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The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

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1) for the knowledge of this tragic adventure; while Cantacuzene
more discreetly conceals the vices of Andronicus the Younger, of
which he was the witness and perhaps the associate, (l. i. c. 1,

[Footnote 8: His destined heir was Michael Catharus, the bastard
of Constantine his second son. In this project of excluding his
grandson Andronicus, Nicephorus Gregoras (l. viii. c. 3) agrees
with Cantacuzene, (l. i. c. 1, 2.)]

Yet the capital, the clergy, and the senate, adhered to the
person, or at least to the government, of the old emperor; and it
was only in the provinces, by flight, and revolt, and foreign
succor, that the malecontents could hope to vindicate their cause
and subvert his throne. The soul of the enterprise was the great
domestic John Cantacuzene; the sally from Constantinople is the
first date of his actions and memorials; and if his own pen be
most descriptive of his patriotism, an unfriendly historian has
not refused to celebrate the zeal and ability which he displayed
in the service of the young emperor. ^* That prince escaped from
the capital under the pretence of hunting; erected his standard
at Adrianople; and, in a few days, assembled fifty thousand horse
and foot, whom neither honor nor duty could have armed against
the Barbarians. Such a force might have saved or commanded the
empire; but their counsels were discordant, their motions were
slow and doubtful, and their progress was checked by intrigue and
negotiation. The quarrel of the two Andronici was protracted,
and suspended, and renewed, during a ruinous period of seven
years. In the first treaty, the relics of the Greek empire were
divided: Constantinople, Thessalonica, and the islands, were left
to the elder, while the younger acquired the sovereignty of the
greatest part of Thrace, from Philippi to the Byzantine limit.
By the second treaty, he stipulated the payment of his troops,
his immediate coronation, and an adequate share of the power and
revenue of the state. The third civil war was terminated by the
surprise of Constantinople, the final retreat of the old emperor,
and the sole reign of his victorious grandson. The reasons of
this delay may be found in the characters of the men and of the
times. When the heir of the monarchy first pleaded his wrongs
and his apprehensions, he was heard with pity and applause: and
his adherents repeated on all sides the inconsistent promise,
that he would increase the pay of the soldiers and alleviate the
burdens of the people. The grievances of forty years were
mingled in his revolt; and the rising generation was fatigued by
the endless prospect of a reign, whose favorites and maxims were
of other times. The youth of Andronicus had been without spirit,
his age was without reverence: his taxes produced an unusual
revenue of five hundred thousand pounds; yet the richest of the
sovereigns of Christendom was incapable of maintaining three
thousand horse and twenty galleys, to resist the destructive
progress of the Turks. ^9 "How different," said the younger
Andronicus, "is my situation from that of the son of Philip!
Alexander might complain, that his father would leave him nothing
to conquer: alas! my grandsire will leave me nothing to lose."
But the Greeks were soon admonished, that the public disorders
could not be healed by a civil war; and that their young favorite
was not destined to be the savior of a falling empire. On the
first repulse, his party was broken by his own levity, their
intestine discord, and the intrigues of the ancient court, which
tempted each malecontent to desert or betray the cause of the
rebellion. Andronicus the younger was touched with remorse, or
fatigued with business, or deceived by negotiation: pleasure
rather than power was his aim; and the license of maintaining a
thousand hounds, a thousand hawks, and a thousand huntsmen, was
sufficient to sully his fame and disarm his ambition.
[Footnote *: The conduct of Cantacuzene, by his own showing, was
inexplicable. He was unwilling to dethrone the old emperor, and
dissuaded the immediate march on Constantinople. The young
Andronicus, he says, entered into his views, and wrote to warn
the emperor of his danger when the march was determined.
Cantacuzenus, in Nov. Byz. Hist. Collect. vol. i. p. 104, &c. -

[Footnote 9: See Nicephorus Gregoras, l. viii. c. 6. The younger
Andronicus complained, that in four years and four months a sum
of 350,000 byzants of gold was due to him for the expenses of his
household, (Cantacuzen l. i. c. 48.) Yet he would have remitted
the debt, if he might have been allowed to squeeze the farmers of
the revenue]

Let us now survey the catastrophe of this busy plot, and the
final situation of the principal actors. ^10 The age of
Andronicus was consumed in civil discord; and, amidst the events
of war and treaty, his power and reputation continually decayed,
till the fatal night in which the gates of the city and palace
were opened without resistance to his grandson. His principal
commander scorned the repeated warnings of danger; and retiring
to rest in the vain security of ignorance, abandoned the feeble
monarch, with some priests and pages, to the terrors of a
sleepless night. These terrors were quickly realized by the
hostile shouts, which proclaimed the titles and victory of
Andronicus the younger; and the aged emperor, falling prostrate
before an image of the Virgin, despatched a suppliant message to
resign the sceptre, and to obtain his life at the hands of the
conqueror. The answer of his grandson was decent and pious; at
the prayer of his friends, the younger Andronicus assumed the
sole administration; but the elder still enjoyed the name and
preeminence of the first emperor, the use of the great palace,
and a pension of twenty-four thousand pieces of gold, one half of
which was assigned on the royal treasury, and the other on the
fishery of Constantinople. But his impotence was soon exposed to
contempt and oblivion; the vast silence of the palace was
disturbed only by the cattle and poultry of the neighborhood, ^*
which roved with impunity through the solitary courts; and a
reduced allowance of ten thousand pieces of gold ^11 was all that
he could ask, and more than he could hope. His calamities were
imbittered by the gradual extinction of sight; his confinement
was rendered each day more rigorous; and during the absence and
sickness of his grandson, his inhuman keepers, by the threats of
instant death, compelled him to exchange the purple for the
monastic habit and profession. The monk Antony had renounced the
pomp of the world; yet he had occasion for a coarse fur in the
winter season, and as wine was forbidden by his confessor, and
water by his physician, the sherbet of Egypt was his common
drink. It was not without difficulty that the late emperor could
procure three or four pieces to satisfy these simple wants; and
if he bestowed the gold to relieve the more painful distress of a
friend, the sacrifice is of some weight in the scale of humanity
and religion. Four years after his abdication, Andronicus or
Antony expired in a cell, in the seventy-fourth year of his age:
and the last strain of adulation could only promise a more
splendid crown of glory in heaven than he had enjoyed upon earth.
^12 ^*
[Footnote 10: I follow the chronology of Nicephorus Gregoras, who
is remarkably exact. It is proved that Cantacuzene has mistaken
the dates of his own actions, or rather that his text has been
corrupted by ignorant transcribers.]

[Footnote *: And the washerwomen, according to Nic. Gregoras, p.
431 - M.]
[Footnote 11: I have endeavored to reconcile the 24,000 pieces of
Cantacuzene (l. ii. c. 1) with the 10,000 of Nicephorus Gregoras,
(l. ix. c. 2;) the one of whom wished to soften, the other to
magnify, the hardships of the old emperor]

[Footnote 12: See Nicephorus Gregoras, (l. ix. 6, 7, 8, 10, 14,
l. x. c. 1.) The historian had tasted of the prosperity, and
shared the retreat, of his benefactor; and that friendship which
"waits or to the scaffold or the cell," should not lightly be
accused as "a hireling, a prostitute to praise."
Note: But it may be accused of unparalleled absurdity. He
compares the extinction of the feeble old man to that of the sun:
his coffin is to be floated like Noah's ark by a deluge of tears.
- M.]

[Footnote *: Prodigies (according to Nic. Gregoras, p. 460)
announced the departure of the old and imbecile Imperial Monk
from his earthly prison. - M.]
Nor was the reign of the younger, more glorious or fortunate
than that of the elder, Andronicus. ^13 He gathered the fruits of
ambition; but the taste was transient and bitter: in the supreme
station he lost the remains of his early popularity; and the
defects of his character became still more conspicuous to the
world. The public reproach urged him to march in person against
the Turks; nor did his courage fail in the hour of trial; but a
defeat and a wound were the only trophies of his expedition in
Asia, which confirmed the establishment of the Ottoman monarchy.
The abuses of the civil government attained their full maturity
and perfection: his neglect of forms, and the confusion of
national dresses, are deplored by the Greeks as the fatal
symptoms of the decay of the empire. Andronicus was old before
his time; the intemperance of youth had accelerated the
infirmities of age; and after being rescued from a dangerous
malady by nature, or physic, or the Virgin, he was snatched away
before he had accomplished his forty-fifth year. He was twice
married; and, as the progress of the Latins in arms and arts had
softened the prejudices of the Byzantine court, his two wives
were chosen in the princely houses of Germany and Italy. The
first, Agnes at home, Irene in Greece, was daughter of the duke
of Brunswick. Her father ^14 was a petty lord ^15 in the poor
and savage regions of the north of Germany: ^16 yet he derived
some revenue from his silver mines; ^17 and his family is
celebrated by the Greeks as the most ancient and noble of the
Teutonic name. ^18 After the death of this childish princess,
Andronicus sought in marriage Jane, the sister of the count of
Savoy; ^19 and his suit was preferred to that of the French king.
^20 The count respected in his sister the superior majesty of a
Roman empress: her retinue was composed of knights and ladies;
she was regenerated and crowned in St. Sophia, under the more
orthodox appellation of Anne; and, at the nuptial feast, the
Greeks and Italians vied with each other in the martial exercises
of tilts and tournaments.

[Footnote 13: The sole reign of Andronicus the younger is
described by Cantacuzene (l. ii. c. 1 - 40, p. 191 - 339) and
Nicephorus Gregoras, (l. ix c. 7 - l. xi. c. 11, p. 262 - 361.)]

[Footnote 14: Agnes, or Irene, was the daughter of Duke Henry the
Wonderful, the chief of the house of Brunswick, and the fourth in
descent from the famous Henry the Lion, duke of Saxony and
Bavaria, and conqueror of the Sclavi on the Baltic coast. Her
brother Henry was surnamed the Greek, from his two journeys into
the East: but these journeys were subsequent to his sister's
marriage; and I am ignorant how Agnes was discovered in the heart
of Germany, and recommended to the Byzantine court. (Rimius,
Memoirs of the House of Brunswick, p. 126 - 137.]

[Footnote 15: Henry the Wonderful was the founder of the branch
of Gruben hagen, extinct in the year 1596, (Rimius, p. 287.) He
resided in the castle of Wolfenbuttel, and possessed no more than
a sixth part of the allodial estates of Brunswick and Luneburgh,
which the Guelph family had saved from the confiscation of their
great fiefs. The frequent partitions among brothers had almost
ruined the princely houses of Germany, till that just, but
pernicious, law was slowly superseded by the right of
primogeniture. The principality of Grubenhagen, one of the last
remains of the Hercynian forest, is a woody, mountainous, and
barren tract, (Busching's Geography, vol. vi. p. 270 - 286,
English translation.)]

[Footnote 16: The royal author of the Memoirs of Brandenburgh
will teach us, how justly, in a much later period, the north of
Germany deserved the epithets of poor and barbarous. (Essai sur
les Moeurs, &c.) In the year 1306, in the woods of Luneburgh,
some wild people of the Vened race were allowed to bury alive
their infirm and useless parents. (Rimius, p. 136.)]
[Footnote 17: The assertion of Tacitus, that Germany was
destitute of the precious metals, must be taken, even in his own
time, with some limitation, (Germania, c. 5. Annal. xi. 20.)
According to Spener, (Hist. Germaniae Pragmatica, tom. i. p.
351,) Argentifodinae in Hercyniis montibus, imperante Othone
magno (A.D. 968) primum apertae, largam etiam opes augendi
dederunt copiam: but Rimius (p. 258, 259) defers till the year
1016 the discovery of the silver mines of Grubenhagen, or the
Upper Hartz, which were productive in the beginning of the xivth
century, and which still yield a considerable revenue to the
house of Brunswick.]

[Footnote 18: Cantacuzene has given a most honorable testimony.
The praise is just in itself, and pleasing to an English ear.]

[Footnote 19: Anne, or Jane, was one of the four daughters of
Amedee the Great, by a second marriage, and half-sister of his
successor Edward count of Savoy. (Anderson's Tables, p. 650.
See Cantacuzene, (l. i. c. 40 - 42.)]
[Footnote 20: That king, if the fact be true, must have been
Charles the Fair who in five years (1321 - 1326) was married to
three wives, (Anderson, p. 628.) Anne of Savoy arrived at
Constantinople in February, 1326.]
The empress Anne of Savoy survived her husband: their son,
John Palaeologus, was left an orphan and an emperor in the ninth
year of his age; and his weakness was protected by the first and
most deserving of the Greeks. The long and cordial friendship of
his father for John Cantacuzene is alike honorable to the prince
and the subject. It had been formed amidst the pleasures of
their youth: their families were almost equally noble; ^21 and
the recent lustre of the purple was amply compensated by the
energy of a private education. We have seen that the young
emperor was saved by Cantacuzene from the power of his
grandfather; and, after six years of civil war, the same favorite
brought him back in triumph to the palace of Constantinople.
Under the reign of Andronicus the younger, the great domestic
ruled the emperor and the empire; and it was by his valor and
conduct that the Isle of Lesbos and the principality of Aetolia
were restored to their ancient allegiance. His enemies confess,
that, among the public robbers, Cantacuzene alone was moderate
and abstemious; and the free and voluntary account which he
produces of his own wealth ^22 may sustain the presumption that
he was devolved by inheritance, and not accumulated by rapine.
He does not indeed specify the value of his money, plate, and
jewels; yet, after a voluntary gift of two hundred vases of
silver, after much had been secreted by his friends and plundered
by his foes, his forfeit treasures were sufficient for the
equipment of a fleet of seventy galleys. He does not measure the
size and number of his estates; but his granaries were heaped
with an incredible store of wheat and barley; and the labor of a
thousand yoke of oxen might cultivate, according to the practice
of antiquity, about sixty-two thousand five hundred acres of
arable land. ^23 His pastures were stocked with two thousand five
hundred brood mares, two hundred camels, three hundred mules,
five hundred asses, five thousand horned cattle, fifty thousand
hogs, and seventy thousand sheep: ^24 a precious record of rural
opulence, in the last period of the empire, and in a land, most
probably in Thrace, so repeatedly wasted by foreign and domestic
hostility. The favor of Cantacuzene was above his fortune. In
the moments of familiarity, in the hour of sickness, the emperor
was desirous to level the distance between them and pressed his
friend to accept the diadem and purple. The virtue of the great
domestic, which is attested by his own pen, resisted the
dangerous proposal; but the last testament of Andronicus the
younger named him the guardian of his son, and the regent of the

[Footnote 21: The noble race of the Cantacuzeni (illustrious from
the xith century in the Byzantine annals) was drawn from the
Paladins of France, the heroes of those romances which, in the
xiiith century, were translated and read by the Greeks, (Ducange,
Fam. Byzant. p. 258.)]

[Footnote 22: See Cantacuzene, (l. iii. c. 24, 30, 36.)]

[Footnote 23: Saserna, in Gaul, and Columella, in Italy or Spain,
allow two yoke of oxen, two drivers, and six laborers, for two
hundred jugera (125 English acres) of arable land, and three more
men must be added if there be much underwood, (Columella de Re
Rustica, l. ii. c. 13, p 441, edit. Gesner.)]
[Footnote 24: In this enumeration (l. iii. c. 30) the French
translation of the president Cousin is blotted with three
palpable and essential errors. 1. He omits the 1000 yoke of
working oxen. 2. He interprets by the number of fifteen hundred.
3. He confounds myriads with chiliads, and gives Cantacuzene no
more than 5000 hogs. Put not your trust in translations!]
Note: There seems to be another reading. Niebuhr's edit. in
los. - M.]
Had the regent found a suitable return of obedience and
gratitude, perhaps he would have acted with pure and zealous
fidelity in the service of his pupil. ^25 A guard of five hundred
soldiers watched over his person and the palace; the funeral of
the late emperor was decently performed; the capital was silent
and submissive; and five hundred letters, which Cantacuzene
despatched in the first month, informed the provinces of their
loss and their duty. The prospect of a tranquil minority was
blasted by the great duke or admiral Apocaucus, and to exaggerate
his perfidy, the Imperial historian is pleased to magnify his own
imprudence, in raising him to that office against the advice of
his more sagacious sovereign. Bold and subtle, rapacious and
profuse, the avarice and ambition of Apocaucus were by turns
subservient to each other; and his talents were applied to the
ruin of his country. His arrogance was heightened by the command
of a naval force and an impregnable castle, and under the mask of
oaths and flattery he secretly conspired against his benefactor.
The female court of the empress was bribed and directed; he
encouraged Anne of Savoy to assert, by the law of nature, the
tutelage of her son; the love of power was disguised by the
anxiety of maternal tenderness: and the founder of the Palaeologi
had instructed his posterity to dread the example of a perfidious
guardian. The patriarch John of Apri was a proud and feeble old
man, encompassed by a numerous and hungry kindred. He produced
an obsolete epistle of Andronicus, which bequeathed the prince
and people to his pious care: the fate of his predecessor
Arsenius prompted him to prevent, rather than punish, the crimes
of a usurper; and Apocaucus smiled at the success of his own
flattery, when he beheld the Byzantine priest assuming the state
and temporal claims of the Roman pontiff. ^26 Between three
persons so different in their situation and character, a private
league was concluded: a shadow of authority was restored to the
senate; and the people was tempted by the name of freedom. By
this powerful confederacy, the great domestic was assaulted at
first with clandestine, at length with open, arms. His
prerogatives were disputed; his opinions slighted; his friends
persecuted; and his safety was threatened both in the camp and
city. In his absence on the public service, he was accused of
treason; proscribed as an enemy of the church and state; and
delivered with all his adherents to the sword of justice, the
vengeance of the people, and the power of the devil; his fortunes
were confiscated; his aged mother was cast into prison; ^* all
his past services were buried in oblivion; and he was driven by
injustice to perpetrate the crime of which he was accused. ^27
From the review of his preceding conduct, Cantacuzene appears to
have been guiltless of any treasonable designs; and the only
suspicion of his innocence must arise from the vehemence of his
protestations, and the sublime purity which he ascribes to his
own virtue. While the empress and the patriarch still affected
the appearances of harmony, he repeatedly solicited the
permission of retiring to a private, and even a monastic, life.
After he had been declared a public enemy, it was his fervent
wish to throw himself at the feet of the young emperor, and to
receive without a murmur the stroke of the executioner: it was
not without reluctance that he listened to the voice of reason,
which inculcated the sacred duty of saving his family and
friends, and proved that he could only save them by drawing the
sword and assuming the Imperial title.

[Footnote 25: See the regency and reign of John Cantacuzenus, and
the whole progress of the civil war, in his own history, (l. iii.
c. 1 - 100, p. 348 - 700,) and in that of Nicephorus Gregoras,
(l. xii. c. 1 - l. xv. c. 9, p. 353 - 492.)]

[Footnote 26: He assumes the royal privilege of red shoes or
buskins; placed on his head a mitre of silk and gold; subscribed
his epistles with hyacinth or green ink, and claimed for the new,
whatever Constantine had given to the ancient, Rome, (Cantacuzen.
l. iii. c. 36. Nic. Gregoras, l. xiv. c. 3.)]

[Footnote *: She died there through persecution and neglect. -

[Footnote 27: Gregoras (l. xii. c. 5.) confesses the innocence
and virtues of Cantacuzenus, the guilt and flagitious vices of
Apocaucus; nor does he dissemble the motive of his personal and
religious enmity to the former.

Note: They were the religious enemies and persecutors of

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

Part II.

In the strong city of Demotica, his peculiar domain, the
emperor John Cantacuzenus was invested with the purple buskins:
his right leg was clothed by his noble kinsmen, the left by the
Latin chiefs, on whom he conferred the order of knighthood. But
even in this act of revolt, he was still studious of loyalty; and
the titles of John Palaeologus and Anne of Savoy were proclaimed
before his own name and that of his wife Irene. Such vain
ceremony is a thin disguise of rebellion, nor are there perhaps
any personal wrongs that can authorize a subject to take arms
against his sovereign: but the want of preparation and success
may confirm the assurance of the usurper, that this decisive step
was the effect of necessity rather than of choice. Constantinople
adhered to the young emperor; the king of Bulgaria was invited to
the relief of Adrianople: the principal cities of Thrace and
Macedonia, after some hesitation, renounced their obedience to
the great domestic; and the leaders of the troops and provinces
were induced, by their private interest, to prefer the loose
dominion of a woman and a priest. ^* The army of Cantacuzene, in
sixteen divisions, was stationed on the banks of the Melas to
tempt or to intimidate the capital: it was dispersed by treachery
or fear; and the officers, more especially the mercenary Latins,
accepted the bribes, and embraced the service, of the Byzantine
court. After this loss, the rebel emperor (he fluctuated between
the two characters) took the road of Thessalonica with a chosen
remnant; but he failed in his enterprise on that important place;
and he was closely pursued by the great duke, his enemy
Apocaucus, at the head of a superior power by sea and land.
Driven from the coast, in his march, or rather flight, into the
mountains of Servia, Cantacuzene assembled his troops to
scrutinize those who were worthy and willing to accompany his
broken fortunes. A base majority bowed and retired; and his
trusty band was diminished to two thousand, and at last to five
hundred, volunteers. The cral, ^28 or despot of the Servians
received him with general hospitality; but the ally was
insensibly degraded to a suppliant, a hostage, a captive; and in
this miserable dependence, he waited at the door of the
Barbarian, who could dispose of the life and liberty of a Roman
emperor. The most tempting offers could not persuade the cral to
violate his trust; but he soon inclined to the stronger side; and
his friend was dismissed without injury to a new vicissitude of
hopes and perils. Near six years the flame of discord burnt with
various success and unabated rage: the cities were distracted by
the faction of the nobles and the plebeians; the Cantacuzeni and
Palaeologi: and the Bulgarians, the Servians, and the Turks, were
invoked on both sides as the instruments of private ambition and
the common ruin. The regent deplored the calamities, of which he
was the author and victim: and his own experience might dictate a
just and lively remark on the different nature of foreign and
civil war. "The former," said he, "is the external warmth of
summer, always tolerable, and often beneficial; the latter is the
deadly heat of a fever, which consumes without a remedy the
vitals of the constitution." ^29

[Footnote *: Cantacuzene asserts, that in all the cities, the
populace were on the side of the emperor, the aristocracy on his.

The populace took the opportunity of rising and plundering the
wealthy as Cantacuzenites, vol. iii. c. 29 Ages of common
oppression and ruin had not extinguished these republican
factions. - M.]

[Footnote 28: The princes of Servia (Ducange, Famil. Dalmaticae,
&c., c. 2, 3, 4, 9) were styled Despots in Greek, and Cral in
their native idiom, (Ducange, Gloss. Graec. p. 751.) That title,
the equivalent of king, appears to be of Sclavonic origin, from
whence it has been borrowed by the Hungarians, the modern Greeks,
and even by the Turks, (Leunclavius, Pandect. Turc. p. 422,) who
reserve the name of Padishah for the emperor. To obtain the
latter instead of the former is the ambition of the French at
Constantinople, (Aversissement a l'Histoire de Timur Bec, p.

[Footnote 29: Nic. Gregoras, l. xii. c. 14. It is surprising
that Cantacuzene has not inserted this just and lively image in
his own writings.]
The introduction of barbarians and savages into the contests
of civilized nations, is a measure pregnant with shame and
mischief; which the interest of the moment may compel, but which
is reprobated by the best principles of humanity and reason. It
is the practice of both sides to accuse their enemies of the
guilt of the first alliances; and those who fail in their
negotiations are loudest in their censure of the example which
they envy and would gladly imitate. The Turks of Asia were less
barbarous perhaps than the shepherds of Bulgaria and Servia; but
their religion rendered them implacable foes of Rome and
Christianity. To acquire the friendship of their emirs, the two
factions vied with each other in baseness and profusion: the
dexterity of Cantacuzene obtained the preference: but the succor
and victory were dearly purchased by the marriage of his daughter
with an infidel, the captivity of many thousand Christians, and
the passage of the Ottomans into Europe, the last and fatal
stroke in the fall of the Roman empire. The inclining scale was
decided in his favor by the death of Apocaucus, the just though
singular retribution of his crimes. A crowd of nobles or
plebeians, whom he feared or hated, had been seized by his orders
in the capital and the provinces; and the old palace of
Constantine was assigned as the place of their confinement. Some
alterations in raising the walls, and narrowing the cells, had
been ingeniously contrived to prevent their escape, and aggravate
their misery; and the work was incessantly pressed by the daily
visits of the tyrant. His guards watched at the gate, and as he
stood in the inner court to overlook the architects, without fear
or suspicion, he was assaulted and laid breathless on the ground,
by two ^* resolute prisoners of the Palaeologian race, ^30 who
were armed with sticks, and animated by despair. On the rumor of
revenge and liberty, the captive multitude broke their fetters,
fortified their prison, and exposed from the battlements the
tyrant's head, presuming on the favor of the people and the
clemency of the empress. Anne of Savoy might rejoice in the fall
of a haughty and ambitious minister, but while she delayed to
resolve or to act, the populace, more especially the mariners,
were excited by the widow of the great duke to a sedition, an
assault, and a massacre. The prisoners (of whom the far greater
part were guiltless or inglorious of the deed) escaped to a
neighboring church: they were slaughtered at the foot of the
altar; and in his death the monster was not less bloody and
venomous than in his life. Yet his talents alone upheld the
cause of the young emperor; and his surviving associates,
suspicious of each other, abandoned the conduct of the war, and
rejected the fairest terms of accommodation. In the beginning of
the dispute, the empress felt, and complained, that she was
deceived by the enemies of Cantacuzene: the patriarch was
employed to preach against the forgiveness of injuries; and her
promise of immortal hatred was sealed by an oath, under the
penalty of excommunication. ^31 But Anne soon learned to hate
without a teacher: she beheld the misfortunes of the empire with
the indifference of a stranger: her jealousy was exasperated by
the competition of a rival empress; and on the first symptoms of
a more yielding temper, she threatened the patriarch to convene a
synod, and degrade him from his office. Their incapacity and
discord would have afforded the most decisive advantage; but the
civil war was protracted by the weakness of both parties; and the
moderation of Cantacuzene has not escaped the reproach of
timidity and indolence. He successively recovered the provinces
and cities; and the realm of his pupil was measured by the walls
of Constantinople; but the metropolis alone counterbalanced the
rest of the empire; nor could he attempt that important conquest
till he had secured in his favor the public voice and a private
correspondence. An Italian, of the name of Facciolati, ^32 had
succeeded to the office of great duke: the ships, the guards, and
the golden gate, were subject to his command; but his humble
ambition was bribed to become the instrument of treachery; and
the revolution was accomplished without danger or bloodshed.
Destitute of the powers of resistance, or the hope of relief, the
inflexible Anne would have still defended the palace, and have
smiled to behold the capital in flames, rather than in the
possession of a rival. She yielded to the prayers of her friends
and enemies; and the treaty was dictated by the conqueror, who
professed a loyal and zealous attachment to the son of his
benefactor. The marriage of his daughter with John Palaeologus
was at length consummated: the hereditary right of the pupil was
acknowledged; but the sole administration during ten years was
vested in the guardian. Two emperors and three empresses were
seated on the Byzantine throne; and a general amnesty quieted the
apprehensions, and confirmed the property, of the most guilty
subjects. The festival of the coronation and nuptials was
celebrated with the appearances of concord and magnificence, and
both were equally fallacious. During the late troubles, the
treasures of the state, and even the furniture of the palace, had
been alienated or embezzled; the royal banquet was served in
pewter or earthenware; and such was the proud poverty of the
times, that the absence of gold and jewels was supplied by the
paltry artifices of glass and gilt-leather. ^33

[Footnote 30: The two avengers were both Palaeologi, who might
resent, with royal indignation, the shame of their chains. The
tragedy of Apocaucus may deserve a peculiar reference to
Cantacuzene (l. iii. c. 86) and Nic. Gregoras, (l. xiv. c. 10.)]

[Footnote 31: Cantacuzene accuses the patriarch, and spares the
empress, the mother of his sovereign, (l. iii. 33, 34,) against
whom Nic. Gregoras expresses a particular animosity, (l. xiv. 10,
11, xv. 5.) It is true that they do not speak exactly of the same

[Footnote *: Nicephorus says four, p.734.]

[Footnote 32: The traitor and treason are revealed by Nic.
Gregoras, (l. xv. c. 8;) but the name is more discreetly
suppressed by his great accomplice, (Cantacuzen. l. iii. c. 99.)]

[Footnote 33: Nic. Greg. l. xv. 11. There were, however, some
true pearls, but very thinly sprinkled.]

I hasten to conclude the personal history of John
Cantacuzene. ^34 He triumphed and reigned; but his reign and
triumph were clouded by the discontent of his own and the adverse
faction. His followers might style the general amnesty an act of
pardon for his enemies, and of oblivion for his friends: ^35 in
his cause their estates had been forfeited or plundered; and as
they wandered naked and hungry through the streets, they cursed
the selfish generosity of a leader, who, on the throne of the
empire, might relinquish without merit his private inheritance.
The adherents of the empress blushed to hold their lives and
fortunes by the precarious favor of a usurper; and the thirst of
revenge was concealed by a tender concern for the succession, and
even the safety, of her son. They were justly alarmed by a
petition of the friends of Cantacuzene, that they might be
released from their oath of allegiance to the Palaeologi, and
intrusted with the defence of some cautionary towns; a measure
supported with argument and eloquence; and which was rejected
(says the Imperial historian) "by my sublime, and almost
incredible virtue." His repose was disturbed by the sound of
plots and seditions; and he trembled lest the lawful prince
should be stolen away by some foreign or domestic enemy, who
would inscribe his name and his wrongs in the banners of
rebellion. As the son of Andronicus advanced in the years of
manhood, he began to feel and to act for himself; and his rising
ambition was rather stimulated than checked by the imitation of
his father's vices. If we may trust his own professions,
Cantacuzene labored with honest industry to correct these sordid
and sensual appetites, and to raise the mind of the young prince
to a level with his fortune. In the Servian expedition, the two
emperors showed themselves in cordial harmony to the troops and
provinces; and the younger colleague was initiated by the elder
in the mysteries of war and government. After the conclusion of
the peace, Palaeologus was left at Thessalonica, a royal
residence, and a frontier station, to secure by his absence the
peace of Constantinople, and to withdraw his youth from the
temptations of a luxurious capital. But the distance weakened
the powers of control, and the son of Andronicus was surrounded
with artful or unthinking companions, who taught him to hate his
guardian, to deplore his exile, and to vindicate his rights. A
private treaty with the cral or despot of Servia was soon
followed by an open revolt; and Cantacuzene, on the throne of the
elder Andronicus, defended the cause of age and prerogative,
which in his youth he had so vigorously attacked. At his request
the empress-mother undertook the voyage of Thessalonica, and the
office of mediation: she returned without success; and unless
Anne of Savoy was instructed by adversity, we may doubt the
sincerity, or at least the fervor, of her zeal. While the regent
grasped the sceptre with a firm and vigorous hand, she had been
instructed to declare, that the ten years of his legal
administration would soon elapse; and that, after a full trial of
the vanity of the world, the emperor Cantacuzene sighed for the
repose of a cloister, and was ambitious only of a heavenly crown.

Had these sentiments been genuine, his voluntary abdication would
have restored the peace of the empire, and his conscience would
have been relieved by an act of justice. Palaeologus alone was
responsible for his future government; and whatever might be his
vices, they were surely less formidable than the calamities of a
civil war, in which the Barbarians and infidels were again
invited to assist the Greeks in their mutual destruction. By the
arms of the Turks, who now struck a deep and everlasting root in
Europe, Cantacuzene prevailed in the third contest in which he
had been involved; and the young emperor, driven from the sea and
land, was compelled to take shelter among the Latins of the Isle
of Tenedos. His insolence and obstinacy provoked the victor to a
step which must render the quarrel irreconcilable; and the
association of his son Matthew, whom he invested with the purple,
established the succession in the family of the Cantacuzeni. But
Constantinople was still attached to the blood of her ancient
princes; and this last injury accelerated the restoration of the
rightful heir. A noble Genoese espoused the cause of
Palaeologus, obtained a promise of his sister, and achieved the
revolution with two galleys and two thousand five hundred
auxiliaries. Under the pretence of distress, they were admitted
into the lesser port; a gate was opened, and the Latin shout of,
"Long life and victory to the emperor, John Palaeologus!" was
answered by a general rising in his favor. A numerous and loyal
party yet adhered to the standard of Cantacuzene: but he asserts
in his history (does he hope for belief?) that his tender
conscience rejected the assurance of conquest; that, in free
obedience to the voice of religion and philosophy, he descended
from the throne and embraced with pleasure the monastic habit and
profession. ^36 So soon as he ceased to be a prince, his
successor was not unwilling that he should be a saint: the
remainder of his life was devoted to piety and learning; in the
cells of Constantinople and Mount Athos, the monk Joasaph was
respected as the temporal and spiritual father of the emperor;
and if he issued from his retreat, it was as the minister of
peace, to subdue the obstinacy, and solicit the pardon, of his
rebellious son. ^37

[Footnote 34: From his return to Constantinople, Cantacuzene
continues his history and that of the empire, one year beyond the
abdication of his son Matthew, A.D. 1357, (l. iv. c. l - 50, p.
705 - 911.) Nicephorus Gregoras ends with the synod of
Constantinople, in the year 1351, (l. xxii. c. 3, p. 660; the
rest, to the conclusion of the xxivth book, p. 717, is all
controversy;) and his fourteen last books are still Mss. in the
king of France's library.]
[Footnote 35: The emperor (Cantacuzen. l. iv. c. 1) represents
his own virtues, and Nic. Gregoras (l. xv. c. 11) the complaints
of his friends, who suffered by its effects. I have lent them
the words of our poor cavaliers after the Restoration.]

[Footnote 36: The awkward apology of Cantacuzene, (l. iv. c. 39 -
42,) who relates, with visible confusion, his own downfall, may
be supplied by the less accurate, but more honest, narratives of
Matthew Villani (l. iv. c. 46, in the Script. Rerum Ital. tom.
xiv. p. 268) and Ducas, (c 10, 11.)]
[Footnote 37: Cantacuzene, in the year 1375, was honored with a
letter from the pope, (Fleury, Hist. Eccles. tom. xx. p. 250.)
His death is placed by a respectable authority on the 20th of
November, 1411, (Ducange, Fam. Byzant. p. 260.) But if he were of
the age of his companion Andronicus the Younger, he must have
lived 116 years; a rare instance of longevity, which in so
illustrious a person would have attracted universal notice.]
Yet in the cloister, the mind of Cantacuzene was still
exercised by theological war. He sharpened a controversial pen
against the Jews and Mahometans; ^38 and in every state he
defended with equal zeal the divine light of Mount Thabor, a
memorable question which consummates the religious follies of the
Greeks. The fakirs of India, ^39 and the monks of the Oriental
church, were alike persuaded, that in the total abstraction of
the faculties of the mind and body, the purer spirit may ascend
to the enjoyment and vision of the Deity. The opinion and
practice of the monasteries of Mount Athos ^40 will be best
represented in the words of an abbot, who flourished in the
eleventh century. "When thou art alone in thy cell," says the
ascetic teacher, "shut thy door, and seat thyself in a corner:
raise thy mind above all things vain and transitory; recline thy
beard and chin on thy breast; turn thy eyes and thy thoughts
toward the middle of thy belly, the region of the navel; and
search the place of the heart, the seat of the soul. At first,
all will be dark and comfortless; but if you persevere day and
night, you will feel an ineffable joy; and no sooner has the soul
discovered the place of the heart, than it is involved in a
mystic and ethereal light." This light, the production of a
distempered fancy, the creature of an empty stomach and an empty
brain, was adored by the Quietists as the pure and perfect
essence of God himself; and as long as the folly was confined to
Mount Athos, the simple solitaries were not inquisitive how the
divine essence could be a material substance, or how an
immaterial substance could be perceived by the eyes of the body.
But in the reign of the younger Andronicus, these monasteries
were visited by Barlaam, ^41 a Calabrian monk, who was equally
skilled in philosophy and theology; who possessed the language of
the Greeks and Latins; and whose versatile genius could maintain
their opposite creeds, according to the interest of the moment.
The indiscretion of an ascetic revealed to the curious traveller
the secrets of mental prayer and Barlaam embraced the opportunity
of ridiculing the Quietists, who placed the soul in the navel; of
accusing the monks of Mount Athos of heresy and blasphemy. His
attack compelled the more learned to renounce or dissemble the
simple devotion of their brethren; and Gregory Palamas introduced
a scholastic distinction between the essence and operation of
God. His inaccessible essence dwells in the midst of an
uncreated and eternal light; and this beatific vision of the
saints had been manifested to the disciples on Mount Thabor, in
the transfiguration of Christ. Yet this distinction could not
escape the reproach of polytheism; the eternity of the light of
Thabor was fiercely denied; and Barlaam still charged the
Palamites with holding two eternal substances, a visible and an
invisible God. From the rage of the monks of Mount Athos, who
threatened his life, the Calabrian retired to Constantinople,
where his smooth and specious manners introduced him to the favor
of the great domestic and the emperor. The court and the city
were involved in this theological dispute, which flamed amidst
the civil war; but the doctrine of Barlaam was disgraced by his
flight and apostasy: the Palamites triumphed; and their
adversary, the patriarch John of Apri, was deposed by the consent
of the adverse factions of the state. In the character of
emperor and theologian, Cantacuzene presided in the synod of the
Greek church, which established, as an article of faith, the
uncreated light of Mount Thabor; and, after so many insults, the
reason of mankind was slightly wounded by the addition of a
single absurdity. Many rolls of paper or parchment have been
blotted; and the impenitent sectaries, who refused to subscribe
the orthodox creed, were deprived of the honors of Christian
burial; but in the next age the question was forgotten; nor can I
learn that the axe or the fagot were employed for the extirpation
of the Barlaamite heresy. ^42

[Footnote 38: His four discourses, or books, were printed at
Bazil, 1543, (Fabric Bibliot. Graec. tom. vi. p. 473.) He
composed them to satisfy a proselyte who was assaulted with
letters from his friends of Ispahan. Cantacuzene had read the
Koran; but I understand from Maracci that he adopts the vulgar
prejudices and fables against Mahomet and his religion.]
[Footnote 39: See the Voyage de Bernier, tom. i. p. 127.]

[Footnote 40: Mosheim, Institut. Hist. Eccles. p. 522, 523.
Fleury, Hist. Eccles. tom. xx. p. 22, 24, 107 - 114, &c. The
former unfolds the causes with the judgment of a philosopher, the
latter transcribes and transcribes and translates with the
prejudices of a Catholic priest.]

[Footnote 41: Basnage (in Canisii antiq. Lectiones, tom. iv. p.
363 - 368) has investigated the character and story of Barlaam.
The duplicity of his opinions had inspired some doubts of the
identity of his person. See likewise Fabricius, (Bibliot. Graec.
tom. x. p. 427 - 432.)]

[Footnote 42: See Cantacuzene (l. ii. c. 39, 40, l. iv. c. 3, 23,
24, 25) and Nic. Gregoras, (l. xi. c. 10, l. xv. 3, 7, &c.,)
whose last books, from the xixth to xxivth, are almost confined
to a subject so interesting to the authors. Boivin, (in Vit.
Nic. Gregorae,) from the unpublished books, and Fabricius,
(Bibliot. Graec. tom. x. p. 462 - 473,) or rather Montfaucon,
from the Mss. of the Coislin library, have added some facts and
For the conclusion of this chapter, I have reserved the
Genoese war, which shook the throne of Cantacuzene, and betrayed
the debility of the Greek empire. The Genoese, who, after the
recovery of Constantinople, were seated in the suburb of Pera or
Galata, received that honorable fief from the bounty of the
emperor. They were indulged in the use of their laws and
magistrates; but they submitted to the duties of vassals and
subjects; the forcible word of liegemen ^43 was borrowed from the
Latin jurisprudence; and their podesta, or chief, before he
entered on his office, saluted the emperor with loyal
acclamations and vows of fidelity. Genoa sealed a firm alliance
with the Greeks; and, in case of a defensive war, a supply of
fifty empty galleys and a succor of fifty galleys, completely
armed and manned, was promised by the republic to the empire. In
the revival of a naval force, it was the aim of Michael
Palaeologus to deliver himself from a foreign aid; and his
vigorous government contained the Genoese of Galata within those
limits which the insolence of wealth and freedom provoked them to
exceed. A sailor threatened that they should soon be masters of
Constantinople, and slew the Greek who resented this national
affront; and an armed vessel, after refusing to salute the
palace, was guilty of some acts of piracy in the Black Sea.
Their countrymen threatened to support their cause; but the long
and open village of Galata was instantly surrounded by the
Imperial troops; till, in the moment of the assault, the
prostrate Genoese implored the clemency of their sovereign. The
defenceless situation which secured their obedience exposed them
to the attack of their Venetian rivals, who, in the reign of the
elder Andronicus, presumed to violate the majesty of the throne.
On the approach of their fleets, the Genoese, with their families
and effects, retired into the city: their empty habitations were
reduced to ashes; and the feeble prince, who had viewed the
destruction of his suburb, expressed his resentment, not by arms,
but by ambassadors. This misfortune, however, was advantageous
to the Genoese, who obtained, and imperceptibly abused, the
dangerous license of surrounding Galata with a strong wall; of
introducing into the ditch the waters of the sea; of erecting
lofty turrets; and of mounting a train of military engines on the
rampart. The narrow bounds in which they had been circumscribed
were insufficient for the growing colony; each day they acquired
some addition of landed property; and the adjacent hills were
covered with their villas and castles, which they joined and
protected by new fortifications. ^44 The navigation and trade of
the Euxine was the patrimony of the Greek emperors, who commanded
the narrow entrance, the gates, as it were, of that inland sea.
In the reign of Michael Palaeologus, their prerogative was
acknowledged by the sultan of Egypt, who solicited and obtained
the liberty of sending an annual ship for the purchase of slaves
in Circassia and the Lesser Tartary: a liberty pregnant with
mischief to the Christian cause; since these youths were
transformed by education and discipline into the formidable
Mamalukes. ^45 From the colony of Pera, the Genoese engaged with
superior advantage in the lucrative trade of the Black Sea; and
their industry supplied the Greeks with fish and corn; two
articles of food almost equally important to a superstitious
people. The spontaneous bounty of nature appears to have
bestowed the harvests of Ukraine, the produce of a rude and
savage husbandry; and the endless exportation of salt fish and
caviare is annually renewed by the enormous sturgeons that are
caught at the mouth of the Don or Tanais, in their last station
of the rich mud and shallow water of the Maeotis. ^46 The waters
of the Oxus, the Caspian, the Volga, and the Don, opened a rare
and laborious passage for the gems and spices of India; and after
three months' march the caravans of Carizme met the Italian
vessels in the harbors of Crimaea. ^47 These various branches of
trade were monopolized by the diligence and power of the Genoese.

Their rivals of Venice and Pisa were forcibly expelled; the
natives were awed by the castles and cities, which arose on the
foundations of their humble factories; and their principal
establishment of Caffa ^48 was besieged without effect by the
Tartar powers. Destitute of a navy, the Greeks were oppressed by
these haughty merchants, who fed, or famished, Constantinople,
according to their interest. They proceeded to usurp the customs,
the fishery, and even the toll, of the Bosphorus; and while they
derived from these objects a revenue of two hundred thousand
pieces of gold, a remnant of thirty thousand was reluctantly
allowed to the emperor. ^49 The colony of Pera or Galata acted,
in peace and war, as an independent state; and, as it will happen
in distant settlements, the Genoese podesta too often forgot that
he was the servant of his own masters.
[Footnote 43: Pachymer (l. v. c. 10) very properly explains
(ligios). The use of these words in the Greek and Latin of the
feudal times may be amply understood from the Glossaries of
Ducange, (Graec. p. 811, 812. Latin. tom. iv. p. 109 - 111.)]

[Footnote 44: The establishment and progress of the Genoese at
Pera, or Galata, is described by Ducange (C. P. Christiana, l. i.
p. 68, 69) from the Byzantine historians, Pachymer, (l. ii. c.
35, l. v. 10, 30, l. ix. 15 l. xii. 6, 9,) Nicephorus Gregoras,
(l. v. c. 4, l. vi. c. 11, l. ix. c. 5, l. ix. c. 1, l. xv. c. 1,
6,) and Cantacuzene, (l. i. c. 12, l. ii. c. 29, &c.)]
[Footnote 45: Both Pachymer (l. iii. c. 3, 4, 5) and Nic. Greg.
(l. iv. c. 7) understand and deplore the effects of this
dangerous indulgence. Bibars, sultan of Egypt, himself a Tartar,
but a devout Mussulman, obtained from the children of Zingis the
permission to build a stately mosque in the capital of Crimea,
(De Guignes, Hist. des Huns, tom. iii. p. 343.)]

[Footnote 46: Chardin (Voyages en Perse, tom. i. p. 48) was
assured at Caffa, that these fishes were sometimes twenty-four or
twenty-six feet long, weighed eight or nine hundred pounds, and
yielded three or four quintals of caviare. The corn of the
Bosphorus had supplied the Athenians in the time of Demosthenes.]

[Footnote 47: De Guignes, Hist. des Huns, tom. iii. p. 343, 344.
Viaggi di Ramusio, tom. i. fol. 400. But this land or water
carriage could only be practicable when Tartary was united under
a wise and powerful monarch.]
[Footnote 48: Nic. Gregoras (l. xiii. c. 12) is judicious and
well informed on the trade and colonies of the Black Sea.
Chardin describes the present ruins of Caffa, where, in forty
days, he saw above 400 sail employed in the corn and fish trade,
(Voyages en Perse, tom. i. p. 46 - 48.)]

[Footnote 49: See Nic. Gregoras, l. xvii. c. 1]

These usurpations were encouraged by the weakness of the elder
Andronicus, and by the civil wars that afflicted his age and the
minority of his grandson. The talents of Cantacuzene were
employed to the ruin, rather than the restoration, of the empire;
and after his domestic victory, he was condemned to an
ignominious trial, whether the Greeks or the Genoese should reign
in Constantinople. The merchants of Pera were offended by his
refusal of some contiguous land, some commanding heights, which
they proposed to cover with new fortifications; and in the
absence of the emperor, who was detained at Demotica by sickness,
they ventured to brave the debility of a female reign. A
Byzantine vessel, which had presumed to fish at the mouth of the
harbor, was sunk by these audacious strangers; the fishermen were
murdered. Instead of suing for pardon, the Genoese demanded
satisfaction; required, in a haughty strain, that the Greeks
should renounce the exercise of navigation; and encountered with
regular arms the first sallies of the popular indignation. They
instantly occupied the debatable land; and by the labor of a
whole people, of either sex and of every age, the wall was
raised, and the ditch was sunk, with incredible speed. At the
same time, they attacked and burnt two Byzantine galleys; while
the three others, the remainder of the Imperial navy, escaped
from their hands: the habitations without the gates, or along the
shore, were pillaged and destroyed; and the care of the regent,
of the empress Irene, was confined to the preservation of the
city. The return of Cantacuzene dispelled the public
consternation: the emperor inclined to peaceful counsels; but he
yielded to the obstinacy of his enemies, who rejected all
reasonable terms, and to the ardor of his subjects, who
threatened, in the style of Scripture, to break them in pieces
like a potter's vessel. Yet they reluctantly paid the taxes,
that he imposed for the construction of ships, and the expenses
of the war; and as the two nations were masters, the one of the
land, the other of the sea, Constantinople and Pera were pressed
by the evils of a mutual siege. The merchants of the colony, who
had believed that a few days would terminate the war, already
murmured at their losses: the succors from their mother-country
were delayed by the factions of Genoa; and the most cautious
embraced the opportunity of a Rhodian vessel to remove their
families and effects from the scene of hostility. In the spring,
the Byzantine fleet, seven galleys and a train of smaller
vessels, issued from the mouth of the harbor, and steered in a
single line along the shore of Pera; unskilfully presenting their
sides to the beaks of the adverse squadron. The crews were
composed of peasants and mechanics; nor was their ignorance
compensated by the native courage of Barbarians: the wind was
strong, the waves were rough; and no sooner did the Greeks
perceive a distant and inactive enemy, than they leaped headlong
into the sea, from a doubtful, to an inevitable peril. The
troops that marched to the attack of the lines of Pera were
struck at the same moment with a similar panic; and the Genoese
were astonished, and almost ashamed, at their double victory.
Their triumphant vessels, crowned with flowers, and dragging
after them the captive galleys, repeatedly passed and repassed
before the palace: the only virtue of the emperor was patience;
and the hope of revenge his sole consolation. Yet the distress
of both parties interposed a temporary agreement; and the shame
of the empire was disguised by a thin veil of dignity and power.
Summoning the chiefs of the colony, Cantacuzene affected to
despise the trivial object of the debate; and, after a mild
reproof, most liberally granted the lands, which had been
previously resigned to the seeming custody of his officers. ^50
[Footnote 50: The events of this war are related by Cantacuzene
(l. iv. c. 11 with obscurity and confusion, and by Nic. Gregoras
(l. xvii. c. 1 - 7) in a clear and honest narrative. The priest
was less responsible than the prince for the defeat of the

But the emperor was soon solicited to violate the treaty,
and to join his arms with the Venetians, the perpetual enemies of
Genoa and her colonies. While he compared the reasons of peace
and war, his moderation was provoked by a wanton insult of the
inhabitants of Pera, who discharged from their rampart a large
stone that fell in the midst of Constantinople. On his just
complaint, they coldly blamed the imprudence of their engineer;
but the next day the insult was repeated; and they exulted in a
second proof that the royal city was not beyond the reach of
their artillery. Cantacuzene instantly signed his treaty with
the Venetians; but the weight of the Roman empire was scarcely
felt in the balance of these opulent and powerful republics. ^51
From the Straits of Gibraltar to the mouth of the Tanais, their
fleets encountered each other with various success; and a
memorable battle was fought in the narrow sea, under the walls of
Constantinople. It would not be an easy task to reconcile the
accounts of the Greeks, the Venetians, and the Genoese; ^52 and
while I depend on the narrative of an impartial historian, ^53 I
shall borrow from each nation the facts that redound to their own
disgrace, and the honor of their foes. The Venetians, with their
allies the Catalans, had the advantage of number; and their
fleet, with the poor addition of eight Byzantine galleys,
amounted to seventy-five sail: the Genoese did not exceed
sixty-four; but in those times their ships of war were
distinguished by the superiority of their size and strength. The
names and families of their naval commanders, Pisani and Doria,
are illustrious in the annals of their country; but the personal
merit of the former was eclipsed by the fame and abilities of his
rival. They engaged in tempestuous weather; and the tumultuary
conflict was continued from the dawn to the extinction of light.
The enemies of the Genoese applaud their prowess; the friends of
the Venetians are dissatisfied with their behavior; but all
parties agree in praising the skill and boldness of the Catalans,
^* who, with many wounds, sustained the brunt of the action. On
the separation of the fleets, the event might appear doubtful;
but the thirteen Genoese galleys, that had been sunk or taken,
were compensated by a double loss of the allies; of fourteen
Venetians, ten Catalans, and two Greeks; ^! and even the grief of
the conquerors expressed the assurance and habit of more decisive
victories. Pisani confessed his defeat, by retiring into a
fortified harbor, from whence, under the pretext of the orders of
the senate, he steered with a broken and flying squadron for the
Isle of Candia, and abandoned to his rivals the sovereignty of
the sea. In a public epistle, ^54 addressed to the doge and
senate, Petrarch employs his eloquence to reconcile the maritime
powers, the two luminaries of Italy. The orator celebrates the
valor and victory of the Genoese, the first of men in the
exercise of naval war: he drops a tear on the misfortunes of
their Venetian brethren; but he exhorts them to pursue with fire
and sword the base and perfidious Greeks; to purge the metropolis
of the East from the heresy with which it was infected. Deserted
by their friends, the Greeks were incapable of resistance; and
three months after the battle, the emperor Cantacuzene solicited
and subscribed a treaty, which forever banished the Venetians and
Catalans, and granted to the Genoese a monopoly of trade, and
almost a right of dominion. The Roman empire (I smile in
transcribing the name) might soon have sunk into a province of
Genoa, if the ambition of the republic had not been checked by
the ruin of her freedom and naval power. A long contest of one
hundred and thirty years was determined by the triumph of Venice;
and the factions of the Genoese compelled them to seek for
domestic peace under the protection of a foreign lord, the duke
of Milan, or the French king. Yet the spirit of commerce
survived that of conquest; and the colony of Pera still awed the
capital and navigated the Euxine, till it was involved by the
Turks in the final servitude of Constantinople itself.

[Footnote 51: The second war is darkly told by Cantacuzene, (l.
iv. c. 18, p. 24, 25, 28 - 32,) who wishes to disguise what he
dares not deny. I regret this part of Nic. Gregoras, which is
still in Ms. at Paris.
Note: This part of Nicephorus Gregoras has not been printed
in the new edition of the Byzantine Historians. The editor
expresses a hope that it may be undertaken by Hase. I should
join in the regret of Gibbon, if these books contain any
historical information: if they are but a continuation of the
controversies which fill the last books in our present copies,
they may as well sleep their eternal sleep in Ms. as in print. -

[Footnote 52: Muratori (Annali d' Italia, tom. xii. p. 144)
refers to the most ancient Chronicles of Venice (Caresinus, the
continuator of Andrew Dandulus, tom. xii. p. 421, 422) and Genoa,
(George Stella Annales Genuenses, tom. xvii. p. 1091, 1092;) both
which I have diligently consulted in his great Collection of the
Historians of Italy.]

[Footnote 53: See the Chronicle of Matteo Villani of Florence, l.
ii. c. 59, p. 145 - 147, c. 74, 75, p. 156, 157, in Muratori's
Collection, tom.]

[Footnote *: Cantacuzene praises their bravery, but imputes their
losses to their ignorance of the seas: they suffered more by the
breakers than by the enemy, vol. iii. p. 224. - M.]

[Footnote !: Cantacuzene says that the Genoese lost twenty-eight
ships with their crews; the Venetians and Catalans sixteen, the
Imperials, none Cantacuzene accuses Pisani of cowardice, in not
following up the victory, and destroying the Genoese. But
Pisani's conduct, and indeed Cantacuzene's account of the battle,
betray the superiority of the Genoese - M]

[Footnote 54: The Abbe de Sade (Memoires sur la Vie de Petrarque,
tom. iii. p. 257 - 263) translates this letter, which he copied
from a MS. in the king of France's library. Though a servant of
the duke of Milan, Petrarch pours forth his astonishment and
grief at the defeat and despair of the Genoese in the following
year, (p. 323 - 332.)]

Chapter LXIV: Moguls, Ottoman Turkds.

Part I.

Conquests Of Zingis Khan And The Moguls From China To
Poland. - Escape Of Constantinople And The Greeks. - Origin Of
The Ottoman Turks In Bithynia. - Reigns And Victories Of Othman,
Orchan, Amurath The First, And Bajazet The First. - Foundation
And Progress Of The Turkish Monarchy In Asia And Europe. - Danger
Of Constantinople And The Greek Empire.

From the petty quarrels of a city and her suburbs, from the
cowardice and discord of the falling Greeks, I shall now ascend
to the victorious Turks; whose domestic slavery was ennobled by
martial discipline, religious enthusiasm, and the energy of the
national character. The rise and progress of the Ottomans, the
present sovereigns of Constantinople, are connected with the most
important scenes of modern history; but they are founded on a
previous knowledge of the great eruption of the Moguls ^* and
Tartars; whose rapid conquests may be compared with the primitive
convulsions of nature, which have agitated and altered the
surface of the globe. I have long since asserted my claim to
introduce the nations, the immediate or remote authors of the
fall of the Roman empire; nor can I refuse myself to those
events, which, from their uncommon magnitude, will interest a
philosophic mind in the history of blood. ^1

[Footnote *: Mongol seems to approach the nearest to the proper
name of this race. The Chinese call them Mong-kou; the
Mondchoux, their neighbors, Monggo or Monggou. They called
themselves also Beda. This fact seems to have been proved by M.
Schmidt against the French Orientalists. See De Brosset. Note
on Le Beau, tom. xxii p. 402.]

[Footnote 1: The reader is invited to review chapters xxii. to
xxvi., and xxiii. to xxxviii., the manners of pastoral nations,
the conquests of Attila and the Huns, which were composed at a
time when I entertained the wish, rather than the hope, of
concluding my history.]

From the spacious highlands between China, Siberia, and the
Caspian Sea, the tide of emigration and war has repeatedly been
poured. These ancient seats of the Huns and Turks were occupied
in the twelfth century by many pastoral tribes, of the same
descent and similar manners, which were united and led to
conquest by the formidable Zingis. ^* In his ascent to greatness,
that Barbarian (whose private appellation was Temugin) had
trampled on the necks of his equals. His birth was noble; but it
was the pride of victory, that the prince or people deduced his
seventh ancestor from the immaculate conception of a virgin. His
father had reigned over thirteen hordes, which composed about
thirty or forty thousand families: above two thirds refused to
pay tithes or obedience to his infant son; and at the age of
thirteen, Temugin fought a battle against his rebellious
subjects. The future conqueror of Asia was reduced to fly and to
obey; but he rose superior to his fortune, and in his fortieth
year he had established his fame and dominion over the
circumjacent tribes. In a state of society, in which policy is
rude and valor is universal, the ascendant of one man must be
founded on his power and resolution to punish his enemies and
recompense his friends. His first military league was ratified
by the simple rites of sacrificing a horse and tasting of a
running stream: Temugin pledged himself to divide with his
followers the sweets and the bitters of life; and when he had
shared among them his horses and apparel, he was rich in their
gratitude and his own hopes. After his first victory, he placed
seventy caldrons on the fire, and seventy of the most guilty
rebels were cast headlong into the boiling water. The sphere of
his attraction was continually enlarged by the ruin of the proud
and the submission of the prudent; and the boldest chieftains
might tremble, when they beheld, enchased in silver, the skull of
the khan of Keraites; ^2 who, under the name of Prester John, had
corresponded with the Roman pontiff and the princes of Europe.
The ambition of Temugin condescended to employ the arts of
superstition; and it was from a naked prophet, who could ascend
to heaven on a white horse, that he accepted the title of Zingis,
^3 the most great; and a divine right to the conquest and
dominion of the earth. In a general couroultai, or diet, he was
seated on a felt, which was long afterwards revered as a relic,
and solemnly proclaimed great khan, or emperor of the Moguls ^4
and Tartars. ^5 Of these kindred, though rival, names, the former
had given birth to the imperial race; and the latter has been
extended by accident or error over the spacious wilderness of the
[Footnote *: On the traditions of the early life of Zingis, see
D'Ohson, Hist des Mongols; Histoire des Mongols, Paris, 1824.
Schmidt, Geschichte des Ost- Mongolen, p. 66, &c., and Notes. -

[Footnote 2: The khans of the Keraites were most probably
incapable of reading the pompous epistles composed in their name
by the Nestorian missionaries, who endowed them with the fabulous
wonders of an Indian kingdom. Perhaps these Tartars (the
Presbyter or Priest John) had submitted to the rites of baptism
and ordination, (Asseman, Bibliot Orient tom. iii. p. ii. p. 487
- 503.)]
[Footnote 3: Since the history and tragedy of Voltaire, Gengis,
at least in French, seems to be the more fashionable spelling;
but Abulghazi Khan must have known the true name of his ancestor.

His etymology appears just: Zin, in the Mogul tongue, signifies
great, and gis is the superlative termination, (Hist.
Genealogique des Tatars, part iii. p. 194, 195.) From the same
idea of magnitude, the appellation of Zingis is bestowed on the
[Footnote 4: The name of Moguls has prevailed among the
Orientals, and still adheres to the titular sovereign, the Great
Mogul of Hindastan.
Note: M. Remusat (sur les Langues Tartares, p. 233) justly
observes, that Timour was a Turk, not a Mogul, and, p. 242, that
probably there was not Mogul in the army of Baber, who
established the Indian throne of the "Great Mogul." - M.]

[Footnote 5: The Tartars (more properly Tatars) were descended
from Tatar Khan, the brother of Mogul Khan, (see Abulghazi, part
i. and ii.,) and once formed a horde of 70,000 families on the
borders of Kitay, (p. 103 - 112.) In the great invasion of Europe
(A.D. 1238) they seem to have led the vanguard; and the
similitude of the name of Tartarei, recommended that of Tartars
to the Latins, (Matt. Paris, p. 398, &c.)

Note: This relationship, according to M. Klaproth, is
fabulous, and invented by the Mahometan writers, who, from
religious zeal, endeavored to connect the traditions of the
nomads of Central Asia with those of the Old Testament, as
preserved in the Koran. There is no trace of it in the Chinese
writers de l'Asie, p. 156. - M.]

The code of laws which Zingis dictated to his subjects was
adapted to the preservation of a domestic peace, and the exercise
of foreign hostility. The punishment of death was inflicted on
the crimes of adultery, murder, perjury, and the capital thefts
of a horse or ox; and the fiercest of men were mild and just in
their intercourse with each other. The future election of the
great khan was vested in the princes of his family and the heads
of the tribes; and the regulations of the chase were essential to
the pleasures and plenty of a Tartar camp. The victorious nation
was held sacred from all servile labors, which were abandoned to
slaves and strangers; and every labor was servile except the
profession of arms. The service and discipline of the troops,
who were armed with bows, cimeters, and iron maces, and divided
by hundreds, thousands, and ten thousands, were the institutions
of a veteran commander. Each officer and soldier was made
responsible, under pain of death, for the safety and honor of his
companions; and the spirit of conquest breathed in the law, that
peace should never be granted unless to a vanquished and
suppliant enemy. But it is the religion of Zingis that best
deserves our wonder and applause. ^* The Catholic inquisitors of
Europe, who defended nonsense by cruelty, might have been
confounded by the example of a Barbarian, who anticipated the
lessons of philosophy, ^6 and established by his laws a system of
pure theism and perfect toleration. His first and only article
of faith was the existence of one God, the Author of all good;
who fills by his presence the heavens and earth, which he has
created by his power. The Tartars and Moguls were addicted to
the idols of their peculiar tribes; and many of them had been
converted by the foreign missionaries to the religions of Moses,
of Mahomet, and of Christ. These various systems in freedom and
concord were taught and practised within the precincts of the
same camp; and the Bonze, the Imam, the Rabbi, the Nestorian, and
the Latin priest, enjoyed the same honorable exemption from
service and tribute: in the mosque of Bochara, the insolent
victor might trample the Koran under his horse's feet, but the
calm legislator respected the prophets and pontiffs of the most
hostile sects. The reason of Zingis was not informed by books:
the khan could neither read nor write; and, except the tribe of
the Igours, the greatest part of the Moguls and Tartars were as
illiterate as their sovereign. ^* The memory of their exploits
was preserved by tradition: sixty- eight years after the death of
Zingis, these traditions were collected and transcribed; ^7 the
brevity of their domestic annals may be supplied by the Chinese,
^8 Persians, ^9 Armenians, ^10 Syrians, ^11 Arabians, ^12 Greeks,
^13 Russians, ^14 Poles, ^15 Hungarians, ^16 and Latins; ^17 and
each nation will deserve credit in the relation of their own
disasters and defeats. ^18

[Footnote *: Before his armies entered Thibet, he sent an embassy
to Bogdosottnam Dsimmo, a Lama high priest, with a letter to this
effect: "I have chosen thee as high priest for myself and my
empire. Repair then to me, and promote the present and future
happiness of man: I will be thy supporter and protector: let us
establish a system of religion, and unite it with the monarchy,"
&c. The high priest accepted the invitation; and the Mongol
history literally terms this step the period of the first respect
for religion; because the monarch, by his public profession, made
it the religion of the state. Klaproth. "Travels in Caucasus,"
ch. 7, Eng. Trans. p. 92. Neither Dshingis nor his son and
successor Oegodah had, on account of their continual wars, much
leisure for the propagation of the religion of the Lama. By
religion they understand a distinct, independent, sacred moral
code, which has but one origin, one source, and one object. This
notion they universally propagate, and even believe that the
brutes, and all created beings, have a religion adapted to their
sphere of action. The different forms of the various religions
they ascribe to the difference of individuals, nations, and
legislators. Never do you hear of their inveighing against any
creed, even against the obviously absurd Schaman paganism, or of
their persecuting others on that account. They themselves, on
the other hand, endure every hardship, and even persecutions,
with perfect resignation, and indulgently excuse the follies of
others, nay, consider them as a motive for increased arder in
prayer, ch. ix. p. 109. - M.]

[Footnote 6: A singular conformity may be found between the
religious laws of Zingis Khan and of Mr. Locke, (Constitutions of
Carolina, in his works, vol. iv. p. 535, 4to. edition, 1777.)]

[Footnote *: See the notice on Tha-tha-toung-o, the Ouogour
minister of Tchingis, in Abel Remusat's 2d series of Recherch.
Asiat. vol. ii. p. 61. He taught the son of Tchingis to write:
"He was the instructor of the Moguls in writing, of which they
were before ignorant;" and hence the application of the Ouigour
characters to the Mogul language cannot be placed earlier than
the year 1204 or 1205, nor so late as the time of Pa-sse-pa, who
lived under Khubilai. A new alphabet, approaching to that of
Thibet, was introduced under Khubilai. - M.]

[Footnote 7: In the year 1294, by the command of Cazan, khan of
Persia, the fourth in descent from Zingis. From these
traditions, his vizier Fadlallah composed a Mogul history in the
Persian language, which has been used by Petit de la Croix,
(Hist. de Genghizcan, p. 537 - 539.) The Histoire Genealogique
des Tatars (a Leyde, 1726, in 12mo., 2 tomes) was translated by
the Swedish prisoners in Siberia from the Mogul MS. of Abulgasi
Bahadur Khan, a descendant of Zingis, who reigned over the Usbeks
of Charasm, or Carizme, (A.D. 1644 - 1663.) He is of most value
and credit for the names, pedigrees, and manners of his nation.
Of his nine parts, the ist descends from Adam to Mogul Khan; the
iid, from Mogul to Zingis; the iiid is the life of Zingis; the
ivth, vth, vith, and viith, the general history of his four sons
and their posterity; the viiith and ixth, the particular history
of the descendants of Sheibani Khan, who reigned in Maurenahar
and Charasm.]

[Footnote 8: Histoire de Gentchiscan, et de toute la Dinastie des
Mongous ses Successeurs, Conquerans de la Chine; tiree de
l'Histoire de la Chine par le R. P. Gaubil, de la Societe de
Jesus, Missionaire a Peking; a Paris, 1739, in 4to. This
translation is stamped with the Chinese character of domestic
accuracy and foreign ignorance.]

[Footnote 9: See the Histoire du Grand Genghizcan, premier
Empereur des Moguls et Tartares, par M. Petit de la Croix, a
Paris, 1710, in 12mo.; a work of ten years' labor, chiefly drawn
from the Persian writers, among whom Nisavi, the secretary of
Sultan Gelaleddin, has the merit and prejudices of a
contemporary. A slight air of romance is the fault of the
originals, or the compiler. See likewise the articles of
Genghizcan, Mohammed, Gelaleddin, &c., in the Bibliotheque
Orientale of D'Herbelot.

Note: The preface to the Hist. des Mongols, (Paris, 1824)
gives a catalogue of the Arabic and Persian authorities. - M.]

[Footnote 10: Haithonus, or Aithonus, an Armenian prince, and
afterwards a monk of Premontre, (Fabric, Bibliot. Lat. Medii
Aevi, tom. i. p. 34,) dictated in the French language, his book
de Tartaris, his old fellow-soldiers. It was immediately
translated into Latin, and is inserted in the Novus Orbis of
Simon Grynaeus, (Basil, 1555, in folio.)

Note: A precis at the end of the new edition of Le Beau,
Hist. des Empereurs, vol. xvii., by M. Brosset, gives large
extracts from the accounts of the Armenian historians relating to
the Mogul conquests. - M.]
[Footnote 11: Zingis Khan, and his first successors, occupy the
conclusion of the ixth Dynasty of Abulpharagius, (vers. Pocock,
Oxon. 1663, in 4to.;) and his xth Dynasty is that of the Moguls
of Persia. Assemannus (Bibliot. Orient. tom. ii.) has extracted
some facts from his Syriac writings, and the lives of the
Jacobite maphrians, or primates of the East.]

[Footnote 12: Among the Arabians, in language and religion, we
may distinguish Abulfeda, sultan of Hamah in Syria, who fought in
person, under the Mamaluke standard, against the Moguls.]

[Footnote 13: Nicephorus Gregoras (l. ii. c. 5, 6) has felt the
necessity of connecting the Scythian and Byzantine histories. He
describes with truth and elegance the settlement and manners of
the Moguls of Persia, but he is ignorant of their origin, and
corrupts the names of Zingis and his sons.]
[Footnote 14: M. Levesque (Histoire de Russie, tom. ii.) has
described the conquest of Russia by the Tartars, from the
patriarch Nicon, and the old chronicles.]

[Footnote 15: For Poland, I am content with the Sarmatia Asiatica
et Europaea of Matthew a Michou, or De Michovia, a canon and
physician of Cracow, (A.D. 1506,) inserted in the Novus Orbis of
Grynaeus. Fabric Bibliot. Latin. Mediae et Infimae Aetatis, tom.
v. p. 56.]

[Footnote 16: I should quote Thuroczius, the oldest general
historian (pars ii. c. 74, p. 150) in the 1st volume of the
Scriptores Rerum Hungaricarum, did not the same volume contain
the original narrative of a contemporary, an eye-witness, and a
sufferer, (M. Rogerii, Hungari, Varadiensis Capituli Canonici,
Carmen miserabile, seu Historia super Destructione Regni
Hungariae Temporibus Belae IV. Regis per Tartaros facta, p. 292 -
321;) the best picture that I have ever seen of all the
circumstances of a Barbaric invasion.]
[Footnote 17: Matthew Paris has represented, from authentic
documents, the danger and distress of Europe, (consult the word
Tartari in his copious Index.) From motives of zeal and
curiosity, the court of the great khan in the xiiith century was
visited by two friars, John de Plano Carpini, and William
Rubruquis, and by Marco Polo, a Venetian gentleman. The Latin
relations of the two former are inserted in the 1st volume of
Hackluyt; the Italian original or version of the third (Fabric.
Bibliot. Latin. Medii Aevi, tom. ii. p. 198, tom. v. p. 25) may
be found in the second tome of Ramusio.]
[Footnote 18: In his great History of the Huns, M. de Guignes has
most amply treated of Zingis Khan and his successors. See tom.
iii. l. xv. - xix., and in the collateral articles of the
Seljukians of Roum, tom. ii. l. xi., the Carizmians, l. xiv., and
the Mamalukes, tom. iv. l. xxi.; consult likewise the tables of
the 1st volume. He is ever learned and accurate; yet I am only
indebted to him for a general view, and some passages of
Abulfeda, which are still latent in the Arabic text.

Note: To this catalogue of the historians of the Moguls may
be added D'Ohson, Histoire des Mongols; Histoire des Mongols,
(from Arabic and Persian authorities,) Paris, 1824. Schmidt,
Geschichte der Ost Mongolen, St. Petersburgh, 1829. This curious
work, by Ssanang Ssetsen Chungtaidschi, published in the original
Mongol, was written after the conversion of the nation to
Buddhism: it is enriched with very valuable notes by the editor
and translator; but, unfortunately, is very barren of information
about the European and even the western Asiatic conquests of the
Mongols. - M.]

Chapter LXIV: Moguls, Ottoman Turkds.

Part II.

The arms of Zingis and his lieutenants successively reduced
the hordes of the desert, who pitched their tents between the
wall of China and the Volga; and the Mogul emperor became the
monarch of the pastoral world, the lord of many millions of
shepherds and soldiers, who felt their united strength, and were
impatient to rush on the mild and wealthy climates of the south.
His ancestors had been the tributaries of the Chinese emperors;
and Temugin himself had been disgraced by a title of honor and
servitude. The court of Pekin was astonished by an embassy from
its former vassal, who, in the tone of the king of nations,
exacted the tribute and obedience which he had paid, and who
affected to treat the son of heaven as the most contemptible of
mankind. A haughty answer disguised their secret apprehensions;
and their fears were soon justified by the march of innumerable
squadrons, who pierced on all sides the feeble rampart of the
great wall. Ninety cities were stormed, or starved, by the
Moguls; ten only escaped; and Zingis, from a knowledge of the
filial piety of the Chinese, covered his vanguard with their
captive parents; an unworthy, and by degrees a fruitless, abuse
of the virtue of his enemies. His invasion was supported by the
revolt of a hundred thousand Khitans, who guarded the frontier:
yet he listened to a treaty; and a princess of China, three
thousand horses, five hundred youths, and as many virgins, and a
tribute of gold and silk, were the price of his retreat. In his
second expedition, he compelled the Chinese emperor to retire
beyond the yellow river to a more southern residence. The siege
of Pekin ^19 was long and laborious: the inhabitants were reduced
by famine to decimate and devour their fellow-citizens; when
their ammunition was spent, they discharged ingots of gold and
silver from their engines; but the Moguls introduced a mine to
the centre of the capital; and the conflagration of the palace
burnt above thirty days. China was desolated by Tartar war and
domestic faction; and the five northern provinces were added to
the empire of Zingis.

[Footnote 19: More properly Yen-king, an ancient city, whose
ruins still appear some furlongs to the south-east of the modern
Pekin, which was built by Cublai Khan, (Gaubel, p. 146.) Pe-king
and Nan-king are vague titles, the courts of the north and of the
south. The identity and change of names perplex the most skilful
readers of the Chinese geography, (p. 177.)
Note: And likewise in Chinese history - see Abel Remusat,
Mel. Asiat. 2d tom. ii. p. 5. - M.]

In the West, he touched the dominions of Mohammed, sultan of
Carizime, who reigned from the Persian Gulf to the borders of
India and Turkestan; and who, in the proud imitation of Alexander
the Great, forgot the servitude and ingratitude of his fathers to
the house of Seljuk. It was the wish of Zingis to establish a
friendly and commercial intercourse with the most powerful of the
Moslem princes: nor could he be tempted by the secret
solicitations of the caliph of Bagdad, who sacrificed to his
personal wrongs the safety of the church and state. A rash and
inhuman deed provoked and justified the Tartar arms in the
invasion of the southern Asia. ^! A caravan of three ambassadors
and one hundred and fifty merchants were arrested and murdered at
Otrar, by the command of Mohammed; nor was it till after a demand
and denial of justice, till he had prayed and fasted three nights
on a mountain, that the Mogul emperor appealed to the judgment of
God and his sword. Our European battles, says a philosophic
writer, ^20 are petty skirmishes, if compared to the numbers that
have fought and fallen in the fields of Asia. Seven hundred
thousand Moguls and Tartars are said to have marched under the
standard of Zingis and his four sons. In the vast plains that
extend to the north of the Sihon or Jaxartes, they were
encountered by four hundred thousand soldiers of the sultan; and
in the first battle, which was suspended by the night, one
hundred and sixty thousand Carizmians were slain. Mohammed was
astonished by the multitude and valor of his enemies: he withdrew
from the scene of danger, and distributed his troops in the
frontier towns; trusting that the Barbarians, invincible in the
field, would be repulsed by the length and difficulty of so many
regular sieges. But the prudence of Zingis had formed a body of
Chinese engineers, skilled in the mechanic arts; informed perhaps
of the secret of gunpowder, and capable, under his discipline, of
attacking a foreign country with more vigor and success than they
had defended their own. The Persian historians will relate the
sieges and reduction of Otrar, Cogende, Bochara, Samarcand,
Carizme, Herat, Merou, Nisabour, Balch, and Candahar; and the
conquest of the rich and populous countries of Transoxiana,
Carizme, and Chorazan. ^* The destructive hostilities of Attila
and the Huns have long since been elucidated by the example of
Zingis and the Moguls; and in this more proper place I shall be
content to observe, that, from the Caspian to the Indus, they
ruined a tract of many hundred miles, which was adorned with the
habitations and labors of mankind, and that five centuries have
not been sufficient to repair the ravages of four years. The
Mogul emperor encouraged or indulged the fury of his troops: the
hope of future possession was lost in the ardor of rapine and
slaughter; and the cause of the war exasperated their native
fierceness by the pretence of justice and revenge. The downfall
and death of the sultan Mohammed, who expired, unpitied and
alone, in a desert island of the Caspian Sea, is a poor atonement
for the calamities of which he was the author. Could the
Carizmian empire have been saved by a single hero, it would have
been saved by his son Gelaleddin, whose active valor repeatedly
checked the Moguls in the career of victory. Retreating, as he
fought, to the banks of the Indus, he was oppressed by their
innumerable host, till, in the last moment of despair, Gelaleddin
spurred his horse into the waves, swam one of the broadest and
most rapid rivers of Asia, and extorted the admiration and
applause of Zingis himself. It was in this camp that the Mogul
conqueror yielded with reluctance to the murmurs of his weary and
wealthy troops, who sighed for the enjoyment of their native
land. Eucumbered with the spoils of Asia, he slowly measured
back his footsteps, betrayed some pity for the misery of the
vanquished, and declared his intention of rebuilding the cities
which had been swept away by the tempest of his arms. After he
had repassed the Oxus and Jaxartes, he was joined by two
generals, whom he had detached with thirty thousand horse, to
subdue the western provinces of Persia. They had trampled on the
nations which opposed their passage, penetrated through the gates
of Derbent, traversed the Volga and the desert, and accomplished
the circuit of the Caspian Sea, by an expedition which had never
been attempted, and has never been repeated. The return of
Zingis was signalized by the overthrow of the rebellious or
independent kingdoms of Tartary; and he died in the fulness of
years and glory, with his last breath exhorting and instructing
his sons to achieve the conquest of the Chinese empire. ^*
[Footnote !: See the particular account of this transaction, from
the Kholauesut Akbaur, in Price, vol. ii. p. 402. - M.]

[Footnote 20: M. de Voltaire, Essai sur l'Histoire Generale, tom.
iii. c. 60, p. 8. His account of Zingis and the Moguls contains,
as usual, much general sense and truth, with some particular

[Footnote *: Every where they massacred all classes, except the
artisans, whom they made slaves. Hist. des Mongols. - M.]

[Footnote *: Their first duty, which he bequeathed to them, was
to massacre the king of Tangcoute and all the inhabitants of
Ninhia, the surrender of the city being already agreed upon,
Hist. des Mongols. vol. i. p. 286. - M.]
The harem of Zingis was composed of five hundred wives and
concubines; and of his numerous progeny, four sons, illustrious
by their birth and merit, exercised under their father the
principal offices of peace and war. Toushi was his great
huntsman, Zagatai ^21 his judge, Octai his minister, and Tuli his
general; and their names and actions are often conspicuous in the
history of his conquests. Firmly united for their own and the
public interest, the three brothers and their families were
content with dependent sceptres; and Octai, by general consent,
was proclaimed great khan, or emperor of the Moguls and Tartars.
He was succeeded by his son Gayuk, after whose death the empire
devolved to his cousins Mangou and Cublai, the sons of Tuli, and
the grandsons of Zingis. In the sixty-eight years of his four
first successors, the Mogul subdued almost all Asia, and a large
portion of Europe. Without confining myself to the order of
time, without expatiating on the detail of events, I shall
present a general picture of the progress of their arms; I. In
the East; II. In the South; III. In the West; and IV. In the
[Footnote 21: Zagatai gave his name to his dominions of
Maurenahar, or Transoxiana; and the Moguls of Hindostan, who
emigrated from that country, are styled Zagatais by the Persians.

This certain etymology, and the similar example of Uzbek, Nogai,
&c., may warn us not absolutely to reject the derivations of a
national, from a personal, name.

Note: See a curious anecdote of Tschagatai. Hist. des
Mongols, p. 370. M]
I. Before the invasion of Zingis, China was divided into
two empires or dynasties of the North and South; ^22 and the
difference of origin and interest was smoothed by a general
conformity of laws, language, and national manners. The Northern
empire, which had been dismembered by Zingis, was finally subdued
seven years after his death. After the loss of Pekin, the
emperor had fixed his residence at Kaifong, a city many leagues
in circumference, and which contained, according to the Chinese
annals, fourteen hundred thousand families of inhabitants and
fugitives. He escaped from thence with only seven horsemen, and
made his last stand in a third capital, till at length the
hopeless monarch, protesting his innocence and accusing his
fortune, ascended a funeral pile, and gave orders, that, as soon
as he had stabbed himself, the fire should be kindled by his
attendants. The dynasty of the Song, the native and ancient
sovereigns of the whole empire, survived about forty-five years
the fall of the Northern usurpers; and the perfect conquest was
reserved for the arms of Cublai. During this interval, the
Moguls were often diverted by foreign wars; and, if the Chinese
seldom dared to meet their victors in the field, their passive
courage presented and endless succession of cities to storm and
of millions to slaughter. In the attack and defence of places,
the engines of antiquity and the Greek fire were alternately
employed: the use of gunpowder in cannon and bombs appears as a
familiar practice; ^23 and the sieges were conducted by the
Mahometans and Franks, who had been liberally invited into the
service of Cublai. After passing the great river, the troops and
artillery were conveyed along a series of canals, till they
invested the royal residence of Hamcheu, or Quinsay, in the
country of silk, the most delicious climate of China. The
emperor, a defenceless youth, surrendered his person and sceptre;
and before he was sent in exile into Tartary, he struck nine
times the ground with his forehead, to adore in prayer or
thanksgiving the mercy of the great khan. Yet the war (it was now
styled a rebellion) was still maintained in the southern
provinces from Hamcheu to Canton; and the obstinate remnant of
independence and hostility was transported from the land to the
sea. But when the fleet of the Song was surrounded and oppressed
by a superior armament, their last champion leaped into the waves
with his infant emperor in his arms. "It is more glorious," he
cried, "to die a prince, than to live a slave." A hundred
thousand Chinese imitated his example; and the whole empire, from
Tonkin to the great wall, submitted to the dominion of Cublai.
His boundless ambition aspired to the conquest of Japan: his
fleet was twice shipwrecked; and the lives of a hundred thousand
Moguls and Chinese were sacrificed in the fruitless expedition.
But the circumjacent kingdoms, Corea, Tonkin, Cochinchina, Pegu,
Bengal, and Thibet, were reduced in different degrees of tribute
and obedience by the effort or terror of his arms. He explored
the Indian Ocean with a fleet of a thousand ships: they sailed in
sixty-eight days, most probably to the Isle of Borneo, under the
equinoctial line; and though they returned not without spoil or
glory, the emperor was dissatisfied that the savage king had
escaped from their hands.

[Footnote 22: In Marco Polo, and the Oriental geographers, the
names of Cathay and Mangi distinguish the northern and southern
empires, which, from A.D. 1234 to 1279, were those of the great
khan, and of the Chinese. The search of Cathay, after China had
been found, excited and misled our navigators of the sixteenth
century, in their attempts to discover the north- east passage.]
[Footnote 23: I depend on the knowledge and fidelity of the Pere
Gaubil, who translates the Chinese text of the annals of the
Moguls or Yuen, (p. 71, 93, 153;) but I am ignorant at what time
these annals were composed and published. The two uncles of Marco
Polo, who served as engineers at the siege of Siengyangfou, (l.
ii. 61, in Ramusio, tom. ii. See Gaubil, p. 155, 157) must have
felt and related the effects of this destructive powder, and
their silence is a weighty, and almost decisive objection. I
entertain a suspicion, that their recent discovery was carried
from Europe to China by the caravans of the xvth century and
falsely adopted as an old national discovery before the arrival
of the Portuguese and Jesuits in the xvith. Yet the Pere Gaubil
affirms, that the use of gunpowder has been known to the Chinese
above 1600 years.

Note: Sou-houng-kian-lon. Abel Remusat. - M.

Note: La poudre a canon et d'autres compositions
inflammantes, dont ils se servent pour construire des pieces
d'artifice d'un effet suprenant, leur etaient connues depuis tres
long-temps, et l'on croit que des bombardes et des pierriers,
dont ils avaient enseigne l'usage aux Tartares, ont pu donner en
Europe l'idee d'artillerie, quoique la forme des fusils et des
canons dont ils se servent actuellement, leur ait ete apportee
par les Francs, ainsi que l'attestent les noms memes qu'ils
donnent a ces sortes d'armes. Abel Remusat, Melanges Asiat. 2d
ser tom. i. p. 23. - M.]

II. The conquest of Hindostan by the Moguls was reserved in
a later period for the house of Timour; but that of Iran, or
Persia, was achieved by Holagou Khan, ^* the grandson of Zingis,
the brother and lieutenant of the two successive emperors, Mangou
and Cublai. I shall not enumerate the crowd of sultans, emirs,
and atabeks, whom he trampled into dust; but the extirpation of
the Assassins, or Ismaelians ^24 of Persia, may be considered as
a service to mankind. Among the hills to the south of the
Caspian, these odious sectaries had reigned with impunity above a
hundred and sixty years; and their prince, or Imam, established
his lieutenant to lead and govern the colony of Mount Libanus, so
famous and formidable in the history of the crusades. ^25 With
the fanaticism of the Koran the Ismaelians had blended the Indian
transmigration, and the visions of their own prophets; and it was
their first duty to devote their souls and bodies in blind
obedience to the vicar of God. The daggers of his missionaries
were felt both in the East and West: the Christians and the
Moslems enumerate, and persons multiply, the illustrious victims
that were sacrificed to the zeal, avarice, or resentment of the
old man (as he was corruptly styled) of the mountain. But these
daggers, his only arms, were broken by the sword of Holagou, and
not a vestige is left of the enemies of mankind, except the word
assassin, which, in the most odious sense, has been adopted in
the languages of Europe. The extinction of the Abbassides cannot
be indifferent to the spectators of their greatness and decline.
Since the fall of their Seljukian tyrants the caliphs had
recovered their lawful dominion of Bagdad and the Arabian Irak;
but the city was distracted by theological factions, and the
commander of the faithful was lost in a harem of seven hundred
conubines. The invasion of the Moguls he encountered with feeble
arms and haughty embassies. "On the divine decree," said the
caliph Mostasem, "is founded the throne of the sons of Abbas: and
their foes shall surely be destroyed in this world and in the
next. Who is this Holagou that dares to rise against them? If
he be desirous of peace, let him instantly depart from the sacred
territory; and perhaps he may obtain from our clemency the pardon
of his fault." This presumption was cherished by a perfidious
vizier, who assured his master, that, even if the Barbarians had
entered the city, the women and children, from the terraces,
would be sufficient to overwhelm them with stones. But when
Holagou touched the phantom, it instantly vanished into smoke.
After a siege of two months, Bagdad was stormed and sacked by the
Moguls; ^* and their savage commander pronounced the death of the
caliph Mostasem, the last of the temporal successors of Mahomet;
whose noble kinsmen, of the race of Abbas, had reigned in Asia
above five hundred years. Whatever might be the designs of the
conqueror, the holy cities of Mecca and Medina ^26 were protected
by the Arabian desert; but the Moguls spread beyond the Tigris
and Euphrates, pillaged Aleppo and Damascus, and threatened to
join the Franks in the deliverance of Jerusalem. Egypt was lost,
had she been defended only by her feeble offspring; but the
Mamalukes had breathed in their infancy the keenness of a
Scythian air: equal in valor, superior in discipline, they met
the Moguls in many a well-fought field; and drove back the stream
of hostility to the eastward of the Euphrates. ^! But it
overflowed with resistless violence the kingdoms of Armenia ^!!
and Anatolia, of which the former was possessed by the
Christians, and the latter by the Turks. The sultans of Iconium
opposed some resistance to the Mogul arms, till Azzadin sought a
refuge among the Greeks of Constantinople, and his feeble
successors, the last of the Seljukian dynasty, were finally
extirpated by the khans of Persia. ^*

[Footnote *: See the curious account of the expedition of
Holagou, translated from the Chinese, by M. Abel Remusat,
Melanges Asiat. 2d ser. tom. i. p. 171. - M.]

[Footnote 24: All that can be known of the Assassins of Persia
and Syria is poured from the copious, and even profuse, erudition
of M. Falconet, in two Memoires read before the Academy of
Inscriptions, (tom. xvii. p. 127 - 170.)
Note: Von Hammer's History of the Assassins has now thrown
Falconet's Dissertation into the shade. - M.]

[Footnote 25: The Ismaelians of Syria, 40,000 Assassins, had
acquired or founded ten castles in the hills above Tortosa.
About the year 1280, they were extirpated by the Mamalukes.]

[Footnote *: Compare Von Hammer, Geschichte der Assassinen, p.
283, 307. Wilken, Geschichte der Kreuzzuge, vol. vii. p. 406.
Price, Chronological Retrospect, vol. ii. p. 217 - 223. - M.]

[Footnote 26: As a proof of the ignorance of the Chinese in
foreign transactions, I must observe, that some of their
historians extend the conquest of Zingis himself to Medina, the
country of Mahomet, (Gaubil p. 42.)]
[Footnote !: Compare Wilken, vol. vii. p. 410 - M.]

[Footnote !!: On the friendly relations of the Armenians with the
Mongols see Wilken, Geschichte der Kreuzzuge, vol. vii. p. 402.
They eagerly desired an alliance against the Mahometan powers. -

[Footnote *: Trebizond escaped, apparently by the dexterous
politics of the sovereign, but it acknowledged the Mogul
supremacy. Falmerayer, p. 172 - M.]
III. No sooner had Octai subverted the northern empire of
China, than he resolved to visit with his arms the most remote
countries of the West. Fifteen hundred thousand Moguls and
Tartars were inscribed on the military roll: of these the great
khan selected a third, which he intrusted to the command of his
nephew Batou, the son of Tuli; who reigned over his father's
conquests to the north of the Caspian Sea. ^! After a festival of
forty days, Batou set forwards on this great expedition; and such
was the speed and ardor of his innumerable squadrons, than in
less than six years they had measured a line of ninety degrees of
longitude, a fourth part of the circumference of the globe. The
great rivers of Asia and Europe, the Volga and Kama, the Don and
Borysthenes, the Vistula and Danube, they either swam with their
horses or passed on the ice, or traversed in leathern boats,
which followed the camp, and transported their wagons and
artillery. By the first victories of Batou, the remains of
national freedom were eradicated in the immense plains of
Turkestan and Kipzak. ^27 In his rapid progress, he overran the
kingdoms, as they are now styled, of Astracan and Cazan; and the
troops which he detached towards Mount Caucasus explored the most
secret recesses of Georgia and Circassia. The civil discord of
the great dukes, or princes, of Russia, betrayed their country to
the Tartars. They spread from Livonia to the Black Sea, and both
Moscow and Kiow, the modern and the ancient capitals, were
reduced to ashes; a temporary ruin, less fatal than the deep, and
perhaps indelible, mark, which a servitude of two hundred years
has imprinted on the character of the Russians. The Tartars
ravaged with equal fury the countries which they hoped to
possess, and those which they were hastening to leave. From the
permanent conquest of Russia they made a deadly, though
transient, inroad into the heart of Poland, and as far as the
borders of Germany. The cities of Lublin and Cracow were
obliterated: ^* they approached the shores of the Baltic; and in
the battle of Lignitz they defeated the dukes of Silesia, the
Polish palatines, and the great master of the Teutonic order, and
filled nine sacks with the right ears of the slain. From Lignitz,
the extreme point of their western march, they turned aside to
the invasion of Hungary; and the presence or spirit of Batou
inspired the host of five hundred thousand men: the Carpathian
hills could not be long impervious to their divided columns; and
their approach had been fondly disbelieved till it was
irresistibly felt. The king, Bela the Fourth, assembled the
military force of his counts and bishops; but he had alienated
the nation by adopting a vagrant horde of forty thousand families
of Comans, and these savage guests were provoked to revolt by the
suspicion of treachery and the murder of their prince. The whole
country north of the Danube was lost in a day, and depopulated in
a summer; and the ruins of cities and churches were overspread
with the bones of the natives, who expiated the sins of their
Turkish ancestors. An ecclesiastic, who fled from the sack of
Waradin, describes the calamities which he had seen, or suffered;
and the sanguinary rage of sieges and battles is far less
atrocious than the treatment of the fugitives, who had been
allured from the woods under a promise of peace and pardon and
who were coolly slaughtered as soon as they had performed the
labors of the harvest and vintage. In the winter the Tartars
passed the Danube on the ice, and advanced to Gran or Strigonium,
a German colony, and the metropolis of the kingdom. Thirty
engines were planted against the walls; the ditches were filled
with sacks of earth and dead bodies; and after a promiscuous
massacre, three hundred noble matrons were slain in the presence
of the khan. Of all the cities and fortresses of Hungary, three
alone survived the Tartar invasion, and the unfortunate Bata hid
his head among the islands of the Adriatic.
[Footnote !: See the curious extracts from the Mahometan writers,
Hist. des Mongols, p. 707. - M.]

[Footnote 27: The Dashte Kipzak, or plain of Kipzak, extends on
either side of the Volga, in a boundless space towards the Jaik
and Borysthenes, and is supposed to contain the primitive name
and nation of the Cossacks.]
[Footnote *: Olmutz was gallantly and successfully defended by
Stenberg, Hist. des Mongols, p. 396. - M.]

The Latin world was darkened by this cloud of savage
hostility: a Russian fugitive carried the alarm to Sweden; and
the remote nations of the Baltic and the ocean trembled at the
approach of the Tartars, ^28 whom their fear and ignorance were
inclined to separate from the human species. Since the invasion
of the Arabs in the eighth century, Europe had never been exposed
to a similar calamity: and if the disciples of Mahomet would have
oppressed her religion and liberty, it might be apprehended that
the shepherds of Scythia would extinguish her cities, her arts,
and all the institutions of civil society. The Roman pontiff
attempted to appease and convert these invincible Pagans by a
mission of Franciscan and Dominican friars; but he was astonished
by the reply of the khan, that the sons of God and of Zingis were
invested with a divine power to subdue or extirpate the nations;
and that the pope would be involved in the universal destruction,
unless he visited in person, and as a suppliant, the royal horde.

The emperor Frederic the Second embraced a more generous mode of
defence; and his letters to the kings of France and England, and
the princes of Germany, represented the common danger, and urged
them to arm their vassals in this just and rational crusade. ^29
The Tartars themselves were awed by the fame and valor of the
Franks; the town of Newstadt in Austria was bravely defended
against them by fifty knights and twenty crossbows; and they
raised the siege on the appearance of a German army. After
wasting the adjacent kingdoms of Servia, Bosnia, and Bulgaria,
Batou slowly retreated from the Danube to the Volga to enjoyed
the rewards of victory in the city and palace of Serai, which
started at his command from the midst of the desert.*

[Footnote 28: In the year 1238, the inhabitants of Gothia
(Sweden) and Frise were prevented, by their fear of the Tartars,
from sending, as usual, their ships to the herring fishery on the
coast of England; and as there was no exportation, forty or fifty
of these fish were sold for a shilling, (Matthew Paris, p. 396.)
It is whimsical enough, that the orders of a Mogul khan, who
reigned on the borders of China, should have lowered the price of
herrings in the English market.]

[Footnote 29: I shall copy his characteristic or flattering
epithets of the different countries of Europe: Furens ac fervens
ad arma Germania, strenuae militiae genitrix et alumna Francia,
bellicosa et audax Hispania, virtuosa viris et classe munita
fertilis Anglia, impetuosis bellatoribus referta Alemannia,
navalis Dacia, indomita Italia, pacis ignara Burgundia, inquieta
Apulia, cum maris Graeci, Adriatici et Tyrrheni insulis pyraticis
et invictis, Creta, Cypro, Sicilia, cum Oceano conterminis
insulis, et regionibus, cruenta Hybernia, cum agili Wallia
palustris Scotia, glacialis Norwegia, suam electam militiam sub
vexillo Crucis destinabunt, &c. (Matthew Paris, p. 498.)]
[Footnote *: He was recalled by the death of Octai - M.]

IV. Even the poor and frozen regions of the north attracted
the arms of the Moguls: Sheibani khan, the brother of the great
Batou, led a horde of fifteen thousand families into the wilds of
Siberia; and his descendants reigned at Tobolskoi above three
centuries, till the Russian conquest. The spirit of enterprise
which pursued the course of the Oby and Yenisei must have led to
the discovery of the icy sea. After brushing away the monstrous
fables, of men with dogs' heads and cloven feet, we shall find,
that, fifteen years after the death of Zingis, the Moguls were
informed of the name and manners of the Samoyedes in the
neighborhood of the polar circle, who dwelt in subterraneous
huts, and derived their furs and their food from the sole
occupation of hunting. ^30

[Footnote 30: See Carpin's relation in Hackluyt, vol. i. p. 30.
The pedigree of the khans of Siberia is given by Abulghazi, (part
viii. p. 485 - 495.) Have the Russians found no Tartar chronicles
at Tobolskoi?

Note: See the account of the Mongol library in Bergman,
Nomadische Strensreyen, vol. iii. p. 185, 205, and Remusat, Hist.
des Langues Tartares, p. 327, and preface to Schmidt, Geschichte
der Ost-Mongolen. - M.]
While China, Syria, and Poland, were invaded at the same
time by the Moguls and Tartars, the authors of the mighty
mischief were content with the knowledge and declaration, that
their word was the sword of death. Like the first caliphs, the
first successors of Zingis seldom appeared in person at the head
of their victorious armies. On the banks of the Onon and
Selinga, the royal or golden horde exhibited the contrast of
simplicity and greatness; of the roasted sheep and mare's milk
which composed their banquets; and of a distribution in one day
of five hundred wagons of gold and silver. The ambassadors and
princes of Europe and Asia were compelled to undertake this
distant and laborious pilgrimage; and the life and reign of the
great dukes of Russia, the kings of Georgia and Armenia, the
sultans of Iconium, and the emirs of Persia, were decided by the
frown or smile of the great khan. The sons and grandsons of
Zingis had been accustomed to the pastoral life; but the village
of Caracorum ^31 was gradually ennobled by their election and
residence. A change of manners is implied in the removal of
Octai and Mangou from a tent to a house; and their example was
imitated by the princes of their family and the great officers of
the empire. Instead of the boundless forest, the enclosure of a
park afforded the more indolent pleasures of the chase; their new
habitations were decorated with painting and sculpture; their
superfluous treasures were cast in fountains, and basins, and
statues of massy silver; and the artists of China and Paris vied
with each other in the service of the great khan. ^32 Caracorum
contained two streets, the one of Chinese mechanics, the other of
Mahometan traders; and the places of religious worship, one
Nestorian church, two mosques, and twelve temples of various
idols, may represent in some degree the number and division of
inhabitants. Yet a French missionary declares, that the town of
St. Denys, near Paris, was more considerable than the Tartar
capital; and that the whole palace of Mangou was scarcely equal
to a tenth part of that Benedictine abbey. The conquests of
Russia and Syria might amuse the vanity of the great khans; but
they were seated on the borders of China; the acquisition of that
empire was the nearest and most interesting object; and they
might learn from their pastoral economy, that it is for the
advantage of the shepherd to protect and propagate his flock. I
have already celebrated the wisdom and virtue of a Mandarin who
prevented the desolation of five populous and cultivated
provinces. In a spotless administration of thirty years, this
friend of his country and of mankind continually labored to
mitigate, or suspend, the havoc of war; to save the monuments,
and to rekindle the flame, of science; to restrain the military
commander by the restoration of civil magistrates; and to instil
the love of peace and justice into the minds of the Moguls. He
struggled with the barbarism of the first conquerors; but his
salutary lessons produced a rich harvest in the second
generation. ^* The northern, and by degrees the southern, empire
acquiesced in the government of Cublai, the lieutenant, and
afterwards the successor, of Mangou; and the nation was loyal to
a prince who had been educated in the manners of China. He
restored the forms of her venerable constitution; and the victors
submitted to the laws, the fashions, and even the prejudices, of
the vanquished people. This peaceful triumph, which has been
more than once repeated, may be ascribed, in a great measure, to
the numbers and servitude of the Chinese. The Mogul army was
dissolved in a vast and populous country; and their emperors
adopted with pleasure a political system, which gives to the
prince the solid substance of despotism, and leaves to the
subject the empty names of philosophy, freedom, and filial
obedience. ^* Under the reign of Cublai, letters and commerce,
peace and justice, were restored; the great canal, of five
hundred miles, was opened from Nankin to the capital: he fixed
his residence at Pekin; and displayed in his court the
magnificence of the greatest monarch of Asia. Yet this learned
prince declined from the pure and simple religion of his great
ancestor: he sacrificed to the idol Fo; and his blind attachment
to the lamas of Thibet and the bonzes of China ^33 provoked the
censure of the disciples of Confucius. His successors polluted
the palace with a crowd of eunuchs, physicians, and astrologers,
while thirteen millions of their subjects were consumed in the
provinces by famine. One hundred and forty years after the death
of Zingis, his degenerate race, the dynasty of the Yuen, was
expelled by a revolt of the native Chinese; and the Mogul
emperors were lost in the oblivion of the desert. Before this
revolution, they had forfeited their supremacy over the dependent
branches of their house, the khans of Kipzak and Russia, the
khans of Zagatai, or Transoxiana, and the khans of Iran or
Persia. By their distance and power, these royal lieutenants had
soon been released from the duties of obedience; and after the
death of Cublai, they scorned to accept a sceptre or a title from
his unworthy successors. According to their respective
situations, they maintained the simplicity of the pastoral life,
or assumed the luxury of the cities of Asia; but the princes and

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