Page images

the disgraceful scene of Elsloo was renewed: Charles paid the Danes 700 ibs. of silver, and gave them Charies the permission to pass up the Seine into Burgundy, Fat bribes and work their will there. He was angry with the Burgundians for refusing him obedience and leaning to the cause of Boso, the king of Arles, and chose this despicable means of wreaking his vengeance on them.

Paris was saved, and the reputation of its gallant defender, count Odo, raised to the highest pitch. But the emperor had thrown away his last chance, and forfeited the respect of even the meanest of his subjects. His remaining days were few and evil. Attacked by softening of the brain, and burdened by an ever-increasing corpulence, he retired to Germany after the disgraceful treaty of Paris. There his doom was awaiting him: the counts and dukes of the East Frankish realm conspired against him, headed by his illegitimate nephew Arnulf, duke of Carinthia, the son of king Carloman. In 887 the young duke took up arms, openly announcing that he was about to march on Frankfurt and depose his uncle. Charles tried to raise an army, but none of his vassals would lend him aid: in sheer despair he sent his royal crown and robes to Arnulf, abandoning the Abdication kingdom, and craving only five manors in his ofCharies native Suabia to maintain him for his few remain- * e Fat' ing days. This boon the duke granted, and the unwieldy ex-Caesar dragged himself away to a royal villa at Neidingen, where he died less than three months after, worn out by the bodily ills which form the only possible excuse for his shiftless and cowardly conduct during the last three years.

Meanwhile Arnulf entered Frankfurt, and was there hailed as king by all the counts and dukes of Germany. He was known as a brave and able young man, and though he was but a Karling of bastard blood, the East Franks Amuif, king gladly intrusted themselves to the protection of of Germany, his arm. But the other parts of the empire did 888-8"not consider themselves bound to follow the lead of Germany. In each of the kingdoms a noble of great local note and power stepped forward to claim the crown of his native land. In Neustria there still survived one Karling of the direct line, the boy Charles the Simple, Carloman's youngest brother; but he had only reached the age of eight, and when Paris was but just saved, and the Danes were still on the Seine, it was no time to give the crown to children. Two claimants odo, king appeared for the Neustrian throne, Wido duke of France. of Spoleto, an Italian noble whose mother had been a daughter of the emperor Lothair, and Odo count of

[graphic][merged small]

Paris, the hero who had saved his city from the Danes in the past year. Though he could boast of no Carolingian blood in his veins, Odo easily carried the day against his rival; he was crowned king at Compiegne by Walter, archbishop of Sens, and soon forced Wido to leave France and retire to Italy.

We have related in another chapter how Berengar of Friuli was chosen king of Italy, and how he was obliged to fight hard for his crown with Wido, when the latter returned from his unsuccessful expedition to France.

A fourth kingdom was established in the Jura and the western Alps by count Rudolf, one of the governors of Upper Burgundy. He first got himself crowned at St. Maurice by the counts and bishops of Helvetia, and then, pushing beyond the Jura, was again proclaimed king at Toul. But Rudolf never got any firm footing in Lotharingia: his realm was limited to the lands north of the Alps, r, , „. ,.

r' Rudolf, king

west of the Aar, and east of the Saone. The of Upper chief towns of this—the smallest of the fractions Burgundy. of the Carolingian realm—were Lausanne, Geneva, St. Maurice, and Besangon.

Boso's kingdom of Arles or Lower Burgundy was now in the ninth year of its existence; its founder had died in 887, but his son Lewis—a Carolingian on the female side through his mother Hermengarde, the daughter of the emperor Lewis of Italy, had succeeded without trouble to his father's throne.

Thus the Frankish empire was cut up into five states, not ephemeral creations of a heritage-partition, like the many kingdoms which we have seen rising and falling from the days of the Merovingians onward, but more permanent divisions, three of which represented real national differences, while even the other two—the Upper and Lower Burgundy—had a certain national coherence and individuality of their own, and were destined to last for several generations. One of the five realms was ruled by a bastard Carolingian; two by two princes who boasted a Carolingian descent on the spindle side: only France and Upper Burgundy were in the hands of monarchs who could lay claim to no drop of the ancient royal blood.1

1 Rudolf of Upper Burgundy was connected by marriage with the Karlings. He was nephew of the empress Judith, the mother of Charles the Bald, and therefore cousin to all the Neustrian Karlings.



Invasion of Sicily by the Moors : the Western half of the island conquered—
Civil wars in Southern Italy—The Moors invade Italy—Pope Leo's
victoiy at Ostia—Quarrels of the Eastern and Western Churches—The
False Decretals—Campaigns of the Emperor Lewis n. against the
Moors—Anarchy in Italy after his death—The Byzantines reconquer
Southern Italy—The Moors in Campania—Civil wars of Wido and
Berengar—King Arnulf's invasion of Italy—Long period of anarchy
after his departure.

On the fortunes of the kingdom of Italy, that is, of the old Lombard realm, which had now become a province of the empire of Charles the Great, we have already had occasion to touch on more than one occasion. But while northern Italy with its king established at Pavia, and central Italy with its pontiff and its turbulent Roman mob, have from time to time claimed our attention, we have had little necessity to mention the southern third of the peninsula, or the great island which faces it across the straits of Messina.

In the ninth century the bulk of southern Italy, all those valleys of the Apennines, which had in ancient days bred the warlike Samnite race, was still in the hands of the dukes of Benevento. We have mentioned that they had more than once been forced to pay homage to Charles the Great, but State of South- since his day the empire had left the duchy alone.

em Italy. T/wo dukes, Sico and Sicard, had held Benevento during the reign of Lewis the Pious, and had to do with his son Lothair, the sub-king of Lombardy. Luckily for them the heir of the empire was more set on maintaining a hold north of the Alps than on completing the Frankish supremacy in Italy.

But it was not the whole of south Italy that the Beneventan dukes ruled. The East Roman emperors had never lost hold of the 'toe and heel' of the peninsula (if we may use the familiar phrase that describes so well the shape of Italy). In Brindisi dwelt a strategos, whose authority extended over the southern part of the ancient Apulia. In Reggio another governor ruled the ancient land of Bruttium, now known by the name of Calabria. Beyond the straits of Messina a third military ruler had the hard task of preserving from the Saracen the half-lost 'theme' of Sicily, where since 828 an unending struggle with the Moslem invader had been raging.

Beside the Beneventan duchy and the Byzantine themes, there were yet more states in south Italy. Naples preserved a precarious independence under a series of hereditary consuls: it still paid a shadowy allegiance to the Eastern Empire, as did also the neighbouring Amalphi and Gaeta, which, like Naples, had never fallen into the hands of the Lombards. But these cities were rather allies than subjects of the Byzantines, and paid no obedience to the governors of the neighbouring themes.

The one important element in the politics of southern Italy during the ninth century must be sought in the approaching peril of conquest by the Saracen. At first it was only the Byzantine possessions that were endangered, but very soon the whole of the Christian states were involved in the same trouble. The storm-cloud from the south, which had threatened Constantinople in 720 and Gaul in 735, had now shifted its position. The new attack was in the centre, not on the eastern or the western flank of the line of defence of Christendom. For twenty years Italy was to be in deadly peril, and there appeared every prospect that Naples and Benevento, if not Rome also, would share the fate that had fallen on Carthage and Toledo a hundred and fifty years before.

The trouble began with the landing of a Mussulman army

« ՆախորդըContinue »