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lemn The Bul
garian war, -John, A. D. 1205.
He deemed 1 Pontiff, from banner; and in t aspire to the -John was umed the pomp his ambassadors the rebel must the footstool of have exhaled in tched the rising uncern for their les for freedom
The conspiracy ind of association
th their daggers he execution was other, had transespont. Most of · moment and the were slaughtered
From Demotica, csals of the count ch and Venetians, d by the furious ir retreat fell back he fortresses, that ant of each other's of fame and fear pid approach of their z on the forces of his
wilderness a body of was said, the blood of on the altars of their
ge has given as a supplement to deserves the praise of an original and
nay find his claims and complaints (Gesta ned at Rome as the prodigal son.
man horde, which encamped in the xiith and : qvia. The greater part were pagans, but some do was converted to Christianity (A. D. 1370)
manded the important place of Durazzo, assumed the title of despot, and founded a strong and conspicuous principality in Epirus, Ætolia, and Thessaly, which have ever been peopled by a warlike
The Greeks, who had offered their service to their new sovereigns, were excluded by the haughty Latins 22 from all civil and military honours, as a nation born to tremble and obey. Their resentment prompted them to show that they might have been useful friends, since they could be dangerous enemies: their nerves were braced by adversity: whatever was learned or holy, whatever was noble or valiant, rolled away into the independent states of Trebizond, Epirus, and Nice; and a single patrician is marked by the ambiguous praise of attachment and loyalty to the Franks. The vulgar herd of the cities and the country would have gladly submitted to a mild and regular servitude; and the transient disorders of war would have been obliterated by some years of industry and peace. But peace was banished, and industry was crushed, in the disorders of the feudal system. The Roman emperors of Constantinople, if they were endowed with abilities, were armed with power for the protection of their subjects: their laws were wise, and their administration was simple. The Latin throne was filled by a titular prince, the chief, and often the servant, of his licentious confederates: the fiefs of the empire, from a kingdom to a castle, were held and ruled by the sword of the barons; and their discord, poverty, and ignorance, extended the ramifications of tyranny to the most sequestered villages. The Greeks were oppressed by the double weight of the priest, who was invested with temporal power, and of the soldier, who was inflamed by fanatic hatred; and the insuperable bar of religion and language for ever separated the stranger and the native. As long as the crusaders were united at Constantinople, the memory of their conquest, and the terror of their arms, imposed silence on the captive land: their dispersion betrayed the smallness of their numbers and the defects of their discipline; and some failures and mischances revealed the secret, that they were not invincible. As the fear of the Greeks abated, their hatred increased. murdered; they conspired; and before a year of slavery had elapsed, they implored, or accepted, the succour of a Barbarian, whose power they had felt, and whose gratitude they trusted. 23
** The portrait of the French Latins is drawn in Nicetas by the hand of prejudice and resentment : ουδέν των άλλων εθνών εις 'Αρεος έργα παρασυμβεβλήσθαι σφίσιν ήνείχοντο αλλ' ουδέ τις των χαρίτων και των μουσών παρά τους βαρβάροις τούτοις επεξενίζετο, και παρά τούτο οίμαι τήν φύσιν ήσαν ανήμεροι, και τον χόλον είχον του λόγου προτρέχοντα. [P. 791. Ed. Bek.]
39 I here begin to use, with freedom and confidence, the eight books of the Histoire de C. P. sous l'Empire des François, which Ducange has given as a supplement to Villehardouin; and which, in a barbarous style, deserves the praise of an original and classic work,
The Latin conquerors had been saluted with a solemn The Buland early embassy from John, or Joannice, or Calo-John, A. D. 1205. the revolted chief of the Bulgarians and Walachians. He deemed himself their brother, as the votary of the Roman Pontiff, from whom he had received the regal title and an holy banner; and in the subversion of the Greek monarchy, he might aspire to the name of their friend and accomplice. But Calo-John was tonished to find, that the count of Flanders had assumed the pomp and pride of the successors of Constantine; and his ambassadors were dismissed with an haughty message, that the rebel must deserve a pardon, by touching with his forehead the footstool of the Imperial throne. His resentment 21 would have exhaled in acts of violence and blood : his cooler policy watched the rising discontent of the Greeks; affected a tender concern for their sufferings; and promised, that their first struggles for freedom should be supported by his person and kingdom. The conspiracy was propagated by national hatred, the firmest band of association and secrecy: the Greeks were impatient to sheath their daggers in the breasts of the victorious strangers; but the execution was prudently delayed, till Henry, the emperor's brother, had transported the flower of his tooops beyond the Hellespont. Most of the towns and villages of Thrace were true to the moment and the signal; and the Latins, without arms or suspicion, were slaughtered by the vile and merciless revenge of their slaves. From Demotica, the first scene of the massacre, the surviving vassals of the count of St. Pol escaped to Adrianople; but the French and Venetians, who occupied that city, were slain or expelled by the furious multitude: the garrisons that could effect their retreat fell back on each other towards the metropolis; and the fortresses, that separately stood against the rebels, were ignorant of each other's and of their sovereign's fate. The voice of fame and fear announced the revolt of the Greeks and the rapid approach of their Bulgarian ally; and Calo-John, not depending on the forces of his own kingdom, had drawn from the Scythian wilderness a body of fourteen thousand Comans, who drank, as it was said, the blood of their captives, and sacrificed the Christians on the altars of their
24 In Calo-John's answer to the pope we may find his claims and complaints (Gesta Innocent. III. c. 108, 109.): he was cherished at Rome as the prodigal son.
25 The Comans were a Tartar or Turkman horde, which encamped in the xiith and xijith centuries on the verge of Moldavia. The greater part were pagans, but some were Mahometans, and the whole horde was converted to Christianity (A. D. 1370) by Lewis, King of Ilungary.
Alarmed by this sudden and growing danger, the emperor despatched a swift messenger to recall count Henry and his troops; and had Baldwin expected the return of his gallant brother, with a supply of twenty thousand Armenians, he might have encountered the invader with equal numbers and a decisive
superiority of arms and discipline. But the spirit of
chivalry could seldom discriminate caution from cowardice; and the emperor took the field with an hundred and forty knights, and their train of archers and sergeants. The marshal, who dissuaded and obeyed, led the vanguard in their march to Adrianople; the main body was commanded by the count of Blois; the aged doge of Venice followed with the rear; and their scanty numbers were increased from all sides by the fugitive Latins. They undertook to besiege the rebels of Adrianople; and such was the pious tendency of the crusades that they employed the holy week in pillaging the country for their subsistence, and in framing engines for the destruction of their fellow-Christians. But the Latins were soon interrupted and alarmed by the light cavalry of the Comans, who boldly skirmished to the edge of their imperfect lines: and a proclamation was issued by the marshal of Romania, that, on the trumpet's sound, the cavalry should mount and form; but that none, under pain of death, should abandon themselves to a desultory and dangerous pursuit. This wise injunction was first disobeyed by the count of Blois, who involved the emperor in his rashness and ruin. The Comans, of the Parthian or Tartar school, fled before their first charge; but after a career of two leagues, when the knights and their horses were almost breathless, they suddenly turned, rallied, and encompassed the heavy Defeat and squadrons of the Franks. The count was slain on the
field ; the emperor was made prisoner; and if the one
disdained to fly, if the other refused to yield, their personal bravery made a poor atonement for their ignorance, or neglect, of the duties of a general. 26
Proud of his victory and his royal prize, the Bulgarian advanced to relieve Ardianople and achieve the destruction of the Latins.
26 Nicetas, from ignorance or malice, imputes the defeat to the cowardice of Dandolo; (p. 383.) but Villehardouin shares his own glory with his venerable friend, qui viels home ére et gote ne veoit, mais mult érc sages et preus et vigueros (No. 193.).*
* Gibbon appears to me to have mis- Byzantines. It is an effusion of malicious apprehended the passage of Nicetas. He triumph against the Venetians, to whom says, “that principal and subtlest mischief, he always ascribes the capture of Constan“ that primary cause of all the horrible tinople. — M. “ miseries suffered by the Romans,” i. e, the
They must inevitably have been destroyed, if the marshal of Romania had not displayed a cool courage and consummate skill; uncommon in all ages, but most uncommon in those times, when war was a passion, rather than a science. His grief and fears were poured into the firm and faithful bosom of the the Latius. doge; but in the camp he diffused an assurance of safety, which could only be realised by the general belief. All day he maintained his perilous station between the city and the Barbarians : Villehardouin decamped in silence at the dead of night; and his masterly retreat of three days would have deserved the praise of Xenophon and the ten thousand. In the rear, the marshal supported the weight of the pursuit ; in the front, he moderated the impatience of the fugitives; and wherever the Comans approached, they were repelled by a line of impenetrable spears. On the third day, the weary troops beheld the sea, the solitary town of Rodosto?7, and their friends, who had landed from the Asiatic shore. They embraced, they wept; but they united their arms and counsels ; and, in his brother's absence, count Henry assumed the regency of the empire, at once in a state of childhood and caducity. 25 If the Comans withdrew from the summer heats, seven thousand Latins, in the hour of danger, deserted Constantinople, their brethren, and their vows. Some partial success was overbalanced by the loss of one hundred and twenty knights in the field of Rusium; and of the Imperial domain, no more was left than the capital, with two or three adjacent fortresses on the shores of Europe and Asia. The king of Bulgaria was resistless and inexorable; and Calo-John respectfully eluded the demands of the pope, who conjured his new proselyte to restore peace and the emperor to the afflicted Latins. The deliverance of Baldwin was no longer, he said, in the power of man: that prince had died in prison; and the manner of his death is variously related by Death of ignorance and credulity. The lovers of a tragic legend will peror. be pleased to hear, that the royal captive was tempted by the amorous queen of the Bulgarians; that his chaste refusal exposed him to the falsehood of a woman and the jealousy of a savage; that his hands and feet were severed from his body; that his bleeding trunk was cast among the carcases of dogs and horses; and that
27 The truth of geography, and the original text of Villehardouin (No. 194.), place Rodosto three days' journey (trois jornées) from Adrianople : but Vigenere, in his version, has most absurdly substituted trois heures ; and this error, wh:
spall spare. rected by Ducange, has entrapped several moderns, whose names
29. The reign and end of Baldwin are related by Villehardo în and Nicetas (p. 386 –416.); and their omissions are supplied by Ducange in hi. Observations, and to the end of his first book,