The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 5

Part 4 out of 8

they found three canoes, under each of which were three Skrellings
(Esquimaux). They came to blows with the latter and killed eight, but
the ninth escaped with his canoe. Afterward a countless number issued
forth against them from the interior of the bay.

They endeavored to protect themselves by raising battle-screens on the
ship's side. The Skrellings continued shooting at them for a while and
then retired. Thorwald was wounded by an arrow under the arm, and
finding that the wound was mortal he said: "I now advise you to prepare
for your departure as soon as possible, but me ye shall bring to the
promontory, where I thought it good to dwell; it may be that it was a
prophetic word that fell from my mouth about my abiding there for a
season; there shall ye bury me, and plant a cross at my head, and
another at my feet, and call the place Kross-a-Ness (Crossness) in all
time coming." He died, and they did as he had ordered. Afterward they
returned to their companions at Leif's-booths, and spent the winter
there; but in the spring of 1005 they sailed again to Greenland, having
important intelligence to communicate to Leif.

Thorstein, Eric's third son, had resolved to proceed to Vine-land to
fetch his brother's body. He fitted out the same ship, and selected
twenty-five strong and able-bodied men for his crew; his wife, Gudrida,
also went along with him. They were tossed about the ocean during the
whole summer, and knew not whither they were driven; but at the close of
the first week of winter they landed at Lysufiord, in the western
settlement of Greenland.

There Thorstein died during the winter; and in the spring Gudrida
returned again to Ericsfiord.


There was a man named Thorwald; he was a son of Asvald, Ulf's son,
Eyxna-Thori's son. His son's name was Eric. He and his father went from
Jaederen to Iceland, on account of manslaughter, and settled on
Hornstrandir, and dwelt at Draugar. There Thorwald died, and Eric then
married Thorheld, a daughter of Jorund, Atli's son, and Thorbiorg the
sheep-chested, who had been married before to Thorbiorn of the Haukadal

Eric then removed from the north, and cleared land in Haukadal, and
dwelt at Ericsstadir, by Vatnshorn. Then Eric's thralls caused a
landslide on Valthiof's farm, Valthiofsstadir. Eyiolf the Foul,
Valthiof's kinsman, slew the thralls near Skeidsbrekkur, above
Vatnshorn. For this Eric killed Eyiolf the Foul, and he also killed
Duelling-Hrafn, at Leikskalar.

Geirstein and Odd of Jorva, Eyiolf's kinsmen, conducted the prosecution
for the slaying of their kinsmen, and Eric was in consequence banished
from Haukadal. He then took possession of Brokey and Eyxney, and dwelt
at Tradir on Sudrey the first winter. It was at this time that he loaned
Thorgest his outer dais-boards. Eric afterward went to Eyxney, and dwelt
at Ericsstad. He then demanded his outer dais-boards, but did not obtain

Eric then carried the outer dais-boards away from Breidabolstad, and
Thorgest gave chase. They came to blows a short distance from the farm
of Drangar. There two of Thorgest's sons were killed, and certain other
men besides. After this each of them retained a considerable body of men
with him at his home. Styr gave Eric his support, as did also Eyiolf of
Sviney, Thorbiorn, Vifil's son, and the sons of Thorbrand of Alptafirth;
while Thorgest was backed by the sons of Thord the Yeller, and Thorgeir
of Hitardal, Aslak of Langadal, and his son, Illugi. Eric and his people
were condemned to outlawry at Thorsness-thing. He equipped his ship for
a voyage in Ericsvag; while Eyiolf concealed him in Dimunarvag, when
Thorgest and his people were searching for him among the islands. He
said to them that it was his intention to go in search of that land
which Gunnbiorn, son of Ulf the Crow, saw when he was driven out of his
course, westward across the main, and discovered Gunnviorns-skerries.

He told them that he would return again to his friends if he should
succeed in finding that country. Thorbiorn and Eyiolf and Styr
accompanied Eric out beyond the islands, and they parted with the
greatest friendliness. Eric said to them that he would render them
similar aid, so far as it might be within his power, if they should ever
stand in need of his help.

Eric sailed out to sea, from Snaefells-iokul, and arrived at that ice
mountain which is called Blacksark. Thence he sailed to the southward
that he might ascertain whether there was habitable country in that
direction. He passed the first winter at Ericsey, near the middle of the
western settlement.

In the following spring he proceeded to Ericsfirth, and selected a site
there for his homestead. That summer he explored the western uninhabited
region, remaining there for a long time, and assigning many local names
there. The second winter he spent at Ericsholms, beyond Hvarfsgnipa. But
the third summer he sailed northward to Snaefell, and into Hrafnsfirth.
He believed then that he had reached the head of Ericsfirth; he turned
back then, and remained the third winter at Ericsey, at the mouth of

The following summer he sailed to Iceland and landed in Breidafirth. He
remained that winter with Ingolf at Holmlatr. In the spring he and
Thorgest fought together, and Eric was defeated; after this a
reconciliation was effected between them.

That summer Eric set out to colonize the land which he had discovered,
and which he called Greenland, because, he said, men would be the more
readily persuaded thither if the land had a good name. Eric was married
to a woman named Thorhild, and had two sons; one of these was named
Thorstein, and the other Leif. They were both promising men. Thorstein
lived at home with his father, and there was not at that time a man in
Greenland who was accounted of so great promise as he.

Leif had sailed to Norway, where he was at the court of King Olaf
Tryggvason. When Leif sailed from Greenland, in the summer, they were
driven out of their course to the Hebrides. It was late before they got
fair winds thence, and they remained there far into the summer.

Leif became enamoured of a certain woman, whose name was Thorgunna. She
was a woman of fine family, and Leif observed that she was possessed of
rare intelligence. When Leif was preparing for his departure, Thorgunna
asked to be permitted to accompany him. Leif inquired whether she had in
this the approval of her kinsmen. She replied that she did not care for
it. Leif responded that he did not deem it the part of wisdom to abduct
so high-born a woman in a strange country, "and we so few in number."
"It is by no means certain that thou shalt find this to be the better
decision," said Thorgunna. "I shall put it to the proof,
notwithstanding," said Leif. "Then I tell thee," said Thorgunna, "that I
foresee that I shall give birth to a male child; and though thou give
this no heed, yet will I rear the boy, and send him to thee in Greenland
when he shall be fit to take his place with other men. And I foresee
that thou will get as much profit of this son as is thy due from this
our parting; moreover, I mean to come to Greenland myself before the end

Leif gave her a gold finger-ring, a Greenland Wadmal mantle, and a belt
of walrus tusk.

This boy came to Greenland, and was called Thorgils. Leif acknowledged
his paternity, and some men will have it that this Thorgils came to
Iceland in the summer before the Froda-wonder. However, this Thorgils
was afterward in Greenland, and there seemed to be something not
altogether natural about him before the end came. Leif and his
companions sailed away from the Hebrides, and arrived in Norway in the

Leif went to the court of King Olaf Tryggvason. He was well received by
the King, who felt that he could see that Leif was a man of great
accomplishments. Upon one occasion the King came to speech with Leif,
and asked him, "Is it thy purpose to sail to Greenland in the summer?"

"It is my purpose," said Leif, "if it be your will."

"I believe it will be well," answered the King, "and thither thou shalt
go upon my errand, to proclaim Christianity there."

Leif replied that the King should decide, but gave it as his belief that
it would be difficult to carry this mission to a successful issue in
Greenland. The King replied that he knew of no man who would be better
fitted for this undertaking; "and in thy hands the cause will surely

"This can only be," said Leif, "if I enjoy the grace of your

Leif put to sea when his ship was ready for the voyage. For a long time
he was tossed about upon the ocean, and came upon lands of which he had
previously had no knowledge. There were self-sown wheat-fields and vines
growing there. There were also those trees there which are called
"mansur," and of all these they took specimens. Some of the timbers were
so large that they were used in building. Leif found men upon a wreck,
and took them home with him, and procured quarters for them all during
the winter. In this wise he showed his nobleness and goodness, since he
introduced Christianity into the country, and saved the men from the
wreck; and he was called Leif "the Lucky" ever after.

Leif landed in Ericsfirth, and then went home to Brattahlid; he was well
received by everyone. He soon proclaimed Christianity throughout the
land, and the Catholic faith, and announced King Olaf Tryggvason's
messages to the people, telling them how much excellence and how great
glory accompanied this faith.

Eric was slow in forming the determination to forsake his old belief,
but Thiodhild embraced the faith promptly, and caused a church to be
built at some distance from the house. This building was called
Thiodhild's church, and there she and those persons who had accepted
Christianity--and there were many--were wont to offer their prayers.

At this time there began to be much talk about a voyage of exploration
to that country which Leif had discovered. The leader of this expedition
was Thorstein Ericsson, who was a good man and an intelligent, and
blessed with many friends. Eric was likewise invited to join them, for
the men believed that his luck and foresight would be of great
furtherance. He was slow in deciding, but did not say nay when his
friends besought him to go. They thereupon equipped that ship in which
Thorbiorn had come out, and twenty men were selected for the expedition.
They took little cargo with them, naught else save their weapons and

On that morning when Eric set out from his home he took with him a
little chest containing gold and silver; he hid this treasure and then
went his way. He had proceeded but a short distance, however, when he
fell from his horse and broke his ribs and dislocated his shoulder,
whereat he cried, "Ai, ai!" By reason of this accident he sent his wife
word that she should procure the treasure which he had concealed--for to
the hiding of the treasure he attributed his misfortune. Thereafter they
sailed cheerily out of Ericsfirth, in high spirits over their plan. They
were long tossed about upon the ocean, and could not lay the course they

They came in sight of Iceland, and likewise saw birds from the Irish
coast. Their ship was, in sooth, driven hither and thither over the sea.
In autumn they turned back, worn out by toil and exposure to the
elements, and exhausted by their labors, and arrived at Ericsfirth at
the very beginning of winter.

Then said Eric: "More cheerful were we in the summer, when we put out of
the firth, but we still live, and it might have been much worse."

Thorstein answers: "It will be a princely deed to endeavor to look well
after the wants of all these men who are now in need, and to make
provision for them during the winter." Eric answers: "It is ever true,
as it is said, that 'It is never clear ere the winter comes,' and so it
must be here. We will act now upon thy counsel in this matter."

All of the men who were not otherwise provided for accompanied the
father and son. They landed thereupon, and went home to Brattahlid,
where they remained throughout the winter.




(While Buddhism was giving place to Hinduism in India a new faith had
arisen in Arabia. Mahomet, born A.D. 570, created a conquering religion,
and died in 632. Within a hundred years after his death, his followers
had invaded the countries of Asia as far as the Hindu Kush. Here their
progress was stayed, and Islam had to consolidate itself during three
more centuries before it grew strong enough to grasp the rich prize of
India. But almost from the first the Arabs had fixed eager eyes upon
that wealthy empire, and several premature inroads foretold the coming

About fifteen years after the death of the Prophet, Othman sent a naval
expedition to Thana and Broach on the Bombay coast. Other raids toward
Sind took place in 662 and 664, with no lasting results.

Hinduism was for a time submerged, but never drowned, by the tide of
Mahometan conquest, which set steadily toward India about A.D. 1000. At
the present day the south of India remains almost entirely Hindu. By far
the greater number of the Indian feudatory chiefs are still under
Brahman influence. But in the northwest, where the first waves of
invasion have always broken, about one-third of the population now
profess Islam. The upper valley of the Ganges boasts a succession of
Mussulman capitals; and in the swamps of Lower Bengal the bulk of the
non-Aryan or aboriginal population have become converts to the Mahometan
religion. The Mussulmans now make fifty-seven millions of the total of
two hundred and eighty-eight millions in India.

The armies of Islam had carried the crescent throughout Asia west of the
Hindu Kush, and through Africa and Southern Europe, to distant Spain and
France, before they obtained a foothold in the Punjab.

The brilliant attempt in 711 to found a lasting Mahometan dynasty in
Sind failed. Three centuries later, the utmost efforts of a series of
Mussulman invaders from the northwest only succeeded in annexing a small
portion of the frontier Punjab provinces.

The popular notion that India fell an easy prey to the Mussulmans is
opposed to the historical facts. Mahometan rule in India consists of a
series of invasions and partial conquests, during eleven centuries from
Othman's raid, about A.D. 647, to Ahmad Shah's tempest of devastation in

At no time was Islam triumphant throughout all India. Hindu dynasties
always ruled over a large area.

The first collision between Hinduism and Islam on the Punjab frontier
was the act of the Hindus. In 977 Jaipal, the Hindu chief of Lahore,
annoyed by Afghan raids, led his troops through the mountains against
the Mahometan kingdom of Ghazni, in Afghanistan. Subuktigin, the
Ghaznivide prince, after severe fighting, took advantage of a hurricane
to cut off the retreat of the Hindus through the pass. He allowed them,
however, to return to India, on the surrender of fifty elephants and the
promise of one million _dirhams_ [about $125,000].

In 997 Subuktigin died, and was succeeded by his son, Mahmud of Ghazni,
aged sixteen. This valiant monarch, surnamed "the Great," reigned for
thirty-three years, and extended his father's little Afghan kingdom into
a great Mahometan sovereignty, stretching from Persia on the west to far
within the Punjab on the east.)

Mahmud was born about the year 357 of the Hegira--or 350, according to
some authorities--and, as astrologers say, with many happy omens
expressed in the horoscope of his life. Subuktigin, being asleep at the
time of his birth, dreamed that he beheld a green tree springing forth
from his chimney, which threw its shadow over the face of the earth and
screened from the storms of heaven the whole animal creation. This
indeed was verified by the justice of Mahmud; for, if we can believe the
poet, in his reign the wolf and the sheep drank together at the same

When Mahmud had settled his dispute with his brother Ismail, he hastened
to Balik, from whence he sent an ambassador to Munsur, Emperor of
Bokhara, to whom the family of Ghazni still pretended to owe allegiance,
complaining of the indignity which he met with in the appointment of
Buktusin to the government of Khorassan, a country so long in possession
of his father. It was returned to him for answer that he was already in
possession of the territories of Balik, Turmuz, and Herat, which was
part of the empire, and that there was a necessity to divide the favors
of Bokhara among her friends. Buktusin, it was also insinuated, had been
a faithful and good servant; which seemed to throw a reflection upon the
family of Ghazni, who had rendered themselves independent in the
governments they held of the royal house of Samania. Mahmud, not
discouraged by this answer, sent Hasan Jemmavi with rich presents to the
court of Bokhara, and a letter in the following terms: "That he hoped
the pure spring of friendship, which had flowed in the time of his
father, should not now be polluted with the ashes of indignity, nor
Mahmud be reduced to the necessity of divesting himself of that
obedience which he had hitherto paid to the imperial family of Samania."

When Hasan delivered his embassy, his capacity and elocution appeared so
great to the Emperor, that, desirous to gain him over to his interest by
any means, he bribed him at last with the honors of the wazirate, but
never returned an answer to Mahmud. That prince having received
information of this transaction, through necessity turned his face
toward Nishapur, and marched to Murgab. Buktusin, in the mean time,
treacherously entered into a confederacy with Faek, and, forming a
conspiracy in the camp of Munsur, seized upon the person of that prince
and cruelly put out his eyes. Abdul, the younger brother of Munsur, who
was but a boy, was advanced by the traitors to the throne. Being,
however, afraid of the resentment of Mahmud, the conspirators hastened
to Merv, whither they were pursued by the King with great expedition.
Finding themselves, upon their march, hard pressed in the rear by
Mahmud, they halted and gave him battle. But the sin of ingratitude had
darkened the face of their fortune, so that the breeze of victory blew
upon the standards of the King of Ghazni.

Faek carried off the young King, and fled to Bokhara, and Buktusin was
not heard of for some time, but at length he found his way to his
fellows in iniquity and began to collect his scattered troops. Faek, in
the mean time, fell ill and soon afterward expired. Elak, the Usbek
King, seizing upon the opportunity offered him by that event, marched
with an army from Kashgar to Bokhara and deprived Abdul-Mallek and his
adherents of life and empire at the same time. Thus perished the last of
the house of Samania, which had reigned for the space of one hundred and
twenty-seven years.

The Emperor of Ghazni, at this juncture, employed himself in settling
the government of the provinces of Balik and Khorassan, the affairs of
which he regulated in such an able manner that the fame thereof reached
the ears of the Caliph of Bagdad, the illustrious Al-Kadar Balla, of the
noble house of Abbas. The Caliph sent him a rich dress of honor, such as
he had never before bestowed on any king, and dignified Mahmud with the
titles of the Protector of the State and Treasurer of Fortune. In the
end of the month Zikada, in the year of the Hegira 390, Mahmud hastened
from the city of Balak to Herat, and from Herat to Sistan, where he
defeated Khaliph, the son of Achmet, the governor of that province of
the extinguished family of Bokhara, and returned to Ghazni. He then
turned his face toward India, took many forts and provinces, in which,
having appointed his own governors, he returned to his dominions where
he "spread the carpet of justice so smoothly upon the face of the earth
that the love of him, and loyalty, gained a place in every heart."

Having negotiated a treaty with Elak the Usbek, the province of
Maver-ul-nere was ceded to him, for which he made an ample return in
presents of great value; and the closest friendship and familiarity, for
a long time, existed between the kings.

Mahmud made a vow to heaven that if ever he should be blessed with
tranquillity in his own dominions he would turn his arms against the
idolaters of Hindustan. He marched in the year 391 (Ad Hegira) from
Ghazni with ten thousand of his chosen horse, and came to Peshawur,
where Jipal, the Indian prince of Lahore, with twelve thousand horse and
thirty thousand foot, supported by three hundred chain-elephants,
opposed him. On Saturday, the 8th of the month Mohirrim, in the year 392
of the Hegira, an obstinate battle ensued, in which the Emperor was
victorious; Jipal, with fifteen of his principal officers, was taken
prisoner, and five thousand of his troops lay dead upon the field.
Mahmud in this action acquired great wealth and fame, for round the neck
of Jipal alone were found sixteen strings of jewels, each of which was
valued at one hundred and eighty thousand rupees.

After this victory, the Emperor marched from Peshawur, and investing the
fort of Batandi, reduced it, releasing his prisoners upon the payment of
a large ransom, and the further stipulation of an annual tribute, then
returned to Ghazni. It was in those days a custom of the Hindus that
whatever rajah was twice defeated by the Moslems should be, by that
disgrace, rendered ineligible for further command. Jipal, in compliance
with this custom, having raised his son to the government, ordered a
funeral pile to be prepared, upon which he sacrificed himself to his

A year later, Mahmud again marched into Sistan, and brought Kaliph, who
had mismanaged his government, prisoner to Ghazni. Finding that the
tribute from Hindustan had not been paid, in the year A.H. 395 he
directed his march toward the city of Battea, and, leaving the
boundaries of Multan, arrived at Tahera, which was fortified with an
exceeding high wall and a deep, broad ditch. Tahera was at that time
governed by a prince called Bakhera, who had, in the pride of power and
wealth, greatly troubled the Mahometan governors whom Mahmud had
delegated to rule in Hindustan. Bakhera had also refused to pay his
proportion of the tribute to Annandpal, the son of Jipal, of whom he
held his authority.

When Mahmud entered the territories of Bakhera, that prince called out
his troops to receive him, and, taking possession of a strong position,
engaged the Mahometan army for the space of three days; in which time
they suffered so much that they were on the point of abandoning the
attack. But on the fourth day, Mahmud appeared at the head of his
troops, and addressed them at length, encouraging them to win glory. He
concluded by telling them that this day he had devoted himself to
conquest or to death. Bakhera, on his part, invoked the gods at the
temple, and prepared, with his former resolution, to repel the enemy.
The Mahometans charged with their usual impetuosity, but were repulsed
with great slaughter; yet returning with fresh courage and redoubled
rage, the attack was continued until the evening, when Mahmud, turning
his face to the holy Kaaba, invoked the aid of the Prophet in the
presence of his army.

"Advance! advance!" cried then the King. "Our prayers have found favor
with God!"

Immediately a great shout arose among the host, and the Moslems,
pressing forward as if they courted death, obliged the enemy to give
ground, and pursued them in full retreat to the gates of the city.

The Emperor having next morning invested the place, gave orders to make
preparations for filling up the ditch, which task in a few days was
nearly completed. Bakhera, finding he could not long defend the city,
determined to leave only a small garrison for its defence; and
accordingly, one night, he marched out with the rest of his troops, and
took position in a wood on the banks of the Indus. Mahmud, being
informed of his retreat, detached part of his army to pursue him.
Bakhera, by this time, was deserted by fortune and consequently by most
of his friends; he found himself surrounded by the Mahometans and
attempted in vain to force his way through them. When just on the point
of being taken prisoner, he turned his sword against his breast, while
the most of his adherents were slaughtered in attempting to avenge his
death. Mahmud, in the mean time, had taken Tahera by assault; and found
there one hundred and twenty elephants, many slaves, and much plunder.
He annexed the town and its dependencies to his own dominions, and
returned victorious to Ghazni.

In the year A.H. 396 he formed the design of reconquering Multan, which
had revolted from his rule. Achmet Lodi, the regent of Multan, had
formerly acknowledged the suzerainty of Mahmud, and after him his
grandson Daud, till the expedition against Bakhera, when Daud withdrew
his allegiance. The King marched in the beginning of the spring, with a
great army from Ghazni, and was met by Annandpal, the son of Jipal,
Prince of Lahore, in the hills of Peshawur, whom he defeated and obliged
to fly into Cashmere. Annandpal had entered into an alliance with Daud;
and as there were two passes only by which the Mahometans could enter
Multan, Annandpal had taken upon himself to secure that by the way of
Peshawur, which Mahmud chanced to take. The Sultan, returning from the
pursuit, entered Multan by the way of Betanda, which was his first
intention. When Daud received intelligence of the fate of Annandpal,
thinking himself too weak to keep the field, he shut himself up in his
fortified place and humbly solicited forgiveness for his fault,
promising to pay a large tribute and in the future to obey implicitly
the Sultan's command. Mahmud received him again as a vassal, and
prepared to return to Ghazni, when news was brought to him from
Arsallah, who commanded at Herat, that Elak, the King of Kashgar, had
invaded his realm with an army. The King hastened to settle the affairs
of Hindustan, which he put into the hands of Shokpal, a Hindu prince who
had resided with Abu-Ali, governor of Peshawur, and had turned
Mussulman, taking the name of Zab Sais.

The particulars of the war of Mahmud with Elak are these: It has already
been mentioned that an uncommon friendship had existed between this
Elak, the Usbek king of Kashgar, a kingdom in Tartary, and Mahmud. The
Emperor himself was married to the daughter of Elak, but some factious
men about the two courts, by misrepresentations of the princes to one
another, changed their former friendship to enmity. When Mahmud
therefore marched into Hindustan, and had left the field of Khorassan
almost destitute of troops, Elak took advantage of the opportunity, and
resolved to appropriate that province to himself. To accomplish his
design he ordered his general-in-chief Sapastagi, with a large force, to
enter Khorassan; and Jaffir Taghi at the same time was appointed to
command in the territory of Balak. Arsallah, the governor of Herat,
being informed of these motions, hastened to Ghazni, that he might
secure the capital. In the mean time the chiefs of Khorassan, finding
themselves deserted and being in no condition to oppose the enemy,
submitted themselves to Sapastagi, the general of Elak.

But Mahmud, having by great marches reached Ghazni, flowed onward like a
torrent with his army toward Balak. Taghi, who had by this time
possessed himself of the place, fled toward Turmuz at his approach. The
Emperor then detached Arsallah with a great part of his army to drive
Sapastagi out of Khorassan; and he also, upon the approach of the troops
of Ghazni, abandoned Herat, and marched toward Maber-ul-nere.

The King of Kashgar, seeing the bad state of his affairs, solicited the
aid of Kudar, King of Chuton, a province of Tartary, on the confines of
China, and that prince marched to join him with fifty thousand horse.
Strengthened by this alliance, he crossed, with the confederate armies,
the river Gaon, which was five parasangs from Balak, and opposed himself
to the camp of Mahmud. That monarch immediately drew up his army in
order of battle, giving the command of the centre to his brother, the
noble Nasir, supported by Abu-Nasir, governor of Gorgan, and by
Abdallah, a chief of reputation in arms. The right wing he committed to
the care of Alta Sash, an old experienced officer, while the left was
the charge of the valiant Arsallah, a chief of the Afghans. The front of
his line he strengthened with five hundred chain-elephants, with open
spaces behind them, to facilitate their retreat in case of a defeat.

The King of Kashgar posted himself in the centre, the noble Kudir led
the right, and Taghi the left. The armies advanced to the charge. The
shouts of warriors, the neighing of horses, and the clashing of arms
reached the broad arch of heaven, while dust obscured the face of day.

Elak, advancing with some chosen squadrons, threw the centre of Mahmud's
army into disorder. Mahmud, perceiving the enemy's progress, leaped from
his horse, and, kissing the ground, invoked the aid of the Almighty. He
then mounted an elephant-of-war, encouraged his troops, and made a
violent assault upon Elak. The elephant seizing the standard-bearer of
the enemy, folded his trunk around him and tossed him aloft in the air.
He then surged forward like a mountain removed from its base by an
earthquake, and trod the enemy under his feet like locusts. When the
troops of Ghazni saw their King forcing his way alone through the
enemy's ranks they rushed forward with headlong impetuosity and drove
the enemy with great slaughter before them. Elak, abandoned by fortune
and his army, turned his face to fly. He crossed the river with a few of
his surviving friends, never afterward appearing in the field to dispute
the victory with Mahmud.

The King after this triumph marched two days after the runaways. On the
third night a great storm of wind and snow overtook the Ghaznian army in
the desert. The King's tents were pitched with much difficulty, while
the army was obliged to lie in the snow. Mahmud, having ordered great
fires to be kindled around his tents, they became so warm that many of
the courtiers began to take off their upper garments; when a facetious
chief, whose name was Dalk, came in shivering with the cold, at which
the King, observing, said: "Go out, Dalk, and tell the Winter that he
may burst his cheeks with blustering, for here we value not his
resentment." Dalk went out accordingly, and, returning in a short time,
kissed the ground, and thus addressed the King: "I have delivered the
King's message to Winter, but the Surly Season replied that if his hands
cannot tear the skirts of Royalty and hurt the attendants of the King,
yet he will so use his power to-night on his army that in the morning
Mahmud will be obliged to saddle his own horses."

The King smiled at this reply, but it presently rendered him more
thoughtful and he determined to proceed no farther. In the morning some
hundreds of men and horses were found to have perished with the cold.
Mahmud at the same time received advices from India, that Zab Sais, the
renegade Hindu, had thrown off his allegiance, and, returning to his
former religion, expelled all the officers who had been appointed by the
King, from their respective departments. The King immediately determined
to punish this renegade, and with great expedition advanced toward
India. He sent on a part of his cavalry in front, which, coming
unexpectedly upon Zab Sais, defeated him and brought him prisoner to the
King. The rebel was fined four lacs of rupees, of which Mahmud made a
present to his treasurer, and made Zab Sais a prisoner for life.

Mahmud, having thus settled his affairs in India, returned in autumn to
Ghazni, where he remained for the winter in peace. But in the spring of
the year A.H. 399 Annandpal, sovereign of Lahore, began to raise
disturbance in Multan, so that the King was obliged to undertake another
expedition into those parts, with a great army, to correct the Indians.
Annandpal, hearing of his intentions, sent ambassadors everywhere to
request the assistance of the other princes of Hindustan, who considered
the extirpation of the Moslems from India as a meritorious and political
as well as a religious action.

Accordingly the princes of Ugin, Gualier, Callinger, Kannoge, Delhi, and
Ajmere entered into a confederacy, and, collecting their forces,
advanced toward the heads of the Indus, with the greatest army that had
been for some centuries seen upon the field in India. The two armies
came in sight of one another in a great plain near the confines of the
province of Peshawur. They remained there encamped forty days without
action: but the troops of the idolaters daily increased in number. They
were joined by the Gakers, and other tribes with their armies, and
surrounded the Mahometans, who, fearing a general assault, were obliged
to intrench themselves.

The King, having thus secured himself, ordered a thousand archers to the
front, to endeavor to provoke the enemy to advance to the intrenchments.
The archers accordingly were attacked by the Gakers, who,
notwithstanding all the King could do, pursued the retreating bowmen
within the trenches, where a dreadful scene of carnage ensued on both
sides, in which five thousand Moslems in a few minutes were slain. The
enemy's soldiers being now cut down as fast as they advanced, the attack
grew weaker, when suddenly the elephant which carried the Prince of
Lahore, who was chief in command, took fright at the report of a gun
(_sic_), and turned tail in flight.

This circumstance struck the Hindus with a panic, for, thinking they
were deserted by their general, they immediately followed the example.
Abdallah, with six thousand Arabian horse, and Arsallah, with ten
thousand Turks, Afghans, and Chilligis, pursued the enemy for two days
and nights; so that twenty thousand Hindus were killed in their
flight--in addition to the great multitude that fell on the field of

Thirty elephants, with much rich plunder, were brought to the King, who,
to establish the faith, marched against the Hindus of Nagrakot, breaking
down their idols and destroying their temples. There was at that time,
in the territory of Nagrakot, a strong fort called Bima, which Mahmud
invested after having destroyed the country round about with fire and
sword. Bima was built by a prince of the same name, on the top of a
steep mountain; and here the Hindus--on account of its strength--had
deposited the wealth consecrated to their idols in all the neighboring
kingdoms; so that in this fort, it was said, there was a greater
quantity of gold, silver, precious stones, and pearls than ever had been
collected in the royal treasury of any prince on earth.

Mahmud invested the place with such expedition that the Hindus had not
time to send troops into it for its defence--the greater part of the
garrison having been sent to the field. Those within consisted, for the
most part, of priests, who being adverse to the bloody business of war,
in a few days solicited permission to capitulate. Their request being
granted, they opened the gates and fell upon their faces before Mahmud,
who with a few of his officers and attendants immediately entered and
took possession of the place.

In Bima were found: seven hundred thousand _dinars_; seven hundred
maunds of gold and silver plate; forty maunds of pure gold in ingots;
two thousand maunds of silver bullion, and twenty maunds of various
jewels set, which had been collecting from the time of Bima. With this
immense treasure the King returned to Ghazni, and in the year A.H. 400
held a magnificent festival, where he displayed to the people his wealth
in golden thrones, and in other rich receptacles, in a great plain
without the city of Ghazni; and after the feast every individual
received a princely gift.

In the following year Mahmud led his army toward Ghor. The native prince
of that country, Mahomet of the Sur tribe of Afghans, with ten thousand
troops, opposed him. The King, finding that the troops of Ghor defended
themselves in their intrenchments with such obstinacy, commanded his
army to make a feint of retreating, to lure the enemy out of their
fortified camp, which manoeuvre proved successful. The Ghorians, being
deceived, pursued the army of Ghazni to the plain, where the King,
facing round with his troops, attacked them with great impetuosity.
Mahomet was taken prisoner and brought to the King; but in his despair
he had taken poison, which he always kept under his ring, and died in a
few hours. His country was annexed to the dominion of Ghazni. Some
historians affirm that neither the sovereigns of Ghor nor its
inhabitants were Mussulmans till after this victory; while others of
good credit assure us that they were converted many years before, even
so early as the time of the famous Ali, the son-in-law of the Prophet.

Mahmud, in the same year, was under the necessity of marching again to
Multan, which had revolted; but having soon reduced it, and cut off a
great number of the chiefs, he brought Daud, the son of Nazir, the
rebellious governor, prisoner to Ghazni, and imprisoned him in the fort
of Gorci for life.

In the year A.H. 402, the passion of war fermenting in the mind of
Mahmud, he resolved upon the conquest of Tannasar, in the kingdom of
Hindustan. It had reached the ears of the King that Tannasar was held in
the same veneration by idolaters as Mecca was by the Mahometans; that
there they had set up a great number of idols, the chief of which they
called Jug Sum. This Jug Sum, they pretended to say, existed when as yet
the world existed not. When the King reached the country about the five
branches of the Indus, he desired that--according to the treaty that
existed between himself and Annandpal--he should not be disturbed by his
march through that country. He accordingly sent an embassy to Annandpal,
advising him of his intentions, and desiring him to send guards for the
protection of his towns and villages, which he, the King, would take
care should not be molested by the followers of his camp.

Annandpal agreed to this proposal, and prepared an entertainment for the
reception of the King, issuing an order for all his subjects to supply
the royal camp with every necessary of life. In the mean time he sent
his brother with two thousand horse to meet the King and deliver this

"That he was the subject and slave of the King; but that he begged
permission to acquaint his Majesty that Tannasar was the principal place
of worship of the inhabitants of that country; that if it was a virtue
required by the religion of Mahmud to destroy the religion of others, he
had already acquitted himself of that duty to his God in the destruction
of the temple of Nagracot; but if he should be pleased to alter his
resolution against Tannasar, Annandpal would undertake that the amount
of the revenues of that country should be annually paid to Mahmud, to
reimburse the expense of his expedition: that besides, he, on his own
part, would present him with fifty elephants, and jewels to a
considerable amount."

The King replied: "That in the Mahometan religion it was an established
tenet that the more the glory of the Prophet was exalted, and the more
his followers exerted themselves in the subversion of idolatry, the
greater would be their reward in heaven; that therefore it was his firm
resolution, with the assistance of God, to root out the abominable
worship of idols from the land of India: why then should he spare

When this news reached the Indian king of Delhi, he prepared to oppose
the invaders, sending messages all over Hindustan to acquaint the rajahs
that Mahmud, without any reason or provocation, was marching with an
innumerable army to destroy Tannasar, which was under his immediate
protection: that if a dam was not expeditiously raised against this
roaring torrent, the country of Hindustan would soon be overwhelmed in
ruin, and the tree of prosperity rooted up; that therefore it was
advisable for them to join their forces at Tannasar, to oppose with
united strength the impending danger. But Mahmud reached Tannasar before
they could take any measure for its defence, plundered the city and
broke the idols, sending Jug Sum to Ghazni, where he was soon stripped
of his ornaments. He then ordered his head to be struck off and his body
to be thrown on the highway. According to the account of the historian
Hago Mahomet of Kandahar, there was a ruby found in one of the temples
which weighed four hundred and fifty miskals!

Mahmud, after these transactions at Tannasar, proceeded to Delhi, which
he also took, and wanted greatly to annex to his dominions, but his
nobles told him that it was impossible to keep the rajahship of Delhi
till he had entirely subjected Multan to Mahometan rule, destroyed the
power and exterminated the family of Annandpal, Prince of Lahore, which
lay between Delhi and the northern dominions of Mahmud. The King
approved of this counsel, and immediately determined to proceed no
further against that country, till he had accomplished the reduction of
Multan and Annandpal. But that prince behaved with so much policy and
hospitality that he changed the purpose of the King, who returned to
Ghazni. He brought to Ghazni forty thousand captives and much wealth, so
that that city could now be hardly distinguished in riches from India


A.D. 1017


(After the success of King Alfred over the Danes in the last quarter of
the ninth century, England enjoyed a considerable respite from the
invasions of the bold ravagers who had caused great suffering and loss
to the country. This immunity of England seems to have been partly due
to the fact that the Danish adventurers had gained a foothold in the
north of France, where they found all the employment they needed in
maintaining their establishments. Under the reign of Edward the
Elder--chosen to succeed Alfred--the English enjoyed an interval of
comparative peace and industry. During this time and under the following
reigns, known as those of the Six Boy-Kings, the social side of life had
an opportunity to develop from a semi-barbarous to a more civilized
state. The bare and rough walls of hall and court were screened by
tapestry hangings, often of silk, and elaborately ornamented with birds
and flowers or scenes from the battlefield or the chase. Chairs and
tables were skilfully carved and inlaid with different woods and, among
the wealthier nobility, often decorated with gold and silver. Knives and
spoons were now used at table--the fork was to come many long years
later; golden ornaments were worn; and a variety of dishes were
fashioned, often of precious metals, brass, and even bone. The bedstead
became a household article, no longer looked upon with superstitious
awe; and musical instruments--principally of the harp pattern--began to
find favor in their eyes, and were passed round from hand to hand, like
the drinking-bowl, at their rude festivals.

But toward the end of a century following the victories of Alfred the
Danes again threatened an invasion, and in 981-991 they made several
landings, in the latter year overrunning much territory. King Ethelred
[the "Unready"] procured their departure by bribery, which led the Danes
to repeat their visit the next year, following it up by a descent in
force under King Sweyn of Denmark and Olaf of Norway. They defeated the
English in battle and ravaged a great part of the country, exacting as
before ruinous contributions from the already impoverished people. After
the siege and taking of London, 1011-1013, the flight of the cowardly
Ethelred to the court of Normandy, the sudden death of Sweyn, who had
been but a few months before proclaimed King of England, and the return
of Ethelred to his throne, Canute, the son of Sweyn, claimed the crown
and ravaged the land in the manner and custom of his race. The
complications and strife engendered by the rival claims of the Dane and
Edmund ["Ironside"], son of Ethelred, and which ended in the triumph of
Canute and the complete subjugation of England, are hereinafter narrated
by Hume, the English historian.)

The Danes had been established during a longer period in England than in
France; and though the similarity of their original language to that of
the Saxons invited them to a more early coalition with the natives, they
had hitherto found so little example of civilized manners among the
English that they retained all their ancient ferocity, and valued
themselves only on their national character of military bravery. The
recent as well as more ancient achievements of their countrymen tended
to support this idea; and the English princes, particularly Athelstan
and Edgar, sensible of that superiority, had been accustomed to keep in
pay bodies of Danish troops, who were quartered about the country and
committed many violences upon the inhabitants. These mercenaries had
attained to such a height of luxury, according to the old English
writers, that they combed their hair once a day, bathed themselves once
a week, changed their clothes frequently; and by all these arts of
effeminacy, as well as by their military character, had rendered
themselves so agreeable to the fair sex that they debauched the wives
and daughters of the English and dishonored many families. But what most
provoked the inhabitants was that, instead of defending them against
invaders, they were ever ready to betray them to the foreign Danes, and
to associate themselves with all straggling parties of that nation.

The animosity between the inhabitants of English and Danish race had,
from these repeated injuries, risen to a great height, when Ethelred
(1002), from a policy incident to weak princes, embraced the cruel
resolution of massacring the latter throughout all his dominions. Secret
orders were despatched to commence the execution everywhere on the same
day, and the festival of St. Brice, which fell on a Sunday, the day on
which the Danes usually bathed themselves, was chosen for that purpose.
It is needless to repeat the accounts transmitted concerning the
barbarity of this massacre: the rage of the populace, excited by so many
injuries, sanctioned by authority, and stimulated by example,
distinguished not between innocence and guilt, spared neither sex nor
age, and was not satiated without the tortures as well as death of the
unhappy victims. Even Gunhilda, sister to the King of Denmark, who had
married Earl Paling and had embraced Christianity, was, by the advice of
Edric, Earl of Wilts, seized and condemned to death by Ethelred, after
seeing her husband and children butchered before her face. This unhappy
princess foretold, in the agonies of despair, that her murder would soon
be avenged by the total ruin of the English nation.

Never was prophecy better fulfilled, and never did barbarous policy
prove more fatal to the authors. Sweyn and his Danes, who wanted but a
pretence for invading the English, appeared off the western coast, and
threatened to take full revenge for the slaughter of their countrymen.
Exeter fell first into their hands, from the negligence or treachery of
Earl Hugh, a Norman, who had been made governor by the interest of Queen
Emma. They began to spread their devastations over the country, when the
English, sensible what outrages they must now expect from their
barbarous and offended enemy, assembled more early and in greater
numbers than usual, and made an appearance of vigorous resistance. But
all these preparations were frustrated by the treachery of Duke Alfric,
who was intrusted with the command, and who, feigning sickness, refused
to lead the army against the Danes, till it was dispirited and at last
dissipated by his fatal misconduct. Alfric soon after died, and Edric, a
greater traitor than he, who had married the King's daughter and had
acquired a total ascendant over him, succeeded Alfric in the government
of Mercia and in the command of the English armies. A great famine,
proceeding partly from the bad seasons, partly from the decay of
agriculture, added to all the other miseries of the inhabitants. The
country, wasted by the Danes, harassed by the fruitless expeditions of
its own forces, was reduced to the utmost desolation, and at last
submitted (1007) to the infamy of purchasing a precarious peace from the
enemy by the payment of thirty thousand pounds.

The English endeavored to employ this interval in making preparations
against the return of the Danes, which they had reason soon to expect. A
law was made, ordering the proprietors of eight hides of land to provide
each a horseman and a complete suit of armor, and those of three hundred
and ten hides to equip a ship for the defence of the coast. When this
navy was assembled, which must have consisted of near eight hundred
vessels, all hopes of its success were disappointed by the factions,
animosities, and dissensions of the nobility. Edric had impelled his
brother Brightric to prefer an accusation of treason against Wolfnoth,
governor of Sussex, the father of the famous earl Godwin; and that
nobleman, well acquainted with the malevolence as well as power of his
enemy, found no means of safety but in deserting with twenty ships to
the Danes. Brightric pursued him with a fleet of eighty sail; but his
ships being shattered in a tempest, and stranded on the coast, he was
suddenly attacked by Wolfnoth, and all his vessels burned and destroyed.
The imbecility of the King was little capable of repairing this
misfortune. The treachery of Edric frustrated every plan for future
defence; and the English navy, disconcerted, discouraged, and divided,
was at last scattered into its several harbors.

It is almost impossible, or would be tedious, to relate particularly all
the miseries to which the English were henceforth exposed. We hear of
nothing but the sacking and burning of towns; the devastation of the
open country; the appearance of the enemy in every quarter of the
kingdom; their cruel diligence in discovering any corner which had not
been ransacked by their former violence. The broken and disjointed
narration of the ancient historians is here well adapted to the nature
of the war, which was conducted by such sudden inroads as would have
been dangerous even to a united and well-governed kingdom, but proved
fatal where nothing but a general consternation and mutual diffidence
and dissension prevailed. The governors of one province refused to march
to the assistance of another, and were at last terrified from assembling
their forces for the defence of their own province. General councils
were summoned; but either no resolution was taken or none was carried
into execution. And the only expedient in which the English agreed was
the base and imprudent one of buying a new peace from the Danes, by the
payment of forty-eight thousand pounds.

This measure did not bring them even that short interval of repose which
they had expected from it. The Danes, disregarding all engagements,
continued their devastations and hostilities; levied a new contribution
of eight thousand pounds upon the county of Kent alone; murdered the
Archbishop of Canterbury, who had refused to countenance this exaction;
and the English nobility found no other resource than that of submitting
everywhere to the Danish monarch, swearing allegiance to him, and
delivering him hostages for their fidelity. Ethelred, equally afraid of
the violence of the enemy and the treachery of his own subjects, fled
into Normandy (1013), whither he had sent before him Queen Emma and her
two sons, Alfred and Edward. Richard received his unhappy guests with a
generosity that does honor to his memory.

The King had not been above six weeks in Normandy when he heard of the
death of Sweyn, who expired at Gainsborough before he had time to
establish himself in his new-acquired dominions. The English prelates
and nobility, taking advantage of this event, sent over a deputation to
Normandy, inviting Ethelred to return to them, expressing a desire of
being again governed by their native prince, and intimating their hopes
that, being now tutored by experience, he would avoid all those errors
which had been attended with such misfortunes to himself and to his
people. But the misconduct of Ethelred was incurable; and on his
resuming the government, he discovered the same incapacity, indolence,
cowardice, and credulity which had so often exposed him to the insults
of his enemies. His son-in-law Edric, notwithstanding his repeated
treasons, retained such influence at court as to instil into the King
jealousies of Sigefert and Morcar, two of the chief nobles of Mercia.
Edric allured them into his house, where he murdered them; while
Ethelred participated in the infamy of the action by confiscating their
estates and thrusting into a convent the widow of Sigefert. She was a
woman of singular beauty and merit; and in a visit which was paid her,
during her confinement, by Prince Edmund, the King's eldest son, she
inspired him with so violent an affection that he released her from the
convent, and soon after married her without the consent of his father.

Meanwhile the English found in Canute, the son and successor of Sweyn,
an enemy no less terrible than the prince from whom death had so lately
delivered them. He ravaged the eastern coast with merciless fury, and
put ashore all the English hostages at Sandwich, after having cut off
their hands and noses. He was obliged, by the necessity of his affairs,
to make a voyage to Denmark; but, returning soon after, he continued his
depredations along the southern coast. He even broke into the counties
of Dorset, Wilts, and Somerset, where an army was assembled against him,
under the command of Prince Edmund and Duke Edric. The latter still
continued his perfidious machinations, and, after endeavoring in vain to
get the prince into his power, he found means to disperse the army, and
he then openly deserted to Canute with forty vessels.

Notwithstanding this misfortune Edmund was not disconcerted, but,
assembling all the force of England, was in a condition to give battle
to the enemy. The King had had such frequent experience of perfidy among
his subjects that he had lost all confidence in them: he remained at
London, pretending sickness, but really from apprehensions that they
intended to buy their peace by delivering him into the hands of his
enemies. The army called aloud for their sovereign to march at their
head against the Danes; and, on his refusal to take the field, they were
so discouraged that those vast preparations became ineffectual for the
defence of the kingdom. Edmund, deprived of all regular supplies to
maintain his soldiers, was obliged to commit equal ravages with those
which were practised by the Danes; and, after making some fruitless
expeditions into the north, which had submitted entirely to Canute's
power, he retired to London, determined there to maintain to the last
extremity the small remains of English liberty. He here found everything
in confusion by the death of the King, who expired after an unhappy and
inglorious reign of thirty-five years (1016). He left two sons by his
first marriage, Edmund, who succeeded him, and Edwy, whom Canute
afterward murdered. His two sons by the second marriage, Alfred and
Edward, were, immediately upon Ethelred's death, conveyed into Normandy
by Queen Emma.

Edmund, who received the name of "Ironside" from his hardy valor,
possessed courage and abilities sufficient to have prevented his country
from sinking into those calamities, but not to raise it from that abyss
of misery into which it had already fallen. Among the other misfortunes
of the English, treachery and disaffection had crept in among the
nobility and prelates; and Edmund found no better expedient for stopping
the further progress of these fatal evils than to lead his army
instantly into the field, and to employ them against the common enemy.
After meeting with some success at Gillingham, he prepared himself to
decide, in one general engagement, the fate of his crown; and at
Scoerston, in the county of Gloucester, he offered battle to the enemy,
who were commanded by Canute and Edric. Fortune, in the beginning of the
day, declared for him; but Edric, having cut off the head of one Osmer,
whose countenance resembled that of Edmund, fixed it on a spear, carried
it through the ranks in triumph, and called aloud to the English that it
was time to fly; for, behold! the head of their sovereign. And though
Edmund, observing the consternation of the troops, took off his helmet,
and showed himself to them, the utmost he could gain by his activity and
valor was to leave the victory undecided. Edric now took a surer method
to ruin him, by pretending to desert to him; and as Edmund was well
acquainted with his power, and probably knew no other of the chief
nobility in whom he could repose more confidence, he was obliged,
notwithstanding the repeated perfidy of the man, to give him a
considerable command in the army. A battle soon after ensued at
Assington, in Essex, where Edric, flying in the beginning of the day,
occasioned the total defeat of the English, followed by a great
slaughter of the nobility. The indefatigable Edmund, however, had still
resources. Assembling a new army at Gloucester, he was again in
condition to dispute the field, when the Danish and English nobility,
equally harassed with those convulsions, obliged their kings to come to
a compromise and to divide the kingdom between them by treaty. Canute
reserved to himself the northern division, consisting of Mercia, East
Anglia, and Northumberland, which he had entirely subdued. The southern
parts were left to Edmund. This prince survived the treaty about a
month. He was murdered at Oxford by two of his chamberlains, accomplices
of Edric, who thereby made way for the succession of Canute the Dane to
the crown of England.

The English, who had been unable to defend their country and maintain
their independency under so active and brave a prince as Edmund, could
after his death expect nothing but total subjection from Canute, who,
active and brave himself, and at the head of a great force, was ready to
take advantage of the minority of Edwin and Edward, the two sons of
Edmund. Yet this conqueror, who was commonly so little scrupulous,
showed himself anxious to cover his injustice under plausible pretences.
Before he seized the dominions of the English princes, he summoned a
general assembly of the states in order to fix the succession of the
kingdom. He here suborned some nobles to depose that, in the treaty of
Gloucester, it had been verbally agreed, either to name Canute, in case
of Edmund's death, successor to his dominions or tutor to his
children--for historians vary in this particular; and that evidence,
supported by the great power of Canute, determined the states
immediately to put the Danish monarch in possession of the government.
Canute, jealous of the two princes, but sensible that he should render
himself extremely odious if he ordered them to be despatched in England,
sent them abroad to his ally, the King of Sweden, whom he desired, as
soon as they arrived at his court, to free him, by their death, from all
further anxiety. The Swedish monarch was too generous to comply with the
request; but being afraid of drawing on himself a quarrel with Canute,
by protecting the young princes, he sent them to Solomon, King of
Hungary, to be educated in his court. The elder, Edwin, was afterward
married to the sister of the King of Hungary; but the English prince
dying without issue, Solomon gave his sister-in-law, Agatha, daughter of
the emperor Henry II, in marriage to Edward, the younger brother; and
she bore him Edgar, Atheling, Margaret, afterward Queen of Scotland, and
Christina, who retired into a convent.

Canute, though he had reached the great point of his ambition in
obtaining possession of the English crown, was obliged at first to make
great sacrifices to it; and to gratify the chief of the nobility, by
bestowing on them the most extensive governments and jurisdictions. He
created Thurkill Earl or Duke of East Anglia--for these titles were then
nearly of the same import--Yric of Northumberland, and Edric of Mercia;
reserving only to himself the administration of Wessex. But seizing
afterward a favorable opportunity, he expelled Thurkill and Yric from
their governments, and banished them the kingdom; he put to death many
of the English nobility, on whose fidelity he could not rely, and whom
he hated on account of their disloyalty to their native prince. And even
the traitor Edric, having had the assurance to reproach him with his
services, was condemned to be executed and his body to be thrown into
the Thames; a suitable reward for his multiplied acts of perfidy and

Canute also found himself obliged, in the beginning of his reign, to
load the people with heavy taxes in order to reward his Danish
followers: he exacted from them at one time the sum of seventy-two
thousand pounds, besides eleven thousand which he levied on London
alone. He was probably willing, from political motives, to mulct
severely that city, on account of the affection which it had borne to
Edmund and the resistance which it had made to the Danish power in two
obstinate sieges.[25] But these rigors were imputed to necessity; and
Canute, like a wise prince, was determined that the English, now
deprived of all their dangerous leaders, should be reconciled to the
Danish yoke, by the justice and impartiality of his administration. He
sent back to Denmark as many of his followers as he could safely spare;
he restored the Saxon customs in a general assembly of the states; he
made no distinction between Danes and English in the distribution of
justice; and he took care, by a strict execution of law, to protect the
lives and properties of all his people. The Danes were gradually
incorporated with his new subjects; and both were glad to obtain a
little respite from those multiplied calamities from which the one, no
less than the other, had, in their fierce contest for power, experienced
such fatal consequences.

[Footnote 25: In one of these sieges Canute diverted the course of the
Thames, and by that means brought his ships above London bridge.]

The removal of Edmund's children into so distant a country as Hungary
was, next to their death, regarded by Canute as the greatest security to
his government: he had no further anxiety, except with regard to Alfred
and Edward, who were protected and supported by their uncle Richard,
Duke of Normandy. Richard even fitted out a great armament, in order to
restore the English princes to the throne of their ancestors; and though
the navy was dispersed by a storm, Canute saw the danger to which he was
exposed from the enmity of so warlike a people as the Normans. In order
to acquire the friendship of the duke, he paid his addresses to Queen
Emma, sister of that prince, and promised that he would leave the
children whom he should have by that marriage in possession of the Crown
of England. Richard complied with his demand and sent over Emma to
England, where she was soon after married to Canute. The English, though
they disapproved of her espousing the mortal enemy of her former husband
and his family, were pleased to find at court a sovereign to whom they
were accustomed, and who had already formed connections with them; and
thus Canute, besides securing, by this marriage, the alliance of
Normandy, gradually acquired, by the same means, the confidence of his
own subjects. The Norman prince did not long survive the marriage of
Emma; and he left the inheritance of the duchy to his eldest son of the
same name, who, dying a year after him without children, was succeeded
by his brother Robert, a man of valor and abilities.

Canute, having settled his power in England beyond all danger of a
revolution, made a voyage to Denmark, in order to resist the attacks of
the King of Sweden; and he carried along with him a great body of the
English, under the command of Earl Godwin. This nobleman had here an
opportunity of performing a service, by which he both reconciled the
King's mind to the English nation and, gaining to himself the friendship
of his sovereign, laid the foundation of that immense fortune which he
acquired to his family. He was stationed next the Swedish camp, and
observing a favorable opportunity, which he was obliged suddenly to
seize, he attacked the enemy in the night, drove them from their
trenches, threw them into disorder, pursued his advantage, and obtained
a decisive victory over them. Next morning Canute, seeing the English
camp entirely abandoned, imagined that those disaffected troops had
deserted to the enemy: he was agreeably surprised to find that they were
at that time engaged in pursuit of the discomfited Swedes. He was so
pleased with this success, and with the manner of obtaining it, that he
bestowed his daughter in marriage upon Godwin, and treated him ever
after with entire confidence and regard.

In another voyage, which he made afterward to Denmark, Canute attacked
Norway, and, expelling the just but unwarlike Olaus, kept possession of
his kingdom till the death of that prince. He had now by his conquests
and valor attained the utmost height of grandeur: having leisure from
wars and intrigues, he felt the unsatisfactory nature of all human
enjoyments; and equally weary of the glories and turmoils of this life,
he began to cast his view toward that future existence, which it is so
natural for the human mind, whether satiated by prosperity or disgusted
with adversity, to make the object of its attention. Unfortunately, the
spirit which prevailed in that age gave a wrong direction to his
devotion: instead of making compensation to those whom he had injured by
his former acts of violence, he employed himself entirely in those
exercises of piety which the monks represented as the most meritorious.
He built churches, he endowed monasteries, he enriched the
ecclesiastics, and he bestowed revenues for the support of chantries at
Assington and other places, where he appointed prayers to be said for
the souls of those who had there fallen in battle against him. He even
undertook a pilgrimage to Rome, where he resided a considerable time:
besides obtaining from the pope some privileges for the English school
erected there, he engaged all the princes through whose dominions he was
obliged to pass to desist from those heavy impositions and tolls which
they were accustomed to exact from the English pilgrims. By this spirit
of devotion, no less than by his equitable and politic administration,
he gained, in a good measure, the affections of his subjects.

Canute, the greatest and most powerful monarch of his time, sovereign of
Denmark and Norway, as well as of England, could not fail of meeting
with adulation from his courtiers; a tribute which is liberally paid
even to the meanest and weakest princes. Some of his flatterers,
breaking out one day in admiration of his grandeur, exclaimed that
everything was possible for him; upon which the monarch, it is said,
ordered his chair to be set on the sea-shore while the tide was rising;
and as the waters approached, he commanded them to retire, and to obey
the voice of him who was lord of the ocean. He feigned to sit some time
in expectation of their submission; but when the sea still advanced
toward him, and began to wash him with its billows, he turned to his
courtiers, and remarked to them that every creature in the universe was
feeble and impotent, and that power resided with one Being alone, in
whose hands were all the elements of nature; who could say to the ocean,
"Thus far shalt thou go, and no farther," and who could level with his
nod the most towering piles of human pride and ambition.

The only memorable action which Canute performed after his return from
Rome was an expedition against Malcolm, King of Scotland. During the
reign of Ethelred, a tax of a shilling a hide had been imposed on all
the lands of England. It was commonly called _danegelt_; because the
revenue had been employed either in buying peace with the Danes or in
making preparations against the inroads of that hostile nation. That
monarch had required that the same tax should be paid by Cumberland,
which was held by the Scots; but Malcolm, a warlike prince, told him
that as he was always able to repulse the Danes by his own power, he
would neither submit to buy peace of his enemies nor pay others for
resisting them. Ethelred, offended at this reply, which contained a
secret reproach on his own conduct, undertook an expedition against
Cumberland; but though he committed ravages upon the country, he could
never bring Malcolm to a temper more humble or submissive. Canute, after
his accession, summoned the Scottish King to acknowledge himself a
vassal for Cumberland to the Crown of England; but Malcolm refused
compliance, on pretence that he owed homage to those princes only who
inherited that kingdom by right of blood. Canute was not of a temper to
bear this insult; and the King of Scotland soon found that the sceptre
was in very different hands from those of the feeble and irresolute
Ethelred. Upon Canute's appearing on the frontiers with a formidable
army, Malcolm agreed that his grandson and heir, Duncan, whom he put in
possession of Cumberland, should make the submissions required, and that
the heirs of Scotland should always acknowledge themselves vassals to
England for that province.

Canute passed four years in peace after this enterprise, and he died at
Shaftesbury; leaving three sons, Sweyn, Harold, and Hardicanute. Sweyn,
whom he had by his first marriage with Alfwen, daughter of the Earl of
Hampshire, was crowned in Norway; Hardicanute, whom Emma had borne him,
was in possession of Denmark; Harold, who was of the same marriage with
Sweyn, was at that time in England.



A.D. 1048



(After the extinction of the Carlovingian line, A.D. 887, and the
division of the empire, the Church of Rome and the Christian world fell
into a highly demoralized state, attributable to the destitution to
which ecclesiastical bodies were reduced by the frequent predations of
bands of robbers, the immorality of the priesthood, and the power of
electing the popes falling into the hands of intriguing and licentious
patrician females, whom aspirants to the holy see were not ashamed to
bribe for their favors. So depraved had the general spirit of the age
become that Pope Boniface VII, A.D. 974, robbed St. Peter's Church and
its treasury and fled to Constantinople; while Pope John XVIII, A.D.
1003, was prevented, by general indignation only, from accepting a sum
of money from Emperor Basil to recognize the right of the Greek
patriarch to the title of "Universal Bishop."

A child, son of one of the old noble houses, was consecrated pope as
Benedict IX, A.D. 1033, according to some authorities, at the age of ten
or twelve years. He became noted for his profligacy and was driven from
his throne, the Romans electing, as Pope Sylvester III, John, Bishop of
Sabina, who is said to have paid a high price for the dignity. Benedict,
however, regained the papal seat shortly afterward, and drove Sylvester
into a refuge, but later sold the office to John Gratianus, Arch-priest
of Rome, who as Gregory VI made laudable attempts to effect a general
reformation. He failed in his efforts, and a chaotic state ensued; three
popes claiming the triple tiara and reigning in Rome: Gregory at the
Vatican, Benedict in the Lateran, and Sylvester in the Church of Santa
Maria Maggiore.

On the invitation of the Roman people, Henry the Black, the young and
zealous Emperor of Germany, repaired to Italy in 1045 and summoned a
great ecclesiastical council at Sutri, which passed a decree deposing
the three papal claimants. The same council elected to the tiara the
German bishop of Bamberg, who reigned in the holy see as Clement II. One
of his first ceremonies, carried out with all the gorgeous pomp of the
Roman Church, was the imperial coronation of Henry and his wife Agnes.

But Henry's action, while "it dragged the Church out of the slough it
had fallen into," startled the ecclesiastical world, and was a prelude
to the struggle between pope and emperor which, under St. Hildebrand,
Pope Gregory VII, culminated in the independent establishment of the
pontificate and papal power.)


Henry III, the son and successor of Conrad, was young, vigorous, and
God-fearing; a noble prince called, like Charles and Otto the Great, to
restore Rome, to deliver it from tyrants, and to reform the almost
annihilated Church. For the papacy had been still further dishonored by
Benedict IX. It seemed as if a demon from hell, in the disguise of a
priest, occupied the chair of Peter and profaned the sacred mysteries of
religion by his insolent courses.

Benedict IX, restored in 1038, protected by his brother Gregory, who
ruled the city as senator of the Romans, led unchecked the life of a
Turkish sultan in the palace of the Lateran. He and his family filled
Rome with robbery and murder; all lawful conditions had ceased. Toward
the end of 1044, or in the beginning of the following year, the populace
at length rose in furious revolt; the Pope fled, but his vassals
defended the Leonina against the attacks of the Romans. The
Trasteverines remained faithful to Benedict, and he summoned friends and
adherents; Count Gerard of Galeria advanced with a numerous body of
horse to the Saxon gate and repulsed the Romans. An earthquake added to
the horrors in the revolted city. The ancient chronicle which relates
these events does not tell us whether Trastevere was taken by assault
after a three-days' struggle, but merely relates that the Romans
unanimously renounced Benedict, and elected Bishop John of the Sabina to
the papacy as Sylvester III. John also owed his elevation to the gold
with which he bribed the rebels and their leader, Girardo de Saxo. This
powerful Roman had first promised his daughter in marriage to the Pope,
and afterward refused her; for the Pope had not hesitated, in all
seriousness, to sue for the hand of a Roman lady, a relative of his own.
Her father lured him on with the hope of winning her, but required that
Benedict should in the first place resign the tiara.

The Pope, burning with passion, consented and fulfilled his promise
during the revolt of the Romans. He was mastered by the demon of
sensuality; it was reported by the superstitious that he associated with
devils in the woods and attracted women by means of spells. It was
asserted that books of magic, with which he had conjured demons, had
been found in the Lateran. His banishment meanwhile aroused the haughty
spirit of his house, and anger at Gerard's treacherous conduct proved a
further incentive to revenge. His numerous adherents still held St.
Angelo, and his gold acquired him new friends. After a forty-nine days'
reign, Sylvester III was driven from the apostolic chair, which the
Tusculan reascended in March, 1045.

Benedict now ruled for some time in Rome, while Sylvester III found
safety either within some fortified monument in the city or in some
Sabine fortress, and continued to call himself pope. A beneficent
darkness veils the horrors of this year. Hated by the Romans, insecure
on his throne, in constant terror of the renewal of the revolution,
Benedict eventually found himself obliged to abdicate. The abbot
Bartholomew of Grotta Ferrata urged him to the step, but he unblushingly
sold the papacy for money like a piece of merchandise. In exchange for a
considerable income, that is to say, for the revenue of "Peter's pence"
from England, he made over his papal dignities by a formal contract to
John Gratianus, a rich archpriest of the Church of St. John at the Latin
gate, on May 1, 1045.

Could the holiest office in Christendom be more deeply outraged than by
a sale such as this? And yet so general was the traffic in
ecclesiastical dignities throughout the world that when a pope finally
sold the chair of Peter the scandal did not strike society as specially

John Gratian, or Gregory VI, set aside the canon law with a defiant
courage which perhaps was only understood by the minority of his
compatriots; he bought the papacy in order to wrest it from the hands of
a criminal, and this remarkable Pope, although regarded as an idiot in
that terrible period, was possibly an earnest and high-minded man.
Scarcely had Peter Damian knowledge of this traffic when he wrote to
Gregory VI on his elevation, rejoicing that the dove with the olive
branch had returned to the ark. The Saint may have known the Pope
personally and have been persuaded of his spiritual virtues. Even the
chroniclers of the time, who represent him--assuredly with injustice--as
so rude and simple that he was obliged to appoint a representative, are
unable to fasten any crime upon him. The Cluniacs in France and the
congregations of Italy all hailed his elevation as the beginning of a
better time, and side by side with this simonist Pope a young and brave
monk suddenly appears, who, after the heroic exertions of a lifetime,
was to raise the degenerate papacy to a height hitherto undreamed of.
Hildebrand first issues from obscurity by the side of Gregory VI; he
became the Pope's chaplain, and this fact alone proves that Gregory was
no idiot. How far Hildebrand's activity already extended, whether he had
any share in Gregory's illegal elevation, we do not know; but in the
"representative" spoken of by the chronicles, we may easily recognize
the gifted young monk who was Gregory's counsellor, and who later took
the name of Gregory VII in grateful recollection of his predecessor.

While Benedict IX pursued his wild career in Tusculum or Rome, Gregory
VI remained Pope for nearly two years. His desire was to save the
Church, which stood in need of a drastic reform--and which soon
afterward obtained it. The papacy, lately a hereditary fief of the
counts of Tusculum, was utterly ruined; the _dominium temporale_, the
ominous gift of the Carlovingians, the box of Pandora in the hands of
the Pope from which a thousand evils had arisen, had disappeared, since
the Church could scarcely command the fortresses in the immediate
neighborhood of the city. A hundred lords, the captains or vassals of
the Pope, stood ready to fall upon Rome; every road was infested with
robbers, every pilgrim was robbed; within the city the churches lay in
ruins, while the priests caroused. Daily assassinations made the streets
insecure. Roman nobles, sword in hand, forced their way into St. Peter's
itself to snatch the gifts which pious hands still placed upon the

The chronicler who describes this state of things extols Gregory for
having repressed it. The captains, it is true, besieged the city, but
the Pope boldly assembled the militia, restored a degree of order, and
even conquered several fortresses in the district. Sylvester had
apparently made an attempt on Rome; he was, however, defeated by
Gregory's energy. The short and dark period of Gregory's pontificate was
terrible, and his severity toward the robbers soon made him hated by the
nobles and even by the equally rapacious cardinals.

Whatever he may have done under the influence of French and Italian
monks to rescue the Church from its state of barbarous confusion, it
was--as in the time of Otto the Great--by the German dictatorship alone
that it could be saved. The exertions of Gregory VI soon ceased to bear
any result; his means were exhausted, and his opponents gradually
overpowered him. So utter was the state of anarchy that it is said that
all three popes lived in the city at the same time: one in the Lateran,
a second in St. Peter's, and a third in Santa Maria Maggiore.

The eyes of the better citizens at length turned to the King of Germany.
The archdeacon Peter convoked a synod without consulting Gregory, and it
was here resolved urgently to invite Henry to come and take the imperial
crown and raise the Church from the ruin into which it had fallen.

Henry, coming from Augsburg, crossed the Brenner, and arrived at Verona
in September, 1046, accompanied by a great army and filled with the
ardent desire of becoming the reformer of the Church. No enemy opposed
him, the bishops and dukes, among them the powerful margrave Boniface of
Tuscany, did homage without delay. The Roman situation was provisionally
discussed at a great synod in Pavia. Gregory VI now hastened to meet the
King at Piacenza, where he hoped to gain the monarch to his side. Henry,
however, dismissed him with the explanation that his fate and that of
the antipopes would be canonically decided by a council.

Shortly before Christmas he assembled one thousand and forty-six bishops
and Roman clergy at Sutri. The three popes were summoned, and Gregory
and Sylvester III actually appeared. Sylvester was deposed from his
pontificate and condemned to penance in a monastery. Gregory VI,
however, gave the council cause to doubt its competence to judge him.
Gregory, who was an upright man, or one at least conscious of good
intentions, consented publicly to describe the circumstances of his
elevation, and was thereby forced to condemn himself as guilty of simony
and unworthy of the papal office. He quietly laid down the insignia of
the papacy, and his renunciation did him honor. Henry, with the bishops
and the margrave Boniface, immediately started for the city, which did
not shut its gates against him; for Benedict II had hid himself in
Tusculum, and his brothers did not venture on any resistance. Rome,
weary of the Tusculum horrors, joyfully accepted the German King as her
deliverer. Never afterward was a king of Germany received with such glad
acclamations by the Roman people; never again did any other effect such
great results or achieve the like changes. With the Roman expedition of
Henry III begins a new epoch in the history of the city, and more
especially of the Church. It seemed as if the waters of the deluge had
subsided, and as if men from the ark had landed on the rock of Peter to
give new races and new laws to a new world. What law, that stern and
terrible power which kills, binds, and holds together, signifies in
human affairs, has indeed been experienced by few periods so fully as by
that with which we have now to deal.

A synod, assembled in St. Peter's on December 23d, again pronounced all
three popes deposed, and a canonical pope had consequently to be
elected. Like Otto III before his coronation, Henry had also at his side
a man who was to wear the tiara and to confer the crown upon himself.

Adalbert of Hamburg and Bremen having refused the papacy, the King chose
Suidger of Bamberg. The royal command was all that was required to place
the candidate on the sacred chair. Henry, however, would not violate any
of the canonical forms. As King of Germany he possessed no right either
over that city or yet over the papal election. The right must first be
conferred upon him, and this was done by a treaty which he had already
concluded with the Romans at Sutri. "Roman Signors," said Henry at the
second sitting of the synod on December 24th, "however thoughtless your
conduct may hitherto have been, I still accord you liberty to elect a
pope according to ancient custom; choose from among this assembly whom
you will."

The Romans replied: "When the royal majesty is present, the assent to
the election does not belong to us, and, when it is lacking, you are
represented by your _patricius_. For in the affairs of the republic the
patricius is not patricius of the pope, but of the emperor. We admit
that we have been so thoughtless as to appoint idiots as popes. It now
behooves your imperial power to give the Roman republic the benefit of
law, the ornament of manners, and to lend the arm of protection to the

The senators of the year 1046, who so meekly surrendered the valuable
right to the German King, heeded not the shades of Alberic and the three
Crescentii; since these--their patricians--would have accused them of

The Romans of these days were, however, ready for any sacrifice so that
they obtained freedom from the Tusculum tyranny. Nothing more clearly
shows the utter depth of their exhaustion and the extent of their
sufferings than the light surrender of a right which it had formerly
cost Otto the Great such repeated efforts to extort from the city. Rome
made the humiliating confession that she possessed no priest worthy of
the papacy, that the clergy in the city were rude and utter simonists.
All other circumstances, moreover, forbade the election of a Roman or
even of an Italian to the papacy.

The Romans besought Henry to give them a good pope; he presented the
Bishop of Bamberg to the assenting clergy, and led the reluctant
candidate to the apostolic chair. Clement II, consecrated on Christmas
Day, 1046, immediately placed the imperial crown on Henry's head and on
that of his wife Agnes. There were still many Romans who had been
eye-witnesses of like transactions--that is to say, of papal election
and imperial coronation following one the other in immediate
succession--in the case of Otto III and Henry V; who, as they now saw
the second German pope mount the chair of Peter, may have recalled the
fact that the first had only lived a few sad years in Rome and had died
in misery.

The coronation of Henry III was performed under such significant
conditions and in such perfect tranquillity that it offers the most
fitting opportunity for describing in a few sentences the ceremonial of
the imperial coronation.

Since Charles the Great, these repeated ceremonies, with the more
frequent coronations or Lateran processions of the popes, formed the
most brilliant spectacle in Rome.

When the Emperor-elect approached with his wife and retinue, he first
took an oath to the Romans, at the little bridge on the Neronian Field,
faithfully to observe the rights and usages of the city. On the day of
the coronation he made his entrance through the Porta Castella close to
St. Angelo and here repeated the oath. The clergy and the corporations
of Rome greeted him at the Church of Santa Maria Traspontina, on a
legendary site called the Terebinthus of Nero. The solemn procession
then advanced to the steps of the cathedral. Senators walked by the side
of the King, the prefect of the city carried the naked sword before him,
and his chamberlains scattered money.

Arrived at the steps he dismounted from his horse and, accompanied by
his retinue, ascended to the platform where the Pope, surrounded by the
higher clergy, awaited him sitting. The King stooped to kiss the Pope's
foot, tendered the oath to be an upright protector of the Church,
received from the Pope the kiss of peace, and was adopted by him as the
son of the Church. With solemn song both King and Pope entered the
Church of Santa Maria in Turri, beside the steps of St. Peter's, and
here the King was formally made canon of the cathedral. He then
advanced, conducted by the Lateran count of the palace and by the
_primicerius_ of the judges, to the silver door of the cathedral, where
he prayed, and the Bishop of Albano delivered the first oration.

Innumerable mystic ceremonies awaited the King in St. Peter's itself.
Here, a short way from the entrance, was the _rota porphyretica_, a
round porphyry stone inserted in the pavement, on which the King and
Pope knelt. The imperial candidate here made his profession of faith,
the Cardinal-bishop of Portus placed himself in the middle of the rota
and pronounced the second oration. The King was then draped in new
vestments, was made a cleric in the sacristy by the Pope, was clad with
tunic, dalmatica, pluviale, mitre and sandals, and was then led to the
altar of St. Maurice, whither his wife, after similar but less fatiguing
ceremonies, accompanied him. The Bishop of Ostia here anointed the King
on the right arm and neck and delivered the third oration.

If the Emperor-elect were fitted by the dignity of his calling, then the
solemnity of the function, the mystic and tedious pomp, the magnificent
monotone of prayer and song in the ancient cathedral, hallowed by so
many exalted memories, must have stirred his inmost soul. The pinnacle
of all human ambition, the crown of Charles the Great, lay glittering
before his longing eyes on the altar of the Prince of the Apostles. The
Pope, however, first placed a ring on the finger of the Anointed, as
symbol of the faith, the permanence and strength of his Catholic rule;
with similar formulae girt him with the sword, and finally placed the
crown upon his head. "Take," he said, "the symbol of fame, the diadem of
royalty, the crown, the empire, in the name of the Father, of the Son,
and of the Holy Ghost; renounce the archfiend and all sins, be upright
and merciful, and live in such pious love that thou mayest hereafter
receive the everlasting crown in company with the saints, from our Lord
Jesus Christ."

The church resounded with the Gloria and the Laudes: "Life and victory
to the Emperor, to the Roman and the German army," and with the endless
acclamations of the rude soldiers who hailed their King in German, Slav,
and Romance tongues.

The Emperor divested himself of the symbols of the empire, and now
ministered to the Pope as subdeacon at mass. The Count Palatine
afterward removed the sandals, and put the red imperial boots with the
spurs of St. Maurice upon him. Whereupon the entire procession,
accompanied by the Pope, left the church and advanced along the
so-called "Triumphal Way," through the flower-bedecked city, amid the
ringing of all the bells, to the Lateran. At special stations were
posted clergy singing praises, and the _scholae_ or guilds placed to
salute the Emperor as he passed. Chamberlains scattered money before and
behind the procession, and all the scholae and the officials of the
palace received the _presbyterium_ or customary present of money. A
banquet closed the solemnities in the papal palace.

Such are merely the barest outlines of an imperial coronation of this
period. The ceremonies, borrowed from Byzantine pomp, had been
established since Charles the Great, and had remained essentially the
same, although, in the course of time, many details had been altered and
others had been introduced. The magnificence of these spectacles is no
longer rivalled by the pageantry of our days. The multitudes of dukes
and counts, of bishops and abbots, knights and nobles with their
retinues, the splendor of their attire, the strangeness of their faces
and their tongues, the martial array of warriors, the mystic
magnificence of the papacy with all its orders in such picturesque
costume, the aspect of secular Rome, of judges and senators, of consuls
and _duces_, of the militia with their banners, in curious, motley,
fantastic attire; lastly, as the sublime scene of the drama, the stern,
gloomy, ruinous city, through which the procession solemnly
advanced--all combined to produce a picture of such mighty and universal
historic interest that even a Roman accustomed to the pomp of Trajan's
period could not have beheld it without feelings of astonishment.

These coronation processions restored to the city its character of
metropolis. The Romans of the time might flatter themselves that the
emperors whom they elected still ruled the universe. The strangers who
flocked to the city freely distributed their gold, and the hungry
populace could live for weeks on the proceeds of the coronation.


The accession of Gregory VI was the harbinger of an epoch of moral
renaissance. The wise Pontiff, whose glory it had been to free the
Church from a disgraceful yoke, proved himself worthy of the sovereign
power, as much by the zeal with which he wielded as by the noble
disinterestedness with which he resigned it. He found the temporal
domains of the Church so far diminished that they hardly furnished the
Pope with the means of an honorable maintenance. As guardian of the
rights of the Church, he hurled an excommunication against the usurpers.
The infuriated plunderers marched upon Rome with an armed force. The
Pope also raised troops, took possession of St. Peter's church, drove
out the wretches who stole the offerings laid upon the tombs of the
Apostles, took back several estates belonging to the domain of the
Church, and secured the safety of the roads, upon which pilgrims no
longer ventured to travel except in caravans. This policy displeased the
Romans, who had now become habituated to plunder. Their complaints
induced Henry III, King of Germany, to hurry to Italy, and to summon a
council at Sutri, during the Christmas festival, to inquire whether the
election of Gregory should be regarded as simoniacal. The Pope and the
clergy entertained the sincere conviction that they were justified in
bringing about, even by means of money, the abdication of the unworthy
Benedict, thus to end the scandal which so foully disgraced the Holy
See. As opinions were divided on this point, Gregory VI, to set all
doubts at rest, stripped himself, with his own hands, of the Pontifical
vestments, and gave up to the bishops his pastoral staff. Having given
to the world this noble example of self-denial, Gregory withdrew to the
monastery of Cluny, bearing with him the consciousness of a great duty
done. He died in that holy solitude in the odor of sanctity.

The see left vacant by the magnanimous humility of Gregory VI was
bestowed, by general consent, upon Suidger, bishop of Bamberg, whom King
Henry had brought with him to Rome. The new Pope, whose elevation was
due only to universally known and acknowledged virtues, took the name of
Clement II, and was crowned on Christmas-Day (A.D. 1046); in the same
solemnity he bestowed the imperial title and crown upon Henry III, and
his queen, Agnes, daughter of William, duke of Aquitaine.

The Emperor Henry, during his sojourn in Rome, sent for St. Peter Damian
to assist the Pope by his counsels. The illustrious religious thus wrote
to the Pontiff, in excuse for not complying: "Notwithstanding the
Emperor's request, so expressive of his benevolence in my regard, I
cannot devote to journeys the time which I have promised to consecrate
to God in solitude. I send the imperial letter in order that your
Holiness may decide, if it become necessary. My soul is weighed down
with grief when I see the churches of our provinces plunged into
shameful confusion through the fault of bad bishops and abbots. What
does it profit us to learn that the Holy See has been brought out from
darkness into the light, if we still remain buried in the same gloom of
ignominy? But we hope that you are destined to be the savior of Israel.
Labor then, Most Holy Father, once more to raise up the kingdom of
justice, and use the vigor of discipline to humble the wicked and to
raise the courage of the good."

On his return to Germany, Henry took the Pope with him. The city of
Beneventum refused to open its gates to the Sovereign Pontiff, who, at
the Emperor's request, pronounced against it a sentence of
excommunication. Clement made but a short visit to his native land, and
hastened back to Rome. His apostolic zeal led him to visit, in person,
the churches of Umbria, the deplorable condition of which he had learned
from the letter of St. Peter Damian. On reaching the monastery of St.
Thomas of Aposello, he was seized with a mortal disease, before having
accomplished the object of his journey. His last thought was for his
beloved church of Bamberg, to which he sent, from his dying couch, a
confirmation of all its former privileges, assuring it, in the most
touching terms, of his unchanging affection.


A.D. 1054



(In the division of the Greek Catholic Church from that at Rome,
Protestant writers see a very natural and legitimate separation of two
equal powers. Roman Catholics, regarding the Papal supremacy as
established from the beginning, treat the division as a plot by evil and
malignant men. Both viewpoints are here given.

The Eastern--or Greek Christian--Church, now known as the Holy Orthodox,
Catholic, Apostolic, Oriental Church, first assumed individuality at
Ephesus, and in the catechetical school of Alexandria, which flourished
after A.D. 180. It early came into conflict with the Western or Roman
Church: "the Eastern Church enacting creeds, and the Western Church

In the third century, Dionysius, Bishop of Rome, accused the Patriarch
of Alexandria of error in points of faith, but the Patriarch vindicated
his orthodoxy. Eastern monachism arose about 300; the Church of Armenia
was founded about the same year; and the Church of Georgia or Iberia in

Constantine the Great caused Christianity to be recognized throughout
the Roman Empire, and in 325 convened the first ecumenical or general
Council at Nicaea [Nice], when Arius, excommunicated for heresy by a
provincial synod at Alexandria in 321, defended his views, but was
condemned. Arianism long maintained a theological and political
importance in the East and among the Goths and other nations converted
by Arian missionaries. In A.D. 330, Constantine removed the capital of
the Roman Empire to Constantinople, and thence dates the definite
establishment of the Greek Church and the serious rivalry with the Roman
Church over claims of preeminence, differences of doctrine and ritual,
charges of heresy and inter-excommunications, which ended in the final
separation of the churches in 1054.

In A.D. 461, the churches of Egypt, Syria, and Armenia separated from
the Church of Constantinople, over the Monophysite controversy on the
single divine or single compound nature of the Son; in 634 the struggle
with Mahometanism began; in 676 the Maronites of Lebanon formed a strong
sect, which, in 1182, joined the Roman Church. In 988, Vladimir the
Great of Russia founded the Graeco-Russian Church, in which the Greek
Church found a refuge, when Mahometanism was established at
Constantinople, after its capture by the Turks in 1453.)


The separation of the Eastern and Western churches, which finally took
place in the year 1054, was due to the operation of influences which had
been at work for several centuries before. From very early times a
tendency to divergence existed, arising from the tone of thought of the
dominant races in the two, the more speculative Greeks being chiefly
occupied with purely theological questions, while the more practical
Roman mind devoted itself rather to subjects connected with the nature
and destiny of man. In differences such as these there was nothing
irreconcilable: the members of both communions professed the same forms
of belief, rested their faith on the same divine persons, were guided by
the same standard of morals, and were animated by the same hopes and
fears; and they were bound by the first principles of their religion to
maintain unity with one another. But in societies, as in individuals,
inherent diversity of character is liable to be intensified by time, and
thus counteracts the natural bonds of sympathy, and prevents the two
sides from seeing one another's point of view. In this way it cooeperates
with and aggravates the force of other causes of disunion, which adverse
circumstances may generate. Such causes there were in the present
instance, political, ecclesiastical, and theological; and the nature of
these it may be well for us to consider, before proceeding to narrate
the history of the disruption.

The office of bishop of Rome assumed to some extent a political
character as early as the time of the first Christian emperors. By them
this prelate was constituted a sort of secretary of state for Christian
affairs, and was employed as a central authority for communicating with
the bishops in the provinces; so that after a while he acted as minister
of religion and public instruction. As the civil and military power of
the Western Empire declined, the extent of this authority increased; and
by the time when Italy was annexed to the Empire of the East, in the
reign of Justinian, the popes had become the political chiefs of Roman
society. Nominally, indeed, they were subject to the exarch of Ravenna,
as vicegerent of the Emperor at Constantinople, but in reality the
inhabitants of Western Europe were more disposed to look to the
spiritual potentate in the Imperial city as representing the traditions
of ancient Rome.

The political rivalry that was thus engendered was sharpened by the
traditional jealousy of Rome and Constantinople, which had existed ever
since the new capital had been erected on the shores of the Bosporus.
Then followed struggles for administrative superiority between the popes
and the exarchs, culminating in the shameful maltreatment and banishment
of Martin I by the emperor Constans--an event which the See of Rome
could never forget.

The attempt to enforce iconoclasm in Central Italy was influential in
causing the loss of that province to the Empire; and even after the
Byzantine rule had ceased there, the controversy about images tended to
keep alive the antagonism, because, although that question was once and
again settled in favor of the maintenance of images, yet many of the
emperors, in whose persons the power of the East was embodied, were
foremost in advocating their destruction. Indeed, from first to last,
owing to the close connection of church and state in the Byzantine
empire, the unpopularity of the latter in Western Europe was shared by
the former. To this must be added the contempt for one another's
character which had arisen among the adherents of the two churches, for
the Easterns had learned to regard the people of the West as ignorant
and barbarous, and were esteemed by them in turn as mendacious and

In ecclesiastical matters also the differences were of long standing.
These related to questions of jurisdiction between the two
patriarchates. Up to the eighth century, the patriarchate of the West
included a number of provinces on the eastern side of the
Adriatic--Illyricum, Dacia, Macedonia, and Greece. But Leo the Isaurian,
who probably foresaw that Italy would ere long cease to form part of his
dominions, and was unwilling that these important territories should own
spiritual allegiance to one who was not his subject, altered this
arrangement, and transferred the jurisdiction over them to the Patriarch
of Constantinople. Against this measure the bishops of Rome did not fail
to protest, and demands for their restoration were made up to the time
of the final schism. A further ecclesiastical question, which in part
depended on this, was that of the Church of the Bulgarians. The prince
Bogoris had swayed to and fro in his inclinations between the two
churches, and had ultimately given his allegiance to that of the East;
but the controversy did not end there. According to the ancient
territorial arrangement the Danubian provinces were made subject to the
archbishopric of Thessalonica, and that city was included within the
Western patriarchate; and on this ground Bulgaria was claimed by the
Roman see as falling within that area. The matter was several times
pressed on the attention of the Greek Church, especially on the occasion
of the council held at Constantinople in 879, but in vain. The Eastern
prelates replied evasively, saying that to determine the boundaries of
dioceses was a matter which belonged to the sovereign. The Emperor, for
his part, had good reason for not yielding, for by so doing he would not
only have admitted into a neighboring country an agency which would soon
have been employed for political purposes to his disadvantage, but would
have justified the assumption on which the demand rested, viz., that the
pope had a right to claim the provinces which his predecessors had lost.
Thus this point of difference also remained open, as a source of
irritation between the two churches.

But behind these questions another of far greater magnitude was coming
into view, that of the papal supremacy. From being in the first instance
the head of the Christian church in the old Imperial city, and afterward
Patriarch of the West, and _primus inter pares_ in relation to the other
spiritual heads of Christendom, the bishop of Rome had gradually
claimed, on the strength of his occupying the _cathedra Petri_, a
position which approximated more and more to that of supremacy over the
whole Church. This claim had never been admitted in the East, but the
appeals which were made from Constantinople to his judgment and
authority, both at the time of the iconoclastic controversy and
subsequently, lent some countenance to its validity.

But the great advance was made in the pontificate of Nicholas I
(858-867), who promulgated, or at least recognized, the _False
Decretals_. This famous compilation, which is now universally
acknowledged to be spurious, and can be shown to be the work of that
period, contains, among other documents, letters and decrees of the
early bishops of Rome, in which the organization and discipline of the
Church from the earliest time are set forth, and the whole system is
shown to have depended on the supremacy of the popes. The newly
discovered collection was recognized as genuine by Nicholas, and was
accepted by the Western Church. The effect of this was at once to
formulate all the claims which had before been vaguely asserted, and to
give them the authority of unbroken tradition. The result to Christendom
at large was in the highest degree momentous. It was impossible for
future popes to recede from them, and equally impossible for other
churches which valued their independence to acknowledge them. The last
attempt on the part of the Eastern Church to arrange a compromise in
this matter was made by the emperor Basil II, a potentate who both by
his conquests and the vigor of his administration might rightly claim to
negotiate with others on equal terms. By him it was proposed (A.D. 1024)
that the Eastern Church should recognize the honorary primacy of the
Western patriarch, and that he in turn should acknowledge the internal
independence of the Eastern Church. These terms were rejected, and from
that moment it was clear that the separation of the two branches of
Christendom was only a question of time.

Already in the papacy of Nicholas I a rupture had occurred in connection
with the dispute between the rival patriarchs of Constantinople,
Ignatius and Photius. The former of these prelates, who was son of the
emperor Michael I, and a man of high character and a devout opponent of
iconoclasm, was appointed, through the influence of Theodora, the
restorer of images, in the reign of her son, Michael the Drunkard. But
the uncle of the Emperor, the Caesar Bardas, who was a man of flagrantly
immoral life, had divorced his own wife, and was living publicly with
his son's widow. For this incestuous connection Ignatius repelled him
from the communion. Fired with indignation at this insult, the Caesar
determined to ruin both the Patriarch and his patroness, the
Empress-mother, and with this view persuaded the Emperor to free himself
from the trammels of his mother's influence by forcing her to take
monastic vows. To this step Ignatius would not consent, because it was
forbidden by the laws of the Church that any should enter on the
monastic life except of their own free will. In consequence of his
resistance a charge of treasonable correspondence was invented against
him, and when he refused to resign his office he was deposed (857).
Photius, who was chosen to succeed him, was the most learned man of his
age, and like his rival, unblemished in character and a supporter of
images, but boundless in ambition. He was a layman at the time of his
appointment, but in six days he passed through the inferior orders which
led up to the patriarchate. Still, the party that remained faithful to
Ignatius numbered many adherents, and therefore Photius thought it well
to enlist the support of the Bishop of Rome on his side. An embassy was
therefore sent to inform Pope Nicholas that the late Patriarch had
voluntarily retired, and that Photius had been lawfully chosen, and had
undertaken the office with great reluctance. In answer to this appeal
the Pope despatched two legates to Constantinople, and Ignatius was
summoned to appear before a council at which they were present. He was
condemned, but appealed to the Pope in person.

On the return of the legates to Rome it was discovered that they had
received bribes, and thereupon Nicholas, whose judgment, however
imperious, was ever on the side of the oppressed, called together a
synod of the Roman Church, and refused his consent to the deposition of
Ignatius. To this effect he wrote to the authorities of the Eastern
Church, calling upon them at the same time to concur in the decrees of
the apostolic see; but subsequently, having obtained full information as
to the harsh treatment to which the deposed Patriarch had been
subjected, he excommunicated Photius, and commanded the restoration of
Ignatius "by the power committed to him by Christ through St. Peter."

These denunciations produced no effect on the Emperor and the new
Patriarch, and a correspondence between Michael and Nicholas, couched in
violent language, continued at intervals for several years. At last, in
consequence of a renewed demand on the part of the Pope that Ignatius
and Photius should be sent to Rome for judgment, the latter prelate,
whose ability and eloquence had obtained great influence for him,
summoned a council at Constantinople in the year 867, to decree the
counter-excommunication of the Western Patriarch. Of the eight articles
which were drawn up on this occasion for the incrimination of the Church
of Rome, all but two relate to trivial matters, such as the observance
of Saturday as a fast, and the shaving of their beards by the clergy.
The two important ones deal with the doctrine of the Procession of the
Holy Spirit, and the enforced celibacy of the clergy.

The condemnation of the Western Church on these grounds was voted, and a
messenger was despatched to bear the defiance to Rome; but ere he
reached his destination he was recalled, in consequence of a revolution
in the palace at Constantinople. The author of this, Basil the
Macedonian, the founder of the most important dynasty that ever occupied
the throne of the Eastern Empire, had for some time been associated in
the government with the emperor Michael; but at length, being fearful
for his own safety, he resolved to put his colleague out of the way, and
assassinated him during one of his fits of drunkenness.

It is said that in consequence of this crime Photius refused to admit
him to the communion; anyhow, one of the first acts of Basil was to
depose Photius. A council, hostile to him, was now assembled, and was
attended by the legates of the new pope, Hadrian II (869). By this
Ignatius was restored to his former dignity, while Photius was degraded
and his ordinations were declared void. So violent was the animosity
displayed against him that he was dragged before the assembly by the
Emperor's guard, and his condemnation was written in the sacramental
wine. During the ten years which elapsed between his restoration and his
death Ignatius continued to enjoy his high position in peace, but for
Photius other vicissitudes were in store.

On the removal of his rival, so strangely did opinion sway to and fro at
this time in the empire, the current of feeling set strongly in favor of
the learned exile. He was recalled, and his reinstatement was ratified
by a council (879). But with the death of Basil the Macedonian (886), he
again fell from power, for the successor of that Emperor, Leo the
Philosopher, ignominiously removed him, in order to confer the dignity
on his brother Stephen. He passed the remainder of his life in honorable
retirement, and by his death the chief obstacle in the way of
reconcilement with the Roman Church was removed. It is consoling to
learn, when reading of the unhappy rivalry of the two men so superior to
the ordinary run of Byzantine prelates, that they never shared the
passions of their respective partisans, but retained a mutual regard for
one another.

We have now to consider the doctrinal questions which were in dispute
between the two churches. Far the most important of these was that
relating to the addition of the _Filioque_ clause to the Nicene Creed.
In the first draft of the Creed, as promulgated by the council of
Nicaea, the article relating to the Holy Spirit ran simply thus: "I
believe in the Holy Ghost." But in the Second General Council, that of
Constantinople, which condemned the heresy of Macedonius, it was thought
advisable to state more explicitly the doctrine of the Church on this
subject, and among other affirmations the clause was added, "who
proceedeth from the Father." Again, at the next general council, at
Ephesus, it was ordered that it should not be lawful to make any
addition to the Creed, as ratified by the Council of Constantinople. The
followers of the Western Church, however, generally taught that the
Spirit proceeds from the Son as well as from the Father, while those of
the East preferred to use the expression, "the Spirit of Christ,
proceeding from the Father, and receiving of the Son," or, "proceeding
from the Father through the Son." It was in the churches of Spain and
France that the _Filioque_ clause was first introduced into the Creed
and thus recited in the services, but the addition was not at once
approved at Rome. Pope Leo III, early in the ninth century, not only
expressed his disapproval of this departure from the original form, but,
in order to show his sense of the importance of adhering to the
traditional practice, caused the Creed of Constantinople to be engraved
on silver plates, both in Greek and Latin, and thus to be publicly set
forth in the Church. The first pontiff who authorized the addition was
Nicholas I, and against this Photius protested, both during the lifetime
of that Pope and also in the time of John VIII, when it was condemned by
the council held at Constantinople in 879, which is called by the Greeks
the Eighth General Council. It is clear from what we have already seen
that Photius was prepared to seize on _any_ point of disagreement in
order to throw it in the teeth of his opponents, but in this matter the
Eastern Church had a real grievance to complain of. The Nicene Creed was
to them what it was not to the Western Church, their only creed, and the
authority of the councils, by which its form and wording were
determined, stood far higher in their estimation. To add to the one and
to disregard the other were, at least in their judgment, the violation
of a sacred compact.

The other question, which, if not actually one of doctrine, had come to
be regarded as such, was that of the _azyma_, that is, the use of
unfermented bread in the celebration of the eucharist. As far as one can
judge from the doubtful evidence on the subject, it seems probable that
ordinary, that is, leavened bread, was generally used in the church for
this purpose until the seventh or eighth century, when unleavened bread
began to be employed in the West, on the ground that it was used in the
original institution of the sacrament, which took place during the Feast
of the Passover. In the Eastern Church this change was never admitted.
It seems strange that so insignificant a matter of observance should
have been erected into a question of the first importance between the
two communions, but the reason of this is not far to seek. The fact is
that, whereas the weighty matters of dispute--the doctrine of the
Procession of the Holy Spirit, and the papal claims to supremacy--
required some knowledge and reflection in order rightly to understand
their bearings, the use of leavened or unleavened bread was a matter
within the range of all, and those who were on the lookout for a ground
of antagonism found it here ready to hand.

In the story of the conversion of the Russian Vladimir we are told that
the Greek missionary who expounded to him the religious views of the
Eastern Church, when combating the claims of the emissaries of the Roman
communion, remarked: "They celebrate the mass with unleavened bread;
therefore they have not the true religion." Still, even Photius, when
raking together the most minute points of difference between him and his
adversaries, did not introduce this one. It was reserved for a
hot-headed partisan at a later period to bring forward as a subject of
public discussion.

This was Michael Cerularius, Patriarch of Constantinople, with whose
name the Great Schism will forever be associated.

The circumstances which led up to that event are as follows: For a
century and a half from the death of Photius the controversy slumbered,
though no advance was made toward an understanding with respect to the
points at issue. In Italy, and even at Rome, churches and monasteries
were tolerated in which the Greek rite was maintained, and similar
freedom was allowed to the Latins resident in the Greek empire. But this
tacit compact was broken in 1053 by the patriarch Michael, who, in his
passionate antagonism to everything Western, gave orders that all the
churches in Constantinople in which worship was celebrated according to
the Roman rite should be closed. At the same time--aroused, perhaps, in
some measure by the progress of the Normans in conquering Apulia, which
tended to interfere with the jurisdiction still exercised by the Eastern
Church in that province--he joined with Leo, the archbishop of Achrida
and metropolitan of Bulgaria, in addressing a letter to the Bishop of
Trani in Southern Italy, containing a violent attack on the Latin
Church, in which the question of the azyma was put prominently forward.

Directions were further given for circulating this missive among the
Western clergy. It happened that at the time when the letter arrived at
Trani, Cardinal Humbert, a vigorous champion of ecclesiastical rights,
was residing in that city, and he translated it into Latin and
communicated it to Pope Leo IX. In answer, the Pope addressed a
remonstrance to the Patriarch, in which, without entering into the
specific charges that he had brought forward, he contrasted the security
of the Roman See in matters of doctrine, arising from the guidance which
was guaranteed to it through St. Peter, with the liability of the
Eastern Church to fall into error, and pointedly referred to the more
Christian spirit manifested by his own communion in tolerating those
from whose opinions they differed. Afterward, at the commencement of
1054, in compliance with a request from the emperor Constantine
Monomachus, who was anxious on political grounds to avoid a rupture, he
sent three legates to Constantinople to arrange the terms of an
agreement. These were Frederick of Lorraine, Chancellor of the Roman
Church; Peter, Archbishop of Amalfi, and Cardinal Humbert.

The legates were welcomed by the Emperor, but they unwisely adopted a
lofty tone toward the haughty Patriarch, who thenceforward avoided all
communication with them, declaring that on a matter which so seriously
affected the whole Eastern Church he could take no steps without
consulting the other patriarchs. Humbert now published an argumentative
reply to Michael's letter to the Pope, in the form of a dialogue between
two members of the Greek and Latin churches, in which the charges
brought against his own communion were discussed _seriatim_, and
especially those relating to fasting on Saturday and the use of
unleavened bread in the eucharist. A rejoinder to this appeared from the


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