« ForrigeFortsett »
tifications ot the camp and city Many deeds of valor wer* performed; several desperate sallies were attempted; nor was it till after a siege of sixty-five days that Swatoslaus yielded to his adverse fortune. The liberal terms which lie obtained announce the prudence of the victor, who respected the valor, and apprehended the despair, of an uneonquerc.1 mind. The great duke of Russia bound himself, by solemn imprecations, to relinquish all hostile designs; a safe passage was opened for his return; the libeity of trade and navigation was restored; a measure of corn was distributed to each of his soldiers; and the allowance of twenty-two thousand measures attests the loss and the remnant of the Barbarians. After a painful voyage, they again reached the mouth of the Borysthenes; but their provisions were exhausted; the season was unfavorable; they passed the winter on the ice; and. before they could prosecute their inarch, Swatoslaus was surprised and oppressed by the neighboring tribes with whom the Greeks entertained a perpetual and useful correspondence." Far different was the return of Zimisces, who was received in his capital like Camillus or Marius, the saviors of ancient Rome. But the merit of the victory was attributed by the pious emperor to the mother of God; and the image of the Virgin Mary, with the divine infant in her amis, was placed on a triumphal car, adorned with the spoils of war, and the ensigns of Bulgarian royalty. Zimisces made his public entry on horseback; the diadem on his head, a crown of laurel in his hand; and Constantinople was astonished to applaud the martial virtues of her sovereign."
Photius of Constantinople, a patriarch, whose ambition was equal to his curiosity, congratulates himself and the Greek church on the conversion of the Russians.78 Those fierce and bloody Barbarians had been persuaded, by the voice of
71 The political management of the Greeks, more especially with the Patzinacites, is explained in the seven first chapters, de Adminis tratione Imperii.
"In the narrative of this war, Leo the Deacon (apud Pttgi. Crit ica, torn. iv. A. D. 968—973) is more authentic and circumstantial tt.nn Cedrenus (torn. ii. p. 660—683) and Zonaras, (torn. ii. p. 205— 214.) These declaimers have multiplied to 308.000 and 330,000 men, chose Russian forces, of which the contemporary had given a moderate »n 1 consistent account.
71 Phot. Kpistol. ii. No. 35, p. 58, edit. Montacut. It was unworthy of the learning of the editor to mistake the Russian natio* n' 'Via-, foj tt war-cry of the Bulgarians, nor did it become the en reason ai.d religion, to acknowledge Jesus for their God, the Christian missionaries for their teachers, and the Romans fot their friends and brethren, llis triumph was transient and premature. In the various fortune of their piratical adventures, some Russian chiefs might allow themselves to be sprinkled with the waters of baptism; and a Greek bishop, with the name of metropolitan, might administer the sacraments in the church of Kiow, to a congregation of slaves and natives. But the seed of the gospel was sown on a barren »oil: many were the apostates, the converts were few; and the baptism of Olga may be fixed as the sera of Russian Christianity.'4 A female, perhaps of the basest origin, who could revenge the death, and assume the sceptre, of her husband Igor, must nave been endowed with those active virtues which command the fear and obedience of IWbarians. In a moment of foreign and domestic peace, she sailed from Kiow to Constantinople; and the emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus has described, with minute diligence, the ceremonial of her reception in his capital and palace. The steps, the titles, the salutations, the banquet, the presents, were exquisitely adjusted to gratiiv the vanity of the stranger, with due reverence to the superior majesty of the purple.TM In the sacrament of baptism, she received the venerable name of the empress Helena; and her conversion might be preceded or followed by her uncle, uwo interpreters, sixteen damsels of a higher, and eighteen ot a lower rank, twenty-two domestics or ministers, and tbrty-four Russian merchants, who composed the retinue of the gieat princess Olga. After her return to Kiow and Novogorod, she firmly persisted in her new religion; but her labors in tlie propagation of the gospel were not crowned with success; and both her family and nation adhered with obstinacy or inaifference to the gods of their fathers. Her
lightened patriarcl to accuse the Sclavonian idolaters rrjs 'EXXr)i/i'»<ji *ai ddeov Sdfnf. They were neither Greeks nor Atheists.
7< M. Levesque has extracted, from old chronicles and modem researches, tho most satisfactory account of the religion of the Slavi, and the conversion c-f Russia, (Hist, de Russie, torn. i. p. 35—54, 59, 92, 92, 113—121, 124—129, 148, 149, Ac.)
,5 See the Ceremoniale Aulae Byzant. torn. ii. c. 15, p. 843—345: the style of Olg i, or Elga, is 'Apx6'"'"""1 'Pwi'as. For the chief of Barbarians the Greeks whimsically borrowed the title of an Athenian magistrate, with a female termination, which would have astouisbei Jbe ear of Demos thence.
son Swatoslaus was apprehensive of the scorn and ridicule of iiis companions; and her grandson Wolodomir devoted hit youthful zeal to multiply ana decorate the monuments of ancient worship. The savage deities of the North were stiU propitiated with human sacrifices: in the choice of the victim, a citizen was preferred to a stranger, a Christian to an idolater; and the father, who defended his son from the sacerdotal knife, was involved in the same doom by the rage of a fanatic tumult. Yet the lessons and example of the pious Olga naa made a deep, though secret, impression in the minds of the prince and people: the Greek missionaries continued to preach, to dispute, and to baptize: and the ambassadors or merchants of Russia compared the idolatry of the woods with the elegant superstition of Constantinople. They had gazed with admiration on the dome of St. Sophia: the lively pictures of saints and martyrs, the riches of the altar, the number and vestments of the priests, the pomp and order of the ceremonies; they were edified by the alternate succession of devout silence and harmonious song; nor was it difficult to persuade them, that a choir of angels descended each day from heaven to join in the devotion of the Christians.7* But the conversion of Wolodomir was determined, or hastened, by his desire of a Roman bride. At the same time, and in the city of Cherson, the rites of baptism and marriage were celebrated by the Christian pontiff: the city he restored to the emperor Basil, the brother of his spouse; but the brazen gates were transported, as it is said, to Novogorod, and erected before the first church as a trophy of his victory and faith." At his despotic command, Peround, the god of thunder, whom he had so long adored, was dragged through the streets of Kiow; and twelve sturdy Barbarians battered with clubs th
76 See an anonymous fragment published by Banduri, (Imperium Orientale, torn. ii. p. 112, 113, de Conversione Russorum.
77 Cherson, or Corsun, is mentioned by Herberstein (apud Pagi, torn. iv. p. 56) as the place of Wolodomir's baptism and marriage and both the tradition and the gates are still preserved at Novogorod. Yet an observing traveller transports the brazen gates from Magdeburgh in Germany, (Coxe's Travels into Russia, <fcc vol. i. p. 452;) and quotes an inscription, which seems to justify his opinion. The modern reader must not confound this old Cherson of the Tauric or Crianaean peninsula, with a new city of the same name, which has arisen ttear the mouth of the Borysthenes, and was lately honored by fha memorable interview of the empress of Russia with the emperor of the West.
misshapen image, which was indignantly cast into the waters of the Borysthenes. The edict of Wolodomir had proclaimed, that all who should refuse the rites of baptism would be treated as the enemies of God and their prince; and the rivers were instantly filled with many thousands of obedient Russians, who acquiesced in the truth and excellence of a doctrine which had been embraced by the great duke and his boyars. In the nest generation, the relics of Paganism were finally extirpated; but as the two brothers of Wolodomir had died without baptism, their bones were taken from the grave, and sanctified by an irregular and posthumous sacrament.
In the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries of the Christian aura, the reign of the gospel and of the church was extended over Bulgaria, Hungary, Bohemia, Saxony, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Poland, and Russia.78 The triumphs of apostolic zeal were repeated in the iron age of Christianity; and the northern and eastern regions of Europe submitted to a religion, more different in theory than in practice, from the worship of their native idols. A laudable ambition excited the monks both of Germany and Greece, to visit the tents and huts of the Barbarians: poverty, hardships, and dangers, were the lot of the first missionaries; their courage was active and patient; their motive pure and meritorious; their present reward consisted in the testimony of their conscience and the respect of a grateful people; but the fruitful harvest of their ioils was inherited and enjoyed by the proud and wealthy prelates of succeeding times. The first conversions were free »nd spontaneous: a holy life and an eloquent tongue were ihe only arms of the missionaries; but the domestic fables of the Pagans were silenced by the miracles and visions of the strangers; and the favorable temper of the chiefs was accelerated by the dictates of vanity and interest. The leaders of nations, who were saluted with the titles of kings and saints,"
fl Consult the Latin text, or English version, of Mosheim's excellent History of the Church, under the first head or section jf each of these centuries.
n In the year 1000, the ambassadors of St. Stephen received from F'ope Silvester the title of King of Hungary, with a diadem of Greek workmanship. It had been designed for the duke of Poland: but the Poles, by their own confession, were yet too barbarous to deserve an mgelical and apostolical crown. (Katona, Hist Critic Regum StirpU irpadiar.ee, torn. i. p. 1—20.)
held it lawful and pious to impose the Catholic faith on then subjects and neighbors; the coast of the Baltic, from Holstein to the Gulf of Finland, was invaded under the standard of the cross; and the reign of idolatry was closed by the conversion of Lithuania in the fourteenth century. Yet truth and candor must acknowledge, that the conversion of the North imparted many temporal benefits both to the old and the new Christians. The rage of war, inherent to the human species, could not be lealed by the evangelic precepts of charity and peace; and he ambition of Catholic princes has renewed in every age the calamities of hostile contention. But the admission of the Barbarians into the pale of civil and ecclesiastical society delivered Europe from the depredations, by sea and land, of the Normans, the Hungarians, and the Russians, who learned to spare their brethren and cultivate their possessions.*0 The establishment of law and order was promoted by the influence if the clergy; and the rudiments of art and science were introduced into the savage countries of the globe. The liberal piety of the Russian princes engaged in their service the most skilful of the Greeks, to decorate the cities and instruct the inhabitants: the dome and the paintings of St. Sophia were rudely copied in the churches of Kiow and Novogorod: the writings of the fathers were translated into the Sclavonic idiom; and three hundred noble youths were invited or compelled to attend the lessons of the college of Jaroslaus. It should appear that Russia might have derived an early and rapid improvement from her peculiar connection with the church and state of Constantinople, which at that age so justly despised the ignorance of the Latins. But the Byzantine nation was servile, solitary, and verging to n hasty decline: after the fall of Kiow, the navigation of the Borysthenes was forgotten; the great princes of Wolodomir and Moscow were separated from the sea and Christendom; and the divided
8t Listen to the exultations of Adam of Bremen, (A. D. 1080.) of which the substance is agreeable to truth: Ecce ilia ferocisshra Da
norum, <fec, natio jamdudum novit in Dei laudibus Alleluia
resonare Ecce populus ille piraticus suis nunc Anions contentus est. Ecce patria horribilis semper inaccessa propter rnltum idolorum . . . praedicatores veritatis ubique certatim admidit, Ac. (fee, (de Situ Daniae, Ac, p 40, 41, edit. Elzevir: a cuiimu and wiginal prospect of the north of Europe, and the introductici cf Christianity.)