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The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

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by the ecclesiastical powers of the West; but the dexterous
activity of a monarch prevailed over the slow debates and
inflexible temper of a republic. The decrees of Basil
continually tended to circumscribe the despotism of the pope, and
to erect a supreme and perpetual tribunal in the church.
Eugenius was impatient of the yoke; and the union of the Greeks
might afford a decent pretence for translating a rebellious synod
from the Rhine to the Po. The independence of the fathers was
lost if they passed the Alps: Savoy or Avignon, to which they
acceded with reluctance, were described at Constantinople as
situate far beyond the pillars of Hercules; ^43 the emperor and
his clergy were apprehensive of the dangers of a long navigation;
they were offended by a haughty declaration, that after
suppressing the new heresy of the Bohemians, the council would
soon eradicate the old heresy of the Greeks. ^44 On the side of
Eugenius, all was smooth, and yielding, and respectful; and he
invited the Byzantine monarch to heal by his presence the schism
of the Latin, as well as of the Eastern, church. Ferrara, near
the coast of the Adriatic, was proposed for their amicable
interview; and with some indulgence of forgery and theft, a
surreptitious decree was procured, which transferred the synod,
with its own consent, to that Italian city. Nine galleys were
equipped for the service at Venice, and in the Isle of Candia;
their diligence anticipated the slower vessels of Basil: the
Roman admiral was commissioned to burn, sink, and destroy; ^45
and these priestly squadrons might have encountered each other in
the same seas where Athens and Sparta had formerly contended for
the preeminence of glory. Assaulted by the importunity of the
factions, who were ready to fight for the possession of his
person, Palaeologus hesitated before he left his palace and
country on a perilous experiment. His father's advice still
dwelt on his memory; and reason must suggest, that since the
Latins were divided among themselves, they could never unite in a
foreign cause. Sigismond dissuaded the unreasonable adventure;
his advice was impartial, since he adhered to the council; and it
was enforced by the strange belief, that the German Caesar would
nominate a Greek his heir and successor in the empire of the
West. ^46 Even the Turkish sultan was a counsellor whom it might
be unsafe to trust, but whom it was dangerous to offend. Amurath
was unskilled in the disputes, but he was apprehensive of the
union, of the Christians. From his own treasures, he offered to
relieve the wants of the Byzantine court; yet he declared with
seeming magnanimity, that Constantinople should be secure and
inviolate, in the absence of her sovereign. ^47 The resolution of
Palaeologus was decided by the most splendid gifts and the most
specious promises: he wished to escape for a while from a scene
of danger and distress and after dismissing with an ambiguous
answer the messengers of the council, he declared his intention
of embarking in the Roman galleys. The age of the patriarch
Joseph was more susceptible of fear than of hope; he trembled at
the perils of the sea, and expressed his apprehension, that his
feeble voice, with thirty perhaps of his orthodox brethren, would
be oppressed in a foreign land by the power and numbers of a
Latin synod. He yielded to the royal mandate, to the flattering
assurance, that he would be heard as the oracle of nations, and
to the secret wish of learning from his brother of the West, to
deliver the church from the yoke of kings. ^48 The five
cross-bearers, or dignitaries, of St.Sophia, were bound to attend
his person; and one of these, the great ecclesiarch or preacher,
Sylvester Syropulus, ^49 has composed a free and curious history
^50 of the false union. ^51 Of the clergy that reluctantly obeyed
the summons of the emperor and the patriarch, submission was the
first duty, and patience the most useful virtue. In a chosen list
of twenty bishops, we discover the metropolitan titles of
Heracleae and Cyzicus, Nice and Nicomedia, Ephesus and Trebizond,
and the personal merit of Mark and Bessarion who, in the
confidence of their learning and eloquence, were promoted to the
episcopal rank. Some monks and philosophers were named to
display the science and sanctity of the Greek church; and the
service of the choir was performed by a select band of singers
and musicians. The patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and
Jerusalem, appeared by their genuine or fictitious deputies; the
primate of Russia represented a national church, and the Greeks
might contend with the Latins in the extent of their spiritual
empire. The precious vases of St. Sophia were exposed to the
winds and waves, that the patriarch might officiate with becoming
splendor: whatever gold the emperor could procure, was expended
in the massy ornaments of his bed and chariot; ^52 and while they
affected to maintain the prosperity of their ancient fortune,
they quarrelled for the division of fifteen thousand ducats, the
first alms of the Roman pontiff. After the necessary
preparations, John Palaeologus, with a numerous train,
accompanied by his brother Demetrius, and the most respectable
persons of the church and state, embarked in eight vessels with
sails and oars which steered through the Turkish Straits of
Gallipoli to the Archipelago, the Morea, and the Adriatic Gulf.

[Footnote 43: At the end of the Latin version of Phranzes, we
read a long Greek epistle or declamation of George of Trebizond,
who advises the emperor to prefer Eugenius and Italy. He treats
with contempt the schismatic assembly of Basil, the Barbarians of
Gaul and Germany, who had conspired to transport the chair of St.
Peter beyond the Alps. Was Constantinople unprovided with a map?]

[Footnote 44: Syropulus (p. 26 - 31) attests his own indignation,
and that of his countrymen; and the Basil deputies, who excused
the rash declaration, could neither deny nor alter an act of the

[Footnote 45: The naval orders of the synod were less peremptory,
and, till the hostile squadrons appeared, both parties tried to
conceal their quarrel from the Greeks.]

[Footnote 46: Syropulus mentions the hopes of Palaeologus, (p.
36,) and the last advice of Sigismond,(p. 57.) At Corfu, the
Greek emperor was informed of his friend's death; had he known it
sooner, he would have returned home,(p. 79.)]

[Footnote 47: Phranzes himself, though from different motives,
was of the advice of Amurath, (l. ii. c. 13.) Utinam ne synodus
ista unquam fuisset, si tantes offensiones et detrimenta paritura
erat. This Turkish embassy is likewise mentioned by Syropulus,
(p. 58;) and Amurath kept his word. He might threaten, (p. 125,
219,) but he never attacked, the city.]
[Footnote 48: The reader will smile at the simplicity with which
he imparted these hopes to his favorites (p. 92.) Yet it would
have been difficult for him to have practised the lessons of
Gregory VII.]

[Footnote 49: The Christian name of Sylvester is borrowed from
the Latin calendar. In modern Greek, as a diminutive, is added
to the end of words: nor can any reasoning of Creyghton, the
editor, excuse his changing into Sguropulus, (Sguros, fuscus,)
the Syropulus of his own manuscript, whose name is subscribed
with his own hand in the acts of the council of Florence. Why
might not the author be of Syrian extraction?]

[Footnote 50: From the conclusion of the history, I should fix
the date to the year 1444, four years after the synod, when great
ecclesiarch had abdicated his office, (section xii. p. 330 -
350.) His passions were cooled by time and retirement; and,
although Syropulus is often partial, he is never intemperate.]

[Footnote 51: Vera historia unionis non veroe inter Graecos et
Latinos, (Hagae Comitis, 1660, in folio,) was first published
with a loose and florid version, by Robert Creyghton, chaplain to
Charles II. in his exile. The zeal of the editor has prefixed a
polemic title, for the beginning of the original is wanting.
Syropulus may be ranked with the best of the Byzantine writers
for the merit of his narration, and even of his style; but he is
excluded from the orthodox collections of the councils.]

[Footnote 52: Syropulus (p. 63) simply expresses his intention;
and the Latin of Creyghton may afford a specimen of his florid
paraphrase. Ut pompa circumductus noster Imperator Italiae
populis aliquis deauratus Jupiter crederetur, aut Croesus ex
opulenta Lydia.]

[Footnote 53: Although I cannot stop to quote Syropulus for every
fact, I will observe that the navigation of the Greeks from
Constantinople to Venice and Ferrara is contained in the ivth
section, (p. 67 - 100,) and that the historian has the uncommon
talent of placing each scene before the reader's eye.]

Chapter LXVI: Union Of The Greek And Latin Churches.

Part III.

After a tedious and troublesome navigation of seventy-seven
days, this religious squadron cast anchor before Venice; and
their reception proclaimed the joy and magnificence of that
powerful republic. In the command of the world, the modest
Augustus had never claimed such honors from his subjects as were
paid to his feeble successor by an independent state. Seated on
the poop on a lofty throne, he received the visit, or, in the
Greek style, the adoration of the doge and senators. ^54 They
sailed in the Bucentaur, which was accompanied by twelve stately
galleys: the sea was overspread with innumerable gondolas of pomp
and pleasure; the air resounded with music and acclamations; the
mariners, and even the vessels, were dressed in silk and gold;
and in all the emblems and pageants, the Roman eagles were
blended with the lions of St. Mark. The triumphal procession,
ascending the great canal, passed under the bridge of the Rialto;
and the Eastern strangers gazed with admiration on the palaces,
the churches, and the populousness of a city, that seems to float
on the bosom of the waves. ^55 They sighed to behold the spoils
and trophies with which it had been decorated after the sack of
Constantinople. After a hospitable entertainment of fifteen
days, Palaeologus pursued his journey by land and water from
Venice to Ferrara; and on this occasion the pride of the Vatican
was tempered by policy to indulge the ancient dignity of the
emperor of the East. He made his entry on a black horse; but a
milk-white steed, whose trappings were embroidered with golden
eagles, was led before him; and the canopy was borne over his
head by the princes of Este, the sons or kinsmen of Nicholas,
marquis of the city, and a sovereign more powerful than himself.
^56 Palaeologus did not alight till he reached the bottom of the
staircase: the pope advanced to the door of the apartment;
refused his proffered genuflection; and, after a paternal
embrace, conducted the emperor to a seat on his left hand. Nor
would the patriarch descend from his galley, till a ceremony
almost equal, had been stipulated between the bishops of Rome and
Constantinople. The latter was saluted by his brother with a
kiss of union and charity; nor would any of the Greek
ecclesiastics submit to kiss the feet of the Western primate. On
the opening of the synod, the place of honor in the centre was
claimed by the temporal and ecclesiastical chiefs; and it was
only by alleging that his predecessors had not assisted in person
at Nice or Chalcedon, that Eugenius could evade the ancient
precedents of Constantine and Marcian. After much debate, it was
agreed that the right and left sides of the church should be
occupied by the two nations; that the solitary chair of St. Peter
should be raised the first of the Latin line; and that the throne
of the Greek emperor, at the head of his clergy, should be equal
and opposite to the second place, the vacant seat of the emperor
of the West. ^57

[Footnote 54: At the time of the synod, Phranzes was in
Peloponnesus: but he received from the despot Demetrius a
faithful account of the honorable reception of the emperor and
patriarch both at Venice and Ferrara, (Dux . . . . sedentem
Imperatorem adorat,) which are more slightly mentioned by the
Latins, (l. ii. c. 14, 15, 16.)]

[Footnote 55: The astonishment of a Greek prince and a French
ambassador (Memoires de Philippe de Comines, l. vii. c. 18,) at
the sight of Venice, abundantly proves that in the xvth century
it was the first and most splendid of the Christian cities. For
the spoils of Constantinople at Venice, see Syropulus, (p. 87.)]

[Footnote 56: Nicholas III. of Este reigned forty-eight years,
(A.D. 1393 - 1441,) and was lord of Ferrara, Modena, Reggio,
Parma, Rovigo, and Commachio. See his Life in Muratori,
(Antichita Estense, tom. ii. p. 159 - 201.)]
[Footnote 57: The Latin vulgar was provoked to laughter at the
strange dresses of the Greeks, and especially the length of their
garments, their sleeves, and their beards; nor was the emperor
distinguished, except by the purple color, and his diadem or
tiara, with a jewel on the top, (Hody de Graecis Illustribus, p.
31.) Yet another spectator confesses that the Greek fashion was
piu grave e piu degna than the Italian. (Vespasiano in Vit.
Eugen. IV. in Muratori, tom. xxv. p. 261.)]

But as soon as festivity and form had given place to a more
serious treaty, the Greeks were dissatisfied with their journey,
with themselves, and with the pope. The artful pencil of his
emissaries had painted him in a prosperous state; at the head of
the princes and prelates of Europe, obedient at his voice, to
believe and to arm. The thin appearance of the universal synod
of Ferrara betrayed his weakness: and the Latins opened the first
session with only five archbishops, eighteen bishops, and ten
abbots, the greatest part of whom were the subjects or countrymen
of the Italian pontiff. Except the duke of Burgundy, none of the
potentates of the West condescended to appear in person, or by
their ambassadors; nor was it possible to suppress the judicial
acts of Basil against the dignity and person of Eugenius, which
were finally concluded by a new election. Under these
circumstances, a truce or delay was asked and granted, till
Palaeologus could expect from the consent of the Latins some
temporal reward for an unpopular union; and after the first
session, the public proceedings were adjourned above six months.
The emperor, with a chosen band of his favorites and Janizaries,
fixed his summer residence at a pleasant, spacious monastery, six
miles from Ferrara; forgot, in the pleasures of the chase, the
distress of the church and state; and persisted in destroying the
game, without listening to the just complaints of the marquis or
the husbandman. ^58 In the mean while, his unfortunate Greeks
were exposed to all the miseries of exile and poverty; for the
support of each stranger, a monthly allowance was assigned of
three or four gold florins; and although the entire sum did not
amount to seven hundred florins, a long arrear was repeatedly
incurred by the indigence or policy of the Roman court. ^59 They
sighed for a speedy deliverance, but their escape was prevented
by a triple chain: a passport from their superiors was required
at the gates of Ferrara; the government of Venice had engaged to
arrest and send back the fugitives; and inevitable punishment
awaited them at Constantinople; excommunication, fines, and a
sentence, which did not respect the sacerdotal dignity, that they
should be stripped naked and publicly whipped. ^60 It was only by
the alternative of hunger or dispute that the Greeks could be
persuaded to open the first conference; and they yielded with
extreme reluctance to attend from Ferrara to Florence the rear of
a flying synod. This new translation was urged by inevitable
necessity: the city was visited by the plague; the fidelity of
the marquis might be suspected; the mercenary troops of the duke
of Milan were at the gates; and as they occupied Romagna, it was
not without difficulty and danger that the pope, the emperor, and
the bishops, explored their way through the unfrequented paths of
the Apennine. ^61
[Footnote 58: For the emperor's hunting, see Syropulus, (p. 143,
144, 191.) The pope had sent him eleven miserable hacks; but he
bought a strong and swift horse that came from Russia. The name
of Janizaries may surprise; but the name, rather than the
institution, had passed from the Ottoman, to the Byzantine,
court, and is often used in the last age of the empire.]
[Footnote 59: The Greeks obtained, with much difficulty, that
instead of provisions, money should be distributed, four florins
per month to the persons of honorable rank, and three florins to
their servants, with an addition of thirty more to the emperor,
twenty-five to the patriarch, and twenty to the prince, or
despot, Demetrius. The payment of the first month amounted to
691 florins, a sum which will not allow us to reckon above 200
Greeks of every condition. (Syropulus, p. 104, 105.) On the 20th
October, 1438, there was an arrear of four months; in April,
1439, of three; and of five and a half in July, at the time of
the union, (p. 172, 225, 271.)]

[Footnote 60: Syropulus (p. 141, 142, 204, 221) deplores the
imprisonment of the Greeks, and the tyranny of the emperor and
[Footnote 61: The wars of Italy are most clearly represented in
the xiiith vol. of the Annals of Muratori. The schismatic Greek,
Syropulus, (p. 145,) appears to have exaggerated the fear and
disorder of the pope in his his retreat from Ferrara to Florence,
which is proved by the acts to have been somewhat more decent and

Yet all these obstacles were surmounted by time and policy.
The violence of the fathers of Basil rather promoted than injured
the cause of Eugenius; the nations of Europe abhorred the schism,
and disowned the election, of Felix the Fifth, who was
successively a duke of Savoy, a hermit, and a pope; and the great
princes were gradually reclaimed by his competitor to a favorable
neutrality and a firm attachment. The legates, with some
respectable members, deserted to the Roman army, which insensibly
rose in numbers and reputation; the council of Basil was reduced
to thirty-nine bishops, and three hundred of the inferior clergy;
^62 while the Latins of Florence could produce the subscriptions
of the pope himself, eight cardinals, two patriarchs, eight
archbishops, fifty two bishops, and forty- five abbots, or chiefs
of religious orders. After the labor of nine months, and the
debates of twenty-five sessions, they attained the advantage and
glory of the reunion of the Greeks. Four principal questions had
been agitated between the two churches; 1. The use of unleaven
bread in the communion of Christ's body. 2. The nature of
purgatory. 3. The supremacy of the pope. And, 4. The single or
double procession of the Holy Ghost. The cause of either nation
was managed by ten theological champions: the Latins were
supported by the inexhaustible eloquence of Cardinal Julian; and
Mark of Ephesus and Bessarion of Nice were the bold and able
leaders of the Greek forces. We may bestow some praise on the
progress of human reason, by observing that the first of these
questions was now treated as an immaterial rite, which might
innocently vary with the fashion of the age and country. With
regard to the second, both parties were agreed in the belief of
an intermediate state of purgation for the venial sins of the
faithful; and whether their souls were purified by elemental fire
was a doubtful point, which in a few years might be conveniently
settled on the spot by the disputants. The claims of supremacy
appeared of a more weighty and substantial kind; yet by the
Orientals the Roman bishop had ever been respected as the first
of the five patriarchs; nor did they scruple to admit, that his
jurisdiction should be exercised agreeably to the holy canons; a
vague allowance, which might be defined or eluded by occasional
convenience. The procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father
alone, or from the Father and the Son, was an article of faith
which had sunk much deeper into the minds of men; and in the
sessions of Ferrara and Florence, the Latin addition of filioque
was subdivided into two questions, whether it were legal, and
whether it were orthodox. Perhaps it may not be necessary to
boast on this subject of my own impartial indifference; but I
must think that the Greeks were strongly supported by the
prohibition of the council of Chalcedon, against adding any
article whatsoever to the creed of Nice, or rather of
Constantinople. ^63 In earthly affairs, it is not easy to
conceive how an assembly equal of legislators can bind their
successors invested with powers equal to their own. But the
dictates of inspiration must be true and unchangeable; nor should
a private bishop, or a provincial synod, have presumed to
innovate against the judgment of the Catholic church. On the
substance of the doctrine, the controversy was equal and endless:
reason is confounded by the procession of a deity: the gospel,
which lay on the altar, was silent; the various texts of the
fathers might be corrupted by fraud or entangled by sophistry;
and the Greeks were ignorant of the characters and writings of
the Latin saints. ^64 Of this at least we may be sure, that
neither side could be convinced by the arguments of their
opponents. Prejudice may be enlightened by reason, and a
superficial glance may be rectified by a clear and more perfect
view of an object adapted to our faculties. But the bishops and
monks had been taught from their infancy to repeat a form of
mysterious words: their national and personal honor depended on
the repetition of the same sounds; and their narrow minds were
hardened and inflamed by the acrimony of a public dispute.
[Footnote 62: Syropulus is pleased to reckon seven hundred
prelates in the council of Basil. The error is manifest, and
perhaps voluntary. That extravagant number could not be supplied
by all the ecclesiastics of every degree who were present at the
council, nor by all the absent bishops of the West, who,
expressly or tacitly, might adhere to its decrees.]
[Footnote 63: The Greeks, who disliked the union, were unwilling
to sally from this strong fortress, (p. 178, 193, 195, 202, of
Syropulus.) The shame of the Latins was aggravated by their
producing an old MS. of the second council of Nice, with filioque
in the Nicene creed. A palpable forgery! (p. 173.)]
[Footnote 64: (Syropulus, p. 109.) See the perplexity of the
Greeks, (p. 217, 218, 252, 253, 273.)]

While they were most in a cloud of dust and darkness, the
Pope and emperor were desirous of a seeming union, which could
alone accomplish the purposes of their interview; and the
obstinacy of public dispute was softened by the arts of private
and personal negotiation. The patriarch Joseph had sunk under
the weight of age and infirmities; his dying voice breathed the
counsels of charity and concord, and his vacant benefice might
tempt the hopes of the ambitious clergy. The ready and active
obedience of the archbishops of Russia and Nice, of Isidore and
Bessarion, was prompted and recompensed by their speedy promotion
to the dignity of cardinals. Bessarion, in the first debates, had
stood forth the most strenuous and eloquent champion of the Greek
church; and if the apostate, the bastard, was reprobated by his
country, ^65 he appears in ecclesiastical story a rare example of
a patriot who was recommended to court favor by loud opposition
and well-timed compliance. With the aid of his two spiritual
coadjutors, the emperor applied his arguments to the general
situation and personal characters of the bishops, and each was
successively moved by authority and example. Their revenues were
in the hands of the Turks, their persons in those of the Latins:
an episcopal treasure, three robes and forty ducats, was soon
exhausted: ^66 the hopes of their return still depended on the
ships of Venice and the alms of Rome; and such was their
indigence, that their arrears, the payment of a debt, would be
accepted as a favor, and might operate as a bribe. ^67 The danger
and relief of Constantinople might excuse some prudent and pious
dissimulation; and it was insinuated, that the obstinate heretics
who should resist the consent of the East and West would be
abandoned in a hostile land to the revenge or justice of the
Roman pontiff. ^68 In the first private assembly of the Greeks,
the formulary of union was approved by twenty-four, and rejected
by twelve, members; but the five cross-bearers of St. Sophia, who
aspired to represent the patriarch, were disqualified by ancient
discipline; and their right of voting was transferred to the
obsequious train of monks, grammarians, and profane laymen. The
will of the monarch produced a false and servile unanimity, and
no more than two patriots had courage to speak their own
sentiments and those of their country. Demetrius, the emperor's
brother, retired to Venice, that he might not be witness of the
union; and Mark of Ephesus, mistaking perhaps his pride for his
conscience, disclaimed all communion with the Latin heretics, and
avowed himself the champion and confessor of the orthodox creed.
^69 In the treaty between the two nations, several forms of
consent were proposed, such as might satisfy the Latins, without
dishonoring the Greeks; and they weighed the scruples of words
and syllables, till the theological balance trembled with a
slight preponderance in favor of the Vatican. It was agreed (I
must entreat the attention of the reader) that the Holy Ghost
proceeds from the Father and the Son, as from one principle and
one substance; that he proceeds by the Son, being of the same
nature and substance, and that he proceeds from the Father and
the Son, by one spiration and production. It is less difficult
to understand the articles of the preliminary treaty; that the
pope should defray all the expenses of the Greeks in their return
home; that he should annually maintain two galleys and three
hundred soldiers for the defence of Constantinople: that all the
ships which transported pilgrims to Jerusalem should be obliged
to touch at that port; that as often as they were required, the
pope should furnish ten galleys for a year, or twenty for six
months; and that he should powerfully solicit the princes of
Europe, if the emperor had occasion for land forces.
[Footnote 65: See the polite altercation of Marc and Bessarion in
Syropulus, (p. 257,) who never dissembles the vices of his own
party, and fairly praises the virtues of the Latins.]

[Footnote 66: For the poverty of the Greek bishops, see a
remarkable passage of Ducas, (c. 31.) One had possessed, for his
whole property, three old gowns, &c. By teaching one-and-twenty
years in his monastery, Bessarion himself had collected forty
gold florins; but of these, the archbishop had expended
twenty-eight in his voyage from Peloponnesus, and the remainder
at Constantinople, (Syropulus, p. 127.)]

[Footnote 67: Syropulus denies that the Greeks received any money
before they had subscribed the art of union, (p. 283:) yet he
relates some suspicious circumstances; and their bribery and
corruption are positively affirmed by the historian Ducas.]

[Footnote 68: The Greeks most piteously express their own fears
of exile and perpetual slavery, (Syropul. p. 196;) and they were
strongly moved by the emperor's threats, (p. 260.)]

[Footnote 69: I had forgot another popular and orthodox
protester: a favorite bound, who usually lay quiet on the
foot-cloth of the emperor's throne but who barked most furiously
while the act of union was reading without being silenced by the
soothing or the lashes of the royal attendants, (Syropul. p. 265,

The same year, and almost the same day, were marked by the
deposition of Eugenius at Basil; and, at Florence, by his reunion
of the Greeks and Latins. In the former synod, (which he styled
indeed an assembly of daemons,) the pope was branded with the
guilt of simony, perjury, tyranny, heresy, and schism; ^70 and
declared to be incorrigible in his vices, unworthy of any title,
and incapable of holding any ecclesiastical office. In the
latter, he was revered as the true and holy vicar of Christ, who,
after a separation of six hundred years, had reconciled the
Catholics of the East and West in one fold, and under one
shepherd. The act of union was subscribed by the pope, the
emperor, and the principal members of both churches; even by
those who, like Syropulus, ^71 had been deprived of the right of
voting. Two copies might have sufficed for the East and West;
but Eugenius was not satisfied, unless four authentic and similar
transcripts were signed and attested as the monuments of his
victory. ^72 On a memorable day, the sixth of July, the
successors of St. Peter and Constantine ascended their thrones
the two nations assembled in the cathedral of Florence; their
representatives, Cardinal Julian and Bessarion archbishop of
Nice, appeared in the pulpit, and, after reading in their
respective tongues the act of union, they mutually embraced, in
the name and the presence of their applauding brethren. The pope
and his ministers then officiated according to the Roman liturgy;
the creed was chanted with the addition of filioque; the
acquiescence of the Greeks was poorly excused by their ignorance
of the harmonious, but inarticulate sounds; ^73 and the more
scrupulous Latins refused any public celebration of the Byzantine
rite. Yet the emperor and his clergy were not totally unmindful
of national honor. The treaty was ratified by their consent: it
was tacitly agreed that no innovation should be attempted in
their creed or ceremonies: they spared, and secretly respected,
the generous firmness of Mark of Ephesus; and, on the decease of
the patriarch, they refused to elect his successor, except in the
cathedral of St. Sophia. In the distribution of public and
private rewards, the liberal pontiff exceeded their hopes and his
promises: the Greeks, with less pomp and pride, returned by the
same road of Ferrara and Venice; and their reception at
Constantinople was such as will be described in the following
chapter. ^74 The success of the first trial encouraged Eugenius
to repeat the same edifying scenes; and the deputies of the
Armenians, the Maronites, the Jacobites of Syria and Egypt, the
Nestorians and the Aethiopians, were successively introduced, to
kiss the feet of the Roman pontiff, and to announce the obedience
and the orthodoxy of the East. These Oriental embassies, unknown
in the countries which they presumed to represent, ^75 diffused
over the West the fame of Eugenius; and a clamor was artfully
propagated against the remnant of a schism in Switzerland and
Savoy, which alone impeded the harmony of the Christian world.
The vigor of opposition was succeeded by the lassitude of
despair: the council of Basil was silently dissolved; and Felix,
renouncing the tiara, again withdrew to the devout or delicious
hermitage of Ripaille. ^76 A general peace was secured by mutual
acts of oblivion and indemnity: all ideas of reformation
subsided; the popes continued to exercise and abuse their
ecclesiastical despotism; nor has Rome been since disturbed by
the mischiefs of a contested election. ^77

[Footnote 70: From the original Lives of the Popes, in Muratori's
Collection, (tom. iii. p. ii. tom. xxv.,) the manners of Eugenius
IV. appear to have been decent, and even exemplary. His
situation, exposed to the world and to his enemies, was a
restraint, and is a pledge.]

[Footnote 71: Syropulus, rather than subscribe, would have
assisted, as the least evil, at the ceremony of the union. He
was compelled to do both; and the great ecclesiarch poorly
excuses his submission to the emperor, (p. 290 - 292.)]

[Footnote 72: None of these original acts of union can at present
be produced. Of the ten MSS. that are preserved, (five at Rome,
and the remainder at Florence, Bologna, Venice, Paris, and
London,) nine have been examined by an accurate critic, (M. de
Brequigny,) who condemns them for the variety and imperfections
of the Greek signatures. Yet several of these may be esteemed as
authentic copies, which were subscribed at Florence, before (26th
of August, 1439) the final separation of the pope and emperor,
(Memoires de l'Academie des Inscriptions, tom. xliii. p. 287 -

[Footnote 73: (Syropul. p. 297.)]

[Footnote 74: In their return, the Greeks conversed at Bologna
with the ambassadors of England: and after some questions and
answers, these impartial strangers laughed at the pretended union
of Florence, (Syropul. p. 307.)]
[Footnote 75: So nugatory, or rather so fabulous, are these
reunions of the Nestorians, Jacobites, &c., that I have turned
over, without success, the Bibliotheca Orientalis of Assemannus,
a faithful slave of the Vatican.]
[Footnote 76: Ripaille is situate near Thonon in Savoy, on the
southern side of the Lake of Geneva. It is now a Carthusian
abbey; and Mr. Addison (Travels into Italy, vol. ii. p. 147, 148,
of Baskerville's edition of his works) has celebrated the place
and the founder. Aeneas Sylvius, and the fathers of Basil,
applaud the austere life of the ducal hermit; but the French and
Italian proverbs most unluckily attest the popular opinion of his
[Footnote 77: In this account of the councils of Basil, Ferrara,
and Florence, I have consulted the original acts, which fill the
xviith and xviiith tome of the edition of Venice, and are closed
by the perspicuous, though partial, history of Augustin
Patricius, an Italian of the xvth century. They are digested and
abridged by Dupin, (Bibliotheque Eccles. tom. xii.,) and the
continuator of Fleury, (tom. xxii.;) and the respect of the
Gallican church for the adverse parties confines their members to
an awkward moderation.]
The journeys of three emperors were unavailing for their
temporal, or perhaps their spiritual, salvation; but they were
productive of a beneficial consequence - the revival of the Greek
learning in Italy, from whence it was propagated to the last
nations of the West and North. In their lowest servitude and
depression, the subjects of the Byzantine throne were still
possessed of a golden key that could unlock the treasures of
antiquity; of a musical and prolific language, that gives a soul
to the objects of sense, and a body to the abstractions of
philosophy. Since the barriers of the monarchy, and even of the
capital, had been trampled under foot, the various Barbarians had
doubtless corrupted the form and substance of the national
dialect; and ample glossaries have been composed, to interpret a
multitude of words, of Arabic, Turkish, Sclavonian, Latin, or
French origin. ^78 But a purer idiom was spoken in the court and
taught in the college; and the flourishing state of the language
is described, and perhaps embellished, by a learned Italian, ^79
who, by a long residence and noble marriage, ^80 was naturalized
at Constantinople about thirty years before the Turkish conquest.
"The vulgar speech," says Philelphus, ^81 "has been depraved by
the people, and infected by the multitude of strangers and
merchants, who every day flock to the city and mingle with the
inhabitants. It is from the disciples of such a school that the
Latin language received the versions of Aristotle and Plato; so
obscure in sense, and in spirit so poor. But the Greeks who have
escaped the contagion, are those whom we follow; and they alone
are worthy of our imitation. In familiar discourse, they still
speak the tongue of Aristophanes and Euripides, of the historians
and philosophers of Athens; and the style of their writings is
still more elaborate and correct. The persons who, by their
birth and offices, are attached to the Byzantine court, are those
who maintain, with the least alloy, the ancient standard of
elegance and purity; and the native graces of language most
conspicuously shine among the noble matrons, who are excluded
from all intercourse with foreigners. With foreigners do I say?
They live retired and sequestered from the eyes of their
fellow-citizens. Seldom are they seen in the streets; and when
they leave their houses, it is in the dusk of evening, on visits
to the churches and their nearest kindred. On these occasions,
they are on horseback, covered with a veil, and encompassed by
their parents, their husbands, or their servants." ^82

[Footnote 78: In the first attempt, Meursius collected 3600
Graeco-barbarous words, to which, in a second edition, he
subjoined 1800 more; yet what plenteous gleanings did he leave to
Portius, Ducange, Fabrotti, the Bollandists, &c.! (Fabric.
Bibliot. Graec. tom. x. p. 101, &c.) Some Persic words may be
found in Xenophon, and some Latin ones in Plutarch; and such is
the inevitable effect of war and commerce; but the form and
substance of the language were not affected by this slight

[Footnote 79: The life of Francis Philelphus, a sophist, proud,
restless, and rapacious, has been diligently composed by Lancelot
(Memoires de l'Academie des Inscriptions, tom. x. p. 691 - 751)
(Istoria della Letteratura Italiana, tom. vii. p. 282 - 294,) for
the most part from his own letters. His elaborate writings, and
those of his contemporaries, are forgotten; but their familiar
epistles still describe the men and the times.]

[Footnote 80: He married, and had perhaps debauched, the daughter
of John, and the granddaughter of Manuel Chrysoloras. She was
young, beautiful, and wealthy; and her noble family was allied to
the Dorias of Genoa and the emperors of Constantinople.]

[Footnote 81: Graeci quibus lingua depravata non sit . . . . ita
loquuntur vulgo hac etiam tempestate ut Aristophanes comicus, aut
Euripides tragicus, ut oratores omnes, ut historiographi, ut
philosophi . . . . litterati autem homines et doctius et
emendatius . . . . Nam viri aulici veterem sermonis dignitatem
atque elegantiam retinebant in primisque ipsae nobiles mulieres;
quibus cum nullum esset omnino cum viris peregrinis commercium,
merus ille ac purus Graecorum sermo servabatur intactus,
(Philelph. Epist. ad ann. 1451, apud Hodium, p. 188, 189.) He
observes in another passage, uxor illa mea Theodora locutione
erat admodum moderata et suavi et maxime Attica.]
[Footnote 82: Philelphus, absurdly enough, derives this Greek or
Oriental jealousy from the manners of ancient Rome.]

Among the Greeks a numerous and opulent clergy was dedicated
to the service of religion: their monks and bishops have ever
been distinguished by the gravity and austerity of their manners;
nor were they diverted, like the Latin priests, by the pursuits
and pleasures of a secular, and even military, life. After a
large deduction for the time and talent that were lost in the
devotion, the laziness, and the discord, of the church and
cloister, the more inquisitive and ambitious minds would explore
the sacred and profane erudition of their native language. The
ecclesiastics presided over the education of youth; the schools
of philosophy and eloquence were perpetuated till the fall of the
empire; and it may be affirmed, that more books and more
knowledge were included within the walls of Constantinople, than
could be dispersed over the extensive countries of the West. ^83
But an important distinction has been already noticed: the Greeks
were stationary or retrograde, while the Latins were advancing
with a rapid and progressive motion. The nations were excited by
the spirit of independence and emulation; and even the little
world of the Italian states contained more people and industry
than the decreasing circle of the Byzantine empire. In Europe,
the lower ranks of society were relieved from the yoke of feudal
servitude; and freedom is the first step to curiosity and
knowledge. The use, however rude and corrupt, of the Latin
tongue had been preserved by superstition; the universities, from
Bologna to Oxford, ^84 were peopled with thousands of scholars;
and their misguided ardor might be directed to more liberal and
manly studies. In the resurrection of science, Italy was the
first that cast away her shroud; and the eloquent Petrarch, by
his lessons and his example, may justly be applauded as the first
harbinger of day. A purer style of composition, a more generous
and rational strain of sentiment, flowed from the study and
imitation of the writers of ancient Rome; and the disciples of
Cicero and Virgil approached, with reverence and love, the
sanctuary of their Grecian masters. In the sack of
Constantinople, the French, and even the Venetians, had despised
and destroyed the works of Lysippus and Homer: the monuments of
art may be annihilated by a single blow; but the immortal mind is
renewed and multiplied by the copies of the pen; and such copies
it was the ambition of Petrarch and his friends to possess and
understand. The arms of the Turks undoubtedly pressed the flight
of the Muses; yet we may tremble at the thought, that Greece
might have been overwhelmed, with her schools and libraries,
before Europe had emerged from the deluge of barbarism; that the
seeds of science might have been scattered by the winds, before
the Italian soil was prepared for their cultivation.
[Footnote 83: See the state of learning in the xiiith and xivth
centuries, in the learned and judicious Mosheim, (Instit. Hist.
Eccles. p. 434 - 440, 490 - 494.)]

[Footnote 84: At the end of the xvth century, there existed in
Europe about fifty universities, and of these the foundation of
ten or twelve is prior to the year 1300. They were crowded in
proportion to their scarcity. Bologna contained 10,000 students,
chiefly of the civil law. In the year 1357 the number at Oxford
had decreased from 30,000 to 6000 scholars, (Henry's History of
Great Britain, vol. iv. p. 478.) Yet even this decrease is much
superior to the present list of the members of the university.]

Chapter LXVI: Union Of The Greek And Latin Churches.

Part IV.

The most learned Italians of the fifteenth century have
confessed and applauded the restoration of Greek literature,
after a long oblivion of many hundred years. ^85 Yet in that
country, and beyond the Alps, some names are quoted; some
profound scholars, who in the darker ages were honorably
distinguished by their knowledge of the Greek tongue; and
national vanity has been loud in the praise of such rare examples
of erudition. Without scrutinizing the merit of individuals,
truth must observe, that their science is without a cause, and
without an effect; that it was easy for them to satisfy
themselves and their more ignorant contemporaries; and that the
idiom, which they had so marvellously acquired was transcribed in
few manuscripts, and was not taught in any university of the
West. In a corner of Italy, it faintly existed as the popular,
or at least as the ecclesiastical dialect. ^86 The first
impression of the Doric and Ionic colonies has never been
completely erased: the Calabrian churches were long attached to
the throne of Constantinople: and the monks of St. Basil pursued
their studies in Mount Athos and the schools of the East.
Calabria was the native country of Barlaam, who has already
appeared as a sectary and an ambassador; and Barlaam was the
first who revived, beyond the Alps, the memory, or at least the
writings, of Homer. ^87 He is described, by Petrarch and Boccace,
^88 as a man of diminutive stature, though truly great in the
measure of learning and genius; of a piercing discernment, though
of a slow and painful elocution. For many ages (as they affirm)
Greece had not produced his equal in the knowledge of history,
grammar, and philosophy; and his merit was celebrated in the
attestations of the princes and doctors of Constantinople. One
of these attestations is still extant; and the emperor
Cantacuzene, the protector of his adversaries, is forced to
allow, that Euclid, Aristotle, and Plato, were familiar to that
profound and subtle logician. ^89 In the court of Avignon, he
formed an intimate connection with Petrarch, ^90 the first of the
Latin scholars; and the desire of mutual instruction was the
principle of their literary commerce. The Tuscan applied himself
with eager curiosity and assiduous diligence to the study of the
Greek language; and in a laborious struggle with the dryness and
difficulty of the first rudiments, he began to reach the sense,
and to feel the spirit, of poets and philosophers, whose minds
were congenial to his own. But he was soon deprived of the
society and lessons of this useful assistant: Barlaam
relinquished his fruitless embassy; and, on his return to Greece,
he rashly provoked the swarms of fanatic monks, by attempting to
substitute the light of reason to that of their navel. After a
separation of three years, the two friends again met in the court
of Naples: but the generous pupil renounced the fairest occasion
of improvement; and by his recommendation Barlaam was finally
settled in a small bishopric of his native Calabria. ^91 The
manifold avocations of Petrarch, love and friendship, his various
correspondence and frequent journeys, the Roman laurel, and his
elaborate compositions in prose and verse, in Latin and Italian,
diverted him from a foreign idiom; and as he advanced in life,
the attainment of the Greek language was the object of his wishes
rather than of his hopes. When he was about fifty years of age,
a Byzantine ambassador, his friend, and a master of both tongues,
presented him with a copy of Homer; and the answer of Petrarch is
at one expressive of his eloquence, gratitude, and regret. After
celebrating the generosity of the donor, and the value of a gift
more precious in his estimation than gold or rubies, he thus
proceeds: "Your present of the genuine and original text of the
divine poet, the fountain of all inventions, is worthy of
yourself and of me: you have fulfilled your promise, and
satisfied my desires. Yet your liberality is still imperfect:
with Homer you should have given me yourself; a guide, who could
lead me into the fields of light, and disclose to my wondering
eyes the spacious miracles of the Iliad and Odyssey. But, alas!
Homer is dumb, or I am deaf; nor is it in my power to enjoy the
beauty which I possess. I have seated him by the side of Plato,
the prince of poets near the prince of philosophers; and I glory
in the sight of my illustrious guests. Of their immortal
writings, whatever had been translated into the Latin idiom, I
had already acquired; but, if there be no profit, there is some
pleasure, in beholding these venerable Greeks in their proper and
national habit. I am delighted with the aspect of Homer; and as
often as I embrace the silent volume, I exclaim with a sigh,
Illustrious bard! with what pleasure should I listen to thy song,
if my sense of hearing were not obstructed and lost by the death
of one friend, and in the much-lamented absence of another. Nor
do I yet despair; and the example of Cato suggests some comfort
and hope, since it was in the last period of age that he attained
the knowledge of the Greek letters." ^92

[Footnote 85: Of those writers who professedly treat of the
restoration of the Greek learning in Italy, the two principal are
Hodius, Dr. Humphrey Hody, (de Graecis Illustribus, Linguae
Graecae Literarumque humaniorum Instauratoribus; Londini, 1742,
in large octavo,) and Tiraboschi, (Istoria della Letteratura
Italiana, tom. v. p. 364 - 377, tom. vii. p. 112 - 143.) The
Oxford professor is a laborious scholar, but the librarian of
Modema enjoys the superiority of a modern and national

[Footnote 86: In Calabria quae olim magna Graecia dicebatur,
coloniis Graecis repleta, remansit quaedam linguae veteris,
cognitio, (Hodius, p. 2.) If it were eradicated by the Romans, it
was revived and perpetuated by the monks of St. Basil, who
possessed seven convents at Rossano alone, (Giannone, Istoria di
Napoli, tom. i. p. 520.)]

[Footnote 87: Ii Barbari (says Petrarch, the French and Germans)
vix, non dicam libros sed nomen Homeri audiverunt. Perhaps, in
that respect, the xiiith century was less happy than the age of
[Footnote 88: See the character of Barlaam, in Boccace de
Genealog. Deorum, l. xv. c. 6.]

[Footnote 89: Cantacuzen. l. ii. c. 36.]

[Footnote 90: For the connection of Petrarch and Barlaam, and the
two interviews at Avignon in 1339, and at Naples in 1342, see the
excellent Memoires sur la Vie de Petrarque, tom. i. p. 406 - 410,
tom. ii. p. 74 - 77.]
[Footnote 91: The bishopric to which Barlaam retired, was the old
Locri, in the middle ages. Scta. Cyriaca, and by corruption
Hieracium, Gerace, (Dissert. Chorographica Italiae Medii Aevi, p.
312.) The dives opum of the Norman times soon lapsed into
poverty, since even the church was poor: yet the town still
contains 3000 inhabitants, (Swinburne, p. 340.)]
[Footnote 92: I will transcribe a passage from this epistle of
Petrarch, (Famil. ix. 2;) Donasti Homerum non in alienum sermonem
Alienum sermonen violento alveo derivatum, sed ex ipsis Graeci
eloquii scatebris, et qualis divino illi profluxit ingenio . . .
. Sine tua voce Homerus tuus apud me mutus, immo vero ego apud
illum surdus sum. Gaudeo tamen vel adspectu solo, ac saepe illum
amplexus atque suspirans dico, O magne vir, &c.]
The prize which eluded the efforts of Petrarch, was obtained
by the fortune and industry of his friend Boccace, the father of
the Tuscan prose. That popular writer, who derives his reputation
from the Decameron, a hundred novels of pleasantry and love, may
aspire to the more serious praise of restoring in Italy the study
of the Greek language. In the year one thousand three hundred
and sixty, a disciple of Barlaam, whose name was Leo, or Leontius
Pilatus, was detained in his way to Avignon by the advice and
hospitality of Boccace, who lodged the stranger in his house,
prevailed on the republic of Florence to allow him an annual
stipend, and devoted his leisure to the first Greek professor,
who taught that language in the Western countries of Europe. The
appearance of Leo might disgust the most eager disciple, he was
clothed in the mantle of a philosopher, or a mendicant; his
countenance was hideous; his face was overshadowed with black
hair; his beard long an uncombed; his deportment rustic; his
temper gloomy and inconstant; nor could he grace his discourse
with the ornaments, or even the perspicuity, of Latin elocution.
But his mind was stored with a treasure of Greek learning:
history and fable, philosophy and grammar, were alike at his
command; and he read the poems of Homer in the schools of
Florence. It was from his explanation that Boccace composed ^*
and transcribed a literal prose version of the Iliad and Odyssey,
which satisfied the thirst of his friend Petrarch, and which,
perhaps, in the succeeding century, was clandestinely used by
Laurentius Valla, the Latin interpreter. It was from his
narratives that the same Boccace collected the materials for his
treatise on the genealogy of the heathen gods, a work, in that
age, of stupendous erudition, and which he ostentatiously
sprinkled with Greek characters and passages, to excite the
wonder and applause of his more ignorant readers. ^94 The first
steps of learning are slow and laborious; no more than ten
votaries of Homer could be enumerated in all Italy; and neither
Rome, nor Venice, nor Naples, could add a single name to this
studious catalogue. But their numbers would have multiplied,
their progress would have been accelerated, if the inconstant
Leo, at the end of three years, had not relinquished an honorable
and beneficial station. In his passage, Petrarch entertained him
at Padua a short time: he enjoyed the scholar, but was justly
offended with the gloomy and unsocial temper of the man.
Discontented with the world and with himself, Leo depreciated his
present enjoyments, while absent persons and objects were dear to
his imagination. In Italy he was a Thessalian, in Greece a
native of Calabria: in the company of the Latins he disdained
their language, religion, and manners: no sooner was he landed at
Constantinople, than he again sighed for the wealth of Venice and
the elegance of Florence. His Italian friends were deaf to his
importunity: he depended on their curiosity and indulgence, and
embarked on a second voyage; but on his entrance into the
Adriatic, the ship was assailed by a tempest, and the unfortunate
teacher, who like Ulysses had fastened himself to the mast, was
struck dead by a flash of lightning. The humane Petrarch dropped
a tear on his disaster; but he was most anxious to learn whether
some copy of Euripides or Sophocles might not be saved from the
hands of the mariners. ^95

[Footnote 93: For the life and writings of Boccace, who was born
in 1313, and died in 1375, Fabricius (Bibliot. Latin. Medii Aevi,
tom. i. p. 248, &c.) and Tiraboschi (tom. v. p. 83, 439 - 451)
may be consulted. The editions, versions, imitations of his
novels, are innumerable. Yet he was ashamed to communicate that
trifling, and perhaps scandalous, work to Petrarch, his
respectable friend, in whose letters and memoirs he conspicuously
[Footnote *: This translation of Homer was by Pilatus, not by
Boccacio. See Halleza, Hist. of Lit. vol. i. p. 132. - M.]

[Footnote 94: Boccace indulges an honest vanity: Ostentationis
causa Graeca carmina adscripsi . . . . jure utor meo; meum est
hoc decus, mea gloria scilicet inter Etruscos Graecis uti
carminibus. Nonne ego fui qui Leontium Pilatum, &c., (de
Genealogia Deorum, l. xv. c. 7, a work which, though now
forgotten, has run through thirteen or fourteen editions.)]
[Footnote 95: Leontius, or Leo Pilatus, is sufficiently made
known by Hody, (p. 2 - 11,) and the abbe de Sade, (Vie de
Petrarque, tom. iii. p. 625 - 634, 670 - 673,) who has very
happily caught the lively and dramatic manner of his original.]

But the faint rudiments of Greek learning, which Petrarch
had encouraged and Boccace had planted, soon withered and
expired. The succeeding generation was content for a while with
the improvement of Latin eloquence; nor was it before the end of
the fourteenth century that a new and perpetual flame was
rekindled in Italy. ^96 Previous to his own journey the emperor
Manuel despatched his envoys and orators to implore the
compassion of the Western princes. Of these envoys, the most
conspicuous, or the most learned, was Manuel Chrysoloras, ^97 of
noble birth, and whose Roman ancestors are supposed to have
migrated with the great Constantine. After visiting the courts
of France and England, where he obtained some contributions and
more promises, the envoy was invited to assume the office of a
professor; and Florence had again the honor of this second
invitation. By his knowledge, not only of the Greek, but of the
Latin tongue, Chrysoloras deserved the stipend, and surpassed the
expectation, of the republic. His school was frequented by a
crowd of disciples of every rank and age; and one of these, in a
general history, has described his motives and his success. "At
that time," says Leonard Aretin, ^98 "I was a student of the
civil law; but my soul was inflamed with the love of letters; and
I bestowed some application on the sciences of logic and
rhetoric. On the arrival of Manuel, I hesitated whether I should
desert my legal studies, or relinquish this golden opportunity;
and thus, in the ardor of youth, I communed with my own mind -
Wilt thou be wanting to thyself and thy fortune? Wilt thou
refuse to be introduced to a familiar converse with Homer, Plato,
and Demosthenes; with those poets, philosophers, and orators, of
whom such wonders are related, and who are celebrated by every
age as the great masters of human science? Of professors and
scholars in civil law, a sufficient supply will always be found
in our universities; but a teacher, and such a teacher, of the
Greek language, if he once be suffered to escape, may never
afterwards be retrieved. Convinced by these reasons, I gave
myself to Chrysoloras; and so strong was my passion, that the
lessons which I had imbibed in the day were the constant object
of my nightly dreams." ^99 At the same time and place, the Latin
classics were explained by John of Ravenna, the domestic pupil of
Petrarch; ^100 the Italians, who illustrated their age and
country, were formed in this double school; and Florence became
the fruitful seminary of Greek and Roman erudition. ^101 The
presence of the emperor recalled Chrysoloras from the college to
the court; but he afterwards taught at Pavia and Rome with equal
industry and applause. The remainder of his life, about fifteen
years, was divided between Italy and Constantinople, between
embassies and lessons. In the noble office of enlightening a
foreign nation, the grammarian was not unmindful of a more sacred
duty to his prince and country; and Emanuel Chrysoloras died at
Constance on a public mission from the emperor to the council.

[Footnote 96: Dr. Hody (p. 54) is angry with Leonard Aretin,
Guarinus, Paulus Jovius, &c., for affirming, that the Greek
letters were restored in Italy post septingentos annos; as if,
says he, they had flourished till the end of the viith century.
These writers most probably reckoned from the last period of the
exarchate; and the presence of the Greek magistrates and troops
at Ravenna and Rome must have preserved, in some degree, the use
of their native tongue.]
[Footnote 97: See the article of Emanuel, or Manuel Chrysoloras,
in Hody (p 12 - 54) and Tiraboschi, (tom. vii. p. 113 - 118.) The
precise date of his arrival floats between the years 1390 and
1400, and is only confined by the reign of Boniface IX.]

[Footnote 98: The name of Aretinus has been assumed by five or
six natives of Arezzo in Tuscany, of whom the most famous and the
most worthless lived in the xvith century. Leonardus Brunus
Aretinus, the disciple of Chrysoloras, was a linguist, an orator,
and an historian, the secretary of four successive popes, and the
chancellor of the republic of Florence, where he died A.D. 1444,
at the age of seventy-five, (Fabric. Bibliot. Medii Aevi, tom. i.
p. 190 &c. Tiraboschi, tom. vii. p. 33 - 38)]

[Footnote 99: See the passage in Aretin. Commentario Rerum suo
Tempore in Italia gestarum, apud Hodium, p. 28 - 30.]

[Footnote 100: In this domestic discipline, Petrarch, who loved
the youth, often complains of the eager curiosity, restless
temper, and proud feelings, which announce the genius and glory
of a riper age, (Memoires sur Petrarque, tom. iii. p. 700 -

[Footnote 101: Hinc Graecae Latinaeque scholae exortae sunt,
Guarino Philelpho, Leonardo Aretino, Caroloque, ac plerisque
aliis tanquam ex equo Trojano prodeuntibus, quorum emulatione
multa ingenia deinceps ad laudem excitata sunt, (Platina in
Bonifacio IX.) Another Italian writer adds the names of Paulus
Petrus Vergerius, Omnibonus Vincentius, Poggius, Franciscus
Barbarus, &c. But I question whether a rigid chronology would
allow Chrysoloras all these eminent scholars, (Hodius, p. 25 -
27, &c.)]
After his example, the restoration of the Greek letters in
Italy was prosecuted by a series of emigrants, who were destitute
of fortune, and endowed with learning, or at least with language.

From the terror or oppression of the Turkish arms, the natives of
Thessalonica and Constantinople escaped to a land of freedom,
curiosity, and wealth. The synod introduced into Florence the
lights of the Greek church, and the oracles of the Platonic
philosophy; and the fugitives who adhered to the union, had the
double merit of renouncing their country, not only for the
Christian, but for the catholic cause. A patriot, who sacrifices
his party and conscience to the allurements of favor, may be
possessed, however, of the private and social virtues: he no
longer hears the reproachful epithets of slave and apostate; and
the consideration which he acquires among his new associates will
restore in his own eyes the dignity of his character. The
prudent conformity of Bessarion was rewarded with the Roman
purple: he fixed his residence in Italy; and the Greek cardinal,
the titular patriarch of Constantinople, was respected as the
chief and protector of his nation: ^102 his abilities were
exercised in the legations of Bologna, Venice, Germany, and
France; and his election to the chair of St. Peter floated for a
moment on the uncertain breath of a conclave. ^103 His
ecclesiastical honors diffused a splendor and preeminence over
his literary merit and service: his palace was a school; as often
as the cardinal visited the Vatican, he was attended by a learned
train of both nations; ^104 of men applauded by themselves and
the public; and whose writings, now overspread with dust, were
popular and useful in their own times. I shall not attempt to
enumerate the restorers of Grecian literature in the fifteenth
century; and it may be sufficient to mention with gratitude the
names of Theodore Gaza, of George of Trebizond, of John
Argyropulus, and Demetrius Chalcocondyles, who taught their
native language in the schools of Florence and Rome. Their
labors were not inferior to those of Bessarion, whose purple they
revered, and whose fortune was the secret object of their envy.
But the lives of these grammarians were humble and obscure: they
had declined the lucrative paths of the church; their dress and
manners secluded them from the commerce of the world; and since
they were confined to the merit, they might be content with the
rewards, of learning. From this character, Janus Lascaris ^105
will deserve an exception. His eloquence, politeness, and
Imperial descent, recommended him to the French monarch; and in
the same cities he was alternately employed to teach and to
negotiate. Duty and interest prompted them to cultivate the
study of the Latin language; and the most successful attained the
faculty of writing and speaking with fluency and elegance in a
foreign idiom. But they ever retained the inveterate vanity of
their country: their praise, or at least their esteem, was
reserved for the national writers, to whom they owed their fame
and subsistence; and they sometimes betrayed their contempt in
licentious criticism or satire on Virgil's poetry, and the
oratory of Tully. ^106 The superiority of these masters arose
from the familiar use of a living language; and their first
disciples were incapable of discerning how far they had
degenerated from the knowledge, and even the practice of their
ancestors. A vicious pronunciation, ^107 which they introduced,
was banished from the schools by the reason of the succeeding
age. Of the power of the Greek accents they were ignorant; and
those musical notes, which, from an Attic tongue, and to an Attic
ear, must have been the secret soul of harmony, were to their
eyes, as to our own, no more than minute and unmeaning marks, in
prose superfluous and troublesome in verse. The art of grammar
they truly possessed; the valuable fragments of Apollonius and
Herodian were transfused into their lessons; and their treatises
of syntax and etymology, though devoid of philosophic spirit, are
still useful to the Greek student. In the shipwreck of the
Byzantine libraries, each fugitive seized a fragment of treasure,
a copy of some author, who without his industry might have
perished: the transcripts were multiplied by an assiduous, and
sometimes an elegant pen; and the text was corrected and
explained by their own comments, or those of the elder
scholiasts. The sense, though not the spirit, of the Greek
classics, was interpreted to the Latin world: the beauties of
style evaporate in a version; but the judgment of Theodore Gaza
selected the more solid works of Aristotle and Theophrastus, and
their natural histories of animals and plants opened a rich fund
of genuine and experimental science.
[Footnote 102: See in Hody the article of Bessarion, (p. 136 -
177.) Theodore Gaza, George of Trebizond, aud the rest of the
Greeks whom I have named or omitted, are inserted in their proper
chapters of his learned work. See likewise Tiraboschi, in the
1st and 2d parts of the vith tome.]
[Footnote 103: The cardinals knocked at his door, but his
conclavist refused to interrupt the studies of Bessarion:
"Nicholas," said he, "thy respect has cost thee a hat, and me the

Note: Roscoe (Life of Lorenzo de Medici, vol. i. p. 75)
considers that Hody has refuted this "idle tale." - M.]

[Footnote 104: Such as George of Trebizond, Theodore Gaza,
Argyropulus, Andronicus of Thessalonica, Philelphus, Poggius,
Blondus, Nicholas Perrot, Valla, Campanus, Platina, &c. Viri
(says Hody, with the pious zeal of a scholar) nullo aevo
perituri, p. 156.)]

[Footnote 105: He was born before the taking of Constantinople,
but his honorable life was stretched far into the xvith century,
(A.D. 1535.) Leo X. and Francis I. were his noblest patrons,
under whose auspices he founded the Greek colleges of Rome and
Paris, (Hody, p. 247 - 275.) He left posterity in France; but the
counts de Vintimille, and their numerous branches, derive the
name of Lascaris from a doubtful marriage in the xiiith century
with the daughter of a Greek emperor (Ducange, Fam. Byzant. p.
224 - 230.)]
[Footnote 106: Two of his epigrams against Virgil, and three
against Tully, are preserved and refuted by Franciscus Floridus,
who can find no better names than Graeculus ineptus et impudens,
(Hody, p. 274.) In our own times, an English critic has accused
the Aeneid of containing multa languida, nugatoria, spiritu et
majestate carminis heroici defecta; many such verses as he, the
said Jeremiah Markland, would have been ashamed of owning,
(praefat. ad Statii Sylvas, p. 21, 22.)]

[Footnote 107: Emanuel Chrysoloras, and his colleagues, are
accused of ignorance, envy, or avarice, (Sylloge, &c., tom. ii.
p. 235.) The modern Greeks pronounce it as a V consonant, and
confound three vowels, and several diphthongs. Such was the
vulgar pronunciation which the stern Gardiner maintained by penal
statutes in the university of Cambridge: but the monosyllable
represented to an Attic ear the bleating of sheep, and a
bellwether is better evidence than a bishop or a chancellor. The
treatises of those scholars, particularly Erasmus, who asserted a
more classical pronunciation, are collected in the Sylloge of
Havercamp, (2 vols. in octavo, Lugd. Bat. 1736, 1740:) but it is
difficult to paint sounds by words: and in their reference to
modern use, they can be understood only by their respective
countrymen. We may observe, that our peculiar pronunciation of
the O, th, is approved by Erasmus, (tom. ii. p. 130.)]

Yet the fleeting shadows of metaphysics were pursued with
more curiosity and ardor. After a long oblivion, Plato was
revived in Italy by a venerable Greek, ^108 who taught in the
house of Cosmo of Medicis. While the synod of Florence was
involved in theological debate, some beneficial consequences
might flow from the study of his elegant philosophy: his style is
the purest standard of the Attic dialect, and his sublime
thoughts are sometimes adapted to familiar conversation, and
sometimes adorned with the richest colors of poetry and
eloquence. The dialogues of Plato are a dramatic picture of the
life and death of a sage; and, as often as he descends from the
clouds, his moral system inculcates the love of truth, of our
country, and of mankind. The precept and example of Socrates
recommended a modest doubt and liberal inquiry; and if the
Platonists, with blind devotion, adored the visions and errors of
their divine master, their enthusiasm might correct the dry,
dogmatic method of the Peripatetic school. So equal, yet so
opposite, are the merits of Plato and Aristotle, that they may be
balanced in endless controversy; but some spark of freedom may be
produced by the collision of adverse servitude. The modern
Greeks were divided between the two sects: with more fury than
skill they fought under the banner of their leaders; and the
field of battle was removed in their flight from Constantinople
to Rome. But this philosophical debate soon degenerated into an
angry and personal quarrel of grammarians; and Bessarion, though
an advocate for Plato, protected the national honor, by
interposing the advice and authority of a mediator. In the
gardens of the Medici, the academical doctrine was enjoyed by the
polite and learned: but their philosophic society was quickly
dissolved; and if the writings of the Attic sage were perused in
the closet, the more powerful Stagyrite continued to reign, the
oracle of the church and school. ^109
[Footnote 108: George Gemistus Pletho, a various and voluminous
writer, the master of Bessarion, and all the Platonists of the
times. He visited Italy in his old age, and soon returned to end
his days in Peloponnesus. See the curious Diatribe of Leo
Allatius de Georgiis, in Fabricius. (Bibliot. Graec. tom. x. p.
739 - 756.)]

[Footnote 109: The state of the Platonic philosophy in Italy is
illustrated by Boivin, (Mem. de l'Acad. des Inscriptions, tom.
ii. p. 715 - 729,) and Tiraboschi, (tom. vi. P. i. p. 259 -

I have fairly represented the literary merits of the Greeks;
yet it must be confessed, that they were seconded and surpassed
by the ardor of the Latins. Italy was divided into many
independent states; and at that time it was the ambition of
princes and republics to vie with each other in the encouragement
and reward of literature. The fame of Nicholas the Fifth ^110
has not been adequate to his merits. From a plebeian origin he
raised himself by his virtue and learning: the character of the
man prevailed over the interest of the pope; and he sharpened
those weapons which were soon pointed against the Roman church.
^111 He had been the friend of the most eminent scholars of the
age: he became their patron; and such was the humility of his
manners, that the change was scarcely discernible either to them
or to himself. If he pressed the acceptance of a liberal gift,
it was not as the measure of desert, but as the proof of
benevolence; and when modest merit declined his bounty, "Accept
it," would he say, with a consciousness of his own worth: "ye
will not always have a Nicholas among you." The influence of the
holy see pervaded Christendom; and he exerted that influence in
the search, not of benefices, but of books. From the ruins of
the Byzantine libraries, from the darkest monasteries of Germany
and Britain, he collected the dusty manuscripts of the writers of
antiquity; and wherever the original could not be removed, a
faithful copy was transcribed and transmitted for his use. The
Vatican, the old repository for bulls and legends, for
superstition and forgery, was daily replenished with more
precious furniture; and such was the industry of Nicholas, that
in a reign of eight years he formed a library of five thousand
volumes. To his munificence the Latin world was indebted for the
versions of Xenophon, Diodorus, Polybius, Thucydides, Herodotus,
and Appian; of Strabo's Geography, of the Iliad, of the most
valuable works of Plato and Aristotle, of Ptolemy and
Theophrastus, and of the fathers of the Greek church. The
example of the Roman pontiff was preceded or imitated by a
Florentine merchant, who governed the republic without arms and
without a title. Cosmo of Medicis ^112 was the father of a line
of princes, whose name and age are almost synonymous with the
restoration of learning: his credit was ennobled into fame; his
riches were dedicated to the service of mankind; he corresponded
at once with Cairo and London: and a cargo of Indian spices and
Greek books was often imported in the same vessel. The genius
and education of his grandson Lorenzo rendered him not only a
patron, but a judge and candidate, in the literary race. In his
pallace, distress was entitled to relief, and merit to reward:
his leisure hours were delightfully spent in the Platonic
academy; he encouraged the emulation of Demetrius Chalcocondyles
and Angelo Politian; and his active missionary Janus Lascaris
returned from the East with a treasure of two hundred
manuscripts, fourscore of which were as yet unknown in the
libraries of Europe. ^113 The rest of Italy was animated by a
similar spirit, and the progress of the nation repaid the
liberality of their princes. The Latins held the exclusive
property of their own literature; and these disciples of Greece
were soon capable of transmitting and improving the lessons which
they had imbibed. After a short succession of foreign teachers,
the tide of emigration subsided; but the language of
Constantinople was spread beyond the Alps and the natives of
France, Germany, and England, ^114 imparted to their country the
sacred fire which they had kindled in the schools of Florence and
Rome. ^115 In the productions of the mind, as in those of the
soil, the gifts of nature are excelled by industry and skill: the
Greek authors, forgotten on the banks of the Ilissus, have been
illustrated on those of the Elbe and the Thames: and Bessarion or
Gaza might have envied the superior science of the Barbarians;
the accuracy of Budaeus, the taste of Erasmus, the copiousness of
Stephens, the erudition of Scaliger, the discernment of Reiske,
or of Bentley. On the side of the Latins, the discovery of
printing was a casual advantage: but this useful art has been
applied by Aldus, and his innumerable successors, to perpetuate
and multiply the works of antiquity. ^116 A single manuscript
imported from Greece is revived in ten thousand copies; and each
copy is fairer than the original. In this form, Homer and Plato
would peruse with more satisfaction their own writings; and their
scholiasts must resign the prize to the labors of our Western

[Footnote 110: See the Life of Nicholas V. by two contemporary
authors, Janottus Manettus, (tom. iii. P. ii. p. 905 - 962,) and
Vespasian of Florence, (tom. xxv. p. 267 - 290,) in the
collection of Muratori; and consult Tiraboschi, (tom. vi. P. i.
p. 46 - 52, 109,) and Hody in the articles of Theodore Gaza,
George of Trebizond, &c.]

[Footnote 111: Lord Bolingbroke observes, with truth and spirit,
that the popes in this instance, were worse politicians than the
muftis, and that the charm which had bound mankind for so many
ages was broken by the magicians themselves, (Letters on the
Study of History, l. vi. p. 165, 166, octavo edition, 1779.)]

[Footnote 112: See the literary history of Cosmo and Lorenzo of
Medicis, in Tiraboschi, (tom. vi. P. i. l. i. c. 2,) who bestows
a due measure of praise on Alphonso of Arragon, king of Naples,
the dukes of Milan, Ferrara Urbino, &c. The republic of Venice
has deserved the least from the gratitude of scholars.]

[Footnote 113: Tiraboschi, (tom. vi. P. i. p. 104,) from the
preface of Janus Lascaris to the Greek Anthology, printed at
Florence, 1494. Latebant (says Aldus in his preface to the Greek
orators, apud Hodium, p. 249) in Atho Thraciae monte. Eas
Larcaris . . . . in Italiam reportavit. Miserat enim ipsum
Laurentius ille Medices in Graeciam ad inquirendos simul, et
quantovis emendos pretio bonos libros. It is remarkable enough,
that the research was facilitated by Sultan Bajazet II.]

[Footnote 114: The Greek language was introduced into the
university of Oxford in the last years of the xvth century, by
Grocyn, Linacer, and Latimer, who had all studied at Florence
under Demetrius Chalcocondyles. See Dr. Knight's curious Life of
Erasmus. Although a stout academical patriot, he is forced to
acknowledge that Erasmus learned Greek at Oxford, and taught it
at Cambridge.]
[Footnote 115: The jealous Italians were desirous of keeping a
monopoly of Greek learning. When Aldus was about to publish the
Greek scholiasts on Sophocles and Euripides, Cave, (said they,)
cave hoc facias, ne Barbari istis adjuti domi maneant, et
pauciores in Italiam ventitent, (Dr. Knight, in his Life of
Erasmus, p. 365, from Beatus Rhemanus.)]

[Footnote 116: The press of Aldus Manutius, a Roman, was
established at Venice about the year 1494: he printed above sixty
considerable works of Greek literature, almost all for the first
time; several containing different treatises and authors, and of
several authors, two, three, or four editions, (Fabric. Bibliot.
Graec. tom. xiii. p. 605, &c.) Yet his glory must not tempt us to
forget, that the first Greek book, the Grammar of Constantine
Lascaris, was printed at Milan in 1476; and that the Florence
Homer of 1488 displays all the luxury of the typographical art.
See the Annales Typographical of Mattaire, and the Bibliographie
Instructive of De Bure, a knowing bookseller of Paris.]

Before the revival of classic literature, the Barbarians in
Europe were immersed in ignorance; and their vulgar tongues were
marked with the rudeness and poverty of their manners. The
students of the more perfect idioms of Rome and Greece were
introduced to a new world of light and science; to the society of
the free and polished nations of antiquity; and to a familiar
converse with those immortal men who spoke the sublime language
of eloquence and reason. Such an intercourse must tend to refine
the taste, and to elevate the genius, of the moderns; and yet,
from the first experiments, it might appear that the study of the
ancients had given fetters, rather than wings, to the human mind.
However laudable, the spirit of imitation is of a servile cast;
and the first disciples of the Greeks and Romans were a colony of
strangers in the midst of their age and country. The minute and
laborious diligence which explored the antiquities of remote
times might have improved or adorned the present state of
society, the critic and metaphysician were the slaves of
Aristotle; the poets, historians, and orators, were proud to
repeat the thoughts and words of the Augustan age: the works of
nature were observed with the eyes of Pliny and Theophrastus; and
some Pagan votaries professed a secret devotion to the gods of
Homer and Plato. ^117 The Italians were oppressed by the strength
and number of their ancient auxiliaries: the century after the
deaths of Petrarch and Boccace was filled with a crowd of Latin
imitators, who decently repose on our shelves; but in that aera
of learning it will not be easy to discern a real discovery of
science, a work of invention or eloquence, in the popular
language of the country. ^118 But as soon as it had been deeply
saturated with the celestial dew, the soil was quickened into
vegetation and life; the modern idioms were refined; the classics
of Athens and Rome inspired a pure taste and a generous
emulation; and in Italy, as afterwards in France and England, the
pleasing reign of poetry and fiction was succeeded by the light
of speculative and experimental philosophy. Genius may
anticipate the season of maturity; but in the education of a
people, as in that of an individual, memory must be exercised,
before the powers of reason and fancy can be expanded: nor may
the artist hope to equal or surpass, till he has learned to
imitate, the works of his predecessors.

[Footnote 117: I will select three singular examples of this
classic enthusiasm. I. At the synod of Florence, Gemistus
Pletho said, in familiar conversation to George of Trebizond,
that in a short time mankind would unanimously renounce the
Gospel and the Koran, for a religion similar to that of the
Gentiles, (Leo Allatius, apud Fabricium, tom. x. p. 751.) 2. Paul
II. persecuted the Roman academy, which had been founded by
Pomponius Laetus; and the principal members were accused of
heresy, impiety, and paganism, (Tiraboschi, tom. vi. P. i. p. 81,
82.) 3. In the next century, some scholars and poets in France
celebrated the success of Jodelle's tragedy of Cleopatra, by a
festival of Bacchus, and, as it is said, by the sacrifice of a
goat, (Bayle, Dictionnaire, Jodelle. Fontenelle, tom. iii. p. 56
- 61.) Yet the spirit of bigotry might often discern a serious
impiety in the sportive play of fancy and learning.]

[Footnote 118: The survivor Boccace died in the year 1375; and we
cannot place before 1480 the composition of the Morgante Maggiore
of Pulo and the Orlando Innamorato of Boyardo, (Tiraboschi, tom.
vi. P. ii. p. 174 - 177.)]

Chapter LXVII: Schism Of The Greeks And Latins.

Part I.

Schism Of The Greeks And Latins. - Reign And Character Of
Amurath The Second. - Crusade Of Ladislaus, King Of Hungary. -
His Defeat And Death. - John Huniades. - Scanderbeg. -
Constantine Palaeologus, Last Emperor Of The East.

The respective merits of Rome and Constantinople are
compared and celebrated by an eloquent Greek, the father of the
Italian schools. ^1 The view of the ancient capital, the seat of
his ancestors, surpassed the most sanguine expectations of
Emanuel Chrysoloras; and he no longer blamed the exclamation of
an old sophist, that Rome was the habitation, not of men, but of
gods. Those gods, and those men, had long since vanished; but to
the eye of liberal enthusiasm, the majesty of ruin restored the
image of her ancient prosperity. The monuments of the consuls
and Caesars, of the martyrs and apostles, engaged on all sides
the curiosity of the philosopher and the Christian; and he
confessed that in every age the arms and the religion of Rome
were destined to reign over the earth. While Chrysoloras admired
the venerable beauties of the mother, he was not forgetful of his
native country, her fairest daughter, her Imperial colony; and
the Byzantine patriot expatiates with zeal and truth on the
eternal advantages of nature, and the more transitory glories of
art and dominion, which adorned, or had adorned, the city of
Constantine. Yet the perfection of the copy still redounds (as
he modestly observes) to the honor of the original, and parents
are delighted to be renewed, and even excelled, by the superior
merit of their children. "Constantinople," says the orator, "is
situate on a commanding point, between Europe and Asia, between
the Archipelago and the Euxine. By her interposition, the two
seas, and the two continents, are united for the common benefit
of nations; and the gates of commerce may be shut or opened at
her command. The harbor, encompassed on all sides by the sea,
and the continent, is the most secure and capacious in the world.

The walls and gates of Constantinople may be compared with those
of Babylon: the towers many; each tower is a solid and lofty
structure; and the second wall, the outer fortification, would be
sufficient for the defence and dignity of an ordinary capital. A
broad and rapid stream may be introduced into the ditches and the
artificial island may be encompassed, like Athens, by land or
water." Two strong and natural causes are alleged for the
perfection of the model of new Rome. The royal founder reigned
over the most illustrious nations of the globe; and in the
accomplishment of his designs, the power of the Romans was
combined with the art and science of the Greeks. Other cities
have been reared to maturity by accident and time: their beauties
are mingled with disorder and deformity; and the inhabitants,
unwilling to remove from their natal spot, are incapable of
correcting the errors of their ancestors, and the original vices
of situation or climate. But the free idea of Constantinople was
formed and executed by a single mind; and the primitive model was
improved by the obedient zeal of the subjects and successors of
the first monarch. The adjacent isles were stored with an
inexhaustible supply of marble; but the various materials were
transported from the most remote shores of Europe and Asia; and
the public and private buildings, the palaces, churches,
aqueducts, cisterns, porticos, columns, baths, and hippodromes,
were adapted to the greatness of the capital of the East. The
superfluity of wealth was spread along the shores of Europe and
Asia; and the Byzantine territory, as far as the Euxine, the
Hellespont, and the long wall, might be considered as a populous
suburb and a perpetual garden. In this flattering picture, the
past and the present, the times of prosperity and decay, are art
fully confounded; but a sigh and a confession escape, from the
orator, that his wretched country was the shadow and sepulchre of
its former self. The works of ancient sculpture had been defaced
by Christian zeal or Barbaric violence; the fairest structures
were demolished; and the marbles of Paros or Numidia were burnt
for lime, or applied to the meanest uses. Of many a statue, the
place was marked by an empty pedestal; of many a column, the size
was determined by a broken capital; the tombs of the emperors
were scattered on the ground; the stroke of time was accelerated
by storms and earthquakes; and the vacant space was adorned, by
vulgar tradition, with fabulous monuments of gold and silver.
From these wonders, which lived only in memory or belief, he
distinguishes, however, the porphyry pillar, the column and
colossus of Justinian, ^3 and the church, more especially the
dome, of St. Sophia; the best conclusion, since it could not be
described according to its merits, and after it no other object
could deserve to be mentioned. But he forgets that, a century
before, the trembling fabrics of the colossus and the church had
been saved and supported by the timely care of Andronicus the
Elder. Thirty years after the emperor had fortified St. Sophia
with two new buttresses or pyramids, the eastern hemisphere
suddenly gave way: and the images, the altars, and the sanctuary,
were crushed by the falling ruin. The mischief indeed was
speedily repaired; the rubbish was cleared by the incessant labor
of every rank and age; and the poor remains of riches and
industry were consecrated by the Greeks to the most stately and
venerable temple of the East. ^4

[Footnote 1: The epistle of Emanuel Chrysoloras to the emperor
John Palaeologus will not offend the eye or ear of a classical
student, (ad calcem Codini de Antiquitatibus C. P. p. 107 - 126.)
The superscription suggests a chronological remark, that John
Palaeologus II. was associated in the empire before the year
1414, the date of Chrysoloras's death. A still earlier date, at
least 1408, is deduced from the age of his youngest sons,
Demetrius and Thomas, who were both Porphyrogeniti (Ducange, Fam.
Byzant. p. 244, 247.)]
[Footnote 2: Somebody observed that the city of Athens might be
circumnavigated. But what may be true in a rhetorical sense of
Constantinople, cannot be applied to the situation of Athens,
five miles from the sea, and not intersected or surrounded by any
navigable streams.]
[Footnote 3: Nicephorus Gregoras has described the Colossus of
Justinian, (l. vii. 12:) but his measures are false and
inconsistent. The editor Boivin consulted his friend Girardon;
and the sculptor gave him the true proportions of an equestrian
statue. That of Justinian was still visible to Peter Gyllius,
not on the column, but in the outward court of the seraglio; and
he was at Constantinople when it was melted down, and cast into a
brass cannon, (de Topograph. C. P. l. ii. c. 17.)]

[Footnote 4: See the decay and repairs of St. Sophia, in
Nicephorus Gregoras (l. vii. 12, l. xv. 2.) The building was
propped by Andronicus in 1317, the eastern hemisphere fell in
1345. The Greeks, in their pompous rhetoric, exalt the beauty
and holiness of the church, an earthly heaven the abode of
angels, and of God himself, &c.]

The last hope of the falling city and empire was placed in
the harmony of the mother and daughter, in the maternal
tenderness of Rome, and the filial obedience of Constantinople.
In the synod of Florence, the Greeks and Latins had embraced, and
subscribed, and promised; but these signs of friendship were
perfidious or fruitless; ^5 and the baseless fabric of the union
vanished like a dream. ^6 The emperor and his prelates returned
home in the Venetian galleys; but as they touched at the Morea
and the Isles of Corfu and Lesbos, the subjects of the Latins
complained that the pretended union would be an instrument of
oppression. No sooner did they land on the Byzantine shore, than
they were saluted, or rather assailed, with a general murmur of
zeal and discontent. During their absence, above two years, the
capital had been deprived of its civil and ecclesiastical rulers;
fanaticism fermented in anarchy; the most furious monks reigned
over the conscience of women and bigots; and the hatred of the
Latin name was the first principle of nature and religion.
Before his departure for Italy, the emperor had flattered the
city with the assurance of a prompt relief and a powerful succor;
and the clergy, confident in their orthodoxy and science, had
promised themselves and their flocks an easy victory over the
blind shepherds of the West. The double disappointment
exasperated the Greeks; the conscience of the subscribing
prelates was awakened; the hour of temptation was past; and they
had more to dread from the public resentment, than they could
hope from the favor of the emperor or the pope. Instead of
justifying their conduct, they deplored their weakness, professed
their contrition, and cast themselves on the mercy of God and of
their brethren. To the reproachful question, what had been the
event or the use of their Italian synod? they answered with
sighs and tears, "Alas! we have made a new faith; we have
exchanged piety for impiety; we have betrayed the immaculate
sacrifice; and we are become Azymites." (The Azymites were those
who celebrated the communion with unleavened bread; and I must
retract or qualify the praise which I have bestowed on the
growing philosophy of the times.) "Alas! we have been seduced by
distress, by fraud, and by the hopes and fears of a transitory
life. The hand that has signed the union should be cut off; and
the tongue that has pronounced the Latin creed deserves to be
torn from the root." The best proof of their repentance was an
increase of zeal for the most trivial rites and the most
incomprehensible doctrines; and an absolute separation from all,
without excepting their prince, who preserved some regard for
honor and consistency. After the decease of the patriarch
Joseph, the archbishops of Heraclea and Trebizond had courage to
refuse the vacant office; and Cardinal Bessarion preferred the
warm and comfortable shelter of the Vatican. The choice of the
emperor and his clergy was confined to Metrophanes of Cyzicus: he
was consecrated in St. Sophia, but the temple was vacant. The
cross-bearers abdicated their service; the infection spread from
the city to the villages; and Metrophanes discharged, without
effect, some ecclesiastical thunders against a nation of
schismatics. The eyes of the Greeks were directed to Mark of
Ephesus, the champion of his country; and the sufferings of the
holy confessor were repaid with a tribute of admiration and
applause. His example and writings propagated the flame of
religious discord; age and infirmity soon removed him from the
world; but the gospel of Mark was not a law of forgiveness; and
he requested with his dying breath, that none of the adherents of
Rome might attend his obsequies or pray for his soul.

[Footnote 5: The genuine and original narrative of Syropulus (p.
312 - 351) opens the schism from the first office of the Greeks
at Venice to the general opposition at Constantinople, of the
clergy and people.]

[Footnote 6: On the schism of Constantinople, see Phranza, (l.
ii. c. 17,) Laonicus Chalcondyles, (l. vi. p. 155, 156,) and
Ducas, (c. 31;) the last of whom writes with truth and freedom.
Among the moderns we may distinguish the continuator of Fleury,
(tom. xxii. p. 338, &c., 401, 420, &c.,) and Spondanus, (A.D.
1440 - 50.) The sense of the latter is drowned in prejudice and
passion, as soon as Rome and religion are concerned.]

The schism was not confined to the narrow limits of the
Byzantine empire. Secure under the Mamaluke sceptre, the three
patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, assembled a
numerous synod; disowned their representatives at Ferrara and
Florence; condemned the creed and council of the Latins; and
threatened the emperor of Constantinople with the censures of the
Eastern church. Of the sectaries of the Greek communion, the
Russians were the most powerful, ignorant, and superstitious.
Their primate, the cardinal Isidore, hastened from Florence to
Moscow, ^7 to reduce the independent nation under the Roman yoke.

But the Russian bishops had been educated at Mount Athos; and the
prince and people embraced the theology of their priests. They
were scandalized by the title, the pomp, the Latin cross of the
legate, the friend of those impious men who shaved their beards,
and performed the divine office with gloves on their hands and
rings on their fingers: Isidore was condemned by a synod; his
person was imprisoned in a monastery; and it was with extreme
difficulty that the cardinal could escape from the hands of a
fierce and fanatic people. ^8 The Russians refused a passage to
the missionaries of Rome who aspired to convert the Pagans beyond
the Tanais; ^9 and their refusal was justified by the maxim, that
the guilt of idolatry is less damnable than that of schism. The
errors of the Bohemians were excused by their abhorrence for the
pope; and a deputation of the Greek clergy solicited the
friendship of those sanguinary enthusiasts. ^10 While Eugenius
triumphed in the union and orthodoxy of the Greeks, his party was
contracted to the walls, or rather to the palace of
Constantinople. The zeal of Palaeologus had been excited by
interest; it was soon cooled by opposition: an attempt to violate
the national belief might endanger his life and crown; not could
the pious rebels be destitute of foreign and domestic aid. The
sword of his brother Demetrius, who in Italy had maintained a
prudent and popular silence, was half unsheathed in the cause of
religion; and Amurath, the Turkish sultan, was displeased and
alarmed by the seeming friendship of the Greeks and Latins.

[Footnote 7: Isidore was metropolitan of Kiow, but the Greeks
subject to Poland have removed that see from the ruins of Kiow to
Lemberg, or Leopold, (Herbestein, in Ramusio, tom. ii. p. 127.)
On the other hand, the Russians transferred their spiritual
obedience to the archbishop, who became, in 1588, the patriarch,
of Moscow, (Levesque Hist. de Russie, tom. iii. p. 188, 190, from
a Greek Ms. at Turin, Iter et labores Archiepiscopi Arsenii.)]
[Footnote 8: The curious narrative of Levesque (Hist. de Russie,
tom. ii. p. 242 - 247) is extracted from the patriarchal
archives. The scenes of Ferrara and Florence are described by
ignorance and passion; but the Russians are credible in the
account of their own prejudices.]

[Footnote 9: The Shamanism, the ancient religion of the
Samanaeans and Gymnosophists, has been driven by the more popular
Bramins from India into the northern deserts: the naked
philosophers were compelled to wrap themselves in fur; but they
insensibly sunk into wizards and physicians. The Mordvans and
Tcheremisses in the European Russia adhere to this religion,
which is formed on the earthly model of one king or God, his
ministers or angels, and the rebellious spirits who oppose his
government. As these tribes of the Volga have no images, they
might more justly retort on the Latin missionaries the name of
idolaters, (Levesque, Hist. des Peuples soumis a la Domination
des Russes, tom. i. p. 194 - 237, 423 - 460.)]

[Footnote 10: Spondanus, Annal. Eccles. tom ii. A.D. 1451, No.
13. The epistle of the Greeks with a Latin version, is extant in
the college library at Prague.]

"Sultan Murad, or Amurath, lived forty-nine, and reigned
thirty years, six months, and eight days. He was a just and
valiant prince, of a great soul, patient of labors, learned,
merciful, religious, charitable; a lover and encourager of the
studious, and of all who excelled in any art or science; a good
emperor and a great general. No man obtained more or greater
victories than Amurath; Belgrade alone withstood his attacks. ^*
Under his reign, the soldier was ever victorious, the citizen
rich and secure. If he subdued any country, his first care was
to build mosques and caravansaras, hospitals, and colleges.
Every year he gave a thousand pieces of gold to the sons of the
Prophet; and sent two thousand five hundred to the religious
persons of Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem." ^11 This portrait is
transcribed from the historian of the Othman empire: but the
applause of a servile and superstitious people has been lavished
on the worst of tyrants; and the virtues of a sultan are often
the vices most useful to himself, or most agreeable to his
subjects. A nation ignorant of the equal benefits of liberty and
law, must be awed by the flashes of arbitrary power: the cruelty
of a despot will assume the character of justice; his profusion,
of liberality; his obstinacy, of firmness. If the most
reasonable excuse be rejected, few acts of obedience will be
found impossible; and guilt must tremble, where innocence cannot
always be secure. The tranquillity of the people, and the
discipline of the troops, were best maintained by perpetual
action in the field; war was the trade of the Janizaries; and
those who survived the peril, and divided the spoil, applauded
the generous ambition of their sovereign. To propagate the true
religion, was the duty of a faithful Mussulman: the unbelievers
were his enemies, and those of the Prophet; and, in the hands of
the Turks, the scimeter was the only instrument of conversion.
Under these circumstances, however, the justice and moderation of
Amurath are attested by his conduct, and acknowledged by the
Christians themselves; who consider a prosperous reign and a
peaceful death as the reward of his singular merits. In the
vigor of his age and military power, he seldom engaged in war
till he was justified by a previous and adequate provocation: the
victorious sultan was disarmed by submission; and in the
observance of treaties, his word was inviolate and sacred. ^12
The Hungarians were commonly the aggressors; he was provoked by
the revolt of Scanderbeg; and the perfidious Caramanian was twice
vanquished, and twice pardoned, by the Ottoman monarch. Before
he invaded the Morea, Thebes had been surprised by the despot: in
the conquest of Thessalonica, the grandson of Bajazet might
dispute the recent purchase of the Venetians; and after the first
siege of Constantinople, the sultan was never tempted, by the
distress, the absence, or the injuries of Palaeologus, to
extinguish the dying light of the Byzantine empire.

[Footnote *: See the siege and massacre at Thessalonica. Von
Hammer vol. i p. 433 - M.]

[Footnote 11: See Cantemir, History of the Othman Empire, p. 94.
Muraq, or Morad, may be more correct: but I have preferred the
popular name to that obscure diligence which is rarely successful
in translating an Oriental, into the Roman, alphabet.]

[Footnote 12: See Chalcondyles, (l. vii. p. 186, 198,) Ducas, (c.
33,) and Marinus Barletius, (in Vit. Scanderbeg, p. 145, 146.) In
his good faith towards the garrison of Sfetigrade, he was a
lesson and example to his son Mahomet.]

But the most striking feature in the life and character of
Amurath is the double abdication of the Turkish throne; and, were
not his motives debased by an alloy of superstition, we must
praise the royal philosopher, ^13 who at the age of forty could
discern the vanity of human greatness. Resigning the sceptre to
his son, he retired to the pleasant residence of Magnesia; but he
retired to the society of saints and hermits. It was not till
the fourth century of the Hegira, that the religion of Mahomet
had been corrupted by an institution so adverse to his genius;
but in the age of the crusades, the various orders of Dervises
were multiplied by the example of the Christian, and even the
Latin, monks. ^14 The lord of nations submitted to fast, and
pray, and turn round ^* in endless rotation with the fanatics,
who mistook the giddiness of the head for the illumination of the
spirit. ^15 But he was soon awakened from his dreams of
enthusiasm by the Hungarian invasion; and his obedient son was
the foremost to urge the public danger and the wishes of the
people. Under the banner of their veteran leader, the Janizaries
fought and conquered but he withdrew from the field of Varna,
again to pray, to fast, and to turn round with his Magnesian
brethren. These pious occupations were again interrupted by the
danger of the state. A victorious army disdained the
inexperience of their youthful ruler: the city of Adrianople was
abandoned to rapine and slaughter; and the unanimous divan
implored his presence to appease the tumult, and prevent the
rebellion, of the Janizaries. At the well-known voice of their
master, they trembled and obeyed; and the reluctant sultan was
compelled to support his splendid servitude, till at the end of
four years, he was relieved by the angel of death. Age or
disease, misfortune or caprice, have tempted several princes to
descend from the throne; and they have had leisure to repent of
their irretrievable step. But Amurath alone, in the full liberty
of choice, after the trial of empire and solitude, has repeated
his preference of a private life.

[Footnote 13: Voltaire (Essai sur l'Histoire Generale, c. 89, p.
283, 284) admires le Philosophe Turc: would he have bestowed the
same praise on a Christian prince for retiring to a monastery?
In his way, Voltaire was a bigot, an intolerant bigot.]

[Footnote 14: See the articles Dervische, Fakir, Nasser,
Rohbaniat, in D'Herbelot's Bibliotheque Orientale. Yet the
subject is superficially treated from the Persian and Arabian
writers. It is among the Turks that these orders have
principally flourished.]

[Footnote *: Gibbon has fallen into a remarkable error. The
unmonastic retreat of Amurath was that of an epicurean rather
than of a dervis; more like that of Sardanapalus than of Charles
the Fifth. Profane, not divine, love was its chief occupation:
the only dance, that described by Horace as belonging to the
country, motus doceri gaudet Ionicos. See Von Hammer note, p.
652. - M]
[Footnote 15: Ricaut (in the Present State of the Ottoman Empire,
p. 242 - 268) affords much information, which he drew from his
personal conversation with the heads of the dervises, most of
whom ascribed their origin to the time of Orchan. He does not
mention the Zichidae of Chalcondyles, (l. vii. p. 286,) among
whom Amurath retired: the Seids of that author are the
descendants of Mahomet.]

After the departure of his Greek brethren, Eugenius had not
been unmindful of their temporal interest; and his tender regard
for the Byzantine empire was animated by a just apprehension of
the Turks, who approached, and might soon invade, the borders of
Italy. But the spirit of the crusades had expired; and the
coldness of the Franks was not less unreasonable than their
headlong passion. In the eleventh century, a fanatic monk could
precipitate Europe on Asia for the recovery of the holy
sepulchre; but in the fifteenth, the most pressing motives of
religion and policy were insufficient to unite the Latins in the
defence of Christendom. Germany was an inexhaustible storehouse
of men and arms: ^16 but that complex and languid body required
the impulse of a vigorous hand; and Frederic the Third was alike
impotent in his personal character and his Imperial dignity. A
long war had impaired the strength, without satiating the
animosity, of France and England: ^17 but Philip duke of Burgundy
was a vain and magnificent prince; and he enjoyed, without danger
or expense, the adventurous piety of his subjects, who sailed, in
a gallant fleet, from the coast of Flanders to the Hellespont.
The maritime republics of Venice and Genoa were less remote from
the scene of action; and their hostile fleets were associated
under the standard of St. Peter. The kingdoms of Hungary and
Poland, which covered as it were the interior pale of the Latin
church, were the most nearly concerned to oppose the progress of
the Turks. Arms were the patrimony of the Scythians and
Sarmatians; and these nations might appear equal to the contest,
could they point, against the common foe, those swords that were
so wantonly drawn in bloody and domestic quarrels. But the same
spirit was adverse to concord and obedience: a poor country and a
limited monarch are incapable of maintaining a standing force;
and the loose bodies of Polish and Hungarian horse were not armed
with the sentiments and weapons which, on some occasions, have
given irresistible weight to the French chivalry. Yet, on this
side, the designs of the Roman pontiff, and the eloquence of
Cardinal Julian, his legate, were promoted by the circumstances
of the times: ^18 by the union of the two crowns on the head of
Ladislaus, ^19 a young and ambitious soldier; by the valor of a
hero, whose name, the name of John Huniades, was already popular
among the Christians, and formidable to the Turks. An endless
treasure of pardons and indulgences was scattered by the legate;
many private warriors of France and Germany enlisted under the
holy banner; and the crusade derived some strength, or at least
some reputation, from the new allies both of Europe and Asia. A
fugitive despot of Servia exaggerated the distress and ardor of
the Christians beyond the Danube, who would unanimously rise to
vindicate their religion and liberty. The Greek emperor, ^20
with a spirit unknown to his fathers, engaged to guard the
Bosphorus, and to sally from Constantinople at the head of his
national and mercenary troops. The sultan of Caramania ^21
announced the retreat of Amurath, and a powerful diversion in the
heart of Anatolia; and if the fleets of the West could occupy at
the same moment the Straits of the Hellespont, the Ottoman
monarchy would be dissevered and destroyed. Heaven and earth
must rejoice in the perdition of the miscreants; and the legate,
with prudent ambiguity, instilled the opinion of the invisible,
perhaps the visible, aid of the Son of God, and his divine

[Footnote 16: In the year 1431, Germany raised 40,000 horse,
men-at-arms, against the Hussites of Bohemia, (Lenfant, Hist. du
Concile de Basle, tom. i. p. 318.) At the siege of Nuys, on the
Rhine, in 1474, the princes, prelates, and cities, sent their
respective quotas; and the bishop of Munster (qui n'est pas des
plus grands) furnished 1400 horse, 6000 foot, all in green, with
1200 wagons. The united armies of the king of England and the
duke of Burgundy scarcely equalled one third of this German host,
(Memoires de Philippe de Comines, l. iv. c. 2.) At present, six
or seven hundred thousand men are maintained in constant pay and
admirable discipline by the powers of Germany.]
[Footnote 17: It was not till the year 1444, that France and
England could agree on a truce of some months. (See Rymer's
Foedera, and the chronicles of both nations.)]

[Footnote 18: In the Hungarian crusade, Spondanus (Annal. Eccles.
A.D. 1443, 1444) has been my leading guide. He has diligently
read, and critically compared, the Greek and Turkish materials,
the historians of Hungary, Poland, and the West. His narrative
is perspicuous and where he can be free from a religious bias,
the judgment of Spondanus is not contemptible.]
[Footnote 19: I have curtailed the harsh letter (Wladislaus)
which most writers affix to his name, either in compliance with
the Polish pronunciation, or to distinguish him from his rival
the infant Ladislaus of Austria. Their competition for the crown
of Hungary is described by Callimachus, (l. i. ii. p. 447 - 486,)
Bonfinius, (Decad. iii. l. iv.,) Spondanus, and Lenfant.]
[Footnote 20: The Greek historians, Phranza, Chalcondyles, and
Ducas, do not ascribe to their prince a very active part in this
crusade, which he seems to have promoted by his wishes, and
injured by his fears.]

[Footnote 21: Cantemir (p. 88) ascribes to his policy the
original plan, and transcribes his animating epistle to the king
of Hungary. But the Mahometan powers are seldom it formed of the
state of Christendom and the situation and correspondence of the
knights of Rhodes must connect them with the sultan of

Of the Polish and Hungarian diets, a religious war was the
unanimous cry; and Ladislaus, after passing the Danube, led an
army of his confederate subjects as far as Sophia, the capital of
the Bulgarian kingdom. In this expedition they obtained two
signal victories, which were justly ascribed to the valor and
conduct of Huniades. In the first, with a vanguard of ten
thousand men, he surprised the Turkish camp; in the second, he
vanquished and made prisoner the most renowned of their generals,
who possessed the double advantage of ground and numbers. The
approach of winter, and the natural and artificial obstacles of
Mount Haemus, arrested the progress of the hero, who measured a
narrow interval of six days' march from the foot of the mountains
to the hostile towers of Adrianople, and the friendly capital of
the Greek empire. The retreat was undisturbed; and the entrance
into Buda was at once a military and religious triumph. An
ecclesiastical procession was followed by the king and his
warriors on foot: he nicely balanced the merits and rewards of
the two nations; and the pride of conquest was blended with the
humble temper of Christianity. Thirteen bashaws, nine standards,
and four thousand captives, were unquestionable trophies; and as
all were willing to believe, and none were present to contradict,
the crusaders multiplied, with unblushing confidence, the myriads
of Turks whom they had left on the field of battle. ^22 The most
solid proof, and the most salutary consequence, of victory, was a
deputation from the divan to solicit peace, to restore Servia, to
ransom the prisoners, and to evacuate the Hungarian frontier. By
this treaty, the rational objects of the war were obtained: the
king, the despot, and Huniades himself, in the diet of Segedin,
were satisfied with public and private emolument; a truce of ten
years was concluded; and the followers of Jesus and Mahomet, who
swore on the Gospel and the Koran, attested the word of God as
the guardian of truth and the avenger of perfidy. In the place
of the Gospel, the Turkish ministers had proposed to substitute
the Eucharist, the real presence of the Catholic deity; but the
Christians refused to profane their holy mysteries; and a
superstitious conscience is less forcibly bound by the spiritual
energy, than by the outward and visible symbols of an oath. ^23
[Footnote 22: In their letters to the emperor Frederic III. the
Hungarians slay 80,000 Turks in one battle; but the modest Julian
reduces the slaughter to 6000 or even 2000 infidels, (Aeneas
Sylvius in Europ. c. 5, and epist. 44, 81, apud Spondanum.)]

[Footnote 23: See the origin of the Turkish war, and the first
expedition of Ladislaus, in the vth and vith books of the iiid
decad of Bonfinius, who, in his division and style, copies Livy
with tolerable success Callimachus (l. ii p. 487 - 496) is still
more pure and authentic.]

During the whole transaction, the cardinal legate had
observed a sullen silence, unwilling to approve, and unable to
oppose, the consent of the king and people. But the diet was not
dissolved before Julian was fortified by the welcome
intelligence, that Anatolia was invaded by the Caramanian, and
Thrace by the Greek emperor; that the fleets of Genoa, Venice,
and Burgundy, were masters of the Hellespont; and that the
allies, informed of the victory, and ignorant of the treaty, of
Ladislaus, impatiently waited for the return of his victorious
army. "And is it thus," exclaimed the cardinal, ^24 "that you
will desert their expectations and your own fortune? It is to
them, to your God, and your fellow-Christians, that you have
pledged your faith; and that prior obligation annihilates a rash
and sacrilegious oath to the enemies of Christ. His vicar on
earth is the Roman pontiff; without whose sanction you can
neither promise nor perform. In his name I absolve your perjury
and sanctify your arms: follow my footsteps in the paths of glory
and salvation; and if still ye have scruples, devolve on my head
the punishment and the sin." This mischievous casuistry was
seconded by his respectable character, and the levity of popular
assemblies: war was resolved, on the same spot where peace had so
lately been sworn; and, in the execution of the treaty, the Turks
were assaulted by the Christians; to whom, with some reason, they
might apply the epithet of Infidels. The falsehood of Ladislaus
to his word and oath was palliated by the religion of the times:
the most perfect, or at least the most popular, excuse would have
been the success of his arms and the deliverance of the Eastern
church. But the same treaty which should have bound his
conscience had diminished his strength. On the proclamation of
the peace, the French and German volunteers departed with
indignant murmurs: the Poles were exhausted by distant warfare,
and perhaps disgusted with foreign command; and their palatines
accepted the first license, and hastily retired to their
provinces and castles. Even Hungary was divided by faction, or
restrained by a laudable scruple; and the relics of the crusade
that marched in the second expedition were reduced to an
inadequate force of twenty thousand men. A Walachian chief, who
joined the royal standard with his vassals, presumed to remark
that their numbers did not exceed the hunting retinue that
sometimes attended the sultan; and the gift of two horses of
matchless speed might admonish Ladislaus of his secret foresight
of the event. But the despot of Servia, after the restoration of
his country and children, was tempted by the promise of new
realms; and the inexperience of the king, the enthusiasm of the
legate, and the martial presumption of Huniades himself, were
persuaded that every obstacle must yield to the invincible virtue
of the sword and the cross. After the passage of the Danube, two
roads might lead to Constantinople and the Hellespont: the one
direct, abrupt, and difficult through the mountains of Haemus;
the other more tedious and secure, over a level country, and
along the shores of the Euxine; in which their flanks, according
to the Scythian discipline, might always be covered by a movable
fortification of wagons. The latter was judiciously preferred:
the Catholics marched through the plains of Bulgaria, burning,
with wanton cruelty, the churches and villages of the Christian
natives; and their last station was at Warna, near the sea-shore;
on which the defeat and death of Ladislaus have bestowed a
memorable name. ^25
[Footnote 24: I do not pretend to warrant the literal accuracy of
Julian's speech, which is variously worded by Callimachus, (l.
iii. p. 505 - 507,) Bonfinius, (dec. iii. l. vi. p. 457, 458,)
and other historians, who might indulge their own eloquence,
while they represent one of the orators of the age. But they all
agree in the advice and arguments for perjury, which in the field
of controversy are fiercely attacked by the Protestants, and
feebly defended by the Catholics. The latter are discouraged by
the misfortune of Warna]

[Footnote 25: Warna, under the Grecian name of Odessus, was a
colony of the Milesians, which they denominated from the hero
Ulysses, (Cellarius, tom. i. p. 374. D'Anville, tom. i. p. 312.)
According to Arrian's Periplus of the Euxine, (p. 24, 25, in the
first volume of Hudson's Geographers,) it was situate 1740
stadia, or furlongs, from the mouth of the Danube, 2140 from

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