Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 5 by Edward Gibbon

Part 2 out of 14

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 1.7 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

[Footnote 89: His merits and hopes are summed up in an epitaph of
thirty-eight-verses, of which Charlemagne declares himself the
author, (Concil. tom. viii. p. 520.)

Post patrem lacrymans Carolus haec carmina scripsi.
Tu mihi dulcis amor, te modo plango pater ...
Nomina jungo simul titulis, clarissime, nostra
Adrianus, Carolus, rex ego, tuque pater.

The poetry might be supplied by Alcuin; but the tears, the most
glorious tribute, can only belong to Charlemagne.]

[Footnote 90: Every new pope is admonished - "Sancte Pater, non
videbis annos Petri," twenty-five years. On the whole series the
average is about eight years - a short hope for an ambitious

[Footnote 91: The assurance of Anastasius (tom. iii. pars i. p.
197, 198) is supported by the credulity of some French annalists;
but Eginhard, and other writers of the same age, are more natural
and sincere. "Unus ei oculus paullulum est laesus," says John
the deacon of Naples, (Vit. Episcop. Napol. in Scriptores
Muratori, tom. i. pars ii. p. 312.) Theodolphus, a contemporary
bishop of Orleans, observes with prudence (l. iii. carm. 3.)

Reddita sunt? mirum est: mirum est auferre nequtsse.

Est tamen in dubio, hinc mirer an inde magis.]

[Footnote 92: Twice, at the request of Hadrian and Leo, he
appeared at Rome, - longa tunica et chlamyde amictus, et
calceamentis quoque Romano more formatis. Eginhard (c. xxiii. p.
109 - 113) describes, like Suetonius the simplicity of his dress,
so popular in the nation, that when Charles the Bald returned to
France in a foreign habit, the patriotic dogs barked at the
apostate, (Gaillard, Vie de Charlemagne, tom. iv. p. 109.)]

[Footnote 93: See Anastasius (p. 199) and Eginhard, (c.xxviii. p.
124 - 128.) The unction is mentioned by Theophanes, (p. 399,) the
oath by Sigonius, (from the Ordo Romanus,) and the Pope's
adoration more antiquorum principum, by the Annales Bertiniani,
(Script. Murator. tom. ii. pars ii. p. 505.)]

[Footnote 94: This great event of the translation or restoration
of the empire is related and discussed by Natalis Alexander,
(secul. ix. dissert. i. p. 390 - 397,) Pagi, (tom. iii. p. 418,)
Muratori, (Annali d'Italia, tom. vi. p. 339 - 352,) Sigonius, (de
Regno Italiae, l. iv. Opp. tom. ii. p. 247 - 251,) Spanheim, (de
ficta Translatione Imperii,) Giannone, (tom. i. p. 395 - 405,)
St. Marc, (Abrege Chronologique, tom. i. p. 438 - 450,) Gaillard,
(Hist. de Charlemagne, tom. ii. p. 386 - 446.) Almost all these
moderns have some religious or national bias.]

The appellation of great has been often bestowed, and
sometimes deserved; but Charlemagne is the only prince in whose
favor the title has been indissolubly blended with the name.
That name, with the addition of saint, is inserted in the Roman
calendar; and the saint, by a rare felicity, is crowned with the
praises of the historians and philosophers of an enlightened age.
^95 His real merit is doubtless enhanced by the barbarism of the
nation and the times from which he emerged: but the apparent
magnitude of an object is likewise enlarged by an unequal
comparison; and the ruins of Palmyra derive a casual splendor
from the nakedness of the surrounding desert. Without injustice
to his fame, I may discern some blemishes in the sanctity and
greatness of the restorer of the Western empire. Of his moral
virtues, chastity is not the most conspicuous: ^96 but the public
happiness could not be materially injured by his nine wives or
concubines, the various indulgence of meaner or more transient
amours, the multitude of his bastards whom he bestowed on the
church, and the long celibacy and licentious manners of his
daughters, ^97 whom the father was suspected of loving with too
fond a passion. ^* I shall be scarcely permitted to accuse the
ambition of a conqueror; but in a day of equal retribution, the
sons of his brother Carloman, the Merovingian princes of
Aquitain, and the four thousand five hundred Saxons who were
beheaded on the same spot, would have something to allege against
the justice and humanity of Charlemagne. His treatment of the
vanquished Saxons ^98 was an abuse of the right of conquest; his
laws were not less sanguinary than his arms, and in the
discussion of his motives, whatever is subtracted from bigotry
must be imputed to temper. The sedentary reader is amazed by his
incessant activity of mind and body; and his subjects and enemies
were not less astonished at his sudden presence, at the moment
when they believed him at the most distant extremity of the
empire; neither peace nor war, nor summer nor winter, were a
season of repose; and our fancy cannot easily reconcile the
annals of his reign with the geography of his expeditions. ^! But
this activity was a national, rather than a personal, virtue; the
vagrant life of a Frank was spent in the chase, in pilgrimage, in
military adventures; and the journeys of Charlemagne were
distinguished only by a more numerous train and a more important
purpose. His military renown must be tried by the scrutiny of his
troops, his enemies, and his actions. Alexander conquered with
the arms of Philip, but the two heroes who preceded Charlemagne
bequeathed him their name, their examples, and the companions of
their victories. At the head of his veteran and superior armies,
he oppressed the savage or degenerate nations, who were incapable
of confederating for their common safety: nor did he ever
encounter an equal antagonist in numbers, in discipline, or in
arms The science of war has been lost and revived with the arts
of peace; but his campaigns are not illustrated by any siege or
battle of singular difficulty and success; and he might behold,
with envy, the Saracen trophies of his grandfather. After the
Spanish expedition, his rear-guard was defeated in the Pyrenaean
mountains; and the soldiers, whose situation was irretrievable,
and whose valor was useless, might accuse, with their last
breath, the want of skill or caution of their general. ^99 I
touch with reverence the laws of Charlemagne, so highly applauded
by a respectable judge. They compose not a system, but a series,
of occasional and minute edicts, for the correction of abuses,
the reformation of manners, the economy of his farms, the care of
his poultry, and even the sale of his eggs. He wished to improve
the laws and the character of the Franks; and his attempts,
however feeble and imperfect, are deserving of praise: the
inveterate evils of the times were suspended or mollified by his
government; ^100 but in his institutions I can seldom discover
the general views and the immortal spirit of a legislator, who
survives himself for the benefit of posterity. The union and
stability of his empire depended on the life of a single man: he
imitated the dangerous practice of dividing his kingdoms among
his sons; and after his numerous diets, the whole constitution
was left to fluctuate between the disorders of anarchy and
despotism. His esteem for the piety and knowledge of the clergy
tempted him to intrust that aspiring order with temporal dominion
and civil jurisdiction; and his son Lewis, when he was stripped
and degraded by the bishops, might accuse, in some measure, the
imprudence of his father. His laws enforced the imposition of
tithes, because the daemons had proclaimed in the air that the
default of payment had been the cause of the last scarcity. ^101
The literary merits of Charlemagne are attested by the foundation
of schools, the introduction of arts, the works which were
published in his name, and his familiar connection with the
subjects and strangers whom he invited to his court to educate
both the prince and people. His own studies were tardy,
laborious, and imperfect; if he spoke Latin, and understood
Greek, he derived the rudiments of knowledge from conversation,
rather than from books; and, in his mature age, the emperor
strove to acquire the practice of writing, which every peasant
now learns in his infancy. ^102 The grammar and logic, the music
and astronomy, of the times, were only cultivated as the
handmaids of superstition; but the curiosity of the human mind
must ultimately tend to its improvement, and the encouragement of
learning reflects the purest and most pleasing lustre on the
character of Charlemagne. ^103 The dignity of his person, ^104
the length of his reign, the prosperity of his arms, the vigor of
his government, and the reverence of distant nations, distinguish
him from the royal crowd; and Europe dates a new aera from his
restoration of the Western empire.

[Footnote 95: By Mably, (Observations sur l'Histoire de France,)
Voltaire, (Histoire Generale,) Robertson, (History of Charles
V.,) and Montesquieu, (Esprit des Loix, l. xxxi. c. 18.) In the
year 1782, M. Gaillard published his Histoire de Charlemagne, (in
4 vols. in 12mo.,) which I have freely and profitably used. The
author is a man of sense and humanity; and his work is labored
with industry and elegance. But I have likewise examined the
original monuments of the reigns of Pepin and Charlemagne, in the
5th volume of the Historians of France.]

[Footnote 96: The vision of Weltin, composed by a monk, eleven
years after the death of Charlemagne, shows him in purgatory,
with a vulture, who is perpetually gnawing the guilty member,
while the rest of his body, the emblem of his virtues, is sound
and perfect, (see Gaillard tom. ii. p. 317 - 360.)]

[Footnote 97: The marriage of Eginhard with Imma, daughter of
Charlemagne, is, in my opinion, sufficiently refuted by the
probum and suspicio that sullied these fair damsels, without
excepting his own wife, (c. xix. p. 98 - 100, cum Notis
Schmincke.) The husband must have been too strong for the

[Footnote *: This charge of incest, as Mr. Hallam justly
observes, "seems to have originated in a misinterpreted passage
of Eginhard." Hallam's Middle Ages, vol.i. p. 16. - M.

[Footnote 98: Besides the massacres and transmigrations, the pain
of death was pronounced against the following crimes: 1. The
refusal of baptism. 2. The false pretence of baptism. 3. A
relapse to idolatry. 4. The murder of a priest or bishop. 5.
Human sacrifices. 6. Eating meat in Lent. But every crime might
be expiated by baptism or penance, (Gaillard, tom. ii. p. 241 -
247;) and the Christian Saxons became the friends and equals of
the Franks, (Struv. Corpus Hist. Germanicae, p.133.)]

[Footnote !: M. Guizot (Cours d'Histoire Moderne, p. 270, 273)
has compiled the following statement of Charlemagne's military
campaigns: -

1. Against the Aquitanians.

18. " the Saxons.

5. " the Lombards.

7. " the Arabs in Spain.

1. " the Thuringians.

4. " the Avars.

2. " the Bretons.

1. " the Bavarians.

4. " the Slaves beyond the Elbe

5. " the Saracens in Italy.

3. " the Danes.

2. " the Greeks.

53 total. - M.]

[Footnote 99: In this action the famous Rutland, Rolando,
Orlando, was slain - cum compluribus aliis. See the truth in
Eginhard, (c. 9, p. 51 - 56,) and the fable in an ingenious
Supplement of M. Gaillard, (tom. iii. p. 474.) The Spaniards are
too proud of a victory, which history ascribes to the Gascons,
and romance to the Saracens.

Note: In fact, it was a sudden onset of the Gascons,
assisted by the Beaure mountaineers, and possibly a few
Navarrese. - M.]

[Footnote 100: Yet Schmidt, from the best authorities, represents
the interior disorders and oppression of his reign, (Hist. des
Allemands, tom. ii. p. 45 - 49.)]

[Footnote 101: Omnis homo ex sua proprietate legitimam decimam ad
ecclesiam conferat. Experimento enim didicimus, in anno, quo
illa valida fames irrepsit, ebullire vacuas annonas a daemonibus
devoratas, et voces exprobationis auditas. Such is the decree
and assertion of the great Council of Frankfort, (canon xxv. tom.
ix. p. 105.) Both Selden (Hist. of Tithes; Works, vol. iii. part
ii. p. 1146) and Montesquieu (Esprit des Loix, l. xxxi. c. 12)
represent Charlemagne as the first legal author of tithes. Such
obligations have country gentlemen to his memory!]

[Footnote 102: Eginhard (c. 25, p. 119) clearly affirms, tentabat
et scribere ... sed parum prospere successit labor praeposterus
et sero inchoatus. The moderns have perverted and corrected this
obvious meaning, and the title of M. Gaillard's dissertation
(tom. iii. p. 247 - 260) betrays his partiality.

Note: This point has been contested; but Mr. Hallam and
Monsieur Sismondl concur with Gibbon. See Middle Ages, iii. 330
Histoire de Francais, tom. ii. p. 318. The sensible observations
of the latter are quoted in the Quarterly Review, vol. xlviii. p.
451. Fleury, I may add, quotes from Mabillon a remarkable
evidence that Charlemagne "had a mark to himself like an honest,
plain-dealing man." Ibid. - M.]

[Footnote 103: See Gaillard, tom. iii. p. 138 - 176, and Schmidt,
tom. ii. p. 121 - 129.]

[Footnote 104: M. Gaillard (tom. iii. p. 372) fixes the true
stature of Charlemagne (see a Dissertation of Marquard Freher ad
calcem Eginhart, p. 220, &c.) at five feet nine inches of French,
about six feet one inch and a fourth English, measure. The
romance writers have increased it to eight feet, and the giant
was endowed with matchless strength and appetite: at a single
stroke of his good sword Joyeuse, he cut asunder a horseman and
his horse; at a single repast, he devoured a goose, two fowls, a
quarter of mutton, &c.]

That empire was not unworthy of its title; ^105 and some of
the fairest kingdoms of Europe were the patrimony or conquest of
a prince, who reigned at the same time in France, Spain, Italy,
Germany, and Hungary. ^106 I. The Roman province of Gaul had
been transformed into the name and monarchy of France; but, in
the decay of the Merovingian line, its limits were contracted by
the independence of the Britons and the revolt of Aquitain.
Charlemagne pursued, and confined, the Britons on the shores of
the ocean; and that ferocious tribe, whose origin and language
are so different from the French, was chastised by the imposition
of tribute, hostages, and peace. After a long and evasive
contest, the rebellion of the dukes of Aquitain was punished by
the forfeiture of their province, their liberty, and their lives.

Harsh and rigorous would have been such treatment of ambitious
governors, who had too faithfully copied the mayors of the
palace. But a recent discovery ^107 has proved that these
unhappy princes were the last and lawful heirs of the blood and
sceptre of Clovis, and younger branch, from the brother of
Dagobert, of the Merovingian house. Their ancient kingdom was
reduced to the duchy of Gascogne, to the counties of Fesenzac and
Armagnac, at the foot of the Pyrenees: their race was propagated
till the beginning of the sixteenth century; and after surviving
their Carlovingian tyrants, they were reserved to feel the
injustice, or the favors, of a third dynasty. By the reunion of
Aquitain, France was enlarged to its present boundaries, with the
additions of the Netherlands and Spain, as far as the Rhine. II.

The Saracens had been expelled from France by the grandfather and
father of Charlemagne; but they still possessed the greatest part
of Spain, from the rock of Gibraltar to the Pyrenees. Amidst
their civil divisions, an Arabian emir of Saragossa implored his
protection in the diet of Paderborn. Charlemagne undertook the
expedition, restored the emir, and, without distinction of faith,
impartially crushed the resistance of the Christians, and
rewarded the obedience and services of the Mahometans. In his
absence he instituted the Spanish march, ^108 which extended from
the Pyrenees to the River Ebro: Barcelona was the residence of
the French governor: he possessed the counties of Rousillon and
Catalonia; and the infant kingdoms of Navarre and Arragon were
subject to his jurisdiction. III. As king of the Lombards, and
patrician of Rome, he reigned over the greatest part of Italy,
^109 a tract of a thousand miles from the Alps to the borders of
Calabria. The duchy of Beneventum, a Lombard fief, had spread,
at the expense of the Greeks, over the modern kingdom of Naples.
But Arrechis, the reigning duke, refused to be included in the
slavery of his country; assumed the independent title of prince;
and opposed his sword to the Carlovingian monarchy. His defence
was firm, his submission was not inglorious, and the emperor was
content with an easy tribute, the demolition of his fortresses,
and the acknowledgement, on his coins, of a supreme lord. The
artful flattery of his son Grimoald added the appellation of
father, but he asserted his dignity with prudence, and Benventum
insensibly escaped from the French yoke. ^110 IV. Charlemagne
was the first who united Germany under the same sceptre. The
name of Oriental France is preserved in the circle of Franconia;
and the people of Hesse and Thuringia were recently incorporated
with the victors, by the conformity of religion and government.
The Alemanni, so formidable to the Romans, were the faithful
vassals and confederates of the Franks; and their country was
inscribed within the modern limits of Alsace, Swabia, and
Switzerland. The Bavarians, with a similar indulgence of their
laws and manners, were less patient of a master: the repeated
treasons of Tasillo justified the abolition of their hereditary
dukes; and their power was shared among the counts, who judged
and guarded that important frontier. But the north of Germany,
from the Rhine and beyond the Elbe, was still hostile and Pagan;
nor was it till after a war of thirty-three years that the Saxons
bowed under the yoke of Christ and of Charlemagne. The idols and
their votaries were extirpated: the foundation of eight
bishoprics, of Munster, Osnaburgh, Paderborn, and Minden, of
Bremen, Verden, Hildesheim, and Halberstadt, define, on either
side of the Weser, the bounds of ancient Saxony these episcopal
seats were the first schools and cities of that savage land; and
the religion and humanity of the children atoned, in some degree,
for the massacre of the parents. Beyond the Elbe, the Slavi, or
Sclavonians, of similar manners and various denominations,
overspread the modern dominions of Prussia, Poland, and Bohemia,
and some transient marks of obedience have tempted the French
historian to extend the empire to the Baltic and the Vistula.
The conquest or conversion of those countries is of a more recent
age; but the first union of Bohemia with the Germanic body may be
justly ascribed to the arms of Charlemagne. V. He retaliated on
the Avars, or Huns of Pannonia, the same calamities which they
had inflicted on the nations. Their rings, the wooden
fortifications which encircled their districts and villages, were
broken down by the triple effort of a French army, that was
poured into their country by land and water, through the
Carpathian mountains and along the plain of the Danube. After a
bloody conflict of eight years, the loss of some French generals
was avenged by the slaughter of the most noble Huns: the relics
of the nation submitted the royal residence of the chagan was
left desolate and unknown; and the treasures, the rapine of two
hundred and fifty years, enriched the victorious troops, or
decorated the churches of Italy and Gaul. ^111 After the
reduction of Pannonia, the empire of Charlemagne was bounded only
by the conflux of the Danube with the Teyss and the Save: the
provinces of Istria, Liburnia, and Dalmatia, were an easy, though
unprofitable, accession; and it was an effect of his moderation,
that he left the maritime cities under the real or nominal
sovereignty of the Greeks. But these distant possessions added
more to the reputation than to the power of the Latin emperor;
nor did he risk any ecclesiastical foundations to reclaim the
Barbarians from their vagrant life and idolatrous worship. Some
canals of communication between the rivers, the Saone and the
Meuse, the Rhine and the Danube, were faintly attempted. ^112
Their execution would have vivified the empire; and more cost and
labor were often wasted in the structure of a cathedral. ^*

[Footnote 105: See the concise, but correct and original, work of
D'Anville, (Etats Formes en Europe apres la Chute de l'Empire
Romain en Occident, Paris, 1771, in 4to.,) whose map includes the
empire of Charlemagne; the different parts are illustrated, by
Valesius (Notitia Galliacum) for France, Beretti (Dissertatio
Chorographica) for Italy, De Marca (Marca Hispanica) for Spain.
For the middle geography of Germany, I confess myself poor and

[Footnote 106: After a brief relation of his wars and conquests,
(Vit. Carol. c. 5 - 14,) Eginhard recapitulates, in a few words,
(c. 15,) the countries subject to his empire. Struvius, (Corpus
Hist. German. p. 118 - 149) was inserted in his Notes the texts
of the old Chronicles.]

[Footnote 107: On a charter granted to the monastery of Alaon
(A.D. 845) by Charles the Bald, which deduces this royal
pedigree. I doubt whether some subsequent links of the ixth and
xth centuries are equally firm; yet the whole is approved and
defended by M. Gaillard, (tom. ii. p.60 - 81, 203 - 206,) who
affirms that the family of Montesquiou (not of the President de
Montesquieu) is descended, in the female line, from Clotaire and
Clovis - an innocent pretension!]

[Footnote 108: The governors or counts of the Spanish march
revolted from Charles the Simple about the year 900; and a poor
pittance, the Rousillon, has been recovered in 1642 by the kings
of France, (Longuerue, Description de la France, tom i. p. 220 -
222.) Yet the Rousillon contains 188,900 subjects, and annually
pays 2,600,000 livres, (Necker, Administration des Finances, tom.
i. p. 278, 279;) more people, perhaps, and doubtless more money
than the march of Charlemagne.]

[Footnote 109: Schmidt, Hist. des Allemands, tom. ii. p. 200,

[Footnote 110: See Giannone, tom. i. p 374, 375, and the Annals
of Muratori.]

[Footnote 111: Quot praelia in eo gesta! quantum sanguinis
effusum sit! Testatur vacua omni habitatione Pannonia, et locus
in quo regia Cagani fuit ita desertus, ut ne vestigium quidem
humanae habitationis appareat. Tota in hoc bello Hunnorum
nobilitas periit, tota gloria decidit, omnis pecunia et congesti
ex longo tempore thesauri direpti sunt. Eginhard, cxiii.]

[Footnote 112: The junction of the Rhine and Danube was
undertaken only for the service of the Pannonian war, (Gaillard,
Vie de Charlemagne, tom. ii. p. 312-315.) The canal, which would
have been only two leagues in length, and of which some traces
are still extant in Swabia, was interrupted by excessive rains,
military avocations, and superstitious fears, (Schaepflin, Hist.
de l'Academie des Inscriptions, tom. xviii. p. 256. Molimina
fluviorum, &c., jungendorum, p. 59-62.)]

[Footnote *: I should doubt this in the time of Charlemagne, even
if the term "expended" were substituted for "wasted." - M.]

Chapter XLIX: Conquest Of Italy By The Franks.

Part V.

If we retrace the outlines of this geographical picture, it
will be seen that the empire of the Franks extended, between east
and west, from the Ebro to the Elbe or Vistula; between the north
and south, from the duchy of Beneventum to the River Eyder, the
perpetual boundary of Germany and Denmark. The personal and
political importance of Charlemagne was magnified by the distress
and division of the rest of Europe. The islands of Great Britain
and Ireland were disputed by a crowd of princes of Saxon or
Scottish origin: and, after the loss of Spain, the Christian and
Gothic kingdom of Alphonso the Chaste was confined to the narrow
range of the Asturian mountains. These petty sovereigns revered
the power or virtue of the Carlovingian monarch, implored the
honor and support of his alliance, and styled him their common
parent, the sole and supreme emperor of the West. ^113 He
maintained a more equal intercourse with the caliph Harun al
Rashid, ^114 whose dominion stretched from Africa to India, and
accepted from his ambassadors a tent, a water-clock, an elephant,
and the keys of the Holy Sepulchre. It is not easy to conceive
the private friendship of a Frank and an Arab, who were strangers
to each other's person, and language, and religion: but their
public correspondence was founded on vanity, and their remote
situation left no room for a competition of interest. Two thirds
of the Western empire of Rome were subject to Charlemagne, and
the deficiency was amply supplied by his command of the
inaccessible or invincible nations of Germany. But in the choice
of his enemies, ^* we may be reasonably surprised that he so
often preferred the poverty of the north to the riches of the
south. The three-and-thirty campaigns laboriously consumed in
the woods and morasses of Germany would have sufficed to assert
the amplitude of his title by the expulsion of the Greeks from
Italy and the Saracens from Spain. The weakness of the Greeks
would have insured an easy victory; and the holy crusade against
the Saracens would have been prompted by glory and revenge, and
loudly justified by religion and policy. Perhaps, in his
expeditions beyond the Rhine and the Elbe, he aspired to save his
monarchy from the fate of the Roman empire, to disarm the enemies
of civilized society, and to eradicate the seed of future
emigrations. But it has been wisely observed, that, in a light
of precaution, all conquest must be ineffectual, unless it could
be universal, since the increasing circle must be involved in a
larger sphere of hostility. ^115 The subjugation of Germany
withdrew the veil which had so long concealed the continent or
islands of Scandinavia from the knowledge of Europe, and awakened
the torpid courage of their barbarous natives. The fiercest of
the Saxon idolaters escaped from the Christian tyrant to their
brethren of the North; the Ocean and Mediterranean were covered
with their piratical fleets; and Charlemagne beheld with a sigh
the destructive progress of the Normans, who, in less than
seventy years, precipitated the fall of his race and monarchy.

[Footnote 113: See Eginhard, c. 16, and Gaillard, tom. ii. p. 361
- 385, who mentions, with a loose reference, the intercourse of
Charlemagne and Egbert, the emperor's gift of his own sword, and
the modest answer of his Saxon disciple. The anecdote, if
genuine, would have adorned our English histories.]

[Footnote 114: The correspondence is mentioned only in the French
annals, and the Orientals are ignorant of the caliph's friendship
for the Christian dog - a polite appellation, which Harun bestows
on the emperor of the Greeks.]

[Footnote *: Had he the choice? M. Guizot has eloquently
described the position of Charlemagne towards the Saxons. Il y
fit face par le conquete; la guerre defensive prit la forme
offensive: il transporta la lutte sur le territoire des peuples
qui voulaient envahir le sien: il travailla a asservir les races
etrangeres, et extirper les croyances ennemies. De la son mode
de gouvernement et la fondation de son empire: la guerre
offensive et la conquete voulaient cette vaste et redoutable
unite. Compare observations in the Quarterly Review, vol.
xlviii., and James's Life of Charlemagne. - M.]

[Footnote 115: Gaillard, tom. ii. p. 361 - 365, 471 - 476, 492.
I have borrowed his judicious remarks on Charlemagne's plan of
conquest, and the judicious distinction of his enemies of the
first and the second enceinte, (tom. ii. p. 184, 509, &c.)]

Had the pope and the Romans revived the primitive
constitution, the titles of emperor and Augustus were conferred
on Charlemagne for the term of his life; and his successors, on
each vacancy, must have ascended the throne by a formal or tacit
election. But the association of his son Lewis the Pious asserts
the independent right of monarchy and conquest, and the emperor
seems on this occasion to have foreseen and prevented the latent
claims of the clergy. The royal youth was commanded to take the
crown from the altar, and with his own hands to place it on his
head, as a gift which he held from God, his father, and the
nation. ^116 The same ceremony was repeated, though with less
energy, in the subsequent associations of Lothaire and Lewis the
Second: the Carlovingian sceptre was transmitted from father to
son in a lineal descent of four generations; and the ambition of
the popes was reduced to the empty honor of crowning and
anointing these hereditary princes, who were already invested
with their power and dominions. The pious Lewis survived his
brothers, and embraced the whole empire of Charlemagne; but the
nations and the nobles, his bishops and his children, quickly
discerned that this mighty mass was no longer inspired by the
same soul; and the foundations were undermined to the centre,
while the external surface was yet fair and entire. After a war,
or battle, which consumed one hundred thousand Franks, the empire
was divided by treaty between his three sons, who had violated
every filial and fraternal duty. The kingdoms of Germany and
France were forever separated; the provinces of Gaul, between the
Rhone and the Alps, the Meuse and the Rhine, were assigned, with
Italy, to the Imperial dignity of Lothaire. In the partition of
his share, Lorraine and Arles, two recent and transitory
kingdoms, were bestowed on the younger children; and Lewis the
Second, his eldest son, was content with the realm of Italy, the
proper and sufficient patrimony of a Roman emperor. On his death
without any male issue, the vacant throne was disputed by his
uncles and cousins, and the popes most dexterously seized the
occasion of judging the claims and merits of the candidates, and
of bestowing on the most obsequious, or most liberal, the
Imperial office of advocate of the Roman church. The dregs of
the Carlovingian race no longer exhibited any symptoms of virtue
or power, and the ridiculous epithets of the bard, the stammerer,
the fat, and the simple, distinguished the tame and uniform
features of a crowd of kings alike deserving of oblivion. By the
failure of the collateral branches, the whole inheritance
devolved to Charles the Fat, the last emperor of his family: his
insanity authorized the desertion of Germany, Italy, and France:
he was deposed in a diet, and solicited his daily bread from the
rebels by whose contempt his life and liberty had been spared.
According to the measure of their force, the governors, the
bishops, and the lords, usurped the fragments of the falling
empire; and some preference was shown to the female or
illegitimate blood of Charlemagne. Of the greater part, the
title and possession were alike doubtful, and the merit was
adequate to the contracted scale of their dominions. Those who
could appear with an army at the gates of Rome were crowned
emperors in the Vatican; but their modesty was more frequently
satisfied with the appellation of kings of Italy: and the whole
term of seventy-four years may be deemed a vacancy, from the
abdication of Charles the Fat to the establishment of Otho the

[Footnote 116: Thegan, the biographer of Lewis, relates this
coronation: and Baronius has honestly transcribed it, (A.D. 813,
No. 13, &c. See Gaillard, tom. ii. p. 506, 507, 508,) howsoever
adverse to the claims of the popes. For the series of the
Carlovingians, see the historians of France, Italy, and Germany;
Pfeffel, Schmidt, Velly, Muratori, and even Voltaire, whose
pictures are sometimes just, and always pleasing.]

Otho ^117 was of the noble race of the dukes of Saxony; and
if he truly descended from Witikind, the adversary and proselyte
of Charlemagne, the posterity of a vanquished people was exalted
to reign over their conquerors. His father, Henry the Fowler, was
elected, by the suffrage of the nation, to save and institute the
kingdom of Germany. Its limits ^118 were enlarged on every side
by his son, the first and greatest of the Othos. A portion of
Gaul, to the west of the Rhine, along the banks of the Meuse and
the Moselle, was assigned to the Germans, by whose blood and
language it has been tinged since the time of Caesar and Tacitus.

Between the Rhine, the Rhone, and the Alps, the successors of
Otho acquired a vain supremacy over the broken kingdoms of
Burgundy and Arles. In the North, Christianity was propagated by
the sword of Otho, the conqueror and apostle of the Slavic
nations of the Elbe and Oder: the marches of Brandenburgh and
Sleswick were fortified with German colonies; and the king of
Denmark, the dukes of Poland and Bohemia, confessed themselves
his tributary vassals. At the head of a victorious army, he
passed the Alps, subdued the kingdom of Italy, delivered the
pope, and forever fixed the Imperial crown in the name and nation
of Germany. From that memorable aera, two maxims of public
jurisprudence were introduced by force and ratified by time. I.
That the prince, who was elected in the German diet, acquired,
from that instant, the subject kingdoms of Italy and Rome. II.
But that he might not legally assume the titles of emperor and
Augustus, till he had received the crown from the hands of the
Roman pontiff. ^119

[Footnote 117: He was the son of Otho, the son of Ludolph, in
whose favor the Duchy of Saxony had been instituted, A.D. 858.
Ruotgerus, the biographer of a St. Bruno, (Bibliot. Bunavianae
Catalog. tom. iii. vol. ii. p. 679,) gives a splendid character
of his family. Atavorum atavi usque ad hominum memoriam omnes
nobilissimi; nullus in eorum stirpe ignotus, nullus degener
facile reperitur, (apud Struvium, Corp. Hist. German. p. 216.)
Yet Gundling (in Henrico Aucupe) is not satisfied of his descent
from Witikind.]

[Footnote 118: See the treatise of Conringius, (de Finibus
Imperii Germanici, Francofurt. 1680, in 4to.: ) he rejects the
extravagant and improper scale of the Roman and Carlovingian
empires, and discusses with moderation the rights of Germany, her
vassals, and her neighbors.]

[Footnote 119: The power of custom forces me to number Conrad I.
and Henry I., the Fowler, in the list of emperors, a title which
was never assumed by those kings of Germany. The Italians,
Muratori for instance, are more scrupulous and correct, and only
reckon the princes who have been crowned at Rome.]

The Imperial dignity of Charlemagne was announced to the
East by the alteration of his style; and instead of saluting his
fathers, the Greek emperors, he presumed to adopt the more equal
and familiar appellation of brother. ^120 Perhaps in his
connection with Irene he aspired to the name of husband: his
embassy to Constantinople spoke the language of peace and
friendship, and might conceal a treaty of marriage with that
ambitious princess, who had renounced the most sacred duties of a
mother. The nature, the duration, the probable consequences of
such a union between two distant and dissonant empires, it is
impossible to conjecture; but the unanimous silence of the Latins
may teach us to suspect, that the report was invented by the
enemies of Irene, to charge her with the guilt of betraying the
church and state to the strangers of the West. ^121 The French
ambassadors were the spectators, and had nearly been the victims,
of the conspiracy of Nicephorus, and the national hatred.
Constantinople was exasperated by the treason and sacrilege of
ancient Rome: a proverb, "That the Franks were good friends and
bad neighbors," was in every one's mouth; but it was dangerous to
provoke a neighbor who might be tempted to reiterate, in the
church of St. Sophia, the ceremony of his Imperial coronation.
After a tedious journey of circuit and delay, the ambassadors of
Nicephorus found him in his camp, on the banks of the River Sala;
and Charlemagne affected to confound their vanity by displaying,
in a Franconian village, the pomp, or at least the pride, of the
Byzantine palace. ^122 The Greeks were successively led through
four halls of audience: in the first they were ready to fall
prostrate before a splendid personage in a chair of state, till
he informed them that he was only a servant, the constable, or
master of the horse, of the emperor. The same mistake, and the
same answer, were repeated in the apartments of the count
palatine, the steward, and the chamberlain; and their impatience
was gradually heightened, till the doors of the presence-chamber
were thrown open, and they beheld the genuine monarch, on his
throne, enriched with the foreign luxury which he despised, and
encircled with the love and reverence of his victorious chiefs.
A treaty of peace and alliance was concluded between the two
empires, and the limits of the East and West were defined by the
right of present possession. But the Greeks ^123 soon forgot
this humiliating equality, or remembered it only to hate the
Barbarians by whom it was extorted. During the short union of
virtue and power, they respectfully saluted the august
Charlemagne, with the acclamations of basileus, and emperor of
the Romans. As soon as these qualities were separated in the
person of his pious son, the Byzantine letters were inscribed,
"To the king, or, as he styles himself, the emperor of the Franks
and Lombards." When both power and virtue were extinct, they
despoiled Lewis the Second of his hereditary title, and with the
barbarous appellation of rex or rega, degraded him among the
crowd of Latin princes. His reply ^124 is expressive of his
weakness: he proves, with some learning, that, both in sacred and
profane history, the name of king is synonymous with the Greek
word basileus: if, at Constantinople, it were assumed in a more
exclusive and imperial sense, he claims from his ancestors, and
from the popes, a just participation of the honors of the Roman
purple. The same controversy was revived in the reign of the
Othos; and their ambassador describes, in lively colors, the
insolence of the Byzantine court. ^125 The Greeks affected to
despise the poverty and ignorance of the Franks and Saxons; and
in their last decline refused to prostitute to the kings of
Germany the title of Roman emperors.

[Footnote 120: Invidiam tamen suscepti nominis (C. P.
imperatoribus super hoc indignantibus) magna tulit patientia,
vicitque eorum contumaciam ... mittendo ad eos crebras
legationes, et in epistolis fratres eos appellando. Eginhard, c.
28, p. 128. Perhaps it was on their account that, like Augustus,
he affected some reluctance to receive the empire.]

[Footnote 121: Theophanes speaks of the coronation and unction of
Charles (Chronograph. p. 399,) and of his treaty of marriage with
Irene, (p. 402,) which is unknown to the Latins. Gaillard
relates his transactions with the Greek empire, (tom. ii. p. 446
- 468.)]

[Footnote 122: Gaillard very properly observes, that this pageant
was a farce suitable to children only; but that it was indeed
represented in the presence, and for the benefit, of children of
a larger growth.]

[Footnote 123: Compare, in the original texts collected by Pagi,
(tom. iii. A.D. 812, No. 7, A.D. 824, No. 10, &c.,) the contrast
of Charlemagne and his son; to the former the ambassadors of
Michael (who were indeed disavowed) more suo, id est lingua
Graeca laudes dixerunt, imperatorem eum et appellantes; to the
latter, Vocato imperatori Francorum, &c.]

[Footnote 124: See the epistle, in Paralipomena, of the anonymous
writer of Salerno, (Script. Ital. tom. ii. pars ii. p. 243 - 254,
c. 93 - 107,) whom Baronius (A.D. 871, No. 51 - 71) mistook for
Erchempert, when he transcribed it in his Annals.]

[Footnote 125: Ipse enim vos, non imperatorem, id est sua lingua,
sed ob indignationem, id est regem nostra vocabat, Liutprand, in
Legat. in Script. Ital. tom. ii. pars i. p. 479. The pope had
exhorted Nicephorus, emperor of the Greeks, to make peace with
Otho, the august emperor of the Romans - quae inscriptio secundum
Graecos peccatoria et temeraria ... imperatorem inquiunt,
universalem, Romanorum, Augustum, magnum, solum, Nicephorum, (p.

These emperors, in the election of the popes, continued to
exercise the powers which had been assumed by the Gothic and
Grecian princes; and the importance of this prerogative increased
with the temporal estate and spiritual jurisdiction of the Roman
church. In the Christian aristocracy, the principal members of
the clergy still formed a senate to assist the administration,
and to supply the vacancy, of the bishop. Rome was divided into
twenty-eight parishes, and each parish was governed by a cardinal
priest, or presbyter, a title which, however common or modest in
its origin, has aspired to emulate the purple of kings. Their
number was enlarged by the association of the seven deacons of
the most considerable hospitals, the seven palatine judges of the
Lateran, and some dignitaries of the church. This ecclesiastical
senate was directed by the seven cardinal-bishops of the Roman
province, who were less occupied in the suburb dioceses of Ostia,
Porto, Velitrae, Tusculum, Praeneste, Tibur, and the Sabines,
than by their weekly service in the Lateran, and their superior
share in the honors and authority of the apostolic see. On the
death of the pope, these bishops recommended a successor to the
suffrage of the college of cardinals, ^126 and their choice was
ratified or rejected by the applause or clamor of the Roman
people. But the election was imperfect; nor could the pontiff be
legally consecrated till the emperor, the advocate of the church,
had graciously signified his approbation and consent. The royal
commissioner examined, on the spot, the form and freedom of the
proceedings; nor was it till after a previous scrutiny into the
qualifications of the candidates, that he accepted an oath of
fidelity, and confirmed the donations which had successively
enriched the patrimony of St. Peter. In the frequent schisms,
the rival claims were submitted to the sentence of the emperor;
and in a synod of bishops he presumed to judge, to condemn, and
to punish, the crimes of a guilty pontiff. Otho the First imposed
a treaty on the senate and people, who engaged to prefer the
candidate most acceptable to his majesty: ^127 his successors
anticipated or prevented their choice: they bestowed the Roman
benefice, like the bishoprics of Cologne or Bamberg, on their
chancellors or preceptors; and whatever might be the merit of a
Frank or Saxon, his name sufficiently attests the interposition
of foreign power. These acts of prerogative were most speciously
excused by the vices of a popular election. The competitor who
had been excluded by the cardinals appealed to the passions or
avarice of the multitude; the Vatican and the Lateran were
stained with blood; and the most powerful senators, the marquises
of Tuscany and the counts of Tusculum, held the apostolic see in
a long and disgraceful servitude. The Roman pontiffs, of the
ninth and tenth centuries, were insulted, imprisoned, and
murdered, by their tyrants; and such was their indigence, after
the loss and usurpation of the ecclesiastical patrimonies, that
they could neither support the state of a prince, nor exercise
the charity of a priest. ^128 The influence of two sister
prostitutes, Marozia and Theodora, was founded on their wealth
and beauty, their political and amorous intrigues: the most
strenuous of their lovers were rewarded with the Roman mitre, and
their reign ^129 may have suggested to the darker ages ^130 the
fable ^131 of a female pope. ^132 The bastard son, the grandson,
and the great-grandson of Marozia, a rare genealogy, were seated
in the chair of St. Peter, and it was at the age of nineteen
years that the second of these became the head of the Latin
church. ^* His youth and manhood were of a suitable complexion;
and the nations of pilgrims could bear testimony to the charges
that were urged against him in a Roman synod, and in the presence
of Otho the Great. As John XII. had renounced the dress and
decencies of his profession, the soldier may not perhaps be
dishonored by the wine which he drank, the blood that he spilt,
the flames that he kindled, or the licentious pursuits of gaming
and hunting. His open simony might be the consequence of
distress; and his blasphemous invocation of Jupiter and Venus, if
it be true, could not possibly be serious. But we read, with
some surprise, that the worthy grandson of Marozia lived in
public adultery with the matrons of Rome; that the Lateran palace
was turned into a school for prostitution, and that his rapes of
virgins and widows had deterred the female pilgrims from visiting
the tomb of St. Peter, lest, in the devout act, they should be
violated by his successor. ^133 The Protestants have dwelt with
malicious pleasure on these characters of Antichrist; but to a
philosophic eye, the vices of the clergy are far less dangerous
than their virtues. After a long series of scandal, the
apostolic see was reformed and exalted by the austerity and zeal
of Gregory VII. That ambitious monk devoted his life to the
execution of two projects. I. To fix in the college of
cardinals the freedom and independence of election, and forever
to abolish the right or usurpation of the emperors and the Roman
people. II. To bestow and resume the Western empire as a fief
or benefice ^134 of the church, and to extend his temporal
dominion over the kings and kingdoms of the earth. After a
contest of fifty years, the first of these designs was
accomplished by the firm support of the ecclesiastical order,
whose liberty was connected with that of their chief. But the
second attempt, though it was crowned with some partial and
apparent success, has been vigorously resisted by the secular
power, and finally extinguished by the improvement of human

[Footnote 126: The origin and progress of the title of cardinal
may be found in Themassin, (Discipline de l'Eglise, tom. i. p.
1261 - 1298,) Muratori, (Antiquitat. Italiae Medii Aevi, tom. vi.
Dissert. lxi. p. 159 - 182,) and Mosheim, (Institut. Hist.
Eccles. p. 345 - 347,) who accurately remarks the form and
changes of the election. The cardinal-bishops so highly exalted
by Peter Damianus, are sunk to a level with the rest of the
sacred college.]

[Footnote 127: Firmiter jurantes, nunquam se papam electuros aut
audinaturos, praeter consensum et electionem Othonis et filii
sui. (Liutprand, l. vi. c. 6, p. 472.) This important concession
may either supply or confirm the decree of the clergy and people
of Rome, so fiercely rejected by Baronius, Pagi, and Muratori,
(A.D. 964,) and so well defended and explained by St. Marc,
(Abrege, tom. ii. p. 808 - 816, tom. iv. p. 1167 - 1185.) Consult
the historical critic, and the Annals of Muratori, for for the
election and confirmation of each pope.]

[Footnote 128: The oppression and vices of the Roman church, in
the xth century, are strongly painted in the history and legation
of Liutprand, (see p. 440, 450, 471 - 476, 479, &c.;) and it is
whimsical enough to observe Muratori tempering the invectives of
Baronius against the popes. But these popes had been chosen, not
by the cardinals, but by lay-patrons.]

[Footnote 129: The time of Pope Joan (papissa Joanna) is placed
somewhat earlier than Theodora or Marozia; and the two years of
her imaginary reign are forcibly inserted between Leo IV. and
Benedict III. But the contemporary Anastasius indissolubly links
the death of Leo and the elevation of Benedict, (illico, mox, p.
247;) and the accurate chronology of Pagi, Muratori, and
Leibnitz, fixes both events to the year 857.]

[Footnote 130: The advocates for Pope Joan produce one hundred
and fifty witnesses, or rather echoes, of the xivth, xvth, and
xvith centuries. They bear testimony against themselves and the
legend, by multiplying the proof that so curious a story must
have been repeated by writers of every description to whom it was
known. On those of the ixth and xth centuries, the recent event
would have flashed with a double force. Would Photius have
spared such a reproach? Could Liutprand have missed such
scandal? It is scarcely worth while to discuss the various
readings of Martinus Polonus, Sigeber of Gamblours, or even
Marianus Scotus; but a most palpable forgery is the passage of
Pope Joan, which has been foisted into some Mss. and editions of
the Roman Anastasius.]

[Footnote 131: As false, it deserves that name; but I would not
pronounce it incredible. Suppose a famous French chevalier of
our own times to have been born in Italy, and educated in the
church, instead of the army: her merit or fortune might have
raised her to St. Peter's chair; her amours would have been
natural: her delivery in the streets unlucky, but not

[Footnote 132: Till the reformation the tale was repeated and
believed without offence: and Joan's female statue long occupied
her place among the popes in the cathedral of Sienna, (Pagi,
Critica, tom. iii. p. 624 - 626.) She has been annihilated by two
learned Protestants, Blondel and Bayle, (Dictionnaire Critique,
Papesse, Polonus, Blondel;) but their brethren were scandalized
by this equitable and generous criticism. Spanheim and Lenfant
attempt to save this poor engine of controversy, and even Mosheim
condescends to cherish some doubt and suspicion, (p. 289.)]

[Footnote *: John XI. was the son of her husband Alberic, not of
her lover, Pope Sergius III., as Muratori has distinctly proved,
Ann. ad ann. 911, tom. p. 268. Her grandson Octavian, otherwise
called John XII., was pope; but a great-grandson cannot be
discovered in any of the succeeding popes; nor does our historian
himself, in his subsequent narration, (p. 202,) seem to know of
one. Hobhouse, Illustrations of Childe Harold, p. 309. - M.]

[Footnote 133: Lateranense palatium ... prostibulum meretricum
... Testis omnium gentium, praeterquam Romanorum, absentia
mulierum, quae sanctorum apostolorum limina orandi gratia timent
visere, cum nonnullas ante dies paucos, hunc audierint
conjugatas, viduas, virgines vi oppressisse, (Liutprand, Hist. l.
vi. c. 6, p. 471. See the whole affair of John XII., p. 471 -

[Footnote 134: A new example of the mischief of equivocation is
the beneficium (Ducange, tom. i. p. 617, &c.,) which the pope
conferred on the emperor Frederic I., since the Latin word may
signify either a legal fief, or a simple favor, an obligation,
(we want the word bienfait.) (See Schmidt, Hist. des Allemands,
tom. iii. p. 393 - 408. Pfeffel, Abrege Chronologique, tom. i.
p. 229, 296, 317, 324, 420, 430, 500, 505, 509, &c.)]

In the revival of the empire of empire of Rome, neither the
bishop nor the people could bestow on Charlemagne or Otho the
provinces which were lost, as they had been won, by the chance of
arms. But the Romans were free to choose a master for
themselves; and the powers which had been delegated to the
patrician, were irrevocably granted to the French and Saxon
emperors of the West. The broken records of the times ^135
preserve some remembrance of their palace, their mint, their
tribunal, their edicts, and the sword of justice, which, as late
as the thirteenth century, was derived from Caesar to the
praefect of the city. ^136 Between the arts of the popes and the
violence of the people, this supremacy was crushed and
annihilated. Content with the titles of emperor and Augustus,
the successors of Charlemagne neglected to assert this local
jurisdiction. In the hour of prosperity, their ambition was
diverted by more alluring objects; and in the decay and division
of the empire, they were oppressed by the defence of their
hereditary provinces. Amidst the ruins of Italy, the famous
Marozia invited one of the usurpers to assume the character of
her third husband; and Hugh, king of Burgundy was introduced by
her faction into the mole of Hadrian or Castle of St. Angelo,
which commands the principal bridge and entrance of Rome. Her
son by the first marriage, Alberic, was compelled to attend at
the nuptial banquet; but his reluctant and ungraceful service was
chastised with a blow by his new father. The blow was productive
of a revolution. "Romans," exclaimed the youth, "once you were
the masters of the world, and these Burgundians the most abject
of your slaves. They now reign, these voracious and brutal
savages, and my injury is the commencement of your servitude."
^137 The alarum bell rang to arms in every quarter of the city:
the Burgundians retreated with haste and shame; Marozia was
imprisoned by her victorious son, and his brother, Pope John XI.,
was reduced to the exercise of his spiritual functions. With the
title of prince, Alberic possessed above twenty years the
government of Rome; and he is said to have gratified the popular
prejudice, by restoring the office, or at least the title, of
consuls and tribunes. His son and heir Octavian assumed, with
the pontificate, the name of John XII.: like his predecessor, he
was provoked by the Lombard princes to seek a deliverer for the
church and republic; and the services of Otho were rewarded with
the Imperial dignity. But the Saxon was imperious, the Romans
were impatient, the festival of the coronation was disturbed by
the secret conflict of prerogative and freedom, and Otho
commanded his sword-bearer not to stir from his person, lest he
should be assaulted and murdered at the foot of the altar. ^138
Before he repassed the Alps, the emperor chastised the revolt of
the people and the ingratitude of John XII. The pope was
degraded in a synod; the praefect was mounted on an ass, whipped
through the city, and cast into a dungeon; thirteen of the most
guilty were hanged, others were mutilated or banished; and this
severe process was justified by the ancient laws of Theodosius
and Justinian. The voice of fame has accused the second Otho of a
perfidious and bloody act, the massacre of the senators, whom he
had invited to his table under the fair semblance of hospitality
and friendship. ^139 In the minority of his son Otho the Third,
Rome made a bold attempt to shake off the Saxon yoke, and the
consul Crescentius was the Brutus of the republic. From the
condition of a subject and an exile, he twice rose to the command
of the city, oppressed, expelled, and created the popes, and
formed a conspiracy for restoring the authority of the Greek
emperors. ^* In the fortress of St. Angelo, he maintained an
obstinate siege, till the unfortunate consul was betrayed by a
promise of safety: his body was suspended on a gibbet, and his
head was exposed on the battlements of the castle. By a reverse
of fortune, Otho, after separating his troops, was besieged three
days, without food, in his palace; and a disgraceful escape saved
him from the justice or fury of the Romans. The senator Ptolemy
was the leader of the people, and the widow of Crescentius
enjoyed the pleasure or the fame of revenging her husband, by a
poison which she administered to her Imperial lover. It was the
design of Otho the Third to abandon the ruder countries of the
North, to erect his throne in Italy, and to revive the
institutions of the Roman monarchy. But his successors only once
in their lives appeared on the banks of the Tyber, to receive
their crown in the Vatican. ^140 Their absence was contemptible,
their presence odious and formidable. They descended from the
Alps, at the head of their barbarians, who were strangers and
enemies to the country; and their transient visit was a scene of
tumult and bloodshed. ^141 A faint remembrance of their ancestors
still tormented the Romans; and they beheld with pious
indignation the succession of Saxons, Franks, Swabians, and
Bohemians, who usurped the purple and prerogatives of the

[Footnote 135: For the history of the emperors in Rome and Italy,
see Sigonius, de Regno Italiae, Opp. tom. ii., with the Notes of
Saxius, and the Annals of Muratori, who might refer more
distinctly to the authors of his great collection.]

[Footnote 136: See the Dissertations of Le Blanc at the end of
his treatise des Monnoyes de France, in which he produces some
Roman coins of the French emperors.]

[Footnote 137: Romanorum aliquando servi, scilicet Burgundiones,
Romanis imperent? .... Romanae urbis dignitas ad tantam est
stultitiam ducta, ut meretricum etiam imperio pareat?
(Liutprand, l. iii. c. 12, p. 450.) Sigonius (l. vi. p. 400)
positively affirms the renovation of the consulship; but in the
old writers Albericus is more frequently styled princeps

[Footnote 138: Ditmar, p. 354, apud Schmidt, tom. iii. p. 439.]

[Footnote 139: This bloody feast is described in Leonine verse in
the Pantheon of Godfrey of Viterbo, (Script. Ital. tom. vii. p.
436, 437,) who flourished towards the end of the xiith century,
(Fabricius Bibliot. Latin. Med. et Infimi Aevi, tom. iii. p. 69,
edit. Mansi;) but his evidence, which imposed on Sigonius, is
reasonably suspected by Muratori (Annali, tom. viii. p. 177.)]

[Footnote *: The Marquis Maffei's gallery contained a medal with
Imp. Caes August. P. P. Crescentius. Hence Hobhouse infers that
he affected the empire. Hobhouse, Illustrations of Childe Harold,
p. 252. - M.]

[Footnote 140: The coronation of the emperor, and some original
ceremonies of the xth century are preserved in the Panegyric on
Berengarius, (Script. Ital. tom. ii. pars i. p. 405 - 414,)
illustrated by the Notes of Hadrian Valesius and Leibnitz.
Sigonius has related the whole process of the Roman expedition,
in good Latin, but with some errors of time and fact, (l. vii. p.
441 - 446.)]

[Footnote 141: In a quarrel at the coronation of Conrad II.
Muratori takes leave to observe - doveano ben essere allora,
indisciplinati, Barbari, e bestials Tedeschi. Annal. tom. viii.
p. 368.]

Chapter XLIX: Conquest Of Italy By The Franks.

Part VI.

There is nothing perhaps more adverse to nature and reason
than to hold in obedience remote countries and foreign nations,
in opposition to their inclination and interest. A torrent of
Barbarians may pass over the earth, but an extensive empire must
be supported by a refined system of policy and oppression; in the
centre, an absolute power, prompt in action and rich in
resources; a swift and easy communication with the extreme parts;
fortifications to check the first effort of rebellion; a regular
administration to protect and punish; and a well-disciplined army
to inspire fear, without provoking discontent and despair. Far
different was the situation of the German Caesars, who were
ambitious to enslave the kingdom of Italy. Their patrimonial
estates were stretched along the Rhine, or scattered in the
provinces; but this ample domain was alienated by the imprudence
or distress of successive princes; and their revenue, from minute
and vexatious prerogative, was scarcely sufficient for the
maintenance of their household. Their troops were formed by the
legal or voluntary service of their feudal vassals, who passed
the Alps with reluctance, assumed the license of rapine and
disorder, and capriciously deserted before the end of the
campaign. Whole armies were swept away by the pestilential
influence of the climate: the survivors brought back the bones of
their princes and nobles, ^142 and the effects of their own
intemperance were often imputed to the treachery and malice of
the Italians, who rejoiced at least in the calamities of the
Barbarians. This irregular tyranny might contend on equal terms
with the petty tyrants of Italy; nor can the people, or the
reader, be much interested in the event of the quarrel. But in
the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the Lombards rekindled the
flame of industry and freedom; and the generous example was at
length imitated by the republics of Tuscany. ^* In the Italian
cities a municipal government had never been totally abolished;
and their first privileges were granted by the favor and policy
of the emperors, who were desirous of erecting a plebeian barrier
against the independence of the nobles. But their rapid
progress, the daily extension of their power and pretensions,
were founded on the numbers and spirit of these rising
communities. ^143 Each city filled the measure of her diocese or
district: the jurisdiction of the counts and bishops, of the
marquises and counts, was banished from the land; and the
proudest nobles were persuaded or compelled to desert their
solitary castles, and to embrace the more honorable character of
freemen and magistrates. The legislative authority was inherent
in the general assembly; but the executive powers were intrusted
to three consuls, annually chosen from the three orders of
captains, valvassors, ^144 and commons, into which the republic
was divided. Under the protection of equal law, the labors of
agriculture and commerce were gradually revived; but the martial
spirit of the Lombards was nourished by the presence of danger;
and as often as the bell was rung, or the standard ^145 erected,
the gates of the city poured forth a numerous and intrepid band,
whose zeal in their own cause was soon guided by the use and
discipline of arms. At the foot of these popular ramparts, the
pride of the Caesars was overthrown; and the invincible genius of
liberty prevailed over the two Frederics, the greatest princes of
the middle age; the first, superior perhaps in military prowess;
the second, who undoubtedly excelled in the softer
accomplishments of peace and learning.

[Footnote 142: After boiling away the flesh. The caldrons for
that purpose were a necessary piece of travelling furniture; and
a German who was using it for his brother, promised it to a
friend, after it should have been employed for himself, (Schmidt,
tom. iii. p. 423, 424.) The same author observes that the whole
Saxon line was extinguished in Italy, (tom. ii. p. 440.)]

[Footnote *: Compare Sismondi, Histoire des Republiques
Italiannes. Hallam Middle Ages. Raumer, Geschichte der
Hohenstauffen. Savigny, Geschichte des Romischen Rechts, vol.
iii. p. 19 with the authors quoted. - M.]

[Footnote 143: Otho, bishop of Frisingen, has left an important
passage on the Italian cities, (l. ii. c. 13, in Script. Ital.
tom. vi. p. 707 - 710: ) and the rise, progress, and government
of these republics are perfectly illustrated by Muratori,
(Antiquitat. Ital. Medii Aevi, tom. iv. dissert xlv. - lii. p. 1
- 675. Annal. tom. viii. ix. x.)]

[Footnote 144: For these titles, see Selden, (Titles of Honor,
vol. iii. part 1 p. 488.) Ducange, (Gloss. Latin. tom. ii. p.
140, tom. vi. p. 776,) and St. Marc, (Abrege Chronologique, tom.
ii. p. 719.)]

[Footnote 145: The Lombards invented and used the carocium, a
standard planted on a car or wagon, drawn by a team of oxen,
(Ducange, tom. ii. p. 194, 195. Muratori Antiquitat tom. ii. dis.
xxvi. p. 489 - 493.)]

Ambitious of restoring the splendor of the purple, Frederic
the First invaded the republics of Lombardy, with the arts of a
statesman, the valor of a soldier, and the cruelty of a tyrant.
The recent discovery of the Pandects had renewed a science most
favorable to despotism; and his venal advocates proclaimed the
emperor the absolute master of the lives and properties of his
subjects. His royal prerogatives, in a less odious sense, were
acknowledged in the diet of Roncaglia; and the revenue of Italy
was fixed at thirty thousand pounds of silver, ^146 which were
multiplied to an indefinite demand by the rapine of the fiscal
officers. The obstinate cities were reduced by the terror or the
force of his arms: his captives were delivered to the
executioner, or shot from his military engines; and. after the
siege and surrender of Milan, the buildings of that stately
capital were razed to the ground, three hundred hostages were
sent into Germany, and the inhabitants were dispersed in four
villages, under the yoke of the inflexible conqueror. ^147 But
Milan soon rose from her ashes; and the league of Lombardy was
cemented by distress: their cause was espoused by Venice, Pope
Alexander the Third, and the Greek emperor: the fabric of
oppression was overturned in a day; and in the treaty of
Constance, Frederic subscribed, with some reservations, the
freedom of four-and-twenty cities. His grandson contended with
their vigor and maturity; but Frederic the Second ^148 was
endowed with some personal and peculiar advantages. His birth
and education recommended him to the Italians; and in the
implacable discord of the two factions, the Ghibelins were
attached to the emperor, while the Guelfs displayed the banner of
liberty and the church. The court of Rome had slumbered, when
his father Henry the Sixth was permitted to unite with the empire
the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily; and from these hereditary
realms the son derived an ample and ready supply of troops and
treasure. Yet Frederic the Second was finally oppressed by the
arms of the Lombards and the thunders of the Vatican: his kingdom
was given to a stranger, and the last of his family was beheaded
at Naples on a public scaffold. During sixty years, no emperor
appeared in Italy, and the name was remembered only by the
ignominious sale of the last relics of sovereignty.

[Footnote 146: Gunther Ligurinus, l. viii. 584, et seq., apud
Schmidt, tom. iii. p. 399.]

[Footnote 147: Solus imperator faciem suam firmavit ut petram,
(Burcard. de Excidio Mediolani, Script. Ital. tom. vi. p. 917.)
This volume of Muratori contains the originals of the history of
Frederic the First, which must be compared with due regard to the
circumstances and prejudices of each German or Lombard writer.

Note: Von Raumer has traced the fortunes of the Swabian
house in one of the ablest historical works of modern times. He
may be compared with the spirited and independent Sismondi. - M.]

[Footnote 148: For the history of Frederic II. and the house of
Swabia at Naples, see Giannone, Istoria Civile, tom. ii. l. xiv.
- xix.]

The Barbarian conquerors of the West were pleased to
decorate their chief with the title of emperor; but it was not
their design to invest him with the despotism of Constantine and
Justinian. The persons of the Germans were free, their conquests
were their own, and their national character was animated by a
spirit which scorned the servile jurisprudence of the new or the
ancient Rome. It would have been a vain and dangerous attempt to
impose a monarch on the armed freemen, who were impatient of a
magistrate; on the bold, who refused to obey; on the powerful,
who aspired to command. The empire of Charlemagne and Otho was
distributed among the dukes of the nations or provinces, the
counts of the smaller districts, and the margraves of the marches
or frontiers, who all united the civil and military authority as
it had been delegated to the lieutenants of the first Caesars.
The Roman governors, who, for the most part, were soldiers of
fortune, seduced their mercenary legions, assumed the Imperial
purple, and either failed or succeeded in their revolt, without
wounding the power and unity of government. If the dukes,
margraves, and counts of Germany, were less audacious in their
claims, the consequences of their success were more lasting and
pernicious to the state. Instead of aiming at the supreme rank,
they silently labored to establish and appropriate their
provincial independence. Their ambition was seconded by the
weight of their estates and vassals, their mutual example and
support, the common interest of the subordinate nobility, the
change of princes and families, the minorities of Otho the Third
and Henry the Fourth, the ambition of the popes, and the vain
pursuit of the fugitive crowns of Italy and Rome. All the
attributes of regal and territorial jurisdiction were gradually
usurped by the commanders of the provinces; the right of peace
and war, of life and death, of coinage and taxation, of foreign
alliance and domestic economy. Whatever had been seized by
violence, was ratified by favor or distress, was granted as the
price of a doubtful vote or a voluntary service; whatever had
been granted to one could not, without injury, be denied to his
successor or equal; and every act of local or temporary
possession was insensibly moulded into the constitution of the
Germanic kingdom. In every province, the visible presence of the
duke or count was interposed between the throne and the nobles;
the subjects of the law became the vassals of a private chief;
and the standard which he received from his sovereign, was often
raised against him in the field. The temporal power of the
clergy was cherished and exalted by the superstition or policy of
the Carlovingian and Saxon dynasties, who blindly depended on
their moderation and fidelity; and the bishoprics of Germany were
made equal in extent and privilege, superior in wealth and
population, to the most ample states of the military order. As
long as the emperors retained the prerogative of bestowing on
every vacancy these ecclesiastic and secular benefices, their
cause was maintained by the gratitude or ambition of their
friends and favorites. But in the quarrel of the investitures,
they were deprived of their influence over the episcopal
chapters; the freedom of election was restored, and the sovereign
was reduced, by a solemn mockery, to his first prayers, the
recommendation, once in his reign, to a single prebend in each
church. The secular governors, instead of being recalled at the
will of a superior, could be degraded only by the sentence of
their peers. In the first age of the monarchy, the appointment
of the son to the duchy or county of his father, was solicited as
a favor; it was gradually obtained as a custom, and extorted as a
right: the lineal succession was often extended to the collateral
or female branches; the states of the empire (their popular, and
at length their legal, appellation) were divided and alienated by
testament and sale; and all idea of a public trust was lost in
that of a private and perpetual inheritance. The emperor could
not even be enriched by the casualties of forfeiture and
extinction: within the term of a year, he was obliged to dispose
of the vacant fief; and, in the choice of the candidate, it was
his duty to consult either the general or the provincial diet.

After the death of Frederic the Second, Germany was left a
monster with a hundred heads. A crowd of princes and prelates
disputed the ruins of the empire: the lords of innumerable
castles were less prone to obey, than to imitate, their
superiors; and, according to the measure of their strength, their
incessant hostilities received the names of conquest or robbery.
Such anarchy was the inevitable consequence of the laws and
manners of Europe; and the kingdoms of France and Italy were
shivered into fragments by the violence of the same tempest. But
the Italian cities and the French vassals were divided and
destroyed, while the union of the Germans has produced, under the
name of an empire, a great system of a federative republic. In
the frequent and at last the perpetual institution of diets, a
national spirit was kept alive, and the powers of a common
legislature are still exercised by the three branches or colleges
of the electors, the princes, and the free and Imperial cities of
Germany. I. Seven of the most powerful feudatories were
permitted to assume, with a distinguished name and rank, the
exclusive privilege of choosing the Roman emperor; and these
electors were the king of Bohemia, the duke of Saxony, the
margrave of Brandenburgh, the count palatine of the Rhine, and
the three archbishops of Mentz, of Treves, and of Cologne. II.
The college of princes and prelates purged themselves of a
promiscuous multitude: they reduced to four representative votes
the long series of independent counts, and excluded the nobles or
equestrian order, sixty thousand of whom, as in the Polish diets,
had appeared on horseback in the field of election. III. The
pride of birth and dominion, of the sword and the mitre, wisely
adopted the commons as the third branch of the legislature, and,
in the progress of society, they were introduced about the same
aera into the national assemblies of France England, and Germany.

The Hanseatic League commanded the trade and navigation of the
north: the confederates of the Rhine secured the peace and
intercourse of the inland country; the influence of the cities
has been adequate to their wealth and policy, and their negative
still invalidates the acts of the two superior colleges of
electors and princes. ^149

[Footnote 149: In the immense labyrinth of the jus publicum of
Germany, I must either quote one writer or a thousand; and I had
rather trust to one faithful guide, than transcribe, on credit, a
multitude of names and passages. That guide is M. Pfeffel, the
author of the best legal and constitutional history that I know
of any country, (Nouvel Abrege Chronologique de l'Histoire et du
Droit public Allemagne; Paris, 1776, 2 vols. in 4to.) His
learning and judgment have discerned the most interesting facts;
his simple brevity comprises them in a narrow space. His
chronological order distributes them under the proper dates; and
an elaborate index collects them under their respective heads.
To this work, in a less perfect state, Dr. Robertson was
gratefully indebted for that masterly sketch which traces even
the modern changes of the Germanic body. The Corpus Historiae
Germanicae of Struvius has been likewise consulted, the more
usefully, as that huge compilation is fortified in every page
with the original texts.

Note: For the rise and progress of the Hanseatic League,
consult the authoritative history by Sartorius; Geschichte des
Hanseatischen Bandes & Theile, Gottingen, 1802. New and improved
edition by Lappenberg Elamburg, 1830. The original Hanseatic
League comprehended Cologne and many of the great cities in the
Netherlands and on the Rhine. - M.]

It is in the fourteenth century that we may view in the
strongest light the state and contrast of the Roman empire of
Germany, which no longer held, except on the borders of the Rhine
and Danube, a single province of Trajan or Constantine. Their
unworthy successors were the counts of Hapsburgh, of Nassau, of
Luxemburgh, and Schwartzenburgh: the emperor Henry the Seventh
procured for his son the crown of Bohemia, and his grandson
Charles the Fourth was born among a people strange and barbarous
in the estimation of the Germans themselves. ^150 After the
excommunication of Lewis of Bavaria, he received the gift or
promise of the vacant empire from the Roman pontiffs, who, in the
exile and captivity of Avignon, affected the dominion of the
earth. The death of his competitors united the electoral
college, and Charles was unanimously saluted king of the Romans,
and future emperor; a title which, in the same age, was
prostituted to the Caesars of Germany and Greece. The German
emperor was no more than the elective and impotent magistrate of
an aristocracy of princes, who had not left him a village that he
might call his own. His best prerogative was the right of
presiding and proposing in the national senate, which was
convened at his summons; and his native kingdom of Bohemia, less
opulent than the adjacent city of Nuremberg, was the firmest seat
of his power and the richest source of his revenue. The army
with which he passed the Alps consisted of three hundred horse.
In the cathedral of St. Ambrose, Charles was crowned with the
iron crown, which tradition ascribed to the Lombard monarchy; but
he was admitted only with a peaceful train; the gates of the city
were shut upon him; and the king of Italy was held a captive by
the arms of the Visconti, whom he confirmed in the sovereignty of
Milan. In the Vatican he was again crowned with the golden crown
of the empire; but, in obedience to a secret treaty, the Roman
emperor immediately withdrew, without reposing a single night
within the walls of Rome. The eloquent Petrarch, ^151 whose
fancy revived the visionary glories of the Capitol, deplores and
upbraids the ignominious flight of the Bohemian; and even his
contemporaries could observe, that the sole exercise of his
authority was in the lucrative sale of privileges and titles.
The gold of Italy secured the election of his son; but such was
the shameful poverty of the Roman emperor, that his person was
arrested by a butcher in the streets of Worms, and was detained
in the public inn, as a pledge or hostage for the payment of his

[Footnote 150: Yet, personally, Charles IV. must not be
considered as a Barbarian. After his education at Paris, he
recovered the use of the Bohemian, his native, idiom; and the
emperor conversed and wrote with equal facility in French, Latin,
Italian, and German, (Struvius, p. 615, 616.) Petrarch always
represents him as a polite and learned prince.]

[Footnote 151: Besides the German and Italian historians, the
expedition of Charles IV. is painted in lively and original
colors in the curious Memoires sur la Vie de Petrarque, tom. iii.
p. 376 - 430, by the Abbe de Sade, whose prolixity has never been
blamed by any reader of taste and curiosity.]

From this humiliating scene, let us turn to the apparent
majesty of the same Charles in the diets of the empire. The
golden bull, which fixes the Germanic constitution, is
promulgated in the style of a sovereign and legislator. A
hundred princes bowed before his throne, and exalted their own
dignity by the voluntary honors which they yielded to their chief
or minister. At the royal banquet, the hereditary great officers,
the seven electors, who in rank and title were equal to kings,
performed their solemn and domestic service of the palace. The
seals of the triple kingdom were borne in state by the
archbishops of Mentz, Cologne, and Treves, the perpetual
arch-chancellors of Germany, Italy, and Arles. The great
marshal, on horseback, exercised his function with a silver
measure of oats, which he emptied on the ground, and immediately
dismounted to regulate the order of the guests The great steward,
the count palatine of the Rhine, place the dishes on the table.
The great chamberlain, the margrave of Brandenburgh, presented,
after the repast, the golden ewer and basin, to wash. The king
of Bohemia, as great cup-bearer, was represented by the emperor's
brother, the duke of Luxemburgh and Brabant; and the procession
was closed by the great huntsmen, who introduced a boar and a
stag, with a loud chorus of horns and hounds. ^152 Nor was the
supremacy of the emperor confined to Germany alone: the
hereditary monarchs of Europe confessed the preeminence of his
rank and dignity: he was the first of the Christian princes, the
temporal head of the great republic of the West: ^153 to his
person the title of majesty was long appropriated; and he
disputed with the pope the sublime prerogative of creating kings
and assembling councils. The oracle of the civil law, the learned
Bartolus, was a pensioner of Charles the Fourth; and his school
resounded with the doctrine, that the Roman emperor was the
rightful sovereign of the earth, from the rising to the setting
sun. The contrary opinion was condemned, not as an error, but as
a heresy, since even the gospel had pronounced, "And there went
forth a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be
taxed." ^154

[Footnote 152: See the whole ceremony in Struvius, p. 629]

[Footnote 153: The republic of Europe, with the pope and emperor
at its head, was never represented with more dignity than in the
council of Constance. See Lenfant's History of that assembly.]

[Footnote 154: Gravina, Origines Juris Civilis, p. 108.]

If we annihilate the interval of time and space between
Augustus and Charles, strong and striking will be the contrast
between the two Caesars; the Bohemian who concealed his weakness
under the mask of ostentation, and the Roman, who disguised his
strength under the semblance of modesty. At the head of his
victorious legions, in his reign over the sea and land, from the
Nile and Euphrates to the Atlantic Ocean, Augustus professed
himself the servant of the state and the equal of his
fellow-citizens. The conqueror of Rome and her provinces assumed
a popular and legal form of a censor, a consul, and a tribune.
His will was the law of mankind, but in the declaration of his
laws he borrowed the voice of the senate and people; and from
their decrees their master accepted and renewed his temporary
commission to administer the republic. In his dress, his
domestics, ^155 his titles, in all the offices of social life,
Augustus maintained the character of a private Roman; and his
most artful flatterers respected the secret of his absolute and
perpetual monarchy.

[Footnote 155: Six thousand urns have been discovered of the
slaves and freedmen of Augustus and Livia. So minute was the
division of office, that one slave was appointed to weigh the
wool which was spun by the empress's maids, another for the care
of her lap-dog, &c., (Camera Sepolchrale, by Bianchini. Extract
of his work in the Bibliotheque Italique, tom. iv. p. 175. His
Eloge, by Fontenelle, tom. vi. p. 356.) But these servants were
of the same rank, and possibly not more numerous than those of
Pollio or Lentulus. They only prove the general riches of the

Chapter L: Description Of Arabia And Its Inhabitants.

Part I.

Description Of Arabia And Its Inhabitants. - Birth,
Character, And Doctrine Of Mahomet. - He Preaches At Mecca. -
Flies To Medina. - Propagates His Religion By The Sword. -
Voluntary Or Reluctant Submission Of The Arabs. - His Death And
Successors. - The Claims And Fortunes Of All And His Descendants.

After pursuing above six hundred years the fleeting Caesars
of Constantinople and Germany, I now descend, in the reign of
Heraclius, on the eastern borders of the Greek monarchy. While
the state was exhausted by the Persian war, and the church was
distracted by the Nestorian and Monophysite sects, Mahomet, with
the sword in one hand and the Koran in the other, erected his
throne on the ruins of Christianity and of Rome. The genius of
the Arabian prophet, the manners of his nation, and the spirit of
his religion, involve the causes of the decline and fall of the
Eastern empire; and our eyes are curiously intent on one of the
most memorable revolutions, which have impressed a new and
lasting character on the nations of the globe. ^1

[Footnote 1: As in this and the following chapter I shall display
much Arabic learning, I must profess my total ignorance of the
Oriental tongues, and my gratitude to the learned interpreters,
who have transfused their science into the Latin, French, and
English languages. Their collections, versions, and histories, I
shall occasionally notice.]

In the vacant space between Persia, Syria, Egypt, and
Aethiopia, the Arabian peninsula ^2 may be conceived as a
triangle of spacious but irregular dimensions. From the northern
point of Beles ^3 on the Euphrates, a line of fifteen hundred
miles is terminated by the Straits of Bebelmandel and the land of
frankincense. About half this length may be allowed for the
middle breadth, from east to west, from Bassora to Suez, from the
Persian Gulf to the Red Sea. ^4 The sides of the triangle are
gradually enlarged, and the southern basis presents a front of a
thousand miles to the Indian Ocean. The entire surface of the
peninsula exceeds in a fourfold proportion that of Germany or
France; but the far greater part has been justly stigmatized with
the epithets of the stony and the sandy. Even the wilds of
Tartary are decked, by the hand of nature, with lofty trees and
luxuriant herbage; and the lonesome traveller derives a sort of
comfort and society from the presence of vegetable life. But in
the dreary waste of Arabia, a boundless level of sand is
intersected by sharp and naked mountains; and the face of the
desert, without shade or shelter, is scorched by the direct and
intense rays of a tropical sun. Instead of refreshing breezes,
the winds, particularly from the south-west, diffuse a noxious
and even deadly vapor; the hillocks of sand which they
alternately raise and scatter, are compared to the billows of the
ocean, and whole caravans, whole armies, have been lost and
buried in the whirlwind. The common benefits of water are an
object of desire and contest; and such is the scarcity of wood,
that some art is requisite to preserve and propagate the element
of fire. Arabia is destitute of navigable rivers, which
fertilize the soil, and convey its produce to the adjacent
regions: the torrents that fall from the hills are imbibed by the
thirsty earth: the rare and hardy plants, the tamarind or the
acacia, that strike their roots into the clefts of the rocks, are
nourished by the dews of the night: a scanty supply of rain is
collected in cisterns and aqueducts: the wells and springs are
the secret treasure of the desert; and the pilgrim of Mecca, ^5
after many a dry and sultry march, is disgusted by the taste of
the waters which have rolled over a bed of sulphur or salt. Such
is the general and genuine picture of the climate of Arabia. The
experience of evil enhances the value of any local or partial
enjoyments. A shady grove, a green pasture, a stream of fresh
water, are sufficient to attract a colony of sedentary Arabs to
the fortunate spots which can afford food and refreshment to
themselves and their cattle, and which encourage their industry
in the cultivation of the palmtree and the vine. The high lands
that border on the Indian Ocean are distinguished by their
superior plenty of wood and water; the air is more temperate, the
fruits are more delicious, the animals and the human race more
numerous: the fertility of the soil invites and rewards the toil
of the husbandman; and the peculiar gifts of frankincense ^6 and
coffee have attracted in different ages the merchants of the
world. If it be compared with the rest of the peninsula, this
sequestered region may truly deserve the appellation of the
happy; and the splendid coloring of fancy and fiction has been
suggested by contrast, and countenanced by distance. It was for
this earthly paradise that Nature had reserved her choicest
favors and her most curious workmanship: the incompatible
blessings of luxury and innocence were ascribed to the natives:
the soil was impregnated with gold ^7 and gems, and both the land
and sea were taught to exhale the odors of aromatic sweets. This
division of the sandy, the stony, and the happy, so familiar to
the Greeks and Latins, is unknown to the Arabians themselves; and
it is singular enough, that a country, whose language and
inhabitants have ever been the same, should scarcely retain a
vestige of its ancient geography. The maritime districts of
Bahrein and Oman are opposite to the realm of Persia. The
kingdom of Yemen displays the limits, or at least the situation,
of Arabia Felix: the name of Neged is extended over the inland
space; and the birth of Mahomet has illustrated the province of
Hejaz along the coast of the Red Sea. ^8

[Footnote 2: The geographers of Arabia may be divided into three
classes: 1. The Greeks and Latins, whose progressive knowledge
may be traced in Agatharcides, (de Mari Rubro, in Hudson,
Geograph. Minor. tom. i.,) Diodorus Siculus, (tom. i. l. ii. p.
159 - 167, l. iii. p. 211 - 216, edit. Wesseling,) Strabo, (l.
xvi. p. 1112 - 1114, from Eratosthenes, p. 1122 - 1132, from
Artemidorus,) Dionysius, (Periegesis, 927 - 969,) Pliny, (Hist.
Natur. v. 12, vi. 32,) and Ptolemy, (Descript. et Tabulae Urbium,
in Hudson, tom. iii.) 2. The Arabic writers, who have treated the
subject with the zeal of patriotism or devotion: the extracts of
Pocock (Specimen Hist. Arabum, p. 125 - 128) from the Geography
of the Sherif al Edrissi, render us still more dissatisfied with
the version or abridgment (p. 24 - 27, 44 - 56, 108, &c., 119,
&c.) which the Maronites have published under the absurd title of
Geographia Nubiensis, (Paris, 1619;) but the Latin and French
translators, Greaves (in Hudson, tom. iii.) and Galland, (Voyage
de la Palestine par La Roque, p. 265 - 346,) have opened to us
the Arabia of Abulfeda, the most copious and correct account of
the peninsula, which may be enriched, however, from the
Bibliotheque Orientale of D'Herbelot, p. 120, et alibi passim.
3. The European travellers; among whom Shaw (p. 438 - 455) and
Niebuhr (Description, 1773; Voyages, tom. i. 1776) deserve an
honorable distinction: Busching (Geographie par Berenger, tom.
viii. p. 416 - 510) has compiled with judgment, and D'Anville's
Maps (Orbis Veteribus Notus, and 1re Partie de l'Asie) should lie
before the reader, with his Geographie Ancienne, tom. ii. p. 208
- 231.

Note: Of modern travellers may be mentioned the adventurer
who called himself Ali Bey; but above all, the intelligent, the
enterprising the accurate Burckhardt. - M.]

[Footnote 3: Abulfed. Descript. Arabiae, p. 1. D'Anville,
l'Euphrate et le Tigre, p. 19, 20. It was in this place, the
paradise or garden of a satrap, that Xenophon and the Greeks
first passed the Euphrates, (Anabasis, l. i. c. 10, p. 29, edit.

[Footnote 4: Reland has proved, with much superfluous learning,

1. That our Red Sea (the Arabian Gulf) is no more than a
part of the Mare Rubrum, which was extended to the indefinite
space of the Indian Ocean.

2. That the synonymous words, allude to the color of the
blacks or negroes, (Dissert Miscell. tom. i. p. 59 - 117.)]

[Footnote 5: In the thirty days, or stations, between Cairo and
Mecca, there are fifteen destitute of good water. See the route
of the Hadjees, in Shaw's Travels, p. 477.]

[Footnote 6: The aromatics, especially the thus, or frankincense,
of Arabia, occupy the xiith book of Pliny. Our great poet
(Paradise Lost, l. iv.) introduces, in a simile, the spicy odors
that are blown by the north- east wind from the Sabaean coast: -

- Many a league,
Pleased with the grateful scent, old Ocean smiles.
(Plin. Hist. Natur. xii. 42.)]

[Footnote 7: Agatharcides affirms, that lumps of pure gold were
found, from the size of an olive to that of a nut; that iron was
twice, and silver ten times, the value of gold, (de Mari Rubro,
p. 60.) These real or imaginary treasures are vanished; and no
gold mines are at present known in Arabia, (Niebuhr, Description,
p. 124.)

Note: A brilliant passage in the geographical poem of
Dionysius Periegetes embodies the notions of the ancients on the
wealth and fertility of Yemen. Greek mythology, and the
traditions of the "gorgeous east," of India as well as Arabia,
are mingled together in indiscriminate splendor. Compare on the
southern coast of Arabia, the recent travels of Lieut. Wellsted -

[Footnote 8: Consult, peruse, and study the Specimen Hostoriae
Arabum of Pocock, (Oxon. 1650, in 4to.) The thirty pages of text
and version are extracted from the Dynasties of Gregory
Abulpharagius, which Pocock afterwards translated, (Oxon. 1663,
in 4to.;) the three hundred and fifty- eight notes form a classic
and original work on the Arabian antiquities.]

The measure of population is regulated by the means of
subsistence; and the inhabitants of this vast peninsula might be
outnumbered by the subjects of a fertile and industrious
province. Along the shores of the Persian Gulf, of the ocean, and
even of the Red Sea, the Icthyophagi, ^9 or fish eaters,
continued to wander in quest of their precarious food. In this
primitive and abject state, which ill deserves the name of
society, the human brute, without arts or laws, almost without
sense or language, is poorly distinguished from the rest of the
animal creation. Generations and ages might roll away in silent
oblivion, and the helpless savage was restrained from multiplying
his race by the wants and pursuits which confined his existence
to the narrow margin of the seacoast. But in an early period of
antiquity the great body of the Arabs had emerged from this scene
of misery; and as the naked wilderness could not maintain a
people of hunters, they rose at once to the more secure and
plentiful condition of the pastoral life. The same life is
uniformly pursued by the roving tribes of the desert; and in the
portrait of the modern Bedoweens, we may trace the features of
their ancestors, ^10 who, in the age of Moses or Mahomet, dwelt
under similar tents, and conducted their horses, and camels, and
sheep, to the same springs and the same pastures. Our toil is
lessened, and our wealth is increased, by our dominion over the
useful animals; and the Arabian shepherd had acquired the
absolute possession of a faithful friend and a laborious slave.
^11 Arabia, in the opinion of the naturalist, is the genuine and
original country of the horse; the climate most propitious, not
indeed to the size, but to the spirit and swiftness, of that
generous animal. The merit of the Barb, the Spanish, and the
English breed, is derived from a mixture of Arabian blood: ^12
the Bedoweens preserve, with superstitious care, the honors and
the memory of the purest race: the males are sold at a high
price, but the females are seldom alienated; and the birth of a
noble foal was esteemed among the tribes, as a subject of joy and
mutual congratulation. These horses are educated in the tents,
among the children of the Arabs, with a tender familiarity, which
trains them in the habits of gentleness and attachment. They are
accustomed only to walk and to gallop: their sensations are not
blunted by the incessant abuse of the spur and the whip: their
powers are reserved for the moments of flight and pursuit: but no
sooner do they feel the touch of the hand or the stirrup, than
they dart away with the swiftness of the wind; and if their
friend be dismounted in the rapid career, they instantly stop
till he has recovered his seat. In the sands of Africa and
Arabia, the camel is a sacred and precious gift. That strong and
patient beast of burden can perform, without eating or drinking,
a journey of several days; and a reservoir of fresh water is
preserved in a large bag, a fifth stomach of the animal, whose
body is imprinted with the marks of servitude: the larger breed
is capable of transporting a weight of a thousand pounds; and the
dromedary, of a lighter and more active frame, outstrips the
fleetest courser in the race. Alive or dead, almost every part
of the camel is serviceable to man: her milk is plentiful and
nutritious: the young and tender flesh has the taste of veal: ^13
a valuable salt is extracted from the urine: the dung supplies
the deficiency of fuel; and the long hair, which falls each year
and is renewed, is coarsely manufactured into the garments, the
furniture, and the tents of the Bedoweens. In the rainy seasons,
they consume the rare and insufficient herbage of the desert:
during the heats of summer and the scarcity of winter, they
remove their encampments to the sea-coast, the hills of Yemen, or
the neighborhood of the Euphrates, and have often extorted the
dangerous license of visiting the banks of the Nile, and the
villages of Syria and Palestine. The life of a wandering Arab is
a life of danger and distress; and though sometimes, by rapine or
exchange, he may appropriate the fruits of industry, a private
citizen in Europe is in the possession of more solid and pleasing
luxury than the proudest emir, who marches in the field at the
head of ten thousand horse.

[Footnote 9: Arrian remarks the Icthyophagi of the coast of
Hejez, (Periplus Maris Erythraei, p. 12,) and beyond Aden, (p.
15.) It seems probable that the shores of the Red Sea (in the
largest sense) were occupied by these savages in the time,
perhaps, of Cyrus; but I can hardly believe that any cannibals
were left among the savages in the reign of Justinian. (Procop.
de Bell. Persic. l. i. c. 19.)]

[Footnote 10: See the Specimen Historiae Arabum of Pocock, p. 2,
5, 86, &c. The journey of M. d'Arvieux, in 1664, to the camp of
the emir of Mount Carmel, (Voyage de la Palestine, Amsterdam,
1718,) exhibits a pleasing and original picture of the life of
the Bedoweens, which may be illustrated from Niebuhr (Description
de l'Arabie, p. 327 - 344) and Volney, (tom. i. p. 343 - 385,)
the last and most judicious of our Syrian travellers.]

[Footnote 11: Read (it is no unpleasing task) the incomparable
articles of the Horse and the Camel, in the Natural History of M.
de Buffon.]

[Footnote 12: For the Arabian horses, see D'Arvieux (p. 159 -
173) and Niebuhr, (p. 142 - 144.) At the end of the xiiith
century, the horses of Neged were esteemed sure-footed, those of
Yemen strong and serviceable, those of Hejaz most noble. The
horses of Europe, the tenth and last class, were generally
despised as having too much body and too little spirit,
(D'Herbelot, Bibliot. Orient. p. 339: ) their strength was
requisite to bear the weight of the knight and his armor]

[Footnote 13: Qui carnibus camelorum vesci solent odii tenaces
sunt, was the opinion of an Arabian physician, (Pocock, Specimen,
p. 88.) Mahomet himself, who was fond of milk, prefers the cow,
and does not even mention the camel; but the diet of Mecca and
Medina was already more luxurious, (Gagnier Vie de Mahomet, tom.
iii. p. 404.)]

Yet an essential difference may be found between the hordes
of Scythia and the Arabian tribes; since many of the latter were
collected into towns, and employed in the labors of trade and
agriculture. A part of their time and industry was still devoted
to the management of their cattle: they mingled, in peace and
war, with their brethren of the desert; and the Bedoweens derived
from their useful intercourse some supply of their wants, and
some rudiments of art and knowledge. Among the forty-two cities
of Arabia, ^14 enumerated by Abulfeda, the most ancient and
populous were situate in the happy Yemen: the towers of Saana,
^15 and the marvellous reservoir of Merab, ^16 were constructed
by the kings of the Homerites; but their profane lustre was
eclipsed by the prophetic glories of Medina ^17 and Mecca, ^18
near the Red Sea, and at the distance from each other of two
hundred and seventy miles. The last of these holy places was
known to the Greeks under the name of Macoraba; and the
termination of the word is expressive of its greatness, which has
not, indeed, in the most flourishing period, exceeded the size
and populousness of Marseilles. Some latent motive, perhaps of
superstition, must have impelled the founders, in the choice of a
most unpromising situation. They erected their habitations of mud
or stone, in a plain about two miles long and one mile broad, at
the foot of three barren mountains: the soil is a rock; the water
even of the holy well of Zemzem is bitter or brackish; the
pastures are remote from the city; and grapes are transported
above seventy miles from the gardens of Tayef. The fame and
spirit of the Koreishites, who reigned in Mecca, were conspicuous
among the Arabian tribes; but their ungrateful soil refused the
labors of agriculture, and their position was favorable to the
enterprises of trade. By the seaport of Gedda, at the distance
only of forty miles, they maintained an easy correspondence with
Abyssinia; and that Christian kingdom afforded the first refuge
to the disciples of Mahomet. The treasures of Africa were
conveyed over the Peninsula to Gerrha or Katif, in the province
of Bahrein, a city built, as it is said, of rock-salt, by the
Chaldaean exiles; ^19 and from thence with the native pearls of
the Persian Gulf, they were floated on rafts to the mouth of the
Euphrates. Mecca is placed almost at an equal distance, a
month's journey, between Yemen on the right, and Syria on the
left hand. The former was the winter, the latter the summer,
station of her caravans; and their seasonable arrival relieved
the ships of India from the tedious and troublesome navigation of
the Red Sea. In the markets of Saana and Merab, in the harbors
of Oman and Aden, the camels of the Koreishites were laden with a
precious cargo of aromatics; a supply of corn and manufactures
was purchased in the fairs of Bostra and Damascus; the lucrative
exchange diffused plenty and riches in the streets of Mecca; and
the noblest of her sons united the love of arms with the
profession of merchandise. ^20

[Footnote 14: Yet Marcian of Heraclea (in Periplo, p. 16, in tom.
i. Hudson, Minor. Geograph.) reckons one hundred and sixty-four
towns in Arabia Felix. The size of the towns might be small - the
faith of the writer might be large.]

[Footnote 15: It is compared by Abulfeda (in Hudson, tom. ii. p.
54) to Damascus, and is still the residence of the Iman of Yemen,
(Voyages de Niebuhr, tom. i. p. 331 - 342.) Saana is twenty-four
parasangs from Dafar, (Abulfeda, p. 51,) and sixty-eight from
Aden, (p. 53.)]

[Footnote 16: Pocock, Specimen, p. 57. Geograph. Nubiensis, p.
52. Meriaba, or Merab, six miles in circumference, was destroyed
by the legions of Augustus, (Plin. Hist. Nat. vi. 32,) and had
not revived in the xivth century, (Abulfed. Descript. Arab. p.

Note: See note 2 to chap. i. The destruction of Meriaba by
the Romans is doubtful. The town never recovered the inundation
which took place from the bursting of a large reservoir of water
- an event of great importance in the Arabian annals, and
discussed at considerable length by modern Orientalists. - M.]

[Footnote 17: The name of city, Medina, was appropriated, to
Yatreb. (the Iatrippa of the Greeks,) the seat of the prophet.
The distances from Medina are reckoned by Abulfeda in stations,
or days' journey of a caravan, (p. 15: ) to Bahrein, xv.; to
Bassora, xviii.; to Cufah, xx.; to Damascus or Palestine, xx.; to
Cairo, xxv.; to Mecca. x.; from Mecca to Saana, (p. 52,) or Aden,
xxx.; to Cairo, xxxi. days, or 412 hours, (Shaw's Travels, p.
477;) which, according to the estimate of D'Anville, (Mesures
Itineraires, p. 99,) allows about twenty-five English miles for a
day's journey. From the land of frankincense (Hadramaut, in
Yemen, between Aden and Cape Fartasch) to Gaza in Syria, Pliny
(Hist. Nat. xii. 32) computes lxv. mansions of camels. These
measures may assist fancy and elucidate facts.]

[Footnote 18: Our notions of Mecca must be drawn from the
Arabians, (D'Herbelot, Bibliotheque Orientale, p. 368 - 371.
Pocock, Specimen, p. 125 - 128. Abulfeda, p. 11 - 40.) As no
unbeliever is permitted to enter the city, our travellers are
silent; and the short hints of Thevenot (Voyages du Levant, part
i. p. 490) are taken from the suspicious mouth of an African
renegado. Some Persians counted 6000 houses, (Chardin. tom. iv.
p. 167.)

Note: Even in the time of Gibbon, Mecca had not been so
inaccessible to Europeans. It had been visited by Ludovico
Barthema, and by one Joseph Pitts, of Exeter, who was taken
prisoner by the Moors, and forcibly converted to Mahometanism.
His volume is a curious, though plain, account of his sufferings
and travels. Since that time Mecca has been entered, and the
ceremonies witnessed, by Dr. Seetzen, whose papers were
unfortunately lost; by the Spaniard, who called himself Ali Bey;
and, lastly, by Burckhardt, whose description leaves nothing
wanting to satisfy the curiosity. - M.]

[Footnote 19: Strabo, l. xvi. p. 1110. See one of these salt
houses near Bassora, in D'Herbelot, Bibliot. Orient. p. 6.]

[Footnote 20: Mirum dictu ex innumeris populis pars aequa in
commerciis aut in latrociniis degit, (Plin. Hist. Nat. vi. 32.)
See Sale's Koran, Sura. cvi. p. 503. Pocock, Specimen, p. 2.
D'Herbelot, Bibliot. Orient. p. 361. Prideaux's Life of Mahomet,
p. 5. Gagnier, Vie de Mahomet, tom. i. p. 72, 120, 126, &c.]

The perpetual independence of the Arabs has been the theme
of praise among strangers and natives; and the arts of
controversy transform this singular event into a prophecy and a
miracle, in favor of the posterity of Ismael. ^21 Some
exceptions, that can neither be dismissed nor eluded, render this
mode of reasoning as indiscreet as it is superfluous; the kingdom
of Yemen has been successively subdued by the Abyssinians, the
Persians, the sultans of Egypt, ^22 and the Turks; ^23 the holy
cities of Mecca and Medina have repeatedly bowed under a Scythian
tyrant; and the Roman province of Arabia ^24 embraced the
peculiar wilderness in which Ismael and his sons must have
pitched their tents in the face of their brethren. Yet these
exceptions are temporary or local; the body of the nation has
escaped the yoke of the most powerful monarchies: the arms of
Sesostris and Cyrus, of Pompey and Trajan, could never achieve
the conquest of Arabia; the present sovereign of the Turks ^25
may exercise a shadow of jurisdiction, but his pride is reduced
to solicit the friendship of a people, whom it is dangerous to
provoke, and fruitless to attack. The obvious causes of their
freedom are inscribed on the character and country of the Arabs.
Many ages before Mahomet, ^26 their intrepid valor had been
severely felt by their neighbors in offensive and defensive war.
The patient and active virtues of a soldier are insensibly nursed
in the habits and discipline of a pastoral life. The care of the
sheep and camels is abandoned to the women of the tribe; but the
martial youth, under the banner of the emir, is ever on
horseback, and in the field, to practise the exercise of the bow,
the javelin, and the cimeter. The long memory of their
independence is the firmest pledge of its perpetuity and
succeeding generations are animated to prove their descent, and
to maintain their inheritance. Their domestic feuds are
suspended on the approach of a common enemy; and in their last
hostilities against the Turks, the caravan of Mecca was attacked
and pillaged by fourscore thousand of the confederates. When they
advance to battle, the hope of victory is in the front; in the
rear, the assurance of a retreat. Their horses and camels, who,
in eight or ten days, can perform a march of four or five hundred
miles, disappear before the conqueror; the secret waters of the
desert elude his search, and his victorious troops are consumed
with thirst, hunger, and fatigue, in the pursuit of an invisible
foe, who scorns his efforts, and safely reposes in the heart of
the burning solitude. The arms and deserts of the Bedoweens are
not only the safeguards of their own freedom, but the barriers
also of the happy Arabia, whose inhabitants, remote from war, are
enervated by the luxury of the soil and climate. The legions of
Augustus melted away in disease and lassitude; ^27 and it is only
by a naval power that the reduction of Yemen has been
successfully attempted. When Mahomet erected his holy standard,
^28 that kingdom was a province of the Persian empire; yet seven
princes of the Homerites still reigned in the mountains; and the
vicegerent of Chosroes was tempted to forget his distant country
and his unfortunate master. The historians of the age of
Justinian represent the state of the independent Arabs, who were
divided by interest or affection in the long quarrel of the East:
the tribe of Gassan was allowed to encamp on the Syrian
territory: the princes of Hira were permitted to form a city
about forty miles to the southward of the ruins of Babylon.
Their service in the field was speedy and vigorous; but their
friendship was venal, their faith inconstant, their enmity
capricious: it was an easier task to excite than to disarm these
roving barbarians; and, in the familiar intercourse of war, they
learned to see, and to despise, the splendid weakness both of
Rome and of Persia. From Mecca to the Euphrates, the Arabian
tribes ^29 were confounded by the Greeks and Latins, under the
general appellation of Saracens, ^30 a name which every Christian
mouth has been taught to pronounce with terror and abhorrence.

[Footnote 21: A nameless doctor (Universal Hist. vol. xx. octavo
edition) has formally demonstrated the truth of Christianity by
the independence of the Arabs. A critic, besides the exceptions
of fact, might dispute the meaning of the text (Gen. xvi. 12,)
the extent of the application, and the foundation of the

Note: See note 3 to chap. xlvi. The atter point is probably
the least contestable of the three. - M.]

[Footnote 22: It was subdued, A.D. 1173, by a brother of the
great Saladin, who founded a dynasty of Curds or Ayoubites,
(Guignes, Hist. des Huns, tom. i. p. 425. D'Herbelot, p. 477.)]

[Footnote 23: By the lieutenant of Soliman I. (A.D. 1538) and
Selim II., (1568.) See Cantemir's Hist. of the Othman Empire, p.
201, 221. The pacha, who resided at Saana, commanded twenty-one
beys; but no revenue was ever remitted to the Porte, (Marsigli,
Stato Militare dell' Imperio Ottomanno, p. 124,) and the Turks
were expelled about the year 1630, (Niebuhr, p. 167, 168.)]

[Footnote 24: Of the Roman province, under the name of Arabia and
the third Palestine, the principal cities were Bostra and Petra,
which dated their aera from the year 105, when they were subdued
by Palma, a lieutenant of Trajan, (Dion. Cassius, l. lxviii.)
Petra was the capital of the Nabathaeans; whose name is derived
from the eldest of the sons of Ismael, (Gen. xxv. 12, &c., with
the Commentaries of Jerom, Le Clerc, and Calmet.) Justinian
relinquished a palm country of ten days' journey to the south of
Aelah, (Procop. de Bell. Persic. l. i. c. 19,) and the Romans
maintained a centurion and a custom-house, (Arrian in Periplo
Maris Erythraei, p. 11, in Hudson, tom. i.,) at a place (Pagus
Albus, Hawara) in the territory of Medina, (D'Anville, Memoire
sur l'Egypte, p. 243.) These real possessions, and some naval
inroads of Trajan, (Peripl. p. 14, 15,) are magnified by history
and medals into the Roman conquest of Arabia.

Note: On the ruins of Petra, see the travels of Messrs. Irby
and Mangles, and of Leon de Laborde. - M.]

[Footnote 25: Niebuhr (Description de l'Arabie, p. 302, 303, 329
- 331) affords the most recent and authentic intelligence of the
Turkish empire in Arabia.

Note: Niebuhr's, notwithstanding the multitude of later
travellers, maintains its ground, as the classical work on
Arabia. - M.]

[Footnote 26: Diodorus Siculus (tom. ii. l. xix. p. 390 - 393,
edit. Wesseling) has clearly exposed the freedom of the
Nabathaean Arabs, who resisted the arms of Antigonus and his

[Footnote 27: Strabo, l. xvi. p. 1127 - 1129. Plin. Hist. Natur.
vi. 32. Aelius Gallus landed near Medina, and marched near a
thousand miles into the part of Yemen between Mareb and the
Ocean. The non ante devictis Sabeae regibus, (Od. i. 29,) and
the intacti Arabum thesanri (Od. iii. 24) of Horace, attest the
virgin purity of Arabia.]

[Footnote 28: See the imperfect history of Yemen in Pocock,
Specimen, p. 55 - 66, of Hira, p. 66 - 74, of Gassan, p. 75 - 78,
as far as it could be known or preserved in the time of

Book of the day: