Slike stranica
[ocr errors]

the suburbs, the barbarians prepared to attack the city. At this crisis it was perhaps not the Prefect and the ministers entrusted with the guardianship of the city in the Emperor's absence who did most to meet the emergency.

The learned Patriarch, Photius, rose to the occasion; he undertook the task of restoring the moral courage of his fellow-citizens. If the sermons which he preached in St. Sophia were delivered as they were written, we may suspect that they can only have been appreciated by the most educated of his congregation. His copious rhetoric touches all sides of the situation, and no priest could have made better use of the opportunity to inculcate the obvious lesson that this peril was a punishment for sin, and to urge repentance. He expressed the general feeling when he dwelt on the incongruity that the Imperial city, “queen of almost all the world,” should be mocked by a band of slaves, a mean and barbarous crowd.2 But the populace was perhaps more impressed and consoled when he resorted to the ecclesiastical magic which had been used efficaciously at previous sieges. The precious garment of the Virgin Mother was borne in procession round the walls of the city ;8 and it was believed that it was dipped in the waters of the sea for the purpose of raising a storm of wind. No storm arose, but soon afterwards the Russians began to retreat, and perhaps there were not many among the joyful citizens who did not impute their relief to the direct intervention of the queen of heaven. Photius preached a sermon of thanksgiving as the enemy were departing;' the miraculous deliverance was an inspiring motive for his eloquence.

It would be interesting to know whether Photius re




1 In his first sermon (Hom. 51). relic of the Virgin ; the preacher inGerland (in a review of the ed. of the sists exclusively on human efforts. Homilies by Aristarchos), in Neue

3 Hom. 52, p. 42. Simeon erroneJahrbb. f. das klassische Altertum, xi.,

ously represents the Emperor as pres1903, p. 719) suggests that this address

ent at the ceremony. may have been delivered on June 23.

2 Ηom. 51, p. 20 (βαρβαρική και Simeon, loc. cit., according to which TATELVN xelp). The absence of troops the wind immediately rose in a dead is referred to, p. 17 : “Where is the

calm. But in his second sermon Basileus? where are the armies? the Photius represents the Russians as rearms, machines, counsels, and prepara- treating unaffected by a storm. Joann. tions of a general ? Are not all these

Ven. 117 lets them return home in withdrawn to meet the attack of other triumph. barbarians” ? It is to be observed 5 Hom. 52. The Emperor was not (cp. de Boor, op. cit. 462) that in this yet in the city (p. 42; cp. de Boor, sermon there is no reference to the 460).




garded the ceremony which he had conducted as a powerful means of propitiation, or rather valued it as an efficacious sedative of the public excitement. He and all who were not blinded by superstition knew well that the cause which led to the sudden retreat of the enemy was simple, and would have sufficed without any supernatural intervention. It is evident that the Russians became aware that the Emperor and his army were at hand, and that their only safety lay in flight. But they had delayed too long. Michael and Bardas had hurried to the scene, doubtless by forced marches, and they must have intercepted the barbarians and their spoils in the Bosphorus. There was a battle and a rout;? it is possible that high winds aided in the work of destruction.

The Russians had chosen the moment for their surprise astutely. They must have known beforehand that the Emperor had made preparations for a campaign in full force against the Saracens. But what about the fleet? Modern historians have made this episode a text for the reproach that the navy had been allowed to fall into utter decay. We have seen, on the contrary, that the Amorians had revived the navy, and the impunity which the barbarians enjoyed until the arrival of the Emperor must be explained by the absence of the Imperial fleet. And, as a matter of fact, it was absent in the west. The Sicilian fortress of Castrogiovanni had been captured by the Moslems in the previous year, and a fleet of 300 ships had been sent to Sicily. The possibility of an attack from the north did not enter into the calculations of the government. It is clear that the Russians must have been informed of the absence of the fleet, for otherwise they would never have ventured in their small boats into the jaws of certain death.

1 This is obviously the true explana- jecture ; but possibly on receiving the nation of the sudden retreat, which news he had ordered ships to sail from began spontaneously, before the battle. Amastris to the Bosphorus. Two It is impossible to accept Gerland's

iambic poems

on the Church of view that the battle was fought during Blachernae, Anthol. Pal. i. 120, 121, the procession, perhaps in sight of the most probably refer to the rout of the praying people.

Russians. Cp. 121, vv. 10, 11 : 2 Of the battle we know no more than

ενταύθα νικήσασα τους εναντίους the notice in Anon. Cumont. Simeon

ανεϊλεν αυτούς αντί λόγχης εις ύδωρ. ascribes the destruction entirely to the where Stadtmüller ad loc. misses the miraculous storm. How the land forces point by proposing clobdw. of the Emperor operated against the Cp. Gerland, op. cit. 720. boats of the enemies we can only con- 4 See above, p. 307.

[ocr errors]



The episode was followed by an unexpected triumph for Byzantium, less important in its immediate results than as an augury for the future. The Northmen sent ambassadors to Constantinople, and—this is the Byzantine way of putting it-besought the Emperor for Christian baptism. We cannot say which, or how many, of the Russian settlements were represented by this embassy, but the object must have been to offer amends for the recent raid, perhaps to procure the deliverance of prisoners. It is certain that some of the Russians agreed to adopt Christianity, and the Patriarch Photius could boast (in A.D. 866) that a bishop had been sent to teach the race which in cruelty and deeds of blood left all other peoples far behind." But the seed did not fall on very fertile ground. For upwards of a hundred years hear no more of the Christianity of the Russians. The treaty, however, which was concluded between A.D. 860 and 866, led probably to other consequences. We may surmise that it led to the admission of Norse mercenaries into the Imperial fleet 2—a notable event, because it was the beginning of the famous Varangian : service at Constantinople, which was ultimately to include the Norsemen of Scandinavia as well as of Russia, and even Englishmen.

It has been already observed that the attack upon Constantinople happened just before the traditional date of a far more important event in the history of Russia—the foundation of the principality of Kiev. According to the old Russian chronicle, Rurik was at this time the ruler of all the Scandinavian settlements, and exercised sway over the northern Slavs and some of the Finns. Two of his men, Oskold and Dir, set out with their families for Constantinople, and, coming to the Dnieper, they saw a castle on a mountain. On enquiry they learned that it was Kiev, and that its inhabitants paid tribute to the Khazars. They settled in the place, gathered many Norsemen to them, and ruled over the

1 Photius,' Ep. 4, p. 178. The 3 The connotation of Varangian is Russians are said to have placed them- equivalent to Norse or Scandinavian. selves εν υπηκόων και προξένων τάξει. Arabic geographers and Pseudo-Nestor Of. refers to ecclesiastical dependence, call the Baltic“ the Varangian Sea.” TT pog. to political friendship. The other In Kekaumenos (ed. Vasilievski and source is Cont. Th. 196.

Jernstedt) 97 Harald Hardrada is “son 2 Under Leo VI. (A.D. 902) there of the Emperor of Varangia.” were 700 'Pús in the fleet (Constantine, 4 Pseudo-Nestor, xv. p. 10. Cer. 651).

5 Scandinavian names.



[ocr errors]


neighbouring Slavs, even Rurik ruled at Novgorod. Some twenty years later Rurik's son Oleg came down and put Oskold and Dir to death, and annexed Kiev to his sway. It soon overshadowed Novgorod in importance, and became the capital of the Russian state. It has been doubted whether this story of the founding of Kiev is historical, but the date of the foundation, in chronological proximity to A.D. 860, is probably correct.

5. The Magyars The Russian peril had proved a new bond of common interest between the Empire and the Khazars, and during the reign of Michael (before A.D. 862), as we have seen, a Greek missionary, Constantine the Philosopher, made a vain attempt to convert them to Christianity.

About this time a displacement occurred in the Khazar Empire which was destined to lead to grave consequences not only for the countries of the Euxine but for the history of Europe. At the time of Constantine's visit to the Khazars, the home of the Magyars was still in the country between the Dnieper and the Don, for either in the Crimea itself or on his journey to Itil, which was probably by way of the Don, his party was attacked by a band of Magyars. A year or two later the Magyar people crossed the Dnieper.

1 Pseudo-Nestor's date is A.M. 6370 the embassy of Rostislav, see above, =A. D. 862 (but events extending over p. 393); but we can limit it further à considerable time are crowded into by the Magyar incident, cp. Appendix his narrative here). The chronicler XII. The circumstance that in A.D. attributes to Oskold and Dir the attack 854-855, Bugha, the governor of on Constantinople, which he found in Armenia and Adarbiyan, settled the Chronicle of Simeon and dates to Khazars, who were inclined to Islam, A.D. 866. I am inclined to think that in Sham-kor (see above, p. 410, n. 6), there is a certain measure of historical may, as Marquart suggests (Streifzüge, truth in the Pseudo-Nestor tradition, 24), have some connexion with the if we do not press the exact date. If religious wavering of the Chagan. Kiev was founded shortly before A.D. 860 as a settlement independent of

3 See above, p. 394 sq. Novgorod, and if the Kiev Russians 4 Vita Constantini, c. 8.

The atattacked Cple., we can understand the tack of the Hungarians is related circumstances of the conversion. It before Constantine (c. 9) starts for was the rulers of Kiev only who accepted the country of the Khazars, to which baptism, and when the pagans of Nov. he is said to have sailed by the gorod came and slew them a few years Maeotis. If this order of events is later, Christianity, though we may accurate, we must suppose that the conjecture that it was not wiped out, Magyars made an incursion into the ceased to enjoy official recognition. Crimea, and perhaps the incident

2 The posterior limit is usually occurred in the territory of the Goths. given as A.D. 863 (the latest date for See Appendix XII.




The cause of this migration was the advance of the Patzinaks from the Volga. We may guess that they were pressed westward by their Eastern neighbours, the Uzes; we are told that they made war upon the Khazars and were defeated, and were therefore compelled to leave their own land and occupy that of the Magyars. The truth may be that they made an unsuccessful attempt to settle in Khazaria, and then turned their arms against the Magyar people, whom they drove beyond the Dnieper. The Patzinaks thus rose above the horizon of the Empire and introduced a new element into the political situation. They had no king; they were organized in eight tribes, with tribal chiefs, and each tribe was subdivided into five portions under subordinate leaders. When a chief died he was succeeded by a first cousin or a first cousin's son ; brothers and sons were excluded, so that the chieftainship should be not confined to one branch of the family.

The Magyars now took possession of the territory lying between the Dnieper and the lower reaches of the Pruth and the Seret 4—a country which had hitherto belonged to the dominion of the Khans of Bulgaria. They were thus close to the Danube, but the first use they made of their new position was

1 Constantine, De adm. imp. 169. it is said to be called κατά την επωνυIn the later movement of the μίαν τών εκείσε όντων ποταμών, which Patzinaks to the west of the Dnieper are enumerated as the Bapoúx (= (in the reign of Leo VI.), we are Dnieper, cp. Var in Jordanes, Get. expressly told that they were driven c. 52, and Bory-sthenes), the Kovßoü from their land by the Uzes and (=Bug), the Tpollllos (=Dniester : Khazars, ib. 164.

Turla, Tyras, cp. Roesler, 154), the 2 Constantine says that a portion Bpolltos (= Pruth), and the Eépetos. of the Magyars joined their kinsmen, Atelor Etel means river (and was the Sabartoi asphaloi in “ Persia,"i.e. specially applied to the Volga-the the Sevordik in Armenia (see above Itil”—cp. Constantine, ib. 1649).

Zeuss (Die Deutschen und die Nach3 Constantine, ib. 165. He gives barstämme, 751), Kuun (Relat. Hung. the names of the eight γενεαί or θέματα, i. 189), Marquart (op. cit. 33), explain in two forms, simple and compound, kuzu as between (cp. Hungarian köz, e.g. Tzur and Kuarti-tzur, Ertem and in geographical names like SzamosIabdi-ertem.

köz); so that Atelkuzu would mean 4 This country was called (by the Mesopotamia. But Westberg (Kanal. Hungarians or Patzinaks, or both) ii. 48) explains Kocho in the Atel-kuzu: Constantine, ib. 169 eis Geography of Pseudo-Moses as the τόπους τους επονομαζομένους 'Ατελκούζου. Dnieper, and identifies the name with The name is explained, ib. 173, as Kuzu. He supposes that in Conκατά την επωνυμίαν του εκείσε διερχο- stantine, p. 169, the true reading is μένου ποταμού 'Ετέλ και Kουζού (where (as on p. 173), Atė) kai Kovšou, and there seems to be an error in the text, that Atel and Kuzu were alternative as ’E. Kai K., two rivers, is incon- names (val="or”) for the region of sistent with toll Totauoll) and p. 171 the lower Dnieper.

p. 410).

« PrethodnaNastavi »