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pen.se of their service. At the same time, the Russian prince admonished his Byzantine ally to disperse and employ, to recompense and restrain, these impetuous children of the North. Contemporary writers have recorded the introduction, name, and character, of the Varangians: each day they rose in confidence and esteem; the whole body was assembled at Constantinople to perform the duty of guards; and their strength was recruited by a numerous band of their countrymen from the Island of Thule. On this occasion, the vague appellation of Thule is applied to England; and the new Varangians were a colony of English and Danes who fled from the yoke of the Norman conqueror. The habits of pilgrimage and piracy had approximated the countries of the earth; these exiles were entertained in the Byzantine court; and they preserved, till the last age of the empire, the inheritance of spotless loyalty, and the use of the Danish or English tongue. With their broad and double-edged battle-axes on their shoulders, they attended the Greek emperor to the temple, the senate, and the hippodrome; he slept and feasted under their trusty guard; and the keys of the palace, the treasury, and the capital, were held by the firm and faithful hands of the Varangians.48
In the tenth century, the geography of Scythia was ex tended far beyond the limits of ancient knowledge; and the monarchy of the Russians obtains a vast and conspicuous place in the map of Constantine.48 The sons of Ruric were masters of the spacious province of Wolodomir, or Moscow;
48 Ducange has collected from the original authors the state and history of the Varangi at Constantinople, (Glossar. Med. et Infimaa Graeoitatis, sub voce Bapayyoi. Med. et Infimae Latinitatis, sub voce Vagri. Not. ad Alexiad. Annse Comnense, p. 256, 257, 258. Notes sur Villehardouin, p. 296—299.) See likewise the annotations of Reiske to the Ceremoniale Aulae Byzant. of Constantine, torn, it p 149, 110. Saxo Grammaticus affirms that they spoke Danish; but Codinus maintains them till the fifteenth century in the use of their Dative English: LTttAv^poi'ifuiwt o! Rdpayyoi Kara rr]v Trarpiov yXuatmv avrum tjyovv lyicXivioTi.
40 The original record of the geography and trade of Russia is pro duced by the emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus, (de Administrat Imperii, c. 2, p. 55, 56, c. 9, p. 59—61, c. 13, p. 63—67, c. 37, p. 106. c 42, p. 112, 113,) and illustrated by the diligence of Bayer, (do Geographic Russiie vicinarumque Regionum circiter A C. 948, in Comment. Academ. Petropol. torn. ix. p. 367—422, torn. x. p. 371— 421,) with the aid of the chronicles and traditions of Russia, Sound* a»»ia, (Sec.
and, if they were confined on that side by the hordes of th« rfast, their western frontier in those early days was enlarged to the Baltic Sea and the country of the Prussians. Then northern reign ascended above the sixtieth degree of latitude over the Hyperborean regions, which fancy had peopled with monsters, or clouded with eternal darkness. To the south they followed the course of the Borysthenes, and approached with that river the neighborhood of the Euxine Sea. The tribes that dwelt, or wandered, in this ample circuit were obedient to the same conqueror, and insensibly blended into the same nation. The language of Russia is a dialect of the Sclavonian; but in the tenth century, these two modes of speech were different from each other; and, as the Sclavo man prevailed in the South, it may be presumed that the original Russians of the North, the primitive subjects of the Varangian chief, were a portion of the Fennic race. With the emigration, union, or dissolution, of the wandering tribes, the loose and indefinite picture of the Scythian desert has continually shifted. But the most ancient map of Russia affords some places which still retain their name and position; and the two capitals, NovogorodM and Kiow," are coeval with the first age of the monarchy. Novogorod had not yet deserved the epithet of great, nor the alliance of the Hauseatic League, which diffused the streams of opulence and the principles of freedom. Kiow could not yet boast of three hundred churches, an innumerable people, and a degree of greatness and splendor which was compared with Constantinople by those who had never seen the residence of the Caesars. In their origin, the two cities were no more than
60 The haughty proverb, " Who can resist God and the great Novogorod?" is applied by M. Leveque (Hist, de Russie, torn. i. p 60) even to the times that preceded the reign of Ruric. In the course of his history he frequently celebrates this republic, which was suppressed A. D. 1475, (torn ii. p. 252—266.) That accurate traveller Adam Olearius describes (in 1635) the remains jf Novogorod, and die route bv sea and land of the Holstein ambassadors, torn. L p. 123 -129.
61 In hac magna civitate, quae est caput regni, plus trecentae eccleniffi habentur et nundinse octo, populi etiam ignota manus (Eggeharclus ad A. D. 1018, apud Bayer, torn. ix. p. 412.) He likewise quotes (torn. x. p. 397) the woids of the Saxon annalist, Cuius (BuHSia) Metropolis est Chive, reiuula sceptri Oonstantinopolitani, quae est ilarissiinum decus Grseciae. The fame of Kiow, especially in the aitli xnturv, had reached the German and Arabian geographer*
camps or fairs, the most convenient stations in which the Barbarians might assemble for the occasional business of war or trade;. Yet even these assemblies announce some progress in the arts of society; a new breed of cattle was imported from the southern provinces; and the spirit of commercial enterprise pervaded the sea and land, from the Baltic to the Euxine, from the mouth of the Oder to the port of Constantinople. In the days of idolatry and barbarism, the Sclavonic city of Julin was frequented and enriched by the Normans, who had prudently secured a free mart of purchase and exchange." From this harbor, at the entrance of the Oder, the corsair, or merchant, sailed in forty-three days to the eastern shores of the Baltic, the most distant nations were intermingled, and the holy groves of Curland are said to have been decorated with Grecian and Spanish gold.68 Between the sea and Novogorod an easy intercourse was discovered; in the summer, through a gulf, a lake, and a navigable river; in the winter season, over the hard and level surface of boundless snows. From the neighborhood of that city, the Russians descended the streams that fall into the Borysthenes; their canoes, of a single tree, were laden with slaves of every age, furs of every species, the spoil of their beehives, and the hicVs of their cattle; and the whole produce of the North
62 In Odoroe ostio qua Scythicas alluit paludes, nobilissima civitaa Julinuni, celeberrimam, Barbaris et Graecis qui sunt in circuitu, praeetans stationem, est sane maxima omnium quas Europa claudit civitatum, (Adam Bremensis, Hist. Eccles. p. 19;) a strange exaggeration even in the xith century. The trade of the Baltic, and the Hanseatic League, are carefully treated in Anderson's Historical Deduction of Commerce; at least, in our language, I am not acquainted with any book so satisfactory.*
68 According to Adam of Bremen, (de Situ Daniae, p. 58,) the old Curland extended eight days' journey along the coast; and by Peter Teutoburgicus, (p. 68, A. D. 1326,) Memel is defined as the common frontier of Russia, Curland, and Prussia. Aurum ibi plurimum, (says Adam,) divinis auguribus atque necromanticis omnes domug sunt plenas .... a toto orbe ibi responsa petuntur, maxime ab His panis (forsan Zupanis, id est regulis Lettovias) et Graecis. The name of Greeks w:is applied to the Russians even before their conversion; an imperfect conversion, if they still consulted the wizards of Curland, (Bayer, torn. x. p. '.578, 402, <fec. Grotius, Prolegomen. ad Hist. Goth P-09-)
* The book of authority is the " Geschichte des Hansealischen Bundea." •y George Sartorial, Gottingen, 1803, or rather the later edition of Usw work by M. Lappenberg, 2 vols. 4to., Hamburgh. 1S30.—M. 1 615,
was collected and discharged in the magazines of Kiow The month of June was the ordinary season of the departure of the fleet: the timber of the canoes was framed into the oars and benches of more solid and capacious boats: and they proceeded without obstacle down the Borysthenes, as far as the seven or thirteen ridges of rocks, which traverse the bed, and precipitate the waters, of the river. At the more shallow falls it was sufficient to lighten the vessels; but the deeper cataracts were impassable; and the mariners, who dragged their vessels and their slaves six miles over land, were exposed in this toilsome journey to the robbers of the desert.64 At the first island below the falls, the Russians celebrated the festival of their escape: at a second, near the mouth of the river, they repaired their shattered vessels for the longer and more perilous voyage of the Black Sea. If they steered along the coast, the Danube was accessible; with a fair wind they could reach in thirty-six or forty hours the opposite shores of Anatolia; and Constantinople admitted the annual visit of the strangers of the North. They returned at the stated season with a rich cargo of corn, wine, and oil, the manufactures of Greece, and the spices of India. Some of their countrymen resided in the capital and provinces; and the national treaties protected the persons, effects, and privileges, of the Russian merchant.66
But the same communication which had been opened foi the benefit, was soon abused for the injury, of mankind. In a period of one hundred and ninety years, the Russians made four attempts to plunder the treasures of Constantinople: the event was various, but the motive, the means, and the object, were the same in these naval expeditions.66 The Russian
"Constantine only reckons seven cataracts, of which he gives the Russian and Sclavonic names; but thirteen are enumerated by the Sieur de Beauplan, a French engineer, who had surveyed the course and navigation of the Dnieper, or Borysthenes, (Description de l'Ukraine, Rouen, 1660, a thin quarto;) but the map is unluckily wanting in my copy.
66 Nestor, apud Leveque, Hist, de Russie, torn. i. p. 78—80. From the Dnieper, or Borysthenes, the Russians went to Black Bulgaria, (Jhazaria, and Syria. To Syria, how? where? when? May we not, instead of Lofts, read Evamaf (de Administrat. Imp. c. 42 p. 118.) The alteration is slight; the position of Suania, between Chazaria fcnd Lazica, is perfectly suitable; and the name was stdl used in th« tith century, (Cedren. torn. ii. p. 710.)
'* The wars of the Russians and Greeks in the ixth, xth, and xi*k traders had seen the magnificence, and tasted the luxuiy of the city of the Caesars. A marvellous tale, and a scanty supply, excited the desires of their savage countrymen: they envied the gifts of nature which their climate denied; they coveted the works of art, which they were too lazy to imitate and too indigent to purchase; the Varangian princes unfurled the banners of piratical adventure, and their bravest soldiers were drawn from the nations that dwelt in the northern isles of the ocean.** The image of their naval armaments was revived in the last century, in the fleets of the Cossacks, which issued from the Borysthenes, to navigate the same seas for a similar purpose." The Greek appellation of monoxyla, 01 single canoes, might justly be applied to the bottom of theii vessels. It was scooped out of the long stem of a beech or willow, but the slight and narrow foundation was raised and continued on either side with planks, till it attained the length of sixty, and the height of about twelve, feet. These boats were built without a deck, but with two rudders and a mast; to move with sails and oars; and to contain from forty to seventy men, with their arms, and provisions of fresh water and salt fish. The first trial of the Russians was made with two hundred boats; but when the national force was exerted, they might arm against Constantinople a thousand or twelve hundred vessels. Their fleet was not much inferior to the royal navy of Agamemnon, but it was magnified in the eye& of fear to ten or fifteen times the real proportion of its strength and numbors. Had the Greek emperors been endowed with foresight to discern, and vigor to prevent, perhaps they might have sealed with a maritime force the mouth of the Borysthenes. Their indolence abandoned the coast of Anatolia to the calamities of a piratical war, which, after an interval of six aundred years, again infested the Euxine; but as long as the capital was respected, the sufferings of a distant province escaped the notice both of the prince and the historian. The Btorm which had swept along from the Phasis and Trebizond,
centuries, are related in the Byzantine annals, especially those of Zonaras and Cedrenus; and all their testimonies are collected in the Russica of Stritter, torn. ii. pars ii. p. 939—1044.
TlpoacTaipiciificpni Si xal avfi/ia^iKov Ovk dAi'yov dtrd Tmv KaroiKotivTWv it
ratf npoaapKriais Tov '£li<eavnv vfiaot; idvim: Cedrenus in Compend. p. 758
68 See Beauplan, (Description de l'TJkraine, p. 54—61:) his descrip
ttons are lively, his plans accurate, and except the circumstance oi
fire-artnr we may read old Russians for modern Cosacks