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A. D. 998.

expelled, and created the popes, and formed a conspiracy for CHAP. restoring the authority of the Greek emperors. In the fortress of St. Angelo, he maintained an obstinate siege, till the unfortunate consul was betrayed by a promise of safety: his body was suspended on a gibbet, and his head was exposed on the battlements of the castle. By a reverse of fortune, Otho, after separating his troops, was besieged three days, without food, in his palace; and a disgraceful escape saved him from the justice or fury of the Romans. The senator Ptolemy was the leader of the people, and the widow of Crescentius enjoyed the pleasure or the fame of revenging her husband, by a poison which she administered to her Imperial lover. It was the design of Otho the third to abandon the ruder countries of the north, to erect his throne in Italy, and to revive the institutions of the Roman monarchy. But his successors only once in their lives appeared on the banks of the Tyber, to receive their crown in the Vatican.340 Their absence was contemptible, their presence odious and formidable. They descended from the Alps, at the head of their Barbarians, who were strangers and enemies to the country; and their transient visit was a scene of tumult and bloodshed. 141 A faint remembrance of their ancestors still tormented the Romans; and they beheld with pious indignation the succession of Saxons, Franks, Swabians, and Bohemians, who usurped the purple and prerogatives of the Cæsars.

There is nothing perhaps more adverse to nature and rea. The kingson than to hold in obedience remote countries and foreign

Italy, nations, in opposition to their inclination and interest. A A. D. 774 torrent of Barbarians may pass over the earth, but an extensive empire must be supported by a refined system of policy and oppression ; in the centre, an absolute power, prompt in action, and rich in resources; a swift and easy communication with the extreme parts : fortifications to check the first effort of rebellion: a regular administration to protect and punish; and a well-disciplined army to inspire fear, without

dom of


140 The coronation of the emperor, and some original ceremonies of the xth century, are preserved in the Panegyric on Berengarius (Script. Ital. tom. ii pars i. 405....414), illustrated by the Notes of Hadrian Valesius, and Leibnitz Sigonius has related the whole process of the Roman expedition, in good Latin, but with some errors of time and fact (l. vii. p. 441....446).

141 In a quarrel at the coronation of Conrad II. Muratori takes leave to observe....doveano ben essere allora, indisciplinati, Barbari, e bestiali i Tedeschi. Annal. toin. viii. p. 368.

CHAP, provoking discontent and despair. Far different was the si. XLIX.

tuation of the German Cæsars, who were ambitious to enslave the kingdom of Italy. Their patrimonial estates were stretched along the Rhine, or scattered in the provinces; but this ample domain was alienated by the imprudence or dis. tress of successive princes; and their revenue, from minute and vexatious prerogative, was scarcely sufficient for the maintenance of their household. Their troops were formed by the legal or voluntary service of their feudal vassals, who passed the Alps with reluctance, assumed the license of ra. pine and disorder, and capriciously deserted before the end of the campaign. Whole armies were swept away by the pestilential influence of the climate ; the survivors brought back the bones of their princes and nobles, 142 and the effects of their own intemperance were often imputed to the treachery and malice of the Italians, who rejoiced at least in the calamities of the Barbarians. This irregular tyranny might contend on equal terms with the petty tyrants of Italy; nor can the people, or the reader, be much interested in the event of the quarrel. But in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the Lombards rekindled the flame of industry and freedom; and the generous example was at length imitated by the republics of Tuscany. In the Italian cities a municipal government had never been totally abolished; and their first privileges were granted by the favour and policy of the emperors, who were desirous of erecting a plebeian barrier against the independence of the nobles. But their rapid progress, the daily extension of their power and pretensions, were found. ed on the numbers aud spirit of these rising communities. * Each city filled the measure of her diocese or district: the ju. risdiction of the counts and bishops, of the marquisses and counts, was banished from the land : and the proudest nobles were persuaded or compelled to desert their solitary castles, and to embrace the more honourable characterof freemen and

142 After boiling away the bones, The caldrons for that purpose were a necessary piece of 'ravelling furniture; and a German who was using it for his brother, promised it to a friend, after it should have been employed for him. self (Schmid, lom. in. p. 423, 424). The same author observes that the whole Saxon line was extinguished in Italy (tom. ii p. 440).

143 Oiho bishop of Frisingen has left an important passage on the Italian cities (1. ii. c. 13. in Script. Ital. tom. vi. p. 707...710); and the rise, progress, and government, of these republics are perfectly illustrated by Muraiori (Antiquitat. Ital. Medii Ævi, tom. iv. dissert. xlv...lii. p. 1...675. Annal. tom. vii, ix, x).


magistrates. The legislative authority was inherent in the ge- CHAP. neral assembly; but the executive powers were entrusted to three consuls, annually chosen from the three orders of captains, valvassors,'44 and commons, into which the republic was divided. Under the protection of equal law, the labours of agriculture and commerce were gradually revived; but the martial spirit of the Lombards was nourished by the presence of danger; and as often as the bell was rung, or the standard 145 erected, the gates of the city poured forth a numerous and intrepid band, whose zeal in their own cause was soon guided by the use and discipline of arms. At the foot of these popular ramparts, the pride of the Cæsars was overthrown; and the invincible genius of liberty prevailed over the two Frederics, the greatest princes of the middle age: the first, superior perhaps in military prowess; the second, who undoubtedly excelled in the softer accomplishments of peace and learning. Ambitious of restoring the splendour of the purple, Frede. Frederic

the first, ric the first invaded the republics of Lombardy, with the A. D. arts of a statesman, the valour of a soldier, and the cruelty of a tyrant. The recent discovery of the Pandects had renewed a science most favourable to despotism; and his venal advocates proclaimed the emperor the absolute master of the lives and properties of his subjects. His royal prerogatives, in a less odious sense, were acknowledged in the diet of Roncaglia; and the revenue of Italy was fixed at thirty thousand pounds of silver,146 which were multiplied to an indefinite demand, by the rapine of the fiscal officers. The obstinate cities were reduced by the terror or the force of his arms; his captives were delivered to the executioner, or shot from his military engines; and after the siege and surrender of Milan, the buildings of that stately capital were razed to the ground, three hundred hostages were sent into Germany, and the inhabitants were dispersed in four villages, under the yoke of the inflexible conqueror.'*7 But

1152.... 1190.

144 For these titles, see Selden (Titles of Honour, vol. iii. part i. p. 488), Ducange (Gloss. Latm. tom. i. p. 140. tom. vi. p. 776), and St. Marc (Ab. regé Chronologique, tom. ii. p. 719).

145 The Lombards invented and used the carocium, a standard planted on a car or waggon, drawn by a team of oxeu (Ducange, tom. ii. p. 194, 195. Muratori, Antiquitat. tom. ii. diss. xxxvi. p. 489...493).

146 Gunther Ligurinus, I. viii. 584. et. seq. apud Schmidt, tom. iii. p. 399. 147 Solus imperator faciem suam firmavit ut petram (Burcard. de Exci

CHAP. Milan soon rose from her ashes; and the league of LomXLIX.

bardy was cemented by distress; their cause was espoused by Venice,'pope Alexander the third, and the Greek emperor: the fabric of oppression was overturned in a day; and in the treaty of Constance, Frederic subscribed, with

some reservations, the freedom of four-and-twenty cities. Frederic His grandson contended with their vigour and maturity; the second,

but Frederic the seconid 143 was endowed with some perA.D. 1198.... sonal and peculiar advantages. His birth and education re1250.

cominended nim to the Italians; and in the implacable discord of the two factions, the Chibelins were attached to the emperor, while the Guelfs displayed the banner of liberty and the church. The court of Rome had slumbered, when his father Henry the sixth was permitted to unite with the empire the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily; and from these hereditary realms, the son derived an ample and ready supply of troops and treasure. Yet Frederic the second was finally oppressed by the arms of the Lombards and the thunders of the Vatican: his kingdom was given to a stranger, and the last of his family was beheaded at Naples on a public scaffold. During sixty years, no emperor appeared in Italy, and the name was remembered only by the ignomi

nious sale of the last relics of sovereignty. Indepen- The Barbarian conquerors of the West were pleased to dence of

decorate their chief with the title of emperor; but it was the princes

not their design to invest him with the despotism of Conmany.

stantine and Justinian. The persons of the Germans

were free, their conquests were their own, and their na1250, &c.

tional character was animated by a spirit which scorned the servile jurisprudence of the new or the ancient Rome. It would have been a vain and dangerous attempt to impose a monarch, on the armed freemen who were impatient of a magistrate; on the bold, who refused to obey; on the powerful, who aspired to command. The empire of Charlemagne and Otho was distributed among the dukes of the nations or provinces, the counts of the smaller districts, and the

of Ger

A. D. 814....

dio Mediolani, Script. Ital. tom. vi. p. 917). This volume of Muratori con. tains the originals of the history of Frederic the first, which must be compared with due regard to the circumstances and prejudices of each German or Lombard writer.

143 For the history of Frederic II. and the house of Swabia at Naples, see Giannone, Istoria Civile, tom. ii. 1. aiy...xix.

margraves of the marches or frontiers, who all united the CHAP. civil and military authority as it had been delegated to the

XLIX. lieutenants of the first Cæsars. The Roman governors, who, for the most part, were soldiers of fortune, seduced their mercenary legions, assumed the Imperial purple, and either failed or succeeded in their revolt, without wounding the power and unity of government. If the dukes, margraves, and counts of Germany, were less audacious in their claims, the consequences of their success were more lasting and pernicious to the state. Instead of aiming at the supreme rank, they silently laboured to establish and appropriate their provincial independence. Their ambition was seconded by the weight of their estates and vassals, their mutual example and support, the common interest of the subordinate nobility, the change of princes and families, the minorities of Otho the third and Henry the fourth, the ambition of the popes, and the vain pursuits of the fugitive crowns of Italy and Rome. All the attributes of regal and territorial jurisdiction were gradually usurped by the commanders of the provinces; the right of peace and war, of life and death, of coinage and taxation, of foreign alliance and domestic economy. Whatever had been seized by violence, was ratified by favour or distress, was granted as the price of a doubtful vote or a voluntary service; whatever had been granted to one, could not, without injury, be denied to his successor or equal; and every act of local or temporary possession was insensibly moulded into the constitution of the Germanic kingdom. In every province, the visible presence of the duke or count was interposed between the throne and the nobles; the subjects of the law became the vassals of a private chief; and the standard, which he received from his sovereign, was often raised against him in the field. The temporal power of the clergy was cherished and exalted by the superstition or policy of the Carlovingian and Saxon dynasties, who blindly depended on their moderation and fidelity; and the bishoprics of Germany were made equal in extent and privilege, superior in wealth and population, to the most ample states of the military order. As long as the emperors retained the prerogative of bestowing on every vacancy these ecclesiastic and secular benefices, their cause was maintained by the gratitude or ambition of their friends

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