Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 6, by Edward Gibbon, , at sacred-texts.com
State Of Rome From The Twelfth Century. - Temporal Dominion Of The Popes. - Seditions Of The City. - Political Heresy Of Arnold Of Brescia. - Restoration Of The Republic. - The Senators. - Pride Of The Romans. - Their Wars. - They Are Deprived Of The Election And Presence Of The Popes, Who Retire To Avignon. - The Jubilee. - Noble Families Of Rome. - Feud Of The Colonna And Ursini.
In the first ages of the decline and fall of the Roman empire, our eye is invariably fixed on the royal city, which had given laws to the fairest portion of the globe. We contemplate her fortunes, at first with admiration, at length with pity, always with attention, and when that attention is diverted from the capital to the provinces, they are considered as so many branches which have been successively severed from the Imperial trunk. The foundation of a second Rome, on the shores of the Bosphorus, has compelled the historian to follow the successors of Constantine; and our curiosity has been tempted to visit the most remote countries of Europe and Asia, to explore the causes and the authors of the long decay of the Byzantine monarchy. By the conquest of Justinian, we have been recalled to the banks of the Tyber, to the deliverance of the ancient metropolis; but that deliverance was a change, or perhaps an aggravation, of servitude. Rome had been already stripped of her trophies, her gods, and her Caesars; nor was the Gothic dominion more inglorious and oppressive than the tyranny of the Greeks. In the eighth century of the Christian aera, a religious quarrel, the worship of images, provoked the Romans to assert their independence: their bishop became the temporal, as well as the spiritual, father of a free people; and of the Western empire, which was restored by Charlemagne, the title and image still decorate the singular constitution of modern Germany. The name of Rome must yet command our involuntary respect: the climate (whatsoever may be its influence) was no longer the same: 1 the purity of blood had been contaminated through a thousand channels; but the venerable aspect of her ruins, and the memory of past greatness, rekindled a spark of the national character. The darkness of the middle ages exhibits some scenes not unworthy of our notice. Nor shall I dismiss the present work till I have reviewed the state and revolutions of the Roman City, which acquiesced under the absolute dominion of the popes, about the same time that Constantinople was enslaved by the Turkish arms.
In the beginning of the twelfth century, 2 the aera of the first crusade, Rome was revered by the Latins, as the metropolis of the world, as the throne of the pope and the emperor, who, from the eternal city, derived their title, their honors, and the right or exercise of temporal dominion. After so long an interruption, it may not be useless to repeat that the successors of Charlemagne and the Othos were chosen beyond the Rhine in a national diet; but that these princes were content with the humble names of kings of Germany and Italy, till they had passed the Alps and the Apennine, to seek their Imperial crown on the banks of the Tyber. 3 At some distance from the city, their approach was saluted by a long procession of the clergy and people with palms and crosses; and the terrific emblems of wolves and lions, of dragons and eagles, that floated in the military banners, represented the departed legions and cohorts of the republic. The royal path to maintain the liberties of Rome was thrice reiterated, at the bridge, the gate, and on the stairs of the Vatican; and the distribution of a customary donative feebly imitated the magnificence of the first Caesars. In the church of St. Peter, the coronation was performed by his successor: the voice of God was confounded with that of the people; and the public consent was declared in the acclamations of "Long life and victory to our lord the pope! long life and victory to our lord the emperor! long life and victory to the Roman and Teutonic armies!" 4 The names of Caesar and Augustus, the laws of Constantine and Justinian, the example of Charlemagne and Otho, established the supreme dominion of the emperors: their title and image was engraved on the papal coins; 5 and their jurisdiction was marked by the sword of justice, which they delivered to the praefect of the city. But every Roman prejudice was awakened by the name, the language, and the manners, of a Barbarian lord. The Caesars of Saxony or Franconia were the chiefs of a feudal aristocracy; nor could they exercise the discipline of civil and military power, which alone secures the obedience of a distant people, impatient of servitude, though perhaps incapable of freedom. Once, and once only, in his life, each emperor, with an army of Teutonic vassals, descended from the Alps. I have described the peaceful order of his entry and coronation; but that order was commonly disturbed by the clamor and sedition of the Romans, who encountered their sovereign as a foreign invader: his departure was always speedy, and often shameful; and, in the absence of a long reign, his authority was insulted, and his name was forgotten. The progress of independence in Germany and Italy undermined the foundations of the Imperial sovereignty, and the triumph of the popes was the deliverance of Rome.
Of her two sovereigns, the emperor had precariously reigned by the right of conquest; but the authority of the pope was founded on the soft, though more solid, basis of opinion and habit. The removal of a foreign influence restored and endeared the shepherd to his flock. Instead of the arbitrary or venal nomination of a German court, the vicar of Christ was freely chosen by the college of cardinals, most of whom were either natives or inhabitants of the city. The applause of the magistrates and people confirmed his election, and the ecclesiastical power that was obeyed in Sweden and Britain had been ultimately derived from the suffrage of the Romans. The same suffrage gave a prince, as well as a pontiff, to the capital. It was universally believed, that Constantine had invested the popes with the temporal dominion of Rome; and the boldest civilians, the most profane skeptics, were satisfied with disputing the right of the emperor and the validity of his gift. The truth of the fact, the authenticity of his donation, was deeply rooted in the ignorance and tradition of four centuries; and the fabulous origin was lost in the real and permanent effects. The name of Dominus or Lord was inscribed on the coin of the bishops: their title was acknowledged by acclamations and oaths of allegiance, and with the free, or reluctant, consent of the German Caesars, they had long exercised a supreme or subordinate jurisdiction over the city and patrimony of St. Peter. The reign of the popes, which gratified the prejudices, was not incompatible with the liberties, of Rome; and a more critical inquiry would have revealed a still nobler source of their power; the gratitude of a nation, whom they had rescued from the heresy and oppression of the Greek tyrant. In an age of superstition, it should seem that the union of the royal and sacerdotal characters would mutually fortify each other; and that the keys of Paradise would be the surest pledge of earthly obedience. The sanctity of the office might indeed be degraded by the personal vices of the man. But the scandals of the tenth century were obliterated by the austere and more dangerous virtues of Gregory the Seventh and his successors; and in the ambitious contests which they maintained for the rights of the church, their sufferings or their success must equally tend to increase the popular veneration. They sometimes wandered in poverty and exile, the victims of persecution; and the apostolic zeal with which they offered themselves to martyrdom must engage the favor and sympathy of every Catholic breast. And sometimes, thundering from the Vatican, they created, judged, and deposed the kings of the world; nor could the proudest Roman be disgraced by submitting to a priest, whose feet were kissed, and whose stirrup was held, by the successors of Charlemagne. 6 Even the temporal interest of the city should have protected in peace and honor the residence of the popes; from whence a vain and lazy people derived the greatest part of their subsistence and riches. The fixed revenue of the popes was probably impaired; many of the old patrimonial estates, both in Italy and the provinces, had been invaded by sacrilegious hands; nor could the loss be compensated by the claim, rather than the possession, of the more ample gifts of Pepin and his descendants. But the Vatican and Capitol were nourished by the incessant and increasing swarms of pilgrims and suppliants: the pale of Christianity was enlarged, and the pope and cardinals were overwhelmed by the judgment of ecclesiastical and secular causes. A new jurisprudence had established in the Latin church the right and practice of appeals; 7 and from the North and West the bishops and abbots were invited or summoned to solicit, to complain, to accuse, or to justify, before the threshold of the apostles. A rare prodigy is once recorded, that two horses, belonging to the archbishops of Mentz and Cologne, repassed the Alps, yet laden with gold and silver: 8 but it was soon understood, that the success, both of the pilgrims and clients, depended much less on the justice of their cause than on the value of their offering. The wealth and piety of these strangers were ostentatiously displayed; and their expenses, sacred or profane, circulated in various channels for the emolument of the Romans.
Such powerful motives should have firmly attached the voluntary and pious obedience of the Roman people to their spiritual and temporal father. But the operation of prejudice and interest is often disturbed by the sallies of ungovernable passion. The Indian who fells the tree, that he may gather the fruit, 9 and the Arab who plunders the caravans of commerce, are actuated by the same impulse of savage nature, which overlooks the future in the present, and relinquishes for momentary rapine the long and secure possession of the most important blessings. And it was thus, that the shrine of St. Peter was profaned by the thoughtless Romans; who pillaged the offerings, and wounded the pilgrims, without computing the number and value of similar visits, which they prevented by their inhospitable sacrilege. Even the influence of superstition is fluctuating and precarious; and the slave, whose reason is subdued, will often be delivered by his avarice or pride. A credulous devotion for the fables and oracles of the priesthood most powerfully acts on the mind of a Barbarian; yet such a mind is the least capable of preferring imagination to sense, of sacrificing to a distant motive, to an invisible, perhaps an ideal, object, the appetites and interests of the present world. In the vigor of health and youth, his practice will perpetually contradict his belief; till the pressure of age, or sickness, or calamity, awakens his terrors, and compels him to satisfy the double debt of piety and remorse. I have already observed, that the modern times of religious indifference are the most favorable to the peace and security of the clergy. Under the reign of superstition, they had much to hope from the ignorance, and much to fear from the violence, of mankind. The wealth, whose constant increase must have rendered them the sole proprietors of the earth, was alternately bestowed by the repentant father and plundered by the rapacious son: their persons were adored or violated; and the same idol, by the hands of the same votaries, was placed on the altar, or trampled in the dust. In the feudal system of Europe, arms were the title of distinction and the measure of allegiance; and amidst their tumult, the still voice of law and reason was seldom heard or obeyed. The turbulent Romans disdained the yoke, and insulted the impotence, of their bishop: 10 nor would his education or character allow him to exercise, with decency or effect, the power of the sword. The motives of his election and the frailties of his life were exposed to their familiar observation; and proximity must diminish the reverence which his name and his decrees impressed on a barbarous world. This difference has not escaped the notice of our philosophic historian: "Though the name and authority of the court of Rome were so terrible in the remote countries of Europe, which were sunk in profound ignorance, and were entirely unacquainted with its character and conduct, the pope was so little revered at home, that his inveterate enemies surrounded the gates of Rome itself, and even controlled his government in that city; and the ambassadors, who, from a distant extremity of Europe, carried to him the humble, or rather abject, submissions of the greatest potentate of the age, found the utmost difficulty to make their way to him, and to throw themselves at his feet." 11
Since the primitive times, the wealth of the popes was exposed to envy, their powers to opposition, and their persons to violence. But the long hostility of the mitre and the crown increased the numbers, and inflamed the passions, of their enemies. The deadly factions of the Guelphs and Ghibelines, so fatal to Italy, could never be embraced with truth or constancy by the Romans, the subjects and adversaries both of the bishop and emperor; but their support was solicited by both parties, and they alternately displayed in their banners the keys of St. Peter and the German eagle. Gregory the Seventh, who may be adored or detested as the founder of the papal monarchy, was driven from Rome, and died in exile at Salerno. Six- and-thirty of his successors, 12 till their retreat to Avignon, maintained an unequal contest with the Romans: their age and dignity were often violated; and the churches, in the solemn rites of religion, were polluted with sedition and murder. A repetition 13 of such capricious brutality, without connection or design, would be tedious and disgusting; and I shall content myself with some events of the twelfth century, which represent the state of the popes and the city. On Holy Thursday, while Paschal officiated before the altar, he was interrupted by the clamors of the multitude, who imperiously demanded the confirmation of a favorite magistrate. His silence exasperated their fury; his pious refusal to mingle the affairs of earth and heaven was encountered with menaces, and oaths, that he should be the cause and the witness of the public ruin. During the festival of Easter, while the bishop and the clergy, barefooted and in procession, visited the tombs of the martyrs, they were twice assaulted, at the bridge of St. Angelo, and before the Capitol, with volleys of stones and darts. The houses of his adherents were levelled with the ground: Paschal escaped with difficulty and danger; he levied an army in the patrimony of St. Peter; and his last days were embittered by suffering and inflicting the calamities of civil war. The scenes that followed the election of his successor Gelasius the Second were still more scandalous to the church and city. Cencio Frangipani, 14 a potent and factious baron, burst into the assembly furious and in arms: the cardinals were stripped, beaten, and trampled under foot; and he seized, without pity or respect, the vicar of Christ by the throat. Gelasius was dragged by the hair along the ground, buffeted with blows, wounded with spurs, and bound with an iron chain in the house of his brutal tyrant. An insurrection of the people delivered their bishop: the rival families opposed the violence of the Frangipani; and Cencio, who sued for pardon, repented of the failure, rather than of the guilt, of his enterprise. Not many days had elapsed, when the pope was again assaulted at the altar. While his friends and enemies were engaged in a bloody contest, he escaped in his sacerdotal garments. In this unworthy flight, which excited the compassion of the Roman matrons, his attendants were scattered or unhorsed; and, in the fields behind the church of St. Peter, his successor was found alone and half dead with fear and fatigue. Shaking the dust from his feet, the apostle withdrew from a city in which his dignity was insulted and his person was endangered; and the vanity of sacerdotal ambition is revealed in the involuntary confession, that one emperor was more tolerable than twenty. 15 These examples might suffice; but I cannot forget the sufferings of two pontiffs of the same age, the second and third of the name of Lucius. The former, as he ascended in battle array to assault the Capitol, was struck on the temple by a stone, and expired in a few days. The latter was severely wounded in the person of his servants. In a civil commotion, several of his priests had been made prisoners; and the inhuman Romans, reserving one as a guide for his brethren, put out their eyes, crowned them with ludicrous mitres, mounted them on asses with their faces towards the tail, and extorted an oath, that, in this wretched condition, they should offer themselves as a lesson to the head of the church. Hope or fear, lassitude or remorse, the characters of the men, and the circumstances of the times, might sometimes obtain an interval of peace and obedience; and the pope was restored with joyful acclamations to the Lateran or Vatican, from whence he had been driven with threats and violence. But the root of mischief was deep and perennial; and a momentary calm was preceded and followed by such tempests as had almost sunk the bark of St. Peter. Rome continually presented the aspect of war and discord: the churches and palaces were fortified and assaulted by the factions and families; and, after giving peace to Europe, Calistus the Second alone had resolution and power to prohibit the use of private arms in the metropolis. Among the nations who revered the apostolic throne, the tumults of Rome provoked a general indignation; and in a letter to his disciple Eugenius the Third, St. Bernard, with the sharpness of his wit and zeal, has stigmatized the vices of the rebellious people. 16 "Who is ignorant," says the monk of Clairvaux, "of the vanity and arrogance of the Romans? a nation nursed in sedition, untractable, and scorning to obey, unless they are too feeble to resist. When they promise to serve, they aspire to reign; if they swear allegiance, they watch the opportunity of revolt; yet they vent their discontent in loud clamors, if your doors, or your counsels, are shut against them. Dexterous in mischief, they have never learned the science of doing good. Odious to earth and heaven, impious to God, seditious among themselves, jealous of their neighbors, inhuman to strangers, they love no one, by no one are they beloved; and while they wish to inspire fear, they live in base and continual apprehension. They will not submit; they know not how to govern faithless to their superiors, intolerable to their equals, ungrateful to their benefactors, and alike impudent in their demands and their refusals. Lofty in promise, poor in execution; adulation and calumny, perfidy and treason, are the familiar arts of their policy." Surely this dark portrait is not colored by the pencil of Christian charity; 17 yet the features, however harsh or ugly, express a lively resemblance of the Roman of the twelfth century. 18
The Jews had rejected the Christ when he appeared among them in a plebeian character; and the Romans might plead their ignorance of his vicar when he assumed the pomp and pride of a temporal sovereign. In the busy age of the crusades, some sparks of curiosity and reason were rekindled in the Western world: the heresy of Bulgaria, the Paulician sect, was successfully transplanted into the soil of Italy and France; the Gnostic visions were mingled with the simplicity of the gospel; and the enemies of the clergy reconciled their passions with their conscience, the desire of freedom with the profession of piety. 19 The trumpet of Roman liberty was first sounded by Arnold of Brescia, 20 whose promotion in the church was confined to the lowest rank, and who wore the monastic habit rather as a garb of poverty than as a uniform of obedience. His adversaries could not deny the wit and eloquence which they severely felt; they confess with reluctance the specious purity of his morals; and his errors were recommended to the public by a mixture of important and beneficial truths. In his theological studies, he had been the disciple of the famous and unfortunate Abelard, 21 who was likewise involved in the suspicion of heresy: but the lover of Eloisa was of a soft and flexible nature; and his ecclesiastic judges were edified and disarmed by the humility of his repentance. From this master, Arnold most probably imbibed some metaphysical definitions of the Trinity, repugnant to the taste of the times: his ideas of baptism and the eucharist are loosely censured; but a political heresy was the source of his fame and misfortunes. He presumed to quote the declaration of Christ, that his kingdom is not of this world: he boldly maintained, that the sword and the sceptre were intrusted to the civil magistrate; that temporal honors and possessions were lawfully vested in secular persons; that the abbots, the bishops, and the pope himself, must renounce either their state or their salvation; and that after the loss of their revenues, the voluntary tithes and oblations of the faithful would suffice, not indeed for luxury and avarice, but for a frugal life in the exercise of spiritual labors. During a short time, the preacher was revered as a patriot; and the discontent, or revolt, of Brescia against her bishop, was the first fruits of his dangerous lessons. But the favor of the people is less permanent than the resentment of the priest; and after the heresy of Arnold had been condemned by Innocent the Second, 22 in the general council of the Lateran, the magistrates themselves were urged by prejudice and fear to execute the sentence of the church. Italy could no longer afford a refuge; and the disciple of Abelard escaped beyond the Alps, till he found a safe and hospitable shelter in Zurich, now the first of the Swiss cantons. From a Roman station, 23 a royal villa, a chapter of noble virgins, Zurich had gradually increased to a free and flourishing city; where the appeals of the Milanese were sometimes tried by the Imperial commissaries. 24 In an age less ripe for reformation, the precursor of Zuinglius was heard with applause: a brave and simple people imbibed, and long retained, the color of his opinions; and his art, or merit, seduced the bishop of Constance, and even the pope's legate, who forgot, for his sake, the interest of their master and their order. Their tardy zeal was quickened by the fierce exhortations of St. Bernard; 25 and the enemy of the church was driven by persecution to the desperate measures of erecting his standard in Rome itself, in the face of the successor of St. Peter.
While they expected the descent of the tardy angel, the doors were broken with axes; and as the Turks encountered no resistance, their bloodless hands were employed in selecting and securing the multitude of their prisoners. Youth, beauty, and the appearance of wealth, attracted their choice; and the right of property was decided among themselves by a prior seizure, by personal strength, and by the authority of command. In the space of an hour, the male captives were bound with cords, the females with their veils and girdles. The senators were linked with their slaves; the prelates, with the porters of the church; and young men of the plebeian class, with noble maids, whose faces had been invisible to the sun and their nearest kindred. In this common captivity, the ranks of society were confounded; the ties of nature were cut asunder; and the inexorable soldier was careless of the father's groans, the tears of the mother, and the lamentations of the children. The loudest in their wailings were the nuns, who were torn from the altar with naked bosoms, outstretched hands, and dishevelled hair; and we should piously believe that few could be tempted to prefer the vigils of the harem to those of the monastery. Of these unfortunate Greeks, of these domestic animals, whole strings were rudely driven through the streets; and as the conquerors were eager to return for more prey, their trembling pace was quickened with menaces and blows. At the same hour, a similar rapine was exercised in all the churches and monasteries, in all the palaces and habitations, of the capital; nor could any place, however sacred or sequestered, protect the persons or the property of the Greeks. Above sixty thousand of this devoted people were transported from the city to the camp and fleet; exchanged or sold according to the caprice or interest of their masters, and dispersed in remote servitude through the provinces of the Ottoman empire. Among these we may notice some remarkable characters. The historian Phranza, first chamberlain and principal secretary, was involved with his family in the common lot. After suffering four months the hardships of slavery, he recovered his freedom: in the ensuing winter he ventured to Adrianople, and ransomed his wife from the mir bashi, or master of the horse; but his two children, in the flower of youth and beauty, had been seized for the use of Mahomet himself. The daughter of Phranza died in the seraglio, perhaps a virgin: his son, in the fifteenth year of his age, preferred death to infamy, and was stabbed by the hand of the royal lover. 66 A deed thus inhuman cannot surely be expiated by the taste and liberality with which he released a Grecian matron and her two daughters, on receiving a Latin doe From ode from Philelphus, who had chosen a wife in that noble family. 67 The pride or cruelty of Mahomet would have been most sensibly gratified by the capture of a Roman legate; but the dexterity of Cardinal Isidore eluded the search, and he escaped from Galata in a plebeian habit. 68 The chain and entrance of the outward harbor was still occupied by the Italian ships of merchandise and war. They had signalized their valor in the siege: they embraced the moment of retreat, while the Turkish mariners were dissipated in the pillage of the city. When they hoisted sail, the beach was covered with a suppliant and lamentable crowd; but the means of transportation were scanty: the Venetians and Genoese selected their countrymen; and, notwithstanding the fairest promises of the sultan, the inhabitants of Galata evacuated their houses, and embarked with their most precious effects.
In the fall and the sack of great cities, an historian is condemned to repeat the tale of uniform calamity: the same effects must be produced by the same passions; and when those passions may be indulged without control, small, alas! is the difference between civilized and savage man. Amidst the vague exclamations of bigotry and hatred, the Turks are not accused of a wanton or immoderate effusion of Christian blood: but according to their maxims, (the maxims of antiquity,) the lives of the vanquished were forfeited; and the legitimate reward of the conqueror was derived from the service, the sale, or the ransom, of his captives of both sexes. 69 The wealth of Constantinople had been granted by the sultan to his victorious troops; and the rapine of an hour is more productive than the industry of years. But as no regular division was attempted of the spoil, the respective shares were not determined by merit; and the rewards of valor were stolen away by the followers of the camp, who had declined the toil and danger of the battle. The narrative of their depredations could not afford either amusement or instruction: the total amount, in the last poverty of the empire, has been valued at four millions of ducats; 70 and of this sum a small part was the property of the Venetians, the Genoese, the Florentines, and the merchants of Ancona. Of these foreigners, the stock was improved in quick and perpetual circulation: but the riches of the Greeks were displayed in the idle ostentation of palaces and wardrobes, or deeply buried in treasures of ingots and old coin, lest it should be demanded at their hands for the defence of their country. The profanation and plunder of the monasteries and churches excited the most tragic complaints. The dome of St. Sophia itself, the earthly heaven, the second firmament, the vehicle of the cherubim, the throne of the glory of God, 71 was despoiled of the oblation of ages; and the gold and silver, the pearls and jewels, the vases and sacerdotal ornaments, were most wickedly converted to the service of mankind. After the divine images had been stripped of all that could be valuable to a profane eye, the canvas, or the wood, was torn, or broken, or burnt, or trod under foot, or applied, in the stables or the kitchen, to the vilest uses. The example of sacrilege was imitated, however, from the Latin conquerors of Constantinople; and the treatment which Christ, the Virgin, and the saints, had sustained from the guilty Catholic, might be inflicted by the zealous Mussulman on the monuments of idolatry. Perhaps, instead of joining the public clamor, a philosopher will observe, that in the decline of the arts the workmanship could not be more valuable than the work, and that a fresh supply of visions and miracles would speedily be renewed by the craft of the priests and the credulity of the people. He will more seriously deplore the loss of the Byzantine libraries, which were destroyed or scattered in the general confusion: one hundred and twenty thousand manuscripts are said to have disappeared; 72 ten volumes might be purchased for a single ducat; and the same ignominious price, too high perhaps for a shelf of theology, included the whole works of Aristotle and Homer, the noblest productions of the science and literature of ancient Greece. We may reflect with pleasure that an inestimable portion of our classic treasures was safely deposited in Italy; and that the mechanics of a German town had invented an art which derides the havoc of time and barbarism.
From the first hour 73 of the memorable twenty-ninth of May, disorder and rapine prevailed in Constantinople, till the eighth hour of the same day; when the sultan himself passed in triumph through the gate of St. Romanus. He was attended by his viziers, bashaws, and guards, each of whom (says a Byzantine historian) was robust as Hercules, dexterous as Apollo, and equal in battle to any ten of the race of ordinary mortals. The conqueror 74 gazed with satisfaction and wonder on the strange, though splendid, appearance of the domes and palaces, so dissimilar from the style of Oriental architecture. In the hippodrome, or atmeidan, his eye was attracted by the twisted column of the three serpents; and, as a trial of his strength, he shattered with his iron mace or battle-axe the under jaw of one of these monsters, 75 which in the eyes of the Turks were the idols or talismans of the city. *_0064 At the principal door of St. Sophia, he alighted from his horse, and entered the dome; and such was his jealous regard for that monument of his glory, that on observing a zealous Mussulman in the act of breaking the marble pavement, he admonished him with his cimeter, that, if the spoil and captives were granted to the soldiers, the public and private buildings had been reserved for the prince. By his command the metropolis of the Eastern church was transformed into a mosque: the rich and portable instruments of superstition had been removed; the crosses were thrown down; and the walls, which were covered with images and mosaics, were washed and purified, and restored to a state of naked simplicity. On the same day, or on the ensuing Friday, the muezin, or crier, ascended the most lofty turret, and proclaimed the ezan, or public invitation in the name of God and his prophet; the imam preached; and Mahomet and Second performed the namaz of prayer and thanksgiving on the great altar, where the Christian mysteries had so lately been celebrated before the last of the Caesars. 76 From St. Sophia he proceeded to the august, but desolate mansion of a hundred successors of the great Constantine, but which in a few hours had been stripped of the pomp of royalty. A melancholy reflection on the vicissitudes of human greatness forced itself on his mind; and he repeated an elegant distich of Persian poetry: "The spider has wove his web in the Imperial palace; and the owl hath sung her watch-song on the towers of Afrasiab." 77
Yet his mind was not satisfied, nor did the victory seem complete, till he was informed of the fate of Constantine; whether he had escaped, or been made prisoner, or had fallen in the battle. Two Janizaries claimed the honor and reward of his death: the body, under a heap of slain, was discovered by the golden eagles embroidered on his shoes; the Greeks acknowledged, with tears, the head of their late emperor; and, after exposing the bloody trophy, 78 Mahomet bestowed on his rival the honors of a decent funeral. After his decease, Lucas Notaras, great duke, 79 and first minister of the empire, was the most important prisoner. When he offered his person and his treasures at the foot of the throne, "And why," said the indignant sultan, "did you not employ these treasures in the defence of your prince and country?" - "They were yours," answered the slave; "God had reserved them for your hands." - "If he reserved them for me," replied the despot, "how have you presumed to withhold them so long by a fruitless and fatal resistance?" The great duke alleged the obstinacy of the strangers, and some secret encouragement from the Turkish vizier; and from this perilous interview he was at length dismissed with the assurance of pardon and protection. Mahomet condescended to visit his wife, a venerable princess oppressed with sickness and grief; and his consolation for her misfortunes was in the most tender strain of humanity and filial reverence. A similar clemency was extended to the principal officers of state, of whom several were ransomed at his expense; and during some days he declared himself the friend and father of the vanquished people. But the scene was soon changed; and before his departure, the hippodrome streamed with the blood of his noblest captives. His perfidious cruelty is execrated by the Christians: they adorn with the colors of heroic martyrdom the execution of the great duke and his two sons; and his death is ascribed to the generous refusal of delivering his children to the tyrant's lust. *_0065 Yet a Byzantine historian has dropped an unguarded word of conspiracy, deliverance, and Italian succor: such treason may be glorious; but the rebel who bravely ventures, has justly forfeited his life; nor should we blame a conqueror for destroying the enemies whom he can no longer trust. On the eighteenth of June the victorious sultan returned to Adrianople; and smiled at the base and hollow embassies of the Christian princes, who viewed their approaching ruin in the fall of the Eastern empire.
Constantinople had been left naked and desolate, without a prince or a people. But she could not be despoiled of the incomparable situation which marks her for the metropolis of a great empire; and the genius of the place will ever triumph over the accidents of time and fortune. Boursa and Adrianople, the ancient seats of the Ottomans, sunk into provincial towns; and Mahomet the Second established his own residence, and that of his successors, on the same commanding spot which had been chosen by Constantine. 80 The fortifications of Galata, which might afford a shelter to the Latins, were prudently destroyed; but the damage of the Turkish cannon was soon repaired; and before the month of August, great quantities of lime had been burnt for the restoration of the walls of the capital. As the entire property of the soil and buildings, whether public or private, or profane or sacred, was now transferred to the conqueror, he first separated a space of eight furlongs from the point of the triangle for the establishment of his seraglio or palace. It is here, in the bosom of luxury, that the Grand Signor (as he has been emphatically named by the Italians) appears to reign over Europe and Asia; but his person on the shores of the Bosphorus may not always be secure from the insults of a hostile navy. In the new character of a mosque, the cathedral of St. Sophia was endowed with an ample revenue, crowned with lofty minarets, and surrounded with groves and fountains, for the devotion and refreshment of the Moslems. The same model was imitated in the jami, or royal mosques; and the first of these was built, by Mahomet himself, on the ruins of the church of the holy apostles, and the tombs of the Greek emperors. On the third day after the conquest, the grave of Abu Ayub, or Job, who had fallen in the first siege of the Arabs, was revealed in a vision; and it is before the sepulchre of the martyr that the new sultans are girded with the sword of empire. 81 Constantinople no longer appertains to the Roman historian; nor shall I enumerate the civil and religious edifices that were profaned or erected by its Turkish masters: the population was speedily renewed; and before the end of September, five thousand families of Anatolia and Romania had obeyed the royal mandate, which enjoined them, under pain of death, to occupy their new habitations in the capital. The throne of Mahomet was guarded by the numbers and fidelity of his Moslem subjects: but his rational policy aspired to collect the remnant of the Greeks; and they returned in crowds, as soon as they were assured of their lives, their liberties, and the free exercise of their religion. In the election and investiture of a patriarch, the ceremonial of the Byzantine court was revived and imitated. With a mixture of satisfaction and horror, they beheld the sultan on his throne; who delivered into the hands of Gennadius the crosier or pastoral staff, the symbol of his ecclesiastical office; who conducted the patriarch to the gate of the seraglio, presented him with a horse richly caparisoned, and directed the viziers and bashaws to lead him to the palace which had been allotted for his residence. 82 The churches of Constantinople were shared between the two religions: their limits were marked; and, till it was infringed by Selim, the grandson of Mahomet, the Greeks 83 enjoyed above sixty years the benefit of this equal partition. Encouraged by the ministers of the divan, who wished to elude the fanaticism of the sultan, the Christian advocates presumed to allege that this division had been an act, not of generosity, but of justice; not a concession, but a compact; and that if one half of the city had been taken by storm, the other moiety had surrendered on the faith of a sacred capitulation. The original grant had indeed been consumed by fire: but the loss was supplied by the testimony of three aged Janizaries who remembered the transaction; and their venal oaths are of more weight in the opinion of Cantemir, than the positive and unanimous consent of the history of the times. 84
The remaining fragments of the Greek kingdom in Europe and Asia I shall abandon to the Turkish arms; but the final extinction of the two last dynasties 85 which have reigned in Constantinople should terminate the decline and fall of the Roman empire in the East. The despots of the Morea, Demetrius and Thomas, 86 the two surviving brothers of the name of Palaeologus, were astonished by the death of the emperor Constantine, and the ruin of the monarchy. Hopeless of defence, they prepared, with the noble Greeks who adhered to their fortune, to seek a refuge in Italy, beyond the reach of the Ottoman thunder. Their first apprehensions were dispelled by the victorious sultan, who contented himself with a tribute of twelve thousand ducats; and while his ambition explored the continent and the islands, in search of prey, he indulged the Morea in a respite of seven years. But this respite was a period of grief, discord, and misery. The hexamilion, the rampart of the Isthmus, so often raised and so often subverted, could not long be defended by three hundred Italian archers: the keys of Corinth were seized by the Turks: they returned from their summer excursions with a train of captives and spoil; and the complaints of the injured Greeks were heard with indifference and disdain. The Albanians, a vagrant tribe of shepherds and robbers, filled the peninsula with rapine and murder: the two despots implored the dangerous and humiliating aid of a neighboring bashaw; and when he had quelled the revolt, his lessons inculcated the rule of their future conduct. Neither the ties of blood, nor the oaths which they repeatedly pledged in the communion and before the altar, nor the stronger pressure of necessity, could reconcile or suspend their domestic quarrels. They ravaged each other's patrimony with fire and sword: the alms and succors of the West were consumed in civil hostility; and their power was only exerted in savage and arbitrary executions. The distress and revenge of the weaker rival invoked their supreme lord; and, in the season of maturity and revenge, Mahomet declared himself the friend of Demetrius, and marched into the Morea with an irresistible force. When he had taken possession of Sparta, "You are too weak," said the sultan, "to control this turbulent province: I will take your daughter to my bed; and you shall pass the remainder of your life in security and honor." Demetrius sighed and obeyed; surrendered his daughter and his castles; followed to Adrianople his sovereign and his son; and received for his own maintenance, and that of his followers, a city in Thrace and the adjacent isles of Imbros, Lemnos, and Samothrace. He was joined the next year by a companion *_0066 of misfortune, the last of the Comnenian race, who, after the taking of Constantinople by the Latins, had founded a new empire on the coast of the Black Sea. 87 In the progress of his Anatolian conquest, Mahomet invested with a fleet and army the capital of David, who presumed to style himself emperor of Trebizond; 88 and the negotiation was comprised in a short and peremptory question, "Will you secure your life and treasures by resigning your kingdom? or had you rather forfeit your kingdom, your treasures, and your life?" The feeble Comnenus was subdued by his own fears, !_0066 and the example of a Mussulman neighbor, the prince of Sinope, 89 who, on a similar summons, had yielded a fortified city, with four hundred cannon and ten or twelve thousand soldiers. The capitulation of Trebizond was faithfully performed: **_0066 and the emperor, with his family, was transported to a castle in Romania; but on a slight suspicion of corresponding with the Persian king, David, and the whole Comnenian race, were sacrificed to the jealousy or avarice of the conqueror. !!_0066 Nor could the name of father long protect the unfortunate Demetrius from exile and confiscation; his abject submission moved the pity and contempt of the sultan; his followers were transplanted to Constantinople; and his poverty was alleviated by a pension of fifty thousand aspers, till a monastic habit and a tardy death released Palaeologus from an earthly master. It is not easy to pronounce whether the servitude of Demetrius, or the exile of his brother Thomas, 90 be the most inglorious. On the conquest of the Morea, the despot escaped to Corfu, and from thence to Italy, with some naked adherents: his name, his sufferings, and the head of the apostle St. Andrew, entitled him to the hospitality of the Vatican; and his misery was prolonged by a pension of six thousand ducats from the pope and cardinals. His two sons, Andrew and Manuel, were educated in Italy; but the eldest, contemptible to his enemies and burdensome to his friends, was degraded by the baseness of his life and marriage. A title was his sole inheritance; and that inheritance he successively sold to the kings of France and Arragon. 91 During his transient prosperity, Charles the Eighth was ambitious of joining the empire of the East with the kingdom of Naples: in a public festival, he assumed the appellation and the purple of Augustus: the Greeks rejoiced and the Ottoman already trembled, at the approach of the French chivalry. 92 Manuel Palaeologus, the second son, was tempted to revisit his native country: his return might be grateful, and could not be dangerous, to the Porte: he was maintained at Constantinople in safety and ease; and an honorable train of Christians and Moslems attended him to the grave. If there be some animals of so generous a nature that they refuse to propagate in a domestic state, the last of the Imperial race must be ascribed to an inferior kind: he accepted from the sultan's liberality two beautiful females; and his surviving son was lost in the habit and religion of a Turkish slave.
The importance of Constantinople was felt and magnified in its loss: the pontificate of Nicholas the Fifth, however peaceful and prosperous, was dishonored by the fall of the Eastern empire; and the grief and terror of the Latins revived, or seemed to revive, the old enthusiasm of the crusades. In one of the most distant countries of the West, Philip duke of Burgundy entertained, at Lisle in Flanders, an assembly of his nobles; and the pompous pageants of the feast were skilfully adapted to their fancy and feelings. 93 In the midst of the banquet a gigantic Saracen entered the hall, leading a fictitious elephant with a castle on his back: a matron in a mourning robe, the symbol of religion, was seen to issue from the castle: she deplored her oppression, and accused the slowness of her champions: the principal herald of the golden fleece advanced, bearing on his fist a live pheasant, which, according to the rites of chivalry, he presented to the duke. At this extraordinary summons, Philip, a wise and aged prince, engaged his person and powers in the holy war against the Turks: his example was imitated by the barons and knights of the assembly: they swore to God, the Virgin, the ladies and the pheasant; and their particular vows were not less extravagant than the general sanction of their oath. But the performance was made to depend on some future and foreign contingency; and during twelve years, till the last hour of his life, the duke of Burgundy might be scrupulously, and perhaps sincerely, on the eve of his departure. Had every breast glowed with the same ardor; had the union of the Christians corresponded with their bravery; had every country, from Sweden 94 to Naples, supplied a just proportion of cavalry and infantry, of men and money, it is indeed probable that Constantinople would have been delivered, and that the Turks might have been chased beyond the Hellespont or the Euphrates. But the secretary of the emperor, who composed every epistle, and attended every meeting, Aeneas Sylvius, 95 a statesman and orator, describes from his own experience the repugnant state and spirit of Christendom. "It is a body," says he, "without a head; a republic without laws or magistrates. The pope and the emperor may shine as lofty titles, as splendid images; but they are unable to command, and none are willing to obey: every state has a separate prince, and every prince has a separate interest. What eloquence could unite so many discordant and hostile powers under the same standard? Could they be assembled in arms, who would dare to assume the office of general? What order could be maintained? - what military discipline? Who would undertake to feed such an enormous multitude? Who would understand their various languages, or direct their stranger and incompatible manners? What mortal could reconcile the English with the French, Genoa with Arragon the Germans with the natives of Hungary and Bohemia? If a small number enlisted in the holy war, they must be overthrown by the infidels; if many, by their own weight and confusion." Yet the same Aeneas, when he was raised to the papal throne, under the name of Pius the Second, devoted his life to the prosecution of the Turkish war. In the council of Mantua he excited some sparks of a false or feeble enthusiasm; but when the pontiff appeared at Ancona, to embark in person with the troops, engagements vanished in excuses; a precise day was adjourned to an indefinite term; and his effective army consisted of some German pilgrims, whom he was obliged to disband with indulgences and arms. Regardless of futurity, his successors and the powers of Italy were involved in the schemes of present and domestic ambition; and the distance or proximity of each object determined in their eyes its apparent magnitude. A more enlarged view of their interest would have taught them to maintain a defensive and naval war against the common enemy; and the support of Scanderbeg and his brave Albanians might have prevented the subsequent invasion of the kingdom of Naples. The siege and sack of Otranto by the Turks diffused a general consternation; and Pope Sixtus was preparing to fly beyond the Alps, when the storm was instantly dispelled by the death of Mahomet the Second, in the fifty-first year of his age. 96 His lofty genius aspired to the conquest of Italy: he was possessed of a strong city and a capacious harbor; and the same reign might have been decorated with the trophies of the New and the Ancient Rome. 97
1 The abbe Dubos, who, with less genius than his successor Montesquieu, has asserted and magnified the influence of climate, objects to himself the degeneracy of the Romans and Batavians. To the first of these examples he replies, 1. That the change is less real than apparent, and that the modern Romans prudently conceal in themselves the virtues of their ancestors. 2. That the air, the soil, and the climate of Rome have suffered a great and visible alteration, (Reflexions sur la Poesie et sur la Peinture, part ii. sect. 16.)
Note: This question is discussed at considerable length in Dr. Arnold's History of Rome, ch. xxiii. See likewise Bunsen's Dissertation on the Aria Cattiva Roms Beschreibung, pp. 82, 108. - M.
2 The reader has been so long absent from Rome, that I would advise him to recollect or review the xlixth chapter of this History.
3 The coronation of the German emperors at Rome, more especially in the xith century, is best represented from the original monuments by Muratori (Antiquitat. Italiae Medii Aevi, tom. i. dissertat. ii. p. 99, &c.) and Cenni, (Monument. Domin. Pontif. tom. ii. diss. vi. p. 261,) the latter of whom I only know from the copious extract of Schmidt, (Hist. des Allemands tom. iii. p. 255 - 266.)
4 Exercitui Romano et Teutonico! The latter was both seen and felt; but the former was no more than magni nominis umbra.
5 Muratori has given the series of the papal coins, (Antiquitat. tom. ii. diss. xxvii. p. 548 - 554.) He finds only two more early than the year 800: fifty are still extant from Leo III. to Leo IX., with the addition of the reigning emperor none remain of Gregory VII. or Urban II.; but in those of Paschal II. he seems to have renounced this badge of dependence.
6 See Ducange, Gloss. mediae et infimae Latinitat. tom. vi. p. 364, 365, Staffa. This homage was paid by kings to archbishops, and by vassals to their lords, (Schmidt, tom. iii. p. 262;) and it was the nicest policy of Rome to confound the marks of filial and of feudal subjection
7 The appeals from all the churches to the Roman pontiff are deplored by the zeal of St. Bernard (de Consideratione, l. iii. tom. ii. p. 431 - 442, edit. Mabillon, Venet. 1750) and the judgment of Fleury, (Discours sur l'Hist. Ecclesiastique, iv. et vii.) But the saint, who believed in the false decretals condemns only the abuse of these appeals; the more enlightened historian investigates the origin, and rejects the principles, of this new jurisprudence.
8 Germanici . . . . summarii non levatis sarcinis onusti nihilominus repatriant inviti. Nova res! quando hactenus aurum Roma refudit? Et nunc Romanorum consilio id usurpatum non credimus, (Bernard, de Consideratione, l. iii. c. 3, p. 437.) The first words of the passage are obscure, and probably corrupt.
9 Quand les sauvages de la Louisiane veulent avoir du fruit, ils coupent l'arbre au pied et cueillent le fruit. Voila le gouvernement despotique, (Esprit des Loix, l. v. c. 13;) and passion and ignorance are always despotic.
10 In a free conversation with his countryman Adrian IV., John of Salisbury accuses the avarice of the pope and clergy: Provinciarum diripiunt spolia, ac si thesauros Croesi studeant reparare. Sed recte cum eis agit Altissimus, quoniam et ipsi aliis et saepe vilissimis hominibus dati sunt in direptionem, (de Nugis Curialium, l. vi. c. 24, p. 387.) In the next page, he blames the rashness and infidelity of the Romans, whom their bishops vainly strove to conciliate by gifts, instead of virtues. It is pity that this miscellaneous writer has not given us less morality and erudition, and more pictures of himself and the times.
11 Hume's History of England, vol. i. p. 419. The same writer has given us, from Fitz-Stephen, a singular act of cruelty perpetrated on the clergy by Geoffrey, the father of Henry II. "When he was master of Normandy, the chapter of Seez presumed, without his consent, to proceed to the election of a bishop: upon which he ordered all of them, with the bishop elect, to be castrated, and made all their testicles be brought him in a platter." Of the pain and danger they might justly complain; yet since they had vowed chastity he deprived them of a superfluous treasure.
12 From Leo IX. and Gregory VII. an authentic and contemporary series of the lives of the popes by the cardinal of Arragon, Pandulphus Pisanus, Bernard Guido, &c., is inserted in the Italian Historians of Muratori, (tom. iii. P. i. p. 277 - 685,) and has been always before my eyes.
13 The dates of years int he in the contents may throughout his this chapter be understood as tacit references to the Annals of Muratori, my ordinary and excellent guide. He uses, and indeed quotes, with the freedom of a master, his great collection of the Italian Historians, in xxviii. volumes; and as that treasure is in my library, I have thought it an amusement, if not a duty, to consult the originals.
14 I cannot refrain from transcribing the high-colored words of Pandulphus Pisanus, (p. 384.) Hoc audiens inimicus pacis atque turbator jam fatus Centius Frajapane, more draconis immanissimi sibilans, et ab imis pectoribus trahens longa suspiria, accinctus retro gladio sine more cucurrit, valvas ac fores confregit. Ecclesiam furibundus introiit, inde custode remoto papam per gulam accepit, distraxit pugnis calcibusque percussit, et tanquam brutum animal intra limen ecclesiae acriter calcaribus cruentavit; et latro tantum dominum per capillos et brachia, Jesu bono interim dormiente, detraxit, ad domum usque deduxit, inibi catenavit et inclusit.
15 Ego coram Deo et Ecclesia dico, si unquam possibile esset, mallem unum imperatorem quam tot dominos, (Vit. Gelas. II. p. 398.)
16 Quid tam notum seculis quam protervia et cervicositas Romanorum? Gens insueta paci, tumultui assueta, gens immitis et intractabilis usque adhuc, subdi nescia, nisi cum non valet resistere, (de Considerat. l. iv. c. 2, p. 441.) The saint takes breath, and then begins again: Hi, invisi terrae et coelo, utrique injecere manus, &c., (p. 443.)
17 As a Roman citizen, Petrarch takes leave to observe, that Bernard, though a saint, was a man; that he might be provoked by resentment, and possibly repent of his hasty passion, &c. (Memoires sur la Vie de Petrarque, tom. i. p. 330.)
18 Baronius, in his index to the xiith volume of his Annals, has found a fair and easy excuse. He makes two heads, of Romani Catholici and Schismatici: to the former he applies all the good, to the latter all the evil, that is told of the city.
19 The heresies of the xiith century may be found in Mosheim, (Institut. Hist. Eccles. p. 419 - 427,) who entertains a favorable opinion of Arnold of Brescia. In the vth volume I have described the sect of the Paulicians, and followed their migration from Armenia to Thrace and Bulgaria, Italy and France.
20 The original pictures of Arnold of Brescia are drawn by Otho, bishop of Frisingen, (Chron. l. vii. c. 31, de Gestis Frederici I. l. i. c. 27, l. ii. c. 21,) and in the iiid book of the Ligurinus, a poem of Gunthur, who flourished A.D. 1200, in the monastery of Paris near Basil, (Fabric. Bibliot. Latin. Med. et Infimae Aetatis, tom. iii. p. 174, 175.) The long passage that relates to Arnold is produced by Guilliman, (de Rebus Helveticis, l. iii. c. 5, p. 108.)
Note: Compare Franke, Arnold von Brescia und seine Zeit. Zarich, 1828 - M.
21 The wicked wit of Bayle was amused in composing, with much levity and learning, the articles of Abelard, Foulkes, Heloise, in his Dictionnaire Critique. The dispute of Abelard and St. Bernard, of scholastic and positive divinity, is well understood by Mosheim, (Institut. Hist. Eccles. p. 412 - 415.)
22 - Damnatus ab illo Praesule, qui numeros vetitum contingere nostros Nomen ad innocua ducit laudabile vita. We may applaud the dexterity and correctness of Ligurinus, who turns the unpoetical name of Innocent II. into a compliment.
23 A Roman inscription of Statio Turicensis has been found at Zurich, (D'Anville, Notice de l'ancienne Gaul, p. 642 - 644;) but it is without sufficient warrant, that the city and canton have usurped, and even monopolized, the names of Tigurum and Pagus Tigurinus.
24 Guilliman (de Rebus Helveticis, l. iii. c. 5, p. 106) recapitulates the donation (A.D. 833) of the emperor Lewis the Pious to his daughter the abbess Hildegardis. Curtim nostram Turegum in ducatu Alamanniae in pago Durgaugensi, with villages, woods, meadows, waters, slaves, churches, &c.; a noble gift. Charles the Bald gave the jus monetae, the city was walled under Otho I., and the line of the bishop of Frisingen,
Nobile Turegum multarum copia rerum,
is repeated with pleasure by the antiquaries of Zurich.
25 Bernard, Epistol. cxcv. tom. i. p. 187 - 190. Amidst his invectives he drops a precious acknowledgment, qui, utinam quam sanae esset doctrinae quam districtae est vitae. He owns that Arnold would be a valuable acquisition for the church.
66 See Phranza, l. iii. c. 20, 21. His expressions are positive: Ameras sua manu jugulavit . . . . volebat enim eo turpiter et nefarie abuti. Me miserum et infelicem! Yet he could only learn from report the bloody or impure scenes that were acted in the dark recesses of the seraglio.
67 See Tiraboschi (tom. vi. P. i. p. 290) and Lancelot, (Mem. de l'Academie des Inscriptions, tom. x. p. 718.) I should be curious to learn how he could praise the public enemy, whom he so often reviles as the most corrupt and inhuman of tyrants.
68 The commentaries of Pius II. suppose that he craftily placed his cardinal's hat on the head of a corpse which was cut off and exposed in triumph, while the legate himself was bought and delivered as a captive of no value. The great Belgic Chronicle adorns his escape with new adventures, which he suppressed (says Spondanus, A.D. 1453, No. 15) in his own letters, lest he should lose the merit and reward of suffering for Christ. Note: He was sold as a slave in Galata, according to Von Hammer, p. 175. See the somewhat vague and declamatory letter of Cardinal Isidore, in the appendix to Clarke's Travels, vol. ii. p. 653. - M.
69 Busbequius expatiates with pleasure and applause on the rights of war, and the use of slavery, among the ancients and the Turks, (de Legat. Turcica, epist. iii. p. 161.)
70 This sum is specified in a marginal note of Leunclavius, (Chalcondyles, l. viii. p. 211,) but in the distribution to Venice, Genoa, Florence, and Ancona, of 50, 20, and 15,000 ducats, I suspect that a figure has been dropped. Even with the restitution, the foreign property would scarcely exceed one fourth.
71 See the enthusiastic praises and lamentations of Phranza, (l. iii. c. 17.)
72 See Ducas, (c. 43,) and an epistle, July 15th, 1453, from Laurus Quirinus to Pope Nicholas V., (Hody de Graecis, p. 192, from a MS. in the Cotton library.)
73 The Julian Calendar, which reckons the days and hours from midnight, was used at Constantinople. But Ducas seems to understand the natural hours from sunrise.
74 See the Turkish Annals, p. 329, and the Pandects of Leunclarius, p. 448.
75 I have had occasion (vol. ii. p. 100) to mention this curious relic of Grecian antiquity.
*_0064 Von Hammer passes over this circumstance, which is treated by Dr. Clarke (Travels, vol. ii. p. 58, 4to. edit,) as a fiction of Thevenot. Chishull states that the monument was broken by some attendants of the Polish ambassador. - M.
76 We are obliged to Cantemir (p. 102) for the Turkish account of the conversion of St. Sophia, so bitterly deplored by Phranza and Ducas. It is amusing enough to observe, in what opposite lights the same object appears to a Mussulman and a Christian eye.
77 This distich, which Cantemir gives in the original, derives new beauties from the application. It was thus that Scipio repeated, in the sack of Carthage, the famous prophecy of Homer. The same generous feeling carried the mind of the conqueror to the past or the future.
78 I cannot believe with Ducas (see Spondanus, A.D. 1453, No. 13) that Mahomet sent round Persia, Arabia, &c., the head of the Greek emperor: he would surely content himself with a trophy less inhuman.
79 Phranza was the personal enemy of the great duke; nor could time, or death, or his own retreat to a monastery, extort a feeling of sympathy or forgiveness. Ducas is inclined to praise and pity the martyr; Chalcondyles is neuter, but we are indebted to him for the hint of the Greek conspiracy.
*_0065 Von Hammer relates this undoubtingly, apparently on good authority, p. 559. - M.
80 For the restitution of Constantinople and the Turkish foundations, see Cantemir, (p. 102 - 109,) Ducas, (c. 42,) with Thevenot, Tournefort, and the rest of our modern travellers. From a gigantic picture of the greatness, population, &c., of Constantinople and the Ottoman empire, (Abrege de l'Histoire Ottomane, tom. i. p. 16 - 21,) we may learn, that in the year 1586 the Moslems were less numerous in the capital than the Christians, or even the Jews.
81 The Turbe, or sepulchral monument of Abu Ayub, is described and engraved in the Tableau Generale de l'Empire Ottoman, (Paris 1787, in large folio,) a work of less use, perhaps, than magnificence, (tom. i. p. 305, 306.)
82 Phranza (l. iii. c. 19) relates the ceremony, which has possibly been adorned in the Greek reports to each other, and to the Latins. The fact is confirmed by Emanuel Malaxus, who wrote, in vulgar Greek, the History of the Patriarchs after the taking of Constantinople, inserted in the Turco-Graecia of Crusius, (l. v. p. 106 - 184.) But the most patient reader will not believe that Mahomet adopted the Catholic form, "Sancta Trinitas quae mihi donavit imperium te in patriarcham novae Romae deligit."
83 From the Turco-Graecia of Crusius, &c. Spondanus (A.D. 1453, No. 21, 1458, No. 16) describes the slavery and domestic quarrels of the Greek church. The patriarch who succeeded Gennadius threw himself in despair into a well.
84 Cantemir (p. 101 - 105) insists on the unanimous consent of the Turkish historians, ancient as well as modern, and argues, that they would not have violated the truth to diminish their national glory, since it is esteemed more honorable to take a city by force than by composition. But, 1. I doubt this consent, since he quotes no particular historian, and the Turkish Annals of Leunclavius affirm, without exception, that Mahomet took Constantinople per vim, (p. 329.) 2 The same argument may be turned in favor of the Greeks of the times, who would not have forgotten this honorable and salutary treaty. Voltaire, as usual, prefers the Turks to the Christians.
85 For the genealogy and fall of the Comneni of Trebizond, see Ducange, (Fam. Byzant. p. 195;) for the last Palaeologi, the same accurate antiquarian, (p. 244, 247, 248.) The Palaeologi of Montferrat were not extinct till the next century; but they had forgotten their Greek origin and kindred.
86 In the worthless story of the disputes and misfortunes of the two brothers, Phranza (l. iii. c. 21 - 30) is too partial on the side of Thomas Ducas (c. 44, 45) is too brief, and Chalcondyles (l. viii. ix. x.) too diffuse and digressive.
*_0066 Kalo-Johannes, the predecessor of David his brother, the last emperor of Trebizond, had attempted to organize a confederacy against Mahomet it comprehended Hassan Bei, sultan of Mesopotamia, the Christian princes of Georgia and Iberia, the emir of Sinope, and the sultan of Caramania. The negotiations were interrupted by his sudden death, A.D. 1458. Fallmerayer, p. 257 - 260. - M.
87 See the loss or conquest of Trebizond in Chalcondyles, (l. ix. p. 263 - 266,) Ducas, (c. 45,) Phranza, (l. iii. c. 27,) and Cantemir, (p. 107.)
88 Though Tournefort (tom. iii. lettre xvii. p. 179) speaks of Trebizond as mal peuplee, Peysonnel, the latest and most accurate observer, can find 100,000 inhabitants, (Commerce de la Mer Noire, tom. ii. p. 72, and for the province, p. 53 - 90.) Its prosperity and trade are perpetually disturbed by the factious quarrels of two odas of Janizaries, in one which 30,000 Lazi are commonly enrolled, (Memoires de Tott, tom. iii. p. 16, 17.)
!_0066 According to the Georgian account of these transactions, (translated by M. Brosset, additions to Le Beau, vol. xxi. p. 325,) the emperor of Trebizond humbly entreated the sultan to have the goodness to marry one of his daughters. - M.
89 Ismael Beg, prince of Sinope or Sinople, was possessed (chiefly from his copper mines) of a revenure of 200,000 ducats, (Chalcond. l. ix. p. 258, 259.) Peysonnel (Commerce de la Mer Noire, tom. ii. p. 100) ascribes to the modern city 60,000 inhabitants. This account seems enormous; yet it is by trading with people that we become acquainted with their wealth and numbers.
**_0066 M. Boissonade has published, in the fifth volume of his Anecdota Graeca (p. 387, 401.) a very interesting letter from George Amiroutzes, protovestia rius of Trebizond, to Bessarion, describing the surrender of Trebizond, and the fate of its chief inhabitants. - M.
!!_0066 See in Von Hammer, vol. ii. p. 60, the striking account of the mother, the empress Helena the Cantacuzene, who, in defiance of the edict, like that of Creon in the Greek tragedy, dug the grave for her murdered children with her own hand, and sank into it herself. - M.
90 Spondanus (from Gobelin Comment. Pii II. l. v.) relates the arrival and reception of of the despot Thomas at Rome,. (A.D. 1461 No. NO. 3.)
91 By an act dated A.D. 1494, Sept. 6, and lately transmitted from the archives of the Capitol to the royal library of Paris, the despot Andrew Palaeologus, reserving the Morea, and stipulating some private advantages, conveys to Charles VIII., king of France, the empires of Constantinople and Trebizond, (Spondanus, A.D. 1495, No. 2.) M. D. Foncemagne (Mem. de l'Academie des Inscriptions, tom. xvii. p. 539 - 578) has bestowed a dissertation on his national title, of which he had obtained a copy from Rome.
92 See Philippe de Comines, (l. vii. c. 14,) who reckons with pleasure the number of Greeks who were prepared to rise, 60 miles of an easy navigation, eighteen days' journey from Valona to Constantinople, &c. On this occasion the Turkish empire was saved by the policy of Venice.
93 See the original feast in Olivier de la Marche, (Memoires, P. i. c. 29, 30,) with the abstract and observations of M. de Ste. Palaye, (Memoires sur la Chevalerie, tom. i. P. iii. p. 182 - 185.) The peacock and the pheasant were distinguished as royal birds.
94 It was found by an actual enumeration, that Sweden, Gothland, and Finland, contained 1,800,000 fighting men, and consequently were far more populous than at present.
95 In the year 1454, Spondanus has given, from Aeneas Sylvius, a view of the state of Europe, enriched with his own observations. That valuable annalist, and the Italian Muratori, will continue the series of events from the year 1453 to 1481, the end of Mahomet's life, and of this chapter.
96 Besides the two annalists, the reader may consult Giannone (Istoria Civile, tom. iii. p. 449 - 455) for the Turkish invasion of the kingdom of Naples. For the reign and conquests of Mahomet II., I have occasionally used the Memorie Istoriche de Monarchi Ottomanni di Giovanni Sagredo, (Venezia, 1677, in 4to.) In peace and war, the Turks have ever engaged the attention of the republic of Venice. All her despatches and archives were open to a procurator of St. Mark, and Sagredo is not contemptible either in sense or style. Yet he too bitterly hates the infidels: he is ignorant of their language and manners; and his narrative, which allows only 70 pages to Mahomet II., (p. 69 - 140,) becomes more copious and authentic as he approaches the years 1640 and 1644, the term of the historic labors of John Sagredo.
97 As I am now taking an everlasting farewell of the Greek empire, I shall briefly mention the great collection of Byzantine writers whose names and testimonies have been successively repeated in this work. The Greeks presses of Aldus and the Italians were confined to the classics of a better age; and the first rude editions of Procopius, Agathias, Cedrenus, Zonaras, &c., were published by the learned diligence of the Germans. The whole Byzantine series (xxxvi. volumes in folio) has gradually issued (A.D. 1648, &c.) from the royal press of the Louvre, with some collateral aid from Rome and Leipsic; but the Venetian edition, (A.D. 1729,) though cheaper and more copious, is not less inferior in correctness than in magnificence to that of Paris. The merits of the French editors are various; but the value of Anna Comnena, Cinnamus, Villehardouin, &c., is enhanced by the historical notes of Charles de Fresne du Cange. His supplemental works, the Greek Glossary, the Constantinopolis Christiana, the Familiae Byzantinae, diffuse a steady light over the darkness of the Lower Empire.
Note: The new edition of the Byzantines, projected by Niebuhr, and continued under the patronage of the Prussian government, is the most convenient in size, and contains some authors (Leo Diaconus, Johannes Lydus, Corippus, the new fragment of Dexippus, Eunapius, &c., discovered by Mai) which could not be comprised in the former collections; but the names of such editors as Bekker, the Dindorfs, &c., raised hopes of something more than the mere republication of the text, and the notes of former editors. Little, I regret to say, has been added of annotation, and in some cases, the old incorrect versions have been retained. - M.