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The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

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been sent by that monarch to Delhi, is refuted by the universal
silence of contemporaries.]

[Footnote *: See V. Hammer, vol. i. p. 310, for the singular
hints which were conveyed to him of the wisdom of unlocking his
hoarded treasures. - M.]
[Footnote 44: Timour has dissembled this secret and important
negotiation with the Tartars, which is indisputably proved by the
joint evidence of the Arabian, (tom. i. c. 47, p. 391,) Turkish,
(Annal. Leunclav. p. 321,) and Persian historians, (Khondemir,
apud d'Herbelot, p. 882.)]
[Footnote 45: For the war of Anatolia or Roum, I add some hints
in the Institutions, to the copious narratives of Sherefeddin (l.
v. c. 44 - 65) and Arabshah, (tom. ii. c. 20 - 35.) On this part
only of Timour's history it is lawful to quote the Turks,
(Cantemir, p. 53 - 55, Annal. Leunclav. p. 320 - 322,) and the
Greeks, (Phranza, l. i. c. 59, Ducas, c. 15 - 17, Chalcondyles,
l. iii.)]

The iron cage in which Bajazet was imprisoned by Tamerlane,
so long and so often repeated as a moral lesson, is now rejected
as a fable by the modern writers, who smile at the vulgar
credulity. ^46 They appeal with confidence to the Persian history
of Sherefeddin Ali, which has been given to our curiosity in a
French version, and from which I shall collect and abridge a more
specious narrative of this memorable transaction. No sooner was
Timour informed that the captive Ottoman was at the door of his
tent, than he graciously stepped forwards to receive him, seated
him by his side, and mingled with just reproaches a soothing pity
for his rank and misfortune. "Alas!" said the emperor, "the
decree of fate is now accomplished by your own fault; it is the
web which you have woven, the thorns of the tree which yourself
have planted. I wished to spare, and even to assist, the
champion of the Moslems; you braved our threats; you despised our
friendship; you forced us to enter your kingdom with our
invincible armies. Behold the event. Had you vanquished, I am
not ignorant of the fate which you reserved for myself and my
troops. But I disdain to retaliate: your life and honor are
secure; and I shall express my gratitude to God by my clemency to
man." The royal captive showed some signs of repentance, accepted
the humiliation of a robe of honor, and embraced with tears his
son Mousa, who, at his request, was sought and found among the
captives of the field. The Ottoman princes were lodged in a
splendid pavilion; and the respect of the guards could be
surpassed only by their vigilance. On the arrival of the harem
from Boursa, Timour restored the queen Despina and her daughter
to their father and husband; but he piously required, that the
Servian princess, who had hitherto been indulged in the
profession of Christianity, should embrace without delay the
religion of the prophet. In the feast of victory, to which
Bajazet was invited, the Mogul emperor placed a crown on his head
and a sceptre in his hand, with a solemn assurance of restoring
him with an increase of glory to the throne of his ancestors.
But the effect of his promise was disappointed by the sultan's
untimely death: amidst the care of the most skilful physicians,
he expired of an apoplexy at Akshehr, the Antioch of Pisidia,
about nine months after his defeat. The victor dropped a tear
over his grave: his body, with royal pomp, was conveyed to the
mausoleum which he had erected at Boursa; and his son Mousa,
after receiving a rich present of gold and jewels, of horses and
arms, was invested by a patent in red ink with the kingdom of
[Footnote 46: The scepticism of Voltaire (Essai sur l'Histoire
Generale, c. 88) is ready on this, as on every occasion, to
reject a popular tale, and to diminish the magnitude of vice and
virtue; and on most occasions his incredulity is reasonable.]

Such is the portrait of a generous conqueror, which has been
extracted from his own memorials, and dedicated to his son and
grandson, nineteen years after his decease; ^47 and, at a time
when the truth was remembered by thousands, a manifest falsehood
would have implied a satire on his real conduct. Weighty indeed
is this evidence, adopted by all the Persian histories; ^48 yet
flattery, more especially in the East, is base and audacious; and
the harsh and ignominious treatment of Bajazet is attested by a
chain of witnesses, some of whom shall be produced in the order
of their time and country. 1. The reader has not forgot the
garrison of French, whom the marshal Boucicault left behind him
for the defence of Constantinople. They were on the spot to
receive the earliest and most faithful intelligence of the
overthrow of their great adversary; and it is more than probable,
that some of them accompanied the Greek embassy to the camp of
Tamerlane. From their account, the hardships of the prison and
death of Bajazet are affirmed by the marshal's servant and
historian, within the distance of seven years. ^49 2. The name of
Poggius the Italian ^50 is deservedly famous among the revivers
of learning in the fifteenth century. His elegant dialogue on
the vicissitudes of fortune ^51 was composed in his fiftieth
year, twenty-eight years after the Turkish victory of Tamerlane;
^52 whom he celebrates as not inferior to the illustrious
Barbarians of antiquity. Of his exploits and discipline Poggius
was informed by several ocular witnesses; nor does he forget an
example so apposite to his theme as the Ottoman monarch, whom the
Scythian confined like a wild beast in an iron cage, and
exhibited a spectacle to Asia. I might add the authority of two
Italian chronicles, perhaps of an earlier date, which would prove
at least that the same story, whether false or true, was imported
into Europe with the first tidings of the revolution. ^53 3. At
the time when Poggius flourished at Rome, Ahmed Ebn Arabshah
composed at Damascus the florid and malevolent history of Timour,
for which he had collected materials in his journeys over Turkey
and Tartary. ^54 Without any possible correspondence between the
Latin and the Arabian writer, they agree in the fact of the iron
cage; and their agreement is a striking proof of their common
veracity. Ahmed Arabshah likewise relates another outrage, which
Bajazet endured, of a more domestic and tender nature. His
indiscreet mention of women and divorces was deeply resented by
the jealous Tartar: in the feast of victory the wine was served
by female cupbearers, and the sultan beheld his own concubines
and wives confounded among the slaves, and exposed without a veil
to the eyes of intemperance. To escape a similar indignity, it
is said that his successors, except in a single instance, have
abstained from legitimate nuptials; and the Ottoman practice and
belief, at least in the sixteenth century, is asserted by the
observing Busbequius, ^55 ambassador from the court of Vienna to
the great Soliman. 4. Such is the separation of language, that
the testimony of a Greek is not less independent than that of a
Latin or an Arab. I suppress the names of Chalcondyles and
Ducas, who flourished in the latter period, and who speak in a
less positive tone; but more attention is due to George Phranza,
^56 protovestiare of the last emperors, and who was born a year
before the battle of Angora. Twenty-two years after that event,
he was sent ambassador to Amurath the Second; and the historian
might converse with some veteran Janizaries, who had been made
prisoners with the sultan, and had themselves seen him in his
iron cage. 5. The last evidence, in every sense, is that of the
Turkish annals, which have been consulted or transcribed by
Leunclavius, Pocock, and Cantemir. ^57 They unanimously deplore
the captivity of the iron cage; and some credit may be allowed to
national historians, who cannot stigmatize the Tartar without
uncovering the shame of their king and country.
[Footnote 47: See the History of Sherefeddin, (l. v. c. 49, 52,
53, 59, 60.) This work was finished at Shiraz, in the year 1424,
and dedicated to Sultan Ibrahim, the son of Sharokh, the son of
Timour, who reigned in Farsistan in his father's lifetime.]

[Footnote 48: After the perusal of Khondemir, Ebn Schounah, &c.,
the learned D'Herbelot (Bibliot. Orientale, p. 882) may affirm,
that this fable is not mentioned in the most authentic histories;
but his denial of the visible testimony of Arabshah leaves some
room to suspect his accuracy.]
[Footnote 49: Et fut lui-meme (Bajazet) pris, et mene en prison,
en laquelle mourut de dure mort! Memoires de Boucicault, P. i.
c. 37. These Memoirs were composed while the marshal was still
governor of Genoa, from whence he was expelled in the year 1409,
by a popular insurrection, (Muratori, Annali d'Italia, tom. xii.
p. 473, 474.)]

[Footnote 50: The reader will find a satisfactory account of the
life and writings of Poggius in the Poggiana, an entertaining
work of M. Lenfant, and in the Bibliotheca Latina Mediae et
Infimae Aetatis of Fabricius, (tom. v. p. 305 - 308.) Poggius was
born in the year 1380, and died in 1459.]
[Footnote 51: The dialogue de Varietate Fortunae, (of which a
complete and elegant edition has been published at Paris in 1723,
in 4to.,) was composed a short time before the death of Pope
Martin V., (p. 5,) and consequently about the end of the year

[Footnote 52: See a splendid and eloquent encomium of Tamerlane,
p. 36 - 39 ipse enim novi (says Poggius) qui fuere in ejus
castris . . . . Regen vivum cepit, caveaque in modum ferae
inclusum per omnem Asian circumtulit egregium admirandumque
spectaculum fortunae.]

[Footnote 53: The Chronicon Tarvisianum, (in Muratori, Script.
Rerum Italicarum tom. xix. p. 800,) and the Annales Estenses,
(tom. xviii. p. 974.) The two authors, Andrea de Redusiis de
Quero, and James de Delayto, were both contemporaries, and both
chancellors, the one of Trevigi, the other of Ferrara. The
evidence of the former is the most positive.]
[Footnote 54: See Arabshah, tom. ii. c. 28, 34. He travelled in
regiones Romaeas, A. H. 839, (A.D. 1435, July 27,) tom. i. c. 2,
p. 13.]
[Footnote 55: Busbequius in Legatione Turcica, epist. i. p. 52.
Yet his respectable authority is somewhat shaken by the
subsequent marriages of Amurath II. with a Servian, and of
Mahomet II. with an Asiatic, princess, (Cantemir, p. 83, 93.)]

[Footnote 56: See the testimony of George Phranza, (l. i. c. 29,)
and his life in Hanckius (de Script. Byzant. P. i. c. 40.)
Chalcondyles and Ducas speak in general terms of Bajazet's

[Footnote 57: Annales Leunclav. p. 321. Pocock, Prolegomen. ad
Abulpharag Dynast. Cantemir, p. 55.

Note: Von Hammer, p. 318, cites several authorities unknown
to Gibbon - M]

From these opposite premises, a fair and moderate conclusion
may be deduced. I am satisfied that Sherefeddin Ali has
faithfully described the first ostentatious interview, in which
the conqueror, whose spirits were harmonized by success, affected
the character of generosity. But his mind was insensibly
alienated by the unseasonable arrogance of Bajazet; the
complaints of his enemies, the Anatolian princes, were just and
vehement; and Timour betrayed a design of leading his royal
captive in triumph to Samarcand. An attempt to facilitate his
escape, by digging a mine under the tent, provoked the Mogul
emperor to impose a harsher restraint; and in his perpetual
marches, an iron cage on a wagon might be invented, not as a
wanton insult, but as a rigorous precaution. Timour had read in
some fabulous history a similar treatment of one of his
predecessors, a king of Persia; and Bajazet was condemned to
represent the person, and expiate the guilt, of the Roman Caesar
^58 ^* But the strength of his mind and body fainted under the
trial, and his premature death might, without injustice, be
ascribed to the severity of Timour. He warred not with the dead:
a tear and a sepulchre were all that he could bestow on a captive
who was delivered from his power; and if Mousa, the son of
Bajazet, was permitted to reign over the ruins of Boursa, the
greatest part of the province of Anatolia had been restored by
the conqueror to their lawful sovereigns.

[Footnote 58: Sapor, king of Persia, had been made prisoner, and
enclosed in the figure of a cow's hide by Maximian or Galerius
Caesar. Such is the fable related by Eutychius, (Annal. tom. i.
p. 421, vers. Pocock. The recollection of the true history
(Decline and Fall, &c., vol. ii. p 140 - 152) will teach us to
appreciate the knowledge of the Orientals of the ages which
precede the Hegira.]

[Footnote *: Von Hammer's explanation of this contested point is
both simple and satisfactory. It originates in a mistake in the
meaning of the Turkish word kafe, which means a covered litter or
palanquin drawn by two horses, and is generally used to convey
the harem of an Eastern monarch. In such a litter, with the
lattice-work made of iron, Bajazet either chose or was
constrained to travel. This was either mistaken for, or
transformed by, ignorant relaters into a cage. The European
Schiltberger, the two oldest of the Turkish historians, and the
most valuable of the later compilers, Seadeddin, describe this
litter. Seadeddin discusses the question with some degree of
historical criticism, and ascribes the choice of such a vehicle
to the indignant state of Bajazet's mind, which would not brook
the sight of his Tartar conquerors. Von Hammer, p. 320. - M.]

From the Irtish and Volga to the Persian Gulf, and from the
Ganges to Damascus and the Archipelago, Asia was in the hand of
Timour: his armies were invincible, his ambition was boundless,
and his zeal might aspire to conquer and convert the Christian
kingdoms of the West, which already trembled at his name. He
touched the utmost verge of the land; but an insuperable, though
narrow, sea rolled between the two continents of Europe and Asia;
^59 and the lord of so many tomans, or myriads, of horse, was not
master of a single galley. The two passages of the Bosphorus and
Hellespont, of Constantinople and Gallipoli, were possessed, the
one by the Christians, the other by the Turks. On this great
occasion, they forgot the difference of religion, to act with
union and firmness in the common cause: the double straits were
guarded with ships and fortifications; and they separately
withheld the transports which Timour demanded of either nation,
under the pretence of attacking their enemy. At the same time,
they soothed his pride with tributary gifts and suppliant
embassies, and prudently tempted him to retreat with the honors
of victory. Soliman, the son of Bajazet, implored his clemency
for his father and himself; accepted, by a red patent, the
investiture of the kingdom of Romania, which he already held by
the sword; and reiterated his ardent wish, of casting himself in
person at the feet of the king of the world. The Greek emperor
^60 (either John or Manuel) submitted to pay the same tribute
which he had stipulated with the Turkish sultan, and ratified the
treaty by an oath of allegiance, from which he could absolve his
conscience so soon as the Mogul arms had retired from Anatolia.
But the fears and fancy of nations ascribed to the ambitious
Tamerlane a new design of vast and romantic compass; a design of
subduing Egypt and Africa, marching from the Nile to the Atlantic
Ocean, entering Europe by the Straits of Gibraltar, and, after
imposing his yoke on the kingdoms of Christendom, of returning
home by the deserts of Russia and Tartary. This remote, and
perhaps imaginary, danger was averted by the submission of the
sultan of Egypt: the honors of the prayer and the coin attested
at Cairo the supremacy of Timour; and a rare gift of a giraffe,
or camelopard, and nine ostriches, represented at Samarcand the
tribute of the African world. Our imagination is not less
astonished by the portrait of a Mogul, who, in his camp before
Smyrna, meditates, and almost accomplishes, the invasion of the
Chinese empire. ^61 Timour was urged to this enterprise by
national honor and religious zeal. The torrents which he had
shed of Mussulman blood could be expiated only by an equal
destruction of the infidels; and as he now stood at the gates of
paradise, he might best secure his glorious entrance by
demolishing the idols of China, founding mosques in every city,
and establishing the profession of faith in one God, and his
prophet Mahomet. The recent expulsion of the house of Zingis was
an insult on the Mogul name; and the disorders of the empire
afforded the fairest opportunity for revenge. The illustrious
Hongvou, founder of the dynasty of Ming, died four years before
the battle of Angora; and his grandson, a weak and unfortunate
youth, was burnt in his palace, after a million of Chinese had
perished in the civil war. ^62 Before he evacuated Anatolia,
Timour despatched beyond the Sihoon a numerous army, or rather
colony, of his old and new subjects, to open the road, to subdue
the Pagan Calmucks and Mungals, and to found cities and magazines
in the desert; and, by the diligence of his lieutenant, he soon
received a perfect map and description of the unknown regions,
from the source of the Irtish to the wall of China. During these
preparations, the emperor achieved the final conquest of Georgia;
passed the winter on the banks of the Araxes; appeased the
troubles of Persia; and slowly returned to his capital, after a
campaign of four years and nine months.
[Footnote 59: Arabshah (tom. ii. c. 25) describes, like a curious
traveller, the Straits of Gallipoli and Constantinople. To
acquire a just idea of these events, I have compared the
narratives and prejudices of the Moguls, Turks, Greeks, and
Arabians. The Spanish ambassador mentions this hostile union of
the Christians and Ottomans, (Vie de Timour, p. 96.)]

[Footnote 60: Since the name of Caesar had been transferred to
the sultans of Roum, the Greek princes of Constantinople
(Sherefeddin, l. v. c. 54 were confounded with the Christian
lords of Gallipoli, Thessalonica, &c. under the title of Tekkur,
which is derived by corruption from the genitive, (Cantemir, p.

[Footnote 61: See Sherefeddin, l. v. c. 4, who marks, in a just
itinerary, the road to China, which Arabshah (tom. ii. c. 33)
paints in vague and rhetorical colors.]

[Footnote 62: Synopsis Hist. Sinicae, p. 74 - 76, (in the ivth
part of the Relations de Thevenot,) Duhalde, Hist. de la Chine,
(tom. i. p. 507, 508, folio edition;) and for the Chronology of
the Chinese emperors, De Guignes, Hist. des Huns, (tom. i. p. 71,

Chapter LXV: Elevation Of Timour Or Tamerlane, And His Death

Part III.

On the throne of Samarcand, ^63 he displayed, in a short
repose, his magnificence and power; listened to the complaints of
the people; distributed a just measure of rewards and
punishments; employed his riches in the architecture of palaces
and temples; and gave audience to the ambassadors of Egypt,
Arabia, India, Tartary, Russia, and Spain, the last of whom
presented a suit of tapestry which eclipsed the pencil of the
Oriental artists. The marriage of six of the emperor's grandsons
was esteemed an act of religion as well as of paternal
tenderness; and the pomp of the ancient caliphs was revived in
their nuptials. They were celebrated in the gardens of Canighul,
decorated with innumerable tents and pavilions, which displayed
the luxury of a great city and the spoils of a victorious camp.
Whole forests were cut down to supply fuel for the kitchens; the
plain was spread with pyramids of meat, and vases of every
liquor, to which thousands of guests were courteously invited:
the orders of the state, and the nations of the earth, were
marshalled at the royal banquet; nor were the ambassadors of
Europe (says the haughty Persian) excluded from the feast; since
even the casses, the smallest of fish, find their place in the
ocean. ^64 The public joy was testified by illuminations and
masquerades; the trades of Samarcand passed in review; and every
trade was emulous to execute some quaint device, some marvellous
pageant, with the materials of their peculiar art. After the
marriage contracts had been ratified by the cadhis, the
bride-grooms and their brides retired to the nuptial chambers:
nine times, according to the Asiatic fashion, they were dressed
and undressed; and at each change of apparel, pearls and rubies
were showered on their heads, and contemptuously abandoned to
their attendants. A general indulgence was proclaimed: every law
was relaxed, every pleasure was allowed; the people was free, the
sovereign was idle; and the historian of Timour may remark, that,
after devoting fifty years to the attainment of empire, the only
happy period of his life were the two months in which he ceased
to exercise his power. But he was soon awakened to the cares of
government and war. The standard was unfurled for the invasion
of China: the emirs made their report of two hundred thousand,
the select and veteran soldiers of Iran and Touran: their baggage
and provisions were transported by five hundred great wagons, and
an immense train of horses and camels; and the troops might
prepare for a long absence, since more than six months were
employed in the tranquil journey of a caravan from Samarcand to
Pekin. Neither age, nor the severity of the winter, could retard
the impatience of Timour; he mounted on horseback, passed the
Sihoon on the ice, marched seventy-six parasangs, three hundred
miles, from his capital, and pitched his last camp in the
neighborhood of Otrar, where he was expected by the angel of
death. Fatigue, and the indiscreet use of iced water,
accelerated the progress of his fever; and the conqueror of Asia
expired in the seventieth year of his age, thirty-five years
after he had ascended the throne of Zagatai. His designs were
lost; his armies were disbanded; China was saved; and fourteen
years after his decease, the most powerful of his children sent
an embassy of friendship and commerce to the court of Pekin. ^65
[Footnote 63: For the return, triumph, and death of Timour, see
Sherefeddin (l. vi. c. 1 - 30) and Arabshah, (tom. ii. c. 36 -

[Footnote 64: Sherefeddin (l. vi. c. 24) mentions the ambassadors
of one of the most potent sovereigns of Europe. We know that it
was Henry III. king of Castile; and the curious relation of his
two embassies is still extant, (Mariana, Hist. Hispan. l. xix. c.
11, tom. ii. p. 329, 330. Avertissement a l'Hist. de Timur Bec,
p. 28 - 33.) There appears likewise to have been some
correspondence between the Mogul emperor and the court of Charles
VII. king of France, (Histoire de France, par Velly et Villaret,
tom. xii. p. 336.)]
[Footnote 65: See the translation of the Persian account of their
embassy, a curious and original piece, (in the ivth part of the
Relations de Thevenot.) They presented the emperor of China with
an old horse which Timour had formerly rode. It was in the year
1419 that they departed from the court of Herat, to which place
they returned in 1422 from Pekin.]

The fame of Timour has pervaded the East and West: his
posterity is still invested with the Imperial title; and the
admiration of his subjects, who revered him almost as a deity,
may be justified in some degree by the praise or confession of
his bitterest enemies. ^66 Although he was lame of a hand and
foot, his form and stature were not unworthy of his rank; and his
vigorous health, so essential to himself and to the world, was
corroborated by temperance and exercise. In his familiar
discourse he was grave and modest, and if he was ignorant of the
Arabic language, he spoke with fluency and elegance the Persian
and Turkish idioms. It was his delight to converse with the
learned on topics of history and science; and the amusement of
his leisure hours was the game of chess, which he improved or
corrupted with new refinements. ^67 In his religion he was a
zealous, though not perhaps an orthodox, Mussulman; ^68 but his
sound understanding may tempt us to believe, that a superstitious
reverence for omens and prophecies, for saints and astrologers,
was only affected as an instrument of policy. In the government
of a vast empire, he stood alone and absolute, without a rebel to
oppose his power, a favorite to seduce his affections, or a
minister to mislead his judgment. It was his firmest maxim, that
whatever might be the consequence, the word of the prince should
never be disputed or recalled; but his foes have maliciously
observed, that the commands of anger and destruction were more
strictly executed than those of beneficence and favor. His sons
and grandsons, of whom Timour left six-and-thirty at his decease,
were his first and most submissive subjects; and whenever they
deviated from their duty, they were corrected, according to the
laws of Zingis, with the bastinade, and afterwards restored to
honor and command. Perhaps his heart was not devoid of the
social virtues; perhaps he was not incapable of loving his
friends and pardoning his enemies; but the rules of morality are
founded on the public interest; and it may be sufficient to
applaud the wisdom of a monarch, for the liberality by which he
is not impoverished, and for the justice by which he is
strengthened and enriched. To maintain the harmony of authority
and obedience, to chastise the proud, to protect the weak, to
reward the deserving, to banish vice and idleness from his
dominions, to secure the traveller and merchant, to restrain the
depredations of the soldier, to cherish the labors of the
husbandman, to encourage industry and learning, and, by an equal
and moderate assessment, to increase the revenue, without
increasing the taxes, are indeed the duties of a prince; but, in
the discharge of these duties, he finds an ample and immediate
recompense. Timour might boast, that, at his accession to the
throne, Asia was the prey of anarchy and rapine, whilst under his
prosperous monarchy a child, fearless and unhurt, might carry a
purse of gold from the East to the West. Such was his confidence
of merit, that from this reformation he derived an excuse for his
victories, and a title to universal dominion. The four following
observations will serve to appreciate his claim to the public
gratitude; and perhaps we shall conclude, that the Mogul emperor
was rather the scourge than the benefactor of mankind. 1. If
some partial disorders, some local oppressions, were healed by
the sword of Timour, the remedy was far more pernicious than the
disease. By their rapine, cruelty, and discord, the petty
tyrants of Persia might afflict their subjects; but whole nations
were crushed under the footsteps of the reformer. The ground
which had been occupied by flourishing cities was often marked by
his abominable trophies, by columns, or pyramids, of human heads.

Astracan, Carizme, Delhi, Ispahan, Bagdad, Aleppo, Damascus,
Boursa, Smyrna, and a thousand others, were sacked, or burnt, or
utterly destroyed, in his presence, and by his troops: and
perhaps his conscience would have been startled, if a priest or
philosopher had dared to number the millions of victims whom he
had sacrificed to the establishment of peace and order. ^69 2.
His most destructive wars were rather inroads than conquests. He
invaded Turkestan, Kipzak, Russia, Hindostan, Syria, Anatolia,
Armenia, and Georgia, without a hope or a desire of preserving
those distant provinces. From thence he departed laden with
spoil; but he left behind him neither troops to awe the
contumacious, nor magistrates to protect the obedient, natives.
When he had broken the fabric of their ancient government, he
abandoned them to the evils which his invasion had aggravated or
caused; nor were these evils compensated by any present or
possible benefits. 3. The kingdoms of Transoxiana and Persia
were the proper field which he labored to cultivate and adorn, as
the perpetual inheritance of his family. But his peaceful labors
were often interrupted, and sometimes blasted, by the absence of
the conqueror. While he triumphed on the Volga or the Ganges,
his servants, and even his sons, forgot their master and their
duty. The public and private injuries were poorly redressed by
the tardy rigor of inquiry and punishment; and we must be content
to praise the Institutions of Timour, as the specious idea of a
perfect monarchy. 4. Whatsoever might be the blessings of his
administration, they evaporated with his life. To reign, rather
than to govern, was the ambition of his children and
grandchildren; ^70 the enemies of each other and of the people.
A fragment of the empire was upheld with some glory by Sharokh,
his youngest son; but after his decease, the scene was again
involved in darkness and blood; and before the end of a century,
Transoxiana and Persia were trampled by the Uzbeks from the
north, and the Turkmans of the black and white sheep. The race
of Timour would have been extinct, if a hero, his descendant in
the fifth degree, had not fled before the Uzbek arms to the
conquest of Hindostan. His successors (the great Moguls ^71)
extended their sway from the mountains of Cashmir to Cape
Comorin, and from Candahar to the Gulf of Bengal. Since the
reign of Aurungzebe, their empire had been dissolved; their
treasures of Delhi have been rifled by a Persian robber; and the
richest of their kingdoms is now possessed by a company of
Christian merchants, of a remote island in the Northern Ocean.
[Footnote 66: From Arabshah, tom. ii. c. 96. The bright or
softer colors are borrowed from Sherefeddin, D'Herbelot, and the
[Footnote 67: His new system was multiplied from 32 pieces and 64
squares to 56 pieces and 110 or 130 squares; but, except in his
court, the old game has been thought sufficiently elaborate. The
Mogul emperor was rather pleased than hurt with the victory of a
subject: a chess player will feel the value of this encomium!]

[Footnote 68: See Sherefeddin, l. v. c. 15, 25. Arabshah tom.
ii. c. 96, p. 801, 803) approves the impiety of Timour and the
Moguls, who almost preferred to the Koran the Yacsa, or Law of
Zingis, (cui Deus male dicat;) nor will he believe that Sharokh
had abolished the use and authority of that Pagan code.]
[Footnote 69: Besides the bloody passages of this narrative, I
must refer to an anticipation in the third volume of the Decline
and Fall, which in a single note (p. 234, note 25) accumulates
nearly 300,000 heads of the monuments of his cruelty. Except in
Rowe's play on the fifth of November, I did not expect to hear of
Timour's amiable moderation (White's preface, p. 7.) Yet I can
excuse a generous enthusiasm in the reader, and still more in the
editor, of the Institutions.]

[Footnote 70: Consult the last chapters of Sherefeddin and
Arabshah, and M. De Guignes, (Hist. des Huns, tom. iv. l. xx.)
Fraser's History of Nadir Shah, (p. 1 - 62.) The story of
Timour's descendants is imperfectly told; and the second and
third parts of Sherefeddin are unknown.]

[Footnote 71: Shah Allum, the present Mogul, is in the fourteenth
degree from Timour, by Miran Shah, his third son. See the second
volume of Dow's History of Hindostan.]

Far different was the fate of the Ottoman monarchy. The
massy trunk was bent to the ground, but no sooner did the
hurricane pass away, than it again rose with fresh vigor and more
lively vegetation. When Timour, in every sense, had evacuated
Anatolia, he left the cities without a palace, a treasure, or a
king. The open country was overspread with hordes of shepherds
and robbers of Tartar or Turkman origin; the recent conquests of
Bajazet were restored to the emirs, one of whom, in base revenge,
demolished his sepulchre; and his five sons were eager, by civil
discord, to consume the remnant of their patrimony. I shall
enumerate their names in the order of their age and actions. ^72
1. It is doubtful, whether I relate the story of the true
Mustapha, or of an impostor who personated that lost prince. He
fought by his father's side in the battle of Angora: but when the
captive sultan was permitted to inquire for his children, Mousa
alone could be found; and the Turkish historians, the slaves of
the triumphant faction, are persuaded that his brother was
confounded among the slain. If Mustapha escaped from that
disastrous field, he was concealed twelve years from his friends
and enemies; till he emerged in Thessaly, and was hailed by a
numerous party, as the son and successor of Bajazet. His first
defeat would have been his last, had not the true, or false,
Mustapha been saved by the Greeks, and restored, after the
decease of his brother Mahomet, to liberty and empire. A
degenerate mind seemed to argue his spurious birth; and if, on
the throne of Adrianople, he was adored as the Ottoman sultan,
his flight, his fetters, and an ignominious gibbet, delivered the
impostor to popular contempt. A similar character and claim was
asserted by several rival pretenders: thirty persons are said to
have suffered under the name of Mustapha; and these frequent
executions may perhaps insinuate, that the Turkish court was not
perfectly secure of the death of the lawful prince. 2. After his
father's captivity, Isa ^73 reigned for some time in the
neighborhood of Angora, Sinope, and the Black Sea; and his
ambassadors were dismissed from the presence of Timour with fair
promises and honorable gifts. But their master was soon deprived
of his province and life, by a jealous brother, the sovereign of
Amasia; and the final event suggested a pious allusion, that the
law of Moses and Jesus, of Isa and Mousa, had been abrogated by
the greater Mahomet. 3. Soliman is not numbered in the list of
the Turkish emperors: yet he checked the victorious progress of
the Moguls; and after their departure, united for a while the
thrones of Adrianople and Boursa. In war he was brave, active,
and fortuntae; his courage was softened by clemency; but it was
likewise inflamed by presumption, and corrupted by intemperance
and idleness. He relaxed the nerves of discipline, in a
government where either the subject or the sovereign must
continually tremble: his vices alienated the chiefs of the army
and the law; and his daily drunkenness, so contemptible in a
prince and a man, was doubly odious in a disciple of the prophet.

In the slumber of intoxication he was surprised by his brother
Mousa; and as he fled from Adrianople towards the Byzantine
capital, Soliman was overtaken and slain in a bath, ^* after a
reign of seven years and ten months. 4. The investiture of Mousa
degraded him as the slave of the Moguls: his tributary kingdom of
Anatolia was confined within a narrow limit, nor could his broken
militia and empty treasury contend with the hardy and veteran
bands of the sovereign of Romania. Mousa fled in disguise from
the palace of Boursa; traversed the Propontis in an open boat;
wandered over the Walachian and Servian hills; and after some
vain attempts, ascended the throne of Adrianople, so recently
stained with the blood of Soliman. In a reign of three years and
a half, his troops were victorious against the Christians of
Hungary and the Morea; but Mousa was ruined by his timorous
disposition and unseasonable clemency. After resigning the
sovereignty of Anatolia, he fell a victim to the perfidy of his
ministers, and the superior ascendant of his brother Mahomet. 5.
The final victory of Mahomet was the just recompense of his
prudence and moderation. Before his father's captivity, the
royal youth had been intrusted with the government of Amasia,
thirty days' journey from Constantinople, and the Turkish
frontier against the Christians of Trebizond and Georgia. The
castle, in Asiatic warfare, was esteemed impregnable; and the
city of Amasia, ^74 which is equally divided by the River Iris,
rises on either side in the form of an amphitheatre, and
represents on a smaller scale the image of Bagdad. In his rapid
career, Timour appears to have overlooked this obscure and
contumacious angle of Anatolia; and Mahomet, without provoking
the conqueror, maintained his silent independence, and chased
from the province the last stragglers of the Tartar host. ^! He
relieved himself from the dangerous neighborhood of Isa; but in
the contests of their more powerful brethren his firm neutrality
was respected; till, after the triumph of Mousa, he stood forth
the heir and avenger of the unfortunate Soliman. Mahomet
obtained Anatolia by treaty, and Romania by arms; and the soldier
who presented him with the head of Mousa was rewarded as the
benefactor of his king and country. The eight years of his sole
and peaceful reign were usefully employed in banishing the vices
of civil discord, and restoring on a firmer basis the fabric of
the Ottoman monarchy. His last care was the choice of two
viziers, Bajazet and Ibrahim, ^75 who might guide the youth of
his son Amurath; and such was their union and prudence, that they
concealed above forty days the emperor's death, till the arrival
of his successor in the palace of Boursa. A new war was kindled
in Europe by the prince, or impostor, Mustapha; the first vizier
lost his army and his head; but the more fortunate Ibrahim, whose
name and family are still revered, extinguished the last
pretender to the throne of Bajazet, and closed the scene of
domestic hostility.

[Footnote 72: The civil wars, from the death of Bajazet to that
of Mustapha, are related, according to the Turks, by Demetrius
Cantemir, (p. 58 - 82.) Of the Greeks, Chalcondyles, (l. iv. and
v.,) Phranza, (l. i. c. 30 - 32,) and Ducas, (c. 18 - 27, the
last is the most copious and best informed.]
[Footnote 73: Arabshah, (tom. ii. c. 26,) whose testimony on this
occasion is weighty and valuable. The existence of Isa (unknown
to the Turks) is likewise confirmed by Sherefeddin, (l. v. c.

[Footnote *: He escaped from the bath, and fled towards
Constantinople. Five mothers from a village, Dugundschi, whose
inhabitants had suffered severely from the exactions of his
officers, recognized and followed him. Soliman shot two of them,
the others discharged their arrows in their turn the sultan fell
and his head was cut off. V. Hammer, vol. i. p. 349. - M]
[Footnote 74: Arabshah, loc. citat. Abulfeda, Geograph. tab.
xvii. p. 302. Busbequius, epist. i. p. 96, 97, in Itinere C. P.
et Amasiano.]
[Footnote !: See his nine battles. V. Hammer, p. 339. - M.]
[Footnote 75: The virtues of Ibrahim are praised by a
contemporary Greek, (Ducas, c. 25.) His descendants are the sole
nobles in Turkey: they content themselves with the administration
of his pious foundations, are excused from public offices, and
receive two annual visits from the sultan, (Cantemir, p. 76.)]

In these conflicts, the wisest Turks, and indeed the body of
the nation, were strongly attached to the unity of the empire;
and Romania and Anatolia, so often torn asunder by private
ambition, were animated by a strong and invincible tendency of
cohesion. Their efforts might have instructed the Christian
powers; and had they occupied, with a confederate fleet, the
Straits of Gallipoli, the Ottomans, at least in Europe, must have
been speedily annihilated. But the schism of the West, and the
factions and wars of France and England, diverted the Latins from
this generous enterprise: they enjoyed the present respite,
without a thought of futurity; and were often tempted by a
momentary interest to serve the common enemy of their religion.
A colony of Genoese, ^76 which had been planted at Phocaea ^77 on
the Ionian coast, was enriched by the lucrative monopoly of alum;
^78 and their tranquillity, under the Turkish empire, was secured
by the annual payment of tribute. In the last civil war of the
Ottomans, the Genoese governor, Adorno, a bold and ambitious
youth, embraced the party of Amurath; and undertook, with seven
stout galleys, to transport him from Asia to Europe. The sultan
and five hundred guards embarked on board the admiral's ship;
which was manned by eight hundred of the bravest Franks. His
life and liberty were in their hands; nor can we, without
reluctance, applaud the fidelity of Adorno, who, in the midst of
the passage, knelt before him, and gratefully accepted a
discharge of his arrears of tribute. They landed in sight of
Mustapha and Gallipoli; two thousand Italians, armed with lances
and battle-axes, attended Amurath to the conquest of Adrianople;
and this venal service was soon repaid by the ruin of the
commerce and colony of Phocaea.

[Footnote 76: See Pachymer, (l. v. c. 29,) Nicephorus Gregoras,
(l. ii. c. 1,) Sherefeddin, (l. v. c. 57,) and Ducas, (c. 25.)
The last of these, a curious and careful observer, is entitled,
from his birth and station, to particular credit in all that
concerns Ionia and the islands. Among the nations that resorted
to New Phocaea, he mentions the English; an early evidence of
Mediterranean trade.]

[Footnote 77: For the spirit of navigation, and freedom of
ancient Phocaea, or rather the Phocaeans, consult the first book
of Herodotus, and the Geographical Index of his last and learned
French translator, M. Larcher (tom. vii. p. 299.)]

[Footnote 78: Phocaea is not enumerated by Pliny (Hist. Nat.
xxxv. 52) among the places productive of alum: he reckons Egypt
as the first, and for the second the Isle of Melos, whose alum
mines are described by Tournefort, (tom. i. lettre iv.,) a
traveller and a naturalist. After the loss of Phocaea, the
Genoese, in 1459, found that useful mineral in the Isle of
Ischia, (Ismael. Bouillaud, ad Ducam, c. 25.)]

If Timour had generously marched at the request, and to the
relief, of the Greek emperor, he might be entitled to the praise
and gratitude of the Christians. ^79 But a Mussulman, who carried
into Georgia the sword of persecution, and respected the holy
warfare of Bajazet, was not disposed to pity or succor the
idolaters of Europe. The Tartar followed the impulse of
ambition; and the deliverance of Constantinople was the
accidental consequence. When Manuel abdicated the government, it
was his prayer, rather than his hope, that the ruin of the church
and state might be delayed beyond his unhappy days; and after his
return from a western pilgrimage, he expected every hour the news
of the sad catastrophe. On a sudden, he was astonished and
rejoiced by the intelligence of the retreat, the overthrow, and
the captivity of the Ottoman. Manuel ^80 immediately sailed from
Modon in the Morea; ascended the throne of Constantinople, and
dismissed his blind competitor to an easy exile in the Isle of
Lesbos. The ambassadors of the son of Bajazet were soon
introduced to his presence; but their pride was fallen, their
tone was modest: they were awed by the just apprehension, lest
the Greeks should open to the Moguls the gates of Europe.
Soliman saluted the emperor by the name of father; solicited at
his hands the government or gift of Romania; and promised to
deserve his favor by inviolable friendship, and the restitution
of Thessalonica, with the most important places along the
Strymon, the Propontis, and the Black Sea. The alliance of
Soliman exposed the emperor to the enmity and revenge of Mousa:
the Turks appeared in arms before the gates of Constantinople;
but they were repulsed by sea and land; and unless the city was
guarded by some foreign mercenaries, the Greeks must have
wondered at their own triumph. But, instead of prolonging the
division of the Ottoman powers, the policy or passion of Manuel
was tempted to assist the most formidable of the sons of Bajazet.

He concluded a treaty with Mahomet, whose progress was checked by
the insuperable barrier of Gallipoli: the sultan and his troops
were transported over the Bosphorus; he was hospitably
entertained in the capital; and his successful sally was the
first step to the conquest of Romania. The ruin was suspended by
the prudence and moderation of the conqueror: he faithfully
discharged his own obligations and those of Soliman, respected
the laws of gratitude and peace; and left the emperor guardian of
his two younger sons, in the vain hope of saving them from the
jealous cruelty of their brother Amurath. But the execution of
his last testament would have offended the national honor and
religion; and the divan unanimously pronounced, that the royal
youths should never be abandoned to the custody and education of
a Christian dog. On this refusal, the Byzantine councils were
divided; but the age and caution of Manuel yielded to the
presumption of his son John; and they unsheathed a dangerous
weapon of revenge, by dismissing the true or false Mustapha, who
had long been detained as a captive and hostage, and for whose
maintenance they received an annual pension of three hundred
thousand aspers. ^81 At the door of his prison, Mustapha
subscribed to every proposal; and the keys of Gallipoli, or
rather of Europe, were stipulated as the price of his
deliverance. But no sooner was he seated on the throne of
Romania, than he dismissed the Greek ambassadors with a smile of
contempt, declaring, in a pious tone, that, at the day of
judgment, he would rather answer for the violation of an oath,
than for the surrender of a Mussulman city into the hands of the
infidels. The emperor was at once the enemy of the two rivals;
from whom he had sustained, and to whom he had offered, an
injury; and the victory of Amurath was followed, in the ensuing
spring, by the siege of Constantinople. ^82

[Footnote 79: The writer who has the most abused this fabulous
generosity, is our ingenious Sir William Temple, (his Works, vol.
iii. p. 349, 350, octavo edition,) that lover of exotic virtue.
After the conquest of Russia, &c., and the passage of the Danube,
his Tartar hero relieves, visits, admires, and refuses the city
of Constantine. His flattering pencil deviates in every line
from the truth of history; yet his pleasing fictions are more
excusable than the gross errors of Cantemir.]

[Footnote 80: For the reigns of Manuel and John, of Mahomet I.
and Amurath II., see the Othman history of Cantemir, (p. 70 -
95,) and the three Greeks, Chalcondyles, Phranza, and Ducas, who
is still superior to his rivals.]
[Footnote 81: The Turkish asper is, or was, a piece of white or
silver money, at present much debased, but which was formerly
equivalent to the 54th part, at least, of a Venetian ducat or
sequin; and the 300,000 aspers, a princely allowance or royal
tribute, may be computed at 2500l. sterling, (Leunclav. Pandect.
Turc. p. 406 - 408.)

Note: According to Von Hammer, this calculation is much too
low. The asper was a century before the time of which writes, the
tenth part of a ducat; for the same tribute which the Byzantine
writers state at 300,000 aspers the Ottomans state at 30,000
ducats, about 15000l Note, vol. p. 636. - M]

[Footnote 82: For the siege of Constantinople in 1422, see the
particular and contemporary narrative of John Cananus, published
by Leo Allatius, at the end of his edition of Acropolita, (p. 188
- 199.)]

The religious merit of subduing the city of the Caesars
attracted from Asia a crowd of volunteers, who aspired to the
crown of martyrdom: their military ardor was inflamed by the
promise of rich spoils and beautiful females; and the sultan's
ambition was consecrated by the presence and prediction of Seid
Bechar, a descendant of the prophet, ^83 who arrived in the camp,
on a mule, with a venerable train of five hundred disciples. But
he might blush, if a fanatic could blush, at the failure of his
assurances. The strength of the walls resisted an army of two
hundred thousand Turks; their assaults were repelled by the
sallies of the Greeks and their foreign mercenaries; the old
resources of defence were opposed to the new engines of attack;
and the enthusiasm of the dervis, who was snatched to heaven in
visionary converse with Mahomet, was answered by the credulity of
the Christians, who beheld the Virgin Mary, in a violet garment,
walking on the rampart and animating their courage. ^84 After a
siege of two months, Amurath was recalled to Boursa by a domestic
revolt, which had been kindled by Greek treachery, and was soon
extinguished by the death of a guiltless brother. While he led
his Janizaries to new conquests in Europe and Asia, the Byzantine
empire was indulged in a servile and precarious respite of thirty
years. Manuel sank into the grave; and John Palaeologus was
permitted to reign, for an annual tribute of three hundred
thousand aspers, and the dereliction of almost all that he held
beyond the suburbs of Constantinople.
[Footnote 83: Cantemir, p. 80. Cananus, who describes Seid
Bechar, without naming him, supposes that the friend of Mahomet
assumed in his amours the privilege of a prophet, and that the
fairest of the Greek nuns were promised to the saint and his

[Footnote 84: For this miraculous apparition, Cananus appeals to
the Mussulman saint; but who will bear testimony for Seid

In the establishment and restoration of the Turkish empire,
the first merit must doubtless be assigned to the personal
qualities of the sultans; since, in human life, the most
important scenes will depend on the character of a single actor.
By some shades of wisdom and virtue, they may be discriminated
from each other; but, except in a single instance, a period of
nine reigns, and two hundred and sixty-five years, is occupied,
from the elevation of Othman to the death of Soliman, by a rare
series of warlike and active princes, who impressed their
subjects with obedience and their enemies with terror. Instead
of the slothful luxury of the seraglio, the heirs of royalty were
educated in the council and the field: from early youth they were
intrusted by their fathers with the command of provinces and
armies; and this manly institution, which was often productive of
civil war, must have essentially contributed to the discipline
and vigor of the monarchy. The Ottomans cannot style themselves,
like the Arabian caliphs, the descendants or successors of the
apostle of God; and the kindred which they claim with the Tartar
khans of the house of Zingis appears to be founded in flattery
rather than in truth. ^85 Their origin is obscure; but their
sacred and indefeasible right, which no time can erase, and no
violence can infringe, was soon and unalterably implanted in the
minds of their subjects. A weak or vicious sultan may be deposed
and strangled; but his inheritance devolves to an infant or an
idiot: nor has the most daring rebel presumed to ascend the
throne of his lawful sovereign. ^86

[Footnote 85: See Ricaut, (l. i. c. 13.) The Turkish sultans
assume the title of khan. Yet Abulghazi is ignorant of his
Ottoman cousins.]
[Footnote 86: The third grand vizier of the name of Kiuperli, who
was slain at the battle of Salankanen in 1691, (Cantemir, p.
382,) presumed to say that all the successors of Soliman had been
fools or tyrants, and that it was time to abolish the race,
(Marsigli Stato Militaire, &c., p. 28.) This political heretic
was a good Whig, and justified against the French ambassador the
revolution of England, (Mignot, Hist. des Ottomans, tom. iii. p.
434.) His presumption condemns the singular exception of
continuing offices in the same family.]

While the transient dynasties of Asia have been continually
subverted by a crafty vizier in the palace, or a victorious
general in the camp, the Ottoman succession has been confirmed by
the practice of five centuries, and is now incorporated with the
vital principle of the Turkish nation.
To the spirit and constitution of that nation, a strong and
singular influence may, however, be ascribed. The primitive
subjects of Othman were the four hundred families of wandering
Turkmans, who had followed his ancestors from the Oxus to the
Sangar; and the plains of Anatolia are still covered with the
white and black tents of their rustic brethren. But this
original drop was dissolved in the mass of voluntary and
vanquished subjects, who, under the name of Turks, are united by
the common ties of religion, language, and manners. In the
cities, from Erzeroum to Belgrade, that national appellation is
common to all the Moslems, the first and most honorable
inhabitants; but they have abandoned, at least in Romania, the
villages, and the cultivation of the land, to the Christian
peasants. In the vigorous age of the Ottoman government, the
Turks were themselves excluded from all civil and military
honors; and a servile class, an artificial people, was raised by
the discipline of education to obey, to conquer, and to command.
^87 From the time of Orchan and the first Amurath, the sultans
were persuaded that a government of the sword must be renewed in
each generation with new soldiers; and that such soldiers must be
sought, not in effeminate Asia, but among the hardy and warlike
natives of Europe. The provinces of Thrace, Macedonia, Albania,
Bulgaria, and Servia, became the perpetual seminary of the
Turkish army; and when the royal fifth of the captives was
diminished by conquest, an inhuman tax of the fifth child, or of
every fifth year, was rigorously levied on the Christian
families. At the age of twelve or fourteen years, the most
robust youths were torn from their parents; their names were
enrolled in a book; and from that moment they were clothed,
taught, and maintained, for the public service. According to the
promise of their appearance, they were selected for the royal
schools of Boursa, Pera, and Adrianople, intrusted to the care of
the bashaws, or dispersed in the houses of the Anatolian
peasantry. It was the first care of their masters to instruct
them in the Turkish language: their bodies were exercised by
every labor that could fortify their strength; they learned to
wrestle, to leap, to run, to shoot with the bow, and afterwards
with the musket; till they were drafted into the chambers and
companies of the Janizaries, and severely trained in the military
or monastic discipline of the order. The youths most conspicuous
for birth, talents, and beauty, were admitted into the inferior
class of Agiamoglans, or the more liberal rank of Ichoglans, of
whom the former were attached to the palace, and the latter to
the person, of the prince. In four successive schools, under the
rod of the white eunuchs, the arts of horsemanship and of darting
the javelin were their daily exercise, while those of a more
studious cast applied themselves to the study of the Koran, and
the knowledge of the Arabic and Persian tongues. As they
advanced in seniority and merit, they were gradually dismissed to
military, civil, and even ecclesiastical employments: the longer
their stay, the higher was their expectation; till, at a mature
period, they were admitted into the number of the forty agas, who
stood before the sultan, and were promoted by his choice to the
government of provinces and the first honors of the empire. ^88
Such a mode of institution was admirably adapted to the form and
spirit of a despotic monarchy. The ministers and generals were,
in the strictest sense, the slaves of the emperor, to whose
bounty they were indebted for their instruction and support.
When they left the seraglio, and suffered their beards to grow as
the symbol of enfranchisement, they found themselves in an
important office, without faction or friendship, without parents
and without heirs, dependent on the hand which had raised them
from the dust, and which, on the slightest displeasure, could
break in pieces these statues of glass, as they were aptly termed
by the Turkish proverb. ^89 In the slow and painful steps of
education, their characters and talents were unfolded to a
discerning eye: the man, naked and alone, was reduced to the
standard of his personal merit; and, if the sovereign had wisdom
to choose, he possessed a pure and boundless liberty of choice.
The Ottoman candidates were trained by the virtues of abstinence
to those of action; by the habits of submission to those of
command. A similar spirit was diffused among the troops; and
their silence and sobriety, their patience and modesty, have
extorted the reluctant praise of their Christian enemies. ^90 Nor
can the victory appear doubtful, if we compare the discipline and
exercise of the Janizaries with the pride of birth, the
independence of chivalry, the ignorance of the new levies, the
mutinous temper of the veterans, and the vices of intemperance
and disorder, which so long contaminated the armies of Europe.

[Footnote 87: Chalcondyles (l. v.) and Ducas (c. 23) exhibit the
rude lineament of the Ottoman policy, and the transmutation of
Christian children into Turkish soldiers.]

[Footnote 88: This sketch of the Turkish education and discipline
is chiefly borrowed from Ricaut's State of the Ottoman Empire,
the Stato Militaire del' Imperio Ottomano of Count Marsigli, (in
Hava, 1732, in folio,) and a description of the Seraglio,
approved by Mr. Greaves himself, a curious traveller, and
inserted in the second volume of his works.]
[Footnote 89: From the series of cxv. viziers, till the siege of
Vienna, (Marsigli, p. 13,) their place may be valued at three
years and a half purchase.]

[Footnote 90: See the entertaining and judicious letters of
The only hope of salvation for the Greek empire, and the
adjacent kingdoms, would have been some more powerful weapon,
some discovery in the art of war, that would give them a decisive
superiority over their Turkish foes. Such a weapon was in their
hands; such a discovery had been made in the critical moment of
their fate. The chemists of China or Europe had found, by casual
or elaborate experiments, that a mixture of saltpetre, sulphur,
and charcoal, produces, with a spark of fire, a tremendous
explosion. It was soon observed, that if the expansive force were
compressed in a strong tube, a ball of stone or iron might be
expelled with irresistible and destructive velocity. The precise
aera of the invention and application of gunpowder ^91 is
involved in doubtful traditions and equivocal language; yet we
may clearly discern, that it was known before the middle of the
fourteenth century; and that before the end of the same, the use
of artillery in battles and sieges, by sea and land, was familiar
to the states of Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and England. ^92
The priority of nations is of small account; none could derive
any exclusive benefit from their previous or superior knowledge;
and in the common improvement, they stood on the same level of
relative power and military science. Nor was it possible to
circumscribe the secret within the pale of the church; it was
disclosed to the Turks by the treachery of apostates and the
selfish policy of rivals; and the sultans had sense to adopt, and
wealth to reward, the talents of a Christian engineer. The
Genoese, who transported Amurath into Europe, must be accused as
his preceptors; and it was probably by their hands that his
cannon was cast and directed at the siege of Constantinople. ^93
The first attempt was indeed unsuccessful; but in the general
warfare of the age, the advantage was on their side, who were
most commonly the assailants: for a while the proportion of the
attack and defence was suspended; and this thundering artillery
was pointed against the walls and towers which had been erected
only to resist the less potent engines of antiquity. By the
Venetians, the use of gunpowder was communicated without reproach
to the sultans of Egypt and Persia, their allies against the
Ottoman power; the secret was soon propagated to the extremities
of Asia; and the advantage of the European was confined to his
easy victories over the savages of the new world. If we contrast
the rapid progress of this mischievous discovery with the slow
and laborious advances of reason, science, and the arts of peace,
a philosopher, according to his temper, will laugh or weep at the
folly of mankind.

[Footnote 91: The first and second volumes of Dr. Watson's
Chemical Essays contain two valuable discourses on the discovery
and composition of gunpowder.]

[Footnote 92: On this subject modern testimonies cannot be
trusted. The original passages are collected by Ducange, (Gloss.
Latin. tom. i. p. 675, Bombarda.) But in the early doubtful
twilight, the name, sound, fire, and effect, that seem to express
our artillery, may be fairly interpreted of the old engines and
the Greek fire. For the English cannon at Crecy, the authority
of John Villani (Chron. l. xii. c. 65) must be weighed against
the silence of Froissard. Yet Muratori (Antiquit. Italiae Medii
Aevi, tom. ii. Dissert. xxvi. p. 514, 515) has produced a
decisive passage from Petrarch, (De Remediis utriusque Fortunae
Dialog.,) who, before the year 1344, execrates this terrestrial
thunder, nuper rara, nunc communis.

Note: Mr. Hallam makes the following observation on the
objection thrown our by Gibbon: "The positive testimony of
Villani, who died within two years afterwards, and had manifestly
obtained much information as to the great events passing in
France, cannot be rejected. He ascribes a material effect to the
cannon of Edward, Colpi delle bombarde, which I suspect, from his
strong expressions, had not been employed before, except against
stone walls. It seems, he says, as if God thundered con grande
uccisione di genti e efondamento di cavalli." Middle Ages, vol.
i. p. 510. - M.]

[Footnote 93: The Turkish cannon, which Ducas (c. 30) first
introduces before Belgrade, (A.D. 1436,) is mentioned by
Chalcondyles (l. v. p. 123) in 1422, at the siege of

Chapter LXVI: Union Of The Greek And Latin Churches.

Part I.

Applications Of The Eastern Emperors To The Popes. - Visits
To The West, Of John The First, Manuel, And John The Second,
Palaeologus. - Union Of The Greek And Latin Churches, Promoted By
The Council Of Basil, And Concluded At Ferrara And Florence. -
State Of Literature At Constantinople. - Its Revival In Italy By
The Greek Fugitives. - Curiosity And Emulation Of The Latins.

In the four last centuries of the Greek emperors, their
friendly or hostile aspect towards the pope and the Latins may be
observed as the thermometer of their prosperity or distress; as
the scale of the rise and fall of the Barbarian dynasties. When
the Turks of the house of Seljuk pervaded Asia, and threatened
Constantinople, we have seen, at the council of Placentia, the
suppliant ambassadors of Alexius imploring the protection of the
common father of the Christians. No sooner had the arms of the
French pilgrims removed the sultan from Nice to Iconium, than the
Greek princes resumed, or avowed, their genuine hatred and
contempt for the schismatics of the West, which precipitated the
first downfall of their empire. The date of the Mogul invasion
is marked in the soft and charitable language of John Vataces.
After the recovery of Constantinople, the throne of the first
Palaeologus was encompassed by foreign and domestic enemies; as
long as the sword of Charles was suspended over his head, he
basely courted the favor of the Roman pontiff; and sacrificed to
the present danger his faith, his virtue, and the affection of
his subjects. On the decease of Michael, the prince and people
asserted the independence of their church, and the purity of
their creed: the elder Andronicus neither feared nor loved the
Latins; in his last distress, pride was the safeguard of
superstition; nor could he decently retract in his age the firm
and orthodox declarations of his youth. His grandson, the younger
Andronicus, was less a slave in his temper and situation; and the
conquest of Bithynia by the Turks admonished him to seek a
temporal and spiritual alliance with the Western princes. After
a separation and silence of fifty years, a secret agent, the monk
Barlaam, was despatched to Pope Benedict the Twelfth; and his
artful instructions appear to have been drawn by the master-hand
of the great domestic. ^1 "Most holy father," was he commissioned
to say, "the emperor is not less desirous than yourself of a
union between the two churches: but in this delicate transaction,
he is obliged to respect his own dignity and the prejudices of
his subjects. The ways of union are twofold; force and
persuasion. Of force, the inefficacy has been already tried;
since the Latins have subdued the empire, without subduing the
minds, of the Greeks. The method of persuasion, though slow, is
sure and permanent. A deputation of thirty or forty of our
doctors would probably agree with those of the Vatican, in the
love of truth and the unity of belief; but on their return, what
would be the use, the recompense, of such an agreement? the
scorn of their brethren, and the reproaches of a blind and
obstinate nation. Yet that nation is accustomed to reverence the
general councils, which have fixed the articles of our faith; and
if they reprobate the decrees of Lyons, it is because the Eastern
churches were neither heard nor represented in that arbitrary
meeting. For this salutary end, it will be expedient, and even
necessary, that a well-chosen legate should be sent into Greece,
to convene the patriarchs of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch,
and Jerusalem; and, with their aid, to prepare a free and
universal synod. But at this moment," continued the subtle
agent, "the empire is assaulted and endangered by the Turks, who
have occupied four of the greatest cities of Anatolia. The
Christian inhabitants have expressed a wish of returning to their
allegiance and religion; but the forces and revenues of the
emperor are insufficient for their deliverance: and the Roman
legate must be accompanied, or preceded, by an army of Franks, to
expel the infidels, and open a way to the holy sepulchre." If the
suspicious Latins should require some pledge, some previous
effect of the sincerity of the Greeks, the answers of Barlaam
were perspicuous and rational. "1. A general synod can alone
consummate the union of the churches; nor can such a synod be
held till the three Oriental patriarchs, and a great number of
bishops, are enfranchised from the Mahometan yoke. 2. The Greeks
are alienated by a long series of oppression and injury: they
must be reconciled by some act of brotherly love, some effectual
succor, which may fortify the authority and arguments of the
emperor, and the friends of the union. 3. If some difference of
faith or ceremonies should be found incurable, the Greeks,
however, are the disciples of Christ; and the Turks are the
common enemies of the Christian name. The Armenians, Cyprians,
and Rhodians, are equally attacked; and it will become the piety
of the French princes to draw their swords in the general defence
of religion. 4. Should the subjects of Andronicus be treated as
the worst of schismatics, of heretics, of pagans, a judicious
policy may yet instruct the powers of the West to embrace a
useful ally, to uphold a sinking empire, to guard the confines of
Europe; and rather to join the Greeks against the Turks, than to
expect the union of the Turkish arms with the troops and
treasures of captive Greece." The reasons, the offers, and the
demands, of Andronicus were eluded with cold and stately
indifference. The kings of France and Naples declined the
dangers and glory of a crusade; the pope refused to call a new
synod to determine old articles of faith; and his regard for the
obsolete claims of the Latin emperor and clergy engaged him to
use an offensive superscription, - "To the moderator ^2 of the
Greeks, and the persons who style themselves the patriarchs of
the Eastern churches." For such an embassy, a time and character
less propitious could not easily have been found. Benedict the
Twelfth ^3 was a dull peasant, perplexed with scruples, and
immersed in sloth and wine: his pride might enrich with a third
crown the papal tiara, but he was alike unfit for the regal and
the pastoral office.

[Footnote 1: This curious instruction was transcribed (I believe)
from the Vatican archives, by Odoricus Raynaldus, in his
Continuation of the Annals of Baronius, (Romae, 1646 - 1677, in
x. volumes in folio.) I have contented myself with the Abbe
Fleury, (Hist. Ecclesiastique. tom. xx. p. 1 - 8,) whose
abstracts I have always found to be clear, accurate, and
[Footnote 2: The ambiguity of this title is happy or ingenious;
and moderator, as synonymous to rector, gubernator, is a word of
classical, and even Ciceronian, Latinity, which may be found, not
in the Glossary of Ducange, but in the Thesaurus of Robert

[Footnote 3: The first epistle (sine titulo) of Petrarch exposes
the danger of the bark, and the incapacity of the pilot. Haec
inter, vino madidus, aeve gravis, ac soporifero rore perfusus,
jamjam nutitat, dormitat, jam somno praeceps, atque (utinam
solus) ruit . . . . . Heu quanto felicius patrio terram sulcasset
aratro, quam scalmum piscatorium ascendisset! This satire
engages his biographer to weigh the virtues and vices of Benedict
XII. which have been exaggerated by Guelphs and Ghibe lines, by
Papists and Protestants, (see Memoires sur la Vie de Petrarque,
tom. i. p. 259, ii. not. xv. p. 13 - 16.) He gave occasion to the
saying, Bibamus papaliter.]

After the decease of Andronicus, while the Greeks were
distracted by intestine war, they could not presume to agitate a
general union of the Christians. But as soon as Cantacuzene had
subdued and pardoned his enemies, he was anxious to justify, or
at least to extenuate, the introduction of the Turks into Europe,
and the nuptials of his daughter with a Mussulman prince. Two
officers of state, with a Latin interpreter, were sent in his
name to the Roman court, which was transplanted to Avignon, on
the banks of the Rhone, during a period of seventy years: they
represented the hard necessity which had urged him to embrace the
alliance of the miscreants, and pronounced by his command the
specious and edifying sounds of union and crusade. Pope Clement
the Sixth, ^4 the successor of Benedict, received them with
hospitality and honor, acknowledged the innocence of their
sovereign, excused his distress, applauded his magnanimity, and
displayed a clear knowledge of the state and revolutions of the
Greek empire, which he had imbibed from the honest accounts of a
Savoyard lady, an attendant of the empress Anne. ^5 If Clement
was ill endowed with the virtues of a priest, he possessed,
however, the spirit and magnificence of a prince, whose liberal
hand distributed benefices and kingdoms with equal facility.
Under his reign Avignon was the seat of pomp and pleasure: in his
youth he had surpassed the licentiousness of a baron; and the
palace, nay, the bed-chamber of the pope, was adorned, or
polluted, by the visits of his female favorites. The wars of
France and England were adverse to the holy enterprise; but his
vanity was amused by the splendid idea; and the Greek ambassadors
returned with two Latin bishops, the ministers of the pontiff.
On their arrival at Constantinople, the emperor and the nuncios
admired each other's piety and eloquence; and their frequent
conferences were filled with mutual praises and promises, by
which both parties were amused, and neither could be deceived.
"I am delighted," said the devout Cantacuzene, "with the project
of our holy war, which must redound to my personal glory, as well
as to the public benefit of Christendom. My dominions will give
a free passage to the armies of France: my troops, my galleys, my
treasures, shall be consecrated to the common cause; and happy
would be my fate, could I deserve and obtain the crown of
martyrdom. Words are insufficient to express the ardor with
which I sigh for the reunion of the scattered members of Christ.
If my death could avail, I would gladly present my sword and my
neck: if the spiritual phoenix could arise from my ashes, I would
erect the pile, and kindle the flame with my own hands." Yet the
Greek emperor presumed to observe, that the articles of faith
which divided the two churches had been introduced by the pride
and precipitation of the Latins: he disclaimed the servile and
arbitrary steps of the first Palaeologus; and firmly declared,
that he would never submit his conscience unless to the decrees
of a free and universal synod. "The situation of the times,"
continued he, "will not allow the pope and myself to meet either
at Rome or Constantinople; but some maritime city may be chosen
on the verge of the two empires, to unite the bishops, and to
instruct the faithful, of the East and West." The nuncios seemed
content with the proposition; and Cantacuzene affects to deplore
the failure of his hopes, which were soon overthrown by the death
of Clement, and the different temper of his successor. His own
life was prolonged, but it was prolonged in a cloister; and,
except by his prayers, the humble monk was incapable of directing
the counsels of his pupil or the state. ^6
[Footnote 4: See the original Lives of Clement VI. in Muratori,
(Script. Rerum Italicarum, tom. iii. P. ii. p. 550 - 589;) Matteo
Villani, (Chron. l. iii. c. 43, in Muratori, tom. xiv. p. 186,)
who styles him, molto cavallaresco, poco religioso; Fleury,
(Hist. Eccles. tom. xx. p. 126;) and the Vie de Petrarque, (tom.
ii. p. 42 - 45.) The abbe de Sade treats him with the most
indulgence; but he is a gentleman as well as a priest.]

[Footnote 5: Her name (most probably corrupted) was Zampea. She
had accompanied, and alone remained with her mistress at
Constantinople, where her prudence, erudition, and politeness
deserved the praises of the Greeks themselves, (Cantacuzen. l. i.
c. 42.)]

[Footnote 6: See this whole negotiation in Cantacuzene, (l. iv.
c. 9,) who, amidst the praises and virtues which he bestows on
himself, reveals the uneasiness of a guilty conscience.]

Yet of all the Byzantine princes, that pupil, John
Palaeologus, was the best disposed to embrace, to believe, and to
obey, the shepherd of the West. His mother, Anne of Savoy, was
baptized in the bosom of the Latin church: her marriage with
Andronicus imposed a change of name, of apparel, and of worship,
but her heart was still faithful to her country and religion: she
had formed the infancy of her son, and she governed the emperor,
after his mind, or at least his stature, was enlarged to the size
of man. In the first year of his deliverance and restoration,
the Turks were still masters of the Hellespont; the son of
Cantacuzene was in arms at Adrianople; and Palaeologus could
depend neither on himself nor on his people. By his mother's
advice, and in the hope of foreign aid, he abjured the rights
both of the church and state; and the act of slavery, ^7
subscribed in purple ink, and sealed with the golden bull, was
privately intrusted to an Italian agent. The first article of
the treaty is an oath of fidelity and obedience to Innocent the
Sixth and his successors, the supreme pontiffs of the Roman and
Catholic church. The emperor promises to entertain with due
reverence their legates and nuncios; to assign a palace for their
residence, and a temple for their worship; and to deliver his
second son Manuel as the hostage of his faith. For these
condescensions he requires a prompt succor of fifteen galleys,
with five hundred men at arms, and a thousand archers, to serve
against his Christian and Mussulman enemies. Palaeologus engages
to impose on his clergy and people the same spiritual yoke; but
as the resistance of the Greeks might be justly foreseen, he
adopts the two effectual methods of corruption and education.
The legate was empowered to distribute the vacant benefices among
the ecclesiastics who should subscribe the creed of the Vatican:
three schools were instituted to instruct the youth of
Constantinople in the language and doctrine of the Latins; and
the name of Andronicus, the heir of the empire, was enrolled as
the first student. Should he fail in the measures of persuasion
or force, Palaeologus declares himself unworthy to reign;
transferred to the pope all regal and paternal authority; and
invests Innocent with full power to regulate the family, the
government, and the marriage, of his son and successor. But this
treaty was neither executed nor published: the Roman galleys were
as vain and imaginary as the submission of the Greeks; and it was
only by the secrecy that their sovereign escaped the dishonor of
this fruitless humiliation.
[Footnote 7: See this ignominious treaty in Fleury, (Hist.
Eccles. p. 151 - 154,) from Raynaldus, who drew it from the
Vatican archives. It was not worth the trouble of a pious

The tempest of the Turkish arms soon burst on his head; and
after the loss of Adrianople and Romania, he was enclosed in his
capital, the vassal of the haughty Amurath, with the miserable
hope of being the last devoured by the savage. In this abject
state, Palaeologus embraced the resolution of embarking for
Venice, and casting himself at the feet of the pope: he was the
first of the Byzantine princes who had ever visited the unknown
regions of the West, yet in them alone he could seek consolation
or relief; and with less violation of his dignity he might appear
in the sacred college than at the Ottoman Porte. After a long
absence, the Roman pontiffs were returning from Avignon to the
banks of the Tyber: Urban the Fifth, ^8 of a mild and virtuous
character, encouraged or allowed the pilgrimage of the Greek
prince; and, within the same year, enjoyed the glory of receiving
in the Vatican the two Imperial shadows who represented the
majesty of Constantine and Charlemagne. In this suppliant visit,
the emperor of Constantinople, whose vanity was lost in his
distress, gave more than could be expected of empty sounds and
formal submissions. A previous trial was imposed; and, in the
presence of four cardinals, he acknowledged, as a true Catholic,
the supremacy of the pope, and the double procession of the Holy
Ghost. After this purification, he was introduced to a public
audience in the church of St. Peter: Urban, in the midst of the
cardinals, was seated on his throne; the Greek monarch, after
three genuflections, devoutly kissed the feet, the hands, and at
length the mouth, of the holy father, who celebrated high mass in
his presence, allowed him to lead the bridle of his mule, and
treated him with a sumptuous banquet in the Vatican. The
entertainment of Palaeologus was friendly and honorable; yet some
difference was observed between the emperors of the East and
West; ^9 nor could the former be entitled to the rare privilege
of chanting the gospel in the rank of a deacon. ^10 In favor of
his proselyte, Urban strove to rekindle the zeal of the French
king and the other powers of the West; but he found them cold in
the general cause, and active only in their domestic quarrels.
The last hope of the emperor was in an English mercenary, John
Hawkwood, ^11 or Acuto, who, with a band of adventurers, the
white brotherhood, had ravaged Italy from the Alps to Calabria;
sold his services to the hostile states; and incurred a just
excommunication by shooting his arrows against the papal
residence. A special license was granted to negotiate with the
outlaw, but the forces, or the spirit, of Hawkwood, were unequal
to the enterprise: and it was for the advantage, perhaps, of
Palaeologus to be disappointed of succor, that must have been
costly, that could not be effectual, and which might have been
dangerous. ^12 The disconsolate Greek ^13 prepared for his
return, but even his return was impeded by a most ignominious
obstacle. On his arrival at Venice, he had borrowed large sums
at exorbitant usury; but his coffers were empty, his creditors
were impatient, and his person was detained as the best security
for the payment. His eldest son, Andronicus, the regent of
Constantinople, was repeatedly urged to exhaust every resource;
and even by stripping the churches, to extricate his father from
captivity and disgrace. But the unnatural youth was insensible of
the disgrace, and secretly pleased with the captivity of the
emperor: the state was poor, the clergy were obstinate; nor could
some religious scruple be wanting to excuse the guilt of his
indifference and delay. Such undutiful neglect was severely
reproved by the piety of his brother Manuel, who instantly sold
or mortgaged all that he possessed, embarked for Venice, relieved
his father, and pledged his own freedom to be responsible for the
debt. On his return to Constantinople, the parent and king
distinguished his two sons with suitable rewards; but the faith
and manners of the slothful Palaeologus had not been improved by
his Roman pilgrimage; and his apostasy or conversion, devoid of
any spiritual or temporal effects, was speedily forgotten by the
Greeks and Latins. ^14

[Footnote 8: See the two first original Lives of Urban V., (in
Muratori, Script. Rerum Italicarum, tom. iii. P. ii. p. 623,
635,) and the Ecclesiastical Annals of Spondanus, (tom. i. p.
573, A.D. 1369, No. 7,) and Raynaldus, (Fleury, Hist. Eccles.
tom. xx. p. 223, 224.) Yet, from some variations, I suspect the
papal writers of slightly magnifying the genuflections of

[Footnote 9: Paullo minus quam si fuisset Imperator Romanorum.
Yet his title of Imperator Graecorum was no longer disputed,
(Vit. Urban V. p. 623.)]
[Footnote 10: It was confined to the successors of Charlemagne,
and to them only on Christmas-day. On all other festivals these
Imperial deacons were content to serve the pope, as he said mass,
with the book and the corporale. Yet the abbe de Sade generously
thinks that the merits of Charles IV. might have entitled him,
though not on the proper day, (A.D. 1368, November 1,) to the
whole privilege. He seems to affix a just value on the privilege
and the man, (Vie de Petrarque, tom. iii. p. 735.)]

[Footnote 11: Through some Italian corruptions, the etymology of
Falcone in bosco, (Matteo Villani, l. xi. c. 79, in Muratori,
tom. xv. p. 746,) suggests the English word Hawkwood, the true
name of our adventurous countryman, (Thomas Walsingham, Hist.
Anglican. inter Scriptores Cambdeni, p. 184.) After
two-and-twenty victories, and one defeat, he died, in 1394,
general of the Florentines, and was buried with such honors as
the republic has not paid to Dante or Petrarch, (Muratori, Annali
d'Italia, tom. xii. p. 212 - 371.)]
[Footnote 12: This torrent of English (by birth or service)
overflowed from France into Italy after the peace of Bretigny in
1630. Yet the exclamation of Muratori (Annali, tom. xii. p. 197)
is rather true than civil. "Ci mancava ancor questo, che dopo
essere calpestrata l'Italia da tanti masnadieri Tedeschi ed
Ungheri, venissero fin dall' Inghliterra nuovi cani a finire di

[Footnote 13: Chalcondyles, l. i. p. 25, 26. The Greek supposes
his journey to the king of France, which is sufficiently refuted
by the silence of the national historians. Nor am I much more
inclined to believe, that Palaeologus departed from Italy, valde
bene consolatus et contentus, (Vit. Urban V. p. 623.)]

[Footnote 14: His return in 1370, and the coronation of Manuel,
Sept. 25, 1373, (Ducange, Fam. Byzant. p. 241,) leaves some
intermediate aera for the conspiracy and punishment of

Thirty years after the return of Palaeologus, his son and
successor, Manuel, from a similar motive, but on a larger scale,
again visited the countries of the West. In a preceding chapter
I have related his treaty with Bajazet, the violation of that
treaty, the siege or blockade of Constantinople, and the French
succor under the command of the gallant Boucicault. ^15 By his
ambassadors, Manuel had solicited the Latin powers; but it was
thought that the presence of a distressed monarch would draw
tears and supplies from the hardest Barbarians; ^16 and the
marshal who advised the journey prepared the reception of the
Byzantine prince. The land was occupied by the Turks; but the
navigation of Venice was safe and open: Italy received him as the
first, or, at least, as the second, of the Christian princes;
Manuel was pitied as the champion and confessor of the faith; and
the dignity of his behavior prevented that pity from sinking into
contempt. From Venice he proceeded to Padua and Pavia; and even
the duke of Milan, a secret ally of Bajazet, gave him safe and
honorable conduct to the verge of his dominions. ^17 On the
confines of France ^18 the royal officers undertook the care of
his person, journey, and expenses; and two thousand of the
richest citizens, in arms and on horseback, came forth to meet
him as far as Charenton, in the neighborhood of the capital. At
the gates of Paris, he was saluted by the chancellor and the
parliament; and Charles the Sixth, attended by his princes and
nobles, welcomed his brother with a cordial embrace. The
successor of Constantine was clothed in a robe of white silk, and
mounted on a milk-white steed, a circumstance, in the French
ceremonial, of singular importance: the white color is considered
as the symbol of sovereignty; and, in a late visit, the German
emperor, after a haughty demand and a peevish refusal, had been
reduced to content himself with a black courser. Manuel was
lodged in the Louvre; a succession of feasts and balls, the
pleasures of the banquet and the chase, were ingeniously varied
by the politeness of the French, to display their magnificence,
and amuse his grief: he was indulged in the liberty of his
chapel; and the doctors of the Sorbonne were astonished, and
possibly scandalized, by the language, the rites, and the
vestments, of his Greek clergy. But the slightest glance on the
state of the kingdom must teach him to despair of any effectual
assistance. The unfortunate Charles, though he enjoyed some
lucid intervals, continually relapsed into furious or stupid
insanity: the reins of government were alternately seized by his
brother and uncle, the dukes of Orleans and Burgundy, whose
factious competition prepared the miseries of civil war. The
former was a gay youth, dissolved in luxury and love: the latter
was the father of John count of Nevers, who had so lately been
ransomed from Turkish captivity; and, if the fearless son was
ardent to revenge his defeat, the more prudent Burgundy was
content with the cost and peril of the first experiment. When
Manuel had satiated the curiosity, and perhaps fatigued the
patience, of the French, he resolved on a visit to the adjacent
island. In his progress from Dover, he was entertained at
Canterbury with due reverence by the prior and monks of St.
Austin; and, on Blackheath, King Henry the Fourth, with the
English court, saluted the Greek hero, (I copy our old
historian,) who, during many days, was lodged and treated in
London as emperor of the East. ^19 But the state of England was
still more adverse to the design of the holy war. In the same
year, the hereditary sovereign had been deposed and murdered: the
reigning prince was a successful usurper, whose ambition was
punished by jealousy and remorse: nor could Henry of Lancaster
withdraw his person or forces from the defence of a throne
incessantly shaken by conspiracy and rebellion. He pitied, he
praised, he feasted, the emperor of Constantinople; but if the
English monarch assumed the cross, it was only to appease his
people, and perhaps his conscience, by the merit or semblance of
his pious intention. ^20 Satisfied, however, with gifts and
honors, Manuel returned to Paris; and, after a residence of two
years in the West, shaped his course through Germany and Italy,
embarked at Venice, and patiently expected, in the Morea, the
moment of his ruin or deliverance. Yet he had escaped the
ignominious necessity of offering his religion to public or
private sale. The Latin church was distracted by the great
schism; the kings, the nations, the universities, of Europe were
divided in their obedience between the popes of Rome and Avignon;
and the emperor, anxious to conciliate the friendship of both
parties, abstained from any correspondence with the indigent and
unpopular rivals. His journey coincided with the year of the
jubilee; but he passed through Italy without desiring, or
deserving, the plenary indulgence which abolished the guilt or
penance of the sins of the faithful. The Roman pope was offended
by this neglect; accused him of irreverence to an image of
Christ; and exhorted the princes of Italy to reject and abandon
the obstinate schismatic. ^21

[Footnote 15: Memoires de Boucicault, P. i. c. 35, 36.]

[Footnote 16: His journey into the west of Europe is slightly,
and I believe reluctantly, noticed by Chalcondyles (l. ii. c. 44
- 50) and Ducas, (c. 14.)]
[Footnote 17: Muratori, Annali d'Italia, tom. xii. p. 406. John
Galeazzo was the first and most powerful duke of Milan. His
connection with Bajazet is attested by Froissard; and he
contributed to save and deliver the French captives of

[Footnote 18: For the reception of Manuel at Paris, see
Spondanus, (Annal. Eccles. tom. i. p. 676, 677, A.D. 1400, No.
5,) who quotes Juvenal des Ursins and the monk of St. Denys; and
Villaret, (Hist. de France, tom. xii. p. 331 - 334,) who quotes
nobody according to the last fashion of the French writers.]
[Footnote 19: A short note of Manuel in England is extracted by
Dr. Hody from a Ms. at Lambeth, (de Graecis illustribus, p. 14,)
C. P. Imperator, diu variisque et horrendis Paganorum insultibus
coarctatus, ut pro eisdem resistentiam triumphalem perquireret,
Anglorum Regem visitare decrevit, &c. Rex (says Walsingham, p.
364) nobili apparatu . . . suscepit (ut decuit) tantum Heroa,
duxitque Londonias, et per multos dies exhibuit gloriose, pro
expensis hospitii sui solvens, et eum respiciens tanto fastigio
donativis. He repeats the same in his Upodigma Neustriae, (p.

[Footnote 20: Shakspeare begins and ends the play of Henry IV.
with that prince's vow of a crusade, and his belief that he
should die in Jerusalem.]

[Footnote 21: This fact is preserved in the Historia Politica,
A.D. 1391 - 1478, published by Martin Crusius, (Turco Graecia, p.
1 - 43.) The image of Christ, which the Greek emperor refused to
worship, was probably a work of sculpture.]

Chapter LXVI: Union Of The Greek And Latin Churches.

Part II.

During the period of the crusades, the Greeks beheld with
astonishment and terror the perpetual stream of emigration that
flowed, and continued to flow, from the unknown climates of their
West. The visits of their last emperors removed the veil of
separation, and they disclosed to their eyes the powerful nations
of Europe, whom they no longer presumed to brand with the name of
Barbarians. The observations of Manuel, and his more inquisitive
followers, have been preserved by a Byzantine historian of the
times: ^22 his scattered ideas I shall collect and abridge; and
it may be amusing enough, perhaps instructive, to contemplate the
rude pictures of Germany, France, and England, whose ancient and
modern state are so familiar to our minds. I. Germany (says the
Greek Chalcondyles) is of ample latitude from Vienna to the
ocean; and it stretches (a strange geography) from Prague in
Bohemia to the River Tartessus, and the Pyrenaean Mountains. ^23
The soil, except in figs and olives, is sufficiently fruitful;
the air is salubrious; the bodies of the natives are robust and
healthy; and these cold regions are seldom visited with the
calamities of pestilence, or earthquakes. After the Scythians or
Tartars, the Germans are the most numerous of nations: they are
brave and patient; and were they united under a single head,
their force would be irresistible. By the gift of the pope, they
have acquired the privilege of choosing the Roman emperor; ^24
nor is any people more devoutly attached to the faith and
obedience of the Latin patriarch. The greatest part of the
country is divided among the princes and prelates; but Strasburg,
Cologne, Hamburgh, and more than two hundred free cities, are
governed by sage and equal laws, according to the will, and for
the advantage, of the whole community. The use of duels, or
single combats on foot, prevails among them in peace and war:
their industry excels in all the mechanic arts; and the Germans
may boast of the invention of gunpowder and cannon, which is now
diffused over the greatest part of the world. II. The kingdom
of France is spread above fifteen or twenty days' journey from
Germany to Spain, and from the Alps to the British Ocean;
containing many flourishing cities, and among these Paris, the
seat of the king, which surpasses the rest in riches and luxury.
Many princes and lords alternately wait in his palace, and
acknowledge him as their sovereign: the most powerful are the
dukes of Bretagne and Burgundy; of whom the latter possesses the
wealthy province of Flanders, whose harbors are frequented by the
ships and merchants of our own, and the more remote, seas. The
French are an ancient and opulent people; and their language and
manners, though somewhat different, are not dissimilar from those
of the Italians. Vain of the Imperial dignity of Charlemagne, of
their victories over the Saracens, and of the exploits of their
heroes, Oliver and Rowland, ^25 they esteem themselves the first
of the western nations; but this foolish arrogance has been
recently humbled by the unfortunate events of their wars against
the English, the inhabitants of the British island. III.
Britain, in the ocean, and opposite to the shores of Flanders,
may be considered either as one, or as three islands; but the
whole is united by a common interest, by the same manners, and by
a similar government. The measure of its circumference is five
thousand stadia: the land is overspread with towns and villages:
though destitute of wine, and not abounding in fruit-trees, it is
fertile in wheat and barley; in honey and wool; and much cloth is
manufactured by the inhabitants. In populousness and power, in
richness and luxury, London, ^26 the metropolis of the isle, may
claim a preeminence over all the cities of the West. It is
situate on the Thames, a broad and rapid river, which at the
distance of thirty miles falls into the Gallic Sea; and the daily
flow and ebb of the tide affords a safe entrance and departure to
the vessels of commerce. The king is head of a powerful and
turbulent aristocracy: his principal vassals hold their estates
by a free and unalterable tenure; and the laws define the limits
of his authority and their obedience. The kingdom has been often
afflicted by foreign conquest and domestic sedition: but the
natives are bold and hardy, renowned in arms and victorious in
war. The form of their shields or targets is derived from the
Italians, that of their swords from the Greeks; the use of the
long bow is the peculiar and decisive advantage of the English.
Their language bears no affinity to the idioms of the Continent:
in the habits of domestic life, they are not easily distinguished
from their neighbors of France: but the most singular
circumstance of their manners is their disregard of conjugal
honor and of female chastity. In their mutual visits, as the
first act of hospitality, the guest is welcomed in the embraces
of their wives and daughters: among friends they are lent and
borrowed without shame; nor are the islanders offended at this
strange commerce, and its inevitable consequences. ^27 Informed
as we are of the customs of Old England and assured of the virtue
of our mothers, we may smile at the credulity, or resent the
injustice, of the Greek, who must have confounded a modest salute
^28 with a criminal embrace. But his credulity and injustice may
teach an important lesson; to distrust the accounts of foreign
and remote nations, and to suspend our belief of every tale that
deviates from the laws of nature and the character of man. ^29

[Footnote 22: The Greek and Turkish history of Laonicus
Chalcondyles ends with the winter of 1463; and the abrupt
conclusion seems to mark, that he laid down his pen in the same
year. We know that he was an Athenian, and that some
contemporaries of the same name contributed to the revival of the
Greek language in Italy. But in his numerous digressions, the
modest historian has never introduced himself; and his editor
Leunclavius, as well as Fabricius, (Bibliot. Graec. tom. vi. p.
474,) seems ignorant of his life and character. For his
descriptions of Germany, France, and England, see l. ii. p. 36,
37, 44 - 50.]

[Footnote 23: I shall not animadvert on the geographical errors
of Chalcondyles. In this instance, he perhaps followed, and
mistook, Herodotus, (l. ii. c. 33,) whose text may be explained,
(Herodote de Larcher, tom. ii. p. 219, 220,) or whose ignorance
may be excused. Had these modern Greeks never read Strabo, or
any of their lesser geographers?]

[Footnote 24: A citizen of new Rome, while new Rome survived,
would have scorned to dignify the German with titles: but all
pride was extinct in the bosom of Chalcondyles; and he describes
the Byzantine prince, and his subject, by the proper, though
humble, names.]

[Footnote 25: Most of the old romances were translated in the
xivth century into French prose, and soon became the favorite
amusement of the knights and ladies in the court of Charles VI.
If a Greek believed in the exploits of Rowland and Oliver, he may
surely be excused, since the monks of St. Denys, the national
historians, have inserted the fables of Archbishop Turpin in
their Chronicles of France.]

[Footnote 26: Even since the time of Fitzstephen, (the xiith
century,) London appears to have maintained this preeminence of
wealth and magnitude; and her gradual increase has, at least,
kept pace with the general improvement of Europe.]

[Footnote 27: If the double sense of the verb (osculor, and in
utero gero) be equivocal, the context and pious horror of
Chalcondyles can leave no doubt of his meaning and mistake, (p.

Note: I can discover no "pious horror" in the plain manner
in which Chalcondyles relates this strange usage. Gibbon is
possibly right as to the origin of this extraordinary mistake. -

[Footnote 28: Erasmus (Epist. Fausto Andrelino) has a pretty
passage on the English fashion of kissing strangers on their
arrival and departure, from whence, however, he draws no
scandalous inferences.]

[Footnote 29: Perhaps we may apply this remark to the community
of wives among the old Britons, as it is supposed by Caesar and
Dion, (Dion Cassius, l. lxii. tom. ii. p. 1007,) with Reimar's
judicious annotation. The Arreoy of Otaheite, so certain at
first, is become less visible and scandalous, in proportion as we
have studied the manners of that gentle and amorous people.]
After his return, and the victory of Timour, Manuel reigned
many years in prosperity and peace. As long as the sons of
Bajazet solicited his friendship and spared his dominions, he was
satisfied with the national religion; and his leisure was
employed in composing twenty theological dialogues for its
defence. The appearance of the Byzantine ambassadors at the
council of Constance, ^30 announces the restoration of the
Turkish power, as well as of the Latin church: the conquest of
the sultans, Mahomet and Amurath, reconciled the emperor to the
Vatican; and the siege of Constantinople almost tempted him to
acquiesce in the double procession of the Holy Ghost. When
Martin the Fifth ascended without a rival the chair of St. Peter,
a friendly intercourse of letters and embassies was revived
between the East and West. Ambition on one side, and distress on
the other, dictated the same decent language of charity and
peace: the artful Greek expressed a desire of marrying his six
sons to Italian princesses; and the Roman, not less artful,
despatched the daughter of the marquis of Montferrat, with a
company of noble virgins, to soften, by their charms, the
obstinacy of the schismatics. Yet under this mask of zeal, a
discerning eye will perceive that all was hollow and insincere in
the court and church of Constantinople. According to the
vicissitudes of danger and repose, the emperor advanced or
retreated; alternately instructed and disavowed his ministers;
and escaped from the importunate pressure by urging the duty of
inquiry, the obligation of collecting the sense of his patriarchs
and bishops, and the impossibility of convening them at a time
when the Turkish arms were at the gates of his capital. From a
review of the public transactions it will appear that the Greeks
insisted on three successive measures, a succor, a council, and a
final reunion, while the Latins eluded the second, and only
promised the first, as a consequential and voluntary reward of
the third. But we have an opportunity of unfolding the most
secret intentions of Manuel, as he explained them in a private
conversation without artifice or disguise. In his declining age,
the emperor had associated John Palaeologus, the second of the
name, and the eldest of his sons, on whom he devolved the
greatest part of the authority and weight of government. One
day, in the presence only of the historian Phranza, ^31 his
favorite chamberlain, he opened to his colleague and successor
the true principle of his negotiations with the pope. ^32 "Our
last resource," said Manuel, against the Turks, "is their fear of
our union with the Latins, of the warlike nations of the West,
who may arm for our relief and for their destruction. As often as
you are threatened by the miscreants, present this danger before
their eyes. Propose a council; consult on the means; but ever
delay and avoid the convocation of an assembly, which cannot tend
either to our spiritual or temporal emolument. The Latins are
proud; the Greeks are obstinate; neither party will recede or
retract; and the attempt of a perfect union will confirm the
schism, alienate the churches, and leave us, without hope or
defence, at the mercy of the Barbarians." Impatient of this
salutary lesson, the royal youth arose from his seat, and
departed in silence; and the wise monarch (continued Phranza)
casting his eyes on me, thus resumed his discourse: "My son deems
himself a great and heroic prince; but, alas! our miserable age
does not afford scope for heroism or greatness. His daring
spirit might have suited the happier times of our ancestors; but
the present state requires not an emperor, but a cautious steward
of the last relics of our fortunes. Well do I remember the lofty
expectations which he built on our alliance with Mustapha; and
much do I fear, that this rash courage will urge the ruin of our
house, and that even religion may precipitate our downfall." Yet
the experience and authority of Manuel preserved the peace, and
eluded the council; till, in the seventy-eighth year of his age,
and in the habit of a monk, he terminated his career, dividing
his precious movables among his children and the poor, his
physicians and his favorite servants. Of his six sons, ^33
Andronicus the Second was invested with the principality of
Thessalonica, and died of a leprosy soon after the sale of that
city to the Venetians and its final conquest by the Turks. Some
fortunate incidents had restored Peloponnesus, or the Morea, to
the empire; and in his more prosperous days, Manuel had fortified
the narrow isthmus of six miles ^34 with a stone wall and one
hundred and fifty-three towers. The wall was overthrown by the
first blast of the Ottomans; the fertile peninsula might have
been sufficient for the four younger brothers, Theodore and
Constantine, Demetrius and Thomas; but they wasted in domestic
contests the remains of their strength; and the least successful
of the rivals were reduced to a life of dependence in the
Byzantine palace.

[Footnote 30: See Lenfant, Hist. du Concile de Constance, tom.
ii. p. 576; and or the ecclesiastical history of the times, the
Annals of Spondanus the Bibliotheque of Dupin, tom. xii., and
xxist and xxiid volumes of the History, or rather the
Continuation, of Fleury.]

[Footnote 31: From his early youth, George Phranza, or Phranzes,
was employed in the service of the state and palace; and Hanckius
(de Script. Byzant. P. i. c. 40) has collected his life from his
own writings. He was no more than four-and-twenty years of age
at the death of Manuel, who recommended him in the strongest
terms to his successor: Imprimis vero hunc Phranzen tibi
commendo, qui ministravit mihi fideliter et diligenter (Phranzes,
l. ii. c. i.) Yet the emperor John was cold, and he preferred the
service of the despots of Peloponnesus.]

[Footnote 32: See Phranzes, l. ii. c. 13. While so many
manuscripts of the Greek original are extant in the libraries of
Rome, Milan, the Escurial, &c., it is a matter of shame and
reproach, that we should be reduced to the Latin version, or
abstract, of James Pontanus, (ad calcem Theophylact, Simocattae:
Ingolstadt, 1604,) so deficient in accuracy and elegance,
(Fabric. Bibliot. Graec. tom. vi. p. 615 - 620.)

Note: The Greek text of Phranzes was edited by F. C. Alter
Vindobonae. It has been re-edited by Bekker for the new edition
of the Byzantines, Bonn, 1838 - M.]

[Footnote 33: See Ducange, Fam. Byzant. p. 243 - 248.]

[Footnote 34: The exact measure of the Hexamilion, from sea to
sea, was 3800 orgyiae, or toises, of six Greek feet, (Phranzes,
l. i. c. 38,) which would produce a Greek mile, still smaller
than that of 660 French toises, which is assigned by D'Anville,
as still in use in Turkey. Five miles are commonly reckoned for
the breadth of the isthmus. See the Travels of Spon, Wheeler and

The eldest of the sons of Manuel, John Palaeologus the
Second, was acknowledged, after his father's death, as the sole
emperor of the Greeks. He immediately proceeded to repudiate his
wife, and to contract a new marriage with the princess of
Trebizond: beauty was in his eyes the first qualification of an
empress; and the clergy had yielded to his firm assurance, that
unless he might be indulged in a divorce, he would retire to a
cloister, and leave the throne to his brother Constantine. The
first, and in truth the only, victory of Palaeologus, was over a
Jew, ^35 whom, after a long and learned dispute, he converted to
the Christian faith; and this momentous conquest is carefully
recorded in the history of the times. But he soon resumed the
design of uniting the East and West; and, regardless of his
father's advice, listened, as it should seem with sincerity, to
the proposal of meeting the pope in a general council beyond the
Adriatic. This dangerous project was encouraged by Martin the
Fifth, and coldly entertained by his successor Eugenius, till,
after a tedious negotiation, the emperor received a summons from
the Latin assembly of a new character, the independent prelates
of Basil, who styled themselves the representatives and judges of
the Catholic church.
[Footnote 35: The first objection of the Jews is on the death of
Christ: if it were voluntary, Christ was a suicide; which the
emperor parries with a mystery. They then dispute on the
conception of the Virgin, the sense of the prophecies, &c.,
(Phranzes, l. ii. c. 12, a whole chapter.)]
The Roman pontiff had fought and conquered in the cause of
ecclesiastical freedom; but the victorious clergy were soon
exposed to the tyranny of their deliverer; and his sacred
character was invulnerable to those arms which they found so keen
and effectual against the civil magistrate. Their great charter,
the right of election, was annihilated by appeals, evaded by
trusts or commendams, disappointed by reversionary grants, and
superseded by previous and arbitrary reservations. ^36 A public
auction was instituted in the court of Rome: the cardinals and
favorites were enriched with the spoils of nations; and every
country might complain that the most important and valuable
benefices were accumulated on the heads of aliens and absentees.
During their residence at Avignon, the ambition of the popes
subsided in the meaner passions of avarice ^37 and luxury: they
rigorously imposed on the clergy the tributes of first-fruits and
tenths; but they freely tolerated the impunity of vice, disorder,
and corruption. These manifold scandals were aggravated by the
great schism of the West, which continued above fifty years. In
the furious conflicts of Rome and Avignon, the vices of the
rivals were mutually exposed; and their precarious situation
degraded their authority, relaxed their discipline, and
multiplied their wants and exactions. To heal the wounds, and
restore the monarchy, of the church, the synods of Pisa and
Constance ^38 were successively convened; but these great
assemblies, conscious of their strength, resolved to vindicate
the privileges of the Christian aristocracy. From a personal
sentence against two pontiffs, whom they rejected, and a third,
their acknowledged sovereign, whom they deposed, the fathers of
Constance proceeded to examine the nature and limits of the Roman
supremacy; nor did they separate till they had established the
authority, above the pope, of a general council. It was enacted,
that, for the government and reformation of the church, such
assemblies should be held at regular intervals; and that each
synod, before its dissolution, should appoint the time and place
of the subsequent meeting. By the influence of the court of Rome,
the next convocation at Sienna was easily eluded; but the bold
and vigorous proceedings of the council of Basil ^39 had almost
been fatal to the reigning pontiff, Eugenius the Fourth. A just
suspicion of his design prompted the fathers to hasten the
promulgation of their first decree, that the representatives of
the church-militant on earth were invested with a divine and
spiritual jurisdiction over all Christians, without excepting the
pope; and that a general council could not be dissolved,
prorogued, or transferred, unless by their free deliberation and
consent. On the notice that Eugenius had fulminated a bull for
that purpose, they ventured to summon, to admonish, to threaten,
to censure the contumacious successor of St. Peter. After many
delays, to allow time for repentance, they finally declared,
that, unless he submitted within the term of sixty days, he was
suspended from the exercise of all temporal and ecclesiastical
authority. And to mark their jurisdiction over the prince as
well as the priest, they assumed the government of Avignon,
annulled the alienation of the sacred patrimony, and protected
Rome from the imposition of new taxes. Their boldness was
justified, not only by the general opinion of the clergy, but by
the support and power of the first monarchs of Christendom: the
emperor Sigismond declared himself the servant and protector of
the synod; Germany and France adhered to their cause; the duke of
Milan was the enemy of Eugenius; and he was driven from the
Vatican by an insurrection of the Roman people. Rejected at the
same time by temporal and spiritual subjects, submission was his
only choice: by a most humiliating bull, the pope repealed his
own acts, and ratified those of the council; incorporated his
legates and cardinals with that venerable body; and seemed to
resign himself to the decrees of the supreme legislature. Their
fame pervaded the countries of the East: and it was in their
presence that Sigismond received the ambassadors of the Turkish
sultan, ^40 who laid at his feet twelve large vases, filled with
robes of silk and pieces of gold. The fathers of Basil aspired
to the glory of reducing the Greeks, as well as the Bohemians,
within the pale of the church; and their deputies invited the
emperor and patriarch of Constantinople to unite with an assembly
which possessed the confidence of the Western nations.
Palaeologus was not averse to the proposal; and his ambassadors
were introduced with due honors into the Catholic senate. But
the choice of the place appeared to be an insuperable obstacle,
since he refused to pass the Alps, or the sea of Sicily, and
positively required that the synod should be adjourned to some
convenient city in Italy, or at least on the Danube. The other
articles of this treaty were more readily stipulated: it was
agreed to defray the travelling expenses of the emperor, with a
train of seven hundred persons, ^41 to remit an immediate sum of
eight thousand ducats ^42 for the accommodation of the Greek
clergy; and in his absence to grant a supply of ten thousand
ducats, with three hundred archers and some galleys, for the
protection of Constantinople. The city of Avignon advanced the
funds for the preliminary expenses; and the embarkation was
prepared at Marseilles with some difficulty and delay.
[Footnote 36: In the treatise delle Materie Beneficiarie of Fra
Paolo, (in the ivth volume of the last, and best, edition of his
works,) the papal system is deeply studied and freely described.
Should Rome and her religion be annihilated, this golden volume
may still survive, a philosophical history, and a salutary

[Footnote 37: Pope John XXII. (in 1334) left behind him, at
Avignon, eighteen millions of gold florins, and the value of
seven millions more in plate and jewels. See the Chronicle of
John Villani, (l. xi. c. 20, in Muratori's Collection, tom. xiii.
p. 765,) whose brother received the account from the papal
treasurers. A treasure of six or eight millions sterling in the
xivth century is enormous, and almost incredible.]

[Footnote 38: A learned and liberal Protestant, M. Lenfant, has
given a fair history of the councils of Pisa, Constance, and
Basil, in six volumes in quarto; but the last part is the most
hasty and imperfect, except in the account of the troubles of

[Footnote 39: The original acts or minutes of the council of
Basil are preserved in the public library, in twelve volumes in
folio. Basil was a free city, conveniently situate on the Rhine,
and guarded by the arms of the neighboring and confederate Swiss.

In 1459, the university was founded by Pope Pius II., (Aeneas
Sylvius,) who had been secretary to the council. But what is a
council, or a university, to the presses o Froben and the studies
of Erasmus?]

[Footnote 40: This Turkish embassy, attested only by Crantzius,
is related with some doubt by the annalist Spondanus, A.D. 1433,
No. 25, tom. i. p. 824]
[Footnote 41: Syropulus, p. 19. In this list, the Greeks appear
to have exceeded the real numbers of the clergy and laity which
afterwards attended the emperor and patriarch, but which are not
clearly specified by the great ecclesiarch. The 75,000 florins
which they asked in this negotiation of the pope, (p. 9,) were
more than they could hope or want.]

[Footnote 42: I use indifferently the words ducat and florin,
which derive their names, the former from the dukes of Milan, the
latter from the republic of Florence. These gold pieces, the
first that were coined in Italy, perhaps in the Latin world, may
be compared in weight and value to one third of the English

In his distress, the friendship of Palaeologus was disputed

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