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of legitimate blood survived. Italy, like the other Frankish realms, had to seek a new royal house. Two princes courted the suffrages of the Lombard Diet and the blessing of the Pope—Wido, duke of Spoleto, the most powerful and the most turbulent of the nobles of central Italy, and Berengar, margrave of the march of Friuli, the Italian borderland toward the Slavs of Illyria. Both claimed Karling blood on the spindle side. Berengar was the son of Gisela, a daughter of Lewis the Pious and the empress Judith; Wido's mother was a daughter of Lothair I. and a sister of the good emperor Lewis n. At first there appeared some chance that the two competitors might not come to blows, for Wido had the bold idea of crossing the Alps to seize the Lotharingian dominions of his grandfather Lothair, in the general break-up of the empire which followed the deposition of Charles the Fat. He agreed to allow Berengar to be crowned king of Italy if he himself was aided in his Transalpine schemes. The margrave of Friuli, therefore, was duly elected by the Lombard Diet, and anointed king by the archbishop of Milan, while duke Wido entered Burgundy, and got himself crowned at Langres. But after a short struggle with Odo of France the Spoletan prince abandoned his hopes beyond the Alps and fell back on Italy. Then, disregarding the oaths he war had sworn to Berengar, he commenced to in- and trigue with the counts of central Italy, and soon laid claim to the crown. There followed four years of bitter war between Berengar and Wido, the former supported by Lombardy, the latter by Tuscany and all central Italy and backed by the Pope. Pretending that the archbishop of Milan ought not to have crowned Berengar, the privilege belonging to the Papal See alone, Stephen v. anointed Wido, and proclaimed him Emperor as well as King of Italy (891). The struggle between the rival kings ended in the victory of Wido, who took Pavia, drove Berengar back into his own duchy of Friuli, and ruled all the Lombard realm for three years. He made pope Formosus crown his son Lambert as coregent emperor with him, and thought that his dynasty was firmly established.
But a new competitor for the imperial throne now intervened. The humbled Berengar sent over the Alps to ask aid from Arnulf, king of Germany. That prince had always claimed the primacy among the various rulers who now shared the empire of Charles the Great between them, and was only Amuif invades too glad of an opportunity to interfere in Italy.
Italy, 894. He crossed the Alps in 894, was joined by Berengar, and laid siege to Bergamo, the strong cliff-built city which dominates the Lombard plains from the last spur of the Alps. The Germans stormed the town, and Arnulf hung count Ambrosius, the governor, in his armour before the gate, after massacring the whole garrison. The terror of this deed cowed the partisans of Wido, and all Italy north of the Po did homage to Arnulf. The Spoletan emperor retired southward to prepare to defend the line of the Apennines. TJiere he died, leaving his claims to his son Lambert.
Next year Arnulf returned in force, passed triumphantly through Tuscany, and though disease much thinned the ranks of his army, appeared before the walls of Rome. Not Lambert of Spoleto, but his mother Engeltrud defended the Eternal city. Inspirited by her the Romans held out for some days, but when Arnulf had stormed the 'Leonine City,' the new quarter beyond the Tiber, the empress and her warriors fled, and the Pope opened the gates. Formosus, who had always Amuif takes opposed the Spoletans, looked on Arnulf as a Rome, 895. deliverer, and crowned him emperor with joy; but the violence and rapine of the conquering soldiery disgusted the populace of Rome, whose confidence had not been won by Arnulf's first act — the beheading of thirty citizens who had favoured the cause of Wido and Lambert.
Attacked by fever] and a paralytic stroke, Arnulf returned to Germany without having conquered Lambert's hereditary duchy in the Umbrian Apennines. The moment he was gone all central Italy rose in favour of the Spoletan. Pope Formosus, Arnulfs chief supporter, died at this moment, and the new pope, Stephen vI., a rabid supporter of the faction of Lambert, violated his predecessor's sepulchre, declared him an antipope and usurper, and cast his corpse into the Tiber (896).
Arnulf, stricken down by disease, returned no more to Italy, and in his absence Berengar of Friuli once more became master of Lombardy, while Lambert of Spoleto was acknowledged in Rome, Tuscany, and Umbria. Fortunately for Italy, Lambert died eighteen months later, killed by a fall from his horse, and his mother Engeltrud sent to Berengar to recognise him as sole king, making no claim in Bercn behalf of her young grandchild, the son of Lam- king of Italy, bert. Arnulf died a year later, and thus in the 900' last year of the century (900) Berengar was left without competitors.
That his reign was not likely to be happy may be gathered from the preceding pages. The Saracens of Campania were still in the field; a new scourge, the Magyars from the Danube, appeared for the first time in Italy in 899, and raided as far as Verona, showing by their brutal cruelty that Christendom might have even worse foes than the Moslem. Rome meanwhile was a prey to anarchy; six Popes died in four years, nor was their loss much to be deplored. Boniface vn. had been twice deposed from the priesthood for profligacy. For Stephen vI., who showed his disposition by his horrid treatment of the corpse of Formosus, we need not much grieve, when we read that his enemies caught him and strangled him in prison. Of the other Popes, creatures of a few months' reign, we know so little that it is hard to take any interest in their fate. They represented nothing more than parties among the citizens of Rome or the barons of Latium.
So closed the ninth century, with prospects as black for Italy as for the other kingdoms which a hundred years before had joined in saluting Charles the Great as emperor. The
Period i. 2 G
only favourable point in the outlook was the hope that a national Lombard kingship might be once more restored in the person of Berengar.
It was the unfortunate connection between the Pope, the Italian crown, and the imperial title that was still to be Berengar's bane. He had hardly reigned a year in peace (900) when Pope Benedict iv. and the remains of the party of Lambert of Spoleto found a new competitor to pit against him. This was Lewis, king of Provence (or Arles), the son of king Boso, and the Italian princess Hermengarde, and therefore the grandson of the good emperor Lewis n. Lewis won several successes over Berengar, was crowned king of Lombardy at Pavia, and then received the imperial crown at Rome in February 901. But he could not permanently hold his own. After a year's fighting Berengar succeeded in chasing him beyond the Alps. He returned in 905, again called in by the rebellious counts of central Italy, and once more won some fleeting advantages over the native king of the land. But as he lay in Verona he was suddenly surrounded by an army of Berengar's partisans; the citizens of the place threw open the gates at night, and the young Provengal emperor fell into his rival's hands. Berengar bade his servants blind the captive, and sent him back in sorry plight to abide in his kingdom by the Rhone. 'And so at last he firmly held the Italian crown, which had cost so many princes their lives.' But it was only a precarious empire over the Lombard plain that Berengar enjoyed. The Pope and the counts of central Italy, even when they did not raise up any rival against him, systematically set his commands at nought. The imperial title he either did not covet or could not obtain from the Pope, till in wnquersthe 915 John x. bought his support against the Moors. Saracens of the Garigliano by conferring on
him the long-withheld dignity. In the following year Italy was happily relieved from that band of marauders. The troops of Berengar, of the dukes of Spoleto and Benevento, and of the Pope were all for once united in the holy war, and when united they proved invincible. The forts of the Mussulmans were stormed, their armies beaten in the field, and the whole colony finally rooted out.
But after this triumph Berengar was not fated to die in peace. In his old age his enemies stirred up against him yet another king from beyond the Alps, Rudolf n. of Upper Burgundy. Berengar was once more deserted by many of his followers, and once more saw the greater part of Death of Lombardy overrun by a Transalpine army. But Berengar, this time he was not destined to survive his"'""" troubles. While besieged in Verona in the year 924, he was murdered by traitors, and lost his life, as well as the royal and imperial crown, for which he had so often contended.