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of Sicily

Rog

1090

66

men is yet dignified by the remains of an arsenal, a cathedral, and the palaces of royal merchants.

Roger, the twelfth and last of the sons of Tancred, had been conquest long detained in Normandy by his own and his father's age. by count He accepted the welcome summons; hastened to the Apulian A.D. 1060camp; and deserved at first the esteem, and afterwards the envy, of his elder brother. Their valour and ambition were equal; bat the youth, the beauty, the elegant manners, of Roger engaged the disinterested love of his soldiers and people. So scanty was his allowance, for himself and forty followers, that he descended from conquest to robbery, and from robbery to domestic theft; and so loose were the notions of property that, by his own historian, at his special command, he is accused of stealing horses from a stable at Melphi. His spirit emerged from poverty and disgrace; from these base practices he rose to the merit and glory of a holy war; and the invasion of Sicily was seconded by the zeal and policy of his brother Guiscard. After the retreat of the Greeks, the idolaters, a most audacious reproach of the Catholics, had retrieved their losses and possessions; but the deliverance of the island, so vainly undertaken by the forces of the Eastern empire, was achieved by a small and private band of adventurers. 67 In the first attempt Roger braved, in an open boat, the real and fabulous dangers of Scylla and Charyb- (a.d. 1060) dis; landed with only sixty soldiers on a hostile shore; drove the Saracens to the gates of Messina ; and safely returned with the spoils of the adjacent country. In the fortress of Trani, his (Troina) active and patient courage were equally conspicuous. In his old age he related with pleasure, that, by the distress of the (A.D. 1062)

66 Latrocinio armigerorum suorum in multis sustentabatur, quod quidem ad ejus ignominiam non dicimus; sed ipso ita præcipiente adhuc viliora et reprehensibiliora dictori (leg. de ipso scripturi) sumus ut pluribus patescat quam laboriose et cum quanta angustiâ a profundâ paupertate ad summum culmen divitiarum vel honoris attigerit. Such is the preface of Malaterra (1. i. 0. 25) to the horse-stealing. From the moment (1. i. c. 19) that he has mentioned his patron Roger, the elder brother sinks into the second character. Something similar in Velleius Paterculus may be observed of Augustus and Tiberius.

67 Duo sibi proficua deputans, animæ scilicet et corporis, si terram idolis deditam ad cultum divinam revocaret (Galfrid. Malaterra, 1. ii. c. 1). The conquest of Sicily is related in the three last books, and he himself has given an accurate sunmary of the chapters (p. 544-546). [The Brevis historia liberationis Messanae, printed in Muratori, Scr. rer. It., 6, p. 614 sqq., which ascribes the capture of Messing to this first descent of Roger, has been shown by Amari to be a concoction of the 18th century (Stor. dei Musulmani di Sicilia, iii. 56). Messina was taken in the following year--1061, May.)

siege, himself and the countess his wife had been reduced to a single cloak or mantle, which they wore alternately; that in a sally his horse had been slain, and he was dragged away by the Saracens; but that he owed his rescue to his good sword, and had retreated with his saddle on his back, lest the meanest

trophy might be left in the hands of the miscreants. In the (Troina) siege of Trani, three hundred Normans withstood and repulsed

the forces of the island. In the field of Ceramio,68 fifty thousand (A.D. 1063] horse and foot were overthrown by one hundred and thirty-six

Christian soldiers, without reckoning St. George, who fought on horseback in the foremost ranks. The captive banners, with four camels, were reserved for the successors of St. Peter; and had these barbaric spoils been exposed not in the Vatican, but in the Capitol, they might have revived the memory of the Punic triumphs. These insufficient numbers of the Normans most probably denote their knights, the soldiers of honourable and equestrian rank, each of whom was attended by five or six followers in the field ; 69 yet, with the aid of this interpretation, and after every fair allowance on the side of valour, arms, and reputation, the discomfiture of so many myriads will reduce the prudent reader to the alternative of a miracle or a fable. The

Arabs of Sicily derived a frequent and powerful succour from (A.D. 1071-2] their countrymen of Africa : in the siege of Palermo, the Norman

cavalry was assisted by the galleys of Pisa; and, in the hour of action, the envy of the two brothers was sublimed to a generous and invincible emulation. After a war of thirty years,"o Roger, with the title of great count, obtained the sovereignty of the largest and most fruitful island of the Mediterranean; and his administration displays a liberal and enlightened mind above the limits of his age and education. The Moslems were maintained in the free enjoyment of their religion and property ; philosopher and physician of Mazara, of the race of Mahomet,

70

71

a

68 [The fortress of Cerami was not far from Troina.]
69 See the word milites in the Latin Glossary of Ducange.

70 Of odd particulars, I learn from Malaterra that the Arabs had introduced into Sicily the use of camels (1. i. c. 33) and of carrier pigeons (c. 42), and that the bite of the tarantula provokes a windy disposition, que per anum inhoneste crepitando emergit : a symptom most ridiculously felt by the whole Norman army in their camp near Palermo (c. 36). I shall add an etymology not unworthy of the eleventh century : Messana is derived from Messis, the place from wbence the harvests of the isle were sent in tribute to Rome (1. ii. c. 1).

71 See the capitulation of Palermo in Malaterra, 1. ii. c. 45, and Giannone, who remarks the general toleration of the Saracens (tom. ii. p. 72).

empire.

harangued the conqueror, and was invited to court; his geography of the seven climates was translated into Latin; and Roger, after a diligent perusal, preferred the work of the Arabian to the writings of the Grecian Ptolemy.72 A remnant of Christian natives had promoted the success of the Normans; they were rewarded by the triumph of the cross. The island was restored to the jurisdiction of the Roman pontiff; new bishops were planted in the principal cities; and the clergy was satisfied by a liberal endowment of churches and monasteries. Yet the Catholic hero asserted the rights of the civil magistrate. Instead of resigning the investiture of benefices, he dexterously applied to his own profit the papal claims: the supremacy of the crown was secured and enlarged by the singular bull which declares the princes of Sicily hereditary and perpetual legates of the Holy See.73

To Robert Guiscard, the conquest of Sicily was more glorious Robert inthan beneficial; the possession of Apulia and Calabria was in- Eastern adequate to his ambition; and he resolved to embrace or create A.D. 1081 the first occasion of invading, perhaps of subduing, the Roman empire of the East.74 From his first wife, the partner of his humble fortunes, he had been divorced under the pretence of consanguinity; and her son Bohemond was destined to imitate, rather than to succeed, his illustrious father. The second wife of Guiscard was the daughter of the princes of Salerno; the (Sigelgaita] Lombards acquiesced in the lineal succession of their son Roger; their five daughters were given in honourable nuptials,75 and

72 John Leo Afer, de Medicis et Philosophis Arabibus, c. 14, apud Fabric. Bibliot. Græc. tom. xiii. p. 278, 279. This philosopher is named Esseri ph Essachalli, and he died in Africa, A.H. 516—A.D. 1122. Yet this story bears a strange resemblance to the Sherif al Edrissi, who presented his book (Geographia Nubiensis, see preface, p. 88, 90, 170) to Roger king of Sicily, A.A. 548—A.D. 1153 (d'Herbelot, Bibliothèque Orientale, p. 786 ; Prideaux's Life of Mahomet, p. 188 ; Petit de la Croix, Hist. de Gengiscan, p. 535, 536; Casiri, Bibliot. Arab. Hispan. tom. ii. p. 9.13), and I am afraid of some mistake.

** Malaterra remarks the foundation of the bishoprics (1. iv. c. 7) and produces the original of the bull (1. iv. c. 29). Giannone gives a rational idea of this privilege, and the tribunal of the monarchy of Sicily (tom. ii. p 95-102); and St. Marc (Abrégé, tom. iii. p. 217-301, 1st column) labours the case with the diligence of a Sicilian la wyer.

** In the first expedition of Robert against the Greeks, I follow Anna Comnena (the ist, wird, ivth, and vth books of the Alexiad), William Appulus (1. ivth and vth, p. 270-275), and Jeffrey Malaterra (1. iii. c. 13, 14, 24-29, 89). Their information is contemporary and authentic, but none of them were eye-witnesses of the war. [Monograph : Schwarz, Die Feldzüge Robert Guiscards gegen das byzantinische Reich, 1854.)

** One of them was married to Hugh, the son of Azzo, or Axo, a marquis of Lombardy, rich, powerful, and noble (Gulielm. Appul. 1. iii. p. 267), in the with

one of them was betrothed, in a tender age, to Constantine, a beautiful youth, the son and heir of the emperor Michael.76 But the throne of Constantinople was shaken by a revolution; the imperial family of Ducas was confined to the palace or the cloister; and Robert deplored, and resented, the disgrace of his daughter and the expulsion of his ally. A Greek, who styled himself the father of Constantine, soon appeared at Salerno, and related the adventures of his fall and flight. That unfortunate friend was acknowledged by the duke, and adorned with the pomp and titles of Imperial dignity: in his triumphal progress through Apulia and Calabria, Michael TM was saluted with the tears and acclamations of the people; and pope Gregory the Seventh exhorted the bishops to preach, and the Catholics to fight, in the pious work of his restoration. His conversations with Robert were frequent and familiar; and their mutual promises were justified by the valour of the Normans and the treasures of the East. Yet this Michael, by the confession of the Greeks and Latins, was a pageant and an impostor: a monk who had fled from his convent, or a domestic who had served in the palace. The fraud had been contrived by the subtle Guiscard ;-' and he trusted that, after this pretender bad given a decent colour to his arms, he would sink, at the nod of the conqueror, into his primitive obscurity. But victory was the only argument that could determine the belief of the Greeks; and the ardour of the Latins was much inferior to their credulity: the Norman veterans wished to enjoy the harvest of their toils, and the unwarlike Italians trembled at the known and unknown dangers of a transmarine expedition. In his new levies, Robert exerted the influence of gifts and promises, the terrors of civil and ecclesiastical authority; and some acts of violence might justify the reproach that age and infancy were pressed without distinction into the service of their unrelenting prince. After two years' incessant preparations, the land and naval forces were assembled at Otranto, at the heel or extreme promontory of Italy; and Robert was accompanied by his wife, who fought by his side, his son Bohemond, and the representative of the emperor Michael. Thirteen hundred knights 80 of Norman race or discipline formed the sinews of the army, which might be swelled to thirty thousand 81 followers of every denomination. The men, the horses, the arms, the engines, the wooden towers, covered with raw hides, were embarked on board one hundred and fifty vessels; the transports had been built in the ports of Italy, and the galleys were supplied by the alliance of the republic of Ragusa.

century, and whose ancestors in the xth and ixth are explored by the critical industry of Leibnitz and Muratori. From the two elder sons of the marquis Azzo are derived the illustrious lines of Brunswick and Este. See Muratori, Antichita Estense.

78 Anna Comnena, somewhat too wantonly, praises and bewails that handsome boy, who, after the rupture of his barbaric nuptials (1. i. p. 23 (c. 10]), was betrothed as her husband; he was άγαλμα φύσεως ... θεού χειρών φιλοτίμημα ... χρυσού gévous éroppoh, &c. (p. 27 (c. 12]). Elsewhere, she describes the red and white of his skin, his hawk's eyes, &c. l. iii. p. 71 (c. 1). (It had been proposed originally that Helena should marry another Constantine, a brother of Michael ; and there are extant two letters of this Emperor to Robert Guiscard, concerning the projected alliance, dating from 1073 (in the correspondence of Psellus, published by Sathas, Bibl. Gr. Med. Æv., 5, p. 385 899.). For criticism see Seger, Nikephorus Bryennios, p. 123-4: Heinemann, op. cit., p. 394-6.)

77 Anna Comnena, 1. i. p. 28, 29 ; Gulielm. Appal. 1. iv. p. 271 ; Galfrid. Malaterra, l. iii. c. 13, p. 579, 580. Malaterra is most cautions in his style; but the Apulian is bold and positive.

-Mentitus se Michaelem

Venerat a Danais quidam seductor ad illum. As Gregory VII. had believed, Baronius, almost alone, recognises the emperor Michael (A.D. 1080, No. 44).

78 (Registrum Epistolarum, of Gregory VII. (ap. Jaffé, Bibl. rer. Germ. ii.), viii. 6, p. 435.]

79 [So the Greeks said. Bat probably this was not so. Robert saw through the imposture and took advantage of it ; but probably did not invent it.]

At the mouth of the Adriatic golf, the shores of Italy and siege of Epirus incline towards each other. The space between Brun-A.D. 1081, dusium and Durazzo, the Roman passage, is no more than one hundred miles ; #2 at the last station of Otranto, it is contracted to fifty ; * and this narrow distance had suggested to Pyrrhus and

Durazzo,

June 17

BO Ipse armatæ militiæ non plusquam mccc milites secum habuisse, ab eis qui eidem negotio interfuerunt attestatur (Malaterra, I. iii. o. 24, p. 583). These are the same whom the Apulian (1. iv. p. 273) styles the equestris gens ducis, equites de gente ducis.

51 Eis Epidxorta xiloddas, says Anna Comnena (Alexias, 1. 1. p. 37 (c. 16]), and her account tallies with the number and lading of the ships. Ivit in (leg. contra Dyrrachium cum xv millibus hominum, says the Chronicon Breve Normannicum (Maratori

, Scriptores, tom. v. p. 278). I have endeavoured to reconcile these reckonings.

#3 The Itinerary of Jerusalem (p. 609, edit. Wesseling) gives a true and reasonable space of a thousand stadia, or one hundred miles, which is strangely doubled by Strabo (l. vi. p. 433 (3, § 8]) and Pliny (Hist. Natur. iii. 16).

tä Pliny (Hist. Nat. iij. 6, 16) allows quinquaginta millia for this brevissimus cursus, and agrees with the real distance from Otranto to La Vallona, or Aulon (d'Anville, Analyse de la Carte des Côtes de la Grèce, &c., p. 3-6). Hermolaus Barbarus, who substitutes centum (Harduin, Not. lxvi. in Plin. 1. iii.), might have been corrected by every Venetian pilot who had sailed out of the gulf.

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