfene (Seriphos).1 ¼: the Michieli 1207-1537;
¼: the Giustiniani 1207-c. 1412; the Adoldi 1412 forward.
½: the Ghisi 1207-1334; the Bragadini 1334-1354; the Minotti 1354-1373; the Adoldi 1373-1432; the Michieli 1432-1537.
Thermia (Cythnos). The Sanudi 1207-c. 1320; the Castelli c. 1322-1331; the Gozzadini 1331-1537.
Sifanto (Siphnos), Sikino, 
Polycandro (Pholegandros). }
The Sanudi 1207-1269 (titular, 1341; the Grimani titular 1341-1537); Greek Empire 1269-1307; the da Coronia 1307-1464; the Gozzadini 1464-1617.
Milos and Cimolos. The Sanudi 1207-1376; the Crispi 1376-1566.
Santorin (Thera) and Therasia. The Barozzi 1207-1335; with Naxos 1335-1477; the Pisani 1477-1487; with Naxos 1487-1537.
Namfio (Anaphe). The Foscoli 1207-1269; Greek Empire 1269-1307; the Gozzadini 1307-1420; the Crispi 1420-1469; the Barbari 1469-1528; the Pisani 1528-1537.
Nio (Anaea). The Sanudi 1207-1269; Greek Empire 1269-1292; the Schiavi 1292-c. 1320; with Naxos c. 1320-1420; collateral branch of the Crispi 1420-1508; the Pisani 1508-1537.
Paros and Nausa. With Naxos 1207-1389; the Sommaripa 1389-1516; the Venieri 1516-1531; the Sagredi 1531-1537.
Antiparos. With Paros 1207-1439; the Loredani 1439-c. 1490; the Pisani 1490-1537.
Naxos. The Sanudi 1207-1362; the Dalle Carceri 1362-1383; the Crispi 1383-1566.
Scyros, Sciathos, }The Ghisi 1207-1269; Greek Empire 1269-1455; Venetian 1455-1537.
Chelidromi. }
Scopelos. The Ghisi 1207-1262; the Tiepoli 1262-1310; the Greek Empire 1310-1454; Venetian 1454-1538.
Negroponte. ⅓: the dalle Carceri 1205-1254; the da Verona 1254-1383; the Sommaripa 1383-1470.
⅓: the Peccorari 1205-1214; the dalle Carceri 1214-c. 1300; the Ghisi c. 1300-1390; Venetian 1390-1470.
⅓: The da Verona 1205-1383; the da Noyer 1383-1470.
Carystos (in Negroponte). The dalle Carceri 1205-c. 1254; the Cicons c. 1254-1292; the da Verona, 1292-1317; Aragonese 1317-1365; Venetian 1365-1386; the Giustiniani 1386-1404; Venetian 1404-1406; the Giorgi 1406-1470.
Lemnos. The Navigajosi (with these, subsequently, the Gradenighi and Foscari) 1207-1269; Greek Empire 1269-1453; the Gattilusj 1453-1462.
Lesbos. The Greek Empire 1205-1355; the Gattilusj 1355-1462.
Chios, Samos. With Constantinople (Empire of Romania) 1205-1247; with Lesbos 1247-1303; the Zaccaria 1303-1333; Greek Empire 1333-1346; the joint stock company of the Giustiniani, in 14 and more branches, 1346-1566.
Nikaria (Icaria). The Beazzani 1205-1333; with Chios 1333-1481; the knights of St. John 1309-1521.
Stampali (Astypalaea). The Quirini 1207-1269; Greek Empire 1269-1310; the Quirini and Grimani 1310-1537.
Amorgos. The Ghisi 1207-1269; Greek Empire 1269-1296 [? 1303]; the Ghisi 1296-1368;
½: the Quirini 1368-1537;
½: the Grimani 1368-1446; the Quirini 1446-1537.
Nisyros, Piscopia, Calchi. With Rhodes 1205-1306; the Assanti 1306-1385; with Rhodes 1385-1521.
Rhodes. Gavalas 1204-1246; Greek Empire 1246-1283; the Aidonoghlii 1283-1309; the Knights of St. John 1309-1521.
Scarpanto (Carpathos). With Rhodes 1204-1306; the Moreschi 1306-1309; the Cornari 1309-1522.
Candia. Montferrat 1203-1204; Venetian 1204-1669.

[See further Hopf’s Griechische Geschichte (cited above, vol. xi. App. 1. ad fin.); on Carystos, his art. in the Sitzungsber. of the Vienna Acad., 11, p. 555 sqq. (1853); on Andros, ib., 16, p. 23 sqq. (1855); on Chios, his article on the Giustiniani in Ersch and Gruber’s Enzyklopädie, vol. 68, p. 290 sqq., 1859 (and see T. Bent, The Lords of Chios, Eng. Hist. Rev. 4, p. 467 sqq., 1889); on the Archipelago his Veneto-byzantinische Analekten, 1860, and his article on the Ghisi in Ersch and Gruber, vol. 64, p. 336 sqq., 1857; on Negroponte, see J. B. Bury, The Lombards and Venetians in Euboea, in Journal of Hellenic Studies, 7, p. 309 sqq., 8, p. 194 sqq., 9, p. 91 sqq. (1886-8); and L. de Mas Latrie in the Rev. de l’Orient Latin, 1, p. 413 sqq. (1893).]

4.: MONGOL INVASION OF EUROPE, ad 1241 — (P. 146, 147)

It is only recently that European history has begun to understand that the successes of the Mongol army which overran Poland and occupied Hungary in the spring of ad 1241 were won by consummate strategy and were not due to a mere overwhelming superiority of numbers. But this fact has not yet become a matter of common knowledge; the vulgar opinion which represents the Tartars as a wild horde carrying all before them solely by their multitude, and galloping through Eastern Europe without a strategic plan, rushing at all obstacles and overcoming them by mere weight, still prevails. It will therefore not be amiss to explain very briefly the plan and execution of the Mongol campaign. The nominal commander-in-chief was Batu, but there is no doubt that the management of the expedition was in the hands of Subutai.

Edition: current; Page: [337]

The objective of Subutai was Hungary, — the occupation of Hungary and the capture of Gran (Strigonium), which was then not only the ecclesiastical capital but the most important town in the country. In advancing on Hungary, his right flank was exposed to an attack from the princes of Poland, behind whom were the forces of Bohemia and North Germany. To meet this danger, Subutai divided his host into two parts, which we may call the northern and the southern army. The duty of the northern army was to sweep over Poland, advance to Bohemia, and effectually prevent the princes of the north from interfering with the operations of the southern army in Hungary. Thus strategically the invasion of Poland was subsidiary to the invasion of Hungary, and the northern army, when its work was done, was to meet the southern or main army on the Danube.

The northern army advanced in three divisions. The main force under Baidar marched through the dominions of Boleslaw the Chaste, and took Cracow; then bearing north-westward it reached Oppeln on the Oder, where it defeated Prince Mieczyslaw; and descended the Oder to Breslau. At the same time Kaidu advanced by a more northerly route through the land of Conrad, prince of Mosovia and Cujavia; while on the extreme right a force under Ordu terrified the Lithuanians and Prussians and crossed the Lower Vistula. The three divisions reunited punctually at Breslau, the capital of Henry II. of Lower Silesia; and all took part in the battle of Liegnitz (April 9), for which King Wenzel of Bohemia arrived too late. Just one day too late: the Mongol generals had skilfully managed to force Prince Henry to fight before his arrival. Wenzel discreetly withdrew beyond the mountains into Bohemia; all he could hope to do was to defend his own kingdom. Saxony now lived in dread that its turn had come. But it was no part of the plan of Subutai to launch his troops into Northern Germany. They had annihilated the forces of Poland; it was now time for them to approach the main army in Hungary. The Mongols therefore turned their back upon the north, and marched through Upper Silesia and Moravia, capturing town after town as they went. Upon Wenzel who watched them with a large army, expecting them to invade Bohemia, they played a trick. He was posted near the defile of Glatz and the Mongols were at Ottmachau. They were too wary to attack him in such a position; it was necessary to remove him. Accordingly they marched back as if they purposed to invade Bohemia by the pass of the Königstein in the north. Wenzel marched to the threatened point; and when the Mongols saw him safely there, they rapidly retraced their steps and reached Moravia (end of April, beginning of May).

Meanwhile the main army advanced into Hungary in three columns converging on the Upper Theiss. The right wing was led by Shaiban, a younger brother of Batu, and seems to have advanced on the Porta Hungariae — the north-western entrance to Hungary, in the Little Carpathians. The central column under Subutai himself, with Batu, marched on the Porta Rusciae, the defile which leads from Galicia into the valley of the Theiss. The left column, under Kadan and Buri, moved through Transylvania towards the Körös.

The Porta Rusciae was carried, its defenders annihilated, on March 15; and a flying column of Tartars shot across Hungary, in advance of the main army. On March 15 they were half a day’s journey from Pest, having ridden about 180 miles in less than three days. On the 17th they fought and defeated an Hungarian force, and on the same day Shaiban’s right column captured Waitzen, a fort near the angle where the Danube bends southward. The object of Subutai in sending the advance squadron Pestward Edition: current; Page: [338] was doubtless to multiply difficulties for the Hungarians in organising their preparations. These preparations were already hampered by the conflicts and jealousies between the king and his nobles; and then towards the end of March befell the murder of Kutan, the chief of the Cumans, and the consequent revolt of the Cumans, — mentioned by Gibbon, — which demolished the defence of Eastern Hungary. Meanwhile Kadan’s left column had advanced through Transylvania and passed the Körös and Theiss; in the first days of April it advanced to the Danube, in the neighbourhood of Pest. Subutai had in the meantime arrived himself with the main central column, and the three columns of the central army were now together in position on the left bank of the Danube from Waitzen to Pest. But the Hungarian army with its German allies and Slavonic contingents had united at Pest, about 100,000 strong; and it was impossible for the Mongols to cross in the face of such a host. Accordingly Subutai began a retreat, drawing the enemy after him. He retired behind the Sajó, not far from the confluence of that river with the Theiss, — a central position on the route from Pest to Galicia, where he was in touch with his own base of operations near Unghvar and the Porta Rusciae. The Hungarians took up their position on the opposite bank in the plain of Mohi. By skilful tactics the Mongols surrounded their camp and cut them to pieces on April 11, two days after the northern army had gained the battle of Liegnitz.

It was wonderful how punctually and effectually the arrangements of the commander were carried out in operations extending from the Lower Vistula to Transylvania. Such a campaign was quite beyond the power of any European army of the time; and it was beyond the vision of any European commander. There was no general in Europe, from Frederick II. downward, who was not a tiro in strategy compared to Subutai. It should also be noticed that the Mongols embarked upon the enterprise, with full knowledge of the political situation of Hungary and the condition of Poland; they had taken care to inform themselves by a well-organised system of spies: on the other hand, the Hungarians and Christian powers, like childish Barbarians, knew hardly anything about their enemies.

The foregoing summary is founded on the excellent study of G. Strakosch-Grassmann, Der Einfall der Mongolen, in Mitteleuropa in den Jahren 1241 und 1242, 1893, and the vivid account of L. Cahun, in his Introduction à l’Histoire de l’Asie, p. 352 sqq. The chief defect in Strakosch-Grassmann’s book is that he does not give to Subutai his proper place. The important Chinese biography of Subutai is translated in the first vol. of Bretschneider’s Mediæval Researches from Eastern Asiatic Sources, 1888. All the western authorities have been carefully studied and analysed by Strakosch-Grassmann. (The account of the Mongol campaigns in Köhler’s Die Entwicklung des Kriegswesens und der Kriegführung in der Ritterzeit, vol. 3, pt. 3, 1889, may also be compared.)

1

See the original treaty of partition, in the Venetian Chronicle of Andrew Dandolo, p. 326-330 [Tafel und Thomas, Urkunden zur ältern Handelsund Staatsgeschichte der Republik Venedig, i. 454. The treaty was concluded and drawn up before the city was taken], and the subsequent election in Villehardouin, No. 136-140, with Ducange in his Observations, and the 1st book of his Histoire de Constantinople sous l’Empire des François.

2

After mentioning the nomination of the doge by a French elector, his kinsman Andrew Dandolo approves his exclusion, quidam Venetorum fidelis et nobilis senex, usus oratione satis probabili, &c., which has been embroidered by modern writers from Blondus to Le Beau.

3

Nicetas (p. 384), with the vain ignorance of a Greek, describes the marquis of Montferrat as a maritime power. Λαμπαρδίαν δὲ οἰκεɩ̂σθαι παράλιον. Was he deceived by the Byzantine theme of Lombardy, which extended along the coast of Calabria?

4

They exacted an oath from Thomas Morosini to appoint no canons of St. Sophia, the lawful electors, except Venetians who had lived ten years at Venice, &c. But the foreign clergy were envious, the pope disapproved this national monopoly, and of the six Latin patriarchs of Constantinople only the first and last were Venetians.

5

Nicetas, p. 383.

6

[The Assises of Jerusalem, at least the Assise of the Haute Cour, was probably not codified so early as 1204. But it had been introduced into the Peloponnesus before 1275.]

7

The Epistles of Innocent III. are a rich fund for the ecclesiastical and civil institution of the Latin empire of Constantinople; and the most important of these epistles (of which the collection in 2 vols. in folio is published by Stephen Baluze) are inserted in his Gesta, in Muratori, Script. Rerum Italicarum, tom. iii. p. 1, c. 94-105. [Migne, Patrol. Lat., vols. 214, 215, 216.]

8

In the treaty of partition, most of the names are corrupted by the scribes; they might be restored, and a good map, suited to the last age of the Byzantine empire, would be an improvement of geography; but, alas! d’Anville is no more! [The act of partition annexed to the treaty with geographical notes was edited by Tafel in his Symbolæ criticæ geographiam Byzantinam Spectantes, part 2.]

9

Their style was Dominus quartæ partis et dimidiæ imperii Romani, till Giovanni Dolfino, who was elected Doge in the year 1356 (Sanuto, p. 530, 641). For the government of Constantinople, see Ducange, Histoire de C. P. p. 37.

10

Ducange (Hist. de C. P. ii. 6) has marked the conquests made by the state or nobles of Venice of the islands of Candia, Corfu, Cephalonia, Zante, Naxos, Paros, Melos, Andros, Myconè, Scyro, Cea, and Lemnos. [See Appendix 3.]

11

Boniface sold the isle of Candia, Aug. 12, ad 1204. See the acts in Sanuto, p. 533; but I cannot understand how it could be his mother’s portion, or how she could be the daughter of an emperor Alexius. [Boniface’s Refutatio Cretis is printed in Tafel u. Thomas, Urkunden, 512, and in Buchon, Recherches et Matériaux, i. 10. Crete had been formally promised him by the young Alexius. He seems to have claimed Thessalonica on the ground that his brother had been created king of Thessalonica by Manuel, see vol. x. p. 335. The erection of the kingdom of Thessalonica was by no means agreeable to Baldwin; it threatened, weakened, and perhaps ruined the Empire of Romania. It was nearly coming to war between Baldwin and Boniface, but the Doge persuaded Baldwin to yield.]

12

In the year 1212, the doge Peter Zani sent a colony to Candia, drawn from every quarter of Venice. But, in their savage manners and frequent rebellions, the Candiots may be compared to the Corsicans under the yoke of Genoa; and, when I compare the accounts of Belon and Tournefort, I cannot discern much difference between the Venetian and the Turkish island.

13

[He married Margaret, widow of Isaac Angelus.]

14

Villehardouin (No. 159, 160, 173-177) and Nicetas (p. 387-394) describe the expedition into Greece of the marquis Boniface. The Choniate might derive his information from his brother Michael, archbishop of Athens, whom he paints as an orator, a statesman, and a saint. His encomium of Athens, and the description of Tempe, should be published from the Bodleian MS. of Nicetas (Fabric. Bibliot. Græc. tom. vi. p. 405), and would have deserved Mr. Harris’s inquiries. [The works of Michael Akominatos have been published in a full edition by S. Lampros (1879-80, 2 vols.). The dirge on Athens had been already published by Boissonade in Anecdota Græca, 5, p. 373 sqq. (1833). Gregorovius in his Gesch. der Stadt Athen im Mittelalter (where he draws a most interesting sketch of Akominatos in caps. 7 and 8) gives specimens of a German translation of the dirge, p. 243-4.]

15

[Leo Sguros of Nauplia made himself master of Nauplia, Argos, Corinth, and Thebes. He besieged Athens (see below, p. 90, note 72); and the Acropolis, defended by the archbishop Akominatos, defied him. From Thebes he went to Thessaly, and meeting the Emperor Alexius at Larissa married his daughter and received from him the title of Sebastohypertatos. When Boniface and his knights approached, father-in-law and son-in-law retreated to Thermopylæ, but did not await the approach of the enemy. Bodonitza close to the pass was granted by Boniface as a fief to Guy Pallavicini. Before he proceeded against Thebes, Amphissa, which about this time assumes the name Salona (or Sula), was taken, and given with the neighbouring districts including Delphi and the port of Galaxidi to Thomas of Stromoncourt. For Thebes and Athens see below, p. 90-1.]

16

Napoli di Romania, or Nauplia, the ancient sea-port of Argos, is still a place of strength and consideration, situate on a rocky peninsula, with a good harbour (Chandler’s Travels into Greece, p. 227). [It narrowly escaped becoming the capital of the modern kingdom of Greece.]

17

I have softened the expression of Nicetas, who strives to expose the presumption of the Franks. See de Rebus post C. P. expugnatam, p. 375-384.

18

A city surrounded by the river Hebrus, and six leagues to the south of Hadrianople, received from its double wall the Greek name of Didymoteichos, insensibly corrupted into Demotica and Dimot. I have preferred the more convenient and modern appellation of Demotica. This place was the last Turkish residence of Charles XII.

19

Their quarrel is told by Villehardouin (No. 146-158) with the spirit of freedom. The merit and reputation of the marshal are acknowledged by the Greek historian (p. 387), μέγα παρὰ τοɩ̂ς Λατίνων δυναμένου στρατεύμασι: unlike some modern heroes, whose exploits are only visible in their own memoirs.

20

See the fate of Mourzoufle, in Nicetas (p. 393), Villehardouin (No. 141-145, 163), and Guntherus (c. 20, 21). Neither the marshal nor the monk afford a grain of pity for a tyrant or rebel, whose punishment, however, was more unexampled than his crime.

21

The column of Arcadius, which represents in basso-relievo his victories, or those of his father Theodosius, is still extant at Constantinople. It is described and measured, Gyllius (Topograph. iv. 7), Banduri (ad l. i. Antiquit. C. P. p. 507, &c.), and Tournefort (Voyage du Levant, tom. ii. lettre xii. p. 231). [Nothing of the column remains now except its base.]

22

The nonsense of Gunther and the modern Greeks concerning this columna fatidica is unworthy of notice; but it is singular enough that, fifty years before the Latin conquest, the poet Tzetzes (Chiliad, ix. 277) relates the dream of a matron, who saw an army in the forum, and a man sitting on the column, clapping his hands and uttering a loud exclamation.

23

The dynasties of Nice, Trebizond, and Epirus (of which Nicetas saw the origin without much pleasure or hope) are learnedly explored, and clearly represented, in the Familiæ Byzantinæ of Ducange.

24

[Rather, by the help of his aunt Queen Thamar of Iberia. On the death of Andronicus in 1185 his two grandsons, Alexius and David, escaped to Iberia. Their aunt helped Alexius to found the independent state of Trapezus in 1204; and there he assumed the title of Grand-Komnenos. His brother David seized Paphlagonia. The Comneni never made common cause with the Emperors of Nicaea against the common enemies, either Turks or Latins. On the contrary, Theodore Lascaris defeated David and wrested his kingdom from him, leaving him only a small region about Sinope (1212), and in 1214 the Turks captured Sinope and David fell fighting. On the other hand Alexius maintained himself at Trebizond, and the Empire of Trebizond survived the Turkish conquest of Constantinople by eight years.]

25

Except some facts in Pachymer and Nicephorus Gregoras, which will hereafter be used, the Byzantine writers disdain to speak of the empire of Trebizond, or principality of the Lazi; and among the Latins, it is conspicuous only in the romances of the xivth or xvth centuries. Yet the indefatigable Ducange has dug out (Fam. Byz. p. 192) two authentic passages in Vincent of Beauvais (l. xxxi. c. 144), and the protonotary Ogerius (apud Wading, ad 1279, No. 4). [The short history of the Emperors of Trebizond from 1204-1426, by Michael Panaretos of Trebizond (lived in first half of 15th century) was published by Tafel at the end of his edition of Eustathius (p. 362 sqq.), 1833. It is translated in St. Martin’s ed. of Lebeau’s Hist. du bas-empire, vol. xx. p. 482 sqq. The first, who went thoroughly into the history of Trebizond, was Fallmerayer, and he published more material. See the Abhandlungen of the Bavarian Academy, 3cl., vol. 3, 1843; and Geschichte des Kaiserthums von Trapezunt, 1827. The story is told at length by Finlay in History of Greece, vol. iv. p. 307 sqq. But there is much more material, and A. Papadopulos-Kerameus has recently (1897) issued vol. i. of Fontes Historiæ Imperii Trapezuntini. And a new history of Trapezus, from the earliest times to the present day, has appeared in modern Greek: Ἱστορία τη̂ς Τραπεζον̂ντος (Odessa), 1898, by T. E. Evangelides.]

26

[His stepson Andronicus Gidos succeeded him in 1222, and was succeeded in 1235 by John, the eldest son of Alexius, who reigned only three years. Then came Manuel; and then John, who assumed the title “Emperor of the East, Iberia, and Peratea,” avoiding the title of Roman Emperor, in order to keep the peace with the Palaeologi of Constantinople. Peratea was a part of the Crimea which acknowledged his sway.]

27

[Michael was natural son of Constantine Angelus, uncle of the Emperors Isaac and Alexius III. He and his successors assumed the name Comnenus Angelus Ducas. Michael was murdered in 1214 and succeeded by his brother Theodore.]

28

The portrait of the French Latins is drawn in Nicetas by the hand of prejudice and resentment: οὐδὲν τω̂ν ἄλλων ἐθνω̂ν εἰς Ἅρεος ἔργα παρασυμβεβλη̂σθαι ἠνείχοντο, ἀλλ’ οὐδέ τις τω̂ν χαρίτων ἢ τω̂ν μουσω̂ν παρὰ τοɩ̂ς βαρβάροις τούτοις ἐπεξενίζετο, καὶ παρὰ τον̂το οἰμαι τὴν ϕύσιν ἠσαν ἀνήμεροι, καὶ τὸν χόλον εἰχον τον̂ λόγου προτρέχοντα.

29

I here begin to use, with freedom and confidence, the eight books of the Histoire de C. P. sous l’Empire des François, which Ducange has given as a supplement to Villehardouin; and which, in a barbarous style, deserves the praise of an original and classic work.

30

In Calo-John’s answer to the Pope, we may find his claims and complaints (Gesta Innocent. III. c. 108, 109); he was cherished at Rome as the prodigal son. [The name Kalo-John was also used of John Vatatzes, and of the young John Lascaris, son of Theodore ii.; see Mêliarakês, Ἱστορία τον̂ βασ. τη̂ς Νικαίας, p. 541, note.]

31

The Comans were a Tartar or Turkman horde, which encamped in the xiith and xiiith centuries on the verge of Moldavia. The greater part were Pagans, but some were Mahometans, and the whole horde was converted to Christianity (ad 1370) by Lewis, king of Hungary. [See vol. x. p. 49, n. 52, and p. 165, n. 36.]

32

Nicetas, from ignorance or malice, imputes the defeat to the cowardice of Dandolo (p. 383); but Villehardouin shares his own glory with his venerable friend, qui viels home ére et gote ne veoit, mais mult ére sages et preus et vigueros (No. 193).

33

The truth of geography and the original text of Villehardouin (No. 194 [366]) place Rodosto [Rhædestus] three days’ journey (trois jornées) from Hadrianople; but Vigenère, in his version, has most absurdly substituted trois heures; and this error, which is not corrected by Ducange, has entrapped several moderns, whose names I shall spare.

34

The reign and end of Baldwin are related by Villehardouin and Nicetas (p. 386-416); and their omissions are supplied by Ducange, in his Observations, and to the end of his first book.

35

After brushing away all doubtful and improbable circumstances, we may prove the death of Baldwin: 1. By the firm belief of the French barons (Villehardouin, No. 230). 2. By the declaration of Calo-John himself, who excuses his not releasing the captive emperor, quia debitum carnis exsolverat cum carcere teneretur (Gesta Innocent. III., c. 109).

36

See the story of this impostor from the French and Flemish writers in Ducange, Hist. de C. P. iii. 9; and the ridiculous fables that were believed by the monks of St. Alban’s in Matthew Paris, Hist. Major, p. 271, 272.

37

Villehardouin, No. 257. I quote, with regret, this lamentable conclusion, where we lose at once the original history, and the rich illustrations of Ducange. The last pages may derive some light from Henry’s two epistles to Innocent III. (Gesta, c. 106, 107). [Villehardouin’s story is poorly continued by Henry of Valenciennes, whose chronicle is printed along with Villehardouin in Wailly’s edition (ed. 3, 1882).]

38

The marshal was alive in 1212, but he probably died soon afterwards, without returning to France (Ducange, Observations sur Villehardouin, p. 238). His fief of Messinople, the gift of Boniface, was the ancient Maximianopolis, which flourished in the time of Ammianus Marcellinus, among the cities of Thrace (No. 141). [Messinopolis is the Mosynopolis of Greek historians.]

39

The church of this patron of Thessalonica was served by the canons of the holy sepulchre, and contained a divine ointment which distilled daily and stupendous miracles (Ducange, Hist. de C. P. ii. 4).

40

Acropolita (c. 17) observes the persecution of the legate, and the toleration of Henry (Ἔρη [Ἐρρη̂ gen.; Ἐρρη̂ς nom.], as he calls him) κλυδω̂να κατεστόρεσε.

41

[The dispute with Innocent was compromised at a parliament which Henry held at Ravennika in northern Greece (near Zeituni?) on May 2, 1210.]

42

See the reign of Henry, in Ducange (Hist. de C. P. l. i. c. 35-41, l. ii. c. 1-22), who is much indebted to the Epistles of the Popes. Le Beau (Hist. du Bas Empire, tom. xxi. p. 120-122) has found, perhaps in Doutreman, some laws of Henry, which determined the service of fiefs and the prerogatives of the emperor.

43

Acropolita (c. 14) affirms that Peter of Courtenay died by the sword (ἔργον μαχαίρας γενέσθαι); but from his dark expressions, I should conclude a previous capacity, ὡς πάντας ἄρδην δεσμώτας ποιη̂σαι σὑν πα̂σι σκεύεσι. The Chronicle of Auxerre delays the emperor’s death till the year 1219; and Auxerre is in the neighbourhood of Courtenay.

44

See the reign and death of Peter of Courtenay in Ducange (Hist. de C. P. l. ii. c. 22-28), who feebly strives to excuse the neglect of the emperor by Honorius III.

45

[When the empire was overthrown by the crusaders, Leo Gabalas made himself master of Rhodes. In 1233 John Vatatzes compelled him to acknowledge his supremacy, but left him in possession. The island was conquered by the knights of St. John in 1310.]

46

Marinus Sanutus (Secreta Fidelium Crucis, l. ii. p. 4, c. 18, p. 73) is so much delighted with this bloody deed that he has transcribed it in his margin as a bonum exemplum. Yet he acknowledges the damsel for the lawful wife of Robert.

47

See the reign of Robert in Ducange (Hist. de C. P. l. iii. c. 1-12). [Finlay thinks that Robert should have “seized the culprit immediately, and hung him in his armour before the palace gates, with his shield round his neck” (iv. p. 114).]

48

Rex igitur Franciæ, deliberatione habitâ, respondit nuntiis, se daturum hominem Syriæ partibus aptum, in armis probum (preux), in bellis securum, in agendis providum, Johannem comitem Brennensem. Sanut. Secret. Fidelium, l. iii. p. xi. c. 4, p. 205. Matthew Paris, p. 159.

49

Giannone (Istoria Civile, tom. ii. l. xvi. p. 380-385) discusses the marriage of Frederic II. with the daughter of John of Brienne, and the double union of the crowns of Naples and Jerusalem.

50

[For the act see Buchon, Recherches et Matériaux, p. 21-23.]

51

Acropolita, c. 27. The historian was at that time a boy, and educated at Constantinople. In 1233, when he was eleven years old, his father broke the Latin chain, left a splendid fortune, and escaped to the Greek court of Nice, where his son was raised to the highest honours.

52

[He did not arrive at Constantinople till 1231.]

53

[For this able and humane prince, see Jireček, Geschichte der Bulgaren, chap. xvi. He defeated the forces of Thessalonica and Epirus in the battle of Klokotnitza (near the Strymon), 1230, and extended his power over the greater part of Thrace, Macedonia, and Albania. His empire touched three seas and included the cities of Belgrade and Hadrianople. An inscription in the cathedral of Trnovo, which he built, records his deeds as follows: “In the year 6738 [= 1230] Indiction 3, I, Joannes Asēn, the Tsar, faithful servant of God in Christ, sovereign of the Bulgarians, son of the old Asēn, have built this magnificent church and adorned it with paintings, in honour of the Forty Martyrs, with whose help, in the 12th year of my reign, when the church was painted, I made an expedition to Romania and defeated the Greek army and took the Tsar, Kyr Thodor Komnin, prisoner, with all his bolyars. I conquered all the countries from Odrin [Hadrianople] to Dratz [Durazzo], — Greek, Albanian, and Servian. The Franks have only retained the towns about Tzarigrad [Constantinople] and that city itself; but even they submitted to my empire when they had no other Emperor but me, and I permitted them to continue, as God so willed. For without him neither work nor word is accomplished. Glory to him for ever, Amen.” (Jireček, p. 251-2.)]

54

Philip Mouskes, bishop of Tournay (ad 1274-1282), has composed a poem, or rather a string of verses, in bad old Flemish French, on the Latin emperors of Constantinople, which Ducange has published at the end of Villehardouin. [What Ducange published was an extract from the Chronique rimée of Mouskès, which began with the Trojan war. The whole work was first published by De Reiffenberg in 1836. Gibbon identifies Mouskès with Philip of Ghent, who became bishop of Tournay in 1274. This is an error. Mouskès was a native of Tournay and died in 1244.] See p. 224, for the prowess of John of Brienne.

  • N’Aie, Ector, Roll’ ne Ogiers
  • Ne Judas Machabeus li fiers
  • Tant ne fit d’armes en estors
  • Com fist li Rois Jehans cel jors,
  • Et il defors et il dedans
  • La paru sa force et ses sens
  • Et li hardiment qu’il avoit.
55

[John Asēn, threatened by the approach of Zenghis Khan (see below, chap. lxiv.), gave up the war and made a separate peace and alliance with the Eastern Emperors. But the alliance was soon abandoned, and Asēn returned to his friendship with Nicæa.]

56

See the reign of John de Brienne, in Ducange, Hist. de C. P. l. iii. c. 13-26.

57

See the reign of Baldwin II. till his expulsion from Constantinople, in Ducange (Hist. de C. P. l. iv. c. 1-34, the end l. v. c. 1-33).

58

Matthew Paris relates the two visits of Baldwin II. to the English court, p. 396, 637; his return to Greece armatâ manu, p. 407, his letters of his nomen formidabile, &c. p. 481 (a passage which had escaped Ducange), his expulsion, p. 850.

59

Louis IX. disapproved and stopped the alienation of Courtenay (Ducange, l. iv. c. 23). It is now annexed to the royal demesne, but granted for a term (engage) to the family of Boulanvilliers. Courtenay, in the election of Nemours in the Isle de France, is a town of 900 inhabitants, with the remains of a castle (Mélanges tirés d’une grande Bibliothèque, tom. xiv. p. 74-77).

60

[Tzurulos.]

61

Joinville, p. 104, édit. du Louvre. A Coman prince, who died without baptism, was buried at the gates of Constantinople with a live retinue of slaves and horses.

62

Sanut. Secret. Fidel. Crucis, l. ii. p. iv. c. 18, p. 73.

63

Under the words Perparus, Perpera, Hyperperum, Ducange is short and vague: Monetæ genus. From a corrupt passage of Guntherus (Hist. C. P. c. 8, p. 10), I guess that the Perpera was the nummus aureus, the fourth part of a mark of silver, or about ten shillings sterling in value. In lead it would be too contemptible.

64

For the translation of the holy crown, &c. from Constantinople to Paris, see Ducange (Hist. de C. P. l. iv. c. 11-14, 24, 35), and Fleury (Hist. Ecclés. tom. xvii. p. 201-204).

65

Mélanges tirés d’une grande Bibliothèque, tom. xliii. p. 201-205. The Lutrin of Boileau exhibits the inside, the soul and manners of the Sainte Chapelle; and many facts relative to the institution are collected and explained by his commentators, Brossette and de St. Marc.

66

It was performed ad 1656, March 24, on the niece of Pascal; and that superior genius, with Arnauld, Nicole, &c. were on the spot to believe and attest a miracle which confounded the Jesuits, and saved Port Royal (Oeuvres de Racine, tom. vi. p. 176-187, in his eloquent History of Port Royal).

67

Voltaire (Siècle de Louis XIV. c. 37; Oeuvres, tom. ix. p. 178, 179) strives to invalidate the fact; but Hume (Essays, vol. ii. p. 483, 484), with more skill and success, seizes the battery, and turns the cannon against his enemies.

68

The gradual losses of the Latins may be traced in the third, fourth, and fifth books of the compilation of Ducange; but of the Greek conquests he has dropped many circumstances, which may be recovered from the large history of George Acropolita, and the three first books of Nicephorus Gregoras, two writers of the Byzantine series, who have had the good fortune to meet with learned editors, Leo Allatius at Rome, and John Boivin in the Academy of Inscriptions of Paris.

69

[The conquest of Thessalonica, from the young Demetrius, son of Boniface, by Theodore Angelus, despot of Epirus, and Theodore’s assumption of the Imperial title ad 1222, have been briefly mentioned above, p. 24. His brother Manuel, and then his son John, succeeded to the Empire of Salonica. It was a matter of political importance for Vatatzes to bring this rival Empire into subjection; he marched against Thessalonica, but raised the siege (ad 1243) on condition that John should lay down the title of Emperor and assume that of despot. John died in the following year and was succeeded by his brother Demetrius; but in 1246 Demetrius was removed by Vatatzes, and Thessalonica became definitely part of the empire of Nicæa. Thus the Thessalonian empire lasted 1222-1243. Meanwhile Epirus had split off from the empire of Salonica, in 1236-7, under Michael II. (a bastard son of Michael I.), whose Despotate survived that Empire. See below, note 71.]

70

George Acropolita, c. lxxviii. p. 89, 90, edit. Paris.

71

[This victory was won by John Palæologus, brother of Michael, in the plain of Pelagonia near Kastoria, in Macedonia. The despot of Epirus, Michael II. (bastard of Michael I.), had extended his sway to the Vardar, and threatened Salonica. He was supported by Manfred, king of Sicily, who sent four hundred knights to his aid, as well as William Villehardouin, prince of Achaia. Finlay places the coronation of Michael Palæologus in Jan. 1259 — before the battle of Pelagonia (iii. 339); but it seems to have been subsequent, in Jan. 1260; see Mêliarakês, Ἱστορία τον̂ βασιλείου τη̂ς Νικαίας κ.τ.λ. (1898), p. 536-543.]

72

The Greeks, ashamed of any foreign aid, disguise the alliance and succour of the Genoese; but the fact is proved by the testimony of J. Villani (Chron. l. vi. c. 71, in Muratori, Script. Rerum Italicarum, tom. xiii. p. 202, 203) and William de Nangis (Annales de St. Louis, p. 248, in the Louvre Joinville), two impartial foreigners; and Urban IV. threatened to deprive Genoa of her archbishop. [For the treaty of Michael with Genoa in March, 1261, see Buchon, Recherches et matériaux, p. 462 sqq. (in French), or Zachariä v. Lingenthal, Jus. Græco-Rom., iii. p. 574 sqq. (in Latin). The Genoese undertook to furnish a fleet; but when these ships arrived Michael was already in possession of the city.]

73

[Spring, 1260.]

74

[Anseau de Cayeux (if that is the name), who was married to a sister-in-law of John Vatatzes. Cp. Mêliarakês, op. cit. p. 551-2.]

75

[Michael himself this spring passed and repassed repeatedly from Asia to Europe. He first took Selymbria, which was a valuable basis for further operations (Pachymeres, p. 110). Ecclesiastical business then recalled him to Asia; and having settled this he recrossed the Hellespont and for the second time besieged Galata (Pachymeres, p. 118 sqq.). He raised the siege and returned to Nymphæum, where he concluded the treaty with the Genoese.]

76

Some precautions must be used in reconciling the discordant numbers; the 800 soldiers of Nicetas; the 25,000 of Spandugino (apud Ducange, l. v. c. 24); the Greeks and Scythians of Acropolita; and the numerous army of Michael, in the Epistles of Pope Urban IV. (i. 129).

77

Θεληματάριοι. They are described and named by Pachymer (l. ii. c. 14). [The chief of these, who was very active in the capture of the city, was named Kutritzakês.]

78

It is needless to seek these Comans in the deserts of Tartary, or even of Moldavia. A part of the horde had submitted to John Vataces and was probably settled as a nursery of soldiers on some waste lands of Thrace (Cantacuzen. l. i. c. 2).

79

[Daphnusia, a town on a little island (now desert and named Kefken Adassi) off the coast of Bithynia, about 70 miles east of the mouth of the Bosphorus. Thynias was another name. Cp. Ramsay, Hist. Geography of Asia Minor, p. 182.]

80

[Near the Gate of Selymbria or Pegæ (see above, vol. iii., plan opp. p. 100); and it was through this gate that the entrance was to be broken.]

81

The loss of Constantinople is briefly told by the Latins; the conquest is described with more satisfaction by the Greeks: by Acropolita (c. 85), Pachymer (l. ii. c. 26, 27), Nicephorus Gregoras (l. iv. c. 1, 2). See Ducange, Hist. de C. P. l. v. c. 19-27. [It is also described by Phrantzes, p. 17-20, ed. Bonn.; and in an anonymous poem on the Loss (1204) and Recovery (1261) of Constantinople, composed in ad 1392 (published by Buchon. Recherches historiques 2, p. 335 sqq., 1845).]

82

See the three last books (l. v.-viii.), and the genealogical tables of Ducange. In the year 1382, the titular emperor of Constantinople was James de Baux [titular Emperor, 1373-1383], duke of Andria in the kingdom of Naples, the son of Margaret, daughter of Catherine de Valois [married to Philip of Tarentum], daughter of Catherine [married to Charles of Valois], daughter of Philip, son of Baldwin II. (Ducange, l. viii. c. 37, 38). It is uncertain whether he left any posterity.

83

Abulfeda, who saw the conclusion of the crusades, speaks of the kingdom of the Franks, and those of the negroes, as equally unknown (Prolegom. ad Geograph.). Had he not disdained the Latin language, how easily might the Syrian prince have found books and interpreters!

84

A short and superficial account of these versions from Latin into Greek is given by Huet (de Interpretatione et de claris Interpretibus, p. 131-135). Maximus Planudes, a monk of Constantinople (ad 1327-1353 [born c. 1260, died 1310]), has translated Cæsar’s Commentaries, the Somnium Scipionis, the Metamorphoses and Heroides of Ovid [the proverbial philosophy of the elder Cato, Boethius’ De Consolatione], &c. (Fabric. Bib. Græc. tom. x. p. 533 [ed. Harl. xi. 682 sqq.; Krumbacher, Gesch. der byz. Litt. 543 sqq. The Letters of Planudes have been edited by M. Treu (1890), who has established the chronology of his life (Zur Gesch. der Ueberlieferung von Plutarchs Moralia, 1877)].)

85

Windmills, first invented in the dry country of Asia Minor, were used in Normandy as early as the year 1105 (Vie privée des François, tom. i. p. 42, 43; Ducange, Gloss. Latin. tom. iv. p. 474).

86

See the complaints of Roger Bacon (Biographia Britannica, vol. i. p. 418, Kippis’s edition). If Bacon himself, or Gerbert, understood some Greek, they were prodigies, and owed nothing to the commerce of the East.

87

Such was the opinion of the great Leibnitz (Oeuvres de Fontenelle, tom. v. p. 458), a master of the history of the middle ages. I shall only instance the pedigree of the Carmelites, and the flight of the house of Loretto, which were both derived from Palestine.

88

If I rank the Saracens with the Barbarians, it is only relative to their wars, or rather inroads, in Italy and France, where their sole purpose was to plunder and destroy.

89

On this interesting subject, the progress of society in Europe, a strong ray of philosophic light has broke from Scotland in our own times; and it is with private as well as public regard that I repeat the names of Hume, Robertson, and Adam Smith.

90

I have applied, but not confined, myself to A Genealogical History of the Noble and Illustrious Family of Courtenay, by Ezra Cleaveland, Tutor to Sir William Courtenay, and Rector of Honiton; Exon. 1735, in folio. The first part is extracted from William of Tyre; the second from Bouchet’s French history; and the third from various memorials, public, provincial, and private, of the Courtenays of Devonshire. The rector of Honiton has more gratitude than industry, and more industry than criticism.

91

The primitive record of the family is a passage of the Continuator of Aimoin, a monk of Fleury, who wrote in the xiith century. See his Chronicle, in the Historians of France (tom. xi. p. 176).

92

Turbessel, or as it is now styled Telbesher, is fixed by d’Anville four and twenty miles from the great passage over the Euphrates at Zeugma. [Tell Bāsher, now Saleri Kaleh, “a large mound with ruins near the village of Tulbashar,” two days’ journey north of Aleppo (Sir C. Wilson, note to Bahā ad-Dīn, p. 58).]

93

His possessions are distinguished in the Assises of Jerusalem (c. 326) among the feudal tenures of the kingdom, which must therefore have been collected between the years 1153 and 1187. His pedigree may be found in the Lignages d’Outremer, c. 16.

94

The rapine and satisfaction of Reginald de Courtenay are preposterously arranged in the epistles of the abbot and regent Suger (cxiv. cxvi.), the best memorials of the age (Duchesne, Scriptores Hist. Franc. tom. iv. p. 530).

95

In the beginning of the xith century, after naming the father and grandfather of Hugh Capet, the monk Glaber is obliged to add, cujus genus valde in-ante reperitur obscurum. Yet we are assured that the great-grandfather of Hugh Capet was Robert the Strong, count of Anjou (ad 863-873), a noble Frank of Neustria, Neustricus . . . generosæ stirpis, who was slain in the defence of his country against the Normans, dum patriæ fines tuebatur. Beyond Robert, all is conjecture or fable. It is a probable conjecture that the third race descended from the second by Childebrand, the brother of Charles Martel. It is an absurd fable that the second was allied to the first by the marriage of Ansbert, a Roman senator and the ancestor of St. Arnoul, with Blitilde, a daughter of Clotaire I. The Saxon origin of the house of France is an ancient but incredible opinion. See a judicious memoir of M. de Foncemagne (Mémoires de l’Académie des Inscriptions, tom. xx. p. 548-579). He had promised to declare his own opinion in a second memoir, which has never appeared.

96

Of the various petitions, apologies, &c., published by the princes of Courtenay, I have seen the three following all in octavo: 1. De Stirpe et Origine Domus de Courtenay: addita sunt Responsa celeberrimorum Europæ Jurisconsultorum, Paris, 1607. 2. Représentation du Procédé tenu a l’instance faicte devant le Roi, par Messieurs de Courtenay, pour la conversation de l’Honneur et Dignité de leur Maison, Branch de la Royalle Maison de France, a Paris, 1613. 3. Représentation du subject qui a porté Messieurs de Salles et de Fraville, de la Maison de Courtenays, à se retirer hors du Royaume, 1614. It was an homicide, for which the Courtenays expected to be pardoned, or tried, as princes of the blood.

97

The sense of the parliaments is thus expressed by Thuanus: Principis nomen nusquam in Galliâ tributum, nisi iis qui per matres e regibus nostris originem repetunt: qui nunc tantum a Ludovico Nono beatæ memoriæ numerantur: nam Cortinaei et Drocenses, a Ludovico crasso genus ducentes, hodie inter eos minime recensentur: — a distinction of expediency rather than justice. The sanctity of Louis IX. could not invest him with any special prerogative, and all the descendants of Hugh Capet must be included in his original compact with the French nation.

98

The last male of the Courtenays was Charles Roger, who died in the year 1730, without leaving any sons. The last female was Helen de Courtenay, who married Louis de Beaufremont. Her title of Princesse du Sang Royal de France was suppressed (February 7, 1737) by an arrêt of the parliament of Paris.

99

The singular anecdote to which I allude, is related in the Recueil des Pièces intéressantes et peu connues (Maestricht, 1786, in four vols. 12mo); and the unknown editor [M. de la Place, of Calais] quotes his author, who had received it from Helen de Courtenay, Marquise de Beaufremont.

100

Dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum, vol. i. p. 786. Yet this fable must have been invented before the reign of Edward III. The profuse devotion of the three first generations to Ford Abbey was followed by oppression on one side and ingratitude on the other; and in the sixth generation the monks ceased to register the births, actions, and deaths of their patrons.

101

In his Britannia, in the list of the earls of Devonshire. His expression, e regio sanguine ortos credunt, betrays, however, some doubt or suspicion.

102

In his Baronage, p. i. p. 634, he refers to his own Monasticon. Should he not have corrected the register of Ford Abbey, and annihilated the phantom Florus, by the unquestionable evidence of the French historians?

103

Besides the third and most valuable book of Cleaveland’s History, I have consulted Dugdale, the father of our genealogical science (Baronage, p. i. p. 634-643).

104

This great family, de Ripuariis, de Redvers, de Rivers, ended, in Edward the First’s time, in Isabella de Fortibus, a famous and potent dowager, who long survived her brother and husband (Dugdale, Baronage, p. i. p. 254-257).

105

Cleaveland, p. 142. By some it is assigned to a Rivers, earl of Devon; but the English denotes the xvth rather than the xiiith century.

106

Ubi lapsus! Quid feci? a motto which was probably adopted by the Powderham branch, after the loss of the earldom of Devonshire, &c. The primitive arms of the Courtenays were, or, three torteaux, gules, which seem to denote their affinity with Godfrey of Bouillon and the ancient counts of Boulogne.

[Some further information on the family of the Courtenays will be found in a short note in the Gentleman’s Magazine for July, 1839, p. 39. Cp. Smith’s note in his ed. of Gibbon, vol. vii. p. 354.]

1

For the reigns of the Nicene emperors, more especially of John Vataces and his son, their minister, George Acropolita, is the only genuine contemporary; but George Pachymer returned to Constantinople with the Greeks, at the age of nineteen (Hanckius, de Script. Byzant. c. 33, 34, p. 564-578; Fabric. Bibliot. Græc. tom. vi. p. 448-460). Yet the history of Nicephorus Gregoras, though of the xivth century, is a valuable narrative from the taking of Constantinople by the Latins. [We have subsidiary contemporary sources, such as the autobiography of Nicephorus Blemmydes (recently edited by A. Heisenberg, 1896), who was an important person at the courts of Vatatzes and Theodore II. See vol. ix. Appendix 6. The Empire of Nicæa and Despotate of Epirus have been treated in the histories of Finlay and Hopf, but more fully in a recently published special work in modern Greek by Antonios Mêliarakês: Ἱστορία τον̂ βασιλείου τη̂ς Νικαίας καὶ τον̂ δεσποτάτου τη̂ς Ἠπείρου, 1898.]

2

Nicephorus Gregoras (l. ii. c. 1) distinguishes between the ὁξεɩ̂α ὁρμή of Lascaris, and the εὐστάθεια of Vataces. The two portraits are in a very good style.

3

Pachymer, l. i. c. 23, 24; Nic. Greg. l. ii. c. 6. The reader of the Byzantines must observe how rarely we are indulged with such precious details.

4

Μόνοι γὰρ ἁπάντων ἀνθρώπων ὀνομαστότατοι βασιλεὺς καὶ ϕιλόσοϕος (Georg. Acropol. c. 32). The emperor, in a familiar conversation, examined and encouraged the studies of his future logothete.

5

[Her mother was Bianca Lancia of Piedmont. Frederick seems to have married her ultimately (towards the close of his life) and legitimised her children (Matthew Paris, ed. Lond., vol. 7, p. 216). The lady’s true name was Constance (as western writers called her); only Greek writers name her Anna, so that she was probably baptised under this name into the Greek church.]

6

[The Greek writers call her the Μαρκεζίνα — Marchioness. Her liaison with the Emperor caused an incident which produced a quarrel between him and Nicephorus Blemmydes. She entered the Monastery of St. Gregory in grand costume. Blemmydes, when he observed her presence, ordered the communion service to be discontinued. Vatatzes refused to punish a just man, as the Marchioness demanded, but showed his resentment by breaking off all relations with him. Besides Nicephorus Gregoras, i. p. 45, 46, we have a description of the incident from the pen of Blemmydes himself in his autobiography, c. 41 (ed. Heisenberg).]

7

Compare Acropolita (c. 18, 52) and the two first books of Nicephorus Gregoras.

8

A Persian saying, that Cyrus was the father, and Darius the master, of his subjects, was applied to Vataces and his son. But Pachymer (l. i. c. 23) has mistaken the mild Darius for the cruel Cambyses, despot or tyrant of his people. By the institution of taxes, Darius had incurred the less odious, but more contemptible, name of Κάπηλος, merchant or broker (Herodotus, iii. 89).

9

Theodore led two expeditions in person against the Bulgarians, in 1256 and 1257. At the end of the second expedition he had a meeting with Theodora Petraleipha, the wife of Michael II., Despot of Epirus, at Thessalonica, where a marriage was both arranged and celebrated between his daughter Maria and her son Nicephorus. The third expedition, to which Gibbon refers, was that of 1258 against Michael II., which however was conducted not by Theodore but by Michael Palæologus, the future emperor.]

10

Acropolita (c. 63) seems to admire his own firmness in sustaining a beating, and not returning to council till he was called. He relates the exploits of Theodore, and his own services, from c. 53 to c. 74 of his History. See the third book of Nicephorus Gregoras. [Among some unpublished works of this remarkable monarch, Theodore Lascaris, is an encomium on George Acropolites. There is also a rhetorical estimate of his contemporary Frederick II., a work which ought to have been published long ago. George Acropolites made a collection of his letters; some of these are extant but not yet printed. Professor Krumbacher designates Theodore II. “as statesman, writer, and man, one of the most interesting figures of Byzantium, a sort of oriental parallel to his great contemporary Frederick II.; a degenerate, no doubt; intellectually highly gifted, bodily weak, without moral force, with a nervous system fatally preponderant” (op. cit. p. 478). On his theological productions cp. J. Dräseke, Byz. Zeitschrift, iii. p. 498 sqq.] [Since this note was written, an edition of the Correspondence of Theodore Lascaris was published by N. Festa.]

11

[He seems to have suffered from a cerebral disease, and to have been subject to fits of epilepsy. Cp. Mêliarakês, op. cit. p. 479.]

12

[A sister of Michael Palæologus.]

13

Pachymer (l. i. c. 21) names and discriminates fifteen or twenty Greek families καὶ ὅσοι ἄλλοι, οɩ̂̓ς ἡ μεγαλογενὴς σεɩ̂ρα καὶ χρυση̂ συγκεκρότητο. Does he mean, by this decoration, a figurative or a real golden chain? Perhaps both.

14

[So Pachymeres, Gregoras, and Phrantzes; but Acropolita says the third, p. 165, ed. Bonn.]

15

The old geographers, with Cellarius and d’Anville, and our travellers, particularly Pocock and Chandler, will teach us to distinguish the two Magnesias of Asia Minor, of the Mæander and of Sipylus. The latter, our present object, is still flourishing for a Turkish city, and lies eight hours, or leagues, to the north-east of Smyrna (Tournefort, Voyage du Levant, tom. iii. lettre xxiii. p. 365-370. Chandler’s Travels into Asia Minor, p. 267).

16

See Acropolita (c. 75, 76, &c.), who lived too near the times; Pachymer (l. i. c. 13-25); Gregoras (l. iii. c. 3-5).

17

The pedigree of Palæologus is explained by Ducange (Famil. Byzant. p. 230, &c.); the events of his private life are related by Pachymer (l. i. c. 7-12), and Gregoras (l. ii. 8, l. iii. 2, 4, l. iv. 1), with visible favour to the father of the reigning dynasty.

18

Acropolita (c. 50) relates the circumstances of this curious adventure, which seems to have escaped the more recent writers.

19

Pachymer (l. i. c. 12), who speaks with proper contempt of this barbarous trial, affirms that he had seen in his youth many persons who had sustained, without injury, the fiery ordeal. As a Greek, he is credulous; but the ingenuity of the Greeks might furnish some remedies of art or fraud against their own superstition or that of their tyrant.

20

Without comparing Pachymer to Thucydides or Tacitus, I will praise his narrative (l. i. c. 13-32, l. iii. c. 1-9), which pursues the ascent of Palæologus with eloquence, perspicuity, and tolerable freedom. Acropolita is more cautious, and Gregoras more concise.

21

[In Astytzion on the Scamander. The treasures here were deposited by Theodore II.]

22

The judicial combat was abolished by St. Louis in his own territories; and his example and authority were at length prevalent in France (Esprit des Loix, l. xxviii. c. 29).

23

In civil cases, Henry II. gave an option to the defendant; Glanville prefers the proof by evidence, and that by judicial combat is reprobated in the Fleta. Yet the trial by battle has never been abrogated in the English law, and it was ordered by the judges as late as the beginning of the last century.

24

Yet an ingenious friend has urged to me, in mitigation of this practice, 1. That, in nations emerging from barbarism, it moderates the licence of private war and arbitrary revenge. 2. That it is less absurd than the trials by the ordeal, or boiling water, or the cross, which it has contributed to abolish. 3. That it served at least as a test of personal courage: a quality so seldom united with a base disposition that the danger of the trial might be some check to a malicious prosecutor, and an useful barrier against injustice supported by power. The gallant and unfortunate earl of Surrey might probably have escaped his unmerited fate, had not his demand of the combat against his accuser been over-ruled.

25

The site of Nymphæum is not clearly defined in ancient or modern geography. [Turkish Nif; it lay on the road from Smyrna to Sardis. Cp. Ramsay, Asia Minor, p. 108.] But from the last hours of Vataces (Acropolita, c. 52) it is evident the palace and gardens of his favourite residence were in the neighbourhood of Smyrna. Nymphæum might be loosely placed in Lydia (Gregoras, l. vi. 6). [Pachymeres says that Michael was at Nymphaeum when he received the glad tidings; but Gregoras says Nicaea, and Acropolites says Meteorion. As Acropolites was with Michael at the time, we must follow him (so Mêliarakês, p. 509). Meteorion “must have been in the Hermos valley, and may possibly be the purely Byzantine fortress Gurduk Kalesi, a few miles north of Thyateira, near the site of Attaleia” (Ramsay, op. cit. p. 131).]

26

This sceptre, the emblem of justice and power, was a long staff, such as was used by the heroes in Homer. By the latter Greeks it was named Dicanice, and the Imperial sceptre was distinguished as usual by the red or purple colour.

27

Acropolita affirms (c. 87) that this bonnet was after the French fashion; but from the ruby at the point or summit Ducange (Hist. de C. P. l. v. c. 28, 29) believes that it was the high-crowned hat of the Greeks. Could Acropolita mistake the dress of his own court?

28

[The Genoese had sent ships, in accordance with the treaty of Nymphaeum; but these had not arrived in time to be of actual service.]

29

See Pachymer (l. 2, c. 28-33), Acropolita (c. 88), Nicephorus Gregoras (l. iv. 7), and for the treatment of the subject Latins, Ducange (l. v. c. 30, 31).

30

This milder invention for extinguishing the sight was tried by the philosopher Democritus on himself, when he sought to withdraw his mind from the visible world: a foolish story! The word abacinare, in Latin and Italian, has furnished Ducange (Gloss. Latin.) with an opportunity to review the various modes of blinding; the more violent were, scooping, burning with an iron or hot vinegar, and binding the head with a strong cord till the eyes burst from their sockets. Ingenious tyrants!

31

See the first retreat and restoration of Arsenius, in Pachymer (l. ii. c. 15, l. iii. c. 1, 2), and Nicephorus Gregoras (l. iii. c. 1, l. iv. c. 1). Posterity justly accused the ἀϕέλεια and ῥᾳθυμία of Arsenius, the virtues of an hermit, the vices of a minister (l. xii. c. 2).

32

The crime and excommunication of Michael are fairly told by Pachymer (l. iii. c. 10, 14, 19, &c.), and Gregoras (l. iv. c. 4). His confession and penance restored their freedom.

33

Pachymer relates the exile of Arsenius (l. v. c. 1-16); he was one of the commissaries who visited him in the desert island. The last testament of the unforgiving patriarch is still extant (Dupin, Bibliothèque Ecclésiastique, tom. x. p. 95).

34

Pachymer (l. vii. c. 22) relates this miraculous trial like a philosopher, and treats with similar contempt a plot of the Arsenites, to hide a revelation in the coffin of some old saint (l. vii. c. 13). He compensates this incredulity by an image that weeps, another that bleeds (l. vii. c. 30), and the miraculous cures of a deaf and a mute patient (l. xi. c. 32).

35

The story of the Arsenites is spread through the thirteen books of Pachymer. Their union and triumph are reserved for Nicephorus Gregoras (l. vii. c. 9), who neither loves nor esteems these sectaries.

36

[These islands were subject to Michael, but not conquered by him; see Appendix 3.]

37

[Michael released William Villehardouin, prince of Achaia, who had been taken prisoner at the battle of Pelagonia (see above, p. 34). For his liberty William undertook to become a vassal of the Empire, and to hand over to Michael the fortresses of Misithra, Maina, and Monemvasia. See (besides Pachymeres, Gibbon’s source) the Chronicle of Morea (in Buchon, Chroniques Etrangères. Cp. vol. ix. Appendix 6).]

38

Of the xiii books of Pachymer, the first six (as the ivth and vth of Nicephorus Gregoras) contain the reign of Michael, at the time of whose death he was forty years of age. Instead of breaking, like his editor the Père Poussin, his history into two parts, I follow Ducange and Cousin, who number the xiii books in one series.

39

Ducange, Hist. de C. P. l. v. c. 33, &c. from the Epistles of Urban IV.

40

From their mercantile intercourse with the Venetians and Genoese, they branded the Latins as κάπηλοι and βάναυσοι (Pachymer, l. v. c. 10). “Some are heretics in name; others, like the Latins, in fact,” said the learned Veccus (l. v. c. 12), who soon afterwards became a convert (c. 15, 16), and a patriarch (c. 24).

41

In this class we may place Pachymer himself, whose copious and candid narrative occupies the vth and vith books of his history. Yet the Greek is silent on the council of Lyons, and seems to believe that the popes always resided in Rome and Italy.

42

See the Acts of the Council of Lyons in the year 1274. Fleury, Hist. Ecclésiastique, tom. xviii. p. 181-199. Dupin, Bibliot. Eccles. tom. x. p. 135. [George Acropolites was the chief ambassador of Michael.]

43

This curious instruction, which has been drawn with more or less honesty by Wading and Leo Allatius from the archives of the Vatican, is given in an abstract or version by Fleury (tom. xviii. p. 252-258).

44

[Johannes Veccus (Patriarch 1275) was the chief theologian who supported the Union. His work, On the Union and Peace of the Churches of Old and New Rome, and others on the same subject, were published in the Graecia Orthodoxa of Leo Allatius (vol. i., 1652) and will be found in Migne, P.G. vol. 141. His most formidable controversial opponent, Gregory of Cyprus (for whose works see Migne, vol. 142), became Patriarch in 1283.]

45

This frank and authentic confession of Michael’s distress is exhibited in barbarous Latin by Ogerius, who signs himself Protonotarius Interpretum, and transcribed by Wading from the MSS. of the Vatican (ad 1278, No. 3). His Annals of the Franciscan order, the Fratres Minores, in xvii. volumes in folio (Rome, 1741), I have now accidentally seen among the waste paper of a bookseller.

46

See the vith book of Pachymer, particularly the chapters 1, 11, 16, 18, 24-27. He is the more credible, as he speaks of this persecution with less anger than sorrow.

47

[Finlay shows no mercy to Michael. “He was a type of the empire he re-established and transmitted to his descendants. He was selfish, hypocritical, able and accomplished, an inborn liar, vain, meddling, ambitious, cruel and rapacious. He has gained renown in history as the restorer of the Eastern Empire; he ought to be execrated as the corrupter of the Greek race, for his reign affords a signal example of the extent to which a nation may be degraded by the misconduct of its sovereign when he is entrusted with despotic power” (vol. 3, p. 372).]

48

Pachymer, l. vii. c. 1-11, 17. The speech of Andronicus the Elder (lib. xii. c. 2) is a curious record, which proves that, if the Greeks were the slaves of the emperor, the emperor was not less the slave of superstition and the clergy.

49

The best accounts, the nearest the time, the most full and entertaining, of the conquest of Naples by Charles of Anjou, may be found in the Florentine Chronicles of Ricordano Malespina [leg. Malespini] (c. 175-193) and Giovanni Villani (l. vii. c. 1-10, 25-30), which are published by Muratori in the viiith and xiiith volumes of the Historians of Italy. In his Annals (tom. xi. p. 56-72), he has abridged these great events, which are likewise described in the Istoria Civile of Giannone (tom. ii. l. xix.; tom. iii. l. xx.). [The chronicle attributed to Malespini has been proved not to be original but to depend on Villani. See Scheffer-Boichorst, in Sybel’s Historische Zeitschrift, 24, p. 274 sqq. (1870).]

50

Ducange, Hist. de C. P. l. v. c. 49-56, l. vi. c. 1-13. See Pachymer, l. iv. c. 29, l. v. c. 7-10, 25, l. vi. c. 30, 32, 33, and Nicephorus Gregoras, l. iv. 5, l. v. 1, 6.

51

The reader of Herodotus will recollect how miraculously the Assyrian host of Sennacherib was disarmed and destroyed (l. ii. c. 141).

52

According to Sabas Malaspina (Hist. Sicula, l. iii. c. 16, in Muratori, tom. viii. p. 832), a zealous Guelph, the subjects of Charles, who had reviled Mainfroy as a wolf, began to regret him as a lamb; and he justifies their discontent by the oppressions of the French government (l. vi. c. 2, 7). See the Sicilian manifesto in Nicholas Specialis (l. i. c. 11, in Muratori, tom. x. p. 930).

53

See the character and counsels of Peter of Arragon, in Mariana (Hist. Hispan. l. xiv. c. 6, tom. ii. p. 133). The reader forgives the Jesuit’s defects, in favour always of his style, and often of his sense.

54

After enumerating the sufferings of his country, Nicholas Specialis adds, in the true spirit of Italian jealousy, Quæ omnia et graviora quidem, ut arbitror, patienti animo Siculi tolerassent, nisi (quod primum cunctis dominantibus cavendum est) alienas fæminas invasissent (l. i. c. 2, p. 924).

55

The French were long taught to remember this bloody lesson: “If I am provoked,” said Henry the Fourth, “I will breakfast at Milan, and dine at Naples.” “Your Majesty,” replied the Spanish ambassador, “may perhaps arrive in Sicily for vespers.”

56

This revolt, with the subsequent victory, are related by two national writers, Bartholemy a Neocastro (in Muratori, tom. xiii. [and in Del Re, Cronisti e scrittori, vol. 2]) and Nicholas Specialis (in Muratori, tom. x.), the one a contemporary, the other of the next century. The patriot Specialis disclaims the name of rebellion and all previous correspondence with Peter of Arragon (nullo communicato consilio), who happened to be with a fleet and army on the African coast (l. i. c. 4, 9). [For the Sicilian vespers and the sequel, see also the contemporary chronicle of Bernard d’Esclot (an obscure figure), which is published by Buchon in his Chroniques Etrangères (1860), c. 81 sqq.; and also an anonymous contemporary relation of the conspiracy of John Prochyta, in the Sicilian idiom; of which Buchon (ib. p. 736 sqq.) has given a French translation.]

57

Nicephorus Gregoras (l. v. c. 6) admires the wisdom of Providence in this equal balance of states and princes. For the honour of Palæologus, I had rather this balance had been observed by an Italian writer.

58

See the Chronicle of Villani, the xith volume of the Annali d’Italia of Muratori, and the xxth and xxist books of the Istoria Civile of Giannone.

59

In this motley multitude, the Catalans and Spaniards, the bravest of the soldiery, were styled by themselves and the Greeks Amogavares [Almugavari=scouts]. Moncada derives their origin from the Goths, and Pachymer (l. xi. c. 22) from the Arabs; and, in spite of national and religious pride, I am afraid the latter is in the right.

60

[A falconer (Ramon Muntaner, c. 194). His name was Richard Blum. It was translated by an Italian equivalent. See Buchon’s note.]

61

[Before he went himself, Roger sent envoys to make the terms. The Emperor’s niece, whom he married, was daughter of the Bulgarian Tsar, John Asēn IV. (whom Muntaner calls the emperador Lantzaura, c. 199). As to the numbers of the expedition Muntaner says (c. 201) that there were about 36 sail; 1500 horsemen; 4000 almogavars; 1000 foot-soldiers; as well as the oarsmen and sailors.]

62

Some idea may be formed of the population of these cities, from the 36,000 inhabitants of Tralles, which, in the preceding reign, was rebuilt by the emperor, and ruined by the Turks (Pachymer, l. vi. c. 20, 21).

63

I have collected these pecuniary circumstances from Pachymer (l. xi. c. 21; l. xii. c. 4, 5, 8, 14, 19), who describes the progressive degradation of the gold coin. Even in the prosperous times of John Ducas Vataces, the byzants were composed in equal proportions of the pure and the baser metal. The poverty of Michael Palæologus compelled him to strike a new coin, with nine parts, or carats, of gold, and fifteen of copper alloy. After his death the standard rose to ten carats, till in the public distress it was reduced to the moiety. The prince was relieved for a moment, while credit and commerce were for ever blasted. In France, the gold coin is of twenty-two carats (one twelfth alloy), and the standard of England and Holland is still higher.

63a

[Is this a misprint for Alanic or Alan?]

64

[Roger had crossed to Europe to help the Emperor Andronicus against the Bulgarians. Before returning he wished to take leave of the young Emperor “Kyr Michael” who was at Hadrianople, though it was known that Michael bore him a grudge. Roger’s wife and others tried to dissuade him, in vain (Muntaner, c. 213, 215).]

65

[Ramon Muntaner, the historian of the expedition, was for a long time captain of Gallipoli, and he describes (c. 225) the good time he had.]

66

The Catalan war is most copiously related by Pachymer, in the xith, xiith, and xiiith books, till he breaks off in the year 1308. Nicephorus Gregoras (l. vii. 3-6) is more concise and complete. Ducange, who adopts these adventurers as French, has hunted their footsteps with his usual diligence (Hist. de C. P. l. vi. c. 22-46). He quotes an Arragonese history, which I have read with pleasure, and which the Spaniards extol as a model of style and composition (Expedicion de los Catalanes y Arragoneses contra Turcos y Griegos; Barcelona, 1623, in quarto; Madrid, 1777, in octavo). Don Francisco de Moncada, Conde de Osona, may imitate Cæsar or Sallust; he may transcribe the Greek or Italian contemporaries; but he never quotes his authorities, and I cannot discern any national records of the exploits of his countrymen. [See vol. ix. Appendix 6.]

67

[For a summary of the island dynasties see Appendix 3.]

68

See the laborious history of Ducange, whose accurate table of the French dynasties recapitulates the thirty-five passages in which he mentions the dukes of Athens. [Gregorovius, Geschichte der Stadt Athen im Mittelalter.]

69

He is twice mentioned by Villehardouin with honour (No. 151, 235); and under the first passage Ducange observes all that can be known of his person and family.

70

From these Latin princes of the xivth century, Boccace, Chaucer, and Shakespeare have borrowed their Theseus Duke of Athens. [And Dante, Inferno, 12, 17.] An ignorant age transfers its own language and manners to the most distant times. [Otto de la Roche had not the ducal title. He called himself sire (not grand sire) or dominus Athenarum. The title is μέγας κύρ in the Chronicle of Morea. The ducal title was first assumed by Guy I. in 1260 with permission of Louis IX. of France. Megara went along with Athens as a pertinence (cum pertinentia Megaron, in the Act of Partition).]

71

The same Constantine gave to Sicily a king, to Russia the magnus dapifer of the empire, to Thebes the primicerius: and these absurd fables are properly lashed by Ducange (ad Nicephor. Greg. l. vii. c. 5). By the Latins, the lord of Thebes was styled, by corruption, the Megas Kurios, or Grand Sire! [See last note. He took his title from Athens, not from Thebes.]

72

Quodam miraculo, says Alberic. He was probably received by Michael Choniates, the archbishop who had defended Athens against the tyrant Leo Sgurus [ad 1204] (Nicetas in Baldwino [p. 805, ed. Bonn]). Michael was the brother of the historian Nicetas; and his encomium of Athens is still extant in MS. in the Bodleian Library (Fabric. Bibliot. Græc. tom. vi. p. 405). [See above, p. 7, note 15. It is supposed that Archbishop Akominatos made conditions of surrender with Boniface. The Western soldiers sacrilegiously pillaged the Parthenon church. Akominatos left Athens after its occupation by De la Roche.]

73

[This should be: nephew, two grand-nephews, and a great-grandnephew, Guy II. ad 1287-1308. Guy II.’s aunt Isabella had married Hugh de Brienne; Walter de Brienne was their son.]

74

[See Ramon Muntaner, chap. 240.]

75

[They also held Neopatras in Thessaly; their title was Duke of Athens and Neopatras; and the kings of Spain retained the title.]

76

[For the Acciajoli see Appendix 2.]

77

The modern account of Athens, and the Athenians, is extracted from Spon (Voyage en Grèce, tom. ii. p. 79-199) and Wheler (Travels into Greece, p. 337-414), Stuart (Antiquities of Athens, passim), and Chandler (Travels into Greece, p. 23-172). The first of these travellers visited Greece in the year 1676, the last 1765; and ninety years had not produced much difference in the tranquil scene. [At the end of the 12th century Michael Akominatos deplores the decline of Athens (for his dirge see above, p. 7, note 14). He says that he has become a Barbarian by living so long in Athens (ed. Lampros. vol. 2, p. 44).]

78

The ancients, or at least the Athenians, believed that all the bees in the world had been propagated from Mount Hymettus. They taught that health might be preserved, and life prolonged, by the external use of oil and the internal use of honey (Geoponica, l. xv. c. 7, p. 1089-1094, edit. Niclas).

79

Ducange, Glossar. Græc. Præfat. p. 8, who quotes for his author Theodosius Zygomalas, a modern grammarian [of the 16th cent.]. Yet Spon (tom. ii. p. 194), and Wheler (p. 355), no incompetent judges, entertain a more favourable opinion of the Attic dialect.

80

Yet we must not accuse them of corrupting the name of Athens, which they still call Athini. From the εἰς τὴν Ἀθήνην we have formed our own barbarism of Setines. [Setines comes from (στὰ)ς Ἀθήνας.]

1

Andronicus himself will justify our freedom in the invective (Nicephorus Gregoras, l. i. c. 1) which he pronounced against historic falsehood. It is true that his censure is more pointedly urged against calumny than against adulation.

2

For the anathema in the pigeon’s nest, see Pachymer (l. ix. c. 24), who relates the general history of Athanasius (l. viii. c. 13-16, 20-24; l. x. c. 27-29, 31-36; l. xi. c. 1-3, 5, 6; l. xiii. c. 8, 10, 23, 35), and is followed by Nicephorus Gregoras (l. vi. c. 5, 7; l. vii. c. 1, 9), who includes the second retreat of this second Chrysostom.

3

Pachymer, in seven books, 377 folio pages, describes the first twenty-six years of Andronicus the Elder; and marks the date of his composition by the current news or lie of the day (ad 1308). Either death or disgust prevented him from resuming the pen.

4

After an interval of twelve years from the conclusion of Pachymer, Cantacuzenus takes up the pen; and his first book (c. 1-59, p. 9-150) relates the civil war and the eight last years of the elder Andronicus. The ingenious comparison of Moses and Cæsar is fancied by his French translator, the President Cousin.

5

Nicephorus Gregoras more briefly includes the entire life and reign of Andronicus the Elder (l. vi. c. i.; l. x. c. 1, p. 96-291). This is the part of which Cantacuzene complains as a false and malicious representation of his conduct.

6

He was crowned May 21, 1295, and died October 12, 1320 (Ducange, Fam. Byz. p. 239). His brother, Theodore, by a second marriage, inherited the marquisate of Montferrat, apostatised to the religion and manners of the Latins (ὄτι καὶ γνώμῃ καὶ πίστει καὶ σχήματι, καὶ γενείων κουρᾳ̑ καὶ πα̂σιν ἔθεσιν Λατɩ̂νος ἠ̂ν ἀκραιϕνής, Nic. Greg. l. ix. c. 1), and founded a dynasty of Italian princes, which was extinguished ad 1533 (Ducange, Fam. Byz. p. 249-253).

7

We are indebted to Nicephorus Gregoras (l. viii. c. 1) for the knowledge of this tragic adventure; while Cantacuzene more discreetly conceals the vices of Andronicus the Younger, of which he was the witness and perhaps the associate (l. i. c. 1, &c.).

8

His destined heir was Michael Catharus, the bastard of Constantine his second son. In this project of excluding his grandson Andronicus, Nicephorus Gregoras (l. viii. c. 3 [p. 295-6, ed. Bonn]) agrees with Cantacuzene (l. i. c. 1, 2).

9

See Nicephorus Gregoras, l. viii. c. 6. The younger Andronicus complained that in four years and four months a sum of 350,000 byzants of gold was due to him for the expenses of his household (Cantacuzen. l. i. c. 48). Yet he would have remitted the debt, if he might have been allowed to squeeze the farmers of the revenue.

10

I follow the chronology of Nicephorus Gregoras, who is remarkably exact. It is proved that Cantacuzene has mistaken the dates of his own actions, or rather that his text has been corrupted by ignorant transcribers.

11

I have endeavoured to reconcile the 24,000 [leg. 12,000] pieces of Cantacuzene (l. ii. c. i. [vol. i. p. 311, ed. Bonn]) with the 10,000 of Nicephorus Gregoras (l. ix. c. 2); the one of whom wished to soften, the other to magnify, the hardships of the old emperor.

12

See Nicephorus Gregoras (l. ix. 6-8, 10, 14; l. x. c. 1). The historian had tasted of the prosperity, and shared the retreat, of his benefactor; and that friendship, which “waits or to the scaffold or the cell,” should not lightly be accused as “a hireling, a prostitute to praise.”

13

The sole reign of Andronicus the Younger is described by Cantacuzene (l. ii. c. 1-40, p. 191-339) and Nicephorus Gregoras (l. ix. c. 7-l. xi. c. 11, p. 262-361).

14

Agnes, or Irene, was the daughter of Duke Henry the Wonderful, the chief of the house of Brunswick, and the fourth in descent from the famous Henry the Lion, duke of Saxony and Bavaria, and conqueror of the Salvi on the Baltic coast. Her brother Henry was surnamed the Greek, from his two journeys into the East; but these journeys were subsequent to his sister’s marriage; and I am ignorant how Agnes was discovered in the heart of Germany, and recommended to the Byzantine court (Rimius, Memoirs of the House of Brunswick, p. 126-137).

15

Henry the Wonderful was the founder of the branch of Grubenhagen, extinct in the year 1596 (Rimius, p. 287). He resided in the castle of Wolfenbüttel, and possessed no more than a sixth part of the allodial estates of Brunswick and Luneburg, which the Guelph family had saved from the confiscation of their great fiefs. The frequent partitions among brothers had almost ruined the princely houses of Germany, till that just but pernicious law was slowly superseded by the right of primogeniture. The principality of Grubenhagen, one of the last remains of the Hercynian forest, is a woody, mountainous, and barren tract (Busching’s Geography, vol. vi. p. 270-286; English translation).

16

The royal author of the Memoirs of Brandenburg will teach us how justly, in a much later period, the north of Germany deserved the epithets of poor and barbarous (Essai sur les Mœurs, &c.). In the year 1306, in the woods of Luneburg, some wild people, of the Vened race, were allowed to bury alive their infirm and useless parents (Rimius, p. 136).

17

The assertion of Tacitus that Germany was destitute of the precious metals must be taken, even in his own time, with some limitation (Germania, c. 5, Annal. xi. 20). According to Spener (Hist. Germaniæ Pragmatica, tom. i. p. 351), Argentifodinæ in Hercyniis montibus, imperante Othone magno (ad 968), primum apertæ, largam etiam opes augendi dederunt copiam; but Rimius (p. 258, 259) defers till the year 1016 discovery of the silver mines of Grubenhagen, or the Upper Hartz, which were productive in the beginning of the xivth century, and which still yield a considerable revenue to the house of Brunswick.

18

Cantacuzene has given a most honourable testimony, yη̑̓ν δ’ ἑκ Γερμανω̂ν αὕτη θυγατὴρ δουκὸς ντὶ μπρουζουὶκ (the modern Greeks employ the ντ for the δ, and the μπ for the β, and the whole will read, in the Italian idiom, di Brunzuic), τον̂ παρ’ αὐτοɩ̂ς ἑπιϕανεστάτου, καὶ λαμπρότητιπάντας τοὺς ὁμοϕύλους ὑπερβάλλοντος τον̂ γένους. The praise is just in itself, and pleasing to an English ear.

19

Anne, or Jane, was one of the four daughters of Amédée the Great, by a second marriage, and half-sister of his successor, Edward count of Savoy (Anderson’s Tables, p. 650). See Cantacuzene (l. i. c. 40-42).

20

That king, if the fact be true, must have been Charles the Fair, who, in five years (1321-1326), was married to three wives (Anderson, p. 628). Anne of Savoy arrived at Constantinople in February, 1326.

21

The noble race of the Cantacuzeni (illustrious from the xith century in the Byzantine annals) was drawn from the Paladins of France, the heroes of those romances which, in the xiiith century, were translated and read by the Greeks (Ducange, Fam. Byzant. p. 258). [Monograph on Cantacuzene: V. Parisot, Cantacuzène, Homme d’état et historien, 1845.]

22

See Cantacuzene (l. iii. c. 24, 30, 36).

23

Saserna, in Gaul, and Columella, in Italy or Spain, allow two yoke of oxen, two drivers, and six labourers, for two hundred jugera (125 English acres) of arable land; and three more men must be added if there be much underwood (Columella de Re Rusticâ, l. ii. c. 13, p. 441, edit. Gesner).

24

In this enumeration (l. iii. c. 30), the French translation of the President Cousin is blotted with three palpable and essential errors. 1. He omits the 1000 yoke of working oxen. 2. He interprets the πεντακόσιαι πρὸς δισχιλίαις, by the number of fifteen hundred. [The mistake has not been corrected in the Bonn edition, vol. ii. p. 185.] 3. He confounds myriads with chiliads, and gives Cantacuzene no more than 5000 hogs. Put not your trust in translations!

25

See the regency and reign of John Cantacuzenus, and the whole progress of the civil war, in his own history (l. iii. c. 1-100, p. 348-700), and in that of Nicephorus Gregoras (l. xii. c. 1-l. xv. c. 9, p. 353-492).

26

He assumed the royal privilege of red shoes or buskins; placed on his head a mitre of silk and gold; subscribed his epistles with hyacinth or green ink; and claimed for the new, whatever Constantine had given to the ancient, Rome (Cantacuzen. l. iii. c. 36; Nic. Gregoras, l. xiv. c. 3).

27

Nic. Gregoras (l. xii. c. 5) confesses the innocence and virtues of Cantacuzenus, the guilt and flagitious vices of Apocaucus; nor does he dissemble the motive of his personal and religious enmity to the former; νν̂ν δὲ διὰ κακίαν ἄλλων αἴτιος ὁ πραότατος τη̂ς τω̂ν ὄλων ἔδοξεν εɩ̂̓ναι ϕθορα̂ς.

28

[The people seem to have clung to the legitimate heir; the officials to have supported Cantacuzene.]

29

The princes of Servia (Ducange, Famil. Dalmaticæ, &c. c. 2-4, 9) were styled Despots in Greek, and Cral in their native idiom (Ducange, Gloss. Græc. p. 751). That title, the equivalent of king, appears to be of Sclavonic origin, from whence it has been borrowed by the Hungarians, the modern Greeks, and even by the Turks (Leunclavius, Pandect. Turc. p. 422), who reserve the name of Padishah for the Emperor. To obtain the latter instead of the former is the ambition of the French at Constantinople (Avertissement à l’Histoire de Timur Bec, p. 39). [The Servian and Bulgarian Kral, “king,” from which the Hungarian Király, “king,” is borrowed, seems to be derived from Karl the Great; just as the German and Slavonic word for Emperor is from the name of Caesar. We find Κράλ in a Greek diploma of King (and saint) Stephen of Hungary: ἐγὼ Στέϕανος Χριστιανὸς ὀ καὶ κρὰλ πάσης Οὐγγρίας. It is cited in Hunfalvy’s Magyarország Ethnographiája, p. 322.]

30

Nic. Gregoras, l. xii. c. 14. It is surprising that Cantacuzene has not inserted this just and lively image in his own writings.

31

[The author does not seem to realise, he certainly has not brought out, the dominant position of Servia at this time under its king Stephen Dushan, a name which deserves a place in the history of the Fall of the Roman Empire. Servia was the strongest power in the peninsula under Stephen (1331-1355), and its boundaries extended from the Danube to the gulf of Arta. “He was a man of great ambition and was celebrated for his gigantic stature and personal courage. His subjects boasted of his liberality and success in war; his enemies reproached him with faithlessness and cruelty. He had driven his father Stephen VII. [Urosh III.] from the throne, and the old man had been murdered in prison by the rebellious nobles of Servia, who feared lest a reconciliation should take place with his son. Stephen Dushan passed seven years of his youth at Constantinople, where he became acquainted with all the defects of the Byzantine government and with all the vices of Greek society. The circumstances in which the rival Emperors were placed during the year 1345 were extremely favourable to his ambitious projects, and he seized the opportunity to extend his conquests in every direction. To the east he rendered himself master of the whole valley of the Strymon, took the large and flourishing city of Serres and garrisoned all the fortresses as far as the wall that defended the pass of Christopolis. He extended his dominions along the shores of the Adriatic, and to the south he carried his arms to the gulf of Ambracia. He subdued the Vallachians of Thessaly, and placed strong garrisons in Achrida, Kastoria and Joannina. Flushed with victory he at last formed the ambitious scheme of depriving the Greeks of their political and ecclesiastical supremacy in the Eastern Empire and transferring them to the Servians” (Finlay, iv. p. 441-2). In 1346 he was crowned at Skopia as “Tsar of the Serbs and Greeks,” and gave his son the title of Kral; and he raised his archbishop to the rank of Patriarch. The prosperity of his reign is better shown by the growth of trade in the Servian towns than by the increase of Servian territory. Moreover Stephen did for Servia what Yaroslav did for Russia; he drew up a code of laws, which might be quoted to modify Gibbon’s contemptuous references to the Servians as barbarians. This Zakonik has been repeatedly edited by Shafarik, Miklosich, Novakovich, and Zigel.]

32

The two avengers were both Palæologi, who might resent, with royal indignation, the shame of their chains. The tragedy of Apocaucus may deserve a peculiar reference to Cantacuzene (l. iii. c. 86 [leg. 87-8]) and Nic. Gregoras (l. xiv. c. 10).

33

Cantacuzene accuses the patriarch, and spares the empress, the mother of his sovereign (l. iii. 33, 34), against whom Nic. Gregoras expresses a particular animosity (l. xiv. 10, 11; xv. 5). It is true that they do not speak exactly of the same time.

34

[“The Greek Empire consisted of several detached provinces when Cantacuzenos seated himself on the throne; and the inhabitants of these different parts could only communicate freely by sea. The direct intercourse by land, even between Constantinople and Thessalonica, by the Egnatian Way, was interrupted, for the Servian Emperor possessed Amphipolis, and all the country about the mouth of the Strymon from Philippi to the lake Bolbe. The nucleus of the imperial power consisted of the city of Constantinople and the greater part of Thrace. On the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus, the Greek possessions were confined to the suburb of Skutari, a few forts and a narrow strip of coast extending from Chalcedon to the Black Sea. In Thrace the frontier extended from Sozopolis along the mountains to the south-west, passing about a day’s journey to the north of Adrianople, and descending to the Aegean Sea at the pass and fortress of Christopolis. It included the districts of Morrah and the Thracian Chalkidike [of which Gratianopolis was the chief town]. The second portion of the Empire in importance consisted of the rich and populous city of Thessalonica, with the western part of the Macedonian Chalkidike and its three peninsulas of Cassandra, Longos and Agionoros [Ἅγιον Ὄρος]. By land it was entirely enclosed in the Servian empire. The third detached portion of the empire consisted of a part of Vallachian Thessaly and of Albanian Epirus, which formed a small imperial province interposed between the Servian empire and the Catalan duchy of Athens and Neopatras. The fourth consisted of the Greek province in the Peloponnesus, which obtained the name of the Despotat of Misithra, and embraced about one third of the peninsula. Cantacuzenos conferred the government on his second son, Manuel, who preserved his place by force of arms after his father was driven from the throne. The remaining fragments of the empire consisted of a few islands in the Aegean Sea which had escaped the domination of the Venetians, the Genoese, and the Knights of St. John; and of the cities of Philadelphia and Phocaea, which still recognised the suzerainty of Constantinople, though surrounded by the territories of the emirs of Aidin and Saroukhan. Such were the relics of the Byzantine empire.” Finlay, iv. p. 447-8.]

35

The traitor and treason are revealed by Nic. Gregoras (l. xv. c. 8), but the name is more discreetly suppressed by his great accomplice (Cantacuzen. l. iii. c. 99).

36

Nic. Greg. l. xv. 11. There were, however, some pearls, but very thinly sprinkled. The rest of the stones had only παντοδαπὴν χροιὰν πρὸς τὸ διαυγές.

37

From his return to Constantinople, Cantacuzene continues his history, and that of the empire, one year beyond the abdication of his son Matthew, ad 1357 (l. iv. c. 1-50, p. 705-911). Nicephorus Gregoras ends with the synod of Constantinople, in the year 1351 (l. xxii. c. 3, p. 660; the rest, to the conclusion of the xxivth book, p. 717, is all controversy); and his fourteen last books are still MSS. in the king of France’s library. See vol. ix. App. 6.]

38

The emperor (Cantacuzen. l. iv. c. 1) represents his own virtues, and Nic. Gregoras (l. xv. c. 11) the complaints of his friends, who suffered by its effects. I have lent them the words of our poor cavaliers after the Restoration.

39

[One important consequence of the Servian conquests, and the wars connected therewith, may be noticed here, — the Albanian invasion of Greece. The highlanders of northern Epirus, descendants of the ancient Illyrians, and speaking in idiom which represents the old Illyrian language, descended into Thessaly, laid it waste, and were a terror to the Catalan adventurers themselves. They settled in the Thessalian mountains and spread over Greece, where they formed a new element in the population. The Albanian settlers speak their own language, amid the surrounding Greeks, to the present day, therein differing remarkably from the Slavonic settlers, who adopted the Greek tongue. For the Albanians, see Hahn, Albanesische Studien.]

40

The awkward apology of Cantacuzene (l. iv. c. 39-42), who relates, with visible confusion, his own downfall, may be supplied by the less accurate but more honest narratives of Matthew Villani (l. iv. c. 46, in the Script. Rerum Ital. tom. xiv. p. 268) and Ducas (c. 10, 11).

41

Cantacuzene, in the year 1375, was honoured with a letter from the pope (Fleury, Hist. Ecclés. tom. xx. p. 250). His death is placed, by a respectable authority, on the 20th of November, 1411 (Ducange, Fam. Byzant. p. 260). But, if he were of the age of his companion Andronicus the Younger, he must have lived 116 years: a rare instance of longevity, which in so illustrious a person would have attracted universal notice. [Date of death: ad 1383.]

42

His four discourses, or books, were printed at Basil, 1543 (Fabric. Bibliot. Græc. tom. vi. p. 473) [reprinted in Migne, Patr. Gr. vol. 154, p. 372 sqq.]. He composed them to satisfy a proselyte who was assaulted with letters from his friends of Ispahan. Cantacuzene had read the Koran; but I understand from Maracci that he adopts the vulgar prejudices and fables against Mahomet and his religion.

43

See the Voyages de Bernier, tom. i. p. 127.

44

Mosheim, Institut. Hist. Eccles. p. 522, 523. Fleury, Hist. Ecclés. tom. xx. p. 22, 24, 107-114, &c. The former unfolds the causes with the judgment of a philosopher, the latter transcribes and translates with the prejudices of a Catholic priest.

45

Basnage (in Canisii Antiq. Lectiones, tom. iv. p. 363-368) has investigated the character and story of Barlaam. The duplicity of his opinions had inspired some doubts of the identity of his person. See likewise Fabricius (Bibliot. Græc. tom. x. p. 427-432). [G. Mandolori, Fra Barlaamo Calabrese, maestro del Petrarca, 1888.]

46

[The chief upholders of Barlaam were Gregory Akindynos (for whose works see Migne, P.G. vol. 151) and Nicephorus Gregoras, whose Φλωρέντιος ἢ περὶ σοϕίας (in Jahns Archiv, 10, p. 485 sqq., 1844) is founded on a dispute with Barlaam. The chief opponent was Gregory Palamas, who had lived at Athos, and came forward as defender of the Hesychasts, to whose doctrine he gave a dogmatic basis (cp. Ehrhard, ap. Krumbacher, p. 103). Some of his works are printed in Migne, P.G. vols. 150, 151; a large number are happily buried in MSS.]

47

See Cantacuzene (l. ii. c. 39, 40; l. iv. c. 3, 23-25) and Nic. Gregoras (l. xi. c. 10; l. xv. 3, 7, &c.), whose last books, from the 19th to the 24th, are almost confined to a subject so interesting to the authors. Boivin (in Vit. Nic. Gregoræ), from the unpublished books, and Fabricius (Bibliot. Græc. tom. x. p. 462-473), or rather Montfaucon, from the MSS. of the Coislin Library, have added some facts and documents. [Sauli, Colonia dei Genovesi in Galata.]

48

Pachymer (l. v. c. 10) very properly explains λιζίους (ligios) by ἰδίους. The use of these words in the Greek and Latin of the feudal times may be amply understood from the Glossaries of Ducange (Græc. p. 811, 812, Latin. tom. iv. p. 109-111).

49

The establishment and progress of the Genoese at Pera, or Galata, is described by Ducange (C. P. Christiana, l. i. p. 68, 69), from the Byzantine historians, Pachymer (l. ii. c. 35, l. v. 10, 30, l. ix. 15, l. xii. 6, 9), Nicephorus Gregoras (l. v. c. 4, l. vi. c. 11, l. ix. c. 5, l. xi. c. 1, l. xv. c. 1, 6), and Cantacuzene (l. i. c. 12, l. ii. c. 29, &c.). [The golden Bulls of Michael VIII. (ad 1261) and Andronicus the Elder (ad 1304) granting privileges to the Genoese will found in Zachariä, Jus Graeco-Romanum, iii. p. 574 sqq., p. 623 sqq.]

50

Both Pachymer (l. iii. c. 3-5) and Nic. Gregoras (l. iv. c. 7) understand and deplore the effects of this dangerous indulgence. Bibars, sultan of Egypt, himself a Tartar, but a devout Musulman, obtained from the children of Zingis the permission to build a stately mosque in the capital of Crimea (De Guignes, Hist. des Huns, tom. iii. p. 343).

51

Chardin (Voyages en Perse, tom. i. p. 48) was assured at Caffa that these fishes were sometimes twenty-four or twenty-six feet long, weighed eight or nine hundred pounds, and yielded three or four quintals of caviar. The corn of the Bosphorus had supplied the Athenians in [and long before] the time of Demosthenes.

52

De Guignes, Hist. des Huns, tom. iii. p. 343, 344. Viaggi di Ramusio, tom. i. fol. 400. But this land or water carriage could only be practicable when Tartary was united under a wise and powerful monarch.

53

Nic. Gregoras (l. xiii. c. 12) is judicious and well-informed on the trade and colonies of the Black Sea. Chardin describes the present ruins of Caffa, where, in forty days, he saw above 400 sail employed in the corn and fish trade (Voyages en Perse, tom. i. p. 46-48).

54

See Nic. Gregoras, l. xvii. c. 1.

55

The events of this war are related by Cantacuzene (l. iv. c. 11) with obscurity and confusion, and by Nic. Gregoras (l. xvii. c. 1-7) in a clear and honest narrative. The priest was less responsible than the prince for the defeat of the fleet.

56

The second war is darkly told by Cantacuzene (l. iv. c. 18, p. 24, 25, 28-32), who wishes to disguise what he dares not deny. I regret this part of Nic. Gregoras, which is still in MS. at Paris. [It has since been edited, see vol. ix. Appendix 6.]

57

Muratori (Annali d’Italia, tom. xii. p. 144) refers to the most ancient Chronicles of Venice (Caresinus [Raffaino Carasini; ob. 1390], the continuator of Andrew Dandolus, tom. xii. p. 421, 422) and Genoa (George Stella [ob. 1420], Annales Genuenses, tom. xvii. p. 1091, 1092); both which I have diligently consulted in his great Collection of the Historians of Italy.

58

See the Chronicle of Matteo Villani of Florence, l. ii. c. 59, 60, p. 145-147, c. 74, 75, p. 156, 157, in Muratori’s Collection, tom. xiv.

59

The Abbé de Sade (Mémoires sur la Vie de Pétrarque, tom. iii. p. 257-263) translates this letter, which he had copied from a MS. in the king of France’s library. Though a servant of the Duke of Milan, Petrarch pours forth his astonishment and grief at the defeat and despair of the Genoese in the following year (p. 323-332).

60

[Text (the Latin copy) in Sauli, Colonia dei Genovesi in Galata, ii. 216; and in Zachariä, Jus Graeco-Romanum, iii. 706.]

1

The reader is invited to review the chapters of the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh volumes; the manners of pastoral nations, the conquests of Atila and the Huns, which were composed at a time when I entertained the wish, rather than the hope, of concluding my history.

2

[The miraculous origin of the race of Chingiz Khan appears in Turkish and Chinese as well as in Mongol legend. The family to which he belonged was called the Borjigen; it seems to have been of Turkish origin on the female side, but Mongol on the male (Cahun, Intr. à l’histoire de l’Asie, p. 203). It possessed lands and high prestige among the Mongol tribes to the north of China between the rivers Selinga and Orchon. It is important to realise that the Mongols were not very numerous. In the Mongol empire, as it is called, which Chingiz Khan created, the Mongolian element was small. What he did was to create a great Turkish empire under Mongol domination.]

3

The Khans of the Keraites [Karaits] were most probably incapable of reading the pompous epistles composed in their name by the Nestorian missionaries, who endowed them with the fabulous wonders of an Indian kingdom. Perhaps these Tartars (the Presbyter or Priest John) had submitted to the rites of baptism and ordination (Assemann. Bibliot. Orient. tom. iii. p. ii. p. 487-503). [Sir H. Howorth has shown very clearly (Hist. of the Mongols, i. p. 696 sqq.) that the Karaits were Turks, not Mongols. Their territory was near the Upper Orchon, between the rivers Selinga and Kernlen. They were Christians. Their chief Tughril received the title of Wang (“king”) from the (Manchu) Emperor of Northern China for his services in 1193 against the Naiman Turks of the regions of the Altai and Upper Irtish. Chingiz also took part in this war, and his services were recognised by the title of Dai Ming, “high Brightness.” For an account of Prester John — the name by which the Karait khans were known in the west — and the legends attached to him, see Howorth, i. cap. x. p. 534 sqq.]

4

Since the history and tragedy of Voltaire, Gengis, at least in French, seems to be the more fashionable spelling; but Abulghazi Khan must have known the true name of his ancestor. His etymology appears just; Zin, in the Mogul tongue, signifies great, and gis is the superlative termination (Hist. Généalogique des Tartars, part iii. p. 194, 195). From the same idea of magnitude the appellation of Zingis is bestowed on the ocean. [Chingiz (= very great, or autocrat) represents the true spelling. He also bore the title Sutu Bodgo, “son of Heaven.”]

5

The name of Moguls has prevailed among the Orientals, and still adheres to the titular sovereign, the Great Mogul of Hindostan. [Mongol, Mogul, and (Arabic) Mughal are all attempts to represent a name which among the true Mongols is pronounced something between Moghol (or Mool) and Mongol, but never with the u sound. See Tarīkh-i-Rashīdī, tr. Elias and Ross, p. 73 note.]

6

The Tartars (more properly Tatars) were descended from Tatar Khan, the brother of Mogul Khan (see Abulghazi, part i. and ii.), and once formed a horde of 70,000 families on the borders of Kitay (p. 103-112). In the great invasion of Europe (ad 1238), they seem to have led the vanguard; and the similitude of the name of Tartarei recommended that of Tartars to the Latins (Matth. Paris, p. 398, &c.). [The Tatars seem to have been a mixture of Manchus and Turks. On one of the old Turkish inscriptions of ad 733 (see above vol. vii. p. 399) Tatars are mentioned.]

7

[The code drawn up by Chingiz was called Yāsāk or Law. (On it, see Sir H. Howorth’s paper in the Indian Antiquary, July, 1882.) The cruelties of Chingiz were always the simple execution of the laws: he was never capricious.]

8

A singular conformity may be found between the religious laws of Zingis Khan and of Mr. Locke (Constitutions of Carolina, in his works, vol. iv. p. 535, 4to edition, 1777).

9

[When Chingiz conquered the Naiman Turks of the Altai regions, c. 1203-4, the vizir of the Naiman king passed into his service and became his chancellor. This minister was an Ūigur and had Ūigur successors. Through these Ūigurs, the Ūigur alphabet (derived from the Syriac) was adopted by the Mongols, and the old Turkish script (of the Orchon inscriptions, see above vol. vii. p. 399) became obsolete.] On the Ūigurs see Vámbéry’s Uigurische Sprachmonumente und das Kudatku Bilik, 1870.

10

In the year 1294, by the command of [Mahmūd Ghāzān] Cazan, khan of Persia, the fourth [fifth] in descent from Zingis. From these traditions, his vizir, Fadlallah [Rashīd ad-Dīn], composed a Mogul history in the Persian language, which has been used by Petit de la Croix (Hist. de Genghizcan, p. 537-539) [see D’Ohsson, Hist. des Mongols, i. 627 sqq. For Rashīd’s Jāmi al-Tawārīkh see Appendix 1.] The Histoire Généalogique des Tatars (à Leyde, 1726, in 12mo, 2 tomes) was translated by the Swedish prisoners in Siberia, from the Mogul MS. of Abulgasi Bahadur Khan, a descendant of Zingis, who reigned over the Usbeks of Charasm, or Carizme (ad 1644-1663). He is of most value and credit for the names, pedigrees, and manners of his nation. Of his nine parts, the ist descends from Adam to Mogul Khan; the iid, from Mogul to Zingis; the iiid is the life of Zingis; the ivth, vth, vith, and viith, the general history of his four sons and their posterity; the viiith and ixth, the particular history of the descendants of Sheibani Khan, who reigned in Maurenahar and Charasm. [The work of Abulghazi has been edited and translated by Des Maisons (St. Petersburg, 1870). For Jūzjānī and Juvainī see Appendix 1.]

11

Histoire de Gentchiscan, et de toute la Dinastie des Mongous ses Successeurs, Conquérans de la Chine; tirée de l’Histoire de la Chine, par le R. P. Gaubil, de la Société de Jésus, Missionaire à Pekin; à Paris, 1739, in 4to. This translation is stamped with the Chinese character of domestic accuracy and foreign ignorance. [It has been superseded by the Russian work of the Père Hyacinth, on the first four Khans of the house of Chingiz, 1829. A contemporary Chinese work by Men-Hun has been translated by Vasiliev in the ivth vol. of the Transactions of the Russian Arch. Soc., Oriental Sect.]

12

See the Histoire du Grand Genghizcan, premier Empereur des Mogols et Tartares, par M. Petit de la Croix, à Paris, 1710, in 12mo [it has been translated into English]: a work of ten years’ labour, chiefly drawn from the Persian writers, among whom Nisavi, the secretary of Sultan Gelaleddin, has the merit and prejudices of a contemporary. A slight air of romance is the fault of the originals, or the compiler. See likewise the articles of Genghizcan, Mohammed, Gelaleddin, &c., in the Bibliothèque Orientale of d’Herbelot. [Several histories of the Mongols have appeared in this century: D’Ohsson, Histoire des Mongols, 1852; Wolff, Geschichte der Mongolen oder Tataren, 1872; Quatremère, Histoire des Mongoles de la Perse, 1836; Howorth, History of the Mongols, Part 1, 1876, Part 2 (in 2 vols.), 1880 (on the “Tartars” of Russia and Central Asia); Part 3, 1888 (on Mongols of Persia); Cahun, Introduction à l’Histoire de l’Asie, 1896. For later Mongols of Central Asia, see the Tarīkh-i-Rashīdī of Mirzā Muhammad Haidar Dughlāt, transl. by E. D. Ross, ed. by N. Elias, 1895; for which, and for Schmidt, Geschichte der Ost-Mongolen, cp. Appendix 1. For Chingiz Khan: Erdmann, Temudschin der Unerschütterliche, 1862; R. K. Douglas, Life of Jinghiz Khān, 1877; Howorth, op. cit. Pt. 1. Gibbon does not mention: Pallas, Sammlungen historischer Nachrichten über die Mongolischen Völkerschaften, which appeared at St. Petersburg in 1776, 2 vols.]

13

Haithonus, or Aithonus, an Armenian prince, and afterwards a monk of Premontré (Fabric. Bibliot. Lat. medii Ævi, tom. i. p. 34), dictated, in the French language, his book De Tartaris, his old fellow-soldiers. It was immediately translated into Latin, and is inserted in the Novus Orbis of Simon Grynæus (Basil, 1555, in folio). [See above, vol. ix. p. 398. For Haithon I. see Appendix 1.]

14

Zingis Khan, and his first successors, occupy the conclusion of the ixth Dynasty of Abulpharagius (vers. Pocock, Oxon. 1663, in 4to); and his xth Dynasty is that of the Moguls of Persia. Assemannus (Bibliot. Orient. tom. ii.) has extracted some facts from his Syriac writings, and the lives of the Jacobite maphrians or primates of the East.

15

Among the Arabians, in language and religion, we may distinguish Abulfeda, sultan of Hamah in Syria, who fought in person, under the Mamaluke standard, against the Moguls.

16

Nicephorus Gregoras (l. ii. c. 5, 6) has felt the necessity of connecting the Scythian and Byzantine histories. He describes, with truth and elegance, the settlement and manners of the Moguls of Persia, but he is ignorant of their origin, and corrupts the names of Zingis and his sons.

17

M. Levesque (Histoire de Russie, tom. ii.) has described the conquest of Russia by the Tartars, from the patriarch Nicon and the old chronicles. [See Soloviev, Istoriia Rossii, vol. iii. cap. ii. p. 820 sqq.].

18

For Poland, I am content with the Sarmatia Asiatica et Europaea of Matthew à Michou, or de Michoviâ, a canon and physician of Cracow (ad 1506), inserted in the Novus Orbis of Grynæus. Fabric. Bibliot. Latin. mediæ et infimæ Ætatis, tom. v. p. 56. [The most important Polish source is the Historia Polonica of Johannes Dlugossius (who lived in the 15th century and died 1480). His works have been edited in 14 vols. by Alexander Przezdziecki (1867-87) and the Hist. Pol. occupies vols. x.-xiv. Roepell’s Geschichte Polens, vol. i. (1840). Only one contemporary Polish chronicle has survived: the Annals of the Cracow Chapter, Mon. Germ. xix. 582 sqq.]

19

I should quote Thuroczius, the oldest general historian (pars ii. c. 74, p. 150), in the first volume of the Scriptores Rerum Hungaricarum, did not the same volume contain the original narrative of a contemporary, an eyewitness, and a sufferer (M. Rogerii, Hungari, Varadiensis Capituli Canonici, Carmen miserabile, seu Historia super Destructione Regni Hungariæ, Temporibus Belæ IV. Regis per Tartaros factâ, p. 292-321) [it will be found in Endlicher, Rer. Hung. Monum. Arpadiana, p. 255 sqq.]; the best picture that I have ever seen of all the circumstances of a Barbaric invasion. [Gibbon omits to mention another contemporary account (of great importance) of the invasion of Hungary, by Thomas Archdeacon of Spalato, in his Historia Salonitana, published in Schwandtrer’s Scriptores Hung., vol. iii.]

20

Matthew Paris has represented, from authentic documents, the danger and distress of Europe (consult the word Tartari in his copious Index). [It has been conjectured that among the documents used by Matthew were anti-Semitic fly-leaves, accusing the Jews of inviting and helping the Mongols. Strakosch-Grassmann, Der Einfall der Mongolen, p. 116.] From motives of zeal and curiosity, the court of the great Khan, in the xiiith century, was visited by two friars, John de Plano Carpini and William Rubruquis, and by Marco Polo, a Venetian gentleman. The Latin relations of the two former are inserted in the first volume of Hackluyt: the Italian original, or version, of the third (Fabric. Bibliot. Latin. medii Ævi, tom. ii. p. 198; tom. v. p. 25) may be found in the second tome of Ramusio. [Colonel H. Yule’s English translation, The Book of Ser Marco Polo the Venetian, in 2 vols., 1875, with plans and illustrations, and most valuable elucidations and bibliography, is indispensable to the study of the traveller. A new edition of Rubruquis is wanted. The account of a journey among the Mongols by another traveller, Ascellinus, is printed in Fejér, Codex diplomaticus Hungariae, iv. 1, 428 sqq.]

21

In his great History of the Huns, M. de Guignes has most amply treated of Zingis Khan and his successors. See tom. iii. l. xv.-xix., and in the collateral articles of the Seljukians of Roum, tom. ii. l. xi., the Carizmians. l. xiv., and the Mamalukes, tom. iv. l. xxi.; consult likewise the tables of the ist volume. He is ever learned and accurate; yet I am only indebted to him for a general view, and some passages of Abulfeda, which are still latent in the Arabic text.

22

[The people who ruled over Northern China at this time were the Niu-Chi or Man-Chu. (They called themselves Aisin, “golden,” which the Chinese translated by Kin, and hence they are generally called the Kin dynasty.) They had conquered Northern China in 1120 from the Karā-Khitay Turks, who had held it since 1004. Chingiz, who was always punctilious in matters of form, chose his moment when the Emperor Chang-Tsong, to whom he had taken a feudal oath, was dead (1208); then he openly refused allegiance to the successor. He had prepared the way for the overthrow of the Niu-Chi by the conquest of the land of the Hia (north of Tibet, and west of the great bend of the Hoang Ho: the country of the Tanguts), which was then a republic of brigands, who (with their capital at Ning-Hia on the Hoang Ho), commanding the routes to the west, were a pest both to the southern and the northern Chinese empires. Cahun, Intr. à l’histoire de l’Asie, p. 248. Chingiz in conquering the Hia thus appeared as a public benefactor, but really seized a key position both in regard to China and in regard to the routes to the west through Dzungaria and through Cashgaria. On the Kin empire see the Histoire de l’empire de Kin ou empire d’or, Aisin Gurun-i Suduri Bithe, transl. by C. de Harlez, 1887.]

23

More properly Yen-king, an ancient city, whose ruins still appear some furlongs to the south-east of the modern Pekin, which was built by Cublai Khan (Gaubel, p. 146). Pe-king and Nan-king are vague titles, the courts of the north and of the south. The identity and change of names perplex the most skilful readers of the Chinese geography (p. 177). [When the Karā-Khitay Turks (under their chiefs the Ye-Lu family) conquered Northern China in 1004, they took Yen as their capital; it is now called Pe-king, “capital of the north.” “Khitan” is the Chinese form of Khitay.]

24

[In the last quarter of the 11th cent., Anushtigīn a Turkish slave was appointed governor of Carizme (Khwārizm) by the Sultan Malik Shāh. His son took the title of Carizme Shāh, and his grandson Atsīz made himself independent of the Seljuk sultans in the second quarter of the 12th cent. Alā ad-Dīn Mohammad (ad 1199-1220) made this principality of Carizme (which Atsīz and Tukush (1172-1199) had already extended as far as Jand in the north and Ispahan in the west), into a great realm, subduing Persia and Transoxiana, overthrowing the Ghōrid dynasty of Afghanistan, and invaded Eastern Turkestan (the kingdom of the Karā-Khitay).]

25

[On the middle Jaxartes. It was the capital of the Gūr-Khans of the Turkish kingdom of Karā-Khitay. Gibbon omits to mention the conquest of this kingdom (the south-western provinces of the modern empire of China) by Chingiz, before he came face to face with the Carizmian empire.]

26

M. de Voltaire, Essai sur l’Histoire Générale, tom. iii. c. 60, p. 8. His account of Zingis and the Moguls contains, as usual, much general sense and truth, with some particular errors.

27

[The strategical ability displayed in the campaigns of Chingiz and his successors has been well brought out by Cahun. It is wholly an error to regard the Mongol conquests as achieved merely by numbers and intrepid physical bravery. The campaigns were carefully planned out — not by Chingiz himself, he only considered, and approved or rejected, the plans submitted to him by his military advisers. He knew how to choose able generals (Samuka and Subutai were two of the most illustrious), but he did not interfere with them in their work. The invasion of the Carizmian empire was carried out thus: a Mongol army which had just conquered the land of Cashgar advanced over the great southern pass into Fergana and descended upon Khojend. The main army advanced by the great northern gate, through Dzungaria and the Ili regions, to Otrār on the Jaxartes. Half the army spread up the river to take or mask the Carizmian fortresses and join hands at Khojend with the corps from Cashgar. The other half, under Chingiz himself, marched straight across the Red Sand Desert upon Bochara. Cahun, op. cit. p. 285. Success was rendered easy by the strategical mistakes of Mohammad.]

28

[Jūjī received the realm of Karā-Khitay, and his son Bātū obtained possession of the Khanate of Kipchak; see below, p. 145.]

29

Zagatai [Chagatāy] gave his name to his dominions of Maurenahar [Mā-warā-l-nahr], or Transoxiana [along with part of Kashgar, Balkh, and Ghazna]; and the Moguls of Hindostan, who emigrated from that country, are styled Zagatais by the Persians. This certain etymology, and the similar example of Uzbek, Nogai, &c. may warn us not absolutely to reject the derivations of a national, from a personal, name. [The succession of the Chagatāy Khans of Transoxiana is very uncertain. On this branch see Mr. Oliver’s monograph, “The Chaghatai Mughals,” in Journ. R. As. Soc., vol. xx. Cp. the list in Lane-Poole’s Mohammadan Dynasties, p. 242.]

30

[Mangū (1251-1257) appointed his brother Khubilāy governor of the southern provinces. On Mangū’s death, Khubilāy defeated the attempts of the line of Jūjī to recover the chief Khanate, and reigned till 1294. He transferred the royal residence from Karakorum to Peking.]

31

In Marco Polo and the Oriental geographers, the names of Cathay and Mangi distinguish the Northern and Southern empires, which, from ad 1234 to 1279, were those of the Great Khan and of the Chinese. The search of Cathay, after China had been found, excited and misled our navigators of the sixteenth century, in their attempts to discover the north-east passage. [Cp. Cathay and the Way Thither: a collection of all minor notices of China previous to the sixteenth century, translated and edited by Col. H. Yule, 2 vols. 1866.]

32

I depend on the knowledge and fidelity of the Père Gaubil, who translates the Chinese text of the annals of the Moguls or Yuen (p. 71, 93, 153); but I am ignorant at what time these annals were composed and published. The two uncles of Marco Polo, who served as engineers at the siege of Siengyangfou (l. ii. c. 61, in Ramusio, tom. ii.; see Gaubil, p. 155, 157) must have felt and related the effects of this destructive powder, and their silence is a weighty and almost decisive objection. I entertain a suspicion that the recent discovery was carried from Europe to China by the caravans of the xvth century, and falsely adopted as an old national discovery before the arrival of the Portuguese and Jesuits in the xvith. Yet the Père Gaubil affirms that the use of gunpowder has been known to the Chinese above 1600 years. [For Chinese Annals see Appendix 1.]

33

[Hūlāgū. His reign in Persia began in ad 1256. His dynasty was called the Il Khāns, that is “Khāns of the Ils” or tribes (i.e. provincial). Hammer has made them the subject of a book: Geschichte der Ilchane, 1842.]

34

All that can be known of the Assassins of Persia and Syria, is poured from the copious, and even profuse, erudition of M. Falconet, in two Mémoires read before the Academy of Inscriptions (tom. xvii. p. 127-170). [One of the princes Jelal ad-Dīn Hasan had sent his submission to Chingiz: it was his son Rukn ad-Dīn who fought with Hūlāgū. On the Assassins see Hammer’s History of the Assassins, transl. by O. C. Wood, 1835.]

35

The Ismaelians of Syria, 40,000 assassins, had acquired or founded ten castles in the hills above Tortosa. About the year 1280, they were extirpated by the Mamalukes. [See Guyard, Un grand-Maître des Assassins, in the Journal asiatique, 1877.]

36

As a proof of the ignorance of the Chinese in foreign transactions, I must observe that some of their historians extend the conquests of Zingis himself to Medina, the country of Mahomet (Gaubil, p. 42).

37

[On the history of the Mongols in the West and the Golden Horde, see Hammer’s Geschichte der goldenen Horde, 1840, and Howorth’s History of the Mongols, part ii. In May 1334 the Moorish traveller Ibn Batūta visited the camp of Uzbeg Khan of the Golden Horde (Voyages, ed. and transl. Defrémery and Sanguinetti, vol. ii. 1877).]

38

[The numbers given in the western sources are mere metaphors for immensity. Cp. Cahun, op. cit. p. 343-344; Strakosch-Grassmann, Der Einfall der Mongolen in Mitteleuropa, p. 182-184. The total number of the Mongols may have been about 100,000.]

39

[Bātū was son of Jūjī (not of Tulūy).]

40

[Bātū was only nominally the leader. The true commander was Subutai, who deserves to be remembered among the great generals of the world for the brilliant campaign of 1241. See Appendix 4.]

41

The Dashte Kipzak [Dasht-i-Kipchāk] or plain of Kipzak, extends on either side of the Volga, in a boundless space towards the Jaik and Borysthenes, and is supposed to contain the primitive name and nation of the Cossacks.

42

[Riazan was taken 21st December, 1237; then Moscow; then Vladimir, the Grand Duke’s capital, 7th January, 1238; then the Grand Duke’s army was routed, 4th March. Subutai did not go farther north-westward than Torjok; he turned to subdue the Caucasian regions, the valley of the Don and the land of the Kipchaks. This occupied him till the end of 1239. Then he advanced on Kiev, and ruined it, with an exceptional and deliberate malice, which requires some explanation. Kiev was at this time a most prosperous and important centre of commerce with the East. From this time forward Venice had a monopoly of trade with the extreme East. Now the Venetian merchants of the Crimea were on very good terms with the Mongols. It has been plausibly suggested by M. Cahun that in the destruction of Kiev the Mongols acted under Venetian influence (op. cit. p. 350).]

43

[And a band of Knights Templar of France.]

44

[This is not correct. The battle of Liegnitz was gained by the right wing of the Mongol army. The advance into Hungary, under Bātū and Subutai, was simultaneous. See Appendix 4.]

45

In the year 1238, the inhabitants of Gothia (Sweden) and Frise were prevented, by their fear of the Tartars, from sending, as usual, their ships to the herring fishery on the coast of England; and, as there was no exportation, forty or fifty of these fish were sold for a shilling (Matthew Paris, p. 396). It is whimsical enough that the orders of a Mogul Khan, who reigned on the borders of China, should have lowered the price of herrings in the English market.

46

I shall copy his characteristic or flattering epithets of the different countries of Europe: Furens ac fervens ad arma Germania, strenuæ militiæ genetrix et alumna Francia, bellicosa et audax Hispania, virtuosa viris et classe munita fertilis Anglia, impetuosis bellatoribus referta Alemannia, navalis Dacia, indomita Italia, pacis ignara Burgundia, inqueta Apulia, cum maris Græci, Adriatici, et Tyrrheni insulis pyraticis et invictis, Cretâ, Cypro, Siciliâ, cum Oceano conterminis, insulis, et regionibus, cruenta Hybernia, cum agili Walliâ, palustris Scotia, glacialis Norwegia, suam electam militiam sub vexillo Crucis destinabunt, &c. (Matthew Paris, p. 498).

47

[The news of the death of the Grand Khan Ogotai recalled Bātū and Subutai to the East. The Mongols left Siebenbürgen in summer, 1242, Bulgaria in the following winter. Europe did not deceive itself. It was fully conscious that the Mongols could have extended their conquests if they had chosen. As Roger puts it, they disdained to conquer Germany — Tartari aspernabantur Theutomain expugnare (Miserabile Carmen, in M.G.H. 29, p. 564). On the position of the capital of the Golden Horde, Serai, the chief works are Grigor’ev, O miestopolozhenii stolitsy zolotoi Ordy Saraia, 1845; and Brun, O rezidentsii chanov zolotoi Ordy do vremen Dzhanibeka (in the publications of the 3rd Archeological Congress at Kiev), 1878. Brun attempts to show that there were two (old) Serais, — the elder, nearer the Caspian Sea, not far from the village of Selitrian, the later at Tsarev.]

48

See Carpin’s relation in Hakluyt, vol. i. p. 30. The pedigree of the khans of Siberia is given by Abulghazi (part viii. p. 485-495). Have the Russians found no Tartar chronicles at Tobolskoi?

49

The Map of d’Anville and the Chinese Itineraries (de Guignes, tom. i. p. 57) seem to mark the position of Holin, or Caracorum, about six hundred miles to the north-west of Pekin. The distance between Selinginsky and Pekin is near 2000 Russian versts, between 1300 and 1400 English miles (Bell’s Travels, vol. ii. p. 67). [For the situation of Caracorum, at a place still called Kara-Kharam, on the north bank of the Orchon, see Geographical Magazine for July 1874, p. 137; Yule’s Marco Polo, vol. i. p. 228-229.]

50

Rubruquis found at Caracorum his countryman Guillaume Boucher, orfèvre de Paris, who had executed, for the khan, a silver tree, supported by four lions, and ejecting four different liquors. Abulghazi (part iv. p. 336) mentions the painters of Kitay or China.

51

[Which was called Khān Baligh, City of the Khān.]

52

The attachment of the khans, and the hatred of the mandarins, to the bonzes and lamas (Duhalde, Hist. de la Chine, tom. i. p. 502, 503) seems to represent them as the priests of the same god, of the Indian Fo, whose worship prevails among the sects of Hindostan, Siam, Thibet, China, and Japan. But this mysterious subject is still lost in a cloud, which the researches of our Asiatic Society may gradually dispel.

53

[Under Chu Yuen Chang, who became emperor and founded the Ming dynasty.]

54

Some repulse of the Moguls in Hungary (Matthew Paris, p. 545, 546) might propagate and colour the report of the union and victory of the kings of the Franks on the confines of Bulgaria. Abulpharagius (Dynast. p. 310), after forty years, beyond the Tigris, might be easily deceived.

55

See Pachymer, l. iii. c. 25, and l. ix. c. 26, 27; and the false alarm at Nice, l. iii. c. 27 [28]. Nicephorus Gregoras, l. iv. c. 6.

56

[Izz ad-Dīn II. reigned ad 1245-1257.]

57

G. Acropolita, p. 36, 37 [c. 41]. Nic. Gregoras, l. ii. c. 6, l. iv. c. 5.

58

Abulpharagius, who wrote in the year 1284, declares that the Moguls, since the fabulous defeat of Batou, had not attacked either the Franks or Greeks; and of this he is a competent witness. Hayton, likewise, the Armeniac prince, celebrates their friendship for himself and his nation.

59

Pachymer gives a splendid character of Cazan Khan, the rival of Cyrus and Alexander (l. xii. c. 1). In the conclusion of his history (l. xiii. c. 36), he hopes much from the arrival of 30,000 Tochars, or Tartars, who were ordered by the successor of Cazan [Ghāzān Mahmūd, ad 1295-1304; his successor was Uljāitu, ad 1304-1316] to restrain the Turks of Bithynia, ad 1308.

60

The origin of the Ottoman dynasty is illustrated by the critical learning of MM. de Guignes (Hist. des Huns, tom. iv. p. 329-337), and d’Anville (Empire Turc, p. 14-22), two inhabitants of Paris, from whom the Orientals may learn the history and geography of their own country.

61

[Jalăl ad-Dīn Mangbarti, ad 1220-1231.]

62

[They were a clan of the tribe of Oghuz.]

63

[Sugut (Turkish name = “willow”), south of Malagina on the way to Dorylaeum, is mentioned by Anna Commena (Σαγουδάους, xv. 2). Othmān was born in ad 1258. Gibbon has shown his critical faculty in neglecting the confused and false accounts of the Greek historians, Phrantzes and Chalcondyles, of the deeds of Ertughrul.]

64

[This is the correct form of the name — Othmān. The name of the people is Othmānli: Ottoman is a corruption.]

65

See Pachymer, l. x. c. 25, 26; l. xiii. c. 33, 34, 36; and concerning the guard of the mountains, l. i. c. 3-6; Nicephorus Gregoras, l. vii. c. 1; and the first book of Laonicus Chalcondyles, the Athenian.

66

I am ignorant whether the Turks have any writers older than Mahomet II., nor can I reach beyond a meagre chronicle (Annales Turcici ad annum 1550), translated by John Gaudier, and published by Leunclavius (ad calcem Laonic. Chalcond. p. 311-350), with copious pandects, or commentaries. The History of the Growth and Decay (ad 1300-1683) of the Othman empire was translated into English from the Latin MS. of Demetrius Cantemir, Prince of Moldavia (London, 1734, in folio). The author is guilty of strange blunders in Oriental History; but he was conversant with the language, the annals, and institutions of the Turks. Cantemir partly draws his materials from the Synopsis of Saadi Effendi of Larissa, dedicated in the year 1696 to Sultan Mustapha, and a valuable abridgment of the original historians. In one of the Ramblers, Dr. Johnson praises Knolles (a General History of the Turks to the present year, London, 1603), as the first of historians, unhappy only in the choice of his subject. Yet I much doubt whether a partial and verbose compilation from Latin writers, thirteen hundred folio pages of speeches and battles, can either instruct or amuse an enlightened age, which requires from the historian some tincture of philosophy and criticism. [See Appendix 1.]

67

[Alā ad-Dīn was a political thinker. Having resigned all claim to a share in Othman’s inheritance he spent some years in retirement and thought, and then gave to his brother the result of his meditations. Orchan made him vizir and followed his suggestions. The chief reforms introduced by Alā ad-Dīn were three. (1) The regulation of Turkish dress is mentioned in the text. (2) The introduction of an independent Ottoman coinage. Hitherto the Seljuk money circulated. The historian Sad ad-Dīn (transl. Bratutti, i. p. 40) states that the first Ottoman coins, gold and silver, with Orchan’s name, were issued in 1328. There are no dates on Orchan’s coins. (3) The institution of the Janissaries (Yani Chari, “new soldiery”), probably in ad 1330 (cp. Sad ad-Dīn, ib. p. 42). This used to be wrongly ascribed to Murad I. (so Marsigli, Stato militare, i. 67, and Gibbon). Compare Hammer, Gesch. des osmanischen Reiches, i. 97 sqq. Alā ad-Dīn clearly grasped the fact that an establishment of well-trained infantry was indispensable. A regular body of cavalry was also established at the same time. The regular troops received pay; whereas the great general levy of cavalry performed military service for their fiefs.]

68

Cantacuzene, though he relates the battle and heroic flight of the younger Andronicus (l. ii. c. 6-8), dissembles, by his silence, the loss of Prusa, Nice, and Nicomedia, which are fairly confessed by Nicephorus Gregoras (l. viii. 15; ix. 9, 13; xi. 6). It appears that Nice was taken by Orchan in 1330, and Nicomedia in 1339, which are somewhat different from the Turkish dates. [Capture of Nicomedia, ad 1326; battle of Philocrene, ad 1330; capture of Nicæa, ad 1330; reduction of Karāsī (the ancient Mysia, including Pergamus) after ad 1340. See Zinkeisen, Gesch. des osmanischen Reiches in Europa, i. 102-117.]

69

The partition of the Turkish emirs is extracted from two contemporaries, the Greek Nicephorus Gregoras (l. vii. 1), and the Arabian Marakeschi (de Guignes, tom. ii. P. ii. p. 76, 77). See likewise the first book of Laonicus Chalcondyles.

70

Pachymer, l. xiii. c. 13. [The western coast of Asia Minor south of Karāsī (Mysia) was not incorporated in the Ottoman realm till the reign of Bayezid I. The most powerful rival of the Ottomans in Asia, at this time, was the state of Caramania (which reached from the Sangarius to the Pamphylian sea, and included Galatia, Eastern Phrygia, Lycaonia, Pisidia and Pamphylia). Murad took Angora (Ancyra) in ad 1360, and in 1386 he inflicted a demoralising defeat on the Caramanian Sultan in the battle of Iconium. In 1391 the prince of Sarūkhān (the regions of the Hermus, including Sardis and Magnesia) and the prince of Aidin (south of Sarūkhān, reaching to south of the Mæander) submitted, and likewise the lord of Mentesia (Caria, including Miletus). At the same time Bayezid subdued Kermiyān (Western Phrygia) and Tekka (Lycia), and the western part of Caramania. In 1393 the principality of Kastamunīyā (in Paphlagonia, including Sinope) was conquered; and with the exception of the eastern parts of Caramania all the little Seljuk states of Anatolia were in the hands of the Ottomans. Cp. the table in S. Lane-Poole’s Mohammadan Dynasties, p. 134. See below, p. 34.]

71

See the Travels of Wheler and Spon, of Pocock and Chandler, and more particuarly Smith’s Survey of the Seven Churches of Asia, p. 205-276. The more pious antiquaries labour to reconcile the promises and threats of the author of the Revelations with the present state of the seven cities. Perhaps it would be more prudent to confine his predictions to the characters and events of his own times. [For Ephesus and the temple of Diana see Wood’s Discoveries at Ephesus, 1877.]

72

[The date of the Ottoman capture of Philadelphia is uncertain (cp. Finlay, History of Greece, iii. p. 469, note). Probably ad 1391.]

73

Consult the fourth book of the Histoire de l’Ordre de Malthe, par l’Abbé de Vertot. That pleasing writer betrays his ignorance in supposing that Othman, a freebooter of the Bithynian hills, could besiege Rhodes by sea and land.

74

[For the success of the Ottomans, “the last example of the conquest of a numerous Christian population by a small number of Musulman invaders, and of the colonisation of civilised countries by a race ruder than the native population,” Finlay assigns three particular causes (History of Greece, iii. p. 475). “1. The superiority of the Ottoman tribe over all contemporary nations in religious convictions and in moral and military conduct. 2. The number of different races that composed the population of the country between the Adriatic and the Black Sea, the Danube, and the Aegean. 3. The depopulation of the Greek empire, the degraded state of its judicial and civil administration, and the demoralisation of the Hellenic race.”]

75

Nicephorus Gregoras has expatiated with pleasure on this amiable character (l. xii. 7; xiii. 4, 10; xiv. 1, 9; xvi. 6). Cantacuzene speaks with honour and esteem of his ally (l. iii. c. 56, 57, 63, 64, 66-68, 86, 89, 95, 96); but he seems ignorant of his own sentimental passion for the Turk, and indirectly denies the possibility of such unnatural friendship (l. iv. c. 40).

76

After the conquest of Smyrna by the Latins, the defence of this fortress was imposed by Pope Gregory XI. on the Knights of Rhodes (see Vertot, l. v.).

77

See Cantacuzenus, l. iii. c. 95. Nicephorus Gregoras, who, for the light of Mount Thabor, brands the emperor with the names of tyrant and Herod, excuses, rather than blames, this Turkish marriage, and alleges the passion and power of Orchan, ἐγγύτατος, καὶ τῃ̑ δυνάμει τοὺς κατ’ αὐτὸν ἤδη Περσικοὺς (Turkish) ὑπεραίρων Σατράπας (l. xv. 5). He afterwards celebrates his kingdom and armies. See his reign in Cantemir, p. 24-30.

78

The most lively and concise picture of this captivity may be found in the history of Ducas (c. 8), who fairly transcribes what Cantacuzene confesses with a guilty blush!

79

In this passage, and the first conquests in Europe, Cantemir (p. 27, &c.) gives a miserable idea of his Turkish guides; nor am I much better satisfied with Chalcondyles (l. i. p. 12, &c. [p. 25 ed. Bonn]). They forget to consult the most authentic record, the ivth book of Cantacuzene. I likewise regret the last books, which are still manuscript, of Nicephorus Gregoras. [They have been since published. See above, vol. ix. p. 384-5. The Ottomans captured the little fortress of Tzympe, near Gallipoli, in 1356, and Gallipoli itself in 1358. For Tzympe, cp. Cantacuzenus, iv. 33; vol. iii. p. 242 ed. Bonn.]

80

After the conclusion of Cantacuzene and Gregoras, there follows a dark interval of an hundred years. George Phranza, Michael Ducas, and Laonicus Chalcondyles, all three wrote after the taking of Constantinople.

81

[Hadrianople was taken in 1361, Philippopolis in 1362. In the next year (1363) a federate army of the Servians (under Urosh V.), Bosnians, and Walachians marched to deliver Hadrianople, but were defeated by a far inferior force on the banks of the Maritza. (Cp. Sad ad-Dīn, tr. Bratutti, i. p. 91 sqq.) In 1365 Murad established his residence at Hadrianople. In 1373-4 he pressed into Macedonia. In 1375 the Bulgarian prince Sisman became his vassal. In 1385 Sophia was captured. It should be noted that in 1365 Murad made a treaty with the important commercial city of Ragusa.]

82

See Cantemir, p. 37-41, with his own large and curious annotations. [The institution of the Janissaries is here wrongly ascribed to Murad; it belongs to the reign of Orchan. See above, p. 158, note 67.]

83

White and black face are common and proverbial expressions of praise and reproach in the Turkish language. Hic niger est, hunc tu Romane caveto, was likewise a Latin sentence.

84

[They were abolished (massacred) by the sultan Mahmūd II. in 1826.]

85

[Lazarus, the Kral of Servia, won important successes over Ottoman invaders of Bosnia in 1387. This emboldened the other Slavs of the Balkan peninsula. Shishman of Bulgaria revolted, and this led to the direct incorporation of Bulgaria in the Ottoman empire. The Servian Kral, who was the leader of the Slavs in their struggle to maintain their independence, took the field at the head of a federate army in spring 1389. He was supported by the King of Bosnia, the princes of Croatia, Albania, and Chlum (afterwards Herzegovina) and Walachia; and there were some Bulgarians (who had escaped the wreck of their country) and Hungarian auxiliaries in his army. The battle was fought, 15th June, on the Kosovo-polje or Amselfeld (blackbird field) on the banks of the Lab, west of Pristina. The name of the Servian who stabbed Murad was Milosh Obilić (or Kobilović). See the Turkish historian Nesri’s account of the campaign (Hungarian translation by Thúry in Török történetírók, i. p. 32 sqq.). For the general history of the Slavonic struggles against the Turks see Rački’s articles in the Rad (South Slavonic Journal), vols. ii. iii. and iv.; on the battle of Kosovo, iii. p. 91.]

86

See the life and death of Morad, or Amurath I., in Cantemir (p. 33-45), the 1st book of Chalcondyles, and the Annales Turcici of Leunclavius. According to another story, the sultan was stabbed by a Croat in his tent: and this accident was alleged to Busbequius (Epist. i. p. 98), as an excuse for the unworthy precaution of pinioning, as it were, between two attendants, an ambassador’s arms when he is introduced to the royal presence.

87

The reign of Bajazet I. or Ilderim Bayazid, is contained in Cantemir (p. 46), the iid book of Chalcondyles, and the Annales Turcici. The surname of Ilderim, or lightning, is an example that the conquerors and poets of every age have felt the truth of a system which derives the sublime from the principle of terror.

88

Cantemir, who celebrates the victories of the great Stephen over the Turks (p. 47), had composed the ancient and modern state of his principality of Moldavia, which has been long promised, and is still unpublished.

89

[The reign of Bayezid [Bāyezīd] was marked by a general corruption of morals and manners, propagated by the example of the court — especially of Bayezid himself and his grand vizir, Ali Pasha. See Zinkeisen. Gesch. des osm. Reiches, i. p. 384-6.]

90

Leunclav. Annal. Turcici, p. 318, 319. The venality of the cadhis has long been an object of scandal and satire; and, if we distrust the observations of our travellers, we may consult the feeling of the Turks themselves (d’Herbelot, Bibliot. Orientale, p. 216, 217, 229, 230).

91

The fact, which is attested by the Arabic history of Ben Schounah [Ibn-Shihna], a contemporary Syrian (de Guignes, Hist. des Huns, tom. iv. p. 336), destroys the testimony of Saad Effendi and Cantemir (p. 14, 15), of the election of Othman to the dignity of Sultan.

92

See the Decades Rerum Hungaricarum (Dec. iii. l. ii. p. 379) of Bonfinius, an Italian, who, in the xvth century, was invited into Hungary to compose an eloquent history of that kingdom. Yet, if it be extant and accessible, I should give the preference to some homely chronicle of the time and country. [There is an account of the battle by John Schiltberger of Munich (who was made prisoner), in his story of his Bondage and Travels, 1394-1427, which has been translated into English by J. B. Telfer, 1879 (Hakluyt Society). Mirtschea the Great, prince of Walachia, who had been made prisoner at Kosovo, was also engaged at Nicopolis, as the ally of Sigismund; but seeing that the battle was hopeless, he drew off his forces in good time. He was followed by a Turkish force to Walachia, and defeated it near Craiova. On the confusion in the Turkish historians on the Nicopolis campaign, see Thúry, Török történetírók, i. p. 50 note.]

93

I should not complain of the labour of this work, if my materials were always derived from such books as the Chronicle of honest Froissard (vol. iv. c. 67, 69, 72, 74, 79-83, 85, 87, 89), who read little, inquired much, and believed all. The original Mémoires of the Maréchal de Boucicault (Partie i. c. 22-28) add some facts, but they are dry and deficient, if compared with the pleasant garrulity of Froissard. [Very important is the Chronique du religieux de Saint Denys, published in a French translation under the title Histoire de Charles VI., roy de France, in 1663. The original Latin was first published by Bellaguet (in 6 vols.) in 1839-52. There is a study on the work by H. Delaborde, La vraie Chronique du Religieux de Saint Denis, 1890.]

94

An accurate Memoir on the life of Enguerrand VII. Sire de Coucy, has been given by the Baron de Zurlauben (Hist. de l’Académie des Inscriptions, tom. xxv.). His rank and possessions were equally considerable in France and England; and, in 1375, he led an army of adventurers into Switzerland, to recover a large patrimony which he claimed in right of his grandmother, the daughter of the emperor Albert I. of Austria (Sinner, Voyage dans la Suisse Occidentale, tom. i. p. 118-124).

95

That military office, so respectable at present, was still more conspicuous when it was divided between two persons (Daniel, Hist. de la Milice Françoise, tom. ii. p. 5). One of these, the marshal of the crusade, was the famous Boucicault, who afterwards defended Constantinople, governed Genoa, invaded the coast of Asia, and died in the field of Azincour.

96

[Bayezid was engaged in besieging Constantinople when he received news that the Franks were besieging Nicopolis.]

97

[About half the Turkish army, which amounted altogether to about 100,000.]

98

For this odious fact, the Abbé de Vertot quotes the Hist. Anonyme de St. Denys [see above note 93], l. xvi. c. 10, 11 (Ordre de Malthe, tom. ii. p. 310).

99

Sherefeddin Ali (Hist. de Timour Bec, l. v. c. 13) allows Bajazet a round number of 12,000 officers and servants of the chase. A part of his spoils was afterwards displayed in a hunting-match of Timour: 1. Hounds with satin housings; 2. Leopards with collars set with jewels; 3. Grecian greyhounds; and, 4. dogs from Europe, as strong as African lions (idem, l. vi. c. 15). Bajazet was particularly fond of flying his hawks at cranes (Chalcondyles, l. ii. p. 35 [p. 67 ed. Bonn]).

100

For the reigns of John Palæologus and his son Manuel, from 1354 to 1402, see Ducas, c. 9-15, Phranza, l. i. c. 16-21, and the ist and iid books of Chalcondyles, whose proper subject is drowned in a sea of episode.

101

[And beheading him. The prince’s name, Saudshi, is given rightly by Chalcondyles: Saûzes, but Ducas and Phrantzes give wrong names.]

102

[A confirmation of this treaty by the Patriarch Nilus (1380-8) is published in the Sitzungsberichte of the Vienna Academy 1851, p. 345.]

103

Cantemir, p. 50-53. Of the Greeks, Ducas alone (c. 13, 15) acknowledges the Turkish cadhi at Constantinople. Yet even Ducas dissembles the mosch.

104

[The Sultan had forced John to come forward as pretender to the throne, extorting a secret promise that he would hand over Constantinople to himself.]

105

Mémoires du bon Messire Jean le Maingre, dit Boucicault, Maréchal de France, partie i. c. 30-35.

1

These journals were communicated to Sherefeddin, or Cherefeddin Ali, a native of Yezd, who composed in the Persian language a history of Timour Beg [entitled Zafar Nāma = Book of Victory] which has been translated into French by M. Petis de la Croix (Paris, 1722, in 4 vols. 12mo), and has always been my faithful guide. [Translated into English under the title, The History of Timur Beg (in 2 vols.), 1723.] His geography and chronology are wonderfully accurate; and he may be trusted for public facts, though he servilely praises the virtue and fortune of the hero. Timour’s attention to procure intelligence from his own and foreign countries may be seen in the Institutions, p. 215, 217, 349, 351. [There is an older Life of Timur, bearing the same title as that of Sheref ad-Din (Book of Victory). It was written by Nizām Shāmī, at the command of Timur himself. The work has never been published, but an edition is promised by Professor E. Denison Ross from a MS. in the British Museum dated 1434. See note in Skrine and Ross, The Heart of Asia, p. 168.]

2

These commentaries are yet unknown in Europe; but Mr. White gives some hope that they may be imported and translated by his friend Major Davy, who had read in the East this “minute and faithful narrative of an interesting and eventful period.” [See Appendix 1.]

3

I am ignorant whether the original institution, in the Turkish or Mogul language, be still extant. The Persic version, with an English translation and most valuable index, was published (Oxford, 1783, in 4to) by the joint labours of Major Davy and Mr. White, the Arabic professor. This work has been since translated from the Persic into French (Paris, 1787) by M. Langlès, a learned Orientalist, who has added the Life of Timour and many curious notes.

4

Shaw Allum, the present Mogul, reads, values, but cannot imitate the institutions of his great ancestor. The English translator relies on their internal evidence; but, if any suspicions should arise of fraud and fiction, they will not be dispelled by Major Davy’s letter. The Orientals have never cultivated the art of criticism; the patronage of a prince, less honourable perhaps, is not less lucrative than that of a bookseller; nor can it be deemed incredible that a Persian, the real author, should renounce the credit, to raise the value and price, of the work.

5

The original of the tale is found in the following work, which is much esteemed for its florid elegance of style: Ahmedis Arabsiadæ (Ahmed Ebn Arabshaw) Vitæ et Rerum gestarum Timuri. Arabice et Latine. Edidit Samuel Henricus Manger. Franequeræ, 1767, 2 tom. in 4to. This Syrian author is ever a malicious and often an ignorant enemy; the very titles of his chapters are injurious; as how the wicked, as how the impious, as how the viper, &c. The copious article of Timur, in Bibliothèque Orientale, is of a mixed nature, as d’Herbelot indifferently draws his materials (p. 877-888) from Khondemir, Ebn Schounah, and the Lebtarikh.

6

Demir or Timour [Tīmūr] signifies, in the Turkish language, iron; and Beg is the appellation of a lord or prince. By the change of a letter or accent it is changed into Lenc [Lang], or lame; and a European corruption confounds the two words in the name of Tamerlane. [Timur’s lameness was due to an arrow wound in the foot, received in a battle in Sīstān, when he was conquering the countries south of the Oxus, before he won Transoxiana.]

7

After relating some false and foolish tales of Timour Lenc, Arabshah is compelled to speak truth, and to own him for a kinsman of Zingis, per mulieres (as he peevishly adds) laqueos Satanæ (pars i. c. i. p. 25). The testimony of Abulghazi Khan (p. ii. c. 5, p. v. c. 4) is clear, unquestionable, and decisive. [M. Cahun also agrees that the claim to connection with the family of Chingiz was justified.]

8

According to one of the pedigrees, the fourth ancestor of Zingis, and the ninth of Timour, were brothers; and they agreed that the posterity of the elder should succeed to the dignity of Khan, and that the descendants of the younger should fill the office of their minister and general. This tradition was at least convenient to justify the first steps of Timour’s ambition (Institutions, p. 24, 25, from the MS. fragments of Timour’s History).

9

[Not Sebzewār but Shehr-i-sebz. The province of Kesh had been given as a fief to Taragai, Timur’s father, by Kazghan, the emir or governor of Transoxiana.]

10

See the preface of Sherefeddin, and Abulfeda’s Geography (Chorasmiæ, &c. Descriptio, p. 60, 61), in the 3d volume of Hudson’s Minor Greek Geographers. [Timur’s family, the Barlas, belonged to the clan of the Kurikan (or Kureken) a Turkish clan mentioned in one of the old Turkish inscriptions of ad 733 (see above, vol. vii. p. 399). Thus Timur was a Turk not a Mongol. Cp. Cahun, Intr. á l’histoire de l’Asie, p. 444-445.]

11

See his nativity in Dr. Hyde (Syntagma Dissertat. tom. ii. p. 466), as it was cast by the astrologers of his grandson Ulugh Beg. He was born ad 1336, 9th April, 11° 57′ P.M. lat. 36. I know not whether they can prove the great conjunction of the planets from whence, like other conquerors and prophets, Timour derived the surname of Saheb Keran, or master of the conjunctions (Bibliot. Orient. p. 878). [Ulugh Beg founded his observatory at Samarcand in 1428. The “Gurganian” astronomical tables were calculated there.]

12

In the institutions of Timour, these subjects of the Khan of Kashgar are most improperly styled Ouzbegs, or Uzbeks, a name which belongs to another branch and country of Tartars (Abulghazi, p. v. c. 5; p. vii. c. 5). Could I be sure that this word is in the Turkish original, I would boldly pronounce that the Institutions were framed a century after the death of Timour, since the establishment of the Uzbeks in Transoxiana. [The people of the Kirghiz steppes now came to be known as Uzbegs, and the reading in Timur’s Institutes is quite genuine. Gibbon, with others, probably thought the Jātā were Getæ. It is like the inveterate mistake (into which he also falls) of confounding the Goths with the Getae (who were Dacians). Jātā is regularly used for Mogolistān in the Zafar Nāma. It is a nickname, meaning “ne’er-do-well,” applied to Central Asian Mongols by their neighbours. Petis de la Croix translated it Geta.]

13

[Timur had not entered the field of action so early. He says in his Memoirs that from the age of twelve he could receive his visitors with dignity. At eighteen, he was a good knight, skilled in the science of venery, and amused himself with reading pious books, playing chess, and exercising himself in arms. At twenty-two, we find him taking part (ad 1458) in an expedition of Kazghan the emir against the Iranians of Khorasan. On Kazghan’s death, Timur (by the advice of the religious orders of Islam) supported the Chagatāy sultan Taghlak-Timur, who first made him emir of Transoxiana, and then deposed him in favour of his own son. Then Timur took to the desert.]

14

[Timur himself says he had ten left; Sheref ad-Dīn says seven. The name of Timur’s brave wife, who was with him throughout his adventures, was Oljai.]

15

The 1st book of Sherefeddin is employed on the private life of the hero; and he himself, or his secretary (Institutions, p. 3-77), enlarges with pleasure on the thirteen designs and enterprises which most truly constitute his personal merit. It even shines through the dark colouring of Arabshah, p. i. c. 1-12.

16

The conquests of Persia, Tartary, and India are represented in the iid and iiid books of Sherefeddin, and by Arabshah, c. 13-55. Consult the excellent Indexes to the Institutions.

17

[Rather Mūsā ad 1336: Abū Sa’īd reigned 1316-1335. See Lane-Poole, Mohammadan Dynasties, p. 220.]

18

The reverence of the Tartars for the mysterious number of nine is declared by Abulghazi Khan, who, for that reason, divides his Genealogical History into nine parts.

19

According to Arabshah (p. i. c. 28, p. 183), the coward Timour ran away to his tent, and hid himself from the pursuit of Shah Mansour under the women’s garments. Perhaps Sherefeddin (l. ii. c. 25) has magnified his courage.

20

The history of Ormuz is not unlike that of Tyre. The old city, on the continent, was destroyed by the Tartars, and renewed [in the 14th cent.] in a neighbouring island without fresh water or vegetation. The kings of Ormuz, rich in the Indian trade and the pearl fishery, possessed large territories both in Persia and Arabia; but they were at first the tributaries of the sultans of Kerman, and at last were delivered (ad 1505) by the Portuguese tyrants from the tyranny of their own vizirs (Marco Polo, l. i. c. 15, 16, fol. 7, 8; Abulfeda Geograph. tabul. xi. p. 261, 262; an original Chronicle of Ormuz, in Texeira, or Stevens’ History of Persia, p. 376-416, and the Itineraries inserted in the 1st volume of Ramusio; of Ludovico Barthema (1503), fol. 167; of Andrea Corsali (1517), fol. 202, 203; and of Odoardo Barbessa (in 1516), fol. 315-318).

21

Arabshah had travelled into Kipzak, and acquired a singular knowledge of the geography, cities, and revolutions of that Northern region (p. i. c. 45-49). [The position of Tōktāmish cannot be understood without a knowledge of the relations of the rulers of the Golden Horde. Orda, the eldest son of Jūjī (eldest son of Chingiz Khan) had succeeded his father in the rule over the tribes north of the Jaxartes. The tribes of the Western Kipchak (the regions of the Volga and Ural, north of the Caspian) had been conquered by Bātū, a younger son of Jūjī (see above, p. 144-147). Tūka-Tīmūr, another son, ruled over Great Bulgaria on the Middle Volga; and a fourth, named Shaybān, was lord of the Kirghiz Kazaks, in Siberia, to the north of Orda’s land. The tribes ruled over by all these brothers and their descendants were included under the “Golden Horde,” which derived its name from the Sir Orda, the golden camp of the Khan. The tribes under the line of Orda were called the White Horde; and the Khans of this line were nominally the head of the family. The tribes subject to Bātū’s line were the Blue Horde, and they were far the most important. The line of Bātū came to an end in 1358, and after 20 years of anarchy Tōktāmish won the Khanate with Timur’s help in 1378. Tōktāmish was a descendant of Orda, and had won the lordship of the White Horde in 1376. Under him the Khanate of the Golden Horde reasserted itself in Russia, and Moscow was burned in 1382.]

22

[Timur routed Tōktāmish in 1391 at Urtupa, and in 1395 on the Terek. By thus destroying the power of the Khanate of the Golden Horde, Timur involuntarily delivered Russia.]

23

Institutions of Timour, p. 123, 125. Mr. White, the editor, bestows some animadversion on the superficial account of Sherefeddin (l. iii. c. 12-14), who was ignorant of the designs of Timour, and the true springs of action. [M. Charmoy contributed to the 3rd vol. of the Transactions of the Academy of St. Petersburg an important account of these campaigns of Timur.]

24

The furs of Russia are more credible than the ingots. But the linen of Antioch has never been famous; and Antioch was in ruins. I suspect that it was some manufacture of Europe, which the Hanse merchants had imported by the way of Novogorod.

25

M. Levesque (Hist. de Russie, tom. ii. p. 247. Vie de Timour, p. 64-67, before the French version of the Institutes) has corrected the error of Sherefeddin, and marked the true limit of Timour’s conquests. His arguments are superfluous, and a simple appeal to the Russian annals is sufficient to prove that Moscow, which six years before had been taken by Toctamish [ad 1382], escaped the arms of a more formidable invader.

26

An Egyptian consul from Grand Cairo is mentioned in Barbaro’s voyage to Tana in 1436, after the city had been rebuilt (Ramusio, tom. ii. fol. 92).

27

The sack of Azoph is described by Sherefeddin (l. iii. c. 55), and much more particularly by the author of an Italian chronicle (Andreas de Redusiis de Quero, in Chron. Tarvisiano, in Muratori Script. Rerum Italicarum, tom. xix. p. 802-805). He had conversed with the Mianis, two Venetian brothers, one of whom had been sent a deputy to the camp of Timour, and the other had lost at Azoph three sons and 12,000 ducats. [After the disintegration of the Golden Horde by Tīmūr, the house of Tūka-Tīmūr (see above note 21) begins to come into prominence. Members of this house established the three Khanates of Kazan, the Crimea, and Kazimov.]

28

Sherefeddin only says (l. iii. c. 13) that the rays of the setting, and those of the rising, sun were scarcely separated by any interval: a problem which may be solved in the latitude of Moscow (the 56th degree) with the aid of the Aurora Borealis and a long summer twilight. But a day of forty days (Khondemir apud d’Herbelot, p. 880) would rigorously confine us within the polar circle.

29

For the Indian war, see the Institutions (p. 129-139), the fourth book of Sherefeddin, and the history of Ferishta (in Dow, vol. ii. p. 1-20), which throws a general light on the affairs of Hindostan.

30

The rivers of the Punjab, the five eastern branches of the Indus, have been laid down for the first time with truth and accuracy in Major Rennell’s incomparable map of Hindostan. In his Critical Memoir he illustrates with judgment and learning the marches of Alexander and Timour.

31

The two great rivers, the Ganges and Burrampooter [Brahmapootra], rise in Thibet, from the opposite ridges of the same hills, separate from each other to the distance of 1200 miles, and, after a winding course of 2000 miles, again meet in one point near the gulf of Bengal. Yet, so capricious is fame that the Burrampooter is a late discovery, while his brother Ganges has been the theme of ancient and modern story. Coupele, the scene of Timour’s last victory, must be situate near Loldong, 1100 miles from Calcutta; and, in 1774, a British camp! (Rennell’s Memoir, p. 7, 59, 90, 91, 99).

32

See the Institutions, p. 141, to the end of the 1st book, and Sherefeddin (l. v. c. 1-16), to the entrance of Timour into Syria.

33

We have three copies of these hostile epistles in the Institutions (p. 147), in Sherefeddin (l. v. c. 14), and in Arabshah (tom. ii. c. 19, p. 183-201), which agree with each other in the spirit and substance, rather than in the style. It is probable that they have been translated, with various latitude, from the Turkish original into the Arabic and Persian tongues. [The genuineness of these letters is doubtful.]

34

The Mogul emir distinguishes himself and his countrymen by the name of Turks, and stigmatises the race and nation of Bajazet with the less honourable epithet of Turkmans. Yet I do not understand how the Ottomans could be descended from a Turkman sailor; those inland shepherds were so remote from the sea and all maritime affairs.

35

According to the Koran (c. ii. p. 27, and Sale’s Discourses, p. 134), a Musulman who had thrice divorced his wife (who had thrice repeated the words of a divorce) could not take her again, till after she had been married to, and repudiated by, another husband; an ignominious transaction, which it is needless to aggravate by supposing that the first husband must see her enjoyed by a second before his face (Rycaut’s State of the Ottoman Empire, l. ii. c. 21).

36

The common delicacy of the Orientals, in never speaking of their women, is ascribed in a much higher degree by Arabshah to the Turkish nations; and it is remarkable enough that Chalcondyles (l. ii. p. 55 [p. 105, ed. Bonn]) had some knowledge of the prejudice and the insult.

37

[And he put to death Bayezid’s eldest son Ertogrul.]

38

For the style of the Moguls, see the Institutions (p. 131, 147), and for the Persians, the Bibliothèque Orientale (p. 882); but I do not find that the title of Cæsar has been applied by the Arabians, or assumed by the Ottomans themselves. [From Timur to Bayezid the name is an insult; he will not give him a Musulman title.]

39

See the reigns of Barkok and Pharadge, in M. de Guignes (tom. iv. l. xxii.), who from the Arabic texts of Aboulmahasen, Ebn Schounah, and Aintabi has added some facts to our common stock of materials. [In 1390 the Bahrī dynasty made way for the Burjī dynasty, founded by Al-Zāhir Sayf al-Dīn Barkūk, who in 1398 was succeeded by Al-Nāsir Nāsir al-Dīn Faraj.]

40

For these recent and domestic transactions, Arabshah, though a partial, is a credible, witness (tom. i. c. 64-68; tom. ii. c. 1-14). Timour must have been odious to a Syrian; but the notoriety of facts would have obliged him, in some measure, to respect his enemy and himself. His bitters may correct the luscious sweets of Sherefeddin (l. v. c. 17-29).

41

These interesting conversations appear to have been copied by Arabshah (tom. i. c. 68, p. 625-645) from the cadhi and historian Ebn Schounah, a principal actor. Yet how could he be alive seventy-five years afterwards (d’Herbelot, p. 792)?

42

[The destruction attributed to Timur has been greatly exaggerated. That he did not burn the mosque of Damascus is proved by its remains. (It had been partly burnt in a tumult in 1068.) Compare the remarks of Cahun, op. cit. p. 495-497.]

43

The marches and occupations of Timour between the Syrian and Ottoman wars are represented by Sherefeddin (l. v. c. 29-43) and Arabshah (tom. ii. c. 15-18).

44

This number of 800,000 was extracted by Arabshah, or rather by Ebn Schounah, ex rationario Timuri, on the faith of a Carizmian officer (tom. i. c. 68, p. 617); and it is remarkable enough that a Greek historian (Phranza, l. i. c. 29) adds no more than 20,000 men. Poggius reckons 1,000,000; another Latin contemporary (Chron. Tarvisianum, apud Muratori, tom. xix. p. 800) 1,100,000; and the enormous sum of 1,600,000 is attested by a German soldier who was present at the battle of Angora (Leunclav. ad Chalcondyl. l. iii. p. 82). Timour, in his Institutions, has not deigned to calculate his troops, his subjects, or his revenues.

45

A wide latitude of non-effectives was allowed by the Great Mogul for his own pride and the benefit of his officers. Bernier’s patron was Penge-Hazari, commander of 5000 horse, of which he maintained no more than 500 (Voyages, tom. i. p. 288, 289).

46

Timour himself fixes at 400,000 men the Ottoman army (Institutions, p. 153), which is reduced to 150,000 by Phranza (l. i. c. 29), and swelled by the German soldier to 1,400,000. It is evident that the Moguls were the more numerous. [The forces of Bayezid are put at 90,000 by Sad ad-Din (tr. Bratutti, 214). Of course the number given by Timur cannot be accepted.]

47

It may not be useless to mark the distances between Angora and the neighbouring cities, by the journeys of the caravans, each of twenty or twenty-five miles; to Smyrna 20, to Kiotahia 10, to Boursa 10, to Cæsarea 8, to Sinope 10, to Nicomedia 9, to Constantinople 12 or 13 (see Tournefort, Voyage au Levant, tom. ii. lettre 21).

48

See the Systems of Tactics in the Institutions, which the English editors have illustrated with elaborate plans (p. 373-407).

49

The Sultan himself (says Timour) must then put the foot of courage into the stirrup of patience. A Tartar metaphor, which is lost in the English, but preserved in the French, version of the Institutes (p. 156, 157).

50

The Greek fire, on Timour’s side, is attested by Sherefeddin (l. v. c. 47); but Voltaire’s strange suspicion that some cannon, inscribed with strange characters, must have been sent by that monarch to Delhi is refuted by the universal silence of contemporaries.

51

Timour has dissembled this secret and important negotiation with the Tartars, which is indisputably proved by the joint evidence of the Arabian (tom. i. c. 47, p. 391), Turkish (Annal. Leunclav. p. 321), and Persian historians (Khondemir, apud d’Herbelot, p. 882). [And cp. Ducas, p. 35 ed. Bonn.]

52

For the war of Anatolia, or Roum, I add some hints in the Institutions, to the copious narratives of Sherefeddin (l. v. c. 44-65) and Arabshah (tom. ii. c. 20-35). On this part only of Timour’s history, it is lawful to quote the Turks (Cantemir, p. 53-55, Annal. Leunclav. p. 320-322), and the Greeks (Phranza, l. i. c. 29, Ducas, c. 15-17, Chalcondyles, l. iii.). [Add Sad ad-Dīn’s account of the battle, tr. Bratutti, i. p. 213 sqq.]

53

The scepticism of Voltaire (Essai sur l’Histoire Générale, c. 88) is ready on this, as on every, occasion to reject a popular tale, and to diminish the magnitude of vice and virtue; and on most occasions his incredulity is reasonable. [The fable of the iron cage is fully discussed by Hammer (Gesch. des osmanischen Reiches, i. 252-6), who refers to three points unknown to Gibbon: (1) the silence of the eye-witness, John Schiltberger, whom we have already seen captured in the battle of Nicopolis, and who was again captured by the Mongols at Angora; (2) the evidence of the two oldest Ottoman historians, Neshri and Ashikpashazādé; (3) the discussion and denial of the story by the later Ottoman historian Sad ad-Dīn. Hammer points out that the story arose out of a misconception of the words of Ashikpashazādé and Neshri, who state that a litter, furnished with bars like a cage, was provided for Bayezid. Such litters were the kind of vehicle regularly used for conveying a prince’s harem.]

54

[According to Ducas, Timur was playing chess at the moment of Bayezid’s arrival (p. 37).]

55

See the history of Sherefeddin (l. v. c. 49, 52, 53, 59, 60). This work was finished at Shiraz, in the year 1424, and dedicated to Sultan Ibrahim, the son of Sharokh, the son of Timour, who reigned in Farsistan in his father’s lifetime.

56

After the perusal of Khondemir, Ebn Schounah, &c. the learned d’Herbelot (Bibliot. Orientale, p. 882) may affirm that this fable is not mentioned in the most authentic histories; but his denial of the visible testimony of Arabshah leaves some room to suspect his accuracy.

57

Et fut lui-même (Bajazet) pris, et mené en prison, en laquelle mourut de dure mort! Mémoires de Boucicault, p. i. c. 37. These Memoirs were composed while the Marshal was still governor of Genoa, from whence he was expelled in the year 1409 by a popular insurrection (Muratori Annali d’Italia, tom. xii. p. 473, 474). [On Boucicaut’s Memoirs and Life see Delaville Le Roulx, La France en Orient au 14me siècle. Expéditions du Maréchal Boucicaut, 2 vols., 1886.]

58

The reader will find a satisfactory account of the life and writings of Poggius, in the Poggiana, an entertaining work of M. Lenfant [ad 1720], and in the Bibliotheca Latina mediæ et infimæ Ætatis of Fabricius (tom. v. p. 305-308). Poggius was born in the year 1380, and died in 1459.

59

The dialogue de Varietate Fortunæ (of which a complete and elegant edition has been published at Paris in 1723, in 4to) was composed a short time before the death of Pope Martin V. (p. 5), and consequently about the end of the year 1430.

60

See a splendid and elegant encomium of Tamerlane, p. 36-39, ipse enim novi (says Poggius) qui fuere in ejus castris. . . . Regem vivum cepit, caveâque in modum feræ inclusum per omnem Asiam circumtulit egregium admirandumque spectaculum fortunæ.

61

The Chronicon Tarvisianum (in Muratori, Script. Rerum Italicarum, tom. xix. p. 800), and the Annales Estenses (tom. xviii. p. 974). The two authors, Andrea de Redusiis de Quero and James de Delayto, were both contemporaries, and both chancellors, the one of Trevigi, the other of Ferrera. The evidence of the former is the most positive.

62

See Arabshah, tom. ii. c. 28, 34. He travelled in regiones Rumæas, a.h. 839 (ad 1435, 27th July), tom. ii. c. 2, p. 13.

63

Busbequius in Legatione Turcicâ, epist. i. p. 52. Yet his respectable authority is somewhat shaken by the subsequent marriages of Amurath II. with a Servian, and of Mahomet II. with an Asiatic, princess (Cantemir, p. 83, 93).

64

See the testimony of George Phranza (l. i. c. 29), and his life in Hanckius (de Script. Byzant. p. i. c. 40). Chalcondyles and Ducas speak in general terms of Bajazet’s chains.

65

Annales Leunclav. p. 321; Pocock, Prolegomen. ad Abulpharag. Dynast.; Cantemir, p. 55. [See above note 53.]

66

A Sapor, king of Persia, had been made prisoner, and enclosed in the figure of a cow’s hide, by Maximian, or Galerius Cæsar. Such is the fable related by Eutychius (Annal. tom. i. p. 421, vers. Pocock). The recollection of the true history (Decline and Fall, &c. vol. ii. p. 171 sqq.) will teach us to appreciate the knowledge of the Orientals of the ages which precede the Hegira.

67

Arabshah (tom. ii. c. 25) describes, like a curious traveller, the straits of Gallipoli and Constantinople. To acquire a just idea of these events, I have compared the narratives and prejudices of the Moguls, Turks, Greeks, and Arabians. The Spanish ambassador mentions this hostile union of the Christians and Ottomans (Vie de Timour, p. 96).

68

Since the name of Cæsar had been transferred to the sultans of Roum, the Greek princes of Constantinople (Sherefeddin, l. v. c. 54) were confounded with the Christian lords of Gallipoli, Thessalonica, &c. under the title of Tekkur, which is derived by corruption from the genitive τον̂ κυρίου (Cantemir, p. 51).

69

See Sherefeddin, l. v. c. 4, who marks, in a just itinerary, the road to China, which Arabshah (tom. ii. c. 33) paints in vague and rhetorical colours.

70

Synopsis Hist. Sinicæ, p. 74-76 (in the ivth part of the Relations de Thévenot), Duhalde, Hist. de la Chine (tom. i. p. 507, 508, folio edition); and for the chronology of the Chinese Emperors, de Guignes, Hist. des Huns, tom. i. p. 71, 72.

71

For the return, triumph, and death of Timour, see Sherefeddin (l. vi. c. 1-30) and Arabshah (tom. ii. c. 35-47).

72

Sherefeddin (l. xi. c. 24) mentions the ambassadors of one of the most potent sovereigns of Europe. We know that it was Henry III. King of Castile; and the curious relation of his two embassies is still extant, Mariana, Hist. Hispan. l. xix. c. 11, tom. ii. p. 329, 330. Advertissement à l’Hist. de Timur Bec, p. 28-33. There appears likewise to have been some correspondence between the Mogul emperor, and the court of Charles VII. King of France (Histoire de France, par Velly et Villaret, tom. xii. p. 336). [The account of Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo of his embassy to the court of Timur in 1403-6 has been translated, with elucidations, by Sir Clements R. Markham, for the Hakluyt Society, 1859.]

73

See the translation of the Persian account of their embassy, a curious and original piece (in the ivth part of the Relations de Thévenot). They presented the emperor of China with an old horse which Timour had formerly rode. It was in the year 1419, that they departed from the court of Herat, to which place they returned in 1422 from Pekin. [Timur died in February, 1405, see Elias and Ross, Tarīkh-i-Rashīdī, p. 54 note.]

74

From Arabshah, tom. ii. c. 96. The bright or softer colours are borrowed from Sherefeddin, d’Herbelot, and the Institutions. [In one important respect Gibbon’s account of Timur and his work is deficient. He has not realised, or brought out, the fact that the greatest result of Timur’s empire was the victory of Islam in Central Asia. Timur acted from the beginning in close co-operation with the Musulman ecclesiastics of Transoxiana, and when he won supreme power, he did away with the Mongol and Turkish legislative system of Chingiz and substituted the law of Islam. In regard to the very foundations of the political constitution there is a vast difference between the two systems. Chingiz and his successors were subject to the law (the Yāsāk) and bound by its provisions; whereas according to the principles of Islam the head of the state is not bound by the law, but is responsible only to God. Thus the will of the sovereign is set above the law. Timur then broke completely with the Mongol tradition, such as it had been developed under Chinese influence, and drew the Turks of Central Asia out of touch with the far East. As the Mongol power in China was overthrown about the same time by the revolution which set the Ming dynasty on the throne (ad 1370), this period marks a general decline of Mongol influence in Asia.]

75

His new system was multiplied from 32 pieces and 64 squares, to 56 pieces and 110 or 130 squares. But, except in his court, the old game has been thought sufficiently elaborate. The Mogul emperor was rather pleased than hurt with the victory of a subject; a chess-player will feel the value of this encomium!

76

See Sherefeddin, l. v. c. 15, 25. Arabshah (tom. ii. c. 96, p. 801, 803) reproves the impiety of Timour and the Moguls, who almost preferred to the Koran the Yacsa, or Law of Zingis (cui Deus maledicat): nor will he believe that Sharokh had abolished the use and authority of that Pagan code.

77

Besides the bloody passages of this narrative, I must refer to an anticipation in the sixth volume of the Decline and Fall, which, in a single note (p. 16, note 26) accumulates near 300,000 heads of the monuments of his cruelty. Except in Rowe’s play on the fifth of November, I did not expect to hear of Timour’s amiable moderation (White’s preface, p. 7). Yet I can excuse a generous enthusiasm in the reader, and still more in the editor, of the Institutions.

78

Consult the last chapters of Sherefeddin and Arabshah, and M. de Guignes (Hist. des Huns, tom. iv. l. xx.), Fraser’s History of Nadir Shah (p. 1-62). The story of Timour’s descendants is imperfectly told; and the second and third parts of Sherefeddin are unknown.

79

Shah Allum [Shāh-Ālam, ad 1759-1806], the present Mogul, is in the fourteenth [rather fifteenth from Bābar, who was fifth from Timur] degree from Timour by Miran Shah, his third son. See the iid volume of Dow’s History of Hindustan. [The shadowy survival of the Mogul empire ceased to exist in 1857.]

80

The civil wars, from the death of Bajazet to that of Mustapha, are related, according to the Turks, by Demetrius Cantemir (p. 58-82). Of the Greeks, Chalcondyles (l. iv. and v.), Phranza (l. i. c. 30-32), and Ducas (c. 18-27), the last is the most copious and best informed.

81

[It is difficult to decide whether he was an impostor, as the Ottoman, or genuine, as the Greek, historians allege. Zinkeisen leaves the question open (i. 383-384) but with an inclination to the former opinion; Hammer argues for the view that the claimant was the true Mustapha, i. 297.]

82

Arabshah, tom. ii. c. 26, whose testimony on this occasion is weighty and valuable. The existence of Isa (unknown to the Turks) is likewise confirmed by Sherefeddin (l. v. c. 57).

83

[Mohammad defeated Isa in battle at Ulubad, ad 1403, and again in 1404 (Sad ad-Dīn, transl. Bratutti, p. 284).]

84

Arabshah, loc. citat. Abulfeda, Geograph. tab. xvii. p. 302. Busbequius, epist. i. p. 96, 97, in Itinere C. P. et Amasiano.

85

[Mohammad’s character was marked by justice, mildness, and freedom from fanaticism.]

86

The virtues of Ibrahim are praised by a contemporary Greek (Ducas, c. 25). His descendants are the sole nobles in Turkey; they content themselves with the administration of his pious foundations, are excused from public offices, and receive two annual visits from the sultan (Cantemir, p. 76).

87

See Pachymer (l. v. c. 29), Nicephorus Gregoras (l. ii. c. i.), Sherefeddin (l. v. c. 57), and Ducas (c. 25). The last of these, a curious and careful observer, is entitled, from his birth and station, to particular credit in all that concerns Ionia and the islands. Among the nations that resorted to New Phocæa he mentions the English (Ἰγγλη̂νοι); an early evidence of Mediterranean trade.

88

For the spirit of navigation and freedom of ancient Phocæa, or rather of the Phocæans, consult the first book of Herodotus, and the Geographical Index of his last and learned French translator, M. Larcher (tom. vii. p. 299).

89

Phocæa is not enumerated by Pliny (Hist. Nat. xxxv. 52) among the places productive of alum; he reckons Egypt as the first, and for the second the isle of Melos, whose alum mines are described by Tournefort (tom. i. lettre iv.), a traveller and a naturalist. After the loss of Phocæa, the Genoese, in 1459, found that useful mineral in the isle of Ischia (Ismael. Bouillaud, ad Ducam, c. 25).

90

The writer who has the most abused this fabulous generosity is our ingenious Sir William Temple (his Works, vol. iii. p. 349, 350, 8vo edition), that lover of exotic virtue. After the conquest of Russia, &c. and the passage of the Danube, his Tartar hero relieves, visits, admires, and refuses the city of Constantine. His flattering pencil deviates in every line from the truth of history; yet his pleasing fictions are more excusable than the gross errors of Cantemir.

91

For the reigns of Manuel and John, of Mahomet I. and Amurath II., see the Othman history of Cantemir (p. 70-95), and the three Greeks, Chalcondyles, Phranza, and Ducas, who is still superior to his rivals.

92

The Turkish asper (from the Greek ἄσπρος [= white]) is, or was, a piece of white or silver money, at present much debased, but which was formerly equivalent to the 54th part, at least, of a Venetian ducat, or sequin; and the 300,000 aspers, a princely allowance or royal tribute, may be computed at 2500l. sterling (Leunclav. Pandect. Turc. p. 406-408). [Cantacuscino (in Sansovino, Historia Universale de Turchi, fol. 11 v.) counts 54 aspers to a sultanin or ducat, and this was still the value about the beginning of the 16th century, but in the reign of Selim I., before 1520, 60 aspers went to a ducat, and this value was maintained during the reign of Sulayman and Selim II.]

93

For the siege of Constantinople in 1422, see the particular and contemporary narrative of John Cananus, published by Leo Allatius, at the end of his edition of Acropolita (p. 188-199).

94

Cantemir, p. 80. Cananus, who describes Seid Bechar, without naming him, supposes that the friend of Mahomet assumed, in his amours, the privilege of a prophet, and that the fairest of the Greek nuns were promised to the saint and his disciples.

95

[This number, given by Ducas and Phrantzes, is obviously a gross exaggeration, perhaps a slip of the pen. Cp. Zinkeisen, i. 524 (and 527), who thinks the besiegers did not exceed 40,000 or 50,000. According to Cananus the first corps brought against the city was 10,000; then followed “another army” like a hail storm, p. 459 ed. Bonn.]

96

For this miraculous apparition, Cananus appeals to the Musulman saint; but who will bear testimony for Seid Bechar?

97

See Rycaut (l. i. c. 13). The Turkish sultans assume the title of Khan. Yet Abulghazi is ignorant of his Ottoman cousins.

98

The third grand vizir of the name of Kiuperli, who was slain at the battle of Salankamen in 1691 (Cantemir, p. 382), presumed to say that all the successors of Soliman had been fools or tyrants, and that it was time to abolish the race (Marsigli Stato Militare, &c. p. 28). This political heretic was a good Whig, and justified, against the French ambassador, the revolution of England (Mignot, Hist. des Ottomans, tom. iii. p. 434). His presumption condemns the singular exception of continuing offices in the same family.

99

Chalcondyles (l. v.) and Ducas (c. 23) exhibit the rude lineaments of the Ottoman policy, and the transmutation of Christian children into Turkish soldiers.

100

[It is uncertain at what time the rule of levying this tribute every 5th year was introduced; it had become established by the time of Selim I.; but the tribute was sometimes exacted oftener, and many witnesses say “every three years.” Cp. Zinkeisen, iii. p. 216.]

101

[In earlier times, the age seems to have been younger — six or seven.]

102

This sketch of the Turkish education and discipline is chiefly borrowed from Rycaut’s State of the Ottoman Empire, the Stato Militare del’ Imperio Ottomano of Count Marsigli (in Haya, 1732, in folio), and a Description of the Seraglio, approved by Mr. Greaves himself, a curious traveller, and inserted in the second volume of his works. [One important feature of the Ottoman education was that pains were taken to discover the natural faculties of each individual and to train him for the work to which he was best adapted. On the history of the Janissaries, their organisation and duties, the variations in their effective strength, see A. Djevad Bey, Etat militaire Ottoman, vol. i. 1882. There is a good brief account of the military establishment in Ranke’s little work on the Ottoman Empire (Engl. transl. by Kelly, 1843).]

103

From the series of 115 vizirs till the siege of Vienna (Marsigli, p. 13), their place may be valued at three years and a half purchase.

104

See the entertaining and judicious letters of Busbequius.

105

The 1st and 2d volumes of Dr. Watson’s Chemical Essays contain two valuable discourses on the discovery and composition of gunpowder.

106

On this subject, modern testimonies cannot be trusted. The original passages are collected by Ducange (Gloss. Latin. tom. i. p. 675, Bombarda). But in the early doubtful twilight, the name, sound, fire, and effect, that seem to express our artillery, may be fairly interpreted of the old engines and the Greek fire. For the English cannon at Crecy, the authority of John Villani (Chron. l. xii. c. 65) must be weighed against the silence of Froissard [and the English authorities]. Yet Muratori (Antiquit. Italiæ medii Ævi, tom. ii. Dissert. xxvi. p. 514, 515) has produced a decisive passage from Petrarch (de Remediis utriusque Fortunæ Dialog.), who, before the year 1344, execrates this terrestrial thunder, nuper rara, nunc communis. [La Cabane, De la poudre á canon et de son introduction en France, 1845; Reinaud et Favé, Du feu grégois et des origines de la poudre à canon, 1860.]

107

The Turkish cannon, which Ducas (c. 30) first introduces before Belgrade (ad 1436), is mentioned by Chalcondyles (l. v. p. 123 [p. 231 ed. Bonn]) in 1422, at the siege of Constantinople.

1

[The following works deal with the general history of the schism of the Greek and Latin Churches and the attempts at reunion: Maimbourg, Histoire du Schisme des Grecs, 2 vols., 1677; Pitzipios, L’église orientale, 1855; Pichler, Geschichte der kirchlichen Trennung zwischen Orient und Occident, 2 vols., 1864-5; Demitrakopulos, Ἱστορία τον̂ σχίσματος τη̂ς Λατινικη̂ς ἐκκλησίας ἀπὸ τη̂ς ὀρθοδόξου Ἑλληνικη̂ς, 1867; Lebedev, History of the Byzantine-Oriental Church from the end of the 11th to the middle of the 15th century (in Russian), 1892.]

2

This curious instruction was transcribed (I believe) from the Vatican archives by Odoricus Raynaldus, in his Continuation of the Annals of Baronius (Romæ, 1646-1677, in 10 volumes in folio). I have contented myself with the Abbé Fleury (Hist. Ecclésiastique, tom. xx. p. 1-8), whose extracts I have always found to be clear, accurate, and impartial. [For Barlaam the Calabrian see below, p. 276-6.]

3

The ambiguity of this title is happy or ingenious; and moderator, as synonymous to rector, gubernator, is a word of classical, and even Ciceronian, Latinity, which may be found, not in the Glossary of Ducange, but in the Thesaurus of Robert Stephens.

4

The first epistle (sine titulo) of Petrarch exposes the danger of the bark and the incapacity of the pilot. Hæc inter, vino madidus, ævo gravis ac soporifero rore perfusus, jamjam nutitat, dormitat, jam somno præceps, atque (utinam solus) ruit. . . . Heu quanto felicius patrio terram sulcasset aratro, quam scalmum piscatorium ascendisset. This satire engages his biographer to weigh the virtues and vices of Benedict XII., which have been exaggerated by Guelphs and Ghibelines, by Papists and Protestants (see Mémoires sur la Vie de Pétrarque, tom. i. p. 259; ii. not. 15, p. 13-16). He gave occasion to the saying, Bibamus papaliter.

5

See the original Lives of Clement VI. in Muratori (Script. Rerum Italicarum, tom. iii. p. ii. p. 550-589); Matteo Villani (Chron. l. iii. c. 43, in Muratori, tom. xiv. p. 186), who styles him, molto cavalleresco, poco religioso; Fleury (Hist. Ecclés. tom. xx. p. 126); and the Vie de Pétrarque (tom. ii. p. 42-45). The Abbé de Sade treats him with the most indulgence; but he is a gentleman as well as a priest.

6

Her name (most probably corrupted) was Zampea. She had accompanied and alone remained with her mistress at Constantinople, where her prudence, erudition, and politeness deserved the praises of the Greeks themselves (Cantacuzen. l. i. c. 42).

7

See this whole negotiation in Cantacuzene (l. iv. c. 9), who, amidst the praises and virtues which he bestows on himself, reveals the uneasiness of a guilty conscience.

8

See this ignominious treaty in Fleury (Hist. Ecclés. p. 151-154), from Raynaldus, who drew it from the Vatican archives. It was not worth the trouble of a pious forgery.

9

See the two first original Lives of Urban V. (in Muratori, Script. Rerum Italicarum, tom. iii. p. ii. p. 623, 635), and the Ecclesiastical Annals of Spondanus (tom. i. p. 573, ad 1369, No. 7) and Raynaldus (Fleury, Hist. Ecclés. tom. xx. p. 223, 224). Yet, from some variations, I suspect the papal writers of slightly magnifying the genuflexions of Palæologus.

10

Paullo minus quam si fuisset Imperator Romanorum. Yet his title of Imperator Græcorum was no longer disputed (Vit. Urban. V. p. 623).

11

It was confined to the successors of Charlemagne, and to them only on Christmas Day. On all other festivals, these Imperial deacons were content to serve the pope, as he said mass, with the book and the corporal. Yet the Abbé de Sade generously thinks that the merits of Charles IV. might have entitled him, though not on the proper day (ad 1368, 1st November), to the whole privilege. He seems to affix a just value on the privilege and the man (Vie de Pétrarque, tom. iii. p. 735).

12

Through some Italian corruptions, the etymology of Falcone in bosco (Matteo [rather, Filippo, the Continuer of Matteo] Villani, l. xi. c. 79, in Muratori, tom. xiv. p. 746) suggests the English word Hawkwood, the true name of our adventurous countryman (Thomas Walsingham, Hist. Anglican. inter Scriptores Camdeni, p. 184). After two and twenty victories and one defeat, he died, in 1394, General of the Florentines, and was buried with such honours as the republic has not paid to Dante or Petrarch (Muratori, Annali d’Italia, tom. xii. p. 212-371).

13

This torrent of English (by birth or service) overflowed from France into Italy after the peace of Bretigny in 1360. Yet the exclamation of Muratori (Annali, tom. xii. p. 197) is rather true than civil. “Ci mancava ancor questo, che dopo essere calpestrata l’Italia da tanti masnadieri Tedeschi ed Ungheri, venissero fin dall’ Inghliterra nuovi cani a finire di divorarla.”

14

Chalcondyles, l. i. p. 25, 26 [p. 50 ed. Bonn]. The Greek supposes his journey to the king of France, which is sufficiently refuted by the silence of the national historians. Nor am I much more inclined to believe that Palæologus departed from Italy, valde bene consolatus et contentus (Vit. Urban. V. p. 623).

15

His return in 1370, and the coronation of Manuel, 25th September, 1373 (Ducange, Fam. Byzant. p. 241), leaves some intermediate era for the conspiracy and punishment of Andronicus.

16

Mémoires de Boucicault, p. i. c. 35, 36.

17

His journey into the west of Europe is slightly, and I believe reluctantly, noticed by Chalcondyles (l. ii. p. 44-50 [p. 84 sqq. ed. Bonn]) and Ducas (c. 14).

18

Muratori, Annali d’Italia, tom. xii. p. 406. John Galeazzo was the first and most powerful duke of Milan. His connection with Bajazet is attested by Froissard; and he contributed to save and deliver the French captives of Nicopolis.

19

For the reception of Manuel at Paris, see Spondanus (Annal Eccles. tom. i. p. 676, 677, ad 1400, No. 5), who quotes Juvenal des Ursins [Histoire de Charles vi., 1380-1422 (ed. in Buchon’s Choix de Chroniques, vol. iv.)] and the monk of St. Denys; and Villaret (Hist. de France, tom. xii. p. 331-334), who quotes nobody, according to the last fashion of the French writers.

20

A short note of Manuel in England is extracted by Dr. Hody from a MS. at Lambeth (de Græcis illustribus, p. 14), C. P. Imperator, diu variisque et horrendis Paganorum insultibus coartatus, ut pro eisdem resistentiam triumphalem perquireret Anglorum Regem visitare decrevit, &c. Rex (says Walsingham, p. 364) nobili apparatu . . . suscepit (ut debuit) tantum Heroa, duxitque Londonias, et per multos dies exhibuit gloriose, pro expensis hospitii sui solvens, et eum respiciens [dignis] tanto fastigio donativis. He repeats the same in his Upodigma Neustriæ (p. 556).

21

Shakespeare begins and ends the play of Henry IV. with that prince’s vow of a crusade, and his belief that he should die in Jerusalem.

22

This fact is preserved in the Historia Politica, ad 1391-1478, published by Martin Crusius (Turco-Græci, p. 1-43). The image of Christ which the Greek emperor refused to worship was probably a work of sculpture.

23

The Greek and Turkish history of Laonicus Chalcondyles ends with the winter of 1463, and the abrupt conclusion seems to mark that he laid down his pen in the same year. We know that he was an Athenian, and that some contemporaries of the same name contributed to the revival of the Greek language in Italy. But in his numerous digressions the modest historian has never introduced himself; and his editor Leunclavius, as well as Fabricius (Bibliot. Græc. tom. vi. p. 474), seems ignorant of his life and character. For his descriptions of Germany, France, and England, see l. ii. p. 36, 37 [p. 70 sqq.], 44-50 [p. 85 sqq].

24

I shall not animadvert on the geographical errors of Chalcondyles. In this instance, he perhaps followed and mistook Herodotus (l. ii. c. 33), whose text may be explained (Herodote de Larcher, tom. ii. p. 219, 220), or whose ignorance may be excused. Had these modern Greeks never read Strabo, or any of their lesser geographers?

25

A citizen of new Rome, while new Rome survived, would have scorned to dignify the German Ῥήξ with the titles of Βασιλεύς, or Αὐτοκράτωρ Ῥωμαίων; but all pride was extinct in the bosom of Chalcondyles; and he describes the Byzantine prince and his subject, by the proper, though humble names of Ἕλληνες, and Βασιλεὺς Ἑλλήνων. [Cp. above, vol. x. p. 279.]

26

Most of the old romances were translated in the xivth century into French prose, and soon became the favourite amusement of the knights and ladies in the court of Charles VI. If a Greek believed in the exploits of Rowland and Oliver, he may surely be excused, since the monks of St. Denys, the national historians, have inserted the fables of Archbishop Turpin in their Chronicles of France.

27

Λονδύνη . . . δέ τε πόλις δυνάμει τε προέχουσα τω̂ν ἐν τῃ̑ νήσῳ ταύτῃ πασω̂ν πόλεων, ὅλβῳ τε καὶ τῃ̑ ἄλλῃ εὐδαιμονίᾳ οὐδεμια̂ς τω̂ν πρὸς ἑσπέραν λειπομένη [ii. p. 93 ed. Bonn]. Even since the time of Fitzstephen (the xiith century), London appears to have maintained this pre-eminence of wealth and magnitude; and her gradual increase has at least kept pace with the general improvement of Europe.

28

If the double sense of the verb κύω (osculor, and in utero gero) be equivocal, the context and pious horror of Chalcondyles can leave no doubt of his meaning and mistake (p. 49). [There is no ambiguity. Chalcondyles uses the middle form κύεσθαι instead of the active κύειν which is used in classical Greek; but there is no second sense. Neither κύω nor κυω̂ is ever used in the sense of κυνω̂ (kiss). It is only in the aorist (ἔκῡσα: ἔκῦσα) that there would be a danger of confusion. — Cp. Phrantzes, iii. 2.]

29

Erasmus (Epist. Fausto Andrelino) has a pretty passage on the English fashion of kissing strangers on their arrival and departure, from whence, however, he draws no scandalous inferences.

30

Perhaps we may apply this remark to the community of wives among the old Britons, as it is supposed by Cæsar and Dion (Dion Cassius, l. lxii. tom. ii. p. 1007 [c. 6]), with Reimar’s judicious annotation. The Arreoy of Otaheite, so certain at first, is become less visible and scandalous, in proportion as we have studied the manners of that gentle and amorous people.

31

[Manuel composed in 26 dialogues a defence of orthodox Christianity against Islam. The whole work was entitled Διάλογος περὶ τη̂ς τω̂ν Χριστιανω̂ν θρησκείας πρός τινα Πέρσην, and grew out of conversations which Manuel had had at Ancyra in 1390 with a Turkish muterizis. Only the two first dialogues have been published (Migne, P.G. 156, p. 126 sqq.). Manuel wrote much, and most of his published works will be found in Migne, tom. cit. His letters have been edited by Legrand, 1893, and this volume contains the interesting essay of Manuel, “What Timur may have said to the conquered Bajazet.” There is an excellent monograph on Manuel and his writings by Berger de Xivrey in the Mémoires de l’Institut de France, Ac. des Inscr. xix. 1 sqq. (1853).]

32

See Lenfant, Hist. du Concile de Constance, tom. ii. p. 576; and for the ecclesiastical history of the times, the Annals of Spondanus; the Bibliothèque of Dupin, tom. xii.; and xxist and xxiid volumes of the History, or rather the Continuation, of Fleury.

33

From his early youth, George Phranza, or Phranzes, was employed in the service of the state and palace; and Hanckius (de Script. Byzant. p. i. c. 40) has collected his life from his own writings. He was no more than four and twenty years of age at the death of Manuel, who recommended him, in the strongest terms, to his successor: Imprimis vero hunc Phranzen tibi commendo, qui ministravit mihi fideliter et diligenter (Phranzes, l. ii. c. 1). Yet the emperor John was cold, and he preferred the service of the despots of Peloponnesus.

34

See Phranzes, l. ii. c. 13. While so many manuscripts of the Greek original are extant in the libraries of Rome, Milan, the Escurial, &c. it is a matter of shame and reproach that we should be reduced to the Latin version, or abstract, of James Pontanus, ad calcem Theophylact. Simocattæ (Ingolstadt, 1604), so deficient in accuracy and elegance (Fabric. Bibliot. Græc. tom. vi. p. 615-620). [See Appendix 1.]

35

See Ducange, Fam. Byzant. p. 243-248.

36

The exact measure of the Hexamilion from sea to sea, was 3800 orgygiæ, or toises, of six Greek feet (Phranzes, l. i. c. 38), which would produce a Greek mile, still smaller than that of 660 French toises, which is assigned by d’Anville as still in use in Turkey. Five miles are commonly reckoned for the breadth of the Isthmus. See the Travels of Spon, Wheler, and Chandler.

37

The first objection of the Jews is on the death of Christ: if it were voluntary, Christ was a suicide; which the emperor parries with a mystery. They then dispute on the conception of the Virgin, the sense of the prophecies, &c. (Phranzes, l. ii. c. 12, a whole chapter).

38

In the treatise delle Materie Beneficiarie of Fra Paolo (in the ivth volume of the last and best edition of his works), the papal system is deeply studied and freely described. Should Rome and her religion be annihilated, this golden volume may still survive, a philosophical history and a salutary warning.

39

Pope John XXII. (in 1334) left behind him, at Avignon, eighteen millions of gold florins, and the value of seven millions more in plate and jewels. See the Chronicle of John Villani (l. xi. c. 20, in Muratori’s Collection, tom. xiii. p. 765), whose brother received the account from the Papal treasurers. A treasure of six or eight millions sterling in the xivth century is enormous, and almost incredible.

40

A learned and liberal Protestant, M. Lenfant, has given a fair history of the councils of Pisa, Constance, and Basil, in six volumes in quarto; but the last part is the most hasty and imperfect, except in the account of the troubles of Bohemia. [For the Council of Pisa see Erler, Zur Geschichte des Pisaner Conzils, 1884. The history of the Council of Constance has been rewritten by L. Tosti, Storia del concilio di Costanza, 1853 (in 2 vols.), a work which has been translated into German by W. Arnold (1860). See also F. Stuhr, Die Organisation und Geschäftsordnung des Pisaner und Costanzer Konzils, 1891; and the document (Ein Tagebuch-fragment über das Kostanzer Konzil) edited by Knöpfler in the Historisches Jahrbuch der Görresgesellschaft, vol. xi. p. 267 sqq., 1890. Gibbon does not mention the big work of Hardt: Magnum oecumenicum Constantiense concilium (6 vols.), 1697-1700 (Index, 1742).]

41

The original acts or minutes of the council of Basil are preserved in the public library, in twelve volumes in folio. Basil was a free city, conveniently situate on the Rhine, and guarded by the arms of the neighbouring and confederate Swiss. In 1459, the university was founded by Pope Pius II. (Æneas Sylvius), who had been secretary to the council. But what is a council, or an university, to the presses of Froben and the studies of Erasmus? [The first 3 vols. (1853-94) of the Vienna Monumenta conciliorum generalium are devoted to the council of Basil. For the union question see Mugnier, L’Expédition du concile de Bâle à Constantinople pour l’union de l’église grecque à l’église latine (1437-8), 1892.]

42

This Turkish embassy, attested only by Crantzius, is related with some doubt by the annalist Spondanus, ad 1433, No. 25, tom. i. p. 824.

43

Syropulus, p. 19. In this list, the Greeks appear to have exceeded the real numbers of the clergy and laity which afterwards attended the emperor and patriarch, but which are not clearly specified by the great ecclesiarch. The 75,000 florins which they asked in this negotiation of the pope (p. 9) were more than they could hope or want.

44

I use indifferently the words ducat and florin, which derive their names, the former from the dukes of Milan, the latter from the republic of Florence. These gold pieces, the first that were coined in Italy, perhaps in the Latin world, may be compared, in weight and value, to one third of the English guinea.

45

At the end of the Latin version of Phranzes, we read a long Greek epistle or declamation of George of Trebizond, who advises the emperor to prefer Eugenius and Italy. He treats with contempt the schismatic assembly of Basil, the Barbarians of Gaul and Germany, who had conspired to transport the chair of St. Peter beyond the Alps: οἳ ἄθλιοι (says he) σὲ καὶ τὴν μετὰ σον̂ σύνοδον ἔξω τω̂ν Ἡρακλείων στηλω̂ν καὶ πέρα Γαδήρων ἐξάξουσι. Was Constantinople unprovided with a map? [The writings of the humanist George of Trebizond, on the union question, will be found in Migne, P.G. vol. 161, 829 sqq.]

46

Syropulus (p. 26-31) attests his own indignation, and that of his countrymen; and the Basil deputies, who excused the rash declaration, could neither deny nor alter an act of the council.

47

Condolmieri, the pope’s nephew and admiral, expressly declared, ὄτι ὸρισμὸν ἔχει παρὰ τον̂ Πάπα ἵνα πολεμήσῃ ὄπου ἃν εὕρῃ τὰ κάτεργα τη̂ς Συνόδου, καὶ εἰ δυνήθῃ καταδὑσῃ καὶ ἀϕανίσνῃ. The naval orders of the synod were less peremptory, and, till the hostile squadrons appeared, both parties tried to conceal their quarrel from the Greeks.

48

Syropulus mentions the hopes of Palæologus (p. 36), and the last advice of Sigismond (p. 57). At Corfu, the Greek emperor was informed of his friend’s death; had he known it sooner, he would have returned home (p. 79).

49

Phranzes himself, though from different motives, was of the advice of Amurath (l. ii. c. 13). Utinam ne synodus ista unquam fuisset, si tantas offensiones et detrimenta paritura erat. This Turkish embassy is likewise mentioned by Syropulus (p. 58); and Amurath kept his word. He might threaten (p. 125, 219), but he never attacked, the city.

50

The reader will smile at the simplicity with which he imparted these hopes to his favourites: τοιαύτην πληροϕορίαν σχήσειν ἤλπιζε καὶ διὰ τον̂ Πάπα ἐθάρρει ἐλευθερω̂σαι τὴν ἐκκλησίαν ἀπὸ τη̂ς ἀποτεθείσης αὐτον̂ δουλείας παρὰ τον̂ βασιλέω (p. 92). Yet it would have been difficult for him to have practised the lessons of Gregory VII.

51

The Christian name of Sylvester is borrowed from the Latin Calendar. In modern Greek, πουλος, as a diminutive, is added to the end of words; nor can any reasoning of Creyghton, the editor, excuse his changing into Sguropulus (Sguros, fuscus) the Syropulus of his own manuscript, whose name is subscribed with his own hand in the acts of the council of Florence. Why might not the author be of Syrian extraction? [The name Syropulos occurs repeatedly in the Collection of Letters (dating from the 14th century) in the Florentine Codex S. Marco 356. See Krumbacher, Gesch. der byzantinischen Litteratur, p. 485.]

52

From the conclusion of the history, I should fix the date to the year 1444, four years after the synod, when the great ecclesiarch had abdicated his office (sectio xii. p. 330-350). His passions were cooled by time and retirement; and, although Syropulus is often partial, he is never intemperate.

53

Vera historia unionis non veræ inter Græcos et Latinos (Hagæ Comitis, 1660, in folio) was first published with a loose and florid version, by Robert Creyghton, chaplain to Charles II. in his exile. The zeal of the editor has prefixed a polemic title, for the beginning of the original is wanting. Syropulus may be ranked with the best of the Byzantine writers for the merit of his narration, and even of his style; but he is excluded from the orthodox collections of the councils.

54

Syropulus (p. 63) simply expresses his intention: ἴν’ οὔτω πομπἁων ἐν Ἰτάλοις μέγας βασιλεὺς παρ’ ἐκείνων νομίζοιτο; and the Latin of Creyghton may afford a specimen of his florid paraphrase. Ut pompâ circumductus noster Imperator Italiæ populis aliquis deauratus Jupiter crederetur, aut Crœsus ex opulentâ Lydiâ. [In the Greek citation πομπάων is unintelligible, but so it stands in Creyghton’s text. Evidently Syropulus wrote πομπεύων.]

55

Although I cannot stop to quote Syropulus for every fact, I will observe that the navigation of the Greeks from Constantinople to Venice and Ferrara is contained in the ivth section (p. 67-100), and that the historian has the uncommon talent of placing each scene before the reader’s eye.

56

At the time of the synod, Phranzes was in Peloponnesus; but he received from the despot Demetrius a faithful account of the honourable reception of the emperor and patriarch, both at Venice and Ferrara (Dux . . . sedentem Imperatorem adorat), which are more slightly mentioned by the Latins (l. ii. c. 14-16).

57

The astonishment of a Greek prince and a French ambassador (Mémoires de Philippe de Comines, l. vii. c. 18) at the sight of Venice abundantly proves that in the xvth century it was the first and most splendid of the Christian cities. For the spoils of Constantinople at Venice, see Syropulus (p. 87).

58

Nicholas III. of Este reigned forty-eight years (ad 1393-1441), and was lord of Ferrara, Modena, Reggio, Parma, Rovigo, and Commachio. See his life in Muratori (Antichità Estense, tom. ii. p. 159-201).

59

The Latin vulgar was provoked to laughter at the strange dresses of the Greeks, and especially the length of their garments, their sleeves, and their beards; nor was the emperor distinguished, except by the purple colour, and his diadem or tiara with a jewel on the top (Hody de Græcis Illustribus, p. 31). Yet another spectator confesses that the Greek fashion was piu grave e piu degna than the Italian (Vespasiano, in Vit. Eugen. IV. in Muratori, tom. xxv. p. 261).

60

For the emperor’s hunting, see Syropulus (p. 143, 144, 191). The pope had sent him eleven miserable hawks: but he bought a strong and swift horse that came from Russia. The name of Janizaries may surprise; but the name, rather than the institution, had passed from the Ottoman to the Byzantine court, and is often used in the last age of the empire.

61

The Greeks obtained, with much difficulty, that, instead of provisions, money should be distributed, four florins per month to the persons of honourable rank, and three florins to their servants, with an addition of thirty more to the emperor, twenty-five to the patriarch, and twenty to the prince or despot Demetrius. The payment of the first month amounted to 691 florins, a sum which will not allow us to reckon above 200 Greeks of every condition (Syropulus, p. 104, 105). On the 20th October 1438, there was an arrear of four months; in April 1439, of three; and of five and a half in July, at the time of the union (p. 172, 225, 271).

62

Syropulus (p. 141, 142, 204, 221) deplores the imprisonment of the Greeks, and the tyranny of the emperor and patriarch.

63

The wars of Italy are most clearly represented in the xiiith volume of the Annals of Muratori. The schismatic Greek, Syropulus (p. 145), appears to have exaggerated the fear and disorder of the pope in his retreat from Ferrara to Florence, which is proved by the acts to have been somewhat more decent and deliberate.

64

Syropulus is pleased to reckon seven hundred prelates in the council of Basil. The error is manifest, and perhaps voluntary. That extravagant number could not be supplied by all the ecclesiastics, of every degree, who were present at the council, nor by all the absent bishops of the West, who, expressly or tacitly, might adhere to its decrees.

65

The Greeks, who disliked the union, were unwilling to sally from this strong fortress (p. 178, 193, 195, 202, of Syropulus). The shame of the Latins was aggravated by their producing an old MS. of the second council of Nice, with filioque in the Nicene creed. A palpable forgery! (p. 173).

66

ᾩς ἐγὼ (said an eminent Greek) ὅταν εἰς ναὸν εἰσέλθω Λατίνων οὐ προσκυνω̂ τινα τω̂ν ἐκεɩ̂σε ἁγἱων, ἐπεὶ οὐδὲ γνωρἰζω τινά (Syropulus, p. 109). See the perplexity of the Greeks (p. 217, 218, 252, 253, 273).

67

See the polite altercation of Mark and Bessarion in Syropulus (p. 257), who never dissembles the vices of his own party, and fairly praises the virtues of the Latins. [The works of Bessarion are collected in Migne’s Greek Patrology, vol. clxi., where Bandini’s monograph on his life and writings (1777) is reprinted. There are two recent monographs: Le Cardinal Bessarion, by H. Vast (1878), and a Russian monograph by A. Sadov (1883). The writings of his opponent Markos Eugenikos, metropolitan of Ephesus, will be found in Migne, P.G. vols. clx. and clxi. There is a Greek work on these two men by N. Kalogeras (Μάρκος ὁ Εὐγενικὸς καὶ Βησσαρίων ὀ Καρδινάλις, 1893). Cp. J. Dräseke, Byzantinische Zeitschrift, iv. p. 145 sqq.]

68

For the poverty of the Greek bishops, see a remarkable passage of Ducas (c. 31). One had possessed, for his whole property, three old gowns, &c. By teaching one-and-twenty years in his monastery, Bessarion himself had collected forty gold florins; but of these, the archbishop had expended twenty-eight in his voyage from Peloponnesus, and the remainder at Constantinople (Syropulus, p. 127).

69

Syropulus denies that the Greeks received any money before they had subscribed the act of union (p. 283); yet he relates some suspicious circumstances; and their bribery and corruption are positively affirmed by the historian Ducas.

70

The Greeks most piteously express their own fears of exile and perpetual slavery (Syropul. p. 196); and they were strongly moved by the emperor’s threats (p. 260).

71

I had forgot another popular and orthodox protester: a favourite hound, who usually lay quiet on the foot-cloth of the emperor’s throne; but who barked most furiously while the act of union was reading, without being silenced by the soothing or the lashes of the royal attendants (Syropul. p. 265, 266).

72

From the original Lives of the Popes, in Muratori’s Collection (tom. iii. p. 2, tom. xxv.), the manners of Eugenius IV. appear to have been decent, and even exemplary. His situation, exposed to the world and to his enemies, was a restraint, and is a pledge.

73

Syropulus, rather than subscribe, would have assisted, as the least evil, at the ceremony of the union. He was compelled to do both; and the great ecclesiarch poorly excuses his submission to the emperor (p. 290-292).

74

None of these original acts of union can at present be produced. Of the ten MSS. that are preserved (five at Rome, and the remainder at Florence, Bologna, Venice, Paris, and London), nine have been examined by an accurate critic (M. de Brequigny), who condemns them for the variety and imperfections of the Greek signatures. Yet several of these may be esteemed as authentic copies, which were subscribed at Florence before (26th August 1439) the final separation of the Pope and emperor (Mémoires de l’Académie des Inscriptions, tom. xliii. p. 287-311). [On these copies see Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, vol. vii. part 2, p. 757 sqq. The true original is the copy which is kept under glass in the Laurentian Library at Florence. The text of the Union decree — in Greek, in Latin, and a German translation — is given in Hefele, ib. p. 742-753.]

75

Ἡμɩ̂ν δὲ ὡς ἄσημοι ἐδόκουν ϕω̂ναι (Syropul. p. 297).

76

In their return, the Greeks conversed at Bologna with the ambassadors of England; and, after some questions and answers, these impartial strangers laughed at the pretended union of Florence (Syropul. p. 307).

77

So nugatory, or rather so fabulous, are these reunions of the Nestorians, Jacobites, &c. that I have turned over, without success, the Bibliotheca Orientalis of Assemanus, a faithful slave of the Vatican.

78

Ripaille is situate near Thonon in Savoy, on the southern side of the lake of Geneva. It is now a Carthusian abbey; and Mr. Addison (Travels into Italy, vol. ii. p. 147, 148, of Baskerville’s edition of his works) has celebrated the place and the founder. Æneas Sylvius, and the fathers of Basil, applaud the austere life of the ducal hermit; but the French and Italian proverbs most unluckily attest the popular opinion of his luxury.

79

In this account