« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
The recovery of Constantinople was celebrated as the era CHAP. of a new empire: the conqueror, alone, and by the right of lxi. the sword, renewed his coronation in the church of St Sophia; and the name and honours of John Lascaris, his pupil and Paizologas lawful sovereign, were insensibly abolished. But his claims bavishes still lived in the minds of the people ; and the royal youth must eroporor, speedily attain the years of manhood and ambition. By fear or Dec. 25. conscience, Palæologus was restrained from dipping his hands in innocent and royal blood; but the anxiety of a usurper and a parent urged him to secure his throne, by one of those imperfect crimes so familiar to the modern Greeks. The loss of sight incapacitated the young prince for the active business of the world: instead of the brutal violence of tearing out his eyes, the visual nerve was destroyed by the intense glare of a red hot basin, 22 and John Lascaris was removed to a distant castle, where he spent many years in privacy and oblivion. Such cool and deliberate guilt may seem incompatible with remorse; but if Michael could trust the mercy of heaven, he was not inaccessible to the reproaches and vengeance of mankind, which he had provoked by cruelty and treason. His cruelty imposed on a servile court the duties of applause or silence; but the clergy had a right to speak in the name of their invisible master; and their holy legions were led by a prelate, whose character was above the temptations of bope or fear. After a short abdication of his dignity, Arsenius23 had consented to ascend the ecclesiastical throne of Constantinople, and to preside in the restoration of the church. His pious simplicity was long deceived by the arts of Palæologus : and his patience and submission might sooth the usuper, and protect the safety of the young prince. On the news of his inhuman treatment, the patriarch unsheathed the spiritual sword ; and superstition, on this occasion, was enlisted in the cause of humanity and justice. In a synod of bishops, who is escomkere stimulated by the example of his zeal, the patriarch by the pas pronounced a sentence of excommunication; though his pru-Arsectus, dence still repeated the name of Michael in the public prayers. The eastern prelates had not adapted the dangerous maxims of ancient Rome; nor did they presume to enforce their censures, by deposing princes, or absolving nations from their oaths of
A. D. 126,
22 This milder invention for extinguishing the sight, was tried by the philosopber Democritus on himself, when he sought to withdraw his mind from the visible world: a foolish story! the word abacinare, in Latin and Italian, has furnished Ducange (Gloss. Latin.) with an opportunity to review the various modes of blinding: the more violent were scooping, burning with an iron, or hot vinegar, and binding the head with a strong cord till the eyes burst from their sockets. Ingenious tyrants !
23 See the first retreat and restoration of Arsenius, in Pachymer (1. ii. c. 15, 1. iii. c. 1, 2,) and Nicephorus Gregoras (1. iii. c. i. iv. c. 1.) Posterity justly accused the aquasts and people of Arsenius, the virtues of a hermit, the vices of a minister (1. xii. c. 2.)
Schism of the Arseniles,
CHAP. allegiance. But the Christian, who had been separated from LXII. God and the church, became an object of horror; and, in a w turbulent and fanatic capital, that horror might arm the hand
of an assassin, or inflame a sedition of the people. Palæologus felt his danger, confessed his guilt, and deprecated bis judge: the act was irretrievable; the prize was obtained ; and the most rigorous penance, which he solicited, would have raised the sinner to the reputation of a saint. The unrelenting patriarch refused to announce any means of atonement or any hopes of mercy; and condescended only to pronounce, that, for so great a crime, great indeed must be the satisfaction. “Do you require," said Michael, “that I should abdicate the empire ?" And at these words, he offered, or seemed to offer, the sword of state. Arsenius eagerly grasped this pledge of sovereignty ; but when he perceived that the emperor was unwilling to purchase absolution at so dear a rate, he indignantly escaped to his cell, and left the royal sinner kneeling and weeping before the door. -4
The danger and scandal of this excommunication subsisted
above three years, till the popular clamour was assuaged by 4-1312266 time and repentance; till the brethren of Arsenius condemned
his inflexible spirit, so repugnant to the unbounded forgiveness of the gospel. The emperor had artfully insinuated, that, if he were still rejected at home, he might seek in the Roman pontiff, a more indulgent judge ; but it was far more easy and effectual to find or to place that judge at the head of the Byzantine church. Arsenius was involved in a vague rumour of conspiracy and disaffection : some irregular steps in his ordination and government were liable to censure; a synod deposed him from the episcopal office; and he was transported under a guard of soldiers to a small island of the Propontis. Before his exile, he sullenly requested that a strict account might be taken of the treasures of the church; boasted that his sole riches, three pieces of gold, had been earned by transcribing the psalms; continued to assert the freedom of his mind; and denied, with his last breath, the pardon which was implored by the royal sinner. After some delay, Gregory, bishop of Adr anople, was translated to the Byzantine throne : but his authority was found insufficient to support the absolution of the emperor; and Joseph, a reverend monk, was substituted to that important function. This edifying scene was represented in the presence of the senate and people ; at
24 The crime and excommunication of Michael are fairly told by Pachymer (l. iii. c. 10. 14. 19, &c,) and Gregoras (l. iv. c. 4.) His confession and penance restored their freedom.
25 Pachymer relates the exile of Arsenius (1. iv. c. 1-16 :) be was one of the commissaries who visited him in the desert island. The last testainent of the unforgiving patriarch is still extant (Dupin, Bibliotheque Ecclesiastique, tom. s. p. 95.)
the end of six years, the humble penitent was restored to the chaP. communion of the faithful ; and humanity will rejoice, that a LXn. milder treatment of the captive Lascaris was stipulated as a proof of his remorse. But the spirit of Arsenius still survived in a powerful faction of the monks and clergy, who persevered above forty-eight years in an obstinate schism. Their scruples were treated with tenderness and respect by Michael and his son; and the reconciliation of the Arsenites was the serious labour of the church and state. In the confidence of fanaticism they had proposed to try their cause by a miracle ; and when the two papers, that contained their own and the adverse cause, were cast into a fiery brasier, they expected that the catholic verity would be respected by the flames. Alas! the two papers were indiscriminately consumed, and this unforeseen accident produced the union of a day, and renewed the quarrel of an age. 26 The final treaty displayed the victory of the Arsenites: the clergy abstained during forty days from all ecclesiastical functions; a slight penance was imposed on the laity; the body of Arsenius was deposited in the sanctuary; and in the name of the departed saint, the prince and people were released from the sins of their fathers. 27
The establishment of his family was the motive, or at least Brign of the pretence, of the crime of Palæologus; and he was impa-Pala vious tient to confirm the succession, by sharing with his eldest son Decon, the honours of the purple. Andronicus, afterward surnamed the Elder, was proclaimed and crowned emperor of the Ro-Reign of mans, in the fifteenth year of his age; and, from the first era the Elder. of a prolix and inglorious reign, he held that august title nine Nov. 8* years as the colleague, and filty as the successor, of his father. Michael himself, had he died in a private station, would have been thought more worthy of the empire: and the assaults of his temporal and spiritual enemies, lest him few moments to labour for his own fame or the happiness of his subjects. He Irrested from the Franks several of the noblest islands of the Archipelago, Lesbos, Chios, and Rhodes; his brother Constantine was sent to command in Malvasia and Sparta ; and the eastern side of the Morea, from Argos and Napoli to Cape Tanarus, was repossessed by the Greeks. This effusion of Christian blood was loudly condemned by the patriarch; and the insolent priest presumed to interpose his fears and scruples between the arins of princes. But in the prosecution of these western conquests, the countries beyond the Hellespont were
A. D. 1282,
A. D. 1332,
26 Pachymer (l. vii. c. 22,) relates the miraculous trial like a philosopher, and treats with similar contempt a plot of the Arsenites, to hide a revelation in the coffin of some old saint (1. vii. c. 13.) He compensaies this incredulity by an image that weeps, another that bleeds (l. vii. c. 30,) and the miraculous cures of a deal and a mute patient (1. xi. c. 32.)
The story of the Arsenites is spread through the thirteen books of Pachy. mer. Their union and triumph are reserved for Vicephorus Gregoras (l. vii. c. 2,) who neither loves nor esteems those sectaries,
Ilis union with the Latin cburch, AD. 1274 - 1277.
CHAP. left naked to the Turks; and their depredations verified the LXII. prophecy of a dying senator, that the recovery of Constantino
ple would be the ruin of Asia. The victories of Michael were achieved by his lieutenants; his sword rusted in the palace; and in the transactions of the emperor with the popes and the king of Naples, his political arts were stained with cruelty and fraud.
1. The Vatican was the most natural refuge of a Latin emperor, who had been driven from his throne; and pope Urban the Fourth appeared to pity the misfortunes, and vindicate the cause, of the fugitive Baldwin. A crusade, with plenary indulgence, was preached by his command against the schismatic Greeks; he excommunicated their allies and adherents ; solicited Louis the Ninth in favour of his kinsman; and demanded a tenth of the ecclesiastical revenues of France and England for the service of the holy war.29 The subtle Greek, wlio watched the rising tempest of the West, attempted to suspend or sooth the hostility of the pope, by suppliant embassies and respectful letters; but he insinuated that the establishment of peace must prepare the reconciliation and obedience of the Eastern church. The Roman court could not be deceived by so gross an artifice; and Michael was admonished that the repentance of the son should precede the forgiveness of the father; and that failh (an ambiguous word) was the only basis of friendship and alliance. After a long and affected delay, the approach of danger and the importunity of Gregory the Tenth compelled him to enter on a more serious negotiation : he alleged the example of the great Vataces; and the Greek clergy, who understood the intentions of their prince, were not alarmed by the first steps of reconciliation and respect. But when he pressed the conclusion of the treaty, they strenuously delared, that the Latins, though not in name, were heretics in fact, and that they despised those strangers as the vilest and most despicable portion of the human race. It was the task of the emperor to persuade, to corrupt, to intimidate, the most popular ecclesiastics, to gain the vote of each individual, and alternately to urge the arguments of Christian charity and the public welfare. The texts of the fathers and the arms of the Franks were balanced in the theological and political scale; and without approving the addition to the Ni
28 Or the xiii books or Pachymer, the first six (as the irth and wth of Nicephorus Gregoras) contain the reign of Michael, at the time of whose death be was forty years of age. Instead of breaking, like his editor the Pere Poussin, bis history into illo parts, I follow Ducange and Cousin, who number thc xii books in one series.
29 Ducange, liist. de C. P. I. v. c. 33, &c. from the Epistles of Urban IV.
30 From their mcrcantile intercourse with the Venetians and Genoese, they branded the Latins as X2001 and 22:aucco (Pachymer, 1. v. c. 10.) “Some are keretics in name; others, like the Latins, in fact," said the learned Veccus (l. v. c. 12,) who soon afterward became a convert (c. 15, 16,) and a patriarch (r.
cene creed, the most moderate were taught to confess, that CHAP. the two hostile propositions of proceeding from the Father By LXII. the Son, and of proceeding from the Father and the Son, might be reduced to a safe and Catholic sense.s macy of the pope was a doctrine more easy to conceive, but more painful to acknowledge ; yet Michael represented to his monks and prelates, that they might submit to name the Roman bishop as the first of the patriarchs; and that their distance and discretion would guard the liberties of the Eastern church from the mischievous consequences of the right of appeal. He protested that he would sacrifice his life and empire, rather than yield the smallest point of orthodox faith or national independence: and this declaration was sealed and ratified by a golden bull. The patriarch Joseph withdrew to a monastery, to resign or resume his throne, according to the event of the treaty: the letters of union and obedience were subscribed by the emperor, bis son Andronicus, and thirty-five archbishops and metropolitans, with their respective synods; and the cpiscopal list was multiplied by many diocesses which were annihilated under the yoke of the infidels. An embassy was composed of some trusty ministers and prelates; they embarked for Italy, with rich ornaments and rare perfumes, for the altar of St. Peter; and their secret orders authorized and recommended a boundless compliance. They were received in the general council of Lyons, by pope Gregory the Tenth, at the head of five hundred bishops.52 He embraced with tears bis long-lost and repentant children; accepted the oath of the ambassadors, who abjured the schism in the name of the two einperors; adorned the prelates with the ring and mitre; chanted in Greek and Latin the Nicene creed with the addition of filioque ; and rejoiced in the union of the East and West, which had been reserved for bis reign. To consummate this pious work, the Byzantine deputies were speedily followed by the pope's nuncios; and their instruction discloses the policy of the Vatican, which could not be satisfied with the vain title of supremacy. After viewing the temper of the prince and people, they were enjoined to absolve the schismatic clergy, who should subscribe and swear their abjuration and obedience; to establish in all the churches the use of the perfect creed; to prepare the entrance of a cardinal legate, with the full powers and dignity of his office; and to instruct the emperor in the advantages which he might derive from the temporal protection of the Roman pontiff.93
si In this class we may place Pachymer himself, whose copious and candid Darrative occupies the vth and vith books of his history. Yet the Greek is silent on the council of Lyons, and seems to believe that the popes always resided in Rome and Italy (I. v. c. 17. 21.)
37 See the acts of the council of Lyons in the year 1274. Fleury, Hist. Ec-