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The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

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Gunther, (Hist. C. P. c. 14 - 18,) who added the decorations of
prophecy and vision. The former produces an oracle of the
Erythraean sibyl, of a great armament on the Adriatic, under a
blind chief, against Byzantium, &c. Curious enough, were the
prediction anterior to the fact.]

Constantinople had been taken by storm; and no restraints,
except those of religion and humanity, were imposed on the
conquerors by the laws of war. Boniface, marquis of Montferrat,
still acted as their general; and the Greeks, who revered his
name as that of their future sovereign, were heard to exclaim in
a lamentable tone, "Holy marquis-king, have mercy upon us!" His
prudence or compassion opened the gates of the city to the
fugitives; and he exhorted the soldiers of the cross to spare the
lives of their fellow- Christians. The streams of blood that
flowed down the pages of Nicetas may be reduced to the slaughter
of two thousand of his unresisting countrymen; ^85 and the
greater part was massacred, not by the strangers, but by the
Latins, who had been driven from the city, and who exercised the
revenge of a triumphant faction. Yet of these exiles, some were
less mindful of injuries than of benefits; and Nicetas himself
was indebted for his safety to the generosity of a Venetian
merchant. Pope Innocent the Third accuses the pilgrims for
respecting, in their lust, neither age nor sex, nor religious
profession; and bitterly laments that the deeds of darkness,
fornication, adultery, and incest, were perpetrated in open day;
and that noble matrons and holy nuns were polluted by the grooms
and peasants of the Catholic camp. ^86 It is indeed probable that
the license of victory prompted and covered a multitude of sins:
but it is certain, that the capital of the East contained a stock
of venal or willing beauty, sufficient to satiate the desires of
twenty thousand pilgrims; and female prisoners were no longer
subject to the right or abuse of domestic slavery. The marquis
of Montferrat was the patron of discipline and decency; the count
of Flanders was the mirror of chastity: they had forbidden, under
pain of death, the rape of married women, or virgins, or nuns;
and the proclamation was sometimes invoked by the vanquished ^87
and respected by the victors. Their cruelty and lust were
moderated by the authority of the chiefs, and feelings of the
soldiers; for we are no longer describing an irruption of the
northern savages; and however ferocious they might still appear,
time, policy, and religion had civilized the manners of the
French, and still more of the Italians. But a free scope was
allowed to their avarice, which was glutted, even in the holy
week, by the pillage of Constantinople. The right of victory,
unshackled by any promise or treaty, had confiscated the public
and private wealth of the Greeks; and every hand, according to
its size and strength, might lawfully execute the sentence and
seize the forfeiture. A portable and universal standard of
exchange was found in the coined and uncoined metals of gold and
silver, which each captor, at home or abroad, might convert into
the possessions most suitable to his temper and situation. Of
the treasures, which trade and luxury had accumulated, the silks,
velvets, furs, the gems, spices, and rich movables, were the most
precious, as they could not be procured for money in the ruder
countries of Europe. An order of rapine was instituted; nor was
the share of each individual abandoned to industry or chance.
Under the tremendous penalties of perjury, excommunication, and
death, the Latins were bound to deliver their plunder into the
common stock: three churches were selected for the deposit and
distribution of the spoil: a single share was allotted to a
foot-soldier; two for a sergeant on horseback; four to a knight;
and larger proportions according to the rank and merit of the
barons and princes. For violating this sacred engagement, a
knight belonging to the count of St. Paul was hanged with his
shield and coat of arms round his neck; his example might render
similar offenders more artful and discreet; but avarice was more
powerful than fear; and it is generally believed that the secret
far exceeded the acknowledged plunder. Yet the magnitude of the
prize surpassed the largest scale of experience or expectation.
^88 After the whole had been equally divided between the French
and Venetians, fifty thousand marks were deducted to satisfy the
debts of the former and the demands of the latter. The residue
of the French amounted to four hundred thousand marks of silver,
^89 about eight hundred thousand pounds sterling; nor can I
better appreciate the value of that sum in the public and private
transactions of the age, than by defining it as seven times the
annual revenue of the kingdom of England. ^90
[Footnote 85: Ceciderunt tamen ea die civium quasi duo millia,
&c., (Gunther, c. 18.) Arithmetic is an excellent touchstone to
try the amplifications of passion and rhetoric.]

[Footnote 86: Quidam (says Innocent III., Gesta, c. 94, p. 538)
nec religioni, nec aetati, nec sexui pepercerunt: sed
fornicationes, adulteria, et incestus in oculis omnium
exercentes, non solum maritatas et viduas, sed et matronas et
virgines Deoque dicatas, exposuerunt spurcitiis garcionum.
Villehardouin takes no notice of these common incidents.]

[Footnote 87: Nicetas saved, and afterwards married, a noble
virgin, (p. 380,) whom a soldier, had almost violated.]

[Footnote 88: Of the general mass of wealth, Gunther observes, ut
de pauperius et advenis cives ditissimi redderentur, (Hist. C. P.
c. 18; (Villehardouin, (No. 132,) that since the creation, ne fu
tant gaaignie dans une ville; Baldwin, (Gesta, c. 92,) ut tantum
tota non videatur possidere Latinitas.]
[Footnote 89: Villehardouin, No. 133 - 135. Instead of 400,000,
there is a various reading of 500,000. The Venetians had offered
to take the whole booty, and to give 400 marks to each knight,
200 to each priest and horseman, and 100 to each foot-soldier:
they would have been great losers, (Le Beau, Hist. du. Bas Empire
tom. xx. p. 506. I know not from whence.)]
[Footnote 90: At the council of Lyons (A.D. 1245) the English
ambassadors stated the revenue of the crown as below that of the
foreign clergy, which amounted to 60,000 marks a year, (Matthew
Paris, p. 451 Hume's Hist. of England, vol. ii. p. 170.)]

In this great revolution we enjoy the singular felicity of
comparing the narratives of Villehardouin and Nicetas, the
opposite feelings of the marshal of Champagne and the Byzantine
senator. ^91 At the first view it should seem that the wealth of
Constantinople was only transferred from one nation to another;
and that the loss and sorrow of the Greeks is exactly balanced by
the joy and advantage of the Latins. But in the miserable
account of war, the gain is never equivalent to the loss, the
pleasure to the pain; the smiles of the Latins were transient and
fallacious; the Greeks forever wept over the ruins of their
country; and their real calamities were aggravated by sacrilege
and mockery. What benefits accrued to the conquerors from the
three fires which annihilated so vast a portion of the buildings
and riches of the city? What a stock of such things, as could
neither be used nor transported, was maliciously or wantonly
destroyed! How much treasure was idly wasted in gaming,
debauchery, and riot! And what precious objects were bartered
for a vile price by the impatience or ignorance of the soldiers,
whose reward was stolen by the base industry of the last of the
Greeks! These alone, who had nothing to lose, might derive some
profit from the revolution; but the misery of the upper ranks of
society is strongly painted in the personal adventures of Nicetas
himself His stately palace had been reduced to ashes in the
second conflagration; and the senator, with his family and
friends, found an obscure shelter in another house which he
possessed near the church of St. Sophia. It was the door of this
mean habitation that his friend, the Venetian merchant, guarded
in the disguise of a soldier, till Nicetas could save, by a
precipitate flight, the relics of his fortune and the chastity of
his daughter. In a cold, wintry season, these fugitives, nursed
in the lap of prosperity, departed on foot; his wife was with
child; the desertion of their slaves compelled them to carry
their baggage on their own shoulders; and their women, whom they
placed in the centre, were exhorted to conceal their beauty with
dirt, instead of adorning it with paint and jewels Every step was
exposed to insult and danger: the threats of the strangers were
less painful than the taunts of the plebeians, with whom they
were now levelled; nor did the exiles breathe in safety till
their mournful pilgrimage was concluded at Sclymbria, above forty
miles from the capital. On the way they overtook the patriarch,
without attendance and almost without apparel, riding on an ass,
and reduced to a state of apostolical poverty, which, had it been
voluntary, might perhaps have been meritorious. In the mean
while, his desolate churches were profaned by the licentiousness
and party zeal of the Latins. After stripping the gems and
pearls, they converted the chalices into drinking-cups; their
tables, on which they gamed and feasted, were covered with the
pictures of Christ and the saints; and they trampled under foot
the most venerable objects of the Christian worship. In the
cathedral of St. Sophia, the ample veil of the sanctuary was rent
asunder for the sake of the golden fringe; and the altar, a
monument of art and riches, was broken in pieces and shared among
the captors. Their mules and horses were laden with the wrought
silver and gilt carvings, which they tore down from the doors and
pulpit; and if the beasts stumbled under the burden, they were
stabbed by their impatient drivers, and the holy pavement
streamed with their impure blood. A prostitute was seated on the
throne of the patriarch; and that daughter of Belial, as she is
styled, sung and danced in the church, to ridicule the hymns and
processions of the Orientals. Nor were the repositories of the
royal dead secure from violation: in the church of the Apostles,
the tombs of the emperors were rifled; and it is said, that after
six centuries the corpse of Justinian was found without any signs
of decay or putrefaction. In the streets, the French and
Flemings clothed themselves and their horses in painted robes and
flowing head-dresses of linen; and the coarse intemperance of
their feasts ^92 insulted the splendid sobriety of the East. To
expose the arms of a people of scribes and scholars, they
affected to display a pen, an inkhorn, and a sheet of paper,
without discerning that the instruments of science and valor were
alike feeble and useless in the hands of the modern Greeks.

[Footnote 91: The disorders of the sack of Constantinople, and
his own adventures, are feelingly described by Nicetas, p. 367 -
369, and in the Status Urb. C. P. p. 375 - 384. His complaints,
even of sacrilege, are justified by Innocent III., (Gesta, c.
92;) but Villehardouin does not betray a symptom of pity or

[Footnote 92: If I rightly apprehend the Greek of Nicetas's
receipts, their favorite dishes were boiled buttocks of beef,
salt pork and peas, and soup made of garlic and sharp or sour
herbs, (p. 382.)]

Their reputation and their language encouraged them,
however, to despise the ignorance and to overlook the progress of
the Latins. ^93 In the love of the arts, the national difference
was still more obvious and real; the Greeks preserved with
reverence the works of their ancestors, which they could not
imitate; and, in the destruction of the statues of
Constantinople, we are provoked to join in the complaints and
invectives of the Byzantine historian. ^94 We have seen how the
rising city was adorned by the vanity and despotism of the
Imperial founder: in the ruins of paganism, some gods and heroes
were saved from the axe of superstition; and the forum and
hippodrome were dignified with the relics of a better age.
Several of these are described by Nicetas, ^95 in a florid and
affected style; and from his descriptions I shall select some
interesting particulars. 1. The victorious charioteers were cast
in bronze, at their own or the public charge, and fitly placed in
the hippodrome: they stood aloft in their chariots, wheeling
round the goal: the spectators could admire their attitude, and
judge of the resemblance; and of these figures, the most perfect
might have been transported from the Olympic stadium. 2. The
sphinx, river-horse, and crocodile, denote the climate and
manufacture of Egypt and the spoils of that ancient province. 3.
The she-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus, a subject alike pleasing
to the old and the new Romans, but which could really be treated
before the decline of the Greek sculpture. 4. An eagle holding
and tearing a serpent in his talons, a domestic monument of the
Byzantines, which they ascribed, not to a human artist, but to
the magic power of the philosopher Apollonius, who, by this
talisman, delivered the city from such venomous reptiles. 5. An
ass and his driver, which were erected by Augustus in his colony
of Nicopolis, to commemorate a verbal omen of the victory of
Actium. 6. An equestrian statue which passed, in the vulgar
opinion, for Joshua, the Jewish conqueror, stretching out his
hand to stop the course of the descending sun. A more classical
tradition recognized the figures of Bellerophon and Pegasus; and
the free attitude of the steed seemed to mark that he trod on
air, rather than on the earth. 7. A square and lofty obelisk of
brass; the sides were embossed with a variety of picturesque and
rural scenes, birds singing; rustics laboring, or playing on
their pipes; sheep bleating; lambs skipping; the sea, and a scene
of fish and fishing; little naked cupids laughing, playing, and
pelting each other with apples; and, on the summit, a female
figure, turning with the slightest breath, and thence denominated
the wind's attendant. 8. The Phrygian shepherd presenting to
Venus the prize of beauty, the apple of discord. 9. The
incomparable statue of Helen, which is delineated by Nicetas in
the words of admiration and love: her well-turned feet, snowy
arms, rosy lips, bewitching smiles, swimming eyes, arched
eyebrows, the harmony of her shape, the lightness of her drapery,
and her flowing locks that waved in the wind; a beauty that might
have moved her Barbarian destroyers to pity and remorse. 10. The
manly or divine form of Hercules, ^96 as he was restored to life
by the masterhand of Lysippus; of such magnitude, that his thumb
was equal to his waist, his leg to the stature, of a common man:
^97 his chest ample, his shoulders broad, his limbs strong and
muscular, his hair curled, his aspect commanding. Without his
bow, or quiver, or club, his lion's skin carelessly thrown over
him, he was seated on an osier basket, his right leg and arm
stretched to the utmost, his left knee bent, and supporting his
elbow, his head reclining on his left hand, his countenance
indignant and pensive. 11. A colossal statue of Juno, which had
once adorned her temple of Samos, the enormous head by four yoke
of oxen was laboriously drawn to the palace. 12. Another
colossus, of Pallas or Minerva, thirty feet in height, and
representing with admirable spirit the attributes and character
of the martial maid. Before we accuse the Latins, it is just to
remark, that this Pallas was destroyed after the first siege, by
the fear and superstition of the Greeks themselves. ^98 The other
statues of brass which I have enumerated were broken and melted
by the unfeeling avarice of the crusaders: the cost and labor
were consumed in a moment; the soul of genius evaporated in
smoke; and the remnant of base metal was coined into money for
the payment of the troops. Bronze is not the most durable of
monuments: from the marble forms of Phidias and Praxiteles, the
Latins might turn aside with stupid contempt; ^99 but unless they
were crushed by some accidental injury, those useless stones
stood secure on their pedestals. ^100 The most enlightened of the
strangers, above the gross and sensual pursuits of their
countrymen, more piously exercised the right of conquest in the
search and seizure of the relics of the saints. ^101 Immense was
the supply of heads and bones, crosses and images, that were
scattered by this revolution over the churches of Europe; and
such was the increase of pilgrimage and oblation, that no branch,
perhaps, of more lucrative plunder was imported from the East.
^102 Of the writings of antiquity, many that still existed in the
twelfth century, are now lost. But the pilgrims were not
solicitous to save or transport the volumes of an unknown tongue:
the perishable substance of paper or parchment can only be
preserved by the multiplicity of copies; the literature of the
Greeks had almost centred in the metropolis; and, without
computing the extent of our loss, we may drop a tear over the
libraries that have perished in the triple fire of
Constantinople. ^103

[Footnote 93: Nicetas uses very harsh expressions, (Fragment,
apud Fabric. Bibliot. Graec. tom. vi. p. 414.) This reproach, it
is true, applies most strongly to their ignorance of Greek and of
Homer. In their own language, the Latins of the xiith and xiiith
centuries were not destitute of literature. See Harris's
Philological Inquiries, p. iii. c. 9, 10, 11.]
[Footnote 94: Nicetas was of Chonae in Phrygia, (the old Colossae
of St. Paul:) he raised himself to the honors of senator, judge
of the veil, and great logothete; beheld the fall of the empire,
retired to Nice, and composed an elaborate history from the death
of Alexius Comnenus to the reign of Henry.]

[Footnote 95: A manuscript of Nicetas in the Bodleian library
contains this curious fragment on the statues of Constantinople,
which fraud, or shame, or rather carelessness, has dropped in the
common editions. It is published by Fabricius, (Bibliot. Graec.
tom. vi. p. 405 - 416,) and immoderately praised by the late
ingenious Mr. Harris of Salisbury, (Philological Inquiries, p.
iii. c. 5, p. 301 - 312.)]

[Footnote 96: To illustrate the statue of Hercules, Mr. Harris
quotes a Greek epigram, and engraves a beautiful gem, which does
not, however, copy the attitude of the statue: in the latter,
Hercules had not his club, and his right leg and arm were

[Footnote 97: I transcribe these proportions, which appear to me
inconsistent with each other; and may possibly show, that the
boasted taste of Nicetas was no more than affectation and

[Footnote 98: Nicetas in Isaaco Angelo et Alexio, c. 3, p. 359.
The Latin editor very properly observes, that the historian, in
his bombast style, produces ex pulice elephantem.]

[Footnote 99: In two passages of Nicetas (edit. Paris, p. 360.
Fabric. p. 408) the Latins are branded with the lively reproach
and their avarice of brass is clearly expressed. Yet the
Venetians had the merit of removing four bronze horses from
Constantinople to the place of St. Mark, (Sanuto, Vite del Dogi,
in Muratori, Script. Rerum Italicarum, tom. xxii. p. 534.)]
[Footnote 100: Winckelman, Hist. de l'Art. tom. iii. p. 269,
[Footnote 101: See the pious robbery of the abbot Martin, who
transferred a rich cargo to his monastery of Paris, diocese of
Basil, (Gunther, Hist. C. P. c. 19, 23, 24.) Yet in secreting
this booty, the saint incurred an excommunication, and perhaps
broke his oath. (Compare Wilken vol. v. p. 308. - M.)]

[Footnote 102: Fleury, Hist. Eccles tom. xvi. p. 139 - 145.]

[Footnote 103: I shall conclude this chapter with the notice of a
modern history, which illustrates the taking of Constantinople by
the Latins; but which has fallen somewhat late into my hands.
Paolo Ramusio, the son of the compiler of Voyages, was directed
by the senate of Venice to write the history of the conquest: and
this order, which he received in his youth, he executed in a
mature age, by an elegant Latin work, de Bello
Constantinopolitano et Imperatoribus Comnenis per Gallos et
Venetos restitutis, (Venet. 1635, in folio.) Ramusio, or
Rhamnusus, transcribes and translates, sequitur ad unguem, a Ms.
of Villehardouin, which he possessed; but he enriches his
narrative with Greek and Latin materials, and we are indebted to
him for a correct state of the fleet, the names of the fifty
Venetian nobles who commanded the galleys of the republic, and
the patriot opposition of Pantaleon Barbus to the choice of the
doge for emperor.]

Chapter LXI: Partition Of The Empire By The French And Venetians.

Part I.

Partition Of The Empire By The French And Venetians, - Five
Latin Emperors Of The Houses Of Flanders And Courtenay. - Their
Wars Against The Bulgarians And Greeks. - Weakness And Poverty Of
The Latin Empire. - Recovery Of Constantinople By The Greeks. -
General Consequences Of The Crusades.

After the death of the lawful princes, the French and
Venetians, confident of justice and victory, agreed to divide and
regulate their future possessions. ^1 It was stipulated by
treaty, that twelve electors, six of either nation, should be
nominated; that a majority should choose the emperor of the East;
and that, if the votes were equal, the decision of chance should
ascertain the successful candidate. To him, with all the titles
and prerogatives of the Byzantine throne, they assigned the two
palaces of Boucoleon and Blachernae, with a fourth part of the
Greek monarchy. It was defined that the three remaining portions
should be equally shared between the republic of Venice and the
barons of France; that each feudatory, with an honorable
exception for the doge, should acknowledge and perform the duties
of homage and military service to the supreme head of the empire;
that the nation which gave an emperor, should resign to their
brethren the choice of a patriarch; and that the pilgrims,
whatever might be their impatience to visit the Holy Land, should
devote another year to the conquest and defence of the Greek
provinces. After the conquest of Constantinople by the Latins,
the treaty was confirmed and executed; and the first and most
important step was the creation of an emperor. The six electors
of the French nation were all ecclesiastics, the abbot of Loces,
the archbishop elect of Acre in Palestine, and the bishops of
Troyes, Soissons, Halberstadt, and Bethlehem, the last of whom
exercised in the camp the office of pope's legate: their
profession and knowledge were respectable; and as they could not
be the objects, they were best qualified to be the authors of the
choice. The six Venetians were the principal servants of the
state, and in this list the noble families of Querini and
Contarini are still proud to discover their ancestors. The
twelve assembled in the chapel of the palace; and after the
solemn invocation of the Holy Ghost, they proceeded to deliberate
and vote. A just impulse of respect and gratitude prompted them
to crown the virtues of the doge; his wisdom had inspired their
enterprise; and the most youthful knights might envy and applaud
the exploits of blindness and age. But the patriot Dandolo was
devoid of all personal ambition, and fully satisfied that he had
been judged worthy to reign. His nomination was overruled by the
Venetians themselves: his countrymen, and perhaps his friends, ^2
represented, with the eloquence of truth, the mischiefs that
might arise to national freedom and the common cause, from the
union of two incompatible characters, of the first magistrate of
a republic and the emperor of the East. The exclusion of the
doge left room for the more equal merits of Boniface and Baldwin;
and at their names all meaner candidates respectfully withdrew.
The marquis of Montferrat was recommended by his mature age and
fair reputation, by the choice of the adventurers, and the wishes
of the Greeks; nor can I believe that Venice, the mistress of the
sea, could be seriously apprehensive of a petty lord at the foot
of the Alps. ^3 But the count of Flanders was the chief of a
wealthy and warlike people: he was valiant, pious, and chaste; in
the prime of life, since he was only thirty- two years of age; a
descendant of Charlemagne, a cousin of the king of France, and a
compeer of the prelates and barons who had yielded with
reluctance to the command of a foreigner. Without the chapel,
these barons, with the doge and marquis at their head, expected
the decision of the twelve electors. It was announced by the
bishop of Soissons, in the name of his colleagues: "Ye have sworn
to obey the prince whom we should choose: by our unanimous
suffrage, Baldwin count of Flanders and Hainault is now your
sovereign, and the emperor of the East." He was saluted with loud
applause, and the proclamation was reechoed through the city by
the joy of the Latins, and the trembling adulation of the Greeks.

Boniface was the first to kiss the hand of his rival, and to
raise him on the buckler: and Baldwin was transported to the
cathedral, and solemnly invested with the purple buskins. At the
end of three weeks he was crowned by the legate, in the vacancy
of the patriarch; but the Venetian clergy soon filled the chapter
of St. Sophia, seated Thomas Morosini on the ecclesiastical
throne, and employed every art to perpetuate in their own nation
the honors and benefices of the Greek church. ^4 Without delay
the successor of Constantine instructed Palestine, France, and
Rome, of this memorable revolution. To Palestine he sent, as a
trophy, the gates of Constantinople, and the chain of the harbor;
^5 and adopted, from the Assise of Jerusalem, the laws or customs
best adapted to a French colony and conquest in the East. In his
epistles, the natives of France are encouraged to swell that
colony, and to secure that conquest, to people a magnificent city
and a fertile land, which will reward the labors both of the
priest and the soldier. He congratulates the Roman pontiff on
the restoration of his authority in the East; invites him to
extinguish the Greek schism by his presence in a general council;
and implores his blessing and forgiveness for the disobedient
pilgrims. Prudence and dignity are blended in the answer of
Innocent. ^6 In the subversion of the Byzantine empire, he
arraigns the vices of man, and adores the providence of God; the
conquerors will be absolved or condemned by their future conduct;
the validity of their treaty depends on the judgment of St.
Peter; but he inculcates their most sacred duty of establishing a
just subordination of obedience and tribute, from the Greeks to
the Latins, from the magistrate to the clergy, and from the
clergy to the pope.

[Footnote 1: See the original treaty of partition, in the
Venetian Chronicle of Andrew Dandolo, p. 326 - 330, and the
subsequent election in Ville hardouin, No. 136 - 140, with
Ducange in his Observations, and the book of his Histoire de
Constantinople sous l'Empire des Francois]

[Footnote 2: After mentioning the nomination of the doge by a
French elector his kinsman Andrew Dandolo approves his exclusion,
quidam Venetorum fidelis et nobilis senex, usus oratione satis
probabili, &c., which has been embroidered by modern writers from
Blondus to Le Beau.]

[Footnote 3: Nicetas, (p. 384,) with the vain ignorance of a
Greek, describes the marquis of Montferrat as a maritime power.
Was he deceived by the Byzantine theme of Lombardy which extended
along the coast of Calabria?]
[Footnote 4: They exacted an oath from Thomas Morosini to appoint
no canons of St. Sophia the lawful electors, except Venetians who
had lived ten years at Venice, &c. But the foreign clergy was
envious, the pope disapproved this national monopoly, and of the
six Latin patriarchs of Constantinople, only the first and the
last were Venetians.]

[Footnote 5: Nicetas, p. 383.]

[Footnote 6: The Epistles of Innocent III. are a rich fund for
the ecclesiastical and civil institution of the Latin empire of
Constantinople; and the most important of these epistles (of
which the collection in 2 vols. in folio is published by Stephen
Baluze) are inserted in his Gesta, in Muratori, Script. Rerum
Italicarum,, tom. iii. p. l. c. 94 - 105.]
In the division of the Greek provinces, ^7 the share of the
Venetians was more ample than that of the Latin emperor. No more
than one fourth was appropriated to his domain; a clear moiety of
the remainder was reserved for Venice; and the other moiety was
distributed among the adventures of France and Lombardy. The
venerable Dandolo was proclaimed despot of Romania, and invested
after the Greek fashion with the purple buskins. He ended at
Constantinople his long and glorious life; and if the prerogative
was personal, the title was used by his successors till the
middle of the fourteenth century, with the singular, though true,
addition of lords of one fourth and a half of the Roman empire.
^8 The doge, a slave of state, was seldom permitted to depart
from the helm of the republic; but his place was supplied by the
bail, or regent, who exercised a supreme jurisdiction over the
colony of Venetians: they possessed three of the eight quarters
of the city; and his independent tribunal was composed of six
judges, four counsellors, two chamberlains two fiscal advocates,
and a constable. Their long experience of the Eastern trade
enabled them to select their portion with discernment: they had
rashly accepted the dominion and defence of Adrianople; but it
was the more reasonable aim of their policy to form a chain of
factories, and cities, and islands, along the maritime coast,
from the neighborhood of Ragusa to the Hellespont and the
Bosphorus. The labor and cost of such extensive conquests
exhausted their treasury: they abandoned their maxims of
government, adopted a feudal system, and contented themselves
with the homage of their nobles, ^9 for the possessions which
these private vassals undertook to reduce and maintain. And thus
it was that the family of Sanut acquired the duchy of Naxos,
which involved the greatest part of the archipelago. For the
price of ten thousand marks, the republic purchased of the
marquis of Montferrat the fertile Island of Crete or Candia, with
the ruins of a hundred cities; ^10 but its improvement was
stinted by the proud and narrow spirit of an aristocracy; ^11 and
the wisest senators would confess that the sea, not the land, was
the treasury of St. Mark. In the moiety of the adventurers the
marquis Boniface might claim the most liberal reward; and,
besides the Isle of Crete, his exclusion from the throne was
compensated by the royal title and the provinces beyond the
Hellespont. But he prudently exchanged that distant and
difficult conquest for the kingdom of Thessalonica Macedonia,
twelve days' journey from the capital, where he might be
supported by the neighboring powers of his brother-in-law the
king of Hungary. His progress was hailed by the voluntary or
reluctant acclamations of the natives; and Greece, the proper and
ancient Greece, again received a Latin conqueror, ^12 who trod
with indifference that classic ground. He viewed with a careless
eye the beauties of the valley of Tempe; traversed with a
cautious step the straits of Thermopylae; occupied the unknown
cities of Thebes, Athens, and Argos; and assaulted the
fortifications of Corinth and Napoli, ^13 which resisted his
arms. The lots of the Latin pilgrims were regulated by chance,
or choice, or subsequent exchange; and they abused, with
intemperate joy, their triumph over the lives and fortunes of a
great people. After a minute survey of the provinces, they
weighed in the scales of avarice the revenue of each district,
the advantage of the situation, and the ample on scanty supplies
for the maintenance of soldiers and horses. Their presumption
claimed and divided the long-lost dependencies of the Roman
sceptre: the Nile and Euphrates rolled through their imaginary
realms; and happy was the warrior who drew for his prize the
palace of the Turkish sultan of Iconium. ^14 I shall not descend
to the pedigree of families and the rent- roll of estates, but I
wish to specify that the counts of Blois and St. Pol were
invested with the duchy of Nice and the lordship of Demotica: ^15
the principal fiefs were held by the service of constable,
chamberlain, cup- bearer, butler, and chief cook; and our
historian, Jeffrey of Villehardouin, obtained a fair
establishment on the banks of the Hebrus, and united the double
office of marshal of Champagne and Romania. At the head of his
knights and archers, each baron mounted on horseback to secure
the possession of his share, and their first efforts were
generally successful. But the public force was weakened by their
dispersion; and a thousand quarrels must arise under a law, and
among men, whose sole umpire was the sword. Within three months
after the conquest of Constantinople, the emperor and the king of
Thessalonica drew their hostile followers into the field; they
were reconciled by the authority of the doge, the advice of the
marshal, and the firm freedom of their peers. ^16

[Footnote 7: In the treaty of partition, most of the names are
corrupted by the scribes: they might be restored, and a good map,
suited to the last age of the Byzantine empire, would be an
improvement of geography. But, alas D'Anville is no more!]

[Footnote 8: Their style was dominus quartae partis et dimidiae
imperii Romani, till Giovanni Dolfino, who was elected doge in
the year of 1356, (Sanuto, p. 530, 641.) For the government of
Constantinople, see Ducange, Histoire de C. P. i. 37.]

[Footnote 9: Ducange (Hist. de C. P. ii. 6) has marked the
conquests made by the state or nobles of Venice of the Islands of
Candia, Corfu, Cephalonia, Zante, Naxos, Paros, Melos, Andros,
Mycone, Syro, Cea, and Lemnos.]
[Footnote 10: Boniface sold the Isle of Candia, August 12, A.D.
1204. See the act in Sanuto, p. 533: but I cannot understand how
it could be his mother's portion, or how she could be the
daughter of an emperor Alexius.]
[Footnote 11: In the year 1212, the doge Peter Zani sent a colony
to Candia, drawn from every quarter of Venice. But in their
savage manners and frequent rebellions, the Candiots may be
compared to the Corsicans under the yoke of Genoa; and when I
compare the accounts of Belon and Tournefort, I cannot discern
much difference between the Venetian and the Turkish island.]
[Footnote 12: Villehardouin (No. 159, 160, 173 - 177) and Nicetas
(p. 387 - 394) describe the expedition into Greece of the marquis
Boniface. The Choniate might derive his information from his
brother Michael, archbishop of Athens, whom he paints as an
orator, a statesman, and a saint. His encomium of Athens, and
the description of Tempe, should be published from the Bodleian
MS. of Nicetas, (Fabric. Bibliot. Graec. tom. vi. p. 405,) and
would have deserved Mr. Harris's inquiries.]

[Footnote 13: Napoli de Romania, or Nauplia, the ancient seaport
of Argos, is still a place of strength and consideration, situate
on a rocky peninsula, with a good harbor, (Chandler's Travels
into Greece, p. 227.)]
[Footnote 14: I have softened the expression of Nicetas, who
strives to expose the presumption of the Franks. See the Rebus
post C.P. expugnatam, p. 375 - 384.]

[Footnote 15: A city surrounded by the River Hebrus, and six
leagues to the south of Adrianople, received from its double wall
the Greek name of Didymoteichos, insensibly corrupted into
Demotica and Dimot. I have preferred the more convenient and
modern appellation of Demotica. This place was the last Turkish
residence of Charles XII.]

[Footnote 16: Their quarrel is told by Villehardouin (No. 146 -
158) with the spirit of freedom. The merit and reputation of the
marshal are so knowledged by the Greek historian (p. 387): unlike
some modern heroes, whose exploits are only visible in their own

Note: William de Champlite, brother of the count of Dijon,
assumed the title of Prince of Achaia: on the death of his
brother, he returned, with regret, to France, to assume his
paternal inheritance, and left Villehardouin his "bailli," on
condition that if he did not return within a year Villehardouin
was to retain an investiture. Brosset's Add. to Le Beau, vol.
xvii. p. 200. M. Brosset adds, from the Greek chronicler edited
by M. Buchon, the somewhat unknightly trick by which
Villehardouin disembarrassed himself from the troublesome claim
of Robert, the cousin of the count of Dijon. to the succession.
He contrived that Robert should arrive just fifteen days too
late; and with the general concurrence of the assembled knights
was himself invested with the principality. Ibid p. 283. M.]

Two fugitives, who had reigned at Constantinople, still
asserted the title of emperor; and the subjects of their fallen
throne might be moved to pity by the misfortunes of the elder
Alexius, or excited to revenge by the spirit of Mourzoufle. A
domestic alliance, a common interest, a similar guilt, and the
merit of extinguishing his enemies, a brother and a nephew,
induced the more recent usurper to unite with the former the
relics of his power. Mourzoufle was received with smiles and
honors in the camp of his father Alexius; but the wicked can
never love, and should rarely trust, their fellow-criminals; he
was seized in the bath, deprived of his eyes, stripped of his
troops and treasures, and turned out to wander an object of
horror and contempt to those who with more propriety could hate,
and with more justice could punish, the assassin of the emperor
Isaac and his son. As the tyrant, pursued by fear or remorse,
was stealing over to Asia, he was seized by the Latins of
Constantinople, and condemned, after an open trial, to an
ignominious death. His judges debated the mode of his execution,
the axe, the wheel, or the stake; and it was resolved that
Mourzoufle ^17 should ascend the Theodosian column, a pillar of
white marble of one hundred and forty-seven feet in height. ^18
From the summit he was cast down headlong, and dashed in pieces
on the pavement, in the presence of innumerable spectators, who
filled the forum of Taurus, and admired the accomplishment of an
old prediction, which was explained by this singular event. ^19
The fate of Alexius is less tragical: he was sent by the marquis
a captive to Italy, and a gift to the king of the Romans; but he
had not much to applaud his fortune, if the sentence of
imprisonment and exile were changed from a fortress in the Alps
to a monastery in Asia. But his daughter, before the national
calamity, had been given in marriage to a young hero who
continued the succession, and restored the throne, of the Greek
princes. ^20 The valor of Theodore Lascaris was signalized in the
two sieges of Constantinople. After the flight of Mourzoufle,
when the Latins were already in the city, he offered himself as
their emperor to the soldiers and people; and his ambition, which
might be virtuous, was undoubtedly brave. Could he have infused
a soul into the multitude, they might have crushed the strangers
under their feet: their abject despair refused his aid; and
Theodore retired to breathe the air of freedom in Anatolia,
beyond the immediate view and pursuit of the conquerors. Under
the title, at first of despot, and afterwards of emperor, he drew
to his standard the bolder spirits, who were fortified against
slavery by the contempt of life; and as every means was lawful
for the public safety implored without scruple the alliance of
the Turkish sultan Nice, where Theodore established his
residence, Prusa and Philadelphia, Smyrna and Ephesus, opened
their gates to their deliverer: he derived strength and
reputation from his victories, and even from his defeats; and the
successor of Constantine preserved a fragment of the empire from
the banks of the Maeander to the suburbs of Nicomedia, and at
length of Constantinople. Another portion, distant and obscure,
was possessed by the lineal heir of the Comneni, a son of the
virtuous Manuel, a grandson of the tyrant Andronicus. His name
was Alexius; and the epithet of great ^* was applied perhaps to
his stature, rather than to his exploits. By the indulgence of
the Angeli, he was appointed governor or duke of Trebizond: ^21
^! his birth gave him ambition, the revolution independence; and,
without changing his title, he reigned in peace from Sinope to
the Phasis, along the coast of the Black Sea. His nameless son
and successor ^!! is described as the vassal of the sultan, whom
he served with two hundred lances: that Comnenian prince was no
more than duke of Trebizond, and the title of emperor was first
assumed by the pride and envy of the grandson of Alexius. In the
West, a third fragment was saved from the common shipwreck by
Michael, a bastard of the house of Angeli, who, before the
revolution, had been known as a hostage, a soldier, and a rebel.
His flight from the camp of the marquis Boniface secured his
freedom; by his marriage with the governor's daughter, he
commanded the important place of Durazzo, assumed the title of
despot, and founded a strong and conspicuous principality in
Epirus, Aetolia, and Thessaly, which have ever been peopled by a
warlike race. The Greeks, who had offered their service to their
new sovereigns, were excluded by the haughty Latins ^22 from all
civil and military honors, as a nation born to tremble and obey.
Their resentment prompted them to show that they might have been
useful friends, since they could be dangerous enemies: their
nerves were braced by adversity: whatever was learned or holy,
whatever was noble or valiant, rolled away into the independent
states of Trebizond, Epirus, and Nice; and a single patrician is
marked by the ambiguous praise of attachment and loyalty to the
Franks. The vulgar herd of the cities and the country would have
gladly submitted to a mild and regular servitude; and the
transient disorders of war would have been obliterated by some
years of industry and peace. But peace was banished, and
industry was crushed, in the disorders of the feudal system. The
Roman emperors of Constantinople, if they were endowed with
abilities, were armed with power for the protection of their
subjects: their laws were wise, and their administration was
simple. The Latin throne was filled by a titular prince, the
chief, and often the servant, of his licentious confederates; the
fiefs of the empire, from a kingdom to a castle, were held and
ruled by the sword of the barons; and their discord, poverty, and
ignorance, extended the ramifications of tyranny to the most
sequestered villages. The Greeks were oppressed by the double
weight of the priest, who were invested with temporal power, and
of the soldier, who was inflamed by fanatic hatred; and the
insuperable bar of religion and language forever separated the
stranger and the native. As long as the crusaders were united at
Constantinople, the memory of their conquest, and the terror of
their arms, imposed silence on the captive land: their dispersion
betrayed the smallness of their numbers and the defects of their
discipline; and some failures and mischances revealed the secret,
that they were not invincible. As the fears of the Greeks abated,
their hatred increased. They murdered; they conspired; and
before a year of slavery had elapsed, they implored, or accepted,
the succor of a Barbarian, whose power they had felt, and whose
gratitude they trusted. ^23

[Footnote 17: See the fate of Mourzoufle in Nicetas, (p. 393,)
Villehardouin, (No. 141 - 145, 163,) and Guntherus, (c. 20, 21.)
Neither the marshal nor the monk afford a grain of pity for a
tyrant or rebel, whose punishment, however, was more unexampled
than his crime.]

[Footnote 18: The column of Arcadius, which represents in basso
relievo his victories, or those of his father Theodosius, is
still extant at Constantinople. It is described and measured,
Gyllius, (Topograph. iv. 7,) Banduri, (ad l. i. Antiquit. C.P. p.
507, &c.,) and Tournefort, (Voyage du Levant, tom. ii. lettre
xii. p. 231.) (Compare Wilken, note, vol. v p. 388. - M.)]

[Footnote 19: The nonsense of Gunther and the modern Greeks
concerning this columna fatidica, is unworthy of notice; but it
is singular enough, that fifty years before the Latin conquest,
the poet Tzetzes, (Chiliad, ix. 277) relates the dream of a
matron, who saw an army in the forum, and a man sitting on the
column, clapping his hands, and uttering a loud exclamation.
Note: We read in the "Chronicle of the Conquest of
Constantinople, and of the Establishment of the French in the
Morea," translated by J A Buchon, Paris, 1825, p. 64 that Leo
VI., called the Philosopher, had prophesied that a perfidious
emperor should be precipitated from the top of this column. The
crusaders considered themselves under an obligation to fulfil
this prophecy. Brosset, note on Le Beau, vol. xvii. p. 180. M
Brosset announces that a complete edition of this work, of which
the original Greek of the first book only has been published by
M. Buchon in preparation, to form part of the new series of the
Byzantine historian - M.]

[Footnote 20: The dynasties of Nice, Trebizond, and Epirus (of
which Nicetas saw the origin without much pleasure or hope) are
learnedly explored, and clearly represented, in the Familiae
Byzantinae of Ducange.]
[Footnote *: This was a title, not a personal appellation.
Joinville speaks of the "Grant Comnenie, et sire de
Traffezzontes." Fallmerayer, p. 82. - M.]
[Footnote 21: Except some facts in Pachymer and Nicephorus
Gregoras, which will hereafter be used, the Byzantine writers
disdain to speak of the empire of Trebizond, or principality of
the Lazi; and among the Latins, it is conspicuous only in the
romancers of the xivth or xvth centuries. Yet the indefatigable
Ducange has dug out (Fam. Byz. p. 192) two authentic passages in
Vincent of Beauvais (l. xxxi. c. 144) and the prothonotary
Ogerius, (apud Wading, A.D. 1279, No. 4.)]

[Footnote !: On the revolutions of Trebizond under the later
empire down to this period, see Fallmerayer, Geschichte des
Kaiserthums von Trapezunt, ch. iii. The wife of Manuel fled with
her infant sons and her treasure from the relentless enmity of
Isaac Angelus. Fallmerayer conjectures that her arrival enabled
the Greeks of that region to make head against the formidable
Thamar, the Georgian queen of Teflis, p. 42. They gradually
formed a dominion on the banks of the Phasis, which the
distracted government of the Angeli neglected or were unable to
suppress. On the capture of Constantinople by the Latins,
Alexius was joined by many noble fugitives from Constantinople.
He had always retained the name of Caesar. He now fixed the seat
of his empire at Trebizond; but he had never abandoned his
pretensions to the Byzantine throne, ch. iii. Fallmerayer appears
to make out a triumphant case as to the assumption of the royal
title by Alexius the First. Since the publication of M.
Fallmerayer's work, (Munchen, 1827,) M. Tafel has published, at
the end of the opuscula of Eustathius, a curious chronicle of
Trebizond by Michael Panaretas, (Frankfort, 1832.) It gives the
succession of the emperors, and some other curious circumstances
of their wars with the several Mahometan powers. - M.]

[Footnote !!: The successor of Alexius was his son-in-law
Andronicus I., of the Comnenian family, surnamed Gidon. There
were five successions between Alexius and John, according to
Fallmerayer, p. 103. The troops of Trebizond fought in the army
of Dschelaleddin, the Karismian, against Alleddin, the Seljukian
sultan of Roum, but as allies rather than vassals, p. 107. It
was after the defeat of Dschelaleddin that they furnished their
contingent to Alai-eddin. Fallmerayer struggles in vain to
mitigate this mark of the subjection of the Comneni to the
sultan. p. 116. - M.]

[Footnote 22: The portrait of the French Latins is drawn in
Nicetas by the hand of prejudice and resentment. (P. 791 Ed.

[Footnote 23: I here begin to use, with freedom and confidence,
the eight books of the Histoire de C. P. sous l'Empire des
Francois, which Ducange has given as a supplement to
Villehardouin; and which, in a barbarous style, deserves the
praise of an original and classic work.]

The Latin conquerors had been saluted with a solemn and
early embassy from John, or Joannice, or Calo-John, the revolted
chief of the Bulgarians and Walachians. He deemed himself their
brother, as the votary of the Roman pontiff, from whom he had
received the regal title and a holy banner; and in the subversion
of the Greek monarchy, he might aspire to the name of their
friend and accomplice. But Calo-John was astonished to find,
that the Count of Flanders had assumed the pomp and pride of the
successors of Constantine; and his ambassadors were dismissed
with a haughty message, that the rebel must deserve a pardon, by
touching with his forehead the footstool of the Imperial throne.
His resentment ^24 would have exhaled in acts of violence and
blood: his cooler policy watched the rising discontent of the
Greeks; affected a tender concern for their sufferings; and
promised, that their first struggles for freedom should be
supported by his person and kingdom. The conspiracy was
propagated by national hatred, the firmest band of association
and secrecy: the Greeks were impatient to sheathe their daggers
in the breasts of the victorious strangers; but the execution was
prudently delayed, till Henry, the emperor's brother, had
transported the flower of his troops beyond the Hellespont. Most
of the towns and villages of Thrace were true to the moment and
the signal; and the Latins, without arms or suspicion, were
slaughtered by the vile and merciless revenge of their slaves.
From Demotica, the first scene of the massacre, the surviving
vassals of the count of St. Pol escaped to Adrianople; but the
French and Venetians, who occupied that city, were slain or
expelled by the furious multitude: the garrisons that could
effect their retreat fell back on each other towards the
metropolis; and the fortresses, that separately stood against the
rebels, were ignorant of each other's and of their sovereign's
fate. The voice of fame and fear announced the revolt of the
Greeks and the rapid approach of their Bulgarian ally; and
Calo-John, not depending on the forces of his own kingdom, had
drawn from the Scythian wilderness a body of fourteen thousand
Comans, who drank, as it was said, the blood of their captives,
and sacrificed the Christians on the altars of their gods. ^25

[Footnote 24: In Calo-John's answer to the pope we may find his
claims and complaints, (Gesta Innocent III. c. 108, 109:) he was
cherished at Rome as the prodigal son.]

[Footnote 25: The Comans were a Tartar or Turkman horde, which
encamped in the xiith and xiiith centuries on the verge of
Moldavia. The greater part were pagans, but some were
Mahometans, and the whole horde was converted to Christianity
(A.D. 1370) by Lewis, king of Hungary]

Alarmed by this sudden and growing danger, the emperor
despatched a swift messenger to recall Count Henry and his
troops; and had Baldwin expected the return of his gallant
brother, with a supply of twenty thousand Armenians, he might
have encountered the invader with equal numbers and a decisive
superiority of arms and discipline. But the spirit of chivalry
could seldom discriminate caution from cowardice; and the emperor
took the field with a hundred and forty knights, and their train
of archers and sergeants. The marshal, who dissuaded and obeyed,
led the vanguard in their march to Adrianople; the main body was
commanded by the count of Blois; the aged doge of Venice followed
with the rear; and their scanty numbers were increased from all
sides by the fugitive Latins. They undertook to besiege the
rebels of Adrianople; and such was the pious tendency of the
crusades that they employed the holy week in pillaging the
country for their subsistence, and in framing engines for the
destruction of their fellow- Christians. But the Latins were
soon interrupted and alarmed by the light cavalry of the Comans,
who boldly skirmished to the edge of their imperfect lines: and a
proclamation was issued by the marshal of Romania, that, on the
trumpet's sound, the cavalry should mount and form; but that
none, under pain of death, should abandon themselves to a
desultory and dangerous pursuit. This wise injunction was first
disobeyed by the count of Blois, who involved the emperor in his
rashness and ruin. The Comans, of the Parthian or Tartar school,
fled before their first charge; but after a career of two
leagues, when the knights and their horses were almost
breathless, they suddenly turned, rallied, and encompassed the
heavy squadrons of the Franks. The count was slain on the field;
the emperor was made prisoner; and if the one disdained to fly,
if the other refused to yield, their personal bravery made a poor
atonement for their ignorance, or neglect, of the duties of a
general. ^26

[Footnote 26: Nicetas, from ignorance or malice, imputes the
defeat to the cowardice of Dandolo, (p. 383;) but Villehardouin
shares his own glory with his venerable friend, qui viels home
ere et gote ne veoit, mais mult ere sages et preus et vigueros,
(No. 193.)

Note: Gibbon appears to me to have misapprehended the
passage of Nicetas. He says, "that principal and subtlest
mischief. that primary cause of all the horrible miseries
suffered by the Romans," i. e. the Byzantines. It is an effusion
of malicious triumph against the Venetians, to whom he always
ascribes the capture of Constantinople. - M.]

Chapter LXI: Partition Of The Empire By The French And Venetians.

Part II.

Proud of his victory and his royal prize, the Bulgarian
advanced to relieve Adrianople and achieve the destruction of the
Latins. They must inevitably have been destroyed, if the marshal
of Romania had not displayed a cool courage and consummate skill;
uncommon in all ages, but most uncommon in those times, when war
was a passion, rather than a science. His grief and fears were
poured into the firm and faithful bosom of the doge; but in the
camp he diffused an assurance of safety, which could only be
realized by the general belief. All day he maintained his
perilous station between the city and the Barbarians:
Villehardouin decamped in silence at the dead of night; and his
masterly retreat of three days would have deserved the praise of
Xenophon and the ten thousand. In the rear, the marshal
supported the weight of the pursuit; in the front, he moderated
the impatience of the fugitives; and wherever the Comans
approached, they were repelled by a line of impenetrable spears.
On the third day, the weary troops beheld the sea, the solitary
town of Rodosta, ^27 and their friends, who had landed from the
Asiatic shore. They embraced, they wept; but they united their
arms and counsels; and in his brother's absence, Count Henry
assumed the regency of the empire, at once in a state of
childhood and caducity. ^28 If the Comans withdrew from the
summer heats, seven thousand Latins, in the hour of danger,
deserted Constantinople, their brethren, and their vows. Some
partial success was overbalanced by the loss of one hundred and
twenty knights in the field of Rusium; and of the Imperial
domain, no more was left than the capital, with two or three
adjacent fortresses on the shores of Europe and Asia. The king
of Bulgaria was resistless and inexorable; and Calo-John
respectfully eluded the demands of the pope, who conjured his new
proselyte to restore peace and the emperor to the afflicted
Latins. The deliverance of Baldwin was no longer, he said, in
the power of man: that prince had died in prison; and the manner
of his death is variously related by ignorance and credulity.
The lovers of a tragic legend will be pleased to hear, that the
royal captive was tempted by the amorous queen of the Bulgarians;
that his chaste refusal exposed him to the falsehood of a woman
and the jealousy of a savage; that his hands and feet were
severed from his body; that his bleeding trunk was cast among the
carcasses of dogs and horses; and that he breathed three days,
before he was devoured by the birds of prey. ^29 About twenty
years afterwards, in a wood of the Netherlands, a hermit
announced himself as the true Baldwin, the emperor of
Constantinople, and lawful sovereign of Flanders. He related the
wonders of his escape, his adventures, and his penance, among a
people prone to believe and to rebel; and, in the first
transport, Flanders acknowledged her long-lost sovereign. A
short examination before the French court detected the impostor,
who was punished with an ignominious death; but the Flemings
still adhered to the pleasing error; and the countess Jane is
accused by the gravest historians of sacrificing to her ambition
the life of an unfortunate father. ^30

[Footnote 27: The truth of geography, and the original text of
Villehardouin, (No. 194,) place Rodosto three days' journey
(trois jornees) from Adrianople: but Vigenere, in his version,
has most absurdly substituted trois heures; and this error, which
is not corrected by Ducange has entrapped several moderns, whose
names I shall spare.]

[Footnote 28: The reign and end of Baldwin are related by
Villehardouin and Nicetas, (p. 386 - 416;) and their omissions
are supplied by Ducange in his Observations, and to the end of
his first book.]

[Footnote 29: After brushing away all doubtful and improbable
circumstances, we may prove the death of Baldwin, 1. By the firm
belief of the French barons, (Villehardouin, No. 230.) 2. By the
declaration of Calo-John himself, who excuses his not releasing
the captive emperor, quia debitum carnis exsolverat cum carcere
teneretur, (Gesta Innocent III. c. 109.)

Note: Compare Von Raumer. Geschichte der Hohenstaufen, vol.
ii. p. 237. Petitot, in his preface to Villehardouin in the
Collection des Memoires, relatifs a l'Histoire de France, tom. i.
p. 85, expresses his belief in the first part of the "tragic
legend." - M.]

[Footnote 30: See the story of this impostor from the French and
Flemish writers in Ducange, Hist. de C. P. iii. 9; and the
ridiculous fables that were believed by the monks of St. Alban's,
in Matthew Paris, Hist. Major, p. 271, 272.

In all civilized hostility, a treaty is established for the
exchange or ransom of prisoners; and if their captivity be
prolonged, their condition is known, and they are treated
according to their rank with humanity or honor. But the savage
Bulgarian was a stranger to the laws of war: his prisons were
involved in darkness and silence; and above a year elapsed before
the Latins could be assured of the death of Baldwin, before his
brother, the regent Henry, would consent to assume the title of
emperor. His moderation was applauded by the Greeks as an act of
rare and inimitable virtue. Their light and perfidious ambition
was eager to seize or anticipate the moment of a vacancy, while a
law of succession, the guardian both of the prince and people,
was gradually defined and confirmed in the hereditary monarchies
of Europe. In the support of the Eastern empire, Henry was
gradually left without an associate, as the heroes of the crusade
retired from the world or from the war. The doge of Venice, the
venerable Dandolo, in the fulness of years and glory, sunk into
the grave. The marquis of Montferrat was slowly recalled from
the Peloponnesian war to the revenge of Baldwin and the defence
of Thessalonica. Some nice disputes of feudal homage and service
were reconciled in a personal interview between the emperor and
the king; they were firmly united by mutual esteem and the common
danger; and their alliance was sealed by the nuptials of Henry
with the daughter of the Italian prince. He soon deplored the
loss of his friend and father. At the persuasion of some
faithful Greeks, Boniface made a bold and successful inroad among
the hills of Rhodope: the Bulgarians fled on his approach; they
assembled to harass his retreat. On the intelligence that his
rear was attacked, without waiting for any defensive armor, he
leaped on horseback, couched his lance, and drove the enemies
before him; but in the rash pursuit he was pierced with a mortal
wound; and the head of the king of Thessalonica was presented to
Calo-John, who enjoyed the honors, without the merit, of victory.

It is here, at this melancholy event, that the pen or the voice
of Jeffrey of Villehardouin seems to drop or to expire; ^31 and
if he still exercised his military office of marshal of Romania,
his subsequent exploits are buried in oblivion. ^32 The character
of Henry was not unequal to his arduous situation: in the siege
of Constantinople, and beyond the Hellespont, he had deserved the
fame of a valiant knight and a skilful commander; and his courage
was tempered with a degree of prudence and mildness unknown to
his impetuous brother. In the double war against the Greeks of
Asia and the Bulgarians of Europe, he was ever the foremost on
shipboard or on horseback; and though he cautiously provided for
the success of his arms, the drooping Latins were often roused by
his example to save and to second their fearless emperor. But
such efforts, and some supplies of men and money from France,
were of less avail than the errors, the cruelty, and death, of
their most formidable adversary. When the despair of the Greek
subjects invited Calo- John as their deliverer, they hoped that
he would protect their liberty and adopt their laws: they were
soon taught to compare the degrees of national ferocity, and to
execrate the savage conqueror, who no longer dissembled his
intention of dispeopling Thrace, of demolishing the cities, and
of transplanting the inhabitants beyond the Danube. Many towns
and villages of Thrace were already evacuated: a heap of ruins
marked the place of Philippopolis, and a similar calamity was
expected at Demotica and Adrianople, by the first authors of the
revolt. They raised a cry of grief and repentance to the throne
of Henry; the emperor alone had the magnanimity to forgive and
trust them. No more than four hundred knights, with their
sergeants and archers, could be assembled under his banner; and
with this slender force he fought ^* and repulsed the Bulgarian,
who, besides his infantry, was at the head of forty thousand
horse. In this expedition, Henry felt the difference between a
hostile and a friendly country: the remaining cities were
preserved by his arms; and the savage, with shame and loss, was
compelled to relinquish his prey. The siege of Thessalonica was
the last of the evils which Calo-John inflicted or suffered: he
was stabbed in the night in his tent; and the general, perhaps
the assassin, who found him weltering in his blood, ascribed the
blow, with general applause, to the lance of St. Demetrius. ^33
After several victories, the prudence of Henry concluded an
honorable peace with the successor of the tyrant, and with the
Greek princes of Nice and Epirus. If he ceded some doubtful
limits, an ample kingdom was reserved for himself and his
feudatories; and his reign, which lasted only ten years, afforded
a short interval of prosperity and peace. Far above the narrow
policy of Baldwin and Boniface, he freely intrusted to the Greeks
the most important offices of the state and army; and this
liberality of sentiment and practice was the more seasonable, as
the princes of Nice and Epirus had already learned to seduce and
employ the mercenary valor of the Latins. It was the aim of
Henry to unite and reward his deserving subjects, of every nation
and language; but he appeared less solicitous to accomplish the
impracticable union of the two churches. Pelagius, the pope's
legate, who acted as the sovereign of Constantinople, had
interdicted the worship of the Greeks, and sternly imposed the
payment of tithes, the double procession of the Holy Ghost, and a
blind obedience to the Roman pontiff. As the weaker party, they
pleaded the duties of conscience, and implored the rights of
toleration: "Our bodies," they said, "are Caesar's, but our souls
belong only to God. The persecution was checked by the firmness
of the emperor: ^34 and if we can believe that the same prince
was poisoned by the Greeks themselves, we must entertain a
contemptible idea of the sense and gratitude of mankind. His
valor was a vulgar attribute, which he shared with ten thousand
knights; but Henry possessed the superior courage to oppose, in a
superstitious age, the pride and avarice of the clergy. In the
cathedral of St. Sophia he presumed to place his throne on the
right hand of the patriarch; and this presumption excited the
sharpest censure of Pope Innocent the Third. By a salutary
edict, one of the first examples of the laws of mortmain, he
prohibited the alienation of fiefs: many of the Latins, desirous
of returning to Europe, resigned their estates to the church for
a spiritual or temporal reward; these holy lands were immediately
discharged from military service, and a colony of soldiers would
have been gradually transformed into a college of priests. ^35

[Footnote 31: Villehardouin, No. 257. I quote, with regret, this
lamentable conclusion, where we lose at once the original
history, and the rich illustrations of Ducange. The last pages
may derive some light from Henry's two epistles to Innocent III.,
(Gesta, c. 106, 107.)]

[Footnote 32: The marshal was alive in 1212, but he probably died
soon afterwards, without returning to France, (Ducange,
Observations sur Villehardouin, p. 238.) His fief of Messinople,
the gift of Boniface, was the ancient Maximianopolis, which
flourished in the time of Ammianus Marcellinus, among the cities
of Thrace, (No. 141.)]

[Footnote *: There was no battle. On the advance of the Latins,
John suddenly broke up his camp and retreated. The Latins
considered this unexpected deliverance almost a miracle. Le Beau
suggests the probability that the detection of the Comans, who
usually quitted the camp during the heats of summer, may have
caused the flight of the Bulgarians. Nicetas, c. 8
Villebardouin, c. 225. Le Beau, vol. xvii. p. 242. - M.]

[Footnote 33: The church of this patron of Thessalonica was
served by the canons of the holy sepulchre, and contained a
divine ointment which distilled daily and stupendous miracles,
(Ducange, Hist. de C. P. ii. 4.)]
[Footnote 34: Acropolita (c. 17) observes the persecution of the
legate, and the toleration of Henry, ('Eon, as he calls him).]

[Footnote 35: See the reign of Henry, in Ducange, (Hist. de C. P.
l. i. c. 35 - 41, l. ii. c. 1 - 22,) who is much indebted to the
Epistles of the Popes. Le Beau (Hist. du Bas Empire, tom. xxi. p.
120 - 122) has found, perhaps in Doutreman, some laws of Henry,
which determined the service of fiefs, and the prerogatives of
the emperor.]

The virtuous Henry died at Thessalonica, in the defence of
that kingdom, and of an infant, the son of his friend Boniface.
In the two first emperors of Constantinople the male line of the
counts of Flanders was extinct. But their sister Yolande was the
wife of a French prince, the mother of a numerous progeny; and
one of her daughters had married Andrew king of Hungary, a brave
and pious champion of the cross. By seating him on the Byzantine
throne, the barons of Romania would have acquired the forces of a
neighboring and warlike kingdom; but the prudent Andrew revered
the laws of succession; and the princess Yolande, with her
husband Peter of Courtenay, count of Auxerre, was invited by the
Latins to assume the empire of the East. The royal birth of his
father, the noble origin of his mother, recommended to the barons
of France the first cousin of their king. His reputation was
fair, his possessions were ample, and in the bloody crusade
against the Albigeois, the soldiers and the priests had been
abundantly satisfied of his zeal and valor. Vanity might applaud
the elevation of a French emperor of Constantinople; but prudence
must pity, rather than envy, his treacherous and imaginary
greatness. To assert and adorn his title, he was reduced to sell
or mortgage the best of his patrimony. By these expedients, the
liberality of his royal kinsman Philip Augustus, and the national
spirit of chivalry, he was enabled to pass the Alps at the head
of one hundred and forty knights, and five thousand five hundred
sergeants and archers. After some hesitation, Pope Honorius the
Third was persuaded to crown the successor of Constantine: but he
performed the ceremony in a church without the walls, lest he
should seem to imply or to bestow any right of sovereignty over
the ancient capital of the empire. The Venetians had engaged to
transport Peter and his forces beyond the Adriatic, and the
empress, with her four children, to the Byzantine palace; but
they required, as the price of their service, that he should
recover Durazzo from the despot of Epirus. Michael Angelus, or
Comnenus, the first of his dynasty, had bequeathed the succession
of his power and ambition to Theodore, his legitimate brother,
who already threatened and invaded the establishments of the
Latins. After discharging his debt by a fruitless assault, the
emperor raised the siege to prosecute a long and perilous journey
over land from Durazzo to Thessalonica. He was soon lost in the
mountains of Epirus: the passes were fortified; his provisions
exhausted; he was delayed and deceived by a treacherous
negotiation; and, after Peter of Courtenay and the Roman legate
had been arrested in a banquet, the French troops, without
leaders or hopes, were eager to exchange their arms for the
delusive promise of mercy and bread. The Vatican thundered; and
the impious Theodore was threatened with the vengeance of earth
and heaven; but the captive emperor and his soldiers were
forgotten, and the reproaches of the pope are confined to the
imprisonment of his legate. No sooner was he satisfied by the
deliverance of the priests and a promise of spiritual obedience,
than he pardoned and protected the despot of Epirus. His
peremptory commands suspended the ardor of the Venetians and the
king of Hungary; and it was only by a natural or untimely death
^36 that Peter of Courtenay was released from his hopeless
captivity. ^37
[Footnote 36: Acropolita (c. 14) affirms, that Peter of Courtenay
died by the sword, but from his dark expressions, I should
conclude a previous captivity. The Chronicle of Auxerre delays
the emperor's death till the year 1219; and Auxerre is in the
neighborhood of Courtenay.

Note: Whatever may have been the fact, this can hardly be
made out from the expressions of Acropolita. - M.]

[Footnote 37: See the reign and death of Peter of Courtenay, in
Ducange, (Hist. de C. P. l. ii. c. 22 - 28,) who feebly strives
to excuse the neglect of the emperor by Honorius III.]

The long ignorance of his fate, and the presence of the
lawful sovereign, of Yolande, his wife or widow, delayed the
proclamation of a new emperor. Before her death, and in the midst
of her grief, she was delivered of a son, who was named Baldwin,
the last and most unfortunate of the Latin princes of
Constantinople. His birth endeared him to the barons of Romania;
but his childhood would have prolonged the troubles of a
minority, and his claims were superseded by the elder claims of
his brethren. The first of these, Philip of Courtenay, who
derived from his mother the inheritance of Namur, had the wisdom
to prefer the substance of a marquisate to the shadow of an
empire; and on his refusal, Robert, the second of the sons of
Peter and Yolande, was called to the throne of Constantinople.
Warned by his father's mischance, he pursued his slow and secure
journey through Germany and along the Danube: a passage was
opened by his sister's marriage with the king of Hungary; and the
emperor Robert was crowned by the patriarch in the cathedral of
St. Sophia. But his reign was an aera of calamity and disgrace;
and the colony, as it was styled, of New France yielded on all
sides to the Greeks of Nice and Epirus. After a victory, which he
owed to his perfidy rather than his courage, Theodore Angelus
entered the kingdom of Thessalonica, expelled the feeble
Demetrius, the son of the marquis Boniface, erected his standard
on the walls of Adrianople; and added, by his vanity, a third or
a fourth name to the list of rival emperors. The relics of the
Asiatic province were swept away by John Vataces, the son-in-law
and successor of Theodore Lascaris, and who, in a triumphant
reign of thirty-three years, displayed the virtues both of peace
and war. Under his discipline, the swords of the French
mercenaries were the most effectual instruments of his conquests,
and their desertion from the service of their country was at once
a symptom and a cause of the rising ascendant of the Greeks. By
the construction of a fleet, he obtained the command of the
Hellespont, reduced the islands of Lesbos and Rhodes, attacked
the Venetians of Candia, and intercepted the rare and
parsimonious succors of the West. Once, and once only, the Latin
emperor sent an army against Vataces; and in the defeat of that
army, the veteran knights, the last of the original conquerors,
were left on the field of battle. But the success of a foreign
enemy was less painful to the pusillanimous Robert than the
insolence of his Latin subjects, who confounded the weakness of
the emperor and of the empire. His personal misfortunes will
prove the anarchy of the government and the ferociousness of the
times. The amorous youth had neglected his Greek bride, the
daughter of Vataces, to introduce into the palace a beautiful
maid, of a private, though noble family of Artois; and her mother
had been tempted by the lustre of the purple to forfeit her
engagements with a gentleman of Burgundy. His love was converted
into rage; he assembled his friends, forced the palace gates,
threw the mother into the sea, and inhumanly cut off the nose and
lips of the wife or concubine of the emperor. Instead of
punishing the offender, the barons avowed and applauded the
savage deed, ^38 which, as a prince and as a man, it was
impossible that Robert should forgive. He escaped from the
guilty city to implore the justice or compassion of the pope: the
emperor was coolly exhorted to return to his station; before he
could obey, he sunk under the weight of grief, shame, and
impotent resentment. ^39
[Footnote 38: Marinus Sanutus (Secreta Fidelium Crucis, l. ii. p.
4, c. 18, p. 73) is so much delighted with this bloody deed, that
he has transcribed it in his margin as a bonum exemplum. Yet he
acknowledges the damsel for the lawful wife of Robert.]

[Footnote 39: See the reign of Robert, in Ducange, (Hist. de C.
P. l. ii. c. - 12.)]

It was only in the age of chivalry, that valor could ascend
from a private station to the thrones of Jerusalem and
Constantinople. The titular kingdom of Jerusalem had devolved to
Mary, the daughter of Isabella and Conrad of Montferrat, and the
granddaughter of Almeric or Amaury. She was given to John of
Brienne, of a noble family in Champagne, by the public voice, and
the judgment of Philip Augustus, who named him as the most worthy
champion of the Holy Land. ^40 In the fifth crusade, he led a
hundred thousand Latins to the conquest of Egypt: by him the
siege of Damietta was achieved; and the subsequent failure was
justly ascribed to the pride and avarice of the legate. After the
marriage of his daughter with Frederic the Second, ^41 he was
provoked by the emperor's ingratitude to accept the command of
the army of the church; and though advanced in life, and
despoiled of royalty, the sword and spirit of John of Brienne
were still ready for the service of Christendom. In the seven
years of his brother's reign, Baldwin of Courtenay had not
emerged from a state of childhood, and the barons of Romania felt
the strong necessity of placing the sceptre in the hands of a man
and a hero. The veteran king of Jerusalem might have disdained
the name and office of regent; they agreed to invest him for his
life with the title and prerogatives of emperor, on the sole
condition that Baldwin should marry his second daughter, and
succeed at a mature age to the throne of Constantinople. The
expectation, both of the Greeks and Latins, was kindled by the
renown, the choice, and the presence of John of Brienne; and they
admired his martial aspect, his green and vigorous age of more
than fourscore years, and his size and stature, which surpassed
the common measure of mankind. ^42 But avarice, and the love of
ease, appear to have chilled the ardor of enterprise: ^* his
troops were disbanded, and two years rolled away without action
or honor, till he was awakened by the dangerous alliance of
Vataces emperor of Nice, and of Azan king of Bulgaria. They
besieged Constantinople by sea and land, with an army of one
hundred thousand men, and a fleet of three hundred ships of war;
while the entire force of the Latin emperor was reduced to one
hundred and sixty knights, and a small addition of sergeants and
archers. I tremble to relate, that instead of defending the
city, the hero made a sally at the head of his cavalry; and that
of forty- eight squadrons of the enemy, no more than three
escaped from the edge of his invincible sword. Fired by his
example, the infantry and the citizens boarded the vessels that
anchored close to the walls; and twenty-five were dragged in
triumph into the harbor of Constantinople. At the summons of the
emperor, the vassals and allies armed in her defence; broke
through every obstacle that opposed their passage; and, in the
succeeding year, obtained a second victory over the same enemies.

By the rude poets of the age, John of Brienne is compared to
Hector, Roland, and Judas Machabaeus: ^43 but their credit, and
his glory, receive some abatement from the silence of the Greeks.
The empire was soon deprived of the last of her champions; and
the dying monarch was ambitious to enter paradise in the habit of
a Franciscan friar. ^44

[Footnote 40: Rex igitur Franciae, deliberatione habita,
respondit nuntiis, se daturum hominem Syriae partibus aptum; in
armis probum (preux) in bellis securum, in agendis providum,
Johannem comitem Brennensem. Sanut. Secret. Fidelium, l. iii. p.
xi. c. 4, p. 205 Matthew Paris, p. 159.]
[Footnote 41: Giannone (Istoria Civile, tom. ii. l. xvi. p. 380 -
385) discusses the marriage of Frederic II. with the daughter of
John of Brienne, and the double union of the crowns of Naples and
[Footnote 42: Acropolita, c. 27. The historian was at that time
a boy, and educated at Constantinople. In 1233, when he was
eleven years old, his father broke the Latin chain, left a
splendid fortune, and escaped to the Greek court of Nice, where
his son was raised to the highest honors.]

[Footnote *: John de Brienne, elected emperor 1229, wasted two
years in preparations, and did not arrive at Constantinople till
1231. Two years more glided away in inglorious inaction; he then
made some ineffective warlike expeditions. Constantinople was
not besieged till 1234. - M.]
[Footnote 43: Philip Mouskes, bishop of Tournay, (A.D. 1274 -
1282,) has composed a poem, or rather string of verses, in bad
old Flemish French, on the Latin emperors of Constantinople,
which Ducange has published at the end of Villehardouin; see p.
38, for the prowess of John of Brienne.
N'Aie, Ector, Roll' ne Ogiers Ne Judas Machabeus li fiers Tant ne
fit d'armes en estors Com fist li Rois Jehans cel jors Et il
defors et il dedans La paru sa force et ses sens Et li hardiment
qu'il avoit.]

[Footnote 44: See the reign of John de Brienne, in Ducange, Hist.
de C. P. l. ii. c. 13 - 26.]

In the double victory of John of Brienne, I cannot discover
the name or exploits of his pupil Baldwin, who had attained the
age of military service, and who succeeded to the imperial
dignity on the decease of his adoptive father. ^45 The royal
youth was employed on a commission more suitable to his temper;
he was sent to visit the Western courts, of the pope more
especially, and of the king of France; to excite their pity by
the view of his innocence and distress; and to obtain some
supplies of men or money for the relief of the sinking empire.
He thrice repeated these mendicant visits, in which he seemed to
prolong his stay and postpone his return; of the five-and-twenty
years of his reign, a greater number were spent abroad than at
home; and in no place did the emperor deem himself less free and
secure than in his native country and his capital. On some
public occasions, his vanity might be soothed by the title of
Augustus, and by the honors of the purple; and at the general
council of Lyons, when Frederic the Second was excommunicated and
deposed, his Oriental colleague was enthroned on the right hand
of the pope. But how often was the exile, the vagrant, the
Imperial beggar, humbled with scorn, insulted with pity, and
degraded in his own eyes and those of the nations! In his first
visit to England, he was stopped at Dover by a severe reprimand,
that he should presume, without leave, to enter an independent
kingdom. After some delay, Baldwin, however, was permitted to
pursue his journey, was entertained with cold civility, and
thankfully departed with a present of seven hundred marks. ^46
From the avarice of Rome he could only obtain the proclamation of
a crusade, and a treasure of indulgences; a coin whose currency
was depreciated by too frequent and indiscriminate abuse. His
birth and misfortunes recommended him to the generosity of his
cousin Louis the Ninth; but the martial zeal of the saint was
diverted from Constantinople to Egypt and Palestine; and the
public and private poverty of Baldwin was alleviated, for a
moment, by the alienation of the marquisate of Namur and the
lordship of Courtenay, the last remains of his inheritance. ^47
By such shameful or ruinous expedients, he once more returned to
Romania, with an army of thirty thousand soldiers, whose numbers
were doubled in the apprehension of the Greeks. His first
despatches to France and England announced his victories and his
hopes: he had reduced the country round the capital to the
distance of three days' journey; and if he succeeded against an
important, though nameless, city, (most probably Chiorli,) the
frontier would be safe and the passage accessible. But these
expectations (if Baldwin was sincere) quickly vanished like a
dream: the troops and treasures of France melted away in his
unskilful hands; and the throne of the Latin emperor was
protected by a dishonorable alliance with the Turks and Comans.
To secure the former, he consented to bestow his niece on the
unbelieving sultan of Cogni; to please the latter, he complied
with their Pagan rites; a dog was sacrificed between the two
armies; and the contracting parties tasted each other's blood, as
a pledge of their fidelity. ^48 In the palace, or prison, of
Constantinople, the successor of Augustus demolished the vacant
houses for winter fuel, and stripped the lead from the churches
for the daily expense of his family. Some usurious loans were
dealt with a scanty hand by the merchants of Italy; and Philip,
his son and heir, was pawned at Venice as the security for a
debt. ^49 Thirst, hunger, and nakedness, are positive evils: but
wealth is relative; and a prince who would be rich in a private
station, may be exposed by the increase of his wants to all the
anxiety and bitterness of poverty.
[Footnote 45: See the reign of Baldwin II. till his expulsion
from Constantinople, in Ducange, Hist. de C. P. l. iv. c. 1 - 34,
the end l. v. c. 1 - 33]

[Footnote 46: Matthew Paris relates the two visits of Baldwin II.
to the English court, p. 396, 637; his return to Greece armata
manu, p. 407 his letters of his nomen formidabile, &c., p. 481,
(a passage which has escaped Ducange;) his expulsion, p. 850.]

[Footnote 47: Louis IX. disapproved and stopped the alienation of
Courtenay (Ducange, l. iv. c. 23.) It is now annexed to the royal
demesne but granted for a term (engage) to the family of
Boulainvilliers. Courtenay, in the election of Nemours in the
Isle de France, is a town of 900 inhabitants, with the remains of
a castle, (Melanges tires d'une Grande Bibliotheque, tom. xlv. p.
74 - 77.)]

[Footnote 48: Joinville, p. 104, edit. du Louvre. A Coman
prince, who died without baptism, was buried at the gates of
Constantinople with a live retinue of slaves and horses.]

[Footnote 49: Sanut. Secret. Fidel. Crucis, l. ii. p. iv. c. 18,
p. 73.]

Chapter LXI: Partition Of The Empire By The French And Venetians.

Part III.

But in this abject distress, the emperor and empire were
still possessed of an ideal treasure, which drew its fantastic
value from the superstition of the Christian world. The merit of
the true cross was somewhat impaired by its frequent division;
and a long captivity among the infidels might shed some suspicion
on the fragments that were produced in the East and West. But
another relic of the Passion was preserved in the Imperial chapel
of Constantinople; and the crown of thorns which had been placed
on the head of Christ was equally precious and authentic. It had
formerly been the practice of the Egyptian debtors to deposit, as
a security, the mummies of their parents; and both their honor
and religion were bound for the redemption of the pledge. In the
same manner, and in the absence of the emperor, the barons of
Romania borrowed the sum of thirteen thousand one hundred and
thirty-four pieces of gold ^50 on the credit of the holy crown:
they failed in the performance of their contract; and a rich
Venetian, Nicholas Querini, undertook to satisfy their impatient
creditors, on condition that the relic should be lodged at
Venice, to become his absolute property, if it were not redeemed
within a short and definite term. The barons apprised their
sovereign of the hard treaty and impending loss and as the empire
could not afford a ransom of seven thousand pounds sterling,
Baldwin was anxious to snatch the prize from the Venetians, and
to vest it with more honor and emolument in the hands of the most
Christian king. ^51 Yet the negotiation was attended with some
delicacy. In the purchase of relics, the saint would have
started at the guilt of simony; but if the mode of expression
were changed, he might lawfully repay the debt, accept the gift,
and acknowledge the obligation. His ambassadors, two Dominicans,
were despatched to Venice to redeem and receive the holy crown
which had escaped the dangers of the sea and the galleys of
Vataces. On opening a wooden box, they recognized the seals of
the doge and barons, which were applied on a shrine of silver;
and within this shrine the monument of the Passion was enclosed
in a golden vase. The reluctant Venetians yielded to justice and
power: the emperor Frederic granted a free and honorable passage;
the court of France advanced as far as Troyes in Champagne, to
meet with devotion this inestimable relic: it was borne in
triumph through Paris by the king himself, barefoot, and in his
shirt; and a free gift of ten thousand marks of silver reconciled
Baldwin to his loss. The success of this transaction tempted the
Latin emperor to offer with the same generosity the remaining
furniture of his chapel; ^52 a large and authentic portion of the
true cross; the baby-linen of the Son of God, the lance, the
sponge, and the chain, of his Passion; the rod of Moses, and part
of the skull of St. John the Baptist. For the reception of these
spiritual treasures, twenty thousand marks were expended by St.
Louis on a stately foundation, the holy chapel of Paris, on which
the muse of Boileau has bestowed a comic immortality. The truth
of such remote and ancient relics, which cannot be proved by any
human testimony, must be admitted by those who believe in the
miracles which they have performed. About the middle of the last
age, an inveterate ulcer was touched and cured by a holy prickle
of the holy crown: ^53 the prodigy is attested by the most pious
and enlightened Christians of France; nor will the fact be easily
disproved, except by those who are armed with a general antidote
against religious credulity. ^54

[Footnote 50: Under the words Perparus, Perpera, Hyperperum,
Ducange is short and vague: Monetae genus. From a corrupt
passage of Guntherus, (Hist. C. P. c. 8, p. 10,) I guess that the
Perpera was the nummus aureus, the fourth part of a mark of
silver, or about ten shillings sterling in value. In lead it
would be too contemptible.]

[Footnote 51: For the translation of the holy crown, &c., from
Constantinople to Paris, see Ducange (Hist. de C. P. l. iv. c. 11
- 14, 24, 35) and Fleury, (Hist. Eccles. tom. xvii. p. 201 -

[Footnote 52: Melanges tires d'une Grande Bibliotheque, tom.
xliii. p. 201 - 205. The Lutrin of Boileau exhibits the inside,
the soul and manners of the Sainte Chapelle; and many facts
relative to the institution are collected and explained by his
commentators, Brosset and De St. Marc.]

[Footnote 53: It was performed A.D. 1656, March 24, on the niece
of Pascal; and that superior genius, with Arnauld, Nicole, &c.,
were on the spot, to believe and attest a miracle which
confounded the Jesuits, and saved Port Royal, (Oeuvres de Racine,
tom. vi. p. 176 - 187, in his eloquent History of Port Royal.)]

[Footnote 54: Voltaire (Siecle de Louis XIV. c. 37, (Oeuvres,
tom. ix. p. 178, 179) strives to invalidate the fact: but Hume,
(Essays, vol. ii. p. 483, 484,) with more skill and success,
seizes the battery, and turns the cannon against his enemies.]

The Latins of Constantinople ^55 were on all sides
encompassed and pressed; their sole hope, the last delay of their
ruin, was in the division of their Greek and Bulgarian enemies;
and of this hope they were deprived by the superior arms and
policy of Vataces, emperor of Nice. From the Propontis to the
rocky coast of Pamphylia, Asia was peaceful and prosperous under
his reign; and the events of every campaign extended his
influence in Europe. The strong cities of the hills of Macedonia
and Thrace were rescued from the Bulgarians; and their kingdom
was circumscribed by its present and proper limits, along the
southern banks of the Danube. The sole emperor of the Romans
could no longer brook that a lord of Epirus, a Comnenian prince
of the West, should presume to dispute or share the honors of the
purple; and the humble Demetrius changed the color of his
buskins, and accepted with gratitude the appellation of despot.
His own subjects were exasperated by his baseness and incapacity;
they implored the protection of their supreme lord. After some
resistance, the kingdom of Thessalonica was united to the empire
of Nice; and Vataces reigned without a competitor from the
Turkish borders to the Adriatic Gulf. The princes of Europe
revered his merit and power; and had he subscribed an orthodox
creed, it should seem that the pope would have abandoned without
reluctance the Latin throne of Constantinople. But the death of
Vataces, the short and busy reign of Theodore his son, and the
helpless infancy of his grandson John, suspended the restoration
of the Greeks. In the next chapter, I shall explain their
domestic revolutions; in this place, it will be sufficient to
observe, that the young prince was oppressed by the ambition of
his guardian and colleague, Michael Palaeologus, who displayed
the virtues and vices that belong to the founder of a new
dynasty. The emperor Baldwin had flattered himself, that he
might recover some provinces or cities by an impotent
negotiation. His ambassadors were dismissed from Nice with
mockery and contempt. At every place which they named,
Palaeologus alleged some special reason, which rendered it dear
and valuable in his eyes: in the one he was born; in another he
had been first promoted to military command; and in a third he
had enjoyed, and hoped long to enjoy, the pleasures of the chase.

"And what then do you propose to give us?" said the astonished
deputies. "Nothing," replied the Greek, "not a foot of land. If
your master be desirous of peace, let him pay me, as an annual
tribute, the sum which he receives from the trade and customs of
Constantinople. On these terms, I may allow him to reign. If he
refuses, it is war. I am not ignorant of the art of war, and I
trust the event to God and my sword." ^56 An expedition against
the despot of Epirus was the first prelude of his arms. If a
victory was followed by a defeat; if the race of the Comneni or
Angeli survived in those mountains his efforts and his reign; the
captivity of Villehardouin, prince of Achaia, deprived the Latins
of the most active and powerful vassal of their expiring
monarchy. The republics of Venice and Genoa disputed, in the
first of their naval wars, the command of the sea and the
commerce of the East. Pride and interest attached the Venetians
to the defence of Constantinople; their rivals were tempted to
promote the designs of her enemies, and the alliance of the
Genoese with the schismatic conqueror provoked the indignation of
the Latin church. ^57

[Footnote 55: The gradual losses of the Latins may be traced in
the third fourth, and fifth books of the compilation of Ducange:
but of the Greek conquests he has dropped many circumstances,
which may be recovered from the larger history of George
Acropolita, and the three first books of Nicephorus, Gregoras,
two writers of the Byzantine series, who have had the good
fortune to meet with learned editors Leo Allatius at Rome, and
John Boivin in the Academy of Inscriptions of Paris.]

[Footnote 56: George Acropolita, c. 78, p. 89, 90. edit. Paris.]
[Footnote 57: The Greeks, ashamed of any foreign aid, disguise
the alliance and succor of the Genoese: but the fact is proved by
the testimony of J Villani (Chron. l. vi. c. 71, in Muratori,
Script. Rerum Italicarum, tom. xiii. p. 202, 203) and William de
Nangis, (Annales de St. Louis, p. 248 in the Louvre Joinville,)
two impartial foreigners; and Urban IV threatened to deprive
Genoa of her archbishop.]

Intent on his great object, the emperor Michael visited in
person and strengthened the troops and fortifications of Thrace.
The remains of the Latins were driven from their last
possessions: he assaulted without success the suburb of Galata;
and corresponded with a perfidious baron, who proved unwilling,
or unable, to open the gates of the metropolis. The next spring,
his favorite general, Alexius Strategopulus, whom he had
decorated with the title of Caesar, passed the Hellespont with
eight hundred horse and some infantry, ^58 on a secret
expedition. His instructions enjoined him to approach, to
listen, to watch, but not to risk any doubtful or dangerous
enterprise against the city. The adjacent territory between the
Propontis and the Black Sea was cultivated by a hardy race of
peasants and outlaws, exercised in arms, uncertain in their
allegiance, but inclined by language, religion, and present
advantage, to the party of the Greeks. They were styled the
volunteers; ^59 and by their free service the army of Alexius,
with the regulars of Thrace and the Coman auxiliaries, ^60 was
augmented to the number of five-and-twenty thousand men. By the
ardor of the volunteers, and by his own ambition, the Caesar was
stimulated to disobey the precise orders of his master, in the
just confidence that success would plead his pardon and reward.
The weakness of Constantinople, and the distress and terror of
the Latins, were familiar to the observation of the volunteers;
and they represented the present moment as the most propitious to
surprise and conquest. A rash youth, the new governor of the
Venetian colony, had sailed away with thirty galleys, and the
best of the French knights, on a wild expedition to Daphnusia, a
town on the Black Sea, at the distance of forty leagues; ^* and
the remaining Latins were without strength or suspicion. They
were informed that Alexius had passed the Hellespont; but their
apprehensions were lulled by the smallness of his original
numbers; and their imprudence had not watched the subsequent
increase of his army. If he left his main body to second and
support his operations, he might advance unperceived in the night
with a chosen detachment. While some applied scaling-ladders to
the lowest part of the walls, they were secure of an old Greek,
who would introduce their companions through a subterraneous
passage into his house; they could soon on the inside break an
entrance through the golden gate, which had been long obstructed;
and the conqueror would be in the heart of the city before the
Latins were conscious of their danger. After some debate, the
Caesar resigned himself to the faith of the volunteers; they were
trusty, bold, and successful; and in describing the plan, I have
already related the execution and success. ^61 But no sooner had
Alexius passed the threshold of the golden gate, than he trembled
at his own rashness; he paused, he deliberated; till the
desperate volunteers urged him forwards, by the assurance that in
retreat lay the greatest and most inevitable danger. Whilst the
Caesar kept his regulars in firm array, the Comans dispersed
themselves on all sides; an alarm was sounded, and the threats of
fire and pillage compelled the citizens to a decisive resolution.
The Greeks of Constantinople remembered their native sovereigns;
the Genoese merchants their recent alliance and Venetian foes;
every quarter was in arms; and the air resounded with a general
acclamation of "Long life and victory to Michael and John, the
august emperors of the Romans!" Their rival, Baldwin, was
awakened by the sound; but the most pressing danger could not
prompt him to draw his sword in the defence of a city which he
deserted, perhaps, with more pleasure than regret: he fled from
the palace to the seashore, where he descried the welcome sails
of the fleet returning from the vain and fruitless attempt on
Daphnusia. Constantinople was irrecoverably lost; but the Latin
emperor and the principal families embarked on board the Venetian
galleys, and steered for the Isle of Euboea, and afterwards for
Italy, where the royal fugitive was entertained by the pope and
Sicilian king with a mixture of contempt and pity. From the loss
of Constantinople to his death, he consumed thirteen years,
soliciting the Catholic powers to join in his restoration: the
lesson had been familiar to his youth; nor was his last exile
more indigent or shameful than his three former pilgrimages to
the courts of Europe. His son Philip was the heir of an ideal
empire; and the pretensions of his daughter Catherine were
transported by her marriage to Charles of Valois, the brother of
Philip the Fair, king of France. The house of Courtenay was
represented in the female line by successive alliances, till the
title of emperor of Constantinople, too bulky and sonorous for a
private name, modestly expired in silence and oblivion. ^62
[Footnote 58: Some precautions must be used in reconciling the
discordant numbers; the 800 soldiers of Nicetas, the 25,000 of
Spandugino, (apud Ducange, l. v. c. 24;) the Greeks and Scythians
of Acropolita; and the numerous army of Michael, in the Epistles
of Pope Urban IV. (i. 129.)]

[Footnote 59: They are described and named by Pachymer, (l. ii.
c. 14.)]
[Footnote 60: It is needless to seek these Comans in the deserts
of Tartary, or even of Moldavia. A part of the horde had
submitted to John Vataces, and was probably settled as a nursery
of soldiers on some waste lands of Thrace, (Cantacuzen. l. i. c.

[Footnote *: According to several authorities, particularly
Abulfaradj. Chron. Arab. p. 336, this was a stratagem on the part
of the Greeks to weaken the garrison of Constantinople. The
Greek commander offered to surrender the town on the appearance
of the Venetians. - M.]

[Footnote 61: The loss of Constantinople is briefly told by the
Latins: the conquest is described with more satisfaction by the
Greeks; by Acropolita, (c. 85,) Pachymer, (l. ii. c. 26, 27,)
Nicephorus Gregoras, (l. iv. c. 1, 2) See Ducange, Hist. de C. P.
l. v. c. 19 - 27.]

[Footnote 62: See the three last books (l. v. - viii.) and the
genealogical tables of Ducange. In the year 1382, the titular
emperor of Constantinople was James de Baux, duke of Andria in
the kingdom of Naples, the son of Margaret, daughter of Catherine
de Valois, daughter of Catharine, daughter of Philip, son of
Baldwin II., (Ducange, l. viii. c. 37, 38.) It is uncertain
whether he left any posterity.]

After this narrative of the expeditions of the Latins to
Palestine and Constantinople, I cannot dismiss the subject
without resolving the general consequences on the countries that
were the scene, and on the nations that were the actors, of these
memorable crusades. ^63 As soon as the arms of the Franks were
withdrawn, the impression, though not the memory, was erased in
the Mahometan realms of Egypt and Syria. The faithful disciples
of the prophet were never tempted by a profane desire to study
the laws or language of the idolaters; nor did the simplicity of
their primitive manners receive the slightest alteration from
their intercourse in peace and war with the unknown strangers of
the West. The Greeks, who thought themselves proud, but who were
only vain, showed a disposition somewhat less inflexible. In the
efforts for the recovery of their empire, they emulated the
valor, discipline, and tactics of their antagonists. The modern
literature of the West they might justly despise; but its free
spirit would instruct them in the rights of man; and some
institutions of public and private life were adopted from the
French. The correspondence of Constantinople and Italy diffused
the knowledge of the Latin tongue; and several of the fathers and
classics were at length honored with a Greek version. ^64 But the
national and religious prejudices of the Orientals were inflamed
by persecution, and the reign of the Latins confirmed the
separation of the two churches.

[Footnote 63: Abulfeda, who saw the conclusion of the crusades,
speaks of the kingdoms of the Franks, and those of the Negroes,
as equally unknown, (Prolegom. ad Geograph.) Had he not disdained
the Latin language, how easily might the Syrian prince have found
books and interpreters!]
[Footnote 64: A short and superficial account of these versions
from Latin into Greek is given by Huet, (de Interpretatione et de
claris Interpretibus (p. 131 - 135.) Maximus Planudes, a monk of
Constantinople, (A.D. 1327 - 1353) has translated Caesar's
Commentaries, the Somnium Scipionis, the Metamorphoses and
Heroides of Ovid, &c., (Fabric. Bib. Graec. tom. x. p. 533.)]
If we compare the aera of the crusades, the Latins of Europe
with the Greeks and Arabians, their respective degrees of
knowledge, industry, and art, our rude ancestors must be content
with the third rank in the scale of nations. Their successive
improvement and present superiority may be ascribed to a peculiar
energy of character, to an active and imitative spirit, unknown
to their more polished rivals, who at that time were in a
stationary or retrograde state. With such a disposition, the
Latins should have derived the most early and essential benefits
from a series of events which opened to their eyes the prospect
of the world, and introduced them to a long and frequent
intercourse with the more cultivated regions of the East. The
first and most obvious progress was in trade and manufactures, in
the arts which are strongly prompted by the thirst of wealth, the
calls of necessity, and the gratification of the sense or vanity.

Among the crowd of unthinking fanatics, a captive or a pilgrim
might sometimes observe the superior refinements of Cairo and
Constantinople: the first importer of windmills ^65 was the
benefactor of nations; and if such blessings are enjoyed without
any grateful remembrance, history has condescended to notice the
more apparent luxuries of silk and sugar, which were transported
into Italy from Greece and Egypt. But the intellectual wants of
the Latins were more slowly felt and supplied; the ardor of
studious curiosity was awakened in Europe by different causes and
more recent events; and, in the age of the crusades, they viewed
with careless indifference the literature of the Greeks and
Arabians. Some rudiments of mathematical and medicinal knowledge
might be imparted in practice and in figures; necessity might
produce some interpreters for the grosser business of merchants
and soldiers; but the commerce of the Orientals had not diffused
the study and knowledge of their languages in the schools of
Europe. ^66 If a similar principle of religion repulsed the idiom
of the Koran, it should have excited their patience and curiosity
to understand the original text of the gospel; and the same
grammar would have unfolded the sense of Plato and the beauties
of Homer. Yet in a reign of sixty years, the Latins of
Constantinople disdained the speech and learning of their
subjects; and the manuscripts were the only treasures which the
natives might enjoy without rapine or envy. Aristotle was indeed
the oracle of the Western universities, but it was a barbarous
Aristotle; and, instead of ascending to the fountain head, his
Latin votaries humbly accepted a corrupt and remote version, from
the Jews and Moors of Andalusia. The principle of the crusades
was a savage fanaticism; and the most important effects were
analogous to the cause. Each pilgrim was ambitious to return
with his sacred spoils, the relics of Greece and Palestine; ^67
and each relic was preceded and followed by a train of miracles
and visions. The belief of the Catholics was corrupted by new
legends, their practice by new superstitions; and the
establishment of the inquisition, the mendicant orders of monks
and friars, the last abuse of indulgences, and the final progress
of idolatry, flowed from the baleful fountain of the holy war.
The active spirit of the Latins preyed on the vitals of their
reason and religion; and if the ninth and tenth centuries were
the times of darkness, the thirteenth and fourteenth were the age
of absurdity and fable.

[Footnote 65: Windmills, first invented in the dry country of
Asia Minor, were used in Normandy as early as the year 1105, (Vie
privee des Francois, tom. i. p. 42, 43. Ducange, Gloss. Latin.
tom. iv. p. 474)]

[Footnote 66: See the complaints of Roger Bacon, (Biographia
Britannica, vol. i. p. 418, Kippis's edition.) If Bacon himself,
or Gerbert, understood some Greek, they were prodigies, and owed
nothing to the commerce of the East.]

[Footnote 67: Such was the opinion of the great Leibnitz,
(Oeuvres de Fontenelle, tom. v. p. 458,) a master of the history
of the middle ages. I shall only instance the pedigree of the
Carmelites, and the flight of the house of Loretto, which were
both derived from Palestine.]

Chapter LXI: Partition Of The Empire By The French And Venetians.

Part III.

In the profession of Christianity, in the cultivation of a
fertile land, the northern conquerors of the Roman empire
insensibly mingled with the provincials, and rekindled the embers
of the arts of antiquity. Their settlements about the age of
Charlemagne had acquired some degree of order and stability, when
they were overwhelmed by new swarms of invaders, the Normans,
Saracens, ^68 and Hungarians, who replunged the western countries
of Europe into their former state of anarchy and barbarism.
About the eleventh century, the second tempest had subsided by
the expulsion or conversion of the enemies of Christendom: the
tide of civilization, which had so long ebbed, began to flow with
a steady and accelerated course; and a fairer prospect was opened
to the hopes and efforts of the rising generations. Great was the
increase, and rapid the progress, during the two hundred years of
the crusades; and some philosophers have applauded the propitious
influence of these holy wars, which appear to me to have checked
rather than forwarded the maturity of Europe. ^69 The lives and
labors of millions, which were buried in the East, would have
been more profitably employed in the improvement of their native
country: the accumulated stock of industry and wealth would have
overflowed in navigation and trade; and the Latins would have
been enriched and enlightened by a pure and friendly
correspondence with the climates of the East. In one respect I
can indeed perceive the accidental operation of the crusades, not
so much in producing a benefit as in removing an evil. The
larger portion of the inhabitants of Europe was chained to the
soil, without freedom, or property, or knowledge; and the two
orders of ecclesiastics and nobles, whose numbers were
comparatively small, alone deserved the name of citizens and men.
This oppressive system was supported by the arts of the clergy
and the swords of the barons. The authority of the priests
operated in the darker ages as a salutary antidote: they
prevented the total extinction of letters, mitigated the
fierceness of the times, sheltered the poor and defenceless, and
preserved or revived the peace and order of civil society. But
the independence, rapine, and discord of the feudal lords were
unmixed with any semblance of good; and every hope of industry
and improvement was crushed by the iron weight of the martial
aristocracy. Among the causes that undermined that Gothic
edifice, a conspicuous place must be allowed to the crusades.
The estates of the barons were dissipated, and their race was
often extinguished, in these costly and perilous expeditions.
Their poverty extorted from their pride those charters of freedom
which unlocked the fetters of the slave, secured the farm of the
peasant and the shop of the artificer, and gradually restored a
substance and a soul to the most numerous and useful part of the
community. The conflagration which destroyed the tall and barren
trees of the forest gave air and scope to the vegetation of the
smaller and nutritive plants of the soil. ^*

[Footnote 68: If I rank the Saracens with the Barbarians, it is
only relative to their wars, or rather inroads, in Italy and
France, where their sole purpose was to plunder and destroy.]

[Footnote 69: On this interesting subject, the progress of
society in Europe, a strong ray of philosophical light has broke
from Scotland in our own times; and it is with private, as well
as public regard, that I repeat the names of Hume, Robertson, and
Adam Smith.]

[Footnote *: On the consequences of the crusades, compare the
valuable Essay of Reeren, that of M. Choiseul d'Aillecourt, and a
chapter of Mr. Forster's "Mahometanism Unveiled." I may admire
this gentleman's learning and industry, without pledging myself
to his wild theory of prophets interpretation. - M.]
Digression On The Family Of Courtenay.

The purple of three emperors, who have reigned at
Constantinople, will authorize or excuse a digression on the
origin and singular fortunes of the house of Courtenay, ^70 in
the three principal branches: I. Of Edessa; II. Of France; and
III. Of England; of which the last only has survived the
revolutions of eight hundred years.

[Footnote 70: I have applied, but not confined, myself to A
genealogical History of the noble and illustrious Family of
Courtenay, by Ezra Cleaveland, Tutor to Sir William Courtenay,
and Rector of Honiton; Exon. 1735, in folio. The first part is
extracted from William of Tyre; the second from Bouchet's French
history; and the third from various memorials, public,
provincial, and private, of the Courtenays of Devonshire The
rector of Honiton has more gratitude than industry, and more
industry than criticism.]
I. Before the introduction of trade, which scatters riches,
and of knowledge, which dispels prejudice, the prerogative of
birth is most strongly felt and most humbly acknowledged. In
every age, the laws and manners of the Germans have discriminated
the ranks of society; the dukes and counts, who shared the empire
of Charlemagne, converted their office to an inheritance; and to
his children, each feudal lord bequeathed his honor and his
sword. The proudest families are content to lose, in the darkness
of the middle ages, the tree of their pedigree, which, however
deep and lofty, must ultimately rise from a plebeian root; and
their historians must descend ten centuries below the Christian
aera, before they can ascertain any lineal succession by the
evidence of surnames, of arms, and of authentic records. With the
first rays of light, ^71 we discern the nobility and opulence of
Atho, a French knight; his nobility, in the rank and title of a
nameless father; his opulence, in the foundation of the castle of
Courtenay in the district of Gatinois, about fifty-six miles to
the south of Paris. From the reign of Robert, the son of Hugh
Capet, the barons of Courtenay are conspicuous among the
immediate vassals of the crown; and Joscelin, the grandson of
Atho and a noble dame, is enrolled among the heroes of the first
crusade. A domestic alliance (their mothers were sisters)
attached him to the standard of Baldwin of Bruges, the second
count of Edessa; a princely fief, which he was worthy to receive,
and able to maintain, announces the number of his martial
followers; and after the departure of his cousin, Joscelin
himself was invested with the county of Edessa on both sides of
the Euphrates. By economy in peace, his territories were
replenished with Latin and Syrian subjects; his magazines with
corn, wine, and oil; his castles with gold and silver, with arms
and horses. In a holy warfare of thirty years, he was
alternately a conqueror and a captive: but he died like a
soldier, in a horse litter at the head of his troops; and his
last glance beheld the flight of the Turkish invaders who had
presumed on his age and infirmities. His son and successor, of
the same name, was less deficient in valor than in vigilance; but
he sometimes forgot that dominion is acquired and maintained by
the same arms. He challenged the hostility of the Turks, without
securing the friendship of the prince of Antioch; and, amidst the
peaceful luxury of Turbessel, in Syria, ^72 Joscelin neglected
the defence of the Christian frontier beyond the Euphrates. In
his absence, Zenghi, the first of the Atabeks, besieged and
stormed his capital, Edessa, which was feebly defended by a
timorous and disloyal crowd of Orientals: the Franks were
oppressed in a bold attempt for its recovery, and Courtenay ended

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