« PrethodnaNastavi »
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, 3 The chief magistrate of Gaeta was
entitled hypatus, cp. Capasso, i. 263 2 Chron. episc. Neap. (Capasso, i.), (document of A.D. 839). 205, 207.
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
1 See Letter of Pope Hadrian to 3 16. 43-44. Charles in A.D. 788, Cod. Carol. p. 4 Sicon, A.D. 817-831 ; Sicard, A.D.
831-839. Gay, op. cit. 46-48.
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 alliance ? 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.
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 Tarentum. 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 ignored. 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 (Cap- surrounded by Arabic letters. Vasil'ev, asso, i. 210). Text of treaty between 144, who refers to D. Spinelli, Monete Sicard and Andrew, Duke of Naples : cufiche battute da principi longobardi, Capasso, ii. 2, 147-156. Andrew is normanni, esvevi, p. xxvi. (Naples, entitled magister militum in this in- 1844); cp. Capasso, i. 80. strument (149).
3 Chron. Salern. 503. The date is 2 An interesting memorial of this uncertain (perhaps 838, Vasil'ev). confederacy is a gold coin inscribed 4 Chron. Sal. 508 with the name of (Duke) Andreas, 5 Joann. Ven. 114 ; Dand. Chron. 175. 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
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. 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 is 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 ; 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
223, 225 ; Amari, Storia. i. 360-1 mayr, 93. Dümmler, Slawen in Dal. matien, 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.3
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
Capasso, i. 212: Joann. Neap. 432.
Ib.; the Sicilian Emir revenged himself by sending an expedition to pillage the neighbourhood of Naples. Misenum was destroyed. 3 Lib. Pont. ii. 82. He died in 844.
Cp. Ann. Bert., s.a. 846. Grego
rovius, Hist. of Rome, iii. 87 sqq.
5 Lib. Pont. ii. 99-101; Joann. Neap.
Cp. Schipa, ib. 104.