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tivity and

1217-1219

palace; but they required, as the price of their service, that he should recover Durazzo from the despot of Epirus. Michael Angelus, or Comnenus, the first of his dynasty, had bequeathed (A.D. 1214) the succession of his power and ambition to Theodore, his legitimate brother, who already threatened and invaded the establishments of the Latins. After discharging his debt by a fruitless assault, the emperor raised the siege to prosecute a long and perilous journey over land from Durazzo to Thessalonica. He was soon lost in the mountains of Epirus; the passes were fortified; his provisions exhausted; he was delayed and deceived His capby a treacherous negotiation; and, after Peter of Courtenay and death. A.D. the Roman legate had been arrested in a banquet, the French troops, without leaders or hopes, were eager to exchange their arms for the delusive promise of mercy and bread. The Vatican thundered; and the impious Theodore was threatened with the vengeance of earth and heaven; but the captive emperor and his soldiers were forgotten, and the reproaches of the pope are confined to the imprisonment of his legate. No sooner was he satisfied by the deliverance of the priest and a promise of spiritual obedience, than he pardoned and protected the despot of Epirus. His peremptory commands suspended the ardour of the Venetians and the king of Hungary; and it was only by a natural or untimely death “3 that Peter of Courtenay was released from his hopeless captivity. 4

The long ignorance of his fate, and the presence of the lawful sovereign, of Yolande, his wife or widow, delayed the pro- of conclamation of a new emperor. Before her death, and in the nople. a.d. midst of her grief, she was delivered of a son, who was named Baldwin, the last and most unfortunate of the Latin princes of Constantinople. His birth endeared him to the barons of Romania ; but his childhood would have prolonged the troubles of a minority, and his claims were superseded by the elder claims of his brethren. The first of these, Philip of Courtenay, who derived from his mother the inheritance of Namur, had the

*3 Acropolita (c. 14) affirms that Peter of Courtenay died by the sword (ipov Hayalpas gevéolai); but from his dark expressions, I should conclude a previous captivity, ώς πάντας άρδην δεσμώτας ποιήσαι συν πάσι σκεύεσι. The Chronicle of Auxerre delays the emperor's death till the year 1219; and Auxerre is in the neighbourhood of Courtenay.

** See the reign and death of Peter of Courtenay in Ducange (Hist. de C. P. I. ii. c. 22-28), who feebly strives to excuse the neglect of the emperor by Honorius

VOL. VI.--29

Robert,
Emperor

stanti

1221-1228

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wisdom to prefer the substance of a marquisate to the shadow of an empire; and on his refusal, Robert, the second of the sons of Peter and Yolande, was called to the throne of Constantinople. Warned by his father's mischance, he pursued his slow and secure journey through Germany and along the Danube ; a passage was opened by his sister's marriage with the king of Hungary; and the emperor Robert was crowned by the patriarch in the cathedral of St. Sophia. But his reign was an era of calamity and disgrace; and the colony, as it was styled, of New FRANCE yielded on all sides to the Greeks of Nice and Epirus.

After a victory, which he owed to his perfidy rather than his (A.D. 1222] courage, Theodore Angelus entered the kingdom of Thessalonica,

expelled the feeble Demetrius, the son of the marquis Boniface, erected his standard on the walls of Hadrianople, and added, by his vanity, a third or fourth name to the list of rival emperors. The relics of the Asiatic province were swept away by Jobs Vataces, the son-in-law and successor of Theodore Lascaris,

and who, in a triumphant reign of thirty-three years, displayed (A.D. 1292 the virtues both of peace and war. Under his discipline, the

swords of the French mercenaries were the most effectual instrument of his conquests, and their desertion from the service of their country was at once a symptom and a cause of the rising ascendant of the Greeks. By the construction of a fleet he obtained the command of the Hellespont, reduced the islands of Lesbos and Rhodes, attacked the Venetians of Candia, and intercepted the rare and parsimonious succours of the West.

Once, and once only, the Latin emperor sent an army against (Battle of Vataces; and, in the defeat of that army, the veteran knights, nos. A.D. the last of the original conquerors, were left on the field of

battle. But the success of a foreign enemy was less painful to the pusillanimous Robert than the insolence of his Latin subjects, who confounded the weakness of the emperor and of the empire. His personal misfortunes will prove the anarchy of the government and the ferociousness of the times. The amorous youth had neglected his Greek bride, the daughter of Vataces, to introduce into the palace a beautiful maid, of a private, though

54]

45

1224)

45

15 [When the empire was overthrown by the crusaders, Leo Gabalas made him. self master of Rhodes. In 1233 John Vatatzes compelled him to acknowledge bis supremacy, but left him in possession. The island was conquered by the knights of St. John in 1310.]

and John

Emperors

noble, family of Artois; and her mother had been tempted by the lustre of the purple to forfeit her engagements with a gentleman of Burgundy. His love was converted into rage; he assembled his friends, forced the palace gates, threw the mother into the sea, and inhumanly cut off the nose and lips of the wife or concubine of the emperor. Instead of punishing the offender, the barons avowed and applauded the savage deed,46 which, as a prince and as a man, it was impossible that Robert should forgive. He escaped from the guilty city to implore the justice or compassion of the pope; the emperor was coolly exhorted to return to his station ; before he could obey, he sunk under the weight of grief, shame, and impotent resentment.47

It was only in the age of chivalry that valour could ascend Baldwin II. from a private station to the thrones of Jerusalem and Constanti- of Brionno, nople. The titular kingdom of Jerusalem had devolved to of ConstanMary, the daughter of Isabella and Conrad of Montferrat, and 1.D. 1223the grand-daughter of Almeric or Amaury. She was given to John of Brienne, of a noble family in Champagne, by the public

a voice, and the judgment of Philip Augustus, who named him as the most worthy champion of the Holy Land.48 In the fifth crusade, he led an hundred thousand Latins to the conquest of Egypt; by him the siege of Damietta was achieved; and the subsequent failure was justly ascribed to the pride and avarice of the legate. After the marriage of his daughter with Frederic

. the Second," he was provoked by the emperor's ingratitude to

49 accept the command of the army of the church ; and, though advanced in life, and despoiled of royalty, the sword and spirit of John of Brienne were still ready for the service of Christendom. In the seven years of his brother's reign Baldwin of Courtenay had not emerged from a state of childhood, and the

tinople.

1237

46 Marinus Sanutus (Secreta Fidelium Crucis, l. ii. p. 4, c. 18, p. 73) is so much delighted with this bloody deed that he has transcribed it in his margin as a bonum exemplum. Yet he acknowledges the damsel for the lawful wife of Robert.

I See the reign of Robert in Ducange (Hist. de C. P. I. iii. c. 1-12). (Finlay thinks that Robert should have “seized the culprit immediately, and hung him in bis armour before the palace gates, with his shield round his neck” (iv. p. 114).]

** Rex igitur Franciæ, deliberatione habitâ, respondit nuntiis, se daturum hominem Syriæ partibus aptum, in armis probum (preux), in bellis securum, in agendis providum, Johannem comitem Brennensem. Sanut. Secret. Fidelium, I. iii. p. xi. c. 4, p. 205. Matthew Paris, p. 159.

is Giannone (Istoria Civile, tom. ii. 1. xvi. p. 380-385) discusses the marriage of Frederic II. with the daughter of John of Brienne, and the double union of the orowns of Naples and Jerusalem,

(Mary]

barons of Romania felt the strong necessity of placing the sceptre

in the hands of a man and a hero. The veteran king of Jeru[A.D. 1229) salem might have disdained the name and office of regent; they

agreed to invest him for his life with the title and prerogatives of emperor, on the sole condition that Baldwin should marry his second daughter and succeed at a mature age to the throne of Constantinople.50 The expectation, both of the Greeks and Latins, was kindled by the renown, the choice, and the presence of John of Brienne ; and they admired his martial aspect, his green and vigorous age of more than fourscore years, and his size and stature, which surpassed the common measure of mankind.51 But avarice and the love of ease appear to have chilled the ardour of enterprise; his troops were disbanded, and two years rolled away without action or honour, till he was awak

ened by the dangerous alliance of Vataces, emperor of Nice, (A.D. 1935] and of Azan, king of Bulgaria.53 They besieged Constantinople

by sea and land, with an army of one hundred thousand men, and a fleet of three hundred ships of war; while the entire force of the Latin emperor was reduced to one hundred and sixty knights and a small addition of serjeants and archers. I tremble to relate that, instead of defending the city, the hero made a sally at the head of his cavalry; and that, of forty-eight squad. rons of the enemy, no more than three escaped from the edge of his invincible sword. Fired by his example, the infantry

52

a

53

50 (For the act see Buchon, Recherches et Matériaux, p. 21-23.]

61 Acropolita, c. 27. The historian was at that time a boy, and educated at Constantinople. In 1233, when he was eleven years old, his father broke the Latin chain, left a splendid fortune, and escaped to the Greek court of Nice, where his son was raised to the highest honours.

52 (He did not arrive at Constantinople till 1231.]

(For this able and humane prince, see Jireček, Geschichte der Bulgaren, chap. xvi. He defeated the forces of Thessalonica and Epirus in the battle of Klokotoitza (near the Strymon), 1230, and extended his power over the greater part of Thrace, Macedonia and Albania. His empire touched three seas and included the cities of Belgrade and Hadrianople. An inscription in the cathedral of Trnovo, which bs built, records his deeds as follows: “In the year 6738 [ = 1230] Indiction 3, 1. Joannes Asēn, the Tsar, faithful servant of God in Christ, sovereign of the Bulgarians, son of the old Asēn, have built this magnificent church and adorned it with paintings, in honour of the Forty Martyrs, with whose help, in the 12th year of my reign, when the church was painted, I made an expedition to Romania and de feated the Greek army and took the Tsar, Kyr Thodor Komnin, prisoner, with all his bolyars. I conquered all the countries from Odrin (Hadrianople] to Drats [Durazzo),—Greek, Albanian and Servian. The Franks have only retained the towns about Tzarigrad Constantinople) and that city itself; but even they submitted to my empire when they had no other Emperor but me, and I permitted them to continue, as God so willed. For without him neither work nor word in accomplished. Glory to him for ever, Amen." (Jireček, p. 251-2.)]

and citizens boarded the vessels that anchored close to the walls; and twenty-five were dragged in triumph into the harbour of Constantinople. At the summons of the emperor, the vassals (A.D. 1236) and allies armed in her defence; broke through every obstacle that opposed their passage; and, in the succeeding year, obtained a second victory over the same enemies. By the rude poets of the age, John of Brienne is compared to Hector, Roland, and Judas Maccabæus ; 54 but their credit and his glory receives some abatement from the silence of the Greeks.55 The empire was soon deprived of the last of her champions; and the dying (A.D. 1237] monarch was ambitious to enter paradise in the habit of a Franciscan friar.56

In the double victory of John of Brienne, I cannot discover Baldwin II. the name or exploits of his pupil Baldwin, who had attained March 23the age of military service, and who succeeded to the Imperial July 3 dignity on the decease of his adopted father.57 The royal youth was employed on a commission more suitable to his temper; he was sent to visit the Western courts, of the pope more especially, and of the king of France; to excite their pity by the view of his innocence and distress; and to obtain some supplies of men or money for the relief of the sinking empire. He thrice repeated these mendicant visits, in which he seemed to prolong his stay and postpone his return; of the five-and-twenty years of his reign, a greater number were spent

A.D. 1237,

A.D. 1261,

** Philip Mouskes, bishop of Tournay (A.D. 1274-1282), has composed a poem, or rather a string of verses, in bad old Flemish French, on the Latin emperors of Constantinople, which Ducange has published at the end of Villehardouin. (What Ducange published was an extract from the Chronique rimée of Mouskès, which began with the Trojan war. The whole work was first published by De Reiffenberg in 1836. Gibbon identifies Mouskės with Philip of Ghent, who became bishop of Tournay in 1274. This is an error. Mouskés was a native of Tournay and died in 1244.] See p. 224, for the prowess of John of Brienne.

N'Aie, Ector, Roll' ne Ogiers
Ne Judas Machabeus li fiers
Tant ne fit d'armes en estors
Com fist li Rois Jehans cel jors,
Et il defors et il dedans
La paru sa force et ses sens

Et li hardiment qu'il avoit.
55 [John Asēn, threatened by the approach of Zenghis Khan (see below, chap.
Ixiv.), gave up the war and made a separate peace and alliance with the Eastern
Emperors. But the alliance was soon abandoned, and Asēn returned to his friend-
ship with Nicæa.]

56 See the reign of John de Brienne, in Ducange, Hist. de C. P. 1. iii. c. 13-26.

57 See the reign of Baldwin II. till his expulsion from Constantinople, in Duca nge (Hist. de C. P. I. iv. c. 1-34, the end I. v. c. 1-33).

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