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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.

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And even if closer

forms. As Charles, not Lewis, had been recognized by Leo, Lewis sent two envoys (along with the Greek ambassadors) to Constantinople, to obtain a new document (ib. 32). They returned 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


1 36 lbs. of gold; it was still paid τῷ κατέχοντι τὸ ῥηγάτον τῆς Ἰταλίας TO IIarías (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


Two yearly tribunes were On the accessions of Leo V.

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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.* 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.

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.

on the mainland due north of Rialto, a basilica with three apses, of which the ground plan was excavated not long ago.1

A conspiracy (A.D. 836) terminated the rule of the Parteciaci. The last duke was relegated to a monastery at Grado, and he was succeeded by Peter Trandenicus, an illiterate, energetic man, under whose memorable government Venice made a long leap in her upward progress. For she now practically asserted, though she did not ostentatiously proclaim, a virtual independence. There was no revolution; there was no open renunciation of the authority of the Eastern Empire; the Venetians still remained for generations nominally Imperial subjects. But the bonds were weakened, the reins were relaxed, and Venice actually conducted herself as a Sovran state. Her independence was promoted by the duty which fell upon her of struggling against the Croatian pirates; the fleet of the Empire, occupied with the war in Sicily, could not police the upper waters of the Hadriatic. Hitherto Venice had used the same craft for war and trade; Peter Trandenicus built her first warships-chelandia of the Greek type. Theophilus created him a spathar; he styled himself "Duke and Spathar," but he did not, like his predecessors, describe himself as "submissive" (humilis); presently he assumed the epithet of "glorious." It is significant that in the dates of public documents anni Domini begin to replace the regnal years of the Emperor.2 But the most important mark of the new era is that Venice takes upon herself to conclude, on her own account, agreements with foreign powers. The earliest of these is the contract with the Emperor Lothar (Feb. 22, 840), which among other provisions ensured reciprocal freedom of commerce by land and sea, and bound the Venetians to render help in protecting the eastern coasts of Frankish Italy against the Croatian pirates. This, the oldest monument, as it has been called,3 of independent Venetian diplomacy, may be said to mark the inauguration of the independence of Venice.*

If Venice was thus allowed to slide from under the con

1 See Cattaneo, op. cit. 235 sqq.
2 Capitularia, n. 233, p. 130 sqq.

(cp. Lentz, ii. 112 sqq.).

3 Along with the Praeceptum of Lothar, A.D. 841 (Capitularia, n. 234),

Kretschmayr, 95.

For the change in the position of Venice summarised in this paragraph, and the dukedom of Peter, see Lentz, ii. 64 sqq.; Kretschmayr, 92 sqq.

trolling hand of the Emperors, without scandal or ill-feeling, she retained her supreme importance for Byzantine commerce, and for the next two centuries she was probably as valuable to the Empire, of which she was still nominally a part, as if

she had remained in her earlier state of strict subordination.


The conquest of Istria by the Franks affected not only the history of Venetia, but also that of Dalmatia. The realm of Charles the Great was now adjacent to the province of Dalmatia, which included the Roman cities and islands of the coast, from Tarsatica in Liburnia to Cattaro, and also to the Slavs of the "hinterland" who were in a loose subjection to the government of Constantinople. In the treaty of a.d. 798, the Franks acknowledged the Imperial rights over the Slavs; but in the following years both the heads or župans of these Slavs, and even the Roman communities of the coast, seem to have discerned, like the Venetians, in the rivalry between the two Imperial powers an opportunity for winning independence. The duke and the bishop of Zara 2 went to the court of Charles, along with the duke of Venice, in A.D. 806, and paid him homage. About the same time some of the more northern Slavonic tribes submitted to him, a submission which was nominal and involved no obligations. But this, like the corresponding political change in Venice, was only transient. By the treaty of A.D. 812 the old order was formally restored and the Franks undertook not to molest or invade the Dalmatian communities. Some particular questions concerning the boundaries in the north were settled in the reign of Leo V.,* and no further attempts were made by the Western Empire to seduce Dalmatia from its allegiance.

1 Just after this, in A.D. 799, the Margrave of Friuli was slain near Tarsatica (Tersatto, Trsat), "insidiis oppidanorum," Ann. r. F. p. 108, and three years later there was a revolt in this region against Nicephorus (on his accession) led by one Turcis. The Emperor destroyed (?) Tarsatica ("tantumodo solum Tarsaticum destruere potuit "); the rebel submitted and was pardoned. Joann. Ven. 100. On Tersatto, cp. Jackson, Dalmatia, iii. 166 sqq.

2 The circular church of San Donato at Zara is a memorial of this bishop, Donatus. Rivoira (Lombardic Archi


But this allegiance was

tecture, i. 152) agrees that it dates from his time, and points out that it was "inspired directly by San Vitale at Ravenna."

Especially the Slavs of Liburnia (Einhard, Vit. Kar. 15), cp. Harnack, 48.

4 Leo sent an envoy, Nicephorus, to Lewis in A.D. 817, "de finibus Dalmatorum Romanorum et Sclavorum (Ann. r. F., s.a.), and another embassy in A.D. 818. See Simson, Ludwig, 78 and 110; Harnack, 60. Nicephorus and Cadolah, the Margrave of Friuli, were sent to arrange a settlement on the spot.

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