« ForrigeFortsett »
required his presence in Lombardy; exhorted the Romans to persevere in their allegiance; and hastily retreated three days before the entrance of the Normans. In less than three years, the son of Tancred of Hauteville enjoyed the glory of delivering the pope, and of compelling the two emperors, of the East and West, to fly before his victorious arms." But the triumph of Robert was clouded by the calamities of Rome. Hy the aid of the friends of Gregory, the walls had been perfoi ated or scaled; but the Imperial faction was still powerful and active; on the third day, the people rose in a furious tumult; and a hasty word of the conqueror, in his defence or revenge, was the signal of fire and pillage." The Saracens of Sicily, the subjects of Roger, and auxiliaries of his brother, embraced this fair occasion of rifling and profaning the holy city of the Christians: many thousands of the citizens, in the sight, and by the allies, of their spiritual father were exposed to violation, captivity, or death; and a spacious quarter of the city, from the Lateran to the Ooliseum, was consumed by the flames, and devoted to perpetual solitude." From a city, where he was now hated, and might be no longer feared, Gregory retired to end his days in the palace of Salerno. The artful pontiff might flatter the vanity of Guiscard with the hope of a Roman or Imperial crown; but this dangerous measure, which would have inflamed the ambition of the Norman, must forever have alienated the most faithful princes of Germany.
The deliverer and scourge of Rome might have indulged
• Sic uno tempore victi
Sunt terrae Domini duo: rex Alemannicus iste,
Imperii rector Romani maxirnua ille.
Alter ad arma ruens armis superatur; et alter
Nominis auditi sola formidine cessit. It is singular enough, that the Apulian, a Latin, should distinguish the Greek as the ruler of the Roman empire, (1. iv. p. 274.)
86 The narrative of Malaterra (1. iii. c. 37. p. 587, 588) is authentic, circumstantial, and fair. Dux ignem exclamans urbe incensa, Ac. The Apulian softens the mischief, (inde quibusdam sedibus exustis,) which is again exaggerated in some partial chronicl*-», (Muralori, Annali, torn. ix. p. 147.)
•' After mentioning this devastation, the Jesuit Donatus (de Roma vcteri et nova, 1. iv. c. 8, p. 489) prettily adds, Duraret hodieque in CiBlio monte, interque ipsum et capitolium, miserabili<! facies prostrota nrbis, nisi in hortorum vinetorumque amcenitatem Roma resurrexiswi kt perpetua viriditate contogeret vulnera et ruinas suas.
himself in a season of repjse; but in the same year of tht flight of the German emperor, the indefatigable Robert resumed the design of his eastern conquests. The zeal or gratitude of Gregory had promised to his valor the kingdoms of Greece and Asia;88 his troops were assembled in arms, flushed with success, and eager for action. Their numbers, in the language of Homer, are compared by Anna to a swarm t>f bees;88 yet the utmost and moderate limits of the powers of Guiscard have been already defined; they were contained on this second occasion in one hundred and twenty vessels; and as the season was far advanced, the harbor of Brundusium*8 was preferred to the open road of Otranto. Alexius, apprehensive of a second attack, had assiduously labored to restore the naval forces of the empire; and obtained from the republic of Venice an important succor of thirty-six transports, fourteen galleys, and nine galiots or ships of extraoroinary strength and magnitude. Their services were liberally paid by the Mcense or monopoly of trade, a profitable gift of many shops and houses in the port of Constantinople, and a tribute to St. Mark, the more acceptable, as it was the produce of a tax on their rivals at Amalplli. By the union of the Greeks and Venetians, the Adriatic was covered with a hostile fleet; but their own neglect, or the vigilance of Robert, the change of a wind, or the shelter of a mist, opened a free passage; and the Norman troops were safely disem barked on the coast of Epirus. With twenty strong and wellappointed galleys, their intrepid duke immediately sought the
88 The royalty of Robert, either promised or bestowed by the pope. (Anna, 1. i. p. 32,) is sufficiently confirmed by the Apulian, (1. iy p. 270.)
Romani refrni sibi promisisse coronam
Nor can I understand why Gretser, and the other papal advocates, should be displeased with this new instance of apostolic jurisdiction.
89 See Homer, Iliad, B. (I hate this pedantic mode of quotation by letters of the Greek alphabet) 87, <fcc. His bees are the image of » disorderly crowd: their discipline and public works seem to be th« ideas of a later age, (Virgil. iEneid. 1. i.)
•• Gulielm. Appulus, 1. v. p. 276) The admirable port of BrunJusium was double; the outward harbor was a gulf covered by an island, and narrowing by degrees, till it communicated by a small gullet with the inner harbor, which embraced the city on both sides. Caesar and nature have labored for its ruin and against such agent* • but Kte the feeble efforts of the Neapolitan government? (Swi» kjornp'f Travels in the Two Sicilies, vol. i. p. 384—890.)
enemy, and though more accustomed to fight ou horseback, he trusted his own life, and the lives of his brother and two sons, to the event >f a naval combat. The dominion of the sea was disputed in three engagements, in sight of the Isle of Corfu: in the two former, the skill and numbers of the allies were superior; but in the third, the Normans obtained a final find complete victory." The light brigantines of the Greeks vere scattered in ignominious flight: the nine castles of the Venetians maintained a more obstinate conflict; seven were sunk, two were taken; two thousand five hundred captives implored in vain the mercy of the victor; and the daughtet of Alexius deplores the loss of thirteen thousand of his subjects or allies. The want of experience had been supplied Wy the genius of Guiscard; and each evening, when he had sounded a retreat, he calmly explored the causes of his repulse, and invented new methods how to remedy his own defects, and to baffle the advantages of the enemy. The winter season suspended his progress: with the return of spring he again aspired to the conquest of Constantinople; but, instead of traversing the hills of Epirus, he turned his arms against Greece and the islands, where the spoils would repay the labor, and where the land and sea forces might pursue their joint operations with vigor and effect. But, in the Isle of Cephalonia, his projects were fatally blasted by an epidemical disease: Robert himself, in the seventieth year of his age, expired in his tent; and a suspicion of poison was imputed, by public rumor, to his wife, or to the Greek emperor." This premature death might allow a boundless scope for the imagination of
91 William of Apulia (1. v. p. 276) describes the victory of the Normans, and forgets the two previous defeats, which are diligently recorded by Anna Comnena. (1. vi. p. 159, 160, 161.) In her turn, she invents or magnifies a fourth action, to give the Venetians revenge and rewards. Their own feelings were far different, since they deposed their doge, propter excidium stoli, (Dandulus in Chron in Muratori. Script. Rerum Italicarum, torn. xii. p. 249.)
** The most authentic writers, William of Apulia. (1. v. 277,) Jeffrey Malaterra, (1. in. c. 41, p. 589,) and Romuald of Salerno, (Chron. in Muratori, Script. Rerum Ital. torn, vii.,) are ignorant of this crime, so apparent to our countrymen William of Malmsbury (1. iii. p. 107) and Roger de Hoveden, ^p. 710, in Script, post Bedam;J and the latter o?r tell, how the just Alexius married, crowned, ami burn* alive, his fam^e accomplice. The English historian is indeed so blmd, that V rarJo1 R-obert Guiscard, or Wis ard, among the knighti »f Henry 1. wb-j UMbdnr1 the throne fifteen v*»ais after the duke oi Apulia's, d*»2»U»
his future exploits; and the event sufficiently declares, tha the Norman greatness was founded on his life.** Withoiu the appearance of an enemj', a victorious army dispersed or retreated in disorder and consternation; and Alexius, who had trembled for his empire, rejoiced in his deliverance. The galley which transported the remains of Guiscard was -hipwrecked Oti the Italian shore; but the duke's body was ro ro^ered from the sea, and deposited in the sepulchre of Venusia,*4 a place more illustrious for the birth of Horace *' than for the burial of the Norman heroes. Roger, his second son and successor, immediately sunk to the humble station of a duke of Apulia: the esteem or partiality of his father left the valiant Bohemond to the inheritance of his sword. The
national tranquillity was disturbed by bis claims, till the first crusade against the infidels of the East opened a more splendid field of glory and conquest."
Of human life, the most glorious or humble prospects are alike and soon bounded by the sepulchre. The male line of Robert Guiscard was extinguished, both in Apulia and at Antioch, in the second generation; but his younger brother became the father of a line of kings; and the eon of the great count was endowed with the name, the conquests, and the spirit, of the first Roger.87 The heir of that Norman adventurer was born in Sicily; and, at the age of only four years,
*s The joyful Anna Comnena scatters some flowers over the grave of an enemy, (Alexiad, 1. v. p. 162—166;) and his best praise is the esteem and envy of William the Conqueror, the sovereign of his family Grffiria (says Malaterra) hostibus recedentibus libera lseta quievitApulia tota sive Calabria turbatur.
a4 Urbs Venusina nitet tantis decorata sepulchris,
is one of the last lines of the Apulian's poems, fL v. p. 278.) William of Malmsbury (1. iii. p. 107) inserts an epitaph on Guiscard, -which ia not worth transcribing.
,J5 Yet Horace had few obligations to Venusia; he was carried t« Rome in his childhood, (Serm. i. 6;) and his repeated allusions to th« doubtful limit of Apulia and Lucania (Carm. iii. 4, Serm. ii 1) are un worthy of his age and genius.
98 See Giannone (torn. ii. p. 88—93) an I the historians of the fin crusade.
*7 The reign of Roger, and the Norr an kings of Sicily, fills fir-., hooks of the Istoria Civile of Giannone, (torn. ii. 1. xi.—xi-v. p. 136840,) and is spread over the ixth and xth volumes of the I'sli^n Ac nals of Muratori. In the Bibliotheque Italique (torn. i. p. I7P—* 22 [ find a useful abstract of Capacelatro, a modem Neapolitan, vh. ha» rf»mposed, in two volumes, the history of his com try from BJuga . u Frederic II. inclusive.
be succeeded to the sovereignty of the island, a lot which reason might envy, could she indulge for a momei.t the visionary, though virtuous wish of dominion. Had Rogn been content with his fruitful patrimony, a happy and grateful people might have blessed their benefactor; and if a wise administration could have restored the prosperous times of the. Greek colonies,*8 the opulence and power of Sicily alone might have equalled the widest scope that could be acquired and desolated by the sword of war. But the ambition of the great count was ignorant of these noble pursuits; it was gratified by the vulgar means of violence and artifice. He sought to obtain the undivided possession of Palermo, of which one moiety had been ceded to the elder branch; struggled to enlarge I lis Calabrian limits beyond the measure of former treaties; and impatiently watched the declining health of his cousin William of Apulia, the grandson of Robert. On the first intelligence of his premature death, Roger sailed from Palermo with seven galleys, cast anchor in the Bay of Salerno, received, after ten days' negotiation, an oath of fidelity from the Norman capital, commanded the submission of the barons, and extorted a legal investiture from the reluctant popes, \ he could not long endure either the friendship or enmity < f a powerful vassal. The sacred spot of Benevento was respectfully spared, as the patrimony of St. Peter; but the reduction of Capua and Naples completed the design of his uncle Guiscard; and the sole inheritance of the Norman conquests was possessed by the victorious Roger. A conscious superiority of power and merit prompted him to disdain the titles of duke and of count; and the Isle of Sicily, with a third perhaps of the continent of Italy, might form the basis of a kingdom** which would only yield to the monarchies of France ana England. The chiefs of the nation who attended his coro
•• According to the testimony of Philistus and Diodorus, the tyrant Dionysius of Syracuse could maintain a standing force of 10,000 horse, 100,000 foot, and 400 galleys. Compare Hume, (Essays, vol. i. p. 268, 435,) and his adversary Wallace, (Numbers of Mankind, p. 306, 807.) The ruins of A^rigentum are the theme of every traveller, D'Onille, Reidesel, Swinburne, <fec.
98 A contemporary historian of the acts of Roger from the year 1127 to 1135, founds his title on merit and power, the consent of the barons, and the ancient royalty of Sicily and Palermo, without intro ducing Pope Anacletus. (Alexand. Ccenobii Telesini Abbatis de Rebui gestis Regis Hogei ii, lib. iv. in M iratori, Scriot. Rerum Ital. torn. v. p. KW—64o)