Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

with glory, and laden with Oriental spoils, returned to Constantinople, and displayed, in his triumph, the silk, the aromatics, and three hundred myriads of gold and silver. Yet the powers of the East had been bent, not broken, by this transient hurricane. After the departure of the Greeks, the fugitive princes returned to their capitals ; the subjects disclaimed their involuntary oaths of allegiance; the Moslems again purified their temples, and overturned the idols of the saints and martyrs; the Nestorians and Jacobites preferred a Saracen to an orthodox master; and the numbers and spirit of the Melchites were inadequate to the

support of the church and state. Of these extensive conquests, (Cyprus Antioch, with the cities of Cilicia and the isle of Cyprus, was recovered. A.D. 965)

alone restored, a permanent and useful accession to the Roman empire. 142

142 See the annals of Elmacin, Abulpharagius, and Abulfeda, from A.H. 351 to A.H. 361 ; and the reigns of Nicephorus Phocas and John Zimisces, in the Chronicles of Zonaras (tom. ii. 1. xvi. p. 199 (C. 24), l. xvii. 215 [c. 4]) and Cedrenus (Compend. p. 649-684 (ii. p. 351 sqq. ed. Bonn)). Their manifold defects are partly supplied by the Ms. history of Leo the deacon, which Pagi obtained from the Benedictines, and has inserted almost entire in a Latin version (Critica, tom. iii. p. 873, tom. iv. p. 37). (For Leo the deacon and the Greek text of his work, since published, see above, vol. 5, Appendix 1, p. 535.]

CHAPTER LIII

State of the Eastern Empire in the Tenth Century-Extent and

Division-Wealth and Revenue-Palace of Constanti-
nopleTitles and OfficesPride and Power of the Em-
perorsTactics of the Greeks, Arabs, and Franks-Loss
of the Latin Tongue-Studies and Solitude of the
Greeks

of the

A

empire

RAY of historic light seems to beam from the darkness Memorials

of the tenth century. We open with curiosity and Greek

respect the royal volumes of Constantine Porphyrogenitus,' which he composed, at a mature age, for the instruction of his son, and which promise to unfold the state of the Eastern empire, both in peace and war, both at home and abroad. In the first of these works he minutely describes the works of pompous ceremonies of the church and palace of Constanti-tine nople, according to his own practice and that of his predecessors." genitus. In the second he attempts an accurate survey of the provinces, monies) the themes, as they were then denominated, both of Europe and Asia. The system of Roman tactics, the discipline and order of (The

Constan

Porphyro

[The Cere

Themes)

1 The epithet of Topoupoyéventos, Porphyrogenitus, born in the purple, is elegantly defined by Claudian:

Ardua privatos nescit fortuna Penates ;
Et regnum cum lace dedit. Cognata potestas

Excepit Tyrio venerabile pignus in ostro.
And Ducange, in his Greek and Latin Glossaries, produces many passages ex-
pressive of the same idea. (In connexion with the following account of the work
of Constantine, the reader might have been reminded that the Continuation of
Toropbanes and also the work of Genesius) were composed at the instigation of
thus Emperor, and that he himself wrote the Life of his grandfather Basil-a re-
markable work whose tendency, credibility, and value have been fully discussed in
A. Bamband's L'empire grec au dixième siècle, p. 137-164.]

* A splendid Ms. of Constantine, de Ceremoniis Aulæ et Ecclesiæ Byzantine, waadered from Constantinople to Buda, Frankfort and Leipsic, where it was pubEshed in a splendid edition by Leich and Reiske (A.D. 1751[-1754) in folio), with sneb slavish praise as editors never fail to bestow on the worthy or worthless object of their toil. (See Appendix 1.)

* See, in the first volume of Banduri's Imperium Orientale, Constantinus de Thenatibus, p. 1-24, de Administrando Imperio, p. 45-127, edit. Venet. The text

VOL. VI.-5

the

of the

troops, and the military operations by land and sea, are explained in the third of these didactic collections, which may be

ascribed to Constantine or his father Leo. In the fourth, of the (The Ad- administration of the empire, he reveals the secrets of the tion of the Byzantine policy, in friendly or hostile intercourse with the Empire]

nations of the earth. The literary labours of the age, the practical systems of law, agriculture, and history, might re

dound to the benefit of the subject and the honour of the (Augmen. Macedonian princes. The sixty books of the Basilics, the tation of

code and pandects of civil jurisprudence, were gradually framed Basilica)

in the three first reigns of that prosperous dynasty. The art of agriculture had amused the leisure, and exercised the pens, of

the best and wisest of the ancients; and their chosen precepts (Edition are comprised in the twenty books of the Geoponics, of ConGeoponics) stantine. At his command, the historical examples of vice and (Historical virtue were methodized in fifty-three books, and every citizen Encyclopædia)

of the old edition of Meursius is corrected from a Ms. of the royal library of Paris, which Isaac Causa bon had formerly seen (Epist. ad Polybium, p. 10), and the sense is illustrated by two maps of William Deslisle, the prince of geographers till the appearance of the greater d'Anville. (On the Themes, see Appendix 3; on the treatise on the Administration, see Appendix 4.]

* The Tactics of Leo and Constantine are published with the aid of some new Mss. in the great edition of the works of Meursius, by the learned John Lami (tom. vi. p. 531-920, 1211-1417; Florent. 1745), yet the text is still corrupt and mutilated, the version is still obscure and faulty. [The Tactics of Constantine is little more than a copy of the Tactics of Leo, and was compiled by Constantine VIII., not by Constantine VII.] The Imperial library of Vienna would afford some valuable materials to a new editor (Fabric. Bibliot. Græc. tom. vi. p. 369, 370). (See Appendix 1.]

5 On the subject of the Basilics, Fabricius (Bibliot. Græc. tom. xii. p. 425-514), and Heineccius (Hist. Juris Romani, p. 396-399), and Giannone (Istoria civile di Napoli, tom. i. p. 450-458), as historical civilians, may be usefully consulted. Forty-one books of this Greek code have been published, with a Latin version, by Charles Annibal Fabrottus (Paris, 1647) in seven volumes in folio ; four other books have since been discovered, and are inserted in Gerard Meerman's Novus Thesaurus Juris Civ. et Canon. tom. v. Of the whole work, the sixty books, John Leunclavius has printed (Basil, 1575) an eclogue or synopsis. The cxiii novels, or new laws, of Leo, may be found in the Corpus Juris Civilis. (See above, vol. 5, Appendix 11.)

6 I have used the last and best edition of the Geoponics (by Nicolas Niclas, Leipsic, 1781, 2 vols. in octavo). (Recent edition by H. Beckh, 1895.) I read in the preface that the same emperor restored the long forgotten systems of rhetoric and philosophy; and his two books of Hippiatrica, or Horse-physio, were published at Paris, 1530, in folio (Fabric. Bibliot. Græc. tom. vi. p. 493-500). (All that Constantine did for agriculture was to cause an unknown person to make a very bad copy of the Geoponica of Cassianus Bassus (a compilation of the 6th century). See Krumbacher (Gesch. der byz. Litt. p. 262), who observes tbat the edition produced at the instance of Constantine was so bad that the old copies must have risen in price.]

? Of these liii books, or titles, only two have been preserved and printed, de Legationibus (by Fulvius Ursinus, Antwerp, 1582, and Daniel Hæsobelius, August.

[ocr errors]

might apply, to his contemporaries or himself, the lesson or the warning of past times. From the august character of a legislator, the sovereign of the East descends to the more humble office of a teacher and a scribe; and, if his successors and subjects were regardless of his paternal cares, we may inherit and enjoy the everlasting legacy. A closer survey will indeed reduce the value of the gift, and Their im

perfections the gratitude of posterity: in the possession of these Imperial treasures, we may still deplore our poverty and ignorance; and the fading glories of their authors will be obliterated by indifference or contempt. The Basilics will sink to a broken copy, a partial and mutilated version in the Greek language, of the laws of Justinian; but the sense of the old civilians is often superseded by the influence of bigotry; and the absolute prohibition of divorce, concubinage, and interest for money, enslaves the freedom of trade and the happiness of private life. In the historical book, a subject of Constantine might admire the inimitable virtues of Greece and Rome; he might learn to what a pitch of energy and elevation the human character had formerly aspired. But a contrary effect must have been pro- (Lives of duced by a new edition of the lives of the saints, which the and Acts great logothete, or chancellor of the empire, was directed to Martyrs) prepare; and the dark fund of superstition was enriched by the fabulous and florid legends of Simon the Metaphrast. The [Symeon) Vindel. 1603) and de Virtutibus et Vitiis (by Henry Valesius, or de Valois, Paris, 1934). (We have also fragments of the titles replyuwuwy (De Sententiis), ed. by A. Vai, Scr. Vet. Nov. Collect. vol. 2 ; and repl &TiBovawv katà Baouléwv yeyovviĝv (De Lezidiis), ed. C. A. Feder (1848-55). The collection was intended to be an Encyclopaedia of historical literature. For the new edition of the Excerpta see above, ToLib. p. 545.]

* The life and writings of Simon Meta phrastes are described by Hankius (de Scriptoribus Byzant. p. 410.460). This biographer of the saints indulged himself in a loose paraphrase of the sense or nonsense of more ancient acts. His Greek betorio is again para phrased in the Latin version of Surius, and scarcely a thread d be now visible of the original texture. [The most recent investigations of Tasilievski and Ehrhard as to the date of Symeon Metaphrastes confirm the notice in tbe text. He flourished about the middle and second half of the 10th century; bis bagiographical work was suggested by Constantine Porphyrogennetos and was probably composed during the reign of Nicephorus Phocas. Symeon is doubtless to be identified with Symeon Magister, the chronicler ; see above, vol. 5, App. p. 533. (Cp. Krumbacher, Geschichte der byzantinischen Litteratur, p. 200.) Symeon's crk was not an original composition; he collected and edited older works, lives of saints and acts of martyrs; he pa ra phrased them, improved their style, and mlapted them to the taste of his contemporaries, but he did not invent new stories. EL. Life of Abercius has been strikingly confirmed by the discovery of the original inscription quoted in that life. The collection of Symeon was freely interpolated and soginented by new lives after his death, and the edition of Migne, P. G. 114, 115,

the Saints

of the

Leo and
Constan-

merits and miracles of the whole calendar are of less account in the eyes of a sage than the toil of a single husbandman, who multiplies the gifts of the Creator and supplies the food of his brethren. Yet the royal authors of the Geoponics were more seriously employed in expounding the precepts of the destroying art, which has been taught since the days of Xenophon as the

9 [Tactics of art of heroes and kings. But the Tactics of Leo and Constan

tine are mingled with the baser alloy of the age in which they tine)

lived. It was destitute of original genius ; they implicitly transcribe the rules and maxims which had been confirmed by victories.

It was unskilled in the propriety of style and method; they blindly confound the most distant and discordant institutions, the phalanx of Sparta and that of Macedon, the legions of Cato and Trajan, of Augustus and Theodosius. Even the use, or at least the importance, of these military rudiments, may be fairly questioned: their general theory is dictated by reason; but the merit, as well as difficulty, consists in the application. The discipline of a soldier is formed by exercise rather than by study; the talents of a commander are appropriated to those calm though rapid minds, which nature produces to decide the fate of armies and nations: the former is the habit of a life, the latter the glance of a moment; and the battles won by lessons of tactics may be numbered with the epic poems created from the rules of criticism. The book of ceremonies is a recital, tedious yet imperfect, of the despicable pageantry which had infected the church and state since the gradual decay of the purity of the one and the power of the other. A review of the themes or provinces might promise

116, does not represent the original work. To determine the compass of that original is of the highest importance, and this can only be done by a comparative study of numerous M88. which contain portions of it. This problem has been solved in the main by A. Ehrhard, who found a clue in a Moscow Ms. of the 11th century. He has published his results in a paper entitled Die Legendenbammlung des Symeon Metaphrastes und ihr ursprünglicher Bestand, in the Festschrift zum elfhundertjährigen Jubiläum des deutschen Campo Santo in Rom, 1897.]

According to the first book of the Cyropædia, professors of tactics, a small part of the science of war, were already instituted in Persia, by which Greece must be understood. A good edition of all the Scriptores Tactici would be a task not unworthy of a scholar. His industry might discover some new M88. and his learning might illustrate the military history of the ancients. But this scholar should be likewise a soldier; and, alas ! Quintus Icilius is no more. (Köchly and Rüstow have edited some of the Tactici in Greek and German (1853-5); but a complete corpus is a desideratum.]

9

« НазадПродовжити »