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The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

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his days in the prison of Aleppo. He still left a fair and ample
patrimony But the victorious Turks oppressed on all sides the
weakness of a widow and orphan; and, for the equivalent of an
annual pension, they resigned to the Greek emperor the charge of
defending, and the shame of losing, the last relics of the Latin
conquest. The countess-dowager of Edessa retired to Jerusalem
with her two children; the daughter, Agnes, became the wife and
mother of a king; the son, Joscelin the Third, accepted the
office of seneschal, the first of the kingdom, and held his new
estates in Palestine by the service of fifty knights. His name
appears with honor in the transactions of peace and war; but he
finally vanishes in the fall of Jerusalem; and the name of
Courtenay, in this branch of Edessa, was lost by the marriage of
his two daughters with a French and German baron. ^73

[Footnote 71: The primitive record of the family is a passage of
the continuator of Aimoin, a monk of Fleury, who wrote in the
xiith century. See his Chronicle, in the Historians of France,
(tom. xi. p. 276.)]
[Footnote 72: Turbessel, or, as it is now styled, Telbesher, is
fixed by D'Anville four-and-twenty miles from the great passage
over the Euphrates at Zeugma.]

[Footnote 73: His possessions are distinguished in the Assises of
Jerusalem (c. B26) among the feudal tenures of the kingdom, which
must therefore have been collected between the years 1153 and
1187. His pedigree may be found in the Lignages d'Outremer, c.
16.]

II. While Joscelin reigned beyond the Euphrates, his elder
brother Milo, the son of Joscelin, the son of Atho, continued,
near the Seine, to possess the castle of their fathers, which was
at length inherited by Rainaud, or Reginald, the youngest of his
three sons. Examples of genius or virtue must be rare in the
annals of the oldest families; and, in a remote age their pride
will embrace a deed of rapine and violence; such, however, as
could not be perpetrated without some superiority of courage, or,
at least, of power. A descendant of Reginald of Courtenay may
blush for the public robber, who stripped and imprisoned several
merchants, after they had satisfied the king's duties at Sens and
Orleans. He will glory in the offence, since the bold offender
could not be compelled to obedience and restitution, till the
regent and the count of Champagne prepared to march against him
at the head of an army. ^74 Reginald bestowed his estates on his
eldest daughter, and his daughter on the seventh son of King
Louis the Fat; and their marriage was crowned with a numerous
offspring. We might expect that a private should have merged in
a royal name; and that the descendants of Peter of France and
Elizabeth of Courtenay would have enjoyed the titles and honors
of princes of the blood. But this legitimate claim was long
neglected, and finally denied; and the causes of their disgrace
will represent the story of this second branch. 1. Of all the
families now extant, the most ancient, doubtless, and the most
illustrious, is the house of France, which has occupied the same
throne above eight hundred years, and descends, in a clear and
lineal series of males, from the middle of the ninth century. ^75
In the age of the crusades, it was already revered both in the
East and West. But from Hugh Capet to the marriage of Peter, no
more than five reigns or generations had elapsed; and so
precarious was their title, that the eldest sons, as a necessary
precaution, were previously crowned during the lifetime of their
fathers. The peers of France have long maintained their
precedency before the younger branches of the royal line, nor had
the princes of the blood, in the twelfth century, acquired that
hereditary lustre which is now diffused over the most remote
candidates for the succession. 2. The barons of Courtenay must
have stood high in their own estimation, and in that of the
world, since they could impose on the son of a king the
obligation of adopting for himself and all his descendants the
name and arms of their daughter and his wife. In the marriage of
an heiress with her inferior or her equal, such exchange often
required and allowed: but as they continued to diverge from the
regal stem, the sons of Louis the Fat were insensibly confounded
with their maternal ancestors; and the new Courtenays might
deserve to forfeit the honors of their birth, which a motive of
interest had tempted them to renounce. 3. The shame was far more
permanent than the reward, and a momentary blaze was followed by
a long darkness. The eldest son of these nuptials, Peter of
Courtenay, had married, as I have already mentioned, the sister
of the counts of Flanders, the two first emperors of
Constantinople: he rashly accepted the invitation of the barons
of Romania; his two sons, Robert and Baldwin, successively held
and lost the remains of the Latin empire in the East, and the
granddaughter of Baldwin the Second again mingled her blood with
the blood of France and of Valois. To support the expenses of a
troubled and transitory reign, their patrimonial estates were
mortgaged or sold: and the last emperors of Constantinople
depended on the annual charity of Rome and Naples.
[Footnote 74: The rapine and satisfaction of Reginald de
Courtenay, are preposterously arranged in the Epistles of the
abbot and regent Suger, (cxiv. cxvi.,) the best memorials of the
age, (Duchesne, Scriptores Hist. Franc. tom. iv. p. 530.)]

[Footnote 75: In the beginning of the xith century, after naming
the father and grandfather of Hugh Capet, the monk Glaber is
obliged to add, cujus genus valde in-ante reperitur obscurum.
Yet we are assured that the great- grandfather of Hugh Capet was
Robert the Strong count of Anjou, (A.D. 863 - 873,) a noble Frank
of Neustria, Neustricus . . . generosae stirpis, who was slain in
the defence of his country against the Normans, dum patriae fines
tuebatur. Beyond Robert, all is conjecture or fable. It is a
probable conjecture, that the third race descended from the
second by Childebrand, the brother of Charles Martel. It is an
absurd fable that the second was allied to the first by the
marriage of Ansbert, a Roman senator and the ancestor of St.
Arnoul, with Blitilde, a daughter of Clotaire I. The Saxon
origin of the house of France is an ancient but incredible
opinion. See a judicious memoir of M. de Foncemagne, (Memoires
de l'Academie des Inscriptions, tom. xx. p. 548 - 579.) He had
promised to declare his own opinion in a second memoir, which has
never appeared.]

While the elder brothers dissipated their wealth in romantic
adventures, and the castle of Courtenay was profaned by a
plebeian owner, the younger branches of that adopted name were
propagated and multiplied. But their splendor was clouded by
poverty and time: after the decease of Robert, great butler of
France, they descended from princes to barons; the next
generations were confounded with the simple gentry; the
descendants of Hugh Capet could no longer be visible in the rural
lords of Tanlay and of Champignelles. The more adventurous
embraced without dishonor the profession of a soldier: the least
active and opulent might sink, like their cousins of the branch
of Dreux, into the condition of peasants. Their royal descent,
in a dark period of four hundred years, became each day more
obsolete and ambiguous; and their pedigree, instead of being
enrolled in the annals of the kingdom, must be painfully searched
by the minute diligence of heralds and genealogists. It was not
till the end of the sixteenth century, on the accession of a
family almost as remote as their own, that the princely spirit of
the Courtenays again revived; and the question of the nobility
provoked them to ascertain the royalty of their blood. They
appealed to the justice and compassion of Henry the Fourth;
obtained a favorable opinion from twenty lawyers of Italy and
Germany, and modestly compared themselves to the descendants of
King David, whose prerogatives were not impaired by the lapse of
ages or the trade of a carpenter. ^76 But every ear was deaf, and
every circumstance was adverse, to their lawful claims. The
Bourbon kings were justified by the neglect of the Valois; the
princes of the blood, more recent and lofty, disdained the
alliance of his humble kindred: the parliament, without denying
their proofs, eluded a dangerous precedent by an arbitrary
distinction, and established St. Louis as the first father of the
royal line. ^77 A repetition of complaints and protests was
repeatedly disregarded; and the hopeless pursuit was terminated
in the present century by the death of the last male of the
family. ^78 Their painful and anxious situation was alleviated by
the pride of conscious virtue: they sternly rejected the
temptations of fortune and favor; and a dying Courtenay would
have sacrificed his son, if the youth could have renounced, for
any temporal interest, the right and title of a legitimate prince
of the blood of France. ^79

[Footnote 76: Of the various petitions, apologies, &c., published
by the princes of Courtenay, I have seen the three following, all
in octavo: 1. De Stirpe et Origine Domus de Courtenay: addita
sunt Responsa celeberrimorum Europae Jurisconsultorum; Paris,
1607. 2. Representation du Procede tenu a l'instance faicte
devant le Roi, par Messieurs de Courtenay, pour la conservation
de l'Honneur et Dignite de leur Maison, branche de la royalle
Maison de France; a Paris, 1613. 3. Representation du subject
qui a porte Messieurs de Salles et de Fraville, de la Maison de
Courtenay, a se retirer hors du Royaume, 1614. It was a
homicide, for which the Courtenays expected to be pardoned, or
tried, as princes of the blood.]

[Footnote 77: The sense of the parliaments is thus expressed by
Thuanus Principis nomen nusquam in Gallia tributum, nisi iis qui
per mares e regibus nostris originem repetunt; qui nunc tantum a
Ludovico none beatae memoriae numerantur; nam Cortinoei et
Drocenses, a Ludovico crasso genus ducentes, hodie inter eos
minime recensentur. A distinction of expediency rather than
justice. The sanctity of Louis IX. could not invest him with any
special prerogative, and all the descendants of Hugh Capet must
be included in his original compact with the French nation.]

[Footnote 78: The last male of the Courtenays was Charles Roger,
who died in the year 1730, without leaving any sons. The last
female was Helene de Courtenay, who married Louis de Beaufremont.

Her title of Princesse du Sang Royal de France was suppressed
(February 7th, 1737) by an arret of the parliament of Paris.]

[Footnote 79: The singular anecdote to which I allude is related
in the Recueil des Pieces interessantes et peu connues,
(Maestricht, 1786, in 4 vols. 12mo.;) and the unknown editor
quotes his author, who had received it from Helene de Courtenay,
marquise de Beaufremont.]

III. According to the old register of Ford Abbey, the
Courtenays of Devonshire are descended from Prince Florus, the
second son of Peter, and the grandson of Louis the Fat. ^80 This
fable of the grateful or venal monks was too respectfully
entertained by our antiquaries, Cambden ^81 and Dugdale: ^82 but
it is so clearly repugnant to truth and time, that the rational
pride of the family now refuses to accept this imaginary founder.

Their most faithful historians believe, that, after giving his
daughter to the king's son, Reginald of Courtenay abandoned his
possessions in France, and obtained from the English monarch a
second wife and a new inheritance. It is certain, at least, that
Henry the Second distinguished in his camps and councils a
Reginald, of the name and arms, and, as it may be fairly
presumed, of the genuine race, of the Courtenays of France. The
right of wardship enabled a feudal lord to reward his vassal with
the marriage and estate of a noble heiress; and Reginald of
Courtenay acquired a fair establishment in Devonshire, where his
posterity has been seated above six hundred years. ^83 From a
Norman baron, Baldwin de Brioniis, who had been invested by the
Conqueror, Hawise, the wife of Reginald, derived the honor of
Okehampton, which was held by the service of ninety-three
knights; and a female might claim the manly offices of hereditary
viscount or sheriff, and of captain of the royal castle of
Exeter. Their son Robert married the sister of the earl of
Devon: at the end of a century, on the failure of the family of
Rivers, ^84 his great-grandson, Hugh the Second, succeeded to a
title which was still considered as a territorial dignity; and
twelve earls of Devonshire, of the name of Courtenay, have
flourished in a period of two hundred and twenty years. They
were ranked among the chief of the barons of the realm; nor was
it till after a strenuous dispute, that they yielded to the fief
of Arundel the first place in the parliament of England: their
alliances were contracted with the noblest families, the Veres,
Despensers, St. Johns, Talbots, Bohuns, and even the Plantagenets
themselves; and in a contest with John of Lancaster, a Courtenay,
bishop of London, and afterwards archbishop of Canterbury, might
be accused of profane confidence in the strength and number of
his kindred. In peace, the earls of Devon resided in their
numerous castles and manors of the west; their ample revenue was
appropriated to devotion and hospitality; and the epitaph of
Edward, surnamed from his misfortune, the blind, from his
virtues, the good, earl, inculcates with much ingenuity a moral
sentence, which may, however, be abused by thoughtless
generosity. After a grateful commemoration of the fifty-five
years of union and happiness which he enjoyed with Mabel his
wife, the good earl thus speaks from the tomb: -
"What we gave, we have;
What we spent, we had;
What we left, we lost." ^85

But their losses, in this sense, were far superior to their gifts
and expenses; and their heirs, not less than the poor, were the
objects of their paternal care. The sums which they paid for
livery and seizin attest the greatness of their possessions; and
several estates have remained in their family since the
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. In war, the Courtenays of
England fulfilled the duties, and deserved the honors, of
chivalry. They were often intrusted to levy and command the
militia of Devonshire and Cornwall; they often attended their
supreme lord to the borders of Scotland; and in foreign service,
for a stipulated price, they sometimes maintained fourscore
men-at-arms and as many archers. By sea and land they fought
under the standard of the Edwards and Henries: their names are
conspicuous in battles, in tournaments, and in the original list
of the Order of the Garter; three brothers shared the Spanish
victory of the Black Prince; and in the lapse of six generations,
the English Courtenays had learned to despise the nation and
country from which they derived their origin. In the quarrel of
the two roses, the earls of Devon adhered to the house of
Lancaster; and three brothers successively died either in the
field or on the scaffold. Their honors and estates were restored
by Henry the Seventh; a daughter of Edward the Fourth was not
disgraced by the nuptials of a Courtenay; their son, who was
created Marquis of Exeter, enjoyed the favor of his cousin Henry
the Eighth; and in the camp of Cloth of Gold, he broke a lance
against the French monarch. But the favor of Henry was the
prelude of disgrace; his disgrace was the signal of death; and of
the victims of the jealous tyrant, the marquis of Exeter is one
of the most noble and guiltless. His son Edward lived a prisoner
in the Tower, and died in exile at Padua; and the secret love of
Queen Mary, whom he slighted, perhaps for the princess Elizabeth,
has shed a romantic color on the story of this beautiful youth.
The relics of his patrimony were conveyed into strange families
by the marriages of his four aunts; and his personal honors, as
if they had been legally extinct, were revived by the patents of
succeeding princes. But there still survived a lineal descendant
of Hugh, the first earl of Devon, a younger branch of the
Courtenays, who have been seated at Powderham Castle above four
hundred years, from the reign of Edward the Third to the present
hour. Their estates have been increased by the grant and
improvement of lands in Ireland, and they have been recently
restored to the honors of the peerage. Yet the Courtenays still
retain the plaintive motto, which asserts the innocence, and
deplores the fall, of their ancient house. ^86 While they sigh
for past greatness, they are doubtless sensible of present
blessings: in the long series of the Courtenay annals, the most
splendid aera is likewise the most unfortunate; nor can an
opulent peer of Britain be inclined to envy the emperors of
Constantinople, who wandered over Europe to solicit alms for the
support of their dignity and the defence of their capital.

[Footnote 80: Dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum, vol. i. p. 786.
Yet this fable must have been invented before the reign of Edward
III. The profuse devotion of the three first generations to Ford
Abbey was followed by oppression on one side and ingratitude on
the other; and in the sixth generation, the monks ceased to
register the births, actions, and deaths of their patrons.]
[Footnote 81: In his Britannia, in the list of the earls of
Devonshire. His expression, e regio sanguine ortos, credunt,
betrays, however, some doubt or suspicion.]

[Footnote 82: In his Baronage, P. i. p. 634, he refers to his own
Monasticon. Should he not have corrected the register of Ford
Abbey, and annihilated the phantom Florus, by the unquestionable
evidence of the French historians?]
[Footnote 83: Besides the third and most valuable book of
Cleaveland's History, I have consulted Dugdale, the father of our
genealogical science, (Baronage, P. i. p. 634 - 643.)]

[Footnote 84: This great family, de Ripuariis, de Redvers, de
Rivers, ended, in Edward the Fifth's time, in Isabella de
Fortibus, a famous and potent dowager, who long survived her
brother and husband, (Dugdale, Baronage, P i. p. 254 - 257.)]

[Footnote 85: Cleaveland p. 142. By some it is assigned to a
Rivers earl of Devon; but the English denotes the xvth, rather
than the xiiith century.]
[Footnote 86: Ubi lapsus!) Quid feci? a motto which was probably
adopted by the Powderham branch, after the loss of the earldom of
Devonshire, &c. The primitive arms of the Courtenays were, Or,
three torteaux, Gules, which seem to denote their affinity with
Godfrey of Bouillon, and the ancient counts of Boulogne.]

Chapter LXII: Greek Emperors Of Nice And Constantinople.

Part I.

The Greek Emperors Of Nice And Constantinople. - Elevation
And Reign Of Michael Palaeologus. - His False Union With The Pope
And The Latin Church. - Hostile Designs Of Charles Of Anjou. -
Revolt Of Sicily. - War Of The Catalans In Asia And Greece. -
Revolutions And Present State Of Athens.

The loss of Constantinople restored a momentary vigor to the
Greeks. From their palaces, the princes and nobles were driven
into the field; and the fragments of the falling monarchy were
grasped by the hands of the most vigorous or the most skilful
candidates. In the long and barren pages of the Byzantine
annals, ^1 it would not be an easy task to equal the two
characters of Theodore Lascaris and John Ducas Vataces, ^2 who
replanted and upheld the Roman standard at Nice in Bithynia. The
difference of their virtues was happily suited to the diversity
of their situation. In his first efforts, the fugitive Lascaris
commanded only three cities and two thousand soldiers: his reign
was the season of generous and active despair: in every military
operation he staked his life and crown; and his enemies of the
Hellespont and the Maeander, were surprised by his celerity and
subdued by his boldness. A victorious reign of eighteen years
expanded the principality of Nice to the magnitude of an empire.
The throne of his successor and son-in-law Vataces was founded on
a more solid basis, a larger scope, and more plentiful resources;
and it was the temper, as well as the interest, of Vataces to
calculate the risk, to expect the moment, and to insure the
success, of his ambitious designs. In the decline of the Latins,
I have briefly exposed the progress of the Greeks; the prudent
and gradual advances of a conqueror, who, in a reign of
thirty-three years, rescued the provinces from national and
foreign usurpers, till he pressed on all sides the Imperial city,
a leafless and sapless trunk, which must full at the first stroke
of the axe. But his interior and peaceful administration is
still more deserving of notice and praise. ^3 The calamities of
the times had wasted the numbers and the substance of the Greeks;
the motives and the means of agriculture were extirpated; and the
most fertile lands were left without cultivation or inhabitants.
A portion of this vacant property was occupied and improved by
the command, and for the benefit, of the emperor: a powerful hand
and a vigilant eye supplied and surpassed, by a skilful
management, the minute diligence of a private farmer: the royal
domain became the garden and granary of Asia; and without
impoverishing the people, the sovereign acquired a fund of
innocent and productive wealth. According to the nature of the
soil, his lands were sown with corn or planted with vines; the
pastures were filled with horses and oxen, with sheep and hogs;
and when Vataces presented to the empress a crown of diamonds and
pearls, he informed her, with a smile, that this precious
ornament arose from the sale of the eggs of his innumerable
poultry. The produce of his domain was applied to the
maintenance of his palace and hospitals, the calls of dignity and
benevolence: the lesson was still more useful than the revenue:
the plough was restored to its ancient security and honor; and
the nobles were taught to seek a sure and independent revenue
from their estates, instead of adorning their splendid beggary by
the oppression of the people, or (what is almost the same) by the
favors of the court. The superfluous stock of corn and cattle
was eagerly purchased by the Turks, with whom Vataces preserved a
strict and sincere alliance; but he discouraged the importation
of foreign manufactures, the costly silks of the East, and the
curious labors of the Italian looms. "The demands of nature and
necessity," was he accustomed to say, "are indispensable; but the
influence of fashion may rise and sink at the breath of a
monarch;" and both his precept and example recommended simplicity
of manners and the use of domestic industry. The education of
youth and the revival of learning were the most serious objects
of his care; and, without deciding the precedency, he pronounced
with truth, that a prince and a philosopher ^4 are the two most
eminent characters of human society. His first wife was Irene,
the daughter of Theodore Lascaris, a woman more illustrious by
her personal merit, the milder virtues of her sex, than by the
blood of the Angeli and Comneni that flowed in her veins, and
transmitted the inheritance of the empire. After her death he
was contracted to Anne, or Constance, a natural daughter of the
emperor Frederic ^* the Second; but as the bride had not attained
the years of puberty, Vataces placed in his solitary bed an
Italian damsel of her train; and his amorous weakness bestowed on
the concubine the honors, though not the title, of a lawful
empress. His frailty was censured as a flagitious and damnable
sin by the monks; and their rude invectives exercised and
displayed the patience of the royal lover. A philosophic age may
excuse a single vice, which was redeemed by a crowd of virtues;
and in the review of his faults, and the more intemperate
passions of Lascaris, the judgment of their contemporaries was
softened by gratitude to the second founders of the empire. ^5
The slaves of the Latins, without law or peace, applauded the
happiness of their brethren who had resumed their national
freedom; and Vataces employed the laudable policy of convincing
the Greeks of every dominion that it was their interest to be
enrolled in the number of his subjects.
[Footnote 1: For the reigns of the Nicene emperors, more
especially of John Vataces and his son, their minister, George
Acropolita, is the only genuine contemporary; but George Pachymer
returned to Constantinople with the Greeks at the age of
nineteen, (Hanckius de Script. Byzant. c. 33, 34, p. 564 - 578.
Fabric. Bibliot. Graec. tom. vi. p. 448 - 460.) Yet the history
of Nicephorus Gregoras, though of the xivth century, is a
valuable narrative from the taking of Constantinople by the
Latins.]

[Footnote 2: Nicephorus Gregoras (l. ii. c. 1) distinguishes
between Lascaris, and Vataces. The two portraits are in a very
good style.]
[Footnote 3: Pachymer, l. i. c. 23, 24. Nic. Greg. l. ii. c. 6.
The reader of the Byzantines must observe how rarely we are
indulged with such precious details.]

[Footnote 4: (Greg. Acropol. c. 32.) The emperor, in a familiar
conversation, examined and encouraged the studies of his future
logothete.]
[Footnote *: Sister of Manfred, afterwards king of Naples. Nic
Greg. p. 45. - M.]

[Footnote 5: Compare Acropolita, (c. 18, 52,) and the two first
books of Nicephorus Gregoras.]

A strong shade of degeneracy is visible between John Vataces
and his son Theodore; between the founder who sustained the
weight, and the heir who enjoyed the splendor, of the Imperial
crown. ^6 Yet the character of Theodore was not devoid of energy;
he had been educated in the school of his father, in the exercise
of war and hunting; Constantinople was yet spared; but in the
three years of a short reign, he thrice led his armies into the
heart of Bulgaria. His virtues were sullied by a choleric and
suspicious temper: the first of these may be ascribed to the
ignorance of control; and the second might naturally arise from a
dark and imperfect view of the corruption of mankind. On a march
in Bulgaria, he consulted on a question of policy his principal
ministers; and the Greek logothete, George Acropolita, presumed
to offend him by the declaration of a free and honest opinion.
The emperor half unsheathed his cimeter; but his more deliberate
rage reserved Acropolita for a baser punishment. One of the
first officers of the empire was ordered to dismount, stripped of
his robes, and extended on the ground in the presence of the
prince and army. In this posture he was chastised with so many
and such heavy blows from the clubs of two guards or
executioners, that when Theodore commanded them to cease, the
great logothete was scarcely able to rise and crawl away to his
tent. After a seclusion of some days, he was recalled by a
peremptory mandate to his seat in council; and so dead were the
Greeks to the sense of honor and shame, that it is from the
narrative of the sufferer himself that we acquire the knowledge
of his disgrace. ^7 The cruelty of the emperor was exasperated by
the pangs of sickness, the approach of a premature end, and the
suspicion of poison and magic. The lives and fortunes, the eyes
and limbs, of his kinsmen and nobles, were sacrificed to each
sally of passion; and before he died, the son of Vataces might
deserve from the people, or at least from the court, the
appellation of tyrant. A matron of the family of the Palaeologi
had provoked his anger by refusing to bestow her beauteous
daughter on the vile plebeian who was recommended by his caprice.

Without regard to her birth or age, her body, as high as the
neck, was enclosed in a sack with several cats, who were pricked
with pins to irritate their fury against their unfortunate
fellow-captive. In his last hours the emperor testified a wish
to forgive and be forgiven, a just anxiety for the fate of John
his son and successor, who, at the age of eight years, was
condemned to the dangers of a long minority. His last choice
intrusted the office of guardian to the sanctity of the patriarch
Arsenius, and to the courage of George Muzalon, the great
domestic, who was equally distinguished by the royal favor and
the public hatred. Since their connection with the Latins, the
names and privileges of hereditary rank had insinuated themselves
into the Greek monarchy; and the noble families ^8 were provoked
by the elevation of a worthless favorite, to whose influence they
imputed the errors and calamities of the late reign. In the
first council, after the emperor's death, Muzalon, from a lofty
throne, pronounced a labored apology of his conduct and
intentions: his modesty was subdued by a unanimous assurance of
esteem and fidelity; and his most inveterate enemies were the
loudest to salute him as the guardian and savior of the Romans.
Eight days were sufficient to prepare the execution of the
conspiracy. On the ninth, the obsequies of the deceased monarch
were solemnized in the cathedral of Magnesia, ^9 an Asiatic city,
where he expired, on the banks of the Hermus, and at the foot of
Mount Sipylus. The holy rites were interrupted by a sedition of
the guards; Muzalon, his brothers, and his adherents, were
massacred at the foot of the altar; and the absent patriarch was
associated with a new colleague, with Michael Palaeologus, the
most illustrious, in birth and merit, of the Greek nobles. ^10

[Footnote 6: A Persian saying, that Cyrus was the father and
Darius the master, of his subjects, was applied to Vataces and
his son. But Pachymer (l. i. c. 23) has mistaken the mild Darius
for the cruel Cambyses, despot or tyrant of his people. By the
institution of taxes, Darius had incurred the less odious, but
more contemptible, name of merchant or broker, (Herodotus, iii.
89.)]

[Footnote 7: Acropolita (c. 63) seems to admire his own firmness
in sustaining a beating, and not returning to council till he was
called. He relates the exploits of Theodore, and his own
services, from c. 53 to c. 74 of his history. See the third book
of Nicephorus Gregoras.]

[Footnote 8: Pachymer (l. i. c. 21) names and discriminates
fifteen or twenty Greek families. Does he mean, by this
decoration, a figurative or a real golden chain? Perhaps, both.]

[Footnote 9: The old geographers, with Cellarius and D'Anville,
and our travellers, particularly Pocock and Chandler, will teach
us to distinguish the two Magnesias of Asia Minor, of the
Maeander and of Sipylus. The latter, our present object, is
still flourishing for a Turkish city, and lies eight hours, or
leagues, to the north-east of Smyrna, (Tournefort, Voyage du
Levant, tom. iii. lettre xxii. p. 365 - 370. Chandler's Travels
into Asia Minor, p. 267.)]
[Footnote 10: See Acropolita, (c. 75, 76, &c.,) who lived too
near the times; Pachymer, (l. i. c. 13 - 25,) Gregoras, (l. iii.
c. 3, 4, 5.)]
Of those who are proud of their ancestors, the far greater
part must be content with local or domestic renown; and few there
are who dare trust the memorials of their family to the public
annals of their country. As early as the middle of the eleventh
century, the noble race of the Palaeologi ^11 stands high and
conspicuous in the Byzantine history: it was the valiant George
Palaeologus who placed the father of the Comneni on the throne;
and his kinsmen or descendants continue, in each generation, to
lead the armies and councils of the state. The purple was not
dishonored by their alliance, and had the law of succession, and
female succession, been strictly observed, the wife of Theodore
Lascaris must have yielded to her elder sister, the mother of
Michael Palaeologus, who afterwards raised his family to the
throne. In his person, the splendor of birth was dignified by
the merit of the soldier and statesman: in his early youth he was
promoted to the office of constable or commander of the French
mercenaries; the private expense of a day never exceeded three
pieces of gold; but his ambition was rapacious and profuse; and
his gifts were doubled by the graces of his conversation and
manners. The love of the soldiers and people excited the
jealousy of the court, and Michael thrice escaped from the
dangers in which he was involved by his own imprudence or that of
his friends. I. Under the reign of Justice and Vataces, a
dispute arose ^12 between two officers, one of whom accused the
other of maintaining the hereditary right of the Palaeologi The
cause was decided, according to the new jurisprudence of the
Latins, by single combat; the defendant was overthrown; but he
persisted in declaring that himself alone was guilty; and that he
had uttered these rash or treasonable speeches without the
approbation or knowledge of his patron Yet a cloud of suspicion
hung over the innocence of the constable; he was still pursued by
the whispers of malevolence; and a subtle courtier, the
archbishop of Philadelphia, urged him to accept the judgment of
God in the fiery proof of the ordeal. ^13 Three days before the
trial, the patient's arm was enclosed in a bag, and secured by
the royal signet; and it was incumbent on him to bear a red-hot
ball of iron three times from the altar to the rails of the
sanctuary, without artifice and without injury. Palaeologus
eluded the dangerous experiment with sense and pleasantry. "I am
a soldier," said he, "and will boldly enter the lists with my
accusers; but a layman, a sinner like myself, is not endowed with
the gift of miracles. Your piety, most holy prelate, may deserve
the interposition of Heaven, and from your hands I will receive
the fiery globe, the pledge of my innocence." The archbishop
started; the emperor smiled; and the absolution or pardon of
Michael was approved by new rewards and new services. II. In
the succeeding reign, as he held the government of Nice, he was
secretly informed, that the mind of the absent prince was
poisoned with jealousy; and that death, or blindness, would be
his final reward. Instead of awaiting the return and sentence of
Theodore, the constable, with some followers, escaped from the
city and the empire; and though he was plundered by the Turkmans
of the desert, he found a hospitable refuge in the court of the
sultan. In the ambiguous state of an exile, Michael reconciled
the duties of gratitude and loyalty: drawing his sword against
the Tartars; admonishing the garrisons of the Roman limit; and
promoting, by his influence, the restoration of peace, in which
his pardon and recall were honorably included. III. While he
guarded the West against the despot of Epirus, Michael was again
suspected and condemned in the palace; and such was his loyalty
or weakness, that he submitted to be led in chains above six
hundred miles from Durazzo to Nice. The civility of the messenger
alleviated his disgrace; the emperor's sickness dispelled his
danger; and the last breath of Theodore, which recommended his
infant son, at once acknowledged the innocence and the power of
Palaeologus.
[Footnote 11: The pedigree of Palaeologus is explained by
Ducange, (Famil. Byzant. p. 230, &c.:) the events of his private
life are related by Pachymer (l. i. c. 7 - 12) and Gregoras (l.
ii. 8, l. iii. 2, 4, l. iv. 1) with visible favor to the father
of the reigning dynasty.]

[Footnote 12: Acropolita (c. 50) relates the circumstances of
this curious adventure, which seem to have escaped the more
recent writers.]
[Footnote 13: Pachymer, (l. i. c. 12,) who speaks with proper
contempt of this barbarous trial, affirms, that he had seen in
his youth many person who had sustained, without injury, the
fiery ordeal. As a Greek, he is credulous; but the ingenuity of
the Greeks might furnish some remedies of art or fraud against
their own superstition, or that of their tyrant.]

But his innocence had been too unworthily treated, and his
power was too strongly felt, to curb an aspiring subject in the
fair field that was opened to his ambition. ^14 In the council,
after the death of Theodore, he was the first to pronounce, and
the first to violate, the oath of allegiance to Muzalon; and so
dexterous was his conduct, that he reaped the benefit, without
incurring the guilt, or at least the reproach, of the subsequent
massacre. In the choice of a regent, he balanced the interests
and passions of the candidates; turned their envy and hatred from
himself against each other, and forced every competitor to own,
that after his own claims, those of Palaeologus were best
entitled to the preference. Under the title of great duke, he
accepted or assumed, during a long minority, the active powers of
government; the patriarch was a venerable name; and the factious
nobles were seduced, or oppressed, by the ascendant of his
genius. The fruits of the economy of Vataces were deposited in a
strong castle on the banks of the Hermus, in the custody of the
faithful Varangians: the constable retained his command or
influence over the foreign troops; he employed the guards to
possess the treasure, and the treasure to corrupt the guards; and
whatsoever might be the abuse of the public money, his character
was above the suspicion of private avarice. By himself, or by
his emissaries, he strove to persuade every rank of subjects,
that their own prosperity would rise in just proportion to the
establishment of his authority. The weight of taxes was
suspended, the perpetual theme of popular complaint; and he
prohibited the trials by the ordeal and judicial combat. These
Barbaric institutions were already abolished or undermined in
France ^15 and England; ^16 and the appeal to the sword offended
the sense of a civilized, ^17 and the temper of an unwarlike,
people. For the future maintenance of their wives and children,
the veterans were grateful: the priests and the philosophers
applauded his ardent zeal for the advancement of religion and
learning; and his vague promise of rewarding merit was applied by
every candidate to his own hopes. Conscious of the influence of
the clergy, Michael successfully labored to secure the suffrage
of that powerful order. Their expensive journey from Nice to
Magnesia, afforded a decent and ample pretence: the leading
prelates were tempted by the liberality of his nocturnal visits;
and the incorruptible patriarch was flattered by the homage of
his new colleague, who led his mule by the bridle into the town,
and removed to a respectful distance the importunity of the
crowd. Without renouncing his title by royal descent,
Palaeologus encouraged a free discussion into the advantages of
elective monarchy; and his adherents asked, with the insolence of
triumph, what patient would trust his health, or what merchant
would abandon his vessel, to the hereditary skill of a physician
or a pilot? The youth of the emperor, and the impending dangers
of a minority, required the support of a mature and experienced
guardian; of an associate raised above the envy of his equals,
and invested with the name and prerogatives of royalty. For the
interest of the prince and people, without any selfish views for
himself or his family, the great duke consented to guard and
instruct the son of Theodore; but he sighed for the happy moment
when he might restore to his firmer hands the administration of
his patrimony, and enjoy the blessings of a private station. He
was first invested with the title and prerogatives of despot,
which bestowed the purple ornaments and the second place in the
Roman monarchy. It was afterwards agreed that John and Michael
should be proclaimed as joint emperors, and raised on the
buckler, but that the preeminence should be reserved for the
birthright of the former. A mutual league of amity was pledged
between the royal partners; and in case of a rupture, the
subjects were bound, by their oath of allegiance, to declare
themselves against the aggressor; an ambiguous name, the seed of
discord and civil war. Palaeologus was content; but, on the day
of the coronation, and in the cathedral of Nice, his zealous
adherents most vehemently urged the just priority of his age and
merit. The unseasonable dispute was eluded by postponing to a
more convenient opportunity the coronation of John Lascaris; and
he walked with a slight diadem in the train of his guardian, who
alone received the Imperial crown from the hands of the
patriarch. It was not without extreme reluctance that Arsenius
abandoned the cause of his pupil; out the Varangians brandished
their battle-axes; a sign of assent was extorted from the
trembling youth; and some voices were heard, that the life of a
child should no longer impede the settlement of the nation. A
full harvest of honors and employments was distributed among his
friends by the grateful Palaeologus. In his own family he
created a despot and two sebastocrators; Alexius Strategopulus
was decorated with the title of Caesar; and that veteran
commander soon repaid the obligation, by restoring Constantinople
to the Greek emperor.
[Footnote 14: Without comparing Pachymer to Thucydides or
Tacitus, I will praise his narrative, (l. i. c. 13 - 32, l. ii.
c. 1 - 9,) which pursues the ascent of Palaeologus with
eloquence, perspicuity, and tolerable freedom. Acropolita is more
cautious, and Gregoras more concise.]

[Footnote 15: The judicial combat was abolished by St. Louis in
his own territories; and his example and authority were at length
prevalent in France, (Esprit des Loix, l. xxviii. c. 29.)]

[Footnote 16: In civil cases Henry II. gave an option to the
defendant: Glanville prefers the proof by evidence; and that by
judicial combat is reprobated in the Fleta. Yet the trial by
battle has never been abrogated in the English law, and it was
ordered by the judges as late as the beginning of the last
century.

Note *: And even demanded in the present - M.]

[Footnote 17: Yet an ingenious friend has urged to me in
mitigation of this practice, 1. That in nations emerging from
barbarism, it moderates the license of private war and arbitrary
revenge. 2. That it is less absurd than the trials by the
ordeal, or boiling water, or the cross, which it has contributed
to abolish. 3. That it served at least as a test of personal
courage; a quality so seldom united with a base disposition, that
the danger of a trial might be some check to a malicious
prosecutor, and a useful barrier against injustice supported by
power. The gallant and unfortunate earl of Surrey might probably
have escaped his unmerited fate, had not his demand of the combat
against his accuser been overruled]

It was in the second year of his reign, while he resided in
the palace and gardens of Nymphaeum, ^18 near Smyrna, that the
first messenger arrived at the dead of night; and the stupendous
intelligence was imparted to Michael, after he had been gently
waked by the tender precaution of his sister Eulogia. The man was
unknown or obscure; he produced no letters from the victorious
Caesar; nor could it easily be credited, after the defeat of
Vataces and the recent failure of Palaeologus himself, that the
capital had been surprised by a detachment of eight hundred
soldiers. As a hostage, the doubtful author was confined, with
the assurance of death or an ample recompense; and the court was
left some hours in the anxiety of hope and fear, till the
messengers of Alexius arrived with the authentic intelligence,
and displayed the trophies of the conquest, the sword and
sceptre, ^19 the buskins and bonnet, ^20 of the usurper Baldwin,
which he had dropped in his precipitate flight. A general
assembly of the bishops, senators, and nobles, was immediately
convened, and never perhaps was an event received with more
heartfelt and universal joy. In a studied oration, the new
sovereign of Constantinople congratulated his own and the public
fortune. "There was a time," said he, "a far distant time, when
the Roman empire extended to the Adriatic, the Tigris, and the
confines of Aethiopia. After the loss of the provinces, our
capital itself, in these last and calamitous days, has been
wrested from our hands by the Barbarians of the West. From the
lowest ebb, the tide of prosperity has again returned in our
favor; but our prosperity was that of fugitives and exiles: and
when we were asked, which was the country of the Romans, we
indicated with a blush the climate of the globe, and the quarter
of the heavens. The divine Providence has now restored to our
arms the city of Constantine, the sacred seat of religion and
empire; and it will depend on our valor and conduct to render
this important acquisition the pledge and omen of future
victories." So eager was the impatience of the prince and people,
that Michael made his triumphal entry into Constantinople only
twenty days after the expulsion of the Latins. The golden gate
was thrown open at his approach; the devout conqueror dismounted
from his horse; and a miraculous image of Mary the Conductress
was borne before him, that the divine Virgin in person might
appear to conduct him to the temple of her Son, the cathedral of
St. Sophia. But after the first transport of devotion and pride,
he sighed at the dreary prospect of solitude and ruin. The
palace was defiled with smoke and dirt, and the gross
intemperance of the Franks; whole streets had been consumed by
fire, or were decayed by the injuries of time; the sacred and
profane edifices were stripped of their ornaments: and, as if
they were conscious of their approaching exile, the industry of
the Latins had been confined to the work of pillage and
destruction. Trade had expired under the pressure of anarchy and
distress, and the numbers of inhabitants had decreased with the
opulence of the city. It was the first care of the Greek monarch
to reinstate the nobles in the palaces of their fathers; and the
houses or the ground which they occupied were restored to the
families that could exhibit a legal right of inheritance. But the
far greater part was extinct or lost; the vacant property had
devolved to the lord; he repeopled Constantinople by a liberal
invitation to the provinces; and the brave volunteers were seated
in the capital which had been recovered by their arms. The
French barons and the principal families had retired with their
emperor; but the patient and humble crowd of Latins was attached
to the country, and indifferent to the change of masters.
Instead of banishing the factories of the Pisans, Venetians, and
Genoese, the prudent conqueror accepted their oaths of
allegiance, encouraged their industry, confirmed their
privileges, and allowed them to live under the jurisdiction of
their proper magistrates. Of these nations, the Pisans and
Venetians preserved their respective quarters in the city; but
the services and power of the Genoese deserved at the same time
the gratitude and the jealousy of the Greeks. Their independent
colony was first planted at the seaport town of Heraclea in
Thrace. They were speedily recalled, and settled in the
exclusive possession of the suburb of Galata, an advantageous
post, in which they revived the commerce, and insulted the
majesty, of the Byzantine empire. ^21
[Footnote 18: The site of Nymphaeum is not clearly defined in
ancient or modern geography. But from the last hours of Vataces,
(Acropolita, c. 52,) it is evident the palace and gardens of his
favorite residence were in the neighborhood of Smyrna. Nymphaeum
might be loosely placed in Lydia, (Gregoras, l. vi. 6.)]

[Footnote 19: This sceptre, the emblem of justice and power, was
a long staff, such as was used by the heroes in Homer. By the
latter Greeks it was named Dicanice, and the Imperial sceptre was
distinguished as usual by the red or purple color]

[Footnote 20: Acropolita affirms (c. 87,) that this bonnet was
after the French fashion; but from the ruby at the point or
summit, Ducange (Hist. de C. P. l. v. c. 28, 29) believes that it
was the high-crowned hat of the Greeks. Could Acropolita mistake
the dress of his own court?]

[Footnote 21: See Pachymer, (l. ii. c. 28 - 33,) Acropolita, (c.
88,) Nicephorus Gregoras, (l. iv. 7,) and for the treatment of
the subject Latins, Ducange, (l. v. c. 30, 31.)]

The recovery of Constantinople was celebrated as the aera of
a new empire: the conqueror, alone, and by the right of the
sword, renewed his coronation in the church of St. Sophia; and
the name and honors of John Lascaris, his pupil and lawful
sovereign, were insensibly abolished. But his claims still lived
in the minds of the people; and the royal youth must speedily
attain the years of manhood and ambition. By fear or conscience,
Palaeologus was restrained from dipping his hands in innocent and
royal blood; but the anxiety of a usurper and a parent urged him
to secure his throne by one of those imperfect crimes so familiar
to the modern Greeks. The loss of sight incapacitated the young
prince for the active business of the world; instead of the
brutal violence of tearing out his eyes, the visual nerve was
destroyed by the intense glare of a red-hot basin, ^22 and John
Lascaris was removed to a distant castle, where he spent many
years in privacy and oblivion. Such cool and deliberate guilt
may seem incompatible with remorse; but if Michael could trust
the mercy of Heaven, he was not inaccessible to the reproaches
and vengeance of mankind, which he had provoked by cruelty and
treason. His cruelty imposed on a servile court the duties of
applause or silence; but the clergy had a right to speak in the
name of their invisible Master; and their holy legions were led
by a prelate, whose character was above the temptations of hope
or fear. After a short abdication of his dignity, Arsenius ^23
had consented to ascend the ecclesiastical throne of
Constantinople, and to preside in the restoration of the church.
His pious simplicity was long deceived by the arts of
Palaeologus; and his patience and submission might soothe the
usurper, and protect the safety of the young prince. On the news
of his inhuman treatment, the patriarch unsheathed the spiritual
sword; and superstition, on this occasion, was enlisted in the
cause of humanity and justice. In a synod of bishops, who were
stimulated by the example of his zeal, the patriarch pronounced a
sentence of excommunication; though his prudence still repeated
the name of Michael in the public prayers. The Eastern prelates
had not adopted the dangerous maxims of ancient Rome; nor did
they presume to enforce their censures, by deposing princes, or
absolving nations from their oaths of allegiance. But the
Christian, who had been separated from God and the church, became
an object of horror; and, in a turbulent and fanatic capital,
that horror might arm the hand of an assassin, or inflame a
sedition of the people. Palaeologus felt his danger, confessed
his guilt, and deprecated his judge: the act was irretrievable;
the prize was obtained; and the most rigorous penance, which he
solicited, would have raised the sinner to the reputation of a
saint. The unrelenting patriarch refused to announce any means
of atonement or any hopes of mercy; and condescended only to
pronounce, that for so great a crime, great indeed must be the
satisfaction. "Do you require," said Michael, "that I should
abdicate the empire?" and at these words, he offered, or seemed
to offer, the sword of state. Arsenius eagerly grasped this
pledge of sovereignty; but when he perceived that the emperor was
unwilling to purchase absolution at so dear a rate, he
indignantly escaped to his cell, and left the royal sinner
kneeling and weeping before the door. ^24

[Footnote 22: This milder invention for extinguishing the sight
was tried by the philosopher Democritus on himself, when he
sought to withdraw his mind from the visible world: a foolish
story! The word abacinare, in Latin and Italian, has furnished
Ducange (Gloss. Lat.) with an opportunity to review the various
modes of blinding: the more violent were scooping, burning with
an iron, or hot vinegar, and binding the head with a strong cord
till the eyes burst from their sockets. Ingenious tyrants!]

[Footnote 23: See the first retreat and restoration of Arsenius,
in Pachymer (l. ii. c. 15, l. iii. c. 1, 2) and Nicephorus
Gregoras, (l. iii. c. 1, l. iv. c. 1.) Posterity justly accused
Arsenius the virtues of a hermit, the vices of a minister, (l.
xii. c. 2.)]

[Footnote 24: The crime and excommunication of Michael are fairly
told by Pachymer (l. iii. c. 10, 14, 19, &c.) and Gregoras, (l.
iv. c. 4.) His confession and penance restored their freedom.]

Chapter LXII: Greek Emperors Of Nice And Constantinople.

Part II.

The danger and scandal of this excommunication subsisted
above three years, till the popular clamor was assuaged by time
and repentance; till the brethren of Arsenius condemned his
inflexible spirit, so repugnant to the unbounded forgiveness of
the gospel. The emperor had artfully insinuated, that, if he
were still rejected at home, he might seek, in the Roman pontiff,
a more indulgent judge; but it was far more easy and effectual to
find or to place that judge at the head of the Byzantine church.
Arsenius was involved in a vague rumor of conspiracy and
disaffection; ^* some irregular steps in his ordination and
government were liable to censure; a synod deposed him from the
episcopal office; and he was transported under a guard of
soldiers to a small island of the Propontis. Before his exile,
he sullenly requested that a strict account might be taken of the
treasures of the church; boasted, that his sole riches, three
pieces of gold, had been earned by transcribing the psalms;
continued to assert the freedom of his mind; and denied, with his
last breath, the pardon which was implored by the royal sinner.
^25 After some delay, Gregory, ^* bishop of Adrianople, was
translated to the Byzantine throne; but his authority was found
insufficient to support the absolution of the emperor; and
Joseph, a reverend monk, was substituted to that important
function. This edifying scene was represented in the presence of
the senate and the people; at the end of six years the humble
penitent was restored to the communion of the faithful; and
humanity will rejoice, that a milder treatment of the captive
Lascaris was stipulated as a proof of his remorse. But the spirit
of Arsenius still survived in a powerful faction of the monks and
clergy, who persevered about forty-eight years in an obstinate
schism. Their scruples were treated with tenderness and respect
by Michael and his son; and the reconciliation of the Arsenites
was the serious labor of the church and state. In the confidence
of fanaticism, they had proposed to try their cause by a miracle;
and when the two papers, that contained their own and the adverse
cause, were cast into a fiery brazier, they expected that the
Catholic verity would be respected by the flames. Alas! the two
papers were indiscriminately consumed, and this unforeseen
accident produced the union of a day, and renewed the quarrel of
an age. ^26 The final treaty displayed the victory of the
Arsenites: the clergy abstained during forty days from all
ecclesiastical functions; a slight penance was imposed on the
laity; the body of Arsenius was deposited in the sanctuary; and,
in the name of the departed saint, the prince and people were
released from the sins of their fathers. ^27
[Footnote *: Except the omission of a prayer for the emperor, the
charges against Arsenius were of different nature: he was accused
of having allowed the sultan of Iconium to bathe in vessels
signed with the cross, and to have admitted him to the church,
though unbaptized, during the service. It was pleaded, in favor
of Arsenius, among other proofs of the sultan's Christianity,
that he had offered to eat ham. Pachymer, l. iv. c. 4, p. 265.
It was after his exile that he was involved in a charge of
conspiracy. - M.]
[Footnote 25: Pachymer relates the exile of Arsenius, (l. iv. c.
1 - 16:) he was one of the commissaries who visited him in the
desert island. The last testament of the unforgiving patriarch
is still extant, (Dupin, Bibliotheque Ecclesiastique, tom. x. p.
95.)]

[Footnote *: Pachymer calls him Germanus. - M.]

[Footnote 26: Pachymer (l. vii. c. 22) relates this miraculous
trial like a philosopher, and treats with similar contempt a plot
of the Arsenites, to hide a revelation in the coffin of some old
saint, (l. vii. c. 13.) He compensates this incredulity by an
image that weeps, another that bleeds, (l. vii. c. 30,) and the
miraculous cures of a deaf and a mute patient, (l. xi. c. 32.)]
[Footnote 27: The story of the Arsenites is spread through the
thirteen books of Pachymer. Their union and triumph are reserved
for Nicephorus Gregoras, (l. vii. c. 9,) who neither loves nor
esteems these sectaries.]
The establishment of his family was the motive, or at least
the pretence, of the crime of Palaeologus; and he was impatient
to confirm the succession, by sharing with his eldest son the
honors of the purple. Andronicus, afterwards surnamed the Elder,
was proclaimed and crowned emperor of the Romans, in the
fifteenth year of his age; and, from the first aera of a prolix
and inglorious reign, he held that august title nine years as the
colleague, and fifty as the successor, of his father. Michael
himself, had he died in a private station, would have been
thought more worthy of the empire; and the assaults of his
temporal and spiritual enemies left him few moments to labor for
his own fame or the happiness of his subjects. He wrested from
the Franks several of the noblest islands of the Archipelago,
Lesbos, Chios, and Rhodes: his brother Constantine was sent to
command in Malvasia and Sparta; and the eastern side of the
Morea, from Argos and Napoli to Cape Thinners, was repossessed by
the Greeks. This effusion of Christian blood was loudly
condemned by the patriarch; and the insolent priest presumed to
interpose his fears and scruples between the arms of princes.
But in the prosecution of these western conquests, the countries
beyond the Hellespont were left naked to the Turks; and their
depredations verified the prophecy of a dying senator, that the
recovery of Constantinople would be the ruin of Asia. The
victories of Michael were achieved by his lieutenants; his sword
rusted in the palace; and, in the transactions of the emperor
with the popes and the king of Naples, his political acts were
stained with cruelty and fraud. ^28
[Footnote 28: Of the xiii books of Pachymer, the first six (as
the ivth and vth of Nicephorus Gregoras) contain the reign of
Michael, at the time of whose death he was forty years of age.
Instead of breaking, like his editor the Pere Poussin, his
history into two parts, I follow Ducange and Cousin, who number
the xiii. books in one series.]

I. The Vatican was the most natural refuge of a Latin
emperor, who had been driven from his throne; and Pope Urban the
Fourth appeared to pity the misfortunes, and vindicate the cause,
of the fugitive Baldwin. A crusade, with plenary indulgence, was
preached by his command against the schismatic Greeks: he
excommunicated their allies and adherents; solicited Louis the
Ninth in favor of his kinsman; and demanded a tenth of the
ecclesiastical revenues of France and England for the service of
the holy war. ^29 The subtle Greek, who watched the rising
tempest of the West, attempted to suspend or soothe the hostility
of the pope, by suppliant embassies and respectful letters; but
he insinuated that the establishment of peace must prepare the
reconciliation and obedience of the Eastern church. The Roman
court could not be deceived by so gross an artifice; and Michael
was admonished, that the repentance of the son should precede the
forgiveness of the father; and that faith (an ambiguous word) was
the only basis of friendship and alliance. After a long and
affected delay, the approach of danger, and the importunity of
Gregory the Tenth, compelled him to enter on a more serious
negotiation: he alleged the example of the great Vataces; and the
Greek clergy, who understood the intentions of their prince, were
not alarmed by the first steps of reconciliation and respect.
But when he pressed the conclusion of the treaty, they
strenuously declared, that the Latins, though not in name, were
heretics in fact, and that they despised those strangers as the
vilest and most despicable portion of the human race. ^30 It was
the task of the emperor to persuade, to corrupt, to intimidate
the most popular ecclesiastics, to gain the vote of each
individual, and alternately to urge the arguments of Christian
charity and the public welfare. The texts of the fathers and the
arms of the Franks were balanced in the theological and political
scale; and without approving the addition to the Nicene creed,
the most moderate were taught to confess, that the two hostile
propositions of proceeding from the Father by the Son, and of
proceeding from the Father and the Son, might be reduced to a
safe and Catholic sense. ^31 The supremacy of the pope was a
doctrine more easy to conceive, but more painful to acknowledge:
yet Michael represented to his monks and prelates, that they
might submit to name the Roman bishop as the first of the
patriarchs; and that their distance and discretion would guard
the liberties of the Eastern church from the mischievous
consequences of the right of appeal. He protested that he would
sacrifice his life and empire rather than yield the smallest
point of orthodox faith or national independence; and this
declaration was sealed and ratified by a golden bull. The
patriarch Joseph withdrew to a monastery, to resign or resume his
throne, according to the event of the treaty: the letters of
union and obedience were subscribed by the emperor, his son
Andronicus, and thirty-five archbishops and metropolitans, with
their respective synods; and the episcopal list was multiplied by
many dioceses which were annihilated under the yoke of the
infidels. An embassy was composed of some trusty ministers and
prelates: they embarked for Italy, with rich ornaments and rare
perfumes for the altar of St. Peter; and their secret orders
authorized and recommended a boundless compliance. They were
received in the general council of Lyons, by Pope Gregory the
Tenth, at the head of five hundred bishops. ^32 He embraced with
tears his long-lost and repentant children; accepted the oath of
the ambassadors, who abjured the schism in the name of the two
emperors; adorned the prelates with the ring and mitre; chanted
in Greek and Latin the Nicene creed with the addition of
filioque; and rejoiced in the union of the East and West, which
had been reserved for his reign. To consummate this pious work,
the Byzantine deputies were speedily followed by the pope's
nuncios; and their instruction discloses the policy of the
Vatican, which could not be satisfied with the vain title of
supremacy. After viewing the temper of the prince and people,
they were enjoined to absolve the schismatic clergy, who should
subscribe and swear their abjuration and obedience; to establish
in all the churches the use of the perfect creed; to prepare the
entrance of a cardinal legate, with the full powers and dignity
of his office; and to instruct the emperor in the advantages
which he might derive from the temporal protection of the Roman
pontiff. ^33

[Footnote 29: Ducange, Hist. de C. P. l. v. c. 33, &c., from the
Epistles of Urban IV.]

[Footnote 30: From their mercantile intercourse with the
Venetians and Genoese, they branded the Latins: (Pachymer, l. v.
c. 10.) "Some are heretics in name; others, like the Latins, in
fact," said the learned Veccus, (l. v. c. 12,) who soon
afterwards became a convert (c. 15, 16) and a patriarch, (c.
24.)]

[Footnote 31: In this class we may place Pachymer himself, whose
copious and candid narrative occupies the vth and vith books of
his history. Yet the Greek is silent on the council of Lyons,
and seems to believe that the popes always resided in Rome and
Italy, (l. v. c. 17, 21.)]

[Footnote 32: See the acts of the council of Lyons in the year
1274. Fleury, Hist. Ecclesiastique, tom. xviii. p. 181 - 199.
Dupin, Bibliot. Eccles. tom. x. p. 135.]

[Footnote 33: This curious instruction, which has been drawn with
more or less honesty by Wading and Leo Allatius from the archives
of the Vatican, is given in an abstract or version by Fleury,
(tom. xviii. p. 252 - 258.)]
But they found a country without a friend, a nation in which
the names of Rome and Union were pronounced with abhorrence. The
patriarch Joseph was indeed removed: his place was filled by
Veccus, an ecclesiastic of learning and moderation; and the
emperor was still urged by the same motives, to persevere in the
same professions. But in his private language Palaeologus
affected to deplore the pride, and to blame the innovations, of
the Latins; and while he debased his character by this double
hypocrisy, he justified and punished the opposition of his
subjects. By the joint suffrage of the new and the ancient Rome,
a sentence of excommunication was pronounced against the
obstinate schismatics; the censures of the church were executed
by the sword of Michael; on the failure of persuasion, he tried
the arguments of prison and exile, of whipping and mutilation;
those touchstones, says an historian, of cowards and the brave.
Two Greeks still reigned in Aetolia, Epirus, and Thessaly, with
the appellation of despots: they had yielded to the sovereign of
Constantinople, but they rejected the chains of the Roman
pontiff, and supported their refusal by successful arms. Under
their protection, the fugitive monks and bishops assembled in
hostile synods; and retorted the name of heretic with the galling
addition of apostate: the prince of Trebizond was tempted to
assume the forfeit title of emperor; ^* and even the Latins of
Negropont, Thebes, Athens, and the Morea, forgot the merits of
the convert, to join, with open or clandestine aid, the enemies
of Palaeologus. His favorite generals, of his own blood, and
family, successively deserted, or betrayed, the sacrilegious
trust. His sister Eulogia, a niece, and two female cousins,
conspired against him; another niece, Mary queen of Bulgaria,
negotiated his ruin with the sultan of Egypt; and, in the public
eye, their treason was consecrated as the most sublime virtue.
^34 To the pope's nuncios, who urged the consummation of the
work, Palaeologus exposed a naked recital of all that he had done
and suffered for their sake. They were assured that the guilty
sectaries, of both sexes and every rank, had been deprived of
their honors, their fortunes, and their liberty; a spreading list
of confiscation and punishment, which involved many persons, the
dearest to the emperor, or the best deserving of his favor. They
were conducted to the prison, to behold four princes of the royal
blood chained in the four corners, and shaking their fetters in
an agony of grief and rage. Two of these captives were
afterwards released; the one by submission, the other by death:
but the obstinacy of their two companions was chastised by the
loss of their eyes; and the Greeks, the least adverse to the
union, deplored that cruel and inauspicious tragedy. ^35
Persecutors must expect the hatred of those whom they oppress;
but they commonly find some consolation in the testimony of their
conscience, the applause of their party, and, perhaps, the
success of their undertaking. But the hypocrisy of Michael,
which was prompted only by political motives, must have forced
him to hate himself, to despise his followers, and to esteem and
envy the rebel champions by whom he was detested and despised.
While his violence was abhorred at Constantinople, at Rome his
slowness was arraigned, and his sincerity suspected; till at
length Pope Martin the Fourth excluded the Greek emperor from the
pale of a church, into which he was striving to reduce a
schismatic people. No sooner had the tyrant expired, than the
union was dissolved, and abjured by unanimous consent; the
churches were purified; the penitents were reconciled; and his
son Andronicus, after weeping the sins and errors of his youth
most piously denied his father the burial of a prince and a
Christian. ^36

[Footnote *: According to Fallmarayer he had always maintained
this title. - M.]

[Footnote 34: This frank and authentic confession of Michael's
distress is exhibited in barbarous Latin by Ogerius, who signs
himself Protonotarius Interpretum, and transcribed by Wading from
the MSS. of the Vatican, (A.D. 1278, No. 3.) His annals of the
Franciscan order, the Fratres Minores, in xvii. volumes in folio,
(Rome, 1741,) I have now accidentally seen among the waste paper
of a bookseller.]

[Footnote 35: See the vith book of Pachymer, particularly the
chapters 1, 11, 16, 18, 24 - 27. He is the more credible, as he
speaks of this persecution with less anger than sorrow.]

[Footnote 36: Pachymer, l. vii. c. 1 - ii. 17. The speech of
Andronicus the Elder (lib. xii. c. 2) is a curious record, which
proves that if the Greeks were the slaves of the emperor, the
emperor was not less the slave of superstition and the clergy.]

II. In the distress of the Latins, the walls and towers of
Constantinople had fallen to decay: they were restored and
fortified by the policy of Michael, who deposited a plenteous
store of corn and salt provisions, to sustain the siege which he
might hourly expect from the resentment of the Western powers.
Of these, the sovereign of the Two Sicilies was the most
formidable neighbor: but as long as they were possessed by
Mainfroy, the bastard of Frederic the Second, his monarchy was
the bulwark, rather than the annoyance, of the Eastern empire.
The usurper, though a brave and active prince, was sufficiently
employed in the defence of his throne: his proscription by
successive popes had separated Mainfroy from the common cause of
the Latins; and the forces that might have besieged
Constantinople were detained in a crusade against the domestic
enemy of Rome. The prize of her avenger, the crown of the Two
Sicilies, was won and worn by the brother of St Louis, by Charles
count of Anjou and Provence, who led the chivalry of France on
this holy expedition. ^37 The disaffection of his Christian
subjects compelled Mainfroy to enlist a colony of Saracens whom
his father had planted in Apulia; and this odious succor will
explain the defiance of the Catholic hero, who rejected all terms
of accommodation. "Bear this message," said Charles, "to the
sultan of Nocera, that God and the sword are umpire between us;
and that he shall either send me to paradise, or I will send him
to the pit of hell." The armies met: and though I am ignorant of
Mainfroy's doom in the other world, in this he lost his friends,
his kingdom, and his life, in the bloody battle of Benevento.
Naples and Sicily were immediately peopled with a warlike race of
French nobles; and their aspiring leader embraced the future
conquest of Africa, Greece, and Palestine. The most specious
reasons might point his first arms against the Byzantine empire;
and Palaeologus, diffident of his own strength, repeatedly
appealed from the ambition of Charles to the humanity of St.
Louis, who still preserved a just ascendant over the mind of his
ferocious brother. For a while the attention of that brother was
confined at home by the invasion of Conradin, the last heir to
the imperial house of Swabia; but the hapless boy sunk in the
unequal conflict; and his execution on a public scaffold taught
the rivals of Charles to tremble for their heads as well as their
dominions. A second respite was obtained by the last crusade of
St. Louis to the African coast; and the double motive of interest
and duty urged the king of Naples to assist, with his powers and
his presence, the holy enterprise. The death of St. Louis
released him from the importunity of a virtuous censor: the king
of Tunis confessed himself the tributary and vassal of the crown
of Sicily; and the boldest of the French knights were free to
enlist under his banner against the Greek empire. A treaty and a
marriage united his interest with the house of Courtenay; his
daughter Beatrice was promised to Philip, son and heir of the
emperor Baldwin; a pension of six hundred ounces of gold was
allowed for his maintenance; and his generous father distributed
among his aliens the kingdoms and provinces of the East,
reserving only Constantinople, and one day's journey round the
city for the imperial domain. ^38 In this perilous moment,
Palaeologus was the most eager to subscribe the creed, and
implore the protection, of the Roman pontiff, who assumed, with
propriety and weight, the character of an angel of peace, the
common father of the Christians. By his voice, the sword of
Charles was chained in the scabbard; and the Greek ambassadors
beheld him, in the pope's antechamber, biting his ivory sceptre
in a transport of fury, and deeply resenting the refusal to
enfranchise and consecrate his arms. He appears to have
respected the disinterested mediation of Gregory the Tenth; but
Charles was insensibly disgusted by the pride and partiality of
Nicholas the Third; and his attachment to his kindred, the Ursini
family, alienated the most strenuous champion from the service of
the church. The hostile league against the Greeks, of Philip the
Latin emperor, the king of the Two Sicilies, and the republic of
Venice, was ripened into execution; and the election of Martin
the Fourth, a French pope, gave a sanction to the cause. Of the
allies, Philip supplied his name; Martin, a bull of
excommunication; the Venetians, a squadron of forty galleys; and
the formidable powers of Charles consisted of forty counts, ten
thousand men at arms, a numerous body of infantry, and a fleet of
more than three hundred ships and transports. A distant day was
appointed for assembling this mighty force in the harbor of
Brindisi; and a previous attempt was risked with a detachment of
three hundred knights, who invaded Albania, and besieged the
fortress of Belgrade. Their defeat might amuse with a triumph
the vanity of Constantinople; but the more sagacious Michael,
despairing of his arms, depended on the effects of a conspiracy;
on the secret workings of a rat, who gnawed the bowstring ^39 of
the Sicilian tyrant.

[Footnote 37: The best accounts, the nearest the time, the most
full and entertaining, of the conquest of Naples by Charles of
Anjou, may be found in the Florentine Chronicles of Ricordano
Malespina, (c. 175 - 193,) and Giovanni Villani, (l. vii. c. 1 -
10, 25 - 30,) which are published by Muratori in the viiith and
xiiith volumes of the Historians of Italy. In his Annals (tom.
xi. p. 56 - 72) he has abridged these great events which are
likewise described in the Istoria Civile of Giannone. tom. l.
xix. tom. iii. l. xx]
[Footnote 38: Ducange, Hist. de C. P. l. v. c. 49 - 56, l. vi. c.
1 - 13. See Pachymer, l. iv. c. 29, l. v. c. 7 - 10, 25 l. vi. c.
30, 32, 33, and Nicephorus Gregoras, l. iv. 5, l. v. 1, 6.]

[Footnote 39: The reader of Herodotus will recollect how
miraculously the Assyrian host of Sennacherib was disarmed and
destroyed, (l. ii. c. 141.)]
Among the proscribed adherents of the house of Swabia, John
of Procida forfeited a small island of that name in the Bay of
Naples. His birth was noble, but his education was learned; and
in the poverty of exile, he was relieved by the practice of
physic, which he had studied in the school of Salerno. Fortune
had left him nothing to lose, except life; and to despise life is
the first qualification of a rebel. Procida was endowed with the
art of negotiation, to enforce his reasons and disguise his
motives; and in his various transactions with nations and men, he
could persuade each party that he labored solely for their
interest. The new kingdoms of Charles were afflicted by every
species of fiscal and military oppression; ^40 and the lives and
fortunes of his Italian subjects were sacrificed to the greatness
of their master and the licentiousness of his followers. The
hatred of Naples was repressed by his presence; but the looser
government of his vicegerents excited the contempt, as well as
the aversion, of the Sicilians: the island was roused to a sense
of freedom by the eloquence of Procida; and he displayed to every
baron his private interest in the common cause. In the
confidence of foreign aid, he successively visited the courts of
the Greek emperor, and of Peter king of Arragon, ^41 who
possessed the maritime countries of Valentia and Catalonia. To
the ambitious Peter a crown was presented, which he might justly
claim by his marriage with the sister ^* of Mainfroy, and by the
dying voice of Conradin, who from the scaffold had cast a ring to
his heir and avenger. Palaeologus was easily persuaded to divert
his enemy from a foreign war by a rebellion at home; and a Greek
subsidy of twenty-five thousand ounces of gold was most
profitably applied to arm a Catalan fleet, which sailed under a
holy banner to the specious attack of the Saracens of Africa. In
the disguise of a monk or beggar, the indefatigable missionary of
revolt flew from Constantinople to Rome, and from Sicily to
Saragossa: the treaty was sealed with the signet of Pope Nicholas
himself, the enemy of Charles; and his deed of gift transferred
the fiefs of St. Peter from the house of Anjou to that of
Arragon. So widely diffused and so freely circulated, the secret
was preserved above two years with impenetrable discretion; and
each of the conspirators imbibed the maxim of Peter, who declared
that he would cut off his left hand if it were conscious of the
intentions of his right. The mine was prepared with deep and
dangerous artifice; but it may be questioned, whether the instant
explosion of Palermo were the effect of accident or design.

[Footnote 40: According to Sabas Malaspina, (Hist. Sicula, l.
iii. c. 16, in Muratori, tom. viii. p. 832,) a zealous Guelph,
the subjects of Charles, who had reviled Mainfroy as a wolf,
began to regret him as a lamb; and he justifies their discontent
by the oppressions of the French government, (l. vi. c. 2, 7.)
See the Sicilian manifesto in Nicholas Specialis, (l. i. c. 11,
in Muratori, tom. x. p. 930.)]

[Footnote 41: See the character and counsels of Peter, king of
Arragon, in Mariana, (Hist. Hispan. l. xiv. c. 6, tom. ii. p.
133.) The reader for gives the Jesuit's defects, in favor, always
of his style, and often of his sense.]
[Footnote *: Daughter. See Hallam's Middle Ages, vol. i. p. 517.
- M.]
On the vigil of Easter, a procession of the disarmed
citizens visited a church without the walls; and a noble damsel
was rudely insulted by a French soldier. ^42 The ravisher was
instantly punished with death; and if the people was at first
scattered by a military force, their numbers and fury prevailed:
the conspirators seized the opportunity; the flame spread over
the island; and eight thousand French were exterminated in a
promiscuous massacre, which has obtained the name of the Sicilian
Vespers. ^43 From every city the banners of freedom and the
church were displayed: the revolt was inspired by the presence or
the soul of Procida and Peter of Arragon, who sailed from the
African coast to Palermo, was saluted as the king and savior of
the isle. By the rebellion of a people on whom he had so long
trampled with impunity, Charles was astonished and confounded;
and in the first agony of grief and devotion, he was heard to
exclaim, "O God! if thou hast decreed to humble me, grant me at
least a gentle and gradual descent from the pinnacle of
greatness!" His fleet and army, which already filled the seaports
of Italy, were hastily recalled from the service of the Grecian
war; and the situation of Messina exposed that town to the first
storm of his revenge. Feeble in themselves, and yet hopeless of
foreign succor, the citizens would have repented, and submitted
on the assurance of full pardon and their ancient privileges.
But the pride of the monarch was already rekindled; and the most
fervent entreaties of the legate could extort no more than a
promise, that he would forgive the remainder, after a chosen list
of eight hundred rebels had been yielded to his discretion. The
despair of the Messinese renewed their courage: Peter of Arragon
approached to their relief; ^44 and his rival was driven back by
the failure of provision and the terrors of the equinox to the
Calabrian shore. At the same moment, the Catalan admiral, the
famous Roger de Loria, swept the channel with an invincible
squadron: the French fleet, more numerous in transports than in
galleys, was either burnt or destroyed; and the same blow assured
the independence of Sicily and the safety of the Greek empire. A
few days before his death, the emperor Michael rejoiced in the
fall of an enemy whom he hated and esteemed; and perhaps he might
be content with the popular judgment, that had they not been
matched with each other, Constantinople and Italy must speedily
have obeyed the same master. ^45 From this disastrous moment, the
life of Charles was a series of misfortunes: his capital was
insulted, his son was made prisoner, and he sunk into the grave
without recovering the Isle of Sicily, which, after a war of
twenty years, was finally severed from the throne of Naples, and
transferred, as an independent kingdom, to a younger branch of
the house of Arragon. ^46

[Footnote 42: After enumerating the sufferings of his country,
Nicholas Specialis adds, in the true spirit of Italian jealousy,
Quae omnia et graviora quidem, ut arbitror, patienti animo Siculi
tolerassent, nisi (quod primum cunctis dominantibus cavendum est)
alienas foeminas invasissent, (l. i. c. 2, p. 924.)]

[Footnote 43: The French were long taught to remember this bloody
lesson: "If I am provoked, (said Henry the Fourth,) I will
breakfast at Milan, and dine at Naples." "Your majesty (replied
the Spanish ambassador) may perhaps arrive in Sicily for
vespers."]

[Footnote 44: This revolt, with the subsequent victory, are
related by two national writers, Bartholemy a Neocastro (in
Muratori, tom. xiii.,) and Nicholas Specialis (in Muratori, tom.
x.,) the one a contemporary, the other of the next century. The
patriot Specialis disclaims the name of rebellion, and all
previous correspondence with Peter of Arragon, (nullo communicato
consilio,) who happened to be with a fleet and army on the
African coast, (l. i. c. 4, 9.)]

[Footnote 45: Nicephorus Gregoras (l. v. c. 6) admires the wisdom
of Providence in this equal balance of states and princes. For
the honor of Palaeologus, I had rather this balance had been
observed by an Italian writer.]

[Footnote 46: See the Chronicle of Villani, the xith volume of
the Annali d'Italia of Muratori, and the xxth and xxist books of
the Istoria Civile of Giannone.]

Chapter LXII: Greek Emperors Of Nice And Constantinople.

Part III.

I shall not, I trust, be accused of superstition; but I must
remark that, even in this world, the natural order of events will
sometimes afford the strong appearances of moral retribution.
The first Palaeologus had saved his empire by involving the
kingdoms of the West in rebellion and blood; and from these
scenes of discord uprose a generation of iron men, who assaulted
and endangered the empire of his son. In modern times our debts
and taxes are the secret poison which still corrodes the bosom of
peace: but in the weak and disorderly government of the middle
ages, it was agitated by the present evil of the disbanded
armies. Too idle to work, too proud to beg, the mercenaries were
accustomed to a life of rapine: they could rob with more dignity
and effect under a banner and a chief; and the sovereign, to whom
their service was useless, and their presence importunate,
endeavored to discharge the torrent on some neighboring
countries. After the peace of Sicily, many thousands of Genoese,
Catalans, ^47 &c., who had fought, by sea and land, under the
standard of Anjou or Arragon, were blended into one nation by the
resemblance of their manners and interest. They heard that the
Greek provinces of Asia were invaded by the Turks: they resolved
to share the harvest of pay and plunder: and Frederic king of
Sicily most liberally contributed the means of their departure.
In a warfare of twenty years, a ship, or a camp, was become their
country; arms were their sole profession and property; valor was
the only virtue which they knew; their women had imbibed the
fearless temper of their lovers and husbands: it was reported,
that, with a stroke of their broadsword, the Catalans could
cleave a horseman and a horse; and the report itself was a
powerful weapon. Roger de Flor ^* was the most popular of their
chiefs; and his personal merit overshadowed the dignity of his
prouder rivals of Arragon. The offspring of a marriage between a
German gentleman of the court of Frederic the Second and a damsel
of Brindisi, Roger was successively a templar, an apostate, a
pirate, and at length the richest and most powerful admiral of
the Mediterranean. He sailed from Messina to Constantinople,
with eighteen galleys, four great ships, and eight thousand
adventurers; ^* and his previous treaty was faithfully
accomplished by Andronicus the elder, who accepted with joy and
terror this formidable succor. A palace was allotted for his
reception, and a niece of the emperor was given in marriage to
the valiant stranger, who was immediately created great duke or
admiral of Romania. After a decent repose, he transported his
troops over the Propontis, and boldly led them against the Turks:
in two bloody battles thirty thousand of the Moslems were slain:
he raised the siege of Philadelphia, and deserved the name of the
deliverer of Asia. But after a short season of prosperity, the
cloud of slavery and ruin again burst on that unhappy province.
The inhabitants escaped (says a Greek historian) from the smoke
into the flames; and the hostility of the Turks was less
pernicious than the friendship of the Catalans. ^! The lives and
fortunes which they had rescued they considered as their own: the
willing or reluctant maid was saved from the race of circumcision
for the embraces of a Christian soldier: the exaction of fines
and supplies was enforced by licentious rapine and arbitrary
executions; and, on the resistance of Magnesia, the great duke
besieged a city of the Roman empire. ^48 These disorders he
excused by the wrongs and passions of a victorious army; nor
would his own authority or person have been safe, had he dared to
punish his faithful followers, who were defrauded of the just and
covenanted price of their services. The threats and complaints
of Andronicus disclosed the nakedness of the empire. His golden
bull had invited no more than five hundred horse and a thousand
foot soldiers; yet the crowds of volunteers, who migrated to the
East, had been enlisted and fed by his spontaneous bounty. While
his bravest allies were content with three byzants or pieces of
gold, for their monthly pay, an ounce, or even two ounces, of
gold were assigned to the Catalans, whose annual pension would
thus amount to near a hundred pounds sterling: one of their
chiefs had modestly rated at three hundred thousand crowns the
value of his future merits; and above a million had been issued
from the treasury for the maintenance of these costly
mercenaries. A cruel tax had been imposed on the corn of the
husbandman: one third was retrenched from the salaries of the
public officers; and the standard of the coin was so shamefully
debased, that of the four-and-twenty parts only five were of pure
gold. ^49 At the summons of the emperor, Roger evacuated a
province which no longer supplied the materials of rapine; ^* but
he refused to disperse his troops; and while his style was
respectful, his conduct was independent and hostile. He
protested, that if the emperor should march against him, he would
advance forty paces to kiss the ground before him; but in rising
from this prostrate attitude Roger had a life and sword at the
service of his friends. The great duke of Romania condescended
to accept the title and ornaments of Caesar; but he rejected the
new proposal of the government of Asia with a subsidy of corn and
money, ^* on condition that he should reduce his troops to the
harmless number of three thousand men. Assassination is the last
resource of cowards. The Caesar was tempted to visit the royal
residence of Adrianople; in the apartment, and before the eyes,
of the empress he was stabbed by the Alani guards; and though the
deed was imputed to their private revenge, ^!! his countrymen,
who dwelt at Constantinople in the security of peace, were
involved in the same proscription by the prince or people. The
loss of their leader intimidated the crowd of adventurers, who
hoisted the sails of flight, and were soon scattered round the
coasts of the Mediterranean. But a veteran band of fifteen
hundred Catalans, or French, stood firm in the strong fortress of
Gallipoli on the Hellespont, displayed the banners of Arragon,
and offered to revenge and justify their chief, by an equal
combat of ten or a hundred warriors. Instead of accepting this
bold defiance, the emperor Michael, the son and colleague of
Andronicus, resolved to oppress them with the weight of
multitudes: every nerve was strained to form an army of thirteen
thousand horse and thirty thousand foot; and the Propontis was
covered with the ships of the Greeks and Genoese. In two battles
by sea and land, these mighty forces were encountered and
overthrown by the despair and discipline of the Catalans: the
young emperor fled to the palace; and an insufficient guard of
light-horse was left for the protection of the open country.
Victory renewed the hopes and numbers of the adventures: every
nation was blended under the name and standard of the great
company; and three thousand Turkish proselytes deserted from the
Imperial service to join this military association. In the
possession of Gallipoli, ^!!! the Catalans intercepted the trade
of Constantinople and the Black Sea, while they spread their
devastation on either side of the Hellespont over the confines of
Europe and Asia. To prevent their approach, the greatest part of
the Byzantine territory was laid waste by the Greeks themselves:
the peasants and their cattle retired into the city; and myriads
of sheep and oxen, for which neither place nor food could be
procured, were unprofitably slaughtered on the same day. Four
times the emperor Andronicus sued for peace, and four times he
was inflexibly repulsed, till the want of provisions, and the
discord of the chiefs, compelled the Catalans to evacuate the
banks of the Hellespont and the neighborhood of the capital.
After their separation from the Turks, the remains of the great
company pursued their march through Macedonia and Thessaly, to
seek a new establishment in the heart of Greece. ^50

[Footnote 47: In this motley multitude, the Catalans and
Spaniards, the bravest of the soldiery, were styled by themselves
and the Greeks Amogavares. Moncada derives their origin from the
Goths, and Pachymer (l. xi. c. 22) from the Arabs; and in spite
of national and religious pride, I am afraid the latter is in the
right.]

[Footnote *: On Roger de Flor and his companions, see an
historical fragment, detailed and interesting, entitled "The
Spaniards of the Fourteenth Century," and inserted in "L'Espagne
en 1808," a work translated from the German, vol. ii. p. 167.
This narrative enables us to detect some slight errors which have
crept into that of Gibbon. - G.]

[Footnote *: The troops of Roger de Flor, according to his
companions Ramon de Montaner, were 1500 men at arms, 4000
Almogavares, and 1040 other foot, besides the sailors and
mariners, vol. ii. p. 137. - M.]

[Footnote !: Ramon de Montaner suppresses the cruelties and
oppressions of the Catalans, in which, perhaps, he shared. - M]

[Footnote 48: Some idea may be formed of the population of these
cities, from the 36,000 inhabitants of Tralles, which, in the
preceding reign, was rebuilt by the emperor, and ruined by the
Turks. (Pachymer, l. vi. c. 20, 21.)]
[Footnote 49: I have collected these pecuniary circumstances from
Pachymer, (l. xi. c. 21, l. xii. c. 4, 5, 8, 14, 19,) who
describes the progressive degradation of the gold coin. Even in
the prosperous times of John Ducas Vataces, the byzants were
composed in equal proportions of the pure and the baser metal.
The poverty of Michael Palaeologus compelled him to strike a new
coin, with nine parts, or carats, of gold, and fifteen of copper
alloy. After his death, the standard rose to ten carats, till in
the public distress it was reduced to the moiety. The prince was
relieved for a moment, while credit and commerce were forever
blasted. In France, the gold coin is of twenty-two carats, (one
twelfth alloy,) and the standard of England and Holland is still
higher.]

[Footnote *: Roger de Flor, according to Ramon de Montaner, was
recalled from Natolia, on account of the war which had arisen on
the death of Asan, king of Bulgaria. Andronicus claimed the
kingdom for his nephew, the sons of Asan by his sister. Roger de
Flor turned the tide of success in favor of the emperor of
Constantinople and made peace. - M.]

[Footnote *: Andronicus paid the Catalans in the debased money,
much to their indignation. - M.]

[Footnote !!: According to Ramon de Montaner, he was murdered by
order of Kyr Michael, son of the emperor. p. 170. - M.]

[Footnote !!!: Ramon de Montaner describes his sojourn at
Gallipoli: Nous etions si riches, que nous ne semions, ni ne
labourions, ni ne faisions enver des vins ni ne cultivions les
vignes: et cependant tous les ans nous recucillions tour ce qu'il
nous fallait, en vin, froment et avoine. p. 193. This lasted for
five merry years. Ramon de Montaner is high authority, for he
was "chancelier et maitre rational de l'armee," (commissary of
rations.) He was left governor; all the scribes of the army
remained with him, and with their aid he kept the books in which
were registered the number of horse and foot employed on each
expedition. According to this book the plunder was shared, of
which he had a fifth for his trouble. p. 197. - M.]
[Footnote 50: The Catalan war is most copiously related by
Pachymer, in the xith, xiith, and xiiith books, till he breaks
off in the year 1308. Nicephorus Gregoras (l. vii. 3 - 6) is more
concise and complete. Ducange, who adopts these adventurers as
French, has hunted their footsteps with his usual diligence,
(Hist. de C. P. l. vi. c. 22 - 46.) He quotes an Arragonese
history, which I have read with pleasure, and which the Spaniards
extol as a model of style and composition, (Expedicion de los
Catalanes y Arragoneses contra Turcos y Griegos: Barcelona, 1623
in quarto: Madrid, 1777, in octavo.) Don Francisco de Moncada
Conde de Ossona, may imitate Caesar or Sallust; he may transcribe
the Greek or Italian contemporaries: but he never quotes his
authorities, and I cannot discern any national records of the
exploits of his countrymen.

Note: Ramon de Montaner, one of the Catalans, who
accompanied Roger de Flor, and who was governor of Gallipoli, has
written, in Spanish, the history of this band of adventurers, to
which he belonged, and from which he separated when it left the
Thracian Chersonese to penetrate into Macedonia and Greece. - G.

The autobiography of Ramon de Montaner has been published in
French by M. Buchon, in the great collection of Memoires relatifs
a l'Histoire de France. I quote this edition. - M.]

After some ages of oblivion, Greece was awakened to new
misfortunes by the arms of the Latins. In the two hundred and
fifty years between the first and the last conquest of
Constantinople, that venerable land was disputed by a multitude
of petty tyrants; without the comforts of freedom and genius, her
ancient cities were again plunged in foreign and intestine war;
and, if servitude be preferable to anarchy, they might repose
with joy under the Turkish yoke. I shall not pursue the obscure
and various dynasties, that rose and fell on the continent or in
the isles; but our silence on the fate of Athens ^51 would argue
a strange ingratitude to the first and purest school of liberal
science and amusement. In the partition of the empire, the
principality of Athens and Thebes was assigned to Otho de la
Roche, a noble warrior of Burgundy, ^52 with the title of great
duke, ^53 which the Latins understood in their own sense, and the
Greeks more foolishly derived from the age of Constantine. ^54
Otho followed the standard of the marquis of Montferrat: the
ample state which he acquired by a miracle of conduct or fortune,
^55 was peaceably inherited by his son and two grandsons, till
the family, though not the nation, was changed, by the marriage
of an heiress into the elder branch of the house of Brienne. The
son of that marriage, Walter de Brienne, succeeded to the duchy
of Athens; and, with the aid of some Catalan mercenaries, whom he
invested with fiefs, reduced above thirty castles of the vassal
or neighboring lords. But when he was informed of the approach
and ambition of the great company, he collected a force of seven
hundred knights, six thousand four hundred horse, and eight
thousand foot, and boldly met them on the banks of the River
Cephisus in Boeotia. The Catalans amounted to no more than three
thousand five hundred horse, and four thousand foot; but the
deficiency of numbers was compensated by stratagem and order.
They formed round their camp an artificial inundation; the duke
and his knights advanced without fear or precaution on the
verdant meadow; their horses plunged into the bog; and he was cut
in pieces, with the greatest part of the French cavalry. His
family and nation were expelled; and his son Walter de Brienne,
the titular duke of Athens, the tyrant of Florence, and the
constable of France, lost his life in the field of Poitiers
Attica and Boeotia were the rewards of the victorious Catalans;
they married the widows and daughters of the slain; and during
fourteen years, the great company was the terror of the Grecian
states. Their factions drove them to acknowledge the sovereignty
of the house of Arragon; and during the remainder of the
fourteenth century, Athens, as a government or an appanage, was
successively bestowed by the kings of Sicily. After the French
and Catalans, the third dynasty was that of the Accaioli, a
family, plebeian at Florence, potent at Naples, and sovereign in
Greece. Athens, which they embellished with new buildings,
became the capital of a state, that extended over Thebes, Argos,
Corinth, Delphi, and a part of Thessaly; and their reign was
finally determined by Mahomet the Second, who strangled the last
duke, and educated his sons in the discipline and religion of the
seraglio.

[Footnote 51: See the laborious history of Ducange, whose
accurate table of the French dynasties recapitulates the
thirty-five passages, in which he mentions the dukes of Athens.]

[Footnote 52: He is twice mentioned by Villehardouin with honor,
(No. 151, 235;) and under the first passage, Ducange observes all
that can be known of his person and family.]

[Footnote 53: From these Latin princes of the xivth century,
Boccace, Chaucer. and Shakspeare, have borrowed their Theseus
duke of Athens. An ignorant age transfers its own language and
manners to the most distant times.]
[Footnote 54: The same Constantine gave to Sicily a king, to
Russia the magnus dapifer of the empire, to Thebes the
primicerius; and these absurd fables are properly lashed by
Ducange, (ad Nicephor. Greg. l. vii. c. 5.) By the Latins, the
lord of Thebes was styled, by corruption, the Megas Kurios, or
Grand Sire!]

[Footnote 55: Quodam miraculo, says Alberic. He was probably
received by Michael Choniates, the archbishop who had defended
Athens against the tyrant Leo Sgurus, (Nicetas urbs capta, p.
805, ed. Bek.) Michael was the brother of the historian Nicetas;
and his encomium of Athens is still extant in Ms. in the Bodleian
library, (Fabric. Bibliot. Graec tom. vi. p. 405.)
Note: Nicetas says expressly that Michael surrendered the
Acropolis to the marquis. - M.]

Athens, ^56 though no more than the shadow of her former
self, still contains about eight or ten thousand inhabitants; of
these, three fourths are Greeks in religion and language; and the
Turks, who compose the remainder, have relaxed, in their
intercourse with the citizens, somewhat of the pride and gravity
of their national character. The olive-tree, the gift of
Minerva, flourishes in Attica; nor has the honey of Mount
Hymettus lost any part of its exquisite flavor: ^57 but the
languid trade is monopolized by strangers, and the agriculture of
a barren land is abandoned to the vagrant Walachians. The
Athenians are still distinguished by the subtlety and acuteness
of their understandings; but these qualities, unless ennobled by
freedom, and enlightened by study, will degenerate into a low and
selfish cunning: and it is a proverbial saying of the country,
"From the Jews of Thessalonica, the Turks of Negropont, and the
Greeks of Athens, good Lord deliver us!" This artful people has
eluded the tyranny of the Turkish bashaws, by an expedient which
alleviates their servitude and aggravates their shame. About the
middle of the last century, the Athenians chose for their
protector the Kislar Aga, or chief black eunuch of the seraglio.
This Aethiopian slave, who possesses the sultan's ear,
condescends to accept the tribute of thirty thousand crowns: his
lieutenant, the Waywode, whom he annually confirms, may reserve
for his own about five or six thousand more; and such is the
policy of the citizens, that they seldom fail to remove and
punish an oppressive governor. Their private differences are
decided by the archbishop, one of the richest prelates of the
Greek church, since he possesses a revenue of one thousand pounds
sterling; and by a tribunal of the eight geronti or elders,
chosen in the eight quarters of the city: the noble families
cannot trace their pedigree above three hundred years; but their
principal members are distinguished by a grave demeanor, a fur
cap, and the lofty appellation of archon. By some, who delight
in the contrast, the modern language of Athens is represented as
the most corrupt and barbarous of the seventy dialects of the
vulgar Greek: ^58 this picture is too darkly colored: but it
would not be easy, in the country of Plato and Demosthenes, to
find a reader or a copy of their works. The Athenians walk with
supine indifference among the glorious ruins of antiquity; and
such is the debasement of their character, that they are
incapable of admiring the genius of their predecessors. ^59

[Footnote 56: The modern account of Athens, and the Athenians, is
extracted from Spon, (Voyage en Grece, tom. ii. p. 79 - 199,) and
Wheeler, (Travels into Greece, p. 337 - 414,) Stuart,
(Antiquities of Athens, passim,) and Chandler, (Travels into
Greece, p. 23 - 172.) The first of these travellers visited
Greece in the year 1676; the last, 1765; and ninety years had not
produced much difference in the tranquil scene.]

[Footnote 57: The ancients, or at least the Athenians, believed
that all the bees in the world had been propagated from Mount
Hymettus. They taught, that health might be preserved, and life
prolonged, by the external use of oil, and the internal use of
honey, (Geoponica, l. xv. c 7, p. 1089 - 1094, edit. Niclas.)]

[Footnote 58: Ducange, Glossar. Graec. Praefat. p. 8, who quotes
for his author Theodosius Zygomalas, a modern grammarian. Yet
Spon (tom. ii. p. 194) and Wheeler, (p. 355,) no incompetent
judges, entertain a more favorable opinion of the Attic dialect.]

[Footnote 59: Yet we must not accuse them of corrupting the name
of Athens, which they still call Athini. We have formed our own
barbarism of Setines.

Note: Gibbon did not foresee a Bavarian prince on the throne
of Greece, with Athens as his capital. - M.]

Chapter LXIII: Civil Wars And The Ruin Of The Greek Empire.

Part I.

Civil Wars, And Ruin Of The Greek Empire. - Reigns Of
Andronicus, The Elder And Younger, And John Palaeologus. -
Regency, Revolt, Reign, And Abdication Of John Cantacuzene. -
Establishment Of A Genoese Colony At Pera Or Galata. - Their Wars
With The Empire And City Of Constantinople.

The long reign of Andronicus ^1 the elder is chiefly
memorable by the disputes of the Greek church, the invasion of
the Catalans, and the rise of the Ottoman power. He is
celebrated as the most learned and virtuous prince of the age;
but such virtue, and such learning, contributed neither to the
perfection of the individual, nor to the happiness of society A
slave of the most abject superstition, he was surrounded on all
sides by visible and invisible enemies; nor were the flames of
hell less dreadful to his fancy, than those of a Catalan or
Turkish war. Under the reign of the Palaeologi, the choice of
the patriarch was the most important business of the state; the
heads of the Greek church were ambitious and fanatic monks; and
their vices or virtues, their learning or ignorance, were equally
mischievous or contemptible. By his intemperate discipline, the
patriarch Athanasius ^2 excited the hatred of the clergy and
people: he was heard to declare, that the sinner should swallow
the last dregs of the cup of penance; and the foolish tale was
propagated of his punishing a sacrilegious ass that had tasted
the lettuce of a convent garden. Driven from the throne by the
universal clamor, Athanasius composed before his retreat two
papers of a very opposite cast. His public testament was in the
tone of charity and resignation; the private codicil breathed the
direst anathemas against the authors of his disgrace, whom he
excluded forever from the communion of the holy trinity, the
angels, and the saints. This last paper he enclosed in an
earthen pot, which was placed, by his order, on the top of one of
the pillars, in the dome of St. Sophia, in the distant hope of
discovery and revenge. At the end of four years, some youths,
climbing by a ladder in search of pigeons' nests, detected the
fatal secret; and, as Andronicus felt himself touched and bound
by the excommunication, he trembled on the brink of the abyss
which had been so treacherously dug under his feet. A synod of
bishops was instantly convened to debate this important question:
the rashness of these clandestine anathemas was generally
condemned; but as the knot could be untied only by the same hand,
as that hand was now deprived of the crosier, it appeared that
this posthumous decree was irrevocable by any earthly power.
Some faint testimonies of repentance and pardon were extorted
from the author of the mischief; but the conscience of the
emperor was still wounded, and he desired, with no less ardor
than Athanasius himself, the restoration of a patriarch, by whom
alone he could be healed. At the dead of night, a monk rudely
knocked at the door of the royal bed-chamber, announcing a
revelation of plague and famine, of inundations and earthquakes.
Andronicus started from his bed, and spent the night in prayer,
till he felt, or thought that he felt, a slight motion of the
earth. The emperor on foot led the bishops and monks to the cell
of Athanasius; and, after a proper resistance, the saint, from
whom this message had been sent, consented to absolve the prince,
and govern the church of Constantinople. Untamed by disgrace,
and hardened by solitude, the shepherd was again odious to the
flock, and his enemies contrived a singular, and as it proved, a
successful, mode of revenge. In the night, they stole away the
footstool or foot-cloth of his throne, which they secretly
replaced with the decoration of a satirical picture. The emperor
was painted with a bridle in his mouth, and Athanasius leading
the tractable beast to the feet of Christ. The authors of the
libel were detected and punished; but as their lives had been
spared, the Christian priest in sullen indignation retired to his
cell; and the eyes of Andronicus, which had been opened for a
moment, were again closed by his successor.

[Footnote 1: Andronicus himself will justify our freedom in the
invective, (Nicephorus Gregoras, l. i. c. i.,) which he
pronounced against historic falsehood. It is true, that his
censure is more pointedly urged against calumny than against
adulation.]

[Footnote 2: For the anathema in the pigeon's nest, see Pachymer,
(l. ix. c. 24,) who relates the general history of Athanasius,
(l. viii. c. 13 - 16, 20, 24, l. x. c. 27 - 29, 31 - 36, l. xi.
c. 1 - 3, 5, 6, l. xiii. c. 8, 10, 23, 35,) and is followed by
Nicephorus Gregoras, (l. vi. c. 5, 7, l. vii. c. 1, 9,) who
includes the second retreat of this second Chrysostom.]
If this transaction be one of the most curious and important
of a reign of fifty years, I cannot at least accuse the brevity
of my materials, since I reduce into some few pages the enormous
folios of Pachymer, ^3 Cantacuzene, ^4 and Nicephorus Gregoras,
^5 who have composed the prolix and languid story of the times.
The name and situation of the emperor John Cantacuzene might
inspire the most lively curiosity. His memorials of forty years
extend from the revolt of the younger Andronicus to his own
abdication of the empire; and it is observed, that, like Moses
and Caesar, he was the principal actor in the scenes which he
describes. But in this eloquent work we should vainly seek the
sincerity of a hero or a penitent. Retired in a cloister from
the vices and passions of the world, he presents not a
confession, but an apology, of the life of an ambitious
statesman. Instead of unfolding the true counsels and characters
of men, he displays the smooth and specious surface of events,
highly varnished with his own praises and those of his friends.
Their motives are always pure; their ends always legitimate: they
conspire and rebel without any views of interest; and the
violence which they inflict or suffer is celebrated as the
spontaneous effect of reason and virtue.
[Footnote 3: Pachymer, in seven books, 377 folio pages, describes
the first twenty-six years of Andronicus the Elder; and marks the
date of his composition by the current news or lie of the day,
(A.D. 1308.) Either death or disgust prevented him from resuming
the pen.]

[Footnote 4: After an interval of twelve years, from the
conclusion of Pachymer, Cantacuzenus takes up the pen; and his
first book (c. 1 - 59, p. 9 - 150) relates the civil war, and the
eight last years of the elder Andronicus. The ingenious
comparison with Moses and Caesar is fancied by his French
translator, the president Cousin.]

[Footnote 5: Nicephorus Gregoras more briefly includes the entire
life and reign of Andronicus the elder, (l. vi. c. 1, p. 96 -
291.) This is the part of which Cantacuzene complains as a false
and malicious representation of his conduct.]

After the example of the first of the Palaeologi, the elder
Andronicus associated his son Michael to the honors of the
purple; and from the age of eighteen to his premature death, that
prince was acknowledged, above twenty- five years, as the second
emperor of the Greeks. ^6 At the head of an army, he excited
neither the fears of the enemy, nor the jealousy of the court;
his modesty and patience were never tempted to compute the years
of his father; nor was that father compelled to repent of his
liberality either by the virtues or vices of his son. The son of
Michael was named Andronicus from his grandfather, to whose early
favor he was introduced by that nominal resemblance. The
blossoms of wit and beauty increased the fondness of the elder
Andronicus; and, with the common vanity of age, he expected to
realize in the second, the hope which had been disappointed in
the first, generation. The boy was educated in the palace as an
heir and a favorite; and in the oaths and acclamations of the
people, the august triad was formed by the names of the father,
the son, and the grandson. But the younger Andronicus was
speedily corrupted by his infant greatness, while he beheld with
puerile impatience the double obstacle that hung, and might long
hang, over his rising ambition. It was not to acquire fame, or
to diffuse happiness, that he so eagerly aspired: wealth and
impunity were in his eyes the most precious attributes of a
monarch; and his first indiscreet demand was the sovereignty of
some rich and fertile island, where he might lead a life of
independence and pleasure. The emperor was offended by the loud
and frequent intemperance which disturbed his capital; the sums
which his parsimony denied were supplied by the Genoese usurers
of Pera; and the oppressive debt, which consolidated the interest
of a faction, could be discharged only by a revolution. A
beautiful female, a matron in rank, a prostitute in manners, had
instructed the younger Andronicus in the rudiments of love; but
he had reason to suspect the nocturnal visits of a rival; and a
stranger passing through the street was pierced by the arrows of
his guards, who were placed in ambush at her door. That stranger
was his brother, Prince Manuel, who languished and died of his
wound; and the emperor Michael, their common father, whose health
was in a declining state, expired on the eighth day, lamenting
the loss of both his children. ^7 However guiltless in his
intention, the younger Andronicus might impute a brother's and a
father's death to the consequence of his own vices; and deep was
the sigh of thinking and feeling men, when they perceived,
instead of sorrow and repentance, his ill-dissembled joy on the
removal of two odious competitors. By these melancholy events,
and the increase of his disorders, the mind of the elder emperor
was gradually alienated; and, after many fruitless reproofs, he
transferred on another grandson ^8 his hopes and affection. The
change was announced by the new oath of allegiance to the
reigning sovereign, and the person whom he should appoint for his
successor; and the acknowledged heir, after a repetition of
insults and complaints, was exposed to the indignity of a public
trial. Before the sentence, which would probably have condemned
him to a dungeon or a cell, the emperor was informed that the
palace courts were filled with the armed followers of his
grandson; the judgment was softened to a treaty of
reconciliation; and the triumphant escape of the prince
encouraged the ardor of the younger faction.
[Footnote 6: He was crowned May 21st, 1295, and died October
12th, 1320, (Ducange, Fam. Byz. p. 239.) His brother Theodore, by
a second marriage, inherited the marquisate of Montferrat,
apostatized to the religion and manners of the Latins, (Nic.
Greg. l. ix. c. 1,) and founded a dynasty of Italian princes,
which was extinguished A.D. 1533, (Ducange, Fam. Byz. p. 249 -
253.)]

[Footnote 7: We are indebted to Nicephorus Gregoras (l. viii. c.

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