Talisman of Ictis (After the Fall Book 1)

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Their collocation here represents a similarly retrospective criticism of the unnamed man. Typhus is a non-biblical Grecism already Christianized for its background, see Courcelle, Opuscula Selecta [Paris, ], , esp. Apposite here is trin. In a much later text, typhus is correlated to the attitude attacked by Rom. The books are not more closely identified in conf. The central texts to that debate are Theiler's review of Courcelle, Recherches , at Gnomon 25 , and Courcelle Les Confessions and cf.

O'Meara's opinion on the identity of the homo cited above. The issue is complicated by the role Porphyry played in the transmission of Plotinus and by our ignorance of the outward form of the Latin books A. See du Roy 70 for a catalogue of treatises by Plotinus variously thought to have been read by A. Hadot, Marius Victorinus Paris, , The number is probably not large beata v. A useful comparandum is the case of Macrobius, who seems to have had little of Plotinus available to him, perhaps only half a dozen treatises and Porphyry's vita ; see J.

O'Connell: see esp. REAug 9 , O'Connell has consistently overplayed his discoveries and the role of Plotinus in A. The explicit mention of names is not insignificant in A. Plotinus is mentioned by name in A. Porphyry is the object of much discussion in civ. The earliest show A. By contrast, Plato is mentioned approx. These figures do not tell the whole story, but provide a framework within which to speculate, and if kept in mind offer perspective; it is often perspective that is lost in the debates on this subject.

Some Porphyry A. Bidez, Vie de Porphyre Gent, , n1]. At any rate, Plotinus and Porphyry came to A. See on the place of the conf. The case for Porphyrian influence was given its classic expression in Theiler's P. O'Meara was rebutted fiercely but with limited success by P. Hadot, REAug 6 , O'Meara is right to identify the two titles, but that does not require us to accept his insistence that the one work was known already in Italy: how could A.

The state of our knowledge of Porphyry hampers further progress. There are almost infinite ambages to these debates. A fresh comprehensive survey of the state of play would be valuable. The quality of the translations that A. Plotinus is notoriously difficult, and ancient translations were notoriously literal. Can we make any useful comparisons? Take Plot. The dependence is clear, but the verbal infidelity is also clear.

Quotations from Jn. Solignac, at BA This equation is not recorded in A. Johnson, RA 8[] , arguing that the equation is thus more likely the result of Christian than of Platonic influence. There is a difficulty: A. So he had surely heard the story, and must have known the underlying doctrine and texts, at Milan. Reserve giving way to abundance marks the appearance of the word in this sense in conf.

Victorinus, adv. Arium 1. It was not only the incarnation of the second person that A. Words paraphrased here, cited not ad verbum , or differently inflected are italicized. The punctuation follows A. The in extenso citation of these central and moving texts has its effect. He did not. For a palmary study of this passage through A. Clearly echoed at Marrou, Saint Augustin et l'augustinisme [Paris, ], 84 for occurrences of these verses in A. Studer, RA 19 , , excellent on the importance of aequalitas in A.

The Phil. Verwilghen Augustine quotes and echoes Phil. Madec, RA 2 , The rhetorical strategy of this citation must be seen in the history of of Christian assimilation of philosophical doctrines marked at the same time by the insistence that they were originally Christian all along : see R. So here in Bk. Both halves of the quotation are applied to the Platonists explicitly at civ. See As Madec showed, this proof-text was useful against Manichees c. It played a notable part in his speculative theology trin. For its value in the healing of curiositas , see on When A. Courcelle Recherches and Madec art.

Courcelle sees an echo at quant. If that passage is not accepted as an echo, 26 the earliest is vera rel. But that work from the end of the Thagaste period already marks the development of A. After vera rel. This text and Jn. Philippians 2. G-M conventionally remark that this charge might not be as true of Plotinus as of his followers, adducing Porph.

But the position of Plotinus can be taken both ways; for contrasting views, cf. Dodds, The Greeks and the Irrational Berkeley, , stoutly denying that Plotinus engaged in such conduct: for a similar position with less special pleading, see A. Fowden, The Egyptian Hermes Cambridge, , Aegyptium cibum : Gn. A link between several scriptural moments is provided by Ps. See on this passage Knauer , with rectification of earlier mistaken scholarly views. On Egypt as the home of idolatry, see also s. This is the most autobiographical sentence in the paragraph, for as a gentile A.

Folliet's note at BA Mai Here it gives him Pauline warrant for using non-Christian texts; he was not alone--cf. Athanasius incarn.

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Folliet, REAug 11 , Amb. The link to Rom. But if A. The notion of influence goes back to the Hellenistis Judaism, and was sometimes admitted by non-Christians A. The same argument is present in other works of Ambrose, but often only in fleeting mention e. The error corrected by the retr. This weakest argument is regarded as sufficient by the doctiores.

Courcelle, Les Confessions , develops it with equal literal-mindedness by noting that 8. Instead of opposing zoolatry, each one has been an initiate, or an interpreter, of Isiac mysteries. In a similar vein, see E. Gilson, Med. Henry, Plotin et l'Occident Louvain, 98 noting an analogy to Plotinus 6. Les Confessions and Recherches ed. All discussions of A. Courcelle's views are most concisely presented at Recherches , where he presents three passages-- 7. This schema highlights the parallels among these paragraphs, but imposes a structure that should not be taken as originating with A.

This paragraph 7. The following paragraphs 7. But that success leaves A. These events finally put A. As often, A. He gives in these pages high praise, both implicit and explicit, to Plotinian doctrines and practices, but at the same time he reserves for neo-Platonism criticism that is fundamental, irrefutable for him , and disqualifying. The theological diagnosis of his dissatisfaction failure to appreciate the doctrine of the incarnation: see on 7. The echoes of Plotinian texts in these paragraphs have attracted much attention.

Courcelle Recherches does not insist on more than Plotinus 1. But was the Ascent ever meant to be a permanent thing in Plotinus? Or was it inevitably partial, frustrated, and limited in duration? Plotinus 1. There permanence of vision seems eschatological rather than imminent. Of no less importance, however, for understanding the exact purport of these paragraphs and their place in A.

Hadot, Marius Victorinus Paris, , , adduces several passages later in conf. But there are numerous other pertinent texts, arranged here by subject:. Experience at Milan: beata v. Both these texts show A. Preparation for vision: sol. These texts indirectly reflect on the background both to this paragraph and to 7. Each makes sense only when seen against the development that leads to it and 7. Defects of vision and see below : beata v.

Later judgment of vision: On the opening page of trin. There the ascent is a possibility without authentic Christianity, but not destined for success: trin. The notion of divine initiative is certainly more Christian than Platonic n. The first sentence of this paragraph, for example, has three different phrases for the divine initiative. Simone Weil claims somewhere that there is no case in the Gospels of human initiative but always the divine call.

This is not quite true, but it captures a distinctive atmosphere alien to that of Plotinus. Worin besteht die utilitas verborum signorum? Die Antwort Augustins--sie ist im ganzen Dialog [ mag. Die signa sind Warner und Mahner; ihre gnoseologische Funktion besteht in der commemoratio sensibilis des homo interior. Whether to attach the present passage to either divine person is questionable but cf.

See on 1. For the purposes of the present passage, of 7. Korger, RA 2[], , and the note at BA The result can be dramatically expressed: see Gn. On this reading, it makes sense to say that the failed ascent of Bk. The verse immediately preceding, Jn. Christianizing what happened ex post facto? He is at least explaining it in Christian terms. Courcelle, Recherches n2 , finds parallels in both Plotinus 1. For A. See on This phrase is the focus of an important essay on the nature of mystical knowledge in A.

Blanchard, RA 2 , ; it has also received attention for its rhetorical gradatio in a delightful notice by E. Dutoit, Augustinus 13 , See on 3. Augustine's Confessions Cambridge, Mass. Plotinus 5. See also the close, but not identical, expression at 7. The word evokes a remarkable range of parallel texts see du Roy 77 , including Ambrosian antecedents: e. Testard refers to Cic. These next texts all represent the difficulty of approach, the likelihood of being repelled, and the need for moral purification if the approach is to be more or less successful.

The verbal parallels among these texts are numerous; only those are highlighted that reflect the present text more or less directly. The possibility of ascent was one A. The difficulty of ascent and the impossibility of persevering in the vision to which it led were scarcely a surprise to A. Both the Platonic tradition and A. More pertinently, that relapse is an essential feature of the narrative of what is by all agreed to be the most satisfactory mystical ascent of conf. Such a shudder is not necessarily a pious emotion: Jas. Perler, Unterwegs zur Einheit Festschrift H.

Stirnimann: Freiburg [Schweiz], , , attempts to root this phrase in Plotinian and Christian texts; the results are not decisive for this phrase, but are of wider interest. See Lk. BA The formula comes from Plotinus 1. As BA For regio in conf. There are no immediate biblical parallels beyond the prodigal passage in Luke, but Mayer, Zeichen 1. With a link to the second person of the trinity, we can see again the appositeness of lib. This expression has evoked a vast literature: parallels are noted, inter alia, at Athanasius de incarnatione verbi Thierry, Bernard of Clairvaux; further esp.

Other studies include A. Podechard Lyon, , ; E. The garden scene 8. For similar direct discourse attributed to God, see on 6. The response given is put carefully in Christian terms.


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The echo says concisely that A. What he has sought in Bk. Note as well that the words are specific, earthly words, not ineffabilia verba 2 Cor. Another forty passages are listed by E. Few antedate conf. At civ. The verse is inextricably linked with many other topics, especially that of divine immutability; in A.

Augustine: Being and Nothingness [New York, ]. The ontology of Exod. If we take 7. A right understanding of scripture and a new conception of God, culminating in the discovery of the platonicorum libri , made possible the attempted ascent; now a right understanding of the goodness of created things hence an answer to the last of the Manichean questions [ 3.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

In the absence of circumstantial narrative, it is safer to take this whole development from 7. A favorite verse, echoed in conf. This text marks an important difference between the visions of 7. For the association with Wisd. Ambrose, Isaac 8. These paragraphs between the two ascents of 7. There are no citations from here through 7. See also Plotinus 1. Chadwick, Boethius [Oxford, ], Chadwick, Augustine Oxford, , instancing Plotinus 1. After his conversion Augustine sought to correct Plotinus' mistakes.

For this Platonic doctrine positively contrasted to the Manichean teaching, see civ. The argument that evil was nothing was not new to A. The idea appears as well in Cic. Thirty-five years after Milan, A. The verb, fairly common in Bks. The passage from mor.

The only other substantial text earlier than conf. Sirach By contrast to 7. We are shown how A. See Ps. The reversal of order of citation from Ps. Its classic formulation in A. Here 7. This paragraph contains elements of a review of the development of A. For a study of Bk.

Both are explanations of the presence of evil in the world designed in the first instance to protect the innocence of God. Their proximity is one explanation for the appeal of the latter to A. But of course if Christ is the manus dei see on De Marchi needlessly emends to veritatem. Here he seems to be suggesting what is similarly implicit at 7. Apart from the doctrinal substance of the view here of matter and evil, the form of the argument marks a characteristic feature of all A. The fault is no longer thought to be in the world that he contemplates but in the eye with which he contemplates it.

This view was implicit in his interpretation of earlier stages of his development esp. His inability to see the complete logical coherence of an argument is no longer in itself a reason not to accept the argument. This is a conversion in some ways--he does not after all change the essentials of his view of the world snakes and worms are still repugnant to him ; but he changes his view about his own view of the world, and that is not a small thing.

Is there a Porphyrian citation here? Unlikely, but there has been discussion: see du Roy 84n3. Years later, he expressed the thought common among the Platonists themselves that a more enduring vision might be possible. Another late and optimistic for others text is ep. Already at Cassiciacum, A. Mystical adepts agree that their experience is impossible to describe adequately; one would think that to describe someone else's mystical experience would be a fortiori more difficult, but few ever act that way. We speak of these things with a confidence that glosses over serious epistemological difficulties, and those difficulties are doubled here.

If it is difficult for us to know what Plotinus' or A. We are reduced to comparing texts, but texts that are always written and read with reference to an ineffable reality presumably lying beyond them. But even that is rendered more difficult here, since whatever A. This text permits the conclusion that it was written by someone who thought he was reporting an experience that was congruent to that reported in Plotinus' texts. C'est ainsi que compose Augustin. Again, the initiative is from outside and above. Juxtaposed with 1 Cor. The text is not specially favored by other church fathers.

See on 2. The following list schematizes the present text and gives in brackets references and quotations to quant. O'Daly , arguing for neo-Platonic influence. See on 9. See also sol. True being is the decisive argument against the Manichees, as at sol. What happened at Milan was not the beatific vision; this was not corruptibility putting on incorruption in any real sense: but as against what is reported at 7.

The inability to fix his vision there is, we know from other texts, the result of his mortality and weakness and sin, but he does not insist on that here there is no echo of Rom. He means to convey thanksgiving for what he was granted, and indirect high praise of Plotinus. The next paragraph turns to the search for strength, and contains within its opening sentence the Christological key to the search.

It is not that he discovered that the Plotinian method did not work that is Courcelle's position in essence ; he discovered that it did work, and that it was not enough. Something more is required: see civ. He had a rude knowledge early on 1. We have been prepared for this since 7. Here readers will differ, but there is nothing to suggest that he came to this position expressis verbis at any time before writing conf.

What happened in was thus something like this: first reading the platonicorum libri , then a period of enthusiasm at his discoveries, then disillusionment that his discoveries had not brought him to the goal he had sought, then anxious deliberation culminating in the garden scene of a moral and sacramental nature over the question whether he should present himself for baptism.

In retrospect, and as a theological interpretation, he sees that what was lacking to him after reading the platonicorum libri was the incarnate Christ; he recalls that it was Paul he read, and Simplicianus and others with whom he spoke, and he interprets the whole movement from there until his baptism as the addition of Christ now accurately perceived to his beliefs and to his life. In favor of this reading, the incarnation had been part of his thoughts at Cassiciacum.

O'Meara, Dominican Stud. For the ascent to God hinging on incarnation see already 4. One early text holding that a correct doctrine of the incarnation is linked to sacramental initiation is ep. The presentation of this difficulty helps us measure for the intensity of A. The perplexities A. Theological discussion of A. Geerlings, Christus Exemplum Mainz, --for Christ as exemplum, , cf. Studer, RA 19 , Though Courcelle, Ricerche di stor.

The unacceptability of this concept to non-Christians: civ. Insofar as A. The 1 Tim. When does A. Within the narrative of conf. There is a decided progression and recursion in the movement of conf. Also at The daring terminology underlines the importance of kenosis from Phil. Aland, Pietas Festschrift B. Beatrice, in a wide-ranging article on the interpretation of Gn. Bianchi, ed.

For the issues and positions at stake here, see agon. For our purposes the relevant texts are: agon. The view A. This will happen in Bk.

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Right doctrine is a necessary condition for right moral conduct and acquisition of salvation. See civ. Here it is impossible to read conf. He does not here cite the further position mentioned in retr. Two cultured contemplators of Christianity come into view in A. Longinianus date of these letters uncertain, but just perhaps roughly contemporary with conf.

Is Longinianus perhaps a ringer? He certainly looks very like the A. Of much less interest are the objections of Volusianus, by V. This seems to rule out so BA Courcelle, Ricerche di stor. But Courcelle insisted that this passage shows that the Philosophy from Oracles of Porphyry was one of the platonicorum libri that A. See, e. Ideally, reason and philosophy should suffice, but in practice incarnation and revelation are necessary. Alypius autem : A. There has been confusion on the interpretation of this passage see Courcelle and O'Connell cited below , but the gist of the paragraph is that A.

The rectification of those misunderstandings is attested by div. But the pattern was not exclusively his; they make convenient whipping boys for Ambrose as well, and Ambrosiaster, while making no mention of Apollinarism, attacks the Photinians eight times in his Pauline commentaries, several times in conjunction with the Manichees.

O'Connell's attempt to postpone the date of A. The link to Arianism is also made at haer. The likeliest vehicle for a clarification of Alypius' views was Amb. For the clarification that Alypius was not himself Apollinarian, but objected to what he thought was Apollinarian in orthodoxy, see R.

Au contraire, Alypius,. Apollinaris is a figure of greater importance in the history of Christology than Photinus; the classic study was H. Grillmeier, Christ in Christian Tradition London, , ; the most recent full-length study is E. Kannengiesser, Rech. A brief summary of A. The influence of Platonism and Porphyry in particular on the formation of those views is debatable and debated in the wake of Courcelle, Riv. Photinus of Sirmium deposed as bishop there and exiled in , and condemned at various councils after: hence also a recent controversy doubted the pre-existent Christ and held that the Christ first existed in the virgin's womb ep.

Note esp. In the present passage A. That would seem to rule out direct contact with unmitigated Porphyrianism. Ambrose opposed Photinians by name in his in Luc. David alt. A thought experiment is conducted at bapt. The thought that he might have been a candidate himself would have made him an attentive listener if Amb. The thought experiment goes on to imagine a third candidate, knowingly Photinian but accepting baptism for worldly gain that good marriage, that promising career--perhaps a governorship [ 6.

The later A. At this disastrous era of the ninth and tenth centuries, Europe was afflicted by a triple scourge from the North, the East, and the South; the Norman, the Hungarian, and the Saracen sometimes trod the same ground of desolation; and these savage foes might have been compared by Homer to the two lions growling over the carcase of a mangled stag. The deliverance of Germany and Christendom was achieved by the Saxon princes, Henry the Fowler and Otho the Great, who, in two memorable battles, for ever broke the power of the Hungarians.

They were invited by domestic faction; the gates of Germany were treacherously unlocked; and they spread, far beyond the Rhine and the Meuse, into the heart of Flanders. But the vigour and prudence of Otho dispelled the conspiracy; the princes were made sensible that, unless they were true to each other, their religion and country were irrecoverably lost; and the national powers were reviewed in the plains of Augsburg.

They marched and fought in eight legions, 48 according to the division of provinces and tribes; the first, second, and third were composed of Bavarians; the fourth of Franconians; the fifth of Saxons, under the immediate command of the monarch; the sixth and seventh consisted of Swabians; and the eighth legion, of a thousand Bohemians, closed the rear of the host.

The resources of discipline and valour were fortified by the arts of superstition, which, on this occasion, may deserve the epithets of generous and salutary. The soldiers were purified with a fast; the camp was blessed with the relics of saints and martyrs; and the Christian hero girded on his side the sword of Constantine, grasped the invincible spear of Charlemagne, and waved the banner of St. But his firmest confidence was placed in the holy lance, 49 Edition: current; Page: [ 48 ] whose point was fashioned of the nails of the cross, and which his father had extorted from the king of Burgundy by the threats of war and the gift of a province.

The Hungarians were expected in the front; 50 they secretly passed the Lech, a river of Bavaria that falls into the Danube; turned the rear of the Christian army; plundered the baggage and disordered the legions of Bohemia and Swabia. The battle was restored by the Franconians, whose duke, the valiant Conrad, was pierced with an arrow as he rested from his fatigues; the Saxons fought under the eyes of their king; and his victory surpassed, in merit and importance, the triumphs of the last two hundred years. The loss of the Hungarians was still greater in the flight than in the action; they were encompassed by the rivers of Bavaria; and their past cruelties excluded them from the hope of mercy.

Three captive princes were hanged at Ratisbon, the multitude of prisoners was slain or mutilated, and the fugitives, who presumed to appear in the face of their country, were condemned to everlasting poverty and disgrace. Adversity suggested the counsels of moderation and peace; the robbers of the West acquiesced in a sedentary life; and the next generation was taught, by a discerning prince, that far more might be gained by multiplying and exchanging the produce of a fruitful soil. The native race, the Turkish or Fennic blood, was mingled with new colonies of Scythian or Sclavonian origin; 52 Edition: current; Page: [ 49 ] many thousands of robust and industrious captives had been imported from all the countries of Europe; 53 and, after the marriage of Geisa with a Bavarian princess, he bestowed honours and estates on the nobles of Germany.

But the freeborn Barbarians were not dazzled by the lustre of the diadem, and the people asserted their indefeasible right of choosing, deposing, and punishing the hereditary servant of the state. The name of Russians 55 was first divulged, in the Edition: current; Page: [ 50 ] ninth century, by an embassy from Theophilus, emperor of the East, to the emperor of the West, Lewis, the son of Charlemagne. The Greeks were accompanied by the envoys of the great duke, or chagan, or czar, of the Russians.

In their journey to Constantinople, they had traversed many hostile nations; and they hoped to escape the dangers of their return by requesting the French monarch to transport them by sea to their native country. A closer examination detected their origin: they were the brethren of the Swedes and Normans, whose name was already odious and formidable in France; and it might justly be apprehended that these Russian strangers were not the messengers of peace but the emissaries of war.

They were detained, while the Greeks were dismissed; and Lewis expected a more satisfactory account, that he might obey the laws of hospitality or prudence, according to the interest of both empires. The Normans, who had so long been concealed by a veil of impenetrable darkness, suddenly Edition: current; Page: [ 51 ] burst forth in the spirit of naval and military enterprise.

The vast, and, as it is said, the populous, regions of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway were crowded with independent chieftains and desperate adventurers, who sighed in the laziness of peace, and smiled in the agonies of death. Piracy was the exercise, the trade, the glory, and the virtue of the Scandinavian youth. Impatient of a bleak climate and narrow limits, they started from the banquet, grasped their arms, sounded their horn, ascended their vessels, and explored every coast that promised either spoil or settlement.

The Baltic was the first scene of their naval achievements; they visited the eastern shores, the silent residence of Fennic and Sclavonian tribes, and the primitive Russians of the lake Ladoga paid a tribute, the skins of white squirrels, to these strangers, whom they saluted with the title of Varangians, 58 or Corsairs.

Their superiority in arms, discipline, and renown commanded the fear and reverence of the natives. In their wars against the more inland savages, the Varangians condescended to serve as friends and auxiliaries, and gradually, by choice or conquest, obtained the dominion of a people whom they were qualified to protect. Their tyranny was expelled, their valour was again recalled, till at length Ruric, 59 Edition: current; Page: [ 52 ] a Scandinavian chief, became the father of a dynasty which reigned above seven hundred years.

His brothers extended his influence; the example of service and usurpation was imitated by his companions 60 in the southern provinces of Russia; and their establishments, by the usual methods of war and assassination, were cemented into the fabric of a powerful monarchy. As long as the descendants of Ruric were considered as aliens and conquerors, they ruled by the sword of the Varangians, distributed estates and subjects to their faithful captains, and supplied their numbers with fresh streams of adventurers from the Baltic coast.

They had seated him on the throne; his riches were insufficient to satisfy their demands; but they listened to his pleasing advice that they should seek, not a more grateful, but a more wealthy master; that they should embark for Greece, where, instead of the skins of squirrels, silk and gold would be the recompense of their service. At the same time, the Russian prince admonished his Byzantine ally to disperse and employ, to recompense and restrain, these impetuous children of the North. Contemporary writers have recorded the introduction, name, and character of the Varangians: each day they rose Edition: current; Page: [ 53 ] in confidence and esteem; the whole body was assembled at Constantinople to perform the duty of guards; and their strength was recruited by a numerous band of their countrymen from the island of Thule.

On this occasion the vague appellation of Thule is applied to England; and the new Varangians were a colony of English and Danes who fled from the yoke of the Norman conqueror. The habits of pilgrimage and piracy had approximated the countries of the earth; these exiles were entertained in the Byzantine court; and they preserved, till the last age of the empire, the inheritance of spotless loyalty and the use of the Danish or English tongue.

With their broad and double-edged battle-axes on their shoulders, they attended the Greek emperor to the temple, the senate, and the hippodrome; he slept and feasted under their trusty guard; and the keys of the palace, the treasury, and the capital were held by the firm and faithful hands of the Varangians. In the tenth century, the geography of Scythia was extended far beyond the limits of ancient knowledge; and the monarchy of the Russians obtains a vast and conspicuous place in the map of Constantine.

Their northern reign ascended above the sixtieth degree of latitude, over the Hyperborean regions, which fancy had peopled with monsters, or clouded with eternal darkness. To the south they followed the course of the Borysthenes, and approached with that river the neighbourhood of the Euxine Sea. The tribes that dwelt, or wandered, in this ample circuit were obedient to the same conqueror, and insensibly blended into the same nation. The language of Russia is a dialect of the Sclavonian; but, in the tenth century, these two modes of speech were different from each other; and, as the Sclavonian prevailed in the South, it may be presumed that the original Russians of the North, the primitive subjects of the Varangian chief, were a portion of the Fennic race.

But the most ancient map of Russia affords some places which still retain their name and position; and the two capitals, Novogorod 65 and Kiow, 66 are coeval with the Edition: current; Page: [ 55 ] first age of the monarchy. Novogorod had not yet deserved the epithet of great, nor the alliance of the Hanseatic league, which diffused the streams of opulence and the principles of freedom.

In their origin, the two cities were no more than camps or fairs, the most convenient stations in which the Barbarians might assemble for the occasional business of war or trade. Yet even these assemblies announce some progress in the arts of society; a new breed of cattle was imported from the southern provinces; and the spirit of commercial enterprise pervaded the sea and land from the Baltic to the Euxine, from the mouth of the Oder to the port of Constantinople.

In the days of idolatry and barbarism, the Sclavonic city of Julin was frequented and enriched by the Normans, who had prudently secured a free mart of purchase and exchange. From the neighbourhood of that city, the Russians descended the streams that fall into the Borysthenes; their canoes, of a single tree, were laden with slaves of every age, furs of every species, the spoil of their beehives, and the hides of their cattle; and the whole produce of the North was collected and discharged in the magazines of Kiow.

The month of June was the ordinary season of the departure of the fleet; the timber of the canoes was framed into the oars and benches of more solid and capacious boats; and they proceeded without obstacle down the Borysthenes, as far as the seven or thirteen ridges of rocks, which traverse the bed, and precipitate the waters, of the river. At the more shallow falls it was sufficient to lighten the vessels; but the deeper cataracts were impassable; and the mariners, who dragged their vessels and their slaves six miles over land, were exposed in this toilsome journey to the robbers of the desert.

If they steered along the coast, the Danube was accessible; with a fair wind they could reach in thirty-six or forty Edition: current; Page: [ 57 ] hours the opposite shores of Anatolia; and Constantinople admitted the annual visit of the strangers of the North. They returned at the stated season with a rich cargo of corn, wine, and oil, the manufactures of Greece, and the spices of India. Some of their countrymen resided in the capital and provinces; and the national treaties protected the persons, effects, and privileges of the Russian merchant.

But the same communication which had been opened for the benefit, was soon abused for the injury, of mankind. In a period of one hundred and ninety years, the Russians made four attempts to plunder the treasures of Constantinople; the event was various, but the motive, the means, and the object were the same in these naval expeditions. A marvellous tale, and a scanty supply, excited the desires of their savage countrymen: they envied the gifts of nature which their climate denied; they coveted the works of art which they were too lazy to imitate and too indigent to purchase: the Varangian princes unfurled the banners of piratical adventure, and their bravest soldiers were drawn from the nations that dwelt in the northern isles of the ocean.

It was scooped out of the long stem of a beech or willow, but the slight and narrow foundation was raised and continued on either side with planks, till it attained the length of sixty, and the height of about twelve, feet. These boats were built without a deck, but with two rudders and a mast; to move with sails and oars; and to contain from forty to seventy men, with their arms, and provisions of fresh water and salt fish. The first trial of the Russians was made with two hundred boats; but, when the national force was exerted, they might arm against Constantinople a thousand or twelve hundred vessels.

Their fleet was not much inferior to the royal navy of Agamemnon, but it was magnified in the eyes of fear to ten or fifteen times the real proportion of its strength and numbers. Had the Greek emperors been endowed with foresight to discern, and vigour to prevent, perhaps they might have sealed with a maritime force the mouth of the Borysthenes. Their indolence abandoned the coast of Anatolia to the calamities of a Edition: current; Page: [ 59 ] piratical war, which, after an interval of six hundred years, again infested the Euxine; but, as long as the capital was respected, the sufferings of a distant province escaped the notice both of the prince and the historian.

The storm, which had swept along from the Phasis and Trebizond, at length burst on the Bosphorus of Thrace: a strait of fifteen miles, in which the rude vessels of the Russian might have been stopped and destroyed by a more skilful adversary. In their first enterprise 74 under the prince of Kiow, they passed without opposition, and occupied the port of Constantinople in the absence of the emperor Michael, the son of Theophilus. Through a crowd of perils he landed at the palace stairs, and immediately repaired to a church of the Virgin Mary.

The leader of the third armament, Igor, the son of Ruric, had chosen a moment of weakness and decay, when the naval powers of the empire were employed against the Saracens. But, if courage be not wanting, the instruments of defence are seldom deficient. Fifteen broken and decayed galleys were boldly launched against the enemy; but, instead of the single tube of Greek fire usually planted on the prow, the sides and stern of each vessel were abundantly supplied with that liquid combustible. The engineers were dexterous; the weather was propitious; many thousand Russians, who chose rather to be drowned than burnt, leaped into the sea; and those who escaped to the Thracian shore were inhumanly slaughtered by the peasants and soldiers.

Yet one third of the canoes escaped into shallow water; and the next spring Igor was again prepared to retrieve his disgrace and claim his revenge. A fleet, under the command of his son, was repulsed at the entrance of the Bosphorus by the same artificial flames. But in the rashness of pursuit the vanguard of the Greeks was encompassed by an irresistible multitude of boats and men; their provision of fire was probably exhausted; and twenty-four galleys were either taken, sunk, or destroyed. Yet the threats or calamities of a Russian war were more frequently diverted by treaty than by arms.

In these naval hostilities every disadvantage was on the side of the Greeks; their savage enemy afforded no mercy; his poverty promised no spoil; his impenetrable retreat deprived the conqueror of the hopes of revenge; and the pride or weakness of empire indulged an opinion that no honour could be gained or lost in the intercourse with Barbarians. At first their demands were high and inadmissible, three pounds of gold for each soldier or mariner of the fleet; the Russian youth adhered to the design of conquest and glory; but the counsels of moderation were recommended by the hoary sages.

Are we sure of victory? Can we conclude a treaty with the sea? We do not tread on the land; we float on the abyss of water, and a common death hangs over our heads. By the vulgar of every rank, it was asserted and believed that an equestrian statue in the square of Taurus was secretly inscribed with a prophecy, how the Russians, in the last days, should become masters of Constantinople.

Perhaps the present generation may yet behold the accomplishment of the prediction, of a rare prediction, of which the style is unambiguous and the date unquestionable. By land the Russians were less formidable than by sea; and, as they fought for the most part on foot, their irregular legions must often have been broken and overthrown by the cavalry of the Scythian hordes. Yet their growing towns, however slight and imperfect, presented a shelter to the subject and a barrier to the enemy: the monarchy of Kiow, till a fatal partition, assumed the dominion of the North; and the nations from the Volga to the Danube were subdued or repelled by the arms of Swatoslaus, 82 the son of Igor, the Edition: current; Page: [ 63 ] son of Oleg, the son of Ruric.

The vigour of his mind and body was fortified by the hardships of a military and savage life. Wrapt in a bear-skin Swatoslaus usually slept on the ground, his head reclining on a saddle; his diet was coarse and frugal, and, like the heroes of Homer, 83 his meat it was often horse-flesh was broiled or roasted on the coals. The exercise of war gave stability and discipline to his army; and it may be presumed that no soldier was permitted to transcend the luxury of his chief.

By an embassy from Nicephorus, the Greek emperor, he was moved to undertake the conquest of Bulgaria, and a gift of fifteen hundred pounds of gold was laid at his feet to defray the expense, or reward the toils, of the expedition. But, instead of relinquishing his prey and performing his engagements, the Varangian prince was more disposed to advance than to retire; and, had his ambition been crowned with success, the seat of empire in that early period might have been transferred to a more temperate and fruitful climate.

Swatoslaus enjoyed and acknowledged the advantages of his new position, in which he could unite, by exchange or rapine, the various productions of the earth. By an easy navigation he might draw from Russia the native commodities of furs, wax, and hydromel; Hungary supplied him with a breed of horses and the spoils of the West; and Greece abounded with gold, silver, and the foreign luxuries which his poverty had Edition: current; Page: [ 65 ] affected to disdain.

The bands of Patzinacites, Chozars, and Turks repaired to the standard of victory; and the ambassador of Nicephorus betrayed his trust, assumed the purple, and promised to share with his new allies the treasures of the Eastern world. From the banks of the Danube the Russian prince pursued his march as far as Hadrianople; a formal summons to evacuate the Roman province was dismissed with contempt; and Swatoslaus fiercely replied that Constantine might soon expect the presence of an enemy and a master.

Nicephorus could no longer expel the mischief which he had introduced; 86 but his throne and wife were inherited by John Zimisces, 87 who, in a diminutive body, possessed the spirit and abilities of an hero. The first victory of his lieutenants deprived the Russians of their foreign allies, twenty thousand of whom were either destroyed by the sword Edition: current; Page: [ 66 ] or provoked to revolt or tempted to desert. The first exploit of Zimisces was the reduction of Marcianopolis, or Peristhlaba, 90 in two days: the trumpets sounded; the walls were scaled; eight thousand five hundred Russians were put to the sword; 91 and the sons of the Bulgarian king were Edition: current; Page: [ 67 ] rescued from an ignominious prison, and invested with a nominal diadem.

After these repeated losses, Swatoslaus retired to the strong post of Dristra, on the banks of the Danube, and was pursued by an enemy who alternately employed the arms of celerity and delay. The Byzantine galleys ascended the river; the legions completed a line of circumvallation; 92 and the Russian prince was encompassed, assaulted, and famished in the fortifications of the camp and city. Many deeds of valour were performed; several desperate sallies were attempted; nor was it till after a siege of sixty-five days that Swatoslaus yielded to his adverse fortune.

The liberal terms which he obtained announce the prudence of the victor, who respected the valour, and apprehended the despair, of an unconquered mind. The great duke of Russia bound himself by solemn imprecations to relinquish all hostile designs; a safe passage was opened for his return; the liberty of trade and navigation was restored; a measure of corn was distributed to each of his soldiers; and the allowance of twenty-two thousand measures attests the loss and the remnant of the Barbarians.

But the merit of the victory was attributed by the pious Edition: current; Page: [ 68 ] emperor to the Mother of God; and the image of the Virgin Mary, with the divine infant in her arms, was placed on a triumphal car, adorned with the spoils of war and the ensigns of Bulgarian royalty.

Zimisces made his public entry on horseback; the diadem on his head, a crown of laurel in his hand; and Constantinople was astonished to applaud the martial virtues of her sovereign. Photius of Constantinople, a patriarch whose ambition was equal to his curiosity, congratulates himself and the Greek church on the conversion of the Russians. His triumph was transient and premature. In the various fortune of their piratical adventures, some Russian chiefs might allow themselves to be sprinkled with the waters of baptism; and a Greek bishop, with the name of metropolitan, might administer the sacraments in the church of Kiow to a congregation of slaves and natives.

But the seed of the Gospel was sown on a barren soil: many were the apostates, the converts were few; and the baptism of Olga may be fixed as the era of Russian Christianity. In a moment of foreign and domestic peace, she sailed from Kiow to Constantinople; and the emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus has described with minute diligence the ceremonial of her reception in his capital and palace.

The steps, the titles, the salutations, the banquet, the presents, were exquisitely adjusted, to gratify the vanity of the stranger, with due reverence to the superior majesty of the purple. After her return to Kiow and Novogorod, she firmly persisted in her new religion; but her labours in the propagation of the Gospel were not crowned with success; and both her family and nation adhered with obstinacy or indifference to the gods of their fathers. Her son Swatoslaus was apprehensive of the scorn and ridicule of his companions; and her grandson Wolodomir devoted his youthful zeal to multiply and decorate the monuments of ancient worship.

The savage deities of the North were still propitiated with human sacrifices: in the choice of the victim, a citizen was preferred to a stranger, a Christian to an idolater; and the father who defended his son from the sacerdotal knife was involved in the same doom by the rage of a fanatic tumult. Yet the lessons and example of the pious Olga had made a deep though Edition: current; Page: [ 70 ] secret impression on the minds of the prince and people: the Greek missionaries continued to preach, to dispute, and to baptise; and the ambassadors or merchants of Russia compared the idolatry of the woods with the elegant superstition of Constantinople.

They had gazed with admiration on the dome of St. Sophia: the lively pictures of saints and martyrs, the riches of the altar, the number and vestments of the priests, the pomp and order of the ceremonies; they were edified by the alternate succession of devout silence and harmonious song; nor was it difficult to persuade them that a choir of angels descended each day from heaven to join in the devotion of the Christians.

At the same time, and in the city of Cherson, the rites of baptism and marriage were celebrated by the Christian pontiff; the city he restored to the emperor Basil, the brother of his spouse; but the brazen gates were transported, as it is said, to Novogorod, and erected before the first church as a trophy of his victory and faith.

The edict of Wolodomir had proclaimed that all who should refuse the rites of baptism would be treated as the enemies of God and their prince; and the rivers were instantly filled with many thousands of obedient Russians, who acquiesced in the truth and excellence of a doctrine which had been embraced by the great duke and his boyars. In the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries of the Christian era, the reign of the gospel and of the church was extended over Bulgaria, Hungary, Bohemia, Saxony, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Poland, and Russia. A laudable ambition excited the monks, both of Germany and Greece, to visit the tents and huts of the Barbarians; poverty, hardships, and dangers were the lot of the first missionaries; their courage was active and patient; their motive pure and meritorious; their present reward consisted in the testimony of their conscience and the respect of a grateful people; but the fruitful harvest of their toils was inherited and enjoyed by the proud and wealthy prelates of succeeding times.

The first conversions were free and spontaneous: an holy life and an eloquent tongue were the only arms of the missionaries; but the domestic fables of the Pagans were silenced by the miracles and visions of the strangers; and the favourable temper of the chiefs was accelerated by the dictates of vanity and interest. The leaders of nations, who were saluted with the titles of kings and saints, held it lawful and pious to impose the Catholic faith on their subjects and neighbours: the coast of the Baltic, from Holstein to the gulf of Finland, was invaded under the standard of the cross; and the reign of idolatry was closed by the conversion of Lithuania in the fourteenth century.

Yet truth and candour must acknowledge that the conversion of the North imparted many temporal benefits both to the old and the new Christians. The rage of war, inherent to the human species, could not be healed by the evangelic precepts of charity and peace; and the ambition of Catholic princes has renewed in every age the calamities of hostile contention. But the admission of the Barbarians into the pale of civil and ecclesiastical society Edition: current; Page: [ 73 ] delivered Europe from the depredations, by sea and land, of the Normans, the Hungarians, and the Russians, who learned to spare their brethren and cultivate their possessions.

The liberal piety of the Russian princes engaged in their service the most skilful of the Greeks, to decorate the cities and instruct the inhabitants; the dome and the paintings of St. Sophia were rudely copied in the churches of Kiow and Novogorod; the writings of the fathers were translated into the Sclavonic idiom; and three hundred noble youths were invited or compelled to attend the lessons of the college of Jaroslaus. But the Byzantine nation was servile, solitary, and verging to an hasty decline; after the fall of Kiow, the navigation of the Borysthenes was forgotten; the great princes of Wolodomir and Moscow were separated from the sea and Edition: current; Page: [ 74 ] Christendom; and the divided monarchy was oppressed by the ignominy and blindness of Tartar servitude.

The three great nations of the world, the Greeks, the Saracens, and the Franks, encountered each other on the theatre of Italy. The division of this flourishing state produced the rival principalities of Benevento, Salerno, and Capua; 3 and the thoughtless ambition or revenge of the competitors invited the Saracens to the ruin of their common inheritance. During a calamitous period of two hundred years Italy was exposed to a repetition of wounds, which the invaders were not capable of healing by the union and tranquillity of a perfect conquest.

Their frequent and almost annual squadrons issued from the port of Palermo, and were entertained with too much indulgence by the Christians of Naples; the more formidable fleets were prepared on the African coast; and even the Arabs of Andalusia were sometimes tempted to assist or oppose the Moslems of an adverse sect. A colony of Saracens had been planted at Bari, which commands the entrance of the Adriatic gulf; and their impartial depredations provoked the resentment, and conciliated the union, of the two emperors.

An offensive alliance was concluded between Basil the Macedonian, the first of his race, and Lewis, the great-grandson of Charlemagne; 4 and each party supplied the deficiencies of his associate. It would have been imprudent in the Byzantine monarch to transport his stationary troops of Asia to an Italian campaign; and the Latin arms would have been Edition: current; Page: [ 77 ] insufficient, if his superior navy had not occupied the mouth of the gulf.

The fortress of Bari was invested by the infantry of the Franks, and by the cavalry and galleys of the Greeks; and, after a defence of four years, the Arabian emir submitted to the clemency of Lewis, who commanded in person the operations of the siege. This important conquest had been achieved by the concord of the East and West; but their recent amity was soon embittered by the mutual complaints of jealousy and pride.

The Greeks assumed as their own the merit of the conquest and the pomp of the triumph; extolled the greatness of their powers, and affected to deride the intemperance and sloth of the handful of Barbarians who appeared under the banners of the Carlovingian prince. Like them, ye sunk after a feeble effort; ye were vanquished by your own cowardice; and withdrew from the scene of action to injure and despoil our Christian subjects of the Sclavonian coast.

We were few in number, and why were we few? Because, after a tedious expectation of your arrival, I had dismissed my host, and retained only a chosen band of warriors to continue the blockade of the city. If they indulged their hospitable feasts in the face of danger and death, did these feasts abate the vigour of their enterprise? Is it by your fasting that the walls of Bari have been overturned? Did not these valiant Franks, diminished as they were by languor and fatigue, intercept and vanquish the three most powerful emirs of the Saracens?

Bari is now fallen; Tarentum trembles; Calabria will be delivered; and, if we command the sea, the island of Sicily may be rescued from the hands of the infidels. My brother a name most offensive to the vanity of Edition: current; Page: [ 78 ] the Greek , accelerate your naval succours, respect your allies, and distrust your flatterers. These lofty hopes were soon extinguished by the death of Lewis, and the decay of the Carlovingian house; and, whoever might deserve the honour, the Greek emperors, Basil and his son Leo, secured the advantage, of the reduction of Bari.

The Italians of Apulia and Calabria were persuaded or compelled to acknowledge their supremacy, and an ideal line from Mount Garganus to the bay of Salerno leaves the far greater part of the kingdom of Naples under the dominion of the Eastern empire. Beyond that line, the dukes or republics of Amalphi 6 and Naples, who had never forfeited their voluntary allegiance, rejoiced in the neighbourhood of their lawful sovereign; and Amalphi was enriched by supplying Europe with the produce and manufactures of Asia. But the Lombard princes of Benevento, Salerno, and Capua 7 Edition: current; Page: [ 79 ] were reluctantly torn from the communion of the Latin world, and too often violated their oaths of servitude and tribute.

The city of Bari rose to dignity and wealth, as the metropolis of the new theme or province of Lombardy; the title of patrician, and afterwards the singular name of Catapan, 8 was assigned to the supreme governor; and the policy both of the church and state was modelled in exact subordination to the throne of Constantinople. As long as the sceptre was disputed by the princes of Italy, their efforts were feeble and adverse; and the Greeks resisted or eluded the forces of Germany, which descended from the Alps under the Imperial standard of the Othos.

The first and greatest of those Saxon princes was compelled to relinquish the siege of Bari: the second, after the loss of his stoutest bishops and barons, escaped with honour from the bloody field of Crotona. On that day the scale of war was turned against the Franks by the valour of the Saracens.

The successors of Basil amused themselves with the belief that the conquest of Lombardy had been achieved, and was still preserved, by the justice of their laws, the virtues of their ministers, and the gratitude of a people whom they had rescued from anarchy and oppression. A series of rebellions might dart a ray of truth into the palace of Constantinople; and the illusions of flattery were dispelled by the easy and rapid success of the Norman adventurers.

The revolution of human affairs had produced in Apulia and Calabria a melancholy contrast between the age of Pythagoras and the tenth century of the Christian era. At the former period, the coast of Great Greece as it was then styled was planted with free and opulent cities: these cities were peopled with soldiers, artists, and philosophers; and the military strength of Tarentum, Sybaris, or Crotona was not inferior to that of a powerful kingdom.

At the second era, these once-flourishing provinces were clouded with ignorance, impoverished by tyranny, and depopulated by Barbarian war; nor can we severely accuse the exaggeration of a contemporary that a fair and ample district was reduced to the same desolation which had covered the earth after the general deluge. It was the amusement of the Saracens to profane, as well Edition: current; Page: [ d ] Edition: current; Page: [ 81 ] as to pillage, the monasteries and churches. At the siege of Salerno, a Musulman chief spread his couch on the communion-table, and on that altar sacrificed each night the virginity of a Christian nun.

As he wrestled with a reluctant maid, a beam in the roof was accidentally or dexterously thrown down on his head; and the death of the lustful emir was imputed to the wrath of Christ, which was at length awakened to the defence of his faithful spouse. The Saracens besieged the cities of Beneventum and Capua: after a vain appeal to the successors of Charlemagne, the Lombards implored the clemency and aid of the Greek emperor.

They commanded him to assist their enterprise, and deceive his countrymen, with the assurance that wealth and honours should be the reward of his falsehood, and that his sincerity would be punished with immediate death. I know my doom, and commit my wife and children to your gratitude. He deserves to live in the memory of the virtuous, but the repetition of the same story in ancient and modern times may sprinkle some doubts on the reality of this generous deed.

The recital of the third incident may provoke a smile amidst the horrors of war. Theobald, marquis of Camerino and Spoleto, 14 supported the rebels of Beneventum; and his wanton cruelty was not incompatible in that age with the character of an hero. His captives of the Greek nation or party were castrated without mercy, and the outrage was aggravated by a cruel jest, that he wished to present the emperor with a supply of eunuchs, the most precious ornaments of the Byzantine court.

The garrison of the castle had been defeated in a sally, and the prisoners were sentenced to the customary operation.

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But the sacrifice was disturbed by the intrusion of a frantic female, who, with bleeding cheeks, dishevelled hair, and importunate clamours, compelled the marquis to listen to her complaint. The plunder of our flocks and herds I have endured without a murmur, but this fatal injury, this irreparable loss, subdues my patience, and calls aloud on the justice of heaven and earth.

As she returned in triumph to the castle, she was overtaken by a messenger, to inquire, in the name of Theobald, what punishment should be inflicted on her husband, were he again taken in arms? These are his own, and these he may deserve to forfeit by his personal offences.

But let my lord be pleased to spare what his little handmaid presumes to claim as her peculiar and lawful property. The establishment of the Normans in the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily 16 is an event most romantic in its origin, and in its consequences most important both to Italy and the Eastern empire. The broken provinces of the Greeks, Lombards, and Saracens were exposed to every invader, and every sea and land were invaded by the adventurous spirit of the Scandinavian pirates.

After a long indulgence of rapine Edition: current; Page: [ 84 ] and slaughter, a fair and ample territory was accepted, occupied, and named, by the Normans of France; they renounced their gods for the God of the Christians; 17 and the dukes of Normandy acknowledged themselves the vassals of the successors of Charlemagne and Capet. The savage fierceness which they had brought from the snowy mountains of Norway was refined, without being corrupted, in a warmer climate; the companions of Rollo insensibly mingled with the natives; they imbibed the manners, language, 18 and gallantry of the French nation; and, in a martial age, the Normans might claim the palm of valour and glorious achievements.

Of the fashionable superstitions, they embraced with ardour the pilgrimages of Rome, Italy, and the Holy Land. In this active devotion, their minds and bodies were invigorated by exercise: danger was the incentive, novelty the recompense; and the prospect of the world was decorated by wonder, credulity, and ambitious hope. They confederated for their mutual defence; and the robbers of the Alps, who had been allured by the garb of a pilgrim, were often chastised by the arm of a warrior. In one of these pious visits 19 to the cavern of Mount Garganus in Apulia, which Edition: current; Page: [ 85 ] had been sanctified by the apparition of the archangel Michael, 20 they were accosted by a stranger in the Greek habit, but who soon revealed himself as a rebel, a fugitive, and a mortal foe of the Greek empire.

His name was Melo: 21 a noble citizen of Bari, who, after an unsuccessful revolt, was compelled to seek new allies and avengers of his country.


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The bold appearance of the Normans revived his hopes and solicited his confidence: they listened to the complaints, and still more to the promises, of the patriot. The assurance of wealth demonstrated the justice of his cause; and they viewed, as the inheritance of the brave, the fruitful land which was oppressed by effeminate tyrants.

On their return to Normandy, they kindled a spark of enterprise; and a small but intrepid band was freely associated for the deliverance of Apulia. They passed the Alps by separate roads, and in the disguise of pilgrims; but in the neighbourhood of Rome they were saluted by the chief of Bari, who supplied the more indigent with arms and horses, and instantly led them to the field of action.

In the first conflict, their valour prevailed; 22 but, in the second engagement, they were overwhelmed by the Edition: current; Page: [ 86 ] numbers and military engines of the Greeks, and indignantly retreated with their faces to the enemy. The unfortunate Melo ended his life, a suppliant at the court of Germany: his Norman followers, excluded from their native and their promised land, wandered among the hills and valleys of Italy, and earned their daily subsistence by the sword.

To that formidable sword the princes of Capua, Beneventum, Salerno, and Naples alternately appealed in their domestic quarrels; the superior spirit and discipline of the Normans gave victory to the side which they espoused; and their cautious policy observed the balance of power, lest the preponderance of any rival state should render their aid less important and their service less profitable.

Their first asylum was a strong camp in the depth of the marshes of Campania; but they were soon endowed by the liberality of the duke of Naples with a more plentiful and permanent seat. Eight miles from his residence, as a bulwark against Capua, the town of Aversa was built and fortified for their use; 23 and they enjoyed as their own the corn and fruits, the meadows and groves, of that fertile district. The report of their success attracted every year new swarms of pilgrims and soldiers; the poor were urged by necessity; the rich were excited by hope; and the brave and active spirits of Normandy were impatient of ease and ambitious of renown.

The independent standard of Aversa afforded shelter and encouragement to the outlaws of the province, to every fugitive Edition: current; Page: [ 87 ] who had escaped from the injustice or justice of his superiors; and these foreign associates were quickly assimilated in manners and language to the Gallic colony.

The first leader of the Normans was Count Rainulf; and, in the origin of society, pre-eminence of rank is the reward and the proof of superior merit. Since the conquest of Sicily by the Arabs, the Grecian emperors had been anxious to regain that valuable possession; but their efforts, however strenuous, had been opposed by the distance and the sea. Their costly armaments, after a gleam of success, added new pages of calamity and disgrace to the Byzantine annals; twenty thousand of their best troops were lost in a single expedition; and the victorious Moslems derided the policy of a nation, which entrusted eunuchs not only with the custody of their women, but with the command of their men.

The Normans led the van, and the Arabs of Messina felt the valour of an untried foe. In a second action, the emir of Syracuse was unhorsed and transpierced by the iron arm of William of Hauteville. In a third engagement, his intrepid companions discomfited the host of sixty thousand Saracens, and left the Greeks no more than the labour of the pursuit: a splendid victory; but of which the pen of the historian may divide the merit with the lance of the Normans.

It is, however, true that they essentially promoted the success of Maniaces, who reduced thirteen cities, and the greater part of Sicily, under the obedience of the emperor. But his military fame was sullied by ingratitude and tyranny. In the division of the spoil the deserts of his brave auxiliaries were forgotten; and neither their avarice nor their pride could brook this injurious treatment. They complained by the mouth of their interpreter; their complaint was disregarded; Edition: current; Page: [ 89 ] their interpreter was scourged; the sufferings were his; the insult and resentment belonged to those whose sentiments he had delivered.


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Yet they dissembled till they had obtained, or stolen, a safe passage to the Italian continent; their brethren of Aversa sympathised in their indignation, and the province of Apulia was invaded as the forfeit of the debt. He was dismissed with a fresh horse; the insult was concealed from the Imperial troops; but in two successive battles 31 they were more fatally instructed of the prowess of their adversaries.

From this era we may date the establishment of the Norman power, which soon eclipsed the infant colony of Aversa. Twelve counts 32 were chosen by the popular suffrage; and age, birth, and merit were the motives of their choice. The tributes of their peculiar districts were appropriated to their use; and each count erected a fortress in the midst of his lands, and at the head of his vassals.

In the centre of the province, the common habitation of Melphi was reserved as the metropolis and citadel of the republic; an house and separate quarter was allotted to each of the twelve counts; and the national concerns were regulated by this military senate. The first of his peers, their president and general, was entitled count of Apulia; and this dignity was conferred on William of the Iron Arm, who, in the language of the age, is styled a lion in battle, a lamb in society, and an angel in council.

Their princes affect the praise of popular munificence; the people observe the medium, or rather blend the extremes, of avarice and prodigality; and, in their eager thirst of wealth and dominion, they despise whatever they possess, and hope whatever they desire. Arms and horses, the luxury of dress, the exercises of hunting and hawking, 35 are the delight of the Normans; but on pressing occasions they can endure with incredible patience the inclemency of every climate and the toil and abstinence of a military life.

The Normans of Apulia were seated on the verge of the two empires; and, according to the policy of the hour, they accepted the investiture of their lands from the sovereigns of Germany or Constantinople. Every object of desire, an horse, a woman, a garden, tempted and gratified the rapaciousness of the strangers; 38 and the avarice of their chiefs was only coloured by the more specious names of ambition and glory. The twelve counts were sometimes joined in a league of injustice: in their domestic quarrels, they disputed the spoils of the people; the virtues of William were buried in his grave; and Drogo, his brother and successor, was better qualified to lead the valour, than to restrain the violence, of his peers.

Under the reign of Constantine Monomachus, the policy, rather than benevolence, of the Byzantine court attempted to relieve Italy from this adherent mischief, more grievous than a flight of Barbarians; 39 and Argyrus, the son of Melo, was invested for this purpose with the most lofty titles 40 and the most ample commission. The memory of his father might recommend him to the Normans; Edition: current; Page: [ 93 ] and he had already engaged their voluntary service to quell the revolt of Maniaces, and to avenge their own and the public injury.

It was the design of Constantine to transplant this warlike colony from the Italian provinces to the Persian war; and the son of Melo distributed among the chiefs the gold and manufactures of Greece, as the first fruits of the Imperial bounty. But his arts were baffled by the sense and spirit of the conquerors of Apulia: his gifts, or at least his proposals, were rejected; and they unanimously refused to relinquish their possessions and their hopes for the distant prospect of Asiatic fortune.

After the means of persuasion had failed, Argyrus resolved to compel or to destroy: the Latin powers were solicited against the common enemy; and an offensive alliance was formed of the pope and the two emperors of the East and West. The throne of St. Peter was occupied by Leo the Ninth, a simple saint, 41 of a temper most apt to deceive himself and the world, and whose venerable character would consecrate with the name of piety the measures least compatible with the practice of religion. His humanity was affected by the complaints, perhaps the calumnies, of an injured people; the impious Normans had interrupted the payment of tithes; and the temporal sword might be lawfully unsheathed against the sacrilegious robbers, who were deaf to the censures of the church.

As a German of noble birth and royal kindred, Leo had free access to the court and confidence of the emperor Henry the Third; and in search of arms and allies his ardent zeal transported him from Apulia to Saxony, from the Elbe to the Tiber. During these hostile preparations, Argyrus indulged himself in the use of secret Edition: current; Page: [ 94 ] and guilty weapons; a crowd of Normans became the victims of public or private revenge; and the valiant Drogo was murdered in a church.

But his spirit survived in his brother Humphrey, the third Count of Apulia. The assassins were chastised; and the son of Melo, overthrown and wounded, was driven from the field to hide his shame behind the walls of Bari, and to await the tardy succour of his allies. But the power of Constantine was distracted by a Turkish war; the mind of Henry was feeble and irresolute; and the pope, instead of passing the Alps with a German army, was accompanied only by a guard of seven hundred Swabians and some volunteers of Lorraine. In his long progress from Mantua to Beneventum, a vile and promiscuous multitude of Italians was enlisted under the holy standard; 42 the priest and the robber slept in the same tent; the pikes and crosses were intermingled in the front; and the natural saint repeated the lessons of his youth in the order of march, of encampment, and of combat.

The Normans of Apulia could muster in the field no more than three thousand horse, with an handful of infantry; the defection of the natives intercepted their provisions and retreat; and their spirit, incapable of fear, was chilled for a moment by superstitious awe. On the hostile approach of Leo, they knelt without disgrace or reluctance before their spiritual father. But the pope was inexorable; his lofty Germans affected to deride the diminutive stature of their adversaries; and the Normans were informed that death or exile was their only alternative.

Flight they disdained, and, as many of them had been three days without tasting food, they embraced the assurance of a more easy and honourable death. They climbed the hill of Civitella, descended into the plain, and charged in three Edition: current; Page: [ 95 ] divisions the army of the pope.

On the left and in the centre, Richard, Count of Aversa, and Robert the famous Guiscard, attacked, broke, routed, and pursued the Italian multitudes, who fought without discipline and fled without shame.

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