« ForrigeFortsett »
The schism was not confined to the narrow limits of the Byzantine
empire. Secure under the Mamaluke sceptre, the three Zeal of the Orientals and patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem assemRussians.
bled a numerous synod; disowned their representatives at Ferrara and Florence ; condemned the creed and council of the Latins; and threatened the emperor of Constantinople with the censures of the Eastern church. Of the sectaries of the Greek communion, the Russians were the most powerful, ignorant, and superstitious. Their primate, the cardinal Isidore, hastened from Florence to Moscow,' to reduce the independent nation under the Roman yoke. But the Russian bishops had been educated at Mount Athos ; and the prince and people embraced the theology of their priests. They were scandalised by the title, the pomp, the Latin cross of the legate, the friend of those impions men who shaved their beards, and performed the divine office with gloves on their hands and rings on their fingers : Isidore was condemned by a synod; his person was imprisoned in a monastery ; and it was with extreme difficulty that the cardinal could escape from the hands of a fierce and fanatic people.8 The Russians refused a passage to the missionaries of Rome who aspired to convert the Pagans beyond the Tanais ; 9 and their refusal was justified by the maxim that the guilt of idolatry is less damnable than that of schism. The errors of the Bohemians were excused by their abhorrence for the pope ; and a deputation of the Greek clergy solicited the friendship of those sanguinary enthusiasts. While Eugenius triumphed in the union and orthodoxy of the Greeks, his party was contracted to the walls, or rather to the palace, of Constantinople. The zeal of Palæologus had been excited by interest; it was soon cooled by opposition: an attempt to violate
? Isidore was metropolitan of Kiow, but the Greeks subject to Poland have removed that see from the ruins of Kiow to Lemberg, or Leopold (Herbestein, in Ramusio, tom. ii. p. 127). On the other hand, the Russians transferred their spiritual obedience to the archbishop, who became, in 1588, the patriarch of Moscow (Levesque, Hist. de Russie, tom. iii. p. 188, 190, from a Greek MS. at Turin, Iter et labores Archiepiscopi Arsenii).
The curious narrative of Levesque (Hist. de Russie, tom. ii. p. 242-247) is es. tracted from the patriarchal archives. The scenes of Ferrara and Florence are described by ignorance and passion; but the Russians are credible in the account of their own prejudices.
• The Shamanism, the ancient religion of the Samanæans and Gymnosophists, has been driven by the more popular Bramins from India into the northern deserts: the naked philosophers were compelled to wrap themselves in fur; but they insensibly sunk into wizards and physicians. The Mordvans and Tcheremisses in the European Russia adhere to this religion, which is formed on the earthly model of one king or God, his ministers or angels, and the rebellious spirits who oppose his government. As these tribes of the Volga have no images, they might more justly retort on the Latin missionaries the name of idolaters (Levesque, Hist. des Peuples soumis à la Domination des Russes, tom. i. p. 194-237, 423-460).
0 Spondanus, Annal. Eccles. tom. ii. A.D. 1451, No. 13. The epistle of the Greeks, with a Latin version, is extant in the college library at Prague.
A.D. 1421-1451. REIGN AND CHARACTER OF AMURATH II.
A.D. 1421-1451, Feb. 9,
the national belief might endanger his life and crown; nor could the pious rebels be destitute of foreign and domestic aid. The sword of his brother Demetrius, who in Italy had maintained a prudent and popular silence, was half unsheathed in the cause of religion ; and Amurath, the Turkish sultan, was displeased and alarmed by the seeming friendship of the Greeks and Latins.
“Sultan Murad, or Amurath, lived forty-nine, and reigned thirty
years, six months, and eight days. He was a just and Reign and “ valiant prince, of a great soul, patient of labours, learned, character auf
. “ merciful, religious, charitable; a lover and encourager
of “ the studious, and of all who excelled in any art or science ; “ a good emperor, and a great general. No man obtained more or “ greater victories than Amurath ; Belgrade alone withstood his “ attacks. Under his reign the soldier was ever victorious, the “ citizen rich and secure. If he subdued any country, his first care “ was to build mosques and caravanseras, hospitals and colleges.
Every year he gave a thousand pieces of gold to the sons of the “ Prophet, and sent two thousand five hundred to the religious persons of Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem.” 11
This portrait is transcribed from the historian of the Othman empire : but the applause of a servile and superstitious people has been lavished on the worst of tyrants; and the virtues of a sultan are often the vices most useful to himself, or most agreeable to his subjects. A nation ignorant of the equal benefits of liberty and law must be awed by the flashes of arbitrary power: the cruelty of a despot will assume the character of justice; his profusion, of liberality; his obstinacy, of firmness. If the most reasonable excuse be rejected, few acts of obedience will be found impossible ; and guilt must tremble, where innocence cannot always be secure. The tranquillity of the people, and the discipline of the troops, were best maintained by perpetual action in the field : war was the trade of the Janizaries; and those who survived the peril, and divided the spoil, applauded the generous ambition of their sovereign. To propagate the true religion was the duty of a faithful Musulman: the unbelievers were his enemies, and those of the Prophet; and, in the hands of the Turks, the scimitar was the only instrument of conversion.
Under these circumstances, however, the justice and moderation of Amurath are attested by his conduct, and acknowledged by the Christians themselves, who
1 See Cantemir, History of the Othman Empire, p. 94. Murad, or Morad, may be more correct : but I have preferred the popular name to that obscure diligence which is rarely successful in translating an Oriental, into the Roman, alphabet.
Ser the siege and massaore at Thessalonica. Von Hammer, vol. i. p. 433.-M.
consider a prosperous reign and a peaceful death as the reward of his singular merits. In the vigour of his
In the vigour of his age and military power he seldom engaged in war till he was justified by a previous and adequate provocation : the victorious sultan was disarmed by submission ; and in the observance of treaties, his word was inviolate and sacred.12 The Hungarians were commonly the aggressors; he was provoked by the revolt of Scanderbeg; and the perfidious Caramanian was twice vanquished, and twice pardoned, by the Ottoman monarch. Before he invaded the Morea, Thebes had been surprised by the dlespot : in the conquest of Thessalonica the grandson of Bajazet might dispute the recent purchase of the Venetians; and after the first siege of Constantinople, the sultan was never tempted, by the distress, the absence, or the injuries of Palæologus, to extinguish the dying light of the Byzantine empire.
But the most striking feature in the life and character of Amurath His double
is the double abdication of the Turkish throne; and, were abdication, not his motives de based by an alloy of superstition, we must
praise the royal philosopher," who at the age of forty could discern the vanity of human greatness. Resigning the sceptre to his son, he retired to the pleasant residence of Magnesia; but he retired to the society of saints and hermits. It was not till the fourth century of the Hegira that the religion of Mahomet had been corrupted by an institution so adverse to his genius; but in the age of the crusades the various orders of dervishes were multiplied by the example of the Christian, and even the Latin, monks.' The lord of nations submitted to fast, and pray, and turn round“ in endless rotation with the fanatics, who mistook the giddiness of the head for the illumination of the spirit." But he was soon awakened from this dream of enthu.
'? See Chalcocondyles (l. vii. p. 186, 198 (p. 375, ed. Bonu]), Ducas (c. 33 (p. 228, ed. Bonn)), and Marinus Barletius (in Vit. Scanderbeg, p. 145, 146). In his good faith towards the garrison of Sfetigrade, he was a lesson and example to his son Mahomet.
13 Voltaire (Essai sur l'Histoire Générale, c. 89, p. 283, 284) admires le Philosophe Turc: would he have bestowed the same praise on a Christian prince for retiring to a monastery! In his way, Voltaire was a bigot, an intolerant bigot.
11 See the articles Dervische, Fakir, Nasser, Rohbaniat, in D’Herbelot's Bibliothèque Orientale. Yet the subject is superficially treated from the Persian and Arabian writers. It is among the Turks that these orders have principally flourished.
Rycaut (in the Present State of the Ottoman Empire, p. 242-268) affords much information, which he drew from his personal conversation with the heads of the dervishes, most of whom ascribed their origin to the time of Orchan. He does not mention the Zichida of Chalcocondylos (1. vii. p. 186 (p. 352, ed. Bonn)), among whom Amurath retired; the Seids of that author are the descendants of Mahomet.
* Gibbon has fallen into a remarkable divine, love was its chief occupation: the error. The unmonastic retreat of Amurath only dance, that described by Horace as was that of an epicurean rather than of a belonging to the country, motus doceri dervish; more like that of Sardanapalus gaudet Ionico. See Von Hammer, note, tban of Charles the Fifth, Profane, not p. 632.-M.
siasm by the Hungarian invasion; and his obedient son was the foremost to urge the public danger and the wishes of the people. Under the banner of their veteran leader, the Janizaries fought and conquered ; but he withdrew from the field of Varna, again to pray, to fast, and to turn round with his Magnesian brethren. These pious occupations were again interrupted by the danger of the state. A victorious army disdained the inexperience of their youthful ruler : the city of Adrianople was abandoned to rapine and slaughter; and the unanimous divan implored his presence to appease the tumult, and prevent the rebellion, of the Janizaries. At the well-known voice of their master they trembled and obeyed; and the reluctant sultan was compelled to support his splendid servitude, till, at the end of four years, he was relieved by the angel of death. Age or disease, misfortune or caprice, have tempted several princes to descend from the throne; and they have had leisure to repent of their irretrievable step. But Amurath alone, in the full liberty of choice, after the trial of empire and solitude, has repeated his preference of a private life.
After the departure of his Greek brethren, Eugenius had not been unmindful of their temporal interest; and his tender regard Engenius for the Byzantine empire was animated by a just appre- boleague hension of the Turks, who approached, and might soon against tho invade, the borders of Italy. But the spirit of the crusades a.d. 1143. had expired; and the coldness of the Franks was not less unreasonable than their headlong passion. In the eleventh century a fanatic monk could precipitate Europe on Asia for the recovery of the holy sepulchre: but in the fifteenth, the most pressing motives of religion and policy were insufficient to unite the Latins in the defence of Christendom. Germany was an inexhaustible storehouse of men and arms: 16 but that complex and languid body required the impulse of a vigorous hand; and Frederic the Third was alike impotent in his personal character and his Imperial dignity. A long war had impaired the strength, without satiating the animosity, of France and England : 17 but Philip duke of Burgundy was a vain and magnificent prince; and he enjoyed, without danger or expense, the adventurous
16 In the year 1431 Germany raised 40,000 horse, men at arms, against the Hussites of Bohemia (Lenfant, Hist. du Concile de Basle, tom. i. p. 318). At the siege of Nuys, on the Rhine, in 1474, the princos, prelates, and cities sent their respective quotas; and the bishop of Munster (qui n'est pas des plus grands) furnished 1400 horse, 6000 foot, all in green, with 1200 waggons. The united armies of the king of England and the duke of Burgundy scarcely equalled one-third of this German host (Mémoires de Philippe de Comines, 1. iv. c. 2). At present, six or seven hundred thousand men are maintained in constant pay and admirable discipline by the powers of Gor. many.
17 It was not till the year 1444 that France and England could agree on a trice of some months. (See Rymer's Fædero, and the chronicles of both natious,)
piety of his subjects, who sailed, in a gallant fleet, from the coast of Flanders to the Hellespont. The maritime republics of Venice and Genoa were less remote from the scene of action ; and their hostile fleets were associated under the standard of St. Peter. The kingdoms of Hungary and Poland, which covered as it were the interior pale of the Latin church, were the most nearly concerned to oppose the progress of the Turks.
Arms were the patrimony of the Scythians and Sarinatians; and these nations might appear equal to the contest, could they point, against the common foe, those swords that were so wantonly drawn in bloody and domestic quarrels. But the same spirit was adverse to concord and obedience: a poor country and a limited monarch are incapable of maintaining a standing force; and the loose bodies of Polish and Hungarian horse were not armed with the sentiments and weapons which, on some occasions, have given irresistible weight to the French chivalry. Yet, on this side, the designs of the Roman pontiff, and the eloquence of Cardinal Julian, his legate, were promoted by the circumstances of the times; 18 by the union of the two crowns on the head of Ladislaus,19 young
and ambitious soldier; by the valour of an hero, whose name, the name of John Huniades, was already popular among the Christians, and formidable to the Turks. An endless treasure of pardons and indulgences was scattered by the legate; many private warriors of France and Germany enlisted under the holy banner; and the crusade derived some strength, or at least some reputation, from the new allies both of Europe and Asia. A fugitive despot of Servia exaggerated the distress and ardour of the Christians beyond the Danube, who would unanimously rise to vindicate their religion and liberty. The Greek emperor, 20 with a spirit unknown to his fathers, engaged to guard the Bosphorus, and to sally from Constantinople at the head of his national and mercenary troops. The sultan of Caramania 21 announced the retreat of Amurath, and a powerful diversion in the
18 In the Hungarian crusade, Spondanus (Annal. Eccles. A.D. 1443, 1444) has · been my leading guide. He has diligently read, and critically compared, the Greek and Turkish materials, the historians of Hungary, Poland, and the West. His narrative is perspicuous; and where he can be free from a religious bias, the judgment of Spondanus is not contemptible.
19 I have curtailed the harsh lotter (Wladislaus) which most writers affix to his name, either in compliance with the Polish pronunciation, or to distinguish him from his rival the infant Ladislaus of Austria. Their competition for the crown of Hungary is described by Callimachus (1. i. ii. p. 447-486), Bonfinius (Decad. iii. l. iv.), Spondanus, and Lenfant.
The Greek historians, Phranza, Chalcocondyles, and Ducas, do not ascribe to their prince a very active part in this crusade, which he seems to have promoted by his wishes, and injured by his fears.
21 Cantemir (p. 88) ascribes to his policy the original plan, and transcribes his animating epistle to the king of Hungary. But the Mahometan powers are seldom informed of the state of Christendom; and the situation and correspondence of the knights of Rhodes must connect them with the sultan of Caramania.