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thority. And to mark their jurisdiction over the Prince as well as the priest, they assumed the government of Avignon, annulled the alienation of the sacred patrimory, and protected Rome from the imposition of new taxes. Their boldness was justified, not only by the general opinion of the clergy, but by the support and power of the first monarchs of Christendom; the Emperor Sigismond declared himself the servant and protector of the synod; Germany and France adhered to their cause; the Duke of Milan was the enemy of Eugenius; and he was driven from the Vatican by an insurrection of the Roman people. Rejected at the same time by his temporal and spiritual subjects, submission was his only choice; by a most humiliating bull, the Pope repealed his own acts, and ratified those of the council; incorporated his legates and cardinals with that venerable body; and seemed to resign himself to the decrees of the supreme legislature. Their fame pervaded the countries of the East; and it was in their presence that Sigismond received the ambassadors of the Turkish Sultan *, who laid at his feet twelve large vases, filled with robes of silk and pieces of gold. The fathers of Basil aspired to the glory of reducing the Greeks, as well as the Bohemians, within the pale of the church; and their deputies invited the Emperor and patriarchs of Constantinople to unite with an assembly which possessed the confidence of the Western nations. Palaeologus was not averse to the * This Turkish embassy, attested only by Crantzius, is re
lated with some doubt by the annalist Spondanus, A. D. 1433, No. 25. tom. i. p. 824.
the proposal; and his ambassadors were introduced with due honours into the Catholic senate. But the choice of the place appeared to be an insuper
able obstacle, since he refused to pass the Alps, or
the sea of Sicily, and positively required that the
red at Marseilles with some difficulty and delay.
* Syropulus, p. 19. In this list, the Greeks appear to have exceeded the real numbers of the clergy and laity which afterwards attended the Emperor and patriarch, but which are not clearly specified by the great ecclesiarch. The 75,000 florins which they asked in this negociation of the Pope, (p. 9.), were more than they could hope or want.
+ I use indifferently the words durat and florin, which de-.
rive their names, the former from the Dukes of Miian, the latter from the republic of Florence. These gold pieces, the first that were coined in Italy, perhaps in the Latin world, may be compared, in weight and value, to one third of the English 5uinta.
the Pope, and to erect a supreme and perpetual tribunal in the church. Eugenius was impatient of the yoke; and the union of the Greeks might af. ford a decent pretence for translating a rebellious synod from the Rhine to the Po. The independence of the fathers was lost if they passed the Alps; Savoy or Avignon, to which they acceded with reluctance, were described at Constantinople as situate far beyond the pillars of Hercules"; the Emperor and his clergy were apprehensive of the dangers of a long navigation; they were offended by an haughty declaration, that after suppressing the new heresy of the Bohemians, the council would soon eradicate the old heresy of the Greeks f. On the side of Eugenius, all was smooth, and yielding, and respectful; and he invited the Byzantine Monarch to heal, by his presence, the schism of the Latin, as well as of the Eastern, church. Ferrara, near the coast of the Adriatic, was proposed for their amicable interview ; and with some indulgence of forgery and theft, a surreptitious decree was procured, which transferred the synod, with its own consent, to that Italian city. Nine gallies were equipped for this service at Venice, and in the isle * At the end of the Latin version of Phranzes, we read a long Greek epistle or declamation of George of Trebizond, who advises the Emperor to prefer Eugenius and Italy. He treats with contempt the schismatic assembly of Basil, the barbarians of Gaul and Germany, who had conspired to transport the chair of St Peter beyond the Alps : 3 x3xios (says he)
+ Syropulus (p. 26–31.) attests his own indignation, and that of his countrymen; and the Basil deputies, who excused the rash declaration, could neither deny nor alter an act of the council.
isle of Candia; their diligence anticipated the c H.A.P.
slower vessels of Basil. The Roman admiral was commissioned to burn, sink, and destroy"; and
these priestly squadrons might have encountered.
each other in the same seas where Athens and Sparta had formerly contended for the pre-eminence of glory. Assaulted by the importunity of the factions, who were ready to fight for the possession of his person, Palaeologus hesitated before he left his palace and country on a perilous experiment. His father's advice still dwelt on his memory; and reason must suggest, that since the Latins were divided among themselves, they could never unite in a foreign cause. Sigismond dissuaded the unseasonable adventure; his advice was impartial, since he adhered to the council; and it was enforced by the strange belief, that the German Caesar would nominate a Greek his heir and successor in the empire of the West t. Even the Turkish Sultan was a counsellor whom it might be unsafe to trust, but whom it was dangerous to offend. Amurath was unskilled in the disputes, but he was apprehensive of the union of the Christians. From his own treasures, he offered to relieve the wants of the Byzantine court; yet he declared, with
Vol. XII. H seeming
The naval orders of the synod were less peremptory, and, till
the hostile squadrons appeared, both parties tried to conceal
c 1 A P. seeming magnanimity, that Constantinople should Jovo, be secure and inviolate, in the absence of her sove
reign ". The resolution of Palaeologus was deci-
by Syropulus, (p. 58.); and Amurath kept his word. He
might threaten, (p. 125. 219.), but he never attacked the c1tv.