Slike stranica

to the north of the Hadriatic threatened to interrupt the peaceful development of Venice and to rob the Empire of a valuable possession. The bishops of Istria were subject to the Patriarch of Grado. When Charles conquered Istria (A.D. 787-788), he transferred them to the See of Aquileia; he had already promised the Pope to submit to his spiritual dominion both Istria and Venetia (A.D. 774). At Grado he won an adherent in the Patriarch himself, who, however, paid the penalty for his treason to the Empire. The young Duke Maurice sailed to Grado and hurled the Patriarch from the pinnacle of a tower (c. A.D. 802). This act of violence did not help the government; it gave a pretext to the disaffected. Fortunatus, a friend of Charles the Great, was elected Patriarch (A.D. 803), and with some Venetians, who were opposed to the government, he seceded to Treviso, and then went by himself to Charles, with whom he discussed plans for overthrowing the Imperial Dukes. The disloyal party at Treviso elected a certain Obelierius to the Dukedom; the loyal Dukes fled; } and Obelierius with his adopted brother took unhindered possession of the government in Malamocco.

This revolution (A.D. 804) was a rebellion against Constantinople, and the new Dukes signalized their hostility to the Empire by a maritime attack on the Imperial province of Dalmatia. At first they seem to have contemplated the design of making their State independent both of the Frank and of the Greek, for they refused to allow Fortunatus, the confidential friend of Charles, to return to Grado.1 But they soon abandoned this idea as impracticable; they submitted unreservedly to the Western potentate and visited him at his Court (Christmas, A.D. 805). He conferred upon them the Duchy of Venetia as a fief, and when he divided the Empire prospectively among his sons (Feb. A.D. 806) he assigned Venetia, Istria, and Dalmatia to Pippin.2


It is not improbable that in making this submission Venice hoped to induce Charles to remove the embargo which he had placed upon her trade in A.D. 787, but if she counted on this, she was disappointed. It may be that Charles himself did not calculate on the permanent retention of Venetia, and it belonged to his Empire for little more than a year. In 2 Simson, Karl, 347. 3 Lentz, i. 32.

1 See Kretschmayr, 55-56.

the spring of A.D. 807 the Emperor Nicephorus dispatched a fleet to recall the rebellious dependency to its allegiance. The patrician Nicetas, who was in command, encountered no resistance; the Dukes submitted; Obelierius was confirmed in his office and created a spathar; his brother was carried as a hostage to Constantinople along with the bishop of Olivolo. Fortunatus, who had been reinstated at Grado, fled to Charles.



Thus Venice was recovered without bloodshed. Pippin, who, with the title of King, was ruling Italy, was unable to interfere because he was powerless at sea, and he concluded a truce with the Byzantine admiral till August 808. But the trial of strength between the Western and the Eastern powers was only postponed. Another Greek fleet arrived, under the patrician Paulus, stratêgos of Kephallenia, wintered in Venice, and in spring (809) attacked Comacchio, the chief market of the Po trade. The attack was repelled, and Paulus treated with Pippin, but the negotiations were frustrated by the intrigues of the Dukes, who perhaps saw in the continuance of hostilities a means for establishing their own independence between the two rival powers.2 Paulus departed, and in the autumn Pippin descended upon Venetia in force. He attacked it from the north and from the south, both by land and by, sea. His operations lasted through the winter. In the north he took Heracliana, in the south the fort of Brondolo on the Brenta; then Chioggia, Palestrina, and Albiola; finally Malamocco. The Dukes seem to have fallen into his hands, and a yearly tribute was imposed (A.D. 810). Paulus again appeared on the scene, but all he could do was to save Dalmatia from an attack of Pippin's fleet.



The news quickly reached Constantinople, and Nicephorus sent Arsaphios, an officer of spathar rank, to negotiate with Pippin. When he arrived, the King was dead (July 810), and he proceeded to Aachen (October).


Charles was now in a better position to bargain for his recognition as Imperator than seven years before. He had now a valuable consideration to offer to the monarch of


1 Beatus; he returned to Venice, with the title of hypatos, in 808; and he and Obelierius adopted their brother Valentine as a third co-regent Duke. 2 Lentz, i. 37.


imp. 124).

Constantine, ib., describes the siege of Malamocco, which he says lasted six months.

5 lb.

'Aeißólas (Constantine, De adm.

Cp. Ann. r. F.
p. 133.


Constantinople, and he proved, by what he was ready to pay,
how deeply he desired the recognition of his title.
He agreed
to restore to Nicephorus Venetia, Istria, Liburnia, and the
cities of Dalmatia which were in his possession. He entrusted
to Arsaphios a letter to the Emperor, and handed over to him
the Duke Obelierius to be dealt with by his rightful lord.1
Arsaphios, who was evidently empowered to make a provisional
settlement at Venice, returned thither, deposed the Dukes,
and caused the Venetians to elect Agnellus Parteciacus,
who had proved his devotion and loyalty to the Empire
(Spring 811).2

In consequence of the death of Nicephorus in the same year, the conclusion of peace devolved upon Michael I. He agreed to the proposals, his ambassadors saluted Charles as Emperor Basileus-at Aachen (812), and Charles, who had at last attained the desire of his heart, signed the treaty. The other copy was signed by the successor of Michael and received by the successor of Charles (814). This transaction rendered valid retrospectively the Imperial election of A.D. 800 at Rome, and, interpreted strictly and logically, it involved the formal union of the two sovran realms. For the recognition of Charles as Basileus meant that he was the colleague of the Emperor at Constantinople; they were both Roman Emperors, but there could be, in theory, only one Roman Empire. In other words, the Act of A.D. 812 revived, in theory, the position of the fifth century. Michael I. and Charles, Leo V. and Lewis the Pious, stood to one another as Arcadius to Honorius, as Valentinian III. to Theodosius II.; the imperium Romanum stretched from the borders of Armenia to the shores of the Atlantic. The union, of course, was nominal, and glaringly unreal, and this has disguised its theoretical significance. The bases of the civilizations in east and west were now so different, the interests of the monarchs were so divergent, that there could be no question of even a formal co-operation—of issuing laws, for instance, in their joint names. And even if closer


1 Ann. r. F., ad dominum suum, p. 134. The letter of Charles is extant: Epp. Kar. aev. 546-548.

2 Cp. Lentz, i. 43.

3 About July A.D. 814. Simson, Ludwig, i. 30. It is worth noting the punctiliousness of the diplomatic

forms. As Charles, not Lewis, had
been recognized by Leo, Lewis sent
two envoys (along with the Greek am-
bassadors) to Constantinople, to obtain
a new document (ib. 32). They re-
turned with it towards the end of 815
(ib. 63).

intimacy had been possible, there was no goodwill on the part of Constantinople in conceding the Imperial dignity, for which a substantial price had been paid. Nor did the Eastern Emperors consider that the concession was permanent. It became hereafter a principle of their policy to decline to accord the title of Basileus to the Western Emperor, unless they required his assistance or had some particular object to gain. Thus in diplomatic negotiations they had the advantage of possessing a consideration cheap to themselves, but valuable to the other party.

To return to Venice, the treaty between the two sovran powers contained provisions which were of high importance for the subject state. The limits of its territory were probably defined; the embargo on its trade in the empire of Charles was at last removed; and its continental possessions, in the borders of Frankish Italy, were restored to it, on the condition of paying a yearly tribute of about £1550 to the Italian king.1 Commercially, this treaty marks the beginning of a new period for Venice; it laid the foundations of her mercantile prosperity. Not so politically; the state of things which had existed before the Frankish intervention was restored. The Venetians gladly acquiesced in the rule of Constantinople. They had felt the conquest of Pippin as a profound humiliation; their historians afterwards cast a veil over it. Their long and obstinate defence of Malamocco showed their repugnance to the Franks. A Greek writer tells us that, when Pippin called upon them to yield, they replied, "We will be the subjects of the Emperor of the Romans, not of thee." This, at all events, expresses their feeling at the time. There are signs that during the following years the Imperial government manifested a closer and more constant interest in Venetian affairs and perhaps drew the reins tighter. appointed to control the Duke.5


Two yearly tribunes were On the accessions of Leo V.


1 36 lbs. of gold; it was still paid τῷ κατέχοντι τὸ ῥηγάτον τῆς Ἰταλίας Tо Пarías (Pavia) in the 10th cent. See Constantine, De adm. imp. 124-125, who considers it a continuation, diminished in amount, of the tribute (πλεῖστα πάκτα) exacted by Pippin. For the provisions of the treaty see

Dandulus, Chron. 151, 163; Lentz, i.


2 Cp. Lentz, i. 47.

3 Kretschmayr, 58.
4 Constantine, ib.

5 Such tribunes had been appointed before when Monegarius was duke in A.D. 756. Kretschmayr, 51, 61, 423.


and Michael II., Agnellus sent his son1 and his grandson to Constantinople to offer homage. The Venetians were also called upon to render active aid to the Imperial fleets against the pirates of Dalmatia who infested the Hadriatic and against the Saracens in Sicilian waters.

The Frankish occupation was followed by a change which created modern Venice. The Duke Agnellus moved the seat of government from Malamocco to the Rivus Altus (A.D. 811), and in these islands a city rapidly grew which was to take the place of Torcello as a centre of commerce, and to overshadow Grado in riches and art.2 The official house of Agnellus stood on the site of the Palace of the Doges, and hard by, occupying part of the left side of the later Church of St. Mark, arose the Chapel of St. Theodore, built by a wealthy Greek. The Emperor Leo V. himself took an interest in the growth of the Rialto; he founded at his own expense, and sent Greek masons to build, the nunnery of S. Zaccaria, which stands further to the east.3 Soon afterwards St. Mark, perhaps replacing St. Theodore, became the patron saint of Venice. Leo V. had issued an edict forbidding the merchants of his empire to approach the ports of the infidels in Syria and Egypt. This command was enforced by the Dukes; but notwithstanding, about A.D. 828, some Venetian traders put in at Alexandria, and stole what they supposed to be the corpse of Mark the Evangelist. When the precious remains, which Aquileia vainly claimed to possess, reached the Rialto, they were hidden in a secret place in the Duke's house until a fitting shrine should be prepared to receive them. The Duke Justinian bequeathed money for the building, and before seven years had passed, the first Church of St. Mark had been reared between the Chapel of St. Theodore and the ducal palace, by Greek workmen, a purely Byzantine edifice.1 The Cathedral of S. Piero in the south-eastern extremity of Castello was erected in these years, which also witnessed the building of S. Ilario,

1 Justinian, who was duke 827-829, and styled himself Imperialis hypatus et humilis dux Venetiae. Lentz has shown (i. 52 sqq.) the part which Byzantine influence played in the struggle between Justinian and his brother John for the position of coregent duke.

2 On the early buildings in Venice,

see Cattaneo, Architecture in Italy from the Sixth to the Eleventh Century, Eng. tr. 1896. Kretschmayr, op. cit. 85-87.

3 See the charter in Tafel and Thomas, Urkunden zur älteren Handelsund Staatsgeschichte der Republik Venedig (1856), i. 1-3.

4 See Cattaneo, op. cit. 285 sqq.

« PrethodnaNastavi »