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State of

A.D. 697-1200

and to pledge the faith, of the whole confederacy. The maritime states of Italy were alone possessed of the means of transporting the holy warriors with their arms and horses; and the six deputies proceeded to Venice, to solicit, on motives of piety or interest, the aid of that powerful republic.

In the invasion of Italy by Attila, I have mentioned the tiana.ne.d. flight of the Venetians from the fallen cities of the continent,

and their obscure shelter in the chain of islands that line the extremity of the Adriatic gulf. In the midst of the waters, free, indigent, laborious, and inaccessible, they gradually coalesced into a republic; the first foundations of Venice were laid in the island of Rialto; and the annual election of the twelve tribunes was superseded by the permanent office of a duke or doge. On the verge of the two empires, the Venetians exult in the belief of primitive and perpetual independence. Against the Latins, their antique freedom has been asserted by the sword, and may be justified by the pen. Charlemagne himself resigned all claim of sovereignty to the islands of the Adriatic gulf; his son Pepin was repulsed in the attacks of the lagunas, or canals, too deep for the cavalry, and too shallow for the vessels; and in every age, under the German Cæsars, the lands of the republic have been clearly distinguished from the kingdom of Italy. But the inhabitants of Venice were considered by themselves, by strangers, and by their sovereigns, as an inalienable portion of the Greek empire ; *3 in the ninth and tenth centuries, the


41 History, &c. vol. iii. p. 488-490.

12 The foundation and independence of Venice, and Pepin's invasion, are discussed by Pagi (Critica, tom. iii. A.D. 810, No. 4, &c.) and Beretti (Dissert. Chorograph. Italiæ medii Ævi, in Muratori, Script. tom. x. p. 153). The two critics have a slight bias, the Frenchman adverse, the Italian favourable, to the republic.

43 When the son of Charlemagne asserted his right of sovereignty, he was answered by the loyal Venetians, ότι ημείς δούλοι θέλομεν είναι του Ρωμαίων βασιλέως (Constantin. Porphyrogenit. de Administrat. Imperii, pars ii. c. 28, p. 85); and the report of the ixth establishes the fact of the xth century, which is confirmed by the embassy of Liutprand of Cremona. The annual tribute, which the emperor allows them to pay to the king of Italy, alleviates, by doubling, their servitude; but the hateful word dollxou must be translated, as in the charter of 827 (Laugier, Hist. de Venise, tom. i. p. 67, &c.), by the softer appellation of subdili, or fideles. (The relation of Venice to the Empire has been most recently investigated by E. Lentz. He establishes the actual, not merely formal, dependence of Venice on Constantinople up to about the years 836-40 (Das Verhältniss Venedigs zu Byzanz; Th. i., Venedig als byzantinische Provinz, 1891). About that time the weakness of the Eastern Empire enabled Venice gradually to work her way to a position of independence. By military expeditions, undertaken on her own account, against the Slavonic pirates of the Adriatic and the Saracens who carried their depredations to Dalmatia and ** See the xxvth and xxxth dissertations of the Antiquitates Medii Ævi of • Maratori. From Anderson's History of Commerce, I understand that the Venetians

proofs of their subjection are numerous and unquestionable; and the vain titles, the servile honours, of the Byzantine court, so ambitiously solicited by their dukes, would have degraded the magistrates of a free people. But the bands of this dependence, which was never absolute or rigid, were imperceptibly relaxed by the ambition of Venice and the weakness of Constantinople. Obedience was softened into respect, privilege ripened into prerogative, and the freedom of domestic government was fortified by the independence of foreign dominion. The maritime cities of Istria and Dalmatia bowed to the sovereigns of the Adriatic; and, when they armed against the Normans in the cause of Alexius, the emperor applied, not to the duty of his subjects, but to the gratitude and generosity of his faithful allies. The sea was their patrimony; 44 the western parts of the Mediterranean, from Tuscany to Gibraltar, were indeed abandoned to their rivals of Pisa and Genoa; but the Venetians acquired an early and lucrative share of the commerce of Greece and Egypt. Their riches increased with the increasing demand of Europe; their manufactures of silk and glass, perhaps the institution of their bank, are of high antiquity; and they enjoyed the fruits of their industry in the magnificence of public and private life. To assert her flag, to avenge her injuries, to protect the freedom of navigation, the republic could launch and man a fleet of an hundred galleys; and the Greeks, the Saracens, and the Normans the northern part of the Eastern Riviera, and by entering into independent compacts with the neighbouring cities of Italy, Venice changed her condition from that of a province to that of a responsible power, and, when the Eastern empire was stronger in the tenth century, it was impracticable to recall her to her former subordinate position, and the Emperors were perforce content with a nominal subjection. The man whose policy achieved this result was the Doge Peter Tradonious. (Lentz, Der allmahliche Uebergang Venediga von faktischer zu nomineller Abhängigkeit von Byzanz, in Byzantinische Zeitschrift, iii. p. 64 899., 1894.) The earliest independent treaty made by Venice was the Pactum Lotharii of 840: & treaty not with the Emperor Lothar, but with a number of Italian cities under the auspices of Lothar (see A. Fanta, Die Verträge der Kaiser mit Venedig bis zum Jahre 983: in Suppl. I to the Mittheilungen des Inst. für österr. Geschichtsforschung, 1881 ; Kretschmayr, Geschichte von Venedig, i. 95 sq., and for the text Romanin, Storia documentata di Venezia, i. 356). For the latter relations of Venice with the Eastern Empire, especially in the 12th century, see C. Neumann in Byzantinische Zeitschrift, i. p. 866 899. ; and for the development of Venetian commerce, and the bearings thereon of the Golden Bulls granted by the Emperors, Heyd, Histoire du commerce du Levant su moyen âge, 1885.]

did not trade to England before the year 1323. The most flourishing state of their wealth and commerce in the beginning of the xvth century is agreeably described by the Abbé Dubos (Hist. de la Ligue de Cambray, tom. ii. p. 443-480).

were encountered by her naval arms. The Franks of Syria were assisted by the Venetians in the reduction of the sea-coast; but their zeal was neither blind nor disinterested ; and, in the conquest of Tyre, they shared the sovereignty of a city, the first seat of the commerce of the world. The policy of Venice was marked by the avarice of a trading, and the insolence of a maritime power; yet her ambition was prudent; nor did she often forget that, if armed galleys were the effect and safeguard, merchant-vessels were the cause and supply, of her greatness. In her religion she avoided the schism of the Greeks, without yielding a servile obedience to the Roman pontiff; and a free intercourse with the infidels of every clime appears to have allayed betimes the fever of superstition. Her primitive government was a loose mixture of democracy and monarchy; the doge was elected by the votes of the general assembly: as long as he was popular and successful, he reigned with the pomp and authority of a prince ; but in the frequent revolutions of the state he was deposed, or banished, or slain, by the justice or injustice of the multitude. The twelfth century produced the first rudiments of the wise and jealous aristocracy, which has reduced the doge to a pageant, and the people to a cypher.

When the six ambassadors of the French pilgrims arrived at and Vene Venice, they were hospitably entertained in the palace of St.

Mark by the reigning duke: his name was Henry Dandolo ; 46


Alliance of the French

45 The Venetians have been slow in writing and publishing their history. Their most ancient monuments are, 1. The rude Chronicle (perhaps) of John Sagorninus (Venezia, 1765, in 8vo), which represents the state and manners of Venice in the year 1008. (Johannes was chaplain of the Doge Peter II., at the beginning of the 11th century. The name Sagorninus is due to an error as to the authorship. The chronicle has been edited by Monticolo in the Fonti per la storia d'Italia. Cronache Veneziane antich. i. p. 59 899., 1890.) 2. The larger history of the doge (1342-1354), Andrew Dandolo, published for the first time in the xiith tom, of Muratori, A.D. 1738. [H. Simonsfeld, Andreas Dandolo und seine Geschichtswerke, 1876.] The History of Venice, by the Abbé Laugier (Paris, 1728), is a work of some merit, which I have chiefly used for the constitutional part. (Romanin, Storia documentata di Venezia, 10 vols., 1853-1861; H. Kretschmayr, Geschichte von Venedig, vol. i. (comes down to death of Henry Dandolo), 1905.]

46 Henry Dandolo was eighty-four at his election (A.D. 1192), and ninety-seven at his death (A.D. 1205) (probably not quite so old). See the Observations of Da. cange sur Villehardouin, No. 204. But this extraordinary longevity is not observed by the original writers ; nor does there exist another example of an hero near an hundred years of age. Theophrastus might afford an instance of a writer of ninety: nine; but instead of évvevhkovta (Proæm. ad Character.), I am much inclined to read Blouhkovra, with his last editor Fischer, and the first thoughts of Casaubon. It is scarcely possible that the powers of the mind and body should support themselves till such a period of life.

and he shone in the last period of human life as one of the most illustrious characters of the time. Under the weight of years, and after the loss of his eyes, Dandolo retained a sound understanding and a manly courage; the spirit of an hero, ambitious to signalise his reign by some memorable exploits; and the wisdom of a patriot, anxious to build his fame on the glory and advantage of his country. He praised the bold enthusiasm and liberal confidence of the barons and their deputies: in such a cause, and with such associates, he should aspire, were he a private man, to terminate his life; but he was the servant of the republic, and some delay was requisite to consult, on this arduous business, the judgment of his colleagues. The proposal of the French was first debated by the six sages who had been recently appointed to control the administration of the doge; it was next disclosed to the forty members of the council of state ; and finally communicated to the legislative assembly of four hundred and fifty representatives, who were annually chosen in the six quarters of the city. In peace and war, the doge was still the chief of the republic; his legal authority was supported by the personal reputation of Dandolo; his arguments of public interest were balanced and approved ; and he was authorised to inform the ambassadors of the following conditions of the treaty. 48 It was proposed that the crusaders should assemble at Venice, on the feast of St. John of the ensuing year; that flat-bottomed vessels should be prepared for four thousand five hundred horses, and nine thousand squires, with a number of ships sufficient for the embarkation of four thousand five hundred knights and twenty thousand foot; that during a term of nine months they should be supplied with provisions, and transported to whatsoever coast the service of God and Christendom should require; and that the republic should join the armament with a squadron of fifty galleys. It was required that the pilgrims should pay, before their departure, a sum of eighty-five thousand marks of silver; and that all conquests,

*7 The modern Venetians (Laugier, tom. ii. p. 119) accuse the emperor Manuel; but the calumny is refuted by Villehardouin and the old writers, who suppose that Dandolo lost his eyes by & wound (No. 34, and Ducange).

48 See the original treaty in the Chronicle of Andrew Dandolo, p. 323-326. (It Wes agreed that Egypt should be the object of attack (see above, p. 395). A special reason for this decision is said by Gunther (in Riant's Exuviae Sacrae, i. 71) to have been the distress then prevailing in Egypt owing to the fact that the Nile had not risen for five years.]

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by sea and land, should be equally divided among the confeder-
ates. The terms were bard; but the emergency was pressing,
and the French barons were not less profuse of money than of
blood. A general assembly was convened to ratify the treaty;
the stately chapel and palace of St. Mark were filled with ten
thousand citizens; and the noble deputies were taught a new
lesson of humbling themselves before the majesty of the people.
“Illustrious Venetians," said the marshal of Champagne, “we
are sent by the greatest and most powerful barons of France,
to implore the aid of the masters of the sea for the deliverance
of Jerusalem. They have enjoined us to fall prostrate at your
feet; nor will we rise from the ground till you have promised
to avenge with us the injuries of Christ." The eloquence of
their words and tears,49 their martial aspect and suppliant
attitude, were applauded by an universal shout; as it were,
says Jeffrey, by the sound of an earthquake. The venerable
doge ascended the pulpit, to urge their request by those motives
of honour and virtue which alone can be offered to a popular
assembly; the treaty was transcribed on parchment, attested
with oaths and seals, mutually accepted by the weeping and
joyful representatives of France and Venice, and dispatched to
Rome for the approbation of Pope Innocent the Third.50 Two
thousand marks were borrowed of the merchants for the first
expenses of the armament. Of the six deputies, two repassed
the Alps to announce their success, while their four companions
made a fruitless trial of the zeal and emulation of the republics
of Genoa and Pisa.

The execution of the treaty was still opposed by unforeseen
difficulties and delays.51 The marshal, on his return to Troyes,

(March, A.D. 1201)

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49 A reader of Villehardouin must observe the frequent tears of the marshal and his brother knights. Sachiez que la ot mainte lerme plorée de pitié (No. 17); mult plorant (ibid.); mainte lerme plorée (No. 34); si orent mult pitié et plorerent mult durement (No. 60); i ot mainte lerme plorée de pitié (No. 202). They weep on every occasion of grief, joy, or devotion.

50 [Innocent approved with reserve (for he distrusted Venice, with good reason). making a special condition that no Christian town should be attacked. Cp. Gesta Innocentii, 84.]

51 [In the meantime Venice had played the Crusaders false. It had been agreed that the object of the expedition was to be Egypt. During the months which elapsed between the treaty with the Crusaders (March, 1201) and the date they were to assemble at Venice (June 24, 1202), the Republic negotiated with the sultan of Egypt; her envoys concluded a treaty with him on May 13, 1202, and it was ratified at Venice in July. By this treaty, Venice undertook that the Crusade should not attack Egypt, and received in return important concessions : a quarter in Alexandria, and

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