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The second period, therefore, in the record of the conquests of Charles the Great includes the history of the making firm of his new eastern and south-western borders. But this is not, like the first fifteen years of his reign, a time of complete conquest and incorporation of races who were near akin to the Franks. All the Teutonic peoples of central Europe were already gathered beneath the sceptre of Charles; the tribes with which he had now to do were strangers to the Franks, not only in religion, but in blood and language. The wide scope work of Charles in the East in the second period of Charles' of his reign was to make the Slav and Avar schemes. harmless, by compelling their princes to pay homage and tribute, not by occupying their realms with Frankish garrisons, or carving them up into countships and marches. In the West, on the other hand, his task was to build up a strong border against the Moor, by conquering, one by one, the fortresses between the Pyrenees and the Ebro. The Moslem had to be driven out, since there was no hope of converting him. In the towns from which he was expelled a new population grew up, neither purely Spanish nor purely Frank, but the mixed race of the Catalans, in whose veins Romano-Spanish, Visigothic, Aquitanian, and Frankish blood was mingled in various proportions, so that they have always differed very considerably, both in character and in language, from the inhabitants of the rest of the peninsula. But the history of the foreign policy of Charles during the second period of his reign contains much more besides his dealings with the Slav, the Moor, and the Avar. He had frequent troubles with the East-Roman Empire, arising from their disputed boundaries in Italy. In the very end of his reign he met and turned off the first assault of the Danes on the Frankish realm, an attack insignificant in itself, but portending the gravest dangers in the future. We find him interfering beyond the British sea with the affairs of Northumbria, and at the same time extending his hand far to the south to seize the Balearic Isles. Even to the distant Abbasside Caliph at Bagdad his fame was known, and Haroun's ambassadors sought the court of Aachen to concert an alliance with him.
In the second half of his reign Charles very frequently took the field in person, but was not so constantly at the head of his armies as during the period 773-85. He had charlesmakes now three growing sons, whom he intrusted with his sons the charge of three important sections of his kmgsrealm, and he looked to them to guard each that portion of the frontier of the Frankish empire which bordered on his own sub-kingdom. Charles, the eldest of the three, ruled in western Neustria (Anjou, Maine, Touraine); Pippin, the second, in Lombardy; Lewis, the youngest, in Aquitaine. Charles would thus be specially concerned with the unruly Bretons of Armorica, who twice made unsuccessful risings in his father's reign (786 and 799). Lewis was in charge of the Saracen frontier along the Pyrenees. Pippin had to keep watch over the duke of Benevento, as well as to turn his attention to the Avars on the north-east of Italy. But the three princes were not strictly confined each to his own sphere. Charles was occasionally sent against the Saxons; Lewis conducted at least one campaign in southern Italy; Pippin more than once took charge of an attack on the Slavs of Bohemia. Whenever, in short, the great king could not march in person against a rebel or a foreign enemy, he would send one of his sons to take his place. He did not allow them to become completely localised and engrossed with the affairs of their respective governments, but often kept them with him at Aachen for many months at a time.
In reviewing the later conquests of Charles the Great it will be most convenient to follow the geographical order from north to south, rather than the chronological order of each campaign, for his arms were engaged in so many quarters at once that an attempt to tell his doings in a purely annalistic form leads to dire confusion.
On the North-West the Frankish border, after 785, was fringed by Slavonic tribes, all ancient enemies of the Saxon. These were the Abotrites in the north—in the modern Meckconquestof lemburg—the Wiltzes beyond them in western the Northern Pomerania, and the Sorbes in Brandenburg, on Slavs- the Havel and Spree. These tribes, like their
kindred whom we have already met in the Balkan peninsula, were rude peoples, and not very formidable enemies, owing to their subdivisions under petty princes, and their incapacity for union. Though numerous and not unwarlike, all the Slavs between Elbe and Oder were subdued by Charles in a single campaign. He crossed the Elbe in 789 with an Austrasian army, strengthened by levies of Frisians and of Saxons, who served gladly against their ancestral foes. The terror of his name seems to have stricken the Slavs with dismay. After a very slight resistance, first the Abotrites and their chief king Witzin, then the Wiltzes and their chief king Dragovit did homage to Charles, gave him as many hostages as he chose to demand, and consented to pay him a tribute and to receive the Christian missionaries whom he prepared to send among them. The Frankish army marched through moors and woods till it saw the Baltic at the mouth of the Peene in Pomerania, and then returned with some booty and no loss to the banks of the Rhine. So thoroughly were the Slavs subdued that during the next revolt of the Saxons they did not take the opportunity of disowning their homage to Charles, but came to help him against the rebels (795). Witzin, prince of the Abotrites, was actually slain by the Eastphalians while in arms for the Franks, and his death was well revenged by the king, who harried the lands along the Elbe with exceptional severity to atone for his ally's slaughter. In a later Saxon rising (798) we again find the Abotrites taking arms at the bidding of Charles. Their new king Thrasuco reconquered the Nordalbingians without Frankish aid, and brought their chiefs in bonds to the king's feet, 'whereupon Charles honoured him marvellously, and gave the Slavs great gifts.' Ten years later the same prince and people fought valiantly against the Danes when they invaded the wars of Dane northern frontier of Charles's realm, though their and Slavneighbours the Wiltzes on this occasion deserted to the enemy. The latter people, however, were subdued again in 812, at the very end of the great king's reign, so that he left his eastern boundary undiminished at his death. On the whole the Slavs of the North were not by any means the most difficult to rule of the many races with whom Charles had to deal.
With their fellow Slavs more to the south, the Czechs of Bohemia, the Franks had comparatively few rela- Subjection of tions. The vast uninhabited tract of forest and Bohemia, mountain called the Bohmerwald seems to have long kept them apart. But in 805-6 the king sent against them his son and namesake Charles the Younger, who twice wasted all the valley of the upper Elbe, and finally compelled the chiefs of the Czechs to acknowledge their dependence on the Frankish empire by paying tribute.
South of Bohemia, along the Danube and the Raab and Leithe, the realms of Charles bordered on the Tartar tribe of the Avars, ancient enemies both of the Lombards and of the emperors of Constantinople. The Avars had of late years fallen on evil times. They were vexed with civil wars so much that none of their princes any longer ruled war with the the whole race, or could call himself by the title Avars. of Chagan, the old name of their supreme ruler. Yet, though wasted by their own dissensions, and by the revolts of the Slavonic tribes who were their vassals, the Avars could not keep from their old habit of making descents on their neighbours. They drew down their doom on themselves by invading, in 788, at once the Lombard march of Friuli and the vassal duchy of Bavaria. When next he had leisure, two years later, Charles planned an invasion of their land on the largest scale. He himself marched down the Danube with an Austrasian and Saxon army, burst through the long line of fortifications with which the Avars had strengthened their border, and wasted their lands as far as the Raab. At the same moment a great Lombard host entered the valley of the Drave, pushed into the heart of Pannonia, beat the Avars in the field, and stormed their great circular camps. The complete subjection of the whole tribe would have followed in the next year if Charles had not been called away by a Saxon revolt, which kept him employed during the two next campaigning seasons. The king himself never again took the field against the Avars, but his son Pippin and Eric duke of Friuli continued the war on his behalf. Twice they captured the great 'ring,' or royal camp, between Danube and Theiss, the central stronghold of the Avar race, and sent its spoils to Aachen in such quantities that Charles was able to^ send Avaric trophies as gifts to all his friends, even to such distant kings as Offa of Mercia. At last the spirit of the Avars was so much broken that their chiefs, or 'Tuduns,' came of their own accord to
The Avars Aachen to do homage to Charles, and offered to
subdued, receive Christianity. Their submission was accepted. The king appointed one of them to rule the whole race as his vassal, and bade him assume the ancierit title of Chagan (805). This prince was baptized by the name of Abraham, paid a regular tribute to the Franks, and kept his subjects for the future from the dangerous temptation of meddling with the Lombard or Bavarian border. The Avars were, however, in a state of decay at this time, and their race and kingdom were ere long to be swept away by the invading Magyars.
The same fate which befell the Tartar Avars fell also upon their southern neighbours and former vassals, the Slavs of the Save and Drave. These Carantanians (Carinthians) and Slovenians were subdued by the arms of Charles's Bavarian and Lombard subjects, and became dependants of the Frankish empire, forced to pay tribute and do homage, but not wholly incorporated with the realm.
We have already spoken in a previous chapter of the