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Destruction of his fleet,
them in pieces like a potter's vessel. Yet they relunctantly paid the taxes, that he imposed for the construction of ships, and the expenses of the war; and as the two nations were masters, the one of the land, the other of the sea, Constantinople and Pera were pressed by the evils of a mutual siege. The merchants of the colony, who had believed that a few days would terminate the war, already murmured at their losses: the succours from their mother-country were delayed by the factions of Genoa ; and the most cautious embraced the opportunity of a Rhodian vessel to remove their families and effects from the scene of hostility. In
the spring, the Byzantine fleet, seven galleys and a train
of smaller vessels, issued from the mouth of the harbour, A. D. 1349. and steered in a single line along the shore of Pera ; unskilfully presenting their sides to the beaks of the adverse squadron. The crews were composed of peasants and mechanics ; nor was their ignorance compensated by the native courage of Barbarians: the wind was strong, the waves were rough; and no sooner did the Greeks perceive a distant and inactive enemy, than they leaped headlong into the sea, from a doubtful, to an inevitable, peril. The troops that marched to the attack of the lines of Pera were struck at the same moment with a similar panic; and the Genoese were astonished, and almost ashamed, at their double victory. Their triumphant vessels, crowned with flowers, and dragging after them the captive galleys, repeatedly passed and repassed before the palace: the only virtue of the emperor was patience; and the hope of revenge his sole consolation. Yet the distress of both parties interposed a temporary agreement; and the shame of the empire was disguised by a thin veil of dignity and power. Summoning the chiefs of the colony, Cantacuzene affected to despise the trivial object of the debate; and, after a mild reproof, most liberally granted the lands, which had been previously resigned to the seeming custody of his officers. 50
But the emperor was Victory of
soon solicited to violate the treaty, and to join his arms with the Venetians, the per
petual enemies of Genoa and her colonies. While he A.D. 1352, compared the reasons of peace and war, his moderation
was provoked by a wanton insult of the inhabitants of Pera, who discharged from their rampart a large stone that fell in the midst of Constantinople. On his just complaint, they coldly blamed the imprudence of their engineer; but the next day the
the Ge. noese over the Venetians and
50 The events of this war are related by Cantacuzene (1. iv. c. 11.) with obscurity and confusion, and by Nic. Gregoras (I. xvii. c. 1–7.) in a clear and honest narrative. The priest was less responsible than the prince for the defeat of the feet.
insult was repeated; and they exulted in a second proof that the royal city was not beyond the reach of their artillery. Cantacuzene instantly signed his treaty with the Venetians; but the weight of the Roman empire was scarcely felt in the balance of these opulent and powerful republics.si From the straits of Gibraltar to the mouth of the Tanais, their fleets encountered each other with various success; and a memorable battle was fought in the narrow sea, under the walls of Constantinople. It would not be an easy task to reconcile the accounts of the Greeks, the Venetians, and the Genoese 52 ; and while I depend on the narrative of an impartial historian 53, I shall borrow from each nation the facts that redound to their own disgrace, and the honour of their foes. The Venetians, with their allies the Catalans, had the advantage of number; and their fleet, with the poor addition of eight Byzantine galleys, amounted to seventy-five sail : the Genoese did not exceed sixty-four; but in those times their ships of war were distinguished by the superiority of their size and strength. The names and families of their naval commanders, Pisani and Doria, are illustrious in the annals of their country ; but the personal merit of the former was eclipsed by the fame and abilities of his rival. They engaged in tempestuous weather; and the tumultuary conflict was continued from the dawn to the extinction of light. The enemies of the Genoese applaud their prowess: the friends of the Venetians are dissatisfied with their behaviour; but all parties agree in praising the skill and boldness of the Catalans t, who, with many wounds, sustained the brunt of the action. On the separation of the fleets, the event might appear doubtful; but the thirteen Genoese galleys, that had been sunk or taken, were compensated by a double loss of the allies; of fourteen Venetians, ten
à The second war is darkly told by Cantacuzene (1. iv. c. 18. p. 24, 25. 28--32.), who wishes to disguise what he dares rot deny. I regret this part of Nic. Gregoras, which is still in MS, at Paris. *
** Muratori (Annali d'Italia, tom. xii. p. 144.) refers to the most ancient Chronicles of Venice (Caresinus, the continuator of Andrew Dandulus, tom. xii. p. 421, 422.), and Genoa (George Stella, Annales Genuenses, tom. xvii. p. 1091, 1092.); both which I have diligently consulted in his great Collection of the Historians of Italy.
$3 See the Chronicle of Matteo Villani of Florence, 1. ii. c. 59, 60, p. 145—147. c. 74, 75. p. 156, 157. in Muratori's Collection, tom. xiv.
This part of Nicephorus Gregoras fill the last books in our present copies, has not been printed in the new edition of they may as well sleep their eternal sleep the Byzantine Historians. The editor in MS. as in print. — M. expresses a hope that it may be under- + Cantacuzene praises their bravery, taken by Hase. I should join in the but imputes their losses to their ignorance regret of Gibbon, if these books contain of the seas: they suffered more by the any bistorical information : if they are but breakers than by the enemy, vol. iii. a continuation of the controversies which p. 224. — M.
Catalans, and two Greeks *; and even the grief of the conquerors expressed the assurance and habit of more decisive victories. Pisani confessed his defeat, by retiring into a fortified harbour, from whence, under the pretext of the orders of the senate, he steered with a broken and flying squadron for the Isle of Candia, and abandoned to his rivals the sovereignty of the sea. In a public epistle5t, addressed to the doge and senate, Petrarch employs his eloquence to reconcile the maritime powers, the two luminaries of Italy. The orator celebrates the valour and victory of the Genoese the first of men in the exercise of naval war: he drops a tear on the misfortunes of their Venetian brethren ; but he exhorts them
to pursue with fire and sword the base and perfidious them prite, Greeks; to purge the metropolis of the East from the
heresy with which it was infected. Deserted by their friends, the Greeks were incapable of resistance; and three months after the battle, the emperor Cantacuzene solicited and subscribed a treaty, which for ever banished the Venetians and Catalans, and granted to the Genoese a monopoly of trade, and almost a right of dominion. The Roman empire (I smile in transcribing the name) might soon have sunk into a province of Genoa, if the ambition of the republic had not been checked by the ruin of her freedom and naval power. A long contest of one hundred and thirty years was determined by the triumph of Venice; and the factions of the Genoese compelled them to seek for domestic peace under the protection of a foreign lord, the duke of Milan, or the French king. Yet the spirit of commerce survived that of conquest; and the colony of Pera still awed the capital and navigated the Euxine, till it was involved by the Turks in the final servitude of Constantinople itself.
54 The Abbé de Sade (Mémoires sur la Vie de Petrarque, tom. iii. p. 257-263.) translates this letter, which he had copied from a MS, in the king of France's library. Though a servant of the duke of Milan, Petrarch pours forth his astonishment and grief at the defeat and despair of the Genoese in the following year (p. 323–332.).
Cantacuzene says, that the Genoese ing up the victory and destroying the lost twenty-eight ships with their crews, Genoese. But Pisani's conduct, and inattavôpoi; the Venetians and Catalans deed Cantacuzene's account of the battle, sixteen, the Imperials, none. Cantacuzene betray the superiority of the Genoese.-M. accuses Pisani of cowardice, in not follow
Conquests of Zingis Khan and the Moguls from China to Poland.--
Escape of Constantinople and the Greeks. - Origin of the Ottoman Turks in Bithynia. – Reigns and Victories of Othman, Orchan, Amurath the First, and Bajazet the First. — Foundation and Progress of the Turkish Monarchy in Asia and Europe. — Danger of Constantinople and the Greek Empire.
From the petty quarrels of a city and her suburbs, from the cowardice and discord of the falling Greeks, I shall now ascend to the victorious Turks; whose domestic slavery was ennobled by martial discipline, religious enthusiasm, and the energy of the national character. The rise and progress of the Ottomans, the present sovereigns of Constantinople, are connected with the most important scenes of modern history; but they are founded on a previous knowledge of the great eruption of the Moguls* and Tartars; whose rapid conquests may be compared with the primitive convulsions of nature, which have agitated and altered the surface of the globe. I have long since asserted my claim to introduce the nations, the immediate or remote authors of the fall of the Roman empire; nor can I refuse myself to those events, which, from their uncommon magnitude, will interest a philosophic mind in the history of blood.
From the spacious highlands between China, Siberia, and the Caspian Sea, the tide of emigration and war has Khan, first repeatedly been poured. These ancient seats of the Huns the Moand Turks were occupied in the twelfth century by many pastoral tribes, of the same descent and similar manners, which were united and led to conquest by the formidable Zingis.t In his ascent to greatness, that Barbarian (whose private appellation was Temugin) had trampled on the necks of his equals. His birth was noble; but it was in the pride of victory, that the prince or people deduced his seventh ancestor from the immaculate conception of a virgin. His father had reigned over thirteen hordes, which composed about thirty or forty thousand families : above two thirds refused to pay tithes or obedience to his infant son ; and at the age of thirteen, Temugin fought a battle against his rebellious subjects. The future conqueror of Asia was reduced to fly and to obey; but he rose superior to his fortune, and in his fortieth year he had established his fame and dominion over the circumjacent tribes. In a state of society, in which policy is rude and valour is universal, the ascendant of one man must be founded on his power and resolution to punish his enemies and recompense his friends. His first military league was ratified by the simple rites of sacrificing an horse and tasting of a running stream: Temugin pledged himself to divide with his followers the sweets and the bitters of life ; and when he had shared among them his horses and apparel, he was rich in their gratitude and his own hopes. After his first victory he placed seventy caldrons on the fire, and seventy of the most guilty rebels were cast headlong into the boiling water. The sphere of his attraction was continually enlarged by the ruin of the proud and the submission of the prudent; and the boldest chieftains might tremble, when they beheld, enchased in silver, the skull of the khan of the Keraites?; who, under the name of Prester John, had corresponded with the Roman pontiff and the princes of Europe. The ambition of Temugin condescended to employ the arts of superstition; and it was from a naked prophet, who could ascend to heaven on a white horse, that he accepted the title of Zingis', the most great; and a divine right to the conquest and dominion of the earth. In a general couroultai, or diet, he was seated on a felt, which was long afterwards revered as a relic, and solemnly proclaimed great khan or emperor, of the Moguls* and
| The reader is invited to review chapters xxii. to xxvi., and xxiii. to xxxviii., the manners of pastoral nations, the conquests of Attila and the Huns, which were composed at a time when I entertained the wish, rather than the hope, of concluding my history.
guls and Tartars,
Mongol seems to approach the near- Orientalists. See De Brosset, Note on est to the proper name of this race. The Le Beau, tom. xvii. p.
402. Chinese call them Mong-kou; the Mond- † On the traditions of the early life of choux, their neighbours, Monggo or Zingis, see D'Ohson, Hist. des Mongols ; Monggou. They called themselves also Histoire des Mongols, Paris, 1824. Beda. This fact seems to have been Schmidt, Geschichte der Ost-Mongolen, proved by M. Schmidt against the French p. 66, &c. and Notes. — M.
The khans of the Keraites were most probably incapable of reading the pompous epistles composed in their name by the Nestorian missionaries, who endowed them with the fabulous wonders of an Indian kingdom. Perhaps these Tartars (the Presbyter or Priest John) had submitted to the rites of baptism and ordination (Asseman. Bibliot. Orient. tom. iii. p. ii. p. 487 - 503.).
3 Since the history and tragedy of Voltaire, Gengis, at least in French, seems to be the more fashionable spelling; but Abulghazi Khan must have known the true name of his ancestor. His etymology appears just : Zin, in the Mogul tongue, signifies great, and gis is the superlative termination (Hist. Généalogique des Tatars, part iii. p. 194, 195.). From the same idea of magnitude, the appellation of Zingis is bestowed on the ocean.
* The name of Moguls has prevailed among the Orientals, and still adheres to the titular sovereign, the Great Mogul of Hindostan.*
* M. Remusat (sur les Langues Tar- was a Turk, not a Mogul, and, p. 242, ta res,p. 293.) justly observes, that Timour that probably there was not a Mogul in