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same ceremony was repeated, though with less energy, in th« subse pient associations of Lothaire and Lewis the Second: the Carlovingian sceptre was transmitted from father to son in a lineal descent of four generations; and the ambition of the popes was reduced to the empty honor of crowning and anointing these hereditary princes, who were already invested with their power and dominions. The pious Lewis survived his brothers, and embraced the whole empire of Charlemagne; but the nations and the nobles, his bishops and his children, quickly discerned that this mighty mass was no longer inspired by the same soul; and the foundations were undermined to the centre, while the external surface was yet fair and entire. After a war, or battle, which consumed one hundred thousand Franks, the empire was divided by treaty between his three sons, who had violated every filial and fra ternal duty. The kingdoms of Germany and France were forever separated; the provinces of Gaul, between the Rhone and the Alps, the Meuse and the Rhine, were assigned, with Italy, to the Imperial dignity of Lothaire. In the partition of bis share, Lorraine and Aries, two recent and transitory kingdoms, were bestowed on the younger children; and Lewis the Second, his eldest son, was content with the realm of Italy, the proper and sufficient patrimony of <i Roman emperor. On his death without any male issue, the vacant throne was disputed by his uncles and cousins, and the popes most dexterously seized the occasion of judging the claims and merits of the candidates, and of bestowing on the most obsequious, or most liberal, the Imperial office of advocate of the Roman church. The dregs of the Carlovingian race no longer exhibited any symptoms of virtue or power, and the ridiculous epithets of the bard, the stammerer, the fat, and the simple, distinguished the tame and uniform features of a crowd of kings alike deserving of oblivion. By the failure of the collateral branches, the whole inheritance devolved to Cha.les the Fat, the last emperor of his family: his insanity authorized the desertion of Germany, Italy, and France: he was deposed in a diet, and solicited his daily bread from the rebels by whose contempt his life and liberty had been •pared. According to the measure of their force, the govern>rs, the bishops, and the lords, usurped the fragment*, of the
Prance, Italy, and Germany; Pfeffel, Schmidt, V elly, Muraroii and nm Voltaire, whose pictures are sometimes just, and always pleasing falling empire; ar.d some preference was shown to th« female or illegitimate blood of Charlemagne. Of the greater part, the title and possession were alike doubtful, and the merit was adequate to the contracted scale of their dominions. Those who could appear with an army at the gates of Rom€ were crowned emperors in the Vatican; but their modestj was more frequently satisfied with the appellation of kirga of Italy: and the whole term of seventy-four years may be deemed a vacancy, from the abdication of Charles the Fat to the establishment of Otho the First.
Otho"7 was of the noble race of the dukes of Saxony; and if he truly descended from Witikind, the adversary and proselyte of Charlemagne, the posterity of a vanquished people was exalted to reign over their conquerors. His father, Henry the Fowler, was elected, by the suffrage of the nation, to save and institute the kingdom of Germany. Its limits11* were enlarged on every side by his son, the first and greatest of the Othos. A portion of Gaul, to the west of the Rhine, along the banks of the Meuse and the Moselle, was assigned to the Germans, by whose blood and language it has been tinged since the time of Caesar and Tacitus. Between the Rhine, the Rhone, and the Alps, the successors of Otho acquired a vain supremacy over the broken kingdoms of Burgundy and Aries. In the North, Christianity was propagated by the sword of Otho, the conqueror and apostle of the Slavic nations of the Elbe and Oder: the marches of Brandenburgh snd Sleswick were fortified with German colonies; and the king of Denmark, the dukes of Poland and Bohemia, confessed themselves his tributary vassals. At the head of a victorious army, he passed the Alps, subdued the kingdom of Italy, delivered the pope, and forever fixed the Imperial ffown in the name and nation of Germany. From that
11 • He was the son of Otho, the son of Ludolph, in whose favor the Duchy of Saxony had been instituted, A. D. 858. Ruotgerus, the biographer of a St. Bruno, (Bibliot, Bunaviante Catalog, torn. iii. vol. ii. p. 679,) gives a splendid character of his family. Atavorimi atavi usque ad hominum memoriam omnes nobilissimi; nullus in eorum stirpe ignotus, nullus degener facile reperitur, (apud Struvium, Corp. Hist. German, p. 216.) Yet Gundling (in Henrico Aucupe) is Dot satisfied of his descent from Witikind.
118 See the treatise of Conringius, (de Finibus Imperii Germanici. Francofurt. 1680, in 4to.:) he rejects the extravagant and .'mproper scale of the Roman and Carlovingian empires, and discusses witi noderation the rights of Germany, her vassals, and her neighbors.
memorable sera, two maxims of public jurisprudence were introduced bv force and ratified by time. I. That the prince, who was elected in the German diet, acquired, from that instant, the subject kingdoms of Italy and Rome. II. But that he might not legally assume the titles of emperor and Augustus, till he had received the crown from the hands of the Roman pontiff."
The Imperial dignity of Charlemagne was announced to the East by the alteration of his style; and instead of saluting his fathers, the Greek emperors, he presumed to adopt the more equal and familiar appellation of brother.1"0 Perhaps in his connection with Irene he aspired to the name of husband: his embassy to Constantinople spoke the language of peace and friendship, and might conceal a treaty of marriage with that ambitious princess, who bad renounced the most sacred duties of a mother. The nature, the duration, the probable consequences of such a union between two distant and dissonant empires, it is impossible to conjecture; but the unanimous silence of the Latins may teach us to suspect, that the report was invented by the enemies of Irene, to charge her with the guilt of betraying the church and state to the strangers of the West.131 The French ambassadors were the spectators, and had nearly been the victims, of the con spiracy of Nicephorus, and the national hatred. Constantinople was exasperated by the treason and sacrilege of ancient Rome: a proverb, "That the Franks were good friends and bad neighbors," was in every one's mouth; but it was dangerous to provoke a neighbor who might be tempted to reiterate, in the church of St. Sophia, the ceremony of hia Imperial coronation. After a tedious journey of circuit and
119 The power of custom forces me to number Conrad I. and Henrj I., the Fowler, in the list of emperors, a title which was never assumed by those kings of Germany. The Italians, Muratori for instance, are more scrupulous and correct and only reckon the princes who have been crowned at Rome.
120 Invidiam tamen suscepti nominis (C. P. imperatoribus super hoc indignantibus) magna tulit patientia, vicitque eornm contumaciam . . . mittendo ad eos crebras legationes, et in epistolis fratres eos Rppellando. Eginhard, c. 28, p. 128. Perhaps it was on their account that, like Augustus, he affected some reluctance to receive the empire
13 Theophanes speaks of the coronation and unction of Charles, Kapov\\<>s (Chronograph, p. 399,) and of his treaty of marriage with Irene, (p. 402,) which is unknown to the Latins. Gaillard relate* hii transactions with the Greek empire, (torn. ii. p. 446—468.}
delay, the ambassadors of Nieephorus found him in his camp, on the banks of the River Sala; and Charlemagne affected to confound their vanity by displaying, in a Franconian village, the pomp, or at least the pride, of the Byzantine palace.1" fbe Greeks were successively led through four halls of Audience: in the first they were ready to fall prostrate before w splendid personage in a chair of state, till he informed them that be was only a servant, the constable, or master of th« horse, of the emperor. The same mistake, and the same answer, were repeated in the apartments of the count palatine, the steward, and the chamberlain; and their impatience was gradually heightened, till the doors of the presence-chamber were thrown open, and they beheld the genuine monarch, on bis throne, enriched with the foreign luxury which he despised, and encircled with the love and reverence of his victorious chiefs. A treaty of peace and alliance was concluded between the two empires, and the limits of the East and West were defined by the right of present possession. But the GreeksIM soon forgot this humiliating equality, or remembered it only to hate the Barbarians by whom it was extorted. During the short union of virtue and power, they respectfully saluted the august Charlemagne, with the acclamations of basileus, and emperor of the Romans. As soon as these qualities were separated in the person of his pious son, the Byzantine letters were inscribed, "To the king, or, as he styles himself, the emperor of the Franks and Lombards." When both power and virtue were extinct, they despoiled Lewis the Second of bis hereditary title, and with the barbarous appellation of rex or rega, degraded him among the crowd of Latin princes. His reply"* is expressive of his weakness: he proves, with some learning, that, both in sacred
12a Gaillard very properly observes, that this pageant was a farce suitable to children only; but that it was indeed represented in the presence, and for the benefit, of children of a larger growth.
123 Compare, in the original texts collected by Pagi, (torn. iii. A. D. 812, No. 7, A. D. 824, No. 10, &c.,) the contrast of Charlemagne and his son; to the former the ambassadors of Michael (who were indeed disavowed) more suo, id est lingua Graeca laudes dixerunt, imperalorem eum et Baai'Xea appellantes; to the latter, Vocato imperatori Francorum, <fec.
1,4 See the epistle, in Paralipomena, of the anonymous writer of Salerno, (Script Ttal. torn. ii. pars ii. p. 243—254, c. 93—107,) whom Baronius (A. D. 871, No. 51—71) mistook for Erchempert, when ht transcribed it in his Annals.
and profane history, the name of king is synonymous with the Greek word basileus: if, at Constantinople, it were assumed in a more exclusive and imperial sense, he claims from hia ancestors, and from the popes, a just participation of the honors of the Roman purple. The same controversy was revived in the reign of the 0 thus; and their ambassador describes, in lively colors, the insolence of the Byzantine OMirt.186 The Greeks affected to despise the poverty and ignorance of the Franks and Saxons; and in their last decline refused to prostitute to the kings of Germany the title of Roman emperors.
These emperors, in the election of the popes, continued to exercise the powers which had been assumed by the Gothic and Grecian princes; and the importance of this prerogative increased with the temporal estate and spiritual jurisdiction of the Roman church. In the Christian aristocracy, the principal members of the clergy still formed a senate to assist the administration, and to supply the vacancy, of the bishop. Rome was divided into twenty-eight parishes, and each parish was governed by a cardinal priest, or presbyter, a title which, however common or modest in its origin, has aspired to emulate the purple of kings. Their number was enlarged by the association of the seven deacons of the most considerable hospitals, the seven palatine judges of the Lateran, and some dignitaries of the church. This ecclesiastical senate was directed by the seven cardinal-bishops of the Roman province, who were less occupied in the suburb dioceses of Ostm, Porto, Velitrae, Tusculum, Praeneste, Tibur, and the Sabines, than by their weekly service in the Lateran, and their superior share in the honors and authority of the apostolic see. On the death of the pope, these bishops recommended a successor to the suffrage of the college of cardinals,120 and their
'*' Ipso enim vos, non imperatorem, id est B<t<ri\sa sua lingua, sed ob indignationem PSyn, id est regem nostra vocabat, Liutprand, in Legal in Script. Ital. torn. ii. pars i. p. 479. The pope had exhorted Nicephorus, emperor of the Greeks, to make peace with Otho, the »ugust emperor of the Romans—quae inscriptio secundum Graecos peccatoria et temeraria . . . imperatorem inquiunt, wniversalem, Jiowmontni, Augustum, magnum, solum, Nicephorum, (p. 486.)
1,8 The origin and progress of the title of cardinal may be found in Thranassin, (Discipline de l'Eglise. torn. i. p. 1261—1298,) Muratori, (Aotiquitat. Italiae Medii M*\, torn. vi. Dissert, lxi. p. 159—182,) and Ifopheim, (Institat. Hist. Ecdea. p 345—347.) who accurately reiiai is the foim and c i» g< s of the election. The cardinal-bishop*