Зображення сторінки

luxury of


served for the future use, of the state, the first and most sacred Pomp and deinand was for the pomp and pleasure of the emperor; and the his discretion only could define the measure of his private expense. The princes of Constantinople were far removed from the simplicity of nature; yet, with the revolving seasons, they were led by taste or fashion to withdraw to a purer air from the smoke and tumult of the capital. They enjoyed, or affected to enjoy, the rustic festival of the vintage; their leisure was amused by the exercise of the chase, and the calmer occupation of fishing; and in the summer heats they were shaded from the sun and refreshed by the cooling breezes from the sea. The coasts and islands of Asia and Europe were covered with their magnificent villas; but, instead of the modest art which secretly strives to hide itself and to decorate the scenery of nature, the marble structure of their gardens served only to expose the riches of the lord and the labours of the architect.

The successive casualties of inheritance and forfeiture had rendered the sovereign proprietor of many stately houses in the city and suburbs, of which twelve were appropriated to the ministers of state; but the great palace, the centre of the Imperial resi- The palace dence, was fixed during eleven centuries to the same position, iinople between the hippodrome, the cathedral of St. Sophia, and the gardens, which descended by many a terrace to the shores of the Propontis. The primitive edifice of the first Constantine


of Constan

[ocr errors]

* For & copious and minute description of the Imperial palace, see the Constaptinop. Christiana (1. ii. o. 4, p. 113-123) of Ducange, the Tillemont of the middle nges. Never has laborious Germany produced two antiquarians more laborious Mi socurate than these two natives of lively France. (For recent works on the reconstruction of the Imperial Palace, based on the Ceremonies of Constantine Porphyrogennetos, see above, vol. 2, App. 8. To these must now be added J. Ebersolt, Le grand palais de Constantinople, 1910; and see also Bury, The Great Palace, in Byzantinische Zeitschrift, vol. xx., 1911 (where Ebersolt's results are criticized). Though all attempts to reconstruct the plan must be highly problemstiral till the site is excavated, the general distribution of the chief groups of taldingy inay be conjectured with some probability. The Daphne palace and the other buildings of the original Constantinian palace lay in the north part of the D:losure. The Chrysotriklinos (see below, n. 36) lay considerably to the southEset of these edifices, and was connected with the Hippodrome by two long halls

aich ro from east to west, (a) the Lausiakos and (b) the triklinos of Justinian (DI.!. commonly called "the Justinian”. The Justinian opened into the Skyla (a vestibale) from which there was a door into the Hippodrome. The new buildings of Theophilus (Trikonchos, Sigma, Phiale, &c., see below) were immediately north and north-west of the Chrysotriklinos. The palace of Magnaura lay on the inst side of the Augusteon, and outside the precincts of the Great Palace, though immediately adjoining.)

was a copy or rival of ancient Rome; the gradual improvements of his successors aspired to emulate the wonders of the old world,83 and in the tenth century the Byzantine palace excited the admiration, at least of the Latins, by an unquestionable pre-eminence of strength, size, and magnificence.24 But the toil and treasure of so many ages had produced a vast and irregular pile; each separate building was marked with the character of the times and of the founder; and the want of space might excuse the reigning monarch who demolished, perhaps with secret satisfaction, the works of his predecessors. The economy of the emperor Theophilus allowed a more free and ample scope for his domestic luxury and splendour. A favourite ambassador, who had astonished the Abbassides themselves by his pride and liberality, presented on his return the model of a palace, which the caliph of Bagdad had recently constructed on the banks of the Tigris. The model was instantly copied and surpassed; the new buildings of Theophilus 35 were accompanied with gardens, and with five churches, one of which was conspicuous for size and beauty: it was crowned with three domes, the roof, of gilt brass, reposed on columns of Italian marble, and the walls were encrusted with marbles of various colours. In the face of the church, a semi-circular portico, of the figure and name of the Greek sigma, was supported by fifteen columns of Phrygian marble, and the subterraneous vaults were of a similar construction. The square before the sigma was decorated with a fountain, and the margin of the

(The Mystic Phiale]

38 The Byzantine palace surpasses the Capitol, the palace of Pergamus, the Rufinian wood (paidpdv éyanma), the temple of Hadrian at Cyzicus, the Pyramids, the Pharus, &c., according to an epigram (Antholog. Græc. l. iv. p. 488, 489. Brodæi, apud Wechel) ascribed to Julian, ex-præfect of Egypt. Seventy-one of his epigrams, some lively, are collected in Brunck (Analect. Græc. tom. ii. p. 493-510); but this is wanting.

34 Constantinopolitanum Palatium non pulchritudine solum, verum etiam fortitudine, omnibus quas unquam videram [leg. perspexerim) munitionibus præstat (Liutprand, Hist. 1. v. c. 9 [ = c. 21], p. 465).

35 See the anonymous continuator of Theophanes (p. 59, 61, 86 (p. 94, 98, 139, ed. Bonn]), whom I have followed in the neat and concise abstract of Le Beau (Hist. du Bas. Empire, tom. xiv. p. 436, 438). [The chief building of Theophilus in the Great Palace was the Trikonchos (so called from its three apses) with its adjunct, the Sigma. It was not a church. It had an understorey, which from its acoustic property of rendering whispers audible was called Muothpor—" The Whispering Room”. The palace, constructed on the model brought from Baghdad, was not part of the Great Palace; it was built in the suburb of Bryas, on the Bithynian shore.]


bason was lined and encompassed with plates of silver. In the beginning of each season, the bason, instead of water, was replenished with the most exquisite fruits, which were abandoned to the populace for the entertainment of the prince. He enjoyed this tumultuous spectacle from a throne resplendent with gold and gems, which was raised by a marble staircase to the height of a lofty terrace. Below the throne were seated the officers of his guards, the magistrates, the chiefs of the factions of the circus; the inferior steps were occupied by the people, and the place below was covered with troops of dancers, singers, and pantomimes. The square was surrounded by the hall of justice, the arsenal, and the various offices of business and pleasure; and the purple chamber was named from the annual distribution of robes of scarlet and purple by the hand of the empress herself. The long series of the apartments was adapted to the seasons, and decorated with marble and porphyry, with painting, sculpture, and mosaics, with a profusion of gold, silver, and precious stones. His fanciful magnificence employed the skill and patience of such artists as the times could afford; but the taste of Athens would have despised their frivolous and costly labours: a golden tree, with its leaves and branches, which sheltered a multitude of birds, warbling their artificial potes, and two lions of massy gold, and of the natural size, who looked and roared like their brethren of the forest.

The successors of Theophilus, of the Basilian and Comnenian dynasties, were not less ambitious of leaving some memorial of their residence; and the portion of the palace most splendid and august was dignified with the title of the golden triclinium.36 With becoming modesty, the rich and noble Greeks aspired to Furniture imitate their sovereign, and, when they passed through the

* In aureo triclinio quæ præstantior est pars potentissime (the usurper Romanusi degens cæteras partes (filiżs) distribuerat (Liutprand, Hist. I. v. c. 9 [ = 0.21), p. 4)). For this lax signification of Triclinium (ædificium tria vel plura klívn scilicet

Try complectens) see Ducange (Gloss. Græc. et Observations sur Joinville, p. 240) and Reiske (ad Constantinum de Ceremoniis, p. 7). [The Gold Room (Xpuo otpikawos), being dear the imperial chambers, was more convenient for ordinary ceremonies tban the more distant throne-rooms which were used only on specially solemn asions. It was built by Justin II., and was probably modelled on the design of the Courch of St. Sergius and Bacchus built by Justinian. (For the plan of this sharrb see plate 5 in the atlas to Salzenberg's Altchristliche Baudenkmale von Cogstantinople. Cp. Diehl, Manuel de l'art byzantin, 137. Ducange, Constant. Carist. II. p. 94-95, confounds the Chrysotriklinos with the Augusteus, another Laroge-toon which was in the Daphne palace. The Chrysotriklinos was domed

bad Eght kaudpar or recesses of the central room.] TOL. VI.-6

and attend ance

[ocr errors]

streets on horseback, in their robes of silk and embroidery, they were mistaken by the children for kings.37 A matron of Peloponnesus,38 who had cherished the infant fortunes of Basil the Macedonian, was excited by tenderness or vanity to visit the greatness of her adopted son. In a journey of five hundred miles from Patras to Constantinople, her age or indolence declined the fatigue of an horse or carriage; the soft litter or bed of Danielis was transported on the shoulders of ten robust slaves; and, as they were relieved at easy distances, a band of three hundred was selected for the performance of this service. She was entertained in the Byzantine palace with filial reverence and the honours of a queen; and, whatever might be the origin of her wealth, her gifts were not unworthy of the regal dignity. I have already described the fine and curious manufactures of Peloponnesus, of linen, silk, and woollen; but the most acceptable of her presents consisted in three hundred beautiful youths, of whom one hundred were eunuchs ; 89 “for she was not ignorant,” says the historian, “that the air of the palace is more congenial to such insects than a shepherd's dairy to the flies of the summer". During her lifetime, she bestowed the greater part of her estates in Peloponnesus, and her testament instituted Leo, the son of Basil, her universal heir. After the payment of the legacies, fourscore villas or farms were added to the Imperial domain; and three thousand slaves of Danielis were enfranchised by their new lord, and transplanted as a colony to the Italian coast. From this example of a private matron, we may estimate the wealth and magnificence of the emperors. Yet our enjoyments are confined by a narrow circle; and, whatsoever may be its value, the luxury of life is possessed with more innocence and safety by the master of his own, than by the steward of the public, fortune.

In an absolute government, which levels the distinctions of poble and plebeian birth, the sovereign is the sole fountain of Honours honour; and the rank, both in the palace and the empire, de- of the pends on the titles and offices which are bestowed and resumed family by his arbitrary will. Above a thousand years, from Vespasian to Alexius Comnenus,40 the Cæsar was the second person, or at least the second degree, after the supreme title of Augustus was more freely communicated to the sons and brothers of the reigning monarch. To elude without violating his promise to a powerful associate, the husband of his sister, and, without giving himself an equal, to reward the piety of his brother Isaac, the crafty Alexius interposed a new and supereminent dignity. The happy flexibility of the Greek tongue allowed him to compound the names of Augustus and emperor (Sebastos and Autocrator), and the union produced the sonorous title of Sebastocrator. He was exalted above the Cæsar on the first step of the throne; the public acclamations repeated his name; and he was only distinguished from the sovereign by some peculiar ornaments of the head and feet. The emperor alone could assume the purple or red buskins, and the close diadem or tiara, which imitated the fashion of the Persian kings.41 It

37 In equis vecti (says Benjamin of Tudela) regum filiis videntur persimiles. I prefer the Latin version of Constantine l'Empereur (p. 46) to the French of Baratier (tom. i. p. 49).

38 See the account of her journey, munificence, and testament in the Life of Basil, by his grandson Constantine (c. 74, 75, 76, p. 195-197).

39 Carsamatium (leg. carzimasium) (kaptiuades, Ducange, Gloss.) Græci vocant, amputatis virilibus et virgâ, puerum eunuchum quos (leg. quod] Verdunenses mer. catores ob immensum lucrum facere solent et in Hispaniam ducere (Liutprand, 1. vi. c. 3, p. 470). — The last abomination the abominable slave-trade! Yet I am surprised to find in the xth century such aotive speculations of commerce in Lorraine.

and titles


** See the Alexiad (1. iii. p. 78, 79 (c. 4]) of Anna Comnena, who, except in filial piety, may be compared to Mademoiselle de Montpensier. In her awful reverence for titles and forms, she styles her father ’ERIOTI uovdpxns, the inventor of this royal ar, the τέχνη τεχνων, and επιστήμη επιστημών.

* Ituna, otipavos, diádnua ; see Reiske, ad Ceremoniale, p. 14, 15. Ducange has given a learned dissertation on the crowds of Constantinople, Rome, France, &c. (sor Joinville, xxv. p. 289-303), but of his thirty-four models none exactly tally with Anna's description. [The Imperial costume may be best studied in Byzantine miniatures. It does not seem correct to describe the crown as a “high pyramidal esp"; the crowns represented in the paintings are not high or pyramidal. The averns of the Empresses had not the cross or the pearl pendants. As Gibbon saya, it was only the crown and the red boots which distinguished the Emperor; there were no distinctively Imperial robes. (1) On great state occasions the Emperor wore a long tunic (not necessarily purple) called a divetesion (dBnThonov); and over it either a heavy mantle (xnanús) or a scarf (1@pos) wound over the shoulders und rouod the arms. (2) As a sort of half-dress costume and always when he was ning the Emperor wore a different tunic, simpler and more convenient, called the naramangion (skapanáyyor) and over it a lighter cloak (oaylov). (3) There was yet another lighter dress, the colovion (kodóB1ov), a tunic with short sleeves to the elbow or no sleeves at all, which he wore on some occasions. All these official tun.os were worn over the ordinary tunic (xitúv) of private life. The only satisfactory discussions of these Imperial costumes are to be found in Bieliniev, Ezhednevnye i Tostresnge Priemy viz. Tsarei (=Byzantina, Bk. ii. 1893) : for the okapapárylov, p. και: κολόβιον, p. 26; διβητήσιον, p. 51-56; λώρος (which corresponded to the Roman trabea), p. 213, 214, 301. For the owpériov which was worn on certain occasions instead of the BiBntholov see ib. 197-8 (Basil ii. in the miniature mentioned below, bote 54, seems to wear a gold owpdktov). Bieliaiev explains the origin of dientholov (8 Borto lov) satisfactorily from Lat. divitense (p. 54).]

« НазадПродовжити »