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arrived at Syracuse in the late autumn under the command of Constantine Kontomytes. The army landed, but was utterly defeated by Abbas, who marched from Panormos. The coming of the Greek fleet incited some of the towns in the west to rebel against their Arab lords, but they were speedily subdued, and Abbas won a second victory over the Greek forces near Cefalù. This was the last effort of the Amorian dynasty to rescue the island of the west from the clutch of Islam. Before the death of Michael III. the invaders had strengthened their power in the south-east by the captures of Noto2 and Scicli, and in the north-east the heights of Tauromenium had fallen into their hands. Syracuse was still safe, but its fall, which was to complete the conquest of Sicily, was only reserved for the reign of Michael's successor."
§3. The Invasion of Southern Italy
As a result of the Italian conquests of Charles the Great, two sovran powers divided the dominion of Italy between them. The Eastern Empire retained Venice, a large part of Campania, and the two southern extremities; all the rest of the peninsula was subject to the new Emperor of the West. But this simple formula is far from expressing the actual situation. On one hand, the nominal allegiance to
1 Cambridge Chron. 28 (ind. 8--85960) κατῆλθεν ὁ Κονδυμήττης, The Arabic version has "the Fandami landed." I suspect that Qandami (Kondy. meftes]) was intended. The letters fa and qaf differ only by a dot. Constantine Kontomytes, stratêgos of Sicily, is mentioned in Cont. Th 175. Vasil'ev distinguishes him from Constantine Kontomytes, who was strategos of the Thrakesian Theme under Theophilus (Cont. Th. 137). I see no reason for not identifying them.
* τὸ Νέτος (between Syracuse and Motyke), north of the modern Noto.
Taken in 864 it had to be retaken in 866 (Cambridge Chron. 30). During these years (862-867) Hafaja ibn Sufyan was governo. Abbas had died in 861 at q-r-q-nah (Ibn al-Athir, 97; Caltagirano? Vasil'ev), where he was buried. The Greeks dug up his corpse and burned it.
81bn al-Athir, 98. Amari (Storia, i. 347) thinks it possible that Troina (west of Etna) is meant. But Vasil'ev has no doubts that Taormina is indicated. Envoys from Taormina met Hafaja near Mount Etna and proposed terms. Hafoja sent his wife and son to the city and a treaty was concluded. But the inhabitants broke the treaty, and the governor sent his son against it and it was taken (866). So Ibn al-Athir.
Charles which the great Lombard Duchy of Beneventum pretended to acknowledge, did not affect its autonomy or hinder its Dukes from pursuing their own independent policy in which the Frankish power did not count; on the other hand, the cities of the Campanian coast, while they respected the formal authority of the Emperor at Constantinople, virtually, like Venice, managed their own affairs, and were left to protect their own interests. The actual power of
Charles did not reach south of the Pontifical State and the Duchy of Spoleto; the direct government of Nicephorus extended only over the southern parts of Calabria and Apulia. These relatively inconsiderable Byzantine districts were now an appendage to Sicily; they were administered by an official entitled the Duke of Calabria; but he was dependent on the Sicilian stratêgos. In Calabria--the ancient Bruttii-the northern boundary of his province was south of Cosenza and Bisignano, which were Lombard; in Apulia, the chief cities were Otranto and Gallipoli. These two districts were cut asunder by the Lombards, who were lords of Tarentum; so that the communications among the three territories which formed the western outpost of the Eastern Empire-Sicily, Calabria, and Apulia--were entirely maritime.
In the eighth century the city of Naples was loyally devoted to Constantinople, and the Emperors not only appointed the consular dukes who governed her, but exercised a real control over her through the stratêgoi of Sicily. It seemed probable that under this Byzantine influence, Naples would, like Sicily and Calabria, become Graecised, and her attitude was signally hostile to Rome. But in the reign of Irene, a duke named Stephen played a decisive rôle in the history of the city and averted such a development. He aimed at loosening, without cutting, the bonds which attached Naples to Constantinople, and founding a native dynasty. His régime is marked by a reaction in favour of Latin; he is determined that the Neapolitan clergy shall inherit the traditions of Latin and not of Greek Christendom.3 And if he is careful to avoid any rupture with the Empire
The most important places in Byzantine Calabria were Reggio, Cotrone, Rossano and Amantea.
Recovered c. A.D. 758 from the
Lombards. Cod. Carolinus, Ep 17, p. 515 (M.G.H., Epp. Mer, et Kar. acvi, i. ed. Gundlach).
3 Gay, L'Italie mér. 18-19.
and to secure the Imperial assent to the succession of his son Stephen II., the head of the Emperor soon disappears from the bronze coinage of Naples and is replaced by that of Januarius, the patron saint of the city. This assertion of independence was followed by years of trouble and struggles among competitors for the ducal power, which lasted for a generation, and once in that period the authority reverted briefly to representatives of the Imperial government. Weary of anarchy, the Neapolitans invited the Sicilian governor to nominate a duke, and for three years the city was subject to Byzantine officials. Then (in A.D. 821) the people drove out the protospatharios Theodore, and elected a descendant of Stephen. But twenty years more elapsed before the period of anarchy was finally terminated by the strong arm of Sergius of Cumae, who was elected in A.D. 840.
Gaeta and Amalfi belonged nominally to the Duchy of Naples, and, like Naples, to the Eastern Empire. But they were virtually independent city states. Gaeta lay isolated in the north. For Terracina belonged to the Pope, and Minturnae, as well as Capua, with the mouths of the Liris and Vulturnus, belonged to the Lombard lords of Beneventum. The great object of the Lombards was to crush the cities of the Campanian coast, and the struggle to hold her own against their aggression was the principal preoccupation of Naples at this period. In this strife Naples displayed wonderful resourcefulness, but the Lombards had all the advantages. The Duchy of Beneventum comprised Samnium, the greater part of Apulia, Lucania, and the north of Calabria; moreover it came down to the coasts of Campania, so that Naples and Amalfi were isolated between Capua and Salerno. If the Beneventan power had remained as strong and consolidated as it had been in the days of Arichis, there can be small doubt that Naples and her fellows must have been absorbed in the Lombard state. They were delivered from the danger by the outbreak of internal struggles in the Beneventan Duchy.
The Lombards had never had a navy; but Arichis, the
1 For examples see Capasso, ii. 2,
Chron, episc. Neap. (Capasso, i.), 205, 207.
3 The chief magistrate of Gaeta was entitled hypatus, cp. Capasso, i. 263 (document of A.D. 839).
great Prince who dominated southern Italy in the reign of Constantine V. and Irene (A.D. 758-787), seems to have conceived the plan of creating a sea-power, and he made a second capital of his Principality at Salerno, where he often resided. The descent of Charles the Great into Italy, and the need of furnishing no pretext to that sovran for interfering in South-Italian affairs, prevented Arichis from pursuing the designs which he probably entertained against Naples and the Campanian cities. He hoped to find at Constantinople. support against the Franks and the Roman See which regarded him with suspicion and dislike; and this policy necessarily involved peace with the Italian cities which were under the Imperial sovranty. Shortly before his death, he sent an embassy to the Empress Irene, requesting her to confer on him the title of Patrician and offering to acknowledge her supremacy. Her answer was favourable, but the Prince was dead when the ensigns of the Patriciate arrived. In connexion with this Greek policy of Arichis, we may note the fact that Byzantine civilisation was exercising a considerable influence on the Lombard court at this period."
Though the son of Arichis was compelled to accept the suzerainty of Charles the Great, his Principality remained actually autonomous. But his death (A.D. 806) marked the beginning of a decline, which may be imputed to the growing power of the aristocracy. Insisting on their rights of election, the nobles would not recognise a hereditary right to the office of Prince, and the struggles of aspirants to power ended in the disruption of the state. The most important Princes of this period were Sicon and Sicard, and their hands were heavy against the Campanian cities. Amalfi was pillaged and reduced for some years to be a dependency of Salerno. Naples was compelled to avert the perils and miseries of a siege by paying tribute; she sought repeatedly, but in vain, the succour of the western Emperor; at length she turned to another quarter.
It was less than ten years after the Moslems of Africa began the conquest of Sicily, that the Moslems of Sicily were
tempted to begin the conquest of southern Italy; and here, as in the case of Sicily, their appearance on the scene was provoked by an invitation. Naples, besieged by Sicard, sought aid from the Saracen governor of Panormos. A Saracen fleet
was promptly despatched, and Sicard was compelled to raise the siege and conclude a treaty.' The alliance2 thus begun between Naples and Panormos was soon followed by active aggression of the Moslems against the enemy of their Christian allies. Brundusium was the first sacrifice. The Moslems suddenly surprised it; Sicard marched to expel them; but they dug covered pits in front of the walls, and drawing the Lombard cavalry into the snare gained a complete victory. Sicard prepared for a new attempt, and the Arabs, feeling that they were not strong enough to hold out, burned the city and returned to Sicily.3
The assassination of Sicard shortly after this event was followed by a struggle between two rivals, Sikenolf his brother and Radelchis. The Principality was rent into two parts; Salernum was ranged against Beneventum; and the contest lasting for ten years (A.D. 839-849) furnished the Moslems. with most favourable opportunities and facilities for laying the foundations of a Mohammadan state in southern Italy. Tarentum fell into their hands, and this led to the interposition of the Emperor Theophilus, whose possessions in Italy were now immediately threatened. He did not send forces himself, but he requested or required his vassal, Venice, to deliver Tarentuin. He could indeed appeal to Venetian interests. The affair of Brundusium may have brought home to Venice that the danger of Saracen fleets in the Hadriatic waters, of Saracen descents on the Hadriatic coasts, could no longer be fignored. In response to the pressure of the Emperor, a Venetian armament of sixty ships sailed to the Gulf of Tarentum (A.D. 840), where it encountered the powerful fleet of the Arabs who had lately captured the city. The Venetians were
A.D. 836. Joann. Neap. 431 (Capasso, i. 210). Text of treaty between Sicard and Andrew, Duke of Naples : Capasso, ii. 2, 147-156. Andrew is entitled magister militum in this instrument (149).
An interesting memorial of this confederacy is a gold coin inscribed with the name of (Duke) Andreas,
surrounded by Arabic letters. Vasil'ev, 144, who refers to D. Spinelli, Monete cufiche battute da principi longobardi, normanni, esvevi, p. xxvi. (Naples, 1844); cp. Capasso, i. 80.
Chron. Salern. 503. The date is uncertain (perhaps 838, Vasil'ev). Chron. Sal. 508
Joann. Ven. 114; Dand. Chron. 175.