The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Part 12 out of 13

the madman.]

During some weeks they were checked by the memory of their
danger, rather than of their deliverance, till the most powerful
of the Ursini, escaping with the Colonna from the city, erected
at Marino the standard of rebellion. The fortifications of the
castle were instantly restored; the vassals attended their lord;
the outlaws armed against the magistrate; the flocks and herds,
the harvests and vineyards, from Marino to the gates of Rome,
were swept away or destroyed; and the people arraigned Rienzi as
the author of the calamities which his government had taught them
to forget. In the camp, Rienzi appeared to less advantage than
in the rostrum; and he neglected the progress of the rebel barons
till their numbers were strong, and their castles impregnable.
From the pages of Livy he had not imbibed the art, or even the
courage, of a general: an army of twenty thousand Romans returned
without honor or effect from the attack of Marino; and his
vengeance was amused by painting his enemies, their heads
downwards, and drowning two dogs (at least they should have been
bears) as the representatives of the Ursini. The belief of his
incapacity encouraged their operations: they were invited by
their secret adherents; and the barons attempted, with four
thousand foot, and sixteen hundred horse, to enter Rome by force
or surprise. The city was prepared for their reception; the
alarm-bell rung all night; the gates were strictly guarded, or
insolently open; and after some hesitation they sounded a
retreat. The two first divisions had passed along the walls, but
the prospect of a free entrance tempted the headstrong valor of
the nobles in the rear; and after a successful skirmish, they
were overthrown and massacred without quarter by the crowds of
the Roman people. Stephen Colonna the younger, the noble spirit
to whom Petrarch ascribed the restoration of Italy, was preceded
or accompanied in death by his son John, a gallant youth, by his
brother Peter, who might regret the ease and honors of the
church, by a nephew of legitimate birth, and by two bastards of
the Colonna race; and the number of seven, the seven crowns, as
Rienzi styled them, of the Holy Ghost, was completed by the agony
of the deplorable parent, and the veteran chief, who had survived
the hope and fortune of his house. The vision and prophecies of
St. Martin and Pope Boniface had been used by the tribune to
animate his troops: ^43 he displayed, at least in the pursuit,
the spirit of a hero; but he forgot the maxims of the ancient
Romans, who abhorred the triumphs of civil war. The conqueror
ascended the Capitol; deposited his crown and sceptre on the
altar; and boasted, with some truth, that he had cut off an ear,
which neither pope nor emperor had been able to amputate. ^44 His
base and implacable revenge denied the honors of burial; and the
bodies of the Colonna, which he threatened to expose with those
of the vilest malefactors, were secretly interred by the holy
virgins of their name and family. ^45 The people sympathized in
their grief, repented of their own fury, and detested the
indecent joy of Rienzi, who visited the spot where these
illustrious victims had fallen. It was on that fatal spot that
he conferred on his son the honor of knighthood: and the ceremony
was accomplished by a slight blow from each of the horsemen of
the guard, and by a ridiculous and inhuman ablution from a pool
of water, which was yet polluted with patrician blood. ^46

[Footnote 43: Rienzi, in the above-mentioned letter, ascribes to
St. Martin the tribune, Boniface VIII. the enemy of Colonna,
himself, and the Roman people, the glory of the day, which
Villani likewise (l. 12, c. 104) describes as a regular battle.
The disorderly skirmish, the flight of the Romans, and the
cowardice of Rienzi, are painted in the simple and minute
narrative of Fortifiocca, or the anonymous citizen, (l. i. c. 34
- 37.)]
[Footnote 44: In describing the fall of the Colonna, I speak only
of the family of Stephen the elder, who is often confounded by
the P. du Cerceau with his son. That family was extinguished,
but the house has been perpetuated in the collateral branches, of
which I have not a very accurate knowledge. Circumspice (says
Petrarch) familiae tuae statum, Columniensium domos: solito
pauciores habeat columnas. Quid ad rem modo fundamentum stabile,
solidumque permaneat.]

[Footnote 45: The convent of St. Silvester was founded, endowed,
and protected by the Colonna cardinals, for the daughters of the
family who embraced a monastic life, and who, in the year 1318,
were twelve in number. The others were allowed to marry with
their kinsmen in the fourth degree, and the dispensation was
justified by the small number and close alliances of the noble
families of Rome, (Memoires sur Petrarque, tom. i. p. 110, tom.
ii. p. 401.)]

[Footnote 46: Petrarch wrote a stiff and pedantic letter of
consolation, (Fam. l. vii. epist. 13, p. 682, 683.) The friend
was lost in the patriot. Nulla toto orbe principum familia
carior; carior tamen respublica, carior Roma, carior Italia.

Je rends graces aux Dieux de n'etre pas Romain.]

A short delay would have saved the Colonna, the delay of a
single month, which elapsed between the triumph and the exile of
Rienzi. In the pride of victory, he forfeited what yet remained
of his civil virtues, without acquiring the fame of military
prowess. A free and vigorous opposition was formed in the city;
and when the tribune proposed in the public council ^47 to impose
a new tax, and to regulate the government of Perugia, thirty-nine
members voted against his measures; repelled the injurious charge
of treachery and corruption; and urged him to prove, by their
forcible exclusion, that if the populace adhered to his cause, it
was already disclaimed by the most respectable citizens. The
pope and the sacred college had never been dazzled by his
specious professions; they were justly offended by the insolence
of his conduct; a cardinal legate was sent to Italy, and after
some fruitless treaty, and two personal interviews, he fulminated
a bull of excommunication, in which the tribune is degraded from
his office, and branded with the guilt of rebellion, sacrilege,
and heresy. ^48 The surviving barons of Rome were now humbled to
a sense of allegiance; their interest and revenge engaged them in
the service of the church; but as the fate of the Colonna was
before their eyes, they abandoned to a private adventurer the
peril and glory of the revolution. John Pepin, count of
Minorbino, ^49 in the kingdom of Naples, had been condemned for
his crimes, or his riches, to perpetual imprisonment; and
Petrarch, by soliciting his release, indirectly contributed to
the ruin of his friend. At the head of one hundred and fifty
soldiers, the count of Minorbino introduced himself into Rome;
barricaded the quarter of the Colonna: and found the enterprise
as easy as it had seemed impossible. From the first alarm, the
bell of the Capitol incessantly tolled; but, instead of repairing
to the well-known sound, the people were silent and inactive; and
the pusillanimous Rienzi, deploring their ingratitude with sighs
and tears, abdicated the government and palace of the republic.

[Footnote 47: This council and opposition is obscurely mentioned
by Pollistore, a contemporary writer, who has preserved some
curious and original facts, (Rer. Italicarum, tom. xxv. c. 31, p.
798 - 804.)]

[Footnote 48: The briefs and bulls of Clement VI. against Rienzi
are translated by the P. du Cerceau, (p. 196, 232,) from the
Ecclesiastical Annals of Odericus Raynaldus, (A.D. 1347, No. 15,
17, 21, &c.,) who found them in the archives of the Vatican.]

[Footnote 49: Matteo Villani describes the origin, character, and
death of this count of Minorbino, a man da natura inconstante e
senza fede, whose grandfather, a crafty notary, was enriched and
ennobled by the spoils of the Saracens of Nocera, (l. vii. c.
102, 103.) See his imprisonment, and the efforts of Petrarch,
tom. ii. p. 149 - 151)]

Chapter LXX: Final Settlement Of The Ecclesiastical State.

Part III.

Without drawing his sword, count Pepin restored the
aristocracy and the church; three senators were chosen, and the
legate, assuming the first rank, accepted his two colleagues from
the rival families of Colonna and Ursini. The acts of the tribune
were abolished, his head was proscribed; yet such was the terror
of his name, that the barons hesitated three days before they
would trust themselves in the city, and Rienzi was left above a
month in the castle of St. Angelo, from whence he peaceably
withdrew, after laboring, without effect, to revive the affection
and courage of the Romans. The vision of freedom and empire had
vanished: their fallen spirit would have acquiesced in servitude,
had it been smoothed by tranquillity and order; and it was
scarcely observed, that the new senators derived their authority
from the Apostolic See; that four cardinals were appointed to
reform, with dictatorial power, the state of the republic. Rome
was again agitated by the bloody feuds of the barons, who
detested each other, and despised the commons: their hostile
fortresses, both in town and country, again rose, and were again
demolished: and the peaceful citizens, a flock of sheep, were
devoured, says the Florentine historian, by these rapacious
wolves. But when their pride and avarice had exhausted the
patience of the Romans, a confraternity of the Virgin Mary
protected or avenged the republic: the bell of the Capitol was
again tolled, the nobles in arms trembled in the presence of an
unarmed multitude; and of the two senators, Colonna escaped from
the window of the palace, and Ursini was stoned at the foot of
the altar. The dangerous office of tribune was successively
occupied by two plebeians, Cerroni and Baroncelli. The mildness
of Cerroni was unequal to the times; and after a faint struggle,
he retired with a fair reputation and a decent fortune to the
comforts of rural life. Devoid of eloquence or genius,
Baroncelli was distinguished by a resolute spirit: he spoke the
language of a patriot, and trod in the footsteps of tyrants; his
suspicion was a sentence of death, and his own death was the
reward of his cruelties. Amidst the public misfortunes, the
faults of Rienzi were forgotten; and the Romans sighed for the
peace and prosperity of their good estate. ^50

[Footnote 50: The troubles of Rome, from the departure to the
return of Rienzi, are related by Matteo Villani (l. ii. c. 47, l.
iii. c. 33, 57, 78) and Thomas Fortifiocca, (l. iii. c. 1 - 4.) I
have slightly passed over these secondary characters, who
imitated the original tribune.]

After an exile of seven years, the first deliverer was again
restored to his country. In the disguise of a monk or a pilgrim,
he escaped from the castle of St. Angelo, implored the friendship
of the king of Hungary at Naples, tempted the ambition of every
bold adventurer, mingled at Rome with the pilgrims of the
jubilee, lay concealed among the hermits of the Apennine, and
wandered through the cities of Italy, Germany, and Bohemia. His
person was invisible, his name was yet formidable; and the
anxiety of the court of Avignon supposes, and even magnifies, his
personal merit. The emperor Charles the Fourth gave audience to
a stranger, who frankly revealed himself as the tribune of the
republic; and astonished an assembly of ambassadors and princes,
by the eloquence of a patriot and the visions of a prophet, the
downfall of tyranny and the kingdom of the Holy Ghost. ^51
Whatever had been his hopes, Rienzi found himself a captive; but
he supported a character of independence and dignity, and obeyed,
as his own choice, the irresistible summons of the supreme
pontiff. The zeal of Petrarch, which had been cooled by the
unworthy conduct, was rekindled by the sufferings and the
presence, of his friend; and he boldly complains of the times, in
which the savior of Rome was delivered by her emperor into the
hands of her bishop. Rienzi was transported slowly, but in safe
custody, from Prague to Avignon: his entrance into the city was
that of a malefactor; in his prison he was chained by the leg;
and four cardinals were named to inquire into the crimes of
heresy and rebellion. But his trial and condemnation would have
involved some questions, which it was more prudent to leave under
the veil of mystery: the temporal supremacy of the popes; the
duty of residence; the civil and ecclesiastical privileges of the
clergy and people of Rome. The reigning pontiff well deserved
the appellation of Clement: the strange vicissitudes and
magnanimous spirit of the captive excited his pity and esteem;
and Petrarch believes that he respected in the hero the name and
sacred character of a poet. ^52 Rienzi was indulged with an easy
confinement and the use of books; and in the assiduous study of
Livy and the Bible, he sought the cause and the consolation of
his misfortunes.

[Footnote 51: These visions, of which the friends and enemies of
Rienzi seem alike ignorant, are surely magnified by the zeal of
Pollistore, a Dominican inquisitor, (Rer. Ital. tom. xxv. c. 36,
p. 819.) Had the tribune taught, that Christ was succeeded by the
Holy Ghost, that the tyranny of the pope would be abolished, he
might have been convicted of heresy and treason, without
offending the Roman people.

Note: So far from having magnified these visions, Pollistore
is more than confirmed by the documents published by Papencordt.
The adoption of all the wild doctrines of the Fratricelli, the
Spirituals, in which, for the time at least, Rienzi appears to
have been in earnest; his magnificent offers to the emperor, and
the whole history of his life, from his first escape from Rome to
his imprisonment at Avignon, are among the most curious chapters
of his eventful life. - M. 1845.]

[Footnote 52: The astonishment, the envy almost, of Petrarch is a
proof, if not of the truth of this incredible fact, at least of
his own veracity. The abbe de Sade (Memoires, tom. iii. p. 242)
quotes the vith epistle of the xiiith book of Petrarch, but it is
of the royal Ms., which he consulted, and not of the ordinary
Basil edition, (p. 920.)]

The succeeding pontificate of Innocent the Sixth opened a
new prospect of his deliverance and restoration; and the court of
Avignon was persuaded, that the successful rebel could alone
appease and reform the anarchy of the metropolis. After a solemn
profession of fidelity, the Roman tribune was sent into Italy,
with the title of senator; but the death of Baroncelli appeared
to supersede the use of his mission; and the legate, Cardinal
Albornoz, ^53 a consummate statesman, allowed him with
reluctance, and without aid, to undertake the perilous
experiment. His first reception was equal to his wishes: the day
of his entrance was a public festival; and his eloquence and
authority revived the laws of the good estate. But this
momentary sunshine was soon clouded by his own vices and those of
the people: in the Capitol, he might often regret the prison of
Avignon; and after a second administration of four months, Rienzi
was massacred in a tumult which had been fomented by the Roman
barons. In the society of the Germans and Bohemians, he is said
to have contracted the habits of intemperance and cruelty:
adversity had chilled his enthusiasm, without fortifying his
reason or virtue; and that youthful hope, that lively assurance,
which is the pledge of success, was now succeeded by the cold
impotence of distrust and despair. The tribune had reigned with
absolute dominion, by the choice, and in the hearts, of the
Romans: the senator was the servile minister of a foreign court;
and while he was suspected by the people, he was abandoned by the
prince. The legate Albornoz, who seemed desirous of his ruin,
inflexibly refused all supplies of men and money; a faithful
subject could no longer presume to touch the revenues of the
apostolical chamber; and the first idea of a tax was the signal
of clamor and sedition. Even his justice was tainted with the
guilt or reproach of selfish cruelty: the most virtuous citizen
of Rome was sacrificed to his jealousy; and in the execution of a
public robber, from whose purse he had been assisted, the
magistrate too much forgot, or too much remembered, the
obligations of the debtor. ^54 A civil war exhausted his
treasures, and the patience of the city: the Colonna maintained
their hostile station at Palestrina; and his mercenaries soon
despised a leader whose ignorance and fear were envious of all
subordinate merit. In the death, as in the life, of Rienzi, the
hero and the coward were strangely mingled. When the Capitol was
invested by a furious multitude, when he was basely deserted by
his civil and military servants, the intrepid senator, waving the
banner of liberty, presented himself on the balcony, addressed
his eloquence to the various passions of the Romans, and labored
to persuade them, that in the same cause himself and the republic
must either stand or fall. His oration was interrupted by a
volley of imprecations and stones; and after an arrow had
transpierced his hand, he sunk into abject despair, and fled
weeping to the inner chambers, from whence he was let down by a
sheet before the windows of the prison. Destitute of aid or
hope, he was besieged till the evening: the doors of the Capitol
were destroyed with axes and fire; and while the senator
attempted to escape in a plebeian habit, he was discovered and
dragged to the platform of the palace, the fatal scene of his
judgments and executions. A whole hour, without voice or motion,
he stood amidst the multitude half naked and half dead: their
rage was hushed into curiosity and wonder: the last feelings of
reverence and compassion yet struggled in his favor; and they
might have prevailed, if a bold assassin had not plunged a dagger
in his breast. He fell senseless with the first stroke: the
impotent revenge of his enemies inflicted a thousand wounds: and
the senator's body was abandoned to the dogs, to the Jews, and to
the flames. Posterity will compare the virtues and failings of
this extraordinary man; but in a long period of anarchy and
servitude, the name of Rienzi has often been celebrated as the
deliverer of his country, and the last of the Roman patriots. ^55

[Footnote 53: Aegidius, or Giles Albornoz, a noble Spaniard,
archbishop of Toledo, and cardinal legate in Italy, (A.D. 1353
-1367,) restored, by his arms and counsels, the temporal dominion
of the popes. His life has been separately written by Sepulveda;
but Dryden could not reasonably suppose, that his name, or that
of Wolsey, had reached the ears of the Mufti in Don Sebastian.]

[Footnote 54: From Matteo Villani and Fortifiocca, the P. du
Cerceau (p. 344 - 394) has extracted the life and death of the
chevalier Montreal, the life of a robber and the death of a hero.
At the head of a free company, the first that desolated Italy, he
became rich and formidable be had money in all the banks, -
60,000 ducats in Padua alone.]

[Footnote 55: The exile, second government, and death of Rienzi,
are minutely related by the anonymous Roman, who appears neither
his friend nor his enemy, (l. iii. c. 12 - 25.) Petrarch, who
loved the tribune, was indifferent to the fate of the senator.]

The first and most generous wish of Petrarch was the
restoration of a free republic; but after the exile and death of
his plebeian hero, he turned his eyes from the tribune, to the
king, of the Romans. The Capitol was yet stained with the blood
of Rienzi, when Charles the Fourth descended from the Alps to
obtain the Italian and Imperial crowns. In his passage through
Milan he received the visit, and repaid the flattery, of the
poet-laureate; accepted a medal of Augustus; and promised,
without a smile, to imitate the founder of the Roman monarchy. A
false application of the name and maxims of antiquity was the
source of the hopes and disappointments of Petrarch; yet he could
not overlook the difference of times and characters; the
immeasurable distance between the first Caesars and a Bohemian
prince, who by the favor of the clergy had been elected the
titular head of the German aristocracy. Instead of restoring to
Rome her glory and her provinces, he had bound himself by a
secret treaty with the pope, to evacuate the city on the day of
his coronation; and his shameful retreat was pursued by the
reproaches of the patriot bard. ^56

[Footnote 56: The hopes and the disappointment of Petrarch are
agreeably described in his own words by the French biographer,
(Memoires, tom. iii. p. 375 - 413;) but the deep, though secret,
wound was the coronation of Zanubi, the poet-laureate, by Charles

After the loss of liberty and empire, his third and more
humble wish was to reconcile the shepherd with his flock; to
recall the Roman bishop to his ancient and peculiar diocese. In
the fervor of youth, with the authority of age, Petrarch
addressed his exhortations to five successive popes, and his
eloquence was always inspired by the enthusiasm of sentiment and
the freedom of language. ^57 The son of a citizen of Florence
invariably preferred the country of his birth to that of his
education; and Italy, in his eyes, was the queen and garden of
the world. Amidst her domestic factions, she was doubtless
superior to France both in art and science, in wealth and
politeness; but the difference could scarcely support the epithet
of barbarous, which he promiscuously bestows on the countries
beyond the Alps. Avignon, the mystic Babylon, the sink of vice
and corruption, was the object of his hatred and contempt; but he
forgets that her scandalous vices were not the growth of the
soil, and that in every residence they would adhere to the power
and luxury of the papal court. He confesses that the successor
of St. Peter is the bishop of the universal church; yet it was
not on the banks of the Rhone, but of the Tyber, that the apostle
had fixed his everlasting throne; and while every city in the
Christian world was blessed with a bishop, the metropolis alone
was desolate and forlorn. Since the removal of the Holy See, the
sacred buildings of the Lateran and the Vatican, their altars and
their saints, were left in a state of poverty and decay; and Rome
was often painted under the image of a disconsolate matron, as if
the wandering husband could be reclaimed by the homely portrait
of the age and infirmities of his weeping spouse. ^58 But the
cloud which hung over the seven hills would be dispelled by the
presence of their lawful sovereign: eternal fame, the prosperity
of Rome, and the peace of Italy, would be the recompense of the
pope who should dare to embrace this generous resolution. Of the
five whom Petrarch exhorted, the three first, John the
Twenty-second, Benedict the Twelfth, and Clement the Sixth, were
importuned or amused by the boldness of the orator; but the
memorable change which had been attempted by Urban the Fifth was
finally accomplished by Gregory the Eleventh. The execution of
their design was opposed by weighty and almost insuperable
obstacles. A king of France, who has deserved the epithet of
wise, was unwilling to release them from a local dependence: the
cardinals, for the most part his subjects, were attached to the
language, manners, and climate of Avignon; to their stately
palaces; above all, to the wines of Burgundy. In their eyes,
Italy was foreign or hostile; and they reluctantly embarked at
Marseilles, as if they had been sold or banished into the land of
the Saracens. Urban the Fifth resided three years in the Vatican
with safety and honor: his sanctity was protected by a guard of
two thousand horse; and the king of Cyprus, the queen of Naples,
and the emperors of the East and West, devoutly saluted their
common father in the chair of St. Peter. But the joy of Petrarch
and the Italians was soon turned into grief and indignation. Some
reasons of public or private moment, his own impatience or the
prayers of the cardinals, recalled Urban to France; and the
approaching election was saved from the tyrannic patriotism of
the Romans. The powers of heaven were interested in their cause:
Bridget of Sweden, a saint and pilgrim, disapproved the return,
and foretold the death, of Urban the Fifth: the migration of
Gregory the Eleventh was encouraged by St. Catharine of Sienna,
the spouse of Christ and ambassadress of the Florentines; and the
popes themselves, the great masters of human credulity, appear to
have listened to these visionary females. ^59 Yet those celestial
admonitions were supported by some arguments of temporal policy.
The residents of Avignon had been invaded by hostile violence: at
the head of thirty thousand robbers, a hero had extorted ransom
and absolution from the vicar of Christ and the sacred college;
and the maxim of the French warriors, to spare the people and
plunder the church, was a new heresy of the most dangerous
import. ^60 While the pope was driven from Avignon, he was
strenuously invited to Rome. The senate and people acknowledged
him as their lawful sovereign, and laid at his feet the keys of
the gates, the bridges, and the fortresses; of the quarter at
least beyond the Tyber. ^61 But this loyal offer was accompanied
by a declaration, that they could no longer suffer the scandal
and calamity of his absence; and that his obstinacy would finally
provoke them to revive and assert the primitive right of
election. The abbot of Mount Cassin had been consulted, whether
he would accept the triple crown ^62 from the clergy and people:
"I am a citizen of Rome," ^63 replied that venerable
ecclesiastic, "and my first law is, the voice of my country." ^64

[Footnote 57: See, in his accurate and amusing biographer, the
application of Petrarch and Rome to Benedict XII. in the year
1334, (Memoires, tom. i. p. 261 - 265,) to Clement VI. in 1342,
(tom. ii. p. 45 - 47,) and to Urban V. in 1366, (tom. iii. p. 677
- 691:) his praise (p. 711 - 715) and excuse (p. 771) of the last
of these pontiffs. His angry controversy on the respective
merits of France and Italy may be found, Opp. p. 1068 - 1085.]

[Footnote 58: Squalida sed quoniam facies, neglectaque cultu

Caesaries; multisque malis lassata senectus
Eripuit solitam effigiem: vetus accipe nomen;

Roma vocor.

(Carm. l. 2, p. 77.)

He spins this allegory beyond all measure or patience. The
Epistles to Urban V in prose are more simple and persuasive,
(Senilium, l. vii. p. 811 - 827 l. ix. epist. i. p. 844 - 854.)]

[Footnote 59: I have not leisure to expatiate on the legends of
St. Bridget or St. Catharine, the last of which might furnish
some amusing stories. Their effect on the mind of Gregory XI. is
attested by the last solemn words of the dying pope, who
admonished the assistants, ut caverent ab hominibus, sive viris,
sive mulieribus, sub specie religionis loquentibus visiones sui
capitis, quia per tales ipse seductus, &c., (Baluz. Not ad Vit.
Pap. Avenionensium, tom. i. p. 1224.)]

[Footnote 60: This predatory expedition is related by Froissard,
(Chronique, tom. i. p. 230,) and in the life of Du Guesclin,
(Collection Generale des Memoires Historiques, tom. iv. c. 16, p.
107 - 113.) As early as the year 1361, the court of Avignon had
been molested by similar freebooters, who afterwards passed the
Alps, (Memoires sur Petrarque, tom. iii. p. 563 - 569.)]
[Footnote 61: Fleury alleges, from the annals of Odericus
Raynaldus, the original treaty which was signed the 21st of
December, 1376, between Gregory XI. and the Romans, (Hist.
Eccles. tom. xx. p. 275.)]

[Footnote 62: The first crown or regnum (Ducange, Gloss. Latin.
tom. v. p. 702) on the episcopal mitre of the popes, is ascribed
to the gift of Constantine, or Clovis. The second was added by
Boniface VIII., as the emblem not only of a spiritual, but of a
temporal, kingdom. The three states of the church are
represented by the triple crown which was introduced by John
XXII. or Benedict XII., (Memoires sur Petrarque, tom. i. p. 258,
[Footnote 63: Baluze (Not. ad Pap. Avenion. tom. i. p. 1194,
1195) produces the original evidence which attests the threats of
the Roman ambassadors, and the resignation of the abbot of Mount
Cassin, qui, ultro se offerens, respondit se civem Romanum esse,
et illud velle quod ipsi vellent.]
[Footnote 64: The return of the popes from Avignon to Rome, and
their reception by the people, are related in the original lives
of Urban V. and Gregory XI., in Baluze (Vit. Paparum
Avenionensium, tom. i. p. 363 - 486) and Muratori, (Script. Rer.
Italicarum, tom. iii. P. i. p. 613 - 712.) In the disputes of the
schism, every circumstance was severely, though partially,
scrutinized; more especially in the great inquest, which decided
the obedience of Castile, and to which Baluze, in his notes, so
often and so largely appeals from a Ms. volume in the Harley
library, (p. 1281, &c.)]

If superstition will interpret an untimely death, ^65 if the
merit of counsels be judged from the event, the heavens may seem
to frown on a measure of such apparent season and propriety.
Gregory the Eleventh did not survive above fourteen months his
return to the Vatican; and his decease was followed by the great
schism of the West, which distracted the Latin church above forty
years. The sacred college was then composed of twenty-two
cardinals: six of these had remained at Avignon; eleven
Frenchmen, one Spaniard, and four Italians, entered the conclave
in the usual form. Their choice was not yet limited to the
purple; and their unanimous votes acquiesced in the archbishop of
Bari, a subject of Naples, conspicuous for his zeal and learning,
who ascended the throne of St. Peter under the name of Urban the
Sixth. The epistle of the sacred college affirms his free, and
regular, election; which had been inspired, as usual, by the Holy
Ghost; he was adored, invested, and crowned, with the customary
rites; his temporal authority was obeyed at Rome and Avignon, and
his ecclesiastical supremacy was acknowledged in the Latin world.

During several weeks, the cardinals attended their new master
with the fairest professions of attachment and loyalty; till the
summer heats permitted a decent escape from the city. But as
soon as they were united at Anagni and Fundi, in a place of
security, they cast aside the mask, accused their own falsehood
and hypocrisy, excommunicated the apostate and antichrist of
Rome, and proceeded to a new election of Robert of Geneva,
Clement the Seventh, whom they announced to the nations as the
true and rightful vicar of Christ. Their first choice, an
involuntary and illegal act, was annulled by fear of death and
the menaces of the Romans; and their complaint is justified by
the strong evidence of probability and fact. The twelve French
cardinals, above two thirds of the votes, were masters of the
election; and whatever might be their provincial jealousies, it
cannot fairly be presumed that they would have sacrificed their
right and interest to a foreign candidate, who would never
restore them to their native country. In the various, and often
inconsistent, narratives, ^66 the shades of popular violence are
more darkly or faintly colored: but the licentiousness of the
seditious Romans was inflamed by a sense of their privileges, and
the danger of a second emigration. The conclave was intimidated
by the shouts, and encompassed by the arms, of thirty thousand
rebels; the bells of the Capitol and St. Peter's rang an alarm:
"Death, or an Italian pope!" was the universal cry; the same
threat was repeated by the twelve bannerets or chiefs of the
quarters, in the form of charitable advice; some preparations
were made for burning the obstinate cardinals; and had they
chosen a Transalpine subject, it is probable that they would
never have departed alive from the Vatican. The same constraint
imposed the necessity of dissembling in the eyes of Rome and of
the world; the pride and cruelty of Urban presented a more
inevitable danger; and they soon discovered the features of the
tyrant, who could walk in his garden and recite his breviary,
while he heard from an adjacent chamber six cardinals groaning on
the rack. His inflexible zeal, which loudly censured their luxury
and vice, would have attached them to the stations and duties of
their parishes at Rome; and had he not fatally delayed a new
promotion, the French cardinals would have been reduced to a
helpless minority in the sacred college. For these reasons, and
the hope of repassing the Alps, they rashly violated the peace
and unity of the church; and the merits of their double choice
are yet agitated in the Catholic schools. ^67 The vanity, rather
than the interest, of the nation determined the court and clergy
of France. ^68 The states of Savoy, Sicily, Cyprus, Arragon,
Castille, Navarre, and Scotland were inclined by their example
and authority to the obedience of Clement the Seventh, and after
his decease, of Benedict the Thirteenth. Rome and the principal
states of Italy, Germany, Portugal, England, ^69 the Low
Countries, and the kingdoms of the North, adhered to the prior
election of Urban the Sixth, who was succeeded by Boniface the
Ninth, Innocent the Seventh, and Gregory the Twelfth.
[Footnote 65: Can the death of a good man be esteemed a
punishment by those who believe in the immortality of the soul?
They betray the instability of their faith. Yet as a mere
philosopher, I cannot agree with the Greeks (Brunck, Poetae
Gnomici, p. 231.) See in Herodotus (l. i. c. 31) the moral and
pleasing tale of the Argive youths.]

[Footnote 66: In the first book of the Histoire du Concile de
Pise, M. Lenfant has abridged and compared the original
narratives of the adherents of Urban and Clement, of the Italians
and Germans, the French and Spaniards. The latter appear to be
the most active and loquacious, and every fact and word in the
original lives of Gregory XI. and Clement VII. are supported in
the notes of their editor Baluze.]

[Footnote 67: The ordinal numbers of the popes seems to decide
the question against Clement VII. and Benedict XIII., who are
boldly stigmatized as antipopes by the Italians, while the French
are content with authorities and reasons to plead the cause of
doubt and toleration, (Baluz. in Praefat.) It is singular, or
rather it is not singular, that saints, visions and miracles
should be common to both parties.]

[Footnote 68: Baluze strenuously labors (Not. p. 1271 - 1280) to
justify the pure and pious motives of Charles V. king of France:
he refused to hear the arguments of Urban; but were not the
Urbanists equally deaf to the reasons of Clement, &c.?]

[Footnote 69: An epistle, or declamation, in the name of Edward
III., (Baluz. Vit. Pap. Avenion. tom. i. p. 553,) displays the
zeal of the English nation against the Clementines. Nor was
their zeal confined to words: the bishop of Norwich led a crusade
of 60,000 bigots beyond sea, (Hume's History, vol. iii. p. 57,

From the banks of the Tyber and the Rhone, the hostile
pontiffs encountered each other with the pen and the sword: the
civil and ecclesiastical order of society was disturbed; and the
Romans had their full share of the mischiefs of which they may be
arraigned as the primary authors. ^70 They had vainly flattered
themselves with the hope of restoring the seat of the
ecclesiastical monarchy, and of relieving their poverty with the
tributes and offerings of the nations; but the separation of
France and Spain diverted the stream of lucrative devotion; nor
could the loss be compensated by the two jubilees which were
crowded into the space of ten years. By the avocations of the
schism, by foreign arms, and popular tumults, Urban the Sixth and
his three successors were often compelled to interrupt their
residence in the Vatican. The Colonna and Ursini still exercised
their deadly feuds: the bannerets of Rome asserted and abused the
privileges of a republic: the vicars of Christ, who had levied a
military force, chastised their rebellion with the gibbet, the
sword, and the dagger; and, in a friendly conference, eleven
deputies of the people were perfidiously murdered and cast into
the street. Since the invasion of Robert the Norman, the Romans
had pursued their domestic quarrels without the dangerous
interposition of a stranger. But in the disorders of the schism,
an aspiring neighbor, Ladislaus king of Naples, alternately
supported and betrayed the pope and the people; by the former he
was declared gonfalonier, or general, of the church, while the
latter submitted to his choice the nomination of their
magistrates. Besieging Rome by land and water, he thrice entered
the gates as a Barbarian conqueror; profaned the altars, violated
the virgins, pillaged the merchants, performed his devotions at
St. Peter's, and left a garrison in the castle of St. Angelo. His
arms were sometimes unfortunate, and to a delay of three days he
was indebted for his life and crown: but Ladislaus triumphed in
his turn; and it was only his premature death that could save the
metropolis and the ecclesiastical state from the ambitious
conqueror, who had assumed the title, or at least the powers, of
king of Rome. ^71

[Footnote 70: Besides the general historians, the Diaries of
Delphinus Gentilia Peter Antonius, and Stephen Infessura, in the
great collection of Muratori, represented the state and
misfortunes of Rome.]

[Footnote 71: It is supposed by Giannone (tom. iii. p. 292) that
he styled himself Rex Romae, a title unknown to the world since
the expulsion of Tarquin. But a nearer inspection has justified
the reading of Rex Ramae, of Rama, an obscure kingdom annexed to
the crown of Hungary.]
I have not undertaken the ecclesiastical history of the
schism; but Rome, the object of these last chapters, is deeply
interested in the disputed succession of her sovereigns. The
first counsels for the peace and union of Christendom arose from
the university of Paris, from the faculty of the Sorbonne, whose
doctors were esteemed, at least in the Gallican church, as the
most consummate masters of theological science. ^72 Prudently
waiving all invidious inquiry into the origin and merits of the
dispute, they proposed, as a healing measure, that the two
pretenders of Rome and Avignon should abdicate at the same time,
after qualifying the cardinals of the adverse factions to join in
a legitimate election; and that the nations should subtract ^73
their obedience, if either of the competitor preferred his own
interest to that of the public. At each vacancy, these
physicians of the church deprecated the mischiefs of a hasty
choice; but the policy of the conclave and the ambition of its
members were deaf to reason and entreaties; and whatsoever
promises were made, the pope could never be bound by the oaths of
the cardinal. During fifteen years, the pacific designs of the
university were eluded by the arts of the rival pontiffs, the
scruples or passions of their adherents, and the vicissitudes of
French factions, that ruled the insanity of Charles the Sixth. At
length a vigorous resolution was embraced; and a solemn embassy,
of the titular patriarch of Alexandria, two archbishops, five
bishops, five abbots, three knights, and twenty doctors, was sent
to the courts of Avignon and Rome, to require, in the name of the
church and king, the abdication of the two pretenders, of Peter
de Luna, who styled himself Benedict the Thirteenth, and of
Angelo Corrario, who assumed the name of Gregory the Twelfth.
For the ancient honor of Rome, and the success of their
commission, the ambassadors solicited a conference with the
magistrates of the city, whom they gratified by a positive
declaration, that the most Christian king did not entertain a
wish of transporting the holy see from the Vatican, which he
considered as the genuine and proper seat of the successor of St.
Peter. In the name of the senate and people, an eloquent Roman
asserted their desire to cooperate in the union of the church,
deplored the temporal and spiritual calamities of the long
schism, and requested the protection of France against the arms
of the king of Naples. The answers of Benedict and Gregory were
alike edifying and alike deceitful; and, in evading the demand of
their abdication, the two rivals were animated by a common
spirit. They agreed on the necessity of a previous interview;
but the time, the place, and the manner, could never be
ascertained by mutual consent. "If the one advances," says a
servant of Gregory, "the other retreats; the one appears an
animal fearful of the land, the other a creature apprehensive of
the water. And thus, for a short remnant of life and power, will
these aged priests endanger the peace and salvation of the
Christian world." ^74

[Footnote 72: The leading and decisive part which France assumed
in the schism is stated by Peter du Puis in a separate history,
extracted from authentic records, and inserted in the seventh
volume of the last and best edition of his friend Thuanus, (P.
xi. p. 110 - 184.)]

[Footnote 73: Of this measure, John Gerson, a stout doctor, was
the author of the champion. The proceedings of the university of
Paris and the Gallican church were often prompted by his advice,
and are copiously displayed in his theological writings, of which
Le Clerc (Bibliotheque Choisie, tom. x. p. 1 - 78) has given a
valuable extract. John Gerson acted an important part in the
councils of Pisa and Constance.]

[Footnote 74: Leonardus Brunus Aretinus, one of the revivers of
classic learning in Italy, who, after serving many years as
secretary in the Roman court, retired to the honorable office of
chancellor of the republic of Florence, (Fabric. Bibliot. Medii
Aevi, tom. i. p. 290.) Lenfant has given the version of this
curious epistle, (Concile de Pise, tom. i. p. 192 - 195.)]
The Christian world was at length provoked by their
obstinacy and fraud: they were deserted by their cardinals, who
embraced each other as friends and colleagues; and their revolt
was supported by a numerous assembly of prelates and ambassadors.

With equal justice, the council of Pisa deposed the popes of Rome
and Avignon; the conclave was unanimous in the choice of
Alexander the Fifth, and his vacant seat was soon filled by a
similar election of John the Twenty-third, the most profligate of
mankind. But instead of extinguishing the schism, the rashness
of the French and Italians had given a third pretender to the
chair of St. Peter. Such new claims of the synod and conclave
were disputed; three kings, of Germany, Hungary, and Naples,
adhered to the cause of Gregory the Twelfth; and Benedict the
Thirteenth, himself a Spaniard, was acknowledged by the devotion
and patriotism of that powerful nation. The rash proceedings of
Pisa were corrected by the council of Constance; the emperor
Sigismond acted a conspicuous part as the advocate or protector
of the Catholic church; and the number and weight of civil and
ecclesiastical members might seem to constitute the
states-general of Europe. Of the three popes, John the
Twenty-third was the first victim: he fled and was brought back a
prisoner: the most scandalous charges were suppressed; the vicar
of Christ was only accused of piracy, murder, rape, sodomy, and
incest; and after subscribing his own condemnation, he expiated
in prison the imprudence of trusting his person to a free city
beyond the Alps. Gregory the Twelfth, whose obedience was
reduced to the narrow precincts of Rimini, descended with more
honor from the throne; and his ambassador convened the session,
in which he renounced the title and authority of lawful pope. To
vanquish the obstinacy of Benedict the Thirteenth or his
adherents, the emperor in person undertook a journey from
Constance to Perpignan. The kings of Castile, Arragon, Navarre,
and Scotland, obtained an equal and honorable treaty; with the
concurrence of the Spaniards, Benedict was deposed by the
council; but the harmless old man was left in a solitary castle
to excommunicate twice each day the rebel kingdoms which had
deserted his cause. After thus eradicating the remains of the
schism, the synod of Constance proceeded with slow and cautious
steps to elect the sovereign of Rome and the head of the church.
On this momentous occasion, the college of twenty-three cardinals
was fortified with thirty deputies; six of whom were chosen in
each of the five great nations of Christendom, - the Italian, the
German, the French, the Spanish, and the English: ^75 the
interference of strangers was softened by their generous
preference of an Italian and a Roman; and the hereditary, as well
as personal, merit of Otho Colonna recommended him to the
conclave. Rome accepted with joy and obedience the noblest of
her sons; the ecclesiastical state was defended by his powerful
family; and the elevation of Martin the Fifth is the aera of the
restoration and establishment of the popes in the Vatican. ^76

[Footnote 75: I cannot overlook this great national cause, which
was vigorously maintained by the English ambassadors against
those of France. The latter contended, that Christendom was
essentially distributed into the four great nations and votes, of
Italy, Germany, France, and Spain, and that the lesser kingdoms
(such as England, Denmark, Portugal, &c.) were comprehended under
one or other of these great divisions. The English asserted,
that the British islands, of which they were the head, should be
considered as a fifth and coordinate nation, with an equal vote;
and every argument of truth or fable was introduced to exalt the
dignity of their country. Including England, Scotland, Wales,
the four kingdoms of Ireland, and the Orkneys, the British
Islands are decorated with eight royal crowns, and discriminated
by four or five languages, English, Welsh, Cornish, Scotch,
Irish, &c. The greater island from north to south measures 800
miles, or 40 days' journey; and England alone contains 32
counties and 52,000 parish churches, (a bold account!) besides
cathedrals, colleges, priories, and hospitals. They celebrate
the mission of St. Joseph of Arimathea, the birth of Constantine,
and the legatine powers of the two primates, without forgetting
the testimony of Bartholomey de Glanville, (A.D. 1360,) who
reckons only four Christian kingdoms, 1. of Rome, 2. of
Constantinople, 3. of Ireland, which had been transferred to the
English monarchs, and 4, of Spain. Our countrymen prevailed in
the council, but the victories of Henry V. added much weight to
their arguments. The adverse pleadings were found at Constance
by Sir Robert Wingfield, ambassador of Henry VIII. to the emperor
Maximilian I., and by him printed in 1517 at Louvain. From a
Leipsic Ms. they are more correctly published in the collection
of Von der Hardt, tom. v.; but I have only seen Lenfant's
abstract of these acts, (Concile de Constance, tom. ii. p. 447,
453, &c.)]

[Footnote 76: The histories of the three successive councils,
Pisa, Constance, and Basil, have been written with a tolerable
degree of candor, industry, and elegance, by a Protestant
minister, M. Lenfant, who retired from France to Berlin. They
form six volumes in quarto; and as Basil is the worst, so
Constance is the best, part of the Collection.]

Chapter LXX: Final Settlement Of The Ecclesiastical State.

Part IV.

The royal prerogative of coining money, which had been
exercised near three hundred years by the senate, was first
resumed by Martin the Fifth, ^77 and his image and superscription
introduce the series of the papal medals. Of his two immediate
successors, Eugenius the Fourth was the last pope expelled by the
tumults of the Roman people, ^78 and Nicholas the Fifth, the last
who was importuned by the presence of a Roman emperor. ^79 I. The
conflict of Eugenius with the fathers of Basil, and the weight or
apprehension of a new excise, emboldened and provoked the Romans
to usurp the temporal government of the city. They rose in arms,
elected seven governors of the republic, and a constable of the
Capitol; imprisoned the pope's nephew; besieged his person in the
palace; and shot volleys of arrows into his bark as he escaped
down the Tyber in the habit of a monk. But he still possessed in
the castle of St. Angelo a faithful garrison and a train of
artillery: their batteries incessantly thundered on the city, and
a bullet more dexterously pointed broke down the barricade of the
bridge, and scattered with a single shot the heroes of the
republic. Their constancy was exhausted by a rebellion of five
months. Under the tyranny of the Ghibeline nobles, the wisest
patriots regretted the dominion of the church; and their
repentance was unanimous and effectual. The troops of St. Peter
again occupied the Capitol; the magistrates departed to their
homes; the most guilty were executed or exiled; and the legate,
at the head of two thousand foot and four thousand horse, was
saluted as the father of the city. The synods of Ferrara and
Florence, the fear or resentment of Eugenius, prolonged his
absence: he was received by a submissive people; but the pontiff
understood from the acclamations of his triumphal entry, that to
secure their loyalty and his own repose, he must grant without
delay the abolition of the odious excise. II. Rome was restored,
adorned, and enlightened, by the peaceful reign of Nicholas the
Fifth. In the midst of these laudable occupations, the pope was
alarmed by the approach of Frederic the Third of Austria; though
his fears could not be justified by the character or the power of
the Imperial candidate. After drawing his military force to the
metropolis, and imposing the best security of oaths ^80 and
treaties, Nicholas received with a smiling countenance the
faithful advocate and vassal of the church. So tame were the
times, so feeble was the Austrian, that the pomp of his
coronation was accomplished with order and harmony: but the
superfluous honor was so disgraceful to an independent nation,
that his successors have excused themselves from the toilsome
pilgrimage to the Vatican; and rest their Imperial title on the
choice of the electors of Germany.

[Footnote 77: See the xxviith Dissertation of the Antiquities of
Muratori, and the 1st Instruction of the Science des Medailles of
the Pere Joubert and the Baron de la Bastie. The Metallic
History of Martin V. and his successors has been composed by two
monks, Moulinet, a Frenchman, and Bonanni, an Italian: but I
understand, that the first part of the series is restored from
more recent coins.]

[Footnote 78: Besides the Lives of Eugenius IV., (Rerum Italic.
tom. iii. P. i. p. 869, and tom. xxv. p. 256,) the Diaries of
Paul Petroni and Stephen Infessura are the best original evidence
for the revolt of the Romans against Eugenius IV. The former,
who lived at the time and on the spot, speaks the language of a
citizen, equally afraid of priestly and popular tyranny.]
[Footnote 79: The coronation of Frederic III. is described by
Lenfant, (Concile de Basle, tom. ii. p. 276 - 288,) from Aeneas
Sylvius, a spectator and actor in that splendid scene.]

[Footnote 80: The oath of fidelity imposed on the emperor by the
pope is recorded and sanctified in the Clementines, (l. ii. tit.
ix.;) and Aeneas Sylvius, who objects to this new demand, could
not foresee, that in a few years he should ascend the throne, and
imbibe the maxims, of Boniface VIII.] A citizen has remarked,
with pride and pleasure, that the king of the Romans, after
passing with a slight salute the cardinals and prelates who met
him at the gate, distinguished the dress and person of the
senator of Rome; and in this last farewell, the pageants of the
empire and the republic were clasped in a friendly embrace. ^81
According to the laws of Rome, ^82 her first magistrate was
required to be a doctor of laws, an alien, of a place at least
forty miles from the city; with whose inhabitants he must not be
connected in the third canonical degree of blood or alliance.
The election was annual: a severe scrutiny was instituted into
the conduct of the departing senator; nor could he be recalled to
the same office till after the expiration of two years. A
liberal salary of three thousand florins was assigned for his
expense and reward; and his public appearance represented the
majesty of the republic. His robes were of gold brocade or
crimson velvet, or in the summer season of a lighter silk: he
bore in his hand an ivory sceptre; the sound of trumpets
announced his approach; and his solemn steps were preceded at
least by four lictors or attendants, whose red wands were
enveloped with bands or streamers of the golden color or livery
of the city. His oath in the Capitol proclaims his right and
duty to observe and assert the laws, to control the proud, to
protect the poor, and to exercise justice and mercy within the
extent of his jurisdiction. In these useful functions he was
assisted by three learned strangers; the two collaterals, and the
judge of criminal appeals: their frequent trials of robberies,
rapes, and murders, are attested by the laws; and the weakness of
these laws connives at the licentiousness of private feuds and
armed associations for mutual defence. But the senator was
confined to the administration of justice: the Capitol, the
treasury, and the government of the city and its territory, were
intrusted to the three conservators, who were changed four times
in each year: the militia of the thirteen regions assembled under
the banners of their respective chiefs, or caporioni; and the
first of these was distinguished by the name and dignity of the
prior. The popular legislature consisted of the secret and the
common councils of the Romans. The former was composed of the
magistrates and their immediate predecessors, with some fiscal
and legal officers, and three classes of thirteen, twenty-six,
and forty, counsellors: amounting in the whole to about one
hundred and twenty persons. In the common council all male
citizens had a right to vote; and the value of their privilege
was enhanced by the care with which any foreigners were prevented
from usurping the title and character of Romans. The tumult of a
democracy was checked by wise and jealous precautions: except the
magistrates, none could propose a question; none were permitted
to speak, except from an open pulpit or tribunal; all disorderly
acclamations were suppressed; the sense of the majority was
decided by a secret ballot; and their decrees were promulgated in
the venerable name of the Roman senate and people. It would not
be easy to assign a period in which this theory of government has
been reduced to accurate and constant practice, since the
establishment of order has been gradually connected with the
decay of liberty. But in the year one thousand five hundred and
eighty the ancient statutes were collected, methodized in three
books, and adapted to present use, under the pontificate, and
with the approbation, of Gregory the Thirteenth: ^83 this civil
and criminal code is the modern law of the city; and, if the
popular assemblies have been abolished, a foreign senator, with
the three conservators, still resides in the palace of the
Capitol. ^84 The policy of the Caesars has been repeated by the
popes; and the bishop of Rome affected to maintain the form of a
republic, while he reigned with the absolute powers of a
temporal, as well as a spiritual, monarch.
[Footnote 81: Lo senatore di Roma, vestito di brocarto con quella
beretta, e con quelle maniche, et ornamenti di pelle, co' quali
va alle feste di Testaccio e Nagone, might escape the eye of
Aeneas Sylvius, but he is viewed with admiration and complacency
by the Roman citizen, (Diario di Stephano Infessura, p. 1133.)]

[Footnote 82: See, in the statutes of Rome, the senator and three
judges, (l. i. c. 3 - 14,) the conservators, (l. i. c. 15, 16,
17, l. iii. c. 4,) the caporioni (l. i. c. 18, l. iii. c. 8,) the
secret council, (l. iii. c. 2,) the common council, (l. iii. c.
3.) The title of feuds, defiances, acts of violence, &c., is
spread through many a chapter (c. 14 - 40) of the second book.]

[Footnote 83: Statuta almoe Urbis Romoe Auctoritate S. D. N.
Gregorii XIII Pont. Max. a Senatu Populoque Rom. reformata et
edita. Romoe, 1580, in folio. The obsolete, repugnant statutes
of antiquity were confounded in five books, and Lucas Paetus, a
lawyer and antiquarian, was appointed to act as the modern
Tribonian. Yet I regret the old code, with the rugged crust of
freedom and barbarism.]

[Footnote 84: In my time (1765) and in M. Grosley's,
(Observations sur l'Italie torn. ii. p. 361,) the senator of Rome
was M. Bielke, a noble Swede and a proselyte to the Catholic
faith. The pope's right to appoint the senator and the
conservator is implied, rather than affirmed, in the statutes.]

It is an obvious truth, that the times must be suited to
extraordinary characters, and that the genius of Cromwell or Retz
might now expire in obscurity. The political enthusiasm of
Rienzi had exalted him to a throne; the same enthusiasm, in the
next century, conducted his imitator to the gallows. The birth
of Stephen Porcaro was noble, his reputation spotless: his tongue
was armed with eloquence, his mind was enlightened with learning;
and he aspired, beyond the aim of vulgar ambition, to free his
country and immortalize his name. The dominion of priests is
most odious to a liberal spirit: every scruple was removed by the
recent knowledge of the fable and forgery of Constantine's
donation; Petrarch was now the oracle of the Italians; and as
often as Porcaro revolved the ode which describes the patriot and
hero of Rome, he applied to himself the visions of the prophetic
bard. His first trial of the popular feelings was at the funeral
of Eugenius the Fourth: in an elaborate speech he called the
Romans to liberty and arms; and they listened with apparent
pleasure, till Porcaro was interrupted and answered by a grave
advocate, who pleaded for the church and state. By every law the
seditious orator was guilty of treason; but the benevolence of
the new pontiff, who viewed his character with pity and esteem,
attempted by an honorable office to convert the patriot into a
friend. The inflexible Roman returned from Anagni with an
increase of reputation and zeal; and, on the first opportunity,
the games of the place Navona, he tried to inflame the casual
dispute of some boys and mechanics into a general rising of the
people. Yet the humane Nicholas was still averse to accept the
forfeit of his life; and the traitor was removed from the scene
of temptation to Bologna, with a liberal allowance for his
support, and the easy obligation of presenting himself each day
before the governor of the city. But Porcaro had learned from
the younger Brutus, that with tyrants no faith or gratitude
should be observed: the exile declaimed against the arbitrary
sentence; a party and a conspiracy were gradually formed: his
nephew, a daring youth, assembled a band of volunteers; and on
the appointed evening a feast was prepared at his house for the
friends of the republic. Their leader, who had escaped from
Bologna, appeared among them in a robe of purple and gold: his
voice, his countenance, his gestures, bespoke the man who had
devoted his life or death to the glorious cause. In a studied
oration, he expiated on the motives and the means of their
enterprise; the name and liberties of Rome; the sloth and pride
of their ecclesiastical tyrants; the active or passive consent of
their fellow-citizens; three hundred soldiers, and four hundred
exiles, long exercised in arms or in wrongs; the license of
revenge to edge their swords, and a million of ducats to reward
their victory. It would be easy, (he said,) on the next day, the
festival of the Epiphany, to seize the pope and his cardinals,
before the doors, or at the altar, of St. Peter's; to lead them
in chains under the walls of St. Angelo; to extort by the threat
of their instant death a surrender of the castle; to ascend the
vacant Capitol; to ring the alarm bell; and to restore in a
popular assembly the ancient republic of Rome. While he
triumphed, he was already betrayed. The senator, with a strong
guard, invested the house: the nephew of Porcaro cut his way
through the crowd; but the unfortunate Stephen was drawn from a
chest, lamenting that his enemies had anticipated by three hours
the execution of his design. After such manifest and repeated
guilt, even the mercy of Nicholas was silent. Porcaro, and nine
of his accomplices, were hanged without the benefit of the
sacraments; and, amidst the fears and invectives of the papal
court, the Romans pitied, and almost applauded, these martyrs of
their country. ^85 But their applause was mute, their pity
ineffectual, their liberty forever extinct; and, if they have
since risen in a vacancy of the throne or a scarcity of bread,
such accidental tumults may be found in the bosom of the most
abject servitude.
[Footnote 85: Besides the curious, though concise, narrative of
Machiavel, (Istoria Florentina, l. vi. Opere, tom. i. p. 210,
211, edit. Londra, 1747, in 4to.) the Porcarian conspiracy is
related in the Diary of Stephen Infessura, (Rer. Ital. tom. iii.
P. ii. p. 1134, 1135,) and in a separate tract by Leo Baptista
Alberti, (Rer. Ital. tom. xxv. p. 609 - 614.) It is amusing to
compare the style and sentiments of the courtier and citizen.
Facinus profecto quo .... neque periculo horribilius, neque
audacia detestabilius, neque crudelitate tetrius, a quoquam
perditissimo uspiam excogitatum sit .... Perdette la vita quell'
huomo da bene, e amatore dello bene e liberta di Roma.]

But the independence of the nobles, which was fomented by
discord, survived the freedom of the commons, which must be
founded in union. A privilege of rapine and oppression was long
maintained by the barons of Rome; their houses were a fortress
and a sanctuary: and the ferocious train of banditti and
criminals whom they protected from the law repaid the hospitality
with the service of their swords and daggers. The private
interest of the pontiffs, or their nephews, sometimes involved
them in these domestic feuds. Under the reign of Sixtus the
Fourth, Rome was distracted by the battles and sieges of the
rival houses: after the conflagration of his palace, the
prothonotary Colonna was tortured and beheaded; and Savelli, his
captive friend, was murdered on the spot, for refusing to join in
the acclamations of the victorious Ursini. ^86 But the popes no
longer trembled in the Vatican: they had strength to command, if
they had resolution to claim, the obedience of their subjects;
and the strangers, who observed these partial disorders, admired
the easy taxes and wise administration of the ecclesiastical
state. ^87

[Footnote 86: The disorders of Rome, which were much inflamed by
the partiality of Sixtus IV. are exposed in the Diaries of two
spectators, Stephen Infessura, and an anonymous citizen. See the
troubles of the year 1484, and the death of the prothonotary
Colonna, in tom. iii. P. ii. p. 1083, 1158.]
[Footnote 87: Est toute la terre de l'eglise troublee pour cette
partialite (des Colonnes et des Ursins) come nous dirions Luce et
Grammont, ou en Hollande Houc et Caballan; et quand ce ne seroit
ce differend la terre de l'eglise seroit la plus heureuse
habitation pour les sujets qui soit dans toute le monde (car ils
ne payent ni tailles ni gueres autres choses,) et seroient
toujours bien conduits, (car toujours les papes sont sages et
bien consellies;) mais tres souvent en advient de grands et
cruels meurtres et pilleries.]

The spiritual thunders of the Vatican depend on the force of
opinion; and if that opinion be supplanted by reason or passion,
the sound may idly waste itself in the air; and the helpless
priest is exposed to the brutal violence of a noble or a plebeian
adversary. But after their return from Avignon, the keys of St.
Peter were guarded by the sword of St. Paul. Rome was commanded
by an impregnable citadel: the use of cannon is a powerful engine
against popular seditions: a regular force of cavalry and
infantry was enlisted under the banners of the pope: his ample
revenues supplied the resources of war: and, from the extent of
his domain, he could bring down on a rebellious city an army of
hostile neighbors and loyal subjects. ^88 Since the union of the
duchies of Ferrara and Urbino, the ecclesiastical state extends
from the Mediterranean to the Adriatic, and from the confines of
Naples to the banks of the Po; and as early as the sixteenth
century, the greater part of that spacious and fruitful country
acknowledged the lawful claims and temporal sovereignty of the
Roman pontiffs. Their claims were readily deduced from the
genuine, or fabulous, donations of the darker ages: the
successive steps of their final settlement would engage us too
far in the transactions of Italy, and even of Europe; the crimes
of Alexander the Sixth, the martial operations of Julius the
Second, and the liberal policy of Leo the Tenth, a theme which
has been adorned by the pens of the noblest historians of the
times. ^89 In the first period of their conquests, till the
expedition of Charles the Eighth, the popes might successfully
wrestle with the adjacent princes and states, whose military
force was equal, or inferior, to their own. But as soon as the
monarchs of France, Germany and Spain, contended with gigantic
arms for the dominion of Italy, they supplied with art the
deficiency of strength; and concealed, in a labyrinth of wars and
treaties, their aspiring views, and the immortal hope of chasing
the Barbarians beyond the Alps. The nice balance of the Vatican
was often subverted by the soldiers of the North and West, who
were united under the standard of Charles the Fifth: the feeble
and fluctuating policy of Clement the Seventh exposed his person
and dominions to the conqueror; and Rome was abandoned seven
months to a lawless army, more cruel and rapacious than the Goths
and Vandals. ^90 After this severe lesson, the popes contracted
their ambition, which was almost satisfied, resumed the character
of a common parent, and abstained from all offensive hostilities,
except in a hasty quarrel, when the vicar of Christ and the
Turkish sultan were armed at the same time against the kingdom of
Naples. ^91 The French and Germans at length withdrew from the
field of battle: Milan, Naples, Sicily, Sardinia, and the
sea-coast of Tuscany, were firmly possessed by the Spaniards; and
it became their interest to maintain the peace and dependence of
Italy, which continued almost without disturbance from the middle
of the sixteenth to the opening of the eighteenth century. The
Vatican was swayed and protected by the religious policy of the
Catholic king: his prejudice and interest disposed him in every
dispute to support the prince against the people; and instead of
the encouragement, the aid, and the asylum, which they obtained
from the adjacent states, the friends of liberty, or the enemies
of law, were enclosed on all sides within the iron circle of
despotism. The long habits of obedience and education subdued
the turbulent spirit of the nobles and commons of Rome. The
barons forgot the arms and factions of their ancestors, and
insensibly became the servants of luxury and government. Instead
of maintaining a crowd of tenants and followers, the produce of
their estates was consumed in the private expenses which multiply
the pleasures, and diminish the power, of the lord. ^92 The
Colonna and Ursini vied with each other in the decoration of
their palaces and chapels; and their antique splendor was
rivalled or surpassed by the sudden opulence of the papal
families. In Rome the voice of freedom and discord is no longer
heard; and, instead of the foaming torrent, a smooth and stagnant
lake reflects the image of idleness and servitude.

[Footnote 88: By the oeconomy of Sixtus V. the revenue of the
ecclesiastical state was raised to two millions and a half of
Roman crowns, (Vita, tom. ii. p. 291 - 296;) and so regular was
the military establishment, that in one month Clement VIII. could
invade the duchy of Ferrara with three thousand horse and twenty
thousand foot, (tom. iii. p. 64) Since that time (A.D. 1597) the
papal arms are happily rusted: but the revenue must have gained
some nominal increase.

Note: On the financial measures of Sixtus V. see Ranke, Dio
Romischen Papste, i. p. 459. - M.]

[Footnote 89: More especially by Guicciardini and Machiavel; in
the general history of the former, in the Florentine history, the
Prince, and the political discourses of the latter. These, with
their worthy successors, Fra Paolo and Davila, were justly
esteemed the first historians of modern languages, till, in the
present age, Scotland arose, to dispute the prize with Italy

[Footnote 90: In the history of the Gothic siege, I have compared
the Barbarians with the subjects of Charles V., (vol. iii. p.
289, 290;) an anticipation, which, like that of the Tartar
conquests, I indulged with the less scruple, as I could scarcely
hope to reach the conclusion of my work.]
[Footnote 91: The ambitious and feeble hostilities of the Caraffa
pope, Paul IV. may be seen in Thuanus (l. xvi. - xviii.) and
Giannone, (tom. iv p. 149 - 163.) Those Catholic bigots, Philip
II. and the duke of Alva, presumed to separate the Roman prince
from the vicar of Christ, yet the holy character, which would
have sanctified his victory was decently applied to protect his

Note: But compare Ranke, Die Romischen Papste, i. p. 289. -
[Footnote 92: This gradual change of manners and expense is
admirably explained by Dr. Adam Smith, (Wealth of Nations, vol.
i. p. 495 - 504,) who proves, perhaps too severely, that the most
salutary effects have flowed from the meanest and most selfish

A Christian, a philosopher, ^93 and a patriot, will be
equally scandalized by the temporal kingdom of the clergy; and
the local majesty of Rome, the remembrance of her consuls and
triumphs, may seem to imbitter the sense, and aggravate the
shame, of her slavery. If we calmly weigh the merits and defects
of the ecclesiastical government, it may be praised in its
present state, as a mild, decent, and tranquil system, exempt
from the dangers of a minority, the sallies of youth, the
expenses of luxury, and the calamities of war. But these
advantages are overbalanced by a frequent, perhaps a septennial,
election of a sovereign, who is seldom a native of the country;
the reign of a young statesman of threescore, in the decline of
his life and abilities, without hope to accomplish, and without
children to inherit, the labors of his transitory reign. The
successful candidate is drawn from the church, and even the
convent; from the mode of education and life the most adverse to
reason, humanity, and freedom. In the trammels of servile faith,
he has learned to believe because it is absurd, to revere all
that is contemptible, and to despise whatever might deserve the
esteem of a rational being; to punish error as a crime, to reward
mortification and celibacy as the first of virtues; to place the
saints of the calendar ^94 above the heroes of Rome and the sages
of Athens; and to consider the missal, or the crucifix, as more
useful instruments than the plough or the loom. In the office of
nuncio, or the rank of cardinal, he may acquire some knowledge of
the world, but the primitive stain will adhere to his mind and
manners: from study and experience he may suspect the mystery of
his profession; but the sacerdotal artist will imbibe some
portion of the bigotry which he inculcates. The genius of Sixtus
the Fifth ^95 burst from the gloom of a Franciscan cloister. In
a reign of five years, he exterminated the outlaws and banditti,
abolished the profane sanctuaries of Rome, ^96 formed a naval and
military force, restored and emulated the monuments of antiquity,
and after a liberal use and large increase of the revenue, left
five millions of crowns in the castle of St. Angelo. But his
justice was sullied with cruelty, his activity was prompted by
the ambition of conquest: after his decease the abuses revived;
the treasure was dissipated; he entailed on posterity thirty-five
new taxes and the venality of offices; and, after his death, his
statue was demolished by an ungrateful, or an injured, people.
^97 The wild and original character of Sixtus the Fifth stands
alone in the series of the pontiffs; the maxims and effects of
their temporal government may be collected from the positive and
comparative view of the arts and philosophy, the agriculture and
trade, the wealth and population, of the ecclesiastical state.
For myself, it is my wish to depart in charity with all mankind,
nor am I willing, in these last moments, to offend even the pope
and clergy of Rome. ^98

[Footnote 93: Mr. Hume (Hist. of England, vol. i. p. 389) too
hastily conclude that if the civil and ecclesiastical powers be
united in the same person, it is of little moment whether he be
styled prince or prelate since the temporal character will always

[Footnote 94: A Protestant may disdain the unworthy preference of
St. Francis or St. Dominic, but he will not rashly condemn the
zeal or judgment of Sixtus V., who placed the statues of the
apostles St. Peter and St. Paul on the vacant columns of Trajan
and Antonine.]

[Footnote 95: A wandering Italian, Gregorio Leti, has given the
Vita di Sisto-Quinto, (Amstel. 1721, 3 vols. in 12mo.,) a copious
and amusing work, but which does not command our absolute
confidence. Yet the character of the man, and the principal
facts, are supported by the annals of Spondanus and Muratori,
(A.D. 1585 - 1590,) and the contemporary history of the great
Thuanus, (l. lxxxii. c. 1, 2, l. lxxxiv c. 10, l. c. c. 8.)
Note: The industry of M. Ranke has discovered the document,
a kind of scandalous chronicle of the time, from which Leti
wrought up his amusing romances. See also M. Ranke's
observations on the Life of Sixtus. by Tempesti, b. iii. p. 317,
324. - M.]

[Footnote 96: These privileged places, the quartieri or
franchises, were adopted from the Roman nobles by the foreign
ministers. Julius II. had once abolished the abominandum et
detestandum franchitiarum hujusmodi nomen: and after Sixtus V.
they again revived. I cannot discern either the justice or
magnanimity of Louis XIV., who, in 1687, sent his ambassador, the
marquis de Lavardin, to Rome, with an armed force of a thousand
officers, guards, and domestics, to maintain this iniquitous
claim, and insult Pope Innocent XI. in the heart of his capital,
(Vita di Sisto V. tom. iii. p. 260 - 278. Muratori, Annali
d'Italia, tom. xv. p. 494 - 496, and Voltaire, Siccle de Louis
XIV. tom. i. c. 14, p. 58, 59.)]

[Footnote 97: This outrage produced a decree, which was inscribed
on marble, and placed in the Capitol. It is expressed in a style
of manly simplicity and freedom: Si quis, sive privatus, sive
magistratum gerens de collocanda vivo pontifici statua mentionem
facere ausit, legitimo S. P. Q. R. decreto in perpetuum infamis
et publicorum munerum expers esto. MDXC. mense Augusto, (Vita di
Sisto V. tom. iii. p. 469.) I believe that this decree is still
observed, and I know that every monarch who deserves a statue
should himself impose the prohibition.]

[Footnote 98: The histories of the church, Italy, and
Christendom, have contributed to the chapter which I now
conclude. In the original Lives of the Popes, we often discover
the city and republic of Rome: and the events of the xivth and
xvth centuries are preserved in the rude and domestic chronicles
which I have carefully inspected, and shall recapitulate in the
order of time.
1. Monaldeschi (Ludovici Boncomitis) Fragmenta Annalium
Roman. A.D. 1328, in the Scriptores Rerum Italicarum of
Muratori, tom. xii. p. 525. N. B. The credit of this fragment is
somewhat hurt by a singular interpolation, in which the author
relates his own death at the age of 115 years.
2. Fragmenta Historiae Romanae (vulgo Thomas Fortifioccae)
in Romana Dialecto vulgari, (A.D. 1327 - 1354, in Muratori,
Antiquitat. Medii Aevi Italiae, tom. iii. p. 247 - 548;) the
authentic groundwork of the history of Rienzi.

3. Delphini (Gentilis) Diarium Romanum, (A.D. 1370 - 1410,)
in the Rerum Italicarum, tom. iii. P. ii. p. 846. 4. Antonii
(Petri) Diarium Rom, (A.D. 1404 - 1417,) tom. xxiv. p. 699.

5. Petroni (Pauli) Miscellanea Historica Romana, (A.D. 1433
- 1446,) tom. xxiv. p. 1101.

6. Volaterrani (Jacob.) Diarium Rom., (A.D. 1472 - 1484,)
tom. xxiii p. 81.

7. Anonymi Diarium Urbis Romae, (A.D. 1481 - 1492,) tom.
iii. P. ii. p. 1069.

8. Infessurae (Stephani) Diarium Romanum, (A.D. 1294, or
1378 - 1494,) tom. iii. P. ii. p. 1109.

9. Historia Arcana Alexandri VI. sive Excerpta ex Diario
Joh. Burcardi, (A.D. 1492 - 1503,) edita a Godefr. Gulielm.
Leibnizio, Hanover, 697, in 4to. The large and valuable Journal
of Burcard might be completed from the MSS. in different
libraries of Italy and France, (M. de Foncemagne, in the Memoires
de l'Acad. des Inscrip. tom. xvii. p. 597 - 606.)

Except the last, all these fragments and diaries are inserted in
the Collections of Muratori, my guide and master in the history
of Italy. His country, and the public, are indebted to him for
the following works on that subject: 1. Rerum Italicarum
Scriptores, (A.D. 500 - 1500,) quorum potissima pars nunc primum
in lucem prodit, &c., xxviii. vols. in folio, Milan, 1723 - 1738,
1751. A volume of chronological and alphabetical tables is still
wanting as a key to this great work, which is yet in a disorderly
and defective state. 2. Antiquitates Italiae Medii Aevi, vi.
vols. in folio, Milan, 1738 - 1743, in lxxv. curious
dissertations, on the manners, government, religion, &c., of the
Italians of the darker ages, with a large supplement of charters,
chronicles, &c. 3. Dissertazioni sopra le Antiquita Italiane,
iii. vols. in 4to., Milano, 1751, a free version by the author,
which may be quoted with the same confidence as the Latin text of
the Antiquities. Annali d' Italia, xviii. vols. in octavo,
Milan, 1753 - 1756, a dry, though accurate and useful, abridgment
of the history of Italy, from the birth of Christ to the middle
of the xviiith century. 5. Dell' Antichita Estense ed Italiane,
ii. vols, in folio, Modena, 1717, 1740. In the history of this
illustrious race, the parent of our Brunswick kings, the critic
is not seduced by the loyalty or gratitude of the subject. In
all his works, Muratori approves himself a diligent and laborious
writer, who aspires above the prejudices of a Catholic priest.
He was born in the year 1672, and died in the year 1750, after
passing near 60 years in the libraries of Milan and Modena, (Vita
del Proposto Ludovico Antonio Muratori, by his nephew and
successor Gian. Francesco Soli Muratori Venezia, 1756 m 4to.)]

Chapter LXXI: Prospect Of The Ruins Of Rome In The Fifteenth

Part I.

Prospect Of The Ruins Of Rome In The Fifteenth Century. -
Four Causes Of Decay And Destruction. - Example Of The Coliseum.
- Renovation Of The City. - Conclusion Of The Whole Work.

In the last days of Pope Eugenius the Fourth, ^* two of his
servants, the learned Poggius ^1 and a friend, ascended the
Capitoline hill; reposed themselves among the ruins of columns
and temples; and viewed from that commanding spot the wide and
various prospect of desolation. ^2 The place and the object gave
ample scope for moralizing on the vicissitudes of fortune, which
spares neither man nor the proudest of his works, which buries
empires and cities in a common grave; and it was agreed, that in
proportion to her former greatness, the fall of Rome was the more
awful and deplorable. "Her primeval state, such as she might
appear in a remote age, when Evander entertained the stranger of
Troy, ^3 has been delineated by the fancy of Virgil. This
Tarpeian rock was then a savage and solitary thicket: in the time
of the poet, it was crowned with the golden roofs of a temple;
the temple is overthrown, the gold has been pillaged, the wheel
of fortune has accomplished her revolution, and the sacred ground
is again disfigured with thorns and brambles. The hill of the
Capitol, on which we sit, was formerly the head of the Roman
empire, the citadel of the earth, the terror of kings;
illustrated by the footsteps of so many triumphs, enriched with
the spoils and tributes of so many nations. This spectacle of
the world, how is it fallen! how changed! how defaced! The path
of victory is obliterated by vines, and the benches of the
senators are concealed by a dunghill. Cast your eyes on the
Palatine hill, and seek among the shapeless and enormous
fragments the marble theatre, the obelisks, the colossal statues,
the porticos of Nero's palace: survey the other hills of the
city, the vacant space is interrupted only by ruins and gardens.
The forum of the Roman people, where they assembled to enact
their laws and elect their magistrates, is now enclosed for the
cultivation of pot-herbs, or thrown open for the reception of
swine and buffaloes. The public and private edifices, that were
founded for eternity, lie prostrate, naked, and broken, like the
limbs of a mighty giant; and the ruin is the more visible, from
the stupendous relics that have survived the injuries of time and
fortune." ^4

[Footnote *: It should be Pope Martin the Fifth. See Gibbon's
own note, ch. lxv, note 51 and Hobhouse, Illustrations of Childe
Harold, p. 155. - M.]
[Footnote 1: I have already (notes 50, 51, on chap. lxv.)
mentioned the age, character, and writings of Poggius; and
particularly noticed the date of this elegant moral lecture on
the varieties of fortune.]

[Footnote 2: Consedimus in ipsis Tarpeiae arcis ruinis, pone
ingens portae cujusdam, ut puto, templi, marmoreum limen,
plurimasque passim confractas columnas, unde magna ex parte
prospectus urbis patet, (p. 5.)]
[Footnote 3: Aeneid viii. 97 - 369. This ancient picture, so
artfully introduced, and so exquisitely finished, must have been
highly interesting to an inhabitant of Rome; and our early
studies allow us to sympathize in the feelings of a Roman.]

[Footnote 4: Capitolium adeo . . . . immutatum ut vineae in
senatorum subellia successerint, stercorum ac purgamentorum
receptaculum factum. Respice ad Palatinum montem . . . . . vasta
rudera . . . . caeteroscolles perlustra omnia vacua aedificiis,
ruinis vineisque oppleta conspicies, (Poggius, de Varietat.
Fortunae p. 21.)]

These relics are minutely described by Poggius, one of the
first who raised his eyes from the monuments of legendary, to
those of classic, superstition. ^5 1. Besides a bridge, an arch,
a sepulchre, and the pyramid of Cestius, he could discern, of the
age of the republic, a double row of vaults, in the salt-office
of the Capitol, which were inscribed with the name and
munificence of Catulus. 2. Eleven temples were visible in some
degree, from the perfect form of the Pantheon, to the three
arches and a marble column of the temple of Peace, which
Vespasian erected after the civil wars and the Jewish triumph.
3. Of the number, which he rashly defines, of seven thermoe, or
public baths, none were sufficiently entire to represent the use
and distribution of the several parts: but those of Diocletian
and Antoninus Caracalla still retained the titles of the
founders, and astonished the curious spectator, who, in observing
their solidity and extent, the variety of marbles, the size and
multitude of the columns, compared the labor and expense with the
use and importance. Of the baths of Constantine, of Alexander,
of Domitian, or rather of Titus, some vestige might yet be found.
4. The triumphal arches of Titus, Severus, and Constantine, were
entire, both the structure and the inscriptions; a falling
fragment was honored with the name of Trajan; and two arches,
then extant, in the Flaminian way, have been ascribed to the
baser memory of Faustina and Gallienus. ^* 5. After the wonder of
the Coliseum, Poggius might have overlooked small amphitheatre of
brick, most probably for the use of the praetorian camp: the
theatres of Marcellus and Pompey were occupied in a great measure
by public and private buildings; and in the Circus, Agonalis and
Maximus, little more than the situation and the form could be
investigated. 6. The columns of Trajan and Antonine were still
erect; but the Egyptian obelisks were broken or buried. A people
of gods and heroes, the workmanship of art, was reduced to one
equestrian figure of gilt brass, and to five marble statues, of
which the most conspicuous were the two horses of Phidias and
Praxiteles. 7. The two mausoleums or sepulchres of Augustus and
Hadrian could not totally be lost: but the former was only
visible as a mound of earth; and the latter, the castle of St.
Angelo, had acquired the name and appearance of a modern
fortress. With the addition of some separate and nameless
columns, such were the remains of the ancient city; for the marks
of a more recent structure might be detected in the walls, which
formed a circumference of ten miles, included three hundred and
seventy-nine turrets, and opened into the country by thirteen

[Footnote 5: See Poggius, p. 8 - 22.]

[Footnote *: One was in the Via Nomentana; est alter praetevea
Gallieno principi dicatus, ut superscriptio indicat, Via
Nomentana. Hobhouse, p. 154. Poggio likewise mentions the
building which Gibbon ambiguously says be "might have
overlooked." - M.]

This melancholy picture was drawn above nine hundred years
after the fall of the Western empire, and even of the Gothic
kingdom of Italy. A long period of distress and anarchy, in
which empire, and arts, and riches had migrated from the banks of
the Tyber, was incapable of restoring or adorning the city; and,
as all that is human must retrograde if it do not advance, every
successive age must have hastened the ruin of the works of
antiquity. To measure the progress of decay, and to ascertain, at
each aera, the state of each edifice, would be an endless and a
useless labor; and I shall content myself with two observations,
which will introduce a short inquiry into the general causes and
effects. 1. Two hundred years before the eloquent complaint of
Poggius, an anonymous writer composed a description of Rome. ^6
His ignorance may repeat the same objects under strange and
fabulous names. Yet this barbarous topographer had eyes and ears;
he could observe the visible remains; he could listen to the
tradition of the people; and he distinctly enumerates seven
theatres, eleven baths, twelve arches, and eighteen palaces, of
which many had disappeared before the time of Poggius. It is
apparent, that many stately monuments of antiquity survived till
a late period, ^7 and that the principles of destruction acted
with vigorous and increasing energy in the thirteenth and
fourteenth centuries. 2. The same reflection must be applied to
the three last ages; and we should vainly seek the Septizonium of
Severus; ^8 which is celebrated by Petrarch and the antiquarians
of the sixteenth century. While the Roman edifices were still
entire, the first blows, however weighty and impetuous, were
resisted by the solidity of the mass and the harmony of the
parts; but the slightest touch would precipitate the fragments of
arches and columns, that already nodded to their fall.

[Footnote 6: Liber de Mirabilibus Romae ex Registro Nicolai
Cardinalis de Amagonia in Bibliotheca St. Isidori Armario IV.,
No. 69. This treatise, with some short but pertinent notes, has
been published by Montfaucon, (Diarium Italicum, p. 283 - 301,)
who thus delivers his own critical opinion: Scriptor xiiimi.
circiter saeculi, ut ibidem notatur; antiquariae rei imperitus
et, ut ab illo aevo, nugis et anilibus fabellis refertus: sed,
quia monumenta, quae iis temporibus Romae supererant pro modulo
recenset, non parum inde lucis mutuabitur qu Romanis
antiquitatibus indagandis operam navabit, (p. 283.)]
[Footnote 7: The Pere Mabillon (Analecta, tom. iv. p. 502) has
published an anonymous pilgrim of the ixth century, who, in his
visit round the churches and holy places at Rome, touches on
several buildings, especially porticos, which had disappeared
before the xiiith century.]

[Footnote 8: On the Septizonium, see the Memoires sur Petrarque,
(tom. i. p. 325,) Donatus, (p. 338,) and Nardini, (p. 117, 414.)]

After a diligent inquiry, I can discern four principal
causes of the ruin of Rome, which continued to operate in a
period of more than a thousand years. I. The injuries of time and
nature. II. The hostile attacks of the Barbarians and
Christians. III. The use and abuse of the materials. And, IV.
The domestic quarrels of the Romans.

I. The art of man is able to construct monuments far more
permanent than the narrow span of his own existence; yet these
monuments, like himself, are perishable and frail; and in the
boundless annals of time, his life and his labors must equally be
measured as a fleeting moment. Of a simple and solid edifice, it
is not easy, however, to circumscribe the duration. As the
wonders of ancient days, the pyramids ^9 attracted the curiosity
of the ancients: a hundred generations, the leaves of autumn,
have dropped ^10 into the grave; and after the fall of the
Pharaohs and Ptolemies, the Caesars and caliphs, the same
pyramids stand erect and unshaken above the floods of the Nile.
A complex figure of various and minute parts to more accessible
to injury and decay; and the silent lapse of time is often
accelerated by hurricanes and earthquakes, by fires and
inundations. The air and earth have doubtless been shaken; and
the lofty turrets of Rome have tottered from their foundations;
but the seven hills do not appear to be placed on the great
cavities of the globe; nor has the city, in any age, been exposed
to the convulsions of nature, which, in the climate of Antioch,
Lisbon, or Lima, have crumbled in a few moments the works of ages
into dust. Fire is the most powerful agent of life and death:
the rapid mischief may be kindled and propagated by the industry
or negligence of mankind; and every period of the Roman annals is
marked by the repetition of similar calamities. A memorable
conflagration, the guilt or misfortune of Nero's reign,
continued, though with unequal fury, either six or nine days. ^11
Innumerable buildings, crowded in close and crooked streets,
supplied perpetual fuel for the flames; and when they ceased,
four only of the fourteen regions were left entire; three were
totally destroyed, and seven were deformed by the relics of
smoking and lacerated edifices. ^12 In the full meridian of
empire, the metropolis arose with fresh beauty from her ashes;
yet the memory of the old deplored their irreparable losses, the
arts of Greece, the trophies of victory, the monuments of
primitive or fabulous antiquity. In the days of distress and
anarchy, every wound is mortal, every fall irretrievable; nor can
the damage be restored either by the public care of government,
or the activity of private interest. Yet two causes may be
alleged, which render the calamity of fire more destructive to a
flourishing than a decayed city. 1. The more combustible
materials of brick, timber, and metals, are first melted or
consumed; but the flames may play without injury or effect on the
naked walls, and massy arches, that have been despoiled of their
ornaments. 2. It is among the common and plebeian habitations,
that a mischievous spark is most easily blown to a conflagration;
but as soon as they are devoured, the greater edifices, which
have resisted or escaped, are left as so many islands in a state
of solitude and safety. From her situation, Rome is exposed to
the danger of frequent inundations. Without excepting the Tyber,
the rivers that descend from either side of the Apennine have a
short and irregular course; a shallow stream in the summer heats;
an impetuous torrent, when it is swelled in the spring or winter,
by the fall of rain, and the melting of the snows. When the
current is repelled from the sea by adverse winds, when the
ordinary bed is inadequate to the weight of waters, they rise
above the banks, and overspread, without limits or control, the
plains and cities of the adjacent country. Soon after the
triumph of the first Punic war, the Tyber was increased by
unusual rains; and the inundation, surpassing all former measure
of time and place, destroyed all the buildings that were situated
below the hills of Rome. According to the variety of ground, the
same mischief was produced by different means; and the edifices
were either swept away by the sudden impulse, or dissolved and
undermined by the long continuance, of the flood. ^13 Under the
reign of Augustus, the same calamity was renewed: the lawless
river overturned the palaces and temples on its banks; ^14 and,
after the labors of the emperor in cleansing and widening the bed
that was encumbered with ruins, ^15 the vigilance of his
successors was exercised by similar dangers and designs. The
project of diverting into new channels the Tyber itself, or some
of the dependent streams, was long opposed by superstition and
local interests; ^16 nor did the use compensate the toil and cost
of the tardy and imperfect execution. The servitude of rivers is
the noblest and most important victory which man has obtained
over the licentiousness of nature; ^17 and if such were the
ravages of the Tyber under a firm and active government, what
could oppose, or who can enumerate, the injuries of the city,
after the fall of the Western empire? A remedy was at length
produced by the evil itself: the accumulation of rubbish and the
earth, that has been washed down from the hills, is supposed to
have elevated the plain of Rome, fourteen or fifteen feet,
perhaps, above the ancient level; ^18 and the modern city is less
accessible to the attacks of the river. ^19

[Footnote 9: The age of the pyramids is remote and unknown, since
Diodorus Siculus (tom. i l. i. c. 44, p. 72) is unable to decide
whether they were constructed 1000, or 3400, years before the
clxxxth Olympiad. Sir John Marsham's contracted scale of the
Egyptian dynasties would fix them about 2000 years before Christ,
(Canon. Chronicus, p. 47.)]

[Footnote 10: See the speech of Glaucus in the Iliad, (Z. 146.)
This natural but melancholy image is peculiar to Homer.]

[Footnote 11: The learning and criticism of M. des Vignoles
(Histoire Critique de la Republique des Lettres, tom. viii. p. 47
- 118, ix. p. 172 - 187) dates the fire of Rome from A.D. 64,
July 19, and the subsequent persecution of the Christians from
November 15 of the same year.]

[Footnote 12: Quippe in regiones quatuordecim Roma dividitur,
quarum quatuor integrae manebant, tres solo tenus dejectae:
septem reliquis pauca testorum vestigia supererant, lacera et
semiusta. Among the old relics that were irreparably lost,
Tacitus enumerates the temple of the moon of Servius Tullius; the
fane and altar consecrated by Evander praesenti Herculi; the
temple of Jupiter Stator, a vow of Romulus; the palace of Numa;
the temple of Vesta cum Penatibus populi Romani. He then
deplores the opes tot victoriis quaesitae et Graecarum artium
decora . . . . multa quae seniores meminerant, quae reparari
nequibant, (Annal. xv. 40, 41.)]

[Footnote 13: A. U. C. 507, repentina subversio ipsius Romae
praevenit triumphum Romanorum. . . . . diversae ignium aquarumque
cladespene absumsere urbem Nam Tiberis insolitis auctus imbribus
et ultra opinionem, vel diuturnitate vel maguitudine redundans
omnia Romae aedificia in plano posita delevit. Diversae
qualitate locorum ad unam convenere perniciem: quoniam et quae
segniori inundatio tenuit madefacta dissolvit, et quae cursus
torrentis invenit impulsa dejecit, (Orosius, Hist. l. iv. c. 11,
p. 244, edit. Havercamp.) Yet we may observe, that it is the plan
and study of the Christian apologist to magnify the calamities of
the Pagan world.]

[Footnote 14: Vidimus flavum Tiberim, retortis
Littore Etrusco violenter undis,
Ire dejectum monumenta Regis
Templaque Vestae.

(Horat. Carm. I. 2.)

If the palace of Numa and temple of Vesta were thrown down in
Horace's time, what was consumed of those buildings by Nero's
fire could hardly deserve the epithets of vetustissima or

[Footnote 15: Ad coercendas inundationes alveum Tiberis laxavit,
ac repurgavit, completum olim ruderibus, et aedificiorum
prolapsionibus coarctatum, (Suetonius in Augusto, c. 30.)]

[Footnote 16: Tacitus (Annal. i. 79) reports the petitions of the
different towns of Italy to the senate against the measure; and
we may applaud the progress of reason. On a similar occasion,
local interests would undoubtedly be consulted: but an English
House of Commons would reject with contempt the arguments of
superstition, "that nature had assigned to the rivers their
proper course," &c.]

[Footnote 17: See the Epoques de la Nature of the eloquent and
philosophic Buffon. His picture of Guyana, in South America, is
that of a new and savage land, in which the waters are abandoned
to themselves without being regulated by human industry, (p. 212,
561, quarto edition.)]

[Footnote 18: In his travels in Italy, Mr. Addison (his works,
vol. ii. p. 98, Baskerville's edition) has observed this curious
and unquestionable fact.]
[Footnote 19: Yet in modern times, the Tyber has sometimes
damaged the city, and in the years 1530, 1557, 1598, the annals
of Muratori record three mischievous and memorable inundations,
(tom. xiv. p. 268, 429, tom. xv. p. 99, &c.)

Note: The level of the Tyber was at one time supposed to be
considerably raised: recent investigations seem to be conclusive
against this supposition. See a brief, but satisfactory statement
of the question in Bunsen and Platner, Roms Beschreibung. vol. i.
p. 29. - M.]

II. The crowd of writers of every nation, who impute the
destruction of the Roman monuments to the Goths and the
Christians, have neglected to inquire how far they were animated
by a hostile principle, and how far they possessed the means and
the leisure to satiate their enmity. In the preceding volumes of
this History, I have described the triumph of barbarism and
religion; and I can only resume, in a few words, their real or
imaginary connection with the ruin of ancient Rome. Our fancy
may create, or adopt, a pleasing romance, that the Goths and
Vandals sallied from Scandinavia, ardent to avenge the flight of
Odin; ^20 to break the chains, and to chastise the oppressors, of
mankind; that they wished to burn the records of classic
literature, and to found their national architecture on the
broken members of the Tuscan and Corinthian orders. But in
simple truth, the northern conquerors were neither sufficiently
savage, nor sufficiently refined, to entertain such aspiring
ideas of destruction and revenge. The shepherds of Scythia and
Germany had been educated in the armies of the empire, whose
discipline they acquired, and whose weakness they invaded: with
the familiar use of the Latin tongue, they had learned to
reverence the name and titles of Rome; and, though incapable of
emulating, they were more inclined to admire, than to abolish,
the arts and studies of a brighter period. In the transient
possession of a rich and unresisting capital, the soldiers of
Alaric and Genseric were stimulated by the passions of a
victorious army; amidst the wanton indulgence of lust or cruelty,
portable wealth was the object of their search; nor could they
derive either pride or pleasure from the unprofitable reflection,
that they had battered to the ground the works of the consuls and
Caesars. Their moments were indeed precious; the Goths evacuated
Rome on the sixth, ^21 the Vandals on the fifteenth, day: ^22
and, though it be far more difficult to build than to destroy,
their hasty assault would have made a slight impression on the
solid piles of antiquity. We may remember, that both Alaric and
Genseric affected to spare the buildings of the city; that they
subsisted in strength and beauty under the auspicious government
of Theodoric; ^23 and that the momentary resentment of Totila ^24
was disarmed by his own temper and the advice of his friends and
enemies. From these innocent Barbarians, the reproach may be
transferred to the Catholics of Rome. The statues, altars, and
houses, of the daemons, were an abomination in their eyes; and in
the absolute command of the city, they might labor with zeal and
perseverance to erase the idolatry of their ancestors. The
demolition of the temples in the East ^25 affords to them an
example of conduct, and to us an argument of belief; and it is
probable that a portion of guilt or merit may be imputed with
justice to the Roman proselytes. Yet their abhorrence was
confined to the monuments of heathen superstition; and the civil
structures that were dedicated to the business or pleasure of
society might be preserved without injury or scandal. The change
of religion was accomplished, not by a popular tumult, but by the
decrees of the emperors, of the senate, and of time. Of the
Christian hierarchy, the bishops of Rome were commonly the most
prudent and least fanatic; nor can any positive charge be opposed
to the meritorious act of saving or converting the majestic
structure of the Pantheon. ^26 ^*
[Footnote 20: I take this opportunity of declaring, that in the
course of twelve years, I have forgotten, or renounced, the
flight of Odin from Azoph to Sweden, which I never very seriously
believed, (vol. i. p. 283.) The Goths are apparently Germans: but
all beyond Caesar and Tacitus is darkness or fable, in the
antiquities of Germany.]

[Footnote 21: History of the Decline, &c., vol. iii. p. 291.]
[Footnote 22: - vol. iii. p. 464.]

[Footnote 23: - vol. iv. p. 23 - 25.]

[Footnote 24: - vol. iv. p. 258.]

[Footnote 25: - vol. iii. c. xxviii. p. 139 - 148.]

[Footnote 26: Eodem tempore petiit a Phocate principe templum,
quod appellatur Pantheon, in quo fecit ecclesiam Sanctae Mariae
semper Virginis, et omnium martyrum; in qua ecclesiae princeps
multa bona obtulit, (Anastasius vel potius Liber Pontificalis in
Bonifacio IV., in Muratori, Script. Rerum Italicarum, tom. iii.
P. i. p. 135.) According to the anonymous writer in Montfaucon,
the Pantheon had been vowed by Agrippa to Cybele and Neptune, and
was dedicated by Boniface IV., on the calends of November, to the
Virgin, quae est mater omnium sanctorum, (p. 297, 298.)]

[Footnote *: The popes, under the dominion of the emperor and of
the exarcha, according to Feas's just observation, did not
possess the power of disposing of the buildings and monuments of
the city according to their own will. Bunsen and Platner, vol. i.
p. 241. - M.]

III. The value of any object that supplies the wants or
pleasures of mankind is compounded of its substance and its form,
of the materials and the manufacture. Its price must depend on
the number of persons by whom it may be acquired and used; on the
extent of the market; and consequently on the ease or difficulty
of remote exportation, according to the nature of the commodity,
its local situation, and the temporary circumstances of the
world. The Barbarian conquerors of Rome usurped in a moment the
toil and treasure of successive ages; but, except the luxuries of
immediate consumption, they must view without desire all that
could not be removed from the city in the Gothic wagons or the
fleet of the Vandals. ^27 Gold and silver were the first objects
of their avarice; as in every country, and in the smallest
compass, they represent the most ample command of the industry
and possessions of mankind. A vase or a statue of those precious
metals might tempt the vanity of some Barbarian chief; but the
grosser multitude, regardless of the form, was tenacious only of
the substance; and the melted ingots might be readily divided and
stamped into the current coin of the empire. The less active or
less fortunate robbers were reduced to the baser plunder of
brass, lead, iron, and copper: whatever had escaped the Goths and
Vandals was pillaged by the Greek tyrants; and the emperor
Constans, in his rapacious visit, stripped the bronze tiles from
the roof of the Pantheon. ^28 The edifices of Rome might be
considered as a vast and various mine; the first labor of
extracting the materials was already performed; the metals were
purified and cast; the marbles were hewn and polished; and after
foreign and domestic rapine had been satiated, the remains of the
city, could a purchaser have been found, were still venal. The
monuments of antiquity had been left naked of their precious
ornaments; but the Romans would demolish with their own hands the
arches and walls, if the hope of profit could surpass the cost of
the labor and exportation. If Charlemagne had fixed in Italy the
seat of the Western empire, his genius would have aspired to
restore, rather than to violate, the works of the Caesars; but
policy confined the French monarch to the forests of Germany; his
taste could be gratified only by destruction; and the new palace
of Aix la Chapelle was decorated with the marbles of Ravenna ^29
and Rome. ^30 Five hundred years after Charlemagne, a king of
Sicily, Robert, the wisest and most liberal sovereign of the age,
was supplied with the same materials by the easy navigation of
the Tyber and the sea; and Petrarch sighs an indignant complaint,
that the ancient capital of the world should adorn from her own
bowels the slothful luxury of Naples. ^31 But these examples of
plunder or purchase were rare in the darker ages; and the Romans,
alone and unenvied, might have applied to their private or public
use the remaining structures of antiquity, if in their present
form and situation they had not been useless in a great measure
to the city and its inhabitants. The walls still described the
old circumference, but the city had descended from the seven
hills into the Campus Martius; and some of the noblest monuments
which had braved the injuries of time were left in a desert, far
remote from the habitations of mankind. The palaces of the
senators were no longer adapted to the manners or fortunes of
their indigent successors: the use of baths ^32 and porticos was
forgotten: in the sixth century, the games of the theatre,
amphitheatre, and circus, had been interrupted: some temples were
devoted to the prevailing worship; but the Christian churches
preferred the holy figure of the cross; and fashion, or reason,
had distributed after a peculiar model the cells and offices of
the cloister. Under the ecclesiastical reign, the number of
these pious foundations was enormously multiplied; and the city
was crowded with forty monasteries of men, twenty of women, and
sixty chapters and colleges of canons and priests, ^33 who
aggravated, instead of relieving, the depopulation of the tenth
century. But if the forms of ancient architecture were
disregarded by a people insensible of their use and beauty, the
plentiful materials were applied to every call of necessity or
superstition; till the fairest columns of the Ionic and
Corinthian orders, the richest marbles of Paros and Numidia, were
degraded, perhaps to the support of a convent or a stable. The
daily havoc which is perpetrated by the Turks in the cities of
Greece and Asia may afford a melancholy example; and in the
gradual destruction of the monuments of Rome, Sixtus the Fifth
may alone be excused for employing the stones of the Septizonium
in the glorious edifice of St. Peter's. ^34 A fragment, a ruin,
howsoever mangled or profaned, may be viewed with pleasure and
regret; but the greater part of the marble was deprived of
substance, as well as of place and proportion; it was burnt to
lime for the purpose of cement. ^* Since the arrival of Poggius,
the temple of Concord, ^35 and many capital structures, had
vanished from his eyes; and an epigram of the same age expresses
a just and pious fear, that the continuance of this practice
would finally annihilate all the monuments of antiquity. ^36 The
smallness of their numbers was the sole check on the demands and
depredations of the Romans. The imagination of Petrarch might
create the presence of a mighty people; ^37 and I hesitate to
believe, that, even in the fourteenth century, they could be
reduced to a contemptible list of thirty-three thousand
inhabitants. From that period to the reign of Leo the Tenth, if
they multiplied to the amount of eighty-five thousand, ^38 the
increase of citizens was in some degree pernicious to the ancient

[Footnote 27: Flaminius Vacca (apud Montfaucon, p. 155, 156. His
memoir is likewise printed, p. 21, at the end of the Roman Antica
of Nardini) and several Romans, doctrina graves, were persuaded
that the Goths buried their treasures at Rome, and bequeathed the
secret marks filiis nepotibusque. He relates some anedotes to
prove, that in his own time, these places were visited and rifled
by the Transalpine pilgrims, the heirs of the Gothic conquerors.]

[Footnote 28: Omnia quae erant in aere ad ornatum civitatis
deposuit, sed e ecclesiam B. Mariae ad martyres quae de tegulis
aereis cooperta discooperuit, (Anast. in Vitalian. p. 141.) The
base and sacrilegious Greek had not even the poor pretence of
plundering a heathen temple, the Pantheon was already a Catholic

[Footnote 29: For the spoils of Ravenna (musiva atque marmora)
see the original grant of Pope Adrian I. to Charlemagne, (Codex
Carolin. epist. lxvii. in Muratori, Script. Ital. tom. iii. P.
ii. p. 223.)]

[Footnote 30: I shall quote the authentic testimony of the Saxon
poet, (A.D. 887 - 899,) de Rebus gestis Caroli magni, l. v. 437 -
440, in the Historians of France, (tom. v. p. 180:)

Ad quae marmoreas praestabat Roma columnas,
Quasdam praecipuas pul hra Ravenna dedit.
De tam longinqua poterit regiona vetustas
Illius ornatum, Francia, ferre tibi.

And I shall add from the Chronicle of Sigebert, (Historians of
France, tom. v. p. 378,) extruxit etiam Aquisgrani basilicam
plurimae pulchritudinis, ad cujus structuram a Roma et Ravenna
columnas et marmora devehi fecit.]
[Footnote 31: I cannot refuse to transcribe a long passage of
Petrarch (Opp. p. 536, 537) in Epistola hortatoria ad Nicolaum
Laurentium; it is so strong and full to the point: Nec pudor aut
pietas continuit quominus impii spoliata Dei templa, occupatas
arces, opes publicas, regiones urbis, atque honores magistratuum
inter se divisos; (habeant?) quam una in re, turbulenti ac
seditiosi homines et totius reliquae vitae consiliis et
rationibus discordes, inhumani foederis stupenda societate
convenirent, in pontes et moenia atque immeritos lapides
desaevirent. Denique post vi vel senio collapsa palatia, quae
quondam ingentes tenuerunt viri, post diruptos arcus triumphales,
(unde majores horum forsitan corruerunt,) de ipsius vetustatis ac
propriae impietatis fragminibus vilem quaestum turpi mercimonio
captare non puduit. Itaque nunc, heu dolor! heu scelus indignum!

de vestris marmoreis columnis, de liminibus templorum, (ad quae
nuper ex orbe toto concursus devotissimus fiebat,) de imaginibus
sepulchrorum sub quibus patrum vestrorum venerabilis civis
(cinis?) erat, ut reliquas sileam, desidiosa Neapolis adornatur.
Sic paullatim ruinae ipsae deficiunt. Yet King Robert was the
friend of Petrarch.]

[Footnote 32: Yet Charlemagne washed and swam at Aix la Chapelle
with a hundred of his courtiers, (Eginhart, c. 22, p. 108, 109,)
and Muratori describes, as late as the year 814, the public baths
which were built at Spoleto in Italy, (Annali, tom. vi. p. 416.)]

[Footnote 33: See the Annals of Italy, A.D. 988. For this and
the preceding fact, Muratori himself is indebted to the
Benedictine history of Pere Mabillon.]

[Footnote 34: Vita di Sisto Quinto, da Gregorio Leti, tom. iii.
p. 50.]
[Footnote *: From the quotations in Bunsen's Dissertation, it may
be suspected that this slow but continual process of destruction
was the most fatal. - M]
[Footnote 35: Porticus aedis Concordiae, quam cum primum ad urbem
accessi vidi fere integram opere marmoreo admodum specioso:
Romani postmodum ad calcem aedem totam et porticus partem
disjectis columnis sunt demoliti, (p. 12.) The temple of Concord
was therefore not destroyed by a sedition in the xiiith century,
as I have read in a MS. treatise del' Governo civile di Rome,
lent me formerly at Rome, and ascribed (I believe falsely) to the
celebrated Gravina. Poggius likewise affirms that the sepulchre
of Caecilia Metella was burnt for lime, (p. 19, 20.)]

[Footnote 36: Composed by Aeneas Sylvius, afterwards Pope Pius
II., and published by Mabillon, from a Ms. of the queen of
Sweden, (Musaeum Italicum, tom. i. p. 97.)

Oblectat me, Roma, tuas spectare ruinas:
Ex cujus lapsu gloria prisca patet.
Sed tuus hic populus muris defossa vetustis


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