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Your enemy is implacable; and death is less grievous than
servitude." Th) moment was decisive: as the Varangians advanced before the line, they discovered the nakedness of their flanks: the main battle of the duke, of eight hundred knights, stood firm and entire; they couched their lances, and the Greeks deplore the furious and irresistible shock of the French cavalry." Alexius was not deficient in the duties of a soldier or a general; but he no sooner beheld the slaughter of the Varangians, and the flight of the Turks, than he despised his subjects, and despaired of his fortune. The princess Anne, who drops a tear on this melancholy event, is reduced to praise the strength and swiftness of her father's horse, and his vigorous struggle when he was almost overthrown by the stroke of a lance, which had shivered the Imperial helmet. His desperate valor broke through a squadron of Franks who opposed his flight; and after wandering two days and as many nights in the mountains, he found some repose, of body, though not of mind, in the walls of Lychnidus. The victorious Robert reproached the tardy and feeble pursuit which had suffered the escape of so illustrious a prize: but he consoled his disappointment by the trophies and standards of the field, the wealth and luxury of the Byzantine camp, and the glory of defeating an army five times more numerous than his own. A multitude of Italians had been the victims of their own fears; but only thirty of his knights were slain in this memorable day. In the Roman host, the loss of Greeks, Turks, and English, amounted to five or six thousand :7" the plain of Durazzo was stained with noble and royal blood; and the end of the impostor Michael was more honorable than his life.
It is more than probable that Guiscard was not aff'icted by the loss of a costly pageant, which had merited only the contempt and derision of the Greeks. After their defeat, they
itill persevered in the defence of Durazzo; and a Venetian commander supplied the place of George Palaeologus, who had been imprudently called away from his station. The tents of the besiegers were converted into barracks, to sustain tiie inclemency of the winter; and in answer to the defiance of the garrison, Robert insinuated, that his patience was at lease equal to their obstinacy." Perhaps he already trusted to his secret correspondence with a Venetian noble, who sold the city ibr a nch and honorable marriage. At the deaj of night, several rope-ladders were dropped from the walls; the light Calabrians ascended in silence; and the Greeks were awakened by tht> n<*me and trumpets of the conqueror. Yet they defended th»i streets three days against an enemy already master of the »impart; and near seven months elapsed between the first inv^tment and the final surrender of the place. From Durazzo, ..he Norman duke advanced into the heart of Epirus or Albanu; traversed the first mountains of Thessaly; surprised three hundred English in the city of Castoria; approached Thessaionica; and made Constantinople tremble. A more pressing duty suspended the prosecution of his ambitious designs. By shipwreck, pestilence, and the sword, his army was reduced to a third of the original numbers; and instead of being recruited from Italy, he was informed, by plaintive epistles, of the mischiefs and dangers which had been produced by his absence: the revolt of the cities and barons of Apulia; the distress of the pope; and the approach or invasion of Henry king of Germany. Highly presuming that his person was sufficient for the public safety, he repassed the sea in a single brigantine, and left the remains of the army under the command of his son and the Norman counts, exhorting Bohemond to respect the freedom of his peers, and the counts to obey the authority of their leader. The son of Guiscard trod in the footsteps of his father; and the two destroyers are compared, bv the Greeks, to the caterpillar and the locust, the last of whom devours whatever has escaped the teeth of the former.'8 After winning two battles
TT The Romans had changed the inauspicious name of EpidamnVi to Dyrrachium, (Plin. iii. 26;) and the vulgar corruption of Duntciiiin (e«e Malaterra) bore some affinity to hardness. One of Robert's names was Durand, a dnrando: poor wit! (Alberic. Monach. in Chron. apud Muratori Annali d' Italia, torn. ix. p. 137.)
'8 Hpat>xpvt «li Avjoiduj Uttcv an m uir.i; itirioa xal vv'v, (/Nnria, I L p. 85.) By these similes, so different from those of Homer nh*
against the *mperor, he descended into the plain of Theesaly and besieged Larissa, the fabulous realm of Achilles," which contained the treasure and magazines of the Byzantine camp. Yet a just praise must not be refused to the fortitude and pru dence of Alexius, who bravely struggled with the calamities of the times. In the poverty of the state, he presumed tc borrow the superfluous ornaments of the churches: the do Bertion of the Manichaeans was supplied by some tribes of Mollavia: a ^enforcement of seven thousand Turks replaced and revenged the loss of their brethren; and the Greek soldiers were exercised to ride, to draw the bow, and to the daily practice of ambuscades and evolutions. Alexius had been taught by experience, that the formidable cavalry of the Franks on foot was unfit for action, and almost incapable of
motion;" bis archers were directed to aim their arrows at
the horse rather than the man; and a variety of spikes and snares were scattered over the ground on which he might expect an attack. In the neighborhood of Larissa the events of war were protracted and balanced. The courage of Buhemond was always conspicuous, and often successful; but his camp was pillaged by a stratagem of the Greeks; the city was impregnable; and the venal or discontented counts deserted his standard, betrayed their trusts, and enlisted in the service of the emperor. Alexius returned to Constantinople with the advantage, rather than the honor, of victory. After evacuating the conquests which he could no longer defend, the son of Guiscard embarked for Italy, and was embraced by a father who esteemed his merit, and sympathized in his misfortune.
Of the Latin princes, the allies of Alexius and enemies of
wishes to inspire contempt as well as horror for the little noxious ani raal, a conqueror. Most unfortunately, the common sense, or com not nonsense, of mankind, resists her laudable design.
79 Prodiit hac auctor Trojans cladis Achilles.
The supposition of the Apulian (1. v. p. 275) may be excused by the more classic poetry of Virgil, (iEneid. ii. 197,) Larissams Achilles, but it is not justified by the geography of Homer.
80 The nrv TTtfSiAon/ Trpna\jtaTa, which encumbered the knights on foot, have beei ignorantly translated spurs, (Anna Comnena, Alexias, L v. p. 140.) Ducange has explained the true sense by a ridiculous and inconvenient fashion, whioh lasted from the xith to the xvth century. These peaks, in the form of a scorpion, were sometimes t-wo feet Mm) f*8tenei' to the knee with a silver chain.
Robert, the most prompt and powerful was Henry the Third <w Fourth, king of Germany and Italy, and future emperor of the West. The epistle of the Greek monarch81 to his brother is tilled with the warmest professions of friendship, and the most lively desire of strengthening their alliance by every public and private tie. He congratulates Henry on his success in a just and pious war; and complains that the prosperity of his own empire is disturbed by the audacious enterprises of the Norman Robert. The lists of his presents expresses the manners of the age—a radiated crown of gold, a cross set with pearls to hang on the breast, a case of relics, with the names and titles of the saints, a vase of crystal, a vase of sardonyx, Borne balm, most probably of Mecca, and one hundred pieces of purpie. To these he added a more solid present, of one hundred arid *vty-four thousand Byzantines of gold, with a further assurance of two hundred and sixteen thousand, so soon as Henry should have entered in arms the Apulian territories, and confirmed by an oath the league against the common enemy. The German," who was already in Lombardy at the head of an army and a faction, accepted these liberal offers, and marched towards the south: his speed was checked by the sound of the battle of Durazzo; but the influence of his arms, or name, in the hasty return of Robert, was a ful. equivalent for the Grecian bribe. Henry was the severe adversary of the Normans, the allies and vassals of Gregory the Seventh, his implacable foe. The long quarrel of the throne and mitre had been recently kindled by the zeal and ambition of that haughty piiest:83 the king and the pope had
"- The epistVj itself (Alexias, 1. iii. p. 93, 94, 95) well deserves to be read. There io one expression, dvrpr>ne\cKM kitjttiwv pera ^pvaaipiuv, which Ducarw.e floes not understand. I have endeavored to grope out ft tolerable Drafting: xPva°L<P11"' is a golden crown; AnTpoitiXiicvt is explained by Simon Portias, (in Lexico Graeco-Barbar.,) by ncpawd^ rptfritp, a fVioh of lightning.
82 For tftuee general events I must refer to the general historians Higoniua Baronius, Muratori, Mosheim, St. Marc, <fcc.
88 Tte lives of Gregory VII. are either legends or invectives, (St. Marc, Abrege, torn. iii. p. 235, <fec.;) and his miraculous or magical porfoi mances are alike incredible to a modern reader. He will, as URUal, find some instruction in Le Clerc, (Vie de Hildebrand, Bibliot uxier.ne et moderne, torn, viii.,) and much amusement in Bayle, (Diclionnaire Critique, Gregoire VII.) That pope was undoubtedly a great man, a second Athanasius, in a more fortunate age of the church. May T presume t<» add, that the portrait of Athanasius is one of tb*
degraded each other; and each had seated a rival on the temporal or spiritual throne of his antagonist. After the defeat and death of his Swabian rebel, Henry descended into Italy, to assume the Imperial crown, and to drive from the Vatican the tyrant of the church." But the Roman people adhered to the cause of Gregory: their resolution was forti fied by supplies of men and money from Apulia; and tin city was thrice ineffectually besieged by the king of Germany. In the fourth year he corrupted, as it is said, with Byzantine gold, the nobles of Rome, whose estates and castles had been ruined by the war. The gates, the bridges, and fifty hostages, were delivered into his hands: the anti-pope, Clement the Third, was consecrated in the Lateran: the grateful pontiff crowned his protector in the Vatican; and the emperor Henry fixed his residence in the Capitol, as the lawful successor of Augustus and Charlemagne. The ruins of the Septizonium were still defended by the nephew of Gregory: the pope him self was invested in the castle of St. Angelo; and his last hope was in the courage and fidelity of his Norman vassal. Their friendship had been interrupted by some reciprocal injuries and complaints; but, on this pressing occasion, Guiscard was urged by the obligation of his oath, by his interest, more potent than oaths, by the love of fame, and his enmity to the two emperors. Unfurling the holy banner, he resolved to fly to the relief of the prince of the apostles: the most numerous of his armies, six thousand horse, and thirty thousand foot, was instantly assembled; and his march from Salerno to Rome was animated by the public applause and the promise of the divine favor. Henry, invincible in sixty-six battles, trembled at his approach; recollected some indispensable affairs that
passages of my history (vol. ii. p. 332, <fec.) with which I am the leRst dissatisfied! *
84 Anna, with the rancor of a Greek schismatic, calls him nara-r rvaroK obrot IluTraj, (1. i. p. 32,) a pope, or priest, worthy to be tpi* upol and accuses him of scourging, shaving, and perhaps of cash ating the ambassadors of Henry, (p. 31, 33.) But this outrage is improbable and doubtful, (see the sensible preface of Cousin.)
* There is a fair life of Gregory VII. by Voigt, (Weimar. 1815.) which kas been translated into French. M. Villemain, it is understood, has devoted much time to the study of this remarkable character, to wlw.n hii eloquence may do justice. There is much valuable information aa the ■object in the accurate work of Stenzel. Geschichte Deutschlauus untei den Frankischen Kaisern—the History of Germany under the Enw<Tor» •f the Franconian Race.—M.