« ForrigeFortsett »
reputation, a clear foresight of the difficulties of the task, had engaged him to refuse the honour of their choice: the statutes of Rome were suspended, and his office prolonged to the term of three years. By the guilty and licentious he was accused as cruel; by the clergy he was suspected as partial ; but the friends of peace and order applauded the firm and upright magistrate by whom those blessings were restored. No criminals were so powerful as to brave, so obscure as to elude, the justice of the senator. By his sentence two nobles of the Annibaldi family were executed on a gibbet; and he inexorably demolished, in the city and neighbourhood, one hundred and forty towers, the strong shelters of rapine and mischief. The bishop, as a simple bishop, was compelled to reside in his diocese; and the standard of Brancaleone was displayed in the field with terror and effect. His services were repaid by the ingratitude of a people unworthy of the happiness which they enjoyed. By the public robbers, whom he had provoked for their sake, the Romans were excited to depose and imprison their benefactor; nor would his life have been spared if Bologna had not possessed a pledge for his safety. Before his departure the prudent senator had required the exchange of thirty hostages of the noblest families of Rome: on the news of his danger, and at the prayer of his wife, they were more strictly guarded; and Bologna, in the cause of honour, sustained the thunders of a papal interdict. This generous resistance allowed the Romans to compare the present with the past; and Brancaleone was conducted from the prison to the Capitol amidst the acclamations of a repentant people. The remainder of his government was firm and fortunate; and as soon as envy was appeased by death, his head, enclosed in a precious vase, was deposited on a lofty column of marble.” The impotence of reason and virtue recommended in Italy a more charles of effectual choice: instead of a private citizen, to whom they *"... yielded a voluntary and precarious obedience, the Romans ** elected for their senator some prince of independent power, who could defend them from their enemies and themselves. Charles of Anjou and Provence, the most ambitious and warlike monarch of the age, accepted at the same time the kingdom of Naples from the pope and the office of senator from the Roman people.” As he
* Matthew Paris thus ends his account: Caput vero ipsius Brancaleonis in vase pretioso super marmoream columnam collocatum, in signum sui valoris et probitatis, quasi reliquias, superstitiose nimis et pompose sustulerunt. Fuerat enim superborum Votentum et malefactorum urbis malleus et exstirpator, et populi protector et defensor, veritatis et justitiae imitator et amator (p. 840). A biographer of Innocent IV (Muratori, Script. tom. iii. P. i. p. 591, 592) draws a less favourable portrait of this Ghibeline senator.
* The election of Charles of Anjou to the office of perpetual senator of Rome is mentioned by the historians in the viiith volume of the Collection of Muratori, by
passed through the city in his road to victory he received their oath
Nicholas de Jamsilla (p. 592), the monk of Padua (p. 724), Sabas Malaspina (l. ii.
nis silence and neglect, they exhort the former of these princes to pass the Alps, and assume from their hands the Imperial crown. “We “beseech your majesty not to disdain the humility of your sons and “vassals, not to listen to the accusations of our common enemies, “who calumniate the senate as hostile to your throne, who sow the “seeds of discord that they may reap the harvest of destruction. The “pope and the Sicilian are united in an impious league to oppose our “liberty and your coronation. With the blessing of God our zea“and courage has hitherto defeated their attempts. Of their powerful “and factious adherents, more especially the Frangipani, we have “taken by assault the houses and turrets: some of these are occupied “by our troops, and seme are levelled with the ground. The Mil“vian bridge, which they had broken, is restored and fortified for “your safe passage, and your army may enter the city without being “ annoyed from the castle of St. Angelo. All that we have done, “ and all that we design, is for your honour and service, in the loyal “hope that you will speedily appear in person to vindicate those “rights which have been invaded by the clergy, to revive the dignity “of the empire, and to surpass the fame and glory of your predeces“sors. May you fix your residence in Rome, the capital of the “world; give laws to Italy and the Teutonic kingdom; and imitate “the example of Constantine and Justinian,” who, by the vigour of “the senate and people, obtained the sceptre of the earth.”* But these splendid and fallacious wishes were not cherished by Comrad the Franconian, whose eyes were fixed on the Holy Land, and who died without visiting Rome soon after his return from the Holy Land. His nephew and successor, Frederic Barbarossa, was more ambiFrederic I, tious of the Imperial crown; nor had any of the successors *** of Otho acquired such absolute sway over the kingdom of Italy. Surrounded by his ecclesiastical and secular princes, he gave audience in his camp at Sutri to the ambassadors of Rome, who thus addressed him in a free and florid oration: “Incline your ear to the “queen of cities; approach with a peaceful and friendly mind the “precincts of Rome, which has cast away the yoke of the clergy, “and is impatient to crown her legitimate emperor. Under your “auspicious influence may the primitive times be restored. Assert “the prerogatives of the eternal city, and reduce under her monarchy “the insolence of the world. You are not ignorant that in former
* We desire (said the ignorant Romans) to restore the empire in eum statum, quo fuit tempore Constantini et Justiniani, qui totum orbem vigore senatas et populi Romani suis tenuere manibus.
* Otho Frising. de Gestis Frederini I., l. i. c. 28, p. 662-664.
“ages, by the wisdom of the senate, by the valour and discipline of “the equestrian order, she extended her victorious arms to the East “ and West, beyond the Alps, and over the islands of the ocean. “By our sins, in the absence of our princes, the noble institution of “the senate has sunk in oblivion; and with our prudence our strength “has likewise decreased. We have revived the senate and the eques“trian order: the counsels of the one, the arms of the other, will be “devoted to your person and the service of the empire. Do you not “hear the language of the Roman matron? You were a guest, I “have adopted you as a citizen; a Transalpine stranger, I have “elected you for my sovereign,” and given you myself, and all that “is mine. Your first and most sacred duty is to swear and subscribe “that you will shed your blood for the republic; that you will main“tain in peace and justice the laws of the city and the charters of “your predecessors; and that you will reward with five thousand “pounds of silver the faithful senators who shall proclaim your titles “in the Capitol. With the name assume the character of Augustus.” The flowers of Latin rhetoric were not yet exhausted; but Frederic, impatient of their vanity, interrupted the orators in the high tone of royalty and conquest. “Famous indeed have been the fortitude and “wisdom of the ancient Romans; but your speech is not seasoned “with wisdom, and I could wish that fortitude were conspicuous in “your actions. Like all sublunary things, Rome has felt the vicissi“tudes of time and fortune. Your noblest families were translated “to the East, to the royal city of Constantine; and the remains of “your strength and freedom have long since been exhausted by the “Greeks and Franks. Are you desirous of beholding the ancient “glory of Rome, the gravity of the senate, the spirit of the knights, “ the discipline of the camp, the valour of the legions? you will find “ them in the German republic. It is not empire, naked and alone; “the ornaments and virtues of empire have likewise migrated beyond “the Alps to a more deserving people:" they will be employed in “your defence, but they claim your obedience. You pretend that “myself or my predecessors have been invited by the Romans: you “mistake the word; they were not invited, they were implored. “From its foreign and domestic tyrants the city was rescued by “Charlemagne and Otho, whose ashes repose in our country; and “ their dominion was the price of your deliverance. Under that do
* Hospes eras, civem feci. Advena fuisti ex Transalpinis partibus; principem constitui.
* Non cessit nobis nudum imperium, virtute sua amictum venit, ornamenta sua. secum traxit. ‘Penes nos sunt consules tui,. &c. Cicero or Livy would not have rejected these images, the eloquence cf a barbarian born and educated in the Hercynian forest.
“minion your ancestors lived and died. I calm by the right of “inheritance and possession, and who shall dare to extort you from “my hands? Is the hand of the Franks” and Germans enfeebled “by age? Am I vanquished 2 Am I a captive? Am I not encom“passed with the banners of a potent and invincible army? You “impose conditions on your master; you require oaths: if the con“ditions are just, an oath is superfluous; if unjust, it is criminal. “Can you doubt my equity? It is extended to the meanest of my “subjects. Will not my sword be unsheathed in the defence of the “Capitol? By that sword the northern kingdom of Denmark has “ been restored to the Roman empire. You prescribe the measure “ and the objects of my bounty, which flows in a copious but a volun“tary stream. All will be given to patient merit; all will be denied “to rude importunity.” ” Neither the emperor nor the senate could maintain these lofty pretensions of dominion and liberty. United with the pope, and suspicious of the Romans, Frederic continued his march to the Vatican ; his coronation was disturbed by a sally from the Capitol; and if the numbers and valour of the Germans prevailed in the bloody conflict, he could not safely encamp in the presence of a city of which he styled himself the sovereign. About twelve years afterwards he besieged Rome, to seat an antipope in the chair of St. Peter; and twelve Pisan galleys were introduced into the Tiber; but the senate and people were saved by the arts of negociation and the progress of disease; nor did Frederic or his successors reiterate the hostile attempt. Their laborious reigns were exercised by the popes, the crusades, and the independence of Lombardy and Germany: they courted the alliance of the Romans; and Frederic the Second offered in the Capitol the great standard, the Caroccio of Milan.”
* Otho of Frisingen, who surely understood the language of the court and diet. of Germany, speaks of the Franks in the xiith century as the reigning nation (Proceres Franci, equites Franci, manus Francorum); he adds, however, the epithet of Teutonici. * Otho Frising. de Gestis Frederici I., l. ii., c. 22, p. 720–723. These original and authentic acts I have translated and abridged with freedom, yet with fidelity. * From the Chronicles of Ricobaldo and Francis Pipin, Muratori (dissert. xxvi. tom. ii. p. 492) has transcribed this curious fact with the doggrel verses that accom, panied the gift:— Ave decus orbis, ave! victus tibi destinor, ave! Currus ab Augusto Frederico Caesare justo. Vac Mediolanum jam sentis spernere vanum Imperii vires, proprias tibi tollere vires. Ergo triumphorum urbs potes memor esse priorum Quos tibi mittebant reges qui bella gerebant.
Ne sidee tacere (1 now use the Italian Dissertations, tom. i. p. 444) che nell' anno 1727, una copia desso Caroccio in marmo dianzi ignoto si scopri, nél Campidoglio, presso alle carcere di quel luogo, dove Sisto V. l'avea falto rinchiudere. Stava esso Posto sopra quatro colonne di marmo fino colla sequente inscrizione, &c.; to the same purpose as the old inscription.