Google

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project

to make the world's books discoverable online.

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover.

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the

publisher to a library and finally to you.

Usage guidelines

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it.

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe.

About Google Book Search

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web

at|http: //books .google .com/I

iniiinnii

600041 07OR

J2. Pi"/

4.

w

■Nllllll

000041 g70R

J2. Piy.

^.

FRANCE,

IS

THE LIVES OF HER GREAT MEN.

BY G. P. R. JAMES, ESQ.

'.< ■■■

VOL. I.

( HAKLEMAGNE.

LONDON :

1X)N(JMAN, UEES, ORME, BROWN, GREEN,

AND LONGMAN.

1832.

r » ' I

/- V

<r/-^\ -. •/

EDINBURGH: PriBtcd by AliOMSW Shomtmbds, Thittla LAne.

THE HISTORY

OV

CHARLEMAGNE;

WITH

A SKETCH OP THE STATE AND HISTORY OF FRANCE FROM

THE FALL OF THE ROICAN EBIPIRE, TO THE RISE OF

THE GAELOVINQIAN DYNASTY.

BY G. P. R. JAMES, ESQ.

LONDON :

LONGMAN, REES, ORME, BROWN, GREEN,

AND LONGMAN.

1832.

EDIMBUBOH :

TO THE

REV. WILLIAM CARMALT,

PUTNEY, SURREY.

My dear Sir,

I can dedicate this Work to no person so well as to one, from whom any knowledge that I may possess, was originally derived ; and the only regret which mingles with the pleasure I feel in offering you this volume, is, that the book does not do far more credit to all the kind care that you bestowed upon my youth. The fault, however, was in the scholar, and not in the preceptor ; and had

yi DEDICATION.

the soil which you took pains to cultivate been worthy of your labour, the fruit which is now presented to you would, doubtless, have been of a superior quality.

In regard to the book itself, I have very little to say. It is going forth to meet eyes far less partial than yours ; and I await the decision of the world, a decision often harsh, but seldom unjust, not without anxiety, but not without hope ; for, although labour and research can never really supply the place of genius and judgment, yet I am unwilling to believe, that the long study which, as you know, the work has cost me, can ever be wholly thrown away.

One explanation I must give here, in regard to the distribution of events. Great obstacles presented themselves, in the History of Charlemagne, either to proceeding chrono- logically, or to making a general classification of subjects, and treating each class distinctly. In respect to the first arrangement, such a

DEDICATION. vii

Tnultitiide of wars, expeditions, and great public enterprizes, are tbiind advancing at one time, in the latter years of the monarch's reign, that the mind of the reader would become fatigued, by flying from country to country, and from subject to subject, if the separate events of each campaign and each undertaking were to be noticed at the exact periods of their recurrence. On the other hand, were one to classify the various public acts of Charlemagne, the duration of his reign was so long, and the changes which took place so great, that each class would become a complete history ; and even then, the most extraordinary part of the picture would be nearly lost, namely, the general, rapid, and continual, advance of society under his exertions.

In the first draught of the work, I pro- ceeded chronologically throughout ; but in writing it out a second time, I deviated from that principle in a certain degree ; and though

1

Viii DEDICATION.

I conducted Charlemagne to the beginning of almost all his great undertakings, in the order in which they occurred, I pursued each war to its conclusion, as soon as I found that the reiteration of the same operations against the same nation was likely to become tedious to the reader. Whether I have done right or wrong, I do not at all feel sure 5 but I imagine that I have gained something in brevity, without losing in perspicuity.

I have always wished very much that the task had been undertaken by some one more competent than myself to do justice to such an enterprize ; but no accurate life of Charle- magne had ever been written ; and, I believe, that in the following work, I have corrected some of the errors to be found in former statements, and have added a few facts to the information which the world before possessed upon the subject

Should the book, by some fortunate chance^ meet with greater success than it deserves, or

DEDICATION. ix

than I expect, no one, I know, will more sincerely rejoice than yourself; and the pleasure which I am sure you will feel, will add infinitely to that experienced on his own account, by.

My dear Sir, Yours ever, sincerely and affectionately,

G. P. R. JAMES.

MAxroFFLi^ mar Meleobi, Boxbubghshirb, JioMi, 1832.

ADVERTISEMENT.

It is the intention of the author of this work to follow up the present sketch of the life of Charle- magne bj a series of volumes on the same principle, illustrating the History of France hj the Lives of her Great Men. Each volume, though forming a distinct work, will be connected with that which preceded it by a view of the intervening period.

In regard to the Engravings to be found amongst these pages, a few words of explanation may be necessary. The authenticity of the first is vouched in the strongest manner by Allemanni, though doubted by Mabillon. Perhaps the opinion of the former may be preferable, as that of a man who passed the greater part of his life in the study of the antiquities of the age to which the portrait is

xii ADVERTISEMENT.

ascribed. The copy here given, was procured from the original illumination in the monastery of Saint Calisto, in Rome, expressly for the present work, by the kind exertions of a friend, to whom the author begs to offer his best thanks.

The other Engravings are from seals of Charle- magne, preserved by Le Blanc and Blanchini, and in regard to their authenticity there is no doubt. In the lower, the band round the head of Charlemagne is supposed to represent the Patrician crown ; and the inscriptions on both are given according to the readings of the learned antiquaries, to whom we owe the preservation of the seals.

The Author cannot lay down his pen, without expressing his deep sense of the kind and Uberal aid he has received during his researches ; and begs especially to return his thanks to Professor Napier, and John Dewar, Esq. to whom he is indebted for the means of obtaining much valuable information.

CONTENTS.

Paff«

HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION.— FROM a.d. 476,

TO A.D. 749. 1

HISTORY OF CHARLEMAGNE.

BOOK L

FROM THE BIRTH OF CHARLEIIAGNE, TO HIS ACCESSION.— FROM A.D. 742, TO A.D. 768.

Birth of Charlemagne His mother Bertha Coronation of his father His early education unknown Is sent to welcome Stephen II. on his arrival in France The cause of the Pope's journey The oppression of the Lombards Pepin resolves to defend the Romans Demands that the Pope should repeat his coronation -^ Charlemagne is crowned with his father First conquest of Lombardy by Pepin Union of the Exarchate and Fentapolu to Rome Second conquest of Lombardy War in Aquitaine Death of Remistan Death of Pepin Pepin com- pared with Charles Martel, .... 79

xiv CONTENTS.

BOOK 11.

PROM THB ACCESSION OF CHARLBMAONB AND HIS BROTHER, TO THB DEATH OF CARLOMAN AND THB REUNION OF THE KING- DOM.— FROM A. D. 768, TO A. D. 771.

The accession of Charlemagne and his brother The extent of thdr donunion— The territories beyond the Rhine The nature of the partition between the monarchs— Doubtful sovereignty and revolt of Aquitaine— >It8 rapid conquest by Charlemagne Disunion between the brothers Events in Italy Negotiations of Bertha Charlemagne's first marriage to the daughter of the King of Lombardy His divorce— Hb second marriage— The enmity of Desiderius T&e death of Hunald Of Carloman The widow of Carloman flies to Desiderius The nobles of Carloman elect Charlemagne— Rteunion of the monarchy, HI

BOOK III.

FROM THE DEATH OF CARLOMAN, TO THB CAPTURE OF PAVIA.—

FROM A.D. 771, TO A. D. 774.

Some account of the Saxons— Their continual aggressions on the French frontier— Charlemagne invades Saxony Destruction of the idol Irminsula— Submission of the Saxons Ciroumstances of Italy— Intrigues of Desiderius Adrian elected Pope His firm resistance of the Lombards Demands aid from France Charlemagne endeavours to n^otiate ^th Desiderius— Marches to the deliverance of Adrian Passes the Alps Si^e of Pavia Ciqpture of Verona His reception in Rome Fall of Pavia— Fate of Desiderius, ..... 145

BOOK IV.

FROM THB CONQUEST OF LOMBARDY, TO THE BEGINNING OF THB SPANISH WAR.— FROM A.D. 774, TO A.D. 777.

Charlemagne returns to France— Despatches a force to punish the Saxons His habits of business He invades Saxony— His rear guard surprised The Saxons defeated Revolt of the Duke of Friuli His death Trevisco betrayed Charlemagne returns to Saxony Internal administration Character of the famous Witikind— His attempt to raise Saxony once more— Defeated by the vigilance of Charlemagne— He flies to Denmark, 190

CONTENTS. jf^

BOOK V.

PROM THB BBeiNNinO OP THB SPANISH WAR, TO THB INCORPO- RATION OP SAXONT WITH THB PRBNCH DOMINIONS.-^PROM A. D. 777y TO A. D. 780.

Pi«e

The state of Spain ^-Chaiiemagne inyited to invade Spiun— His preparations »- He passes the Pyrenees Subjection of Arrap gon and Catalonia Captore of Pampeluna Battle of Saragpossa Establishment of the Spanish march Charlemagne recalled to the north Battle of RoncesraUes Ravages committed by the Saxons Battle of the Adem Internal reg^ulations of Charle- magne*-His conduct to the Duke of Spoleto Saxony incorpo- rated with Fiance-^ Retrospect of the Saxon war— > The Saxon capitularies, ...... 218

BOOK VI.

PROM THB INCORPORATION OP SAXONT» TO THE HOMAGE OP THB DUKB OP BAVARIA. PROM A.D. 780, TO A.D. 782.

Conspiracies of the family of Desiderius Charlemagne pro- ceeds to Pavia— State of Italy— Aquitaine and Italy raised into separate kingdoms in &vour of Loms and Pepin Changes in the state and policy of Greece— Alliance of Irene and Charlemagne —State of Great Britain— Charlemagne visited by Alcuin— The French monarch returns firom Italy Submission of Tassilo, Duke of Bavaria, 251

BOOK VII.

PROM THB SUBMISSION OP THB DUKB OP BAVARJA, TO THB BAPTISM OP WITIKIND, AND THB SUPPRESSION OP THB REVOLT OP BRITANNT. PROM A.D. 782, TO A.D. 785.

Efforts to conciliate the Saxons Envoys from Denmark and Hungary— Incursion of the Sclavonians— Revolt of Saxony— The Francs defeated at Sinthal Charlemagne takes the field His unusual severity of no effect Battle of Dethmold— Battle on the Hase— Saxony once more subdued Witikind and Albion visit the court of France are baptized Charlemagne, after the death of Hildegarde, marries Fastrada- The Thuringian conspiracy —discovered— pumshed— State of Britanny Revolt of that province— Its subjection, 274

Xvi CONTENTS.

BOOK VIII.

PROM THE PACIFICATION OP SAXONY, TO THE DEFEAT OP ADAL- OISOS AND THE GREEKS IN ITALY. FROM A.D. 785, TO A.D. 788.

The conspiracy of Arichis, Duke of Beneventum, and Taasilo, Duke of Bayaria, renewed The doubtful conduct of Greece Charlemagne marches into Italy Advances towards Benerentum

Arichis submits-^ The alliance between France and Greece broken off The intrigues of Tassilo Charlemagne marches against Bavaria Tassilo submits Charlemagne's efforts for the revival of letters Interrupted by the alliance of Tassilo, Arichis, and Irene Death of the Duke of Beneventum and his eldest son

Charlemagne bestows the dukedom on the second son Grim- wald Progress of the conspiracy Forces despatched to Italy Arrest and condemnation of the Duke of Bavaria Landing of the Greeks in Italy— Their defeat, 299

BOOK IX.

FROM THE CONDEMNATION OF THE DUKE OF BAVARIA, TO THE DECREES OF THE COUNCIL OF FRANKFORT. FROM A.D. 788, TO A. D. 794.

Sketch of the history of the Avars They invade both Friuli and Bavaria— Are defeated on both points Again invade Bavaria, and are repelled Charlemagne devotes himself to the civilization of his territories Interrupted by the attack of Weletabes upon the Abodrites War against the Weletabes Their subjection The year of peace Progressive improvement of France in the useful arts N^otiations with the Huns unsuccess^l Invasion of Hungary Fortifications of that country Successes of the French armies The Felician heresy Synod of Ratisbon Council of Frankfort Libri Carolini, .... 927

BOOK X.

FROM THE CONSPIRACY OF PEPIN THE HUNCHBACK, TO THE FINAL SUBJUGATION OF THE SAXONS. FROM A.D. 792, TO A.D.

804.

The conspiracy of Pepin the Hunchback His birth and cha- racter— Discovery of the designs of the conspiraton-— Their trial

CONTENTS. xm

Paffo

and condemnation Constitution of the General Assemblies of the Francs under Charlemagne And their functions Counts of the Palace-^ Fresh revolt of Saxony France invaded by the Saracens Defeat of Wilhelm, Duke of Thoulouse, and the troops of the Spamsh march Conduct of Charlemagne Project for the union of the Rhine and the Danube The attempt abandoned Death of the Queen Fastrada Wars with Sazonj— Expatriation of the Saxons Object, necessity, and advantage of the subjuga- tion of Saxony, d60

BOOK XI.

FROM TRE RENEWAL OF THE HUNGARIAN WAR, TO THE ELECTION OF LEO III. FROM AJ>. 794 TO AJ>. 796.

Internal dissentioiw of the Huns Treacheij of Thndun Herric, Doke of Frhili, ordered to invade Hungary His success Pepin, King of Italy, invades Hnngaiy Captures the for- tress of the Ring Death of Adrian I. Election of Leo He sends the keys and standard as an act ofhomage Building of the Palace at Aix-la-Chapelle— The Palace CoUege— Studies of Charlemagne— Progress of Literature in France in Saxony, 385

BOOK XIL

FROM THE RENEWAL OF HOSTILITIES IN THE SPANISH MARCH, TO THE DEATH OF THE QUEEN LUIDGARDE. FROM A.D. 797, TO AJ>.800.

Piratical expeditions from Spain and Barbary Chastised by Charlemagne Renewal of the war in Spain Zatun does homage for Barcelona Loms carries on the war against the Saracens Powerful diversion effected in &vour of the Gothic Christians Victories of Alphonso the Chaste Warfare with the Huns Revolt of Thudun Gerold, Count of the Marches of Bavaria, and Heiric, Duke of Friuli,sl£dn Hungary subdued Embassies to the court of Charlemagne from Constantine VI, to treat for peace from Irene, announcing the deposition and blinding of Constantine^ from Haroun al Raschid Rise of his friendship with Charlemagne His presents to the monarch of the Francs - Sends him the keys of Jerusalem Norman piracies Measures to repel them from the coast of France and Germany Death of Luidgarde, 407

xviii CONTENTa

BOOK XIII.

FROM CHABLBMA6NB*S LAST VISIT TO ROME, TO HIS DEATH.

FROM AJ>. 800» TO AJ>. 814.

Plffe

Affitiis of Italy »- Conspiracy of Paschal and Campulos Attempted mutilation of the Pope-— His recoyery and escape— Reinstated by Charlemagne Examination of the accusations brought against him— Charlemagne visits Rome^Investig^ates in person the charges against Leo They are unsupported— Chariemagne saluted and crowned Emperor of the Romans— War with Beneventum Concluded Negotiations concerning the limits of the Eastern and Western Empires With Irene With Nicephorus State of Venice War with the Danes averted for a time— War ^th the Bohemians— Charter of division between the sons of Charlemagne War with the Bohemians concluded War with the Danes b^^un and ended War with the Venetians Death of the two elder sons of Charlemagne He associates Louis to the throne Death of Chariemagne— His character, 4d2

HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION.

One of the noblest possessions of the Roman empire was the province of ancient Gaul. Much blood and treasure had been expended in its con- quest ; infinite wisdom, moderation, and vigour, had been displayed in the means taken to attach it to the dominion of the Caesars ; and the passing of several centuries had strongly cemented the union, and incorporated the conquered with their conquerors. Unwieldy bulk, enfeebling luxury, intestine divisions, and universal corruption, soon, however, began to draw down the impending destruction upon the head of the imperial city. Attack after attack, invasion following invasion, left her still weaker under each succeeding monarch ; province after province was wrested from her sway,

A

2 HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION.

till at length Odoacer, chief of the Scyrri, raised his standard in Italy ; Romulus Augustulus yielded the empty symbols of an authority he did not possess ; and the Roman empire was no more.

Previous to this period,t however, Gaul had been, in fact, though not in name, separated from the falling monarchy, and portioned out amongst a thousand barbarous tribes, t The country between the Rhone and the Alps had long been possessed by the Burgundians ; the Goths held the whole territories situated between the Loire and the Pyrenees ; Britanny, or Armorica, was divided between fresh colonies of Saxons and the remains of the aborigines ; great part of the east of Belgium was in the hands of the Francs ; and the Roman

* The histoiy of Odoacer is very obscure, notwithstanding all that Monsieur de Buat has done to clear it up. That he was the son of Edicon, the chief of the Scjrri, seems to be established ; but what was the life he led, after the defeat of his nation by the Ostrogoths, is not at all ascertained. My own belief is, that, with the remnant of his people, he joined the predatory Saxons, who infested the coasts of France, and was the same who, in company with Childeric, (Greg. Tur. lib. ii.) plundered the town of Anglers, and established himself at the mouth of the Loire, after the death of iGgidius. It would seem that^ from that time, he continued a wandering and uncertsdn life, foUowed by a body of desperate adventurers, till the struggle between Nepos and Orestes, the weakness of the Roman state, and the turbulent rising of the barbarian mercenaries, by which it had been long supported, opened a new field to his ambition. I cannot, in any way, receive the account of Theophanes, who mistakes his history altogether, and calls him a Goth ; and still less the interpretation of Gibbon, who says that the words ** nursed in Italy," must be understood to mean, ** having served long in the imperial guards."

f A.D. 476. J Gregor. Turon. lib. ii.

HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION.

legions, that were still left to maintain the almost nominal possession of Gaul, cooped up in a narrow space, and threatened daily by active and warlike enemies, thought of nothing- but easting off the control of their enfeebled country, and iindin^ strengtb in independence.

In the meantime, the larger cities were filled with a mixed population, consisting, partly of the Roman colonists, partly of the ancient Gauls, partly of their savage conquerors. Some few, indeed, either by accident or courageous resistance, had escaped the fury of the invaders, and remained free, while all around them had been subdued ; some had been sacked and left desolate ; and some, having been ceded by the falling emperors them- selves to the Goths, or to any other of the tribes in temporary alliance with Rome, had passed more mildly under the sway of the barbarians, and enjoyed as much protection as could be afforded in times so disastrous.

Such was the general aspect of the province a little previous to the final overthrow of the Roman Empire. But those were days of change, when nothing was fixed ; and the nation which ruled to-day, to-morrow had passed away, and was unknown ; and all that continued, with unaltered force, was ravage, disorder, and destruction.

Each of the savage tribes of the north, in itii pawiage to more fertile regions, bad expended it^ first

4 HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION.

fuiy on the plains of Gaul, and had contributed to sweep away letters, and institutions, and arts.

" Innumerable nations of barbarians,'* says St Jerome, in his letter to Aggerunchia,* " took posses- sion of the whole of GauL The Quadi, the Vandals, the Sarmatians, the Alani, the Gepidse, the Herculi, Saxons, Burgundians, Germans, and Panonians, horrible republic I ravaged the whole country between the Alps, the Pyrenees, the ocean, and the Rhine. Assur was with them. Mayence, formerly a famous city, was taken and sacked, and thousands of its inhabitants massacred. Worms was ruined by a long siege ; the people of the powerful cities of Rheims, Amiens, and Arras, the Morini, situated in the far parts of Belgium, and the inhabitants of Toumay, Spires, and Strasbourg, were transported into Germany. Aquitaine, the Lyonaise, and the Narbonaise, were entirely devastated, except some few of the towns ; and these, the steel smote without, while famine desolated them within.**

The Goths, the Vaiidals, and the Huns, added, one after the other, a fresh load to the mountain of calamities piled up on unhappy Gaul ; and often leffc scattered colonies behind, still to devour the land, and to carry on the work of barbarism so signally begun.

With such a picture before our eyes, it is scarcely

* Flodoard, cap. vi.

HISTORlCAt INTRODUCTION- 5

poesible to conceive the existence of any tiling like a state of society regulated, even in the slightest degree, by fixed principles. In what relationship could man live with man, when all ties were broken, and when the discordant elements of the population offered a chaos of different nations, languagef^, manners, and ideas, precluding the |>os6ibility even of that simple form of government common amongst savage nations ? In the fields and plains, then, it is probable that the whole was chaotic confusion, and that for a long time all rule was at an end, except that rule which it is the object of every law to correct, the rule of the strung over the weak.

Within the larger cities, however, two or three principles of security still existed. In those towns which had resisted the barbarians, it seems that tiie institutions of Rome yet remained almost entire ; and that, though tlie inhabitants were cut off from the source o( their laws, the necessity of combina- tion for the general defence, maintained at least some internal regularity and order. The extent to which the Koman law was preserved, during the middle ages, is a question of great difficulty, and one on which I am not called to enter at large in this place, more especially as the subject has been urgued ably elsewhere. That it was preserved in a considerable degree is evident, from the continual

5 HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION.

reference made to it by all the barbarian codes ; and the cause of the permanence of the municipal institutions of Rome, while all other principles of government were swept away, may probably be discovered in the popular and independent charac- ter of the civic constitution throughout the whole empire.

This independent civic constitution originated in Italy itself; but being extended more or less to all the provinces by the emperors, it was especially perfected in Gaul ; and it is worth while to examine what was really the municipal government of a Gallic city under the sway of Rome, in order to form some opinion of the conservative influence, which those institutions still exercised in the midst of the convulsions which rent the empire at its falL

The model of each provincial city was Rome itself ; and as the institutions of the great capital varied, by the progress of time, so the forms of local administration changed. The general assem- blies of the people were the original source of power ; in them the laws were at first enacted, and a popular council or senate chosen, which gradually took the whole authority into its own hands. The name of this municipal council was, in the early days of the empire, Ordo Decurionum ; but at length it was termed simply. Curia ; and its members were called Decuriones, or Curiales.

HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION.

Sumetimes, also, tbey received the name of Senators, although this would eeem to have been an appella- tion of" courtesy.

The internal management of the affairs of the city, combining both the legislative and the exe- cutive authority, was the thief function of the Curia ; but, in Italy itself, the magisterial juris- diction was intrusted to an officer, sometimes called Duumvir, sometimes Quatuorvir, or Magistratua, who was chosen by the Decurlons, from their own body, though the imperial governors, and often the retiring magistrate, exercised great influence in the election. In the provinces, however, no such magistrate existed, except in a few cases ; and the presidency of the council was intrusted to the eldest Decurion, while the magisterial functions were exercised by the whole as a body. Thus, at the time of the barbarian invasions, a popular power and an individual government was found in each of the cities, independent of the state. Its conservative influence was great, while 8ufi"ered to exist, and it was easily renewable when casually overturned by an)' passing torrent of barbarians.

These, in general, contented themselves with plunder and massacre, and neither strove for, nor desired a lengthened possession of, the places they capttu-ed. Even those cities which were taken by the Vandals and the Huns, were generally aban- doned by them as soon as they were pillaged ; bo

g HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION.

that such of the inhabitants as had effected their escape to any place of refuge, came back when the desolating force had passed bjr, and possibly resumed their habits as well as their dwellings.

Such was the case when the city of Rheims was besieged and taken by the barbarians.* Satisfied with their plunder, and by no means disposed to remain stationary in any one spot, the body of Vandals by which it had been subdued, speedily left the city which afforded them no farther object for their rapacity; and the inhabitants who had fled to the mountains returned, taking care to ascribe their deliverance from their cruel enemies, to a miraculous interposition of Heaven.

There was another power also which acted to preserve the seeds of order in the cities, to bind at least a portion of the population together by strong and indissoluble ties, and to maintain one species of authority while every other authority was at an end,— I mean the Christian religion, and the power cast into the hands of the church, by an influencing feeling totally apart from the frail and falling insti- tutions of humanity whereby it was surrounded.

Christianity had then been long preached in <jaul ; and, in spite of the barbarous ignorance which obscured it, and the dark superstitions with which it was mingled, its innate principles of union,

* Flodoard, cap. vL

HISTORICAL IMTRODCCTION. 9

benevolence, and peace, were felt, where- every other good feeling was overwhelmed, and tended potently to preserve order in the midst of a thousand causes of disoi^anisation. Perhaps even the very blind and enthusiastic superstition of the Christians of that age, the multitude of miracles which they supposed themselves capable of performing, and the many wonderful interpowtions of Heaven which they reported in their own &vour, was not without its use, both in commanding respect for the only chastening principle that yet remained, and in pre- paring the minds of the semi-barbarous Romans, and of the deeper savages with whom they were now mingled, for a religion, the least superetittous in its own nature, of any doctrine that ever was promulgated on earth. «

Far is it from my object to countenance deceit, or even policy, in any matter of religion a matter which neither requires nor admits of prop or guidance from mortal man. But still, it is the business of the historian, not only to state events, hut to examine their causes, and to trace their effects ; and it appears to me an indisputable iact, that the superstition with which the vivid imagination of a barbarous people clothed the simplest and purest of doctrines, served to assimilate it to their own minds, and to ensure easier recep- tion to principles calculated in the end to elevate, to purify* and to correct. In a worldly point of

10 HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION.

yiew, it did much more : It added an imaginary dignity, in the eyes of the people, to the real dignity of devotion, and a holy life ; and, by making the clergy respected and reverenced, it called those who were great and powerful, not only to embrace the faith, but, on interested motives, to solicit those stations in the church, which added to their con- sideration with their countrymen, in an age when the multitude of followers and adherents was the only means of safety. Thus, we find the various bishoprics of Gaul, as strenuously solicited and in- trigued for, in the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries, as any mundane honour of our latter days ; and the writers of those ages, in general, state all the great dignitaries of their church to have sprung from families which they qualify as possessing senatorial rank, or great wealth and possessions/

It is true that, to counterbalance in the eyes of the worldly, any advantages which the higher stations of the church might possess, there were to be thrown into the opposite scale, frequent perse- cutions, tortures, and even martyrdom ; but, it must be remembered, that such a fate rarely fell on any but the more zealous, who made themselves prominent by their enthusiasm, and like elevated points in a thunder storm, drew down the fire upon themselves by their very pre-eminence. To

* Greg, Tur. pasnm, Ann. Bertiniani, Flodoarduf .

HISTORICAL INTBODUCTIOS.

these, however, their zeal was a sufficient support. They coveted the uame of martyr ; and it is pro- bable that the heroic cofistancy with which they bore the most excruciating- suffering-, did more to strengthen and coniiru] the faitliful, and to convert all who possessed that nobler fire of the mind which is BO easily exalted into enthusiasm, than the prospect even of honours, dignity, and power, did to attract the worldly and interested.

Thus spread the Christian religiofi throug-h a ^reat part of Gaul ; and the power given by it to the bishops, the remains of the municipal senates esta- blished by the Romans, together with the few and simple laws of the barbarians, formed the whole guarantee of order, of property, and of life, in that day, a frail tenure by which to hold both existence and tranquillity, it is true ^ but still it was some check upon man's unruly passions some barrier in the way of absolute anarchy.

The laws of the barbarians just mentioned, were of course very different, according' to the habits and degree of civilization of the various nations which bad formed them. In most cases, they were simply traditionary, and frequently depended in all points on the will of the chief by whom the tribe was led. An exception, however, to this want of regular written institutions is to be found in the case of the Biirgundians, who seem to have been influenced by more settled habits tlian the rest

12 HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION.

of the invaders of Gaul. They first set the example of establishing written laws.* This undertaking one of the greatest steps in the progress of civiliza- tion— was beg^n, if not completed, by Gondebald King of Burgundy, who, somewhere about the year 500, t caused to be published part of the loi Gombette,t as it is now called, about a century after the compilation of the Theodosian, and about thirty years prior to the Justinian code.

Remarkable in itself as the first of the barbarous codes of law, this composition is still more so in two other points of view. In the first place, the very cause of its institution, as stated by Gregory of Tours, shews, in a melancholy degree, to what a pitch of degradation the great overthrower of all dynasties had already reduced the mighty Romans, the conquerors and oppressors of the world.

* I have embraced the opinion of Monsieur Guizot, that the loi Gombette was compiled prior to the Salique law. The preface to the Buigundian code makes mention of the second year of Gondebald, which refers to a. d. 468, several years before the accession of Clovis, and it does not appear demonstrated that either the Salique or Ripuarian codes were committed to writing before the conversion of that monarch to Christianity, many years after the publication of the first Buigun- dian code. The subject, however, is involved in much obscurity, and it is probable will ever remain in doubt. For various opinions, see Guizot, Mably, Savigny, Heineccius, Boulainvilliers, &c

-j- The various laws of this code appear to have been published at many distinct times, and we find references therein to different events dated from a.d. 467 to a.d. 517.

X On examining this law as it has come down to us, it evidently appears to be formed of two distinct parts ; the first referable to the reign of Gondebald, and the second probably to that of Sigismond, his son.

HISTORICAL INTRODCCTION. ]3

" Gondibert," says the historian, " having re- covered his dominion ovpr all that part of the country now called Burgundy, lie therein instituted milder laws, that the Romans might not be oppressed 1 " * Two centuries before, who had dared to oppress a Roman ? In the second place, this code is not a little curious, as fixing the origin of judicial corabats ; t for here do we find, for the first time, that barbarous and unjust mode of judgment authorized as a law. Amongst a people whose manners, wishes, arts, and knowledge, were all referable in some way to the idea of attack and defence, whose acquisitions had been made by the sword, and by the sword alone could be maintained, it was not wonderful that strength and courage should have been ranked as virtues, and weakness and cowardice should have been in themselves looked upon as crimes ; but, when to this was added a firm belief in the immediate and apparent interposition of Heaven in all human aff^rs, the trial by battle was the natural result both of national feelings and religious impressions. Long before the fall of the western empire, as I have already stated, the doctrines of Christianity had been promulgated in Gaul, and had obtained many and powerful followers in each of the large cities. Nevertheless, over the face of the country

Greg. Tur. lilj. i

■(■ Lui Gomlietir, cap.

14 HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION.

in general, religious opinions were as various as the various nations who possessed the soil. The grand division was, of course, between the idolaters and the Christians ; but, even amongst the Chris- tians themselves, existed a vast and distressing schism, which neutralized the efforts of zeal, and wasted the powers which should have been applied solely to promote the great objects of Christianity, in profane contests, and most unchristian perse- cutions.

It is not my purpose here to examine, even curso- rily, the tenets of Arius, or to trace the extension of his doctrine. Suffice it, that, though condemned by the CEcumenical council of Nice, and attacked by the whole powers of the Roman church, the followers of the Arian heresy in Gaul were far superior in numbers, if not in zeal and talent, to those who adhered to the Nicene creed. The Goths, possessing the country from the Loire to the Pyrenees, and the Burgundians on the other side of the Rhone, were almost universally Arians, while the rest of the population of France was divided between Catholics of the Roman church, the remains of the ancient tribes of heathen Gaul, and the various nations of idolatrous Francs, who were now rapidly extending their dominions in the northern and eastern parts of Flanders.

In the choice between those who differed with them on certain doctrinal points, and those who

HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION. 15

rejected their religion altogether, the followers of the council of Nice, of course, hesitated not a moment. The universal weakness of human nature on such subjects, made them look with an infinitely more favourable eye upon heathens than they did upon heretics ; and, consequently, the progress of the Francs was hailed with gladness by all the Catholic clergy of Gaul. Cabals and intrigues, of every kind, were carried on to facilitate their conquests ; and their coming was anticipated with joy, even in the very dominions of the Goths.*

As it is to be my task, henceforward, to trace the course of the Francs, I must be permitted, for a moment, to look back upon their prior history, as far as I find it clear and uninvolved, without, however, entering upon any of those long and laborious discussions concerning the origin of nations, which rarely do aught but exercise the writer's imagination, without proving either pleasing or instructive to the reader.

The nation of the Francs was evidently composed of many distinct tribes, and originally inhabited some district of Germany, probably not far from the Rhine. Their first settlements in Gaul took place during the military government of the Emperor Julian ; t but, in that age, they presented themselves

Greg. Tur. lib. ii.

f Then only Cspsar. Ammian. Marcelin. lib. 1 7.

1

16 HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION.

on the Roman territory, not so much as conquerors or aggressors, as refugees, driven from their native land by a more powerful tribe. *

The vigorous mind of Julian was at that time occupied in endeavouring, by every earthly means, to uphold the vast but decaying fabric of the Roman empire, to restore to it its pristine lustre, and to renew its ancient force. The advantages of mingling, with the corrupted legionaries of Rome, fresh troops, whose savage strength and wild courage had not yet been in the least degree a£Pected by the enfeebling power of luxury, did not escape him ; and he permitted the tribe of Francs who had been compelled to seek refuge in the Roman territory, to settle quietly in Brabant. More prudent, how- ever, than his successors, he took care that the barbarians whom he admitted should be too few in number to prove dangerous ; and thus, though he received that tribe called the Salii,t who had been driven