Page images
PDF
EPUB

the passages of his rival, the unfortunate Conradin; c H.A. P. and a powerful avenger, who reigned in the Capi- *::tol, alarmed the fears and jealousy of the Popes. The absolute term of his life was superseded by a renewal every third year; and the enmity of Nicholas the Third obliged the Sicilian King to abdicate the government of Rome. In his bull, a perpetual law, the imperious Pontiff asserts the truth, validity, and use of the donation of Constantine, not less essential to the peace of the city than to the independence of the church; establishes the annual election of the senator; and formally disqualifies all emperors, kings, princes, and persons of an eminent and conspicuous rank". This prohi- Pope bitory clause was repealed in his own behalf by *.*.*. Martin the Fourth, who humbly solicited the suf. 128. frage of the Romans. In the presence, and by the authority of the people, two electors conferred, not on the Pope, but on the noble and faithful Martin, , the dignity of senator, and the supreme administration of the republic f, to hold during his natural life, and to exercise at pleasure by himself or his deputies, About fifty years afterwards, the same title The Em. was granted to the Emperor Lewis of Bavaria; F.of and the liberty of Rome was acknowledged by her o, Vol. XII. U two 1328.

* The high-sounding bull of Nicholas III. which founds his temporal sovereignty on the donation of Constantine, is still extant; and as it has been inserted by Boniface VIII. in the Sexte of the Decretals, it must be received by the Catholics, or at least by the Papists, as a sacred and perpetual law. + I am indebted to Fleury (Hist. Eccles, tom. xviii. p. 306.) for an extract of this Roman act, which he has taken from the Ecclesiastical Annals of Odericus Raynaldus, A. D. 1281, No. 14, 15.

C. H. A. P. LXIX. *--Addresses of Rome to the Emperors.

two sovereigns, who accepted a municipal office in

the government of their own metropolis.
In the first moments of rebellion, when Arnold
of Brescia had inflamed their minds against the
church, the Romans artfully laboured to conciliate
the favour of the empire, and to recommend their
merit and services in the cause of Caesar. The
style of their ambassadors to Conrad the Third and
Frederic the First, is a mixture of flattery and pride,
the tradition and ignorance of their own history".
After some complaint of his silence and neglect,
they exhort the former of these princes to pass the
Alps, and assume from their hands the Imperial
crown. “We beseech your Majesty, not to disdain
“the humility of your sons and vassals, not to listen
“to the accusations of our common enemies; who
“calumniate the senate as hostile to your throne,
“who sow the seeds of discord, that they may reap
“the harvest of destruction. The Pope and the
“Sicilian are united in an impious league to oppose
“our liberty and your coronation. With the
“blessing of God, our zeal and courage has
“hitherto defeated their attempts. Of their
“powerful and factious adherents, more especially
“the Frangipani, we have taken by assault the
* houses
“houses and turrets; some of these are occupied
“by our troops, and some are levelled with the
“ground. The Milvian bridge, which they had
“broken, is restored and fortified for your safe
“passage; and your army may enter the city with-
“out being annoyed from the castle of St Angelo.
“All that we have done, and all that we design,
“is for your honour and service, in the loyal hope,
“that you will speedily appear in person, to vindi-
“cate those rights which have been invaded by the
“clergy, to revive the dignity of the empire, and
“to surpass the fame and glory of your predeces-
“sors. May you fix your residence in Rome, the
“capital of the world; give laws to Italy, and the
“Teutonic kingdom; and imitate the example of
“Constantine and Justinian *, who, by the vigour
“of the senate and people, obtained the sceptre of
“the earth f.” But these splendid and fallacious
wishes were not cherished by Conrad the Franco-
nian, whose eyes were fixed on the Holy Land, and
who died without visiting Rome soon after his re-

Con.

rad III. A. D. 1144.

* These letters and speeches are preserved by Otho, Bishop of Frisingen, (Fabric. Bibliot. Lat. med. et infim. tom. v. p. 186, 187.), perhaps the noblest of historians; he was son of Leopold, Marquis of Austria; his mother, Agnes, was daughter of the Emperor Henry IV. and he was half-brother and uncle to Conrad III. and Frederic I. He has left, in seven books, a Chronicle of the Times; in two, the Gesta Frederici I. the last of which is inserted in the 7th volume of Muratori's historians.

turn from the Holy Land.
His nephew and successor, Frederic Barbarossa,
was more ambitious of the Imperial crown; nor
had any of the successors of Otho acquired such
absolute sway over the kingdom of Italy. Sur-
rounded by his ecclesiastical and secular princes,
he gave audience in his camp at Sutri to the am-
bassadors of Rome, who thus addressed him in a
U 2 free

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

* We desire (said the ignorant Romans) to restore the em

pire in eum statum, quo fuit tempore Constantin et Justiniani,
quitotum orbem vigore senatus et populi Romani suis tenuere
manibus.
+ Otho Frising, de Gestis Frederici I. i. i. c. 28, p. 662
— 664.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

free and florid oration: “Incline your ear to the “ queen of cities; approach with a peaceful and “friendly mind the precincts of Rome, which “has cast away the yoke of the clergy, and is “impatient to crown her legitimate Emperor. “ Under your auspicious influence, may the pri“mitive times be restored. Assert the prero“gatives of the eternal city, and reduce under “her monarchy, the insolence of the world. “You are not ignorant, that, in former ages, “by the wisdom of the senate, by the valour and “ discipline of the equestrian order, she extended “ her victorious arms to the East and West, “beyond the Alps, and over the islands of the “ ocean. By our sins, in the absence of our “princes, the noble institution of the senate has “sunk in oblivion; and, with our prudence, our “strength has likewise decreased. We have re“vived the senate, and the equestrian order; the “ counsels of the one, the arms of the other, will “be devoted to your person and the service of

“the empire. Do you not hear the language of

“the Roman matron : You were a guest, I have “adopted you as a citizen ; a Transalpine stranger, “I have elected you for my sovereign "; and “given you myself, and all that is mine. Your “first and most sacred duty is, to swear and “subscribe, that you will shed your blood for “ the republic; that you will maintain in peace “ and justice the laws of the city and the charters “ of your predecessors; and that you will reward

“ with

* Hospes eras, civen feci. Advena suisti ex Transalpinis Partibus; principem constitui.

“with five thousand pounds of silver the faithful c 11 A P.

“senators who shall proclaim your titles in the “Capitol. With the name, assume the character, “ of Augustus.” The flowers of Latin rhetoric were not yet exhausted ; but Frederic, impatient of their vanity, interrupted the orators in the high tone of royalty and conquest. “Famous, indeed, “ have been the fortitude and wisdom of the ancient “Romans; but your speech is not seasoned with “ wisdom, and I could wish that fortitude were “conspicuous in your actions. Like all sublunary “things, Rome has felt the vicissitudes of time and “fortune. Your noblest families were transla“ted to the East, to the royal city of Constantine; “ and the remains of your strength and freedom “have long since been exhausted by the Greeks “ and Franks. Are you desirous of beholding the “ancient glory of Rome, the gravity of the senate, “the spirit of the knights, the discipline of the “camp, the valour of the legions 2 you will find “ them in the German republic. It is not empire, “naked and alone, the ornaments and virtues of “empire have likewise migrated beyond the Alps “to a more deserving people *; they will be em“ployed in your defence, but they claim your “obedience. You pretend that myself or my “predecessors have been invited by the Romans; “you mistake the word; they were not invited, “they were implored. From its foreign and - U 3 “ domestic * Non cessit nobis nudum imperium, virtute sua amictum venit, ornamenta sua secum traxit. Penes nos sunt consules tui, &c. Cicero or Livy would not have rejected these

images, the eloquence of a barbarian born and educated in the Hercynian forest.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »