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lords, only his soldiers, as have done all the first

256 Ancient and Modern History.

kings of all countries. Each Norman captain had
a town or a village given him for his share.

Fier-a-bras dying, his brother, Drogo, is chosen
sovereign of Apulia in his stead, in 1046; upon
which Robert Guiscard, and his two younger broth-
ers, leave Coutances, to have their share in so much
good fortune. Old Tancred is astonished to see him-
self the father of a race of conquerors ; and the Nor-
man name strikes terror into the neighboring states
of Apulia, and even into the popes themselves. Rob-
ert Guiscard, and his brothers, followed by a train
of their countrymen, go in small troops on a pil-
grimage to Rome, and marching through the coun-
tries with their staves in their hands, at length arrive
undiscovered in Apulia.

The emperor Henry III., though strong enough at
that time to hold the Romans in subjection, was
too weak to make head against these conquerors;
and therefore, by a solemn agreement, he invested
them with those territories which they had acquired
by invasion. They were at that time 1047 n
possession of all Apulia, the earldom of Aversa, and
one-half of the dukedom of Benevento.

Soon after, we see this family raised to be a royal
house, and founder of the kingdoms of Naples and
Sicily, and a fief of the empire. How can it have
happened that this portion of the empire should have
been so soon rent from it, and become a fief to the
see of Rome, at a time when the popes possessed
hardly a foot of territory, were not even the masters

Naples and Sicily. 257

in Rome, nor so much as acknowledged in the march
of Ancona, which had been given them by Otho
the Great ? This event is almost as astonishing as the
conquests of the Norman gentlemen. But here fol-
lows the explanation of this enigma. Pope Leo IX.
wanted to get possession of the town of Benevento,
which belonged to the princes of the race of the
kings of Lombardy, who had been dispossessed by

In 1053 the emperor Henry III. did in effect give
him this town, in exchange for the fief of Bamberg
in Germany ; and the sovereign pontiff is to this day
in possession of Benevento, in virtue of this dona-
tion. The new Norman princes were dangerous
enemies. There can be no conquests without acts of
great injustice; these they committed, and the
emperor wanted to have less formidable vassals.
Leo IX., after having excommunicated them, took
it in his head to march against them, at the head
of an army, with which Henry III. had furnished
him, and gave them battle. History does not men-
tion how the spoils were to be divided, it only takes
notice of there being a numerous army, and that the
pope further increased it by Italian troops, who
enlisted themselves as for a holy war, and that
among the captives, there were a number of bishops.
In 1054 the Normans, who had always conquered
in small numbers, were not a fourth part so strong
as the pope; but then they were accustomed to
fighting. Robert Guiscard, with his brothers, Hum-

Vol. 24 17

258 Ancient and Modern History.

phrey and Richard, count of Aversa, each at the
head of a small, but well-disciplined troop, cut the
whole German army to pieces, and put the Italians
to flight. The pope himself escaped to Civitade, a
town near the field of battle; thither the Normans
followed him, seized him, and carried him with them
prisoner, into that very town of Benevento, which
had first given occasion to this enterprise.

Pope Leo IX. had been made a saint, probably
he might have done penance, for having spilt so
much blood to no purpose, and for having carried
so many of the clergy into the field. It is certain
that he did repent, especially when he saw himself
treated with so much respect by his conquerors,
who yet resolutely kept him prisoner for a whole
year. They restored Benevento to the princes of
Lombardy; and it was not till after the extinction
of that family that the popes at length got posses-
sion of this town.-

It may be easily conceived, that the Norman
princes were more piqued against the emperor, who
had furnished such a powerful army for their
destruction, than against the pope, who commanded
it. They were now resolved to free themselves for-
ever from any pretensions or rights which either of
the two emperors, between which they were sit-
uated, might claim over them. Accordingly they
continued to push their conquests, and made them-
selves masters of Calabria and Capua, during the
minority of Henry IV. and while the Greek Em-

Naples and Sicily. 259

pire was in a state still more feeble than that of
a minority.

The conquest of Calabria was made by the sons
of Tancred of Hauteville, and that of Capua, by the
descendants of its first deliverers. These two vic-
torious governments had none of those quarrels
which so frequently divide the victors and lessen
their power. The use of history obliges me to stop
a little here to take notice that Richard of Aversa,
who conquered Capua, caused himself to be crowned
with the same ceremonies of consecration, and the
holy oil, that had been made use of for Clovis. The
dukes of Benevento were always consecrated in the
same manner ; and the successors of Richard did the
like. Which shows beyond contradiction that every
one establishes customs as he pleases.

Robert Guiscard, duke of Apulia and Calabria,
and Richard, count of Aversa and Capua, both so by
right of conquest, and both determined to be inde-
pendent of the two emperors, made use of the same
precaution, in regard to their sovereignties, which
several private persons did in those times of con-
fusion and rapine, for their patrimonial possessions ;
they gave them to the Church, under the name of an
offering, oblata, and continued in possession of them,
on paying a slight acknowledgment. This was the
only recourse left the weaker party in the unsettled
governments of Italy; and the Normans, though
sufficiently powerful, made use of it as a safeguard
against the emperors, who might in time become

160 Ancient and Modern History.

more powerful. Robert Guiscard, and his brother,
Richard of Capua, when excommunicated by Pope
Leo IX., kept him prisoner. The same conquer-
ors excommunicated by Nicholas II., paid him hom-
age, and put under the protection of the Church, not
only all that they had actually taken, but whatever
they might take in time to come. In 1059 Duke Rob-
ert did homage for Sicily, which he had not yet con-
quered, declared himself a feudatory to the see of
Rome for all his dominions, promising to pay an
acknowledgment of twelve deniers for each plough,
which amounted to a considerable sum. This homage
was an act of political piety, something like that of
the Peter's pence paid by England to the see of
Rome, or the two pounds' weight of gold given by
the first kings of Portugal, or in short like the volun-
tary submission paid by many kingdoms to the
authority of the Church.

But, according to all the laws of feudal right
established in Europe, these princes, as vassals of the
empire, could not choose a new lord paramount with-
out making themselves guilty of rebellion towards
the emperor, and putting it in his power to con-
fiscate their states. The disputes which happened
between the Church and the empire, and what is
more, the power of the Norman princes themselves,
put it out of the power of the emperors to exercise
their just rights. These conquerors, in making
themselves vassals to the pope, became the protect-
ors, and not unfrequently the masters of their new

Naples and Sicily. 261

lords. Duke Robert having received a standard
from the pope, and become the champion of that
church whose enemy he had been, passed over to
Sicily with his brother Roger, and conquered that
island from the Greeks and Mahometans, who, in
1067, divided it between them; these people sub-
mitted upon condition of enjoying their religion and

But there still remained to be reduced all that part
which at present composes the kingdom of Naples.
And there were still reigning princes of Salerno, the
descendants of those who had first called the Nor-
mans into that country. These the Normans at
length drove out, and Duke Robert made himself
master of the city of Salerno: thus dispossessed of
their dominions, these princes took refuge in the
Campagna di Roma, and put themselves under the
protection of Pope Gregory VIL, the same who
made the emperors tremble by his great power. But
Robert, this vassal and defender of the Church, fol-
lowed them there ; upon which Gregory VII. did
not fail to thunder out his excommunications against
him, which ended in the conquest of the whole ter-
ritory of Benevento, of which Robert made himself
master, after the death of the last duke of the Lom-
bard race.

In 1077, Gregory VIL, whom we shall see so
haughty and so dreadful to the emperors and kings,
showed nothing but the greatest complaisance
towards the excommunicated Robert, to whom he

262 Ancient and Modern History.

gave absolution, and from whom he received the
town of Benevento, which has ever since continued
in the see of Rome.

In 1084 that great dispute between the emperor
Henry IV. and Gregory VII., of which we shall
now give an account, broke out. Henry had made
himself master of Rome, and held the pope besieged
in the castle of St. Angelo. Robert, who was then
in Dalmatia, making new conquests, flew to the
assistance of the holy father, whom he rescued from
the united powers of the Germans and Romans, made
himself master of his person, and carried him to
Salerno, where this pope, who had deposed so many
kings, died the prisoner, and under the protection, of
Norman gentlemen.

We must not be surprised at seeing so many king-
doms sending forth knights-errant, who became pow-
erful sovereigns by their exploits, and entered into
the imperial families. This is precisely what hap-
pened to Robert Guiscard, and what we shall see
more than once happen during the Crusades. Rob-
ert married his daughter to Constantine, son of
Michael Ducas, emperor of Constantinople. But this
marriage did not prove happy ; he had soon both his
daughter and son-in-law to avenge, and determined
to go and dethrone the emperor of the East, after
having humbled him of the West.

The court of Constantinople was but one con-
tinued tempest. Michael Ducas was driven from
the throne by Nicephorus, surnamed Botaniates.

Naples and Sicily. 263

Robert's son-in-law was made a eunuch, and at
length Alexius Comnenus, who afterwards suffered
so much by the Crusades, mounted the throne. Rob-
ert, during these troubles, was already advancing
through Dalmatia and Macedonia, and carried ter-
ror and dismay to the very gates of Constantinople.
Bohemond, his son by a first marriage, who was
afterwards so famous in the Crusades, accompanied
him to the conquest of that empire. We may see by
this, how much Alexius Comnenus had reason to
fear the Crusades, since Bohemond began by at-
tempting to dethrone him.

The death of Robert, in 1085, which happened
in the island of Corfu, put a period to his enter-
prises. The princess Anna Comnena, daughter to
the emperor Alexius, and who wrote part of the
history of those times, looks upon Robert as no bet-
ter than a public robber, and is greatly incensed at
his insolence, in presuming to marry his daughter to
the son of an emperor ; but she should have consid-
ered, that the history of the empire itself furnishes
examples of much more considerable vicissitudes of
fortune ; and that everything in this world yields to
strength and power.

264 Ancient and Modern History.


THE design of making the conquest of the Greek
Empire vanished at the death of Robert. But his
family secured their establishments in Italy. Count
Roger, his brother, remained master of Sicily ; Duke
Roger, his son, continued in possession of almost
all the country now called by the name of the king-
dom of Naples ; and Bohemond, his other son, went
and reduced Antioch, after a fruitless attempt to
share in the dominions of his brother, Duke Roger.

But why did neither Count Roger, the sovereign
of Sicily, nor his nephew Roger, duke of Apulia,
take the title of kings? There must be a time for
all things. Robert Guiscard, the first conqueror, had
been invested as duke, by Pope Nicholas II. His
brother Roger had likewise been honored by Robert
Guiscard, as count of Sicily. All these ceremonies
did, however, only confer titles, without adding any-
thing to their power. But the count of Sicily enjoyed
a right which has been always kept up, and which
no other sovereign in Europe has ever had; he
became a kind of second pope, in his own island.

The popes had assumed a right of sending legates
to all the states of Christendom, whom they called
legates a later e; these exercised jurisdiction over all
the churches, exacting tithes, bestowing benefices,
and exercising and extending the pontifical power,

Sicily. 265

as far as the circumstances and interests of the
potentates would admit. And temporal affairs being
almost always connected with spiritual ones, they
brought civil causes also before their tribunal; so
that everything in which the Church was the least
concerned, made a part of their department, as mar-
riages, wills, promises by oath, and the like. They
were indeed a kind of proconsuls, despatched by the
ecclesiastical emperor over all the West. By this
means, Rome, always feeble, always plunged in
anarchy, frequently enslaved by the Germans, and
a prey to every sort of calamity, still continued to
be the mistress of nations. Hence it is, that the his-
tory of each nation is always the history of Rome.

No sooner had Count Roger conquered Sicily
from the Mahometans and Greeks, and settled the
Latin Church in that island, than Pope Urban II.
sent a legate thither. This country, indeed, seemed
of all others, to stand the most in need of a legate
to regulate the hierarchy, or church government,
among a people, of which one-half were Mahometans
and the other one-half of the Greek communion.
And yet this was the only country where the right
of legation was forever abolished. Count Roger,
though a great benefactor to the Latin Church, to
whom he restored Sicily, would not suffer a king to
be sent under the title of legate, into a country which
he had conquered.

Pope Urban, wholly intent upon the Crusades, and
desirous to keep well with a family of heroes, so

266 Ancient and Modern History.

necessary to this grand enterprise, granted a bull to
Count Roger, in 1098, the year before his death, by
which he recalled his legate, and made Roger and
his successors natural legates of the see of Rome
in the island of Sicily; investing them with all the
rights, privileges, and authorities, belonging to that
dignity, which was both spiritual and temporal. This
is the famous privilege which is called the mon-
archy of Sicily ; that is to say, the privilege annexed
to that monarchy ; a privilege which the popes have
ever since been for annulling, but which the kings
of Sicily have always maintained. If this preroga-
tive is incompatible with the Christian hierarchy, it
is evident that Pope Urban had not the power of
bestowing it; but if it is only a matter of church
discipline not repugnant to religion, it is as evident
that every kingdom has a right to claim the same
privilege to itself. This privilege is at the bottom
only the right which Constantine, and all the em-
perors had, of presiding over every part of the
police of their own dominions; and yet in all the
Catholic countries of Europe, there was found but
one Norman gentleman who had power and ad-
dress enough to procure himself this prerogative,
and at the very gates of Rome.

In 1130 the son of this count Roger succeeded to
the whole patrimony of the Norman family, and was
crowned and consecrated king of Sicily and Apulia.
Naples, which was at that time only a small city, and
did not then belong to him, could not give a name

Sicily. 267

to the kingdom. This city had always preserved
itself in the form of a republic, under a duke, who
held in fee of the emperors of Constantinople, and
who had found means, by well-timed presents, to
preserve his small state from the ambition of this
conquering family.

This first king of Sicily, Roger did homage for
his kingdom to the see of Rome. There were at that
time two popes ; one called Anacletus, the son of a
Jew named Leo, and the same whom St. Bernard
calls "Judaicam sobolem" (of Jewish race): the
other called Innocent II. Roger acknowledged
Anacletus, because the emperor Lotharius II. had
acknowledged Innocent ; and it was this Anacletus
to whom he paid his empty homage.

The emperor looked upon the Norman conquerors
as no other than usurpers; accordingly St. Ber-
nard, who was concerned in all the disputes between
the popes and the kings, wrote both against Roger,
and this son of a Jew, who had got himself elected
pope by dint of money. " One," says he, " has
usurped the chair of St. Peter, and the other the
government of Sicily : it belongs to Caesar to punish

Roger supported Anacletus, who was acknowl-
edged in Rome. Lotharius laid hold on this oppor-
tunity to strip the Normans of a part of their con-
quests. He puts himself at the head of an army, and
taking Pope Innocent with him, directs his march
towards Apulia. It is plain that the Normans had

268 Ancient and Modern History.

good reasons for shaking off their dependence on the
emperors, and placing a barrier betwixt them ; for
scarcely was Roger made king when he found him-
self on the point of losing everything. He was
besieging Naples when the emperor marched against
him. He lost several battles, and almost all his prov-
inces on the continent. Innocent II. pursued him in
person, and with his excommunications. St. Ber-
nard, who, in 1137, accompanied the emperor and
the pope, in vain labored to bring about an accommo-
dation. Roger everywhere beaten, retires into Sic-
ily; the emperor dies, and everything is changed;
Roger and his son recover their provinces. Pope
Innocent II. at length acknowledged in Rome, enters
into a league with the princes to whom Lotharius
had given the provinces he had taken from Roger,
and with an implacable enmity in his heart to that
monarch ; like Leo IX., he puts himself at the head of
an army, and like him is defeated and taken pris-
oner. What was he to do in this situation ! He did
like the rest of his predecessors ; he granted absolu-
tions and investitures, and applied for protection
against the empire, to that very race of Normans
against whom he had before called in the assistance
of the empire.

In a short time after King Roger subdued Naples
and the rest of the territories from Gaeta to Brin-
disi, which were wanting to make his kingdom com-
plete, and formed the monarchy such as it now
exists. Naples became the capital of his kingdom,

Conquest of England. 269

and the arts began to revive a little in these beautiful

Having now seen in what manners a few gentle-
men of Coutances, in Normandy, founded the king-
dom of Naples and Sicily, we must next see how a
duke of Normandy and peer of France conquered
England. Astonishing are the number of invasions
and emigrations which lasted from the fourth cen-
tury to the beginning of the fourteenth, and which
ended with the Crusades ! All the nations of Europe
were intermixed, and there was hardly one which
had not had its usurpers.



WHILE the children of Tancred of Hauteville
founded kingdoms at such a distance from their
native land, the dukes acquired one, which became
more considerable than that of the two Sicilies.
Britain, in spite of the native bravery of her people,
has been always destined to be governed by foreign-
ers. After the death of Alfred, which happened in
900, England sank again into barbarism and
anarchy. The ancient Anglo-Saxons, its first con-
querors, and the Danes, its new usurpers, were
always disputing the possession, and fresh Danish
pirates frequently came in also, to partake of the

270 Ancient and Modern History.

spoils of that unhappy island. These pirates con-
tinued so formidable, and the English so weak, that
in the year 1000, the latter were obliged to pur-
chase their quiet of them for forty-eight thousand
pounds sterling; and to raise this sum a tax was
imposed, which lasted for a long time in England,
as indeed most other taxes do, which generally con-
tinue to be levied long after the occasion which gave
rise to them is ceased. This humbling tribute was
called Danegelt, or Danish money.

Canute, king of Denmark, surnamed the Great,
only by performing great acts of cruelty, reduced
both Denmark and England under his subjection
in 1017. The native English were then treated like
slaves ; insomuch that the historians of those times
acknowledge that when an Englishman met a Dane
he was obliged to stop till the latter had passed by.

The race of Canute failing in 1041, the states of
the kingdom resuming their liberty, conferred the
crown on Edward, a descendant from the ancient
Anglo-Saxon kings, who was called the saint and the
confessor. One of the great faults, or great mis-
fortunes of this king, was his having no children
by his wife Edith, daughter to one of the most
powerful noblemen of his kingdom. He hated his
wife, as well as his own mother, and for reasons
of state had them both removed from court. How-
ever, the barrenness of his marriage bed proved the
occasion of his canonization; for it was pretended
that he had made a vow of chastity; a rash vow

Conquest of England. 271

surely for a married man, and highly absurd in a
king, who stood in need of an heir to his domin-
ions. But by this vow, real or pretended, he forged
new chains for his wretched country.

The custom and manners of those times appear
to have been absolutely different from ours. William,
duke of Normandy, who conquered England, was
so far from having any right to that kingdom that
he had not even any to Normandy, if birthright had
taken place; for his father, Robert, who was never
married, had him by the daughter of a skinner of
Falaise, whom history calls " Harlot," a word which
then signified, and still continues to signify in Eng-
lish, a common woman, a prostitute. This bastard,
who was acknowledged in his father's lifetime his
lawful heir, maintained himself by his dexterity and
valor, in the possession of his duchy, against all who
attempted to dispute it with him, and reigned peace-
ably in Normandy, and Brittany did him homage.
On the deal h of Edward the Confessor, he had made
pretensions to the kingdom of England. There was
no established right of succession at that time in any
one state in Europe. The crown of Germany was
elective, that of Spain divided between the Christians
and Moors; Lombardy was every day changing
masters ; the race of Charlemagne, driven from the
throne of France, was an example of what force can
do against the right of blood. Edward the Con-
fessor did not wear the crown by right of inher
itance. Harold, who succeeded him, was not of his

272 Ancient and Modern History.

family, but came to the throne by the most incontest-
able of all rights, the suffrages of the people. The
bastard William could plead neither the right of
election, nor that of inheritance, nor even any party
in his favor in England. He pretended that in a
former voyage he had made to this island, King
Edward had made a will in his favor, which, how-
ever, no one had ever seen. He pretended, moreover,
that he had formerly delivered Harold from prison,
who had in return yielded up to him his right to the
crown of England. These weak reasons he sup-
ported by a powerful army.

The Norman barons, assembled in form of a diet,
refused to furnish their duke with money towards
carrying on this expedition, alleging that if he should
not succeed Normandy would be impoverished, and
that if he did it would become only a province to
England: nevertheless, there were several Norman
lords who risked their fortunes with their duke.
One single nobleman, named Fitzothbern or Fitz-
osborn, equipped forty vessels at his own expense.
The count of Flanders, father-in-law to the duke,
assisted him with a sum of money, and the pope
himself engaged in his interest, and excommunicated
all those who opposed his designs. At length he set

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