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and eccjosiastica., history. In the conquest of Italy, the champions of the Roman church obtained a favorable occasion, a specious title, the wishes of the people, the prayers and intrigues of the clergy. But the most essential gifts of the popes to the Carlovingian race were the dignities of king of France,66 and of patrician of Rome. I. Under the sacerdotal monarchy of St. Peter, the nations began to resume the practice of seeking, on the banks of the Tyber, their kings, theii laws, and the oracles of their fate. The Franks were perplexed between the name and substance of their government. All the powers of royalty were exercised by Pepin, mayor of the palace; and nothing, except the regal title, was wanting to b;s ambition. His enemies were crushed by his valor; his friouds were multiplied by his liberality; his father had been the savior of Christendom; and the claims of personal merit were repeated and ennobled in a descent of four generations. The name and image of royalty was still preserved in the last descendant of Clovis, the feeble Childeric; but his obsolete right could only be used as an instrument of sedition: the nation was desirous of restoring the simplicity of the constitution; and Pepin, a subject and a prince, was ambitious to ascertain his own rank and the fortune of his family. The mayor and the nobles were bound, by an oath of fidelity, to the royal phantom: the blood of Clovis was pure and sacred in their eyes; and their common ambassadors addressed the Roman pontiff, to dispel their scruples, or to absolve their promise. The interest of Pope Zachary, the successor of the two Gregories, prompted him to decide, and to decide in their favor: he pronounced that the nation might lawfully unit'? in the same person the title and authority of king; and that the unfortunate Childeric, a victim of the public safety, should be degraded, shaved, and confined in a monastery for the remainder of his days. An answer so agreeable to their wishes was accepted by the Franks as the opinion of? tasuist, the sentence of a judge, or the oracle
"Besides r.he common historians, three French critics, Launoy, (Opera, torn. v. pars ii. 1 vii. epist. 9, p. 477—487,) Pagi, (Critica, A. D. 751, No. 1—6, A.D. 752, No. 1—10,) and Natalia Alexander, (Hist. Novi Testamenti, dissertat. ii. p. 96—107,) have treated this subject of the deposition of Childeric with learning and attention, but with a strong bias to save the independence of the crown. Yet they are hard pressed by the texts which they produce of Eginhard, The ophanes, and the old annals, Laureshamenses, Fuldenses, Loisielani
than the Lombards of the injury: the two nations, hostile in their faith, were reconciled in a dangerous and unnatural alliance: the king and the exarch marched to the conquest of Spoleto and Rome: the storm evaporated without effect, but the policy of Liutprand alarmed Italy with a vexatious alternative ot hostility and truce. His successor Astolphus declared himself the equal enemy of the emperor and the pope: Ravenna was subdued by force or treachery,60 and this final conquest extinguished the series of the exarchs, who had reigned with a subordinate power since the time of Justinian and the ruin of the Gothic kingdom. Rome was sum moned to acknowledge the victorious Lombard as her lawful sovereign; the annual tribute of a piece of gold was fixed as the ransom of each citizen, and the sword of destruction was unsheathed to exact the penalty of her disobedience. The Romans hesitated; they entreated; they complained; and the threatening Barbarians were checked by arms and negotiations, till the popes had engaged the friendship of an ally and avenger beyond the Alps.61
In his distress, the first* Gregory had implored the aid of the hero of the age, of Charles Martel, who governed the French monarchy with the humble title of mayor or duke; and who, by his signal victory over the Saracens, had saved his country, and perhaps Europe, from the Mahometan yoke. The ambassadors of the pope were received by Charles with decent reverence; but the greatness of his occupations, and the shortness of his life, prevented his interference in the affairs of Italy, except by a friendly and ineffectual mediation. His son Pepin, the heir of his power and virtues, assumed the office of champion of the Roman church; and the zeal of the French prince appears to have been piompted
60 The option will depend on the various readings of the MSS. of Anastasius—deceperat, or decerpserat, (Script. Ital. torn. iii. pars i. p. 167.)
61 The Codex Carolinus is a collection of the epistles of the pope? to Charles Martel, (whom they style Subregulus,) Pepin, and Charlemagne, as far as the year 791, when it was formed by the last of these princes. His original and authentic MS. (Bibliothecae Cubicularis) is now in the Imperial library of Vienna, and has been published by Larabecius and Muratori, (Script. Rerum Ital. torn. iii. para ii. p. 75,
* Gregory 1. had been dead above a century; read Gregory IIL— M
by the love jf glory and religion. But the danger was on the banks of the Tyber, the succor on those of the Seine, and our sympathy is cold to the relation of distant misery. Amidsi the tears of the city, Stephen the Third embraced the generous resolution of visiting in person the courts of Lombardy and France, to deprecate the injustice of his enemy, or to excite the pity and indignation of his friend. After soothing the public despair by litanies and orations, he undertook thia laborious journey with the ambassadors of the French monarch and the Greek emperor. The king of the Lombards was inexorable; but his threats could not silence the complaints, nor retard the speed of the Roman pontiff, who trav ersed the Pennine Alps, reposed in the abbey of St. Maurice, and hastened to grasp the right hand of his protector; a hand which was never lifted in vain, either in war or friendship. Stephen was entertained as the visible successor of the apostle; at the next assembly, the field of March or of May, big injuries were exposed to a devout and warlike nation, and he repassed the Alps, not as a suppliant, but as a conqueror, at the head of a French army, which was led by the king in person. The Lombards, after a weak resistance, obtained an ignominious peace, and swore to restore the possessions, and to respect the sanctity, of the Roman church. But no sooner was Astolphus delivered from the presence of the French arms, than he forgot his promise and resented his disgrace. Rome was again encompassed by his arms; and Stephea apprehensive of fatiguing the zeal of his Transalpine allies enforced his complaint and request by an eloquent letter in the name and person of St. Peter himself.68 The apostle assures his adopted sons, the king, the clergy, and the nobles of France, that, dead in the flesh, he is still alive in the spirit; that they now hear, and must obey, the voice of the founder and guardian of the Roman church; that the Virgin, the angels, the saints, and the martyrs, and all the host of heaven, unanimously urge the request, and will confess the obligation • that riches, victory, and paradise, will crown their pious enterprise, and that eternal damnation will be the penalty of theii
M See this most extraordinary letter in the Godex Carolinus, epist iii. p. 92. The enemies of the popes have charged them with fraud and blasphemy; yet they surely meant to persuade rather titan deceive. This introduction of the dead, or of immortals, was familiar to the ancient orators, though it is executed on this occasion in the rudt fkahion of the age.
neglect, if they suffer his tomb, his temple, and his people, to fall into the hands of the perfidious Lombards. The second expedition of Pepin was not less rapid and fortunate than the first: St. Peter was satisfied, Rome was again saved, and Astolphus was taught the lessons of justice and sincerity bv the scourge of a foreign master. After this double chastisement, the Lombards languished about twenty years in a state of languor and decay. But their minds were not yet humbled to their condition; and instead of affecting the pacific virtues of the feeble, they peevishly harassed the Romans with 0 repetition of claims, evasions, and inroads, which they under took without reflection, and terminated without glory. On either side, their expiring monarchy was pressed by the zeal and prudence of Pope Adrian the First, the genius, the fortune, and greatness of Charlemagne, the son of Pepin; these heroes of the church and state were united in public and domestic friendship, and while they trampled on the prostrate, they varnished their proceedings with the fairest colors of equity and moderation." The passes of the Alps, and the walls of Pavia, were the only defence of the Lombards; the former were surprised, the latter were invested, by the sor. of Pepin; and after a blockade of two years,* Desiderius, the last of their native princes, surrendered his sceptre and his capital. Under the dominion of a foreign king, but in the possession of their national laws,, the Lombards became the brethren, rather than the subjects, of the Franks; who derived their blood, and manners, and language, from the same Germanic origin.64
The mutual obligations of the popes and the Carlovingian family form the important link of ancient and modern, of civil
68 Except in the divorce of the daughter of Desiderius, whom Char lemagne repudiated sine iliquo crirnine. Pope Stephen IV. had mosf furiously opposed the alliance of a noble Frank—cum periida, horrid* nee dicenda, foetentissima natione Longobardorum—to whom he imputes the first stain of leprosy, (Cod. Carolin. epist. 45, p. 178, 179.) Another reason against the marriage was the existence of a first wife, (Muratori, Annali d' Italia, torn. vi. p. 232, 233, 236, 237.) But Charlomagne indulged himself in the freedom of polygamy or con cubinage.
"See the Annali d' Italia of Muratori, torn, vi., and the three fint Dissertations of his Antiquitates Italiae Medii JEvi, torn. i.
* Of fifteen months James. Life of Cliarlemagne, p 187.—M
war; if the Christians, who visited the holy threshold, would have sheathed their swords in the presence of the apostle and his successor. But this mystic circle could have been traced >nly by the wand of a legislator and a sage: this pacific system was incompatible with the zeal and ambition of the popes *he Romans were not addicted, like the inhabitants of Elis, to the innocent and placid labors of agriculture; and the Barbarians of Italy, though softened by the climate, were far below the Grecian states in the institutions of public and private life. A memorable example of repentance and piety was exhibited by Liutprand, king of the Lombards. In arms, at the gate of the Vatican, the conqueror listened to the voice of Gregory the Second,48 withdrew his troops, resigned his conquests, respectfully visited the church of St. Peter, and after performing his devotions, offered his sword and dagger, his cuirass and mantle, his silver cross, and his crown of gold, on the tomb of the apostle. But this religious fervor was the illusion, perhaps the artifice, of the moment; the sense of interest is strong and lasting; the love of arms and rapine was congenial to the Lombards; and both the prince and people were irresistibly tempted by the disorders of Italy, the nakedness of Rome, and the unwarlike profession of her new chief. On the first edicts of the emperor, they declared themselves the champions of the holy images: Liutprand invaded the province of Romagna, which had already assumed that distinctive appellation; the Catholics of the Exarchate yielded without reluctance to his civil and military power; and a foreign enemy was introduced for the first time into the impregnable fortress of Ravenna. That city and fortress were speedily recovered by the active diligence and maritime forces of the Venetians; and those faithful subjects obeyed the exhortation of Gregory himself, in separating the personal guilt of Leo from the general cause of the Roman empire.49 The Greeks were less mindful of the service,
48 The speech of Gregory to the Lombard is finely composed by Sigonius, (de Regno Italiae, 1. iii. Opera, torn. ii. p. 173,) who imitate* the license and the spirit of Sallust or Livy.
** The Venetian historians, John Sagorninus, (Chron. Venet p. 18,) «)d the doge Andrew Dandolo, (Scriptores Rer. Ital. torn. xii. p 135,) fcjve preserved this epistle of Gregory. The loss and recovery of Ra r<mna are mentioned by Paulus Diaconua, (de Gest. Langobard, L vi. c 4t. 51, in Script. Ital. torn. i. pars i. p. 506, 508;) but our chronolo gins, Pagi, Muratori, <fec, cannot ascertain the date or circumstance*