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utterly defeated, and a few months later (April, A.D. 841), the first expedition of the enemy up the Hadriatic proved that the Mohammadan peril was no idle word, but might soon reach the gates of St. Mark's city. The town of Ossero on the isle of Cherson off the Dalmatian coast, and on the Italian shore the town of Ancona, were burned; and the fleet advanced as far as the mouth of the Po.1 A year later the Arabs renewed their depredations in the gulf of Quarnero, and won a complete victory over a Venetian squadron at the island of Sansego.?
The strife of two rivals for the principality of Beneventum furnished the Moslems with the opportunity of seizing Bari.® The governor of that city in order to aid his master Radelchis, had hired a band of Saracens. One dark night they fell upon the sleeping town, and, killing the governor, took it for themselves. The capture of Bari (A.D. 841) 4 was
( as important a success for the advance of the Mohammadans in Italy as that of Panormos for the conquest of Sicily. But their aggression in Italy was not as yet organized. It carried out by various bands—African or Spanish,—who act ! independently and sometimes take opposite side in the struggles of the Lombard princes. The Saracens of Bari, who had wrested that place from Radelchis, become his allies;5 but the chief of Tarentum supports his enemy, Sikenolf. Another Saracen leader, Massar, is employed by Radelchis to defend Beneventum against Sikenolf's Lombards of Salerno.
If the civil war in the Lombard Principality was favourable to the designs of the Saracens, it was advantageous to Naples and her neighbours. No sooner did the struggles break out than Amalfi recovered her independence; and Naples, relieved from the pressure of Lombard aggression was able to change her policy and renounce the alliance with the Moslems with whom she had not scrupled to co-operate. She had helped them to take Messina, but she realised in time that such a friendship would lead to her own ruin. Duke Sergius saw clearly that the Saracens, who were occupying the Archipelago
1 Locc. citt. Lentz, B.Z. iii. 71, dates 177 ; Sansego is near Lussin. these events to A.D. 840 ; and so Gay.
3 Erchempert, 240 ; Chron. Casin. 51. Vasil'ev adopts 839, and so Kretsch
223, 225; Amari, Storia. i. 360-1 mayr, 93. Dümmler, Slawen in Dalmatien, 399, places the capture of
+ See Schipa, Salerno, 99. Tarentum in 843.
5 They wasted Sikenolf's lands and 2 Joann. Ven. ib. ; Dand. Chron. burned Capua, ib. 99-100.
of Ponza and were active on the coast south of Salerno, were an imminent danger to the Campanian cities. Through his exertions, an alliance was formed by Naples with Surrentum, Amalfi, and Gaeta to assist the aggression of the power which they now recognized as a common enemy (A.D. 845)." The confederate fleet won a victory over a Sicilian squadron near Cape Licosa. Rome too seems to have been aware that the unbelievers might at any moment sail against the great city of Christendom. Pope Gregory IV. had built a fort at Ostia and strengthened the town by a wall and foss.
Not long after his death, they took Ostia and Porto and appeared before the walls of Rome (August A.D. 846). It is probable that their quest was only booty and that they had not come with the thought of besieging the city. They were driven off by the Margrave of Spoleto, but not till they had sacked the churches of St. Peter and St. Paul outside the walls A large body encamped before Gaeta (September), where a battle was fought, but the arrival of Caesarius, son of Duke Sergius, with a fleet forced them to retreat to Africa.
Three years later the Romans were disturbed by the alarming news that the enemy had equipped a great fleet to make another attack upon their city. Pope Leo IV. concluded an agreement with the league of Gaeta, Amalfi, and Naples, for the defence of Rome. The naval forces of the four powers gathered at Ostia, and the leaders of the confederates swore solemnly in the Lateran palace to be true to the cause. But their task proved unexpectedly easy, for the forces of the elements charged themselves with the defence of the city of the Popes. The hostile fleet arrived and the battle began, but a storm suddenly arose and scattered the Arab ships. The Italians had little to do but to pick up captives from the waters. This success must have contributed much to establish the power and authority of Duke Sergius at Naples.
In the same year (A.D. 849) the domestic dissensions in
the Lombard state were terminated by a treaty of partition. It was divided into two independent States, the Principality of Beneventum, and the Principality of Salerno. The latter included, along with Lucania and the north of Calabria, Capua and the greater part of Lombard Campania. But the Counts of Capua refused to acknowledge the authority of the Prince of Salerno, and thus three independent States arose from the disruption of the old Principality of Beneventum.
The Western Emperors, Lewis the Pious and Lothar, much occupied with other parts of their wide dominions, had hitherto kept aloof from South Italian affairs. But the danger which threatened Rome at the hands of the infidels moved Lothar to an intervention which appeals from Naples for help against the Lombards, or from one Lombard power for support against another, or from the Eastern Emperor for common action against the Saracens, had failed to bring about. Towards the end of A.D. 846 he decided to send an expedition against the
) Moslems. It was led by his son Lewis, who appeared with an army, chiefly recruited from Gaul, and was active within the Lombard borders during the following years (A.D. 847-849). At the same time he doubtless helped to arrange the agreement between the Lombard rivals. He was bent upon making his authority real, making South Italy a part of
1 his Italian kingdom in the fullest sense, and he was bent upon driving the Saracens out. He expelled them from Beneventum, but this was only the beginning of his task. The Saracens of Bari, whose leader took the title of Sultan, dominated Apulia, in which he was master of twenty-four fortresses and from which he ravaged the adjacent regions. Bari was strongly fortified, and Lewis was beaten back from its walls (A.D. 852). For fourteen years he seems to have been able to make no further effort to cope with the invaders. North Italian affairs, and especially his struggle with Pope Nicolas I., claimed his attention, and it was as much as he could do to maintain authority over his Lombard vassals. During this time the Saracens were the terror of the South; but the confederate fleet of Naples and her maritime allies appears to have secured to those cities immunity from attack.
1 In Constantine Theni. 62 the Saracens are said to have possessed
150 strongholds in Italy before the Christians began to recover the land in
As against the Saracens, the interests of the Eastern and the Western Empires were bound together, and, when Lewis once more set himself earnestly to the task of recovering Apulia, he invoked the co-operation of Constantinople. How he succeeded, and how his success turned out to the profit of his Greek allies, is a story which lies beyond our present limits.
the reign of Basil I. But in the parallel passage in Genesios (116) the number 150 may include their conquests in Sicily, and thus is possibly right. Genesios says that Gallerianon is not counted in this enumeration. The
name puzzled historians (cp. Hirsch, 169), but I have shown that it was a stronghold on the Liris, and explains the modern name of that river, Garigliano (The Treatise De adm. imp. 550).
RELATIONS WITH THE WESTERN EMPIRE.
WHEN Nicephorus I. ascended the throne, he was confronted on the western borders of his dominion by the great Western State which was founded by the genius of Charles the Great. It included the whole extent of the mainland of western Europe, with the exception of Spain and the small territories in Italy which still belonged to the lord of Constantinople. It was far larger in area than the Eastern Empire, and to Charles it might well have seemed the business of a few short years to drive the Byzantine power from Venetia, from the southern extremities of Italy, and from Sicily itself. He had annexed Istria ; he had threatened Croatia; and his power had advanced in the direction of the Middle Danube. But his Empire, though to himself and his friends it might appear as a resurrection of the mighty empire of Augustus or Constantine, was not built up by the slow and sure methods which the Roman republic had employed to extend its sway over the world. Though it was pillared by the spiritual influence and prestige of Rome, it was an ill-consolidated fabric which could not be strengthened and preserved save by a succession of rulers as highly gifted as Charles himself. after his death the disintegration of his Empire began; it had been a menace, it never became a serious danger, to the monarchs of Constantinople.
A treaty had been concluded between Charles and Irene in A.D. 798, by which the Empress recognised the lordship of the King in Istria and Beneventum, while he probably acknowledged her rights in Croatia. Soon afterwards, induced
1 Ann. r. F., s.a. See Harnack, Die Beziehungen, 39.
A few years