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to Constanusople, A.D. 1440, Feb. I.
successors of St. Peter ard Constantine ascended their thrones, the two nations assembled in the cathedral of Florence; their representatives, Cardinal Julian, and Bessarion archbishop of Nice, appeared in the pulpit, and, after reading in their respective tongues the act of union, they mutually embraced in the name and the presence of their applauding brethren. The pope and his ministers then officiated according to the Roman liturgy; the creed was chanted with the addition of filioque; the acquiescence of the Greeks was poorly excused by their ignorance of the harmonious but inarticulate sounds ; 73 and the more scrupulous Latins refused any public celebration of the Byzantine rite. Yet the emperor and his clergy were not totally unmindful of national honour. The treaty was ratified by their consent : it was tacitly agreed that no innovation should be attempted in their creed or ceremonies; they spared and secretly respected the generous firmness of Mark of Ephesus, and, on the decease of the patriarch, they refused to elect his successor, except in the cathedral of St. Sophia. In the distribution of public and private rewards the liberal pontiff exceeded their hopes and his promises :
the Greeks, with less pomp and pride, returned by the same Their return
road of Ferrara and Venice; and their reception at Constantinople was such as will be described in the following
chapter.74 The success of the first trial encouraged Eugenius to repeat the same edifying scenes, and the deputies of the Armenians, the Maronites, the Jacobites of Syria and Egypt, the Nestorians, and the Æthiopians, were successively introduced to kiss the feet of the Roman pontiff, and to announce the obedience and the orthodoxy of the East. These Oriental embassies, unknown in the countries which they presumed to represent," diffused over the West the fame of Eugenius; and a clamour was artfully propagated against the remnant of a schism in Switzerland and Savoy which alone impeded the harmony of the Christian world. The vigour of opposition was succeeded by the lassitude of despair; the council of
Basil was silently dissolved; and Felix, renouncing the of the Church, tiara, again withdrew to the devout or delicious hermitage
of Ripaille. 76 A general peace was secured by mutual acts before (26th of August, 1439) the final separation of the pope and emperor (Mémoires de l'Académie des Inscriptions, tom. xliii. p. 287-311).
73 "Hun di wis kongos idoxour páras (Syropul. p. 297).
7In their return the Greeks conversed at Bologna with the ambassadors of Eng. lund; and after some questions and answers these impartial strangers laughed at the pretended union of Florence (Syropul. p. 307).
75 So nugatory, or rather so fabulous, are these reunions of the Nestoriaus, Jacobites, &c., that I have turned over, without success, the Bibliotheca Orientalis of Assemannus, a faithful slave of the Vatican.
78 Ripaille is situate near Thonon, in Savoy, on the southern side of the lake of Geneva. It is now a Carthusian abbey, and Mr. Addison (Travels into Italy, vol, ü
A.D. 1300-1453. GREEK LANGUAGE AT CONSTANTINOPLE.
State of the
of oblivion and indemnity: all ideas of reformation subsided; the popes continued to exercise and abuse their ecclesiastical despotism ; nor has Rome been since disturbed by the mischiefs of a contested election.77
The journeys of three emperors were unavailing for their temporal, or perhaps their spiritual, salvation; but they were productive of a beneficial consequence, the revival of the Greek lainGreek learning in Italy, from whence it was propagated to constantithe last nations of the West and North. In their lowest servitude and depression, the subjects of the Byzantine throne were still possessed of a golden key that could unlock the treasures of antiquity, of a musical and prolific language that gives a soul to the objects of sense, and a body to the abstractions of philosophy. Since the barriers of the monarchy, and even of the capital, had been trampled under foot, the various barbarians had doubtless corrupted the form and substance of the national dialect; and ample glossaries have been composed, to interpret a multitude of words, of Arabic, Turkish, Sclavonian, Latin, or French origin." But a purer idiom was spoken in the court and taught in the college, and the flourishing state of the language is described, and perhaps embellished, by a learned Italian,79 who, by a long residence and noble marriage, was naturalised at Constantinople about thirty years before the Turkish conquest. “The vulgar speech,” says Philelphus,81 " has been depraved by the people, and infected by the mul
p. 147, 148, of Baskerville's edition of his works) has celebrated the place and the founder. Æneas Sylvius, and the fathers of Basil, applaud the austere life of the ducal hermit; but the French and Italian proverbs most unluckily attest the popular opinion of his luxury.
77 In this account of the councils of Basil, Ferrara, and Florence, I have consulted the original acts, which fill the xviith and xvilith tomes of the edition of Venice, and are closed by the perspicuous, though partial, history of Augustin Patricius, an Italian of the syth century. They are digested and abridged by Dupin (Bibliothèque Ecclés. tom. xii.), and the continuator of Fleury (tom. xxii.); and the respect of the Gallican church for the adverse parties confines their members to an awkward moderation.
78 In the first attempt Meursius collected 3600 Græco-barbarous words, to which, in a second edition, he subjoined 1800 more; yet what plenteous gleanings did he leave to Portius, Ducange, Fabrotti, the Bollandists, &c.! (Fabric. Biblioth. Græo. tom. x. p. 101, &c.) Some Persic words may be found in Xenophon, and sone Latin ones in Plutarch; and such is the inevitable effect of war and commerce; but the form and substance of the language were not affected by this slight alloy. 70 The life of Francis Philelphus, a sophist, proud, restless, and rapacious, has been iligently composed by Lancelot (Mémoires de l'Académie des Inscriptions, tom. x. p. 691-751) and Tiraboschi (Istoria della Letteratura Italiana, tom, vii. p. 282-294), for the most part from his own letters. His elaborate writings, and those of his con. temporaries, are forgotten : but their familiar cpistles still describe the men and the times.
• He married, and had perhaps debauched, the daughter of John, and the granddaughter of Manuel Chrysoloras. She was young, beautiful, and wealthy; and her poble family was allied to the Dorias of Genoa and the emperors of Constantinople. " Græci quibus lingua depravata non sit ....
. . ita loquuntur vulgo hâc etiam
" titude of strangers and merchants, who every day flock to the cis " and mingle with the inhabitants. It is from the disciples of such a “ school that the Latin language received the versions of Aristotle " and Plato, so obscure in sense, and in spirit so poor. But the “ Greeks, who have escaped the contagion, are those whom we follow, “and they alone are worthy of our imitation. In familiar discourse
they still speak the tongue of Aristophanes and Euripides, of the " historians and philosophers of Athens; and the style of their “ writings is still more elaborate and correct. The persons who, by “ their birth and offices, are attached to the Byzantine court, are “ those who maintain, with the least alloy, the ancient standard of “ elegance and purity; and the native graces of language most con
spicuously shine among the noble matrons, who are excluded from * all intercourse with foreigners. With foreigners do I say? They “ live retired and sequestered from the eyes of their fellow-citizens. “Seldom are they seen in the streets; and when they leave their • houses, it is in the dusk of evening, on visits to the churches and " their nearest kindred. On these occasions they are on horseback, " covered with a veil, and encompassed by their parents, their hus• bands, or their servants.'
Among the Greeks a numerous and opulent clergy was dedicated to the service of religion; their monks and bishops have ever been distinguished by the gravity and austerity of their manners, nor were they diverted, like the Latin priests, by the pursuits and pleasures of a secular and even military life. After a large deduction for the time and talents that were lost in the devotion, the laziness, and the discord of the church and cloister, the more inquisitive and ambitious minds would explore the sacred and profane erudition of their native language. The ecclesiastics presided over the education of youth : the schools of philosophy and eloquence were perpetuated till the fall of the empire; and it may be affirmed that more books and more
knowledge were included within the walls of Constantinople of the Greeks than could be dispersed over the extensive countries of the
But an important distinction has been already
tempestate ut Aristophanes comicus, aut Euripides tragicus, ut oratores omnes, ut historiographi, ut philosophi .... litterati autem hornines et doctius et emendatius
Nam viri aulici veterem sermonis dignitatem atque elegantiam retinebant in primisque ipsæ nobiles mulieres; quibus cum nullum esset omnino cum viris peregrinis commercium, merus ille ac purus Græcorum sermo servabatur intactus (Philelph. Epist. ad ann. 1451, apud Hodium, p. 188, 189). He observes in another passage, uxor illa mea Theodora locutione erat admodum moderatâ et suavi et maxime Attica.
*2 Philelphus, absurdly enough, derives this Greek or Oriental jealousy from the manners of ancient Rome.
83 See the state of learning in the xiiith and xivth centuries in the learned and judicious Mosheim (Institut. Hist. Eccles. D. 434-440, 490-494).
COMPARISON OF GREEKS AND LATINS,
noticed : the Greeks were stationary or retrograde, while the Latins were advancing with a rapid and progressive motion. The nations were excited by the spirit of independence and emulation ; and even the little world of the Italian states contained more people and industry than the decreasing circle of the Byzantine empire. In Europe the lower ranks of society were relieved from the yoke of feudal servitude; and freedom is the first step to curiosity and knowledge. The use, however rude and corrupt, of the Latin tongue had been preserved by superstition ; the universities, from Bologna to Oxford, 84 were peopled with thousands of scholars ; and their misguided ardour might be directed to more liberal and manly studies. In the resurrection of science Italy was the first that cast away her shroud ; and the eloquent Petrarch, by his lessons and his example, may justly be applauded as the first harbinger of day. A purer style of composition, a more generous and rational strain of sentiment, flowed from the study and imitation of the writers of ancient Rome; and the disciples of Cicero and Virgil approached, with reverence and love, the sanctuary of their Grecian masters. In the sack of Constantinople the French, and even the Venetians, had despised and destroyed the works of Lysippus and Homer ; the monuments of art may be annihilated by a single blow, but the immortal mind is renewed and multiplied by the copies of the pen, and such copies it was the ambition of Petrarch and his friends to possess and understand. The arms of the Turks undoubtedly pressed the flight of the Muses : yet we may tremble at the thought that Greece might have been overwhelmed, with her schools and libraries, before Europe had emerged from the deluge of barbarism ; that the seeds of science might have been scattered by the winds before the Italian soil was prepared for their cultivation.
The most learned Italians of the fifteenth century have confessed and applauded the restoration of Greek literature, after Revival of a long oblivion of many hundred years. 85 Yet in that the Greek country, and beyond the Alps, some names are quoted; Italy. some profound scholars who, in the darker ages, were honourably
* At the end of the xvth century there existed in Europe about ffty universities, and of these the foundation of ten or twelve is prior to the year 1300. They were crowded in proportion to their scarcity. Bologna contained 10,000 students, chiefly of the civil law. In the year 1357 the number at Oxford had decreased from 30,000 to 6000 scholars (Henry's History of Great Britain, vol. iv. p. 478). Yet even this decrease is much superior to the present list of the members of the university.
* Of those writers who professedly treat of the restoration of the Greek learning in Italy, the two principal are Hodius, Dr. Humphrey Hody (de Græcis Illustribus, Linguæ Græcæ Literarumque humaniorum Instauratoribus; Londini, 1742, in largo octavo), and Tiraboschi (Istoria della Letteratura Italiana, tom. v. p. 364-377, tom. vii. p. 112-143). The Oxford professor is a laborious scholar, but the librarian of Modena enjoys the superiority of a modern and national historián.
distinguished by their knowledge of the Greek tongue; and national vanity has been loud in the praise of such rare examples of erudition. Without scrutinising the merit of individuals, truth must observe that their science is without a cause and without an effect; that it was easy for them to satisfy themselves and their inore ignorant contemporaries ; and that the idiom, which they had so marvellously acquired, was transcribed in few manuscripts, and was not taught in any university of the West. In a corner of Italy it faintly existed as the popular, or at least as the ecclesiastical, dialect.86 The first impression of the Doric and Ionic colonies has never been completely erased; the Calabrian churches were long attached to the throne of Constantinople ; and the monks of St. Basil pursued their studies in Mount Athos and the schools of the East. Calabria was the native country of Barlaam, who has already appeared as a sectary and an
ambassador; and Barlaam was the first who revived, beyond the Alps, the memory, or at least the writings, of Homer.87
He is described, by Petrarch and Boccace,88 as a man of a diminutive stature, though truly great in the measure of learning and genius : of a piercing discernment, though of a slow and painful elocution. For many ages (as they affirm) Greece had not produced his equal in the knowledge of history, grammar, and philosophy; and his merit was celebrated in the attestations of the princes and doctors of Constantinople. One of these attestations is still extant, and the emperor Cantacuzene, the protector of his adversaries, is forced to allow that Euclid, Aristotle, and Plato were familiar to that profound and subtle logician.89 In the court of Avignon he formed an intimate connection with Petrarch, the first of the Latin scholars; and the desire of mutual instruction was the principle of
their literary commerce. The Tuscan applied himself with
eager curiosity and assiduous diligence to the study of the 1330-1374. Greek language, and in a laborious struggle with the dryness and difficulty of the first rudiments he began to reach the sense, and to feel the spirit, of poets and philosophers whose minds were congenial to his own. But he was soon deprived of the society and lessons of this useful assistant; Barlaam relinquished his fruitless
86 In Calabria quæ olim Magna Græcia dicebatur, coloniis Græcis repleta, remansit quædam linguæ veteris cognitio (Hodius, p. 2). If it were eradicated by the Romans, it was revived and perpetuated by the monks of St. Basil, who possessed suven con. vents at Rossano alone (Giannone, Istoria di Napoli, tom. i. p. 520).
67 Ii Barbari (says Petrarch, the French and Germans) vix, non dicam libros sed nomen Homeri audiverunt. Perhaps in that respect the xiiith century was less happy than the age of Charlemagne.
88 See the character of Barlaam, in Boccace de Genealog. Deorum, l. xv, 6, 6. W Cantacuzen. 1. ii. c. 36 (c. 39, tom. i. p. 543, ed. Bonn).
* For the connection of Petrarch and Barlaam, and the two interviews, at Avignon in 1339, and at Naples in 1342, see the excellent Mémoires sur la Vie de Pétrarque, tom. i. p. 406 410; tom. ii. p. 75–77