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chap. subsistence, their flocks and herds, were driven away, to
contribute toward the pomp of the royal nuptials; and their w fierce warriors were exasperated by the denial of equal rank
and pay in the military service. Peter and Asan, two powersul chiefs, of the race of the ancient kings, asserted their own rights and the national freedom : 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 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 fellowsoldiers, that were scattered along the passes of mount Hæmus. By the arms and policy of John or Joanices, 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 ;-' and humbly received from the pope, the license 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. Tisurpation The Bulgarians were malicious enough to pray for the long
life of Isaac Angelus, the surest pledge of their treedom and
prosperity. Yet their chiefs could involve in the same indisA. 1: 1195 criininate contempt, the family and nation of tbe Emperor. April 8. “ In all the Greeks,” said Asan to his troops, - the sanie cli
mate, 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. 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 con
and character of Alexius Angelus,
20 Ducange, Familiæ Dalmaticæ, p. 318, 319, 320. The original correspon. dence of the Bulgarian king and the Roman pontiff, is inscribed in the Gesta Iunocent III. c. 66-82, p. 513/525.
21 The pope acknowledges his pedigree, a nobili urbis Romæ prosapia genitores tui originem traxerunt. This tradition, and the strong resemblance of the Latin and Walachian idioms, is explained by M. d'Anville (Etats de l'Europe, p. 258–262.) The Italian colonies of the Dacia of Trajan were swept away by the tide of emigration from the Danube to the Volga, and brought back by another wave from the Volga to the Danube. Possible, but strange!
22 This parable is in the best savage style ; but I wish the Walach had not introduced the classic name of Mysians, the experiment of the magnet of loadstone, and the passage of an old comic poet (Nicetas, in Alex. Comneno, ki p. 299, 300.
spiracies and popular insurrections. The emperor was saved CHAP. by accident, or the merit of his servants : he was at length LX. oppressed by an ambitious brother, who, for the hope of a m precarious diadem, forgot the obligations of nature, of loyalty, and of friendship. While Isaac in the Thracian valleys pursued the idle and solitary pleasures of the chase, bis 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 Alexiusat 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 fisty 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. 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 seashore, 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 wile of Philip of Swabia, king of the Romans. But in his passage through Italy, he heard that the flower of the 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 crusades nobles of France were again summoned to the holy war by the 4. D. 1198. 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, 2. forsook his parochial duty, to assume
* The Latins aggravate the ingratitude of Alexius, by supposing that he bad been released by his brother Isaac from Turkish captivity. This pathetic tale had doubtless been repeated at Venice and Zara ; but I do not readily discover its grounds in the Greek historians.
24 See the reign of Alexius Angelus, or Comnenas, in the three books of Nicetas, p. 291–352.
25 See Fleury, Hist. Eccles. tom. xvi. p. 26, &c. and Villehardouin, No. 1, with the obserrations of Ducange, which I always mean to quote with the original text
CHAP. the more flattering character of a popular and itinerant mis
sionary. The fame of his sanctity and miracles was spread w over the land; he declaimed, with severity and vebemence,
against the vices of the age; and his sermons, which he preach-
26 The contemporary life of pope Innocent III. published by Baluze and Muratori (Scriptores Rerum Italicarum, tom. iii. pars i. p. 486—568,) is most valuable for the important and original documents which are inserted in the text. The bull of the crusade may be read, c. 84, 85.
27 Por-ce que cil pardon fut issi gran, si s'en esme ent mult li cuers des genz, et mult s'en croisierent, porce que li pardons ere si gran. Villehardouin, No. 1. Our philosophers may refine on the causes of the crusades, but such were the genuine feelings of a French knight.
28 This number of fiefs, (of which 1800 owed liege homage) was enrolled in the church of St. Stephen at Troyes, and attested A. D. 1213, by the marshal and butler of Champagne (Ducange, Observ. p. 254.)
of Champagne excelled in all the exercises of war;29 and, by CHAP. his marriage with the heiress of Navarre, Thibaut could draw LX. 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 barons of 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, so marshal of Champagne,s' who had condescended, in the rude idiom of his age and country, to write or dictates an original narrative of the councils and actions, in which he bore a memorable part. At the same time, Baldwin count of Flanders, who bad 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.34 The vow which the chiefs had pronounced in churches, they ratified in tournaments : the operations of the 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
29 Campania .... militiæ privilegio singularius excellit .... in tyrociniis .... prolusione armorum, &c. Ducange, p. 249, from the old Chronicle of Jerusalem, A. D. 1177-1199.
so 'The name of Villehardouin, was taken from a village and castle in the diocess of Troyes, near the river Aube, between Bar and Arceis. The family was ancient and noble; the elder branch of our historian existed after the year 1400; the younger, which acquired the principality of Achaia, merged in the house of Savoy (Ducange, p. 235–245.)
31 This office was held by his father and his descendants, but Ducange has not hunted it with bis usual sagacity. I find that, in the year 1356, it was in the family of Confans ; but these provincial, have been long since eclipsed by the national, marshals of France.
32 This language, of which I shall produce some specimens, is explained by Vigenere and Ducange in a version and glossary. The president des Brosses (Mechanisme des Langues, tom. ii. p. 83,) gives it as the example of a language wbich has ceased to be French, and is understood only by grammarians.
$s His age, and his own expression, moi qui ceste æuvre dicta (No. 62, &c.) may justify the suspicion (more probable than Mr. Wood's on Homer,) that he could neither read nor write. Yet Champagne may boast of the two first historians, tbe noble authors of French prose, Villehardouin and Joinville.
S4 The crusade and reigns of the counts of Flanders, Baldwin and bis brother Henry, are the subject of a particular history by the Jesuit Doutremens (Constantinopolis Belgica : Turnaci, 1638, in 4to.) which I have only seen with tho eyes of Ducange.
State of the
CHAP. holy warriors with their arms and horses: and the six deputies LX. 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 mentioned the A. D. 697— 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. Se Against the Latins, their antique freedom has been asserted by the sword, and may be justified by the pen. Charlemagne himself resigned all claims of sovereignty to the islands of the Adriatic gull; 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 Cesars, 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 ;s' in the ninth and tenth centuries, the proofs of their subjection are numerous and unquestionable ; and the vain titles, the servile bonours, 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 doinestic 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 faith
35 History, &c. vol. iii. p. 357, 358. Só The foundation and independence of Venice, and Pepin's invasion, are discussed by Pagi (Critica, tom. iii. A. D. 810, No. 4, &c.) and Beretti (Dissert. Chorograph. Italiæ medii Ævi : _in Muratori, Script. tom. x. p. 155.). The two critics have a slight bias, the Frenchman adverse, the Italian favourable, to the republic.
37 When the son of Charlemagne asserted his right of sovereignty, he was ans wered by the Ioyal Venetians, οτι ημας δολοι θελομεν αναι το Ρωμαιων βασιλέας (Constantin. Porphyrogenit. de Administrat. Imperii, pars ii. c. 28, p. 85 ;) and the report of the ixth, establishes the fact of the xth century, which is confirmed by the embassy of Liutprand of Cremona. The annual tribute, which the emperor allows them to pay to the king of Italy, alleviates, by doubling their servitude ; but the hateful word doncs must be translated, as in the charter of 827 (Laugier, Hist. de Venise, tom. i. p. 67, &c.) by the softer appellation of subditi, or fideles.