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Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 10 [1776]

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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. 10.

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About this Title:

The tenth 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.

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The text is in the public domain.

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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]

Edition Lausanne

Limited to one thousand registered sets


Edition: current; Page: [b]
Edition: current; Page: [c]
Edition: current; Page: [i]







Edition: current; Page: [ii] Edition: current; Page: [iii]
Edition: current; Page: [iv]

Copyright, 1907,


Norwood Press

Edition: current; Page: [v]


  • List of Illustrations . . . . . . . . . page xiii
  • Note . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiv
  • CHAPTER LIV Origin and Doctrine of the Paulicians — Their Persecution by the Greek Emperors — Revolt in Armenia, &c. — Transplantation into Thrace — Propagation in the West — The Seeds, Character, and Consequences of the Reformation
    • Supine Superstition of the Greek Church . . . . . 1
    • ad 660 Origin of the Paulicians, or Disciples of St. Paul . . . 3
    • Their Bible . . . . . . . . . . . 4
    • The Simplicity of their Belief and Worship . . . . 6
    • They hold the two Principles of the Magians and Manichæans . 7
    • The Establishment of the Paulicians in Armenia, Pontus, &c. . 8
    • Persecution of the Greek Emperors . . . . . . 9
    • 845-880 Revolt of the Paulicians . . . . . . . 11
    • They fortify Tephrice . . . . . . . . 12
    • And pillage Asia Minor . . . . . . . . 13
    • Their Decline . . . . . . . . . . 14
    • Their Transplantation from Armenia to Thrace . . . . 15
    • Their Introduction into Italy and France . . . . . 18
    • 1200 Persecution of the Albigeois . . . . . . . 19
    • Character and Consequences of the Reformation . . . 21
  • CHAPTER LV The Bulgarians — Origin, Migrations, and Settlement of the Hungarians — Their Inroads in the East and West — The Monarchy of Russia — Geography and Trade — Wars of the Russians against the Greek Empire — Conversion of the Barbarians
    • 680 Emigration of the Bulgarians . . . . . . . 27
    • 900 Croats or Sclavonians of Dalmatia . . . . . . 30
    • 640-1017 First Kingdom of the Bulgarians . . . . . 31
    • [811 Bulgarian expedition of Nicephorus I. . . . . . 31]
    • [888-927 Reign of the Tsar Simeon . . . . . . . 32]
    • 884 Emigration of the Turks or Hungarians . . . . . 36
    • Their Fennic Origin . . . . . . . . . 38
    • 900 Tactics and Manners of the Hungarians and Bulgarians . . 40Edition: current; Page: [vi]
    • 889 Establishment and Inroads of the Hungarians . . . . 42
    • 934 [933] Victory of Henry the Fowler . . . . . . 46
    • 955 Victory of Otho the Great . . . . . . . 47
    • 839 Origin of the Russian Monarchy . . . . . . 49
    • The Varangians of Constantinople . . . . . . 52
    • 950 Geography and Trade of Russia . . . . . . 53
    • Naval Expeditions of the Russians against Constantinople . . 57
    • 865 [860] The first . . . . . . . . . . 59
    • 904 [907] The second . . . . . . . . . 60
    • 941 The third . . . . . . . . . . . 60
    • 1043 The fourth . . . . . . . . . . . 61
    • Negotiations and Prophecy . . . . . . . 61
    • 955-973 [945-972] Reign of Swatoslaus . . . . . . 62
    • 970-973. His Defeat by John Zimisces . . . . . . 65
    • 864 Conversion of Russia . . . . . . . . . 68
    • 955 [957] Baptism of Olga . . . . . . . . 69
    • 988 [989] Baptism of Wolodomir . . . . . . . 70
    • 800-1100 Christianity of the North . . . . . . . 71
  • CHAPTER LVI The Saracens, Franks, and Greeks in Italy — First Adventures and Settlement of the Normans — Character and Conquest of Robert Guiscard, Duke of Apulia — Deliverance of Sicily by his Brother Roger — Victories of Robert over the Emperors of the East and West — Roger, King of Sicily, Invades Africa and Greece — The Emperor Manuel Comnenus — Wars of the Greeks and Normans — Extinction of the Normans
    • 840-1017 Conflict of the Saracens, Latins, and Greeks in Italy . 75
    • 871 Conquest of Bari . . . . . . . . . 77
    • 890 New Province of the Greeks in Italy . . . . . . 78
    • 983 [982] Defeat of Otho III. [II.] . . . . . . . 79
    • Anecdotes . . . . . . . . . . . 80
    • 1016 Origin of the Normans in Italy . . . . . . 83
    • 1029 [1030] Foundation of Aversa . . . . . . . 86
    • 1038 The Normans serve in Sicily . . . . . . . 87
    • 1040-1043 Their Conquest of Apulia . . . . . . 89
    • Character of the Normans . . . . . . . 91
    • 1046 Oppression of Apulia . . . . . . . . 91
    • 1049-1054 League of the Pope and the two Empires . . . 93
    • 1053 Expedition of Pope Leo IX. against the Normans . . . 94
    • His Defeat and Captivity . . . . . . . . 95
    • Origin of the Papal Investitures to the Normans . . . 96
    • 1020-1085 Birth and Character of Robert Guiscard . . . 96
    • 1054-1080 His Ambition and Success . . . . . . 99
    • 1060 Duke of Apulia . . . . . . . . . 101
    • His Italian Conquest . . . . . . . . . 102
    • School of Salerno . . . . . . . . . 103
    • Trade of Amalphi . . . . . . . . . 104
    • 1060-1090 Conquest of Sicily by Count Roger . . . . . 105
    • 1081 Robert invades the Eastern Empire . . . . . . 108Edition: current; Page: [vii]
    • Siege of Durazzo . . . . . . . . . 111
    • The Army and March of the Emperor Alexius . . . 113
    • Battle of Durazzo . . . . . . . . . 116
    • 1082 Durazzo taken . . . . . . . . . . 118
    • Return of Robert, and Actions of Bohemond . . . . 119
    • 1081 The Emperor Henry III. [IV.] invited by the Greeks . . 121
    • 1081-1084 Besieges Rome . . . . . . . . 122
    • Flies before Robert . . . . . . . . . 123
    • 1084 Second Expedition of Robert into Greece . . . . . 124
    • 1085 His Death . . . . . . . . . . 126
    • 1101-1154 Reign and Ambition of Roger, great Count of Sicily . 128
    • 1127 Duke of Apulia . . . . . . . . . 129
    • 1130-1139 First King of Sicily . . . . . . . . 130
    • 1122-1152 His Conquest in Africa . . . . . . . 131
    • 1146 His Invasion of Greece . . . . . . . . 133
    • His Admiral delivers Louis VII. of France . . . . 134
    • Insults Constantinople . . . . . . . . 134
    • 1148, 1149 The Emperor Manuel repulses the Normans . . . 135
    • 1155 He reduces Apulia and Calabria . . . . . . 135
    • 1155-1174 His Design of acquiring Italy and the Western Empire . 136
    • Failure of his Designs . . . . . . . . 138
    • 1156 Peace with the Normans . . . . . . . . 139
    • 1185 Last War of the Greeks and Normans . . . . . 140
    • 1154-1166 William I. the Bad, King of Sicily . . . . . 140
    • 1166-1189 William II. the Good . . . . . . . 142
    • Lamentation of the Historian Falcandus . . . . . 142
    • 1194 Conquest of the Kingdom of Sicily by the Emperor Henry VI. 144
    • 1204 Final Extinction of the Normans . . . . . . 146
  • CHAPTER LVII The Turks of the House of Seljuk — Their Revolt against Mahmud, Conqueror of Hindostan — Togrul subdues Persia, and protects the Caliphs — Defeat and Captivity of the Emperor Romanus Diogenes by Alp Arslan — Power and Magnificence of Malek Shah — Conquest of Asia Minor and Syria — State and Oppression of Jerusalem — Pilgrimages to the Holy Sepulchre
    • The Turks . . . . . . . . . . 147
    • 997-1028 Mahmud, the Gaznevide . . . . . . . 147
    • His twelve Expeditions into Hindostan . . . . . 149
    • His Character . . . . . . . . . . 151
    • 980-1028 Manners and Emigration of the Turks, or Turkmans . 153
    • 1038 They defeat the Gaznevides, and subdue Persia . . . 156
    • 1038-1152 Dynasty of the Seljukians . . . . . . 156
    • 1038-1063 Reign and Character of Togrul Beg . . . . 157
    • 1055 He delivers the Caliph of Bagdad . . . . . . 159
    • His Investiture . . . . . . . . . . 160
    • 1063 And Death . . . . . . . . . . 161
    • 1050 The Turks invade the Roman Empire . . . . . 161
    • 1063-1072 Reign of Alp Arslan . . . . . . . 162Edition: current; Page: [viii]
    • 1065-1068 Conquest of Armenia and Georgia . . . . . 162
    • 1068-1071 The Emperor Romanus Diogenes . . . . . 164
    • 1071 Defeat of the Romans [Battle of Manzikert] . . . . 166
    • Captivity and Deliverance of the Emperor . . . . 168
    • 1072 Death of Alp Arslan . . . . . . . . . 170
    • 1072-1092 Reign and Prosperity of Malek Shah . . . . 172
    • 1092 His Death . . . . . . . . . . . 175
    • Division of the Seljukian Empire . . . . . . 176
    • 1074-1084 Conquest of Asia Minor by the Turks . . . . 177
    • The Seljukian Kingdom of Roum . . . . . . 179
    • 638-1099 State and Pilgrimage of Jerusalem . . . . . 182
    • 969-1076 Under the Fatimite Caliphs . . . . . . 185
    • 1009 Sacrilege of Hakem . . . . . . . . . 186
    • 1024 Increase of Pilgrimages . . . . . . . . 187
    • 1076-1096 Conquest of Jerusalem by the Turks . . . . 188
  • CHAPTER LVIII Origin and Numbers of the First Crusade — Characters of the Latin Princes — Their March to Constantinople — Policy of the Greek Emperor Alexius — Conquest of Nice, Antioch, and Jerusalem by the Franks — Deliverance of the Holy Sepulchre — Godfrey of Bouillon, first King of Jerusalem — Institutions of the French or Latin Kingdom
    • 1095-1099 The first Crusade . . . . . . . . 191
    • Peter the Hermit . . . . . . . . . 191
    • 1095 Urban II. in the Council of Placentia . . . . . 193
    • Council of Clermont . . . . . . . . . 196
    • Justice of the Crusades . . . . . . . . 200
    • Spiritual Motives and Indulgences . . . . . . 202
    • Temporal and Carnal Motives . . . . . . . 206
    • Influence of Example . . . . . . . . 208
    • 1096 Departure of the first Crusaders . . . . . . 209
    • Their Destruction in Hungary and Asia . . . . . 211
    • The Chiefs of the first Crusade . . . . . . 215
    • I. Godfrey of Bouillon . . . . . . . . 215
    • II. Hugh of Vermandois, Robert of Normandy, Robert of Flanders, Stephen of Chartres, &c. . . . . . . 216
    • III. Raymond of Toulouse . . . . . . . 218
    • IV. Bohemond and Tancred . . . . . . . 219
    • Chivalry . . . . . . . . . . . 220
    • 1096, 1097 March of the Princes to Constantinople . . . . 223
    • Policy of the Emperor Alexius Comnenus . . . . . 227
    • He obtains the homage of the Crusaders . . . . . 229
    • Insolence of the Franks . . . . . . . . 232
    • 1097 Their Review and Numbers . . . . . . . 232
    • Siege of Nice . . . . . . . . . . 236
    • Battle of Dorylæum . . . . . . . . . 238
    • 1097 March through the Lesser Asia . . . . . . 240
    • 1097-1151 Baldwin founds the Principality of Edessa . . . 241
    • 1097, 1098 Siege of Antioch . . . . . . . . 242Edition: current; Page: [ix]
    • 1098 Victory of the Crusaders . . . . . . . . 245
    • Their Famine and Distress at Antioch . . . . . 246
    • Legend of the Holy Lance . . . . . . . 248
    • Celestial Warriors . . . . . . . . . 250
    • The State of the Turks and Caliphs of Egypt . . . . 251
    • 1098, 1099 Delay of the Franks . . . . . . . 253
    • 1099 Their March to Jerusalem . . . . . . . 254
    • Siege and Conquest of Jerusalem . . . . . . 254
    • 1099, 1100 Election and Reign of Godfrey of Bouillon . . . 258
    • 1099 Battle of Ascalon . . . . . . . . . 259
    • 1099-1187 The Kingdom of Jerusalem . . . . . . 260
    • 1099-1369 Assise of Jerusalem . . . . . . . . 264
    • Court of Peers . . . . . . . . . . 266
    • Law of Judicial Combats . . . . . . . . 267
    • Court of Burgesses . . . . . . . . . 269
    • Syrians . . . . . . . . . . . 269
    • Villains and Slaves . . . . . . . . . 270
  • CHAPTER LIX Preservation of the Greek Empire — Numbers, Passage, and Event of the Second and Third Crusades — St. Bernard — Reign of Saladin in Egypt and Syria — His Conquest of Jerusalem — Naval Crusades — Richard the First of England — Pope Innocent the Third; and Fourth and Fifth Crusades — The Emperor Frederic the Second — Louis the Ninth of France; and the two last Crusades — Expulsion of the Latins or Franks by the Mamalukes
    • 1097-1118 Success of Alexius . . . . . . . . 271
    • Expeditions by Land . . . . . . . . 274
    • 1101 The first Crusade . . . . . . . . . 274
    • 1147 The second, of Conrad III. and Louis VII. . . . . 274
    • 1189 The third, of Frederic I. . . . . . . . . 274
    • Their numbers . . . . . . . . . . 275
    • Passage through the Greek Empire . . . . . . 277
    • Turkish Warfare . . . . . . . . . 280
    • Obstinacy of the Enthusiasm of the Crusades . . . . 283
    • 1091-1153 Character and Mission of St. Bernard . . . . 284
    • Progress of the Mahometans . . . . . . . 287
    • The Atabeks of Syria . . . . . . . . 288
    • 1127-1145 Zenghi . . . . . . . . . . 288
    • 1145-1174 Noureddin . . . . . . . . . 288
    • 1163-1169 Conquest of Egypt by the Turks . . . . . 289
    • 1171 End of the Fatimite Caliphs . . . . . . . 293
    • 1171-1193 Reign and Character of Saladin . . . . . 294
    • 1187 His Conquest of the Kingdom . . . . . . . 298
    • And City of Jerusalem . . . . . . . . 301
    • 1188 The third Crusade, by Sea . . . . . . . 304
    • 1189-1191 Siege of Acre . . . . . . . . . 305
    • 1191, 1192 Richard of England, in Palestine . . . . . 307
    • 1192 His Treaty and Departure . . . . . . . 310Edition: current; Page: [x]
    • 1193 Death of Saladin . . . . . . . . . 312
    • 1198-1216 Innocent III. . . . . . . . . . 312
    • 1203 The fourth Crusade . . . . . . . . . 313
    • 1218 The fifth . . . . . . . . . . . 314
    • 1228 The Emperor Frederic II. in Palestine . . . . . 315
    • 1243 Invasion of the Carizmians . . . . . . . 318
    • 1248-1254 St. Louis, and the sixth Crusade . . . . . 318
    • 1249 He takes Damietta . . . . . . . . . 320
    • 1250 His Captivity in Egypt . . . . . . . . 321
    • 1270 His Death before Tunis, in the seventh Crusade . . . 322
    • 1250-1517 The Mamalukes of Egypt . . . . . . 323
    • 1268 Loss of Antioch . . . . . . . . . . 324
    • 1291 The Loss of Acre and the Holy Land . . . . . 326
  • CHAPTER LX Schism of the Greeks and Latins — State of Constantinople — Revolt of the Bulgarians — Isaac Angelus dethroned by his Brother Alexius — Origin of the Fourth Crusade — Alliance of the French and Venetians with the Son of Isaac — Their Naval Expedition to Constantinople — The two Sieges and final Conquest of the City by the Latins
    • Schism of the Greeks . . . . . . . . 327
    • Their Aversion to the Latins . . . . . . . 327
    • Procession of the Holy Ghost . . . . . . . 328
    • Variety of Ecclesiastical Discipline . . . . . . 329
    • 857-886 Ambitious Quarrels of Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople, with the Popes . . . . . . . . . 330
    • 1054 The Popes excommunicate the Patriarch of Constantinople and the Greeks . . . . . . . . . . 332
    • 1100-1200 Enmity of the Greeks and Latins . . . . . 333
    • The Latins at Constantinople . . . . . . . 334
    • 1183 Their Massacre . . . . . . . . . . 334
    • 1185-1195 Reign and Character of Isaac Angelus . . . . 337
    • 1186 Revolt of the Bulgarians [Second (sometimes called Third) Bulgarian Kingdom] . . . . . . . . . 338
    • 1195-1203 Usurpation and Character of Alexius Angelus . . . 340
    • 1198 The Fourth Crusade . . . . . . . . . 341
    • Embraced by the Barons of France . . . . . . 343
    • 697-1200 State of the Venetians . . . . . . . 344
    • 1201 Alliance of the French and Venetians . . . . . 348
    • 1202 Assembly and Departure of the Crusade fom Venice . . 350
    • Siege of Zara . . . . . . . . . . 353
    • Alliance of the Crusaders with the Greek Prince, the young Alexius . . . . . . . . . . . 354
    • 1203 Voyage from Zara to Constantinople . . . . . . 357
    • Fruitless Negotiation of the Emperor . . . . . 359
    • Passage of the Bosphorus . . . . . . . . 361
    • First Siege and Conquest of Constantinople by the Latins . 363
    • Restoration of the Emperor Isaac Angelus, and his Son Alexius . 367
    • Quarrels of the Greeks and Latins . . . . . . 369Edition: current; Page: [xi]
    • 1204 The War Renewed . . . . . . . . . 372
    • Alexius and his Father deposed by Mourzoufle . . . . 373
    • Second Siege . . . . . . . . . . 373
    • Pillage of Constantinople . . . . . . . . 377
    • Division of the Spoil . . . . . . . . . 378
    • Misery of the Greeks . . . . . . . . 379
    • Sacrilege and Mockery . . . . . . . . 381
    • Destruction of the Statues . . . . . . . . 382
    • Appendix . . . . . . . . . . . 387
Edition: current; Page: [xii] Edition: current; Page: [xiii]


  • Peter the Hermit preaching the First Crusade Frontispiece
  • From a painting by James Archer, R.S.A.
  • Map of Southern Italy . . . . . . . page 80
  • Peter the Hermit . . . . . . . . . 192
  • From a painting by Léon d’Estang.
  • Godfrey of Bouillon . . . . . . . . 216
  • From a painting by J. Boilly.
  • Jerusalem . . . . . . . . . . 300
  • From a rare engraving.
  • A Doge of Venice . . . . . . . . . 344
  • From a painting by B. Strozzi.
Edition: current; Page: [xiv]


I am fortunate enough to have again received generous help from my friend Mr. Stanley Lane-Poole in the revision of chapters in this volume which deal with oriental history.

J. B. B.
Edition: current; Page: [1]



Origin and Doctrine of the Paulicians — Their Persecution by the Greek Emperors — Revolt in Armenia, &c. — Transplantation into Thrace — Propagation in the West — The Seeds, Character, and Consequences of the Reformation

In the profession of Christianity, the variety of national characters may be clearly distinguished. The natives of Syria and Egypt abandoned their lives to lazy and contemplative devotion; Rome again aspired to the dominion of the world; and the wit of the lively and loquacious Greeks was consumed in the disputes of metaphysical theology. The incomprehensible mysteries of the Trinity and Incarnation, instead of commanding their silent submission, were agitated in vehement and subtle controversies, which enlarged their faith, at the expense, perhaps, of their charity and reason. From the council of Nice to the end of the seventh century, the peace and unity of the church was invaded by these spiritual wars; and so deeply did they affect the decline and fall of the empire that the historian has too often been compelled to attend the synods, to explore the creeds, and to enumerate the sects of this busy period of ecclesiastical annals. From the beginning of the eighth century to the last ages of the Byzantine empire the sound of controversy was seldom heard; curiosity was exhausted, zeal was fatigued, and, in Edition: current; Page: [2] the decrees of six councils, the articles of the Catholic faith had been irrevocably defined. The spirit of dispute, however vain and pernicious, requires some energy and exercise of the mental faculties; and the prostrate Greeks were content to fast, to pray, and to believe, in blind obedience to the patriarch and his clergy. During a long dream of superstition, the Virgin and the Saints, their visions and miracles, their relics and images, were preached by the monks and worshipped by the people; and the appellation of people might be extended without injustice to the first ranks of civil society. At an unseasonable moment the Isaurian emperors attempted somewhat rudely to awaken their subjects: under their influence, reason might obtain some proselytes, a far greater number was swayed by interest or fear; but the Eastern world embraced or deplored their visible deities, and the restoration of images was celebrated as the feast of orthodoxy. In this passive and unanimous state the ecclesiastical rulers were relieved from the toil, or deprived of the pleasure, of persecution. The Pagans had disappeared; the Jews were silent and obscure; the disputes with the Latins were rare and remote hostilities against a national enemy; and the sects of Egypt and Syria enjoyed a free toleration, under the shadow of the Arabian caliphs. About the middle of the seventh century, a branch of Manichæans was selected as the victims of spiritual tyranny: their patience was at length exasperated to despair and rebellion; and their exile has scattered over the West the seeds of reformation. These important events will justify some inquiry into the doctrine and story of the Paulicians:1 and, as they cannot plead for themselves, Edition: current; Page: [3] our candid criticism will magnify the good, and abate or suspect the evil, that is reported by their adversaries.

The Gnostics, who had distracted the infancy, were oppressed by the greatness and authority, of the church. Instead of emulating or surpassing the wealth, learning, and numbers of the Catholics, their obscure remnant was driven from the capitals of the East and West, and confined to the villages and mountains along the borders of the Euphrates. Some vestige of the Marcionites may be detected in the fifth century;2 but the numerous sects were finally lost in the odious name of the Manichæans; and these heretics, who presumed to reconcile the doctrines of Zoroaster and Christ, were pursued by the two religions with equal and unrelenting hatred. Under the grandson of Heraclius, in the neighbourhood of Samosata, more famous for the birth of Lucian than for the title of a Syrian kingdom, a reformer arose, esteemed by the Paulicians as the chosen messenger of truth. In his humble dwelling of Mananalis,3 Constantine entertained a deacon, who returned from Syrian captivity, and received the inestimable gift of the New Testament, which was already concealed from the vulgar by the prudence of the Greek, and perhaps of the Gnostic, clergy.4 These books became the measure of his studies and the rule of his faith; and the Catholics, who dispute his interpretation, acknowledge that his text was genuine and sincere. But he attached himself Edition: current; Page: [4] with peculiar devotion to the writings and character of St. Paul: the name of the Paulicians is derived by their enemies from some unknown and domestic teacher; but I am confident that they gloried in their affinity to the apostle of the Gentiles.5 His disciples, Titus, Timothy, Sylvanus, Tychicus, were represented by Constantine and his fellow-labourers: the names of the apostolic churches were applied to the congregations which they assembled in Armenia and Cappadocia; and this innocent allegory revived the example and memory of the first ages.6 In the gospel, and the epistles Edition: current; Page: [5] of St. Paul, his faithful follower investigated the creed of primitive Christianity; and, whatever might be the success, a Protestant reader will applaud the spirit of the inquiry. But, if the scriptures of the Paulicians were pure, they were not perfect. Their founders rejected the two epistles of St. Peter,7 the apostle of the circumcision, whose dispute with their favourite for the observance of the law could not easily be forgiven.8 They agreed with their Gnostic brethren in the universal contempt for the Old Testament, the books of Moses and the prophets, which have been consecrated by the decrees of the Catholic church. With equal boldness, and doubtless with more reason, Constantine, the new Sylvanus, disclaimed the visions which, in so many bulky and splendid volumes, had been published by the Oriental sects;9 the fabulous productions of the Hebrew patriarchs and the sages of the East; the spurious gospels, epistles, and acts, which in the first age had overwhelmed the orthodox code; the theology of Manes and the authors of the kindred heresies; and the thirty generations, or æons, which had been created by the fruitful fancy of Valentine. The Paulicians sincerely condemned the memory and opinions of the Manichæan sect, and complained of the injustice which Edition: current; Page: [6] impressed that invidious name on the simple votaries of St. Paul and of Christ.10

Of the ecclesiastical chain, many links have been broken by the Paulician reformers; and their liberty was enlarged, as they reduced the number of masters at whose voice profance reason must bow to mystery and miracle. The early separation of the Gnostics had preceded the establishment of the Catholic worship; and against the gradual innovations of discipline and doctrine they were as strongly guarded by habit and aversion as by the silence of St. Paul and the evangelists. The objects which had been transformed by the magic of superstition appeared to the eyes of the Paulicians in their genuine and naked colours. An image made without hands was the common workmanship of a mortal artist, to whose skill alone the wood and canvas must be indebted for their merit or value. The miraculous relics were an heap of bones and ashes, destitute of life or virtue, or of any relation, perhaps, with the person to whom they were ascribed. The true and vivifying cross was a piece of sound or rotten timber; the body and blood of Christ, a loaf of bread and a cup of wine, the gifts of nature and the symbols of grace. The mother of God was degraded from her celestial honours and immaculate virginity; and the saints and angels were no longer solicited to exercise the laborious office of mediation in heaven and ministry upon earth. In the practice, or at least in the theory, of the sacraments, the Paulicians were inclined to abolish all visible objects of worship, and the words of the gospel were, in their judgment, the baptism and communion of the faithful. They indulged a convenient latitude for the interpretation of scripture; and, as often as they were pressed by the literal sense, they could escape to the intricate mazes of figure and allegory. Their Edition: current; Page: [7] utmost diligence must have been employed to dissolve the connection between the Old and the New Testament; since they adored the latter as the oracles of God, and abhorred the former as the fabulous and absurd invention of men or demons. We cannot be surprised that they should have found in the gospel the orthodox mystery of the Trinity; but, instead of confessing the human nature and substantial sufferings of Christ, they amused their fancy with a celestial body that passed through the virgin like water through a pipe; with a fantastic crucifixion that eluded the vain and impotent malice of the Jews. A creed thus simple and spiritual was not adapted to the genius of the times;11 and the rational Christian, who might have been contented with the light yoke and easy burthen of Jesus and his apostles, was justly offended that the Paulicians should dare to violate the unity of God, the first article of natural and revealed religion. Their belief and their trust was in the Father of Christ, of the human soul, and of the invisible world. But they likewise held the eternity of matter: a stubborn and rebellious substance, the origin of a second principle, of an active being, who has created this visible world and exercises his temporal reign till the final consummation of death and sin.12 The appearances of moral and physical evil had established the two principles in the ancient philosophy and religion of Edition: current; Page: [8] the East; from whence this doctrine was transfused to the various swarms of the Gnostics. A thousand shades may be devised in the nature and character of Ahriman, from a rival god to a subordinate demon, from passion and frailty to pure and perfect malevolence: but, in spite of our efforts, the goodness and the power of Ormusd are placed at the opposite extremities of the line; and every step that approaches the one must recede in equal proportion from the other.13

The apostolic labours of Constantine-Sylvanus soon multiplied the number of his disciples, the secret recompense of spiritual ambition. The remnant of the Gnostic sects, and especially the Manichæans of Armenia, were united under his standard; many Catholics were converted or seduced by his arguments; and he preached with success in the regions of Pontus14 and Cappadocia, which had long since imbibed the religion of Zoroaster. The Paulician teachers were distinguished only by their scriptural names, by the modest title of fellow-pilgrims, by the austerity of their lives, their zeal or knowledge, and the credit of some extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit. But they were incapable of desiring, or at least of obtaining, the wealth and honours of the Catholic prelacy: such antichristian pride they bitterly censured; and even the rank of elders or presbyters was condemned as an institution of the Jewish synagogue. The new sect was loosely spread over the provinces of Asia Minor to the westward of the Euphrates; six of their principal congregations represented the churches to which St. Paul had addressed his epistles; and their founder chose his residence Edition: current; Page: [9] in the neighbourhood of Colonia,15 in the same district of Pontus which had been celebrated by the altars of Bellona16 and the miracles of Gregory.17 After a mission of twenty-seven years, Sylvanus, who had retired from the tolerating government of the Arabs, fell a sacrifice to Roman persecution. The laws of the pious emperors, which seldom touched the lives of less odious heretics, proscribed without mercy or disguise the tenets, the books, and the persons of the Montanists and Manichæans: the books were delivered to the flames; and all who should presume to secrete such writings, or to profess such opinions, were devoted to an ignominious death.18 A Greek minister, armed with legal and military powers, appeared at Colonia to strike the shepherd, and to reclaim, if possible, the lost sheep. By a refinement of cruelty, Simeon placed the unfortunate Sylvanus before a line of his disciples, who were commanded, as the Edition: current; Page: [10] price of their pardon and the proof of their repentance, to massacre their spiritual father. They turned aside from the impious office; the stones dropped from their filial hands; and of the whole number only one executioner could be found, a new David, as he is styled by the Catholics, who boldly overthrew the giant of heresy. This apostate, Justus was his name, again deceived and betrayed his unsuspecting brethren, and a new conformity to the acts of St. Paul may be found in the conversion of Simeon: like the apostle, he embraced the doctrine which he had been sent to persecute, renounced his honours and fortunes, and acquired among the Paulicians the fame of a missionary and a martyr. They were not ambitious of martyrdom,19 but, in a calamitous period of one hundred and fifty years, their patience sustained whatever zeal could inflict; and power was insufficient to eradicate the obstinate vegetation of fanaticism and reason. From the blood and ashes of the first victims, a succession of teachers and congregations repeatedly arose; amidst their foreign hostilities, they found leisure for domestic quarrels; they preached, they disputed, they suffered; and the virtues, the apparent virtues, of Sergius, in a pilgrimage of thirty-three years, are reluctantly confessed by the orthodox historians.20 Edition: current; Page: [11] The native cruelty of Justinian the Second was stimulated by a pious cause; and he vainly hoped to extinguish, in a single conflagration, the name and memory of the Paulicians. By their primitive simplicity, their abhorrence of popular superstition, the Iconoclast princes might have been reconciled to some erroneous doctrines; but they themselves were exposed to the calumnies of the monks, and they chose to be the tyrants, lest they should be accused as the accomplices, of the Manichæans. Such a reproach has sullied the clemency of Nicephorus, who relaxed in their favour the severity of the penal statutes, nor will his character sustain the honour of a more liberal motive. The feeble Michael the First, the rigid Leo the Armenian, were foremost in the race of persecution; but the prize must doubtless be adjudged to the sanguinary devotion of Theodora, who restored the images to the Oriental church. Her inquisitors explored the cities and mountains of the lesser Asia, and the flatterers of the empress have affirmed that, in a short reign, one hundred thousand Paulicians were extirpated by the sword, the gibbet, or the flames. Her guilt or merit has perhaps been stretched beyond the measure of truth; but, if the account be allowed, it must be presumed that many simple Iconoclasts were punished under a more odious name; and that some, who were driven from the church, unwillingly took refuge in the bosom of heresy.

The most furious and desperate of rebels are the sectaries of a religion long persecuted, and at length provoked. In an holy cause they are no longer susceptible of fear or remorse: the justice of their arms hardens them against the feelings of humanity; and they revenge their fathers’ wrongs on the children of their tyrants. Such have been the Hussites of Bohemia and the Calvinists of France, and such, in the ninth century, were the Paulicians of Armenia and the adjacent Edition: current; Page: [12] provinces.21 They were first awakened to the massacre of a governor and bishop, who exercised the Imperial mandate of converting or destroying the heretics; and the deepest recesses of Mount Argæus protected their independence and revenge. A more dangerous and consuming flame was kindled by the persecution of Theodora, and the revolt of Carbeas, a valiant Paulician, who commanded the guards of the general of the East. His father had been impaled by the Catholic inquisitors; and religion, or at least nature, might justify his desertion and revenge. Five thousand of his brethren were united by the same motives; they renounced the allegiance of anti-christian Rome; a Saracen emir introduced Carbeas to the caliph; and the commander of the faithful extended his sceptre to the implacable enemy of the Greeks. In the mountains between Siwas22 and Trebizond he founded or fortified the city of Tephrice,23 which is still occupied by a fierce and licentious people, and the neighbouring hills were covered with the Paulician fugitives, who now reconciled the use of the Bible and the sword. During Edition: current; Page: [13] more than thirty years, Asia was afflicted by the calamities of foreign and domestic war; in their hostile inroads the disciples of St. Paul were joined with those of Mahomet; and the peaceful Christians, the aged parent and tender virgin, who were delivered into Barbarous servitude, might justly accuse the intolerant spirit of their sovereign. So urgent was the mischief, so intolerable the shame, that even the dissolute Michael, the son of Theodora, was compelled to march in person against the Paulicians: he was defeated under the walls of Samosata; and the Roman emperor fled before the heretics whom his mother had condemned to the flames.24 The Saracens fought under the same banners, but the victory was ascribed to Carbeas; and the captive generals, with more than an hundred tribunes, were either released by his avarice or tortured by his fanaticism. The valour and ambition of Chrysocheir,25 his successor, embraced a wider circle of rapine and revenge. In alliance with his faithful Moslems, he boldly penetrated into the heart of Asia; the troops of the frontier and the palace were repeatedly overthrown; the edicts of persecution were answered by the pillage of Nice and Nicomedia, of Ancyra and Ephesus; nor could the apostle St. John protect from violation his city and sepulchre. The cathedral of Ephesus was turned into a stable for mules and horses; and the Paulicians vied with the Saracens in their contempt and abhorrence of images and relics. It is not unpleasing to observe the triumph of rebellion over the same despotism which has disdained the prayers of an injured people. The emperor Basil, the Macedonian, was reduced to sue for peace, to offer a ransom for the captives, and to request, in the language of moderation Edition: current; Page: [14] and charity, that Chrysocheir would spare his fellow-Christians, and content himself with a royal donative of gold and silver and silk-garments. “If the emperor,” replied the insolent fanatic, “be desirous of peace, let him abdicate the East, and reign without molestation in the West. If he refuse, the servants of the Lord will precipitate him from the throne.” The reluctant Basil suspended the treaty, accepted the defiance, and led his army into the land of heresy, which he wasted with fire and sword. The open country of the Paulicians was exposed to the same calamities which they had inflicted; but, when he had explored the strength of Tephrice, the multitude of the Barbarians, and the ample magazines of arms and provisions, he desisted with a sigh from the hopeless siege.26 On his return to Constantinople he laboured, by the foundation of convents and churches, to secure the aid of his celestial patrons, of Michael the archangel and the prophet Elijah; and it was his daily prayer that he might live to transpierce, with three arrows, the head of his impious adversary. Beyond his expectations, the wish was accomplished: after a successful inroad, Chrysocheir was surprised and slain in his retreat; and the rebel’s head was triumphantly presented at the foot of the throne. On the reception of this welcome trophy, Basil instantly called for his bow, discharged three arrows with unerring aim, and accepted the applause of the court, who hailed the victory of the royal archer. With Chrysocheir, the glory of the Paulicians faded and withered;27 on the second expedition of the Edition: current; Page: [15] emperor, the impregnable Tephrice was deserted by the heretics, who sued for mercy or escaped to the borders. The city was ruined, but the spirit of independence survived in the mountains; the Paulicians defended, above a century, their religion and liberty, infested the Roman limits, and maintained their perpetual alliance with the enemies of the empire and the gospel.

About the middle of the eighth century, Constantine, surnamed Copronymus by the worshippers of images, had made an expedition into Armenia, and found, in the cities of Melitene and Theodosiopolis, a great number of Paulicians, his kindred heretics. As a favour or punishment, he transplanted them from the banks of the Euphrates to Constantinople and Thrace; and by this emigration their doctrine was introduced and diffused in Europe.28 If the sectaries of the metropolis were soon mingled with the promiscuous mass, those of the country struck a deep root in a foreign soil. The Paulicians of Thrace resisted the storms of persecution, maintained a secret correspondence with their Armenian brethren, and gave aid and comfort to their preachers, who solicited, not without success, the infant faith of the Bulgarians.29 In the tenth century, they were restored and multiplied by a more powerful colony, which John Zimisces30 transported from Edition: current; Page: [16] the Chalybian hills to the valleys of Mount Hæmus. The Oriental clergy, who would have preferred the destruction, impatiently sighed for the absence, of the Manichæans; the warlike emperor had felt and esteemed their valour; their attachment to the Saracens was pregnant with mischief; but, on the side of the Danube, against the Barbarians of Scythia, their service might be useful and their loss would be desirable. Their exile in a distant land was softened by a free toleration; the Paulicians held the city of Philippopolis and the keys of Thrace; the Catholics were their subjects; the Jacobite emigrants their associates: they occupied a line of villages and castles in Macedonia and Epirus; and many native Bulgarians were associated to the communion of arms and heresy. As long as they were awed by power and treated with moderation, their voluntary bands were distinguished in the armies of the empire; and the courage of these dogs, ever greedy of war, ever thirsty of human blood, is noticed with astonishment, and almost with reproach, by the pusillanimous Greeks. The same spirit rendered them arrogant and contumacious: they were easily provoked by caprice or injury; and their privileges were often violated by the faithless bigotry of the government and clergy. In the midst of the Norman war, two thousand five hundred Manichæans deserted the standard of Alexius Comnenus,31 and retired to their native homes. He dissembled till the moment of revenge; invited the chiefs to a friendly conference; and punished the innocent and guilty by imprisonment, confiscation, and baptism. In an interval of peace, the emperor undertook the pious office of reconciling them to the church and state: his winter quarters were fixed at Philippopolis; Edition: current; Page: [17] and the thirteenth apostle, as he is styled by his pious daughter, consumed whole days and nights in theological controversy. His arguments were fortified, their obstinacy was melted, by the honours and rewards which he bestowed on the most eminent proselytes; and a new city, surrounded with gardens, enriched with immunities, and dignified with his own name, was founded by Alexius, for the residence of his vulgar converts. The important station of Philippopolis was wrested from their hands; the contumacious leaders were secured in a dungeon or banished from their country; and their lives were spared by the prudence, rather than the mercy, of an emperor at whose command a poor and solitary heretic was burnt alive before the church of St. Sophia.32 But the proud hope of eradicating the prejudices of a nation was speedily overturned by the invincible zeal of the Paulicians, who ceased to dissemble or refused to obey. After the departure and death of Alexius, they soon resumed their civil and religious laws. In the beginning of the thirteenth century, their pope or primate (a manifest corruption) resided on the confines of Bulgaria, Croatia, and Dalmatia, and governed by his vicars the filial congregations of Italy and France.33 From that era, a minute scrutiny might prolong and perpetuate the chain of tradition. At the end Edition: current; Page: [18] of the last age, the sect or colony still inhabited the valleys of Mount Hæmus, where their ignorance and poverty were more frequently tormented by the Greek clergy than by the Turkish government. The modern Paulicians have lost all memory of their origin; and their religion is disgraced by the worship of the cross, and the practice of bloody sacrifice, which some captives have imported from the wilds of Tartary.34

In the West, the first teachers of the Manichæan theology had been repulsed by the people, or suppressed by the prince. The favour and success of the Paulicians in the eleventh and twelfth centuries must be imputed to the strong, though secret, discontent which armed the most pious Christians against the church of Rome. Her avarice was oppressive, her despotism odious; less degenerate perhaps than the Greeks in the worship of saints and images, her innovations were more rapid and scandalous; she had rigorously defined and imposed the doctrine of transubstantiation: the lives of the Latin clergy were more corrupt, and the Eastern bishops might pass for the successors of the apostles, if they were compared with the lordly prelates who wielded by turns the crosier, the sceptre, and the sword. Three different roads might introduce the Paulicians into the heart of Europe. After the conversion of Hungary, the pilgrims who visited Jerusalem might safely follow the course of the Danube; in their journey and return they passed through Philippopolis; and the sectaries, disguising their name and heresy, might accompany the French or German caravans to their respective countries. The trade and dominion of Venice pervaded the coast of the Adriatic, and the hospitable republic opened her bosom to foreigners of every climate and religion. Under the Byzantine standard, the Paulicians were often transported to the Greek provinces of Italy and Sicily; in peace and war they freely conversed with strangers and natives, Edition: current; Page: [19] and their opinions were silently propagated in Rome, Milan, and the kingdoms beyond the Alps.35 It was soon discovered that many thousand Catholics of every rank, and of either sex, had embraced the Manichæan heresy; and the flames which consumed twelve canons of Orleans was the first act and signal of persecution. The Bulgarians,36 a name so innocent in its origin, so odious in its application, spread their branches over the face of Europe. United in common hatred of idolatry and Rome, they were connected by a form of episcopal and presbyterian government; their various sects were discriminated by some fainter or darker shades of theology; but they generally agreed in the two principles: the contempt of the Old Testament, and the denial of the body of Christ, either on the cross or in the eucharist. A confession of simple worship and blameless manners is extorted from their enemies; and so high was their standard of perfection that the increasing congregations were divided into two classes of disciples, of those who practised and of those who aspired. It was in the country of the Albigeois,37 Edition: current; Page: [20] in the southern provinces of France, that the Paulicians were most deeply implanted; and the same vicissitudes of martyrdom and revenge which had been displayed in the neighbourhood of the Euphrates were repeated in the thirteenth century on the banks of the Rhone. The laws of the Eastern emperors were revived by Frederic the Second. The insurgents of Tephrice were represented by the barons and cities of Languedoc: Pope Innocent III. surpassed the sanguinary fame of Theodora. It was in cruelty alone that her soldiers could equal the heroes of the crusades, and the cruelty of her priests was far excelled by the founders of the inquisition:38 an office more adapted to confirm, than to refute, the belief of an evil principle. The visible assemblies of the Paulicians, or Albigeois, were extirpated by fire and sword; and the bleeding remnant escaped by flight, concealment, or Catholic conformity. But the invincible spirit which they had kindled still lived and breathed in the Western world. In the state, in the church, and even in the cloister, a latent succession was preserved of the disciples of St. Paul; who protested against the tyranny of Rome, embraced the Bible as the rule of faith, and purified their creed from all the visions of the Gnostic theology. The struggles of Wickliff in England, of Huss in Bohemia, were premature and ineffectual; but the names of Zuinglius, Luther, and Calvin are pronounced with gratitude as the deliverers of nations.

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A philosopher, who calculates the degree of their merit and the value of their reformation, will prudently ask from what articles of faith, above or against our reason, they have enfranchised the Christians; for such enfranchisement is doubtless a benefit so far as it may be compatible with truth and piety. After a fair discussion we shall rather be surprised by the timidity, than scandalised by the freedom, of our first reformers.39 With the Jew, they adopted the belief and defence of all the Hebrew scriptures, with all their prodigies, from the garden of Eden to the visions of the prophet Daniel; and they were bound, like the Catholics, to justify against the Jews the abolition of a divine law. In the great mysteries of the Trinity and Incarnation the reformers were severely orthodox: they freely adopted the theology of the four or the six first councils; and, with the Athanasian creed, they pronounced the eternal damnation of all who did not believe the Catholic faith. Transubstantiation, the invisible change of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, is a tenet that may defy the power of argument and pleasantry; but, instead of consulting the evidence of their senses, of their sight, their feeling, and their taste, the first Protestants were entangled in their own scruples, and awed by the words of Jesus in the institution of the sacrament. Luther maintained a corporeal, and Calvin a real, presence of Christ in the eucharist; and the opinion of Zuinglius, that it is no more than a spiritual communion, a simple memorial, has slowly prevailed in the reformed churches.40 But the Edition: current; Page: [22] loss of one mystery was amply compensated by the stupendous doctrines of original sin, redemption, faith, grace, and predestination, which have been strained from the epistles of St. Paul. These subtle questions had most assuredly been prepared by the fathers and schoolmen; but the final improvement and popular use may be attributed to the first reformers, who enforced them as the absolute and essential terms of salvation. Hitherto the weight of supernatural belief inclines against the Protestants; and many a sober Christian would rather admit that a wafer is God, than that God is a cruel and capricious tyrant.

Yet the services of Luther and his rival are solid and important; and the philosopher must own his obligations to these fearless enthusiasts.41 I. By their hands the lofty fabric of superstition, from the abuse of indulgences to the intercession of the Virgin, has been levelled with the ground. Myriads of both sexes of the monastic profession were restored to the liberty and labours of social life. An hierarchy of saints and angels, of imperfect and subordinate deities, were stripped of their temporal power, and reduced to the enjoyment of celestial happiness; their images and relics were banished from the church; and the credulity of the people was no longer nourished with the daily repetition of miracles and visions. The imitation of Paganism was supplied by a pure and spiritual worship of prayer and thanksgiving, the most worthy of man, the least unworthy of the Deity. It only remains to observe whether such sublime simplicity be consistent with popular devotion; whether the vulgar, in the absence of all visible objects, will not be inflamed Edition: current; Page: [23] by enthusiasm, or insensibly subside in languor and indifference. II. The chair of authority was broken, which restrains the bigot from thinking as he pleases, and the slave from speaking as he thinks; the popes, fathers, and councils were no longer the supreme and infallible judges of the world; and each Christian was taught to acknowledge no law but the scriptures, no interpreter but his own conscience. This freedom, however, was the consequence, rather than the design, of the Reformation. The patriot reformers were ambitious of succeeding the tyrants whom they had dethroned. They imposed with equal rigour their creeds and confessions; they asserted the right of the magistrate to punish heretics with death. The pious or personal animosity of Calvin proscribed in Servetus42 the guilt of his own rebellion;43 and the flames of Smithfield, in which he was afterwards consumed, had been kindled for the Anabaptists by the zeal of Edition: current; Page: [24] Cranmer.44 The nature of the tiger was the same, but he was gradually deprived of his teeth and fangs. A spiritual and temporal kingdom was possessed by the Roman pontiff; the Protestant doctors were subjects of an humble rank, without revenue or jurisdiction. His decrees were consecrated by the antiquity of the Catholic church; their arguments and disputes were submitted to the people; and their appeal to private judgment was accepted, beyond their wishes, by curiosity and enthusiasm. Since the days of Luther and Calvin, a secret reformation has been silently working in the bosom of the reformed churches; many weeds of prejudice were eradicated; and the disciples of Erasmus45 diffused a spirit of freedom and moderation. The liberty of conscience has been claimed as a common benefit, an inalienable right;46 the free governments of Holland47 and England48 introduced the practice of toleration; and the narrow allowance of the laws has been enlarged by the prudence and humanity of the times. In the exercise, the mind has understood the limits of its powers, and the words and shadows that might amuse the child can no longer satisfy his manly reason. The volumes Edition: current; Page: [25] of controversy are overspread with cobwebs; the doctrine of a Protestant church is far removed from the knowledge or belief of its private members; and the forms of orthodoxy, the articles of faith, are subscribed with a sigh or a smile by the modern clergy. Yet the friends of Christianity are alarmed at the boundless impulse of inquiry and scepticism. The predictions of the Catholics are accomplished; the web of mystery is unravelled by the Arminians, Arians, and Socinians, whose numbers must not be computed from their separate congregations; and the pillars of revelation are shaken by those men who preserve the name without the substance of religion, who indulge the licence without the temper of philosophy.49

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The Bulgarians — Origin, Migrations, and Settlement of the Hungarians — Their inroads in the East and West — The monarchy of Russia — Geography and Trade — Wars of the Russians against the Greek Empire — Conversion of the Barbarians

Under the reign of Constantine the grandson of Heraclius, the ancient barrier of the Danube, so often violated and so often restored, was irretrievably swept away by a new deluge of Barbarians. Their progress was favoured by the caliphs, their unknown and accidental auxiliaries: the Roman legions were occupied in Asia; and, after the loss of Syria, Egypt, and Africa, the Cæsars were twice reduced to the danger and disgrace of defending their capital against the Saracens. If, in the account of this interesting people, I have deviated from the strict and original line of my undertaking, the merit of the subject will hide my transgression or solicit my excuse. In the East, in the West, in war, in religion, in science, in their prosperity, and in their decay, the Arabians press themselves on our curiosity: the first overthrow of the church and empire of the Greeks may be imputed to their arms; and the disciples of Mahomet still hold the civil and religious sceptre of the Oriental world. But the same labour would be unworthily bestowed on the swarms of savages who, between the seventh and the twelfth century, descended from the plains of Scythia, in transient inroad or perpetual emigration.1 Their names are uncouth, their origins doubtful, Edition: current; Page: [27] their actions obscure, their superstition was blind, their valour brutal, and the uniformity of their public and private lives was neither softened by innocence nor refined by policy. The majesty of the Byzantine throne repelled and survived their disorderly attacks; the greater part of these Barbarians has disappeared without leaving any memorial of their existence, and the despicable remnant continues, and may long continue, to groan under the dominion of a foreign tyrant. From the antiquities of, I. Bulgarians, II. Hungarians, and III. Russians, I shall content myself with selecting such facts as yet deserve to be remembered. The conquests of the, IV., Normans, and the monarchy of the, V., Turks, will naturally terminate in the memorable Crusades to the Holy Land, and the double fall of the city and empire of Constantine.

I. In his march to Italy, Theodoric2 the Ostrogoth had trampled on the arms of the Bulgarians. After this defeat, the name and the nation are lost during a century and a half;3 and it may be suspected that the same or a similar appellation was revived by strange colonies from the Borysthenes, the Tanais, or the Volga. A king of the ancient Bulgaria4 bequeathed to his five sons a last lesson of moderation and concord. It was received as youth has ever received Edition: current; Page: [28] the counsels of age and experience: the five princes buried their father; divided his subjects and cattle; forgot his advice; separated from each other; and wandered in quest of fortune, till we find the most adventurous in the heart of Italy, under the protection of the exarch of Ravenna.5 But the stream of emigration was directed or impelled towards the capital. The modern Bulgaria, along the southern banks of the Danube, was stamped with the name and image which it has retained to the present hour; the new conquerors successively acquired, by war or treaty, the Roman provinces of Dardania, Thessaly, and the two Epirus’;6 the ecclesiastical supremacy was translated from the native city of Justinian; and, in their prosperous age, the obscure town of Lychnidus, or Achrida, was honoured with the throne of a king and a patriarch.7 The unquestionable evidence of language attests the descent of the Bulgarians from the original stock of the Sclavonian, or more properly Slavonian, race;8 Edition: current; Page: [29] and the kindred bands of Servians, Bosnians, Rascians, Croatians, Walachians,9 &c. followed either the standard or the example of the leading tribe. From the Euxine to the Adriatic, in the state of captives or subjects, or allies or enemies, of the Greek empire, they overspread the land; and the national appellation of the slaves10 has been degraded by chance or malice from the signification of glory to that of Edition: current; Page: [30] servitude.11 Among these colonies, the Chrobatians,12 or Croats, who now attend the motions of an Austrian army, are the descendants of a mighty people, the conquerors and sovereigns of Dalmatia. The maritime cities, and of these the infant republic of Ragusa, implored the aid and instructions of the Byzantine court: they were advised by the magnanimous Basil to reserve a small acknowledgment of their fidelity to the Roman empire, and to appease, by an annual tribute, the wrath of these irresistible Barbarians. The kingdom of Croatia was shared by eleven Zoupans, or feudatory lords; and their united forces were numbered at sixty thousand horse and one hundred thousand foot. A long sea-coast, indented with capacious harbours, covered with a string of islands, and almost in sight of the Italian shores, disposed both the natives and strangers to the practice of navigation. The boats or brigantines of the Croats were constructed after the fashion of the old Liburnians; one hundred and eighty vessels may excite the idea of a respectable navy; but our seamen will smile at the allowance of ten, or twenty, or forty men for each of these ships of war. They were gradually converted to the more honourable service of commerce; yet the Sclavonian pirates were still frequent and dangerous; and it was not before the close of the tenth Edition: current; Page: [31] century that the freedom and sovereignty of the Gulf were effectually vindicated by the Venetian republic.13 The ancestors of these Dalmatian kings were equally removed from the use and abuse of navigation; they dwelt in the White Croatia, in the inland regions of Silesia and Little Poland, thirty days’ journey, according to the Greek computation, from the sea of darkness.

The glory of the Bulgarians14 was confined to a narrow scope both of time and place. In the ninth and tenth centuries they reigned to the south of the Danube; but the more powerful nations that had followed their emigration repelled all return to the north and all progress to the west. Yet, in the obscure catalogue of their exploits, they might boast an honour which had hitherto been appropriated to the Goths: that of slaying in battle one of the successors of Augustus and Constantine. The emperor Nicephorus had lost his fame in the Arabian, he lost his life in the Sclavonian, war. In his first operations he advanced with boldness and success into the centre of Bulgaria, and burnt the royal court, which was probably no more than an edifice and village of timber. But, while he searched the spoil and refused all offers of treaty, his enemies collected their spirits and their forces; the passes of retreat were insuperably barred; and the trembling Nicephorus was heard to exclaim: “Alas, alas! unless we could assume the wings of birds, we cannot hope to escape.” Two days he waited his fate in the inactivity Edition: current; Page: [32] of despair; but, on the morning of the third, the Bulgarians surprised the camp; and the Roman prince, with the great officers of the empire, were slaughtered in their tents. The body of Valens had been saved from insult; but the head of Nicephorus was exposed on a spear, and his skull, enchased with gold, was often replenished in the feasts of victory. The Greeks bewailed the dishonour of the throne; but they acknowledged the just punishment of avarice and cruelty. This savage cup was deeply tinctured with the manners of the Scythian wilderness; but they were softened before the end of the same century by a peaceful intercourse with the Greeks, the possession of a cultivated region, and the introduction of the Christian worship.15 The nobles of Bulgaria were educated in the schools and palace of Constantinople; and Simeon,16 a youth of the royal line, was instructed in the Edition: current; Page: [33] rhetoric of Demosthenes and the logic of Aristotle. He relinquished the profession of a monk for that of a king and warrior; and in his reign, of more than forty years,17 Bulgaria assumed a rank among the civilised powers of the earth. The Greeks, whom he repeatedly attacked, derived a faint consolation from indulging themselves in the reproaches of perfidy and sacrilege. They purchased the aid of the Pagan Turks; but Simeon, in a second battle, redeemed the loss of the first, at a time when it was esteemed a victory to elude the arms of that formidable nation. The Servians18 were overthrown, made captive, and dispersed; and those who visited the country before their restoration could discover no more than fifty vagrants, without women or children, who extorted a precarious subsistence from the chase. On classic ground, on the banks of the Achelöus, the Greeks were defeated; their horn was broken by the strength of the barbaric Hercules.19 He formed the siege of Constantinople; and, in a personal conference with the emperor, Simeon imposed the conditions of peace. They met with the most jealous precautions; the royal gallery was drawn close to an artificial and well-fortified Edition: current; Page: [34] platform; and the majesty of the purple was emulated by the pomp of the Bulgarian. “Are you a Christian?” said the humble Romanus. “It is your duty to abstain from the blood of your fellow-Christians. Has the thirst of riches seduced you from the blessings of peace? Sheathe your sword, open your hand, and I will satiate the utmost measure of your desires.” The reconciliation was sealed by a domestic alliance;20 the freedom of trade was granted or restored; the first honours of the court were secured to the friends of Bulgaria, above the ambassadors of enemies or strangers;21 and her princes were dignified with the high and invidious title of basileus, or emperor. But this friendship was soon disturbed: after the death of Simeon, the nations were again in arms; his feeble successors were divided22 Edition: current; Page: [35] and extinguished; and, in the beginning of the eleventh century, the second Basil, who was born in the purple, deserved the appellation of conqueror of the Bulgarians.23 His avarice Edition: current; Page: [36] was in some measure gratified by a treasure of four hundred thousand pounds sterling (ten thousand pounds weight of gold) which he found in the palace of Lychnidus. His cruelty inflicted a cool and exquisite vengeance on fifteen thousand captives who had been guilty of the defence of their country: they were deprived of sight; but to one of each hundred a single eye was left, that he might conduct his blind century to the presence of their king. Their king is said to have expired of grief and horror; the nation was awed by this terrible example; the Bulgarians were swept away from their settlements, and circumscribed within a narrow province; the surviving chiefs bequeathed to their children the advice of patience and the duty of revenge.

II. When the black swarm of Hungarians first hung over Europe, about nine hundred years after the Christian era, they were mistaken by fear and superstition for the Gog and Magog of the Scriptures, the signs and forerunners of the end of the world.24 Since the introduction of letters, they have explored their own antiquities with a strong and laudable impulse of patriotic curiosity.25 Their rational criticism can no longer be amused with a vain pedigree of Attila and the Huns; but they complain that their primitive records have perished in the Tartar war; that the truth or fiction of their rustic songs is long since forgotten; and that the fragments of a rude chronicle26 must be painfully reconciled with the Edition: current; Page: [37] contemporary though foreign intelligence of the Imperial geographer.27 Magiar is the national and Oriental denomination of the Hungarians; but, among the tribes of Scythia, they are distinguished by the Greeks under the proper and peculiar name of Turks, as the descendants of that mighty people who had conquered and reigned from China to the Volga. The Pannonian colony preserved a correspondence of trade and amity with the eastern Turks on the confines of Persia; and, after a separation of three hundred and fifty years, the missionaries of the king of Hungary discovered and visited their ancient country near the banks of the Volga. They were hospitably entertained by a people of pagans and savages, who still bore the name of Hungarians; conversed in their native tongue, recollected a tradition of their long-lost brethren, and listened with amazement to the marvellous tale of their new kingdom and religion. The zeal of conversion was animated by the interest of consanguinity; and one of the greatest of their princes had formed the generous, though fruitless, design of replenishing the solitude of Pannonia by this domestic colony from the heart of Tartary.28 From this primitive country they were driven to the West by the tide of war and emigration, by the weight of the more distant tribes, who at the same time were fugitives and conquerors. Edition: current; Page: [38] Reason or fortune directed their course towards the frontiers of the Roman empire; they halted in the usual stations along the banks of the great rivers; and in the territories of Moscow, Kiow, and Moldavia some vestiges have been discovered of their temporary residence. In this long and various peregrination, they could not always escape the dominion of the stronger; and the purity of their blood was improved or sullied by the mixture of a foreign race; from a motive of compulsion or choice, several tribes of the Chazars were associated to the standard of their ancient vassals; introduced the use of a second language;29 and obtained by their superior renown the most honourable place in the front of battle. The military force of the Turks and their allies marched in seven equal and artificial divisions; each division was formed of thirty thousand eight hundred and fifty-seven warriors, and the proportion of women, children, and servants supposes and requires at least a million of emigrants. Their public counsels were directed by seven vayvods,30 or hereditary chiefs; but the experience of discord and weakness recommended the more simple and vigorous administration of a single person. The sceptre which had been declined by the modest Lebedias, was granted to the birth or merit of Almus and his son Arpad, and the authority of the supreme khan of the Chazars confirmed the engagement of the prince and people: of the people to obey his commands, of the prince to consult their happiness and glory.

With this narrative we might be reasonably content, if the penetration of modern learning had not opened a new and larger prospect of the antiquities of nations. The Hungarian language stands alone, and as it were insulated, among the Sclavonian dialects; but it bears a close and clear affinity to the idioms of the Fennic race,31 of an obsolete and savage race, Edition: current; Page: [39] which formerly occupied the northern regions of Asia and Europe. The genuine appellation of Ugri or Igours is found on the western confines of China,32 their migration to the banks of the Irtish is attested by Tartar evidence,33 a similar name and language are detected in the southern parts of Siberia,34 and the remains of the Fennic tribes are widely, though thinly, scattered from the sources of the Oby to the shores of Lapland.35 The consanguinity of the Hungarians and Laplanders would display the powerful energy of climate on the children of a common parent; the lively contrast between the bold adventurers who are intoxicated with the wines of the Danube, and the wretched fugitives who are immersed beneath the snows of the polar circle. Arms and freedom have ever been the ruling, though too often the unsuccessful, passion of the Hungarians, who are endowed by nature with a vigorous constitution of soul and body.36 Edition: current; Page: [40] extreme cold has diminished the stature and congealed the faculties of the Laplanders; and the Arctic tribes, alone among the sons of men, are ignorant of war and unconscious of human blood: an happy ignorance, if reason and virtue were the guardians of their peace!37

It is the observation of the Imperial author of the Tactics38 that all the Scythian hordes resembled each other in their pastoral and military life, that they all practised the same means of subsistence, and employed the same instruments of destruction. But he adds that the two nations of Bulgarians and Hungarians were superior to their brethren, and similar to each other, in the improvements, however rude, of their discipline and government; their visible likeness determines Leo to confound his friends and enemies in one common description; and the picture may be heightened by some strokes from their contemporaries of the tenth century. Except the merit and fame of military prowess, all that is valued by mankind appeared vile and contemptible to these Barbarians, whose native fierceness was stimulated by the consciousness of numbers and freedom. The tents of the Hungarians were of leather, their garments of fur; they shaved their hair and scarified their faces; in speech they were slow, in action prompt, in treaty perfidious; and they shared the common reproach of Barbarians, too ignorant Edition: current; Page: [41] to conceive the importance of truth, too proud to deny or palliate the breach of their most solemn engagements. Their simplicity has been praised; yet they abstained only from the luxury they had never known; whatever they saw, they coveted; their desires were insatiate, and their sole industry was the hand of violence and rapine. By the definition of a pastoral nation, I have recalled a long description of the economy, the warfare, and the government that prevail in that stage of society; I may add that to fishing as well as to the chase the Hungarians were indebted for a part of their subsistence; and, since they seldom cultivated the ground, they must, at least in their new settlements, have sometimes practised a slight and unskilful husbandry. In their emigrations, perhaps in their expeditions, the host was accompanied by thousands of sheep and oxen, which increased the cloud of formidable dust, and afforded a constant and wholesome supply of milk and animal food. A plentiful command of forage was the first care of the general, and, if the flocks and herds were secure of their pastures, the hardy warrior was alike insensible of danger and fatigue. The confusion of men and cattle that overspread the country exposed their camp to a nocturnal surprise, had not a still wider circuit been occupied by their light cavalry, perpetually in motion to discover and delay the approach of the enemy. After some experience of the Roman tactics, they adopted the use of the sword and spear, the helmet of the soldier, and the iron breast-plate of his steed; but their native and deadly weapon was the Tartar bow; from the earliest infancy, their children and servants were exercised in the double science of archery and horsemanship; their arm was strong; their aim was sure; and, in the most rapid career, they were taught to throw themselves backwards, and to shoot a volley of arrows into the air. In open combat, in secret ambush, in flight or pursuit, they were equally formidable; an appearance of order was maintained in the foremost ranks, but their charge was driven forwards by the impatient pressure of succeeding Edition: current; Page: [42] crowds. They pursued, headlong and rash, with loosened reins and horrific outcries; but if they fled, with real or dissembled fear, the ardour of a pursuing foe was checked and chastised by the same habits of irregular speed and sudden evolution. In the abuse of victory, they astonished Europe, yet smarting from the wounds of the Saracen and the Dane; mercy they rarely asked, and more rarely bestowed; both sexes were accused as equally inaccessible to pity, and their appetite for raw flesh might countenance the popular tale that they drank the blood and feasted on the hearts of the slain. Yet the Hungarians were not devoid of those principles of justice and humanity which nature has implanted in every bosom. The licence of public and private injuries was restrained by laws and punishments; and in the security of an open camp theft is the most tempting and most dangerous offence. Among the Barbarians, there were many whose spontaneous virtue supplied their laws and corrected their manners, who performed the duties, and sympathised with the affections, of social life.

After a long pilgrimage of flight or victory, the Turkish hordes approached the common limits of the French and Byzantine empires. Their first conquests and final settlements extended on either side of the Danube above Vienna, below Belgrade, and beyond the measure of the Roman province of Pannonia, or the modern kingdom of Hungary.39 That ample and fertile land was loosely occupied by the Moravians, a Sclavonian name and tribe, which were driven by the invaders into the compass of a narrow province. Charlemagne had stretched a vague and nominal empire as far as the edge of Transylvania; but, after the failure of his legitimate Edition: current; Page: [43] line, the dukes of Moravia forgot their obedience and tribute to the monarchs of Oriental France.40 The bastard Arnulph was provoked to invite the arms of the Turks; they rushed through the real or figurative wall which his indiscretion had thrown open; and the king of Germany has been justly reproached as a traitor to the civil and ecclesiastical society of the Christians. During the life of Arnulph, the Hungarians were checked by gratitude or fear; but in the infancy of his son Lewis they discovered and invaded Bavaria; and such was their Scythian speed that, in a single day, a circuit of fifty miles was stripped and consumed. In the battle of Augsburg, the Christians maintained their advantage till the seventh hour of the day; they were deceived and vanquished by the flying stratagems of the Turkish cavalry. The conflagration spread over the provinces of Bavaria, Swabia, and Franconia; and the Hungarians41 promoted the reign of anarchy by forcing the stoutest barons to discipline their vassals and fortify their castles. The origin of walled towns is ascribed to this calamitous period; nor could any distance be secure against an enemy who, almost at the same Edition: current; Page: [44] instant, laid in ashes the Helvetian monastery of St. Gall, and the city of Bremen on the shores of the Northern ocean. Above thirty years the Germanic empire, or kingdom, was subject to the ignominy of tribute; and resistance was disarmed by the menace, the serious and effectual menace, of dragging the women and children into captivity and of slaughtering the males above the age of ten years. I have neither power nor inclination to follow the Hungarians beyond the Rhine; but I must observe with surprise that the southern provinces of France were blasted by the tempest, and that Spain, behind her Pyrenees, was astonished at the approach of these formidable strangers.42 The vicinity of Italy had tempted their early inroads; but, from their camp on the Brenta, they beheld with some terror the apparent strength and populousness of the new-discovered country. They requested leave to retire; their request was proudly rejected by the Italian king; and the lives of twenty thousand Christians paid the forfeit of his obstinacy and rashness. Among the cities of the West, the royal Pavia was conspicuous in fame and splendour; and the pre-eminence of Rome itself was only derived from the relics of the apostles. The Hungarians appeared; Pavia was in flames; forty-three churches were consumed; and, after the massacre of the people, they spared about two hundred wretches who had gathered some bushels of gold and silver (a vague exaggeration) from the smoking ruins of their country. In these annual excursions from the Alps to the neighbourhood of Rome and Capua, the churches, that yet escaped, resounded with a fearful litany: “Oh! save and deliver us from the arrows of the Hungarians!” But the saints were deaf or inexorable; and the torrent rolled forwards, till it was stopped Edition: current; Page: [45] by the extreme land of Calabria.43 A composition was offered and accepted for the head of each Italian subject; and ten bushels of silver were poured forth in the Turkish camp. But falsehood is the natural antagonist of violence; and the robbers were defrauded both in the numbers of the assessment and the standard of the metal. On the side of the East the Hungarians were opposed in doubtful conflict by the equal arms of the Bulgarians, whose faith forbade an alliance with the Pagans, and whose situation formed the barrier of the Byzantine empire. The barrier was overturned; the emperor of Constantinople beheld the waving banners of the Turks; and one of their boldest warriors presumed to strike a battle-axe into the golden gate. The arts and treasures of the Greeks diverted the assault; but the Hungarians might boast, on their retreat, that they had imposed a tribute on the spirit of Bulgaria and the majesty of the Cæsars.44 The remote and rapid operations of the same campaign appear to magnify the powers and numbers of the Turks; but Edition: current; Page: [46] their courage is most deserving of praise, since a light troop of three or four hundred horse would often attempt and execute the most daring inroads to the gates of Thessalonica and Constantinople. At this disastrous era of the ninth and tenth centuries, Europe was afflicted by a triple scourge from the North, the East, and the South; the Norman, the Hungarian, and the Saracen sometimes trod the same ground of desolation; and these savage foes might have been compared by Homer to the two lions growling over the carcase of a mangled stag.45

The deliverance of Germany and Christendom was achieved by the Saxon princes, Henry the Fowler and Otho the Great, who, in two memorable battles, for ever broke the power of the Hungarians.46 The valiant Henry was roused from a bed of sickness by the invasion of his country; but his mind was vigorous and his prudence successful. “My companions,” said he on the morning of the combat, “maintain your ranks, receive on your bucklers the first arrows of the Pagans, and prevent their second discharge by the equal and rapid career of your lances.” They obeyed, and conquered; and the historical picture of the castle of Merseburg expressed the features, or at least the character, of Henry, who, in an age of ignorance, entrusted to the finer arts the perpetuity of his name.47 At the end of twenty years, the Edition: current; Page: [47] children of the Turks who had fallen by his sword invaded the empire of his son; and their force is defined, in the lowest estimate, at one hundred thousand horse. They were invited by domestic faction; the gates of Germany were treacherously unlocked; and they spread, far beyond the Rhine and the Meuse, into the heart of Flanders. But the vigour and prudence of Otho dispelled the conspiracy; the princes were made sensible that, unless they were true to each other, their religion and country were irrecoverably lost; and the national powers were reviewed in the plains of Augsburg. They marched and fought in eight legions,48 according to the division of provinces and tribes; the first, second, and third were composed of Bavarians; the fourth of Franconians; the fifth of Saxons, under the immediate command of the monarch; the sixth and seventh consisted of Swabians; and the eighth legion, of a thousand Bohemians, closed the rear of the host. The resources of discipline and valour were fortified by the arts of superstition, which, on this occasion, may deserve the epithets of generous and salutary. The soldiers were purified with a fast; the camp was blessed with the relics of saints and martyrs; and the Christian hero girded on his side the sword of Constantine, grasped the invincible spear of Charlemagne, and waved the banner of St. Maurice, the prefect of the Thebæan legion. But his firmest confidence was placed in the holy lance,49 Edition: current; Page: [48] whose point was fashioned of the nails of the cross, and which his father had extorted from the king of Burgundy by the threats of war and the gift of a province. The Hungarians were expected in the front;50 they secretly passed the Lech, a river of Bavaria that falls into the Danube; turned the rear of the Christian army; plundered the baggage and disordered the legions of Bohemia and Swabia. The battle was restored by the Franconians, whose duke, the valiant Conrad, was pierced with an arrow as he rested from his fatigues; the Saxons fought under the eyes of their king; and his victory surpassed, in merit and importance, the triumphs of the last two hundred years. The loss of the Hungarians was still greater in the flight than in the action; they were encompassed by the rivers of Bavaria; and their past cruelties excluded them from the hope of mercy. Three captive princes were hanged at Ratisbon, the multitude of prisoners was slain or mutilated, and the fugitives, who presumed to appear in the face of their country, were condemned to everlasting poverty and disgrace.51 Yet the spirit of the nation was humbled, and the most accessible passes of Hungary were fortified with a ditch and rampart. Adversity suggested the counsels of moderation and peace; the robbers of the West acquiesced in a sedentary life; and the next generation was taught, by a discerning prince, that far more might be gained by multiplying and exchanging the produce of a fruitful soil. The native race, the Turkish or Fennic blood, was mingled with new colonies of Scythian or Sclavonian origin;52 Edition: current; Page: [49] many thousands of robust and industrious captives had been imported from all the countries of Europe;53 and, after the marriage of Geisa with a Bavarian princess, he bestowed honours and estates on the nobles of Germany.54 The son of Geisa was invested with the regal title, and the house of Arpad reigned three hundred years in the kingdom of Hungary. But the freeborn Barbarians were not dazzled by the lustre of the diadem, and the people asserted their indefeasible right of choosing, deposing, and punishing the hereditary servant of the state.

III. The name of Russians55 was first divulged, in the Edition: current; Page: [50] ninth century, by an embassy from Theophilus, emperor of the East, to the emperor of the West, Lewis, the son of Charlemagne. The Greeks were accompanied by the envoys of the great duke, or chagan, or czar, of the Russians. In their journey to Constantinople, they had traversed many hostile nations; and they hoped to escape the dangers of their return by requesting the French monarch to transport them by sea to their native country. A closer examination detected their origin: they were the brethren of the Swedes and Normans, whose name was already odious and formidable in France; and it might justly be apprehended that these Russian strangers were not the messengers of peace but the emissaries of war. They were detained, while the Greeks were dismissed; and Lewis expected a more satisfactory account, that he might obey the laws of hospitality or prudence, according to the interest of both empires.56 The Scandinavian origin of the people, or at least the princes of Russia, may be confirmed and illustrated by the national annals57 and the general history of the North. The Normans, who had so long been concealed by a veil of impenetrable darkness, suddenly Edition: current; Page: [51] burst forth in the spirit of naval and military enterprise. The vast, and, as it is said, the populous, regions of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway were crowded with independent chieftains and desperate adventurers, who sighed in the laziness of peace, and smiled in the agonies of death. Piracy was the exercise, the trade, the glory, and the virtue of the Scandinavian youth. Impatient of a bleak climate and narrow limits, they started from the banquet, grasped their arms, sounded their horn, ascended their vessels, and explored every coast that promised either spoil or settlement. The Baltic was the first scene of their naval achievements; they visited the eastern shores, the silent residence of Fennic and Sclavonian tribes, and the primitive Russians of the lake Ladoga paid a tribute, the skins of white squirrels, to these strangers, whom they saluted with the title of Varangians,58 or Corsairs. Their superiority in arms, discipline, and renown commanded the fear and reverence of the natives. In their wars against the more inland savages, the Varangians condescended to serve as friends and auxiliaries, and gradually, by choice or conquest, obtained the dominion of a people whom they were qualified to protect. Their tyranny was expelled, their valour was again recalled, till at length Ruric,59 Edition: current; Page: [52] a Scandinavian chief, became the father of a dynasty which reigned above seven hundred years. His brothers extended his influence; the example of service and usurpation was imitated by his companions60 in the southern provinces of Russia; and their establishments, by the usual methods of war and assassination, were cemented into the fabric of a powerful monarchy.

As long as the descendants of Ruric were considered as aliens and conquerors, they ruled by the sword of the Varangians, distributed estates and subjects to their faithful captains, and supplied their numbers with fresh streams of adventurers from the Baltic coast.61 But, when the Scandinavian chiefs had struck a deep and permanent root into the soil, they mingled with the Russians in blood, religion, and language, and the first Waladimir had the merit of delivering his country from these foreign mercenaries. They had seated him on the throne; his riches were insufficient to satisfy their demands; but they listened to his pleasing advice that they should seek, not a more grateful, but a more wealthy master; that they should embark for Greece, where, instead of the skins of squirrels, silk and gold would be the recompense of their service. At the same time, the Russian prince admonished his Byzantine ally to disperse and employ, to recompense and restrain, these impetuous children of the North. Contemporary writers have recorded the introduction, name, and character of the Varangians: each day they rose Edition: current; Page: [53] in confidence and esteem; the whole body was assembled at Constantinople to perform the duty of guards; and their strength was recruited by a numerous band of their countrymen from the island of Thule. On this occasion the vague appellation of Thule is applied to England; and the new Varangians were a colony of English and Danes who fled from the yoke of the Norman conqueror. The habits of pilgrimage and piracy had approximated the countries of the earth; these exiles were entertained in the Byzantine court; and they preserved, till the last age of the empire, the inheritance of spotless loyalty and the use of the Danish or English tongue. With their broad and double-edged battle-axes on their shoulders, they attended the Greek emperor to the temple, the senate, and the hippodrome; he slept and feasted under their trusty guard; and the keys of the palace, the treasury, and the capital were held by the firm and faithful hands of the Varangians.62

In the tenth century, the geography of Scythia was extended far beyond the limits of ancient knowledge; and the monarchy of the Russians obtains a vast and conspicuous place in the map of Constantine.63 The sons of Ruric were masters of the spacious province of Wolodomir, or Moscow; and, if Edition: current; Page: [54] they were confined on that side by the hordes of the East, their western frontier in those early days was enlarged to the Baltic Sea and the country of the Prussians. Their northern reign ascended above the sixtieth degree of latitude, over the Hyperborean regions, which fancy had peopled with monsters, or clouded with eternal darkness. To the south they followed the course of the Borysthenes, and approached with that river the neighbourhood of the Euxine Sea. The tribes that dwelt, or wandered, in this ample circuit were obedient to the same conqueror, and insensibly blended into the same nation. The language of Russia is a dialect of the Sclavonian; but, in the tenth century, these two modes of speech were different from each other; and, as the Sclavonian prevailed in the South, it may be presumed that the original Russians of the North, the primitive subjects of the Varangian chief, were a portion of the Fennic race.64 With the emigration, union, or dissolution of the wandering tribes, the loose and indefinite picture of the Scythian desert has continually shifted. But the most ancient map of Russia affords some places which still retain their name and position; and the two capitals, Novogorod65 and Kiow,66 are coeval with the Edition: current; Page: [55] first age of the monarchy. Novogorod had not yet deserved the epithet of great, nor the alliance of the Hanseatic league, which diffused the streams of opulence and the principles of freedom. Kiow could not yet boast of three hundred churches, an innumerable people, and a degree of greatness and splendour, which was compared with Constantinople by those who had never seen the residence of the Cæsars. In their origin, the two cities were no more than camps or fairs, the most convenient stations in which the Barbarians might assemble for the occasional business of war or trade. Yet even these assemblies announce some progress in the arts of society; a new breed of cattle was imported from the southern provinces; and the spirit of commercial enterprise pervaded the sea and land from the Baltic to the Euxine, from the mouth of the Oder to the port of Constantinople. In the days of idolatry and barbarism, the Sclavonic city of Julin was frequented and enriched by the Normans, who had prudently secured a free mart of purchase and exchange.67 From this harbour, at the entrance of the Oder, the corsair, or merchant, sailed in forty-three days to the eastern shores of the Baltic, the most distant nations were intermingled, and the holy groves of Curland are said to have been decorated with Grecian and Spanish gold.68 Between the sea and Novogorod an easy Edition: current; Page: [56] intercourse was discovered: in the summer, through a gulf, a lake, and a navigable river; in the winter season, over the hard and level surface of boundless snows. From the neighbourhood of that city, the Russians descended the streams that fall into the Borysthenes; their canoes, of a single tree, were laden with slaves of every age, furs of every species, the spoil of their beehives, and the hides of their cattle; and the whole produce of the North was collected and discharged in the magazines of Kiow. The month of June was the ordinary season of the departure of the fleet; the timber of the canoes was framed into the oars and benches of more solid and capacious boats; and they proceeded without obstacle down the Borysthenes, as far as the seven or thirteen ridges of rocks, which traverse the bed, and precipitate the waters, of the river. At the more shallow falls it was sufficient to lighten the vessels; but the deeper cataracts were impassable; and the mariners, who dragged their vessels and their slaves six miles over land, were exposed in this toilsome journey to the robbers of the desert.69 At the first island below the falls, the Russians celebrated the festival of their escape; at a second, near the mouth of the river, they repaired their shattered vessels for the longer and more perilous voyage of the Black Sea. If they steered along the coast, the Danube was accessible; with a fair wind they could reach in thirty-six or forty Edition: current; Page: [57] hours the opposite shores of Anatolia; and Constantinople admitted the annual visit of the strangers of the North. They returned at the stated season with a rich cargo of corn, wine, and oil, the manufactures of Greece, and the spices of India. Some of their countrymen resided in the capital and provinces; and the national treaties protected the persons, effects, and privileges of the Russian merchant.70

But the same communication which had been opened for the benefit, was soon abused for the injury, of mankind. In a period of one hundred and ninety years, the Russians made four attempts to plunder the treasures of Constantinople; the event was various, but the motive, the means, and the object were the same in these naval expeditions.71 The Russian traders had seen the magnificence and tasted the Edition: current; Page: [58] luxury of the city of the Cæsars. A marvellous tale, and a scanty supply, excited the desires of their savage countrymen: they envied the gifts of nature which their climate denied; they coveted the works of art which they were too lazy to imitate and too indigent to purchase: the Varangian princes unfurled the banners of piratical adventure, and their bravest soldiers were drawn from the nations that dwelt in the northern isles of the ocean.72 The image of their naval armaments was revived in the last century in the fleets of the Cossacks, which issued from the Borysthenes to navigate the same seas for a similar purpose.73 The Greek appellation of monoxyla, or single canoes, might be justly applied to the bottom of their vessels. It was scooped out of the long stem of a beech or willow, but the slight and narrow foundation was raised and continued on either side with planks, till it attained the length of sixty, and the height of about twelve, feet. These boats were built without a deck, but with two rudders and a mast; to move with sails and oars; and to contain from forty to seventy men, with their arms, and provisions of fresh water and salt fish. The first trial of the Russians was made with two hundred boats; but, when the national force was exerted, they might arm against Constantinople a thousand or twelve hundred vessels. Their fleet was not much inferior to the royal navy of Agamemnon, but it was magnified in the eyes of fear to ten or fifteen times the real proportion of its strength and numbers. Had the Greek emperors been endowed with foresight to discern, and vigour to prevent, perhaps they might have sealed with a maritime force the mouth of the Borysthenes. Their indolence abandoned the coast of Anatolia to the calamities of a Edition: current; Page: [59] piratical war, which, after an interval of six hundred years, again infested the Euxine; but, as long as the capital was respected, the sufferings of a distant province escaped the notice both of the prince and the historian. The storm, which had swept along from the Phasis and Trebizond, at length burst on the Bosphorus of Thrace: a strait of fifteen miles, in which the rude vessels of the Russian might have been stopped and destroyed by a more skilful adversary. In their first enterprise74 under the prince of Kiow, they passed without opposition, and occupied the port of Constantinople in the absence of the emperor Michael, the son of Theophilus. Through a crowd of perils he landed at the palace stairs, and immediately repaired to a church of the Virgin Mary.75 By Edition: current; Page: [60] the advice of the patriarch, her garment, a precious relic, was drawn from the sanctuary and dipped in the sea; and a seasonable tempest, which determined the retreat of the Russians, was devoutly ascribed to the Mother of God.76 The silence of the Greeks may inspire some doubt of the truth, or at least of the importance, of the second attempt of Oleg, the guardian of the sons of Ruric.77 A strong barrier of arms and fortifications defended the Bosphorus: they were eluded by the usual expedient of drawing the boats over the isthmus; and this simple operation is described in the national chronicles as if the Russian fleet had sailed over dry land with a brisk and favourable gale. The leader of the third armament, Igor, the son of Ruric, had chosen a moment of weakness and decay, when the naval powers of the empire were employed against the Saracens. But, if courage be not wanting, the instruments of defence are seldom deficient. Fifteen broken and decayed galleys were boldly launched against the enemy; but, instead of the single tube of Greek fire usually planted on the prow, the sides and stern of each vessel were abundantly supplied with that liquid combustible. The engineers were dexterous; the weather was propitious; many thousand Russians, who chose rather to be drowned than burnt, leaped into the sea; and those who escaped to the Thracian shore were inhumanly slaughtered by the peasants and soldiers. Yet one third of the canoes escaped into shallow water; and the next spring Igor was again prepared to retrieve his disgrace and claim his revenge.78 After Edition: current; Page: [61] a long peace, Jaroslaus, the great-grandson of Igor, resumed the same project of a naval invasion. A fleet, under the command of his son, was repulsed at the entrance of the Bosphorus by the same artificial flames. But in the rashness of pursuit the vanguard of the Greeks was encompassed by an irresistible multitude of boats and men; their provision of fire was probably exhausted; and twenty-four galleys were either taken, sunk, or destroyed.79

Yet the threats or calamities of a Russian war were more frequently diverted by treaty than by arms. In these naval hostilities every disadvantage was on the side of the Greeks; their savage enemy afforded no mercy; his poverty promised no spoil; his impenetrable retreat deprived the conqueror of the hopes of revenge; and the pride or weakness of empire indulged an opinion that no honour could be gained or lost in the intercourse with Barbarians. At first their demands were high and inadmissible, three pounds of gold for each soldier or mariner of the fleet; the Russian youth adhered to the design of conquest and glory; but the counsels of moderation were recommended by the hoary sages. “Be content,” they said, “with the liberal offers of Cæsar; is it not far better to obtain without a combat the possession of gold, silver, silks, and all the objects of our desires? Are we sure of victory? Can we conclude a treaty with the sea? We do not tread on the land; we float on the abyss of water, and a common death hangs over our heads.”80 The memory of Edition: current; Page: [62] these Arctic fleets that seemed to descend from the Polar circle left a deep impression of terror on the Imperial city. By the vulgar of every rank, it was asserted and believed that an equestrian statue in the square of Taurus was secretly inscribed with a prophecy, how the Russians, in the last days, should become masters of Constantinople.81 In our own time, a Russian armament, instead of sailing from the Borysthenes, has circumnavigated the continent of Europe; and the Turkish capital has been threatened by a squadron of strong and lofty ships of war, each of which, with its naval science and thundering artillery, could have sunk or scattered an hundred canoes, such as those of their ancestors. Perhaps the present generation may yet behold the accomplishment of the prediction, of a rare prediction, of which the style is unambiguous and the date unquestionable.

By land the Russians were less formidable than by sea; and, as they fought for the most part on foot, their irregular legions must often have been broken and overthrown by the cavalry of the Scythian hordes. Yet their growing towns, however slight and imperfect, presented a shelter to the subject and a barrier to the enemy: the monarchy of Kiow, till a fatal partition, assumed the dominion of the North; and the nations from the Volga to the Danube were subdued or repelled by the arms of Swatoslaus,82 the son of Igor, the Edition: current; Page: [63] son of Oleg, the son of Ruric. The vigour of his mind and body was fortified by the hardships of a military and savage life. Wrapt in a bear-skin Swatoslaus usually slept on the ground, his head reclining on a saddle; his diet was coarse and frugal, and, like the heroes of Homer,83 his meat (it was often horse-flesh) was broiled or roasted on the coals. The exercise of war gave stability and discipline to his army; and it may be presumed that no soldier was permitted to transcend the luxury of his chief. By an embassy from Nicephorus, the Greek emperor, he was moved to undertake the conquest of Bulgaria, and a gift of fifteen hundred pounds of gold was laid at his feet to defray the expense, or reward the toils, of the expedition.84 An army of sixty thousand men was assembled Edition: current; Page: [64] and embarked; they sailed from the Borysthenes to the Danube; their landing was effected on the Mæsian shore; and, after a sharp encounter, the swords of the Russians prevailed against the arrows of the Bulgarian horse. The vanquished king sunk into the grave; his children were made captive;85 and his dominions as far as Mount Hæmus were subdued or ravaged by the Northern invaders. But, instead of relinquishing his prey and performing his engagements, the Varangian prince was more disposed to advance than to retire; and, had his ambition been crowned with success, the seat of empire in that early period might have been transferred to a more temperate and fruitful climate. Swatoslaus enjoyed and acknowledged the advantages of his new position, in which he could unite, by exchange or rapine, the various productions of the earth. By an easy navigation he might draw from Russia the native commodities of furs, wax, and hydromel; Hungary supplied him with a breed of horses and the spoils of the West; and Greece abounded with gold, silver, and the foreign luxuries which his poverty had Edition: current; Page: [65] affected to disdain. The bands of Patzinacites, Chozars, and Turks repaired to the standard of victory; and the ambassador of Nicephorus betrayed his trust, assumed the purple, and promised to share with his new allies the treasures of the Eastern world. From the banks of the Danube the Russian prince pursued his march as far as Hadrianople; a formal summons to evacuate the Roman province was dismissed with contempt; and Swatoslaus fiercely replied that Constantine might soon expect the presence of an enemy and a master.

Nicephorus could no longer expel the mischief which he had introduced;86 but his throne and wife were inherited by John Zimisces,87 who, in a diminutive body, possessed the spirit and abilities of an hero. The first victory of his lieutenants deprived the Russians of their foreign allies, twenty thousand of whom were either destroyed by the sword Edition: current; Page: [66] or provoked to revolt or tempted to desert.88 Thrace was delivered, but seventy thousand Barbarians were still in arms; and the legions that had been recalled from the new conquests of Syria prepared, with the return of the spring, to march under the banners of a warlike prince, who declared himself the friend and avenger of the injured Bulgaria. The passes of Mount Hæmus had been left unguarded; they were instantly occupied; the Roman vanguard was formed of the immortals (a proud imitation of the Persian style); the emperor led the main body of ten thousand five hundred foot;89 and the rest of his forces followed in slow and cautious array with the baggage and military engines. The first exploit of Zimisces was the reduction of Marcianopolis, or Peristhlaba,90 in two days: the trumpets sounded; the walls were scaled; eight thousand five hundred Russians were put to the sword;91 and the sons of the Bulgarian king were Edition: current; Page: [67] rescued from an ignominious prison, and invested with a nominal diadem. After these repeated losses, Swatoslaus retired to the strong post of Dristra, on the banks of the Danube, and was pursued by an enemy who alternately employed the arms of celerity and delay. The Byzantine galleys ascended the river; the legions completed a line of circumvallation;92 and the Russian prince was encompassed, assaulted, and famished in the fortifications of the camp and city. Many deeds of valour were performed; several desperate sallies were attempted; nor was it till after a siege of sixty-five days that Swatoslaus yielded to his adverse fortune. The liberal terms which he obtained announce the prudence of the victor, who respected the valour, and apprehended the despair, of an unconquered mind. The great duke of Russia bound himself by solemn imprecations to relinquish all hostile designs; a safe passage was opened for his return; the liberty of trade and navigation was restored; a measure of corn was distributed to each of his soldiers; and the allowance of twenty-two thousand measures attests the loss and the remnant of the Barbarians.93 After a painful voyage, they again reached the mouth of the Borysthenes; but their provisions were exhausted; the season was unfavourable; they passed the winter on the ice; and, before they could prosecute their march, Swatoslaus was surprised and oppressed by the neighbouring tribes, with whom the Greeks entertained a perpetual and useful correspondence.94 Far different was the return of Zimisces, who was received in his capital like Camillus or Marius, the saviours of ancient Rome. But the merit of the victory was attributed by the pious Edition: current; Page: [68] emperor to the Mother of God; and the image of the Virgin Mary, with the divine infant in her arms, was placed on a triumphal car, adorned with the spoils of war and the ensigns of Bulgarian royalty. Zimisces made his public entry on horseback; the diadem on his head, a crown of laurel in his hand; and Constantinople was astonished to applaud the martial virtues of her sovereign.95

Photius of Constantinople, a patriarch whose ambition was equal to his curiosity, congratulates himself and the Greek church on the conversion of the Russians.96 Those fierce and bloody Barbarians had been persuaded by the voice of reason and religion, to acknowledge Jesus for their God, the Christian missionaries for their teachers, and the Romans for their friends and brethren. His triumph was transient and premature. In the various fortune of their piratical adventures, some Russian chiefs might allow themselves to be sprinkled with the waters of baptism; and a Greek bishop, with the name of metropolitan, might administer the sacraments in the church of Kiow to a congregation of slaves and natives. But the seed of the Gospel was sown on a barren soil: many were the apostates, the converts were few; and the baptism of Olga may be fixed as the era of Russian Christianity.97 A female, perhaps of the basest origin, who Edition: current; Page: [69] could revenge the death, and assume the sceptre, of her husband Igor, must have been endowed with those active virtues which command the fear and obedience of Barbarians. In a moment of foreign and domestic peace, she sailed from Kiow to Constantinople; and the emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus has described with minute diligence the ceremonial of her reception in his capital and palace. The steps, the titles, the salutations, the banquet, the presents, were exquisitely adjusted, to gratify the vanity of the stranger, with due reverence to the superior majesty of the purple.98 In the sacrament of baptism, she received the venerable name of the empress Helena; and her conversion might be preceded or followed by her uncle, two interpreters, sixteen damsels of an higher, and eighteen of a lower, rank, twenty-two domestics or ministers, and forty-four Russian merchants, who composed the retinue of the great princess Olga. After her return to Kiow and Novogorod, she firmly persisted in her new religion; but her labours in the propagation of the Gospel were not crowned with success; and both her family and nation adhered with obstinacy or indifference to the gods of their fathers. Her son Swatoslaus was apprehensive of the scorn and ridicule of his companions; and her grandson Wolodomir devoted his youthful zeal to multiply and decorate the monuments of ancient worship. The savage deities of the North were still propitiated with human sacrifices: in the choice of the victim, a citizen was preferred to a stranger, a Christian to an idolater; and the father who defended his son from the sacerdotal knife was involved in the same doom by the rage of a fanatic tumult. Yet the lessons and example of the pious Olga had made a deep though Edition: current; Page: [70] secret impression on the minds of the prince and people: the Greek missionaries continued to preach, to dispute, and to baptise; and the ambassadors or merchants of Russia compared the idolatry of the woods with the elegant superstition of Constantinople. They had gazed with admiration on the dome of St. Sophia: the lively pictures of saints and martyrs, the riches of the altar, the number and vestments of the priests, the pomp and order of the ceremonies; they were edified by the alternate succession of devout silence and harmonious song; nor was it difficult to persuade them that a choir of angels descended each day from heaven to join in the devotion of the Christians.99 But the conversion of Wolodomir was determined, or hastened, by his desire of a Roman bride. At the same time, and in the city of Cherson, the rites of baptism and marriage were celebrated by the Christian pontiff; the city he restored to the emperor Basil, the brother of his spouse; but the brazen gates were transported, as it is said, to Novogorod, and erected before the first church as a trophy of his victory and faith.100 At his Edition: current; Page: [71] despotic command, Peroun, the god of thunder, whom he had so long adored, was dragged through the streets of Kiow; and twelve sturdy Barbarians battered with clubs the misshapen image, which was indignantly cast into the waters of the Borysthenes. The edict of Wolodomir had proclaimed that all who should refuse the rites of baptism would be treated as the enemies of God and their prince; and the rivers were instantly filled with many thousands of obedient Russians, who acquiesced in the truth and excellence of a doctrine which had been embraced by the great duke and his boyars.101 In the next generation the relics of paganism were finally extirpated; but, as the two brothers of Wolodomir had died without baptism, their bones were taken from the grave and sanctified by an irregular and posthumous sacrament.

In the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries of the Christian era, the reign of the gospel and of the church was extended over Bulgaria, Hungary, Bohemia, Saxony, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Poland, and Russia.102 The triumphs of Edition: current; Page: [72] apostolic zeal were repeated in the iron age of Christianity; and the northern and eastern regions of Europe submitted to a religion more different in theory than in practice from the worship of their native idols. A laudable ambition excited the monks, both of Germany and Greece, to visit the tents and huts of the Barbarians; poverty, hardships, and dangers were the lot of the first missionaries; their courage was active and patient; their motive pure and meritorious; their present reward consisted in the testimony of their conscience and the respect of a grateful people; but the fruitful harvest of their toils was inherited and enjoyed by the proud and wealthy prelates of succeeding times. The first conversions were free and spontaneous: an holy life and an eloquent tongue were the only arms of the missionaries; but the domestic fables of the Pagans were silenced by the miracles and visions of the strangers; and the favourable temper of the chiefs was accelerated by the dictates of vanity and interest. The leaders of nations, who were saluted with the titles of kings and saints,103 held it lawful and pious to impose the Catholic faith on their subjects and neighbours: the coast of the Baltic, from Holstein to the gulf of Finland, was invaded under the standard of the cross; and the reign of idolatry was closed by the conversion of Lithuania in the fourteenth century. Yet truth and candour must acknowledge that the conversion of the North imparted many temporal benefits both to the old and the new Christians. The rage of war, inherent to the human species, could not be healed by the evangelic precepts of charity and peace; and the ambition of Catholic princes has renewed in every age the calamities of hostile contention. But the admission of the Barbarians into the pale of civil and ecclesiastical society Edition: current; Page: [73] delivered Europe from the depredations, by sea and land, of the Normans, the Hungarians, and the Russians, who learned to spare their brethren and cultivate their possessions.104 The establishment of law and order was promoted by the influence of the clergy; and the rudiments of art and science were introduced into the savage countries of the globe. The liberal piety of the Russian princes engaged in their service the most skilful of the Greeks, to decorate the cities and instruct the inhabitants; the dome and the paintings of St. Sophia were rudely copied in the churches of Kiow105 and Novogorod; the writings of the fathers were translated into the Sclavonic idiom; and three hundred noble youths were invited or compelled to attend the lessons of the college of Jaroslaus.106 It should appear that Russia might have derived an early and rapid improvement from her peculiar connection with the church and state of Constantinople107 which in that age so justly despised the ignorance of the Latins. But the Byzantine nation was servile, solitary, and verging to an hasty decline; after the fall of Kiow, the navigation of the Borysthenes was forgotten; the great princes of Wolodomir and Moscow were separated from the sea and Edition: current; Page: [74] Christendom; and the divided monarchy was oppressed by the ignominy and blindness of Tartar servitude.108 The Sclavonic and Scandinavian kingdoms, which had been converted by the Latin missionaries, were exposed, it is true, to the spiritual jurisdiction and temporal claims of the popes;109 but they were united, in language and religious worship, with each other, and with Rome; they imbibed the free and generous spirit of the European republic, and gradually shared the light of knowledge which arose on the Western world.

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The Saracens, Franks, and Greeks in Italy — First Adventures and Settlement of the Normans — Character and Conquests of Robert Guiscard, Duke of Apulia — Deliverance of Sicily by his Brother Roger — Victories of Robert over the Emperors of the East and West — Roger, king of Sicily, invades Africa and Greece — The Emperor Manuel Comnenus — Wars of the Greeks and Normans — Extinction of the Normans

The three great nations of the world, the Greeks, the Saracens, and the Franks, encountered each other on the theatre of Italy.1 The southern provinces, which now compose the kingdom of Naples, were subject, for the most part, to the Lombard dukes and princes of Beneventum:2 so powerful in war that they checked for a moment the genius of Charlemagne; so liberal in peace that they maintained in Edition: current; Page: [76] their capital an academy of thirty-two philosophers and grammarians. The division of this flourishing state produced the rival principalities of Benevento, Salerno, and Capua;3 and the thoughtless ambition or revenge of the competitors invited the Saracens to the ruin of their common inheritance. During a calamitous period of two hundred years Italy was exposed to a repetition of wounds, which the invaders were not capable of healing by the union and tranquillity of a perfect conquest. Their frequent and almost annual squadrons issued from the port of Palermo, and were entertained with too much indulgence by the Christians of Naples; the more formidable fleets were prepared on the African coast; and even the Arabs of Andalusia were sometimes tempted to assist or oppose the Moslems of an adverse sect. In the revolution of human events, a new ambuscade was concealed in the Caudine forks, the fields of Cannæ were bedewed a second time with the blood of the Africans, and the sovereign of Rome again attacked or defended the walls of Capua and Tarentum. A colony of Saracens had been planted at Bari, which commands the entrance of the Adriatic gulf; and their impartial depredations provoked the resentment, and conciliated the union, of the two emperors. An offensive alliance was concluded between Basil the Macedonian, the first of his race, and Lewis, the great-grandson of Charlemagne;4 and each party supplied the deficiencies of his associate. It would have been imprudent in the Byzantine monarch to transport his stationary troops of Asia to an Italian campaign; and the Latin arms would have been Edition: current; Page: [77] insufficient, if his superior navy had not occupied the mouth of the gulf. The fortress of Bari was invested by the infantry of the Franks, and by the cavalry and galleys of the Greeks; and, after a defence of four years, the Arabian emir submitted to the clemency of Lewis, who commanded in person the operations of the siege. This important conquest had been achieved by the concord of the East and West; but their recent amity was soon embittered by the mutual complaints of jealousy and pride. The Greeks assumed as their own the merit of the conquest and the pomp of the triumph; extolled the greatness of their powers, and affected to deride the intemperance and sloth of the handful of Barbarians who appeared under the banners of the Carlovingian prince. His reply is expressed with the eloquence of indignation and truth: “We confess the magnitude of your preparations,” says the great-grandson of Charlemagne. “Your armies were indeed as numerous as a cloud of summer locusts, who darken the day, flap their wings, and, after a short flight, tumble weary and breathless to the ground. Like them, ye sunk after a feeble effort; ye were vanquished by your own cowardice; and withdrew from the scene of action to injure and despoil our Christian subjects of the Sclavonian coast. We were few in number, and why were we few? Because, after a tedious expectation of your arrival, I had dismissed my host, and retained only a chosen band of warriors to continue the blockade of the city. If they indulged their hospitable feasts in the face of danger and death, did these feasts abate the vigour of their enterprise? Is it by your fasting that the walls of Bari have been overturned? Did not these valiant Franks, diminished as they were by languor and fatigue, intercept and vanquish the three most powerful emirs of the Saracens? and did not their defeat precipitate the fall of the city? Bari is now fallen; Tarentum trembles; Calabria will be delivered; and, if we command the sea, the island of Sicily may be rescued from the hands of the infidels. My brother (a name most offensive to the vanity of Edition: current; Page: [78] the Greek), accelerate your naval succours, respect your allies, and distrust your flatterers.”5

These lofty hopes were soon extinguished by the death of Lewis, and the decay of the Carlovingian house; and, whoever might deserve the honour, the Greek emperors, Basil and his son Leo, secured the advantage, of the reduction of Bari. The Italians of Apulia and Calabria were persuaded or compelled to acknowledge their supremacy, and an ideal line from Mount Garganus to the bay of Salerno leaves the far greater part of the kingdom of Naples under the dominion of the Eastern empire. Beyond that line, the dukes or republics of Amalphi6 and Naples, who had never forfeited their voluntary allegiance, rejoiced in the neighbourhood of their lawful sovereign; and Amalphi was enriched by supplying Europe with the produce and manufactures of Asia. But the Lombard princes of Benevento, Salerno, and Capua7 Edition: current; Page: [79] were reluctantly torn from the communion of the Latin world, and too often violated their oaths of servitude and tribute. The city of Bari rose to dignity and wealth, as the metropolis of the new theme or province of Lombardy; the title of patrician, and afterwards the singular name of Catapan,8 was assigned to the supreme governor; and the policy both of the church and state was modelled in exact subordination to the throne of Constantinople. As long as the sceptre was disputed by the princes of Italy, their efforts were feeble and adverse; and the Greeks resisted or eluded the forces of Germany, which descended from the Alps under the Imperial standard of the Othos. The first and greatest of those Saxon princes was compelled to relinquish the siege of Bari: the second, after the loss of his stoutest bishops and barons, escaped with honour from the bloody field of Crotona. On that day the scale of war was turned against the Franks by the valour of the Saracens.9 These corsairs had indeed been driven by the Byzantine fleets from the fortresses and coasts Edition: current; Page: [80] of Italy; but a sense of interest was more prevalent than superstition or resentment, and the caliph of Egypt had transported forty thousand Moslems to the aid of his Christian ally. The successors of Basil amused themselves with the belief that the conquest of Lombardy had been achieved, and was still preserved, by the justice of their laws, the virtues of their ministers, and the gratitude of a people whom they had rescued from anarchy and oppression. A series of rebellions might dart a ray of truth into the palace of Constantinople; and the illusions of flattery were dispelled by the easy and rapid success of the Norman adventurers.

The revolution of human affairs had produced in Apulia and Calabria a melancholy contrast between the age of Pythagoras and the tenth century of the Christian era. At the former period, the coast of Great Greece (as it was then styled) was planted with free and opulent cities: these cities were peopled with soldiers, artists, and philosophers; and the military strength of Tarentum, Sybaris, or Crotona was not inferior to that of a powerful kingdom. At the second era, these once-flourishing provinces were clouded with ignorance, impoverished by tyranny, and depopulated by Barbarian war; nor can we severely accuse the exaggeration of a contemporary that a fair and ample district was reduced to the same desolation which had covered the earth after the general deluge.10 Among the hostilities of the Arabs, the Franks, and the Greeks, in the southern Italy, I shall select two or three anecdotes expressive of their national manners. 1. It was the amusement of the Saracens to profane, as well Edition: current; Page: [d] Edition: current; Page: [81] as to pillage, the monasteries and churches. At the siege of Salerno, a Musulman chief spread his couch on the communion-table, and on that altar sacrificed each night the virginity of a Christian nun. As he wrestled with a reluctant maid, a beam in the roof was accidentally or dexterously thrown down on his head; and the death of the lustful emir was imputed to the wrath of Christ, which was at length awakened to the defence of his faithful spouse.11 2. The Saracens besieged the cities of Beneventum and Capua: after a vain appeal to the successors of Charlemagne, the Lombards implored the clemency and aid of the Greek emperor.12 A fearless citizen dropped from the walls, passed the intrenchments, accomplished his commission, and fell into the hands of the Barbarians, as he was returning with the welcome news. They commanded him to assist their enterprise, and deceive his countrymen, with the assurance that wealth and honours should be the reward of his falsehood, and that his sincerity would be punished with immediate death. He affected to yield, but, as soon as he was conducted within hearing of the Christians on the rampart, “Friends and brethren,” he cried with a loud voice, “be bold and patient, maintain the city; your sovereign is informed of your distress, and your deliverers are at hand. I know my doom, and commit my wife and children to your gratitude.” The rage of the Arabs confirmed his evidence; and the self-devoted patriot was transpierced with an hundred Edition: current; Page: [82] spears. He deserves to live in the memory of the virtuous, but the repetition of the same story in ancient and modern times may sprinkle some doubts on the reality of this generous deed.13 3. The recital of the third incident may provoke a smile amidst the horrors of war. Theobald, marquis of Camerino and Spoleto,14 supported the rebels of Beneventum; and his wanton cruelty was not incompatible in that age with the character of an hero. His captives of the Greek nation or party were castrated without mercy, and the outrage was aggravated by a cruel jest, that he wished to present the emperor with a supply of eunuchs, the most precious ornaments of the Byzantine court. The garrison of the castle had been defeated in a sally, and the prisoners were sentenced to the customary operation. But the sacrifice was disturbed by the intrusion of a frantic female, who, with bleeding cheeks, dishevelled hair, and importunate clamours, compelled the marquis to listen to her complaint. “It is thus,” she cried, “ye magnanimous heroes, that ye wage war against women, against women who have never injured ye, and whose only arms are the distaff and the loom?” Theobald denied the charge, and protested that, since the Amazons, he had never heard of a female war. “And how,” she furiously exclaimed, “can you attack us more directly, how can you wound us in a more vital part, than by robbing Edition: current; Page: [83] our husbands of what we most dearly cherish, the source of our joys, and the hope of our posterity? The plunder of our flocks and herds I have endured without a murmur, but this fatal injury, this irreparable loss, subdues my patience, and calls aloud on the justice of heaven and earth.” A general laugh applauded her eloquence; the savage Franks, inaccessible to pity, were moved by her ridiculous, yet rational despair; and, with the deliverance of the captives, she obtained the restitution of her effects. As she returned in triumph to the castle, she was overtaken by a messenger, to inquire, in the name of Theobald, what punishment should be inflicted on her husband, were he again taken in arms? “Should such,” she answered without hesitation, “be his guilt and misfortune, he has eyes, and a nose, and hands, and feet. These are his own, and these he may deserve to forfeit by his personal offences. But let my lord be pleased to spare what his little handmaid presumes to claim as her peculiar and lawful property.”15


The establishment of the Normans in the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily16 is an event most romantic in its origin, and in its consequences most important both to Italy and the Eastern empire. The broken provinces of the Greeks, Lombards, and Saracens were exposed to every invader, and every sea and land were invaded by the adventurous spirit of the Scandinavian pirates. After a long indulgence of rapine Edition: current; Page: [84] and slaughter, a fair and ample territory was accepted, occupied, and named, by the Normans of France; they renounced their gods for the God of the Christians;17 and the dukes of Normandy acknowledged themselves the vassals of the successors of Charlemagne and Capet. The savage fierceness which they had brought from the snowy mountains of Norway was refined, without being corrupted, in a warmer climate; the companions of Rollo insensibly mingled with the natives; they imbibed the manners, language,18 and gallantry of the French nation; and, in a martial age, the Normans might claim the palm of valour and glorious achievements. Of the fashionable superstitions, they embraced with ardour the pilgrimages of Rome, Italy, and the Holy Land. In this active devotion, their minds and bodies were invigorated by exercise: danger was the incentive, novelty the recompense; and the prospect of the world was decorated by wonder, credulity, and ambitious hope. They confederated for their mutual defence; and the robbers of the Alps, who had been allured by the garb of a pilgrim, were often chastised by the arm of a warrior. In one of these pious visits19 to the cavern of Mount Garganus in Apulia, which Edition: current; Page: [85] had been sanctified by the apparition of the archangel Michael,20 they were accosted by a stranger in the Greek habit, but who soon revealed himself as a rebel, a fugitive, and a mortal foe of the Greek empire. His name was Melo:21 a noble citizen of Bari, who, after an unsuccessful revolt, was compelled to seek new allies and avengers of his country. The bold appearance of the Normans revived his hopes and solicited his confidence: they listened to the complaints, and still more to the promises, of the patriot. The assurance of wealth demonstrated the justice of his cause; and they viewed, as the inheritance of the brave, the fruitful land which was oppressed by effeminate tyrants. On their return to Normandy, they kindled a spark of enterprise; and a small but intrepid band was freely associated for the deliverance of Apulia. They passed the Alps by separate roads, and in the disguise of pilgrims; but in the neighbourhood of Rome they were saluted by the chief of Bari, who supplied the more indigent with arms and horses, and instantly led them to the field of action. In the first conflict, their valour prevailed;22 but, in the second engagement, they were overwhelmed by the Edition: current; Page: [86] numbers and military engines of the Greeks, and indignantly retreated with their faces to the enemy. The unfortunate Melo ended his life, a suppliant at the court of Germany: his Norman followers, excluded from their native and their promised land, wandered among the hills and valleys of Italy, and earned their daily subsistence by the sword. To that formidable sword the princes of Capua, Beneventum, Salerno, and Naples alternately appealed in their domestic quarrels; the superior spirit and discipline of the Normans gave victory to the side which they espoused; and their cautious policy observed the balance of power, lest the preponderance of any rival state should render their aid less important and their service less profitable. Their first asylum was a strong camp in the depth of the marshes of Campania; but they were soon endowed by the liberality of the duke of Naples with a more plentiful and permanent seat. Eight miles from his residence, as a bulwark against Capua, the town of Aversa was built and fortified for their use;23 and they enjoyed as their own the corn and fruits, the meadows and groves, of that fertile district. The report of their success attracted every year new swarms of pilgrims and soldiers; the poor were urged by necessity; the rich were excited by hope; and the brave and active spirits of Normandy were impatient of ease and ambitious of renown. The independent standard of Aversa afforded shelter and encouragement to the outlaws of the province, to every fugitive Edition: current; Page: [87] who had escaped from the injustice or justice of his superiors; and these foreign associates were quickly assimilated in manners and language to the Gallic colony. The first leader of the Normans was Count Rainulf; and, in the origin of society, pre-eminence of rank is the reward and the proof of superior merit.24

Since the conquest of Sicily by the Arabs, the Grecian emperors had been anxious to regain that valuable possession; but their efforts, however strenuous, had been opposed by the distance and the sea. Their costly armaments, after a gleam of success, added new pages of calamity and disgrace to the Byzantine annals; twenty thousand of their best troops were lost in a single expedition; and the victorious Moslems derided the policy of a nation, which entrusted eunuchs not only with the custody of their women, but with the command of their men.25 After a reign of two hundred years, the Saracens were ruined by their divisions.26 The emir disclaimed the authority of the king of Tunis; the people rose against the emir; the cities were usurped by the chiefs; each meaner rebel was independent in his village or castle; and the weaker of two rival brothers implored the friendship of the Christians.27 In every service of danger Edition: current; Page: [88] the Normans were prompt and useful: and five hundred knights, or warriors on horseback, were enrolled by Arduin, the agent and interpreter of the Greeks, under the standard of Maniaces, governor of Lombardy.28 Before their landing, the brothers were reconciled; the union of Sicily and Africa were restored; and the Island was guarded to the water’s edge. The Normans led the van, and the Arabs of Messina felt the valour of an untried foe. In a second action, the emir of Syracuse was unhorsed and transpierced by the iron arm of William of Hauteville. In a third engagement, his intrepid companions discomfited the host of sixty thousand Saracens, and left the Greeks no more than the labour of the pursuit: a splendid victory; but of which the pen of the historian may divide the merit with the lance of the Normans. It is, however, true that they essentially promoted the success of Maniaces, who reduced thirteen cities, and the greater part of Sicily, under the obedience of the emperor. But his military fame was sullied by ingratitude and tyranny. In the division of the spoil the deserts of his brave auxiliaries were forgotten; and neither their avarice nor their pride could brook this injurious treatment. They complained by the mouth of their interpreter; their complaint was disregarded; Edition: current; Page: [89] their interpreter was scourged; the sufferings were his; the insult and resentment belonged to those whose sentiments he had delivered. Yet they dissembled till they had obtained, or stolen, a safe passage to the Italian continent; their brethren of Aversa sympathised in their indignation, and the province of Apulia was invaded as the forfeit of the debt.29 Above twenty years after the first emigration, the Normans took the field with no more than seven hundred horse and five hundred foot; and, after the recall of the Byzantine legions30 from the Sicilian war, their numbers are magnified to the amount of threescore thousand men. Their herald proposed the option of battle or retreat; “Of battle,” was the unanimous cry of the Normans; and one of their stoutest warriors, with a stroke of his fist, felled to the ground the horse of the Greek messenger. He was dismissed with a fresh horse; the insult was concealed from the Imperial troops; but in two successive battles31 they were more fatally instructed of the prowess of their adversaries. In the plains of Cannæ, the Asiatics fled from the adventurers of France; the duke of Lombardy was made prisoner; the Apulians acquiesced in a new dominion; and the four places of Bari, Otranto, Brundusium, and Tarentum were alone Edition: current; Page: [90] saved in the shipwreck of the Grecian fortunes. From this era we may date the establishment of the Norman power, which soon eclipsed the infant colony of Aversa. Twelve counts32 were chosen by the popular suffrage; and age, birth, and merit were the motives of their choice. The tributes of their peculiar districts were appropriated to their use; and each count erected a fortress in the midst of his lands, and at the head of his vassals. In the centre of the province, the common habitation of Melphi was reserved as the metropolis and citadel of the republic; an house and separate quarter was allotted to each of the twelve counts; and the national concerns were regulated by this military senate. The first of his peers, their president and general, was entitled count of Apulia; and this dignity was conferred on William of the Iron Arm, who, in the language of the age, is styled a lion in battle, a lamb in society, and an angel in council.33 The Edition: current; Page: [91] manners of his countrymen are fairly delineated by a contemporary and national historian.34 “The Normans,” says Malaterra, “are a cunning and revengeful people; eloquence and dissimulation appear to be their hereditary qualities: they can stoop to flatter; but, unless they are curbed by the restraint of law, they indulge the licentiousness of nature and passion. Their princes affect the praise of popular munificence; the people observe the medium, or rather blend the extremes, of avarice and prodigality; and, in their eager thirst of wealth and dominion, they despise whatever they possess, and hope whatever they desire. Arms and horses, the luxury of dress, the exercises of hunting and hawking,35 are the delight of the Normans; but on pressing occasions they can endure with incredible patience the inclemency of every climate and the toil and abstinence of a military life.”36

The Normans of Apulia were seated on the verge of the two empires; and, according to the policy of the hour, they accepted the investiture of their lands from the sovereigns of Germany or Constantinople.37 But the firmest title of these Edition: current; Page: [92] adventurers was the right of conquest: they neither loved nor trusted; they were neither trusted nor beloved; the contempt of the princes was mixed with fear, and the fear of the natives was mingled with hatred and resentment. Every object of desire, an horse, a woman, a garden, tempted and gratified the rapaciousness of the strangers;38 and the avarice of their chiefs was only coloured by the more specious names of ambition and glory. The twelve counts were sometimes joined in a league of injustice: in their domestic quarrels, they disputed the spoils of the people; the virtues of William were buried in his grave; and Drogo, his brother and successor, was better qualified to lead the valour, than to restrain the violence, of his peers. Under the reign of Constantine Monomachus, the policy, rather than benevolence, of the Byzantine court attempted to relieve Italy from this adherent mischief, more grievous than a flight of Barbarians;39 and Argyrus, the son of Melo, was invested for this purpose with the most lofty titles40 and the most ample commission. The memory of his father might recommend him to the Normans; Edition: current; Page: [93] and he had already engaged their voluntary service to quell the revolt of Maniaces, and to avenge their own and the public injury. It was the design of Constantine to transplant this warlike colony from the Italian provinces to the Persian war; and the son of Melo distributed among the chiefs the gold and manufactures of Greece, as the first fruits of the Imperial bounty. But his arts were baffled by the sense and spirit of the conquerors of Apulia: his gifts, or at least his proposals, were rejected; and they unanimously refused to relinquish their possessions and their hopes for the distant prospect of Asiatic fortune. After the means of persuasion had failed, Argyrus resolved to compel or to destroy: the Latin powers were solicited against the common enemy; and an offensive alliance was formed of the pope and the two emperors of the East and West. The throne of St. Peter was occupied by Leo the Ninth, a simple saint,41 of a temper most apt to deceive himself and the world, and whose venerable character would consecrate with the name of piety the measures least compatible with the practice of religion. His humanity was affected by the complaints, perhaps the calumnies, of an injured people; the impious Normans had interrupted the payment of tithes; and the temporal sword might be lawfully unsheathed against the sacrilegious robbers, who were deaf to the censures of the church. As a German of noble birth and royal kindred, Leo had free access to the court and confidence of the emperor Henry the Third; and in search of arms and allies his ardent zeal transported him from Apulia to Saxony, from the Elbe to the Tiber. During these hostile preparations, Argyrus indulged himself in the use of secret Edition: current; Page: [94] and guilty weapons; a crowd of Normans became the victims of public or private revenge; and the valiant Drogo was murdered in a church. But his spirit survived in his brother Humphrey, the third Count of Apulia. The assassins were chastised; and the son of Melo, overthrown and wounded, was driven from the field to hide his shame behind the walls of Bari, and to await the tardy succour of his allies.

But the power of Constantine was distracted by a Turkish war; the mind of Henry was feeble and irresolute; and the pope, instead of passing the Alps with a German army, was accompanied only by a guard of seven hundred Swabians and some volunteers of Lorraine. In his long progress from Mantua to Beneventum, a vile and promiscuous multitude of Italians was enlisted under the holy standard;42 the priest and the robber slept in the same tent; the pikes and crosses were intermingled in the front; and the natural saint repeated the lessons of his youth in the order of march, of encampment, and of combat. The Normans of Apulia could muster in the field no more than three thousand horse, with an handful of infantry; the defection of the natives intercepted their provisions and retreat; and their spirit, incapable of fear, was chilled for a moment by superstitious awe. On the hostile approach of Leo, they knelt without disgrace or reluctance before their spiritual father. But the pope was inexorable; his lofty Germans affected to deride the diminutive stature of their adversaries; and the Normans were informed that death or exile was their only alternative. Flight they disdained, and, as many of them had been three days without tasting food, they embraced the assurance of a more easy and honourable death. They climbed the hill of Civitella, descended into the plain, and charged in three Edition: current; Page: [95] divisions the army of the pope. On the left and in the centre, Richard, Count of Aversa, and Robert the famous Guiscard, attacked, broke, routed, and pursued the Italian multitudes, who fought without discipline and fled without shame. A harder trial was reserved for the valour of Count Humphrey, who led the cavalry of the right wing. The Germans43 have been described as unskilful in the management of the horse and lance; but on foot they formed a strong and impenetrable phalanx; and neither man nor steed nor armour could resist the weight of their long and two-handed swords. After a severe conflict, they were encompassed by the squadrons returning from the pursuit; and died in their ranks with the esteem of their foes and the satisfaction of revenge. The gates of Civitella were shut against the flying pope, and he was overtaken by the pious conquerors, who kissed his feet, to implore his blessing and the absolution of their sinful victory. The soldiers beheld in their enemy and captive the vicar of Christ; and, though we may suppose the policy of the chiefs, it is probable that they were infected by the popular superstition. In the calm of retirement, the well-meaning pope deplored the effusion of Christian blood, which must be imputed to his account; he felt, that he had been the author of sin and scandal; and, as his undertaking had failed, the indecency of his military character was universally condemned.44 With these dispositions, he listened to the offers Edition: current; Page: [96] of a beneficial treaty;45 deserted an alliance which he had preached as the cause of God; and ratified the past and future conquests of the Normans. By whatever hands they had been usurped, the provinces of Apulia and Calabria were a part of the donation of Constantine and the patrimony of St. Peter; the grant and the acceptance confirmed the mutual claims of the pontiff and the adventurers. They promised to support each other with spiritual and temporal arms; a tribute or quit-rent of twelvepence was afterwards stipulated for every plough-land; and since this memorable transaction the kingdom of Naples has remained above seven hundred years a fief of the Holy See.46

The pedigree of Robert Guiscard47 is variously deduced from the peasants and the dukes of Normandy: from the peasants, by the pride and ignorance of a Grecian princess;48 Edition: current; Page: [97] from the dukes by the ignorance and flattery of the Italian subjects.49 His genuine descent may be ascribed to the second or middle order of private nobility.50 He sprang from a race of valvassors or bannerets of the diocese of the Coutances, in the lower Normandy; the castle of Hauteville was their honourable seat; his father Tancred was conspicuous in the court and army of the duke; and his military service was furnished by ten soldiers or knights. Two marriages, of a rank not unworthy of his own, made him the father of twelve sons, who were educated at home by the impartial tenderness of his second wife. But a narrow patrimony was insufficient for this numerous and daring progeny; they saw around the neighbourhood the mischiefs of poverty and discord, and resolved to seek in foreign wars a more glorious inheritance. Two only remained to perpetuate the race and cherish their father’s age; their ten brothers, as they successively attained the vigour of manhood, departed from the castle, passed the Alps, and joined the Apulian camp of the Normans. The elder were prompted by native spirit; their success encouraged their younger brethren; and the three first in seniority, William, Drogo, and Humphrey, deserved to be the chiefs of their nation, and the founders of Edition: current; Page: [98] the new republic. Robert was the eldest of the seven sons of the second marriage; and even the reluctant praise of his foes has endowed him with the heroic qualities of a soldier and a statesman. His lofty stature surpassed the tallest of his army; his limbs were cast in the true proportion of strength and gracefulness; and to the decline of life he maintained the patient vigour of health and the commanding dignity of his form. His complexion was ruddy, his shoulders were broad, his hair and beard were long and of a flaxen colour, his eyes sparkled with fire, and his voice, like that of Achilles, could impress obedience and terror amidst the tumult of battle. In the ruder ages of chivalry, such qualifications are not below the notice of the poet or historian; they may observe that Robert, at once, and with equal dexterity, could wield in the right hand his sword, his lance in the left; that in the battle of Civitella, he was thrice unhorsed; and that in the close of that memorable day he was adjudged to have borne away the prize of valour from the warriors of the two armies.51 His boundless ambition was founded on the consciousness of superior worth; in the pursuit of greatness, he was never arrested by the scruples of justice and seldom moved by the feelings of humanity; though not insensible of fame, the choice of open or clandestine means was determined only by his present advantage. The surname of Guiscard52 was Edition: current; Page: [99] applied to this master of political wisdom, which is too often confounded with the practice of dissimulation and deceit; and Robert is praised by the Apulian poet for excelling the cunning of Ulysses and the eloquence of Cicero. Yet these arts were disguised by an appearance of military frankness: in his highest fortune, he was accessible and courteous to his fellow-soldiers; and, while he indulged the prejudices of his new subjects, he affected in his dress and manners to maintain the ancient fashion of his country. He grasped with a rapacious, that he might distribute with a liberal, hand; his primitive indigence had taught the habits of frugality; the gain of a merchant was not below his attention; and his prisoners were tortured with slow and unfeeling cruelty to force a discovery of their secret treasure. According to the Greeks, he departed from Normandy with only five followers on horseback and thirty on foot; yet even this allowance appears too bountiful; the sixth son of Tancred of Hauteville passed the Alps as a pilgrim; and his first military band was levied among the adventurers of Italy. His brothers and countrymen had divided the fertile lands of Apulia; but they guarded their shares with the jealousy of avarice; the aspiring youth was driven forwards to the mountains of Calabria, and in his first exploits against the Greeks and the natives it is not easy to discriminate the hero from the robber. To surprise a castle or a convent, to ensnare a wealthy citizen, to plunder the adjacent villages for necessary food, were the obscure labours which formed and exercised the powers of his mind and body. The volunteers of Normandy adhered to his standard; and, under his command, the peasants of Calabria assumed the name and character of Normans.

As the genius of Robert expanded with his fortune, he awakened the jealousy of his elder brother, by whom, in a transient quarrel, his life was threatened and his liberty restrained. After the death of Humphrey, the tender age of his sons excluded them from the command; they were Edition: current; Page: [100] reduced to a private estate by the ambition of their guardian and uncle; and Guiscard was exalted on a buckler, and saluted count of Apulia and general of the republic. With an increase of authority and of force, he resumed the conquest of Calabria, and soon aspired to a rank that should raise him for ever above the heads of his equals. By some acts of rapine or sacrilege he had incurred a papal excommunication: but Nicholas the Second was easily persuaded that the divisions of friends could terminate only in their mutual prejudice; that the Normans were the faithful champions of the Holy See; and it was safer to trust the alliance of a prince than the caprice of an aristocracy. A synod of one hundred bishops was convened at Melphi; and the count interrupted an important enterprise to guard the person and execute the decrees of the Roman pontiff. His gratitude and policy conferred on Robert and his posterity the ducal title,53 with the investiture of Apulia, Calabria, and all the lands, both in Italy and Sicily, which his sword could rescue from the schismatic Greeks and the unbelieving Saracens.54 This apostolic sanction might justify his arms; but the obedience of a free and victorious people could not be transferred without their consent; and Guiscard dissembled his elevation till the ensuing campaign had been illustrated by the conquest of Consenza and Reggio. In the hour of triumph, he assembled Edition: current; Page: [101] his troops, and solicited the Normans to confirm by their suffrage the judgment of the vicar of Christ; the soldiers hailed with joyful acclamations their valiant duke; and the counts, his former equals, pronounced the oath of fidelity, with hollow smiles and secret indignation. After this inauguration, Robert styled himself, “By the grace of God and St. Peter, duke of Apulia, Calabria, and hereafter of Sicily”; and it was the labour of twenty years to deserve and realise these lofty appellations. Such tardy progress, in a narrow space, may seem unworthy of the abilities of the chief and the spirit of the nation; but the Normans were few in number; their resources were scanty; their service was voluntary and precarious. The bravest designs of the Duke were sometimes opposed by the free voice of his parliament of barons; the twelve counts of popular election conspired against his authority; and against their perfidious uncle the sons of Humphrey demanded justice and revenge. By his policy and vigour, Guiscard discovered their plots, suppressed their rebellions, and punished the guilty with death or exile; but in these domestic feuds his years, and the national strength, were unprofitably consumed. After the defeat of his foreign enemies, the Greeks, Lombards, and Saracens, their broken forces retreated to the strong and populous cities of the sea-coast. They excelled in the arts of fortification and defence; the Normans were accustomed to serve on horseback in the field, and their rude attempts could only succeed by the efforts of persevering courage. The resistance of Salerno was maintained above eight months; the siege or blockade of Bari lasted near four years.55 In these actions the Norman duke was the foremost in every danger; in every fatigue the last and most patient. As he pressed the citadel of Salerno, an huge stone from the rampart shattered one of his military Edition: current; Page: [102] engines; and by a splinter he was wounded in the breast. Before the gates of Bari, he lodged in a miserable hut or barrack, composed of dry branches, and thatched with straw: a perilous station, on all sides open to the inclemency of the winter and the spears of the enemy.56

The Italian conquests of Robert correspond with the limits of the present kingdom of Naples; and the countries united by his arms have not been dissevered by the revolutions of seven hundred years.57 The monarchy has been composed of the Greek provinces Calabria and Apulia, of the Lombard principality of Salerno, the republic of Amalphi,58 and the inland dependencies of the large and ancient duchy of Beneventum. Three districts only were exempted from the common law of subjection: the first for ever, and the two last till the middle of the succeeding century. The city and immediate territory of Benevento had been transferred, by gift or exchange, from the German emperor to the Roman pontiff; and, although this holy land was sometimes invaded, the name of St. Peter was finally more potent than the sword of the Normans. Their first colony of Aversa subdued and held the state of Capua; and her princes were reduced to beg their bread before the palace of their fathers. The dukes of Naples, the present metropolis, maintained the popular freedom, under the shadow of the Byzantine empire. Among the new acquisitions of Guiscard, the science of Salerno,59 Edition: current; Page: [103] and the trade of Amalphi,60 may detain for a moment the curiosity of the reader. I. Of the learned faculties jurisprudence implies the previous establishment of laws and property; and theology may perhaps be superseded by the full light of religion and reason. But the savage and the sage must alike implore the assistance of physic; and, if our diseases are inflamed by luxury, the mischiefs of blows and wounds would be more frequent in the ruder ages of society. The treasures of Grecian medicine had been communicated to the Arabian colonies of Africa, Spain, and Sicily; and in the intercourse of peace and war a spark of knowledge had been kindled and cherished at Salerno, an illustrious city, in which the men were honest and the women beautiful.61 A school, the first that arose in the darkness of Europe, was consecrated to the healing art;62 the conscience of monks Edition: current; Page: [104] and bishops were reconciled to that salutary and lucrative profession; and a crowd of patients, of the most eminent rank and most distant climates, invited or visited the physicians of Salerno. They were protected by the Norman conquerors; and Guiscard, though bred in arms, could discern the merit and value of a philosopher. After a pilgrimage of thirty-nine years, Constantine, an African Christian, returned from Bagdad, a master of the language and learning of the Arabians; and Salerno was enriched by the practice, the lessons, and the writings of the pupil of Avicenna. The school of medicine has long slept in the name of an university;63 but her precepts are abridged in a string of aphorisms, bound together in the Leonine verses, or Latin rhymes, of the twelfth century.64 II. Seven miles to the west of Salerno, and thirty to the south of Naples, the obscure town of Amalphi displayed the power and rewards of industry. The land, however fertile, was of narrow extent; but the sea was accessible and open; the inhabitants first assumed the office of supplying the Western world with the manufactures and Edition: current; Page: [105] productions of the East; and this useful traffic was the source of their opulence and freedom. The government was popular under the administration of a duke and the supermacy of the Greek emperor. Fifty thousand citizens were numbered in the walls of Amalphi; nor was any city more abundantly provided with gold, silver, and the objects of precious luxury. The mariners who swarmed in her port excelled in the theory and practice of navigation and astronomy; and the discovery of the compass, which has opened the globe, is due to their ingenuity or good fortune. Their trade was extended to the coasts, or at least to the commodities, of Africa, Arabia, and India; and their settlements in Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Alexandria acquired the privileges of independent colonies.65 After three hundred years of prosperity, Amalphi was oppressed by the arms of the Normans, and sacked by the jealousy of Pisa; but the poverty of one thousand fishermen is yet dignified by the remains of an arsenal, a cathedral, and the palaces of royal merchants.

Roger, the twelfth and last of the sons of Tancred, had been long detained in Normandy by his own and his father’s age. He accepted the welcome summons; hastened to the Apulian camp; and deserved at first the esteem, and afterwards the envy, of his elder brother. Their valour and ambition were equal; but the youth, the beauty, the elegant manners, of Roger engaged the disinterested love of his soldiers and people. So scanty was his allowance, for himself and forty Edition: current; Page: [106] followers, that he descended from conquest to robbery, and from robbery to domestic theft; and so loose were the notions of property that, by his own historian, at his special command, he is accused of stealing horses from a stable at Melphi.66 His spirit emerged from poverty and disgrace; from these base practices he rose to the merit and glory of a holy war; and the invasion of Sicily was seconded by the zeal and policy of his brother Guiscard. After the retreat of the Greeks, the idolaters, a most audacious reproach of the Catholics, had retrieved their losses and possessions; but the deliverance of the island, so vainly undertaken by the forces of the Eastern empire, was achieved by a small and private band of adventurers.67 In the first attempt Roger braved, in an open boat, the real and fabulous dangers of Scylla and Charybdis; landed with only sixty soldiers on a hostile shore; drove the Saracens to the gates of Messina; and safely returned with the spoils of the adjacent country. In the fortress of Trani, his active and patient courage were equally conspicuous. In his old age he related with pleasure, that, by the distress of the siege, himself and the countess his wife had been reduced to a single cloak or mantle, which they wore alternately; that in a sally his horse had been slain, and he Edition: current; Page: [107] was dragged away by the Saracens; but that he owed his rescue to his good sword, and had retreated with his saddle on his back, lest the meanest trophy might be left in the hands of the miscreants. In the siege of Trani, three hundred Normans withstood and repulsed the forces of the island. In the field of Ceramio,68 fifty thousand horse and foot were overthrown by one hundred and thirty-six Christian soldiers, without reckoning St. George, who fought on horseback in the foremost ranks. The captive banners, with four camels, were reserved for the successors of St. Peter; and had these Barbaric spoils been exposed not in the Vatican, but in the Capitol, they might have revived the memory of the Punic triumphs. These insufficient numbers of the Normans most probably denote their knights, the soldiers of honourable and equestrian rank, each of whom was attended by five or six followers in the field;69 yet, with the aid of this interpretation, and after every fair allowance on the side of valour, arms, and reputation, the discomfiture of so many myriads will reduce the prudent reader to the alternative of a miracle or a fable. The Arabs of Sicily derived a frequent and powerful succour from their countrymen of Africa: in the siege of Palermo, the Norman cavalry was assisted by the galleys of Pisa; and, in the hour of action, the envy of the two brothers was sublimed to a generous and invincible emulation. After a war of thirty years,70 Roger, with the title of great count, obtained the sovereignty of the largest and most fruitful island of the Mediterranean; and his administration displays Edition: current; Page: [108] a liberal and enlightened mind above the limits of his age and education. The Moslems were maintained in the free enjoyment of their religion and property;71 a philosopher and physician of Mazara, of the race of Mahomet, harangued the conqueror, and was invited to court; his geography of the seven climates was translated into Latin; and Roger, after a diligent perusal, preferred the work of the Arabian to the writings of the Grecian Ptolemy.72 A remnant of Christian natives had promoted the success of the Normans; they were rewarded by the triumph of the cross. The island was restored to the jurisdiction of the Roman pontiff; new bishops were planted in the principal cities; and the clergy was satisfied by a liberal endowment of churches and monasteries. Yet the Catholic hero asserted the rights of the civil magistrate. Instead of resigning the investiture of benefices, he dexterously applied to his own profit the papal claims: the supremacy of the crown was secured and enlarged by the singular bull which declares the princes of Sicily hereditary and perpetual legates of the Holy See.73

To Robert Guiscard, the conquest of Sicily was more glorious than beneficial; the possession of Apulia and Calabria was inadequate to his ambition; and he resolved to embrace or create the first occasion of invading, perhaps of Edition: current; Page: [109] subduing, the Roman empire of the East.74 From his first wife, the partner of his humble fortunes, he had been divorced under the pretence of consanguinity; and her son Bohemond was destined to imitate, rather than to succeed, his illustrious father. The second wife of Guiscard was the daughter of the princes of Salerno; the Lombards acquiesced in the lineal succession of their son Roger; their five daughters were given in honourable nuptials,75 and one of them was betrothed, in a tender age, to Constantine, a beautiful youth, the son and heir of the emperor Michael.76 But the throne of Constantinople was shaken by a revolution; the Imperial family of Ducas was confined to the palace or the cloister; and Robert deplored, and resented, the disgrace of his daughter and the expulsion of his ally. A Greek, who styled himself the father of Constantine, soon appeared at Salerno, and related the adventures of his fall and flight. That unfortunate friend was acknowledged by the duke, and adorned with the pomp Edition: current; Page: [110] and titles of Imperial dignity: in his triumphal progress through Apulia and Calabria, Michael77 was saluted with the tears and acclamations of the people; and Pope Gregory the Seventh exhorted the bishops to preach, and the Catholics to fight, in the pious work of his restoration.78 His conversations with Robert were frequent and familiar; and their mutual promises were justified by the valour of the Normans and the treasures of the East. Yet this Michael, by the confession of the Greeks and Latins, was a pageant and an impostor: a monk who had fled from his convent, or a domestic who had served in the palace. The fraud had been contrived by the subtle Guiscard;79 and he trusted that, after this pretender had given a decent colour to his arms, he would sink, at the nod of the conqueror, into his primitive obscurity. But victory was the only argument that could determine the belief of the Greeks; and the ardour of the Latins was much inferior to their credulity: the Norman veterans wished to enjoy the harvest of their toils, and the unwarlike Italians trembled at the known and unknown dangers of a transmarine expedition. In his new levies, Robert exerted the influence of gifts and promises, the terrors of civil and ecclesiastical authority; and some acts of violence might justify the reproach that age and infancy were pressed without distinction into the service of their unrelenting prince. After two years’ incessant preparations, the land and naval Edition: current; Page: [111] forces were assembled at Otranto, at the heel or extreme promontory of Italy; and Robert was accompanied by his wife, who fought by his side, his son Bohemond, and the representative of the emperor Michael. Thirteen hundred knights80 of Norman race or discipline formed the sinews of the army, which might be swelled to thirty thousand81 followers of every denomination. The men, the horses, the arms, the engines, the wooden towers, covered with raw hides, were embarked on board one hundred and fifty vessels; the transports had been built in the ports of Italy, and the galleys were supplied by the alliance of the republic of Ragusa.

At the mouth of the Adriatic gulf, the shores of Italy and Epirus incline towards each other. The space between Brundusium and Durazzo, the Roman passage, is no more than one hundred miles;82 at the last station of Otranto, it is contracted to fifty;83 and this narrow distance had suggested to Pyrrhus and Pompey the sublime or extravagant idea of a bridge. Before the general embarkation, the Norman duke despatched Bohemond with fifteen galleys to seize or threaten the isle of Corfu, to survey the opposite coast, and to secure Edition: current; Page: [112] an harbour in the neighbourhood of Vallona for the landing of the troops. They passed and landed without perceiving an enemy; and this successful experiment displayed the neglect and decay of the naval power of the Greeks. The islands of Epirus and the maritime towns were subdued by the arms or the name of Robert, who led his fleet and army from Corfu (I use the modern appellation)84 to the siege of Durazzo. That city, the western key of the empire, was guarded by ancient renown and recent fortifications, by George Palæologus, a patrician, victorious in the Oriental wars, and a numerous garrison of Albanians and Macedonians, who, in every age, have maintained the character of soldiers. In the prosecution of his enterprise, the courage of Guiscard was assailed by every form of danger and mischance. In the most propitious season of the year, as his fleet passed along the coast, a storm of wind and snow unexpectedly arose: the Adriatic was swelled by the raging blast of the south, and a new shipwreck confirmed the old infamy of the Acroceraunian rocks.85 The sails, the masts, and the oars were shattered or torn away; the sea and shore were covered with the fragments of vessels, with arms and dead bodies; and the greatest part of the provisions were either drowned or damaged. The ducal galley was laboriously rescued from the waves, and Robert halted seven days on the adjacent cape, to collect the relics of his loss and revive the drooping spirits of his soldiers. The Normans were no longer the bold and experienced mariners who had explored the ocean from Greenland to Mount Atlas, and who smiled at the petty dangers of the Mediterranean. They had wept during the Edition: current; Page: [113] tempest; they were alarmed by the hostile approach of the Venetians, who had been solicited by the prayers and promises of the Byzantine court. The first day’s action was not disadvantageous to Bohemond, a beardless youth,86 who led the naval powers of his father. All night the galleys of the republic lay on their anchors in the form of a crescent; and the victory of the second day was decided by the dexterity of their evolutions, the station of their archers, the weight of their javelins, and the borrowed aid of the Greek fire. The Apulian and Ragusian vessels fled to the shore, several were cut from their cables and dragged away by the conqueror; and a sally from the town carried slaughter and dismay to the tents of the Norman duke. A seasonable relief was poured into Durazzo, and, as soon as the besiegers had lost the command of the sea, the islands and maritime towns withdrew from the camp the supply of tribute and provision. That camp was soon afflicted with a pestilential disease; five hundred knights perished by an inglorious death; and the list of burials (if all could obtain a decent burial) amounted to ten thousand persons. Under these calamities, the mind of Guiscard alone was firm and invincible: and, while he collected new forces from Apulia and Sicily, he battered, or scaled, or sapped the walls of Durazzo. But his industry and valour were encountered by equal valour and more perfect industry. A moveable turret, of a size and capacity to contain five hundred soldiers, had been rolled forwards to the foot of the rampart; but the descent of the door or drawbridge was checked by an enormous beam, and the wooden structure was instantly consumed by artificial flames.

While the Roman empire was attacked by the Turks in the East and the Normans in the West, the aged successor of Michael surrendered the sceptre to the hands of Alexius, Edition: current; Page: [114] an illustrious captain, and the founder of the Comnenian dynasty. The princess Anne, his daughter and historian, observes, in her affected style, that even Hercules was unequal to a double combat; and, on this principle, she approves an hasty peace with the Turks, which allowed her father to undertake in person the relief of Durazzo. On his accession, Alexius found the camp without soldiers, and the treasury without money; yet such were the vigour and activity of his measures that, in six months, he assembled an army of seventy thousand men,87 and performed a march of five hundred miles. His troops were levied in Europe and Asia, from Peloponnesus to the Black Sea; his majesty was displayed in the silver arms and rich trappings of the companies of horseguards; and the emperor was attended by a train of nobles and princes, some of whom, in rapid succession, had been clothed with the purple, and were indulged by the lenity of the times in a life of affluence and dignity. Their youthful ardour might animate the multitude; but their love of pleasure and contempt of subordination were pregnant with disorder and mischief; and their importunate clamours for speedy and decisive action disconcerted the prudence of Alexius, who might have surrounded and starved the besieging army. The enumeration of provinces recalls a sad comparison of the past and present limits of the Roman world: the raw levies were drawn together in haste and terror; and the garrisons of Anatolia, or Asia Minor, had been purchased by the evacuation of the cities which were immediately occupied by the Turks. Edition: current; Page: [115] The strength of the Greek army consisted in the Varangians, the Scandinavian guards, whose numbers were recently augmented by a colony of exiles and volunteers from the British island of Thule. Under the yoke of the Norman conqueror, the Danes and English were oppressed and united: a band of adventurous youths resolved to desert a land of slavery; the sea was open to their escape; and, in their long pilgrimage, they visited every coast that afforded any hope of liberty and revenge. They were entertained in the service of the Greek emperor; and their first station was in a new city on the Asiatic shore: but Alexius soon recalled them to the defence of his person and palace; and bequeathed to his successors the inheritance of their faith and valour.88 The name of a Norman invader revived the memory of their wrongs: they marched with alacrity against the national foe, and panted to regain in Epirus the glory which they had lost in the battle of Hastings. The Varangians were supported by some companies of Franks or Latins; and the rebels, who had fled to Constantinople from the tyranny of Guiscard, were eager to signalise their zeal and gratify their revenge. In this emergency, the emperor had not disdained the impure aid of the Paulicians or Manichæans of Thrace and Bulgaria; and these heretics united with the patience of martyrdom the spirit and discipline of active valour.89 The treaty with the sultan had procured a supply of some thousand Turks; and the arrows of the Scythian horse were opposed to the lances of the Norman cavalry. On the report and distant prospect of these formidable numbers, Robert assembled a council of his principal officers. “You behold,” Edition: current; Page: [116] said he, “your danger; it is urgent and inevitable. The hills are covered with arms and standards; and the emperor of the Greeks is accustomed to wars and triumphs. Obedience and union are our only safety; and I am ready to yield the command to a more worthy leader.” The vote and acclamation, even of his secret enemies, assured him, in that perilous moment, of their esteem and confidence; and the duke thus continued: “Let us trust in the rewards of victory, and deprive cowardice of the means of escape. Let us burn our vessels and our baggage, and give battle on this spot, as if it were the place of our nativity and our burial.” The resolution was unanimously approved; and, without confining himself to his lines, Guiscard awaited in battle-array the nearer approach of the enemy. His rear was covered by a small river; his right wing extended to the sea; his left to the hills; nor was he conscious, perhaps, that on the same ground Cæsar and Pompey had formerly disputed the empire of the world.90

Against the advice of his wisest captains, Alexius resolved to risk the event of a general action, and exhorted the garrison of Durazzo to assist their own deliverance by a well-timed sally from the town. He marched in two columns to surprise the Normans before day-break on two different sides: his light cavalry was scattered over the plain; the archers formed the second line; and the Varangians claimed the honours of the vanguard. In the first onset, the battleaxes of the strangers made a deep and bloody impression on the army of Guiscard, which was now reduced to fifteen thousand men. The Lombards and Calabrians ignominiously turned their backs; they fled towards the river and the sea; but the bridge had been broken down to check the sally Edition: current; Page: [117] of the garrison, and the coast was lined with the Venetian galleys, who played their engines among the disorderly throng. On the verge of ruin, they were saved by the spirit and conduct of their chiefs. Gaita, the wife of Robert, is painted by the Greeks as a warlike Amazon, a second Pallas; less skilful in arts, but not less terrible in arms, than the Athenian goddess:91 though wounded by an arrow, she stood her ground, and strove, by her exhortation and example, to rally the flying troops.92 Her female voice was seconded by the more powerful voice and arm of the Norman duke, as calm in action as he was magnanimous in council: “Whither,” he cried aloud, “whither do ye fly? your enemy is implacable; and death is less grievous than servitude.” The moment was decisive: as the Varangians advanced before the line, they discovered the nakedness of their flanks; the main battle of the duke, of eight hundred knights, stood firm and entire; they couched their lances, and the Greeks deplore the furious and irresistible shock of the French cavalry.93 Alexius was not deficient in the duties of a soldier Edition: current; Page: [118] or a general; but he no sooner beheld the slaughter of the Varangians and the flight of the Turks, than he despised his subjects and despaired of his fortune. The princess Anne, who drops a tear on this melancholy event, is reduced to praise the strength and swiftness of her father’s horse, and his vigorous struggle, when he was almost overthrown by the stroke of a lance, which had shivered the Imperial helmet. His desperate valour broke through a squadron of Franks who opposed his flight; and, after wandering two days and as many nights in the mountains, he found some repose of body, though not of mind, in the walls of Lychnidus. The victorious Robert reproached the tardy and feeble pursuit which had suffered the escape of so illustrious a prize; but he consoled his disappointment by the trophies and standards of the field, the wealth and luxury of the Byzantine camp, and the glory of defeating an army five times more numerous than his own. A multitude of Italians had been the victims of their own fears; but only thirty of his knights were slain in this memorable day. In the Roman host, the loss of Greeks, Turks, and English amounted to five or six thousand:94 the plain of Durazzo was stained with noble and royal blood; and the end of the impostor Michael was more honourable than his life.

It is more than probable that Guiscard was not afflicted by the loss of a costly pageant, which had merited only the contempt and derision of the Greeks. After their defeat, they still persevered in the defence of Durazzo; and a Venetian commander supplied the place of George Palæologus, who had been imprudently called away from his station. The tents of the besiegers were converted into barracks, to sustain the inclemency of the winter; and in answer to the defiance of the garrison Robert insinuated that his patience Edition: current; Page: [119] was at least equal to their obstinacy.95 Perhaps he already trusted to his secret correspondence with a Venetian noble, who sold the city for a rich and honourable marriage. At the dead of night several rope-ladders were dropped from the walls; the light Calabrians ascended in silence; and the Greeks were awakened by the name and trumpets of the conqueror. Yet they defended the street three days against an enemy already master of the rampart; and near seven months elapsed between the first investment and the final surrender of the place. From Durazzo the Norman duke advanced into the heart of Epirus or Albania; traversed the first mountains of Thessaly; surprised three hundred English in the city of Castoria; approached Thessalonica; and made Constantinople tremble. A more pressing duty suspended the prosecution of his ambitious designs. By shipwreck, pestilence, and the sword, his army was reduced to a third of the original numbers; and, instead of being recruited from Italy, he was informed, by plaintive epistles, of the mischiefs and dangers which had been produced by his absence: the revolt of the cities and barons of Apulia; the distress of the pope; and the approach or invasion of Henry king of Germany. Highly presuming that his person was sufficient for the public safety, he repassed the sea in a single brigantine, and left the remains of the army under the command of his son and the Norman counts, exhorting Bohemond to respect the freedom of his peers, and the counts to obey the authority of their leader. The son of Guiscard trod in the footsteps of his father; and the two destroyers are compared, by the Greeks, to the caterpillar and the locust, the last of whom devours whatever has escaped the teeth of the former.96 After winning Edition: current; Page: [120] two battles against the emperor, he descended into the plain of Thessaly, and besieged Larissa, the fabulous realm of Achilles,97 which contained the treasure and magazines of the Byzantine camp. Yet a just praise must not be refused to the fortitude and prudence of Alexius, who bravely struggled with the calamities of the times. In the poverty of the state, he presumed to borrow the superfluous ornaments of the churches; the desertion of the Manichæans was supplied by some tribes of Moldavia; a reinforcement of seven thousand Turks replaced and revenged the loss of their brethren; and the Greek soldiers were exercised to ride, to draw the bow, and to the daily practice of ambuscades and evolutions. Alexius had been taught by experience that the formidable cavalry of the Franks on foot was unfit for action, and almost incapable of motion;98 his archers were directed to aim their arrows at the horse rather than the man; and a variety of spikes and snares was scattered over the ground on which he might expect an attack. In the neighbourhood of Larissa the events of war were protracted and balanced. The courage of Bohemond was always conspicuous, and often successful; but his camp was pillaged by a stratagem of the Greeks; the city was impregnable; and the venal or discontented counts deserted his standard, betrayed their trusts, and enlisted in the service of the emperor. Alexius Edition: current; Page: [121] returned to Constantinople with the advantage, rather than the honour, of victory. After evacuating the conquests which he could no longer defend, the son of Guiscard embarked for Italy, and was embraced by a father who esteemed his merit and sympathised in his misfortune.

Of the Latin princes, the allies of Alexius and enemies of Robert, the most prompt and powerful was Henry, the Third or Fourth, king of Germany and Italy, and future emperor of the West. The epistle of the Greek monarch99 to his brother is filled with the warmest professions of friendship, and the most lively desire of strengthening their alliance by every public and private tie. He congratulates Henry on his success in a just and pious war, and complains that the prosperity of his own empire is disturbed by the audacious enterprises of the Norman Robert. The list of his presents expresses the manners of the age, a radiated crown of gold, a cross set with pearls to hang on the breast, a case of relics with the names and titles of the saints, a vase of crystal, a vase of sardonyx, some balm, most probably of Mecca, and one hundred pieces of purple. To these he added a more solid present, of one hundred and forty-four thousand Byzantines of gold, with a further assurance of two hundred and sixteen thousand, so soon as Henry should have entered in arms the Apulian territories, and confirmed by an oath the league against the common enemy. The German,100 who was already in Lombardy at the head of an army and a faction, Edition: current; Page: [122] accepted these liberal offers and marched towards the south: his speed was checked by the sound of the battle of Durazzo; but the influence of his arms or name, in the hasty return of Robert, was a full equivalent for the Grecian bribe. Henry was the severe adversary of the Normans, the allies and vassals of Gregory the Seventh, his implacable foe. The long quarrel of the throne and mitre had been recently kindled by the zeal and ambition of that haughty priest:101 the king and the pope had degraded each other; and each had seated a rival on the temporal or spiritual throne of his antagonist. After the defeat and death of his Swabian rebel, Henry descended into Italy, to assume the Imperial crown, and to drive from the Vatican the tyrant of the church.102 But the Roman people adhered to the cause of Gregory: their resolution was fortified by supplies of men and money from Apulia; and the city was thrice ineffectually besieged by the king of Germany. In the fourth year he corrupted, as it is said, with Byzantine gold the nobles of Rome whose estates and castles had been ruined by the war. The gates, the Edition: current; Page: [123] bridges, and fifty hostages were delivered into his hands: the antipope, Clement the Third, was consecrated in the Lateran: the grateful pontiff crowned his protector in the Vatican; and the emperor Henry fixed his residence in the Capitol, as the lawful successor of Augustus and Charlemagne. The ruins of the Septizonium were still defended by the nephew of Gregory: the pope himself was invested in the castle of St. Angelo; and his last hope was in the courage and fidelity of his Norman vassal. Their friendship had been interrupted by some reciprocal injuries and complaints; but, on this pressing occasion, Guiscard was urged by the obligation of his oath, by his interest, more potent than oaths, by the love of fame, and his enmity to the two emperors. Unfurling the holy banner, he resolved to fly to the relief of the prince of the apostles: the most numerous of his armies, six thousand horse and thirty thousand foot, was instantly assembled; and his march from Salerno to Rome was animated by the public applause and the promise of the divine favour. Henry, invincible in sixty-six battles, trembled at his approach; recollected some indispensable affairs that required his presence in Lombardy; exhorted the Romans to persevere in their allegiance; and hastily retreated three days before the entrance of the Normans. In less than three years, the son of Tancred of Hauteville enjoyed the glory of delivering the pope, and of compelling the two emperors of the East and West to fly before his victorious arms.103 But the triumph of Robert was clouded by the calamities of Rome. By the aid of the friends of Gregory, the walls had been perforated or scaled; but the Imperial faction was still powerful and Edition: current; Page: [124] active; on the third day, the people rose in a furious tumult; and an hasty word of the conqueror, in his defence or revenge, was the signal of fire and pillage.104 The Saracens of Sicily, the subjects of Roger, and auxiliaries of his brother, embraced this fair occasion of rifling and profaning the holy city of the Christians: many thousands of the citizens, in the sight, and by the allies, of their spiritual father, were exposed to violation, captivity, or death; and a spacious quarter of the city, from the Lateran to the Coliseum, was consumed by the flames and devoted to perpetual solitude.105 From a city, where he was now hated and might be no longer feared, Gregory retired to end his days in the palace of Salerno. The artful pontiff might flatter the vanity of Guiscard with the hope of a Roman or Imperial crown; but this dangerous measure, which would have inflamed the ambition of the Norman, must for ever have alienated the most faithful princes of Germany.

The deliverer and scourge of Rome might have indulged himself in a season of repose; but, in the same year of the flight of the German emperor, the indefatigable Robert resumed the design of his Eastern conquests. The zeal or gratitude of Gregory had promised to his valour the kingdoms of Greece and Asia;106 his troops were assembled in Edition: current; Page: [125] arms, flushed with success, and eager for action. Their numbers, in the language of Homer, are compared by Anna to a swarm of bees;107 yet the utmost and moderate limits of the powers of Guiscard have been already defined; they were contained on this second occasion in one hundred and twenty vessels; and, as the season was far advanced, the harbour of Brundusium108 was preferred to the open road of Otranto. Alexius, apprehensive of a second attack, had assiduously laboured to restore the naval forces of the empire; and obtained from the republic of Venice an important succour of thirty-six transports, fourteen galleys, and nine galeots or ships of extraordinary strength and magnitude. Their services were liberally paid by the licence or monopoly of trade, a profitable gift of many shops and houses in the port of Constantinople, and a tribute to St. Mark, the more acceptable, as it was the produce of a tax on their rivals of Amalphi.109 By the union of the Greeks and Venetians, the Adriatic was covered with an hostile fleet; but their own neglect, or the vigilance of Robert, the change of a wind, or the shelter of a mist, opened a free passage; and the Norman troops were safely disembarked on the coast of Epirus. With twenty strong and well-appointed galleys, their intrepid duke immediately fought the enemy, and, though more accustomed to fight on horseback, he trusted his own life, and the lives Edition: current; Page: [126] of his brother and two sons, to the event of a naval combat. The dominion of the sea was disputed in three engagements, in sight of the island of Corfu; in the two former, the skill and numbers of the allies were superior; but in the third the Normans obtained a final and complete victory.110 The light brigantines of the Greeks were scattered in ignominious flight; the nine castles of the Venetians maintained a more obstinate conflict; seven were sunk, two were taken; two thousand five hundred captives implored in vain the mercy of the victor; and the daughter of Alexius deplores the loss of thirteen thousand of his subjects or allies. The want of experience had been supplied by the genius of Guiscard; and each evening, when he had sounded a retreat, he calmly explored the causes of his repulse, and invented new methods how to remedy his own defects and to baffle the advantages of the enemy. The winter season suspended his progress; with the return of spring he again aspired to the conquest of Constantinople; but, instead of traversing the hills of Epirus, he turned his arms against Greece and the islands, where the spoils would repay the labour, and where the land and sea forces might pursue their joint operations with vigour and effect. But, in the isle of Cephalonia, his projects were fatally blasted by an epidemical disease; Robert himself, in the seventieth year of his age, expired in his tent; and a suspicion of poison was imputed, by public rumour, to his wife, or to the Greek emperor.111 This premature death Edition: current; Page: [127] might allow a boundless scope for the imagination of his future exploits: and the event sufficiently declares that the Norman greatness was founded on his life.112 Without the appearance of an enemy, a victorious army dispersed or retreated in disorder and consternation; and Alexius, who had trembled for his empire, rejoiced in his deliverance. The galley which transported the remains of Guiscard was shipwrecked on the Italian shore; but the duke’s body was recovered from the sea, and deposited in the sepulchre of Venusia,113 a place more illustrious for the birth of Horace114 than for the burial of the Norman heroes. Roger, his second son and successor, immediately sunk to the humble station Edition: current; Page: [128] of a duke of Apulia: the esteem or partiality of his father left the valiant Bohemond to the inheritance of his sword. The national tranquillity was disturbed by his claims, till the first crusade against the infidels of the East opened a more splendid field of glory and conquest.115

Of human life the most glorious or humble prospects are alike and soon bounded by the sepulchre. The male line of Robert Guiscard was extinguished, both in Apulia and at Antioch, in the second generation; but his younger brother became the father of a line of kings; and the son of the great count was endowed with the name, the conquests, and the spirit of the first Roger.116 The heir of that Norman adventurer was born in Sicily: and, at the age of only four years, he succeeded to the sovereignty of the island, a lot which reason might envy, could she indulge for a moment the visionary, though virtuous, wish of dominion. Had Roger been content with his fruitful patrimony, an happy and grateful people might have blessed their benefactor; and, if a wise administration could have restored the prosperous times of the Greek colonies,117 the opulence and power of Sicily alone might have equalled the widest scope that could be acquired Edition: current; Page: [129] and desolated by the sword of war. But the ambition of the great count was ignorant of these noble pursuits; it was gratified by the vulgar means of violence and artifice. He sought to obtain the undivided possession of Palermo, of which one moiety had been ceded to the elder branch; struggled to enlarge his Calabrian limits beyond the measure of former treaties; and impatiently watched the declining health of his cousin William of Apulia, the grandson of Robert. On the first intelligence of his premature death, Roger sailed from Palermo with seven galleys, cast anchor in the bay of Salerno, received, after ten days’ negotiation, an oath of fidelity from the Norman capital, commanded the submission of the barons, and extorted a legal investiture from the reluctant popes, who could not long endure either the friendship or enmity of a powerful vassal. The sacred spot of Benevento was respectfully spared, as the patrimony of St. Peter; but the reduction of Capua and Naples completed the design of his uncle Guiscard; and the sole inheritance of the Norman conquests was possessed by the victorious Roger. A conscious superiority of power and merit prompted him to disdain the titles of duke and of count; and the isle of Sicily, with a third perhaps of the continent of Italy, might form the basis of a kingdom118 which would only yield to the monarchies of France and England. The chiefs of the nation who attended his coronation at Palermo might doubtless pronounce under what name he should reign over them; but the example of a Greek tyrant or a Saracen emir were insufficient to justify his regal character; and the nine kings of the Latin world119 might disclaim their new Edition: current; Page: [130] associate, unless he were consecrated by the authority of the supreme pontiff. The pride of Anacletus was pleased to confer a title which the pride of the Norman had stooped to solicit;120 but his own legitimacy was attacked by the adverse election of Innocent the Second; and, while Anacletus sat in the Vatican, the successful fugitive was acknowledged by the nations of Europe. The infant monarchy of Roger was shaken, and almost overthrown, by the unlucky choice of an ecclesiastical patron; and the sword of Lothaire the Second of Germany, the excommunications of Innocent, the fleets of Pisa, and the zeal of St. Bernard were united for the ruin of the Sicilian robber. After a gallant resistance, the Norman prince was driven from the continent of Italy; a new duke of Apulia was invested by the pope and the emperor, each of whom held one end of the gonfanon, or flag-staff, as a token that they asserted their right and suspended their quarrel. But such jealous friendship was of short and precarious duration; the German armies soon vanished in disease and desertion;121 the Apulian duke, with all his adherents, was exterminated by a conqueror who seldom forgave either the dead or the living; like his predecessor Leo the Ninth, the feeble though haughty pontiff became the captive and friend of the Normans; and their reconciliation was celebrated by Edition: current; Page: [131] the eloquence of Bernard, who now revered the title and virtues of the king of Sicily.

As a penance for his impious war against the successor of St. Peter, that monarch might have promised to display the banner of the cross, and he accomplished with ardour a vow so propitious to his interest and revenge. The recent injuries of Sicily might provoke a just retaliation on the heads of the Saracens; the Normans, whose blood had been mingled with so many subject streams, were encouraged to remember and emulate the naval trophies of their fathers, and in the maturity of their strength they contended with the decline of an African power. When the Fatimite caliph departed for the conquest of Egypt, he rewarded the real merit and apparent fidelity of his servant Joseph with a gift of his royal mantle and forty Arabian horses, his palace, with its sumptuous furniture, and the government of the kingdoms of Tunis and Algiers. The Zeirides,122 the descendants of Joseph, forgot their allegiance and gratitude to a distant benefactor, grasped and abused the fruits of prosperity; and, after running the little course of an Oriental dynasty, were now fainting in their own weakness. On the side of the land, they were pressed by the Almohades, the fanatic princes of Morocco, while the sea-coast was open to the enterprises of the Greeks and Franks, who, before the close of the eleventh century, had extorted a ransom of two hundred thousand pieces of gold. By the first arms of Roger, the island or rock of Malta, which has been since ennobled by a military and religious colony, was inseparably annexed to the crown of Sicily. Tripoli,123 a strong and maritime city, was the next object of his attack; and the slaughter of the males, the captivity Edition: current; Page: [132] of the females, might be justified by the frequent practice of the Moslems themselves. The capital of the Zeirides was named Africa from the country, and Mahadia124 from the Arabian founder; it is strongly built on a neck of land, but the imperfection of the harbour is not compensated by the fertility of the adjacent plain. Mahadia was besieged by George the Sicilian admiral, with a fleet of one hundred and fifty galleys, amply provided with men and the instruments of mischief; the sovereign had fled, the Moorish governor refused to capitulate, declined the last and irresistible assault, and, secretly escaping with the Moslem inhabitants, abandoned the place and its treasures to the rapacious Franks. In successive expeditions, the king of Sicily or his lieutenants reduced the cities of Tunis, Safax, Capsia, Bona, and a long tract of the sea-coast;125 the fortresses were garrisoned, the country was tributary, and a boast, that it held Africa in subjection, might be inscribed with some flattery on the sword of Roger.126 After his death, that sword was broken; and these transmarine possessions were neglected, evacuated, or lost, under the troubled reign of his successor.127 The triumphs of Scipio and Belisarius have proved that the African continent is neither inaccessible nor invincible; yet the great princes and powers of Christendom have repeatedly failed in their armaments against the Moors, who may still glory in the easy conquest and long servitude of Spain.

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Since the decease of Robert Guiscard, the Normans had relinquished, above sixty years, their hostile designs against the empire of the East. The policy of Roger solicited a public and private union with the Greek princes, whose alliance would dignify his regal character; he demanded in marriage a daughter of the Comnenian family, and the first steps of the treaty seemed to promise a favourable event. But the contemptuous treatment of his ambassadors exasperated the vanity of the new monarch; and the insolence of the Byzantine court was expiated, according to the laws of nations, by the sufferings of a guiltless people.128 With a fleet of seventy galleys George the admiral of Sicily appeared before Corfu; and both the island and city were delivered into his hands by the disaffected inhabitants, who had yet to learn that a siege is still more calamitous than a tribute. In this invasion, of some moment in the annals of commerce, the Normans spread themselves by sea, and over the provinces of Greece; and the venerable age of Athens, Thebes, and Corinth was violated by rapine and cruelty. Of the wrongs of Athens, no memorial remains. The ancient walls, which encompassed, without guarding, the opulence of Thebes, were scaled by the Latin Christians; but their sole use of the gospel was to sanctify an oath that the lawful owners had not secreted any relic of their inheritance or industry. On the approach of the Normans the lower town of Corinth was evacuated: the Greeks retired to the citadel, which was seated on a lofty eminence abundantly watered by the classic fountain of Pirene: an impregnable fortress, if the want of courage could be balanced by any advantages of art or nature. As soon as the besiegers had surmounted the labour (their sole labour) of climbing the hill, their general, from the Edition: current; Page: [134] commanding eminence, admired his own victory, and testified his gratitude to heaven by tearing from the altar the precious image of Theodore the tutelary saint. The silk weavers of both sexes, whom George transported to Sicily, composed the most valuable part of the spoil, and, in comparing the skilful industry of the mechanic with the sloth and cowardice of the soldier, he was heard to exclaim that the distaff and loom were the only weapons which the Greeks were capable of using. The progress of this naval armament was marked by two conspicuous events, the rescue of the king of France and the insult of the Byzantine capital. In his return by sea from an unfortunate crusade, Louis the Seventh was intercepted by the Greeks, who basely violated the laws of honour and religion. The unfortunate encounter of the Norman fleet delivered the royal captive; and, after a free and honourable entertainment in the court of Sicily, Louis continued his journey to Rome and Paris.129 In the absence of the emperor, Constantinople and the Hellespont were left without defence and without the suspicion of danger. The clergy and people, for the soldiers had followed the standard of Manuel, were astonished and dismayed at the hostile appearance of a line of galleys, which boldly cast anchor in the front of the Imperial city. The forces of the Sicilian admiral were inadequate to the siege or assault of an immense and populous metropolis; but George enjoyed the glory of humbling the Greek arrogance, and of marking the path of conquest to the navies of the West. He landed some soldiers to rifle the fruits of the royal gardens, and pointed with silver, or more probably with fire, the arrows which he discharged Edition: current; Page: [135] against the palace of the Cæsars.130 This playful outrage of the pirates of Sicily, who had surprised an unguarded moment, Manuel affected to despise, while his martial spirit and the forces of the empire were awakened to revenge. The Archipelago and Ionian sea were covered with his squadrons and those of Venice; but I know not by what favourable allowance of transports, victuallers, and pinnaces, our reason, or even fancy, can be reconciled to the stupendous account of fifteen hundred vessels, which is proposed by a Byzantine historian. These operations were directed with prudence and energy; in his homeward voyage George lost nineteen of his galleys, which were separated and taken; after an obstinate defence, Corfu implored the clemency of her lawful sovereign; nor could a ship, a soldier of the Norman prince, be found, unless as a captive, within the limits of the Eastern empire. The prosperity and the health of Roger were already in a declining state; while he listened in his palace of Palermo to the messengers of victory or defeat, the invincible Manuel, the foremost in every assault, was celebrated by the Greeks or Latins as the Alexander or Hercules of the age.

A prince of such a temper could not be satisfied with having repelled the insolence of a Barbarian. It was the right and duty, it might be the interest and glory, of Manuel to restore the ancient majesty of the empire, to recover the provinces of Italy and Sicily, and to chastise this pretended king, the grandson of a Norman vassal.131 The natives of Calabria were still attached to the Greek language and worship, which Edition: current; Page: [136] had been inexorably proscribed by the Latin clergy: after the loss of her dukes, Apulia was chained as a servile appendage to the crown of Sicily; the founder of the monarchy had ruled by the sword; and his death had abated the fear, without healing the discontent, of his subjects; the feudal government was always pregnant with the seeds of rebellion; and a nephew of Roger himself invited the enemies of his family and nation. The majesty of the purple, and a series of Hungarian and Turkish wars, prevented Manuel from embarking his person in the Italian expedition. To the brave and noble Palæologus, his lieutenant, the Greek monarch entrusted a fleet and army; the siege of Bari was his first exploit; and, in every operation, gold as well as steel was the instrument of victory. Salerno, and some places along the Western coast, maintained their fidelity to the Norman king; but he lost in two campaigns the greater part of his continental possessions; and the modest emperor, disdaining all flattery and falsehood, was content with the reduction of three hundred cities or villages of Apulia and Calabria, whose names and titles were inscribed on all the walls of the palace. The prejudices of the Latins were gratified by a genuine or fictitious donation under the seal of the German Cæsars;132 but the successor of Constantine soon renounced this ignominious pretence, claimed the indefeasible dominion of Italy, and professed his design of chasing the Barbarians beyond the Alps. By the artful speeches, liberal gifts, and unbounded promises of their Eastern ally, the free cities were encouraged to persevere in their generous struggle against the despotism of Frederic Barbarossa; the walls of Milan were rebuilt by the contributions of Manuel; and he poured, says the historian, a river of gold into the bosom of Ancona, whose attachment Edition: current; Page: [137] to the Greeks was fortified by the jealous enmity of the Venetians.133 The situation and trade of Ancona rendered it an important garrison in the heart of Italy; it was twice besieged by the arms of Frederic; the Imperial forces were twice repulsed by the spirit of freedom; that spirit was animated by the ambassador of Constantinople; and the most intrepid patriots, the most faithful servants, were rewarded by the wealth and honours of the Byzantine court.134 The pride of Manuel disdained and rejected a Barbarian colleague; his ambition was excited by the hope of stripping the purple from the German usurpers, and of establishing, in the West, as in the East, his lawful title of sole emperor of the Romans. With this view, he solicited the alliance of the people and the bishop of Rome. Several of the nobles embraced the cause of the Greek monarch; the splendid nuptials of his niece with Odo Frangipani secured the support of that powerful family,135 and his royal standard or image was entertained with due reverence in the ancient metropolis.136 During the quarrel between Frederic and Alexander the Third, the pope twice received in the Vatican the ambassadors of Constantinople. They flattered his piety by the long-promised union of the two churches, tempted the avarice of his venal court, and exhorted the Roman pontiff to seize the just provocation, Edition: current; Page: [138] the favourable moment, to humble the savage insolence of the Alemanni, and to acknowledge the true representative of Constantine and Augustus.137

But these Italian conquests, this universal reign, soon escaped from the hand of the Greek emperor. His first demands were eluded by the prudence of Alexander the Third, who paused on this deep and momentous revolution,138 nor could the pope be seduced by a personal dispute to renounce the perpetual inheritance of the Latin name. After his re-union with Frederic, he spoke a more peremptory language, confirmed the acts of his predecessors, excommunicated the adherents of Manuel, and pronounced the final separation of the churches, or at least the empires, of Constantinople and Rome.139 The free cities of Lombardy no longer remembered their foreign benefactor, and, without preserving the friendship of Ancona, he soon incurred the enmity of Venice.140 By his own avarice, or the complaints of his subjects, the Greek emperor was provoked to arrest the persons, and confiscate the effects, of the Venetian merchants. This violation of the public faith exasperated a free and commercial people: one hundred galleys were launched and armed in as many days; they swept the coasts of Dalmatia and Greece; but, after some mutual wounds, the war was terminated by an agreement, inglorious to the empire, insufficient Edition: current; Page: [139] for the republic; and a complete vengeance of these and of fresh injuries was reserved for the succeeding generation. The lieutenant of Manuel had informed his sovereign that he was strong enough to quell any domestic revolt of Apulia and Calabria; but that his forces were in adequate to resist the impending attack of the king of Sicily. His prophecy was soon verified; the death of Palæologus devolved the command on several chiefs, alike eminent in rank, alike defective in military talents; the Greeks were oppressed by land and sea; and a captive remnant, that escaped the swords of the Normans and Saracens, abjured all future hostility against the person or dominions of their conqueror.141 Yet the king of Sicily esteemed the courage and constancy of Manuel, who had landed a second army on the Italian shore; he respectfully addressed the new Justinian, solicited a peace or truce of thirty years, accepted as a gift the regal title, and acknowledged himself the military vassal of the Roman empire.142 The Byzantine Cæsars acquiesced in this shadow of dominion, without expecting, perhaps without desiring, the service of a Norman army; and the truce of thirty years was not disturbed by any hostilities between Sicily and Constantinople. About the end of that period, the throne of Manuel was usurped by an inhuman tyrant, who had deserved the abhorrence of his country and mankind: the sword of William the Second, the grandson of Roger, was drawn by a fugitive of the Comnenian race; and the subjects of Andronicus might salute the strangers as friends, since they detested their sovereign as the worst of Edition: current; Page: [140] enemies. The Latin historians143 expatiate on the rapid progress of the four counts who invaded Romania with a fleet and army, and reduced many castles and cities to the obedience of the king of Sicily. The Greeks144 accuse and magnify the wanton and sacrilegious cruelties that were perpetrated in the sack of Thessalonica, the second city of the empire. The former deplore the fate of those invincible but unsuspecting warriors, who were destroyed by the arts of a vanquished foe. The latter applaud, in songs of triumph, the repeated victories of their countrymen on the sea of Marmora or Propontis, on the banks of the Strymon, and under the walls of Durazzo. A revolution, which punished the crimes of Andronicus, had united against the Franks the zeal and courage of the successful insurgents: ten thousand were slain in battle, and Isaac Angelus, the new emperor, might indulge his vanity or vengeance in the treatment of four thousand captives. Such was the event of the last contest between the Greeks and Normans: before the expiration of twenty years, the rival nations were lost or degraded in foreign servitude; and the successors of Constantine did not long survive to insult the fall of the Sicilian monarchy.

The sceptre of Roger successively devolved to his son and grandson: they might be confounded under the name of William; they are strongly discriminated by the epithets of the bad and the good; but these epithets, which appear to Edition: current; Page: [141] describe the perfection of vice and virtue, cannot strictly be applied to either of the Norman princes. When he was roused to arms by danger and shame, the first William did not degenerate from the valour of his race; but his temper was slothful; his manners were dissolute; his passions headstrong and mischievous; and the monarch is responsible, not only for his personal vices, but for those of Majo, the great admiral, who abused the confidence, and conspired against the life, of his benefactor. From the Arabian conquest, Sicily had imbibed a deep tincture of Oriental manners; the despotism, the pomp, and even the harem of a sultan; and a Christian people was oppressed and insulted by the ascendant of the eunuchs, who openly professed, or secretly cherished, the religion of Mahomet. An eloquent historian of the times145 has delineated the misfortunes of his country:146 the ambition and fall of the ungrateful Majo; the revolt and punishment of his assassins; the imprisonment and deliverance of the king himself; the private feuds that arose from the public confusion; and the various forms of calamity and Edition: current; Page: [142] discord which afflicted Palermo, the island, and the continent during the reign of William the First, and the minority of his son. The youth, innocence, and beauty of William the Second147 endeared him to the nation: the factions were reconciled; the laws were revived; and, from the manhood to the premature death of that amiable prince, Sicily enjoyed a short season of peace, justice, and happiness, whose value was enhanced by the remembrance of the past and the dread of futurity. The legitimate male posterity of Tancred of Hauteville was extinct in the person of the second William; but his aunt, the daughter of Roger, had married the most powerful prince of the age; and Henry the Sixth, the son of Frederic Barbarossa, descended from the Alps, to claim the Imperial crown and the inheritance of his wife. Against the unanimous wish of a free people, this inheritance could only be acquired by arms; and I am pleased to transcribe the style and sense of the historian Falcandus, who writes at the moment and on the spot, with the feelings of a patriot, and the prophetic eye of a statesman. “Constantia, the daughter of Sicily, nursed from her cradle in the pleasures and plenty, and educated in the arts and manners, of this fortunate isle, departed long since to enrich the Barbarians with our treasures, and now returns with her savage allies, to contaminate the beauties of her venerable parent. Already I behold the swarms of angry Barbarians; our opulent cities, the places flourishing in a long peace, are shaken with fear, desolated by slaughter, consumed by rapine, and polluted by intemperance and lust. I see the massacre or captivity of our citizens, the rapes of our virgins and matrons.148 In this extremity Edition: current; Page: [143] (he interrogates a friend) how must the Sicilians act? By the unanimous election of a king of valour and experience, Sicily and Calabria might yet be preserved;149 for in the levity of the Apulians, ever eager for new revolutions, I can repose neither confidence nor hope.150 Should Calabria be lost, the lofty towers, the numerous youth, and the naval strength of Messina151 might guard the passage against a foreign invader. If the savage Germans coalesce with the pirates of Messina; if they destroy with fire the fruitful region, so often wasted by the fires of Mount Ætna,152 what resource will be left for the interior parts of the island, these noble cities which should never be violated by the hostile footsteps of a Barbarian?153 Catana has again been overwhelmed by an earthquake; the ancient virtue of Syracuse expires in poverty and solitude;154 but Palermo is still crowned with a diadem, and her triple walls enclose the active multitudes of Christians and Saracens. If the two nations, under Edition: current; Page: [144] one king, can unite for their common safety, they may rush on the Barbarians with invincible arms. But, if the Saracens, fatigued by a repetition of injuries, should now retire and rebel; if they should occupy the castles of the mountains and sea-coast, the unfortunate Christians, exposed to a double attack, and placed as it were between the hammer and the anvil, must resign themselves to hopeless and inevitable servitude.”155 We must not forget that a priest here prefers his country to his religion; and that the Moslems, whose alliance he seeks, were still numerous and powerful in the state of Sicily.

The hopes, or at least the wishes, of Falcandus were at first gratified by the free and unanimous election of Tancred, the grandson of the first king, whose birth was illegitimate, but whose civil and military virtues shone without a blemish. During four years, the term of his life and reign, he stood in arms on the farthest verge of the Apulian frontier, against the powers of Germany; and the restitution of a royal captive, of Constantia herself, without injury or ransom, may appear to surpass the most liberal measure of reason. After his decease, the kingdom of his widow and infant son fell without a struggle; and Henry pursued his victorious march from Capua to Palermo. The political balance of Italy was destroyed by his success; and, if the pope and the free cities had consulted their obvious and real interest, they would have combined the powers of earth and heaven to prevent the Edition: current; Page: [145] dangerous union of the German empire with the kingdom of Sicily. But the subtle policy, for which the Vatican has so often been praised or arraigned, was on this occasion blind and inactive; and, if it were true that Celestine the Third had kicked away the Imperial crown from the head of the prostrate Henry,156 such an act of impotent pride could serve only to cancel an obligation and provoke an enemy. The Genoese, who enjoyed a beneficial trade and establishment in Sicily, listened to the promise of his boundless gratitude and speedy departure;157 their fleet commanded the straits of Messina, and opened the harbour of Palermo; and the first act of this government was to abolish the privileges, and to seize the property, of these imprudent allies. The last hope of Falcandus was defeated by the discord of the Christians and Mahometans: they fought in the capital; several thousands of the latter were slain; but their surviving brethren fortified the mountains, and disturbed above thirty years the peace of the island. By the policy of Frederic the Second, sixty thousand Saracens were transplanted to Nocera in Apulia. In their wars against the Roman church, the emperor and his son Mainfroy were strengthened and disgraced by the service of the enemies of Christ; and this national colony maintained their religion and manners in the heart of Italy, till they were extirpated, at the end of the thirteenth century, by the zeal and revenge of the house of Anjou.158 All the calamities which the prophetic orator had deplored Edition: current; Page: [146] were surpassed by the cruelty and avarice of the German conqueror. He violated the royal sepulchres, and explored the secret treasures of the palace, Palermo, and the whole kingdom: the pearls and jewels, however precious, might be easily removed; but one hundred and sixty horses were laden with the gold and silver of Sicily.159 The young king, his mother and sisters, and the nobles of both sexes were separately confined in the fortresses of the Alps; and, on the slightest rumour of rebellion, the captives were deprived of life, of their eyes, or of the hope of posterity. Constantia herself was touched with sympathy for the miseries of her country; and the heiress of the Norman line might struggle to check her despotic husband, and to save the patrimony of her new-born son, of an emperor so famous in the next age under the name of Frederic the Second. Ten years after this revolution, the French monarchs annexed to their crown the duchy of Normandy; the sceptre of her ancient dukes had been transmitted, by a grand-daughter of William the Conqueror, to the house of Plantagenet; and the adventurous Normans, who had raised so many trophies in France, England, and Ireland, in Apulia, Sicily, and the East, were lost, either in victory or servitude, among the vanquished nations.

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The Turks of the House of Seljuk — Their Revolt against Mahmud, Conqueror of Hindostan — Togrul subdues Persia, and protects the Caliphs — Defeat and Captivity of the Emperor Romanus Diogenes by Alp Arslan — Power and Magnificence of Malek Shah — Conquest of Asia Minor and Syria — State and Oppression of Jerusalem — Pilgrimages to the Holy Sepulchre

From the isle of Sicily the reader must transport himself beyond the Caspian Sea, to the original seat of the Turks or Turkmans, against whom the first crusade was principally directed. Their Scythian empire of the sixth century was long since dissolved; but the name was still famous among the Greeks and Orientals; and the fragments of the nation, each a powerful and independent people, were scattered over the desert from China to the Oxus and the Danube: the colony of Hungarians was admitted into the republic of Europe, and the thrones of Asia were occupied by slaves and soldiers of Turkish extraction. While Apulia and Sicily were subdued by the Norman lance, a swarm of these Northern shepherds overspread the kingdoms of Persia: their princes of the race of Seljuk erected a splendid and solid empire from Samarcand to the confines of Greece and Egypt; and the Turks have maintained their dominion in Asia Minor till the victorious crescent has been planted on the dome of St. Sophia.

One of the greatest of the Turkish princes was Mamood or Mahmud,1 the Gaznevide, who reigned in the eastern provinces Edition: current; Page: [148] of Persia one thousand years after the birth of Christ. His father Sebectagi was the slave of the slave of the slave of the commander of the faithful. But in this descent of servitude, the first degree was merely titular, since it was filled by the sovereign of Transoxiana and Chorasan, who still paid a nominal allegiance to the caliph of Bagdad. The second rank was that of a minister of state, a lieutenant of the Samanides,2 who broke, by his revolt, the bonds of political slavery. But the third step was a state of real and domestic servitude in the family of that rebel; from which Sebectagi, by his courage and dexterity, ascended to the supreme command of the city and province of Gazna,3 as the son-in-law and successor of his grateful master. The falling dynasty of the Samanides was at first protected, and at last overthrown, by their servants; and, in the public disorders, the fortune of Mahmud continually increased. For him, the title of sultan4 was first Edition: current; Page: [149] invented; and his kingdom was enlarged from Transoxiana to the neighbourhood of Ispahan, from the shores of the Caspian to the mouth of the Indus. But the principal source of his fame and riches was the holy war which he waged against the Gentoos of Hindostan. In this foreign narrative I may not consume a page; and a volume would scarcely suffice to recapitulate the battles and sieges of his twelve expeditions. Never was the Musulman hero dismayed by the inclemency of the seasons, the height of the mountains, the breadth of the rivers, the barrenness of the desert, the multitudes of the enemy, or the formidable array of their elephants of war.5 The sultan of Gazna surpassed the limits of the conquests of Alexander; after a march of three months, over the hills of Cashmir and Thibet, he reached the famous city of Kinnoge,6 on the Upper Ganges; and, in a Edition: current; Page: [150] naval combat on one of the branches of the Indus, he fought and vanquished four thousand boats of the natives. Delhi, Lahor, and Multan were compelled to open their gates; the fertile kingdom of Guzarat attracted his ambition and tempted his stay; and his avarice indulged the fruitless project of discovering the golden and aromatic isles of the Southern ocean. On the payment of a tribute, the rajahs preserved their dominions; the people, their lives and fortunes; but to the religion of Hindostan the zealous Musulman was cruel and inexorable; many hundred temples, or pagodas, were levelled with the ground; many thousand idols were demolished; and the servants of the prophet were stimulated and rewarded by the precious materials of which they were composed. The pagoda of Sumnat was situated on the promontory of Guzarat, in the neighbourhood of Diu, one of the last remaining possessions of the Portuguese.7 It was endowed with the revenue of two thousand villages; two thousand Brahmins were consecrated to the service of the deity, whom they washed each morning and evening in water from the distant Ganges: the subordinate ministers consisted of three hundred musicians, three hundred barbers, and five hundred dancing girls, conspicuous for their birth and beauty. Three sides of the temple were protected by the ocean, the narrow isthmus was fortified by a natural or artificial precipice; and the city and adjacent country were peopled by a nation of fanatics. They confessed the sins and the punishment of Kinnoge and Delhi; but, if the impious stranger should presume to approach their holy precincts, he would surely be overwhelmed by a blast of the divine vengeance. By this challenge the faith of Mahmud was animated to a personal trial of the strength of this Indian deity. Fifty thousand of his worshippers were pierced by the spear of the Moslems: the walls were scaled; the sanctuary Edition: current; Page: [151] was profaned; and the conqueror aimed a blow of his iron mace at the head of the idol. The trembling Brahmins are said to have offered ten millions sterling8 for his ransom; and it was urged by the wisest counsellors that the destruction of a stone image would not change the hearts of the Gentoos, and that such a sum might be dedicated to the relief of the true believers. “Your reasons,” replied the sultan, “are specious and strong; but never in the eyes of posterity shall Mahmud appear as a merchant of idols.” He repeated his blows, and a treasure of pearls and rubies, concealed in the belly of the statue, explained in some degree the devout prodigality of the Brahmins. The fragments of the idol were distributed to Gazna, Mecca, and Medina. Bagdad listened to the edifying tale; and Mahmud was saluted by the caliph with the title of guardian of the fortune and faith of Mahomet.

From the paths of blood, and such is the history of nations, I cannot refuse to turn aside to gather some flowers of science or virtue. The name of Mahmud the Gaznevide is still venerable in the East: his subjects enjoyed the blessings of prosperity and peace; his vices were concealed by the veil of religion; and two familiar examples will testify his justice and magnanimity. I. As he sat in the Divan, an unhappy subject bowed before the throne to accuse the insolence of a Turkish soldier who had driven him from his house and bed. “Suspend your clamours,” said Mahmud, “inform me of his next visit, and ourself in person will judge and punish the offender.” The sultan followed his guide, invested the house with his guards, and, extinguishing the torches, pronounced the death of the criminal, who had been seized in the act of rapine and adultery. After the execution of his sentence, the lights were rekindled, Mahmud fell prostrate in prayer, and, rising from the ground, demanded some Edition: current; Page: [152] homely fare, which he devoured with the voraciousness of hunger. The poor man, whose injury he had avenged, was unable to suppress his astonishment and curiosity; and the courteous monarch condescended to explain the motives of this singular behaviour. “I had reason to suspect that none except one of my sons could dare to perpetrate such an outrage; and I extinguished the lights, that my justice might be blind and inexorable. My prayer was a thanksgiving on the discovery of the offender; and so painful was my anxiety that I had passed three days without food since the first moment of your complaint.” II. The sultan of Gazna had declared war against the dynasty of the Bowides, the sovereigns of the western Persia; he was disarmed by an epistle of the sultana mother, and delayed his invasion till the manhood of her son.9 “During the life of my husband,” said the artful regent, “I was ever apprehensive of your ambition; he was a prince and a soldier worthy of your arms. He is now no more; his sceptre has passed to a woman and a child, and you dare not attack their infancy and weakness. How inglorious would be your conquest, how shameful your defeat! and yet the event of war is in the hand of the Almighty.” Avarice was the only defect that tarnished the illustrious character of Mahmud; and never has that passion been more richly satisfied. The Orientals exceed the measure of credibility in the account of millions of gold and silver, such as the avidity of man has never accumulated; in the magnitude of pearls, diamonds, and rubies, such as have never been produced by the workmanship of nature.10 Edition: current; Page: [153] Yet the soil of Hindostan is impregnated with precious minerals; her trade, in every age, has attracted the gold and silver of the world; and her virgin spoils were rifled by the first of the Mahometan conquerors. His behaviour, in the last days of his life, evinces the vanity of these possessions, so laboriously won, so dangerously held, and so inevitably lost. He surveyed the vast and various chambers of the treasury of Gazna; burst into tears; and again closed the doors, without bestowing any portion of the wealth which he could no longer hope to preserve. The following day he reviewed the state of his military force: one hundred thousand foot, fifty-five thousand horse, and thirteen hundred elephants of battle.11 He again wept the instability of human greatness; and his grief was embittered by the hostile progress of the Turkmans, whom he had introduced into the heart of his Persian kingdom.

In the modern depopulation of Asia, the regular operation of government and agriculture is confined to the neighbourhood of cities; and the distant country is abandoned to the pastoral tribes of Arabs, Curds, and Turkmans.12 Of the last-mentioned people, two considerable branches extend on either side of the Caspian Sea: the western colony can muster forty thousand soldiers; the eastern, less obvious to the traveller, but more strong and populous, has increased to the number of one hundred thousand families. In the midst of civilised nations, they preserve the manners of the Scythian desert, remove their encampments with the change of seasons, and feed their cattle among the ruins of palaces and Edition: current; Page: [154] temples. Their flocks and herds are their only riches; their tents, either black or white, according to the colour of the banner, are covered with felt, and of a circular form; their winter apparel is a sheep-skin; a robe of cloth or cotton their summer garment: the features of the men are harsh and ferocious; the countenance of their women is soft and pleasing. Their wandering life maintains the spirit and exercise of arms; they fight on horseback; and their courage is displayed in frequent contests with each other and with their neighbours. For the licence of pasture they pay a slight tribute to the sovereign of the land; but the domestic jurisdiction is in the hands of the chiefs and elders. The first emigration of the eastern Turkmans, the most ancient of their race, may be ascribed to the tenth century of the Christian era.13 In the decline of the caliphs, and the weakness of their lieutenants, the barrier of the Jaxartes was often violated: in each invasion, after the victory or retreat of their countrymen, some wandering tribe, embracing the Mahometan faith, obtained a free encampment in the spacious plains and pleasant climate of Transoxiana and Carizme. The Turkish slaves who aspired to the throne encouraged these emigrations, which recruited their armies, awed their subjects and rivals, and protected the frontier against the wilder natives of Turkestan; and this policy was abused by Mahmud the Gaznevide beyond the example of former times. He was admonished of his error by a chief of the race of Seljuk, who dwelt in the territory of Bochara. The sultan had inquired what supply of men he could furnish for military service. “If you send,” replied Ismael, “one of these arrows into our camp, fifty thousand of your servants will mount on horseback.” “And if that number,” continued Mahmud, Edition: current; Page: [155] “should not be sufficient?” “Send this second arrow to the horde of Balik, and you will find fifty thousand more.” “But,” said the Gaznevide, dissembling his anxiety, “if I should stand in need of the whole force of your kindred tribes?” “Despatch my bow,” was the last reply of Ismael, “and, as it is circulated around, the summons will be obeyed by two hundred thousand horse.” The apprehension of such formidable friendship induced Mahmud to transport the most obnoxious tribes into the heart of Chorasan, where they would be separated from their brethren by the river Oxus, and enclosed on all sides by the walls of obedient cities. But the face of the country was an object of temptation rather than terror; and the vigour of government was relaxed by the absence and death of the sultan of Gazna. The shepherds were converted into robbers; the bands of robbers were collected into an army of conquerors; as far as Ispahan and the Tigris, Persia was afflicted by their predatory inroads; and the Turkmans were not ashamed or afraid to measure their courage and numbers with the proudest sovereigns of Asia. Massoud, the son and successor of Mahmud, had too long neglected the advice of his wisest Omrahs. “Your enemies,” they repeatedly urged, “were in their origin a swarm of ants; they are now little snakes; and, unless they be instantly crushed, they will acquire the venom and magnitude of serpents.” After some alternatives of truce and hostility, after the repulse or partial success of his lieutenants, the sultan marched in person against the Turkmans, who attacked him on all sides with Barbarous shouts and irregular onset. “Massoud,” says the Persian historian,14 “plunged Edition: current; Page: [156] singly to oppose the torrent of gleaming arms, exhibiting such acts of gigantic force and valour as never king had before displayed. A few of his friends, roused by his words and actions, and that innate honour which inspires the brave, seconded their lord so well that, wheresoever he turned his fatal sword, the enemies were mowed down or retreated before him. But now, when victory seemed to blow on his standard, misfortune was active behind it; for, when he looked round, he beheld almost his whole army, excepting that body he commanded in person, devouring the paths of flight.” The Gaznevide was abandoned by the cowardice or treachery of some generals of Turkish race; and this memorable day of Zendecan15 founded in Persia the dynasty of the shepherd kings.16

The victorious Turkmans immediately proceeded to the election of a king; and, if the probable tale of a Latin historian17 deserves any credit, they determined by lot the choice of their new master. A number of arrows were successively inscribed with the name of a tribe, a family, and a candidate; they were drawn from the bundle by the hand of a child; and the important prize was obtained by Togrul Beg, the son of Michael, the son of Seljuk, whose surname was immortalised Edition: current; Page: [157] in the greatness of his posterity. The sultan Mahmud, who valued himself on his skill in national genealogy, professed his ignorance of the family of Seljuk; yet the father of that race appears to have been a chief of power and renown.18 For a daring intrusion into the harem of his prince, Seljuk was banished from Turkestan; with a numerous tribe of his friends and vassals, he passed the Jaxartes, encamped in the neighbourhood of Samarcand, embraced the religion of Mahomet,19 and acquired the crown of martyrdom in a war against the infidels. His age, of an hundred and seven years, surpassed the life of his son, and Seljuk adopted the care of his two grandsons, Togrul and Jaafar; the eldest of whom, at the age of forty-five, was invested with the title of sultan, in the royal city of Nishabur. The blind determination of chance was justified by the virtues of the successful candidate. It would be superfluous to praise the valour of a Turk; and the ambition of Togrul20 was equal to his valour. By his arms, the Gaznevides were expelled from the eastern kingdoms of Persia, and gradually driven to the banks of the Indus, in search of a softer and more wealthy conquest. In the West he annihilated the dynasty of the Bowides; and the sceptre of Irak passed from the Persian to the Turkish nation. The princes who had felt, or who feared, Edition: current; Page: [158] the Seljukian arrows, bowed their heads in the dust; by the conquest of Aderbijan, or Media, he approached the Roman confines; and the shepherd presumed to despatch an ambassador, or herald, to demand the tribute and obedience of the emperor of Constantinople.21 In his own dominions, Togrul was the father of his soldiers and people; by a firm and equal administration Persia was relieved from the evils of anarchy; and the same hands which had been imbrued in blood became the guardians of justice and the public peace. The more rustic, perhaps the wisest, portion of the Turkmans22 continued to dwell in the tents of their ancestors; and, from the Oxus to the Euphrates, these military colonies were protected and propagated by their native princes. But the Turks of the court and city were refined by business and softened by pleasure; they imitated the dress, language, and manners of Persia; and the royal palaces of Nishabur and Rei displayed the order and magnificence of a great monarchy. The most deserving of the Arabians and Persians were promoted to the honours of the state; and the whole body of the Turkish nation embraced with fervour and sincerity the religion of Mahomet. The Northern swarms of Barbarians, who overspread both Europe and Asia, have been irreconcileably separated by the consequences of a similar conduct. Among the Moslems, as among the Christians, their vague and local traditions have yielded to the reason and authority of the prevailing system, to the fame of antiquity, and the consent of nations. But the triumph of the Koran Edition: current; Page: [159] is more pure and meritorious, as it was not assisted by any visible splendour of worship which might allure the Pagans by some resemblance of idolatry. The first of the Seljukian sultans was conspicuous by his zeal and faith: each day he repeated the five prayers which are enjoined to the true believers; of each week, the two first days were consecrated by an extraordinary fast; and in every city a mosch was completed, before Togrul presumed to lay the foundations of a palace.23

With the belief of the Koran, the son of Seljuk imbibed a lively reverence for the successor of the prophet. But that sublime character was still disputed by the caliphs of Bagdad and Egypt, and each of the rivals was solicitous to prove his title in the judgment of the strong, though illiterate, Barbarians. Mahmud the Gaznevide had declared himself in favour of the line of Abbas; and had treated with indignity the robe of honour which was presented to the Fatimite ambassador. Yet the ungrateful Hashemite had changed with the change of fortune; he applauded the victory of Zendecan, and named the Seljukian sultan his temporal vicegerent over the Moslem world. As Togrul executed and enlarged this important trust, he was called to the deliverance of the caliph Cayem, and obeyed the holy summons, which gave a new kingdom to his arms.24 In the palace of Bagdad, the commander of the faithful still slumbered, a venerable phantom. His servant or master, the prince of the Bowides, could no longer protect him from the insolence of meaner tyrants; and the Euphrates and Tigris were oppressed by the revolt of the Turkish and Arabian emirs. The presence of a conqueror was implored as a blessing; and the transient mischiefs of fire and sword were excused as the sharp but salutary remedies which alone could Edition: current; Page: [160] restore the health of the republic. At the head of an irresistible force, the sultan of Persia marched from Hamadan: the proud were crushed, the prostrate were spared; the prince of the Bowides disappeared; the heads of the most obstinate rebels were laid at the feet of Togrul; and he inflicted a lesson of obedience on the people of Mosul and Bagdad. After the chastisement of the guilty and the restoration of peace, the royal shepherd accepted the reward of his labours; and a solemn comedy represented the triumph of religious prejudice over Barbarian power.25 The Turkish sultan embarked on the Tigris, landed at the gate of Racca, and made his public entry on horseback. At the palace-gate he respectfully dismounted, and walked on foot, preceded by his emirs without arms. The caliph was seated behind his black veil; the black garment of the Abbassides was cast over his shoulders, and he held in his hand the staff of the apostle of God. The conqueror of the East kissed the ground, stood some time in a modest posture, and was led towards the throne by the vizir and an interpreter. After Togrul had seated himself on another throne, his commission was publicly read, which declared him the temporal lieutenant of the vicar of the prophet. He was successively invested with seven robes of honour, and presented with seven slaves, the natives of the seven climates of the Arabian empire. His mystic veil was perfumed with musk; two crowns were placed on his head; two scymetars were girded on his side, as the symbols of a double reign over the East and West. After this inauguration, the sultan was prevented from prostrating himself a second time; but he twice kissed the hand of the commander of the faithful, and his titles were proclaimed by the voice of heralds and the applause of the Moslems.26 In a second Edition: current; Page: [161] visit to Bagdad, the Seljukian prince again rescued the caliph from his enemies; and devoutly, on foot, led the bridle of his mule from the prison to the palace. Their alliance was cemented by the marriage of Togrul’s sister with the successor of the prophet. Without reluctance he had introduced a Turkish virgin into his harem; but Cayem proudly refused his daughter to the sultan, disdained to mingle the blood of the Hashemites with the blood of a Scythian shepherd; and protracted the negotiation many months, till the gradual diminution of his revenue admonished him that he was still in the hands of a master. The royal nuptials were followed by the death of Togrul himself;27 as he left no children, his nephew Alp Arslan succeeded to the title and prerogatives of sultan; and his name, after that of the caliph, was pronounced in the public prayers of the Moslems. Yet in this revolution the Abbassides acquired a larger measure of liberty and power. On the throne of Asia, the Turkish monarchs were less jealous of the domestic administration of Bagdad; and the commanders of the faithful were relieved from the ignominious vexations to which they had been exposed by the presence and poverty of the Persian dynasty.

Since the fall of the caliphs, the discord and degeneracy of the Saracens respected the Asiatic provinces of Rome; which, by the victories of Nicephorus, Zimisces, and Basil, had been extended as far as Antioch and the eastern boundaries of Armenia. Twenty-five years after the death of Basil, his successors were suddenly assaulted by an unknown race of Barbarians, who united the Scythian valour with the fanaticism of new proselytes and the art and riches of a powerful monarchy.28 The myriads of Turkish horse overspread a frontier Edition: current; Page: [162] of six hundred miles from Taurus to Arzeroum, and the blood of one hundred and thirty thousand Christians was a grateful sacrifice to the Arabian prophet. Yet the arms of Togrul did not make any deep or lasting impression on the Greek empire. The torrent rolled away from the open country; the sultan retired without glory or success from the siege of an Armenian city; the obscure hostilities were continued or suspended with a vicissitude of events; and the bravery of the Macedonian legions renewed the fame of the conqueror of Asia.29 The name of Alp Arslan, the valiant lion, is expressive of the popular idea of the perfection of man; and the successor of Togrul displayed the fierceness and generosity of the royal animal. He passed the Euphrates at the head of the Turkish cavalry, and entered Cæsarea, the metropolis of Cappadocia, to which he had been attracted by the fame and wealth of the temple of St. Basil. The solid structure resisted the destroyer; but he carried away the doors of the shrine incrusted with gold and pearls, and profaned the relics of the tutelar saint, whose mortal frailties were now covered by the venerable rust of antiquity. The final conquest of Armenia and Georgia was achieved by Alp Arslan. In Armenia, the title of a kingdom and the spirit of a nation30 were annihilated; the artificial fortifications were yielded by Edition: current; Page: [163] the mercenaries of Constantinople; by strangers without faith, veterans without pay or arms, and recruits without experience or discipline. The loss of this important frontier was the news of a day; and the Catholics were neither surprised nor displeased that a people so deeply infected with the Nestorian and Eutychian errors had been delivered by Christ and his mother into the hands of the infidels.31 The woods and valleys of Mount Caucasus were more strenuously defended by the native Georgians32 or Iberians: but the Turkish sultan and his son Malek were indefatigable in this holy war; their captives were compelled to promise a spiritual as well as temporal obedience; and, instead of their collars and bracelets, an iron horse-shoe, a badge of ignominy, was imposed on the infidels who still adhered to the worship of their fathers. The change, however, was not sincere or universal; and, through ages of servitude, the Georgians have maintained the succession of their princes and bishops. But a race of men, whom Nature has cast in her most perfect mould, is degraded by poverty, ignorance, and vice; their profession, and still more their practice, of Christianity is an empty name; and, if they have emerged from heresy, it is only because they are too illiterate to remember a metaphysical creed.33

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The false or genuine magnanimity of Mahmud the Gaznevide was not imitated by Alp Arslan; and he attacked, without scruple, the Greek empress Eudocia and her children. His alarming progress compelled her to give herself and her sceptre to the hand of a soldier; and Romanus Diogenes was invested with the Imperial purple. His patriotism, and perhaps his pride, urged him from Constantinople within two months after his accession; and the next campaign he most scandalously took the field during the holy festival of Easter. In the palace, Diogenes was no more than the husband of Eudocia; in the camp, he was the emperor of the Romans, and he sustained that character with feeble resources and invincible courage. By his spirit and success, the soldiers were taught to act, the subjects to hope, and the enemies to fear. The Turks had penetrated into the heart of Phrygia; but the sultan himself had resigned to his emirs the prosecution of the war; and their numerous detachments were scattered over Asia in the security of conquest. Laden with spoil and careless of discipline, they were separately surprised and defeated by the Greeks; the activity of the emperor seemed to multiply his presence; and, while they heard of his expedition to Antioch, the enemy felt his sword on the hills of Trebizond. In three laborious campaigns, the Turks were driven beyond the Euphrates;34 in the fourth and last, Romanus undertook the deliverance of Armenia. The desolation of the land obliged him to transport a supply of two months’ provisions; and he marched forwards to the siege of Malazkerd,35 an important fortress in the midway Edition: current; Page: [165] between the modern cities of Arzeroum and Van. His army amounted, at the least, to one hundred thousand men. The troops of Constantinople were reinforced by the disorderly multitudes of Phrygia and Cappadocia; but the real strength was composed of the subjects and allies of Europe, the legions of Macedonia, and the squadrons of Bulgaria; the Uzi, a Moldavian horde, who were themselves of the Turkish race;36 and, above all, the mercenary and adventurous bands of French and Normans. Their lances were commanded by the valiant Ursel of Baliol, the kinsman or father of the Scottish kings,37 and were allowed to excel in the exercise of arms, Edition: current; Page: [166] or, according to the Greek style, in the practice of the Pyrrhic dance.

On the report of this bold invasion, which threatened his hereditary dominions, Alp Arslan flew to the scene of action at the head of forty thousand horse.38 His rapid and skilful evolutions distressed and dismayed the superior numbers of the Greeks; and in the defeat of Basilacius, one of their principal generals, he displayed the first example of his valour and clemency. The imprudence of the emperor had separated his forces after the reduction of Malazkerd. It was in vain that he attempted to recall the mercenary Franks: they refused to obey his summons; he disdained to await their return; the desertion of the Uzi filled his mind with anxiety and suspicion; and against the most salutary advice he rushed forward to speedy and decisive action. Had he listened to the fair proposals of the sultan, Romanus might have secured a retreat, perhaps a peace; but in these overtures he supposed the fear or weakness of the enemy, and his answer was conceived in the tone of insult and defiance. “If the Barbarian wishes for peace, let him evacuate the ground which he occupies for the encampment of the Romans, and surrender his city and palace of Rei as a pledge of his sincerity.” Alp Arslan smiled at the vanity of the demand, but he wept the death of so many faithful Moslems; and, Edition: current; Page: [167] after a devout prayer, proclaimed a free permission to all who were desirous of retiring from the field. With his own hands he tied up his horse’s tail, exchanged his bow and arrow for a mace and scymetar, clothed himself in a white garment, perfumed his body with musk, and declared that, if he were vanquished, that spot should be the place of his burial.39 The sultan himself had affected to cast away his missile weapons; but his hopes of victory were placed in the arrows of the Turkish cavalry, whose squadrons were loosely distributed in the form of a crescent. Instead of the successive lines and reserves of the Grecian tactics, Romanus led his army in a single and solid phalanx, and pressed with vigour and impatience the artful and yielding resistance of the Barbarians. In this desultory and fruitless combat, he wasted the greater part of a summer’s day, till prudence and fatigue compelled him to return to his camp. But a retreat is always perilous in the face of an active foe; and no sooner had the standard been turned to the rear than the phalanx was broken by the base cowardice, or the baser jealousy, of Andronicus, a rival prince, who disgraced his birth and the purple of the Cæsars.40 The Turkish squadrons poured a cloud of arrows on this moment of confusion and lassitude; and the horns of their formidable crescent were closed in the rear of the Greeks. In the destruction of the army and pillage of the camp, it would be needless to mention the number of the slain or captives. The Byzantine writers deplore the loss of an inestimable pearl: they forget to mention that, in this fatal day, the Asiatic provinces of Rome were irretrievably sacrificed.

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As long as a hope survived, Romanus attempted to rally and save the relics of his army. When the centre, the Imperial station, was left naked on all sides, and encompassed by the victorious Turks, he still, with desperate courage, maintained the fight till the close of day, at the head of the brave and faithful subjects who adhered to his standard. They fell around him; his horse was slain; the emperor was wounded; yet he stood alone and intrepid, till he was oppressed and bound by the strength of multitudes. The glory of this illustrious prize was disputed by a slave and a soldier: a slave who had seen him on the throne of Constantinople, and a soldier whose extreme deformity had been excused on the promise of some signal service. Despoiled of his arms, his jewels, and his purple, Romanus spent a dreary and perilous night on the field of battle, amidst a disorderly crowd of the meaner Barbarians. In the morning the royal captive was presented to Alp Arslan, who doubted of his fortune, till the identity of the person was ascertained by the report of his ambassadors, and by the more pathetic evidence of Basilacius, who embraced with tears the feet of his unhappy sovereign. The successor of Constantine, in a plebeian habit, was led into the Turkish divan, and commanded to kiss the ground before the lord of Asia. He reluctantly obeyed; and Alp Arslan, starting from his throne, is said to have planted his foot on the neck of the Roman emperor.41 But the fact is doubtful; and, if, in this moment of insolence, the sultan complied with a national custom, the rest of his conduct has extorted the praise of his bigoted foes, and may afford a lesson to the most civilised ages. He instantly raised the royal captive from the ground; and, thrice clasping his hand with tender sympathy, assured him that his life and dignity Edition: current; Page: [169] should be inviolate in the hands of a prince who had learned to respect the majesty of his equals and the vicissitudes of fortune. From the divan Romanus was conducted to an adjacent tent, where he was served with pomp and reverence by the officers of the sultan, who, twice each day, seated him in the place of honour at his own table. In a free and familiar conversation of eight days, not a word, not a look, of insult escaped from the conqueror; but he severely censured the unworthy subjects who had deserted their valiant prince in the hour of danger, and gently admonished his antagonist of some errors which he had committed in the management of the war. In the preliminaries of negotiation, Alp Arslan asked him what treatment he expected to receive, and the calm indifference of the emperor displays the freedom of his mind. “If you are cruel,” said he, “you will take my life; if you listen to pride, you will drag me at your chariot wheels; if you consult your interest, you will accept a ransom, and restore me to my country.” — “And what,” continued the sultan, “would have been your own behaviour, had fortune smiled on your arms?” The reply of the Greek betrays a sentiment, which prudence, and even gratitude, should have taught him to suppress. “Had I vanquished,” he fiercely said, “I would have inflicted on thy body many a stripe.” The Turkish conqueror smiled at the insolence of his captive; observed that the Christian law inculcated the love of enemies and forgiveness of injuries; and nobly declared that he would not imitate an example which he condemned. After mature deliberation, Alp Arslan dictated the terms of liberty and peace, a ransom of a million, an annual tribute of three hundred and sixty thousand pieces of gold,42 the marriage of the royal children, and the deliverance of all the Moslems who were in the power of the Greeks. Romanus, with a sigh, subscribed Edition: current; Page: [170] this treaty, so disgraceful to the majesty of the empire; he was immediately invested with a Turkish robe of honour; his nobles and patricians were restored to their sovereign; and the sultan, after a courteous embrace, dismissed him with rich presents and a military guard. No sooner did he reach the confines of the empire than he was informed that the palace and provinces had disclaimed their allegiance to a captive: a sum of two hundred thousand pieces was painfully collected; and the fallen monarch transmitted this part of his ransom, with a sad confession of his impotence and disgrace. The generosity, or perhaps the ambition, of the sultan prepared to espouse the cause of his ally; but his designs were prevented by the defeat, imprisonment, and death of Romanus Diogenes.43

In the treaty of peace it does not appear that Alp Arslan extorted any province or city from the captive emperor; and his revenge was satisfied with the trophies of his victory, and the spoils of Anatolia from Antioch to the Black Sea. The fairest part of Asia was subject to his laws; twelve hundred princes, or the sons of princes, stood before his throne; and two hundred thousand soldiers marched under his banners. The sultan disdained to pursue the fugitive Greeks; but he meditated the more glorious conquest of Turkestan, the original Edition: current; Page: [171] seat of the house of Seljuk. He moved from Bagdad to the banks of the Oxus; a bridge was thrown over the river; and twenty days were consumed in the passage of his troops. But the progress of the great king was retarded by the governor of Berzem; and Joseph the Carizmian presumed to defend his fortress against the powers of the East. When he was produced a captive in the royal tent, the sultan, instead of praising his valour, severely reproached his obstinate folly; and the insolent replies of the rebel provoked a sentence, that he should be fastened to four stakes and left to expire in that painful situation. At this command the desperate Carizmian, drawing a dagger, rushed headlong towards the throne: the guards raised their battle-axes; their zeal was checked by Alp Arslan, the most skilful archer of the age; he drew his bow, but his foot slipped, the arrow glanced aside, and he received in his breast the dagger of Joseph, who was instantly cut in pieces. The wound was mortal; and the Turkish prince bequeathed a dying admonition to the pride of kings. “In my youth,” said Alp Arslan, “I was advised by a sage to humble myself before God; to distrust my own strength; and never to despise the most contemptible foe. I have neglected these lessons; and my neglect has been deservedly punished. Yesterday, as from an eminence I beheld the numbers, the discipline, and the spirit of my armies, the earth seemed to tremble under my feet; and I said in my heart, surely thou art the king of the world, the greatest and most invincible of warriors. These armies are no longer mine; and, in the confidence of my personal strength, I now fall by the hand of an assassin.”44 Alp Arslan possessed the virtues of a Turk and a Musulman; his voice and stature commanded the reverence of mankind; his face was shaded with long whiskers; and his ample turban was fashioned Edition: current; Page: [172] in the shape of a crown. The remains of the sultan were deposited in the tomb of the Seljukian dynasty; and the passenger might read and meditate this useful inscription:45O ye who have seen the glory of Alp Arslan exalted to the heavens, repair to Maru, and you will behold it buried in the dust!” The annihilation of the inscription, and the tomb itself, more forcibly proclaims the instability of human greatness.

During the life of Alp Arslan, his eldest son had been acknowledged as the future sultan of the Turks. On his father’s death, the inheritance was disputed by an uncle, a cousin, and a brother: they drew their scymetars, and assembled their followers; and the triple victory of Malek Shah46 established his own reputation and the right of primogeniture. In every age, and more especially in Asia, the thirst of power has inspired the same passions and occasioned the same disorders; but, from the long series of civil war, it would not be easy to extract a sentiment more pure and magnanimous than is contained in a saying of the Turkish prince. On the eve of the battle, he performed his devotions at Thous, before the tomb of the Imam Riza. As the sultan rose from the ground, he asked his vizir Nizam, who had knelt beside him, what had been the object of his secret petition: “That your arms may be crowned with victory,” was the prudent and most probably the sincere answer of the minister. “For my part,” replied the generous Malek, “I implored the Lord of Hosts that he would take from me my life and crown, if my brother be more worthy than myself Edition: current; Page: [173] to reign over the Moslems.” The favourable judgment of heaven was ratified by the caliph; and for the first time the sacred title of Commander of the Faithful was communicated to a Barbarian.46a But this Barbarian, by his personal merit and the extent of his empire, was the greatest prince of his age. After the settlement of Persia and Syria, he marched at the head of innumerable armies to achieve the conquest of Turkestan, which had been undertaken by his father. In his passage of the Oxus, the boatmen, who had been employed in transporting some troops, complained that their payment was assigned on the revenues of Antioch. The sultan frowned at this preposterous choice, but he smiled at the artful flattery of his vizir. “It was not to postpone their reward that I selected those remote places, but to leave a memorial to posterity that under your reign Antioch and the Oxus were subject to the same sovereign.” But this description of his limits was unjust and parsimonious: beyond the Oxus, he reduced to his obedience the cities of Bochara, Carizme, and Samarcand, and crushed each rebellious slave, or independent savage, who dared to resist. Malek passed the Sihon or Jaxartes, the last boundary of Persian civilisation: the lords of Turkestan yielded to his supremacy; his name was inserted on the coins, and in the prayers, of Cashgar, a Tartar kingdom on the extreme borders of China. From the Chinese frontier, he stretched his immediate jurisdiction or feudatory sway to the west and south, as far as the mountains of Georgia, the neighbourhood of Constantinople, the holy city of Jerusalem, and the spicy groves of Arabia Felix. Instead of resigning himself to the luxury of his harem, the shepherd king, both in peace and war, was in action and in the field. By the perpetual motion of the royal camp, each province was successively blessed with his presence; and he is said to have perambulated twelve times Edition: current; Page: [174] the wide extent of his dominions, which surpassed the Asiatic reign of Cyrus and the caliphs. Of these expeditions, the most pious and splendid was the pilgrimage of Mecca; the freedom and safety of the caravans were protected by his arms; the citizens and pilgrims were enriched by the profusion of his alms; and the desert was cheered by the places of relief and refreshment, which he instituted for the use of his brethren. Hunting was the pleasure, and even the passion, of the sultan, and his train consisted of forty-seven thousand horses; but, after the massacre of a Turkish chase, for each piece of game, he bestowed a piece of gold on the poor, a slight atonement, at the expense of the people, for the cost and mischief of the amusement of kings. In the peaceful prosperity of his reign, the cities of Asia were adorned with palaces and hospitals, with moschs and colleges; few departed from his divan without reward, and none without justice. The language and literature of Persia revived under the house of Seljuk;47 and, if Malek emulated the liberality of a Turk less potent than himself,48 his palace might resound with the songs of an hundred poets. The sultan bestowed a more serious and learned care on the reformation of the calendar, which was effected by a general assembly of the astronomers of the East. By a law of the prophet, the Moslems are confined to the irregular course of the lunar months; in Persia, since the age of Zoroaster, the revolution of the sun has been known and celebrated as an annual Edition: current; Page: [175] festival;49 but, after the fall of the Magian empire, the intercalation had been neglected; the fractions of minutes and hours were multiplied into days; and the date of the Spring was removed from the sign of Aries to that of Pisces. The reign of Malek was illustrated by the Gelalæan era; and all errors, either past or future, were corrected by a computation of time, which surpasses the Julian, and approaches the accuracy of the Gregorian, style.50

In a period when Europe was plunged in the deepest barbarism, the light and splendour of Asia may be ascribed to the docility rather than the knowledge of the Turkish conquerors. An ample share of their wisdom and virtue is due to a Persian vizir, who ruled the empire under the reign of Alp Arslan and his son. Nizam, one of the most illustrious ministers of the East, was honoured by the caliph as an oracle of religion and science;51 he was trusted by the sultan as the faithful vicegerent of his power and justice. After an administration of thirty years, the fame of the vizir, his wealth, and even his services were transformed into crimes. He was overthrown by the insidious arts of a woman and a rival; and his fall was hastened by a rash declaration that his cap and ink-horn, the badges of his office, were connected Edition: current; Page: [176] by the divine decree with the throne and diadem of the sultan. At the age of ninety-three years, the venerable statesman was dismissed by his master, accused by his enemies, and murdered by a fanatic: the last words of Nizam attested his innocence, and the remainder of Malek’s life was short and inglorious. From Ispahan, the scene of this disgraceful transaction, the sultan moved to Bagdad, with the design of transplanting the caliph, and of fixing his own residence in the capital of the Moslem world. The feeble successor of Mahomet obtained a respite of ten days; and, before the expiration of the term, the Barbarian was summoned by the angel of death. His ambassadors at Constantinople had asked in marriage a Roman princess; but the proposal was decently eluded; and the daughter of Alexius, who might herself have been the victim, expresses her abhorrence of this unnatural conjunction.52 The daughter of the sultan was bestowed on the caliph Moctadi, with the imperious condition that, renouncing the society of his wives and concubines, he should for ever confine himself to this honourable alliance.

The greatness and unity of the Turkish empire expired in the person of Malek Shah. His vacant throne was disputed by his brother and his four sons; and, after a series of civil wars, the treaty which reconciled the surviving candidates confirmed a lasting separation in the Persian dynasty, the eldest and principal branch of the house of Seljuk. The three younger dynasties were those of Kerman, of Syria, and of Roum: the first of these commanded an extensive, though obscure,53 dominion on the shores of the Indian Edition: current; Page: [177] Ocean;54 the second expelled the Arabian princes of Aleppo and Damascus; and the third, our peculiar care, invaded the Roman provinces of Asia Minor. The generous policy of Malek contributed to their elevation; he allowed the princes of his blood, even those whom he had vanquished in the field, to seek new kingdoms worthy of their ambition; nor was he displeased that they should draw away the more ardent spirits who might have disturbed the tranquillity of his reign. As the supreme head of his family and nation, the great sultan of Persia commanded the obedience and tribute of his royal brethren; the throne of Kerman and Nice, of Aleppo and Damascus; the Atabeks, and emirs of Syria and Mesopotamia, erected their standards under the shadow of his sceptre;55 and the hordes of Turkmans overspread the plains of the western Asia. After the death of Malek, the bands of union and subordination were relaxed and finally dissolved; the indulgence of the house of Seljuk invested their slaves with the inheritance of kingdoms; and, in the Oriental style, a crowd of princes arose from the dust of their feet.56

A prince of the royal line, Cutulmish, the son of Izrail, the son of Seljuk, had fallen in a battle against Alp Arslan; and the humane victor had dropped a tear over his grave. His five sons, strong in arms, ambitious of power, and eager for Edition: current; Page: [178] revenge, unsheathed their scymetars against the son of Alp Arslan. The two armies expected the signal, when the caliph, forgetful of the majesty which secluded him from vulgar eyes, interposed his venerable mediation. “Instead of shedding the blood of your brethren, your brethren both in descent and faith, unite your forces in an holy war against the Greeks, the enemies of God and his apostle.” They listened to his voice; the sultan embraced his rebellious kinsmen; and the eldest, the valiant Soliman, accepted the royal standdard, which gave him the free conquest and hereditary command of the provinces of the Roman empire, from Arzeroum to Constantinople and the unknown regions of the West.57 Accompanied by his four brothers, he passed the Euphrates: the Turkish camp was soon seated in the neighbourhood of Kutaieh, in Phrygia; and his flying cavalry laid waste the country as far as the Hellespont and the Black Sea. Since the decline of the empire, the peninsula of Asia Minor had been exposed to the transient though destructive inroads of the Persians and Saracens; but the fruits of a lasting conquest were reserved for the Turkish sultan; and his arms were introduced by the Greeks, who aspired to reign on the ruins of their country. Since the captivity of Romanus, six years the feeble son of Eudocia had trembled under the weight of the Imperial crown, till the provinces of the East and West were lost in the same month by a double rebellion: of either chief Nicephorus was the common name; but the surnames of Bryennius and Botoniates distinguish the European and Asiatic candidates. Their reasons, or rather their promises, were weighed in the divan; and, after some hesitation, Soliman Edition: current; Page: [179] declared himself in favour of Botoniates, opened a free passage to his troops in their march from Antioch to Nice, and joined the banner of the crescent to that of the cross. After his ally had ascended the throne of Constantinople, the sultan was hospitably entertained in the suburb of Chrysopolis or Scutari; and a body of two thousand Turks was transported into Europe, to whose dexterity and courage the new emperor was indebted for the defeat and captivity of his rival Bryennius. But the conquest of Europe was dearly purchased by the sacrifice of Asia: Constantinople was deprived of the obedience and revenue of the provinces beyond the Bosphorus and Hellespont; and the regular progress of the Turks, who fortified the passes of the rivers and mountains, left not a hope of their retreat or expulsion. Another candidate implored the aid of the sultan:58 Melissenus, in his purple robes and red buskins, attended the motions of the Turkish camp; and the desponding cities were tempted by the summons of a Roman prince, who immediately surrendered them into the hands of the Barbarians. These acquisitions were confirmed by a treaty of peace with the emperor Alexius; his fear of Robert compelled him to seek the friendship of Soliman; and it was not till after the sultan’s death that he extended as far as Nicomedia, about sixty miles from Constantinople, the eastern boundary of the Roman world. Trebizond alone, defended on either side by the sea and mountains, preserved at the extremity of the Euxine the ancient character of a Greek colony, and the future destiny of a Christian empire.

Since the first conquests of the caliphs, the establishment of the Turks in Anatolia, or Asia Minor, was the most deplorable loss which the church and empire had sustained. By the propagation of the Moslem faith, Soliman deserved the name of Gazi, a holy champion; and his new kingdom of the Romans, or of Roum, was added to the tables of Oriental Edition: current; Page: [180] geography. It is described as extending from the Euphrates to Constantinople, from the Black Sea to the confines of Syria; pregnant with mines of silver and iron, of alum and copper, fruitful in corn and wine, and productive of cattle and excellent horses.59 The wealth of Lydia, the arts of the Greeks, the splendour of the Augustan age, existed only in books and ruins, which were equally obscure in the eyes of the Scythian conquerors. Yet, in the present decay, Anatolia still contains some wealthy and populous cities; and, under the Byzantine empire, they were far more flourishing in numbers, size, and opulence. By the choice of the sultan, Nice, the metropolis of Bithynia, was preferred for his palace and fortress: the seat of the Seljukian dynasty of Roum was planted one hundred miles from Constantinople; and the divinity of Christ was denied and derided in the same temple in which it had been pronounced by the first general synod of the Catholics. The unity of God and the mission of Mahomet were preached in the moschs; the Arabian learning was taught in the schools; the Cadhis judged according to the law of the Koran; the Turkish manners and language prevailed in the cities; and Turkman camps were scattered over the plains and mountains of Anatolia. On the hard conditions of tribute and servitude, the Greek Christians might enjoy the exercise of their religion; but their most holy churches were profaned; their priests and bishops were insulted;60 they were compelled to suffer the triumph of the Edition: current; Page: [181] Pagans and the apostacy of their brethren; many thousand children were marked by the knife of circumcision; and many thousand captives were devoted to the service or the pleasures of their masters.61 After the loss of Asia, Antioch still maintained her primitive allegiance to Christ and Cæsar; but the solitary province was separated from all Roman aid, and surrounded on all sides by the Mahometan powers. The despair of Philaretus the governor prepared the sacrifice of his religion and loyalty, had not his guilt been prevented by his son, who hastened to the Nicene palace, and offered to deliver this valuable prize into the hands of Soliman. The ambitious sultan mounted on horseback, and in twelve nights (for he reposed in the day) performed a march of six hundred miles. Antioch was oppressed by the speed and secrecy of his enterprise; and the dependent cities, as far as Laodicea and the confines of Aleppo,62 obeyed the example of the metropolis. From Laodicea to the Thracian Bosphorus, or arm of St. George, the conquests and reign of Soliman extended thirty days’ journey in length, and in breadth about ten or fifteen, between the rocks of Lycia and the Black Sea.63 The Turkish ignorance of navigation protected, for a while, the inglorious safety of the emperor; but no sooner had a fleet of two hundred ships been constructed by the hands of the captive Greeks, than Alexius trembled behind the walls of his capital. His plaintive epistles were dispersed over Europe, to excite the compassion of the Latins, and to paint Edition: current; Page: [182] the danger, the weakness, and the riches of the city of Constantine.64

But the most interesting conquest of the Seljukian Turks was that of Jerusalem,65 which soon became the theatre of nations. In their capitulation with Omar, the inhabitants had stipulated the assurance of their religion and property; but the articles were interpreted by a master against whom it was dangerous to dispute; and in the four hundred years of the reign of the caliphs, the political climate of Jerusalem was exposed to the vicissitudes of storms and sunshine.66 Edition: current; Page: [183] By the increase of proselytes and population, the Mahometans might excuse their usurpation of three fourths of the city; but a peculiar quarter was reserved for the patriarch with his clergy and people; a tribute of two pieces of gold was the price of protection; and the sepulchre of Christ, with the church of the Resurrection, was still left in the hands of his votaries. Of these votaries, the most numerous and respectable portion were strangers to Jerusalem: the pilgrimages to the Holy Land had been stimulated, rather than suppressed, by the conquest of the Arabs; and the enthusiasm which had always prompted these perilous journeys was nourished by the congenial passions of grief and indignation. A crowd of pilgrims from the East and West continued to visit the holy sepulchre and the adjacent sanctuaries, more especially at the festival at Easter; and the Greeks and Latins, the Nestorians and Jacobites, the Copts and Abyssinians, the Armenians and Georgians, maintained the chapels, the clergy, and the poor of their respective communions. The harmony of prayer in so many various tongues, the worship of so many nations in the common temple of their religion, might have afforded a spectacle of edification and peace; but the zeal of the Christian sects was embittered by hatred and revenge; and in the kingdom of a suffering Messiah, who had pardoned his enemies, they aspired to command and persecute their spiritual brethren. The pre-eminence was asserted by the spirit and numbers of the Franks; and the greatness of Charlemagne67 protected both the Latin pilgrims, and the Catholics of the East. The poverty of Carthage, Alexandria, and Jerusalem was relieved by the alms of that pious emperor; and many monasteries of Palestine were founded or restored by his liberal devotion. Harun Alrashid, the greatest of the Abbassides, Edition: current; Page: [184] esteemed in his Christian brother a similar supremacy of genius and power; their friendship was cemented by a frequent intercourse of gifts and embassies; and the caliph, without resigning the substantial dominion, presented the emperor with the keys of the holy sepulchre, and perhaps of the city of Jerusalem. In the decline of the Carlovingian monarchy, the republic of Amalphi promoted the interest of trade and religion in the East. Her vessels transported the Latin pilgrims to the coasts of Egypt and Palestine, and deserved, by their useful imports, the favour and alliance of the Fatimite caliphs:68 an annual fair was instituted on Mount Calvary; and the Italian merchants founded the convent and hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, the cradle of the monastic and military order, which has since reigned in the isles of Rhodes and of Malta. Had the Christian pilgrims been content to revere the tomb of a prophet, the disciples of Mahomet, instead of blaming, would have imitated, their piety; but these rigid Unitarians were scandalised by a worship which represents the birth, death, and resurrection of a God; the Catholic images were branded with the name of idols; and the Moslems smiled with indignation69 at the miraculous flame, which was kindled on the eve of Easter in the holy sepulchre.70 This pious fraud, first devised in the ninth century,71 was devoutly cherished by the Latin crusaders, and is annually repeated by the clergy of the Greek, Edition: current; Page: [185] Armenian, and Coptic sects,72 who impose on the credulous spectators73 for their own benefit and that of their tyrants. In every age, a principle of toleration has been fortified by a sense of interest; and the revenue of the prince and his emir was increased each year by the expense and tribute of so many thousand strangers.

The revolution which transferred the sceptre from the Abbassides to the Fatimites was a benefit, rather than an injury, to the Holy Land. A sovereign resident in Egypt was more sensible of the importance of Christian trade; and the emirs of Palestine were less remote from the justice and power of the throne. But the third of these Fatimite caliphs was the famous Hakem,74 a frantic youth, who was delivered by his impiety and despotism from the fear either of God or man; and whose reign was a wild mixture of vice and folly. Regardless of the most ancient customs of Egypt, he imposed on the women an absolute confinement: the restraint excited the clamours of both sexes; their clamours provoked his fury; a part of Old Cairo was delivered to the flames; and the guards and citizens were engaged many days in a bloody conflict. At first the caliph declared himself a zealous Musulman, the founder or benefactor of moschs and colleges; twelve hundred and ninety copies of the Koran were Edition: current; Page: [186] transcribed at his expense in letters of gold; and his edict extirpated the vineyards of the Upper Egypt. But his vanity was soon flattered by the hope of introducing a new religion; he aspired above the fame of a prophet, and styled himself the visible image of the Most High God, who, after nine apparitions on earth, was at length manifest in his royal person. At the name of Hakem, the lord of the living and the dead, every knee was bent in religious adoration: his mysteries were performed on a mountain near Cairo; sixteen thousand converts had signed his profession of faith; and at the present hour, a free and warlike people, the Druses of Mount Libanus, are persuaded of the life and divinity of a madman and tyrant.75 In his divine character, Hakem hated the Jews and Christians, as the servants of his rivals; while some remains of prejudice or prudence still pleaded in favour of the law of Mahomet.76 Both in Egypt and Palestine, his cruel and wanton persecution made some martyrs and many apostates: the common rights and special privileges of the sectaries were equally disregarded; and a general interdict was laid on the devotion of strangers and natives. The temple of the Christian world, the church of the Resurrection, Edition: current; Page: [187] was demolished to its foundations; the luminous prodigy of Easter was interrupted, and much profane labour was exhausted to destroy the cave in the rock, which properly constitutes the holy sepulchre. At the report of this sacrilege, the nations of Europe were astonished and afflicted; but, instead of arming in the defence of the Holy Land, they contented themselves with burning or banishing the Jews, as the secret advisers of the impious Barbarian.77 Yet the calamities of Jerusalem were in some measure alleviated by the inconstancy or repentance of Hakem himself; and the royal mandate was sealed for the restitution of the churches, when the tyrant was assassinated by the emissaries of his sister. The succeeding caliphs resumed the maxims of religion and policy; a free toleration was again granted; with the pious aid of the emperor of Constantinople the holy sepulchre arose from its ruins; and, after a short abstinence, the pilgrims returned with an increase of appetite to the spiritual feast.78 In the sea-voyage of Palestine, the dangers were frequent and the opportunities rare: but the conversion of Hungary opened a safe communication between Germany and Greece. The charity of St. Stephen, the apostle of his kingdom, relieved and conducted his itinerant brethren;79 and from Belgrade to Antioch they traversed fifteen hundred miles of a Christian empire. Among the Franks, the zeal of pilgrimage prevailed beyond the example of former times; and the roads were covered with multitudes of either sex and of every rank, who professed their contempt of life, so soon as they should have kissed the tomb of their Redeemer. Edition: current; Page: [188] Princes and prelates abandoned the care of their dominions; and the numbers of these pious caravans were a prelude to the armies which marched in the ensuing age under the banner of the cross. About thirty years before the first crusade, the archbishop of Mentz, with the bishops of Utrecht, Bamberg, and Ratisbon, undertook this laborious journey from the Rhine to the Jordan; and the multitude of their followers amounted to seven thousand persons. At Constantinople, they were hospitably entertained by the emperor; but the ostentation of their wealth provoked the assault of the wild Arabs; they drew their swords with scrupulous reluctance, and sustained a siege in the village of Capernaum, till they were rescued by the venal protection of the Fatimite emir. After visiting the holy places, they embarked for Italy, but only a remnant of two thousand arrived in safety in their native land. Ingulphus, a secretary of William the Conqueror, was a companion of this pilgrimage; he observes that they sallied from Normandy, thirty stout and well-appointed horsemen; but that they repassed the Alps, twenty miserable palmers, with the staff in their hand, and the wallet at their back.80

After the defeat of the Romans, the tranquillity of the Fatimite caliphs was invaded by the Turks.81 One of the lieutenants of Malek Shah, Atsiz the Carizmian, marched into Syria at the head of a powerful army, and reduced Damascus by famine and the sword. Hems, and the other cities of the province, acknowledged the caliph of Bagdad and the sultan of Persia; and the victorious emir advanced without resistance to the banks of the Nile; the Fatimite Edition: current; Page: [189] was preparing to fly into the heart of Africa; but the negroes of his guard and the inhabitants of Cairo made a desperate sally, and repulsed the Turk from the confines of Egypt. In his retreat, he indulged the licence of slaughter and rapine; the judge and notaries of Jerusalem were invited to his camp; and their execution was followed by the massacre of three thousand citizens. The cruelty or the defeat of Atsiz was soon punished by the sultan Toucush, the brother of Malek Shah, who, with a higher title and more formidable powers, asserted the dominion of Syria and Palestine. The house of Seljuk reigned about twenty years in Jerusalem;82 but the hereditary command of the holy city and territory was entrusted or abandoned to the emir Ortok, the chief of a tribe82a of Turkmans, whose children, after their expulsion from Palestine, formed two dynasties on the borders of Armenia and Assyria.83 The Oriental Christians and the Latin pilgrims deplored a revolution, which, instead of the regular government and old alliance of the caliphs, imposed on their necks the iron yoke of the strangers of the North.84 In his court and camp the great sultan had adopted in some degree the arts and manners of Persia; but the body of the Edition: current; Page: [190] Turkish nation, and more especially the pastoral tribes, still breathed the fierceness of the desert. From Nice to Jerusalem, the western countries of Asia were a scene of foreign and domestic hostility; and the shepherds of Palestine, who held a precarious sway on a doubtful frontier, had neither leisure nor capacity to await the slow profits of commercial and religious freedom. The pilgrims, who, through innumerable perils, had reached the gates of Jerusalem, were the victims of private rapine or public oppression, and often sunk under the pressure of famine and disease, before they were permitted to salute the holy sepulchre. A spirit of native barbarism, or recent zeal, prompted the Turkmans to insult the clergy of every sect; the patriarch was dragged by the hair along the pavement and cast into a dungeon, to extort a ransom from the sympathy of his flock; and the divine worship in the church of the Resurrection was often disturbed by the savage rudeness of its masters. The pathetic tale excited the millions of the West to march under the standard of the Cross to the relief of the Holy Land; and yet how trifling is the sum of these accumulated evils, if compared with the single act of the sacrilege of Hakem, which had been so patiently endured by the Latin Christians! A slighter provocation inflamed the more irascible temper of their descendants: a new spirit had arisen of religious chivalry and papal dominion; a nerve was touched of exquisite feeling; and the sensation vibrated to the heart of Europe.

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Origin and Numbers of the First Crusade — Characters of the Latin Princes — Their March to Constantinople — Policy of the Greek Emperor Alexius — Conquest of Nice, Antioch, and Jerusalem, by the Franks — Deliverance of the Holy Sepulchre — Godfrey of Bouillon, first King of Jerusalem — Institutions of the French or Latin Kingdom

About twenty years after the conquest of Jerusalem by the Turks, the holy sepulchre was visited by an hermit of the name of Peter, a native of Amiens, in the province of Picardy1 in France. His resentment and sympathy were excited by his own injuries and the oppression of the Christian name; he mingled his tears with those of the patriarch, and earnestly inquired if no hopes of relief could be entertained from the Greek emperors of the East. The patriarch exposed the vices and weakness of the successors of Constantine. “I will rouse,” exclaimed the hermit, “the martial nations of Europe in your cause;” and Europe was obedient to the call of the hermit. The astonished patriarch dismissed him with epistles of credit and complaint; and no sooner did he land at Bari than Peter hastened to kiss the feet of the Roman Pontiff. His stature was small, his appearance contemptible; but his eye was keen and lively; and he possessed that vehemence of speech which seldom fails to impart Edition: current; Page: [192] the persuasion of the soul.2 He was born of a gentleman’s family (for we must now adopt a modern idiom), and his military service was under the neighbouring counts of Boulogne, the heroes of the first crusade. But he soon relinquished the sword and the world; and, if it be true that his wife, however noble, was aged and ugly, he might withdraw, with the less reluctance, from her bed to a convent, and at length to an hermitage. In this austere solitude, his body was emaciated, his fancy was inflamed; whatever he wished, he believed; whatever he believed, he saw in dreams and revelations. From Jerusalem the pilgrim returned an accomplished fanatic; but, as he excelled in the popular madness of the times, Pope Urban the Second received him as a prophet, applauded his glorious design, promised to support it in a general council, and encouraged him to proclaim the deliverance of the Holy Land. Invigorated by the approbation of the Pontiff, his zealous missionary traversed, with speed and success, the provinces of Italy and France. His diet was abstemious, his prayers long and fervent, and the alms which he received with one hand, he distributed with the other; his head was bare, his feet naked, his meagre body was wrapt in a coarse garment; he bore and displayed a weighty crucifix; and the ass on which he rode was sanctified in the public eye by the service of the man of God. He preached to innumerable crowds in the churches, the streets, and the highways: the hermit entered with equal confidence Edition: current; Page: [e] Edition: current; Page: [f] Edition: current; Page: [193] the palace and the cottage; and the people, for all was people, were impetuously moved by his call to repentance and arms. When he painted the sufferings of the natives and pilgrims of Palestine, every heart was melted to compassion; every breast glowed with indignation, when he challenged the warriors of the age to defend their brethren and rescue their Saviour: his ignorance of art and language was compensated by sighs, and tears, and ejaculations; and Peter supplied the deficiency of reason by loud and frequent appeals to Christ and his mother, to the saints and angels of paradise, with whom he had personally conversed. The most perfect orator of Athens might have envied the success of his eloquence: the rustic enthusiast inspired the passions which he felt, and Christendom expected with impatience the counsels and decrees of the supreme Pontiff.


The magnanimous spirit of Gregory the Seventh had already embraced the design of arming Europe against Asia; the ardour of his zeal and ambition still breathes in his epistles. From either side of the Alps, fifty thousand Catholics had enlisted under the banner of St. Peter;3 and his successor reveals his intention of marching at their head against the impious sectaries of Mahomet. But the glory or reproach of executing, though not in person, this holy enterprise was reserved for Urban the Second,4 the most faithful Edition: current; Page: [194] of his disciples. He undertook the conquest of the East, whilst the larger portion of Rome was possessed and fortified by his rival, Guibert of Ravenna, who contended with Urban for the name and honours of the pontificate. He attempted to unite the powers of the West, at a time when the princes were separated from the church, and the people from their princes, by the excommunication which himself and his predecessors had thundered against the emperor and the king of France. Philip the First, of France, supported with patience the censures which he had provoked by his scandalous life and adulterous marriage. Henry the Fourth, of Germany, asserted the right of investitures, the prerogative of confirming his bishops by the delivery of the ring and crosier. But the emperor’s party was crushed in Italy by the arms of the Normans and the Countess Mathilda; and the long quarrel had been recently envenomed by the revolt of his son Conrad, and the shame of his wife,5 who, in the synods of Constance and Placentia, confessed the manifold prostitutions to which she had been exposed by an husband regardless of her honour and his own.6 So popular was the Edition: current; Page: [195] cause of Urban, so weighty was his influence, that the council which he summoned at Placentia7 was composed of two hundred bishops of Italy, France, Burgundy, Swabia, and Bavaria. Four thousand of the clergy, and thirty thousand of the laity, attended this important meeting; and, as the most spacious cathedral would have been inadequate to the multitude, the session of seven days was held in a plain adjacent to the city. The ambassadors of the Greek emperor, Alexius Comnenus, were introduced to plead the distress of their sovereign, and the danger of Constantinople, which was divided only by a narrow sea from the victorious Turks, the common enemy of the Christian name. In their suppliant address, they flattered the pride of the Latin princes; and, appealing at once to their policy and religion, exhorted them to repel the Barbarians on the confines of Asia rather than to expect them in the heart of Europe. At the sad tale of the misery and perils of their Eastern brethren, the assembly burst into tears; the most eager champions declared their readiness to march; and the Greek ambassadors were dismissed with the assurance of a speedy and powerful succour. The relief of Constantinople was included in the larger and most distant project of the deliverance of Jerusalem; but the prudent Urban adjourned the final decision to a second synod, which he proposed to celebrate in some city of France in the autumn of the same year. The short delay would propagate the flame of enthusiasm; and his firmest hope was in a nation of soldiers,8 still proud of the pre-eminence of their name, and Edition: current; Page: [196] ambitious to emulate their hero Charlemagne,9 who, in the popular romance of Turpin,10 had achieved the conquest of the Holy Land. A latent motive of affection or vanity might influence the choice of Urban. He was himself a native of France, a monk of Clugny, and the first of his countrymen who ascended the throne of St. Peter. The pope had illustrated his family and province. Nor is there perhaps a more exquisite gratification than to revisit, in a conspicuous dignity, the humble and laborious scenes of our youth.

It may occasion some surprise that the Roman pontiff should erect, in the heart of France, the tribunal from whence he hurled his anathemas against the king; but our surprise will vanish, so soon as we form a just estimate of a king of France of the eleventh century.11 Philip the First was the great-grandson of Hugh Capet, the founder of the present race, who, in the decline of Charlemagne’s posterity, added the regal title to his patrimonial estates of Paris and Orleans. Edition: current; Page: [197] In this narrow compass he was possessed of wealth and jurisdiction; but, in the rest of France, Hugh and his first descendants were no more than the feudal lords of about sixty dukes and counts, of independent and hereditary power,12 who disdained the control of laws and legal assemblies, and whose disregard of their sovereign was revenged by the disobedience of their inferior vassals. At Clermont, in the territories of the Count of Auvergne,13 the pope might brave with impunity the resentment of Philip; and the council which he convened in that city was not less numerous or respectable than the synod of Placentia.14 Besides his court and council of Roman cardinals, he was supported by thirteen archbishops and two hundred and twenty-five bishops;15 the number of mitred prelates was computed at four hundred; and the fathers of the church were blessed by the saints, and enlightened by the doctors, of the age. From the adjacent kingdoms a martial train of lords and knights of power and renown attended the council,16 in high expectation of its resolves; and such was the ardour of zeal and curiosity that the city was filled, and many thousands, in the month of November, erected their tents or huts in the open field. A session of eight days produced some useful or edifying canons Edition: current; Page: [198] for the reformation of manners; a severe censure was pronounced against the licence of private war; the Truce of God17 was confirmed, a suspension of hostilities during four days of the week; women and priests were placed under the safeguard of the church; and a protection of three years was extended to husbandmen and merchants, the defenceless victims of military rapine. But a law, however venerable be the sanction, cannot suddenly transform the temper of the times; and the benevolent efforts of Urban deserve the less praise, since he laboured to appease some domestic quarrels that he might spread the flames of war from the Atlantic to the Euphrates. From the synod of Placentia the rumour of his great design had gone forth among the nations; the clergy, on their return, had preached in every diocese the merit and glory of the deliverance of the Holy Land; and, when the pope ascended a lofty scaffold in the market-place of Clermont, his eloquence was addressed to a well-prepared and impatient audience. His topics were obvious, his exhortation was vehement, his success inevitable. The orator was interrupted by the shout of thousands, who with one voice, and in their rustic idiom, exclaimed aloud, “God wills it, God wills it!”18 “It is indeed the will of God,” replied the pope; “and let this memorable word, the inspiration surely of the Holy Spirit, be for ever adopted as your cry of battle, to animate the devotion and courage of the champions of Edition: current; Page: [199] Christ. His cross is the symbol of your salvation; wear it, a red, a bloody cross, as an external mark on your breasts or shoulders, as a pledge of your sacred and irrevocable engagement.” The proposal was joyfully accepted; great numbers both of the clergy and laity impressed on their garments the sign of the cross,19 and solicited the pope to march at their head. This dangerous honour was declined by the more prudent successor of Gregory, who alleged the schism of the church, and the duties of his pastoral office, recommending to the faithful, who were disqualified by sex or profession, by age or infirmity, to aid, with their prayers and alms, the personal service of their robust brethren. The name and powers of his legate he devolved on Adhemar, bishop of Puy, the first who had received the cross at his hands. The foremost of the temporal chiefs was Raymond, Count of Toulouse, whose ambassadors in the council excused the absence, and pledged the honour, of their master. After the confession and absolution of their sins, the champions of the cross were dismissed with a superfluous admonition to invite their countrymen and friends; and their departure for the Holy Land was fixed to the festival of the assumption, the fifteenth of August, of the ensuing year.20

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So familiar, and as it were so natural, to man is the practice of violence that our indulgence allows the slightest provocation, the most disputable right, as a sufficient ground of national hostility. But the name and nature of an holy war demands a more rigorous scrutiny; nor can we hastily believe that the servants of the Prince of Peace would unsheath the sword of destruction, unless the motives were pure, the quarrel legitimate, and the necessity inevitable. The policy of an action may be determined from the tardy lessons of experience; but, before we act, our conscience should be satisfied of the justice and propriety of our enterprise. In the age of the crusades, the Christians, both of the East and West, were persuaded of their lawfulness and merit; their arguments are clouded by the perpetual abuse of scripture and rhetoric; but they seem to insist on the right of natural and religious defence, their peculiar title to the Holy Land, and the impiety of their Pagan and Mahometan foes.21 I. The right of a just defence may fairly include our civil and spiritual allies: it depends on the existence of danger; and that danger must be estimated by the twofold consideration of the malice Edition: current; Page: [201] and the power of our enemies. A pernicious tenet has been imputed to the Mahometans, the duty of extirpating all other religions by the sword. This charge of ignorance and bigotry is refuted by the Koran, by the history of the Musulman conquerors, and by their public and legal toleration of the Christian worship. But it cannot be denied that the Oriental churches are depressed under their iron yoke; that, in peace and war, they assert a divine and indefeasible claim of universal empire; and that, in their orthodox creed, the unbelieving nations are continually threatened with the loss of religion or liberty. In the eleventh century, the victorious arms of the Turks presented a real and urgent apprehension of these losses. They had subdued, in less than thirty years, the kingdoms of Asia, as far as Jerusalem and the Hellespont; and the Greek empire tottered on the verge of destruction. Besides an honest sympathy for their brethren, the Latins had a right and interest in the support of Constantinople, the most important barrier of the West; and the privilege of defence must reach to prevent, as well as to repel, an impending assault. But this salutary purpose might have been accomplished by a moderate succour; and our calmer reason must disclaim the innumerable hosts and remote operations which overwhelmed Asia and depopulated Europe. II. Palestine could add nothing to the strength or safety of the Latins; and fanaticism alone could pretend to justify the conquest of that distant and narrow province. The Christians affirmed that their inalienable title to the promised land had been sealed by the blood of their divine Saviour: it was their right and duty to rescue their inheritance from the unjust possessors, who profaned his sepulchre and oppressed the pilgrimage of his disciples. Vainly would it be alleged that the pre-eminence of Jerusalem and the sanctity of Palestine have been abolished with the Mosaic law; that the God of the Christians is not a local deity; and that the recovery of Bethlehem or Calvary, his cradle or his tomb, will not atone for the violation of the moral precepts of Edition: current; Page: [202] the gospel. Such arguments glance aside from the leaden shield of superstition; and the religious mind will not easily relinquish its hold on the sacred ground of mystery and miracle. III. But the holy wars which have been waged in every climate of the globe, from Egypt to Livonia, and from Peru to Hindostan, require the support of some more general and flexible tenet. It has been often supposed, and sometimes affirmed, that a difference of religion is a worthy cause of hostility; that obstinate unbelievers may be slain or subdued by the champions of the cross; and that grace is the sole fountain of dominion as well as of mercy. Above four hundred years before the first crusade, the Eastern and Western provinces of the Roman empire had been acquired about the same time, and in the same manner, by the Barbarians of Germany and Arabia. Time and treaties had legitimated the conquests of the Christian Franks: but, in the eyes of their subjects and neighbours, the Mahometan princes were still tyrants and usurpers, who, by the arms of war or rebellion, might be lawfully driven from their unlawful possession.22

As the manners of the Christians were relaxed, their discipline of penance23 was enforced; and, with the multiplication of sins, the remedies were multiplied. In the primitive church, a voluntary and open confession prepared the work of atonement. In the middle ages, the bishops and priests interrogated the criminal; compelled him to account for his thoughts, words, and actions; and prescribed the terms of his reconciliation with God. But, as this discretionary power Edition: current; Page: [203] might alternately be abused by indulgence and tyranny, a rule of discipline was framed, to inform and regulate the spiritual judges. This mode of legislation was invented by the Greeks; their penitentials24 were translated, or imitated, in the Latin church; and, in the time of Charlemagne, the clergy of every diocese were provided with a code, which they prudently concealed from the knowledge of the vulgar. In this dangerous estimate of crimes and punishments, each case was supposed, each difference was remarked, by the experience or penetration of the monks; some sins are enumerated which innocence could not have suspected, and others which reason cannot believe; and the more ordinary offences of fornication and adultery, of perjury and sacrilege, of rapine and murder, were expiated by a penance which, according to the various circumstances, was prolonged from forty days to seven years. During this term of mortification, the patient was healed, the criminal was absolved, by a salutary regimen of fasts and prayers; the disorder of his dress was expressive of grief and remorse; and he humbly abstained from all the business and pleasure of social life. But the rigid execution of these laws would have depopulated the palace, the camp, and the city; the Barbarians of the West believed and trembled; but nature often rebelled against principle; and the magistrate laboured without effect to enforce the jurisdiction of the priest. A literal accomplishment of penance was indeed impracticable: the guilt of adultery was multiplied by daily repetition; that of homicide might involve the massacre of a whole people; each act was separately numbered; and, in those times of anarchy and vice, a modest sinner might easily incur a debt of three hundred years. His insolvency was relieved by a commutation, Edition: current; Page: [204] or indulgence: a year of penance was appreciated at twenty-six solidi25 of silver, about four pounds sterling, for the rich; at three solidi, or nine shillings, for the indigent: and these alms were soon appropriated to the use of the church, which derived, from the redemption of sins, an inexhaustible source of opulence and dominion. A debt of three hundred years, or twelve hundred pounds, was enough to impoverish a plentiful fortune; the scarcity of gold and silver was supplied by the alienation of land; and the princely donations of Pepin and Charlemagne are expressly given for the remedy of their soul. It is a maxim of the civil law, That whosoever cannot pay with his purse must pay with his body; and the practice of flagellation was adopted by the monks, a cheap, though painful, equivalent. By a fantastic arithmetic, a year of penance was taxed at three thousand lashes;26 and such was the skill and patience of a famous hermit, St. Dominic of the Iron Cuirass,27 that in six days he could discharge an entire century, by a whipping of three hundred thousand stripes. His example was followed by many penitents of both sexes; and, as a vicarious sacrifice was accepted, a sturdy disciplinarian might expiate on his own back the sins of his benefactors.28 These compensations of the purse and the person Edition: current; Page: [205] introduced, in the eleventh century, a more honourable mode of satisfaction. The merit of military service against the Saracens of Africa and Spain had been allowed by the predecessors of Urban the Second. In the council of Clermont, that pope proclaimed a plenary indulgence to those who should enlist under the banner of the cross: the absolution of all their sins, and a full receipt for all that might be due of canonical penance.29 The cold philosophy of modern times is incapable of feeling the impression that was made on a sinful and fanatic world. At the voice of their pastor, the robber, the incendiary, the homicide, arose by thousands to redeem their souls, by repeating on the infidels the same deeds which they had exercised against their Christian brethren; and the terms of atonement were eagerly embraced by offenders of every rank and denomination. None were pure; none were exempt from the guilt and penalty of sin; and those who were the least amenable to the justice of God and the church were the best entitled to the temporal and eternal recompense of their pious courage. If they fell, the spirit of the Latin clergy did not hesitate to adorn their tomb with the crown of martyrdom;30 and, should they survive, they could expect without impatience the delay and increase of their heavenly reward. They offered their blood to the Son of God, who had laid down his life for their salvation: they took up the cross, and entered with confidence into the way of the Lord. His providence would watch over their safety; perhaps his visible and miraculous power would smooth the difficulties of their holy enterprise. The cloud and pillar of Jehovah Edition: current; Page: [206] had marched before the Israelites into the promised land. Might not the Christians more reasonably hope that the rivers would open for their passage; that the walls of the strongest cities would fall at the sound of their trumpets; and that the sun would be arrested in his mid-career, to allow them time for the destruction of the infidels?

Of the chiefs and soldiers who marched to the holy sepulchre, I will dare to affirm that all were prompted by the spirit of enthusiasm, the belief of merit, the hope of reward, and the assurance of divine aid. But I am equally persuaded that in many it was not the sole, that in some it was not the leading, principle of action. The use and abuse of religion are feeble to stem, they are strong and irresistible to impel, the stream of national manners. Against the private wars of the Barbarians, their bloody tournaments, licentious loves, and judicial duels, the popes and synods might ineffectually thunder. It is a more easy task to provoke the metaphysical disputes of the Greeks, to drive into the cloister the victims of anarchy or despotism, to sanctify the patience of slaves and cowards, or to assume the merit of the humanity and benevolence of modern Christians. War and exercise were the reigning passions of the Franks or Latins; they were enjoined, as a penance, to gratify those passions, to visit distant lands, and to draw their swords against the nations of the East. Their victory, or even their attempt, would immortalise the names of the intrepid heroes of the cross; and the purest piety could not be insensible to the most splendid prospect of military glory. In the petty quarrels of Europe, they shed the blood of their friends and countrymen, for the acquisition perhaps of a castle or a village. They could march with alacrity against the distant and hostile nations who were devoted to their arms: their fancy already grasped the golden sceptres of Asia; and the conquest of Apulia and Sicily by the Normans might exalt to royalty the hopes of the most private adventurer. Christendom, in her rudest state, must have yielded to the climate and cultivation of the Edition: current; Page: [207] Mahometan countries; and their natural and artificial wealth had been magnified by the tales of pilgrims and the gifts of an imperfect commerce. The vulgar, both the great and small, were taught to believe every wonder, of lands flowing with milk and honey, of mines and treasures, of gold and diamonds, of palaces of marble and jasper, and of odoriferous groves of cinnamon and frankincense. In this earthly paradise each warrior depended on his sword to carve a plenteous and honourable establishment, which he measured only by the extent of his wishes.31 Their vassals and soldiers trusted their fortunes to God and their master: the spoils of a Turkish emir might enrich the meanest follower of the camp; and the flavour of the wines, the beauty of the Grecian women,32 were temptations more adapted to the nature, than to the profession, of the champions of the cross. The love of freedom was a powerful incitement to the multitudes who were oppressed by feudal or ecclesiastical tyranny. Under this holy sign, the peasants and burghers, who were attached to the servitude of the glebe, might escape from an haughty lord, and transplant themselves and their families to a land of liberty. The monk might release himself from the discipline of his convent; the debtor might suspend the accumulation of usury and the pursuit of his creditors; and outlaws and malefactors of every cast might continue to brave the laws and elude the punishment of their crimes.33

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These motives were potent and numerous: when we have singly computed their weight on the mind of each individual, we must add the infinite series, the multiplying powers of example and fashion. The first proselytes became the warmest and most effectual missionaries of the cross: among their friends and countrymen they preached the duty, the merit, and the recompense of their holy vow; and the most reluctant hearers were insensibly drawn within the whirlpool of persuasion and authority. The martial youths were fired by the reproach or suspicion of cowardice; the opportunity of visiting with an army the sepulchre of Christ was embraced by the old and infirm, by women and children, who consulted rather their zeal than their strength; and those who in the evening had derided the folly of their companions were the most eager, the ensuing day, to tread in their footsteps. The ignorance, which magnified the hopes, diminished the perils, of the enterprise. Since the Turkish conquest, the paths of pilgrimage were obliterated; the chiefs themselves had an imperfect notion of the length of the way and the state of their enemies; and such was the stupidity of the people that, at the sight of the first city or castle beyond the limits of their knowledge, they were ready to ask, whether that was not the Jerusalem, the term and object of their labours. Yet the more prudent of the crusaders, who were not sure that they should be fed from heaven with a shower of quails or manna, provided themselves with those precious metals which, in every country, are the representatives of every commodity. To defray, according to their rank, the expenses of the road, princes alienated their provinces, nobles their lands and castles, peasants their cattle and the instruments of husbandry. The value of property was depreciated by the eager competition of multitudes; while the price of arms and horses was raised to an exorbitant height, by the wants and impatience of the buyers.34 Those who remained at home, with Edition: current; Page: [209] sense and money, were enriched by the epidemical disease: the sovereigns acquired at a cheap rate the domains of their vassals; and the ecclesiastical purchasers completed the payment by the assurance of their prayers. The cross, which was commonly sewed on the garment, in cloth or silk, was inscribed by some zealots on their skin; an hot iron, or indelible liquor, was applied to perpetuate the mark; and a crafty monk, who showed the miraculous impression on his breast, was repaid with the popular veneration and the richest benefices of Palestine.35

The fifteenth of August had been fixed in the council of Clermont for the departure of the pilgrims; but the day was anticipated by the thoughtless and needy crowd of plebeians; and I shall briefly despatch the calamities which they inflicted and suffered, before I enter on the more serious and successful enterprise of the chiefs. Early in the spring, from the confines of France and Lorraine, about sixty thousand of the populace of both sexes flocked round the first missionary of the crusade, and pressed him with clamorous importunity to lead them to the holy sepulchre. The hermit, assuming the character, without the talents or authority, of a general, impelled or obeyed the forward impulse of his votaries along the banks of the Rhine and Danube. Their wants and numbers soon compelled them to separate, and his lieutenant, Walter the Pennyless,36 a valiant though needy soldier, conducted a vanguard of pilgrims, whose condition may be determined from the proportion of eight horsemen to fifteen thousand foot. The example and footsteps of Peter were closely pursued by another fanatic, the monk Godescal, whose sermons had swept away fifteen or twenty thousand peasants from the Edition: current; Page: [210] villages of Germany. Their rear was again pressed by an herd of two hundred thousand, the most stupid and savage refuse of the people, who mingled with their devotion a brutal licence of rapine, prostitution, and drunkenness. Some counts and gentlemen, at the head of three thousand horse, attended the motions of the multitude to partake in the spoil; but their genuine leaders (may we credit such folly?) were a goose and a goat, who were carried in the front, and to whom these worthy Christians ascribed an infusion of the divine Spirit.37 Of these and of other bands of enthusiasts, the first and most easy warfare was against the Jews, the murderers of the Son of God. In the trading cities of the Moselle and the Rhine, their colonies were numerous and rich; and they enjoyed, under the protection of the emperor and the bishops, the free exercise of their religion.38 At Verdun, Treves, Mentz, Spires, Worms, many thousands of that unhappy people were pillaged and massacred;39 nor had they felt a more bloody stroke since the persecution of Hadrian. A remnant was saved by the firmness of their bishops, who accepted a reigned and transient conversion; but the more obstinate Jews opposed their fanaticism to the fanaticism of the Christians, barricadoed their houses, and, precipitating Edition: current; Page: [211] themselves, their families, and their wealth into the rivers or the flames, disappointed the malice, or at least the avarice, of their implacable foes.

Between the frontiers of Austria and the seat of the Byzantine monarchy, the crusaders were compelled to traverse an interval of six hundred miles; the wild and desolate countries of Hungary40 and Bulgaria. The soil is fruitful, and intersected with rivers; but it was then covered with morasses and forests, which spread to a boundless extent, whenever man has ceased to exercise his dominion over the earth. Both nations had imbibed the rudiments of Christianity; the Hungarians were ruled by their native princes; the Bulgarians by a lieutenant of the Greek emperor; but on the slightest provocation, their ferocious nature was rekindled, and ample provocation was afforded by the disorders of the first pilgrims. Agriculture must have been unskilful and languid among a people, whose cities were built of reeds and timber, which were deserted in the summer season for the tents of hunters and shepherds. A scanty supply of provisions was rudely demanded, forcibly seized, and greedily consumed; and, on the first quarrel, the crusaders gave a loose to indignation and revenge. But their ignorance of the country, of war, and of discipline exposed them to every snare. The Greek prefect of Bulgaria commanded a regular force; at the trumpet of the Hungarian king, the eighth or the tenth of his martial subjects bent their bows and mounted on horseback; their policy was insidious, and their retaliation on these pious robbers was unrelenting and bloody.41 About a third of the Edition: current; Page: [212] naked fugitives, and the hermit Peter was of the number, escaped to the Thracian mountains; and the emperor, who respected the pilgrimage and succour of the Latins, conducted them by secure and easy journeys to Constantinople, and advised them to wait the arrival of their brethren. For a while they remembered their faults and losses; but no sooner were they revived by the hospitable entertainment than their venom was again inflamed; they stung their benefactor, and neither gardens nor palaces nor churches41a were safe from their depredations. For his own safety, Alexius allured them to pass over to the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus; but their blind impetuosity soon urged them to desert the station which he had assigned,41b and to rush headlong against the Turks, who occupied the road of Jerusalem. The hermit, conscious of his shame, had withdrawn from the camp to Constantinople; and his lieutenant, Walter the Pennyless, who was worthy of a better command, attempted, without success, to introduce some order and prudence among the herd of savages. They separated in quest of prey, and themselves fell an easy prey to the arts of the sultan. By a rumour that their foremost companions were rioting in the spoils of his capital, Soliman tempted the main body to descend into the plain of Nice; they were overwhelmed by the Turkish arrows; and a pyramid of bones42 informed their companions of the place Edition: current; Page: [213] of their defeat. Of the first crusaders, three hundred thousand had already perished, before a single city was rescued from the infidels, before their graver and more noble brethren had completed the preparations of their enterprise.43

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None of the great sovereigns of Europe embarked their persons in the first crusade. The emperor Henry the Fourth was not disposed to obey the summons of the pope; Philip the First of France was occupied by his pleasures; William Rufus of England by a recent conquest; the kings of Spain were engaged in a domestic war against the Moors; and the Northern monarchs of Scotland, Denmark,44 Sweden, and Poland were yet strangers to the passions and interests of the South. The religious ardour was more strongly felt by the princes of the second order, who held an important place in the feudal system. Their situation will naturally cast, under four distinct heads, the review of their names and characters; but I may escape some needless repetition by observing at once that courage and the exercise of arms are the common attribute of these Christian adventurers. I. The first rank both in war and council is justly due to Godfrey of Bouillon; and happy would it have been for the crusaders, if they had trusted themselves to the sole conduct of that accomplished hero, a worthy representative of Charlemagne, from whom he was descended in the female line. His father was of the noble race of the counts of Boulogne: Brabant, the lower province of Lorraine,45 was the inheritance of his mother; and, by the emperor’s bounty, he was himself invested with that ducal title, which has been improperly transferred to his lordship of Bouillon in the Ardennes.46 Edition: current; Page: [216] In the service of Henry the Fourth he bore the great standard of the empire, and pierced with his lance the breast of Rodolph, the rebel king: Godfrey was the first who ascended the walls of Rome; and his sickness, his vow, perhaps his remorse for bearing arms against the pope, confirmed an early resolution of visiting the holy sepulchre, not as a pilgrim, but a deliverer. His valour was matured by prudence and moderation; his piety, though blind, was sincere; and, in the tumult of a camp, he practised the real and fictitious virtues of a convent. Superior to the private factions of the chiefs, he reserved his enmity for the enemies of Christ; and, though he gained a kingdom by the attempt, his pure and disinterested zeal was acknowledged by his rivals. Godfrey of Bouillon47 was accompanied by his two brothers, by Eustace the elder, who had succeeded to the county of Boulogne, and by the younger, Baldwin, a character of more ambiguous virtue. The Duke of Lorraine was alike celebrated on either side of the Rhine; from birth and education, he was equally conversant with the French and Teutonic languages: the barons of France, Germany, and Lorraine assembled their vassals; and the confederate force that marched under his banner was composed of fourscore thousand foot and about ten thousand horse. II. In the parliament that was held at Paris, in the king’s presence, about two months after the council of Clermont, Hugh, Count of Vermandois, was the most conspicuous of the princes who assumed the cross. But the appellation of the Great was applied, not so much to his merit or possessions (though neither were contemptible), as to the royal birth of the brother of the king of France.48 Robert, Duke of Edition: current; Page: [g] Edition: current; Page: [217] Normandy, was the eldest son of William the Conqueror; but on his father’s death he was deprived of the kingdom of England, by his own indolence and the activity of his brother Rufus. The worth of Robert was degraded by an excessive levity and easiness of temper; his cheerfulness seduced him to the indulgence of pleasure; his profuse liberality impoverished the prince and people; his indiscriminate clemency multiplied the number of offenders; and the amiable qualities of a private man became the essential defects of a sovereign. For the trifling sum of ten thousand marks he mortgaged Normandy during his absence to the English usurper;49 but his engagement and behaviour in the holy war announced in Robert a reformation of manners, and restored him in some degree to the public esteem. Another Robert was count of Flanders, a royal province, which, in this century, gave three queens to the thrones of France, England, and Denmark. He was surnamed the Sword and Lance of the Christians; but in the exploits of a soldier he sometimes forgot the duties of a general. Stephen, count of Chartres, of Blois, and of Troyes, was one of the richest princes of the age; and the number of his castles has been compared to the three hundred and sixty-five days of the year. His mind was improved by literature; and, in the council of the chiefs, the eloquent Stephen50 was chosen to discharge the office of their president. These four were the principal leaders of the French, the Normans, and the pilgrims of the British Isles; but the list Edition: current; Page: [218] of the barons, who were possessed of three or four towns, would exceed, says a contemporary, the catalogue of the Trojan war.51 III. In the south of France, the command was assumed by Adhemar, bishop of Puy, the pope’s legate, and by Raymond, count of St. Giles and Toulouse, who added the prouder titles of duke of Narbonne and marquis of Provence. The former was a respectable prelate, alike qualified for this world and the next. The latter was a veteran warrior, who had fought against the Saracens of Spain, and who consecrated his declining age, not only to the deliverance, but to the perpetual service, of the holy sepulchre. His experience and riches gave him a strong ascendant in the Christian camp, whose distress he was often able, and sometimes willing, to relieve. But it was easier for him to extort the praise of the infidels than to preserve the love of his subjects and associates. His eminent qualities were clouded by a temper, haughty, envious, and obstinate; and, though he resigned an ample patrimony for the cause of God, his piety, in the public opinion, was not exempt from avarice and ambition.52 A mercantile rather than a martial spirit prevailed among his provincials,53 a common name, which included the natives of Auvergne and Languedoc,54 the vassals Edition: current; Page: [219] of the kingdom of Burgundy or Arles. From the adjacent frontier of Spain he drew a band of hardy adventurers; as he marched through Lombardy, a crowd of Italians flocked to his standard; and his united force consisted of one hundred thousand horse and foot. If Raymond was the first to enlist, and the last to depart, the delay may be excused by the greatness of his preparation and the promise of an everlasting farewell. IV. The name of Bohemond, the son of Robert Guiscard, was already famous by his double victory over the Greek emperor; but his father’s will had reduced him to the principality of Tarentum and the remembrance of his Eastern trophies, till he was awakened by the rumour and passage of the French pilgrims. It is in the person of this Norman chief that we may seek for the coolest policy and ambition, with a small allay of religious fanaticism. His conduct may justify a belief that he had secretly directed the design of the pope, which he affected to second with astonishment and zeal. At the siege of Amalphi, his example and discourse inflamed the passions of a confederate army; he instantly tore his garment, to supply crosses for the numerous candidates, and prepared to visit Constantinople and Asia at the head of ten thousand horse and twenty thousand foot. Several princes of the Norman race accompanied this veteran general; and his cousin Tancred55 was the partner, rather than the servant, of the war. In the accomplished character of Tancred we discover all the virtues of a perfect knight,56 Edition: current; Page: [220] the true spirit of chivalry, which inspired the generous sentiments and social offices of man far better than the base philosophy, or the baser religion, of the times.


Between the age of Charlemagne and that of the crusades, a revolution had taken place among the Spaniards, the Normans, and the French, which was gradually extended to the rest of Europe. The service of the infantry was degraded to the plebeians; the cavalry formed the strength of the armies, and the honourable name of miles, or soldier, was confined to the gentlemen57 who served on horseback and were invested with the character of knighthood. The dukes and counts, who had usurped the rights of sovereignty, divided the provinces among their faithful barons: the barons distributed among their vassals the fiefs or benefices of their jurisdiction; and these military tenants, the peers of each other and of their lord, composed the noble or equestrian order, which disdained to conceive the peasant or burgher as of the same species with themselves. The dignity of their birth was preserved by pure and equal alliances; their sons alone, who could produce four quarters or lines of ancestry, without spot or reproach, might legally pretend to the honour of knighthood; but a valiant plebeian was sometimes enriched and ennobled by the sword, and became the father of a new race. A single knight could impart, according to his judgment, the character which he received; and the warlike sovereigns of Europe derived more glory from this personal Edition: current; Page: [221] distinction than from the lustre of their diadem. This ceremony, of which some traces may be found in Tacitus and the woods of Germany,58 was in its origin simple and profane; the candidate, after some previous trial, was invested with the sword and spurs; and his cheek or shoulder was touched with a slight blow, as an emblem of the last affront which it was lawful for him to endure. But superstition mingled in every public and private action of life; in the holy wars, it sanctified the profession of arms; and the order of chivalry was assimilated in its rights and privileges to the sacred orders of priesthood. The bath and white garment of the novice were an indecent copy of the regeneration of baptism; his sword, which he offered on the altar, was blessed by the ministers of religion; his solemn reception was preceded by fasts and vigils; and he was created a knight, in the name of God, of St. George, and of St. Michael the archangel. He swore to accomplish the duties of his profession; and education, example, and the public opinion were the inviolable guardians of his oath. As the champion of God and the ladies (I blush to unite such discordant names), he devoted himself to speak the truth; to maintain the right; to protect the distressed; to practise courtesy, a virtue less familiar to the ancients; to pursue the infidels; to despise the allurements of ease and safety; and to vindicate in every perilous adventure the honour of his character. The abuse of the same spirit provoked the illiterate knight to disdain the arts of industry and peace; to esteem himself the sole judge and avenger of his own injuries; and proudly to neglect the laws of civil society and military discipline. Yet the benefits of this institution, to refine the temper of Barbarians, and to infuse some principles of faith, justice, and humanity, were strongly felt, and have been often observed. The asperity of national prejudice was softened; and the community of religion and arms spread a similar colour and generous emulation over Edition: current; Page: [222] the face of Christendom. Abroad in enterprise and pilgrimage, at home in martial exercise, the warriors of every country were perpetually associated; and impartial taste must prefer a Gothic tournament to the Olympic games of classic antiquity.59 Instead of the naked spectacles which corrupted the manners of the Greeks and banished from the stadium the virgins and the matrons, the pompous decoration of the lists was crowned with the presence of chaste and high-born beauty, from whose hands the conqueror received the prize of his dexterity and courage. The skill and strength that were exerted in wrestling and boxing bear a distant and doubtful relation to the merit of a soldier; but the tournaments, as they were invented in France and eagerly adopted both in the East and West, presented a lively image of the business of the field. The single combats, the general skirmish, the defence of a pass or castle, were rehearsed as in actual service; and the contest, both in real and mimic war, was decided by the superior management of the horse and lance. The lance was the proper and peculiar weapon of the knight; his horse was of a large and heavy breed; but this charger, till he was roused by the approaching danger, was usually led by an attendant, and he quietly rode a pad or palfrey of a more easy pace. His helmet and sword, his greaves and buckler, it would be superfluous to describe; but I may remark that at the period of the crusades the armour was less ponderous than in later times; and that, instead of a massy cuirass, his breast was defended by an hauberk or coat of mail. When their long lances were fixed in the rest, the warriors furiously spurred their horses against the foe; and the light cavalry of the Turks and Arabs could seldom stand against the direct and impetuous weight of their charge. Each knight was Edition: current; Page: [223] attended to the field by his faithful squire, a youth of equal birth and similar hopes; he was followed by his archers and men at arms, and four, or five, or six soldiers were computed as the furniture of a complete lance. In the expeditions to the neighbouring kingdoms or the Holy Land, the duties of the feudal tenure no longer subsisted; the voluntary service of the knights and their followers was either prompted by zeal or attachment, or purchased with rewards and promises; and the numbers of each squadron were measured by the power, the wealth, and the fame of each independent chieftain. They were distinguished by his banner, his armorial coat, and his cry of war; and the most ancient families of Europe must seek in these achievements the origin and proof of their nobility. In this rapid portrait of chivalry, I have been urged to anticipate on the story of the crusades, at once an effect, and a cause, of this memorable institution.60

Such were the troops, and such the leaders, who assumed the cross for the deliverance of the holy sepulchre. As soon as they were relieved by the absence of the plebeian multitude, they encouraged each other, by interviews and messages, to accomplish their vow and hasten their departure. Their wives and sisters were desirous of partaking the danger and merit of the pilgrimage; their portable treasures were conveyed in bars of silver and gold; and the princes and barons were attended by their equipage of hounds and hawks, to amuse their leisure and to supply their table. The difficulty of procuring subsistence for so many myriads of men and horses engaged them to separate their forces; their choice or situation determined the road; and it was agreed Edition: current; Page: [224] to meet in the neighbourhood of Constantinople, and from thence to begin their operations against the Turks. From the banks of the Meuse and the Moselle, Godfrey of Bouillon followed the direct way of Germany, Hungary, and Bulgaria; and, as long as he exercised the sole command, every step afforded some proof of his prudence and virtue. On the confines of Hungary he was stopped three weeks by a Christian people, to whom the name, or at least the abuse, of the cross was justly odious. The Hungarians still smarted with the wounds which they had received from the first pilgrims; in their turn they had abused the right of defence and retaliation; and they had reason to apprehend a severe revenge from an hero of the same nation, and who was engaged in the same cause. But, after weighing the motives and the events, the virtuous duke was content to pity the crimes and misfortunes of his worthless brethren; and his twelve deputies, the messengers of peace, requested in his name a free passage and an equal market. To remove their suspicions, Godfrey trusted himself, and afterwards his brother, to the faith of Carloman, king of Hungary, who treated them with a simple but hospitable entertainment: the treaty was sanctified by their common gospel; and a proclamation, under pain of death, restrained the animosity and licence of the Latin soldiers. From Austria to Belgrade, they traversed the plains of Hungary, without enduring or offering an injury; and the proximity of Carloman, who hovered on their flanks with his numerous cavalry, was a precaution not less useful for their safety than for his own. They reached the banks of the Save; and no sooner had they passed the river than the king of Hungary restored the hostages and saluted their departure with the fairest wishes for the success of their enterprise. With the same conduct and discipline, Godfrey pervaded the woods of Bulgaria and the frontiers of Thrace; and might congratulate himself that he had almost reached the first term of his pilgrimage without drawing his sword against a Christian adversary. After an easy and pleasant journey Edition: current; Page: [225] through Lombardy, from Turin to Aquileia, Raymond and his provincials marched forty days through the savage country of Dalmatia.61 and Sclavonia. The weather was a perpetual fog; the land was mountainous and desolate; the natives were either fugitive or hostile; loose in their religion and government, they refused to furnish provisions or guides; murdered the stragglers; and exercised by night and day the vigilance of the count, who derived more security from the punishment of some captive robbers than from his interview and treaty with the prince of Scodra.62 His march between Durazzo and Constantinople was harassed, without being stopped, by the peasants and soldiers of the Greek emperor; and the same faint and ambiguious hostility was prepared for the remaining chiefs, who passed the Adriatic from the coast of Italy. Bohemond had arms and vessels, and foresight and discipline; and his name was not forgotten in the provinces of Epirus and Thessaly. Whatever obstacles he encountered were surmounted by his military conduct and the valour of Tancred; and, if the Norman prince affected to spare the Greeks, he gorged his soldiers with the full plunder of an heretical castle.63 The nobles of France pressed forwards Edition: current; Page: [226] with the vain and thoughtless ardour of which their nation has been sometimes accused. From the Alps to Apulia, the march of Hugh the Great, of the two Roberts, and of Stephen of Chartres, through a wealthy country, and amidst the applauding Catholics, was a devout or triumphant progress: they kissed the feet of the Roman pontiff; and the golden standard of St. Peter was delivered to the brother of the French monarch.64 But in this visit of piety and pleasure they neglected to secure the season and the means of their embarkation: the winter was insensibly lost; their troops were scattered and corrupted in the towns of Italy. They separately accomplished their passage, regardless of safety or dignity: and within nine months from the feast of the Assumption, the day appointed by Urban, all the Latin princes had reached Constantinople. But the Count of Vermandois was produced as a captive; his foremost vessels were scattered by a tempest; and his person, against the law of nations, was detained by the lieutenants of Alexius. Yet the arrival of Hugh had been announced by four-and-twenty knights in golden armour, who commanded the emperor to revere the general of the Latin Christians, the brother of the King of kings.65

In some Oriental tale I have read the fable of a shepherd, who was ruined by the accomplishment of his own wishes: he had prayed for water; the Ganges was turned into his grounds; and his flock and cottage were swept away by the Edition: current; Page: [227] inundation. Such was the fortune, or at least the apprehension, of the Greek emperor, Alexius Comnenus, whose name has already appeared in this history, and whose conduct is so differently represented by his daughter Anna66 and by the Latin writers.67 In the council of Placentia, his ambassadors had solicited a moderate succour, perhaps of ten thousand soldiers; but he was astonished by the approach of so many potent chiefs and fanatic nations. The emperor fluctuated between hope and fear, between timidity and courage; but in the crooked policy which he mistook for wisdom I cannot believe, I cannot discern, that he maliciously conspired against the life or honour of the French heroes. The promiscuous multitudes of Peter the Hermit were savage beasts, alike destitute of humanity and reason; nor was it possible for Alexius to prevent or deplore their destruction. The troops of Godfrey and his peers were less contemptible, but not less suspicious, to the Greek emperor. Their motives might be pure and pious; but he was equally alarmed by his knowledge of the ambitious Bohemond and his ignorance of the Transalpine chiefs: the courage of the French was blind and headstrong; they might be tempted by the luxury and wealth of Greece, and elated by the view and opinion of their invincible strength; and Jerusalem might be forgotten in the prospect of Constantinople. After a long march and painful abstinence, the troops of Godfrey encamped in the plains of Edition: current; Page: [228] Thrace; they heard with indignation that their brother, the Count of Vermandois, was imprisoned by the Greeks; and their reluctant duke was compelled to indulge them in some freedom of retaliation and rapine. They were appeased by the submission of Alexius; he promised to supply their camp; and, as they refused, in the midst of winter, to pass the Bosphorus, their quarters were assigned among the gardens and palaces on the shores of that narrow sea. But an incurable jealousy still rankled in the minds of the two nations, who despised each other as slaves and Barbarians. Ignorance is the ground of suspicion, and suspicion was inflamed into daily provocations; prejudice is blind, hunger is deaf; and Alexius is accused of a design to starve or assault the Latins on a dangerous post, on all sides encompassed with the waters.68 Godfrey sounded his trumpets, burst the net, overspread the plain, and insulted the suburbs; but the gates of Constantinople were strongly fortified; the ramparts were lined with archers; and, after a doubtful conflict, both parties listened to the voice of peace and religion. The gifts and promises of the emperor insensibly soothed the fierce spirit of the Western strangers; as a Christian warrior, he rekindled their zeal for the prosecution of their holy enterprise, which he engaged to second with his troops and treasures. On the return of spring, Godfrey was persuaded to occupy a pleasant and plentiful camp in Asia; and no sooner had he passed the Bosphorus, than the Greek vessels were suddenly recalled to the opposite shore. The same policy was repeated with the succeeding chiefs, who were swayed by the example, and weakened by the departure, of their foremost companions. By his skill and diligence, Alexius prevented the union of Edition: current; Page: [229] any two of the confederate armies at the same moment under the walls of Constantinople; and, before the feast of the Pentecost, not a Latin pilgrim was left on the coast of Europe.

The same arms which threatened Europe might deliver Asia and repel the Turks from the neighbouring shores of the Bosphorus and Hellespont. The fair provinces from Nice to Antioch were the recent patrimony of the Roman emperor; and his ancient and perpetual claim still embraced the kingdoms of Syria and Egypt. In his enthusiasm, Alexius indulged, or affected, the ambitious hope of leading his new allies to subvert the thrones of the East; but the calmer dictates of reason and temper dissuaded him from exposing his royal person to the faith of unknown and lawless Barbarians. His prudence, or his pride, was content with extorting from the French princes an oath of homage and fidelity, and a solemn promise that they would either restore, or hold, their Asiatic conquests as the humble and loyal vassals of the Roman empire. Their independent spirit was fired at the mention of this foreign and voluntary servitude; they successively yielded to the dextrous application of gifts and flattery; and the first proselytes became the most eloquent and effectual missionaries to multiply the companions of their shame. The pride of Hugh of Vermandois was soothed by the honours of his captivity; and in the brother of the French king the example of submission was prevalent and weighty. In the mind of Godfrey of Bouillon, every human consideration was subordinate to the glory of God and the success of the crusade. He had firmly resisted the temptations of Bohemond and Raymond, who urged the attack and conquest of Constantinople. Alexius esteemed his virtues, deservedly named him the champion of the empire, and dignified his homage with the filial name and the rights of adoption.69 The hateful Bohemond was received as a true Edition: current; Page: [230] and ancient ally; and, if the emperor reminded him of former hostilities, it was only to praise the valour that he had displayed, and the glory that he had acquired, in the fields of Durazzo and Larissa. The son of Guiscard was lodged and entertained, and served with Imperial pomp: one day, as he passed through the gallery of the palace, a door was carelessly left open to expose a pile of gold and silver, of silk and gems, of curious and costly furniture, that was heaped in seeming disorder from the floor to the roof of the chamber. “What conquests,” exclaimed the ambitious miser, “might not be achieved by the possession of such a treasure!” “It is your own,” replied a Greek attendant, who watched the motions of his soul; and Bohemond, after some hesitation, condescended to accept this magnificent present. The Norman was flattered by the assurance of an independent principality; and Alexius eluded, rather than denied, his daring demand of the office of great domestic, or general, of the East. The two Roberts, the son of the conqueror of England and the kinsman of three queens,70 bowed in their turn before the Byzantine throne. A private letter of Stephen of Chartres attests his admiration of the emperor, the most excellent and liberal of men, who taught him to believe that he was a favourite, and promised to educate and establish his youngest son. In his southern province, the Count of St. Giles and Toulouse faintly recognised the supremacy of the king of France, a prince of a foreign nation and language. At the head of an hundred thousand men, he declared that he was the soldier and servant of Christ alone, and that the Greek might be satisfied with an equal treaty of alliance and friendship. His obstinate resistance enhanced the value and the price of his submission; and he shone, says Edition: current; Page: [231] the princess Anne, among the Barbarians, as the sun amidst the stars of heaven. His disgust of the noise and insolence of the French, his suspicions of the designs of Bohemond, the emperor imparted to his faithful Raymond; and that aged statesman might clearly discern that, however false in friendship, he was sincere in his enmity.71 The spirit of chivalry was last subdued in the person of Tancred; and none could deem themselves dishonoured by the imitation of that gallant knight. He disdained the gold and flattery of the Greek monarch; assaulted in his presence an insolent patrician; escaped to Asia in the habit of a private soldier; and yielded with a sigh to the authority of Bohemond and the interest of the Christian cause. The best and most ostensible reason was the impossibility of passing the sea and accomplishing their vow, without the licence and the vessels of Alexius; but they cherished a secret hope that, as soon as they trode the continent of Asia, their swords would obliterate their shame, and dissolve the engagement, which on his side might not be very faithfully performed. The ceremony of their homage was grateful to a people who had long since considered pride as the substitute of power. High on his throne, the emperor sat mute and immoveable: his majesty was adored by the Latin princes; and they submitted to kiss either his feet or his knees, an indignity which their own writers are ashamed to confess and unable to deny.72

Private or public interest suppressed the murmurs of the dukes and counts; but a French baron (he is supposed to be Robert of Paris73) presumed to ascend the throne, and to Edition: current; Page: [232] place himself by the side of Alexius. The sage reproof of Baldwin provoked him to exclaim, in his Barbarous idiom, “Who is this rustic, that keeps his seat, while so many valiant captains are standing round him?” The emperor maintained his silence, dissembled his indignation, and questioned his interpreter concerning the meaning of the words, which he partly suspected from the universal language of gesture and countenance. Before the departure of the pilgrims, he endeavoured to learn the name and condition of the audacious baron. “I am a Frenchman,” replied Robert, “of the purest and most ancient nobility of my country. All that I know is, that there is a church in my neighbourhood,74 the resort of those who are desirous of approving their valour in single combat. Till an enemy appears, they address their prayers to God and his saints. That church I have frequently visited, but never have I found an antagonist who dared to accept my defiance.” Alexius dismissed the challenger with some prudent advice for his conduct in the Turkish warfare; and history repeats with pleasure this lively example of the manners of his age and country.

The conquest of Asia was undertaken and achieved by Alexander, with thirty-five thousand Macedonians and Greeks;75 and his best hope was in the strength and discipline of his phalanx of infantry. The principal force of Edition: current; Page: [233] the crusaders consisted in their cavalry; and, when that force was mustered in the plains of Bithynia, the knights and their martial attendants on horseback amounted to one hundred thousand fighting men completely armed with the helmet and coat of mail. The value of these soldiers deserved a strict and authentic account; and the flower of European chivalry might furnish, in a first effort, this formidable body of heavy horse. A part of the infantry might be enrolled for the service of scouts, pioneers, and archers; but the promiscuous crowd were lost in their own disorder; and we depend not on the eyes or knowledge, but on the belief and fancy, of a chaplain of Count Baldwin,76 in the estimate of six hundred thousand pilgrims able to bear arms, besides the priests and monks, the women and children, of the Latin camp. The reader starts; and, before he is recovered from his surprise, I shall add, on the same testimony, that if all who took the cross had accomplished their vow, above six millions would have migrated from Europe to Asia. Under this oppression of faith, I derive some relief from a more sagacious and thinking writer,77 who, after the same review of the cavalry, accuses the credulity of the priest of Chartres, and even doubts whether the Cisalpine regions (in the geography of a Frenchman) were sufficient to produce and pour forth such incredible multitudes. The coolest scepticism will remember that of these religious volunteers great numbers never beheld Constantinople and Nice. Of enthusiasm the influence is irregular and transient; many were detained at home by reason or cowardice, by poverty or weakness; and many were repulsed by the obstacles of the way, the more insuperable as Edition: current; Page: [234] they were unforeseen to these ignorant fanatics. The savage countries of Hungary and Bulgaria were whitened with their bones; their vanguard was cut in pieces by the Turkish sultan; and the loss of the first adventure, by the sword, or climate, or fatigue, has already been stated at three hundred thousand men. Yet the myriads that survived, that marched, that pressed forwards on the holy pilgrimage, were a subject of astonishment to themselves and to the Greeks. The copious energy of her language sinks under the efforts of the princess Anne;78 the images of locusts, of leaves and flowers, of the sands of the sea, or the stars of heaven, imperfectly represent what she had seen and heard; and the daughter of Alexius exclaims that Europe was loosened from its foundations and hurled against Asia. The ancient hosts of Darius and Xerxes labour under the same doubt of a vague and indefinite magnitude; but I am inclined to believe that a larger number has never been contained within the lines of a single camp than at the siege of Nice, the first operation of the Latin princes. Their motives, their characters, and their arms have been already displayed. Of their troops, the most numerous portion were natives of France; the Low Countries, the banks of the Rhine, and Apulia sent a powerful reinforcement; some bands of adventurers were drawn from Spain, Lombardy, and England;79 and from the Edition: current; Page: [235] distant bogs and mountains of Ireland or Scotland80 issued some naked and savage fanatics, ferocious at home, but unwarlike abroad. Had not superstition condemned the sacrilegious prudence of depriving the poorest or weakest Christian of the merit of the pilgrimage, the useless crowd, with mouths but without hands, might have been stationed in the Greek empire, till their companions had opened and secured the way of the Lord. A small remnant of the pilgrims, who passed the Bosphorus, was permitted to visit the holy sepulchre. Their Northern constitution was scorched by the rays, and infected by the vapours, of a Syrian sun. They consumed, with heedless prodigality, their stores of water and provisions; their numbers exhausted the inland country; the sea was remote, the Greeks were unfriendly, and the Christians of every sect fled before the voracious and cruel rapine of their brethren. In the dire necessity of famine, they sometimes roasted and devoured the flesh of their infant or adult captives. Among the Turks and Saracens, the idolaters of Europe were rendered more odious by the name and reputation of cannibals; the spies who introduced themselves into the kitchen of Bohemond were shewn several human bodies turning on the spit; and the artful Norman encouraged a report, which increased at the same time the abhorrence and the terror of the infidels.81

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I have expatiated with pleasure on the first steps of the crusaders, as they paint the manners and character of Europe; but I shall abridge the tedious and uniform narrative of their blind achievements, which were performed by strength and are described by ignorance. From their first station in the neighbourhood of Nicomedia, they advanced in successive divisions, passed the contracted limit of the Greek empire, opened a road through the hills, and commenced, by the siege of his capital, their pious warfare against the Turkish sultan. His kingdom of Roum extended from the Hellespont to the confines of Syria and barred the pilgrimage of Jerusalem; his name was Kilidge-Arslan, or Soliman,82 of the race of Seljuk, and son of the first conqueror; and, in the defence of a land which the Turks considered as their own, he deserved the praise of his enemies, by whom alone he is known to posterity. Yielding to the first impulse of the torrent, he deposited his family and treasure in Nice, retired to the mountains with fifty thousand horse, and twice descended to assault the camps or quarters of the Christian besiegers, which formed an imperfect circle of above six miles. The lofty and solid walls of Nice were covered by a deep ditch, and flanked by three hundred and seventy towers; and on the verge of Christendom the Moslems were trained in arms and inflamed by religion. Before this city, the French princes occupied their stations, and prosecuted their attacks without Edition: current; Page: [237] correspondence or subordination; emulation prompted their valour; but their valour was sullied by cruelty, and their emulation degenerated into envy and civil discord. In the siege of Nice the arts and engines of antiquity were employed by the Latins; the mine and the battering-ram, the tortoise, and the belfry or moveable turret, artificial fire, and the catapult and balist, the sling, and the cross-bow for the casting of stones and darts.83 In the space of seven weeks much labour and blood were expended, and some progress, especially by Count Raymond, was made on the side of the besiegers. But the Turks could protract their resistance and secure their escape, as long as they were masters of the lake Ascanius,84 which stretches several miles to the westward of the city. The means of conquest were supplied by the prudence and industry of Alexius; a great number of boats was transported on sledges from the sea to the lake; they were filled with the most dextrous of his archers; the flight of the sultana was intercepted; Nice was invested by land and water; and a Greek emissary persuaded the inhabitants to accept his master’s protection, and to save themselves, by a timely surrender, from the rage of the savages of Europe. In the moment of victory, or at least of hope, the crusaders, thirsting for blood and plunder, were awed by the Imperial banner that streamed from the citadel, and Alexius guarded with jealous vigilance this important conquest. The murmurs of the chiefs were stifled by honour or interest; and, after an halt of nine days, Edition: current; Page: [238] they directed their march towards Phrygia, under the guidance of a Greek general, whom they suspected of secret connivance with the sultan. The consort and the principal servants of Soliman had been honourably restored without ransom, and the emperor’s generosity to the miscreants85 was interpreted as treason to the Christian cause.

Soliman was rather provoked than dismayed by the loss of his capital; he admonished his subjects and allies of this strange invasion of the Western Barbarians; the Turkish emirs obeyed the call of loyalty or religion; the Turkman hordes encamped round his standard; and his whole force is loosely stated by the Christians at two hundred, or even three hundred and sixty, thousand horse. Yet he patiently waited till they had left behind them the sea and the Greek frontier, and, hovering on the flanks, observed their careless and confident progress in two columns, beyond the view of each other. Some miles before they could reach Dorylæum in Phrygia, the left and least numerous division was surprised, and attacked, and almost oppressed, by the Turkish cavalry.86 The heat of the weather, the clouds of arrows, and the Barbarous onset overwhelmed the crusaders; they lost their order and confidence, and the fainting fight was sustained by the personal valour, rather than by the military conduct, of Bohemond, Tancred, and Robert of Normandy. They were revived by the welcome banners of Duke Godfrey, who flew to their succour, with the count of Vermandois and sixty thousand horse, and was followed by Raymond of Toulouse, the bishop of Puy, and the remainder of the sacred army. Edition: current; Page: [239] Without a moment’s pause they formed in new order, and advanced to a second battle. They were received with equal resolution; and, in their common disdain for the unwarlike people of Greece and Asia, it was confessed on both sides that the Turks and the Franks were the only nations entitled to the appellation of soldiers.87 Their encounter was varied and balanced by the contrast of arms and discipline; of the direct charge, and wheeling evolutions; of the couched lance, and the brandished javelin; of a weighty broad-sword, and a crooked sabre; of cumbrous armour, and thin flowing robes;87a and of the long Tartar bow, and the arbalist or cross-bow, a deadly weapon, yet unknown to the Orientals.88 As long as the horses were fresh and the quivers full, Soliman maintained the advantage of the day; and four thousand Christians were pierced by the Turkish arrows. In the evening, swiftness yielded to strength; on either side, the numbers were equal, or at least as great as any ground could hold or any generals could manage; but in turning the hills the last division of Raymond and his provincials was led, perhaps without design, on the rear of an exhausted enemy; and the long contest was determined. Besides a nameless and unaccounted multitude, three thousand Edition: current; Page: [240] Pagan knights were slain in the battle and pursuit; the camp of Soliman was pillaged; and in the variety of precious spoil the curiosity of the Latins was amused with foreign arms and apparel, and the new aspect of dromedaries and camels. The importance of the victory was proved by the hasty retreat of the sultan: reserving ten thousand guards of the relics of his army, Soliman evacuated the kingdom of Roum, and hastened to implore the aid, and kindle the resentment, of his Eastern brethren. In a march of five hundred miles, the crusaders traversed the Lesser Asia, through a wasted land and deserted towns, without either finding a friend or an enemy. The geographer89 may trace the position of Dorylæum, Antioch of Pisidia, Iconium, Archelais, and Germanicia, and may compare those classic appellations with the modern names of Eskishehr the old city, Akshehr the white city, Cogni, Erekli,89a and Marash. As the pilgrims passed over a desert, where a draught of water is exchanged for silver, they were tormented by intolerable thirst; and on the banks of the first rivulet their haste and intemperance were still more pernicious to the disorderly throng. They climbed with toil and danger the steep and slippery sides of Mount Taurus; many of the soldiers cast away their arms to secure their footsteps; and, had not terror preceded their van, the long and trembling file might have been driven down the precipice by an handful of resolute enemies. Two of their most respectable chiefs, the duke of Lorraine and the count of Toulouse, were carried in litters; Raymond was raised, as it is said, by miracle, from an hopeless malady; and Godfrey Edition: current; Page: [241] had been torn by a bear, as he pursued that rough and perilous chase in the mountains of Pisidia.

To improve the general consternation, the cousin of Bohemond and the brother of Godfrey were detached from the main army, with their respective squadrons of five and of seven hundred knights. They over-ran, in a rapid career, the hills and sea-coast of Cilicia, from Cogni to the Syrian gates; the Norman standard was first planted on the walls of Tarsus and Malmistra; but the proud injustice of Baldwin at length provoked the patient and generous Italian, and they turned their consecrated swords against each other in a private and profane quarrel. Honour was the motive, and fame the reward, of Tancred; but fortune smiled on the more selfish enterprise of his rival.90 He was called to the assistance of a Greek or Armenian tyrant, who had been suffered under the Turkish yoke to reign over the Christians of Edessa. Baldwin accepted the character of his son and champion; but no sooner was he introduced into the city than he inflamed91 the people to the massacre of his father, occupied the throne and treasure, extended his conquests over the hills of Armenia and the plain of Mesopotamia, and founded the first principality of the Franks or Latins, which subsisted fifty-four years beyond the Euphrates.92

Before the Franks could enter Syria, the summer, and even the autumn, were completely wasted: the siege of Edition: current; Page: [242] Antioch, or the separation and repose of the army during the winter season, was strongly debated in their council; the love of arms and the holy sepulchre urged them to advance, and reason perhaps was on the side of resolution, since every hour of delay abates the fame and force of the invader and multiplies the resources of defensive war. The capital of Syria was protected by the river Orontes, and the iron bridge of nine arches derives its name from the massy gates of the two towers which are constructed at either end.93 They were opened by the sword of the duke of Normandy: his victory gave entrance to three hundred thousand crusaders, an account which may allow some scope for losses and desertion, but which clearly detects much exaggeration in the review of Nice. In the description of Antioch94 it is not easy to define a middle term between her ancient magnificence, under the successors of Alexander and Augustus, and the modern aspect of Turkish desolation. The Tetrapolis, or four cities, if they retained their name and position, must have left a large vacuity in a circumference of twelve miles; and that measure, as well as the number of four hundred towers, are not perfectly consistent with the five gates, so often mentioned in the history of the siege. Yet Antioch must have still flourished as a great and populous capital. At the head of the Turkish emirs, Baghisian, a veteran chief, commanded in the place; his garrison was composed of six or seven thousand horse and fifteen or twenty thousand foot: one hundred thousand Moslems are said to have fallen by the sword, and their numbers were probably inferior to the Greeks, Armenians, and Syrians, who had been no more than fourteen Edition: current; Page: [243] years the slaves of the house of Seljuk. From the remains of a solid and stately wall it appears to have arisen to the height of threescore feet in the valleys; and wherever less art and labour had been applied, the ground was supposed to be defended by the river, the morass, and the mountains. Notwithstanding these fortifications, the city had been repeatedly taken by the Persians, the Arabs, the Greeks, and the Turks;95 so large a circuit must have yielded many pervious points of attack; and, in a siege that was formed about the middle of October, the vigour of the execution could alone justify the boldness of the attempt. Whatever strength and valour could perform in the field, was abundantly discharged by the champions of the cross: in the frequent occasions of sallies, of forage, of the attack and defence of convoys, they were often victorious; and we can only complain that their exploits are sometimes enlarged beyond the scale of probability and truth. The sword of Godfrey96 divided a Turk from the shoulder to the haunch, and one half of the infidel fell to the ground, while the other was transported by his horse to the city gate. As Robert of Normandy rode against his antagonist, “I devote thy head,” he piously exclaimed, “to the demons of hell,” and that head was instantly cloven to the breast by the resistless stroke of his descending faulchion. But the reality or report of such Edition: current; Page: [244] gigantic prowess97 must have taught the Moslems to keep within their walls, and against those walls of earth or stone the sword and the lance were unavailing weapons. In the slow and successive labours of a siege the crusaders were supine and ignorant, without skill to contrive, or money to purchase, or industry to use the artificial engines and implements of assault. In the conquest of Nice they had been powerfully assisted by the wealth and knowledge of the Greek emperor: his absence was poorly supplied by some Genoese and Pisan vessels that were attracted by religion or trade to the coast of Syria; the stores were scanty, the return precarious, and the communication difficult and dangerous. Indolence or weakness had prevented the Franks from investing the entire circuit; and the perpetual freedom of two gates relieved the wants, and recruited the garrison, of the city. At the end of seven months, after the ruin of their cavalry, and an enormous loss by famine, desertion, and fatigue, the progress of the crusaders was imperceptible, and their success remote, if the Latin Ulysses, the artful and ambitious Bohemond, had not employed the arms of cunning and deceit. The Christians of Antioch were numerous and discontented: Phirouz, a Syrian renegado, had acquired the favour of the emir, and the command of three towers; and the merit of his repentance disguised to the Latins, and perhaps to himself, the foul design of perfidy and treason. A secret correspondence, for their mutual interest, was soon established between Phirouz and the prince of Tarento; and Bohemond declared in the council of the chiefs that he could deliver the city into their hands. But he claimed the sovereignty of Antioch as the reward of his service; and the proposal which had been rejected by the envy, was at length extorted from the distress, of his equals. The nocturnal surprise was executed by the French and Norman princes, who ascended in person the Edition: current; Page: [245] scaling-ladders that were thrown from the walls; their new proselyte, after the murder of his too scrupulous brother, embraced and introduced the servants of Christ: the army rushed through the gates; and the Moslems soon found that, although mercy was hopeless, resistance was impotent. But the citadel still refused to surrender; and the victors themselves were speedily encompassed and besieged by the innumerable forces of Kerboga, prince of Mosul, who, with twenty-eight Turkish emirs, advanced to the deliverance of Antioch. Five and twenty days the Christians spent on the verge of destruction; and the proud lieutenant of the caliph and the sultan left them only the choice of servitude or death.98 In this extremity they collected the relics of their strength, sallied from the town, and in a single memorable day annihilated or dispersed the host of Turks and Arabians, which they might safely report to have consisted of six hundred thousand men.99 Their supernatural allies I shall proceed to consider: the human causes of the victory of Antioch were the fearless despair of the Franks; and the surprise, the discord, perhaps the errors, of their unskilful and presumptuous adversaries. The battle is described with as much disorder as it was fought; but we may observe the tent of Kerboga, a moveable and spacious palace, enriched Edition: current; Page: [246] with the luxury of Asia, and capable of holding above two thousand persons; we may distinguish his three thousand guards, who were cased, the horses as well as men, in complete steel.

In the eventful period of the siege and defence of Antioch, the crusaders were, alternately, exalted by victory or sunk in despair; either swelled with plenty or emaciated with hunger. A speculative reasoner might suppose that their faith had a strong and serious influence on their practice; and that the soldiers of the cross, the deliverers of the holy sepulchre, prepared themselves by a sober and virtuous life for the daily contemplation of martyrdom. Experience blows away this charitable illusion; and seldom does the history of profane war display such scenes of intemperance and prostitution as were exhibited under the walls of Antioch. The grove of Daphne no longer flourished; but the Syrian air was still impregnated with the same vices; the Christians were seduced by every temptation100 that nature either prompts or reprobates; the authority of the chiefs was despised; and sermons and edicts were alike fruitless against those scandalous disorders, not less pernicious to military discipline than repugnant to evangelic purity. In the first days of the siege and the possession of Antioch, the Franks consumed with wanton and thoughtless prodigality the frugal subsistence of weeks and months; the desolate country no longer yielded a supply; and from that country they were at length excluded by the arms of the besieging Turks. Disease, the faithful companion of want, was envenomed by the rains of the winter, the summer heats, unwholesome food, and the close imprisonment of multitudes. The pictures of famine and pestilence are always the same, and always disgustful; and our imagination may suggest the nature of their sufferings and their resources. The remains Edition: current; Page: [247] of treasure or spoil were eagerly lavished in the purchase of the vilest nourishment; and dreadful must have been the calamities of the poor, since, after paying three marks of silver for a goat, and fifteen for a lean camel,101 the count of Flanders was reduced to beg a dinner, and Duke Godfrey to borrow an horse. Sixty thousand horses had been reviewed in the camp; before the end of the siege they were diminished to two thousand, and scarcely two hundred fit for service could be mustered on the day of battle. Weakness of body and terror of mind extinguished the ardent enthusiasm of the pilgrims; and every motive of honour and religion was subdued by the desire of life.102 Among the chiefs three heroes may be found without fear or reproach: Godfrey of Bouillon was supported by his magnanimous piety; Bohemond by ambition and interest; and Tancred declared, in the true spirit of chivalry, that, as long as he was at the head of forty knights, he would never relinquish the enterprise of Palestine. But the count of Toulouse and Provence was suspected of a voluntary indisposition; the duke of Normandy was recalled from the sea-shore by the censures of the church; Hugh the Great, though he led the vanguard of the battle, embraced an ambiguous opportunity of returning to France; and Stephen, count of Chartres, basely deserted the standard which he bore, and the council in which he presided. The soldiers were discouraged by the flight of William, viscount of Melun, surnamed the Carpenter, from the weighty strokes of his axe; and the saints were scandalised by the fall of Peter the Hermit, who, after Edition: current; Page: [248] arming Europe against Asia, attempted to escape from the penance of a necessary fast. Of the multitude of recreant warriors, the names (says an historian) are blotted from the book of life; and the opprobrious epithet of the rope-dancers was applied to the deserters who dropt in the night from the walls of Antioch. The emperor Alexius,103 who seemed to advance to the succour of the Latins, was dismayed by the assurance of their hopeless condition. They expected their fate in silent despair; oaths and punishments were tried without effect; and, to rouse the soldiers to the defence of the walls, it was found necessary to set fire to their quarters.

For their salvation and victory, they were indebted to the same fanaticism which had led them to the brink of ruin. In such a cause, and in such an army, visions, prophecies, and miracles were frequent and familiar. In the distress of Antioch, they were repeated with unusual energy and success; St. Ambrose had assured a pious ecclesiastic that two years of trial must precede the season of deliverance and grace; the deserters were stopped by the presence and approaches of Christ himself; the dead had promised to arise and combat with their brethren; the Virgin had obtained the pardon of their sins; and their confidence was revived by a visible sign, the seasonable and splendid discovery of the holy lance. The policy of their chiefs has on this occasion been admired and might surely be excused; but a pious fraud is seldom produced by the cool conspiracy of many persons; and a voluntary impostor might depend on the support of the wise and the credulity of the people. Of the diocese of Marseilles, there was a priest of low cunning and loose manners, and his name was Peter Bartholemy. He presented himself at the door of the council-chamber, to disclose an apparition of St. Edition: current; Page: [249] Andrew, which had been thrice reiterated in his sleep, with a dreadful menace if he presumed to suppress the commands of Heaven. “At Antioch,” said the apostle, “in the church of my brother St. Peter, near the high altar, is concealed the steel head of the lance that pierced the side of our Redeemer. In three days, that instrument of eternal, and now of temporal, salvation will be manifested to his disciples. Search, and ye shall find; bear it aloft in battle; and that mystic weapon shall penetrate the souls of the miscreants.” The pope’s legate, the bishop of Puy, affected to listen with coldness and distrust; but the revelation was eagerly accepted by Count Raymond, whom his faithful subject, in the name of the apostle, had chosen for the guardian of the holy lance. The experiment was resolved; and on the third day, after a due preparation of prayer and fasting, the priest of Marseilles introduced twelve trusty spectators, among whom were the count and his chaplain; and the church doors were barred against the impetuous multitude. The ground was opened in the appointed place; but the workmen, who relieved each other, dug to the depth of twelve feet without discovering the object of their search. In the evening, when Count Raymond had withdrawn to his post, and the weary assistants began to murmur, Bartholemy, in his shirt and without his shoes, boldly descended into the pit; the darkness of the hour and of the place enabled him to secrete and deposit the head of a Saracen lance, and the first sound, the first gleam, of the steel was saluted with a devout rapture. The holy lance was drawn from its recess, wrapt in a veil of silk and gold, and exposed to the veneration of the crusaders; their anxious suspense burst forth in a general shout of joy and hope, and the desponding troops were again inflamed with the enthusiasm of valour. Whatever had been the arts, and whatever might be the sentiments of the chiefs, they skilfully improved this fortunate revolution by every aid that discipline and devotion could afford. The soldiers were dismissed to their quarters, with an injunction to fortify their minds Edition: current; Page: [250] and bodies for the approaching conflict, freely to bestow their last pittance on themselves and their horses, and to expect with the dawn of day the signal of victory. On the festival of St. Peter and St. Paul, the gates of Antioch were thrown open; a martial psalm, “Let the Lord arise, and let his enemies be scattered!” was chaunted by a procession of priests and monks; the battle array was marshalled in twelve divisions, in honour of the twelve apostles; and the holy lance, in the absence of Raymond, was entrusted to the hands of his chaplain. The influence of this relic or trophy was felt by the servants, and perhaps by the enemies, of Christ;104 and its potent energy was heightened by an accident, a stratagem, or a rumour, of a miraculous complexion. Three knights, in white garments and resplendent arms, either issued, or seemed to issue, from the hills: the voice of Adhemar, the pope’s legate, proclaimed them as the martyrs St. George, St. Theodore, and St. Maurice; the tumult of battle allowed no time for doubt or scrutiny; and the welcome apparition dazzled the eyes or the imagination of a fanatic army. In the season of danger and triumph, the revelation of Bartholemy of Marseilles was unanimously asserted; but, as soon as the temporary service was accomplished, the personal dignity and liberal alms which the count of Toulouse derived from the custody of the holy lance provoked the envy, and awakened the reason, of his rivals. A Norman clerk presumed to sift, with a philosophic spirit, the truth of the legend, the circumstances of the discovery, and the character of the prophet; and the pious Bohemond ascribed their deliverance to the merits and intercession of Christ alone. For a while the provincials defended their national palladium with clamours and arms; and new visions condemned to death and hell the profane Edition: current; Page: [251] sceptics who presumed to scrutinise the truth and merit of the discovery. The prevalence of incredulity compelled the author to submit his life and veracity to the judgment of God. A pile of faggots, four feet high and fourteen feet long, was erected in the midst of the camp; the flames burnt fiercely to the elevation of thirty cubits; and a narrow path of twelve inches was left for the perilous trial. The unfortunate priest of Marseilles traversed the fire with dexterity and speed: but his thighs and belly were scorched by the intense heat; he expired the next day, and the logic of believing minds will pay some regard to his dying protestations of innocence and truth. Some efforts were made by the provincials to substitute a cross, a ring, or a tabernacle in the place of the holy lance, which soon vanished in contempt and oblivion.105 Yet the revelation of Antioch is gravely asserted by succeeding historians; and such is the progress of credulity that miracles, most doubtful on the spot and at the moment, will be received with implicit faith at a convenient distance of time and space.

The prudence or fortune of the Franks had delayed their invasion till the decline of the Turkish empire.106 Under the manly government of the three first sultans, the kingdoms of Asia were united in peace and justice; and the innumerable armies which they led in person were equal in courage, and superior in discipline, to the Barbarians of the West. But at the time of the crusade, the inheritance of Malek Shah was disputed by his four sons; their private ambition was insensible of the public danger; and, in the vicissitudes of their fortune, the royal vassals were ignorant, or regardless, of the true object of their allegiance. The twenty-eight emirs who marched Edition: current; Page: [252] with the standard of Kerboga were his rivals or enemies; their hasty levies were drawn from the towns and tents of Mesopotamia and Syria; and the Turkish veterans were employed or consumed in the civil wars beyond the Tigris. The caliph of Egypt embraced this opportunity of weakness and discord to recover his ancient possessions; and his sultan Aphdal besieged Jerusalem and Tyre, expelled the children of Ortok, and restored in Palestine the civil and ecclesiastical authority of the Fatimites.107 They heard with astonishment of the vast armies of Christians that had passed from Europe to Asia, and rejoiced in the sieges and battles which broke the power of the Turks, the adversaries of their sect and monarchy. But the same Christians were the enemies of the prophet; and from the overthrow of Nice and Antioch, the motive of their enterprise, which was gradually understood, would urge them forward to the banks of the Jordan, or perhaps of the Nile. An intercourse of epistles and embassies, which rose and fell with the events of war, was maintained between the throne of Cairo and the camp of the Latins; and their adverse pride was the result of ignorance and enthusiasm. The ministers of Egypt declared in an haughty, or insinuated in a milder, tone that their sovereign, the true and lawful commander of the faithful, had rescued Jerusalem from the Turkish yoke; and that the pilgrims, if they would divide their numbers and lay aside their arms, should find a safe and hospitable reception at the sepulchre of Jesus. In the belief of their lost condition, the caliph Mostali despised their arms and imprisoned their deputies: the conquest and victory of Antioch prompted him to solicit those formidable champions with gifts of horses and silk robes, of vases, and purses of gold and silver; and, in his estimate of their merit or power, the first place was assigned to Edition: current; Page: [253] Bohemond, and the second to Godfrey. In either fortune the answer of the crusaders was firm and uniform: they disdained to inquire into the private claims or possessions of the followers of Mahomet: whatsoever was his name or nation, the usurper of Jerusalem was their enemy; and, instead of prescribing the mode and terms of their pilgrimage, it was only by a timely surrender of the city and province, their sacred right, that he could deserve their alliance or deprecate their impending and irresistible attack.108

Yet this attack, when they were within the view and reach of their glorious prize, was suspended above ten months after the defeat of Kerboga. The zeal and courage of the crusaders were chilled in the moment of victory: and, instead of marching to improve the consternation, they hastily dispersed to enjoy the luxury, of Syria. The causes of this strange delay may be found in the want of strength and subordination. In the painful and various service of Antioch the cavalry was annihilated; many thousands of every rank had been lost by famine, sickness, and desertion; the same abuse of plenty had been productive of a third famine; and the alternative of intemperance and distress had generated a pestilence, which swept away above fifty thousand of the pilgrims. Few were able to command and none were willing to obey: the domestic feuds, which had been stifled by common fear, were again renewed in acts, or at least in sentiments, of hostility; the future of Baldwin and Bohemond excited the envy of their companions; the bravest knights were enlisted for the defence of their new principalities; and Count Raymond exhausted his troops and treasures in an idle expedition into the heart of Syria.109 The winter was consumed in discord and disorder; Edition: current; Page: [254] a sense of honour and religion was rekindled in the spring; and the private soldiers, less susceptible of ambition and jealousy, awakened with angry clamours the indolence of their chiefs. In the month of May, the relics of this mighty host proceeded from Antioch to Laodicea: about forty thousand Latins, of whom no more than fifteen hundred horse and twenty thousand foot were capable of immediate service. Their easy march was continued between Mount Libanus and the sea-shore; their wants were liberally supplied by the coasting traders of Genoa and Pisa; and they drew large contributions from the emirs of Tripoli, Tyre, Sidon, Acre, and Cæsarea, who granted a free passage and promised to follow the example of Jerusalem. From Cæsarea110 they advanced into the midland country; their clerks recognised the sacred geography of Lydda, Ramla, Emaus, and Bethlem; and, as soon as they descried the holy city, the crusaders forgot their toils, and claimed their reward.111

Jerusalem has derived some reputation from the number and importance of her memorable sieges. It was not till after a long and obstinate contest that Babylon and Rome could prevail against the obstinacy of the people, the craggy ground that might supersede the necessity of fortifications, and the walls and towers that would have fortified the most accessible plain.112 These obstacles were diminished in the age of the crusades. The bulwarks had been completely destroyed, and imperfectly restored; the Jews, their nation and worship, were for ever banished; but nature is less changeable than man, Edition: current; Page: [255] and the site of Jerusalem, though somewhat softened and somewhat removed, was still strong against the assaults of an enemy. By the experience of a recent siege, and a three years’ possession, the Saracens of Egypt had been taught to discern, and in some degree to remedy, the defects of a place which religion, as well as honour, forbade them to resign. Aladin, or Iftikhar, the caliph’s lieutenant, was entrusted with the defence; his policy strove to restrain the native Christians by the dread of their own ruin and that of the holy sepulchre; to animate the Moslems by the assurance of temporal and eternal rewards. His garrison is said to have consisted of forty thousand Turks and Arabians; and, if he could muster twenty thousand of the inhabitants, it must be confessed that the besieged were more numerous than the besieging army.113 Had the diminished strength and numbers of the Latins allowed them to grasp the whole circumference of four thousand yards (about two English miles and a half),114 to what useful purpose should they have descended into the valley of Ben Hinnom and torrent of Kedron,115 or approached the Edition: current; Page: [256] precipices of the south and east, from whence they had nothing either to hope or fear? Their siege was more reasonably directed against the northern and western sides of the city. Godfrey of Bouillon erected his standard on the first swell of Mount Calvary; to the left, as far as St. Stephen’s gate, the line of attack was continued by Tancred and the two Roberts; and Count Raymond established his quarters from the citadel to the foot of Mount Sion, which was no longer included within the precincts of the city. On the fifth day, the crusaders made a general assault, in the fanatic hope of battering down the walls without engines, and of scaling them without ladders. By the dint of brutal force they burst the first barrier, but they were driven back with shame and slaughter to the camp; the influence of vision and prophecy was deadened by the too frequent abuse of those pious stratagems; and time and labour were found to be the only means of victory. The time of the siege was indeed fulfilled in forty days, but they were forty days of calamity and anguish. A repetition of the old complaint of famine may be imputed in some degree to the voracious or disorderly appetite of the Franks; but the stony soil of Jerusalem is almost destitute of water; the scanty springs and hasty torrents were dry in the summer season; nor was the thirst of the besiegers relieved, as in the city, by the artificial supply of cisterns and aqueducts. The circumjacent country is equally destitute of trees for the uses of shade or building; but some large beams were discovered in a cave by the crusaders: a wood near Sichem, the enchanted grove of Tasso,116 was cut down; the necessary timber was transported to the camp, by the vigour and dexterity of Tancred; and the engines were framed by some Genoese artists, who had fortunately landed in the harbour of Jaffa. Two moveable turrets were constructed at the expense, and in the stations, of the duke of Lorraine and the count of Toulouse, and Edition: current; Page: [257] rolled forwards with devout labour, not to the most accessible, but to the most neglected, parts of the fortification. Raymond’s tower was reduced to ashes by the fire of the besieged; but his colleague was more vigilant and successful; the enemies were driven by his archers from the rampart; the draw-bridge was let down; and on a Friday, at three in the afternoon, the day and hour of the Passion, Godfrey of Bouillon stood victorious on the walls of Jerusalem. His example was followed on every side by the emulation of valour; and, about four hundred and sixty years after the conquest of Omar, the holy city was rescued from the Mahometan yoke. In the pillage of public and private wealth, the adventurers had agreed to respect the exclusive property of the first occupant; and the spoils of the great mosch, seventy lamps and massy vases of gold and silver, rewarded the diligence, and displayed the generosity, of Tancred. A bloody sacrifice was offered by his mistaken votaries to the God of the Christians; resistance might provoke, but neither age nor sex could mollify, their implacable rage; they indulged themselves three days in a promiscuous massacre;117 and the infection of the dead bodies produced an epidemic disease. After seventy thousand Moslems had been put to the sword, and the harmless Jews had been burnt in their synagogue, they could still reserve a multitude of captives whom interest or lassitude persuaded them to spare. Of these savage heroes of the cross, Tancred alone betrayed some sentiments of compassion; yet we may praise the more selfish lenity of Raymond, who granted a capitulation and safe-conduct to the garrison of the citadel.118 The holy Edition: current; Page: [258] sepulchre was now free; and the bloody victors prepared to accomplish their vow. Bareheaded and barefoot, with contrite hearts, and in an humble posture, they ascended the hill of Calvary, amidst the loud anthems of the clergy; kissed the stone which had covered the Saviour of the world; and bedewed with tears of joy and penitence the monument of their redemption. This union of the fiercest and most tender passions has been variously considered by two philosophers: by the one,119 as easy and natural; by the other,120 as absurd and incredible. Perhaps it is too rigorously applied to the same persons and the same hour: the example of the virtuous Godfrey awakened the piety of his companions; while they cleansed their bodies, they purified their minds; nor shall I believe that the most ardent in slaughter and rapine were the foremost in the procession to the holy sepulchre.

Eight days after this memorable event, which Pope Urban did not live to hear, the Latin chiefs proceeded to the election of a king, to guard and govern their conquests in Palestine. Hugh the Great and Stephen of Chartres had retired with some loss of reputation, which they strove to regain by a second crusade and an honourable death. Baldwin was established at Edessa, and Bohemond at Antioch; and the two Roberts, the duke of Normandy121 and the count of Flanders, preferred their fair inheritance in the West to a doubtful competition or a barren sceptre. The jealousy and ambition of Raymond were condemned by his own followers, and the free, the just, the unanimous voice of the army proclaimed Godfrey of Bouillon the first and most worthy of the champions of Christendom. His magnanimity Edition: current; Page: [259] accepted a trust as full of danger as of glory; but in a city where his Saviour had been crowned with thorns the devout pilgrim rejected the name and ensigns of royalty; and the founder of the kingdom of Jerusalem contented himself with the modest title of Defender and Baron of the Holy Sepulchre. His government of a single year,122 too short for the public happiness, was interrupted in the first fortnight by a summons to the field, by the approach of the vizir or sultan of Egypt, who had been too slow to prevent, but who was impatient to avenge, the loss of Jerusalem. His total overthrow in the battle of Ascalon sealed the establishment of the Latins in Syria, and signalised the valour of the French princes, who, in this action, bade a long farewell to the holy wars. Some glory might be derived from the prodigious inequality of numbers, though I shall not count the myriads of horse and foot on the side of the Fatimites; but, except three thousand Ethiopians or Blacks, who were armed with flails or scourges of iron, the Barbarians of the South fled on the first onset, and afforded a pleasing comparison between the active valour of the Turks and the sloth and effeminacy of the natives of Egypt. After suspending before the holy sepulchre the sword and standard of the sultan, the new king (he deserves the title) embraced his departing companions, and could retain only with the gallant Tancred three hundred knights and two thousand foot-soldiers for the defence of Palestine. His sovereignty was soon attacked by a new enemy, the only one against whom Godfrey was a coward. Adhemar, bishop of Puy, who excelled both in council and action, had been swept away in the last plague of Antioch; the remaining ecclesiastics preserved only the pride and avarice of their character; and their seditious clamours had required that the choice of a bishop should precede that of a king. The revenue and jurisdiction of the lawful patriarch were usurped by the Latin Edition: current; Page: [260] clergy; the exclusion of the Greeks and Syrians was justified by the reproach of heresy or schism;123 and, under the iron yoke of their deliverers, the Oriental Christians regretted the tolerating government of the Arabian caliphs. Daimbert, Archbishop of Pisa, had long been trained in the secret policy of Rome: he brought a fleet of his countrymen to the succour of the Holy Land, and was installed, without a competitor, the spiritual and temporal head of the church. The new patriarch124 immediately grasped the sceptre which had been acquired by the toil and blood of the victorious pilgrims; and both Godfrey and Bohemond submitted to receive at his hands the investiture of their feudal possessions. Nor was this sufficient; Daimbert claimed the immediate property of Jerusalem and Jaffa: instead of a firm and generous refusal, the hero negotiated with the priest; a quarter of either city was ceded to the church; and the modest bishop was satisfied with an eventual reversion of the rest, on the death of Godfrey without children, or on the future acquisition of a new seat at Cairo or Damascus.

Without this indulgence, the conqueror would have almost been stripped of his infant kingdom, which consisted only of Jerusalem and Jaffa, with about twenty villages and towns of the adjacent country.125 Within this narrow verge, the Edition: current; Page: [261] Mahometans were still lodged in some impregnable castles; and the husbandman, the trader, and the pilgrims were exposed to daily and domestic hostility. By the arms of Godfrey himself, and of the two Baldwins, his brother and cousin, who succeeded to the throne, the Latins breathed with more ease and safety; and at length they equalled, in the extent of their dominions, though not in the millions of their subjects, the ancient princes of Judah and Israel.126 After the reduction of the maritime cities of Laodicea, Tripoli, Tyre, and Ascalon,127 which were powerfully assisted by the fleets of Venice, Genoa, and Pisa, and even of Flanders and Norway,128 the range of sea-coast from Scanderoon to the borders of Egypt was possessed by the Christian pilgrims. If the prince of Antioch129 disclaimed his supremacy, the counts of Edessa Edition: current; Page: [262] and Tripoli owned themselves the vassals of the king of Jerusalem: the Latins reigned beyond the Euphrates; and the four cities of Hems, Hamah, Damascus, and Aleppo were the only relics of the Mahometan conquests in Syria.130 The laws and language, the manners and titles, of the French nation and Latin church, were introduced into these transmarine colonies. According to the feudal jurisprudence, the principal states and subordinate baronies descended in the line of male and female succession;131 but the children of the first conquerors,132 a motley and degenerate race, were dissolved by luxury of the climate; the arrival of new crusaders from Europe was a doubtful hope and a casual event. The service of the feudal tenures133 was performed by six hundred and sixty-six knights, who might expect the aid of two hundred more under the banner of the count of Tripoli; and each knight was attended to the field by four squires or archers on horseback.134 Five thousand and seventy-five Edition: current; Page: [263] serjeants, most probably foot-soldiers, were supplied by the churches and the cities; and the whole legal militia of the kingdom could not exceed eleven thousand men, a slender defence against the surrounding myriads of Saracens and Turks.135 But the firmest bulwark of Jerusalem was founded on the knights of the Hospital of St. John,136 and of the temple of Solomon;137 on the strange association of a monastic and military life, which fanaticism might suggest, but which policy must approve. The flower of the nobility of Europe aspired to wear the cross, and to profess the vows, of these respectable Edition: current; Page: [264] orders; their spirit and discipline were immortal; and the speedy donation of twenty-eight thousand farms, or manors,138 enabled them to support a regular force of cavalry and infantry for the defence of Palestine. The austerity of the convent soon evaporated in the exercise of arms; the world was scandalised by the pride, avarice, and corruption of these Christian soldiers; their claims of immunity and jurisdiction disturbed the harmony of the church and state; and the public peace was endangered by their jealous emulation. But in their most dissolute period, the knights of the Hospital and Temple maintained their fearless and fanatic character; they neglected to live, but they were prepared to die, in the service of Christ; and the spirit of chivalry, the parent and offspring of the crusades, has been transplanted by this institution from the holy sepulchre to the isle of Malta.139

The spirit of freedom, which pervades the feudal institutions, was felt in its strongest energy by the volunteers of the cross, who elected for their chief the most deserving of his peers. Amidst the slaves of Asia, unconscious of the lesson or example, a model of political liberty was introduced; and the laws of the French kingdom are derived from the purest source of equality and justice. Of such laws, the first and indispensable condition is the assent of those whose obedience they require, and for whose benefit they are designed. No sooner had Godfrey of Bouillon accepted the office of supreme magistrate than he solicited the public and private advice of the Latin pilgrims who were the best skilled in the Edition: current; Page: [265] statutes and customs of Europe. From these materials, with the counsel and approbation of the patriarch and barons, of the clergy and laity, Godfrey composed the Assise of Jerusalem,140 a precious monument of feudal jurisprudence. The new code, attested by the seals of the king, the patriarch, and the viscount of Jerusalem, was deposited in the holy sepulchre, enriched with the improvements of succeeding times, and respectfully consulted as often as any doubtful question arose in the tribunals of Palestine. With the kingdom and city all was lost;141 the fragments of the written law were preserved by jealous tradition,142 and variable practice, till the middle of the thirteenth century; the code was restored by the pen of John d’Ibelin, count of Jaffa, one of the principal feudatories;143 and the final revision was Edition: current; Page: [266] accomplished in the year thirteen hundred and sixty-nine, for the use of the Latin kingdom of Cyprus.144

The justice and freedom of the constitution were maintained by two tribunals of unequal dignity, which were instituted by Godfrey of Bouillon after the conquest of Jerusalem. The king, in person, presided in the upper court, the court of the barons. Of these the four most conspicuous were the prince of Galilee, the lord of Sidon and Cæsarea, and the counts of Jaffa and Tripoli, who, perhaps with the constable and marshal,145 were in a special manner the compeers and judges of each other. But all the nobles, who held their lands immediately of the crown, were entitled and bound to attend the king’s court; and each baron exercised a similar jurisdiction in the subordinate assemblies of his own feudatories. The connection of lord and vassal was honourable and voluntary: reverence was due to the benefactor, protection to the dependant; but they mutually pledged their faith to each other, and the obligation on either side might be suspended by neglect or dissolved by injury. The cognisance of marriages and testaments was blended with religion and usurped by the clergy; but the civil and criminal causes of the nobles, the inheritance and tenure of their fiefs, formed the proper occupation of the supreme court. Each member was the judge and guardian both of public and private rights. It was his duty to assert with his tongue and sword the lawful claims of the lord; but, if an unjust superior presumed to violate the freedom or property of a vassal, the Edition: current; Page: [267] confederate peers stood forth to maintain his quarrel by word and deed. They boldly affirmed his innocence and his wrongs; demanded the restitution of his liberty or his lands; suspended, after a fruitless demand, their own service; rescued their brother from prison; and employed every weapon in his defence, without offering direct violence to the person of their lord, which was ever sacred in their eyes.146 In their pleadings, replies, and rejoinders, the advocates of the court were subtile and copious; but the use of argument and evidence was often superseded by judicial combat; and the Assise of Jerusalem admits in many cases this barbarous institution, which has been slowly abolished by the laws and manners of Europe.

The trial by battle was established in all criminal cases which affected the life or limb or honour of any person; and in all civil transactions of or above the value of one mark of silver. It appears that in criminal cases the combat was the privilege of the accuser, who, except in a charge of treason, avenged his personal injury or the death of those persons whom he had a right to represent; but, wherever, from the nature of the charge, testimony could be obtained, it was necessary for him to produce witnesses of the fact. In civil cases, the combat was not allowed as the means of establishing the claim of the demandant; but he was obliged to produce Edition: current; Page: [268] witnesses who had, or assumed to have, knowledge of the fact. The combat was then the privilege of the defendant; because he charged the witness with an attempt by perjury to take away his right. He came, therefore, to be in the same situation as the appellant in criminal cases. It was not, then, as a mode of proof that the combat was received, nor as making negative evidence (according to the supposition of Montesquieu);147 but in every case the right to offer battle was founded on the right to pursue by arms the redress of an injury; and the judicial combat was fought on the same principle, and with the same spirit, as a private duel. Champions were only allowed to women, and to men maimed or past the age of sixty. The consequence of a defeat was death to the person accused, or to the champion or witness, as well as to the accuser himself; but in civil cases the demandant was punished with infamy and the loss of his suit, while his witness and champion suffered an ignominious death. In many cases, it was in the option of the judge to award or to refuse the combat; but two are specified in which it was the inevitable result of the challenge: if a faithful vassal gave the lie to his compeer, who unjustly claimed any portion of their lord’s demesnes; or if an unsuccessful suitor presumed to impeach the judgment and veracity of the court. He might impeach them, but the terms were severe and perilous: in the same day he successively fought all the members of the tribunal, even those who had been absent; a single defeat was followed by death and infamy; and, where none could hope for victory, it is highly probable that none would adventure the trial. In the Assise of Jerusalem, the legal subtlety of the count of Jaffa is more laudably employed to elude, than to facilitate, the judicial combat, which he derives from a principle of honour rather than of superstition.148

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Among the causes which enfranchised the plebeians from the yoke of feudal tyranny, the institution of cities and corporations is one of the most powerful; and, if those of Palestine are coeval with the first crusade, they may be ranked with the most ancient of the Latin world. Many of the pilgrims had escaped from their lords under the banner of the cross; and it was the policy of the French princes to tempt their stay by the assurance of the rights and privileges of freemen. It is expressly declared in the Assise of Jerusalem that, after instituting, for his knights and barons, the court of Peers, in which he presided himself, Godfrey of Bouillon established a second tribunal, in which his person was represented by his viscount. The jurisdiction of this inferior court extended over the burgesses of the kingdom; and it was composed of a select number of the most discreet and worthy citizens, who were sworn to judge, according to the laws, of the actions and fortunes of their equals.149 In the conquest and settlement of new cities, the example of Jerusalem was imitated by the kings and their great vassals; and above thirty similar corporations were founded before the loss of the Holy Land. Another class of subjects, the Syrians,150 or Oriental Christians, were oppressed by the zeal of the clergy, and protected by the toleration of the state. Godfrey listened to their reasonable prayer that they might be judged Edition: current; Page: [270] by their own national laws. A third court was instituted for their use, of limited and domestic jurisdiction; the sworn members were Syrians, in blood, language, and religion; but the office of the president (in Arabic, of the rais) was sometimes exercised by the viscount of the city. At an immeasureable distance below the nobles, the burgesses, and the strangers, the Assise of Jerusalem condescends to mention the villains and slaves, the peasants of the land and the captives of war, who were almost equally considered as the objects of property. The relief or protection of these unhappy men was not esteemed worthy of the care of the legislator; but he diligently provides for the recovery, though not indeed for the punishment, of the fugitives. Like hounds, or hawks, who had strayed from the lawful owner, they might be lost and claimed; the slave and falcon were of the same value; but three slaves, or twelve oxen, were accumulated to equal the price of the war-house; and a sum of three hundred pieces of gold was fixed, in the age of chivalry, as the equivalent of the more noble animal.151

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Preservation of the Greek Empire — Numbers, Passage, and Event of the Second and Third Crusades — St. Bernard — Reign of Saladin in Egypt and Syria — His Conquest of Jerusalem — Naval Crusades — Richard the First of England — Pope Innocent the Third; and the Fourth and Fifth Crusades — The Emperor Frederic the Second — Louis the Ninth of France; and the two last Crusades — Expulsion of the Latins or Franks by the Mamalukes

In a style less grave than that of history, I should perhaps compare the emperor Alexius1 to the jackal, who is said to follow the steps, and to devour the leavings, of the lion. Whatever had been his fears and toils in the passage of the first crusade, they were amply recompensed by the subsequent benefits which he derived from the exploits of the Franks. His dexterity and vigilance secured their first conquest of Nice; and from this threatening station the Turks were compelled to evacuate the neighbourhood of Constantinople. While the crusaders, with blind valour, advanced into the midland countries of Asia, the crafty Greek improved the favourable occasion when the emirs of the sea-coast were recalled to the standard of the sultan. The Turks were driven from the isles of Rhodes and Chios: the cities of Ephesus and Smyrna, of Sardes, Philadelphia, and Laodicea, Edition: current; Page: [272] were restored to the empire, which Alexius enlarged from the Hellespont to the banks of the Mæander and the rocky shores of Pamphylia. The churches resumed their splendour; the towns were rebuilt and fortified; and the desert country was peopled with colonies of Christians, who were gently removed from the more distant and dangerous frontier. In these paternal cares, we may forgive Alexius, if he forgot the deliverance of the holy sepulchre; but, by the Latins, he was stigmatised with the foul reproach of treason and desertion. They had sworn fidelity and obedience to his throne; but he had promised to assist their enterprise in person, or, at least, with his troops and treasures; his base retreat dissolved their obligations; and the sword, which had been the instrument of their victory, was the pledge and title of their just independence. It does not appear that the emperor attempted to revive his obsolete claims over the kingdom of Jerusalem;2 but the borders of Cilicia and Syria were more recent in his possession, and more accessible to his arms. The great army of the crusaders was annihilated or dispersed; the principality of Antioch was left without a head, by the surprise and captivity of Bohemond: his ransom had oppressed him with a heavy debt; and his Norman followers were insufficient to repel the hostilities of the Greeks and Turks. In this distress, Bohemond embraced a magnanimous resolution, of leaving the defence of Antioch to his kinsman, the faithful Tancred, of arming the West against the Byzantine empire, and of executing the design which he inherited from the lessons and example of his father Guiscard. His embarkation was clandestine; and, if we may credit a tale of the princess Anne, he passed the hostile sea closely secreted in a coffin.3 Edition: current; Page: [273] But his reception in France was dignified by the public applause and his marriage with the king’s daughter; his return was glorious, since the bravest spirits of the age enlisted under his veteran command; and he repassed the Adriatic at the head of five thousand horse and forty thousand foot, assembled from the most remote climates of Europe.4 The strength of Durazzo and prudence of Alexius, the progress of famine and approach of winter, eluded his ambitious hopes; and the venal confederates were seduced from his standard. A treaty of peace5 suspended the fears of the Greeks; and they were finally delivered by the death of an adversary whom neither oaths could bind nor dangers could appall nor prosperity could satiate. His children succeeded to the principality of Antioch; but the boundaries were strictly defined, the homage was clearly stipulated, and the cities of Tarsus and Malmistra6 were restored to the Byzantine emperors. Of the coast of Anatolia, they possessed the entire circuit from Trebizond to the Syrian gates. The Seljukian dynasty of Roum7 was separated on all sides from the sea and their Musulman brethren; the power of the sultans was shaken by the victories, and even the defeats, of the Franks; and after the loss of Nice they removed their throne to Cogni or Iconium, an obscure and inland town above Edition: current; Page: [274] three hundred miles from Constantinople.8 Instead of trembling for their capital, the Comnenian princes waged an offensive war against the Turks, and the first crusade prevented the fall of the declining empire.

In the twelfth century, three great emigrations marched by land from the West to the relief of Palestine. The soldiers and pilgrims of Lombardy, France, and Germany were excited by the example and success of the first crusade.9 Forty-eight years after the deliverance of the holy sepulchre, the emperor and the French king, Conrad the Third and Louis the Seventh, undertook the second crusade to support the falling fortunes of the Latins.10 A grand division of the third crusade was led by the emperor Frederic Barbarossa,11 Edition: current; Page: [275] who sympathised with his brothers of France and England in the common loss of Jerusalem. These three expeditions may be compared in their resemblance of the greatness of numbers, their passage through the Greek empire, and the nature and event of their Turkish warfare; and a brief parallel may save the repetition of a tedious narrative. However splendid it may seem, a regular story of the crusades would exhibit a perpetual return of the same causes and effects; and the frequent attempts for the defence and recovery of the Holy Land would appear so many faint and unsuccessful copies of the original.

I. Of the swarms that so closely trod in the footsteps of the first pilgrims, the chiefs were equal in rank, though unequal in fame and merit, to Godfrey of Bouillon and his fellow-adventurers. At their head were displayed the banners of the dukes of Burgundy, Bavaria, and Aquitain: the first a descendant of Hugh Capet, the second a father of the Brunswick line; the archbishop of Milan, a temporal prince, transported, for the benefit of the Turks, the treasures and ornaments of his church and palace; and the veteran crusaders, Hugh the Great and Stephen of Chartres, returned to consummate their unfinished vow. The huge and disorderly bodies of their followers moved forwards in two columns; and, if the first consisted of two hundred and sixty thousand persons, the second might possibly amount to sixty thousand horse and one hundred thousand foot.12 The armies of the second crusade might have claimed the conquest of Asia: the nobles of France and Germany were animated by the presence of their sovereigns; and both the rank and personal characters of Conrad and Louis gave a dignity to their cause and a discipline to their force, which might be vainly expected from the feudatory chiefs. The cavalry of the emperor, and Edition: current; Page: [276] that of the king, was each composed of seventy thousand knights and their immediate attendants in the field,13 and, if the light-armed troops, the peasant infantry, the women and children, the priests and monks, be rigorously excluded, the full account will scarcely be satisfied with four hundred thousand souls. The West, from Rome to Britain, was called into action; the kings of Poland and Bohemia obeyed the summons of Conrad; and it is affirmed by the Greeks and Latins that, in the passage of a strait or river, the Byzantine agents, after a tale of nine hundred thousand, desisted from the endless and formidable computation.14 In the third crusade, as the French and English preferred the navigation of the Mediterranean, the host of Frederic Barbarossa was less numerous. Fifteen thousand knights, and as many squires, were the flower of the German chivalry; sixty thousand horse and one hundred thousand foot were mustered by the emperor in the plains of Hungary; and after such repetitions we shall no longer be startled at the six hundred thousand pilgrims which credulity has ascribed to this last emigration.15 Such extravagant reckonings prove only the Edition: current; Page: [277] astonishment of contemporaries; but their astonishment most strongly bears testimony to the existence of an enormous though indefinite multitude. The Greeks might applaud their superior knowledge of the arts and stratagems of war, but they confessed the strength and courage of the French cavalry and the infantry of the Germans;16 and the strangers are described as an iron race, of gigantic stature, who darted fire from their eyes, and spilt blood like water on the ground. Under the banners of Conrad, a troop of females rode in the attitude and armour of men; and the chief of these Amazons, from their gilt spurs and buskins, obtained the epithet of the Golden-footed Dame.

II. The numbers and character of the strangers was an object of terror to the effeminate Greeks, and the sentiment of fear is nearly allied to that of hatred. This aversion was suspended or softened by the apprehension of the Turkish power; and the invectives of the Latins will not bias our more candid belief that the emperor Alexius dissembled their insolence, eluded their hostilities, counselled their rashness, and opened to their ardour the road of pilgrimage and conquest. But, when the Turks had been driven from Nice and the sea-coast, when the Byzantine princes no longer dreaded the distant sultans of Cogni, they felt with purer indignation the free and frequent passage of the Western Barbarians, who violated the majesty, and endangered the safety, of the empire. The second and third crusades were undertaken under the reign of Manuel Comnenus and Isaac Angelus. Of the former, the passions were always impetuous and often malevolent; and the natural union of a cowardly and a mischievous temper was exemplified in the latter, who, without merit or mercy, could punish a tyrant and occupy Edition: current; Page: [278] his throne. It was secretly, and perhaps tacitly, resolved by the prince and people to destroy, or at least to discourage, the pilgrims by every species of injury and oppression; and their want of prudence and discipline continually afforded the pretence or the opportunity. The Western monarchs had stipulated a safe passage and fair market in the country of their Christian brethren; the treaty had been ratified by oaths and hostages; and the poorest soldier of Frederic’s army was furnished with three marks of silver to defray his expenses on the road. But every engagement was violated by treachery and injustice; and the complaints of the Latins are attested by the honest confession of a Greek historian, who has dared to prefer truth to his country.17 Instead of an hospitable reception, the gates of the cities, both in Europe and Asia, were closely barred against the crusaders; and the scanty pittance of food was let down in baskets from the walls. Experience or foresight might excuse this timid jealousy; but the common duties of humanity prohibited the mixture of chalk, or other poisonous ingredients, in the bread; and, should Manuel be acquitted of any foul connivance, he is guilty of coining base money for the purpose of trading with the pilgrims. In every step of their march they were stopped or misled: the governors had private orders to fortify the passes, and break down the bridges against them: the stragglers were pillaged and murdered; the soldiers and horses were pierced in the woods by arrows from an invisible hand; the sick were burnt in their beds; and the dead bodies were hung on gibbets along the highways. These injuries exasperated the champions of the cross, who were not endowed with evangelical patience; and the Byzantine princes, who had provoked the unequal conflict, promoted the embarkation and march of these formidable guests. On the verge of Edition: current; Page: [279] the Turkish frontiers, Barbarossa spared the guilty Philadelphia,18 rewarded the hospitable Laodicea, and deplored the hard necessity that had stained his sword with any drops of Christian blood. In their intercourse with the monarchs of Germany and France, the pride of the Greeks was exposed to an anxious trial. They might boast that on the first interview the seat of Louis was a low stool beside the throne of Manuel;19 but no sooner had the French king transported his army beyond the Bosphorus than he refused the offer of a second conference, unless his brother would meet him on equal terms, either on the sea or land. With Conrad and Frederic the ceremonial was still nicer and more difficult: like the successors of Constantine, they styled themselves Emperors of the Romans,20 and firmly maintained the purity of their title and dignity. The first of these representatives of Charlemagne would only converse with Manuel on horseback in the open field; the second, by passing the Hellespont rather than the Bosphorus, declined the view of Constantinople and its sovereign. An emperor who had been crowned at Rome was reduced in the Greek epistles to the humble appellation of Rex, or prince of the Alemanni; and the vain and feeble Angelus affected to be ignorant of the name of one of the greatest men and monarchs of the age. While they viewed with hatred and suspicion the Latin pilgrims, the Greek emperors maintained a strict, though secret, alliance Edition: current; Page: [280] with the Turks and Saracens. Isaac Angelus complained that by his friendship for the great Saladin he had incurred the enmity of the Franks; and a mosch was founded at Constantinople for the public exercise of the religion of Mahomet.21

III. The swarms that followed the first crusade were destroyed in Anatolia by famine, pestilence, and the Turkish arrows: and the princes only escaped with some squadrons of horse to accomplish their lamentable pilgrimage. A just opinion may be formed of their knowledge and humanity: of their knowledge, from the design of subduing Persia and Chorasan in their way to Jerusalem; of their humanity, from the massacre of the Christian people, a friendly city, who came out to meet them with palms and crosses in their hands. The arms of Conrad and Louis were less cruel and imprudent; but the event of the second crusade was still more ruinous to Christendom; and the Greek Manuel is accused by his own subjects of giving seasonable intelligence to the sultan, and treacherous guides to the Latin princes. Instead of crushing the common foe, by a double attack at the same time but on different sides, the Germans were urged by emulation, and the French were retarded by jealousy. Louis had scarcely passed the Bosphorus when he was met by the returning emperor, who had lost the greatest part of his army in glorious, but unsuccessful, actions on the banks of the Mæander.22 The contrast of the pomp of his rival hastened the retreat of Conrad: the desertion of his independent vassals reduced him to his hereditary troops; and he borrowed some Greek Edition: current; Page: [281] vessels to execute by sea the pilgrimage of Palestine.23 Without studying the lessons of experience or the nature of war, the king of France advanced through the same country to a similar fate. The vanguard, which bore the royal banner and the oriflamme of St. Denys,24 had doubled their march with rash and inconsiderate speed; and the rear, which the king commanded in person, no longer found their companions in the evening camp. In darkness and disorder, they were encompassed, assaulted, and overwhelmed by the innumerable host of Turks, who, in the art of war, were superior to the Christians of the twelfth century. Louis, who climbed a tree in the general discomfiture, was saved by his own valour and the ignorance of his adversaries; and with the dawn of day he escaped alive, but almost alone, to the camp of the vanguard. But, instead of pursuing his expedition by land, he was rejoiced to shelter the relics of his army in the friendly seaport of Satalia.25 From thence he embarked for Antioch; but so penurious was the supply of Greek vessels that they could only afford room for his knights and nobles; and the plebeian crowd of infantry was left to perish at the foot of Edition: current; Page: [282] the Pamphylian hills. The emperor and the king embraced and wept at Jerusalem; their martial trains, the remnant of mighty armies, were joined to the Christian powers of Syria, and a fruitless siege of Damascus was the final effort of the second crusade. Conrad and Louis embarked for Europe with the personal fame of piety and courage; but the Orientals had braved these potent monarchs of the Franks, with whose names and military forces they had been so often threatened.26 Perhaps they had still more to fear from the veteran genius of Frederic the First, who in his youth had served in Asia under his uncle Conrad. Forty campaigns in Germany and Italy had taught Barbarossa to command; and his soldiers, even the princes of the empire, were accustomed under his reign to obey. As soon as he lost sight of Philadelphia and Laodicea, the last cities of the Greek frontier, he plunged into the salt and barren desert, a land (says the historian) of horror and tribulation.27 During twenty days, every step of his fainting and sickly march was besieged by the innumerable hordes of Turkmans,28 whose numbers and fury seemed after each defeat to multiply and inflame. The emperor continued to struggle and to suffer; and such was the measure of his calamities that, when he reached the gates of Iconium, no more than one thousand Edition: current; Page: [283] knights were able to serve on horseback. By a sudden and resolute assault, he defeated the guards, and stormed the capital, of the sultan,29 who humbly sued for pardon and peace. The road was now open, and Frederic advanced in a career of triumph, till he was unfortunately drowned in a petty torrent of Cilicia.30 The remainder of his Germans was consumed by sickness and desertion, and the emperor’s son expired with the greatest part of his Swabian vassals at the siege of Acre. Among the Latin heroes, Godfrey of Bouillon and Frederic Barbarossa alone could achieve the passage of the Lesser Asia; yet even their success was a warning, and in the last and most experienced ages of the crusades every nation preferred the sea to the toils and perils of an inland expedition.31

The enthusiasm of the first crusade is a natural and simple event, while hope was fresh, danger untried, and enterprise congenial to the spirit of the times. But the obstinate perseverance of Europe may indeed excite our pity and admiration; that no instruction should have been drawn from constant and adverse experience; that the same confidence should have repeatedly grown from the same failures; that six succeeding generations should have rushed headlong down the precipice that was open before them; and that men of every condition should have staked their public and private Edition: current; Page: [284] fortunes on the desperate adventure of possessing or recovering a tomb-stone two thousand miles from their country. In a period of two centuries after the council of Clermont, each spring and summer produced a new emigration of pilgrim warriors for the defence of the Holy Land; but the seven great armaments or crusades were excited by some impending or recent calamity: the nations were moved by the authority of their pontiffs, and the example of their kings: their zeal was kindled, and their reason was silenced, by the voice of their holy orators; and among these Bernard,32 the monk or the saint, may claim the most honourable place. About eight years before the first conquest of Jerusalem, he was born of a noble family in Burgundy; at the age of three-and-twenty, he buried himself in the monastery of Citeaux, then in the primitive fervour of the institution; at the end of two years he led forth her third colony, or daughter, to the valley of Clairvaux33 in Champagne; and was content, till the hour of his death, with the humble station of abbot of his own community. A philosophic age has abolished, with too liberal and indiscriminate disdain, the honours of these spiritual heroes. The meanest amongst them are distinguished by some energies of the mind; they were at least Edition: current; Page: [285] superior to their votaries and disciples; and in the race of superstition they attained the prize for which such numbers contended. In speech, in writing, in action, Bernard stood high above his rivals and contemporaries; his compositions are not devoid of wit and eloquence; and he seems to have preserved as much reason and humanity as may be reconciled with the character of a saint. In a secular life he would have shared the seventh part of a private inheritance; by a vow of poverty and penance, by closing his eyes against the visible world,34 by the refusal of all ecclesiastical dignities, the abbot of Clairvaux became the oracle of Europe and the founder of one hundred and sixty convents. Princes and pontiffs trembled at the freedom of his apostolical censure: France, England, and Milan consulted and obeyed his judgment in a schism of the church; the debt was repaid by the gratitude of Innocent the Second; and his successor Eugenius the Third was the friend and disciple of the holy Bernard. It was in the proclamation of the second crusade that he shone as the missionary and prophet of God, who called the nations to the defence of his holy sepulchre.35 At the parliament of Vézelay he spoke before the king; and Louis the Seventh, with his nobles, received their crosses from his hand. The abbot of Clairvaux then marched to the less easy conquest of the emperor Conrad: a phlegmatic people, ignorant of his language, was transported by the pathetic vehemence of his tone and gestures; and his progress from Constance to Cologne was the triumph of eloquence Edition: current; Page: [286] and zeal. Bernard applauds his own success in the depopulation of Europe; affirms that cities and castles were emptied of their inhabitants; and computes that only one man was left behind for the consolation of seven widows.36 The blind fanatics were desirous of electing him for their general; but the example of the hermit Peter was before his eyes; and, while he assured the crusaders of the divine favour, he prudently declined a military command, in which failure and victory would have been almost equally disgraceful to his character.37 Yet, after the calamitous event, the abbot of Clairvaux was loudly accused as a false prophet, the author of the public and private mourning; his enemies exulted, his friends blushed, and his apology was slow and unsatisfactory. He justifies his obedience to the commands of the pope; expatiates on the mysterious ways of Providence; imputes the misfortunes of the pilgrims to their own sins; and modestly insinuates that his mission had been approved by signs and wonders.38 Had the fact been certain, the argument would be decisive; and his faithful disciples, who enumerate twenty or thirty miracles in a day, appeal to the public assemblies of France and Germany, in which they were performed.39 Edition: current; Page: [287] At the present hour such prodigies will not obtain credit beyond the precincts of Clairvaux; but in the preternatural cures of the blind, the lame, or the sick, who were presented to the man of God, it is impossible for us to ascertain the separate shares of accident, of fancy, of imposture, and of fiction.

Omnipotence itself cannot escape the murmurs of its discordant votaries; since the same dispensation which was applauded as a deliverance in Europe was deplored, and perhaps arraigned, as a calamity in Asia. After the loss in Jerusalem the Syrian fugitives diffused their consternation and sorrow: Bagdad mourned in the dust; the Cadhi Zeineddin of Damascus tore his beard in the caliph’s presence; and the whole divan shed tears at his melancholy tale.40 But the commanders of the faithful could only weep; they were themselves captives in the hands of the Turks; some temporal power was restored to the last age of the Abbassides; but their humble ambition was confined to Bagdad and the adjacent province. Their tyrants, the Seljukian sultans, had followed the common law of the Asiatic dynasties, the unceasing round of valour, greatness, discord, degeneracy, and decay: their spirit and power were unequal to the defence of religion; and, in his distant realm of Persia, the Christians were strangers to the name and the arms of Sangiar, the last hero of his race.41 While the sultans were involved in the silken web of the harem, the pious task was undertaken by Edition: current; Page: [288] their slaves, the Atabeks,42 a Turkish name, which like the Byzantine patricians, may be translated by Father of the Prince. Ascansar, a valiant Turk, had been the favourite of Malek Shah, from whom he received the privilege of standing on the right hand of the throne; but, in the civil wars that ensued on the monarch’s death, he lost his head and the government of Aleppo. His domestic emirs persevered in their attachment to his son Zenghi, who proved his first arms against the Franks in the defeat of Antioch; thirty campaigns in the service of the caliph and sultan established his military fame; and he was invested with the command of Mosul, as the only champion that could avenge the cause of the prophet. The public hope was not disappointed: after a siege of twenty-five days, he stormed the city of Edessa, and recovered from the Franks their conquests beyond the Euphrates:43 the martial tribes of Curdistan were subdued by the independent sovereign of Mosul and Aleppo: his soldiers were taught to behold the camp as their only country; they trusted to his liberality for their rewards; and their absent families were protected by the vigilance of Zenghi. At the head of these veterans, his son Noureddin gradually united the Mahometan powers; added the kingdom of Damascus to that of Aleppo, and waged a long and successful war against the Christians of Syria: he spread his ample reign from the Tigris to the Nile, and the Abbassides rewarded their faithful Edition: current; Page: [289] servant with all the titles and prerogatives of royalty. The Latins themselves were compelled to own the wisdom and courage, and even the justice and piety, of this implacable adversary.44 In his life and government, the holy warrior revived the zeal and simplicity of the first caliphs. Gold and silk were banished from his palace; the use of wine from his dominions; the public revenue was scrupulously applied to the public service; and the frugal household of Noureddin was maintained from the legitimate share of the spoil, which he vested in the purchase of a private estate. His favourite sultana sighed for some female object of expense: “Alas,” replied the king, “I fear God, and am no more than the treasurer of the Moslems. Their property I cannot alienate; but I still possess three shops in the city of Hems: these you may take, and these alone can I bestow.” His chamber of justice was the terror of the great and the refuge of the poor. Some years after the sultan’s death, an oppressed subject called aloud in the streets of Damascus, “O Noureddin, Noureddin, where art thou now? Arise, arise, to pity and protect us!” A tumult was apprehended, and a living tyrant blushed and trembled at the name of a departed monarch.

By the arms of the Turks and Franks, the Fatimites had been deprived of Syria. In Egypt the decay of their character and influence was still more essential. Yet they were still revered as the descendants and successors of the prophet; they maintained their visible state in the palace of Cairo; and their person was seldom violated by the profane eyes Edition: current; Page: [290] of subjects or strangers. The Latin ambassadors45 have described their own introduction through a series of gloomy passages, and glittering porticoes; the scene was enlivened by the warbling of birds and the murmur of fountains; it was enriched by a display of rich furniture and rare animals; of the Imperial treasures, something was shown, and much was supposed; and the long order of unfolding doors was guarded by black soldiers and domestic eunuchs. The sanctuary of the presence-chamber was veiled with a curtain; and the vizir, who conducted the ambassadors, laid aside his scymetar, and prostrated himself three times on the ground; the veil was then removed; and they beheld the commander of the faithful, who signified his pleasure to the first slave of the throne. But this slave was his master; the vizirs or sultans had usurped the supreme administration of Egypt; the claims of the rival candidates were decided by arms; and the name of the most worthy, of the strongest, was inserted in the royal patent of command. The factions of Dargham and Shawer46 alternately expelled each other from the capital and country; and the weaker side implored the dangerous protection of the sultan of Damascus, or the king of Jerusalem, the perpetual enemies of the sect and monarchy of the Fatimites. By his arms and religion the Turk was most formidable; but the Frank, in an easy direct march, could advance from Gaza to the Nile; while the intermediate situation of his realm compelled the troops of Noureddin to wheel round the skirts of Arabia, a long and painful circuit, which exposed them to thirst, fatigue, and the burning winds of the desert. The secret zeal and ambition of the Edition: current; Page: [291] Turkish prince aspired to reign in Egypt under the name of the Abbassides; but the restoration of the suppliant Shawer was the ostensible motive of the first expedition; and the success was entrusted to the emir Shiracouh,47 a valiant and veteran commander. Dargham was oppressed and slain; but the ingratitude, the jealousy, the just apprehensions, of his more fortunate rival, soon provoked him to invite the king of Jerusalem to deliver Egypt from his insolent benefactors. To this union, the forces of Shiracouh were unequal; he relinquished the premature conquest; and the evacuation of Belbeis, or Pelusium, was the condition of his safe retreat. As the Turks defiled before the enemy, and their general closed the rear, with a vigilant eye, and a battle-axe in his hand, a Frank presumed to ask him if he were not afraid of an attack? “It is doubtless in your power to begin the attack,” replied the intrepid emir, “but rest assured that not one of my soldiers will go to paradise till he has sent an infidel to hell.” His report of the riches of the land, the effeminacy of the natives, and the disorders of the government revived the hopes of Noureddin; the caliph of Bagdad applauded the pious design; and Shiracouh descended into Egypt a second time with twelve thousand Turks and eleven thousand Arabs.47a Yet his forces were still inferior to the confederate armies of the Franks and Saracens; and I can discern an unusual degree of military art in his passage of the Nile, his retreat into Thebais, his masterly evolutions in the battle of Babain, the surprise of Alexandria, and his marches and counter-marches in the flats and valley of Egypt, from the tropic to the sea. His conduct was seconded by the courage of his troops, and on the eve of action a Mamaluke48 exclaimed, Edition: current; Page: [292] “If we cannot wrest Egypt from the Christian dogs, why do we not renounce the honours and rewards of the sultan, and retire to labour with the peasants, or to spin with the females of the harem?” Yet after all his efforts in the field,49 after the obstinate defence of Alexandria50 by his nephew Saladin, an honourable capitulation and retreat concluded the second enterprise of Shiracouh; and Noureddin reserved his abilities for a third and more propitious occasion. It was soon offered by the ambition and avarice of Amalric, or Amaury, king of Jerusalem, who had imbibed the pernicious maxim that no faith should be kept with the enemies of God.50a A religious warrior, the great master of the hospital, encouraged him to proceed; the emperor of Constantinople either gave, or promised, a fleet to act with the armies of Syria; and the perfidious Christian, unsatisfied with spoil and subsidy, aspired to the conquest of Egypt. In this emergency the Moslems turned their eyes towards the sultan of Damascus; the vizir, whom danger encompassed on all sides, yielded to their unanimous wishes, and Noureddin seemed to be tempted by the fair offer of one third of the revenue of the kingdom.50b The Franks were already at the gates of Cairo; but the suburbs, the old city, were burnt on Edition: current; Page: [293] their approach; they were deceived by an insidious negotiation; and their vessels were unable to surmount the barriers of the Nile. They prudently declined a contest with the Turks in the midst of an hostile country;50c and Amaury retired into Palestine, with the shame and reproach that always adhere to unsuccessful injustice. After this deliverance, Shiracouh was invested with a robe of honour, which he soon stained with the blood of the unfortunate Shawer. For a while, the Turkish emirs condescended to hold the office of vizir; but this foreign conquest precipitated the fall of the Fatimites themselves; and the bloodless change was accomplished by a message and a word. The caliphs had been degraded by their own weakness and the tyranny of the vizirs: their subjects blushed, when the descendant and successor of the prophet presented his naked hand to the rude grip of a Latin ambassador; they wept when he sent the hair of his women, a sad emblem of their grief and terror, to excite the pity of the sultan of Damascus. By the command of Noureddin, and the sentence of the doctors, the holy names of Abubeker, Omar, and Othman were solemnly restored; the caliph Mosthadi, of Bagdad, was acknowledged in the public prayers as the true commander of the faithful; and the green livery of the sons of Ali was exchanged for the black colour of the Abbassides. The last of his race, the caliph Adhed,51 who survived only ten days, expired in happy ignorance of his fate; his treasures secured the loyalty of the soldiers, and silenced the murmurs of the sectaries; and in all subsequent revolutions Egypt has never departed from the orthodox tradition of the Moslems.52

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The hilly country beyond the Tigris is occupied by the pastoral tribes of the Curds;53 a people hardy, strong, savage, impatient of the yoke, addicted to rapine, and tenacious of the government of their national chiefs. The resemblance of name, situation, and manners seem to identify them with the Carduchians of the Greeks;54 and they still defend against the Ottoman Porte the antique freedom which they asserted against the successors of Cyrus. Poverty and ambition prompted them to embrace the profession of mercenary soldiers: the service of his father and uncle prepared the reign of the great Saladin;55 and the son of Job or Ayub, a simple Curd, magnanimously smiled at his pedigree, which flattery deduced from the Arabian caliphs.56 So unconscious was Noureddin of the impending ruin of his house that he constrained the reluctant youth to follow his uncle Shiracouh into Egypt; his military character was established by the defence of Alexandria; and, if we may believe the Latins, he solicited and obtained from the Christian general the Edition: current; Page: [295] profane honours of knighthood.57 On the death of Shiracouh, the office of grand vizir was bestowed on Saladin, as the youngest and least powerful of the emirs; but with the advice of his father, whom he invited to Cairo, his genius obtained the ascendant over his equals, and attached the army to his person and interest. While Noureddin lived, these ambitious Curds were the most humble of his slaves; and the indiscreet murmurs of the divan were silenced by the prudent Ayub, who loudly protested that at the command of the sultan he himself would lead his son in chains to the foot of the throne. “Such language,” he added in private, “was prudent and proper in an assembly of your rivals; but we are now above fear and obedience; and the threats of Noureddin shall not extort the tribute of a sugar-cane.” His seasonable death relieved them from the odious and doubtful conflict: his son, a minor of eleven years of age, was left for a while to the emirs of Damascus; and the new lord of Egypt was decorated by the caliph with every title58 that could sanctify his usurpation in the eyes of the people. Nor was Saladin long content with the possession of Egypt; he despoiled the Christians of Jerusalem, and the Atabeks of Damascus, Aleppo, and Diarbekir; Mecca and Medina acknowledged him for their temporal protector; his brother subdued the distant regions of Yemen, or the Happy Arabia; and at the hour of his death his empire was spread from the Edition: current; Page: [296] African Tripoli to the Tigris, and from the Indian Ocean to the mountains of Armenia. In the judgment of his character, the reproaches of treason and ingratitude strike forcibly on our minds, impressed as they are with the principle and experience of law and loyalty. But his ambition may in some measure be excused by the revolutions of Asia,59 which had erased every notion of legitimate succession; by the recent example of the Atabeks themselves; by his reverence to the son of his benefactor; his humane and generous behaviour to the collateral branches; by their incapacity and his merit; by the approbation of the caliph, the sole source of all legitimate power; and, above all, by the wishes and interest of the people, whose happiness is the first object of government. In his virtues, and in those of his patron, they admired the singular union of the hero and the saint; for both Noureddin and Saladin are ranked among the Mahometan saints; and the constant meditation of the holy wars appears to have shed a serious and sober colour over their lives and actions. The youth of the latter60 was addicted to wine and women; but his aspiring spirit soon renounced the temptations of pleasure for the graver follies of fame and dominion. The garment of Saladin was of coarse woollen; water was his only drink; and, while he emulated the temperance, he surpassed the chastity, of his Arabian prophet. Both in faith and practice he was a rigid Musulman; he ever deplored that the defence of religion had not allowed him to accomplish the pilgrimage of Mecca; but at the stated hours, five times each day, the sultan devoutly prayed with his brethren; the involuntary omission of fasting was scrupulously repaid; and his perusal of the Edition: current; Page: [297] Koran on horseback, between the approaching armies, may be quoted as a proof, however ostentatious, of piety and courage.61 The superstitious doctrine of the sect of Shafei was the only study that he deigned to encourage; the poets were safe in his contempt; but all profane science was the object of his aversion; and a philosopher, who had vented some speculative novelties, was seized and strangled by the command of the royal saint. The justice of his divan was accessible to the meanest suppliant against himself and his ministers; and it was only for a kingdom that Saladin would deviate from the rule of equity. While the descendants of Seljuk and Zenghi held his stirrup, and smoothed his garments, he was affable and patient with the meanest of his servants. So boundless was his liberality, that he distributed twelve thousand horses at the siege of Acre; and, at the time of his death, no more than forty-seven drams of silver, and one piece of gold coin, were found in the treasury; yet in a martial reign, the tributes were diminished, and the wealthy citizens enjoyed, without fear or danger, the fruits of their industry. Egypt, Syria, and Arabia were adorned by the royal foundations of hospitals, colleges, and moschs; and Cairo was fortified with a wall and citadel; but his works were consecrated to public use;62 nor did the sultan indulge himself in a garden or palace of private luxury. In a fanatic age, himself a fanatic, the genuine virtues of Saladin commanded the esteem of the Christians; the emperor of Germany gloried in his friendship;63 the Greek emperor solicited his alliance;64 and the conquest of Jerusalem diffused, and perhaps magnified, his fame both in the East and West.

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During its short existence, the kingdom of Jerusalem65 was supported by the discord of the Turks and Saracens; and both the Fatimite caliphs and the sultans of Damascus were tempted to sacrifice the cause of their religion to the meaner considerations of private and present advantage. But the powers of Egypt, Syria, and Arabia were now united by an hero, whom nature and fortune had armed against the Christians. All without now bore the most threatening aspect; and all was feeble and hollow in the internal state of Jerusalem.66 After the two first Baldwins, the brother and cousin of Godfrey of Bouillon, the sceptre devolved by female succession to Melisenda, daughter of the second Baldwin, and her husband Fulk, count of Anjou, the father, by a former marriage, of our English Plantagenets. Their two sons, Baldwin Edition: current; Page: [299] the Third and Amaury, waged a strenuous and not unsuccessful war against the infidels; but the son of Amaury, Baldwin the Fourth, was deprived by the leprosy, a gift of the crusades, of the faculties both of mind and body. His sister, Sybilla, the mother of Baldwin the Fifth, was his natural heiress. After the suspicious death of her child, she crowned her second husband, Guy of Lusignan, a prince of a handsome person, but of such base renown that his brother Jeffrey was heard to exclaim, “Since they have made him a king, surely they would have made me a god!” The choice was generally blamed; and the most powerful vassal, Raymond, count of Tripoli, who had been excluded from the succession and regency, entertained an implacable hatred against the king, and exposed his honour and conscience to the temptations of the sultan. Such were the guardians of the holy city: a leper, a child, a woman, a coward, and a traitor; yet its fate was delayed twelve years by some supplies from Europe, by the valour of the military orders, and by the distant or domestic avocations of their great enemy. At length, on every side the sinking state was encircled and pressed by an hostile line; and the truce was violated by the Franks, whose existence it protected. A soldier of fortune, Reginald of Chatillon, had seized a fortress on the edge of the desert, from whence he pillaged the caravans, insulted Mahomet, and threatened the cities of Mecca and Medina. Saladin condescended to complain; rejoiced in the denial of justice; and, at the head of fourscore thousand horse and foot, invaded the Holy Land. The choice of Tiberias for his first siege was suggested by the count of Tripoli, to whom it belonged; and the king of Jerusalem was persuaded to drain his garrisons, and to arm his people, for the relief of that important place.67 By the advice of the perfidious Raymond, Edition: current; Page: [300] the Christians were betrayed into a camp destitute of water; he fled on the first onset, with the curses of both nations;68 Lusignan was overthrown, with the loss of thirty thousand men; and the wood of the true cross, a dire misfortune! was left in the power of the infidels. The royal captive was conducted to the tent of Saladin; and, as he fainted with thirst and terror, the generous victor presented him with a cup of sherbet cooled in snow, without suffering his companion, Reginald of Chatillon, to partake of this pledge of hospitality and pardon. “The person and dignity of a king,” said the sultan, “are sacred; but this impious robber must instantly acknowledge the prophet, whom he has blasphemed, or meet the death which he has so often deserved.” On the proud or conscientious refusal of the Christian warrior, Saladin struck him on the head with his scymetar, and Reginald was despatched by the guards.69 The trembling Lusignan was sent to Damascus to an honourable prison, and speedy ransom; but the victory was stained by the execution of two hundred and thirty knights of the hospital, the intrepid champions and martyrs of their faith. Edition: current; Page: [h] Edition: current; Page: [301] The kingdom was left without a head; and of the two grand masters of the military orders, the one was slain, and the other was made a prisoner. From all the cities, both of the sea-coast and the inland country, the garrisons had been drawn away for this fatal field. Tyre and Tripoli alone could escape the rapid inroad of Saladin; and three months after the battle of Tiberias he appeared in arms before the gates of Jerusalem.70


He might expect that the siege of a city so venerable on earth and in heaven, so interesting to Europe and Asia, would rekindle the last sparks of enthusiasm; and that, of sixty thousand Christians, every man would be a soldier, and every soldier a candidate for martyrdom. But Queen Sybilla trembled for herself and her captive husband; and the barons and knights, who had escaped from the sword and the chains of the Turks, displayed the same factious and selfish spirit in the public ruin. The most numerous portion of the inhabitants were composed of the Greek and Oriental Christians, whom experience had taught to prefer the Mahometan before the Latin yoke;71 and the holy sepulchre attracted a base and needy crowd, without arms or courage, who subsisted only on the charity of the pilgrims. Some feeble and hasty efforts were made for the defence of Jerusalem; but in the space of fourteen days a victorious army drove back the sallies of the besieged, planted their engines, opened the wall to the breadth of fifteen cubits, applied their scaling-ladders, and erected on the breach twelve banners of the prophet and the sultan. It was in vain that a bare-foot procession of the queen, the women, and the monks implored the Son of God to save his tomb and his inheritance from impious violation. Their sole hope was in the mercy of the conqueror, and to their first suppliant deputation that mercy was sternly denied. “He had sworn to avenge the patience Edition: current; Page: [302] and long-suffering of the Moslems; the hour of forgiveness was elapsed, and the moment was now arrived to expiate in blood, the innocent blood which had been spilt by Godfrey and the first crusaders.” But a desperate and successful struggle of the Franks admonished the sultan that his triumph was not yet secure; he listened with reverence to a solemn adjuration in the name of the common Father of mankind; and a sentiment of human sympathy mollified the rigour of fanaticism and conquest. He consented to accept the city, and to spare the inhabitants. The Greek and Oriental Christians were permitted to live under his dominion; but it was stipulated, that in forty days all the Franks and Latins should evacuate Jerusalem, and be safely conducted to the sea-ports of Syria and Egypt; that ten pieces of gold should be paid for each man, five for each woman, and one for every child; and that those who were unable to purchase their freedom should be detained in perpetual slavery. Of some writers it is a favourite and invidious theme to compare the humanity of Saladin with the massacre of the first crusade. The difference would be merely personal; but we should not forget that the Christians had offered to capitulate, and that the Mahometans of Jerusalem sustained the last extremities of an assault and storm. Justice is indeed due to the fidelity with which the Turkish conqueror fulfilled the conditions of the treaty; and he may be deservedly praised for the glance of pity which he cast on the misery of the vanquished. Instead of a rigorous exaction of his debt, he accepted a sum of thirty thousand byzants, for the ransom of seven thousand poor; two or three thousand more were dismissed by his gratuitous clemency; and the number of slaves was reduced to eleven or fourteen thousand persons. In his interview with the queen, his words, and even his tears, suggested the kindest consolations; his liberal alms were distributed among those who had been made orphans or widows by the fortune of war; and, while the knights of the hospital were in arms against him, he allowed their more pious brethren to continue, Edition: current; Page: [303] during the term of a year, the care and service of the sick. In these acts of mercy, the virtue of Saladin deserves our admiration and love: he was above the necessity of dissimulation; and his stern fanaticism would have prompted him to dissemble, rather than to affect, this profane compassion for the enemies of the Koran. After Jerusalem had been delivered from the presence of the strangers, the sultan made his triumphant entry, his banners waving in the wind, and to the harmony of martial music. The great mosch of Omar, which had been converted into a church, was again consecrated to one God and his prophet Mahomet; the walls and pavement were purified with rose-water; and a pulpit, the labour of Noureddin, was erected in the sanctuary. But, when the golden cross that glittered on the dome was cast down, and dragged through the streets, the Christians of every sect uttered a lamentable groan, which was answered by the joyful shouts of the Moslems. In four ivory chests the patriarch had collected the crosses, the images, the vases, and the relics of the holy place: they were seized by the conqueror, who was desirous of presenting the caliph with the trophies of Christian idolatry. He was persuaded, however, to entrust them to the patriarch and prince of Antioch; and the pious pledge was redeemed by Richard of England, at the expense of fifty-two thousand byzants of gold.72

The nations might fear and hope the immediate and final expulsion of the Latins from Syria; which was yet delayed above a century after the death of Saladin.73 In the career Edition: current; Page: [304] of victory, he was first checked by the resistance of Tyre; the troops and garrisons, which had capitulated, were imprudently conducted to the same port: their numbers were adequate to the defence of the place; and the arrival of Conrad of Montferrat inspired the disorderly crowd with confidence and union. His father, a venerable pilgrim, had been made prisoner in the battle of Tiberias; but that disaster was unknown in Italy and Greece, when the son was urged by ambition and piety to visit the inheritance of his royal nephew, the infant Baldwin. The view of the Turkish banners warned him from the hostile coast of Jaffa;73a and Conrad was unanimously hailed as the prince and champion of Tyre, which was already besieged by the conqueror of Jerusalem. The firmness of his zeal, and perhaps his knowledge of a generous foe, enabled him to brave the threats of the sultan, and to declare that, should his aged parent be exposed before the walls, he himself would discharge the first arrow, and glory in his descent from a Christian martyr.74 The Egyptian fleet was allowed to enter the harbour of Tyre; but the chain was suddenly drawn, and five galleys were either sunk or taken; a thousand Turks were slain in a sally; and Saladin, after burning his engines, concluded a glorious campaign by a disgraceful retreat to Damascus. He was soon assailed by a more formidable tempest. The pathetic narratives, and even the pictures, that represented in lively colours the servitude and profanation of Jerusalem, awakened the torpid sensibility of Europe; the emperor, Frederic Barbarossa, and the kings of France and England assumed the cross; and the tardy magnitude of their armaments was anticipated by the maritime states of the Mediterranean and the Ocean. The skilful and provident Italians first embarked in the ships of Genoa, Pisa, and Venice. They were Edition: current; Page: [305] speedily followed by the most eager pilgrims of France, Normandy, and the Western Isles. The powerful succour of Flanders, Frise, and Denmark filled near an hundred vessels; and the Northern warriors were distinguished in the field by a lofty stature and a ponderous battle-axe.75 Their increasing multitudes could no longer be confined within the walls of Tyre, or remain obedient to the voice of Conrad. They pitied the misfortunes, and revered the dignity, of Lusignan, who was released from prison, perhaps to divide the army of the Franks. He proposed the recovery of Ptolemais, or Acre, thirty miles to the south of Tyre: and the place was first invested by two thousand horse and thirty thousand foot under his nominal command. I shall not expatiate on the story of this memorable siege, which lasted near two years, and consumed, in a narrow space, the forces of Europe and Asia. Never did the flame of enthusiasm burn with fiercer and more destructive rage; nor could the true believers, a common appellation, who consecrated their own martyrs, refuse some applause to the mistaken zeal and courage of their adversaries. At the sound of the holy trumpet, the Moslems of Egypt, Syria, Arabia, and the Oriental provinces assembled under the servant of the prophet:76 his camp was pitched and removed within a few miles of Acre; and he laboured, night and day, for the relief of his brethren and the annoyance of the Franks. Nine battles, not unworthy of the name, were fought in the neighbourhood of Mount Carmel, with such vicissitude of fortune that in one attack the sultan forced his way into the city;76a that in one sally the Christians penetrated to the royal tent. By the Edition: current; Page: [306] means of divers and pigeons a regular correspondence was maintained with the besieged; and, as often as the sea was left open, the exhausted garrison was withdrawn, and a fresh supply was poured into the place. The Latin camp was thinned by famine, the sword, and the climate; but the tents of the dead were replenished with new pilgrims, who exaggerated the strength and speed of their approaching countrymen. The vulgar was astonished by the report that the pope himself, with an innumerable crusade, was advanced as far as Constantinople. The march of the emperor filled the East with more serious alarms; the obstacles which he encountered in Asia, and perhaps in Greece, were raised by the policy of Saladin; his joy on the death of Barbarossa was measured by his esteem; and the Christians were rather dismayed than encouraged at the sight of the duke of Swabia and his wayworn remnant of five thousand Germans. At length, in the spring of the second year, the royal fleets of France and England cast anchor in the bay of Acre, and the siege was more vigorously prosecuted by the youthful emulation of the two kings, Philip Augustus and Richard Plantagenet. After every resource had been tried, and every hope was exhausted, the defenders of Acre submitted to their fate; a capitulation was granted, but their lives and liberties were taxed at the hard conditions of a ransom of two hundred thousand pieces of gold, the deliverance of one hundred nobles and fifteen hundred inferior captives, and the restoration of the wood of the holy cross. Some doubts in the agreement, and some delay in the execution, rekindled the fury of the Franks, and three thousand Moslems, almost in the sultan’s view, were beheaded by the command of the sanguinary Richard.77 By the conquest of Acre the Latin powers Edition: current; Page: [307] acquired a strong town and a convenient harbour; but the advantage was most dearly purchased. The minister and historian of Saladin computes, from the report of the enemy, that their numbers, at different periods, amounted to five or six hundred thousand; that more than one hundred thousand Christians were slain; that a far greater number was lost by disease or shipwreck; and that a small portion of this mighty host could return in safety to their native countries.78

Philip Augustus and Richard the First are the only kings of France and England who have fought under the same banners; but the holy service in which they were enlisted was incessantly disturbed by their national jealousy; and the two factions which they protected in Palestine were more averse to each other than to the common enemy. In the eyes of the Orientals the French monarch was superior in dignity and power; and, in the emperor’s absence, the Latins revered him as their temporal chief.79 His exploits were not adequate to his fame. Philip was brave, but the statesman predominated in his character; he was soon weary of sacrificing his health and interest on a barren coast; the surrender of Acre became the signal of his departure: nor could he justify this unpopular desertion by leaving the duke of Burgundy, with five hundred knights and ten thousand foot, for the service of the Holy Land. The king of England, though inferior in dignity, surpassed his rival in wealth and military renown;80 and, if heroism be confined to brutal Edition: current; Page: [308] and ferocious valour, Richard Plantagenet will stand high among the heroes of the age. The memory of Cæur de Lion, of the lion-hearted prince, was long dear and glorious to his English subjects; and, at the distance of sixty years, it was celebrated in proverbial sayings by the grandsons of the Turks and Saracens against whom he had fought: his tremendous name was employed by the Syrian mothers to silence their infants; and, if an horse suddenly started from the way, his rider was wont to exclaim, “Dost thou think King Richard is in that bush?”81 His cruelty to the Mahometans was the effect of temper and zeal; but I cannot believe that a soldier, so free and fearless in the use of his lance, would have descended to whet a dagger against his valiant brother, Conrad of Montferrat, who was slain at Tyre by some secret assassins.82 After the surrender of Acre and the departure of Philip, the king of England led the crusaders to the recovery of the sea-coast; and the cities of Cæsarea and Jaffa were added to the fragments of the kingdom of Lusignan. A march of one hundred miles from Acre at Ascalon was a great and perpetual battle of eleven days.83 In the disorder of his troops, Saladin remained on the field with seventeen guards, without lowering his standard or suspending the sound of Edition: current; Page: [309] his brazen kettle-drum: he again rallied and renewed the charge; and his preachers or heralds called aloud on the Unitarians manfully to stand up against the Christian idolaters. But the progress of these idolaters was irresistible; and it was only by demolishing the walls and buildings of Ascalon that the sultan could prevent them from occupying an important fortress on the confines of Egypt. During a severe winter the armies slept; but in the spring the Franks advanced within a day’s march of Jerusalem, under the leading standard of the English king; and his active spirit intercepted a convoy, or caravan, of seven thousand camels. Saladin84 had fixed his station in the holy city; but the city was struck with consternation and discord: he fasted; he prayed; he preached; he offered to share the dangers of the siege; but his Mamalukes, who remembered the fate of their companions at Acre, pressed the sultan with loyal or seditious clamours to preserve his person and their courage for the future defence of the religion and empire.85 The Moslems were delivered by the sudden or, as they deemed, the miraculous retreat of the Christians;86 and the laurels of Richard were blasted by the prudence or envy of his companions. The hero, ascending an hill, and veiling his face, exclaimed with an indignant voice, “Those who are unwilling to rescue, are unworthy to view, the sepulchre of Christ!” After his return to Acre, on the news that Jaffa was surprised Edition: current; Page: [310] by the sultan, he sailed with some merchant vessels, and leaped foremost on the beach; the castle was relieved by his presence; and sixty thousand Turks and Saracens fled before his arms. The discovery of his weakness provoked them to return in the morning;86a and they found him carelessly encamped before the gates with only seventeen knights and three hundred archers. Without counting their numbers, he sustained their charge; and we learn from the evidence of his enemies, that the king of England, grasping his lance, rode furiously along their front, from the right to the left wing, without meeting an adversary who dared to encounter his career.87 Am I writing the history of Orlando or Amadis?

During these hostilities a languid and tedious negotiation88 between the Franks and the Moslems was started, and continued, and broken, and again resumed, and again broken. Some acts of royal courtesy, the gift of snow and fruit, the exchange of Norway hawks and Arabian horses, softened the asperity of religious war: from the vicissitude of success the monarchs might learn to suspect that Heaven was neutral in the quarrel; nor, after the trial of each other, could either hope for a decisive victory.89 The health both of Richard Edition: current; Page: [311] and Saladin appeared to be in a declining state; and they respectively suffered the evils of distant and domestic warfare: Plantagenet was impatient to punish a perfidious rival who had invaded Normandy in his absence; and the indefatigable sultan was subdued by the cries of the people, who was the victim, and of the soldiers, who were the instruments, of his martial zeal. The first demands of the king of England were the restitution of Jerusalem, Palestine, and the true cross; and he firmly declared, that himself and his brother-pilgrims would end their lives in the pious labour, rather than return to Europe with ignominy and remorse. But the conscience of Saladin refused, without some weighty compensation, to restore the idols, or promote the idolatry, of the Christians: he asserted, with equal firmness, his religious and civil claim to the sovereignty of Palestine; descanted on the importance and sanctity of Jerusalem; and rejected all terms of the establishment, or partition, of the Latins. The marriage which Richard proposed, of his sister with the sultan’s brother, was defeated by the difference of faith; the princess abhorred the embraces of a Turk; and Adel, or Saphadin, would not easily renounce a plurality of wives. A personal interview was declined by Saladin, who alleged their mutual ignorance of each other’s language;89a and the negotiation was managed with much art and delay by their interpreters and envoys. The final agreement was equally disapproved by the zealots Edition: current; Page: [312] of both parties, by the Roman pontiff, and the caliph of Bagdad. It was stipulated that Jerusalem and the holy sepulchre should be open, without tribute or vexation, to the pilgrimage of the Latin Christians; that after the demolition of Ascalon, they should inclusively possess the sea-coast from Jaffa to Tyre; that the count of Tripoli and the prince of Antioch should be comprised in the truce; and that, during three years and three months, all hostilities should cease. The principal chiefs of the two armies swore to the observance of the treaty; but the monarchs were satisfied with giving their word and their right hand; and the royal Majesty was excused from an oath, which always implies some suspicion of falsehood and dishonour. Richard embarked for Europe, to seek a long captivity and a premature grave; and the space of a few months concluded the life and glories of Saladin. The Orientals describe his edifying death, which happened at Damascus; but they seem ignorant of the equal distribution of his alms among the three religions,90 or of the display of a shroud, instead of a standard, to admonish the East of the instability of human greatness. The unity of empire was dissolved by his death; his sons were oppressed by the stronger arm of their uncle Saphadin; the hostile interests of the sultans of Egypt, Damascus, and Aleppo91 were again revived; and the Franks or Latins stood, and breathed, and hoped, in their fortresses along the Syrian coast.

The noblest monument of a conqueror’s fame, and of the terror which he inspired, is the Saladine tenth, a general tax, which was imposed on the laity, and even the clergy, of the Latin church, for the service of the holy war. The practice was too lucrative to expire with the occasion; and this tribute became the foundation of all the tithes and tenths Edition: current; Page: [313] on ecclesiastical benefices which have been granted by the Roman pontiffs to Catholic sovereigns, or reserved for the immediate use of the apostolic see.92 This pecuniary emolument must have tended to increase the interest of the popes in the recovery of Palestine; after the death of Saladin they preached the crusade by their epistles, their legates, and their missionaries; and the accomplishment of the pious work might have been expected from the zeal and talents of Innocent the Third.93 Under that young and ambitious priest the successors of St. Peter attained the full meridian of their greatness; and in a reign of eighteen years he exercised a despotic command over the emperors and kings, whom he raised and deposed; over the nations, whom an interdict of months or years deprived, for the offence of their rulers, of the exercise of Christian worship. In the council of the Lateran he acted as the ecclesiastical, almost as the temporal, sovereign of the East and West. It was at the feet of his legate that John of England surrendered his crown; and Innocent may boast of the two most signal triumphs over sense and humanity, the establishment of transubstantiation and the origin of the inquisition. At his voice, two crusades, the fourth and the fifth, were undertaken; but, except a king of Hungary, the princes of the second order were at the head of the pilgrims; the forces were inadequate to the design; nor did the effects correspond with the hopes and wishes of the pope and the people. The fourth crusade was diverted from Syria to Constantinople; and the conquest of the Greek or Roman empire by the Latins will form the proper and important subject of the next chapter. In the fifth,94 two hundred Edition: current; Page: [314] thousand Franks were landed at the eastern mouth of the Nile. They reasonably hoped that Palestine must be subdued in Egypt, the seat and storehouse of the sultan; and, after a siege of sixteen months, the Moslems deplored the loss of Damietta. But the Christian army was ruined by the pride and insolence of the legate Pelagius, who, in the pope’s name, assumed the character of general; the sickly Franks were encompassed by the waters of the Nile and the Oriental forces; and it was by the evacuation of Damietta that they obtained a safe retreat, some concessions for the pilgrims, and the tardy restitution of the doubtful relic of the true cross. The failure may in some measure be ascribed to the abuse and multiplication of the crusades, which were preached at the same time against the pagans of Livonia, the Moors of Spain, the Albigeois of France, and the kings of Sicily of the Imperial family.95 In these meritorious services the volunteers might acquire at home the same spiritual indulgence and a larger measure of temporal rewards; and even the popes, in their zeal against a domestic enemy, were sometimes tempted to forget the distress of their Syrian brethren. From the last age of the crusades they derived the occasional command of an army and revenue; and some deep reasoners have suspected that the whole enterprise, from the first synod of Placentia, was contrived and executed by the policy of Rome. The suspicion is not founded either in nature or in fact. Edition: current; Page: [315] The successors of St. Peter appear to have followed, rather than guided, the impulse of manners and prejudice; without much foresight of the seasons or cultivation of the soil, they gathered the ripe and spontaneous fruits of the superstition of the times. They gathered these fruits without toil or personal danger: in the council of the Lateran, Innocent the Third declared an ambiguous resolution of animating the crusaders by his example; but the pilot of the sacred vessel could not abandon the helm; nor was Palestine ever blessed with the presence of a Roman pontiff.96

The persons, the families, and estates of the pilgrims were under the immediate protection of the popes; and these spiritual patrons soon claimed the prerogative of directing their operations, and enforcing, by commands and censures, the accomplishment of their vow. Frederic the Second,97 the grandson of Barbarossa, was successively the pupil, the enemy, and the victim of the church. At the age of twenty-one years, and in obedience to his guardian Innocent the Third, he assumed the cross; the same promise was repeated at his royal and imperial coronations; and his marriage with the heiress of Jerusalem98 for ever bound him to defend the kingdom of his son Conrad. But, as Frederic advanced in age and authority, he repented of the rash engagements of his youth; his liberal sense and knowledge taught him to despise the phantoms of superstition and the crowns of Asia; Edition: current; Page: [316] he no longer entertained the same reverence for the successors of Innocent; and his ambition was occupied by the restoration of the Italian monarchy from Sicily to the Alps. But the success of this project would have reduced the popes to their primitive simplicity; and, after the delays and excuses of twelve years, they urged the emperor, with entreaties and threats, to fix the time and place of his departure for Palestine. In the harbours of Sicily and Apulia, he prepared a fleet of one hundred galleys, and of one hundred vessels, that were framed to transport and land two thousand five hundred knights, with their horses and attendants; his vassals of Naples and Germany formed a powerful army; and the number of English crusaders was magnified to sixty thousand by the report of fame. But the inevitable or affected slowness of these mighty preparations consumed the strength and provisions of the more indigent pilgrims; the multitude was thinned by sickness and desertion, and the sultry summer of Calabria anticipated the mischiefs of a Syrian campaign. At length the emperor hoisted sail at Brundusium, with a fleet and army of forty thousand men; but he kept the sea no more than three days; and his hasty retreat, which was ascribed by his friends to a grievous indisposition, was accused by his enemies as a voluntary and obstinate disobedience. For suspending his vow was Frederic excommunicated by Gregory the Ninth; for presuming, the next year, to accomplish his vow, he was again excommunicated by the same pope.99 While he served under the banner of the cross, a crusade was preached against him in Italy; and after his return he was compelled to ask pardon for the injuries which he had suffered. The clergy and military orders of Palestine were previously instructed to renounce his communion and dispute his commands; and in his own kingdom the emperor was forced to consent that the orders of the camp Edition: current; Page: [317] should be issued in the name of God and of the Christian republic. Frederic entered Jerusalem in triumph; and with his own hands (for no priest would perform the office) he took the crown from the altar of the holy sepulchre. But the patriarch cast an interdict on the church which his presence had profaned; and the knights of the hospital and temple informed the sultan100 how easily he might be surprised and slain in his unguarded visit to the river Jordan. In such a state of fanaticism and faction, victory was hopeless and defence was difficult; but the conclusion of an advantageous peace may be imputed to the discord of the Mahometans, and their personal esteem for the character of Frederic. The enemy of the church is accused of maintaining with the miscreants an intercourse of hospitality and friendship, unworthy of a Christian; of despising the barrenness of the land; and of indulging a profane thought that, if Jehovah had seen the kingdom of Naples, he never would have selected Palestine for the inheritance of his chosen people. Yet Frederic obtained from the sultan the restitution of Jerusalem, of Bethlem and Nazareth, of Tyre and Sidon; the Latins were allowed to inhabit and fortify the city; an equal code of civil and religious freedom was ratified for the sectaries of Jesus, and those of Mahomet; and, while the former worshipped at the holy sepulchre, the latter might pray and preach in the mosch of the temple,101 from whence the prophet undertook his nocturnal journey to heaven. The clergy deplored this scandalous toleration; and the weaker Moslems were gradually expelled; but every rational object of the crusades was accomplished without bloodshed; the churches were restored, the monasteries were replenished; and, in the space of fifteen years, the Latins of Jerusalem exceeded the number of six thousand. This peace and Edition: current; Page: [318] prosperity, for which they were ungrateful to their benefactor, was terminated by the irruption of the strange and savage hordes of Carizmians.102 Flying from the arms of the Moguls, those shepherds of the Caspian rolled headlong on Syria;103 and the union of the Franks with the sultans of Aleppo, Hems, and Damascus was insufficient to stem the violence of the torrent. Whatever stood against them was cut off by the sword or dragged into captivity; the military orders were almost exterminated in a single battle; and in the pillage of the city, in the profanation of the holy sepulchre, the Latins confess and regret the modesty and discipline of the Turks and Saracens.

Of the seven crusades, the two last were undertaken by Louis the Ninth, king of France, who lost his liberty in Egypt, and his life on the coast of Africa. Twenty-eight years after his death, he was canonised at Rome; and sixty-five miracles were readily found, and solemnly attested, to justify the claim of the royal saint.104 The voice of history renders a more honourable testimony, that he united the virtues of a king, an hero, and a man; that his martial spirit was tempered by the love of private and public justice; and that Louis was the father of his people, the friend of his neighbours, and the terror of the infidels. Superstition alone, in all the extent of her baleful influence,105 corrupted his understanding and his heart; his devotion stooped to admire and imitate the begging friars of Francis and Dominic; he pursued with Edition: current; Page: [319] blind and cruel zeal the enemies of the faith; and the best of kings twice descended from his throne to seek the adventures of a spiritual knight-errant. A monkish historian would have been content to applaud the most despicable part of his character; but the noble and gallant Joinville,106 who shared the friendship and captivity of Louis, has traced with the pencil of nature the free portrait of his virtues, as well as of his failings. From this intimate knowledge we may learn to suspect the political views of depressing their great vassals, which are so often imputed to the royal authors of the crusades. Above all the princes of the middle age, Louis the Ninth successfully laboured to restore the prerogatives of the crown; but it was at home, and not in the East, that he acquired for himself and his posterity; his vow was the result of enthusiasm and sickness; and, if he were the promoter, he was likewise the victim, of this holy madness. For the invasion of Egypt, France was exhausted of her troops and treasures; he covered the sea of Cyprus with eighteen hundred sails; the most modest enumeration amounts to fifty thousand men; and, if we might trust his own confession, as it is reported by Oriental vanity, he disembarked nine thousand five hundred horse, and one hundred and thirty thousand foot, who performed their pilgrimage under the shadow of his power.107

In complete armour, the oriflamme waving before him, Louis leaped foremost on the beach; and the strong city of Edition: current; Page: [320] Damietta, which had cost his predecessors a siege of sixteen months, was abandoned on the first assault by the trembling Moslems. But Damietta was the first and last of his conquests; and in the fifth and sixth crusades the same causes, almost on the same ground, were productive of similar calamities.108 After a ruinous delay, which introduced into the camp the seeds of an epidemical disease, the Franks advanced from the sea-coast towards the capital of Egypt, and strove to surmount the unseasonable inundation of the Nile, which opposed their progress. Under the eye of their intrepid monarch, the barons and knights of France displayed their invincible contempt of danger and discipline: his brother, the count of Artois, stormed with inconsiderate valour the town of Massoura; and the carrier-pigeons announced to the inhabitants of Cairo, that all was lost. But a soldier, who afterwards usurped the sceptre, rallied the flying troops; the main body of the Christians was far behind their vanguard; and Artois was overpowered and slain. A shower of Greek fire was incessantly poured on the invaders; the Nile was commanded by the Egyptian galleys, the open country by the Arabs; all provisions were intercepted; each day aggravated the sickness and famine; and about the same time a retreat was found to be necessary and impracticable. The Oriental writers confess that Louis might have escaped, if he would have deserted his subjects: he was made prisoner, with the greatest part of his nobles; all who could not redeem their lives by service or ransom were inhumanly massacred; and the walls of Cairo were decorated Edition: current; Page: [321] with a circle of Christian heads.109 The king of France was loaded with chains; but the generous victor, a great grandson of the brother of Saladin, sent a robe of honour to his royal captive; and his deliverance, with that of his soldiers, was obtained by the restitution of Damietta110 and the payment of four hundred thousand pieces of gold. In a soft and luxurious climate, the degenerate children of the companions of Noureddin and Saladin were incapable of resisting the flower of European chivalry; they triumphed by the arms of their slaves or Mamalukes, the hardy natives of Tartary, who at a tender age had been purchased of the Syrian merchants, and were educated in the camp and palace of the sultan. But Egypt soon afforded a new example of the danger of Prætorian bands; and the rage of these ferocious animals, who had been let loose on the strangers, was provoked to devour their benefactor. In the pride of conquest, Touran Shah,111 the last of his race, was murdered by his Mamalukes; and the most daring of the assassins entered the chamber of the captive king, with drawn scymetars, and their hands imbrued in the blood of their sultan. The firmness of Louis commanded their respect;112 their avarice prevailed over Edition: current; Page: [322] cruelty and zeal; the treaty was accomplished; and the king of France, with the relics of his army, was permitted to embark for Palestine. He wasted four years within the walls of Acre, unable to visit Jerusalem, and unwilling to return without glory to his native country.

The memory of his defeat excited Louis, after sixteen years of wisdom and repose, to undertake the seventh and last of the crusades. His finances were restored, his kingdom was enlarged; a new generation of warriors had arisen, and he embarked with fresh confidence at the head of six thousand horse and thirty thousand foot. The loss of Antioch had provoked the enterprise; a wild hope of baptising the king of Tunis tempted him to steer for the African coast; and the report of an immense treasure reconciled his troops to the delay of their voyage to the Holy Land. Instead of a proselyte he found a siege; the French panted and died on the burning sands; St. Louis expired in his tent; and no sooner had he closed his eyes than his son and successor gave the signal of the retreat.113 “It is thus,” says a lively writer, “that a Christian king died near the ruins of Carthage, waging war against the sectaries of Mahomet, in a land to which Dido had introduced the deities of Syria.”114

A more unjust and absurd constitution cannot be devised than that which condemns the natives of a country to perpetual Edition: current; Page: [323] servitude, under the arbitrary dominion of strangers and slaves. Yet such has been the state of Egypt above five hundred years. The most illustrious sultans of the Baharite and Borgite dynasties115 were themselves promoted from the Tartar and Circassian bands; and the four-and-twenty beys, or military chiefs, have ever been succeeded not by their sons but by their servants. They produce the great charter of their liberties, the treaty of Selim the First with the republic;116 and the Othman emperor still accepts from Egypt a slight acknowledgment of tribute and subjection.117 With some breathing intervals of peace and order, the two dynasties are marked as a period of rapine and bloodshed;118 but their throne, however shaken, reposed on the two pillars of discipline and valour; their sway extended over Egypt, Nubia, Arabia, and Syria; their Mamalukes were multiplied from eight hundred to twenty-five thousand horse; and their numbers were increased by a provincial militia of one hundred and seven thousand foot, and the occasional aid of sixty-six thousand Arabs.119 Princes of such power and Edition: current; Page: [324] spirit could not long endure on their coast an hostile and independent nation; and, if the ruin of the Franks was postponed about forty years, they were indebted to the cares of an unsettled reign, to the invasion of the Moguls, and to the occasional aid of some warlike pilgrims. Among these, the English reader will observe the name of our first Edward, who assumed the cross in the lifetime of his father Henry. At the head of a thousand soldiers, the future conqueror of Wales and Scotland delivered Acre from a siege; marched as far as Nazareth with an army of nine thousand men; emulated the fame of his uncle Richard; extorted, by his valour, a ten years’ truce; and escaped, with a dangerous wound, from the dagger of a fanatic assassin.120 Antioch,121 whose situation had been less exposed to the calamities of the holy war, was finally occupied and ruined by Bondocdar, or Bibars,122 sultan of Egypt and Syria; the Latin principality was extinguished; and the first seat of the Christian name was dispeopled by the slaughter of seventeen, and the captivity of one hundred thousand, of her inhabitants. The maritime towns of Laodicea, Gabala, Tripoli, Berytus, Sidon, Tyre, and Jaffa, and the stronger castles of the Hospitallers and Templars, successively fell; and the whole existence of the Franks was confined to the city and colony of St. John of Acre, which is sometimes described by the more classic title of Ptolemais.

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After the loss of Jerusalem, Acre,123 which is distant about seventy miles, became the metropolis of the Latin Christians, and was adorned with strong and stately buildings, with aqueducts, an artificial port, and a double wall. The population was increased by the incessant streams of pilgrims and fugitives; in the pauses of hostility the trade of the East and West was attracted to this convenient station; and the market could offer the produce of every clime and the interpreters of every tongue. But in this conflux of nations every vice was propagated and practised; of all the disciples of Jesus and Mahomet, the male and female inhabitants of Acre were esteemed the most corrupt; nor could the abuse of religion be corrected by the discipline of law. The city had many sovereigns, and no government. The kings of Jerusalem and Cyprus, of the house of Lusignan, the princes of Antioch, the counts of Tripoli and Sidon, the great masters of the Hospital, the Temple, and the Teutonic order, the republics of Venice, Genoa, and Pisa, the pope’s legate, the kings of France and England, assumed an independent command; seventeen tribunals exercised the power of life and death; every criminal was protected in the adjacent quarter; and the perpetual jealousy of the nations often burst forth in acts of violence and blood. Some adventurers, who disgraced the ensign of the cross, compensated their want of pay by the plunder of the Mahometan villages; nineteen Syrian merchants who traded under the public faith, were despoiled and hanged by the Christians; and the denial of satisfaction justified the arms of the sultan Khalil. He marched against Acre, at the head of sixty thousand horse and one hundred and forty thousand foot; his train of artillery (if I may use the word) was numerous and weighty; the separate timbers of a single engine were transported in one hundred waggons; and the Edition: current; Page: [326] royal historian, Abulfeda, who served with the troops of Hamah, was himself a spectator of the holy war. Whatever might be the vices of the Franks, their courage was rekindled by enthusiasm and despair; but they were torn by the discord of seventeen chiefs, and overwhelmed on all sides by the power of the sultan. After a siege of thirty-three days, the double wall was forced by the Moslems; the principal tower yielded to their engines; the Mamalukes made a general assault; the city was stormed; and death or slavery was the lot of sixty thousand Christians. The convent, or rather fortress, of the Templars resisted three days longer; but the great master was pierced with an arrow; and, of five hundred knights, only ten were left alive, less happy than the victims of the sword, if they lived to suffer on a scaffold in the unjust and cruel proscription of the whole order. The king of Jerusalem, the patriarch, and the great master of the Hospital effected their retreat to the shore; but the sea was rough, the vessels were insufficient; and great numbers of the fugitives were drowned before they could reach the isle of Cyprus, which might comfort Lusignan for the loss of Palestine. By the command of the sultan, the churches and fortifications of the Latin cities were demolished; a motive of avarice or fear still opened the holy sepulchre to some devout and defenceless pilgrims; and a mournful and solitary silence prevailed along the coast which had so long resounded with the world’s debate.124

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Schism of the Greeks and Latins — State of Constantinople — Revolt of the Bulgarians — Isaac Angelus dethroned by his brother Alexius — Origin of the Fourth Crusade — Alliance of the French and Venetians with the son of Isaac — Their naval expedition to Constantinople — The two Sieges and final Conquest of the City by the Latins

The restoration of the Western empire by Charlemagne was speedily followed by the separation of the Greek and Latin churches.1 A religious and national animosity still divides the two largest communions of the Christian world; and the schism of Constantinople, by alienating her most useful allies and provoking her most dangerous enemies, has precipitated the decline and fall of the Roman empire in the East.

In the course of the present history the aversion of the Greeks for the Latins has been often visible and conspicuous. It was originally derived from the disdain of servitude, inflamed, after the time of Constantine, by the pride of equality or dominion, and finally exasperated by the preference which their rebellious subjects had given to the alliance of the Franks. In every age the Greeks were proud of their superiority in profane and religious knowledge; they had first received the light of Christianity; they had pronounced the decrees of the seven general councils; they alone possessed the language Edition: current; Page: [328] of Scripture and philosophy; nor should the Barbarians, immersed in the darkness of the West,2 presume to argue on the high and mysterious questions of theological science. These Barbarians despised, in their turn, the restless and subtle levity of the Orientals, the authors of every heresy; and blessed their own simplicity, which was content to hold the tradition of the apostolic church. Yet, in the seventh century, the synods of Spain, and afterwards of France, improved or corrupted the Nicene creed, on the mysterious subject of the third person of the Trinity.3 In the long controversies of the East, the nature and generation of the Christ had been scrupulously defined; and the well-known relation of Father and Son seemed to convey a faint image to the human mind. The idea of birth was less analogous to the Holy Spirit, who, instead of a divine gift or attribute, was considered by the Catholics as a substance, a person, a God; he was not begotten, but, in the orthodox style, he proceeded. Did he proceed from the Father alone, perhaps by the Son? or from the Father and the Son? The first of these opinions was asserted by the Greeks, the second by the Latins; and the addition to the Nicene creed of the word filioque kindled the flame of discord between the Oriental and the Gallic churches. In the origin of the dispute the Roman pontiffs affected a character of neutrality and moderation;4 they condemned Edition: current; Page: [329] the innovation, but they acquiesced in the sentiment of their Transalpine brethren; they seemed desirous of casting a veil of silence and charity over the superfluous research; and, in the correspondence of Charlemagne and Leo the Third, the pope assumes the liberality of a statesman, and the prince descends to the passions and prejudices of a priest.5 But the orthodoxy of Rome spontaneously obeyed the impulse of her temporal policy; and the filioque, which Leo wished to erase, was transcribed in the symbol, and chaunted in the liturgy, of the Vatican. The Nicene and Athanasian creeds are held as the Catholic faith, without which none can be saved; and both Papists and Protestants must now sustain and return the anathemas of the Greeks, who deny the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son, as well as from the Father. Such articles of faith are not susceptible of treaty; but the rules of discipline will vary in remote and independent churches; and the reason, even of divines, might allow that the difference is inevitable and harmless. The craft or superstition of Rome has imposed on her priests and deacons the rigid obligation of celibacy; among the Greeks, it is confined to the bishops; the loss is compensated by dignity or annihilated by age; and the parochial clergy, the papas, enjoy the conjugal society of the wives whom they have married before their entrance into holy orders. A question concerning the Azyms was fiercely debated in the eleventh century, and the essence of the Eucharist was supposed, in the East and West, to depend on the use of leavened or unleavened bread. Shall I mention in a serious history the furious reproaches that were urged against the Latins, who, for a long while, remained on the defensive? They neglected to abstain, according to the apostolical decree, from things strangled Edition: current; Page: [330] and from blood; they fasted, a Jewish observance! on the Saturday of each week; during the first week of Lent they permitted the use of milk and cheese;6 their infirm monks were indulged in the taste of flesh; and animal grease was substituted for the want of vegetable oil; the holy chrism or unction in baptism was reserved to the episcopal order; the bishops, as the bridegrooms of their churches, were decorated with rings; their priests shaved their faces, and baptised by a single immersion. Such were the crimes which provoked the zeal of the patriarchs of Constantinople; and which were justified with equal zeal by the doctors of the Latin church.7

Bigotry and national aversion are powerful magnifiers of every object of dispute; but the immediate cause of the schism of the Greeks may be traced in the emulation of the leading prelates, who maintained the supremacy of the old metropolis superior to all, and of the reigning capital inferior to none, in the Christian world. About the middle of the ninth century, Photius,8 an ambitious layman, the captain of the guards and principal secretary, was promoted by merit and favour to the more desirable office of patriarch of Constantinople.9 In science, even ecclesiastical science, he surpassed the clergy of the age;10 and the purity of his morals has never been Edition: current; Page: [331] impeached; but his ordination was hasty, his rise was irregular; and Ignatius, his abdicated predecessor, was yet supported by the public compassion and the obstinacy of his adherents. They appealed to the tribunal of Nicholas the First, one of the proudest and most aspiring of the Roman pontiffs, who embraced the welcome opportunity of judging and condemning his rival of the East. Their quarrel was embittered by a conflict of jurisdiction over the king and nation of the Bulgarians; nor was their recent conversion to Christianity of much avail to either prelate, unless he could number the proselytes among the subjects of his power. With the aid of his court, the Greek patriarch was victorious; but in the furious contest he deposed, in his turn, the successor of St. Peter, and involved the Latin church in the reproach of heresy and schism. Photius sacrificed the peace of the world to a short and precarious reign; he fell with his patron, the Cæsar Bardas; and Basil the Macedonian performed an act of justice in the restoration of Ignatius, whose age and dignity had not been sufficiently respected. From his monastery, or prison, Photius solicited the favour of the emperor by pathetic complaints and artful flattery; and the eyes of his rival were scarcely closed when he was again restored to the throne of Constantinople. After the death of Basil, he experienced the vicissitudes of courts and the ingratitude of a royal pupil; the patriarch was again deposed, and in his last solitary hours he might regret the freedom of a secular and studious life. In each revolution, the breath, the nod, of the sovereign had been accepted by a submissive clergy; and a synod of three hundred bishops was always prepared to hail the triumph, or to stigmatise the fall, of the holy or the execrable Photius.11 By a delusive promise of succour or Edition: current; Page: [332] reward, the popes were tempted to countenance these various proceedings, and the synods of Constantinople were ratified by their epistles or legates. But the court and the people, Ignatius and Photius, were equally adverse to their claims; their ministers were insulted or imprisoned; the procession of the Holy Ghost was forgotten; Bulgaria was for ever annexed to the Byzantine throne; and the schism was prolonged by the rigid censure of all the multiplied ordinations of an irregular patriarch. The darkness and corruption of the tenth century suspended the intercourse, without reconciling the minds, of the two nations. But, when the Norman sword restored the churches of Apulia to the jurisdiction of Rome, the departing flock was warned, by a petulant epistle of the Grecian patriarch, to avoid and abhor the errors of the Latins. The rising majesty of Rome could no longer brook the insolence of a rebel; and Michael Cerularius was excommunicated in the heart of Constantinople by the pope’s legates. Shaking the dust from their feet, they deposited on the altar of St. Sophia a direful anathema,12 which enumerates the seven mortal heresies of the Greeks, and devotes the guilty teachers, and their unhappy sectaries, to the eternal society of the devil and his angels. According to the emergencies of the church and state a friendly correspondence was sometimes resumed; the language of charity and concord was sometimes affected; but the Greeks have never recanted their errors; the popes have never repealed their sentence; and from this thunderbolt we may date the consummation of the schism. It was enlarged by each ambitious step of the Roman pontiffs; the emperors blushed and trembled at the ignominious fate of their royal brethren of Germany; and the people was scandalised by the temporal power and military life of the Latin clergy.13

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The aversion of the Greeks and Latins14 was nourished and manifested in the three first expeditions to the Holy Land. Alexius Comnenus contrived the absence at least of the formidable pilgrims; his successors, Manuel and Isaac Angelus, conspired with the Moslems for the ruin of the greatest princes of the Franks; and their crooked and malignant policy was seconded by the active and voluntary obedience of every order of their subjects. Of this hostile temper a large portion may doubtless be ascribed to the difference of language, dress, and manners, which severs and alienates the nations of the globe. The pride, as well as the prudence, of the sovereign was deeply wounded by the intrusion of foreign armies, that claimed a right of traversing his dominions and passing under the walls of his capital; his subjects were insulted and plundered by the rude strangers of the West; and the hatred of the pusillanimous Greeks was sharpened by secret envy of the bold and pious enterprises of the Franks. But these profane causes of national enmity were fortified and inflamed by the venom of religious zeal. Instead of a kind embrace, an hospitable reception from their Christian brethren of the East, every tongue was taught to repeat the names of schismatic and heretic, more odious to an orthodox ear than those of pagan and infidel; instead of being loved for the general conformity of faith and worship, they were abhorred for some rules of discipline, some questions of theology, in which themselves or their teachers might differ from the Oriental church. In the crusade of Louis the Seventh, the Greek clergy washed and purified the altars which had been defiled by the sacrifice of a French priest. The companions of Frederic Barbarossa Edition: current; Page: [334] deplore the injuries which they endured, both in word and deed, from the peculiar rancour of the bishops and monks. Their prayers and sermons excited the people against the impious Barbarians; and the patriarch is accused of declaring that the faithful might obtain the redemption of all their sins by the extirpation of the schismatics.15 An enthusiast, named Dorotheus, alarmed the fears, and restored the confidence, of the emperor, by a prophetic assurance that the German heretic, after assaulting the gate of Blachernes, would be made a signal example of the divine vengeance. The passage of these mighty armies were rare and perilous events; but the crusades introduced a frequent and familiar intercourse between the two nations, which enlarged their knowledge without abating their prejudices. The wealth and luxury of Constantinople demanded the productions of every climate; these imports were balanced by the art and labour of her numerous inhabitants; her situation invites the commerce of the world; and, in every period of her existence, that commerce has been in the hands of foreigners. After the decline of Amalphi, the Venetians, Pisans, and Genoese introduced their factories and settlements into the capital of the empire; their services were rewarded with honours and immunities; they acquired the possession of lands and houses; their families were multiplied by marriages with the natives; and, after the toleration of a Mahometan mosch, it was impossible to interdict the churches Edition: current; Page: [335] of the Roman rite.16 The two wives of Manuel Comnenus17 were of the race of the Franks: the first, a sister-in-law of the Emperor Conrad; the second, a daughter of the prince of Antioch; he obtained for his son Alexius, a daughter of Philip Augustus, king of France; and he bestowed his own daughter on a marquis of Montferrat, who was educated and dignified in the palace of Constantinople. The Greek encountered the arms, and aspired to the empire, of the West;18 he esteemed the valour, and trusted the fidelity, of the Franks; their military talents were unfitly recompensed by the lucrative offices of judges and treasurers; the policy of Manuel had solicited the alliance of the pope; and the popular voice accused him of a partial bias to the nation and religion of the Latins.19 During his reign, and that of his successor Alexius, they were exposed at Constantinople to the reproach of foreigners, heretics, and favourites; and this triple guilt was severely expiated in the tumult which announced the return and elevation of Andronicus.20 The people rose in arms; from the Asiatic shore the tyrant despatched his troops and galleys to assist the national revenge; and the hopeless resistance of the strangers served only to justify the rage, Edition: current; Page: [336] and sharpen the daggers, of the assassins. Neither age nor sex nor the ties of friendship or kindred could save the victims of national hatred and avarice and religious zeal; the Latins were slaughtered in their houses and in the streets; their quarter was reduced to ashes; the clergy were burnt in their churches, and the sick in their hospitals; and some estimate may be formed of the slain from the clemency which sold above four thousand Christians in perpetual slavery to the Turks. The priests and monks were the loudest and most active in the destruction of the schismatics; and they chaunted a thanksgiving to the Lord, when the head of a Roman cardinal, the pope’s legate, was severed from his body, fastened to the tail of a dog, and dragged with savage mockery through the city. The more diligent of the strangers had retreated, on the first alarm, to their vessels, and escaped through the Hellespont from the scene of blood. In their flight they burned and ravaged two hundred miles of the sea-coast; inflicted a severe revenge on the guiltless subjects of the empire; marked the priests and monks as their peculiar enemies; and compensated, by the accumulation of plunder, the loss of their property and friends. On their return, they exposed to Italy and Europe the wealth and weakness, the perfidy and malice, of the Greeks, whose vices were painted as the genuine characters of heresy and schism. The scruples of the first crusaders had neglected the fairest opportunities of securing, by the possession of Constantinople, the way to the Holy Land; a domestic revolution invited and almost compelled the French and Venetians to achieve the conquest of the Roman empire of the East.

In the series of the Byzantine princes, I have exhibited the hypocrisy and ambition, the tyranny and fall, of Andronicus, the last male of the Comnenian family who reigned at Constantinople. The revolution, which cast him headlong from the throne, saved and exalted Isaac Angelus,21 who descended Edition: current; Page: [337] by the females from the same Imperial dynasty. The successor of a second Nero might have found it an easy task to deserve the esteem and affection of his subjects; they sometimes had reason to regret the administration of Andronicus. The sound and vigorous mind of the tyrant was capable of discerning the connection between his own and the public interest; and, while he was feared by all who could inspire him with fear, the unsuspected people and the remote provinces might bless the inexorable justice of their master. But his successor was vain and jealous of the supreme power, which he wanted courage and abilities to exercise; his vices were pernicious, his virtues (if he possessed any virtues) were useless, to mankind; and the Greeks, who imputed their calamities to his negligence, denied him the merit of any transient or accidental benefits of the times. Isaac slept on the throne, and was awakened only by the sound of pleasure; his vacant hours were amused by comedians and buffoons, and even to these buffoons the emperor was an object of contempt; his feasts and buildings exceeded the examples of royal luxury; the number of his eunuchs and domestics amounted to twenty thousand; and a daily sum of four thousand pounds of silver would swell to four millions sterling the annual expense of his household and table. His poverty was relieved by oppression; and the public discontent was inflamed by equal abuses in the collection and the application of the revenue. While the Greeks numbered the days of their servitude, a flattering prophet, whom he rewarded with the dignity of patriarch, assured him of a long and victorious reign of thirty-two years; during which he should extend his sway to Mount Libanus, and his conquests beyond the Euphrates. But his only step towards the accomplishment of the prediction was a splendid and scandalous embassy to Edition: current; Page: [338] Saladin,22 to demand the restitution of the holy sepulchre, and to propose an offensive and defensive league with the enemy of the Christian name. In these unworthy hands, of Isaac and his brother, the remains of the Greek empire crumbled into dust. The island of Cyprus, whose name excites the ideas of elegance and pleasure, was usurped by his namesake, a Comnenian prince; and, by a strange concatenation of events, the sword of our English Richard bestowed that kingdom on the house of Lusignan, a rich compensation for the loss of Jerusalem.23

The honour of the monarchy and the safety of the capital were deeply wounded by the revolt of the Bulgarians and Wallachians. Since the victory of the second Basil, they had supported, above an hundred and seventy years, the loose dominion of the Byzantine princes; but no effectual measures had been adopted to impose the yoke of laws and manners on these savage tribes.24 By the command of Isaac, their sole means of subsistence, their flocks and herds, were driven away, to contribute towards the pomp of the royal nuptials; and their fierce warriors were exasperated by the denial of equal rank and pay in the military service. Peter and Asan, two powerful chiefs, of the race of the ancient kings,25 asserted their own rights and the national freedom; Edition: current; Page: [339] their demoniac impostors proclaimed to the crowd that their glorious patron, St. Demetrius, had for ever deserted the cause of the Greeks; and the conflagration spread from the banks of the Danube to the hills of Macedonia and Thrace. After some faint efforts, Isaac Angelus and his brother acquiesced in their independence; and the Imperial troops were soon discouraged by the bones of their fellow-soldiers, that were scattered along the passes of Mount Hæmus. By the arms and policy of John or Joannices, the second kingdom of Bulgaria was firmly established. The subtle Barbarian sent an embassy to Innocent the Third, to acknowledge himself a genuine son of Rome in descent and religion,26 and humbly received from the pope the licence of coining money, the royal title, and a Latin archbishop or patriarch. The Vatican exulted in the spiritual conquest of Bulgaria, the first object of the schism; and, if the Greeks could have preserved the prerogatives of the church, they would gladly have resigned the rights of the monarchy.

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The Bulgarians were malicious enough to pray for the long life of Isaac Angelus, the surest pledge of their freedom and prosperity. Yet their chiefs could involve in the same indiscriminate contempt the family and nation of the emperor. “In all the Greeks,” said Asan to his troops, “the same climate and character and education will be productive of the same fruits. Behold my lance,” continued the warrior, “and the long streamers that float in the wind. They differ only in colour; they are formed of the same silk, and fashioned by the same workman; nor has the stripe that is stained in purple any superior price or value above its fellows.”27 Several of these candidates for the purple successively rose and fell under the empire of Isaac: a general who had repelled the fleets of Sicily was driven to revolt and ruin by the ingratitude of the prince; and his luxurious repose was disturbed by secret conspiracies and popular insurrections. The emperor was saved by accident, or the merit of his servants: he was at length oppressed by an ambitious brother, who, for the hope of a precarious diadem, forgot the obligations of nature, of loyalty, and of friendship.28 While Isaac in the Thracian valleys pursued the idle and solitary pleasures of the chase, his brother, Alexius Angelus, was invested with the purple by the unanimous suffrage of the camp; the capital and the clergy subscribed to their choice; and the vanity of the new sovereign rejected the name of his fathers for the lofty and royal appellation of the Comnenian race. On the despicable character of Isaac I have exhausted the language of contempt; and can only add that in a reign of eight years the baser Edition: current; Page: [341] Alexius29 was supported by the masculine vices of his wife Euphrosyne. The first intelligence of his fall was conveyed to the late emperor by the hostile aspect and pursuit of the guards, no longer his own; he fled before them above fifty miles, as far as Stagyra in Macedonia; but the fugitive, without an object or a follower, was arrested, brought back to Constantinople, deprived of his eyes, and confined in a lonesome tower, on a scanty allowance of bread and water. At the moment of the revolution, his son Alexius, whom he educated in the hope of empire, was twelve years of age.30 He was spared by the usurper, and reduced to attend his triumph both in peace and war; but, as the army was encamped on the sea-shore, an Italian vessel facilitated the escape of the royal youth; and, in the disguise of a common sailor, he eluded the search of his enemies, passed the Hellespont, and found a secure refuge in the isle of Sicily. After saluting the threshold of the apostles, and imploring the protection of Pope Innocent the Third, Alexius accepted the kind invitation of his sister Irene, the wife of Philip of Swabia, king of the Romans. But in his passage through Italy he heard that the flower of Western chivalry was assembled at Venice for the deliverance of the Holy Land; and a ray of hope was kindled in his bosom, that their invincible swords might be employed in his father’s restoration.

About ten or twelve years after the loss of Jerusalem, the nobles of France were again summoned to the holy war by the voice of a third prophet, less extravagant, perhaps, than Peter the hermit, but far below St. Bernard in the merit of an orator and a statesman. An illiterate priest of the neighbourhood of Paris, Fulk of Neuilly,31 forsook his parochial duty, to assume Edition: current; Page: [342] the more flattering character of a popular and itinerant missionary. The fame of his sanctity and miracles was spread over the land; he declaimed with severity and vehemence against the vices of the age; and his sermons, which he preached in the streets of Paris, converted the robbers, the usurpers, the prostitutes, and even the doctors and scholars of the university. No sooner did Innocent the Third ascend the chair of St. Peter than he proclaimed, in Italy, Germany, and France, the obligation of a new crusade.32 The eloquent pontiff described the ruin of Jerusalem, the triumph of the Pagans, and the shame of Christendom; his liberality proposed the redemption of sins, a plenary indulgence to all who should serve in Palestine, either a year in person or two years by a substitute;33 and, among his legates and orators who blew the sacred trumpet, Fulk of Neuilly was the loudest and most successful. The situation of the principal monarchs was averse to the pious summons. The emperor Frederic the Second was a child; and his kingdom of Germany was disputed by the rival houses of Brunswick and Swabia, the memorable factions of the Guelphs and Ghibelines. Philip Augustus of France had performed, and could not be persuaded to renew, the perilous vow; but, as he was not less ambitious of praise than of power, he cheerfully instituted a perpetual fund for the defence of the Holy Land. Richard of England was satiated with the glory and misfortunes of his first adventure, and he presumed to deride the exhortations of Fulk of Neuilly, who was not abashed in the presence of kings. “You advise Edition: current; Page: [343] me,” said Plantagenet, “to dismiss my three daughters, pride, avarice, and incontinence: I bequeath them to the most deserving; my pride to the knights-templars, my avarice to the monks of Cisteaux, and my incontinence to the prelates.” But the preacher was heard and obeyed by the great vassals, the princes of the second order; and Theobald, or Thibaut, count of Champagne, was the foremost in the holy race. The valiant youth, at the age of twenty-two years, was encouraged by the domestic examples of his father, who marched in the second crusade, and of his elder brother, who had ended his days in Palestine with the title of King of Jerusalem: two thousand two hundred knights owed service and homage to his peerage;34 the nobles of Champagne excelled in all the exercises of war;35 and, by his marriage with the heiress of Navarre, Thibaut could draw a band of hardy Gascons from either side of the Pyrenæan mountains. His companion in arms was Louis, count of Blois and Chartres; like himself of regal lineage, for both the princes were nephews, at the same time, of the kings of France and England. In a crowd of prelates and barons, who imitated their zeal, I distinguish the birth and merit of Matthew of Montmorency; the famous Simon of Montfort, the scourge of the Albigeois; and a valiant noble, Jeffrey of Villehardouin,36 marshal of Champagne,37 Edition: current; Page: [344] who has condescended, in the rude idiom of his age and country,38 to write or dictate39 an original narrative of the councils and actions in which he bore a memorable part. At the same time, Baldwin, count of Flanders, who had married the sister of Thibaut, assumed the cross at Bruges, with his brother Henry and the principal knights and citizens of that rich and industrious province.40 The vow which the chiefs had pronounced in churches, they ratified in tournaments; the operations of war were debated in full and frequent assemblies; and it was resolved to seek the deliverance of Palestine in Egypt, a country, since Saladin’s death, which was almost ruined by famine and civil war. But the fate of so many royal armies displayed the toils and perils of a land expedition; and, if the Flemings dwelt along the ocean, the French barons were destitute of ships and ignorant of navigation. They embraced the wise resolution of choosing six deputies or representatives, of whom Villehardouin was one, with a discretionary trust to direct the motions, and to pledge the faith, of the whole confederacy. The maritime states of Italy were alone possessed of the means of transporting the holy warriors with their arms and horses; and the six deputies proceeded to Venice, to solicit, on motives of piety or interest, the aid of that powerful republic.

In the invasion of Italy by Attila, I have mentioned41 the Edition: current; Page: [i] Edition: current; Page: [345] flight of the Venetians from the fallen cities of the continent, and their obscure shelter in the chain of islands that line the extremity of the Adriatic gulf. In the midst of the waters, free, indigent, laborious, and inaccessible, they gradually coalesced into a republic; the first foundations of Venice were laid in the island of Rialto; and the annual election of the twelve tribunes was superseded by the permanent office of a duke or doge. On the verge of the two empires, the Venetians exult in the belief of primitive and perpetual independence.42 Against the Latins, their antique freedom has been asserted by the sword, and may be justified by the pen. Charlemagne himself resigned all claim of sovereignty to the islands of the Adriatic gulf; his son Pepin was repulsed in the attacks of the lagunas, or canals, too deep for the cavalry, and too shallow for the vessels; and in every age, under the German Cæsars, the lands of the republic have been clearly distinguished from the kingdom of Italy. But the inhabitants of Venice were considered by themselves, by strangers, and by their sovereigns as an inalienable portion of the Greek empire;43 in the Edition: current; Page: [346] ninth and tenth centuries, the proofs of their subjection are numerous and unquestionable; and the vain titles, the servile honours, of the Byzantine court, so ambitiously solicited by their dukes, would have degraded the magistrates of a free people. But the bands of this dependence, which was never absolute or rigid, were imperceptibly relaxed by the ambition of Venice and the weakness of Constantinople. Obedience was softened into respect, privilege ripened into prerogative, and the freedom of domestic government was fortified by the independence of foreign dominion. The maritime cities of Istria and Dalmatia bowed to the sovereigns of the Adriatic; and, when they armed against the Normans in the cause of Alexius, the emperor applied, not to the duty of his subjects, but to the gratitude and generosity of his faithful allies. The sea was their patrimony;44 the western parts of the Mediterranean, from Tuscany to Gibraltar, were indeed abandoned Edition: current; Page: [347] to their rivals of Pisa and Genoa; but the Venetians acquired an early and lucrative share of the commerce of Greece and Egypt. Their riches increased with the increasing demand of Europe; their manufactures of silk and glass, perhaps the institution of their bank, are of high antiquity; and they enjoyed the fruits of their industry in the magnificence of public and private life. To assert her flag, to avenge her injuries, to protect the freedom of navigation, the republic could launch and man a fleet of an hundred galleys; and the Greeks, the Saracens, and the Normans were encountered by her naval arms. The Franks of Syria were assisted by the Venetians in the reduction of the sea-coast; but their zeal was neither blind nor disinterested; and, in the conquest of Tyre, they shared the sovereignty of a city, the first seat of the commerce of the world. The policy of Venice was marked by the avarice of a trading, and the insolence of a maritime, power; yet her ambition was prudent; nor did she often forget that, if armed galleys were the effect and safeguard, merchant-vessels were the cause and supply, of her greatness. In her religion she avoided the schism of the Greeks, without yielding a servile obedience to the Roman pontiff; and a free intercourse with the infidels of every clime appears to have allayed betimes the fever of superstition. Her primitive government was a loose mixture of democracy and monarchy; the doge was elected by the votes of the general assembly: as long as he was popular and successful, he reigned with the pomp and authority of a prince; but in the frequent revolutions of the state he was deposed, or banished, or slain, by the justice or injustice of the multitude. The twelfth century produced the first rudiments of the wise and jealous aristocracy, which has reduced the doge to a pageant, and the people to a cypher.45

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When the six ambassadors of the French pilgrims arrived at Venice, they were hospitably entertained in the palace of St. Mark by the reigning duke: his name was Henry Dandolo;46 and he shone in the last period of human life as one of the most illustrious characters of the time. Under the weight of years, and after the loss of his eyes,47 Dandolo retained a sound understanding and a manly courage; the spirit of an hero, ambitious to signalise his reign by some memorable exploits; and the wisdom of a patriot, anxious to build his fame on the glory and advantage of his country. He praised the bold enthusiasm and liberal confidence of the barons and their deputies: in such a cause, and with such associates, he should aspire, were he a private man, to terminate his life; but he was the servant of the republic, and some delay was requisite to consult, on this arduous business, the judgment of his colleagues. The proposal of the French was first debated by the six sages who had been recently appointed to control the administration of the doge; it was next disclosed to the forty members of the council of state; and finally communicated Edition: current; Page: [349] to the legislative assembly of four hundred and fifty representatives, who were annually chosen in the six quarters of the city. In peace and war, the doge was still the chief of the republic; his legal authority was supported by the personal reputation of Dandolo; his arguments of public interest were balanced and approved; and he was authorised to inform the ambassadors of the following conditions of the treaty.48 It was proposed that the crusaders should assemble at Venice, on the feast of St. John of the ensuing year; that flat-bottomed vessels should be prepared for four thousand five hundred horses, and nine thousand squires, with a number of ships sufficient for the embarkation of four thousand five hundred knights and twenty thousand foot; that during a term of nine months they should be supplied with provisions, and transported to whatsoever coast the service of God and Christendom should require; and that the republic should join the armament with a squadron of fifty galleys. It was required that the pilgrims should pay, before their departure, a sum of eighty-five thousand marks of silver; and that all conquests, by sea and land, should be equally divided among the confederates. The terms were hard; but the emergency was pressing, and the French barons were not less profuse of money than of blood. A general assembly was convened to ratify the treaty; the stately chapel and palace of St. Mark were filled with ten thousand citizens; and the noble deputies were taught a new lesson of humbling themselves before the majesty of the people. “Illustrious Venetians,” said the marshal of Champagne, “we are sent by the greatest and most powerful barons of France, to implore the aid of the masters of the sea for the deliverance of Jerusalem. They have enjoined us to fall prostrate at your feet; nor will we rise from Edition: current; Page: [350] the ground till you have promised to avenge with us the injuries of Christ.” The eloquence of their words and tears,49 their martial aspect and suppliant attitude, were applauded by an universal shout; as it were, says Jeffrey, by the sound of an earthquake. The venerable doge ascended the pulpit, to urge their request by those motives of honour and virtue which alone can be offered to a popular assembly; the treaty was transcribed on parchment, attested with oaths and seals, mutually accepted by the weeping and joyful representatives of France and Venice, and despatched to Rome for the approbation of Pope Innocent the Third.50 Two thousand marks were borrowed of the merchants for the first expenses of the armament. Of the six deputies, two repassed the Alps to announce their success, while their four companions made a fruitless trial of the zeal and emulation of the republics of Genoa and Pisa.

The execution of the treaty was still opposed by unforeseen difficulties and delays.51 The marshal, on his return to Edition: current; Page: [351] Troyes, was embraced and approved by Thibaut, count of Champagne, who had been unanimously chosen general of the confederates. But the health of that valiant youth already declined, and soon became hopeless; and he deplored the untimely fate which condemned him to expire, not in a field of battle, but on a bed of sickness. To his brave and numerous vassals the dying prince distributed his treasures; they swore in his presence to accomplish his vow and their own; but some there were, says the marshal, who accepted his gifts and forfeited their word. The more resolute champions of the cross held a parliament at Soissons for the election of a new general; but such was the incapacity, or jealousy, or reluctance of the princes of France that none could be found both able and willing to assume the conduct of the enterprise. They acquiesced in the choice of a stranger, of Boniface, marquis of Montferrat, descended of a race of heroes, and himself of conspicuous fame in the wars and negotiations of the times;52 nor could the piety or ambition of the Italian chief decline this honourable invitation. After visiting the French court, where he was received as a friend and kinsman, the marquis, in the church of Soissons, was invested with the cross of a pilgrim and the staff of a general; and immediately repassed the Alps, to prepare for the distant expedition of the East.53 About the festival of the Pentecost, he displayed his banner, and marched towards Venice at the head of the Italians: he was preceded or followed by the counts of Flanders and Blois, and the most respectable barons of France; and their numbers were swelled by the pilgrims of Edition: current; Page: [352] Germany,54 whose object and motives were similar to their own. The Venetians had fulfilled, and even surpassed, their engagements; stables were constructed for the horses, and barracks for the troops; the magazines were abundantly replenished with forage and provisions; and the fleet of transports, ships, and galleys was ready to hoist sail, as soon as the republic had received the price of the freight and armament.55 But that price far exceeded the wealth of the crusaders who were assembled at Venice. The Flemings, whose obedience to their court was voluntary and precarious, had embarked in their vessels for the long navigation of the ocean and Mediterranean; and many of the French and Italians had preferred a cheaper and more convenient passage from Marseilles and Apulia to the Holy Land. Each pilgrim might complain that, after he had furnished his own contribution, he was made responsible for the deficiency of his absent brethren: the gold and silver plate of the chiefs, which they freely delivered to the treasury of St. Mark, was a generous but inadequate sacrifice; and, after all their efforts, thirty-four thousand marks were still wanting to complete the stipulated sum. The obstacle was removed by the policy and patriotism of the doge,56 who proposed to the barons Edition: current; Page: [353] that, if they would join their arms in reducing some revolted cities of Dalmatia, he would expose his person in the holy war, and obtain from the republic a long indulgence, till some wealthy conquest should afford the means of satisfying the debt. After much scruple and hesitation, they chose rather to accept the offer than to relinquish the enterprise; and the first hostilities of the fleet and army were directed against Zara,57 a strong city of the Sclavonian coast, which had renounced its allegiance to Venice and implored the protection of the king of Hungary.58 The crusaders burst the chain or boom of the harbour; landed their horses, troops, and military engines; and compelled the inhabitants, after a defence of five days, to surrender at discretion; their lives were spared, but the revolt was punished by the pillage of their houses and the demolition of their walls. The season was far advanced; the French and Venetians resolved to pass the winter in a secure harbour and plentiful country; but their repose was disturbed by national and tumultuous quarrels of the soldiers and mariners. The conquest of Zara had scattered the seeds of discord and scandal; the arms of the allies had been stained in their outset with the blood, not of infidels, but of Christians; the king of Hungary and his new subjects were themselves enlisted under the banner of the cross, and the scruples Edition: current; Page: [354] of the devout were magnified by the fear or lassitude of the reluctant pilgrims. The pope had excommunicated the false crusaders, who had pillaged and massacred their brethren;59 and only the marquis Boniface and Simon of Montfort escaped these spiritual thunders; the one by his absence from the siege, the other by his final departure from the camp. Innocent might absolve the simple and submissive penitents of France; but he was provoked by the stubborn reason of the Venetians, who refused to confess their guilt, to accept their pardon, or to allow, in their temporal concerns, the interposition of a priest.

The assembly of such formidable powers by sea and land had revived the hopes of young60 Alexius; and, both at Venice and Zara, he solicited the arms of the crusaders for his own restoration and his father’s61 deliverance. The royal youth was recommended by Philip, king of Germany;62 his prayers and presence excited the compassion of the camp; and his cause was embraced and pleaded by the marquis of Montferrat63 and the doge of Venice. A double alliance and the Edition: current; Page: [355] dignity of Cæsar had connected with the Imperial family the two elder brothers of Boniface;64 he expected to derive a kingdom from the important service; and the more generous ambition of Dandolo was eager to secure the inestimable benefits of trade and dominion that might accrue to his country.65 Their influence procured a favourable audience for the ambassadors of Alexius; and, if the magnitude of his offers excited some suspicion, the motives and rewards which he displayed might justify the delay and diversion of those forces which had been consecrated to the deliverance of Jerusalem. He promised, in his own and his father’s name, that, as soon as they should be seated on the throne of Constantinople, they would terminate the long schism of the Greeks, and submit themselves and their people to the lawful supremacy of the Roman church. He engaged to recompense the labours and merits of the crusaders by the immediate payment of two hundred thousand marks of silver; to accompany them in person to Egypt; or, if it should be judged more advantageous, to maintain, during a year, ten thousand men, and, during his life, five hundred knights, for the service of the Holy Land. These tempting conditions were accepted by the republic of Venice; and the eloquence of the doge and marquis persuaded the counts of Flanders, Blois, and St. Pol, with eight barons of France, to join in the glorious enterprise. A treaty of offensive and defensive alliance was confirmed by their oaths Edition: current; Page: [356] and seals; and each individual, according to his situation and character, was swayed by the hope of public or private advantage; by the honour of restoring an exiled monarch; or by the sincere and probable opinion that their efforts in Palestine would be fruitless and unavailing, and that the acquisition of Constantinople must precede and prepare the recovery of Jerusalem. But they were the chiefs or equals of a valiant band of freemen and volunteers, who thought and acted for themselves; the soldiers and clergy were divided; and, if a large majority subscribed to the alliance, the numbers and arguments of the dissidents were strong and respectable.66 The boldest hearts were appalled by the report of the naval power and impregnable strength of Constantinople; and their apprehensions were disguised to the world, and perhaps to themselves, by the more decent objections of religion and duty. They alleged the sanctity of a vow, which had drawn them from their families and homes to rescue the holy sepulchre; nor should the dark and crooked counsels of human policy divert them from a pursuit, the event of which was in the hands of the Almighty. Their first offence, the attack of Zara, had been severely punished by the reproach of their conscience and the censures of the pope; nor would they again imbrue their hands in the blood of their fellow-Christians. The apostle of Rome had pronounced; nor would they usurp the right of avenging with the sword the schism of the Greeks and the doubtful usurpation of the Byzantine monarch. On these principles or pretences, many pilgrims, the most distinguished for their valour and piety, withdrew from the camp; and their retreat was less pernicious than the open or secret opposition of a discontented party, that laboured, on every occasion, to separate the army and disappoint the enterprise.

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Notwithstanding this defection, the departure of the fleet and army was vigorously pressed by the Venetians, whose zeal for the service of the royal youth concealed a just resentment to his nation and family. They were mortified by the recent preference which had been given to Pisa, the rival of their trade; they had a long arrear of debt and injury to liquidate with the Byzantine court; and Dandolo might not discourage the popular tale that he had been deprived of his eyes by the emperor Manuel, who perfidiously violated the sanctity of an ambassador. A similar armament, for ages, had not rode the Adriatic; it was composed of one hundred and twenty flat-bottomed vessels or palanders for the horses; two hundred and forty transports filled with men and arms; seventy storeships laden with provisions; and fifty stout galleys, well prepared for the encounter of an enemy.67 While the wind was favourable, the sky serene, and the water smooth, every eye was fixed with wonder and delight on the scene of military and naval pomp which overspread the sea. The shields of the knights and squires, at once an ornament and a defence, were arranged on either side of the ships; the banners of the nations and families were displayed from the stern; our modern artillery was supplied by three hundred engines for casting stones and darts; the fatigues of the way were cheered with the sound of music; and the spirits of the adventurers were raised by the mutual assurance that forty thousand Christian heroes were equal to the conquest of the world.68 In the navigation69 from Venice and Zara, the fleet was successfully Edition: current; Page: [358] steered by the skill and experience of the Venetian pilots; at Durazzo the confederates first landed on the territory of the Greek empire; the isle of Corfu afforded a station and repose;70 they doubled, without accident, the perilous cape of Malea, the southern point of Peloponnesus, or the Morea; made a descent in the islands of Negropont and Andros; and cast anchor at Abydus, on the Asiatic side of the Hellespont. These preludes of conquest were easy and bloodless; the Greeks of the provinces, without patriotism or courage, were crushed by an irresistible force; the presence of the lawful heir might justify their obedience; and it was rewarded by the modesty and discipline of the Latins. As they penetrated through the Hellespont, the magnitude of their navy was compressed in a narrow channel; and the face of the waters was darkened with innumerable sails. They again expanded in the bason of the Propontis, and traversed that placid sea, till they approached the European shore, at the abbey of St. Stephen, three leagues to the west of Constantinople. The prudent doge dissuaded them from dispersing themselves in a populous and hostile land; and, as their stock of provisions was reduced, it was resolved, in the season of harvest, to replenish their store-ships in the fertile islands of the Propontis. With this resolution they directed their course; but a strong gale and their own impatience drove them to the eastward; and so near did they run to the shore Edition: current; Page: [359] and city that some volleys of stones and darts were exchanged between the ships and the rampart. As they passed along, they gazed with admiration on the capital of the East, or, as it should seem, of the earth, rising from her seven hills, and towering over the continents of Europe and Asia. The swelling domes and lofty spires of five hundred palaces and churches were gilded by the sun and reflected in the waters; the walls were crowded with soldiers and spectators, whose numbers they beheld, of whose temper they were ignorant; and each heart was chilled by the reflection that, since the beginning of the world, such an enterprise had never been undertaken by such an handful of warriors. But the momentary apprehension was dispelled by hope and valour; and every man, says the marshal of Champagne, glanced his eye on the sword or lance which he must speedily use in the glorious conflict.71 The Latins cast anchor before Chalcedon; the mariners only were left in the vessels; the soldiers, horses, and arms were safely landed; and, in the luxury of an Imperial palace, the barons tasted the first-fruits of their success. On the third day, the fleet and army moved towards Scutari, the Asiatic suburb of Constantinople; a detachment of Greek horse was surprised and defeated by fourscore French knights; and, in a halt of nine days, the camp was plentifully supplied with forage and provisions.

In relating the invasion of a great empire, it may seem strange that I have not described the obstacles which should have checked the progress of the strangers. The Greeks, in truth, were an unwarlike people; but they were rich, industrious, and subject to the will of a single man, had that man been capable of fear when his enemies were at a distance, or of courage when they approached his person. The first rumour of his nephew’s alliance with the French and Venetians was despised by the Edition: current; Page: [360] usurper Alexius; his flatterers persuaded him that in his contempt he was bold and sincere; and each evening, in the close of the banquet, he thrice discomfited the Barbarians of the West. These Barbarians had been justly terrified by the report of his naval power; and the sixteen hundred fishing-boats of Constantinople72 could have manned a fleet to sink them in the Adriatic, or stop their entrance in the mouth of the Hellespont. But all force may be annihilated by the negligence of the prince and the venality of his ministers. The great duke, or admiral, made a scandalous, almost a public auction of the sails, the masts, and the rigging; the royal forests were reserved for the more important purpose of the chase; and the trees, says Nicetas, were guarded by the eunuchs like the groves of religious worship.73 From this dream of pride Alexius was awakened by the siege of Zara and the rapid advances of the Latins: as soon as he saw the danger was real, he thought it inevitable, and his vain presumption was lost in abject despondency and despair. He suffered these contemptible Barbarians to pitch their camp in the sight of the palace; and his apprehensions were thinly disguised by the pomp and menace of a suppliant embassy. The sovereign of the Romans was astonished (his ambassadors were instructed to say) at the hostile appearance of the strangers. If these pilgrims were sincere in their vow for the deliverance of Jerusalem, his voice must applaud, and his treasures should assist, their pious design; but, should they dare to invade the sanctuary of empire, their numbers, were they ten times more considerable, should not protect them from his just resentment. The answer of the doge and barons was simple and magnanimous: “In the cause of honour and Edition: current; Page: [361] justice,” they said, “we despise the usurper of Greece, his threats, and his offers. Our friendship and his allegiance are due to the lawful heir, to the young prince who is seated among us, and to his father, the emperor Isaac, who has been deprived of his sceptre, his freedom, and his eyes by the crime of an ungrateful brother. Let that brother confess his guilt and implore forgiveness, and we ourselves will intercede that he may be permitted to live in affluence and security. But let him not insult us by a second message; our reply will be made in arms, in the palace of Constantinople.”

On the tenth day of their encampment at Scutari, the crusaders prepared themselves, as soldiers and as Catholics, for the passage of the Bosphorus. Perilous indeed was the adventure; the stream was broad and rapid; in a calm the current of the Euxine might drive down the liquid and unextinguishable fires of the Greeks; and the opposite shores of Europe were defended by seventy thousand horse and foot in formidable array. On this memorable day, which happened to be bright and pleasant, the Latins were distributed in six battles, or divisions; the first, or vanguard, was led by the count of Flanders, one of the most powerful of the Christian princes in the skill and number of his cross-bows. The four successive battles of the French were commanded by his brother Henry, the counts of St. Pol and Blois, and Matthew of Montmorency, the last of whom was honoured by the voluntary service of the marshal and nobles of Champagne. The sixth division, the rear-guard and reserve of the army, was conducted by the marquis of Montferrat, at the head of the Germans and Lombards. The chargers, saddled, with their long caparisons dragging on the ground, were embarked in the fiat palanders;74 and the knights stood by the sides of their Edition: current; Page: [362] horses, in complete armour, their helmets laced, and their lances in their hands. Their numerous train of serjeants75 and archers occupied the transports; and each transport was towed by the strength and swiftness of a galley. The six divisions traversed the Bosphorus, without encountering an enemy or an obstacle; to land the foremost was the wish, to conquer or die was the resolution, of every division and of every soldier. Jealous of the pre-eminence of danger, the knights in their heavy armour leaped into the sea, when it rose as high as their girdle; the serjeants and archers were animated by their valour; and the squires, letting down the drawbridges of the palanders, led the horses to the shore. Before the squadrons could mount, and form, and couch their lances, the seventy thousand Greeks had vanished from their sight; the timid Alexius gave the example to his troops; and it was only by the plunder of his rich pavilions that the Latins were informed that they had fought against an emperor. In the first consternation of the flying enemy, they resolved, by a double attack, to open the entrance of the harbour. The tower of Galata,76 in the suburb of Pera, was attacked and stormed by the French, while the Venetians assumed the more difficult task of forcing the boom or chain that was stretched from that tower to the Byzantine shore. After some fruitless Edition: current; Page: [363] attempts, their intrepid perseverance prevailed; twenty ships of war, the relics of the Grecian navy, were either sunk or taken; the enormous and massy links of iron were cut asunder by the shears, or broken by the weight of the galleys;77 and the Venetian fleet, safe and triumphant, rode at anchor in the port of Constantinople. By these daring achievements, a remnant of twenty thousand Latins solicited the licence of besieging a capital which contained above four hundred thousand inhabitants,78 able, though not willing, to bear arms in the defence of their country. Such an account would indeed suppose a population of near two millions; but, whatever abatement may be required in the numbers of the Greeks, the belief of those numbers will equally exalt the fearless spirit of their assailants.

In the choice of the attack, the French and Venetians were divided by their habits of life and warfare. The former affirmed with truth that Constantinople was most accessible on the side of the sea and the harbour. The latter might assert with honour that they had long enough trusted their lives and fortunes to a frail bark and a precarious element, and loudly demanded a trial of knighthood, a firm ground, and a close onset, either on foot or horseback. After a prudent compromise, of employing the two nations by sea and land in the service best suited to their character, the fleet covering Edition: current; Page: [364] the army, they both proceeded from the entrance to the extremity of the harbour; the stone-bridge of the river was hastily repaired; and the six battles of the French formed their encampment against the front of the capital, the basis of the triangle which runs about four miles from the port to the Propontis.79 On the edge of a broad ditch, at the foot of a lofty rampart, they had leisure to contemplate the difficulties of their enterprise. The gates to the right and left of their narrow camp poured forth frequent sallies of cavalry and light infantry, which cut off their stragglers, swept the country of provisions, sounded the alarm five or six times in the course of each day, and compelled them to plant a palisade, and sink an entrenchment, for their immediate safety. In the supplies and convoys the Venetians had been too sparing, or the Franks too voracious; the usual complaints of hunger and scarcity were heard, and perhaps felt; their stock of flour would be exhausted in three weeks; and their disgust of salt meat tempted them to taste the flesh of their horses. The trembling usurper was supported by Theodore Lascaris, his son-in-law, a valiant youth, who aspired to save and to rule his country; the Greeks, regardless of that country, were awakened to the defence of their religion; but their firmest hope was in the strength and spirit of the Varangian guards, of the Danes and English, as they are named in the writers of the times.80 After ten days’ incessant labour the ground was levelled, the ditch filled, the approaches of the besiegers were regularly made, and two hundred and fifty engines of assault exercised their various powers to clear the Edition: current; Page: [365] rampart, to batter the walls, and to sap the foundations. On the first appearance of a breach the scaling-ladders were applied; the numbers that defended the vantage-ground repulsed and oppressed the adventurous Latins; but they admired the resolution of fifteen knights and serjeants, who had gained the ascent, and maintained their perilous station till they were precipitated or made prisoners by the Imperial guards. On the side of the harbour, the naval attack was more successfully conducted by the Venetians; and that industrious people employed every resource that was known and practised before the invention of gun-powder. A double line, three bow-shots in front, was formed by the galleys and ships; and the swift motion of the former was supported by the weight and loftiness of the latter, whose decks and poops and turret were the platforms of military engines, that discharged their shot over the heads of the first line. The soldiers, who leapt from the galleys on shore, immediately planted and ascended their scaling-ladders, while the large ships, advancing more slowly into the intervals, and lowering a drawbridge, opened a way through the air from their masts to the rampart. In the midst of the conflict, the doge, a venerable and conspicuous form, stood aloft, in complete armour, on the prow of his galley. The great standard of St. Mark was displayed before him; his threats, promises, and exhortations urged the diligence of the rowers; his vessel was the first that struck; and Dandolo was the first warrior on the shore. The nations admired the magnanimity of the blind old man, without reflecting that his age and infirmities diminished the price of life and enhanced the value of immortal glory. On a sudden, by an invisible hand (for the standard-bearer was probably slain), the banner of the republic was fixed on the rampart; twenty-five towers were rapidly occupied; and, by the cruel expedient of fire, the Greeks were driven from the adjacent quarter. The doge had despatched the intelligence of his success, when he was checked by the danger of his confederates. Nobly declaring Edition: current; Page: [366] that he would rather die with the pilgrims than gain a victory by their destruction, Dandolo relinquished his advantage, recalled his troops, and hastened to the scene of action. He found the six weary diminutive battles of the French encompassed by sixty squadrons of the Greek cavalry, the least of which was more numerous than the largest of their divisions. Shame and despair had provoked Alexius to the last effort of a general sally; but he was awed by the firm order and manly aspect of the Latins; and, after skirmishing at a distance, withdrew his troops in the close of the evening. The silence or tumult of the night exasperated his fears; and the timid usurper, collecting a treasure of ten thousand pounds of gold, basely deserted his wife, his people, and his fortune; threw himself into a bark, stole through the Bosphorus, and landed in shameful safety in an obscure harbour of Thrace. As soon as they were apprised of his flight, the Greek nobles sought pardon and peace in the dungeon where the blind Isaac expected each hour the visit of the executioner. Again saved and exalted by the vicissitudes of fortune, the captive in his Imperial robes was replaced on the throne, and surrounded with prostrate slaves, whose real terror and affected joy he was incapable of discerning. At the dawn of day hostilities were suspended; and the Latin chiefs were surprised by a message from the lawful and reigning emperor, who was impatient to embrace his son and to reward his generous deliverers.81

But these generous deliverers were unwilling to release their hostage, till they had obtained from his father the payment, or at least the promise, of their recompense. They chose four ambassadors, Matthew of Montmorency, our historian Edition: current; Page: [367] the marshal of Champagne, and two Venetians, to congratulate the emperor. The gates were thrown open on their approach, the streets on both sides were lined with the battle-axes of the Danish and English guard: the presence chamber glittered with gold and jewels, the false substitutes of virtue and power; by the side of the blind Isaac his wife was seated, the sister of the king of Hungary; and by her appearance the noble matrons of Greece were drawn from their domestic retirement and mingled with the circle of senators and soldiers. The Latins, by the mouth of the marshal, spoke like men conscious of their merits, but who respected the work of their own hands; and the emperor clearly understood that his son’s engagement with Venice and the pilgrims must be ratified without hesitation or delay. Withdrawing into a private chamber with the empress, a chamberlain, an interpreter, and the four ambassadors, the father of young Alexius inquired with some anxiety into the nature of his stipulations: the submission of the Eastern empire to the pope, the succour of the Holy Land, and a present contribution of two hundred thousand marks of silver. — “These conditions are weighty,” was his prudent reply; “they are hard to accept and difficult to perform. But no conditions can exceed the measure of your services and deserts.” After this satisfactory assurance, the barons mounted on horseback, and introduced the heir of Constantinople to the city and palace: his youth and marvellous adventures engaged every heart in his favour, and Alexius was solemnly crowned with his father in the dome of St. Sophia. In the first days of his reign, the people, already blessed with the restoration of plenty and peace, was delighted by the joyful catastrophe of the tragedy; and the discontent of the nobles, their regret, and their fears, were covered by the polished surface of pleasure and loyalty. The mixture of two discordant nations in the same capital might have been pregnant with mischief and danger; and the suburb of Galata, or Pera, was assigned for the quarters of the French and Venetians. But the liberty Edition: current; Page: [368] of trade and familiar intercourse was allowed between the friendly nations; and each day the pilgrims were tempted by devotion or curiosity to visit the churches and palaces of Constantinople. Their rude minds, insensible perhaps of the finer arts, were astonished by the magnificent scenery; and the poverty of their native towns enhanced the populousness and riches of the first metropolis of Christendom.82 Descending from his state, young Alexius was prompted by interest and gratitude to repeat his frequent and familiar visits to his Latin allies; and in the freedom of the table, the gay petulance of the French sometimes forgot the emperor of the East.83 In their more serious conferences, it was agreed that the re-union of the two churches must be the result of patience and time; but avarice was less tractable than zeal; and a large sum was instantly disbursed to appease the wants, and silence the importunity, of the crusaders.84 Alexius was alarmed by the approaching hour of their departure; their absence might have relieved him from the engagement which he was yet incapable of performing; but his friends would have left him, naked and alone, to the caprice and prejudice of a perfidious nation. He wished to bribe their stay, the delay of a year, by undertaking to defray their expense and to satisfy, in their name, the freight of the Venetian vessels. Edition: current; Page: [369] The offer was agitated in the council of the barons; and, after a repetition of their debates and scruples, a majority of votes again acquiesced in the advice of the doge and the prayer of the young emperor. At the price of sixteen hundred pounds of gold, he prevailed on the marquis of Montferrat to lead him with an army round the provinces of Europe; to establish his authority, and pursue his uncle, while Constantinople was awed by the presence of Baldwin and his confederates of France and Flanders. The expedition was successful: the blind emperor exulted in the success of his arms, and listened to the predictions of his flatterers, that the same Providence which had raised him from the dungeon to the throne would heal his gout, restore his sight, and watch over the long prosperity of his reign. Yet the mind of the suspicious old man was tormented by the rising glories of his son; nor could his pride conceal from his envy that, while his own name was pronounced in faint and reluctant acclamations, the royal youth was the theme of spontaneous and universal praise.85

By the recent invasion the Greeks were awakened from a dream of nine centuries; from the vain presumption that the capital of the Roman empire was impregnable to foreign arms. The strangers of the West had violated the city, and bestowed the sceptre, of Constantine: their Imperial clients soon became as unpopular as themselves: the well-known vices of Isaac were rendered still more contemptible by his infirmities; and the young Alexius was hated as an apostate, who had renounced the manners and religion of his country. His secret covenant with the Latins was divulged or suspected; the people, and especially the clergy, were devoutly attached to their faith and superstition; and every convent and every shop resounded with the danger of the church and the tyranny of the pope.86 An empty treasury could ill supply Edition: current; Page: [370] the demands of regal luxury and foreign extortion; the Greeks refused to avert, by a general tax, the impending evils of servitude and pillage; the oppression of the rich excited a more dangerous and personal resentment; and, if the emperor melted the plate, and despoiled the images, of the sanctuary, he seemed to justify the complaints of heresy and sacrilege. During the absence of Marquis Boniface and his Imperial pupil, Constantinople was visited with a calamity which might be justly imputed to the zeal and indiscretion of the Flemish pilgrims.87 In one of their visits to the city they were scandalised by the aspect of a mosch or synagogue, in which one God was worshipped, without a partner or a son.88 Their effectual mode of controversy was to attack the infidels with the sword, and their habitation with fire; but the infidels, and some Christian neighbours, presumed to defend their lives and properties; and the flames which bigotry had kindled consumed the most orthodox and innocent structures. During eight days and nights the conflagration spread above a league in front, from the harbour to the Propontis, over the thickest and most populous regions of the city. It is not easy to count the stately churches and palaces that were reduced to a smoking ruin, to value the merchandise that perished in the trading streets, or to number the families that were involved in the common destruction. By this outrage, which the doge and the barons in vain affected to disclaim, the name of the Latins became still more unpopular; and the colony of that nation, above fifteen thousand persons, consulted Edition: current; Page: [371] their safety in a hasty retreat from the city to the protection of their standard in the suburb of Pera. The emperor returned in triumph; but the firmest and most dexterous policy would have been insufficient to steer him through the tempest which overwhelmed the person and government of that unhappy youth. His own inclination and his father’s advice attached him to his benefactors; but Alexius hesitated between gratitude and patriotism, between the fear of his subjects and of his allies.89 By his feeble and fluctuating conduct he lost the esteem and confidence of both; and, while he invited the marquis of Montferrat to occupy the palace, he suffered the nobles to conspire, and the people to arm, for the deliverance of their country. Regardless of his painful situation, the Latin chiefs repeated their demands, resented his delays, suspected his intentions, and exacted a decisive answer of peace or war. The haughty summons was delivered by three French knights and three Venetian deputies, who girded their swords, mounted their horses, pierced through the angry multitude, and entered with a fearless countenance the palace and presence of the Greek emperor. In a peremptory tone they recapitulated their services and his engagements; and boldly declared that, unless their just claims were fully and immediately satisfied, they should no longer hold him either as a sovereign or a friend. After this defiance, the first that had ever wounded an Imperial ear, they departed without betraying any symptoms of fear; but their escape from a servile palace and a furious city astonished the ambassadors themselves; and their return to the camp was the signal of mutual hostility.

Among the Greeks, all authority and wisdom were overborne by the impetuous multitude, who mistook their rage for valour, their numbers for strength, and their fanaticism Edition: current; Page: [372] for the support and inspiration of Heaven. In the eyes of both nations, Alexius was false and contemptible; the base and spurious race of the Angeli was rejected with clamorous disdain; and the people of Constantinople encompassed the senate, to demand at their hands a more worthy emperor. To every senator, conspicuous by his birth or dignity, they successively presented the purple; by each senator the deadly garment was repulsed; the contest lasted three days; and we may learn from the historian Nicetas, one of the members of the assembly, that fear and weakness were the guardians of their loyalty. A phantom, who vanished in oblivion, was forcibly proclaimed by the crowd;90 but the author of the tumult, and the leader of the war, was a prince of the house of Ducas; and his common appellation of Alexius must be discriminated by the epithet of Mourzoufle,91 which in the vulgar idiom expressed the close junction of his black and shaggy eye-brows. At once a patriot and a courtier, the perfidious Mourzoufle, who was not destitute of cunning and courage, opposed the Latins both in speech and action, inflamed the passions and prejudices of the Greeks, and insinuated himself into the favour and confidence of Alexius, who trusted him with the office of Great Chamberlain and tinged his buskins with the colours of royalty. At the dead of night he rushed into the bed-chamber with an affrighted aspect, exclaiming that the palace was attacked by the people and betrayed by the guards. Starting from his couch, the unsuspecting prince threw himself into the arms of his enemy, who had contrived his escape by a private staircase. But that staircase terminated in a prison; Alexius was seized, stripped, and loaded with chains; and, after tasting some Edition: current; Page: [373] days the bitterness of death, he was poisoned, or strangled, or beaten with clubs, at the command, and in the presence, of the tyrant. The emperor Isaac Angelus soon followed his son to the grave, and Mourzoufle, perhaps, might spare the superflouus crime of hastening the extinction of impotence and blindness.

The death of the emperors, and the usurpation of Mourzoufle, had changed the nature of the quarrel. It was no longer the disagreement of allies who over-valued their services or neglected their obligations: the French and Venetians forgot their complaints against Alexius, dropt a tear on the untimely fate of their companion, and swore revenge against the perfidious nation who had crowned his assassin. Yet the prudent doge was still inclined to negotiate;92 he asked as a debt, a subsidy, or a fine, fifty thousand pounds of gold, about two millions sterling; nor would the conference have been abruptly broken, if the zeal or policy of Mourzoufle had not refused to sacrifice the Greek church to the safety of the state.93 Amidst the invectives of his foreign and domestic enemies, we may discern that he was not unworthy of the character which he had assumed, of the public champion: the second siege of Constantinople was far more laborious than the first; the treasury was replenished, the discipline was restored, by a severe inquisition into the abuses of the former reign; and Mourzoufle, an iron mace in his hand, visiting the posts and affecting the port and aspect of a warrior, was an object of terror to his soldiers, at least, and to his kinsmen. Before and after the death of Alexius, the Greeks made two vigorous and well-conducted attempts to burn the navy in the harbour; but the skill and courage of Edition: current; Page: [374] the Venetians repulsed the fire-ships; and the vagrant flames wasted themselves without injury in the sea.94 In a nocturnal sally the Greek emperor was vanquished by Henry, brother of the count of Flanders; the advantages of number and surprise aggravated the shame of his defeat; his buckler was found on the field of battle; and the Imperial standard,95 a divine image of the Virgin, was presented, as a trophy and a relic, to the Cistercian monks, the disciples of St. Bernard. Near three months, without excepting the holy season of Lent, were consumed in skirmishes and preparations, before the Latins were ready or resolved for a general assault. The land-fortifications had been found impregnable; and the Venetian pilots represented that, on the shore of the Propontis, the anchorage was unsafe, and the ships must be driven by the current far away to the straits of the Hellespont: a prospect not unpleasing to the reluctant pilgrims, who sought every opportunity of breaking the army. From the harbour, therefore, the assault was determined by the assailants and expected by the besieged; and the emperor had placed his scarlet pavilions on a neighbouring height, to direct and animate the efforts of his troops. A fearless spectator, whose mind could entertain the ideas of pomp and pleasure, might have admired the long array of two embattled armies, which extended above half a league, the one on the ships and galleys, the other on the walls and towers, raised above the ordinary level by several stages of wooden turrets. Their first fury was spent in the discharge of darts, stones, and fire from the engines; but the water was deep; the French were bold; the Venetians were skilful: they approached the walls; Edition: current; Page: [375] and a desperate conflict of swords, spears, and battle-axes was fought on the trembling bridges that grappled the floating to the stable batteries. In more than an hundred places the assault was urged and the defence was sustained; till the superiority of ground and numbers finally prevailed, and the Latin trumpets sounded a retreat. On the ensuing days the attack was renewed with equal vigour and a similar event; and in the night the doge and the barons held a council, apprehensive only for the public danger; not a voice pronounced the words of escape or treaty; and each warrior, according to his temper, embraced the hope of victory or the assurance of a glorious death.96 By the experience of the former siege, the Greeks were instructed, but the Latins were animated; and the knowledge that Constantinople might be taken was of more avail than the local precautions which that knowledge had inspired for its defence. In the third assault two ships were linked together to double their strength; a strong north wind drove them on the shore; the bishops of Troyes and Soissons led the van; and the auspicious names of the Pilgrim and the Paradise resounded along the line.97 The episcopal banners were displayed on the walls; an hundred marks of silver had been promised to the first adventurers; and, if their reward was intercepted by death, their names have been immortalised by fame. Four towers were scaled; three gates were burst open; and the French knights, who might tremble on the waves, felt themselves invincible on horseback on the solid ground. Shall I relate that the thousands who guarded the emperor’s person fled on the approach, and before the lance, of a single warrior? Their ignominious flight is attested by their countryman Edition: current; Page: [376] Nicetas; an army of phantoms marched with the French hero, and he was magnified to a giant in the eyes of the Greeks.98 While the fugitives deserted their posts and cast away their arms, the Latins entered the city under the banners of their leaders; the streets and gates opened for their passage; and either design or accident kindled a third conflagration, which consumed in a few hours the measure of three of the largest cities of France.99 In the close of the evening, the barons checked their troops and fortified their stations; they were awed by the extent and populousness of the capital, which might yet require the labour of a month, if the churches and palaces were conscious of their internal strength. But in the morning a suppliant procession, with crosses and images, announced the submission of the Greeks and deprecated the wrath of the conquerors: the usurper escaped through the golden gate; the palaces of Blachernæ and Boucoleon were occupied by the count of Flanders and the marquis of Montferrat; and the empire, which still bore the name of Constantine and the title of Roman, was subverted by the arms of the Latin pilgrims.100

Constantinople had been taken by storm; and no restraints, except those of religion and humanity, were imposed on the Edition: current; Page: [377] conquerors by the laws of war. Boniface, marquis of Montferrat, still acted as their general; and the Greeks, who revered his name as their future sovereign, were heard to exclaim in a lamentable tone, “Holy marquis-king, have mercy upon us!” His prudence or compassion opened the gates of the city to the fugitives; and he exhorted the soldiers of the cross to spare the lives of their fellow-Christians. The streams of blood that flow down the pages of Nicetas may be reduced to the slaughter of two thousand of his unresisting countrymen;101 and the greater part was massacred, not by the strangers, but by the Latins who had been driven from the city, and who exercised the revenge of a triumphant faction. Yet of these exiles, some were less mindful of injuries than of benefits; and Nicetas himself was indebted for his safety to the generosity of a Venetian merchant. Pope Innocent the Third accuses the pilgrims of respecting, in their lust, neither age nor sex nor religious profession; and bitterly laments that the deeds of darkness, fornication, adultery, and incest were perpetrated in open day; and that noble matrons and holy nuns were polluted by the grooms and peasants of the Catholic camp.102 It is indeed probable that the licence of victory prompted and covered a multitude of sins; but it is certain that the capital of the East contained a stock of venal or willing beauty, sufficient to satiate the desires of twenty thousand pilgrims; and female prisoners were no longer subject to the right or abuse of domestic slavery. The marquis of Montferrat was the patron of discipline and decency; the count of Flanders was the mirror of chastity: they had forbidden, under pain of death, the rape of married women, or Edition: current; Page: [378] virgins, or nuns; and the proclamation was sometimes invoked by the vanquished103 and respected by the victors. Their cruelty and lust were moderated by the authority of the chiefs and feelings of the soldiers; for we are no longer describing an irruption of the Northern savages; and, however ferocious they might still appear, time, policy, and religion had civilised the manners of the French, and still more of the Italians. But a free scope was allowed to their avarice, which was glutted, even in the holy week, by the pillage of Constantinople. The right of victory, unshackled by any promise or treaty, had confiscated the public and private wealth of the Greeks; and every hand, according to its size and strength, might lawfully execute the sentence, and seize the forfeiture. A portable and universal standard of exchange was found in the coined and uncoined metals of gold and silver, which each captor at home or abroad might convert into the possessions most suitable to his temper and situation. Of the treasures which trade and luxury had accumulated, the silks, velvets, furs, the gems, spices, and rich moveables, were the most precious, as they could not be procured for money in the ruder countries of Europe. An order of rapine was instituted; nor was the share of each individual abandoned to industry or chance. Under the tremendous penalties of perjury, excommunication, and death, the Latins were bound to deliver their plunder into the common stock: three churches were selected for the deposit and distribution of the spoil; a single share was allowed to a foot soldier; two for a serjeant on horseback; four to a knight; and larger proportions according to the rank and merit of the barons and princes. For violating this sacred engagement, a knight, belonging to the count of St. Paul, was hanged, with his shield and coat of arms round his neck: his example Edition: current; Page: [379] might render similar offenders more artful and discreet; but avarice was more powerful than fear; and it is generally believed that the secret far exceeded the acknowledged plunder. Yet the magnitude of the prize surpassed the largest scale of experience or expectation.104 After the whole had been equally divided between the French and Venetians, fifty thousand marks were deducted to satisfy the debts of the former, and the demands of the latter. The residue of the French amounted to four hundred thousand marks of silver,105 about eight hundred thousand pounds sterling; nor can I better appreciate the value of that sum in the public and private transactions of the age than by defining it at seven times the annual revenue of the kingdom of England.106

In this great revolution, we enjoy the singular felicity of comparing the narratives of Villehardouin and Nicetas, the opposite feelings of the marshal of Champagne and the Byzantine senator.107 At the first view, it should seem that the wealth of Constantinople was only transferred from one nation to another, and that the loss and sorrow of the Greeks is exactly balanced by the joy and advantage of the Latins. But in the miserable account of war the gain is never equivalent Edition: current; Page: [380] to the loss, the pleasure to the pain; the smiles of the Latins were transient and fallacious; the Greeks for ever wept over the ruins of their country; and their real calamities were aggravated by sacrilege and mockery. What benefits accrued to the conquerors from the three fires which annihilated so vast a portion of the buildings and riches of the city? What a stock of such things as could neither be used or transported was maliciously or wantonly destroyed! How much treasure was idly wasted in gaming, debauchery, and riot! And what precious objects were bartered for a vile price by the impatience or ignorance of the soldiers, whose reward was stolen by the base industry of the last of the Greeks! These alone who had nothing to lose might derive some profit from the revolution; but the misery of the upper ranks of society is strongly painted in the personal adventures of Nicetas himself. His stately palace had been reduced to ashes in the second conflagration; and the senator, with his family and friends, found an obscure shelter in another house which he possessed near the church of St. Sophia. It was the door of this mean habitation that his friend, the Venetian merchant, guarded, in the disguise of a soldier, till Nicetas could save, by a precipitate flight, the relics of his fortune and the chastity of his daughter. In a cold wintry season these fugitives, nursed in the lap of prosperity, departed on foot; his wife was with child; the desertion of their slaves compelled them to carry their baggage on their own shoulders; and their women, whom they placed in the centre, were exhorted to conceal their beauty with dirt, instead of adorning it with paint and jewels. Every step was exposed to insult and danger; the threats of the strangers were less painful than the taunts of the plebeïans, with whom they were now levelled; nor did the exiles breathe in safety till their mournful pilgrimage was concluded at Selymbria, above forty miles from the capital. On the way they overtook the patriarch, without attendance, and almost without apparel, riding on an ass, and reduced to a state of apostolical poverty, which, Edition: current; Page: [381] had it been voluntary, might perhaps have been meritorious. In the meanwhile his desolate churches were profaned by the licentiousness and party-zeal of the Latins. After stripping the gems and pearls, they converted the chalices into drinking-cups; their tables, on which they gamed and feasted, were covered with the pictures of Christ and the saints; and they trampled under foot the most venerable objects of the Christian worship. In the cathedral of St. Sophia the ample veil of the sanctuary was rent asunder for the sake of the golden fringe; and the altar, a monument of art and riches, was broken in pieces and shared among the captors.108 Their mules and horses were laden with the wrought silver and gilt carvings, which they tore down from the doors and pulpit; and, if the beasts stumbled under the burden, they were stabbed by their impatient drivers, and the holy pavement streamed with their impure blood. A prostitute was seated on the throne of the patriarch; and that daughter of Belial, as she is styled, sung and danced in the church, to ridicule the hymns and processions of the Orientals. Nor were the repositories of the royal dead secure from violation; in the church of the Apostles the tombs of the emperors were rifled; and it is said that after six centuries the corpse of Justinian was found without any signs of decay or putrefaction. In the streets the French and Flemings clothed themselves and their horses in painted robes and flowing head-dresses of linen; and the coarse intemperance of their feasts109 insulted the splendid sobriety of the East. To expose the arms of a people of scribes and scholars, they affected to display a pen, an ink-horn, and a sheet of paper, without discerning that the instruments of science and valour were alike feeble and useless in the hands of the modern Greeks.

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Their reputation and their language encouraged them, however, to despise the ignorance, and to overlook the progress, of the Latins.110 In the love of the arts the national difference was still more obvious and real; the Greeks preserved with reverence the works of their ancestors, which they could not imitate; and, in the destruction of the statues of Constantinople, we are provoked to join in the complaints and invectives of the Byzantine historian.111 We have seen how the rising city was adorned by the vanity and despotism of the Imperial founder; in the ruins of paganism some gods and heroes were saved from the axe of superstition; and the forum and hippodrome were dignified with the relics of a better age. Several of these are described by Nicetas,112 in a florid and affected style; and from his descriptions I shall select some interesting particulars. 1. The victorious charioteers were cast in bronze, at their own or the public charge, and fitly placed in the hippodrome; they stood aloft in their chariots, wheeling round the goal; the spectators could admire their attitude, and judge of the resemblance; and of these figures the most perfect might have been transported from the Olympic stadium. 2. The sphynx, river-horse, and crocodile denote the climate and manufacture of Egypt and Edition: current; Page: [383] the spoils of that ancient province. 3. The she-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus: a subject alike pleasing to the old and the new Romans, but which could rarely be treated before the decline of the Greek sculpture. 4. An eagle holding and tearing a serpent in his talons: a domestic monument of the Byzantines, which they ascribed, not to a human artist, but to the magic power of the philosopher Apollonius, who, by his talisman, delivered the city from such venomous reptiles. 5. An ass and his driver, which were erected by Augustus in his colony of Nicopolis, to commemorate a verbal omen of the victory of Actium. 6. An equestrian statue, which passed, in the vulgar opinion, for Joshua, the Jewish conqueror, stretching out his hand to stop the course of the descending sun. A more classical tradition recognised the figures of Bellerophon and Pegasus; and the free attitude of the steed seemed to mark that he trode on air rather than on the earth. 7. A square and lofty obelisk of brass: the sides were embossed with a variety of picturesque and rural scenes: birds singing; rustics labouring or playing on their pipes; sheep bleating; lambs skipping; the sea, and a scene of fish and fishing; little naked Cupids laughing, playing, and pelting each other with apples; and, on the summit, a female figure turning with the slightest breath, and thence denominated the wind’s attendant. 8. The Phrygian shepherd presenting to Venus the prize of beauty, the apple of discord. 9. The incomparable statue of Helen, which is delineated by Nicetas in the words of admiration and love: her well-turned feet, snowy arms, rosy lips, bewitching smiles, swimming eyes, arched eye-brows, the harmony of her shape, the lightness of her drapery, and her flowing locks that waved in the wind: a beauty that might have moved her Barbarian destroyers to pity and remorse. 10. The manly or divine form of Hercules,113 Edition: current; Page: [384] as he was restored to life by the master-hand of Lysippus, of such magnitude that his thumb was equal to the waist, his leg to the stature, of a common man;114 his chest ample, his shoulders broad, his limbs strong and muscular, his hair curled, his aspect commanding. Without his bow, or quiver, or club, his lion’s skin thrown carelessly over him, he was seated on an osier basket, his right leg and arm stretched to the utmost, his left knee bent, and supporting his elbow, his head reclining on his left hand, his countenance indignant and pensive. 11. A colossal statue of Juno, which had once adorned her temple of Samos; the enormous head by four yoke of oxen was laboriously drawn to the palace. 12. Another colossus, of Pallas or Minerva, thirty feet in height, and representing, with admirable spirit, the attributes and character of the martial maid. Before we accuse the Latins, it is just to remark that this Pallas was destroyed after the first siege by the fear and superstition of the Greeks themselves.115 The other statues of brass which I have enumerated were broken and melted by the unfeeling avarice of the crusaders; the cost and labour were consumed in a moment; the soul of genius evaporated in smoke; and the remnant of base metal was coined into money for the payment of the troops. Bronze is not the most durable of monuments: from the marble form of Phidias and Praxiteles the Latins might turn aside with stupid contempt;116 but, unless they were crushed by some Edition: current; Page: [385] accidental injury, those useless stones stood secure on their pedestals.117 The most enlightened of the strangers, above the gross and sensual pursuits of their countrymen, more piously exercised the right of conquest in the search and seizure of the relics of the saints.118 Immense was the supply of heads and bones, crosses and images, that were scattered by this revolution over the churches of Europe; and such was the increase of pilgrimage and oblation that no branch, perhaps, of more lucrative plunder was imported from the East.119 Of the writings of antiquity many that still existed in the twelfth century are now lost. But the pilgrims were not solicitous to save or transport the volumes of an unknown tongue; the perishable substance of paper or parchment can only be preserved by the multiplicity of copies; the literature of the Greeks had almost centred in the metropolis; and, without computing the extent of our loss, we may drop a tear over the libraries that have perished in the triple fire of Constantinople.120

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In Gibbon’s day the material for the origin, early history, and tenets of the Paulicians consisted of Bk. i. of the work of Photius on the Manichaeans, and the History of the Manichaeans by Petros Sikeliotes. The work of Photius was edited by J. C. Wolf in his Anecdota Graeca, i., ii. (1722);1 but Gibbon did not consult it (above, chap. liv. note 1). There was further the account of the Bogomils in the Panoplia of Euthymius Zigabenus, a monk who lived under Alexius Comnenus and is celebrated in the Alexiad of Anna. A Latin translation was published by P. F. Zinos in 1555; the Greek text edited by a Greek monk (Metrophanes) in 1710. It may be read in Migne, P.G. vol. 130. The section on the Bogomils was edited separately by Gieseler in 1841-2.

The documents which have come to light since are closely connected with the accounts of Photius and Peter; they bring few new facts or fictions, but they bring material for criticising the facts and fictions already known. (1) In 1849 Gieseler published a tract2 of a certain Abbot Peter, containing an account of the Paulicians similar to that of Photius and Peter Sikeliotes (with whom Gieseler identified the author). (2) The publication of the chronicle of George Monachus by Muralt in 1859 showed that this chronicler had incorporated a similar account in his work.

We have then four documents, which presume one original account whereon all depend, directly or indirectly, if indeed one of them is not itself the original source. The problem of determining their relations to one another and the common original is complicated by (1) the nature of Photius, Bk. i., and (2) the variations in the MSS. of George Monachus.

The “First Book” of Photius falls into two parts: I. chaps. 1-15, which contains (a) a history of the Paulicians, chaps. 1-10; and (b) an account of earlier Manichaean movements, chaps. 11-14; II. chaps. 15-27, a history of the Paulicians, going over the same ground, but differently, and adding a brief notice of the revolt of Chrysocheir. Part I. (a) corresponds closely to the accounts of Abbot Peter, Peter Sik.,3 and George Mon.; and its Photian authorship seems assured by the testimony of Euthymius Zigabenus. Part II. was a distinct composition originally, and was tacked on to the Photian work. Thus “Photius” resolves itself into two documents, one Photian, the other Pseudo-Photian.

The credit of having made this clear belongs to Karapet Ter-Mkrttschian, who published in 1893 a treatise entited “Die Paulikianer in byzantinischen Edition: current; Page: [388] Kaiserreiche und verwandte ketzerische Erscheinungen in Armenien.” This investigation, although it is ill arranged and leads to no satisfactory conclusion, has yet been of great use in opening up the whole question, as well as by publishing out-of-the-way evidence on various obscure Armenian sects. While Gieseler held that the treatise of the “Abbot Peter” was simply an extract from the work of Peter Sikeliotes, Ter-Mkrttschian tries to prove that the Abbot Peter is the oldest of our existing sources — the source of George Monachus, and Photius (Bk. 1 (a)). [The Armenian scholar further propounded (p. 122 sqq.) the impossible theory that Peter Sikeliotes wrote in the time of Alexius Comnenus — when the Paulician and Bogomil question was engaging the attention of the court and the public. It is impossible, because the date of the Vatican MS. of the treatise of Peter is earlier. As to the Pseudo-Photian account, Ter-Mkrttschian holds that its author utilised the work of Euthymius Zigabenus (p. 8-9).]

After Ter-Mkrttschian came J. Friedrich (Der ursprüngliche bei Georgios Monachos nur theilweise erhaltene Bericht über die Paulikianer, published in the Sitzungsberichte of the Bavarian Academy, 1896, p. 67 sqq.). Friedrich denied that the Abbot Peter’s tract was the source used by George Monachus; and he published (p. 70-81), as the original source of all the extant accounts, the passage of George Monachus as it appears in the Madrid MS. of the chronicle. In this MS. the passage is more than twice as long as in other MSS., the additional matter consisting chiefly of directions to Christians how they were to refute a Paulician heretic when they met one. According to Friedrich, the work of the Abbot Peter is an extract from this treatise, preserved in the Madrid MS.; and the accounts in the other MSS. of George Monachus are likewise extracts.

But the view of Friedrich has been upset conclusively by C. de Boor, the only scholar who is thoroughly master of the facts about the MSS. of George Monachus. In a short paper in the Byzantinische Zeitschrift, vii. p. 40 sqq. (1898), de Boor has shown that the additional matter in the Madrid MS. comes from an interpolator. George seems to have made a second version of his chronicle, and in revising it he consulted his sources, or some of them, again. This seems to be the only hypothesis on which the peculiarities of one MS., Coislin. 305, can be explained. In the case of the Paulician passage, de Boor points out that in the first form of his work (represented by Coislin. 305) he used an original source; from which he again drew at more length on a second revision (represented by the other MSS.). It is therefore the second revision which we must compare with the work of the Abbot Peter in order to determine whether the Abbot Peter is the original source. De Boor does not decide this; but calls attention to two passages which might seem to show that the Abbot used the second revision of George the Monk, and one passage which rather points to the independence of the Abbot. On the whole, the second alternative seems more probable.

The present state of the question may be summed up as follows: The (1) original sketch of the Paulician heresy, its origin and history — whereon all our extant accounts ultimately depend — is lost. This original work was used by (2) George the Monk (in the 9th century) for his chronicle; (a) in Coislin. 305 we have a shorter extract, (b) in the other MSS. (and Muralt’s text) we have a fuller extract. (3) The tract of the Abbot Peter was either taken from the second edition of George the Monk, or was independently extracted from the original work; but it was not the original work itself. (4) It is not quite certain whether the treatise of Photius was derived from the derivative work of the Abbot Peter (so Ter-Mkrttschian; and this is also the opinion of Ehrhard, ap. Krumbacher’s Byz. Litt. p. 76; but Edition: current; Page: [389] Friedrich argues against this view, op. cit. p. 85-6); perhaps it is more likely that Photius also used the original work. (5) The position of Peter Sikeliotes is quite uncertain (see below). (6) The interpolation in the Madrid MS. of George the Monk (see above) was added not later than the 10th century, in which period the MS. was written. Then come (7) Euthymius Zigabenus in the Panoplia, c. 1100 ad, and (8) Pseudo-Photius.

The unsolved problem touching Peter Sikeliotes would have no historical importance, except for his statements about his own mission to Tephrice, and the intention of the Paulicians of the east to send missionaries to Bulgaria, and the dedication of his work to an Archbishop of Bulgaria. He says that he himself was sent to Tephrice by Michael III. for the ransom of captives. But the title of the treatise is curious: Πέτρου Σικελιώτου ἱστορία . . . προσωποποιηθει̑σα ὡς πρὸς τὸν Ἀρχιεπίσκοπον Βουλγαρίας. The word προσωποποιηθει̑σα suggests that the historical setting of the treatise is fictitious. In denying the historical value of this evidence as to the propagation of Paulicianism in Bulgaria at such an early date, Ter-Mkrttschian (p. 13 sqq.) and Friedrich (p. 101-2) are agreed. According to the life of St. Clement of Bulgaria (ed. Miklorich, p. 34) the heresy did not enter the country till after Cement’s death in ad 916 (Friedrich, ib.).

Ter-Mkrttschian endeavours to prove that the Paulicians were simply Marcionites. Friedrich argues against this view, on the ground of some statements in the text which he published from the Madrid MS., where the creator of the visible world is identified with the devil. But these statements may have been interpolated in the tenth century from a Bogomil source.

On the Armenian Paulicians and cognate sects, see Döllinger’s Beiträge zur Sektengeschichte des Mittelalters; Ter-Mkrttschian’s work, already cited; and Conybeare’s Key of Truth (see below). The basis of Döllinger’s study was the treatise “Against the Paulicians” of the Armenian Patriarch John Ozniensis (published in his works, 1834, ed. Archer). Cp. Conybeare, op. cit. App. iv. Ter-Mkrttschian has rendered new evidence accessible.

In his History of the Bulgarians,4 Jireček gives the result of the investigations of Rački and other Slavonic scholars into the original doctrines of the Bogomils. (1) They rejected the Old Testament, the Fathers, and ecclesiastical tradition. They accepted the New Testament, and laid weight on a number of old apocryphal works. (2) They held two principles, equal in age and power: one good (a triune being = God); the other bad (= Satan); who created the visible world, caused the Fall, governed the world during the period of the Old Testament. (3) The body of Christ the Redeemer was only an apparent, not a real body (for everything corporeal is the work of Satan); Mary was an angel. The sacraments are corporeal, and therefore Satanic, symbols. (4) They rejected the use of crucifixes and icons, and regarded churches as the abodes of evil spirits. (5) Only adults were received into their church; the ceremony consisted of fasting and prayer — not baptism, for water is created by Satan. (6) They had no hierarchy; but an executive, consisting of a senior or bishop, and two grades of Apostles. (7) Besides the ordinary Christians there was a special order of the Perfect or the Good, who renounced all earthly possessions, marriage, and the use of animal food. These chosen few dressed in black, lived like hermits, and were not allowed to speak to an unbeliever except for the purpose of converting him. (8) No Bogomil was allowed to drink wine. (9) The Bulgarian Bogomils prayed four times every day and four times every Edition: current; Page: [390] night; the Greek seven times every day, five times every night. They prayed whenever they crossed a bridge or entered a village. They had no holy days. (10) They had a death-bed ceremony (called in the west la convenensa). Whoever died without the advantage of this ceremony went to hell, the ultimate a bode of all unbelievers. They did not believe in a purgatory.

We cannot, however, feel certain that this is a fair presentation of the Bogomil doctrines. It is unfortunate that none of their books of ritual, &c., are known to exist.

As early as the tenth century a schism arose in the Bogomil church. A view was promulgated that Satan was not coeval with God, but only a later creation, a fallen angel. This view prevailed in the Bulgarian church, but the Dragoviči clung to the old dualism. The modified doctrine was adopted for the most part by the Bogomils of the west (Albigenses, &c.) except at Toulouse and Albano on Lake Garda (Jireček, op. cit. p. 213).

The kinship of the Bogomil doctrines to the Paulician is obvious. But it has not been proved that they are historically derived from the Paulician; though there are historical reasons for supposing Paulician influence.

Since the above was written, Mr. Conybeare published (1898) the Armenian text and an English translation of the book of the Paulicians of Thonrak in Armenia. This book is entitled the Key of Truth and seems to have been drawn up by the beginning of the ninth century. This liturgy considerably modifies our views touching the nature of Paulicianism, which appears to have had nothing to do with Marcionism, but to have been a revival of the old doctrine of Adoptionism according to which Jesus was a man and nothing more until in his thirtieth year he was baptised by John and the Spirit of God came down and entered into him; then and thereby he became the Son of God. Of this Adoptionist view we have two ancient monuments, the Shepherd of Hermas and the Acts of Archelaus. The doctrine survived in Spain until the 8th and 9th centuries; and this fact suggests the conjecture that it also lingered on in southern France, so that the heresy of the Cathars and Albigenses would not have been a mere imported Bogomilism, but an ancient local survival. Mr. Conybeare thinks that it lived on from early times in the Balkan peninsula “where it was probably the basis of Bogomilism.”

There can be no doubt that Mr. Conybeare’s discovery brings us nearer to the true nature of Paulicianism. In this book the Paulicians speak for themselves, and free themselves from the charges of Manichaeism and dualism which have been always brought against them. Mr. Conybeare thinks that Paulician, the Armenian form of Paulian, is derived from Paul of Samosata, whose followers were known to the Greeks of the 4th century as Pauliani. Gregory Magistros5 (who in the 11th century was commissioned by the Emperor Constantine IX. to drive the Paulicians or Thonraki out of Imperial Armenia) states that the Paulicians “got their poison from Paul of Samosata,” the last great representative of the Adoptionist doctrine. Mr. Conybeare suggests that, the aim of the Imperial government having been to drive the Adoptionist Church outside the Empire, the Paulians “took refuge in Mesopotamia and later in the Mohammedan dominions generally, where they were tolerated and where their own type of belief, as we see from the Acts of Archalaus, had never ceased to be accounted orthodox. They were thus lost sight of almost for centuries by the Greek theologians of Constantinople and other great centres. When at last they again made themselves Edition: current; Page: [391] felt as the extreme left wing of the iconoclasts — the great party of revolt against the revived Greek paganism of the eighth century — it was the orthodox or Grecised Armenians that, as it were, introduced them afresh to the notice of the Greeks” (Introduction, p. cvi.).


Bulgaria and Russia are Slavonic countries, Bulgarian and Russian are Slavonic languages; but it is an important historical fact that the true Bulgarians and the true Russians, who created these Slavonic states, were not Slavs themselves and did not speak Slavonic tongues. The Russian invader was a Teuton; he belonged, at all events, to the same Indo-European family as the Slavs whom he conquered. But the Bulgarian invader was a Tartar, of wholly different ethnic affinities from the people whom he subdued. In both cases the conqueror was assimilated, gradually forgot his own tongue, and learned the language of his subjects; in both cases he gave the name of his own race to the state which he founded. And both cases point to the same truth touching the Slavs: their strong power of assimilation, and their lack of the political instinct and force which are necessary for creating and organising a political union. Both Bulgaria and Russia were made by strangers.

(1) We first met Bulgarians in the fifth century, after the break-up of the Empire of Attila. We then saw them settled somewhere north of the Danube — it is best to say roughly between the Danube and the Dnieper — and sometimes appearing south of the Danube. (2) We saw them next, a century later, as subjects of the Avar empire. We saw also (above, vol. vii. Appendix 7) that they were closely connected with the tribes of the Uturgurs and Kotrigurs. (3) The next important event in the history of the Bulgarians is the break-up of the Avar empire. In this break-up they themselves assisted. In the reign of Heraclius, the Bulgarian king Kurt revolts against the chagan of the Avars and makes an alliance with Heraclius, towards the close of that emperor’s reign (c. 635-6).1 At this time the Bulgarians and their fellows the Utigurs seem to have been united under a common king; Kurt is designated as lord of the Utigurs. (4) The next movement seems to have been a westward migration of part of the Bulgarians. Crossing the Danube, some of the emigrants settled in Pannonia, in the now reduced realm of the Avars; and others went farther afield and found their final abodes in Italy on the shores of the Adriatic (see above, p. 28, note 5). (5) Kurt died in the reign of Constans II. His successor Bezmêr reigned only three years, and was succeeded by Isperich, who crossed the Danube and established the Bulgarian kingdom in Moesia in the reign of Constantine IV. (c. ad 679).

The Bulgarians on the Danube had kinsfolk far to the east, who in the tenth century lived between the Volga and the Kama. They are generally known as the Bulgarians of the Volga; their country was distinguished as Black Bulgaria2 from White Bulgaria on the Danube. The city of the eastern Edition: current; Page: [392] Bulgarians was destroyed by Timour, but their name is still preserved in the village of Bolgary in the province of Kasan. They must have migrated northwards to these regions from the shores of the Lake of Azov, between the Dnieper and Don. For in the eighth century they were certainly in the neighbourhood of the Lake of Azov,3 and were on the west side of the Don, while the kindred tribe of the Kotrags or Kotrigurs were over against them on the east bank. Towards the end of the ninth century the Mohammedan religion began to take root among the Bulgarians of the Volga, and the conversion was completed in the year ad 922. We have a good account of their country and their customs from the Arabic traveller Ibn Foslan.4

Thus, about the end of the seventh century, there were five settlements of the Bulgarians and their kinspeople in Europe. (1) The Bulgarians between the Don and Dnieper. (2) The Kotrags or Kotrigurs, their neighbours on the other side of the Don. (3) The Bulgarian kingdom of the Danube, in which the Utigurs had been merged. (4) The Bulgarian settlement in Pannonia. (5) The Bulgarian settlements in Italy.

The existence of these five lots of Bulgarians was accounted for by a legend which must have arisen soon after the foundation of the Bulgarian kingdom in Moesia. According to this legend King Kuvrat (Kurt) had five sons. When his death approached he enjoined upon them not to separate. But they did not obey his command. The first, Batbaian, remained in his native land, according to his father’s will; the second, Kotrag, crossed the Don and dwelled over against his brother; the third, Isperich, settled in Bessarabia;5 the fourth migrated to Pannonia; the fifth to Italy. This story had been written down in some Greek book in the course of the eighth century; for Theophanes and Nicephorus derived it independently from the same written source.6

It is easy to separate the fact from the fiction. Both Kurt and Isperich are historical; Isperich may well have been Kurt’s son (for only one short reign intervened between them); and their chronological relation corresponds to fact. Moreover the westward migration to Pannonia and Italy probably happened after Kurt’s death, about the middle of the 7th century. The legendary parts of the tale are: (1) the five sons of Kurt and his deathbed commands; (2) the representation of the eponymous Kotragos as a son of Kurt, and the belief that the people of Kotragos branched off from the Bulgarians in the 7th century; (3) the chronological error of making the Bulgarians first come to the regions between the Dniester and the Danube under Isperich in the 7th century; and thus representing Kurt as a king reigning over Bulgarians east of the Dnieper.

Roesler, Hunfalvy, and others have sustained that the Bulgarians were not of Turkish, but of Finnish race. But they have not proved their case.7

For the customs of the Danubian Bulgarians, which point to their Tartar origin, see the Responses of Pope Nicholas (in the ninth century) to the matters on which they consulted him.8

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A curious fragment of an old list of Bulgarian princes from the earliest times up to ad 765, was edited by A. Popov in 1866 (Obzor Chronographov russkoi redaktsii). It is reproduced by Jireček (Geschichte der Bulgaren, p. 127). The list is drawn up in the language of the Slavs of Bulgaria, but contains non-Slavonic words, belonging to the tongue of the Bulgarian conquerors. It may be translated as follows, with the exception of the Bulgarian words:—

1 Possibly the preceding tvirem conceals the name of the successor of Tervel
2 Mistake for 7 (Jireček, p. 140 note).
[ad 124-424.] “Avitochol lived 300 years; he belonged to the race of Dulo; and his years were dilom tvirem.
[ad 424-574.] “Irnik lived 100 years and 50; he belonged to the race of Dulo; and his years were dilom tvirem.
[ad 574-576.] “Gostun ruled as viceroy for 2 years; he belonged to the race of Jermi; and his years were dochs tvirem.
[ad 576-636.] “Kur’t reigned for 60 years; he was of the race of Dulo; but his years were šegor vêčem.
[ad 636-639.] “Bezmêr 3 years; he was of the race of Dulo; but his years were šegor vêčem.
“These 5 princes (k’nȩz) held the principality on the other side of the Danube for 515 years, with shorn heads.
[ad 679.] “And then Isperich, prince, came to (this) side of the Danube, where (they are) till this day.
[ad 639-700.] “Esperich, prince, 61 years; he was of the race of Dulo; his years were verenialem. [Ἀσπαρουχ.]
[ad 700-720.] “Tervel 21 years; he was of the race of Dulo; his years were tekučetem tvirem. [Τερβέλης.]
[ad 720-748.] “. . .1 28 years; he was of the race of Dulo; his years were dvanšechtem.
[ad 748-753.] “Sevar 5 years; he was of the race of Dulo; his years were tochal’tom.
[ad 753-760.] “Kormisoš 17 years;2 he was of the race of Vokil; his years were šegor tvirim. [Κορμέσιος.]
“This prince changed the race of Dulo — that is to say Vichtun (?).
[?] “Vinech [?] 7 years; he was of the race of Ukil; his name was šegoralem (?).
[ad 760-763.] “Telec 3 years; he was of the race of Ugain; and his years were somor altem. He too was of another race. [Τελέτζης.]
[ad 764?] “Umor 40 days; he was of the race of Ugil; his (years were) dilom tutom.” [Οὔμαρος.]

Various attempts have been made to explain the Bulgarian words (which ought to be numerals,3 but which clearly do not correspond in all cases to the Slavonic numbers) from Turkish dialects, or even from the Hungarian Edition: current; Page: [394] language, by Hilferding, Kunik, and Radlov;4 but none of these attempts are convincing.5

The last three reigns cause a difficulty, when we compare them with the notices of Nicephorus (p. 69 and p. 70, ed. de Boor) and Theophanes (a.m. 6254 and 6256). There seems to be no room for a reign of 7 years between Kormisoš and Telec; it is indeed considered uncertain whether vinech represents the name of a prince or belongs closely to the preceding vichtun. The murder of Telec happened, according to Nicephorus and Theophanes, in ad 762 (after his defeat by Constantine V. in June of that year); but Theophanes relates the elevation of Telec under the same year. Then, according to the Greek historians, Sabinos, son-in-law of Kormisoš, is elected prince; he makes peace with Constantine, but is presently deposed and flies to Constantinople, Paganos (= Baian) being elevated in his place. We then find Umar set up by Sabinos, as a rival of Baian apparently, and deposed by the Bulgarians, who set up in his stead Toktu, brother of Baian, in ad 764 — Baian being apparently dead; this is the account of Nicephorus. But Theophanes says nothing of Umar; but brings Baian (Paganos) to Constantinople, where Constantine and Sabinos receive him. Both the Greek writers agree that Constantine invaded Bulgaria in this year, but Nicephorus implies that it was in the interests of Sabinos and Umar. Now in the Bulgarian list Sabinos and Baian do not appear.

The Greek historians are far more likely to have made a mistake in regard to these events than the Bulgarian list. The confusion probably arises from the simultaneous reigns of rival princes. If Vinech was the natural successor of Kormisoš, his reign, lasting seven years from the death of Kormisoš, was mainly titular; and the three years of Telec were synchronous with part of the seven years of Vinech, and also with the reign of Baian, an usurper whom the list entirely omits.

It would then turn out that Sabinos of the Greek historians corresponds to Vinech of the list. As Sabinos raised up Umar (of his own Ukil family) to take his place as prince in ad 764, the seven years of Sabinos would come to an end in that year and we should place the death of Kormisoš in 758. As the years of the Bulgarian list need not all be full years, and as Tervel may have died in 719 (he was still alive in 718-19, see Theophanes, sub ann.), there is no difficulty in this supposition. We thus get: —

  • Kormisoš, c. ad 751-758.
  • Binech (Savinos), ad 758-764.
  • Telec, ad 759-760 to 762.
  • [Baian, ad 762 to 764.]
  • Umar, ad 764.
  • Toktu, ad 764.


Readers of Gibbon may be interested in seeing the text of the remarkable inscription of a Greek architect employed by prince Omortag; it was engraved on a pillar of red marble found at Trnovo. I take it from Jireček, Gesch. der Bulgaren (p. 148).

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Γιωμ Ομορταγ ις τον παλεον υκον αυτου μενον επυησεν υπερθυμον υκον ις τον Δανουβην, κ’ανα μεσα τον δυο υκο τον πανθυμον . Καταμετρησας ις τον μεσον επυησα τουμβαν. Κε απο την αυτην μεσην της τουμβας εος την αυλιν μου την αρχεαν ισιν οργηε(ς) μυριαδες : β : κ’επι τον Δανουβιν ισην οργϊες μυριαδες : β : το δε αυτο τουβι εστιν πανθυμον. μετριστε ’ς τιν γιν. επυις‘ τα γραματα ταυτα ο ανθροπος κκ αλαζον αποθνισκι κε αλος γενατε κε ινα ο εσχατον γηνομενος. ταυτα θεορον υπομνησκετε τον πυισαντα αυτο. το δε ονομα τον αρχοντος εστην Ωμορταγ καν . να συ βιβη ο θς ανοσϊ αυτον . ζισσετ . η : ρ.

This document states that Giom Omortag built a new palace on the Danube, and also a tomb, exactly halfway between this new palace and his old palace. Observe that he is called by the Bulgarian title khan, not by the Slavonic knez.

There are several difficulties in the interpretation of the inscription. This is not the place to discuss them, but in one point I may correct the interpretation and punctuation of Jirecek. The second clause (κ’ανα μεσα, &c.) he translates freely “und in der Mitte beider ein (drittes) Haus, das gross-artigste. Nach einer Vermessung errichtete ich in der Mitte ein Grabmal (jenes dritte Haus?).” This will not do. Obviously the punctuation before καταμετρήσας should be removed, and the sentence is quite simple (equal to καὶ ἀνὰ μέσα τω̑ν δύο οἴκω(ν) τω̑ν πανθύμων καταμετρήσας εἰς τὴν μέσην ἐποίησα τύμβον), “and between those two magnificent houses, having measured the ground, I made a tomb in the middle (halfway).”


There is evidence to show that the kingdom over which Isperich and Crum ruled was not confined to the Lower Moesia, the country between the Danube and the Balkan range. There is no doubt that their sway extended over the lands which form the modern kingdom of Roumania; and it is possible that the sway of Crum extended over Siebenbürgen or Transylvania.

The extension of Bulgaria north of the Danube in the time of Crum is proved by a passage in the Anonymous writer of the ninth century, of whose work a fragment on the reign of Leo V. is preserved (see above, vol. viii. Appendix, p. 403). There we find “Bulgaria beyond the Danube” (ἑκει̑θεν του̑ Ἱστρου ποταμου̑, in the Bonn ed. of Leo Grammaticus, p. 345); Crum transported a multitude of prisoners thither. This is borne out by the Bavarian geographer of the ninth century, who mentions the country of the Bulgarians as one of the countries north of the Danube.1

The chief evidence cited for Bulgarian dominion over Transylvania in the ninth century is the enumeration of a number of Dacian towns as belonging to the regions occupied by the Bulgarians, in the Ravennate Geographer;2 and the circumstance that the Bulgarians used to sell salt to the Moravians3 (there being salt mines in Transylvania, and none in Bulgaria south of the Danube).

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To an unbiassed inquirer the evidence certainly renders it probable that during the 8th century when the Avar monarchy was weak and soon about to yield to the arms of Charles the Great, the Bulgarians extended their power over the Slavs and Vlachs of Siebenbürgen. This was certainly what under the circumstances was likely to happen; and the scanty evidence seems to point to the conclusion that it did happen. There is no reason to suppose that a part of the Bulgarian people settled in Siebenbürgen; only that Siebenbürgen was subject to the princes of Bulgaria during the ninth century until the Magyar invasion. Unfortunately, this question is mixed up with the burning Roumanian question; and the Hungarians firmly reject the idea of a Bulgarian period in Siebenbürgen. The first active promulgator of the view seems to have been Engel,4 and Hunfalvy devotes several pages to the task of demolishing the “képzelt tiszai Bolgárság,” as he calls it, “the imaginary Bulgaria on the Theiss.”5 The Roumanians welcome the notion of a northern Bulgaria, because it would explain the existence of the Bulgarian rite in the Roumanian church, and deprive the Hungarians of an argument for their doctrine, that the Roumanians are late intruders in Transylvania and carried the Bulgarian rite with them from the country south of the Danube.

But, apart from the Transylvanian question, there can be no doubt that Bulgaria included Walachia and extended to the Dniester under the early kings. There is no reason to suppose that when Isperich passed south of the Danube he gave up his dominion in Bessarabia. That Bessarabia was Bulgarian in the 8th century seems a permissible inference from the statement in the legend of the five sons of Kuvrat (see last note). And the fact that there was no other rival power to hold these regions seems to me to be almost conclusive. I am ready even to hazard the hypothesis that the influence of the Bulgarian kings in the 8th century extended as far as the Dnieper. Until the Hungarians came and took possession of Atelkuzu (see Appendix 7, p. 398), there was no other great power nearer than the Khazars. On the Dnieper, during the first half of the 8th century, the Bulgarians would have been in contact with their own kinsfolk.


It is remarkable that Gibbon has given no account of the Apostles of the Slavs, the brothers Constantine and Methodius; whose work was far more important for the conversion of the Slavonic world to the Christian faith than that of Ulfilas for the conversion of the Germans. Little enough is known of the lives of these men, and their names were soon surrounded with discrepant traditions and legends in various countries — in Moravia and Bohemia, Pannonia and Bulgaria.

There seems no reason to doubt that they were born in Thessalonica, and the date of the birth of Constantine, at least, the elder of the two, probably falls between ad 820 and 830. In Thessalonica they were in the midst of Slavonic districts and had opportunities of becoming acquainted with the Slavonic language in their youth. Perhaps they both became monks when they were still young.1 Constantine went to Constantinople and became a Edition: current; Page: [397] priest. His learning won him the title of Philosopher and the friendship of Photius;2 but, when Photius started the doctrine of two souls in man, Constantine opposed him. It was probably soon after the elevation of Photius to the Patriarchate (ad 857) that Constantine, who had a gift for languages, was sent as a missionary to the Chazars (perhaps ad 860-1), who had begged the Emperor to send them a learned instructor. While he was at Cherson, learning the Chazaric language, he “discovered” the remains of the martyr Pope Clement I., which he afterwards brought to Rome.3 On his return from Chazaria (ad 862) he received a new call. Christianity had already made some way among the Slavs of Moravia, through the missionary activity of the bishops of Passau. Thus Moravia seemed annexed to the Latin Church. But the Moravian king Rastislav quarrelled with his German and Bulgarian neighbours, and, seeking the political support of the Eastern Emperor, he determined to bring Moravia into spiritual connection with Constantinople. He sent ambassadors to Michael III., asking for a man who would be able to teach his flock the Christian faith in their own tongue. Constantine, by his knowledge of Slavonic and his missionary experience, was marked out as the suitable apostle; and he went to Moravia, taking with him his brother Methodius (ad 863). They worked among the Moravians for four and a half years, having apparently obtained the reluctant recognition of the bishop of Passau. But Prince Rastislav was fully resolved that the church of his country should not remain a dependency on the German see of Passau. A new bishopric should be founded and Constantine should be the first bishop. If Ignatius had been still Patriarch, Constantine would probably have sought episcopal ordination at his hands. But the heretic Photius was in the Patriarchal chair; there was schism between Rome and Constantinople; and so it came about that Rastislav and Constantine had recourse to the Bishop of Rome. Pope Nicholas invited the two brothers (ad 867), but died before their arrival; and his successor Hadrian II. ordained them bishops (ad 868). On this occasion Constantine changed his name to Cyril, by which he has become generally known. But a premature death carried him away at Rome (Feb. 14, ad 869). Methodius then went to Blatno on the Platten See in Pannonia (where Kocel, prince of the Slavs of those regions, held his court) as bishop of Pannonia — an ancient see which was now reconstituted. Here he exercised missionary influence upon neighbouring Croatia. But presently he returned to Moravia, where Svatopluk had become king. He died in ad 885.

The great achievement of Constantine or Cyril was the invention of a Slavonic alphabet. His immediate missionary work was in Moravia; but by framing an alphabet and translating the gospels into Slavonic he affected, as no other single man has ever done, every Slavonic people. He did what Ulfilas did for the Goths, what Mesrob did for the Armenians, but his work was destined to have incomparably greater ecumenical importance than that of either. The alphabet which he invented (doubtless in ad 863) is known as the glagolitic; and we have a good many early documents written in this character in various parts of the Slavonic world. But ultimately the use of it became confined to Istria and the Croatian coast; for it was superseded by Edition: current; Page: [398] another alphabet, clearer and more practical, which was perhaps invented about half a century later by Bishop Clement of Drenoviza.4 This later alphabet is known as the cyrillic; and has been supposed — and is still supposed — by many to be the alphabet which Cyril invented. But a study of the two characters makes it quite clear that the cyrillic is the later and was formed upon the glagolitic. It was the framer of the glagolitic who possessed the creative genius; and it was not unfair that, when the second form of the alphabet, with all its improvements, superseded the older, the name of the original inventor should be attached to the improved script.

Directly neither Cyril nor Methodius had anything to do with the conversion of Bulgaria. But the conversion of Bulgaria took place in their days; the invention of the alphabet facilitated the conversion; and the application of the Moravian monarch to Constantinople probably induced the Bulgarian prince, Boris, to resolve, from political considerations, to abandon heathendom. Making peace with the emperor, with whom he had been at war, he was baptised at the place where the peace was concluded, and the Emperor himself was his sponsor (probably ad 864). He then introduced Christianity forcibly among his people, executing fifty-two persons who resisted. But it was not long before he turned away from Constantinople and sought to connect the Bulgarian Church with Rome. He sent envoys (ad 866) to Pope Nicholas I., with 106 questions, and the answers of the Pope,5 which are preserved, throw some interesting light on Bulgarian customs. If the successor of Nicholas had shown tact and discretion, Bulgaria might have been won for the Latin Church; but Hadrian II. tried the patience of Boris, and in ad 870 Bulgaria received an archbishop from Constantinople and ten bishoprics were founded. Boris sent his son Simeon to be educated at New Rome. It was not long before Slavonic books and the Slavonic liturgy were introduced into Bulgaria.

[Only a few works out of the enormous literature on the apostles of the Slavs can be quoted. J. A. Ginzel, Geschichte der Slawenapostel Cyrill und Method, und der Slawischen Liturgie (1857). L. Leger, Cyrille et Méthode (1868). Bonwetsch, Kyrillus und Methodius (1885). V. Jagič, article in the Zapiski of the Imperial Acad. of St. Petersburg, vol. li. (1886). L. K. Goetz, Gesch. der Slavenapostel Konstantinus und Methodius (1897). Cp. also the accounts in Golubinski’s Hist. of the Bulgarian, Servian and Romanian Church, and in Bretholz’s Geschichte Mahrens.]

7.: THE HUNGARIANS — (P. 36 sqq.)

The chief sources for the history of the Hungarians, before they took up their abode in Hungary, are (1) Leo, Tactics, c. 18, § 45 sqq.; and Constantine Porphyrogennetos, De Adm. Imp., c. 38, 39, 40; (2) the account of Ibn Rusta, an Arabic writer who wrote ad 912-13; (3) some notices in western chronicles of the ninth century; (4) traditions in the native chronicles of Hungary. It has been proved that the chronicle of the Anonymous Scribe of King Béla,1 which used to be regarded as a trustworthy source for early Hungarian history, is a “Machwerk” of the 13th century;2 but the author as well as Simon de Kéza (for his Chronicon Hungaricum) had some old Edition: current; Page: [399] sources, from which they derived some genuine traditions, which criticism can detect and may use with discretion.

The main questions in dispute with regard to the Hungarians and their early antiquity are two: concerning their ethnical affinity, and concerning the course of their wanderings from the most primitive habitation, to which they can be traced, up to their appearance between the Dnieper and the Danube. It may be said, I think, that we have not sufficient data to justify dogmatism in regard to either of these questions.

As to their ethnical position, are the Hungarians Turkish or Finnic? Their language shows both elements; and the two rival theories appeal to it. Those who maintain that the Hungarians are Turkish explain the Finnic part of the vocabulary by a long sojourn in the neighbourhood of the Voguls and Ostjaks; while those who hold that they were brethren of the Voguls, Ostjaks, and Finns, explain the Turkish element by borrowings in the course of their subsequent wanderings. For the latter theory it must be said that the most elementary portion of the Hungarian vocabulary is undoubtedly related to the Vogul, Ostjak, and their kindred languages. This comes out clearly in the numerals, and in a large number of common words.3 If we set side by side lists of Hungarian words which are clearly Turkish or clearly Finnic, leaving out all the unconvincing etymologies which the rival theorists serve up, it is difficult to avoid concluding that the primitive element is the Finnic. But the conclusion is far from certain; and the wanderings of the Hungarians may suggest rather a people like the Patzinaks and Kumans, than like the Voguls and Finns.4

It seems most probable that the Magyars at one time dwelled in Jugria, in the regions of the Irtish, where they were neighbours of the Voguls. They migrated southward and in the beginning of the 9th century they had taken up their abode within the empire of the Chazars, and they amalgamated with themselves a Chazaric tribe called the Kabars (Const. Porph. c. 39), who became part of the Hungarian nation. These Kabars, according to Constantine, taught the Hungarians the tongue of the Chazars. Hence the upholders of the Finnic origin of the Turks can explain the Turkish element in Hungaria by a known cause, the coalition of the Kabars.

According to Constantine, the Hungarians abode only three years in “Lebedia near Chazaria.” This land of Lebedia was probably between the Edition: current; Page: [400] Don and the Dnieper; and it is supposed that the date of their sojourn there was between ad 830 and 840. For it is in the reign of Theophilus, c. 837-39, that they first appear upon the horizon of the Eastern Empire (cp. George Mon. p. 818, ed. Bonn, where they are called Ο[Editor: Illegible character]γγροι, Ο[Editor: Illegible character]ννοι, and Του̑ρκοι) and cross the Danube. It cannot be determined whether the Hungarians when they made this expedition were living beyond the Dnieper in Lebedia, or had already left Lebedia and found a new home in the land between the Dnieper and Dniester. But it must have been about this time, a little before, or a little later, that the Patzinaks drove the Hungarians out of Lebedia and the Hungarians established themselves in Atelkuzu, as they called the land between Dnieper and Danube, where they abode about half a century. Here they came under Slavonic influence; and it was here, doubtless, that they adopted the Slavonic title voevod (βοέβοδος, cp. above, p. 38) for their chieftains.

The same enemies, who had driven the Hungarians out of Lebedia, drove them again out of Atelkuzu. The Patzinaks were themselves subdued by a combined attack of the Khazars and the Uzes; they crossed the Dnieper, dislodged the Hungarians, who were thus driven farther west; and this was the cause of their settlement in the modern Hungary. The event happened fifty-five years before Constantine wrote c. 37 of his De Administratione; i.e. probably in ad 896 or 897 (cp. vol. ix. Appendix 9). The notice in Regino’s Chronicle under the year 889 anticipates subsequent events.5

It is to the Hungarians as they were when they lived in Atelkuzu, and not to the contemporary Hungarians who were already settled in their final home, that the description of Ibn Rusta (taken from some earlier writer) applies. He describes their land as between the Patzinaks and the Esegel tribe of the Bulgarians (clearly a tribe north of the Danube, in Walachia or Bessarabia). Ibn Rusta further mentions two rivers in the land of the Hungarians, one of them greater than the Oxus. Probably the Dnieper and the Bug are meant.6 He says that Kende is the title of their king, but there is another dignitary whom all obey in matters connected with attack or defence, and he is entitled jila. The kende clearly corresponds to the prince or ἄρχων of Constantine Porphyrogennetos (c. 40); Arpad, for example, was a kende. The jila is also mentioned by Constantine, as γυλα̑ς; to whom, however, he ascribes the function of a judge.7 It seems that the title kende was adopted by the Hungarians from the Chazars; for the title of the Chazar viceroy was kenderchagan.

Ibn Rusta says that the Hungarians rule over the Slavs, whom they oppress with heavy burdens; that they worship fire; that they trade in the slaves whom they capture, with Greek merchants at Kertsch.8

The reconstruction of Hungarian history between Jugria and Lebedia has Edition: current; Page: [401] been attempted, most recently and with great ingenuity by Count Kuun. But, as there is not material sufficient to enable us to decide between various possibilities, it seems unnecessary to discuss here these hypotheses which are entirely in the air.9

A word may be said about the name Magyar. It was doubtless the name of a single tribe before it became the name of the whole people; and the third of the 8 tribes enumerated by Constantine (c. 40 ad init.) was that of Megerê (του̑ Μεγέρη). In another place (c. 37) Constantine mentions the Μάζαροι as dwelling in the 9th century near the river Ural, where they were neighbours of the Patzinaks; but without any suggestion that they are identical with the Hungarians, whom he always calls Turks. Hungarian scholars find other traces of the Magyar name between the Black Sea and the Caspian: thus there are two villages called Mājār in the neighbourhood of Derbend;10 and K. Szabo wished to detect the word in Muager (Μουαγέρην), whom Theophanes mentions as the brother of Gordas, king of the Huns near the Cimmerian Bosporus. It has also been proposed to connect the name of a fortress, τὸ Ματζάρων (mentioned by Theophylactus Simocatta, ii. 18, 7). It was on the confines of the Roman and Persian dominions, but its exact position is unknown. Without committing oneself to these last combinations, there seems to be some evidence, such as it is, associating the Magyar name with the regions between the Caspian and the Euxine. In that case, we might infer that the original Magyars were, like the Kabars, a Turkish tribe (akin to Patzinaks and Uzes) which coalesced with the (Finnic) Ugrians or Hungarians. This inference would be quite in accordance with the apparent probability that the Hungarians are “Mischvolk,” a blend of two elements, Finnic and Turkish.

8.: ORIGIN OF RUSSIA — (P. 49 sqq.)

No competent critic now doubts that the Russians, who founded states at Nevgorod and Kiev, subdued the Slavonic tribes and organised them into a political power, — who, in short, made Russia — were of Scandinavian or Norse origin. It is therefore unnecessary to treat this matter any longer as a disputed question, though there are still “anti-Normans” in Russia; it will be enough to state briefly the most important evidence. The evidence is indeed insuperable, except to insuperable prejudice.

(1) The early writers, who mention the Russians, attest their identity with the Scandinavians or Normans. The first notice is in the Annales Bertiniani ad ann. 839 (Pertz, Mon. i. 484), Rhos vocari dicebant . . . comperit eos gentis esse Sueonum. Liutprand (Antapodosis, v. 15) says that they were Normans (nos vero a positione loci nominamus Nordmannos). The chronicle of “Nestor” identifies them with the Varangians, or regards them as belonging to the Varangian stock; and for the Scandinavian origin of the Varangians see above, p. 51, note 58. The Continuation of George the Monk (Symeon Magister) states more generally and less accurately their German origin (= Theoph. Contin. p. 423, ed. B., ἐκ Φράγγων γένους).1

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(2) The Russians spoke Norse, not Slavonic. This is proved by the 9th chapter of Constantine’s de Administratione, where the Russian and Slavonic languages are distinguished (Ῥωσιστί and Σκλαβινιστί), and the Russian names of the waterfalls are unmistakably Scandinavian. See below, Appendix 9.

(3) The names of the first Russian princes and the names of the signatories of the first Russian treaties are Norse. Riurik is the old Norse Hraerikr; Oleg is Helgi; Olga, Helga; Igor (Ἴγγωρ; Inger in Liutprand) is Ingvarr. The boyars who are named in the treaty of ad 912 (Nestor, c. 22) are Kary (Swedish, Kari), Ingeld (O. Norse, Ingialdr), Farlof (Swedish), Vermud (O. Norse, Vermunde), Rulaf (O. Norse, Hrodleifr), Ruald (O. Norse, Hroaldr), Goud (cp. Runic Kudi), Karn (Scandinavian), Frelaf (O. N., Fridleifr), Rouar (O. N., Hroarr), Trouan (O. N., Droandr), Lidoul (O. N., Lidufr?), Fost (Swedish). There remain two uncertain names, Aktevou and Stemid. Similarly the large proportion of the names in the treaty of 945 (c. 27) are Scandinavian.

(4) The Finnish name for Sweden is Ruotsi, the Esthonian is Rôts; and we can hardly hesitate to identify this with the name of Russia; Old Slavonic Rous’, Greek Ῥώς.2 This name (neither Finnish nor Slavonic) is derived by Thomsen from the Scandinavian rods (rods-menn = rowers, oarsmen); the difficulty is the dropping out of the dental in Rous, Ῥώς.

Thus the current opinion which prevailed when the Russians first appeared on the stage of history; the evidence of their language; the evidence of their names; and the survival of the ancient meaning of the Russian name in Finnic, concur in establishing the Scandinavian origin of the Russians.

For a development of these arguments and other minor evidence see Prof. V. Thomsen’s work, The Relations between Ancient Russia and Scandinavia, and the Origin of the Russian State (Ilchester Lectures), 1877; E. Kunik, Die Berufung der Schwedischen Rodsen durch die Finnen und Slaven, 1844; and see Mémoires of the Imperial Academy of Russia, vii. sér. 22, p. 279 sqq. and 409 sqq.; Bestuzhev-Riumin, Russkaia Istoriia (vol. i.), 1872; Pogodin, O proischoždenii Rusi, 1825, Drevniaia Russkaia Istoriia, 1871, and other works. The two most eminent opposition advocates are: Ilovaiski, Razyskaniia O nachalie Rusi, 1876, and Istoriia Rossii (Part 1, Kiev period), 1876; and Gedeonov, Izsliedovaniia o variazhskom voprosie, 1862, Variagi i Rus’, 1876.


In the 9th chapter of his Treatise on the Administration of the Empire, Constantine Porphyrogennetos gives a most interesting description of the route of Russian merchants from Novgorod (Νεμογαρδάς) to Constantinople, by way of Kiev and the Dnieper, and enumerates the rapids of this river, giving in each case both its Russian and its Slavonic name. This passage is of high importance, for it shows that the language which Constantine meant by Russian (Ῥωσιστί) was Scandinavian and not Slavonic. Dr. Vilhelm Thomsen of Copenhagen in his Ilchester lectures on “Relations between Ancient Russia and Scandinavia, and the Origin of the Russian State” (1877) has supplied an excellent commentary.

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1st waterfall is called Essupê (Ἐσσουπη̑) in both languages, with the meaning sleepless (μὴ κοιμα̑σθαι). It follows that the two names sounded nearly alike to Constantine. The Slavonic for “do not sleep” would be ne spi (and perhaps Ἐσσουπη̑ is an error for Νεσσουπη̑); and Professor Thomsen says that the corresponding phrase in Old Norse would be sofeigi or sofattu. This is not quite satisfactory.
2nd waterfall is (a) in Russian, Ulvorsi (Οὐλβορσί), and (b) in Slavonic, Ostrovuniprach (Ὀστροβουνίπραχ), with the meaning the islet of the fall; (a) = holm-fors; (b) = ostrov’nii prag (islet-fall).
3rd waterfall is called Gelandri (Γελανδρί), which in Slavonic means noise of the fall. Only one name is given, and it is said to be Slavonic. But it obviously represents the Norse participle gellandi, “the echoing”; so that the Slavonic name (probably nearly the same as the modern name zvonets with the same meaning) is omitted. Constantine’s usual formula is Ῥωσιστί μὲν . . . Σκλαβανιστὶ δὲ; but in this place he changes it: τὸν λεγόμενον Γελανδρί, ὂ ἑρμηνεύεται Σκλαβινιστὶἠ̑χος ϕραγμου̑. I would suggest that ζβινιτς or σβινιτς or something of the kind fell out after Σκλαβινιστί.
4th waterfall is Aeifor (Ἀειϕόρ, so in Paris MS. 2009) in Russian, and Neasit (Νεασήτ) in Slavonic, — so called, Constantine says, because pelicans make their nests in the stones. The Old Slavonic for pelican closely resembles Νεασήτ, but the fall cannot have been called pelican; this must have been a misinterpretation. Thomsen very ingeniously suggests that the true name corresponded to the modern Nenasytets and meant insatiable (a name appropriate to the nature of this rapid); while Aeifor (ei-forr) meant ever-forward, ever-precipitate.
5th waterfall is Varuforos (βαρουϕόρος) in Russian, Vulne prach (βουλνηπράχ) in Slavonic; “because it forms a great lake,” or, if we read δίνην for λίμνην, “because it forms a great vortex.” Both words can be recognised at once as meaning “wave-fall.”
6th waterfall is Leanti (Λεάντι) in Russian, Verutze (Βερούτζη) in Slavonic, meaning “the seething of water” (βράσμα νερου̑). Verutze is obviously from v’rieti, to boil. Thomsen explains Leanti as the participle hlaejandi, laughing. In this case the meaning of the two names is not identical.
7th waterfall is Strukun (Στρούκουν, so in Paris MS. 2009) in Russian, Napreze (Ναπρεζή) in Slavonic, meaning a small waterfall. Thomsen identifies Strukun with Norse strok, Swedish struk, a rapid current (especially where narrow — as in the case of this rapid); and suggests that the Slavonic name might be connected with brs, quick. I suspect that (Να-) πρεζή represents a diminutive of porog, prag (waterfall).


It is agreed by most competent critics of the present century that Godfrey of Bouillon neither drew up the Assises of Jerusalem as they have come down to us nor put into writing any code of law whatever. This is the opinion of such special students of the Crusades as Wilken, Sybel, Stubbs, Kugler, and Prutz; and recently it has been very forcibly put by M. Gaston Dodu in his Histoire des Institutions monarchiques dans le royaume Latin de Jérusalem Edition: current; Page: [404] 1099-1291 (1894). In the first place, we find no mention of such a code in contemporary sources; the earliest authorities who mention it are Ibelin and Philip of Novara in the 13th century. Then, supposing such a code had been compiled, it is hard to understand why it should have been placed in the Holy Sepulchre and why the presence of nine persons should have been necessary to consult it. For the purpose of a code is that it should be referred to without difficulty. Thirdly, the remark of William of Tyre as to the experience of Baldwin III. in judicial matters makes distinctly against the existence of a code. He says: juris consuetudinarii, quo regnum regebatur Orientale, plenam habens experientiam: ita ut in rebus dubiis etiam seniores regni principes eius consulerent experientiam et consulti pectoris eruditionem mirarentur (xvi. 2, cp. on Amalric i. xix. 2). The expression “the customary law by which the kingdom was governed” suggests that no code existed.

Fourthly, if the code existed, what became of it? Ibelin and Philip of Novara say that it was lost when Jerusalem was taken by Saladin in 1187. But the circumstances of that capture are inconsistent with the probability of such a loss. There were no military excesses and Saladin allowed the inhabitants a delay of forty days to sell or save their property before he entered the city (Ernoul, c. 18; cp. Dodu, p. 45). It is highly unlikely that the Christians would have failed to rescue a possession so valuable and portable as their Code. The Patriarch could not have overlooked it when he carried forth the treasures of the churches (as Ibn al-Athīr mentions). And, if it were unaccountably forgotten, we should have to suppose that Saladin caused it to be destroyed afterwards when it was found. And had he done so, it is highly unlikely that the act would not have been mentioned by some of the Frank chroniclers.

The conclusion is that the kings of Jerusalem in the twelfth century did not give decisions according to a code drawn up at the time of the foundation of the kingdom, but themselves helped to build up a structure of Customary Law, which in the following century was collected and compiled in the book of the Assises by John Ibelin, ad 1255.

This book of Ibelin has not come down to us in its original form. There were two redactions: (1) at Nicosia in Cyprus in 1368 under the direction of an assembly of Cypriote lords, and (2) in the same place in 1531, by a commission appointed by the Venetian government. Both these rehandlings introduced a number of corrections into the Assise de la haute cour.

The Assises de la cour des bourgeois stand on a different footing. This work seems to have existed perhaps from the end of the twelfth century. It was not supposed to have been destroyed in 1187; it was not, so far as we know, edited by Ibelin; nor was it revised at Nicosia in 1368. (Cp. Dodu, p. 54, 55.)

The study of the Assises of Jerusalem may now be supplemented by the Assises of Antioch, preserved in an Armenian version, which has been translated into French (published by the Mekhitarist Society, Venice, 1876).

How far is the policy of Godfrey of Bouillon represented in the Assises? In answer to this question, the observations of Bishop Stubbs may be quoted:1

“We trace his hand in the prescribing constant military service (not definite or merely for a certain period of each year), in the non-recognition of representation in inheritance, in the rules designed to prevent the accumulation of fiefs in a single hand, in the stringent regulations for the marriages Edition: current; Page: [405] of widows and heiresses. These features all belonged to an earlier age, to a time when every knight represented a knight’s fee, and when no fee could be suffered to neglect its duty; when the maintenance of the conquered country was deemed more important than the inheritances of minors or the will of widows and heiresses. That these provisions were wise is proved by the fact that it was in these very points that the hazard of the Frank kingdom lay. . . . Other portions of the Assizes are to be ascribed to the necessities of the state of things that followed the recovery of Palestine by the Saracens; such, for instance, as the decision how far deforcement by the Turks defeats seisin; and were of importance only in the event of a reconquest.”


The errors and virtues of the Paulicians are weighed, with his usual judgment and candour, by the learned Mosheim (Hist. Ecclesiast. seculum ix. p. 311, &c.). He draws his original intelligence from Photius (contra Manichæos, l. i.) and Peter Siculus (Hist. Manichæorum). The first of these accounts has not fallen into my hands; the second, which Mosheim prefers, I have read in a Latin version inserted in the Maxima Bibliotheca Patrum (tom. xvi. p. 754-764) from the edition of the Jesuit Raderus (Ingolstadii, 1604, in 4to). [See Appendix 1.]


In the time of Theodoret, the diocese of Cyrrhus, in Syria, contained eight hundred villages. Of these, two were inhabited by Arians and Eunomians, and eight by Marcionites, whom the laborious bishop reconciled to the Catholic church (Dupin, Bibliot. Ecclésiastique, tom. iv. p. 81, 82). [The existence of Marcionites at the end of the 6th century is attested by Theophylactus Simocatta.]


[The text of Petros Hegumenos (see Appendix 1) gives Καμάναλις, a mere misprint (notwithstanding Karapet Ter-Mkrttschian, Die Paulikianer, p. 5). For the identification of Mananalis with Karachoban, on the Kinis Chai, S.E. of Erzerum, see Conybeare, Key of Truth, Introd. p. lxix.]


Nobis profanis ista (sacra Evangelia) legere non licet sed sacerdotibus duntaxat, was the first scruple of a Catholic when he was advised to read the Bible (Petr. Sicul. p. 761).


[Three derivations of Paulician were alleged. (1) From Paul of Samosata, son of a Manichæan woman; he was said to be the founder of the heresy; but the Paulicians themselves did not admit this and said that Silvanus was their true founder. See all the sources (cp. Appendix 1). But cp. Conybeare, op. cit. p. cvi. (2) This Paul was said to have a brother John; and, perhaps from a consciousness of the difficulty of deriving Paulician from Paulos (cp. Friedrich, Bericht über die Paulikianer, p. 93), it was proposed (see Photius, ed. Migne, P.G. 102, p. 17) to regard the word as a corruption of Παυλοιωάννης, “Paul-John.” (3) From St. Paul (see Pseudo-Phot., ap. Migne, ib. p. 109). — The word is curiously formed; “followers of Paul” ought to be Paulianoi. It seems highly probable that the name Paulician was not used by the heretics themselves. George Mon. says “they call themselves Christians, but us Romans.” “Paulikianos” must be formed from “Paulikios,” an Armenian diminutive somewhat contemptuous (compare Kourtikios, &c.). It might then be suggested that the hypothetical Paulikios from whom the sect derived their nickname, is to be identified with Paul the Armenian, father of Gegnæsius, the third head of the Paulician church (see Photius, c. Man. p. 53, ap. Migne, P.G. 102; Petrus Sic. p. 1284, ib. 104).]


[The seven teachers of the Paulicians were: (1) Constantine = Silvanus; (2) Simeon = Titus; (3) Gegnesius = Timotheus (an Armenian); (4) Joseph = Epaphroditus; (5) Zacharias, rejected by some, and named the hireling Shepherd; (6) Baanes (an Armenian name, Vahan), nicknamed the Dirty; (7) Sergius = Tychicus. Their six churches were: (1) “Macedonia” = Cibossa near Colonea (founded by Silvanus and Titus); (2) “Achaia” = Mananalis (founded by Timotheus); (3) “the Philippians” (where?) (founded by Epaphroditus and Zacharias); (4) “the Laodiceans” = Argaus; (5) “the Ephesians” = Mopsuestia; (6) “the Colossians” = Κυνοχωρι̑ται or Κοινοχωρι̑ται (apparently like the Ἅστατοι, a particular sect). The 4th and 6th churches are thus given by George Mon. p. 607 (ed. Muralt), but Peter Sic. connects the Colossians with Argaus and equates the Laodiceans with the Kunochorites (those who dwell in τὴν του̑ κυνὸς χώραν).]


In rejecting the second epistle of St. Peter, the Paulicians are justified by some of the most respectable of the ancients and moderns (see Wetstein ad loc.; Simon, Hist. Critique du Nouveau Testament, c. 17). They likewise overlooked the Apocalypse (Petr. Sicul. p. 756 [p. 1256, ap. Migne, P.G. 104]); but, as such neglect is not imputed as a crime, the Greeks of the ixth century must have been careless of the credit and honour of the Revelations.


This contention, which has not escaped the malice of Porphyry, supposes some error and passion in one or both of the apostles. By Chrysostom, Jerom, and Erasmus, it is represented as a sham quarrel, a pious fraud, for the benefit of the Gentiles and the correction of the Jews (Middleton’s Works, vol. ii. p. 1-20).


Those who are curious of this heterodox library may consult the researches of Beausobre (Hist. Critique du Manichéisme, tom. i. p. 385-437). Even in Africa, St. Austin could describe the Manichæan books, tam multi, tam grandes, tam pretiosi codices (contra Faust. xiii. 14); but he adds, without pity, Incendite omnes illas membranas: and his advice has been rigorously followed.


[The Greeks included the Paulicians, like the Marcionites, under the general title of Manichæans, because they supposed them to be dualists, assuming two first principles.]


The six capital errors of the Paulicians are defined by Peter Siculus (p. 756 [c. 10, p. 1253, 1256-7, ed. Migne]) with much prejudice and passion. [In the following order: (1) The two principles; (2) the exclusion of the Virgin Mary from the number of “Good Folk” (cp. the Perfect of the Bogomils; see Appendix 1); and the doctrine that Christ’s body came down from Heaven; (3) the rejection of the Sacrament and (4) the Cross, and (5) the Old Testament, &c.; (6) the rejection of the elders of the Church.]


Primum illorum axioma est, duo rerum esse principia; Deum malum et Deum bonum aliumque hujus mundi conditorem et principem, et alium futuri ævi (Petr. Sicul. p. 756 [c. 10, p. 1253, ed. Migne]). [One god was the Heavenly Father, who has not authority in this world but in the world to come; the other was the world-maker (cosmopoiêtês), who governs the present world. Cp. George Mon., p. 607, ed. Muralt.]


Two learned critics, Beausobre (Hist. Critique du Manichéisme, l. i. 4, 5, 6) and Mosheim (Institut. Hist. Eccles. and de Rebus Christianis ante Constantinum, sec. i. ii. iii.), have laboured to explore and discriminate the various systems of the Gnostics on the subject of the two principles.


The countries between the Euphrates and the Halys were possessed above 350 years by the Medes (Herodot. l. i. c. 103) and Persians; and the kings of Pontus were of the royal race of the Achæmenides (Sallust. Fragment. l. iii. with the French supplement, and notes of the President de Brosses).


Most probably founded by Pompey after the conquest of Pontus. This Colonia, on the Lycus above Neo-Cæsarea, is named by the Turks Couleihisar, or Chonac, a populous town in a strong country (d’Anville, Géographie Ancienne, tom. ii. p. 34; Tournefort, Voyage du Levant, tom. iii. lettre xxi. p. 293). [Professor Ramsay is inclined to identify Colonea with Kara Hissar (= Black Castle, Μαυρόκαστρον, Attaliates, p. 125); Asia Minor, p. 267, and cp. p. 57.]


The temple of Bellona at Comana, in Pontus, was a powerful and wealthy foundation, and the high priest was respected as the second person in the kingdom. As the sacerdotal office had been occupied by his mother’s family, Strabo (l. xii. p. 809 [2, § 3], 835, 836, 837 [3, § 32 sqq.]) dwells with peculiar complacency on the temple, the worship, and festival, which was twice celebrated every year. But the Bellona of Pontus had the features and character of the goddess, not of war, but of love.


Gregory, bishop of Neo-Cæsarea (ad 240-265), surnamed Thaumaturgus or the Wonder-worker. An hundred years afterwards, the history or romance of his life was composed by Gregory of Nyssa, his namesake and countryman, the brother of the great St. Basil.


Hoc cæterum ad sua egregia facinora divini atque orthodoxi Imperatores addiderunt, ut Manichæos Montanosque capitali puniri sententiâ juberent, eorumque libros, quocunque in loco inventi essent, flammis tradi; quod siquis uspiam eosdem occultasse deprehenderetur, hunc eundem mortis pœnæ addici, ejusque bona in fiscum inferri (Petr. Sicul. p. 759). What more could bigotry and persecution desire?


It should seem that the Paulicians allowed themselves some latitude of equivocation and mental reservation; till the Catholics discovered the pressing questions, which reduced them to the alternative of apostacy or martyrdom (Petr. Sicul. p. 760).


The persecution is told by Petrus Siculus (p. 579-763) with satisfaction and pleasantry. Justus justa persolvit. Simeon was not τίτος but κη̑τος [cp. Petrus, c. 27, p. 1281, ed. Migne] (the pronunciation of the two vowels must have been nearly the same), a great whale that drowned the mariners who mistook him for an island. See likewise Cedrenus (p. 432-435 [i. 766 sqq., ed. B.]) [Sergius seems to have lived about the end of the eighth and beginning of the ninth century; but there are some difficulties and confusions in the chronology. Cp. Ter-Mkrttschian, Die Paulikianer, p. 17 sqq. There seems no reason to question the date assigned to the founder Sylvanus by George Monachus, vis., the reigns of Constans II. and Constantine IV. And in that case there is no reason why Gegnæsius, the third head of the Paulician Church, should not have lived under Leo III. (see Photius, p. 53, ap. Migne, P.G. 102; Petrus Sic., p. 1284, ib. 104). The chronology holds together.]


Petrus Siculus (p. 763, 764), the continuator of Theophanes (l. iv. c. 4, p. 103, 104), Cedrenus (p. 541, 542, 545 [ii. 153 sqq., ed. B.]), and Zonaras (tom. ii. l. xvi. p. 156 [c. 2]) describe the revolt and exploits of Carbeas and his Paulicians.




Otter (Voyage en Turquie et en Perse, tom. ii.) is probably the only Frank who has visited the independent Barbarians of Tephrice, now Divrigni [Devrik], from whom he fortunately escaped in the train of a Turkish officer. [The Paulicians first occupied and fortified (with the help of the Emir of Melitene) Argaûs and Amara (Theoph. Cont. iv. 16, p. 166, ed. Bonn). Argaûs has been identified with Argovan, on a tributary of the Euphrates, due north of Melitene, by Mr. J. G. C. Anderson (Journal of Hell. Studies, xvii. p. 27, 1897); and he places Amara (or Abara) on a high pass on the road from Sebastea to Lycandus, nearly due south of Sebastea. Tephrice lay S.E. from Sebastea on the road from that city to Satala. “The secluded position of Divreky made it the seat of an almost independent band of Kurds, when it was visited by Otter in 1743. Voyage en Turquie et en Perse, ii. 306.” Finlay, ii. p. 169, note. See further, for the site, Mr. Guy Le Strange in Journ. R. Asiat. Soc. vol. 28 (1896). The Arabic name was Abrik.]


[For this expedition see Theoph. Contin. iv. c. 23.]


In the history of Chrysocheir, Genesius (Chron. p. 67-70, edit. Venet. [leg. 57-60, p. 121 sqq., ed. Bonn]) has exposed the nakedness of the empire. Constantine Porphyrogenitus (in Vit. Basil. c. 37-43, p. 166-171) has displayed the glory of his grandfather. Cedrenus (p. 570-573 [ii. p. 209 sqq., ed. B.]) is without their passions or their knowledge.


[In regard to this campaign of Basil (in 871 or 872) it was generally supposed that he crossed the Euphrates, as the Continuator of Theophanes states (p. 269). But Mr. J. G. C. Anderson has shown that this must be a mistake and that the scene of the whole campaign was west of the Euphrates (Classical Review, April, 1896, p. 139). Basil’s object (after his failure at Tephrice) was to capture Melitene, the chief Saracen stronghold of the Cis-Euphratesian territory in Asia Minor. Theoph. Contin. ib.]


Συναπεμαράνθη πα̑σα ἡ ἀνθου̑σα τη̑ς Τεϕρικη̑ς εὐανδρία [p. 212]. How elegant is the Greek tongue, even in the mouth of Cedrenus! [Cp. George Mon. p 841, ed. Bonn.]


Copronymus transported his συγγενει̑ς, heretics; and thus ἐπλατύνθη ἡ αἴρεσις Παυλικιανω̑ν, says Cedrenus (p. 463 [ii. p. 10]), who has copied the annals of Theophanes. [Sub a.m. 6247.]


Petrus Siculus, who resided nine months at Tephrice (ad 870) for the ransom of captives (p. 764), was informed of their intended mission, and addressed his preservative, the Historia Manichæorum, to the new archbishop of the Bulgarians (p. 754 [p. 1241, ed. Migne]). [For Petrus Siculus, cp. Appendix 1.]


The colony of Paulicians and Jacobites, transplanted by John Zimisces (ad 970) from Armenia to Thrace, is mentioned by Zonaras (tom. ii. l. xvii. p. 209 [c. 1]) and Anna Comnena (Alexiad, l. xiv. p. 450, &c. [c. 8]). [This colonisation must have taken place after the conquest of Eastern Bulgaria and the war with Sviatoslav; and therefore not before ad 973. Cp. Schlumberger, L’épopée byzantine, p. 181. Scylitzes (= Cedrenus ii. p. 382) says that it was Thomas, Patriarch of Antioch, who suggested the transplantation. He realised that in the Eastern provinces the Paulicians were dangerous allies of the Saracens.]


The Alexiad of Anna Comnena (l. v. p. 131 [c. 3], l. vi. p. 154, 155 [c. 2], l. xiv. p. 450-457 [c. 8, 9], with the annotations of Ducange) records the transactions of her apostolic father with the Manichæans, whose abominable heresy she was desirous of refuting.


Basil, a monk, and the author of the Bogomiles, a sect of Gnostics, who soon vanished (Anna Comnena, Alexiad, l. xv. p. 486-494 [c. 8, 9, 10]; Mosheim, Hist. Ecclesiastica, p. 420). [This Basil was not “the author of the Bogomils.” Bogomil is the Slavonic equivalent of the Greek name Theophilos; and Bogomil, who founded the sect, lived in the tenth century under the Bulgarian prince Peter (regn. 927-969). There arose soon two Bogomil churches: the Bulgarian, and that of the Dragoviči; and from these two all the other later developments started. Rački seeks the name of the second church among the Macedonian Dragoviči on the Vardar; while Golubinski identifies them with Dragoviči in the neighbourhood of Philippopolis. See Jireček, Gesch. der Bulgaren, p. 176. For the Bogomilian doctrines, see Appendix 1.]


Matt. Paris, Hist. Major, p. 267. This passage of our English historian is alleged by Ducange in an excellent note on Villehardouin (No. 208), who found the Paulicians at Philippopolis the friends of the Bulgarians.


See Marsigli, Stato Militare dell’ Impero Ottomano, p. 24.


The introduction of the Paulicians into Italy and France is amply discussed by Muratori (Antiquitat. Italiæ medii Ævi, tom. v. dissert. lx. p. 81-152) and Mosheim (p. 379-382, 419-422). Yet both have overlooked a curious passage of William the Apulian, who clearly describes them in a battle between the Greeks and Normans, ad 1040 (in Muratori, Script. Rerum Ital. tom. v. p. 256).

  • Cum Græcis aderant quidam quos pessimus error
  • Fecerat amentes, et ab ipso nomen habebant.

But he is so ignorant of their doctrine as to make them a kind of Sabellians or Patripassians. [It is thought that the Bogomilian doctrine travelled westward chiefly by the provinces of southern Italy; Jireček, op. cit. p. 212.]


Bulgari, Boulgres, Bougres, a national appellation, has been applied by the French as a term of reproach to usurers and unnatural sinners. The Paterini, or Patelini, has been made to signify a smooth and flattering hypocrite, such as l’Avocat Patelin of that original and pleasant farce (Ducange, Gloss. Latinitat. medii et infimi Ævi). [The word is said to be derived from Pataria, a suburb of Milan.] The Manichæans were likewise named Cathari, or the pure, by corruption, Gazari, &c.


Of the laws, crusade, and persecution against the Albigeois, a just, though general, idea is expressed by Mosheim (p. 477-481). The detail may be found in the ecclesiastical historians, ancient and modern, Catholics and Protestants; and among these Fleury is the most impartial and moderate. [C. Schmidt, Histoire et doctrine de la secte des Cathares, 2 vols., 1849. Rački, Bogomili i Catareni, Agram, 1869. These sectaries begin to appear in southern Gaul about ad 1017. Their chief seat was Toulouse; they were called Albigeois from the town of Albi, and Tisserands because many weavers embraoed the doctrine. For the Ritual of the Albigeois, preserved in a Lyons MS., see Conybeare, Key of Truth, App. vi. Cp. below, Appendix 1.]


The Acts (Liber Sententiarum) of the Inquisition of Toulouse (ad 1307-1323) have been published by Limborch (Amstelodami, 1692), with a previous History of the Inquisition in general. They deserved a more learned and critical editor. As we must not calumniate even Satan, or the Holy Office, I will observe that, of a list of criminals which fills nineteen folio pages, only fifteen men and four women were delivered to the secular arm. [In an annotation on this note Dr. Smith says: “Dr. Maitland, in his Facts and Documents Relating to the Ancient Albigenses and Waldenses, remarks (p. 217, note) that Gibbon ought to have said thirty-two men and eight women.”]


The opinions and proceedings of the reformers are exposed in the second part of the general history of Mosheim; but the balance, which he has held with so clear an eye, and so steady an hand, begins to incline in favour of his Lutheran brethren.


Under Edward VI. our reformation was more bold and perfect: but in the fundamental articles of the church of England a strong and explicit declaration against the real presence was obliterated in the original copy, to please the people, or the Lutherans, or Queen Elizabeth (Burnet’s History of the Reformation, vol. ii. p. 82, 128, 302).


“Had it not been for such men as Luther and myself,” said the fanatic Whiston to Halley the philosopher, “you would now be kneeling before an image of St. Winifred.”


The article of Servet in the Dictionnaire Critique of Chauffepié is the best account which I have seen of this shameful transaction. See likewise the Abbé d’Artigny, Nouveaux Mémoires d’Histoire, &c., ii. p. 55-154. [The remarkable theological heresies of Servet were as obnoxious to the Protestants as to the Catholics. For an account of his system see H. Tollin’s Das Lehrsystem Michael Servets, in 3 vols. (1876-8). The documents of the trial of Servet may be conveniently consulted in the edition of Calvin’s works by Baum, Cunitz, and Reuss, vol. 8. There is a good account of the transaction in Roget’s Histoire du peuple de Genève, vol. 4 (1877).]


I am more deeply scandalised at the single execution of Servetus, than at the hecatombs which have blazed in the Auto da Fès of Spain and Portugal. 1. The zeal of Calvin seems to have been envenomed by personal malice, and perhaps envy. He accused his adversary before their common enemies, the judges of Vienna, and betrayed, for his destruction, the sacred trust of a private correspondence. 2. The deed of cruelty was not varnished by the pretence of danger to the church or state. In his passage through Geneva, Servetus was an harmless stranger, who neither preached, nor printed, nor made proselytes. 3. A Catholic inquisitor yields the same obedience which he requires, but Calvin violated the golden rule of doing as he would be done by: a rule which I read in a moral treatise of Isocrates (in Nicole, tom. i. p. 93, edit. Battie), four hundred years before the publication of the gospel. Ἃ πάσχοντες ὑϕ’ ἐτέρων ὀργίζεσθε, ταυ̑τα τοι̑ς ἄλλοις μὴ ποιει̑τε. [The part taken by Calvin in the transaction seems to have been chiefly the furnishing of the documents on which Servetus was condemned.]


See Burnet, vol. ii. p. 84-86. The sense and humanity of the young king were oppressed by the authority of the primate.


Erasmus may be considered as the father of rational theology. After a slumber of an hundred years, it was revived by the Arminians of Holland, Grotius, Limborch, and Le Clerc; in England by Chillingworth, the latitudinarians of Cambridge (Burnet, Hist. of own Times, vol. i. p. 261-268, octavo edition), Tillotson, Clarke, Hoadley, &c.


I am sorry to observe that the three writers of the last age, by whom the rights of toleration have been so nobly defended, Bayle, Leibnitz, and Locke, are all laymen and philosophers.


See the excellent chapter of Sir William Temple on the Religion of the United Provinces. I am not satisfied with Grotius (de Rebus Belgicis, Annal. l. i. p. 13, 14, edit. in 12mo), who improves the Imperial laws of persecution, and only condemns the bloody tribunal of the inquisition.


Sir Walter Blackstone (Commentaries, vol. iv. p. 33, 54) explains the law of England as it was fixed at the Revolution. The exceptions of Papists, and of those who deny the Trinity, would still leave a tolerable scope for persecution, if the national spirit were not more effectual than an hundred statutes.


I shall recommend to public animadversion two passages in Dr. Priestly, which betray the ultimate tendency of his opinions. At the first of these (Hist. of the Corruptions of Christianity, vol. i. p. 275, 276) the priest, at the second (vol. ii. p. 484) the magistrate, may tremble!


All the passages of the Byzantine history which relate to the Barbarians are compiled, methodised, and transcribed, in a Latin version, by the laborious John Gotthelf Stritter, in his “Memoriæ Populorum ad Danubium, Pontum Euxinum, Paludem Mæotidem, Caucasum, Mare Caspium, et inde magis ad Septemtriones incolentium.” Petropoli, 1771-1779; in four tomes, or six volumes, in 4to. But the fashion has not enhanced the price of these raw materials.


[Above] Hist. vol. vi. p. 308-9.


[The Bulgarians continued to live north of the Danube and formed part of the Avar empire in the latter half of the sixth century. They appear as the subjects of the Chagan in Theophylactus Simocatta.]


Theophanes, p. 296-299 [sub a.m. 6171]. Anastasius, p. 113 [p. 225 sqq. ed. de Boor]. Nicephorus, C.P. p. 22, 23 [p. 33, 34, ed. de Boor]. Theophanes places the old Bulgaria on the banks of the Atell or Volga [old Bulgaria lay between the rivers Volga and Kama. There is still a village called Bolgary in the province of Kazan]; but he deprives himself of all geographical credit by discharging that river into the Euxine sea. [For the legend of King Krovat’s sons see Appendix 2.]


Paul. Diacon. de Gestis Langobard. l. v. c. 29, p. 881, 882. The apparent difference between the Lombard historian and the above-mentioned Greeks is easily reconciled by Camillo Pellegrino (de Ducatu Beneventano, dissert. vii. in the Scriptores Rerum Ital. tom. v. p. 186, 187) and Beretti (Chorograph. Italiæ medii Ævi, p. 273, &c.). This Bulgarian colony was planted in a vacant district of Samnium [at Bovianum, Sergna, and Sipicciano], and learned the Latin, without forgetting their native, language.


These provinces of the Greek idiom and empire are assigned to the Bulgarian kingdom in the dispute of ecclesiastical jurisdiction between the patriarchs of Rome and Constantinople (Baronius, Annal. Eccles. ad 869, No. 75).


The situation and royalty of Lychnidus, or Achrida, are clearly expressed in Cedrenus (p. 713 [ii. p. 468, ed. B.]). The removal of an archbishop or patriarch from Justinianea prima, to Lychnidus, and at length to Ternovo, has produced some perplexity in the ideas or language of the Greeks (Nicephorus Gregoras, l. ii. c. 2, p. 14, 15; Thomassin, Discipline de l’Eglise, tom. i. l. i. c. 19, 23); and a Frenchman (d’Anville) is more accurately skilled in the geography of their own country (Hist. de l’Académie des Inscriptions, tom. xxxi.)


Chalcocondyles, a competent judge, affirms the identity of the language of the Dalmatians, Bosnians, Servians, Bulgarians, Poles (de Rebus Turcicis, l. x. p. 283 [p. 530, ed. Bonn.]), and elsewhere of the Bohemians (l. ii. p. 38 [p. 73, ib.]). The same author has marked the separate idiom of the Hungarians. [The Bulgarian conquerors adopted the language of their Slavonic subjects, but they were not Slavs. See Appendix 2.]


See the work of John Christopher de Jordan, de Originibus Sclavicis, Vindobonæ, 1745, in four parts, or two volumes in folio. His collections and researches are useful to elucidate the antiquities of Bohemia and the adjacent countries: but his plan is narrow, his style barbarous, his criticism shallow, and the Aulic counsellor is not free from the prejudices of a Bohemian. [The statement in the text can partly stand, if it is understood that “kindred bands” means kindred to the Slavs who formed the chief population of the Bulgarian Kingdom — not to the Bulgarian conquerors. The Servians, Croatians, &c. were Slavs. But in no case does it apply to the Walachians, who ethnically were probably Illyrians — descended at least from those people who inhabited Dacia and Illyricum, before the coming of the Slavs. There was a strong Walachian population in the Bulgarian kingdom which extended north of the Danube (see Appendix 11); and it has been conjectured that the Walachians even gave the Bulgarians a king — Sabinos, a name of Latin sound. But this seems highly doubtful; and compare Appendix 3.]


Jordan subscribes to the well-known and probable derivation from Slava, laus, gloria, a word of familiar use in the different dialects and parts of speech, and which forms the termination of the most illustrious names (de Originibus Sclavicis, pars i. p. 40, pars iv. p. 101, 102). [This derivation has been generally abandoned, and is obviously unlikely. Another, which received the approbation of many, explained the name Slovanie (sing. Slovanjn) from slovo, “a word,” in the sense of ὁμόγλωττοι, people who speak one language — opposed to Niemi, “the dumb” (non-Slavs, Germans). But this too sounds improbable, and has been rightly rejected by Schafarik, who investigates the name at great length (Slawische Alterthümer, ii. p. 25 sqq.). The original form of the name was Slované or Slovené. The form “Sclavonian,” which is still often used in English books, ought to be discarded (as Gibbon suggests); the guttural does not belong to the word, but was inserted by the Greeks, Latins, and Orientals (Σκλάβος, Sclavus, Saklab, Sakalibé, &c.). By the analogy of other names similarly formed, Schafarik shows convincingly that the name was originally local, meaning “the folk who dwelled in Slovy,” cp. p. 43-45. The discovery of this hypothetical Slovy is another question. In the Chronicle of Nestor, Slovene is used in the special sense of a tribe about Novgorod, as well as in the general sense of Slav.]


This conversion of a national into an appellative name appears to have arisen in the viiith century, in the Oriental France [i.e. East Francia, or Franconia: towards the end of the eighth century, cp. Schafarik, op. cit. ii. p. 325-6]; where the princes and bishops were rich in Sclavonian captives, not of the Bohemian (exclaims Jordan) but of Sorabian race. From thence the word was extended to general use, to the modern languages, and even to the style of the last Byzantines (see the Greek and Latin Glossaries of Ducange). The confusion of the Σέρβλοι, or Servians, with the Latin Servi was still more fortunate and familiar (Constant. Porphyr. de Administrando Imperio, c. 32, p. 99). [Serb is supposed to have been the oldest national name of the Slavs, on the evidence of Procopius (B.G. iii. 14), who says that the Slavs and Antæ had originally one name, Σπόροι, which is frequently explained as = Srbs. Schafarik, op. cit. i. p. 93-99.]


The emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus, most accurate for his own times, most fabulous for preceding ages, describes the Sclavonians of Dalmatia (c. 29-36).


See the anonymous Chronicle of the xith century, ascribed to John Sagorninus (p. 94-102), and that composed in the xivth by the Doge Andrew Dandolo (Script. Rerum Ital. tom. xii. p. 227-230): the two oldest monuments of the history of Venice.


The first kingdom of the Bulgarians may be found, under the proper dates, in the Annals of Cedrenus and Zonaras. The Byzantine materials are collected by Stritter (Memoriæ Populorum, tom. ii. pars ii. p. 441-647), and the series of their kings is disposed and settled by Ducange (Fam. Byzant. p. 305-318). [For an ancient Bulgarian list of the early Bulgarian kings see Appendix 3. For the migration and establishment south of the Danube, and extent of the kingdom, cp. Appendix 2.]


[In the year after his victory over Nicephorus, the Bulgarian prince Krum or Krumn captured the towns of Mesembria and Develtus, and in the following year inflicted a crushing defeat on Michael I. at Versinicia near Hadrianople (June, 813) and proceeded to besiege Constantinople. He retired having devastated the country, but prepared to besiege the capital again in 815. His death was a relief to the Emperor Leo V. (see above, vol. viii. p. 246), who then took the field and gained at Mesembria a bloody victory over the Bulgarians. The prince Giom Omortag, who came to the throne about 817 or 818, made a treaty withLeo for 30 years; and peace was maintained for more than 75 years, till the accession of Simeon. Omortag is called Mortagon by the Greek chroniclers, and Ombritag by Theophylactus of Ochrida; but the right form of the name is furnished by his own curious inscription which was discovered at Trnovo (see Appendix 4). Omortag had three sons, and it is to be noticed that all three had Slavonic names; this marks a stage in the growth of Slavonic influence in the kingdom. The youngest, Malomir, came to the throne. He was succeeded by his nephew Boris (circa ad 852-888), whose reign is memorable for the conversion of Bulgaria to Christianity (see Appendix 6).]


Simeonem [emi-argon, id est] semi-Græcum esse aiebant, eo quod a pueritiâ Byzantii Demosthenis rhetoricam et Aristotelis syllogismos didicerat [leg. didicerit] (Liutprand, l. iii. c. 8 [= c. 29]). He says in another place, Simeon, fortis, bellator, Bulgariæ [leg. Bulgariis] præerat; Christianus sed vicinis Græcis valde inimicus (l. i. c. 2 [= c. 5]). [It is important to notice that native Slavonic literature flourished under Simeon — the result of the invention of Slavonic alphabets (see Appendix 6). Simeon himself — anticipating Constantine Porphyrogennetos — instituted the compilation of a Sbornik or encyclopædia (theological, philosophical, historical), extracted from 20 Greek writers. The Presbyter Grigori translated the chronicle of John Malalas into Slavonic. John the Exarch wrote a Shestodnev (Hexaemeron), an account of the Creation. The monk Chrabr wrote a valuable little treatise on the invention of the Cyrillic alphabet (cp. Appendix 6); and other works (chiefly theological) of the same period are extant.]


[Simeon came to the throne in 893, and died May 27, 927.]


[That is, Servia in the strict sense, excluding the independent Servian principalities of Zachlumia, Trevunia, Diocletia, as well as the Narentans. See Const. Porph., De Adm. Imp., chaps. 32-36. The boundary of Bulgaria against Servia in Simeon’s time seems to have followed the Drin; it left Belgrade, Prishtina, Nitzch, and Lipljan in Bulgaria.]

  • — Rigidum fera dextera cornu
  • Dum tenet, infregit truncâque a fronte revellit.

Ovid (Metamorph. ix. 1-100) has boldly painted the combat of the river-god and the hero; the native and the stranger. [The battle was fought near Anchialos in Bulgaria (Leo Diac. p. 124). There was a river named Achelous in the neighbourhood (Theoph. Contin. p. 389; cp. Pseudo-Sym. Mag. p. 724), and the name misled Gibbon. Cp. Finlay, ii. p. 288 note.]


[The peace was concluded after Simeon’s death in ad 927. Th. Uspenski has published (in the Lietopis ist. phil. obschestva, of the Odessa University. Viz. Otd. ii., 1894, p. 48 sqq.) a curious jubilant sermon preached at Constantinople on the occasion of the conclusion of the peace. It presents great difficulties, owing to the allusiveness of its style, which has been ingeniously discussed by Uspenski, who is tempted to identify the anonymous author with Nicolaus Mysticus, the Patriarch, a correspondent of the Tsar Simeon. But chronology seems to exclude this supposition; for Nicolaus died in 925; and, though the preliminaries to the peace may have occupied a considerable time, the sermon must have been composed after the death of Simeon in 927 (as M. Uspenski seems to forget in his concluding remarks, p. 123).]


The ambassador of Otho was provoked by the Greek excesses, cum Christophori filiam Petrus Bulgarorum Vasileus conjugem duceret, Symphona, id est consonantia, scripto [al. consonantia scripta]. juramento firmata sunt, ut omnium gentium Apostolis, id est nunciis, penes nos Bulgarorum Apostoli præponantur, honorentur, diligantur (Liutprand in Legatione, p. 482 [c. 19]). See the Ceremoniale of Constantine of Porphyrogenitus, tom. i. p. 82 [c. 24, p. 139, ed. Bonn], tom. ii. p. 429, 430, 434, 435, 443, 444, 446, 447 [c. 52, p. 740, 742, 743, 749, 751, 767, 771, 772, 773], with the annotations of Reiske. [Bulgarian rulers before Simeon were content with the title Knez. Simeon first assumed the title tsar (from tsesar, ts’sar; = Cæsar). It may have been remembered that Terbel had been made a Cæsar by Justinian II. (Nicephorus, p. 42, ed. de Boor). The Archbishopric of Bulgaria was raised to the dignity of a Patriarchate. Simeon’s residence was Great Peristhlava; see below, p. 66, note 90.]


[In ad 963 Shishman of Trnovo revolted, and founded an independent kingdom in Macedonia and Albania. Thus there were now two Bulgarian kingdoms and two tsars.]


[The kingdom of Eastern Bulgaria had been conquered first by the Russians and then by the Emperor Tzimisces (see below, p. 67), but Western Bulgaria survived, and before 980, Samuel, son of Shishman, came to the throne. His capital was at first Prespa, but he afterwards moved to Ochrida. His aim was to recover Eastern Bulgaria and conquer Greece; and for thirty-five years he maintained a heroic struggle against the Empire. Both he and his great adversary Basil were men of iron, brave, cruel, and unscrupulous; and Basil was determined not merely to save Eastern, but to conquer Western, Bulgaria. In the first war (976-986) the Bulgarians were successful. Samuel pushed southward and, after repeated attempts which were repulsed, captured Larissa in Thessaly and pushed on to the Isthmus. This was in ad 986. To cause a diversion and relieve Greece, Basil marched on Sophia, but was caught in a trap, and having endured immense losses escaped with difficulty. After this defeat Eastern Bulgaria was lost to the Empire. (The true date of the capture of Larissa and the defeat of Basil, ad 986, has been established, against the old date 981, by the evidence of the Strategikon of Kekaumenos, — for which see above, vol. viii. p. 407. Cp. Schlumberger, L’épopée Byzantine, p. 636. On this first Bulgarian war, see also the Vita Niconis, ap. Martène et Durand, ampl. Coll. 6, 837 sqq.; and a contemporary poem of John Geometres, Migne, P.G. vol. 106, p. 934, and cp. p. 920, a piece on the Cometopulos, i.e. Samuel, with a pun on κομήτης, “comet.”) There was a cessation of hostilities for ten years. The second war broke out in ad 996. Samuel invaded Greece, but returning he was met by a Greek army in the plain of the Spercheios, north of Thermopylæ, and his whole host was destroyed in a night surprise. In ad 1000 Basil recovered Eastern Bulgaria, and in the following year South-western Macedonia (Vodena, Berrœa). Again hostilities languished for over ten years;Basil was occupied in the East. In ad 1014, the third war began; on July 29 Nicephorus Xiphias gained a brilliant victory over the Bulgarian army at Bielasica (somewhere in the neighbourhood of the river Strumica); Samuel escaped to Prilêp, but died six weeks later. The struggle was sustained weakly under Gabriel Roman (Samuel’s son) and John Vladislav, his murderer and successor, last Tsar of Ochrida, who fell, besieging Durazzo, in 1018. The Bulgarians submitted, and the whole Balkan Peninsula was once more imperial. If Samuel had been matched with a less able antagonist than Basil, he would have succeeded in effecting what was doubtless his great aim, the union of all the Slavs south of the Danube into a great empire. For a fuller account of these wars see Finaly, vol. ii.; and for the first war, Schlumberger, op. cit., chap. x. Jireček, Gesch. der Bulgaren, p. 192-8, is remarkably brief. There is a fuller study of the struggle by Rački in the Croatian tongue (1875).]


A bishop of Wurtzburg [leg. Verdun] submitted this opinion to a reverend abbot; but he more gravely decided that Gog and Magog were the spiritual persecutors of the church; since Gog signifies the roof, the pride of the Heresiarchs, and Magog what comes from the roof, the propagation of their sects. Yet these men once commanded the respect of mankind (Fleury, Hist. Eccles. tom. xi. p. 594, &c.).


The two national authors, from whom I have derived the most assistance, are George Pray (Dissertationes ad Annales veterum Hungarorum, &c., Vindobonæ, 1775, in folio) and Stephen Katona (Hist. Critica Ducum et Regum Hungariæ stirpis Arpadianæ, Pæstini, 1778-1781, 5 vols. in octavo). The first embraces a large and often conjectural space; the latter, by his learning, judgment, and perspicuity, deserves the name of a critical historian.


The author of this Chronicle is styled the notary of King Béla. Katona has assigned him to the twelfth century, and defends his character against the hypercriticism of Pray. This rude annalist must have transcribed some historical records, since he could affirm with dignity, rejectis falsis fabulis rusticorum, et garrulo cantu joculatorum. In the xvth century, these fables were collected by Thurotzius, and embellished by the Italian Bonfinius. See the Preliminary Discourse in the Hist. Critica Ducum, p. 7-33. [Cp. Appendix 7.]


See Constantine de Administrando Imperio, c. 3, 4, 13, 38-42. Katona has nicely fixed the composition of this work to the years 949, 950, 951 (p. 4-7). [Cp. vol. ix App. 9.] The critical historian (p. 34-107) endeavours to prove the existence, and to relate the actions, of a first duke Almus, the father of Arpad, who is tacitly rejected by Constantine. [Constantine, c. 38, says that Arpad was elected chief, and not his father Salmutzes (Almos).]


Pray (Dissert. p. 37-39, &c.) produces and illustrates the original passages of the Hungarian missionaries, Bonfinius and Æneas Silvius.


[Cp. Appendix 7.]


[Voivods, “war-leaders,” a Slavonic word. Cp. Appendix 7.]


Fischer, in the Quæstiones Petropolitanæ de Origine Ungrorum, and Pray, Dissertat. i. ii. iii. &c., have drawn up several comparative tables of the Hungarian with the Fennic dialects. The affinity is indeed striking, but the lists are short; the words are purposely chosen; and I read in the learned Bayer (Comment. Academ. Betropol. tom. x. p. 374) that, although the Hungarian has adopted many Fennic words (innumeras voces), it essentially differs toto genio et naturâ. [Cp. Appendix 7.]


In the region of Turfan, which is clearly and minutely described by the Chinese geographers (Gaubil, Hist. du Grand Gengiscan, p. 13; De Guignes, Hist. des Huns, tom. ii. p. 31, &c.).


Hist. Généalogique des Tartars, par Abulghazi Bahadur Khan, partie ii. p. 90-98.


In their journey to Pekin, both Isbrand Ives (Harris’s Collection of Voyages and Travels, vol. ii. p. 920, 921) and Bell (Travels, vol. i. p. 174) found the Vogulitz in the neighbourhood of Tobolsky. By the tortures of the etymological art, Ugur and Vogul are reduced to the same name; the circumjacent mountains really bear the appellation of Ugrian; and of all the Fennic dialects the Vogulian is the nearest to the Hungarian (Fischer, Dissert. i. p. 20-30. Pray, Dissert. ii. p. 31-34). [It is quite true that the Vogulian comes closest to the Hungarian.]


The eight tribes of the Fennic race are described in the curious work of M. Levesque (Hist. des Peuples soumis à la Domination de la Russie, tom. i. p. 361-561).


This picture of the Hungarians and Bulgarians is chiefly drawn from the Tactics of Leo, p. 796-801 [c. 18], and the Latin Annals, which are alleged by Baronius, Pagi, and Muratori, ad 889, &c.


Buffon, Hist. Naturelle, tom. v. p. 6, in 12mo. Gustavus Adolphus attempted, without success, to form a regiment of Laplanders. Grotius says of these Arctic tribes, arma arcus et pharetra, sed adversus feras (Annal. l. iv. p. 236); and attempts, after the manner of Tacitus, to varnish with philosophy their brutal ignorance.


Leo has observed that the government of the Turks was monarchical, and that their punishments were rigorous (Tactics, p. 896 [18, § 46], ἁπηνει̑ς καὶ βαρείας). Regino (in Chron. ad 889) mentions theft as a capital crime, and his jurisprudence is confirmed by the original code of St. Stephen (ad 1016). If a slave were guilty, he was chastised, for the first time, with the loss of his nose, or a fine of five heifers; for the second, with the loss of his ears, or a similar fine; for the third, with death; which the freeman did not incur till the fourth offence, as his first penalty was the loss of liberty (Katona, Hist. Regum Hungar. tom. i. p. 231, 232).


See Katona, Hist. Ducum Hungar. p. 321-352. [One of the most important consequences of the Hungarian invasion and final settlement in these regions was the permanent separation of the Northern from the Southern Slavs. In the eighth and ninth centuries the Slavs formed an unbroken line from the Baltic to the Cretan sea. This line was broken by the Magyar wedge.]


[In the latter part of the ninth century, Moravia under Sviatopolk or Svatopluk was a great power, the most formidable neighbour of the Western Empire. It looked as if he were going to found a great Slavonic empire. For the adoption of the Christian faith see Appendix 6. He died in 894, and under his incompetent son the power of Great Moravia declined, and was blotted out from the number of independent states by the Hungarians about ad 906. The annihilation of Moravia might be a relief to the Franks who had originally (before Svatopluk’s death) called in the Magyars against the Moravians, but they found — at least for some time to come — more terrible foes in the Magyars.]


Hungarorum gens, cujus omnes fere nationes expertæ [sunt] sævitiam, &c., is the preface of Liutprand (l. i. c. 2 [= c. 5]), who frequently expatiates on the calamities of his own times. See l. i. c. 5 [= c. 13]; l. ii. c. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 [= c. 2-5, 8 sqq. 21]; l. iii. c. 1, &c.; l. v. c. 8 [= c. 19], 15 [= c. 33], in Legat. p. 485 [c. 45]. His colours are glaring, but his chronology must be rectified by Pagi and Muratori. [For these early invasions of the Western Empire by the Hungarians see E. Dümmler, Geschichte des ostfränkischen Reichs, ii. 437 sqq., 543 sqq. The terrible defeat of the Bavarians under Margrave Liutpold took place on July 5, 907.]


The three bloody reigns of Arpad, Zoltan, and Toxus are critically illustrated by Katona (Hist. Ducum, &c. p. 107-499). His diligence has searched both natives and foreigners; yet to the deeds of mischief, or glory, I have been able to add the destruction of Bremen (Adam Bremensis, i. 43 [leg. 54]).


Muratori has considered with patriotic care the danger and resources of Modena. The citizens besought St. Geminianus, their patron, to avert, by his intercession, the rabies, flagellum, &c.

  • Nunc te rogamus, licet servi pessimi,
  • Ab Ungerorum nos defendas jaculis.

The bishop erected walls for the public defence, not contra dominos serenos (Antiquitat. Ital. med. Ævi, tom. i. dissertat. i. p. 21, 22), and the song of the nightly watch is not without elegance or use (tom. iii. diss. xl. p. 709). The Italian annalist has accurately traced the series of their inroads (Annali d’Italia, tom. vii. p. 365, 367, 393, 401, 437, 440; tom. viii. p. 19, 41, 52, &c.).


Both the Hungarian and Russian annals suppose that they besieged, or attacked, or insulted Constantinople (Pray, Dissertat. x. p. 239; Katona, Hist. Ducum, p. 354-360), and the fact is almost confessed by the Byzantine historians (Leo Grammaticus, p. 506 [p. 322, ed. Bonn]; Cedrenus, tom. ii. p. 629 [ii. p. 316, ed. Bonn]), yet, however glorious to the nation, it is denied or doubted by the critical historian, and even by the notary of Béla. Their scepticism is meritorious; they could not safely transcribe or believe the rusticorum fabulas; but Katona might have given due attention to the evidence of Liutprand; Bulgarorum gentem atque Grascorum tributariam fecerant (Hist. l. ii. c. 4, p. 435 [= c. 7]).

  • — λέονθ’ ὤς δηρινθήτην,
  • Ὥτ’ ὄρεος κορυϕῃ̑σι περὶ κταμένης ἐλάϕοιο
  • Ἄμϕω πεινάοντε μέγα ϕρονέοντε μάχεσθον.
  • [Il. 16, 756.]

They are amply and critically discussed by Katona (Hist. Ducum, p. 360-368, 427-470). Liutprand (l. ii. c. 8, 9 [= c. 24-31]) is the best evidence for the former, and Witichind (Annal. Saxon. l. iii. [c. 34-49]) of the latter; but the critical historian will not even overlook the horn of a warrior, which is said to be preserved at Jazberin.


Hunc vero triumphum, tam laude quam memoriâ dignum, ad Meresburgum rex in superiori cœnaculo domus per ζωγραϕίαν, id est, picturam, notari [leg. notare] præcepit, adeo ut rem veram potius quam verisimilem videas: an high encomium (Liutprand, l. ii. c. 9 [= c. 31]). Another palace in Germany had been painted with holy subjects by the order of Charlemagne; and Muratori may justly affirm, nulla sæcula fuere in quibus pictores desiderati fuerint (Antiquitat. Ital. medii Ævi, tom. ii. dissert. xxiv. p. 360, 361). Our domestic claims to antiquity of ignorance and original imperfection (Mr. Walpole’s lively words) are of a much more recent date (Anecdotes of Painting, vol. i. p. 2, &c.). [This victory is commonly called the battle of Merseburg; but it was fought at Riada (according to Widukind, i. 38, who in such a matter is the best authority), and Riada probably corresponds to Rietheburg, where the streams of the Unstrut and Helme meet. The event should be called the battle of Riada. The Italian Liutprand who names Merseburg is not such a good witness as the Saxon historian.]


[Giesebrecht has made it probable that by legion Widukind (iii. 44) meant a company of 1000 men. Gesch. der deutschen Kaiserzeit, i. p. 831.]


See Baronius, Annal. Eccles. ad 929, No. 2-5. The lance of Christ is taken from the best evidence, Liutprand (l. iv. c. 12 [= c. 25]), Sigebert, and the acts of St. Gerard; but the other military relics depend on the faith of the Gesta Anglorum post Bedam, l. ii. c. 8.


[The best account of the battle is in Widukind. The other sources are Annales Sangallenses majores; Flodoard; Continuator Reginonis; Ruotger; and a later but noteworthy account in the Vita Udalrici by Gerhard. See E. Dümmler, Kaiser Otto der Grosse (in the Jahrbb. der deutschen Geschichte), 1876(p. 256 sqq.), and Giesebrecht, op. cit. (p. 418 sqq.), for details of the battle.]


Katona, Hist. Ducum Hungariæ, p. 500, &c.


Among these colonies we may distinguish, 1. The Chazars, or Cabari, who joined the Hungarians on their march (Constant. de Admin. Imp. c. 39, 40, p. 108, 109). [The name of the Kabars, a Khazar people, survives in the name of the two Kabar-dahs (Kabar-hills).] 2. The Jazyges, Moravians, and Siculi, whom they found in the land; the last were [according to Simon de Kéza, c. 4] perhaps a remnant of the Huns of Attila, and were entrusted with the guard of the borders. [Siculus (Zaculus in Simon de Kéza) is the equivalent, in chroniclers’ Latin, of Székely (plural, Székelyek), which is generally derived from szék, seat, abode. Hunfalvy (Magyarország Ethnographiája, p. 302) explains the word as “beyond the habitations,” a name which might be applied to people of a march district. The word would thus be formed like Erdély (= Erdö-elv, beyond the forest), the Hungarian name of Transylvania. Their German neighbours call the Székelyek Szeklers.] 3. The Russians, who, like the Swiss in France, imparted a general name to the royal porters. 4. The Bulgarians, whose chiefs (ad 956) were invited, cum magnâ multitudine Hismahelitarum. Had any of these Sclavonians embraced the Mahometan religion? 5. The Bisseni and Cumans, a mixed Multitude of Patzinacites, Uzi, Chazars, &c. who had spread to the lower Danube. [Bisseni = Patzinaks; Cumans = Uzi.] The last colony of 40,000 Cumans, ad 1239, was received and converted by the kings of Hungary, who derived from that tribe a new regal appellation (Pray, Dissert. vi. vii. p. 109-173; Katona, Hist. Ducum, p. 95-99, 252-264, 476, 479-483, &c.).


Christiani autem, quorum pars major populi est, qui ex omni parte mundi illuc tracti sunt captivi, &c. Such was the language of Piligrinus, the first missionary who entered Hungary, ad 973. Pars major is strong. Hist. Ducum, p. 517.


The fideles Teutonici of Geisa are authenticated in old charters; and Katona, with his usual industry, has made a fair estimate of these colonies, which had been so loosely magnified by the Italian Ranzanus (Hist. Critic. Ducum, p. 667-681).


Among the Greeks, this national appellation has a singular form Ῥω̑ς, as an undeclinable word, of which many fanciful etymologies have been suggested. [Cp. Appendix 8.] I have perused, with pleasure and profit, a dissertation de Origine Russorum (Comment. Academ. Petropolitanæ, tom. viii. p. 388-436) by Theophilus Sigefrid Bayer, a learned German, who spent his life and labours in the service of Russia. A geographical tract of d’Anville, de l’Empire de Russie, son Origine, et ses Accroissemens (Paris, 1772, in 12mo), has likewise been of use.


See the entire passage (dignum, says Bayer, ut aureis in tabulis figatur) in the Annales Bertiniani Francorum (in Script. Ital. Muratori, tom. ii. pars i. p. 525 [Pertz, Mon. i. 434]), ad 839, twenty-two years before the era of Ruric. In the tenth century, Liutprand (Hist. l. v. c. 6 [=c. 15]) speaks of the Russians and Normans as the same Aquilonares homines of a red complexion.


My knowledge of these annals is drawn from M. Levesque, Histoire de Russie. Nestor, the first and best of these ancient annalists, was a monk of Kiow, who died in the beginning of the twelfth century; but his chronicle was obscure, till it was published at Petersburgh, 1767, in 4to. Levesque, Hist. de Russie, tom. i. p. 16. Coxe’s Travels, vol. ii. p. 184. [See vol. ix. Appendix 6.]


Theophil. Sig. Bayer de Varagis (for the name is differently spelt), in Comment. Academ. Petropolitanæ, tom. iv. p. 275-311. [The Varangians, in the proper and original sense of the word, meant the Scandinavians. In the chronicle of Nestor, the Baltic Sea is the sea of the Variazi (c. 4). Endless attempts have been made, chiefly by Russian scholars, to find other identifications (such as Slavs, Khazars, Finns); but all these attempts were eminently unsuccessful. The geographical meaning of Varangia has been brought out most clearly in a passage in the Book of Advice which is annexed to the Strategicon of Cecaumenos (see above, vol. viii. p. 407). In § 246 (p. 97, ed. Vasilievski and Jernstedt) Harold Hardrada is called the “son of the king of Varangia,” i.e. Norway. The formation of the Varangian guard at Constantinople, and the inclusion in it of other Teutons (Danes, English, &c.), led to an extension of the meaning of Varangian from its original limitation to Norwegians or Scandinavians. Schafarik (ii. 72) derives the name from vara, vaere, a compact; the meaning would be fæderati.]


[The name is Scandinavian (old Norse Hraerikr). Riuric founded Novgorod (Nestor, c. 15); died in 879.]


[This refers to the story of Oskold and Dir, boyars of Riuric, and their establishment at Kiev; see Nestor, c. 15, 16, 18. Oleg, who succeeded Riuric at Novgorod, is stated in this chronicle to have marched against Kiev and put Oskold and Dir to death (ad 881). It was doubtless Oleg who united Novgorod and Kiev, but it has been questioned whether Oskold and Dir were real personages. The Arabic writer Masūdī mentions “Dir” as a powerful Slav king.]


Yet, as late as the year 1018, Kiow and Russia were still guarded ex fugitivorum servorum robore confluentium, et maxime Danorum. Bayer, who quotes (p. 292) the Chronicle of Dithmar [Thietmar] of Merseburg, observes that it was unusual for the Germans to enlist in a foreign service.


Ducange has collected from the original authors the state and history of the Varangi at Constantinople (Glossar. Med. et Infimæ Græcitatis, sub voce Βάραγγοι; Med. et Infimæ Latimitatis, sub voce Vagri; Not: ad Alexiad. Annæ Commenæ, p. 256, 257, 258; Notes sur Villehardouin, p. 296-299). See likewise the annotations of Reiske to the Ceremoniale Aulæ Byzant. of Constantine, tom. ii. p. 149, 150. Saxo Grammaticus affirms that they spoke Danish; but Codinus maintains them till the fifteenth century in the use of their native English: Πολυχρονίζουσι οἱ Βάραγγοι κατὰ τὴν πάτριον γλω̑σσαν αὐτω̑ν ἤτοι Ἰγκληνιστί.


The original record of the geography and trade of Russia is produced by the emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus (de Administrat. Imperii, c. 2, p. 55, 56, c. 9, p. 59-61, c. 13, p. 63-67, c. 37, p. 106, c. 42, p. 112, 113), and illustrated by the diligence of Bayer (de Geographiâ Russiæ vicinarumque Regionum circiter a.c. 948, in Comment. Academ. Petropol. tom. ix. p. 367-422, tom. x. p. 371-421), with the aid of the chronicles and traditions of Russia, Scandinavia, &c.


[There were peoples of Finnic race in Livonia and Ingria, between Novgorod and the Baltic; and east of Novgorod the Finnic circle reached down to the Oka, south of Moskowa. The most southerly of these peoples were the Muromians, whose town was Murom; north of these were the Merians, whose town was Rostov; and further north were the Ves, who lived about the White Lake (Bielo-ozero). The Muromians, the Merians, and Ves were in loose subjection to Riuric (Nestor, c. 15).]


The haughty proverb: “Who can resist God and the great Novogorod?” is applied by M. Levesque (Hist. de Russie, tom. i. p. 60) even to the times that preceded the reign of Ruric. In the course of his history he frequently celebrates this republic, which was suppressed ad 1475 (tom. ii. p. 252-266). That accurate traveller, Adam Olearius, describes (in 1635) the remains of Novogorod, and the route by sea and land of the Holstein ambassadors (tom. i. p. 123-129).


In hâc magnâ civitate, quæ est caput regni, plus trecentæ ecclesiæ habentur et nundinæ octo, populi etiam ignota manus (Eggehardus ad ad 1018, apud Bayer, tom. ix. p. 412 [Ekkehardus Uraugiensis, Chronicon, ap. Pertz, Mon. vi.]). He likewise quotes (tom. x. p. 397) the words of the Saxon annalist [Adam of Bremen, ii. c. 19], Cujus (Russiae) metropolis est Chive, æmula sceptri Constantinopolitani quæ est clarissimum decus Græciæ. The fame of Kiow, especially in the xith century, had reached the German and the Arabian geographers.


In Odoræ ostio quâ Scythicas alluit paludes, nobilissima civitas Julinum [leg. Jumne], celeberrimam Barbaris et Græcis qui sunt in circuitu præstans stationem; est sane maxima omnium quas Europa claudit civitatum (Adam Bremensis, Hist. Eccles. p. 19 [ii. 19]). A strange exaggeration even in the xith century. The trade of the Baltic, and the Hanseatic league, are carefully treated in Anderson’s Historical Deduction of Commerce; at least in our language, I am not acquainted with any book so satisfactory. [Jumne lies near Wollin.]


According to Adam of Bremen (de Situ Daniæ, p. 58), the old Curland extended eight days’ journey along the coast; and by Peter Teutoburgicus (p. 68, ad 1326) Memel is defined as the common frontier of Russia, Curland, and Prussia. Aurum ibi plurimum (says Adam) [ . . . ] divinis auguribus atque necromanticis omnes domus sunt plenæ . . . a toto orbe ibi responsa petuntur maxime ab Hispanis (forsan Zupanis, id est regulis Lettoviæ [other conjectures are: Cispanis and his paganis]) et Græcis [c. 16]. The name of Greeks was applied to the Russians even before their conversion: an imperfect conversion, if they still consulted the wizards of Curland (Bayer, tom. x. p. 378, 402, &c.; Grotius, Prolegomen. ad Hist. Goth. p. 99).


Constantine [de adm. Imp. c. 9] only reckons seven cataracts, of which he gives the Russian and Sclavonic names; but thirteen are enumerated by the Sieur de Beauplan, a French engineer, who had surveyed the course and navigation of the Dnieper or Borysthenes (Description de Ukraine, Rouen, 1660, a thin quarto), but the map is unluckily wanting in my copy. [See Appendix 9.]


Nestor apud Levesque, Hist. de Russie, tom. i. p. 78-80 [caps. 21, 22, 27, 35]. From the Dnieper or Borysthenes, the Russians went to Black Bulgaria, Chazaria, and Syria. To Syria, how? where? when? May we not, instead of Συρία, read Συανία? (de Administrat. Imp. c. 42, p. 113). The alteration is slight; the position of Suania, between Chazaria and Lazica, is perfectly suitable; and the name was still used in the xith century (Cedren. tom. ii. p. 770). [Four treaties are cited in the old Russian chronicle: (1) ad 907 (Nestor, c. 21) with Oleg; (2) ad 911 (ib. c. 22) with Oleg; (3) ad 945 (ib. c. 27) with Igor; (4) ad 970 (ib. c. 36) with Sviatoslav. There is no doubt that the texts of the last three treaties inserted by the chronicler are genuine. According to custom, duplicates of the documents in Greek and in the language of the other contracting party were drawn up. These treaties have attracted much attention from Russian scholars. Two investigations deserve special mention: a paper of Sergieevich in the January No. of the Zhurnal Minist. Nar. prosv., 1882, and an article of Dimitriu in Viz. Vremenn. ii. p. 531 sqq. (1893). The transaction of ad 907, before the walls of Constantinople, was merely a convention, not a formal treaty; and Dimitriu shows that the negotiation of ad 911 was doubtless intended to convert the spirit of this convention into an international treaty, signed and sealed. But he also makes it probable that this treaty of ad 911 did not receive its final ratification from Oleg and his boyars, and consequently was not strictly binding. But it proved a basis for the treaty of 945, which was completed with the full diplomatic forms and which refers back to it.]


The wars of the Russians and Greeks in the ixth, xth, and xith centuries are related in the Byzantine Annals, especially those of Zonaras and Cedrenus; and all their testimonies are collected in the Russica of Stritter, tom. ii. pars ii. p. 939-1044.


Προσεταιρισάμενος δὲ καὶ σνμμαχικὸν οὐκ ὀλίγον ἀπὸ τω̑ν κατοικούνγων ἐν τοι̑ς προσαρκτίοις του̑ Ὠκεανου̑ νήσοις ἐθνω̑ν. Cedrenus, in Compend. p. 758 [ii. 551, ed. B.].


See Beauplan (Description de l’Ukraine, p. 54-61). His descriptions are lively, his plans accurate, and, except the circumstance of fire-arms, we may read old Russians for modern Cossacks.


It is to be lamented that Bayer has only given a Dissertation de Russorum primâ Expeditione Constantinopolitanâ (Comment. Academ. Petropol. tom. vi. p. 365-391). After disentangling some chronological intricacies, he fixes it in the years 864 or 865, a date which might have smoothed some doubts and difficulties in the beginning of M. Levesque’s history. [The true date of the Russian attack on Constantinople is given in a short Chronicle first printed by F. Cumont in “Anecdota Bruxellensia I. Chroniques quelques byzantines du Mscr. 11376”; and has been established demonstratively by C. de Boor (Byz. Zeitsch. iv. p. 445 sqq.). It is June 18, 860; the old date 865 or 866 was derived from the Chronicle of Pseudo-Symeon (p. 674, ed. Bonn: cp. above, vol. viii. p. 404); but it has been proved by Hirsch that the dates of this chronicle had no authority. The same source which gives the right date asserts that the Russians were defeated and annihilated (ἠϕανίσθησαν) by the Christians with the help of the Virgin. It seems certain that they experienced a severe defeat after their retreat from the walls. Two homilies delivered by Photius on the occasion of this attack were published by Nauck in 1867 and again by C. Müller in Frag. Hist. Græc. v. 2, p. 162 sqq. The first was spoken in the moment of terror before the Emperor’s arrival;the second after the rescue. But the second makes no mention of the destruction of the hostile armament; hence de Boor shows that it must have been delivered immediately after the relief of the Barbarians from the walls, but before their destruction. Another contemporary notice of the event is found in the life of Ignatius by Nicetas (see above, vol. viii. p. 403), Migne, P.G. 105, p. 512. The chronicle of Nestor makes Oskold and Dir (see above, note 60) the leaders of the expedition.]


When Photius wrote his encyclic epistle on the conversion of the Russians, the miracle was not yet sufficiently ripe; he reproaches the nation as εἰς ὠμότητα καὶ μιαιϕονίαν [πάντας] δευτέρους ταττόμενον. [See Photii Epistolæ, ed. Valettas, p. 178.]


Leo Grammaticus, p. 463, 464 [p. 241, ed. B.]. Constantini Continuator, in Script. post Theophanem, p. 121, 122 [p. 196-7, ed. B.]. Simeon Logothet. p. 445, 446 [p. 674-5, ed. B.]. Georg. Monach. p. 535, 536 [826, ed. B.]. Cedrenus, tom. ii. p. 551 [ii. 173, ed. B.]. Zonaras, tom. ii. p. 162 [xvi. 5].


See Nestor [c. 21] and Nicon, in Levesque’s Hist. de Russie, tom. i. p. 74-80. Katona (Hist. Ducum, p. 75-79) uses his advantage to disprove this Russian victory, which would cloud the siege of Kiow by the Hungarians.


Leo Grammaticus, p. 506, 507 [p. 323, ed. B.]; Incert. Contin. p. 263, 264 [p. 424]; Simeon Logothet. p. 490, 491 [p. 746-7, ed. B.], Georg. Monach. p. 588, 589 [p. 914, ed. B.]; Cedren. tom. ii. p. 629 [ii. 316, ed. B.]; Zonaras, tom. ii. p. 190, 191 [xvi. 19]; and Liutprand, l. v. c. 6 [= c. 15], who writes from the narratives of his father-in-law, then ambassador at Constantinople, and corrects the vain exaggeration of the Greeks. [Nestor, c. 26.]


I can only appeal to Cedrenus (tom. ii. p. 758, 759 [ii. 551, ed. B.]) and Zonaras (tom. ii. p. 253, 254 [xvii. 24]), but they grow more weighty and credible as they draw near to their own times. [Cp. Nestor, c. 56.]


Nestor, apud Levesque, Hist. de Russie, tom. i. p. 87. [This advice was given by his counsellors to Igor in ad 944. See Nestor, c. 27; p. 25, ed. Miklosich.]


This brazen statue, which had been brought from Antioch, and was melted down by the Latins, was supposed to represent either Joshua or Bellerophon, an odd dilemma. See Nicetas Choniates (p. 413, 414 [p. 848, ed. Bonn]), Codinus (de Originibus [leg. de Signis] C.P. p. 24 [p. 43, ed. B.]), and the anonymous writer de Antiquitat. C.P. (Banduri, Imp. Orient. tom. i. p. 17, 18) who lived about the year 1100. They witness the belief of the prophecy; the rest is immaterial. [The prophecy is not mentioned in the passage of Nicetas; and “Codinus” is merely a copyist of the anonymous Πάτρια τη̑ς Κωνσταντινοπάλεως edited by G. Banduri (see vol. ix Appendix 6). Therefore (as Smith rightly pointed out in his annotation to this note) there is only one witness.]


The life of Swatoslaus, or Sviateslaf, or Sphendosthiabus [the form in Greek writers] is extracted from the Russian Chronicles by M. Levesque (Hist. de Russie, tom. i. p. 94-107). [Nestor, c. 32-36. Svitoslav was born in ad 942 (cp. Nestor, c. 27); his independent reign began about ad 965, in which year he made an expedition against the Khazars (ib. 32).]


This resemblance may be clearly seen in the ninth book of the Iliad (205-221), in the minute detail of the cookery of Achilles. By such a picture a modern epic poet would disgrace his work and disgust his reader; but the Greek verses are harmonious; a dead language can seldom appear low or familiar; and at the distance of two thousand seven hundred years we are amused with the primitive manners of antiquity.


[The Bulgarian Tsar Peter, successor of Simeon, made a treaty with the Empire in ad 927. He stipulated to prevent the Hungarians from invading the Empire, and in return he was to receive an annual subsidy; and the contract was sealed by his marriage with the granddaughter of Romanus. Peter, a feeble prince, wished to preserve the treaty, but he was not able to prevent some Magyar invasions (ad 959, 962, 967); and the strong and victorious Nicephorus refused to pay the subsidies any longer. He saw that the time had come to reassert the power of the Empire against Bulgaria. He advanced against Peter in 967 (this is the right date; others place it in 966), but unaccountably retreated without accomplishing anything. He then sent Calocyres to Kiev to instigate Sviatoslav against Bulgaria. The envoy was a traitor, and conceived the idea of making Sviatoslav’s conquest of Bulgaria a means of ascending himself the throne of Constantinople. Sviatoslav conquered the north of Bulgaria in the same year (Nestor, c. 32), and established his residence at Peristhlava (near Tulcea, on south arm of the Danube delta; to be distinguished from Great Peristhlava, see below, note 90). Drster (Silistria) alone held out against the Russians. Sviatoslav wintered at Peristhlava, but was obliged to return to Russia in the following year (968) to deliver Kiev, which was besieged by the Patzinaks (Nestor, c. 33). A few months later his mother Olga died (ib. c. 34), and then Sviatoslav returned to Bulgaria, which he purposed to make the centre of his dominions. Leo Diaconus (v. c. 2, 3; p. 77-79) and the Greek writers do not distinguish the first and second Russian invasions of Sviatoslav; hence the narrative of Gibbon is confused. For these events see Jirecek, Gesch. der Bulgaren, p. 186-7; Hilferding, Gesch. der Bulgaren, i. 126; and (very fully told in) Schlumberger, Nicéphore Phocas, c. xii. and c. xv.]


[Before Peter’s death, in Jan. ad 969, Nicephorus, aware of the treachery of his ambassador Calocyres who had remained with Sviatoslav, and afraid of the ambition of the Russian prince, changed his policy; and, though he had called Russia in to subdue Bulgaria, he now formed a treaty with Bulgaria to keep Russia out. The basis of this treaty (Leo Diac. p. 7-9) was a contract of marriage between the two young Emperors, Basil and Constantine, and two Bulgarian princesses. Then the death of Peter supervened. David the son of Shishman the tsar of western Bulgaria (cp. above, p. 34, note 22) made an attempt to seize eastern Bulgaria, but was anticipated by Peter’s young son, Boris. Then Sviatoslav returned to Bulgaria (see last note). During his absence Little Peristhlava seems to have been regained by the Bulgarians and he had to recapture it. Then he went south and took Great Peristhlava; and captured Boris and his brother Romanus, ad 969.]


[Nicephorus was assassinated Dec. 10, ad 969. Lines of his admirer John Geometres, bishop of Melitene, written soon after his death, attest the apprehensions of the people of Constantinople at the threatening Russian invasions. “Rise up,” he cries to the dead sovereign, “gather thine army; for the Russian host is speeding against us; the Scythians are throbbing for carnage,” &c. The piece is quoted by Scylitzes (Cedrenus, ii. p. 378, ed. Bonn) and is printed in Hase’s ed. of Leo Diac. (p. 453, ed. B.). Evidently these verses were written just after the capture of Philippopolis by the Russians, and the horrible massacre of the inhabitants, in early spring ad 970, when the Russian plunderers were already approaching the neighbourhood of the capital. John Tzimisces, before he took the field, sent two embassies to Sviatoslav, commanding him to leave not only the Imperial provinces but Bulgaria (cp. Lambin in the Mémoires de l’Acad. de St. Petersburg, 1876, p. 119 sqq.). In preparing for his campaign, Tzimisces formed a new regiment of chosen soldiers, which he called the Immortals (Leo Diac. p. 107). For the Russian wars of Tzimisces see Schlumberger, L’épopée Byzantine, chaps. i. ii. iii.; and Bielov’s study (cited below, note 88).]


This singular epithet is derived from the Armenian language, and Τζιμισκη̑ς is interpreted in Greek by μουζακίτζης, or μοιρακίτζης. As I profess myself equally ignorant of these words, I may be indulged in the question in the play, “Pray which of you is the interpreter?” From the context they seem to signify Adolescentulus (Leo Diacon. l. iv. MS. apud Ducange, Glossar Græc. p. 1570 [Bk. v. c. 9, p. 92, ed. Bonn]). [Tshemshkik would be the Armenian form. It is supposed to be derived from a phrase meaning a red boot.]


[The first victory was gained by the general Bardas Sclerus in the plains near Arcadiopolis; it saved Constantinople. M. Bielov in a study of this war (Zhurnal Min. vol. 170, 1876, p. 168 sqq.) tried to show that the Russians were victorious, but (as M. Schlumberger rightly thinks) he is unsuccessful in proving this thesis.]


[For the date (ad 972) of this splendid expedition of Tzimisces cp. Schlumberger, op. cit. p. 82. Nestor places it in ad 971 (c. 36).]


In the Sclavonic tongue, the name of Peristhlaba implied the great or illustrious city, μεγάλη καὶ οὓσα καὶ λεγομένη, says Anna Comnena (Alexiad, l. vii. p. 194 [c. 3]). From its position between Mount Hæmus and the Lower Danube, it appears to fill the ground, or at least the station, of Marcianopolis. The situation of Durostolus, or Dristra, is well known and conspicuous (Comment. Academ. Petropol. tom. ix. p. 415, 416; D’Anville, Geographie Ancienne, tom. i. p. 307, 311). [Great Peristhlava was situated at Eski Stambul, 22 kilometres south of Shumla. Marcianopolis was much farther east; some of its ruins have been traced near the modern village of Dievna (about 30 kils. west of Varna as the crow flies). Tzimisces called Peristhlava after himself Joannopolis, but the city rapidly decayed after this period. He called Drster Theodoropolis, in honour of St. Theodore the Megalomartyr, who was supposed to have fought in the Roman ranks in the last great fight at Drster on July 23. Thereby hangs a problem. The Greek writers say that the day of the battle was the feast of St. Theodore; but his feast falls on June 8. Cp. Muralt, Essai de Chron. byz. ad ann.]


[The Greek sources for the capture of Peristhlava (and for the whole campaign) are Leo the Deacon and Scylitzes. The numbers (given by Scylitzes) are very doubtful.]


[A battle was fought outside Silistria and the Russians discomfited, in April 23, before the siege began.]


[For the treaty see above, p. 57, note 70.]


The political management of the Greeks, more especially with the Patzinacites, is explained in the seven first chapters de Administratione Imperii.


In the narrative of this war, Leo the Deacon (apud Pagi, Critica, tom. iv. ad 968-973 [Bk. vi. c. 3-13]) is more authentic and circumstantial than Cedrenus (tom. ii. p. 660-683) and Zonaras (tom. ii. p. 205-214 [xvi. 27-xvii. 3]). These declaimers have multiplied to 308,000 and 330,000 men those Russian forces of which the contemporary had given a moderate and consistent account.


Phot. Epistol. ii. No. 35, p. 58, edit. Montacut [Ep. 4, ed. Valettas, p. 178]. It was unworthy of the learning of the editor to mistake the Russian nation, τὸ Ῥω̑ς, for a war-cry of the Bulgarians; nor did it become the enlightened patriarch to accuse the Sclavonian idolaters τη̑ς Ἐλληνικη̑ς καὶ ἀθέου δόξης. They were neither Greeks nor atheists.


M. Levesque has extracted, from old chronicles and modern researches, the most satisfactory account of the religion of the Slavi, and the conversion of Russia (Hist. de Russie, tom. i. p. 35-54, 59, 92, 93, 113-121, 124-129, 148, 149, &c.). [Nestor, c. 31.]


See the Ceremoniale Aulæ Byzant. tom. ii. c. 15, p. 343-345: the style of Olga, or Elga [Old Norse, Helga], is Ἀρχόντισσα Ῥωσίας. For the chief of Barbarians the Greeks whimsically borrowed the title of an Athenian magistrate, with a female termination which would have astonished the ear of Demosthenes. [In the account of the Ceremony of Olga’s reception her baptism is not mentioned; it was indeed irrelevant.]


See an anonymous fragment published by Banduri (Imperium Orientale, tom. ii. p. 112, 113), de Conversione Russorum. [Reprinted in vol. iii. of Bonn ed. of Constantine Porph. p. 357 sqq.; but since published in a fuller form from a Patmos MS. by W. Regel in Analecta Byzantino-Russica, p. 44 sqq. (1891). But the narrative is a later compilation and mixes up together (Regel, op. cit. p. xxi.) the story of the earlier conversion by Photius, and the legend of the introduction of the Slavonic alphabet by Cyril and Methodius.]


Cherson, or Corsun, is mentioned by Herberstein (apud Pagi, tom. iv. p. 56) as the place of Wolodomir’s baptism and marriage; and both the tradition and the gates are still preserved at Novogorod. Yet an observing traveller transports the brazen gates from Magdeburg in Germany (Coxe’s Travels into Russia, &c. vol. i. p. 452), and quotes an inscription, which seems to justify his opinion. The modern reader must not confound this old Cherson of the Tauric or Crimæan peninsula [situated on the southern shore of the bay of Sebastopol] with a new city of the same name, which had arisen near the mouth of the Borysthenes, and was lately honoured by the memorable interview of the empress of Russia with the emperor of the West. [Till recently, the date of the marriage and conversion of Vladimir was supposed to be ad 988. The authority is the Russian chronicle of “Nestor,” which contains the fullest (partly legendary) account (c. 42). Vladimir captured Cherson, and sent an embassy, demanding the hand of the princess Anne, and threatening to attack Constantinople if it were refused. Vasilievski showed (in a paper in the Zhurnal Min., 184 (1876), p. 156) from the notice in Leo Diaconus (p. 175, ed. Bonn), and the Baron von Rosen (in his book of extracts from the annals of Yahia (1883), note 169), that Cherson was captured in ad 989 (c. June); and it follows that the marriage and conversion cannot have been celebrated before the autumn of 989. The fragment which is sometimes called “Notes of the Greek toparch of Gothia,” which was published by Hase (notes to Leo Diaconus, p. 496 sqq. ed. Bonn), does not belong to this period nor concern the neighbourhood of Cherson; but probably refers to events which happened on the lower Don in the early part of the 10th century. This explanation has been proposed by Th. Uspenski in the Kievskaia Starina of 1889 (see Schlumberger, L’épopée Byzantine, p. 767, note).]


[The adoption of Christianity in Russia was facilitated by the fact that there was no sacerdotal caste to oppose it. This point is insisted on by Kostomarov, Russische Geschichte in Biographien, i. 5.]


Consult the Latin text, or English version, of Mosheim’s excellent History of the Church, under the first head or section of each of these centuries.


In the year 1000, the ambassadors of St. Stephen received from Pope Sylvester the title of King of Hungary, with a diadem of Greek workmanship. It had been designed for the duke of Poland; but the Poles, by their own confession, were yet too barbarous to deserve an angelical and apostolical crown (Katona, Hist. Critic. Regum Stirpis Arpadianæ, tom. i. p. 1-20).


Listen to the exultations of Adam of Bremen (ad 1080), of which the substance is agreeable to truth: Ecce illa ferocissima Danorum, &c. natio . . . jamdudum novit in Dei laudibus Alleluia resonare . . . Ecce populus ille piraticus . . . suis nunc finibus contentus est. Ecce patria [illa] horribilis semper inaccessa propter cultum idolorum . . . prædicatores veritatis ubique certatim admittit, &c. &c. (de Situ Daniæ, &c. p. 40, 41, edit. Elzevir [c. 42]: a curious and original prospect of the North of Europe, and the introduction of Christianity).


[The great monument of Yaroslav’s reign is the church of St. Sophia at Kiev, built by Greek masons. A smaller church, also dedicated to the Holy Wisdom, was built at Novgorod on the pattern of the Kiev church by his son Vladimir in 1045.]


[For Yaroslav’s taste for books, see Nestor, c. 55.]


[It is important to notice the growth of monasticism in Russia in the 11th century. The original hearth and centre of the movement was at Kiev in the Pestcherski or Crypt Monastery, famous for the Saint Theodosius [ob. 1074] whose biography was written by Nestor. Kostomarov (op. cit. p. 18 sqq.) has a readable chapter on the subject.]


The great princes removed in 1156 from Kiow, which was ruined by the Tartars in 1240. Moscow became the seat of empire in the xivth century. See the first and second volumes of Levesque’s History, and Mr. Coxe’s Travels into the North, tom. i. p. 241, &c.


The ambassadors of St. Stephen had used the reverential expressions of regnum oblatum, debitam obedientiam, &c. which were most rigorously interpreted by Gregory VII.; and the Hungarian Catholics are distressed between the sanctity of the pope and the independence of the crown (Katona, Hist. Critica, tom. i. p. 20-25, tom. ii. p. 304, 346, 360, &c.).


For the general history of Italy in the ixth and xth centuries, I may properly refer to the vth, vith, and viith books of Sigonius de Regno Italiæ (in the second volume of his works, Milan, 1732); the Annals of Baronius, with the Criticism of Pagi; the viith and viiith books of the Istoria Civile del Regno di Napoli of Giannone; the viith and viiith volumes (the octavo edition) of the Annali d’Italia of Muratori, and the iid volume of the Abrégé Chronologique of M. de St. Marc, a work which, under a superficial title, contains much genuine learning and industry. But my long-accustomed reader will give me credit for saying that I myself have ascended to the fountain-head, as often as such ascent could be either profitable or possible; and that I have diligently turned over the originals in the first volumes of Muratori’s great collection of the Scriptores Rerum Italicarum.


Camillo Pellegrino, a learned Capuan of the last century, has illustrated the history of the duchy of Beneventum, in his two books, Historia Principum Longobardorum, in the Scriptores of Muratori, tom. ii. pars i. p. 221-345, and tom. v. p. 159-245.


[The duchy of Beneventum first split up into two parts, an eastern and a western — the western under the name of the Principality of Salerno. Soon after this the Count of Capua threw off his allegiance to the Prince of Salerno; so that the old duchy of Beneventum was represented by three independent states. For the history of Salerno see Schipa, Storia del principato Longobardo in Salerno, in the Arch. storico per le cose prov. Nap., 12 (1887).]


See Constantin. Porphyrogen. de Thematibus, l. ii. c. xi. in Vit. Basil. c. 55, p. 181.


The original epistle of the emperor Lewis II. to the emperor Basil, a curious record of the age, was first published by Baronius (Annal. Eccles. ad 871, No. 51-71) from the Vatican MS. of Erchempert, or rather of the anonymous historian of Salerno. [Printed also in Duchesne, Hist. Fr. scr. iii. p. 555.]


See an excellent dissertation de Republicâ Amalphitanâ in the Appendix (p. 1-42) of Henry Brenckmann’s Historia Pandectarum (Trajecti ad Rhenum, 1722, in 4to). [Materials for the history of Naples are collected in Capasso’s Monumenta ad Neap. duc. histor. pertinentia, vol. i. 1881; vol. ii. 1, 1885, 2, 1892.]


Your master, says Nicephorus, has given aid and protection principibus Capuano et Beneventano, servis meis, quos oppugnare dispono . . . Nova (potius nota) res est quod eorum patres et avi nostro Imperio tributa dederunt (Liutprand, in Legat. p. 484). Salerno is not mentioned, yet the prince changed his party about the same time, and Camillo Pellegrino (Script. Rer. Ital. tom. ii. pars i. p. 285) has nicely discerned this change in the style of the anonymous chronicle. On the rational ground of history and language, Liutprand (p. 480) had asserted the Latin claim to Apulia and Calabria. [The revival of East-Roman influence in Southern Italy in the last years of the ninth century is illustrated by the fact that an Imperial officer (of the rank of protospathar) resided at the court of the dukes of Beneventum from ad 891. The allegiance of Naples, Amalfi, and Gaeta was indeed little more than nominal. For the history of Gaeta the chief source is the Codex Caietanus, published in the Tabularium Casinense (1890, 1892).]


See the Greek and Latin Glossaries of Ducange (Κατεπάνω, catapanus), and his notes on the Alexias (p. 275). Against the contemporary notion, which derives it from Κατὰ πα̑ν, juxta omne, he treats it as a corruption of the Latin capitaneus. Yet M. de St. Marc has accurately observed (Abrégé Chronologique, tom. ii. p. 924) that in this age the capitanei were not captains, but only nobles of the first rank, the great valvassors of Italy. [The Theme of Italy extended from the Ofanto in the north and the Bradano in the west to the southern point of Apulia, and included the south of Calabria (the old Bruttii). It must not be confounded with the Capitanata. It was probably about the year 1000 that the governors of the Theme of Italy conquered the land on the north side of their province, between the Ofanto and Fortore (see Heinemann, Gesch. der Normannen in Unter-Italien und Sicilien, i. p. 20). From the title of the governors, Katepanô, this conquest was called the Catepanata, and this became (through the influence of poplar etymology) Capitanata.]


Ού μόναν διὰ πολέμων ἀκριβω̑ς ἐκτεταγμένων τὸ τοιου̑τον ὑπήγαγε τὸ ἔθνος (the Lombards), ἀλλὰ καὶ ἀγχινοίᾳ χρησάμενος καὶ δικαιοσύνῃ καὶ χρηστότητι, ἐπι[Editor: illegible Latin character]ικω̑ς τε τοι̑ς προσερχομένοις προσϕερόμενος, καὶ τὴν ἐλενθερίαν αὐτοι̑ς πάσης τε δουλείας καὶ τω̑ν ἄλλων ϕορολογιω̑ν χαριζόμενος (Leon. Tactic. c. xv. p. 741). The little Chronicle of Beneventum (tom. ii. pars i. p. 280) gives a far different character of the Greeks during the five years (ad 891-896) that Leo was master of the city. [For good accounts of the expedition and defeat of Otto II. see Giesebrecht, Gesch. der deutschen Kaiserzeit, i. p. 595 sqq., and Schlumberger, L’épopée byzantine, p. 502 sqq. The battle was fought in July 982, near Stilo, south of Croton.]


Calabriam adeunt, eamque inter se divisam reperientes funditus depopulati sunt (or depopularunt), its ut deserta sit velut in diluvio. Such is the text of Herempert, or Erchempert, according to the two editions of Carraccioli (Rer. Italic. Script. tom. v. p. 23), and of Camillo Pellegrino (tom. ii. p. 246). Both were extremely scarce, when they were reprinted by Muratori.


Baronius (Annal. Eccles. ad 874, No. 2) has drawn this story from a MS. of Erchempert who died at Capua only fifteen years after the event. But the cardinal was deceived by a false title, and we can only quote the anonymous Chronicle of Salerno (Paralipomena, c. 110), composed towards the end of the xth century, and published in the second volume of Muratori’s Collection. See the Dissertations of Camillo Pellegrino (tom. ii. pars i. p. 231-281, &c.).


Constantine Porphyrogenitus (in Vit. Basil. c. 58, p. 183) is the original author of this story. He places it under the reigns of Basil and Lewis II.; yet the reduction of Beneventum by the Greeks is dated ad 891, after the decease of both of those princes.


In the year 663, the same tragedy is described by Paul the Deacon (de Gestis Langobard. l. v. c. 7, 8, p. 870, 871, edit. Grot.), under the walls of the same city of Beneventum. But the actors are different, and the guilt is imputed to the Greeks themselves, which in the Byzantine edition is applied to the Saracens. In the late war in Germany, M. d’Assas, a French officer of the regiment of Auvergne, is said to have devoted himself in a similar manner. His behaviour is the more heroic, as mere silence was required by the enemy who had made him prisoner (Voltaire, Siècle de Louis XV. c. 33, tom. ix. p. 172).


Theobald, who is styled Heros by Liutprand, was properly duke of Spoleto and marquis of Camerino, from the year 926 to 935. The title and office of marquis (commander of the march or frontier) was introduced nto Italy by the French emperors (Abrégé Chronologique, tom. ii. p. 645-732, &c.).


Liutprand, Hist. l. iv. c. iv. in the Rerum Italic. Script. tom. i. pars i. p. 453, 454. Should the licentiousness of the tale be questioned, I may exclaim, with poor Sterne, that it is hard if I may not transcribe with caution what a bishop could write without scruple! What if I had translated, ut viris certetis testiculos amputare, in quibus nostri corporis refocillatio, &c.?


The original monuments of the Normans in Italy are collected in the vth volume of Muratori, and among these we may distinguish the poem of William Apulus (p. 245-278), and the history of Galfridus (Jeffery) Malaterra (p. 537-607). Both were natives of France, but they wrote on the spot, in the age of the first conquerors (before ad 1100), and with the spirit of freemen. It is needless to recapitulate the compilers and critics of Italian history, Sigonius, Baronius, Pagi, Giannone, Muratori, St. Marc, &c. whom I have always consulted and never copied. [See vol. ix. Appendix 1.]


Some of the first converts were baptised ten or twelve times, for the sake of the white garment usually given at this ceremony. At the funeral of Rollo, the gifts to monasteries, for the repose of his soul, were accompanied by a sacrifice of one hundred captives. But in a generation or two the national change was pure and general.


The Danish language was still spoken by the Normans of Bayeux on the sea-coast, at a time (ad 940) when it was already forgotten at Rouen, in the court and capital. Quem (Richard I.) confestim pater Baiocas mittens Botoni militiæ suæ principi nutriendum tradidit, ut, ubi linguâ eruditus Danicâ, suis exterisque hominibus sciret aperte dare responsa (Wilhelm. Gemeticensis de Ducibus Normannis, l. iii. c. 8, p. 623, edit. Camden). Of the vernacular and favourite idiom of William the Conqueror (ad 1035) Selden (Opera, tom. ii. p. 1640-1656) has given a specimen, obsolete and obscure even to antiquarians and lawyers.


[In ad 1016 as a Saracen fleet besieged Salerno, 40 Roman knights returning from the Holy Land disembarked in the neighbourhood, and hearing that the place was hard pressed offered their services to Prince Waimar. Their bravery delivered the town, and laden with rich presents they returned to Normandy, promising to induce their countrymen to visit the south and help in the defence of the land against the unbelievers. See Aimé, Ystorie de li Normant, i. c. 17 (and cp. H. Bresslau, Heinrich, ii. 3, Excurs. 4). Before the year was over, a certain Rudolf with his four brothers started to seek their fortune in the south; when they reached Italy, they came to terms with Melus, the rebel of Bari, through the mediation of the Pope.]


See Leandro Alberti (Descrizione d’Italia, p. 250) and Baronius (ad 493, No. 43). If the archangel inherited the temple and oracle, perhaps the cavern, of old Calchas the soothsayer (Strab. Geograph. l. vi. p. 435, 436), the Catholics (on this occasion) have surpassed the Greeks in the elegance of their superstition.


[Melus was the leader of the anti-Greek party in Bari. His first revolt was for a time successful, but was put down in 1010 by the Catepan Basil Mesardonites.]


[There were three battles. Melus and the Normans invaded the Capitanate in 1017. They gained a victory at Arenula on the river Fortore, and a second, more decisive, at Vaccaricia (near Troja). See Heinemann, op. cit. p. 36 (and Appendix). In the following year they suffered the great defeat on the plain of Cannæ, at the hands of the Catepan Basil Bojannes.]


[The settlement was assigned to Rainulf — one of Rudolph’s brothers — by Duke Sergius IV. of Naples. Aversa was founded in 1030 (Heinemann, op. cit. p. 58, note 2). Rainulf married the sister of Sergius, but after her death he deserted the cause of Naples and went over to the interests of the foe, Pandulf of Capua, married his niece and became his vassal, — Aversa being disputed territory between Naples and Capua. But, when the Emperor Conrad visited Southern Italy in 1038, Pandulf was deposed, and the county of Aversa was united with the principality of Salerno. This, as Heinemann observes (p. 69), was a political event of the first importance. The Roman settlement was formally recognised by the Emperor, — taken as it were under the protection of the Western Empire.]


See the first book of William Appulus. His words are applicable to every swarm of Barbarians and freebooters:—

  • Si vicinorum quis pernitiosus ad illos
  • Confugiebat, eum gratanter suscipiebant;
  • Moribus et linguâ quoscumque venire videbant
  • Informant propriâ; gens efficiatur ut una.

And elsewhere, of the native adventurers of Normandy:—

  • Pars parat, exiguæ vel opes aderant quia nullæ;
  • Pars, quia de magnis majora subire volebant.

Liutprand in Legatione, p. 485. Pagi has illustrated this event from the MS. history of the deacon Leo (tom. iv. ad 965, No. 17-19).


See the Arabian Chronicle of Sicily, apud Muratori, Script. Rerum Ital. tom. i. p. 253.


[It was the emir Akhal who appealed to the Greeks to help him against his brother, Abū Hafs, who headed the Sicilian rebels. The latter were supported by the Zayrid Sultan of Tunis (Muizz ben Bādīs), and Akhal though he was supported by the Catepan of Italy and a Greek army in 1037 was shut up in Palermo, where he was murdered by his own followers. The statement in the text that “the brothers were reconciled” is misleading; but a prospect of such a reconciliation seems to have induced the Catepan to return to Italy without accomplishing much. Cp. Cedrenus, ii. p. 516; and Heinemann, op. cit. p. 74. Meanwhile preparations had been made in Constantinople for an expedition to recover Sicily; and Maniaces arrived in Apulia and crossed over to the island in 1038.]


[For a personal description of George Maniaces, a Hercules of colossal height (εἰς δέκατον ἀνεστηκὼς πόδα), see Psellus, Hist. p. 137-8 (ed. Sathas). According to Vámbéry the name Maniakes is Turkish and means noble. His memory survives at Syracuse in the Castel Maniaci, at the south point of Ortygia commanding the entrance to the Great Harbour. Maniaces was accompanied by another famous warrior, Harald Hardrada (brother of King Olaf of Norway), who was slain a quarter of a century later on English soil. Maniaces was the general of the expedition: he was not governor of the Theme of Lombardy.]


Jeffrey Malaterra, who relates the Sicilian war and the conquest of Apulia (l. i. c. 7, 8, 9, 19). The same events are described by Cedrenus (tom. ii. p. 741-743, 755, 756) and Zonaras (tom. ii. p. 237, 238); and the Greeks are so hardened to disgrace that their narratives are impartial enough.


Cedrenus specifies the τάγμα of the Obsequium (Phrygia) and the μέρος of the Thracesians (Lydia; consult Constantine de Thematibus, i. 3, 4, with Delisle’s map), and afterwards names the Pisidians and Lycaonians with the fœderati. [The Normans under Rainulf were acting in common with, and at the instigation of, the Lombard Arduin. They seized Melfi while the Catepan Michael Doceanus was in Sicily seeking to retrieve the losses which the Greek cause had suffered since the recall of Maniaces. From Melfi they conquered Ascoli and other places, and Michael was forced to return to Italy. All this happened in ad 1040. Heinemann, op. cit. p. 84.]


[(1) On the Olivento (a tributary of the Ofanto), March 17, (2) near Monte Maggiore, in the plainof Cannæ, May 4, and (3) at Montepeloso, Sept. 3, 1041. See Heinemann, op. cit. p. 358-61.]

  • Omnes conveniunt; et bis sex nobiliores,
  • Quos genus et gravitas morum decorabat et ætas,
  • Elegere duces. Provectis ad comitatum
  • His alii parent. Comitatus nomen honoris
  • Quo donantur erat. Hi totas undique terras
  • Divisere sibi, ni sors inimica repugnet;
  • Singula proponunt loca quæ contingere sorte
  • Cuique duci debent, et quæque tributa locorum.

And, after speaking of Melphi, William Appulus adds,

  • Pro numero comitum bis sex statuere plateas,
  • Atque domus comitum totidem fabricantur in urbe.

Leo Ostiensis (l. ii. c. 67) enumerates the divisions of the Apulian cities, which it is needless to repeat.


Gulielm. Appulus, l. ii. c. 12, according to the reference of Giannone (Istoria Civile di Napoli, tom. ii. p. 31), which I cannot verify in the original. The Apulian praises indeed his validas vires, probitas animi, and vivida virtus; and declares that, had he lived, no poet could have equalled his merits (l. i. p. 258, l. ii. p. 259). He was bewailed by the Normans, quippe qui tanti consilii virum (says Malaterra, l. i. c. 12, p. 552) tam armis strenuum, tam sibi munificum, affabilem, morigeratum, ulterius se habere diffidebant. [Having elected William, the Normans placed themselves under the suzerainty of Waimar of Salerno, who assumed the title of Prince of Apulia and Calabria. William, Rainulf, and Waimar then proceeded to Melfi and divided the conquests. Rainulf received, as an honorary present, Siponto and Mount Garganus; William got Ascoli; his brother, Drogo, Venosa, &c. &c., Aimé, Ystorie de li Normant, ii. 29, 30. The extent of the Norman conquest in this first stage corresponds (Heinemann observes, p. 94) to the towns in the regions of the rivers Ofanto and Bradano. “The valleys of these rivers were the natural roads to penetrate from Melfi eastward and southward into Greek territory.”]


The gens astutissima, injuriarum ultrix . . . adulari sciens . . . eloquentiis inserviens, of Malaterra (l. i. c. 3, p. 550) are expressive of the popular and proverbial character of the Normans.


The hunting and hawking more properly belong to the descendants of the Norwegian sailors; though they might import from Norway and Iceland the finest casts of falcons.


We may compare this portrait with that of William of Malmsbury (de Gestis Anglorum, l. iii. p. 101, 102), who appreciates, like a philosophic historian, the vices and virtues of the Saxons and Normans. England was assuredly a gainer by the conquest.


[The visit of the Emperor Henry III. to southern Italy in ad 1047 was of special importance. He restored to Pandulf the principality of Capus, which Conrad II. had transferred to Waimar of Salerno. Waimar had to resign his title of Prince of Apulia and Calabria, and his suzerainty over the Normans; while the Norman princes, Rainulf of Aversa and Drogo (William’s successor), Count of Apulia, were elevated to be immediate vassals of the Empire.]


The biographer of St. Leo IX. pours his holy venom on the Normans. Videns indisciplinatam et alienam gentem Normannorum, crudeli et inauditâ rabie, et plusquam Paganâ impietate, adversus ecclesias Dei insurgere, passim Christianos trucidare, &c. (Wibert, c. 6). The honest Apulian (l. ii. p. 259) says calmly of their accuser, Veris commiscens fallacia.


The policy of the Greeks, revolt of Maniaces, &c. must be collected from Cedrenus (tom. ii. p. 757, 758), William Appulus (l. i. p. 257, 258, l. ii. p. 259), and the two Chronicles of Bari, by Lupus Protospata (Muratori, Script. Ital. tom. v. p. 42, 43, 44), and an anonymous writer (Antiquitat. Italiæ medii Æ i, tom. i. p. 31-35). [This anonymous chronicle, called the Annales Barenses, compiled before ad 1071, is printed in Pertz, Mon. V. p. 51-56, with the corresponding text of “Lupus” opposite.] This last is a fragment of some value.


Argyrus received, says the anonymous Chronicle of Bari, Imperial letters, Fœderatus et Patriciatus, et Catapani et Vestatus. In his Annals, Muratori (tom. viii. p. 426) very properly reads, or interprets, Sevestatus, the title of Sebastos or Augustus. But in his Antiquities, he was taught by Ducange to make it a palatine office, master of the wardrobe.


A life of St. Leo IX., deeply tinged with the passions and prejudices of the age, has been composed by Wibert, printed at Paris, 1615, in octavo, and since inserted in the Collections of the Bollandists, of Mabillon, and of Muratori. [J. May, Untersuchungen über die Abfassungszeit und Glaubwürdigheit von Wiberts Vita Leonis IX. (Offenburg, 1889).] The public and private history of that pope is diligently treated by M. de St. Marc (Abrégé, tom. ii. p. 140-210, and p. 25-95, second column).


See the expedition of Leo IX. against the Normans. See William Appulus (l. ii. p. 259-261) and Jeffrey Malaterra (l. i. c. 13, 14, 15, p. 253) [and Aimé, iii. c. 40]. They are impartial, as the national is counterbalanced by the clerical prejudice. [For details, cp. Heinemann,op. cit. Appendix, p. 366 sqq.]

  • Teutonici, quia cæsaries et forma decoros
  • Fecerat egregieproceri corporis illos,
  • Corpora derident Normannica, quæ breviora
  • Esse videbantur.

The verses of the Apulian are commonly in this strain, though he heats himself a little in the battle. Two of his similes from hawking and sorcery are descriptive of manners.


Several respectable censures or complaints are produced by M. de St. Marc (tom. ii. p. 200-204). As Peter Damianus, the oracle of the times, had denied the popes the right of making war, the hermit (lugens eremi incola) is arraigned by the cardinal, and Baronius (Annal. Eccles. ad 1053, No. 10-17) most strenuously asserts the two swords of St. Peter.


[We have no contemporary evidence for the conditions which the Normans imposed on Leo, whom they detained in Beneventum. Heinemann thinks it probable (p. 143) that they required him to renounce the papal pretensions to sovereignty over territory in Apulia and Calabria, and to abandon his alliance with the Eastern Emperor. Leo, unable to bring himself to consent, remained at Beneventum till March, 1054; a severe illness (which proved fatal) filled him with a desire to return to Rome and induced him to consent to the Norman demands. He died on April 19. During his sojourn at Beneventum, he was engaged on a correspondence in connection with the ecclesiastical quarrel — the final breach — with the Greek Church, see below, cap. lx.]


The origin and nature of the papal investitures are ably discussed by Giannone (Istoria Civile di Napoli, tom. ii. p. 37-49, 57-66) as a lawyer and antiquarian. Yet he vainly strives to reconcile the duties of patriot and Catholic, adopts an empty distinction of “Ecclesia Romana non dedit sed accepit,” and shrinks from an honest but dangerous confession of the truth.


The birth, character, and first actions of Robert Guiscard may be found in Jeffrey Malaterra (l. i. c. 3, 4, 11, 16, 17, 18, 38, 39, 40), William Appulus (l. ii. p. 260-262), William Gemeticensis or of Jumiegès (l. xi. c. 30, p. 663, 664, edit. Camden), and Anna Comnena (Alexiad. l. i. p. 23-27 [c. 10, 11], l. vi. p. 165, 166), with the annotations of Ducange (Not. in Alexiad. p. 230-232, 320), who has swept all the French and Latin Chronicles for supplemental intelligence.


Ὁ δὲ Ῥομπέρτος (a Greek corruption [μπ is the regular symbol for the b sound in mediaeval and modern Greek; β would represent υ]) οὐ̑τος ῃν Νορμάννος τὸ γένος, τὴν τύχην ἄσημοσ [i. c. 10]. . . . Again, ἐξ ἀϕανου̑ς πάνυ τύχης περιϕανές. And elsewhere (l. iv. p. 84 [c. 1]), ἀπὸ ἐσχάτης πενίας καὶ τύχης ἀϕανου̑ς. Anna Comnena was born in the purple; yet her father was no more than a private though illustrious subject, who raised himself to the empire.


Giannone (tom. ii. p. 2) forgets all his original authors, and rests this princely descent on the credit of Inveges, an Augustine monk of Palermo, in the last century. They continue the succession of dukes from Rollo to William II. the Bastard or Conqueror, whom they hold (communemente si tiene) to be the father of Tancred of Hauteville; a most strange and stupendous blunder! The sons of Tancred fought in Apulia, before William II. was three years old (ad 1037).


The judgment of Ducange is just and moderate: Certe humilis fuit ac tenuis Roberti familia, si ducalem et regium spectemus apicem, ad quem postea pervenit; quæ honesta tamen et præter nobilium vulgarium statum et conditionem illustris habita est, “quæ nec humi reperet nec altum quid tumeret” (Wilhelm Malmesbur. de Gestis Anglorum, l. iii. p. 107; Not. ad Alexiad. p. 230).


I shall quote with pleasure some of the best lines of the Apulian (l. ii. p. 270).

  • Pugnat utrâque manû, nec lancea cassa nec ensis
  • Cassus erat, quocunque manu deducere vellet.
  • Ter dejectus equo, ter viribus ipse resumptis,
  • Major in arma redit; stimulos furor ipse ministrat.
  • Ut Leo cum frendens, &c.
  • . . . . . . . . . .
  • Nullus in hoc bello sicuti post bella probatum est
  • Victor vel victus, tam magnos edidit ictus.

The Norman writers and editors most conversant with their own idiom interpret Guiscard, or Wiscard, by Callidus, a cunning man. The root (wise) is familiar to our ear; and in the old word Wiseacre I can discern something of a similar sense and termination. Τὴν ψυχὴν πανουργότατος is no bad translation of the surname and character of Robert.


The acquisition of the ducal title by Robert Guiscard is a nice and obscure business. With the good advice of Giannone, Muratori, and St. Marc, I have endeavoured to form a consistent and probable narrative.


Baronius (Annal. Eccles. ad 1059, No. 69) has published the original act. He professes to have copied it from the Liber Censuum, a Vatican MS. Yet a Liber Censuum of the twelfth century has been printed by Muratori (Antiquit. medii Ævi, tom. v. p. 851-908), and the names of Vatican and Cardinal awaken the suspicions of a Protestant, and even of a philosopher. [The Liber Censuum, composed at the end of the 12th century (1192), contains the rent-roll of the Roman Church and various original documents, and the Lives of Popes beginning with Leo IX. The oldest MS. does not contain the Lives. Muratori printed the whole compilation in Scr. Rer. Ital., 3, 1. p. 277 sqq.; the edition in the Ant. Med. Æv. does not include the Lives.]


[Not so long: August, 1068-April, 1071. The best source for the siege is Aimé, v. 27. Immediately before he laid siege to Bari, Robert captured Otranto.]


Read the life of Guiscard in the second and third books of the Apulian, the first and second books of Malaterra.


The conquests of Robert Guiscard and Roger I., the exemption of Benevento and the twelve provinces of the kingdom, are fairly exposed by Giannone in the second volume of his Istoria Civile, l. ix. x. xi. and l. xvii. p. 460-470. This modern division was not established before the time of Frederic II.


[Amalfi acknowledged the lordship of Robert (“Duke of Amalfi”) from ad 1073. Cp. Heinemann, op. cit. p. 268.]


Giannone (tom. ii. p. 119-127), Muratori (Antiquitat. medii Ævi, tom. iii. dissert. xliv. p. 935, 936), and Tiraboschi (Istoria della Letteratura Italiana) have given an historical account of these physicians; their medical knowledge and practice must be left to our physicians.


At the end of the Historia Pandectarum of Henry Brenckmann (Trajecti ad Rhenum, 1722, in 4to), the indefatigable author has inserted two dissertations, de Republicâ Amalphitanâ, and de Amalphi a Pisanis direptâ, which are built on the testimonies of one hundred and forty writers. Yet he has forgotten two most important passages of the embassy of Liutprand (ad 969), which compare the trade and navigation of Amalphi with that of Venice.

  • Urbs Latii non est hâc delitiosior urbe,
  • Frugibus arboribus vinoque redundat; et unde
  • Non tibi poma, nuces, non pulchra palatia desunt,
  • Non species muliebris abest probitasque virorum.
  • (Gulielmus Appulus, l. iii. p. 267.)

[It has been commonly maintained that the medical school of Salerno owed its rise and development to Arabic influence. This view seems to be mistaken; documents published in De Renzi’s Collectio Salernitana (1852) seem decidedly against it. See Mr. Rashdall’s Universities in the Middle Ages, vol. i. p. 78 (chap. 3, p. 75 sqq. is devoted to Salerno). Mr. Rashdall is inclined to connect the revival of medical science in the 11th century at Salerno with the survival of the Greek language in those regions. Salerno went back to Hippocrates independently of Arabia; and it was when the Arabic methods in medicine became popular in the 13th century that the Salerno school declined.]


[At the beginning of the 12th cent. Ordericus Vitalis describes the medical school of Salerno as existing ab antiquo tempore (Hist. Ecc. ii., Bk. 3, 11 in Migne, Patr. Lat., vol. 188, p. 260); see Rashdall, p. 77. The place was famous for its physicians in the 10th cent., and we have works of medical writers of Salerno from the early part of the 11th (e.g., Gariopontus). The fullest account of the school is De Renzi’s Storia documentata della scuola medica di Salerno. The school was first recognised by Frederick II., whose edict in 1231 appointed it as the examining body for candidates who desired to obtain the royal licence which he made compulsory for the practice of medicine.]


[It was a school of doctors, in no way resembling a university. As Mr. Rashdall observes (loc. cit. p. 82): “Salerno remains a completely isolated factor in the academic polity of the Middle Ages. While its position as a school of medicine was, for two centuries at least, as unique as that of Paris in Theology and that of Bologna in Law, while throughout the Middle Ages no school of medicine except Montpellier rivalled its fame, it remained without influence in the development of academic institutions.”]


Muratori carries their antiquity above the year (1066) of the death of Edward the Confessor, the rex Anglorum to whom they are addressed. Nor is this date affected by the opinion, or rather mistake, of Pasquier (Recherches de la France, l. vii. c. 2) and Ducange (Glossar. Latin.). The practice of rhyming, as early as the seventh century, was borrowed from the languages of the North and East (Muratori, Antiquitat. tom. iii. dissert. xl. p. 686-708). [Constantine translated the Aphorisms of Hippocrates from the Arabic version, c. ad 1080.]


The description of Amalphi, by William the Apulian (l. iii. p. 267), contains much truth and some poetry; and the third line may be applied to the sailor’s compass:—

  • Nulla magis locuples argento, vestibus, auro
  • Partibus innumeris; hâc plurimus urbe moratur
  • Nauta maris cælique vias aperire peritus.
  • Huc et Alexandri diversa feruntur ab urbe
  • Regis, et Antiochi. Gens hæc freta plurima transit.
  • His [hic] Arabes, Indi, Siculi nascuntur et Afri.
  • Hæc gens est totum prope nobilitata per orbem,
  • Et mercanda ferens, et amans mercata referre.

Latrocinio armigerorum suorum in multis sustentabatur, quod quidem ad ejus ignominiam non dicimus; sed ipso ita præcipiente adhuc viliora et reprehensibiliora dicturi [leg. de ipso scripturi] sumus ut pluribus patescat quam laboriose et cum quantâ augustiâ a profundâ paupertate ad summum culmen divitiarum vel honoris attigerit. Such is the preface of Malaterra (l. i. c. 25) to the horse-stealing. From the moment (l. i. c. 19) that he has mentioned his patron Roger, the elder brother sinks into the second character. Something similar in Velleius Paterculus may be observed of Augustus and Tiberius.


Duo sibi proficua deputans, animæ scilicet et corporis, si terram idolis deditam ad cultum divinum revocaret (Galfrid Malaterra, l. ii. c. 1). The conquest of Sicily is related in the three last books, and he himself has given an accurate summary of the chapters (p. 544-546). [The Brevis historia liberationisMessanæ, printed in Muratori, Scr. rer. It. 6, p. 614 sqq., which ascribes the capture of Messina to this first descent of Roger, has been shown by Amari to be a concoction of the 18th century (Stor. dei Musulmani di Sicilia, iii. 56). Messina was taken in the following year — 1061, May.]


[The fortress of Cerami was not far from Troina.]


See the word milites in the Latin Glossary of Ducange.


Of odd particulars, I learn from Malaterra that the Arabs had introduced into Sicily the use of camels (l. i. c. 33) and of carrier pigeons (c. 42), and that the bite of the tarantula provokes a windy disposition, quæ per anum inhoneste crepitando emergit: a symptom most ridiculously felt by the whole Norman army in their camp near Palermo (c. 36). I shall add an etymology not unworthy of the eleventh century: Messana is derived from Messis, the place from whence the harvests of the isle were sent in tribute to Rome (l. ii. c. 1).


See the capitulation of Palermo in Malaterra, l. ii. c. 45, and Giannone, who remarks the general toleration of the Saracens (tom. ii. p. 72).


John Leo Afer, de Medicis et Philosophis Arabibus, c. 14, apud Fabric. Bibliot. Græc. tom. xiii. p. 278, 279. This philosopher is named Esseriph Essachalli, and he died in Africa, a.h. 516 — ad 1122. Yet this story bears a strange resemblance to the Sherif al Edrissi, who presented his book (Geographia Nubiensis, see preface, p. 88, 90, 170) to Roger king of Sicily, a.h. 548 — ad 1153 (d’Herbelot, Bibliothèque Orientale, p. 786; Prideaux’s Life of Mahomet, p. 188; Petit de la Croix, Hist. de Gengiscan, p. 535, 536; Casiri, Bibliot. Arab. Hispan. tom. ii. p. 9-13), and I am afraid of some mistake.


Malaterra remarks the foundation of the bishoprics (l. iv. c. 7) and produces the original of the bull (l. iv. c. 29). Giannone gives a rational idea of this privilege, and the tribunal of the monarchy of Sicily (tom. ii. p. 95-102); and St. Marc (Abrégé, tom. iii. p. 217-301, ist column) labours the case with the diligence of a Sicilian lawyer.


In the first expedition of Robert against the Greeks, I follow Anna Comnena (the ist, iiird, ivth, and vth books of the Alexiad), William Appulus (l. ivth and vth, p. 270-275), and Jeffrey Malaterra (l. iii. c. 13, 14, 24-29, 39). Their information is contemporary and authentic, but none of them were eye-witnesses of the war. [Monograph: Schwarz, Die Feldzüge Robert Guiscards gegen das byzantinische Reich, 1854.]


One of them was married to Hugh, the son of Azzo, or Axo, a marquis of Lombardy, rich, powerful, and noble (Gulielm. Appul. l. iii. p. 267), in the xith century, and whose ancestors in the xth and ixth are explored by the critical industry of Leibnitz and Muratori. From the two elder sons of the marquis Azzo are derived the illustrious lines of Brunswick and Este. See Muratori, Antichità Estense.


Anna Comnena, somewhat too wantonly, praises and bewails that handsome boy, who, after the rupture of his Barbaric nuptials (l. i. p. 23 [c. 10]), was betrothed as her husband; he was ἄγαλμα ϕύσεως . . . Θεου̑ χειρω̑ν ϕιλοτίμημα . . . χρυσου̑ γένους ἀπορροή, &c. (p. 27 [c. 12]). Elsewhere, she describes the red and white of his skin, his hawk’s eyes, &c. l. iii. p. 71 [c. 1]. [It had been proposed originally that Helena should marry another Constantine, a brother of Michael; and there are extant two letters of this Emperor to Robert Guiscard, concerning the projected alliance, dating from 1073 (in the correspondence of Psellus, published by Sathas, Bibl. Gr. Med. Æv. 5, p. 385 sqq.). For criticism see Seger, Nikephorus Bryennios, p. 123-4: Heinemann, op. cit. p. 394-6.]


Anna Comnena, l. i. p. 28, 29; Gulielm. Appul. l. iv. p. 271; Galfrid Malaterra, l. iii. c. 13, p. 579, 580. Malaterra is more cautious in his style; but the Apulian is bold and positive.

  • — Mentitus se Michaelem
  • Venerat a Danais quidam seductor ad illum.

As Gregory VII. had believed, Baronius, almost alone, recognises the emperor Michael (ad 1080, No. 44).


[Registrum Epistolarum, of Gregory VII. (ap. Jaffé, Bibl. rer. Germ. ii.), viii. 6, p. 435.]


[So the Greeks said. But probably this was not so. Robert saw through the imposture and took advantage of it; but probably did not invent it.]


Ipse armatæ militiæ non plusquam mccc milites secum habuisse, ab eis qui eidem negotio interfuerunt attestatur (Malaterra, l. iii. c. 24, p. 583). These are the same whom the Apulian (l. iv. p. 273) styles the equestris gens ducis, equites de gente ducis.


Εἰς τριάκοντα χιλιάδας, says Anna Comnena (Alexias, l. i. p. 37 [c. 16]), and her account tallies with the number and lading of the ships. Ivit in [leg. contra] Dyrrachium cum xv millibus hominum, says the Chronicon Breve Normannicum (Muratori, Scriptores, tom. v. p. 278). I have endeavoured to reconcile these reckonings.


The Itinerary of Jerusalem (p. 609, edit. Wesseling) gives a true and reasonable space of a thousand stadia, or one hundred miles, which is strangely doubled by Strabo (l. vi. p. 433 [3, § 8]) and Pliny (Hist. Natur. iii. 16).


Pliny (Hist. Nat. iii. 6, 16) allows quinquaginta millia for this brevissimus cursus, and agrees with the real distance from Otranto to La Vallona, or Aulon (d’Anville, Analyse de la Carte des Côtes de la Grèce, &c. p. 3-6). Hermolaus Barbarus, who substitutes centum (Harduin, Not. lxvi. in Plin. l. iii.), might have been corrected by every Venetian pilot who had sailed out of the gulf.


[Corfu, of course, is not a corruption of Kerkyra, but is the mediæval Greek name Κορυϕώ, which, originally applied to the hill-town (κορυϕή), was extended to designate the island.]


Infames scopulos Acroceraunia, Horat. carm. i. 3. The præcipitem Africum decertantem Aquilonibus et rabiem Noti, and the monstra natantia of the Adriatic, are somewhat enlarged; but Horace trembling for the life of Virgil is an interesting moment in the history of poetry and friendship.


Τω̑ν δὲ εἰς τὸν πώγωνα αὐτου̑ ἐϕυβρισάντων (Alexias, l. iv. p. 106 [c. 2]). Yet the Normans shaved, and the Venetians wore their beards; they must have derided the no-beard of Bohemond: an harsh interpretation! (Ducange. Not. ad Alexiad. p. 283).


Muratori (Annali d’Italia, tom. ix. p. 136, 137) observes that some authors (Petrus Diacon. Chron. Casinen. l. iii. c. 49) compose the Greek army of 170,000 men, but that the hundred may be struck off, and that Malaterra reckons only 70,000: a slight inattention. The passage to which he alludes is in the Chronicle of Lupus Protospata (Script. Ital. tom. v. p. 45). Malaterra (l. iv. c. 27) speaks in high, but indefinite, terms of the emperor, cum copiis innumerabilibus; like the Apulian poet (l. iv. p. 272).

More locustarum montes et plana teguntur.


See William of Malmesbury, de Gestis Anglorum, l. ii. p. 92. Alexius fidem Anglorum suscipiens præcipuis familiaritatibus suis eos applicabat, amorem eorum filio transcribens. Ordericus Vitalis (Hist. Eccles. l. iv. p. 508, l. vii. p. 641) relates their emigration from England, and their service in Greece.


See the Apulian, l. i. p. 256. The character and story of these Manichæans has been the subject of the livth chapter.


See the simple and masterly narrative of Cæsar himself (Comment. de Bell. Civil. iii. 41-75). It is a pity that Quintus Icilius (M. Guischard) did not live to analyse these operations, as he has done the campaigns of Africa and Spain.


Πάλλας ἄλλη κἂν μὴ Ἀθήνη [Anna Comn. iv. c. 6], which is very properly translated by the president Cousin (Hist. de Constantinople, tom. iv. p. 131 in 12mo), qui combattoit comme une Pallas, quoiqu’elle ne fût pas aussi savante que celle d’Athènes. The Grecian goddess was composed of two discordant characters, of Neith, the workwoman of Sais in Egypt, and of a virgin Amazon of the Tritonian Lake in Libya (Banier, Mythologie, tom. iv. p. 1-31 in 12mo).


Anna Comnena (l. iv. p. 116 [c. 6]) admires, with some degree of terror, her masculine virtues. They were more familiar to the Latins; and, though the Apulian (l. iv. p. 273) mentions her presence and her wound, he represents her as far less intrepid.

  • Uxor in hoc bello Roberti forte sagittâ
  • Quâdam læsa fuit; quo vulnere territa nullam
  • Dum sperabat opem se pœne subegerat hosti.

The last is an unlucky word for a female prisoner.


Ἀπὸ τη̑ς [μετὰ] του̑ Ῥομπέρτου προηγησαμένης μάχης, γινώσκων τὴν πρώτην κατὰ τω̑ν ἐναντίων ἰππασίαν τω̑ν Κελτω̑ν ἀνύποιστον (Anna, l. v. p. 133 [c. 3]), and elsewhere καὶ γὰρ Κέλτος ἁνὴρ πα̑ς ἐποχούμενος μὲν ἀνόποιστος τὴν ὸρμὴν καὶ τὴν θέαν ἐστίν (p. 140 [c. 6]). The pedantry of the princess in the choice of classic appellations encouraged Ducange to apply to his countrymen the characters of the ancient Gauls.


Lupus Protospata (tom. iii. p. 45) says 6000; William the Apulian more than 5000 (l. iv. p. 273). Their modesty is singular and laudable: they might with so little trouble have slain two or three myriads of schismatics and infidels!


The Romans had changed the inauspicious name of Epi-damnus to Dyrrachium (Plin. iii. 26), and the vulgar corruption of Duracium (see Malaterra) bore some affinity to hardness. One of Robert’s names was Durand, a durando: Poor wit! (Alberic. Monach. in Chron. apud Muratori, Annali d’Italia, tom. ix. p. 137).


Βρούχους καὶ ἀκρίδας ε[Editor: Illegible Latin character]πεν ἄν τις αὐτοὺς [τὸν] πατέρα καὶ [τὸν] υἱόν (Anna, l. i. p. 35 [c. 14]). By these similes, so different from those of Homer, she wishes to inspire contempt as well as horror for the little noxious animal, a conqueror. Most unfortunately, the common sense, or common nonsense, of mankind resists her laudable design.


Prodiit hâc auctor Trojanæ cladis Achilles.

The supposition of the Apulian (l. v. p. 275) may be excused by the more classic poetry of Virgil (Æneid II. 197), Larissæus Achilles, but it is not justified by the geography of Homer.


The τω̑ν πεδίλων προάλματα, which incumbered the knights on foot, have been ignorantly translated spurs (Anna Comnena, Alexias l. v. p. 140 [c. 6]). Ducange has explained the true sense by a ridiculous and inconvenient fashion, which lasted from the xith to the xvth century. These peaks, in the form of a scorpion, were sometimes two feet, and fastened to the knee with a silver chain.


The epistle itself (Alexias, l. iii. p. 93, 94, 95 [c. 10]) well deserves to be read. There is one expression, ἀστροπέλεκυν δεδεμένον μετὰ χρυσαϕίου, which Ducange does not understand; I have endeavoured to grope out a tolerable meaning; χρυσάϕιον, is a golden crown; ἀστροπέλεκυς, is explained by Simon Portius (in Lexico Græco-Barbar.) by κεραυνός, πρηστήρ, a flash of lightning. [Heinemann has shown that this letter reached Henry IV. at Rome in June, 1081 (op. cit. p. 396-8). The embassy is mentioned in Benzo’s Panegyricus rhythmicus, probably composed at end of 1081 (printed in Pertz, Mon. xi. p. 591 sqq.).]