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Book VII
Chapter 5

This webpage reproduces a chapter of
Italy and Her Invaders

Thomas Hodgkin

2nd edition
Oxford University Press

The text, and illustrations except as noted,
are in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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Book VII
Note B

Book VII (continued)

Vol. VI
Chapter VI

Grimwald and Constans


Sources: —

Paulus; the Liber Pontificalis (otherwise called 'Anastasius'); and, for the sufferings of Pope Martin, a contemporary document called 'Commemoratio eorum quae saeviter et sine Dei respectu acta sunt . . . in sanctum et apostolicum novum revera Confessorem et Martyrem Martinum papam.' I take my quotations from this document from Baronius.

Guides: —

'Imperatori e Papi,' by Bart. Malfatti, an admirable sketch of the mutual relations of the Emperors and the Popes.

Bury's History of the Later Roman Empire (London, 1889).​a

The central figure of Lombard history in the seventh century is (as I have already said) King Grimwald. It is true that his reign (662‑671) was not a long one, but it was filled with important events, and included the most serious encounter with the power of the Eastern Empire that had been witnessed since Alboin entered Italy. Moreover, the events of his early and middle life attached a kind of romantic interest to his  p240 career which powerfully affected the imaginations of his countrymen. No name, we may safely say, except those of Alboin and Authari, was dearer to the Lombard minstrel than that of Grimwald, and if he has therefore invested him with a robe of beautiful Saga, every fold of which may not accurately correspond to the truth of history, we can easily pardon the illusion for the sake of at last finding a man who is something more than a mere name in a pedigree. Early years of Grimwald. Telling the tale as it is told us by Paulus, I have already related​1 how Grimwald, son of Gisulf, duke of Friuli, was carried captive by one of the terrible Avar horsemen, — how, though little more than a child, he slew his unsuspecting captor and rejoined his flying brethren; how, after his two elder brothers had been basely assassinated at Opitergium by a treacherous Exarch, Grimwald and his brother Radwald, disdaining to be subject to their uncle, who succeeded to the duchy of Friuli, betook themselves to the court of the old friend of their family, Arichis, duke of Benevento. It has also been told​2 how Aio, the hypochondriac son-in‑law of Arichis, after a short reign (641‑642) was slain by the Sclavonian invaders, and how he was succeeded by his kinsman and friend, Radwald (642‑647), He succeeds to the dukedom of Benevento, 647. and he in turn by Grimwald, who reigned for fifteen years (647‑662) as duke of Benevento. We have now to trace the course of events which made the fugitive prince of Friuli and the guest-friend of Benevento king in the palace at Pavia, and lord of all Lombard Italy.

Rodwald king of the Lombards, 652. Rothari, the legislator of the Lombards, died in the  p241 year 652,​3 and was succeeded by his son Rodwald,​4 whose short and inglorious reign (of five months and seven days) was ended by the sword or dagger of a Lombard whose wife he had seduced.​5 Aripert I, king, 653‑661. He was succeeded by Aripert, nephew of the great queen Theudelinda, whose family, as has been before said, was the stock from whence most of the Lombard kings were drawn throughout the seventh century. Of the reign of Aripert, which lasted nearly nine years (653‑661), all that we learn is that he built, adorned, and richly endowed a church in honour of the Saviour outside the western gate of Pavia, which was called Marenca.​6 Perctarit and Godepert, 661‑662. On his death he was succeeded by his  p242 two sons, Perctarit7 and Godepert, who reigned, the one at Milan and the other at Pavia.​8 It was the first time that the Lombards had tried the Frankish plan of a royal partner­ship; and that without the justification which might be supposed to exist in the case of the vast Frankish Empire, for the two royal cities of the Lombards were only twelve miles asunder. The experiment answered as ill with the sons of Aripert as with any of the fratricidal posterity of Clovis. Civil war between the brothers. Jealousies and suspicions soon arose between the two brother kings, and the discord, fanned by artful councillors on both sides, broke out into an open flame of war. Grimwald's intervention solicited by Garipald. Hereupon, Godepert sent Garipald, duke of Turin, to sue for the help of Grimwald, duke of Benevento, promising him the hand of his sister as a reward for his champion­ship. But Garipald, dealing deceitfully with his master, suggested to Grimwald that he should himself strike a blow for the Lombard crown, pointing out, with some truth, that a strong, experienced, and fore-seeing ruler like himself would be better for the nation of the Lombards than these weak youths who were wasting the strength of the realm by their unnatural contest. March of Grimwald. The temptation was listened to, and Grimwald, having nominated his son Romwald to the duchy of Benevento, set forth for Pavia with a chosen band of warriors. Everywhere on the road he gathered friends and helpers for his now scarcely veiled designs on the supreme power. Transamund, count of Capua, being sent through the  p243 regions of Spoleto and Tuscany, collected a band of zealous adherents in those two duchies, with whom he met Grimwald on the Aemilian Way. So the host, with ambiguous purpose, rolled on through the valley of the Po; and when Grimwald had reached Piacenza, he sent the traitorous Garipald to announce his coming to Godepert. 'And where shall I receive him?' asked the inexperienced and misdoubting king. 'You have promised him the hand of your sister,' answered Garipald, 'and cannot do less than assign him quarters in the palace. Notwithstanding, when the solemn interview takes place between you, it might be prudent to put on a coat of mail under your royal robes, for I fear that he has designs on your life.' With similar words did the cunning deceiver poison the mind of Grimwald: 'Go to the interview well armed; be vigilant; I doubt the designs of Godepert. I hear that he wears a coat of mail under his mantle.' Accordingly, Grimwald and his followers entered the palace of Pavia, and on the next day the duke of Benevento was ushered into the hall of audience. The two men met apparently in friendly embrace, but even in the act of embracing, Grimwald felt the coat of mail under the regal mantle of his host. Death of Godepert. The dark suggestions of Garipald seemed in that moment to be verified; and, slaying that he might not be slain, he drew his sword and killed the hapless Godepert. Grimwald king of the Lombards, 662‑671. All disguise was then thrown off, and Grimwald reigned as king in Pavia. The infant son of Godepert, named Raginpert, was conveyed away to some safe hiding-place by the trusty servants of the late king, and Grimwald, despising his tender years, made no effort to arrest him.

 p244  Flight of Perctarit. When Perctarit, reigning at Milan, heard the tidings of his brother's murder, fearing that he would be the next victim, he left the country with all speed and sought refuge at the barbarous court of the Khan of the Avars. His wife Rodelinda and his little son Cunincpert fell into the hands of Grimwald, who sent them for safe keeping to Benevento. Except for the one foul deed, the murder of Godepert, into which he was entrapped by the perfidious counsels of Garipald, the hands of Grimwald were unstained by innocent blood.

Assassination of Garipald. As for Garipald, the contriver of all this wickedness,​9 he did not long rejoice in the success of his schemes. He had indeed deceived his employers all round, for he had embezzled some part of the presents which he had been ordered to carry to Benevento.​10 The discovery of this fraud would probably before long have alienated from him the new king's favour, but more speedy vengeance overtook him. A certain dwarfish retainer of Godepert, born at Turin, burned to avenge the murder of his master. Knowing that Duke Garipald was coming on Easter Day to pray in the basilica of St. John,​11 he hid himself in the church, climbing up above the baptistery, and holding on by his left arm to the column which supported the canopy.​12 When  p245 the duke entered the church the little Turinese drew his sword, but kept it concealed under his robes. As soon as Garipald came under the place of his hiding, up flew the robe, out flashed the sword, wielded with all the strength of which the dwarf was capable, and the head of Garipald rolled on the pavement of St. John's basilica. All the followers of the duke rushed upon the dwarf, and pierced him with many wounds. But the little champion died happy, for he had avenged his master.

Grimwald's second marriage. Grimwald, now, without a rival, king of all the Lombards, took for his second wife the sister of the slain Godepert, who had been betrothed to him before he set out from Benevento. He was probably twice as old as his new queen, but he was a man who, if there had not been that stain of kindred blood upon his hands, might have won the love even of a young bride. Tall, with wellknit limbs, with bald head and full flowing beard, he was, by the admission of all, a man of absolutely dauntless courage, and as great in counsel as in war.​13 Secure in the affections of the Northern Lombards, he sent back the mass of his Beneventan army to their homes, enriched by great gifts, but retained a few of the leaders at his court, endowing them with large possessions.

Embassies about the exile Perctarit. But though Grimwald was not by nature cruel or suspicious, the thought of the exile Perctarit could  p246 not but sometimes threaten the solidity of his throne. He sent an embassy to the Khan of the Avars, offering him a modius14 full of golden coins if he would surrender the fugitive into his hands. But the barbarian, who had sworn by his idol to Perctarit that he would never abandon him to his foes, replied, 'Without doubt the gods would slay me if I sacrifice this man whom I have sworn in their presence to protect.'15

Another embassy came, not this time offering gold, but warning the Khan that the peace which had now long time subsisted between the Avars and the Lombards would not endure unless Perctarit departed from his borders. Evidently the Avars were weaker,​16 or the Lombards stronger, than in the day when Grimwald's own home was ravaged, and himself all but carried into captivity by these terrible barbarians from the Danube. And now the Khan, while still  p247 faithful to the oath which he had sworn in the presence of his idol, and refusing to surrender Perctarit to his foes, appealed to the generosity of his guest to go whither he would, but not to involve him in war with the Lombards. Perctarit's return. Thus adjured, Perctarit determined to return to Italy, and throw himself on the clemency of the new king, for all men said that Grimwald was merciful. Having arrived at Lodi, he sent forward a faithful henchman named Unulf, who announced to Grimwald Perctarit's approaching arrival, and received an assurance that since he thus trusted to the king's honour, he should suffer no harm. When admitted to the royal presence Perctarit sought to throw himself at Grimwald's feet, but was gently restrained from that humiliation, and received the kiss of peace. Said Perctarit, 'I am thy servant. Knowing thee to be most Christian and kind, I determined, instead of continuing to dwell amongst Pagans, to trust thy clemency, and come to throw myself at thy feet.' The king renewed his promise, and sealed it with his accustomed oath: 'By Him who gave me life, since thou hast come into mine allegiance, no harm shall happen to thee, and I will arrange that thou shalt have the means of living in comfort.' He then invited the weary fugitive to rest in a spacious dwelling, ordering that all his needs should be sumptuously supplied from the public treasury. But when Perctarit reached the guest-house provided for him by the king, troops of the citizens of Pavia waited upon him to renew their old acquaintance. Whispering tongues reported these visits to Grimwald, assuring him that Perctarit was forming so large a party in the city that he would undoubtedly deprive  p248 the reigning king of his crown and life together. Again Grimwald listened to the fatal suggestion, 'Slay or be slain,' and forgetful of his sworn promise, began to plan the death of the innocent and unsuspecting Perctarit. The deed was to be done on the morrow, and meanwhile Perctarit was to be intoxicated that he might not perceive his danger and escape. The banquet. A great banquet was prepared in Perctarit's dwelling, and was shared by many guests. Costly meats and various kinds of wine were brought from the king's table to Perctarit, and he feasted right royally. But one of his father's old servants bringing to the guest a portion from the royal table, bowed so low in salutation that his head went below the board, and then whispered, 'The king has a purpose to slay you.' At once Perctarit gave a sign to the butler who waited upon him to fill his silver goblet with water only. Messenger after messenger brought generous wines from the king, and Perctarit seemed to drink them eagerly, while really imbibing only water. The servants carried back to the king the tidings that Perctarit was drinking heavily, to which Grimwald coarsely replied, 'Let that drunkard drink to‑day: to‑morrow he will disgorge the wine mingled with blood.' Meanwhile Perctarit found means to communicate with Unulf, and tell him of the impending danger. Then Unulf sent a servant to his own house with orders to bring his bedding from thence, and spread his couch beside that of Perctarit. The guards whom Grimwald had by this time stationed to watch the doors of Perctarit's abode saw the slave enter with the bedding, and then after the supper was ended and all the other guests departed, they saw Unulf  p249 emerge, attended apparently by a young slave, whose head and neck were covered by the bed‑clothes, the counterpane and the bearskin, under the weight of which he staggered. His brutal master urged him on with blows and curses, and more than once the overloaded youth fell to the ground while trying to escape from the blows. When they came to the place where the king's sentries were posted, these naturally enquired what was the matter. 'My rascal of a slave,' said Unulf, 'spread my couch in the chamber of that tipsy Perctarit, who has filled himself with wine, and now lies like a corpse on the floor. But I have followed his mad courses long enough. So long as my lord the king lives, I shall henceforward stay in my own house.' When the guards heard this they were glad, and let Unulf and the slave (who of course was Perctarit in disguise) pass without further question. Perctarit's escape. Meanwhile Perctarit's valet,​17 who was the only other person that had been left in the house, made fast the door, and all was settled for the night. But Unulf let Perctarit down by a rope from a corner of the city wall over­looking the river Ticinus, and he, meeting with some of his friends, galloped away with them on some horses which they found grazing in the meadows, and the same night reached the city of Asti,​18 which had not yet submitted to Grimwald, but still held out for the lost cause. Thence one rapid journey to Turin; and the fugitive disappeared over the ridges of the Alps into the friendly country of the Franks. 'Thus,' says Paulus, 'did Almighty God  p250 by His merciful providence deliver an innocent man from death, and at the same time preserve from blood-guiltiness a king who really desired to do what was right.'

The morrow of the escape. Morning came; the guards still paced up and down before the dwelling of Perctarit; at last the messengers of the king came and knocked at the door. The valet answered from within, 'Have pity on him, and let him sleep a little longer, for he is weary with his journey and is wrapped in deep slumber.' The messengers returned and told their tale to the king, who at once attributed Perctarit's heavy sleep to the potations of the preceding evening. 'But it is time to rouse him now, and bring him to the palace,' said the king. The messengers returned, knocked louder at the door, and were again entreated by the valet to let his master sleep a little longer. 'The drunkard has slept long enough,' said they in a rage, kicked open the door of the chamber, and rushed to the bedside. Finding no Perctarit there, and having hunted for him all over the house, they asked the valet what had become of his master. 'He has fled,' said the servant, who saw that further evasion was impossible. In their fury they seized him by the hair, and with many blows they dragged him into the presence of the king, clamouring loudly for his death as an accomplice in the flight of Perctarit. But the king ordered them to loosen their hold of the prisoner, and commanded him to tell the whole story of the escape. When the tale was ended, Grimwald said to the bystanders, 'What think you ought to be done to the man who has wrought such a deed as this?' They all with one voice exclaimed that 'killing was not enough for him, but he  p251 ought to be put to death with many torments.' 'By Him who gave me life,' said Grimwald, 'the man is worthy of great honour who feared not to expose himself to death for the sake of his master. Let him be taken into my service as a valet.' And with that he promised him great gifts, exhorting him to render to himself the same faithful service that he had rendered to his late lord. Unulf, for whom the king then enquired, had taken refuge in the church of St. Michael, but, receiving the royal promise of his safety, came forth, entered the palace, and threw himself at the feet of the king. From him, too, Grimwald would fain learn the whole story of the escape, and when he heard it he greatly commended his prudence and fidelity, and issued an order that he should be left undisturbed in the possession of all his property.​19 After some time had elapsed, the king asked Unulf whether he now ever regretted not being with Perctarit, to which he answered with a solemn oath that he would rather die with Perctarit than live anywhere else in uttermost delights. The valet gave the same answer when asked whether he would rather be with the king in his palace or with his late master in his wanderings. Their words met with a kindly reception from Grimwald, who praised their loyalty to their lord, and bade Unulf take from his palace what he would, slaves or horses or household furniture, and hasten to the master of his choice. The valet, too, received the same gracious dismissal, and with the help of the king's safe-conduct,  p252 and loaded with generous presents, they entered France, and were again with their beloved Perctarit.20

Frankish invasion. It may possibly have been the flight of Perctarit into Frankish territory that disturbed the peaceful relations of the two kingdoms; but, whatever was the cause, an army of the Franks, the first that had been seen in Italy in that century, crossed the Maritime Alps, and threatened the throne of Grimwald. They were defeated by an easy stratagem, which speaks ill for the discipline to which they had been subjected. Grimwald having pitched his camp near to theirs, feigned panic and flight, leaving his tents with all their treasures, and especially with good store of wine, open to the invaders. They came, they plundered, they drank, and at night, while they were stretched in the heavy slumber of drunkenness, Grimwald and his warriors came upon them and slew so great a multitude that few found their way back to their own land. The slaughter — battle it can hardly be called — took place at Frenchmen's River, a village not far from the walls of Asti. Thus the 'walls of avenging Asta,' as Claudian called them,​b a second time witnessed the repulse of an invader.21

Emperor Constans II, 642‑668. But a more formidable foe than the weak Merovingian king or his Mayor of the Palace was to trouble the repose of Lombard Italy. Constans II, the grandson of Heraclius, and the heir of his grandfather's fitful  p253 energy and of some of his grandfather's genius, conceived the idea of becoming in fact as well as in name Emperor of Rome. It will be desirable here briefly to retrace the earlier stages of his career, and at the same time to take up some dropped stitches in the history of the Popes and Exarchs during the years preceding his invasion of Italy. Constans II (or, as he is more correctly called, Constantine IV) was born in the year 631, and in 642, when only a boy of eleven, found himself by the death of his father,​22 the dethronement of his uncle,​23 and the exile of his grandfather's widow, the ambitious and unscrupulous Martina, sole Emperor of the Romans. A military pronunciamento had prepared the way for his accession, but in the speech which he made to the Senate of Constantinople after the downfall of his rivals, he expressed his desire that he might have the Senators as his counsellors, and judges of that which should be for the welfare of his subjects.​24 This probably means that during the early years of his sovereignty the government was practically in the hands of a council of regency composed of the leading members of the Senate. Constans, however, grew up into a strong, self-willed man, and we may presume that while yet in early manhood he brushed aside his senatorial counsellors, and 'governed as well as reigned.' He could not wholly arrest — probably not the strongest of his Imperial predecessors could have arrested — the onrush of the children of Arabia, who wrested Armenia from the Empire, and made a temporary conquest of Cyprus and Rhodes. But he  p254 fought in person in the great naval engagement with the Saracens off the coast of Lycia, in which, though defeated and compelled to fly for his life, he seems to have inflicted enough damage on the enemy to prevent their fulfilling their intention of besieging Constantinople. Shortly afterwards came that great schism between the two rival claimants for the caliphate, Ali and Moawjyah,º which still rends the Moslem world asunder, and which gave a welcome breathing-time to the hard-pressed champions of the Empire.

Ecclesiastical position of Constans. In ecclesiastical matters Constans II showed himself a hard-headed, unsympathetic, indifferent man of the world, determined that his Empire should not be harassed, if he could help it, by the speculative controversy which his grandfather had unwisely raised about the divine and human wills of Jesus Christ. The Ecthesis of his grandfather Heraclius had asserted the Monothelete doctrine or as it is now decided to be, the Monothelete heresy, that there was but one will in the heart of the Saviour, and this doctrine had been eagerly upheld by successive Patriarchs of Constantinople, and as eagerly denounced by successive Popes of Rome.​25 Popes and Patriarchs were excommunicating each other — in one case, to give greater solemnity to  p255 the transaction, the Pope descended to the crypt which contained the body of St. Peter, and dipped his pen in the consecrated chalice, that he might thus write the damnation of his enemy in the blood of Christ​26 — and all the miserable wrangle of the Monophysite controversy seemed about to be renewed with greater bitterness than ever, at a time when the very existence of Christianity and the Empire was threatened by the swords of the followers of Mohammed. Utterly weary of the whole dispute, and sympathising apparently neither with his Monothelete grandfather nor with his Dyothelete father, the young Emperor Constans (he was then but seventeen years of age) ordered the removal of the Ecthesis from the doors of the great church at Constantinople, The Type of Constans, 648. and put forth the famous document called the Type, in which he attempted the impossible task of imposing silence on warring theologians. 'Inspired by Almighty God,' said Constans, 'we have determined to extinguish the flame of this controversy, and will not allow it any longer to prey upon the souls of men. The Sacred Scriptures, the works of the Fathers, the decrees of the Five General Councils are enough for us. Why should men seek to define beyond these? Therefore no one shall be allowed to speak of one will and one operation, or of two wills and two operations in the person of Christ.  p256 Any one transgressing this command shall, if a bishop, be deposed from his see; if a clergyman, from his clerical office; if a monk, he shall be confined, and banished from his monastery. If he holds any dignity or office, civil or military, he shall be deprived of it. If he is a nobleman, all his property shall be confiscated; if not noble, he shall not only be beaten with stripes, but further punished by perpetual banishment; that all men being restrained by the fear of God, and dreading the condign punishments with which we thus threaten them, may keep unmoved and untroubled the peace of the holy Churches of God.'

Vain hope, by decrees and banishments and chastisements to silence the subtle ecclesiastical intellect when once engaged in a war of words like that aroused by the Ecthesis! Bad as that Imperial document had been accounted by the See of Rome, the impiissimus Typus was soon discovered to be even worse. Pope Martin I, 649‑653; his condemnation of the Type, 649. Pope Martin, who had just succeeded Theodore (the excommunicator of Pyrrhus), convened a council of 202 Italian bishops, who met in the Lateran palace, anathematised the Patriarchs of Alexandria and Constantinople, 'the most impious Ecthesis, the wicked Type lately put forth by the most serene Emperor Constans,' and all receivers and defenders of the same.

The Pope seeks for allies against the Emperor. The Pope had the Italian bishops and the general sentiment of the West on his side, but otherwise he stood alone against the Emperor and all the great Eastern Patriarchates. There are indications of his turning to the Frankish kings Clovis I and Sigibert II for aid, for moral at least, if not for physical support.27  p257 Did he also invoke the assistance of the Arian king of the Lombards, Rothari, against the author of the Type, and the close confederate of the heretical Patriarch of Constantinople? This was charged against him, and in the difficult circumstances of his position it could not be imputed to him as a crime; but the meagre annals of the period do not allow us to pronounce on the justice of the accusation. However, whether on religious or on political grounds a high-spirited young sovereign such as Constans II was not disposed to tolerate the insubordination of the Pope, who was still in theory only a subject of the most Serene Emperor. Olympius ordered to arrest the Pope. He sent his chamberlain Olympius as Exarch​28 to Italy with orders to protect and cherish all bishops who accepted the Type, to sound the disposition of the army, and if he found it favourable, to bring Pope Martin a prisoner to Constantinople, after which display of power it was hoped that all the other bishops of Italy would readily subscribe the Imperial decree.​29 If, however, he found the army  p258 hostile, he was to say as little as possible about the Type, and simply to strengthen his military hold on Ravenna and Rome. Arriving in the City with these somewhat ambiguous instructions, the new Exarch found all the bishops and clergy of Rome enthusiastic in their defence of the Pope and their condemnation of the Monothelete doctrine. Probably also the army shared the general enthusiasm, for the Exarch renounced the perilous attempt to seize the Pope in the midst of his flock. An after generation, however, believed the improbable story that Olympius ordered the assassination of the Pope in the very act of celebrating Mass at the church of S. Maria Maggiore,​30 but that the soldier who was commissioned to do the unholy deed was struck by a supernatural blindness which prevented him from seeing Pope Martin when he was in the very act of handing the chalice to the Exarch, and thus the murder was prevented.

Olympius renounces the attempt and proceeds to Sicily. Whatever the truth may be as to this alleged attempt on the Pope's life, there is no doubt that Olympius completely renounced the attempt to force the Imperial Type on the Roman church. A reconciliation took place between Exarch and Pope, so complete as to give some colour to the charge that Olympius aimed at making himself Emperor, and that Martin countenanced him in his treason. But the next step taken by the Exarch showed no disloyalty to the Empire. He crossed over with his army into Sicily in order to combat the Saracens, whose invasions  p259 of that island (which were to be continued with more or less intermission for more than four centuries)​31 had already begun. 'For their sins,' however, as we are told, the greater part of his army perished, apparently by sickness, not by the sword; Death of Olympus, 652. and Olympius himself died also, probably a victim to the same pestilence which had ravaged his camp.

Theodore Calliopas, the new Exarch, arrives in Rome, 653. The death of Olympus enabled Constans to resume his plans for the arrest of the Pope and the forcible promulgation of the Type. Theodore Calliopas, who was sent a second time to Ravenna as Exarch, appeared in Rome with an army on June 15,​32 653. The position of affairs was not unlike that which had been seen more than a century before,​33 when Belisarius received orders for the deportation of Pope Silverius. Now, as then, the ecclesiastical motive for the coup d'état and the unslumbering jealousy between the sees of Rome and Constantinople were veiled by the imputation of political crimes. Martin was accused of having corresponded with the Saracens (doubtless the Saracen invaders of Sicily),​34 as well as of being irregularly elected, of changing the faith delivered to the saints, and of showing insufficient reverence to the Virgin Mary.

 p260  At first the Exarch temporised; professed that he desired to come and adore his Holiness, but he was wearied with his journey, and he was afraid that Pope Martin had filled the Lateran with armed men; an insinuation to which the Pope replied by inviting the Exarch's soldiers to make a visit of inspection, and see if they could find a weapon or a stone therein. The Pope, who with better reason feared violence, and who had been for eight months in weak health, had his bed placed before the altar in the Lateran Church.​35 Thither​36 came the soldiers of the Exarch in full armour, with swords and lances, and bows with the arrow on the string. 'They there did unutterable things,' says the horrified Pope but though their conduct was doubtless indecorous, its atrocity seems somewhat diminished when we find that the only recorded detail relates to the overthrow of the candles, which fell all over the church like leaves in autumn, and the crash of the stricken candelabra, which filled the church with a noise like thunder. The Pope surrenders to the Exarch. Desiring to prevent the effusion of Christian blood, the Pope came forth from his sanctuary, the people shouting as he emerged from the church, 'Anathema to all who say that Martin has changed a jot or a tittle of the faith. Anathema to all who do not remain in his orthodox faith even to the death.' So the Pope wended his  p261 way through the City up to the palace of the Exarch, which apparently still stood where the palace of the Caesars had stood, on the Palatine Hill. Multitudes of the clergy and laity, who declared that they would live and die with the Pontiff, on the invitation of the Exarch swarmed after him into the palace. They had hoped if he were banished that they would be allowed to share his exile, but soon after midnight of the morning of Wednesday, the 19th of June,​37 Pope Martin, while all his adherents were kept under close ward in the palace, was hurried on board a little ship which was lying at Portus, his only companions being six acolytes and one household servant.

Pope Martin's journey to Constantinople. On the 1st of July, the ship, slowly sailing, arrived at Misenum, but neither at Misenum nor any of the other cities of beautiful Campania (already called by the equivalent of its modern name, Terra di Lavoro),​38 nor at any of the islands at which they touched was the exile from the Lateran palace allowed to leave the bark, which he felt to be indeed his prison. At last they reached the island of Naxos, where he was detained for more than a year, and there as a great favour he was permitted to reside in an inn in the city, and was twice or thrice indulged with the luxury of a bath. Possibly the Imperial Court hoped that if his courage were not broken as that of Vigilius had been by arrogance and insult, his sickly frame, known to be enfeebled by gout, would sink beneath  p262 the hardships which he endured. But the spirit and the bodily frame of the heroic Pope alike disappointed their expectations, and at length, on the 17th of September (654), he was brought into the harbour of Constantinople.​39 There for ten hours on his pallet‑bed on the deck of the vessel lay the venerable Pope, racked with gout, wasted by constant diarrhea, and feeling the nausea consequent on his long voyage. His adoring companions saw him thus 'made a spectacle unto angels and to men'; but the populace of Constantinople, men with wolfish faces and evil tongues, crowded round him, crying that he was not fit to live. At sunset a squad of guards came, who placed him in a litter, and carried him off to a prison called Prandiaria. For ninety-three days he languished in this dungeon, deprived of all the comforts which were now necessaries to a high-bred Roman ecclesiastic. On the 19th of December (654) he was brought into the presence of the Sacellarius or Lord High Treasurer, who had summoned a meeting of the Senate for his trial. He was ordered to stand in the presence of his judges, and when the attendants pointed out that he was unable to stand, the Sacellarius thundered forth, 'Then let two of you support him, one on each side, for he shall not be allowed to sit.'

His examination. The examination, which was conducted through the medium of an interpreter, for the Pope was as ignorant of Greek as his persecutors were of Latin, turned entirely on political matters. The absurd accusation of complicity with the Saracens, which only derived colour from the fact that the Pope had sent money to be  p263 distributed as alms among the Sicilian poor,​40 seems now to have been tacit­ly abandoned, and the only charge which was vehemently pressed against him was one of complicity with the treasonable designs of Olympius. Rough and illiterate soldiers from the Exarch's army were brought to prove this charge; and the Pope asked in vain that they might be allowed to give their evidence unsworn, that they might not imperil their souls by perjury. The Pope began his answer to the charge against him thus: — 'When the Type was prepared and sent to Rome by the Emperor' — but the Prefect Troilus at once stopped him — 'Do not bring in any questions about the faith. We are Romans and Christians and Orthodox. It is about the rebellion that we are examining you.' The Pope's constant answer was that he had no power to resist the Exarch, who had the whole army of Italy at his disposal. 'Was it I who made him Exarch, or you at Constantinople? But work your will upon me, and do it speedily.' After this he seems to have tried to give a long harangue, which was faithfully interpreted by an African nobleman named Innocent; but the Sacellarius roughly interrupted, 'Why do you interpret what he is saying? We do not want to hear it.' With that he rose up, and all they that were with him, and going into the Emperor's chamber announced that they were ready to pass sentence upon the Bishop of Rome.

His sentence. That sentence appears to have been a capital one, for the Pope was dragged through the streets of the city with a drawn sword carried before him; but if  p264 such a sentence was pronounced it was commuted into imprisonment and exile. He was forced to stand for some time in the Hippodrome, as a spectacle to the people, the guards as before supporting him on either side, and the young Emperor looking on through the lattice-work of his banqueting‑hall at the humiliation of his great spiritual rival. Little could either persecutor or victim foresee how cruelly, more than five centuries later,​41 the indignities offered to the Roman Pope would be avenged by the sack of his own city of Constantinople.

The Sacellarius then came forth from the banqueting-hall and said, 'See how the Lord has delivered thee into our hands. What hadst thou to hope for that thou shouldest strive against the Emperor? Thou hast abandoned the Lord, and He has abandoned thee.' He ordered one of the guards to cut the strap which bound round his neck the satchel​42 in which the Pontiff was accustomed to carry the sacred books, and then he handed him over to the Prefect, saying, 'Take him, my lord Prefect, and cut him limb from limb.'

His imprisonment. Loaded with irons, with torn robes, but surrounded by a crowd not now shouting execrations, but saddened and awestruck at what was being done, the successor of St. Peter was dragged through the streets of Constantinople to the prison of Diomede, in the Praetorian Prefect's palace. As he climbed up the steps of the prison, which were rough and steep, his swollen feet left upon them the stain of blood. He was then thrust into a cold and dreary cell, where the  p265 irons clanked upon his shivering limbs. One young ecclesiastic who had followed him, as Peter followed his Lord,​43 was permitted to share his dungeon, but the keeper of the prison was also always present, bound to the Pope by a chain, as was the custom in the case of culprits under sentence of death. There were, however, two kind-hearted women, mother and daughter, related apparently to the keepers of the prison, who succeeded in removing the chilled and exhausted Pontiff from the dungeon cell and from the continual presence of the gaoler. They carried him to their own bedroom, and laid him in a comfortable bed, where however he lay speechless till the evening. When evening came, Gregory, a eunuch and Grand Chamberlain, sent his major-domo with some scanty refreshment, who whispered word of intended comfort, 'In all our tribulations we put our trust in God. Thous shalt not die.' The Pope, however, who was worn out and longed for speedy martyrdom, only groaned. The heavy iron chains however were taken off from him and not again imposed.

The dying Patriarch's intercession for the Pope. One cause which led to some alleviation of the Pope's physical sufferings was the troubled conscience of Paul, the Patriarch of Constantinople, who had been fiercely anathematised by successive Popes, but who, being now upon his death‑bed, could not endure the thought of the indignities which the remorseless Emperor was heaping on their common enemy. When Constans visited him the day after the trial, and told him what had been done, Paulus turned his face to the  p266 wall, and said with a groan, 'Ah me! this too will be added to the number of my sins.' At his earnest request, the capital sentence passed on the Pope was remitted by Constans, and the rigour of his confinement was somewhat lessened.

Pyrrhus, Patriarch of Constantinople. To the patriarch Paul (who died December 26, 654) succeeded Pyrrhus, who, as we have seen, had once himself been a fugitive at Rome, had there renounced his Monothelete heresy, and had returned, as the orthodox said, 'like a dog to his vomit' when he found himself in the atmosphere of Monothelete Ravenna. This temporary departure from the ruling creed was however objected against him now, when he sought to recover the Patriarchal throne on which he had once before been seated. He declared that he had subscribed to the Pope's libellus (1) because he was his guest, and (2) under duresse. On these two somewhat inconsistent pleas the imprisoned Pope was now examined by an Assistant-Treasurer who bore the great name of Demosthenes. Further examination of the Pope. The Court minion, when he entered the prison, said with an unworthy sneer, 'Our lord the excellent Emperor has sent us to thee, saying, See in what height of glory thou once wast placed, and to what a depth thou now hast fallen. For all this thou hast only thyself to thank.' To which the Pope only replied, 'Glory and thanksgiving in all things to the only King, Immortal and Invisible.' Demosthenes then proceeded to cross-question him about his reception of the fugitive Patriarch Pyrrhus. 'Whence did he draw his subsistence when he was in Rome?' 'From the Roman Patriarchate' [the Lateran Palace]. 'What was your object in thus supplying him with provisions?' 'My good lord, you do not understand the ways of the  p267 Roman church. For I tell you plainly, St. Peter does not repel any one, however poor and miserable, who comes to claim his hospitality, but gives them the whitest bread and divers kinds of wine. If then this is done even to miserable outcasts, in what guise ought we to have received one who came as the honoured bishop of the great see of Constantinople?' Then came the question as to duresse, the heavy wooden chains which were said to have been fastened on the Patriarch's limbs, and the many grievous things that had been done to him. To which answered the Pontiff, 'All this is utterly untrue, and there are men in Constantinople who were then in Rome, and who know how false is the accusation. There is Plato, once Exarch, who sent his messengers to Pyrrhus at Rome. Ask him, and if fear does not prevent him from speaking the truth, he will tell you. But I am in your hands. Tear me if you will, limb from limb, as the Treasurer said to the Prefect that he ought to do unto me. Work your own will upon me: but I will not communicate with the church of Constantinople.'

The Pope banished to Cherson, March 13, 655. After eighty-four days' confinement in the prison of Diomede, the unfortunate Pope was against put on shipboard and delivered to the mercies of the stormy Euxine. What object the guards can have had in keeping their prisoner so long exposed to the miseries of sea‑sickness we know not: but it was not till May 15, two months after his embarkation, that he was permitted to land at Cherson, a place which was not the same as the modern city of Cherson, but was situated in the Crimea, then called the Tauric Chersonese. Here he languished for four months, and then died, worn out by disease and  p268 hardship. From two letters which he wrote to his friends at Rome, we receive a most melancholy impression of his state during these last four months of his life. He complains bitterly of the lukewarmness and forgetfulness of his Roman friends, who wrote him no letters, and sent him no alleviations of his distress. Almost the only news which he did receive from Rome was the unwelcome intelligence that, yielding to Imperial pressure, Eugenius I Pope, Aug. 10, 654–June 2, 657 the Roman clergy had acquiesced in his deposition, and elected another Pope, Eugenius I, as his successor.​44 The inhabitants of the country to which Martin was exiled were, according to his accounts, barbarians and heathens, and he suffered from want not only of the comforts, but almost of the necessities of life. His only chance of buying cornº was in small quantities from vessels which came thither laden with salt from the southern shores of the Black Sea,​45 and then he had to pay for it at the high price of one solidus for a bushel.46

Death of Pope Martin, Sept. 17, 655. Pope Martin died on September 17, 655. He was buried in that wild Crimean land, and miracles, of which there had been some mention during his life, were believed to be wrought at his tomb. On the whole, he must be pronounced one of the noblest figures in the long line of Roman Pontiffs. The  p269 querulous tone of the letters of his exile contrasts somewhat unfavourably with the utterances of that other victim of Imperial persecution, St. Chrysostom. And, as I have before suggested, it is possible that there may have been some foundation for the political charges on which ostensibly his condemnation was based. But on the other hand there can be no doubt that if he had been willing to strike his flag to the Monotheletes, or to accept that arbitrary 'End of Controversy,' the Type of the worldly-minded Emperor Constans, he might at once have ended his weary exile and have returned to the comforts and the splendours of the Lateran Palace. This he refused to do for conscience' sake, and he is therefore entitled to rank as one of the few martyrs who have sat in chair of St. Peter.

Chronological notes. I must remind the reader, in returning to the course of Lombard history, that all the events with which we have been recently dealing occurred before the accession of Grimwald. Heraclius published his Ecthesis in 638, two years after the accession of Rothari. The Ecthesis was taken down, and the Type was substituted for it by Constans II in 648, four years before the end of Rothari's reign. When Rothari died (in 652), Martin had been for three years Pope. Exarch Olympius died in that year, and his successor's capture of the Pope occurred in the following year, the date of Aripert's accession to the Lombard throne. Aripert during his reign must have heard of the death of Martin in exile at Cherson, of the death of his successor Eugenius (June, 657), Vitalian Pope, July 30, 657–Jan. 27, 672. and of the elevation of his successor Vitalian, whose long pontificate (657‑672) covers the whole of the reign of Grimwald.  p270 Under the rule of this Pope the Monothelete dispute seems to have slumbered. Fairly amicable relations existed between the patriarchates of Rome and Constantinople: Vitalian, though not going as far as Honorius in acceptance of Monothelete doctrine, was apparently willing to leave the question undiscussed, and as this was the very result most desired by Constans, a politician but no theologian, there was peace and the exchange of outward courtesies between Emperor and Pontiff.

Constans sets his face towards the West, 662. Thus we come down to 662, the year of Grimwald's accession. Towards the close of this year Constans II formed the resolution to quit for ever his capital by the Bosphorus, and to try his fortune as a re‑establisher of the Empire in Western lands. To his contemporaries, accustomed to think of the Roman Augustus as immoveably settled in the East, the resolution seemed like a madman's dream. Even the virtues of this Emperor (for he had some virtues), his rough energy, his broad view of the needs of the Empire, his abhorrence of theological disputation, as well as his undoubted vices, made him unpopular with the enervated, wordy inhabitants of New Rome.​47 Two years previously he had put to death his brother Theodosius, whom he had before forced into holy orders, and now it was said that Theodosius continually appeared to him in the visions of the night, arrayed in the dress of a deacon, and offering him the sacramental cup, saying, 'Drink, my brother!' The Imperial dreamer would take the cup, see that it was filled with blood, and awake with a cry of anguish. This story,  p271 however, comes from a very late and doubtful source,​48 and perhaps attests only the animosity of church historians against a Monothelete heretic and the persecutor of Popes. The cruel tortures inflicted on the Abbot Maximus, the great champion of orthodoxy, and two of his disciples, who were flogged, had their tongues and right hands cut off, and were banished to the inhospitable neighbourhood of Poti,​c doubtless kindled the resentment of many of the Emperor's subjects against him. But after all it was perhaps statesman­ship quite as much as passion which determined Constans to quit his native city and seek his fortune in the West. His grandfather Heraclius had come from Carthage to found his dynasty. He was himself called Emperor of Rome, yet Rome and Italy were daily slipping from his grasp, the city to the Pope, the country to the Lombards. Constans would revive the great projects of Justinian, and be in fact as well as in name Emperor of Rome. We need not therefore believe the late and legendary story that when Constans was standing on the deck of his cutter, he turned round to look at the receding towers and domes of Constantinople, and spat at the Imperial City. Better vouched for, however, is the fact that he was obliged to take his departure alone, and that when he sent from Sicily for his wife and his three sons, the citizens (perhaps represented by the Senate) refused to allow them to depart.

He arrives in Italy, 663. Constans went first to Athens, where he apparently sojourned for some time, and then, probably in the early part of 663, crossed over into Italy, landing at Tarentum. Both by his landing-place and in various  p272 other ways his expedition reminds us of that other attempt which Greece made 944 years before,​49 under Pyrrhus king of Epirus, to conquer Italy. Like that Aeacid prince, Constans sought to ascertain by supernatural means the event of his enterprise. He asked, not the priestess at Delphi, but a certain recluse who was believed to have the spirit of prophecy. 'Shall I vanquish and hold down the nation of the Lombards which now dwelleth in Italy?' The holy man's answer, vouchsafed after a night of prayer, was less ambiguous than the response of the oracle to Pyrrhus. 'The nation of the Lombards cannot be overcome, forasmuch as a pious queen, coming from another land, has built a basilica in their territory to the blessed John the Baptist, who therefore pleads without ceasing for that people. But the time will come when that sanctuary shall be held in contempt, and then the nation itself shall perish.' The historian who records this prediction considered that he saw its fulfilment when the fall of the Lombard monarchy followed the simoniacal ordination of unworthy and adulterous ecclesiastics in the great basilica of Monza.50

Constans enters the duchy of Benevento. Undismayed by this unfavourable answer — if he ever received it — the Emperor pressed on from the region round Tarentum, where he still found subjects loyal to the Empire, and invaded the duchy of Benevento​51 where Romwald the son of King Grimwald ruled. 'The high nest of Acherontia,' as Horace called it,​52 a frontier fortress on one of the outlying buttresses  p273 of Monte Vulture, resisted all his attacks, but Luceria, 'a wealthy city of Apulia,' was captured, sacked and levelled with the ground. Certainly the Emperor of Rome practised a strange method of delivering Italy. He then marched to Benevento, which he surrounded and tried hard to carry by storm. Young Romwald, sore pressed, sent his tutor​53 Seswald to entreat his father's aid. On receipt of this message King Grimwald at once set out with a large army to the help of his son. Many of the Northern Lombards, however, deserted on the march. The jealousy or suspicion between Pavia and Benevento was too strong to be overcome even by the presence of the Roman Emperor on the soil of Italy: and the men of the northern provinces said to one another, with self-gratulations on their own superior wisdom, 'The southern duke has helped himself to all that was best worth having in the palace at Pavia, and now he is going to Benevento "to help his son." You will see that he will never return.'

Siege of Benevento. Meanwhile the Imperial army was pressing the siege of the city with all those engines of war the use of which the dexterous Greek understood so much better than the barbarian. By frequent sallies the gallant defenders inflicted grievous losses on the enemy, but the straitness of the siege was great, and day by day they looked for tidings of the approach of the  p274 Lombard king. At last they saw the messenger Seswald drawing near to the walls, but, alas! as a prisoner led by the Imperial generals. For while he was hovering near to the city seeking how he might enter, he had been captured by the enemy's scouts, who had brought him into the Emperor's presence. From him Constans learned of the near advent of Grimwald with a large army, and these tidings decided him to end the siege by all means as speedily as possible. Seswald was therefore allowed to approach the walls, having promised that he would assure the garrison that Grimwald could not help them. If he failed in this he was told that death awaited him. When the captive tutor was close to the walls, he asked to see his pupil, and as soon as Romwald came to the battlements he cried with a loud voice, 'Stand firm, lord Romwald: thy father is at hand and will soon bring thee help. He is already at the river Sangro,​54 and pitches his camp there to‑night with a strong army. Have pity, I pray thee, on my wife and children, for I know that this perfidious race will not suffer me to live.' As soon as he had finished his speech, the Emperor bade that they should cut off his head, and hurl it into the city from a catapult: an ungenerous revenge, and one in which a Teutonic warrior would have hardly permitted himself to indulge. The well-known features were kissed by the grateful lips of Romwald, and the head was deposited in a worthy shrine.

Truce proclaimed. After all, no battle was fought under the wall of Benevento. Constans was now anxious to depart, and Romwald, whose troops were probably already  p275 suffering severely from famine, made 'a bridge of gold for a retreating foe,' handed over his sister Gisa to him as a hostage, and made peace on some terms, the nature of which is not recorded.​55 Constans then started for Naples, where he was secure of a friendly reception, as that city belonged to the Empire; but on his way he was attacked by Mitola, count of Capua, at a place by the banks of the Calore (which a hundred years after was still called Pugna), and was defeated there with much slaughter. This skirmish (for it was probably nothing more) apparently broke the truce concluded under the walls of Benevento. One of the Byzantine nobles, named Saburrus, asked the Emperor to entrust him with the command of 20,000 men with whom he made no doubt that he should vanquish the young duke of Benevento. Battle at Forino. He set forth, and pitched his camp at Forino, about twenty-five miles east of Naples, which city was now the Emperor's headquarters. When Grimwald, who had by this time joined his son, heard the tidings of the Imperial general's approach he thought to go forth also and fight with him, but with something of the spirit of a young knight of later days, Romwald begged that he, with only a portion of his father's army, might have the glory of this day's encounter. Accordingly Romwald and Saburrus​56 with their small selected armies met on the field of battle. From four different sides sounded the trumpets of  p276 Saburrus, as the Imperial forces rushed to the fray. But in the thick of the battle, a stalwart Lombard named Amalong, who bore 'the king's wand'​57 (probably a spear from which fluttered the royal banner), struck one of the little Greek soldiers through the body with his weapon, which he held stoutly with both hands, and lifting him from his saddle, held the spear high in air, with his victim writhing upon it.​58 The sight of this deed so disheartened the Greeks that they turned to flight, and in that flight the army was cut to pieces. Romwald returned to his father with the glory of victory, and the boaster Saburrus brought back few of his 20,000 men to his master.

Constans visits Rome. 'Constans,' says the Lombard historian, 'seeing that he could avail nothing against the Lombards, turned all his threats and all his harshness upon his own partisans, that is, the Romans.' This may have been the secret reflection of the trembling clergy and citizens when the stern Monothelete Emperor came among them, but the outward signs of mutual amity were observed on the visit which Constans now paid to Rome. It was certainly a memorable event. Three hundred and seven years had elapsed since the awe‑stricken Constantius gazed on the glories of yet unruined Rome:​59 nearly two centuries since any person calling himself Emperor had stood upon the Palatine Hill: one hundred and thirty-seven years  p277 were yet to elapse ere a barbarian king was to be acclaimed with shouts of Carolus Imperator in the streets of Rome. Meanwhile here is this successor of Augustus, who bears by full right the title of Emperor of the Romans, but who is Greek by language, Greek by education, and who, it is to be feared, does not hold the Catholic verity in his heart, since by that arrogant Type of his he forbids us even to make mention of the Two Wills in Christ. He has accomplished but little against the terrible Saracens: he has done nothing to deliver Italy from the unspeakable Lombards: we must receive him as our rightful lord, but our hearts fail us when we ask ourselves what he will do in Rome. Such were probably the feelings of Pope Vitalian and his clergy as they went forth along the Appian Way six miles from the gates of the City to meet the Emperor Constans. But his first devout behaviour probably somewhat allayed their terrors. It was Wednesday, the 5th of July (663), when he entered the Eternal City, and he at once proceeded to worship at the great basilica of St. Peter, leaving there a gift upon the altar. On Saturday he went to the church of S. Maria Maggiore, and there, too, he offered his gift. On Sunday the church of St. Peter's was filled with the Greek soldiers. All the clergy went forth with due pomp of lighted tapers to meet the master of that glittering host who was present at the celebration of Mass — doubtless receiving the consecrated elements from St. Peter's successor — and again offered his gift upon the altar; this time a pallium stiff with gold. On the next Saturday he visited in equal state the Lateran church, the home of the great Western patriarchate; he bathed  p278 in the porphyry font,​60 which legend, then or at a later day, declared to have been used for the baptism of Constantine the Great, and he dined in the spacious banqueting-hall which was known as the basilica of Vigilius.​61 Lastly, on the second Sunday of his visit, he again attended High Mass at St. Peter's, and took a solemn farewell of Pope Vitalian on this the last day of his sojourn in Rome.62

His spoliation of the City. Twelve days was the length of the Emperor's visit, but his time was not wholly occupied in hearing Mass and offering gifts upon the altars of the churches. Gold and silver had apparently long vanished from all places but the sacristies of the churches, but there was still much copper on the buildings and in the statues of the City. Between his visits to the basilicas the Emperor usefully employed his leisure in stripping the City of all these copper adornments, even proceeding so far as to strip off the copper tiles which covered the dome of Agrippa's pantheon, now the church of St. Mary of the Martyrs. These spoils, and much else, probably some works of art, possibly some of the treasures of the libraries,​63 were put on shipboard and  p279 consigned to Constantinople, at which city however, as we shall shortly discover, they never arrived. It was certainly an unworthy mode of celebrating the Roman Emperor's visit to the City which gave him his title; and the abstraction of the roof of the Pantheon must have reminded Romans who knew anything of the history of their City of the similar procedure of Gaiseric and his Vandals upon the gilt roof of the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus.​64 But the necessities of the Empire were great: some of its richest provinces were in the hands of the Saracens; and the robberies of Constans were probably not for himself but for the State. Had there been any blood spilled or any sacred vessels abstracted during the Imperial visit to Rome, we should assuredly have heard of such atrocities. Upon the whole, we may presume that when, on the 17th of July, Constans finally turned his back on the Imperial City, Pontiff and people alike congratulated themselves that they had not suffered greater evils at the hands of their stern sovereign.

Constans visits Sicily. From Rome he went to Naples, and from Naples by land to Reggio. He must have remained some weeks in Southern Italy, for it was in September​65 (if not later) that he crossed over from Reggio into Sicily.​66 663‑668 He remained in that island for five years, making  p280 Syracuse his headquarters. The object of this long sojourn in Sicily evidently was that he might use it as his base of operations against the Saracens, who were overrunning the provinces of Northern Africa. He did indeed temporarily recover Carthage, but this success was counterbalanced by a severe defeat which his troops sustained at Tripoli. Financial oppression of the Sicilians. In Sicily as elsewhere he showed himself grasping and impecunious. The cultivators of Sicily and Sardinia, of Calabria and of the province of Africa, long remembered the oppressive procedure​67 of the tax‑gatherers of Constans. So inexorable were their demands that, to satisfy them, husbands were sold into slavery away from their wives, and children from their parents, and, under this intolerable tyranny, life seemed not worth the living. Now too, if we may believe the papal biographer, who writes in great bitterness of spirit against the Monothelete Emperor, Constans exceeded even his Roman exploits by his sacrilegious spoliation of the churches. All over the two islands, and the two provinces which have been named, sacred vessels and other precious ornaments dedicated to the worship of the sanctuary were carried off 'by the command of the Emperor and by the avarice of the Greeks.'68

 p281  Death of Constans, 668. At length the hard and oppressive reign came to an end, but that end seems to have come rather from the sudden rage of an insulted menial, than from any deep-laid popular conspiracy.​69 One day,​70 when Constans entered the bath which was called Daphne, at Syracuse, the valet who attended him, a certain Andreas, son of Troilus, while the Emperor was scrubbing himself with Gallic soap, lifted high the box in which the soap was kept, smote his master on the head with it, and ran away. As the doors of the bath-house remained long unopened, the attendants who stood without at length burst them open, and found their master lying dead upon the floor. If there had been, as seems probable, no conspiracy, it was nevertheless easy to foresee that the existence of a conspiracy against so harsh and unpopular a monarch would be easily suspected. It was probably  p282 in order to guard themselves against the certain vengeance of the Heraclian house that the courtiers determined to raise a new Emperor to the throne. Usurpation of Mizizius. Their choice fell on a certain Armenian named Mizizius,​71 who much against his will accepted the dangerous diadem. He had calculated the chances of success more truly than those who forced the honour upon him. From all parts of Italy, from Istria and Campania, from Africa (the old home of the Heraclians), even from the island of samer, soldiers flocked to Syracuse to suppress this ridiculous rebellion. When the young Constantine, the son of Constans, arrived in Sicily with a great fleet, he found the work already done, and the rival Emperor Mizizius slain.​72 The pretender's head was taken to Constantinople, and with it many of the civil servants of the Empire who had taken part in the rebellion, and who, according to the cruel fashion of Byzantium, were mutilated before they were placed on board the ships which were to convey them to the place of execution.

The Saracens at Syracuse. Events such as these naturally weakened the resisting power of the Empire. We hear without surprise that the Saracens suddenly appeared with a large  p283 fleet in the Sicilian waters, entered Syracuse, made great slaughter among the people (a remnant of whom fled to fortified camps and the tops of the mountains), and then returned to Alexandria, bearing with them immense booty, including the brazen ornaments, and all the other precious things which Constans Augustus had carried off from Rome.

Death of Grimwald's daughter Gisa. As for King Grimwald's daughter Gisa, whom the Emperor had borne off from Benevento as a hostage, she too was taken by him to Sicily, and died there. The way in which Paulus mentions her fate inclines us to suppose that it was in some way connected with the troubles of the Saracen invasion.

The remaining events of the reign of Grimwald may be briefly told, and all relate to three out of the four great duchies, whose history in an earlier chapter was brought down to this point. The duchy of Trient is not noticed here.

Transamund, duke of Spoleto. In Spoleto, on the death of Duke Atto (663), Grimwald conferred the duchy on his old ally Transamund, count of Capua, to whom he was largely indebted for his success in winning the Lombard crown. Transamund, who married a daughter of Grimwald, appears to have governed the Umbrian duchy for about forty years, and his descendants, to the third generation, sat on his throne.

The Bulgarians in the duchy of Benevento. At Benevento, young Romwald seems to have remained ever in cordial love and loyalty to his father, and we may conjecture that the kingdom and the duchy were more closely confederate together during the reign of Grimwald than at any other period of their joint existence. The chief event of the young duke's reign seems to have been the arrival of a colony  p284 of Bulgarians in Italy under their duke Alzeco, who, 'with all the army of his duchy,' came to King Grimwald, and promised faithful service on condition of being allowed to reside in his land. Him Grimwald passed on to his son, desiring the latter to provide suitable habitations for him and his people. They were heartily welcomed by the young duke, who assigned to them for their residence a spacious region to the north of his capital, which had lain desert until that time, and which included the cities of Bovianum, Sepinum, and Aesernia. The fact that this broad reach of territory (situated, it is true, among the highlands of Samnium) should have remained desert till these Bulgarians from the Danube country came to occupy it, tells its own sad story of the desolation of Italy. The Bulgarian Alzeco coming thus into the territory of Duke Romwald, in a relation which in a later century would have been described as that of vassalage, had to forego the title of duke which he had hitherto borne, and be content with that of gastald, a title which, as we shall hereafter see, expressed more of personal dependence on the sovereign than the title of duke. Even down to the days of Paulus, that is, for a full century after the settlement, though the descendants of these settlers had learned the Latin tongue, the rude Bulgarian speech was still heard in these cities and villages round the skirts of Monte Matese.73

 p285  Events in Friuli. Meanwhile in the duchy of Friuli, the old home of Grimwald, disastrous events were occurring. Grasulf, Grimwald's uncle, after apparently a long reign, Duke Ago. had been succeeded by Ago, of whom Paulus has only to tell us that a certain house called Domus Agonis was still visible at Forum Julii.74

Duke Lupus: his capture of Grado, Duke Ago was followed by Lupus, an ambitious and untrustworthy man. Instigated possibly by the patriarch of Aquileia, he led a band of horsemen by a highway cast up in old time across the sands to Grado, plundered that island city, and carried off the treasures of its church. Whether he deposited any of these treasures in the mother and rival church of Aquileia we are not informed. After this came the invasion of Italy by Constans, Romwald's cry for  p286 help to his father, Grimwald's rapid march to succour him. Before setting out the king committed his palace and all its treasures to Lupus of Friuli, perhaps an old companion of his boyhood. and rebellion against Grimwald. But Lupus shared the general opinion of the northern Italians, that the Beneventan interloper, having once set his face towards the south, would never return to Pavia. He carried himself insolently in his delegated office; and perhaps — though this is not expressly told us — aimed at winning the kingdom for himself. When he learned that Grimwald was returning, Lupus, conscious of his misdeeds, retreated to his duchy of Friuli, and there openly raised the standard of rebellion.

Grimwald invites the Avars into Friuli. On receipt of these evil tidings, Grimwald, unwilling to stir up a civil war between Lombards and Lombards, resorted to the strange and desperate expedient of inviting the Avars, the savages who, fifty years before, had slain his father and ravaged his home, to come and attack the rebel duke. The Chagan came with a great army, and was met by Lupus apparently on the old battle-ground of Theodosius by the Cold River below the pass of the Pear-tree.75

Death of Lupus. For three days Lupus kept the savage horde at bay, at first with brilliant success, winning decided victories, and carrying great spoil out of their camp. But each day the number of his killed and wounded soldiers rose higher and higher, and still the apparently undiminished Avar horde rolled on towards him. On the fourth day Lupus was slain, and the remnant of his army scarcely succeeded in saving themselves by flight.

 p287  Retreat of the Avars. The surviving Lombards shut themselves up in the fortified cities, while the Avars as aforetime roamed over the duchy, carrying fire and sword through the wasted land. To Grimwald's ambassadors who came with a gentle suggestion that it was now time to cease from ravage, they replied that they had won Forum Julii by their arms, and did not mean to quit it. Hereupon Grimwald saw himself compelled to assemble an army for the expulsion of the Avars from Italian soil. But according to the saga, he effected his purpose not by force but by guile. The Chagan's ambassadors came and feasted at his board ere all his army was yet collected, but he dressed up the same squadrons in different attire on each succeeding day, and made them defile before the eyes of the ambassadors, leading them to suppose that each day fresh reinforcements were coming to his standard. 'With all these multitudes,' said he, 'shall I burst upon the Avars and their Chagan, unless they speedily vanish from the territory of Forum Julii.' The message carried back by the deluded ambassadors struck such terror into the heart of the Chagan that he made all haste to return to his own land.

Theuderada, daughter of Lupus, marries Romwald. The daughter of Lupus, Theuderada, was given in marriage to Romwald of Benevento, and in her new home, as we learn from the life of St. Barbatus, she played a part like that of Theudelinda in winning over the still half heathen, and wholly irreligious, Lombards of Benevento to the Christian faith.

Flight and death of Arnefrit, His son Arnefrit​76 sought to win his father's duchy, but fled at the approach of Grimwald, and took refuge  p288 with the Sclovenes of Carinthia.​77 Afterwards seeking by the help of these barbarians to recover possession of his duchy, he was slain by a sudden onset of the men of Friuli at a place called Nemae (now Nimis), about fifteen miles north-west of Cividale.

Wechtari, duke of Friuli. As the new duke of Friuli, Grimwald appointed Wechtari, a native of Vicenza, a man who had evidently already reached middle life, and who was, we are told, 'a kind man, gently ruling the people.'​78 Though Arnefrit was dead, his Sclavonic allies still troubled the duchy, and hearing that Duke Wechtari, of whom they stood in great awe, had gone to Pavia — doubtless in order to concert measures of defence with King Grimwald — they came with a strong body of men, and pitched their camp at a place called Broxae, not far from the capital.​79 It happened providentially that Wechtari had on the previous evening  p289 returned from Pavia, and hearing of this insolent advance of the Sclovenes, he went forth with twenty of his followers to attack them. Seeing so small a troop issue from the city, the Sclovenes said with jeers, 'Lo, here come the patriarch and his clergy.' But when they came to the bridge over the Natiso, on the other side of whose deep gorge the invaders had pitched their camp, Wechtari took off his helmet and showed his bald head and his well-known countenance to the foe. A despairing cry of 'Wechtari! Wechtari!' ran through their ranks, and they all began to think of flight rather than of battle. Then Wechtari, perceiving their panic, charged upon them with his scanty band, and inflicted such slaughter, that out of 5000 Sclovenes, few returned to tell the tale in Carinthia. So runs the Saga of Wechtari.

Grimwald's revenge on Opitergium. Throughout the long life of Grimwald he seems never to have forgotten the treachery practised against his brothers Taso and Cacco. The Avars, as we have seen, he could forgive, he could even welcome as allies, but the Romans never.​80 Especially did his anger burn against the city of Opitergium, in which the foul murder was committed. Not satisfied with the partial demolition of that city which had been accomplished some twenty or thirty years before by order of Rothari,​81 he now utterly destroyed it, and parcelled out the citizens who were left in it among the three neighbouring cities of Forum Julii, Ceneta, and Tarvisium (Cividale, Ceneda, and  p290 Treviso). To this day the low estate of the little town, scarcely more than a village, of Oderzo, testifies to the vengeance of the Lombard king.

Sack of Forlimpopoli. Equally hard was the fate of the city on the Emilian Way, twenty miles south of Ravenna, which still, in a slightly altered form,​82 preserves its classical name of Forum Populi. Many times had its inhabitants harassed his messengers going and coming in time of peace​83 between Pavia and Benevento. Watching his opportunity, he burst, in the days of Lent, through the unguarded passages of the Apennines, came upon the city on Easter Sunday itself, when the children were being baptized, and slew the citizens with wide and indiscriminate slaughter, not sparing even the deacons who were officiating in the baptistery, and whose blood was mingled with the water of ablution. Then he beat down the chief buildings of the city, and left therein but a very few of its former inhabitants.​84 Certainly the Lombard, even  p291 after a century's sojourn in Italy, fell far below the Visigoth in capacity for civilisation. Alaric at Pollentia well-nigh ruined his cause by his unwillingness to fight on Easter‑Day, the same day which Grimwald chose for a treacherous revenge and a cruel massacre.

Death of Grimwald, 671. At length the strong, hard, self-reliant man came to a characteristic end. He had been bled, probably for some trifling ailment, by the royal surgeons, and was resting in his palace on the ninth day after the operation. A dove flew past; he longed to reach it with his arrow; he took the bow and shot, but in doing so opened again the imperfectly closed vein, and died of the ensuing hemorrhage. The suggestion that his doctors had mingled poison in their drugs seems unnecessary to explain the death of so self‑willed and impetuous a convalescent. He was buried in the basilica of St. Ambrose which he himself (evidently an orthodox Catholic by profession) had reared in the royal city of Ticinum.

Laws of Grimwald. It should be mentioned that in July 668, in the sixth year of his reign, Grimwald made a short addition to the code of Rothari. It will not be necessary here to examine this additional code minutely. I may be sufficient to say that it shows a general disposition to uphold the prescription of thirty years, whether against a slave claiming pardon, or against a free man resisting the attempt to reduce him to slavery; that wager of battle is discouraged, and trial by sacramentum as much as possible substituted for it; and that there are some stringent provisions against the offence, then evidently increasing, of bigamy. The law of Grimwald also imports from the Roman law  p292 the principle of representation of a father by his children in the event of his having died before the ancestor whose property is being divided. From the stress laid on this principle by Grimwald we must suppose that it had been imperfectly recognised by the tribunals of Rothari.

The Author's Notes:

1 See pp 53‑55 and 58‑61.

2 See pp79‑81.

3 Paulus tells us (H. L. IV.47) in connection with the death of Rothari a story of the plunder of his grave in the basilica of St. John the Baptist, probably at Monza. St. John appeared to the robber in the visions of the night, and sternly rebuked him for violating the grave of one who, though not a true believer, had commended himself to the saints'º protection. Thereafter whensoever the criminal sought to enter St. John's church, he was struck on the throat by a blow as if from a very strong fist, and rushed back discomfited. This portent was related to Paulus by an eyewitness.

4 Not to be confounded with Radwald, brother of Grimwald, whose name is also spelt Rodwald.

5 In connection with Rodwald we have on two points to distrust the authority of our usually trustworthy guide Paulus. (1) He makes him, instead of his father, the husband of Gundiperga, about whom he tells the story of her slandered honour, and its vindication in single combat by 'proprius servus ejus Carellus.' All this is evidently transposed from the reign of Rothari. (2) He makes the duration of Rodwald's reign 'five years and seven days.' It is generally agreed that annis here is a mistake for mensibus.

6 This gate, now unfortunately replaced by one of modern date called the Porta di Borgoratto, was perhaps named after the Marici, one of the two Gaulish tribes (the other was the Laevi) who, according to Pliny, H. N. III.17, were the founders of Ticinum.

7 Evidently nearly allied to the Anglo-Saxon name Berhtred, and to the Frankish Berthar.

8 See genealogy on p148.

9 In the minstrels' songs evidently Garipald was always used as the villain of the story. He is, in the words of Paulus, 'totius nequitiae seminator,' 'fallendi artifex,' 'talium operum patrator' (H. L. IV.51).

10 This appears to be the meaning of the words of Paulus, 'dum munera, quae deferre Beneventum debuerat, non integra deportasset.'

11 At Pavia? I think so, but it is not clearly stated by Paulus.

12 'Super sacrum baptisterii fontem conscendens, laevâque manu se ad columellam (al. columnellum) tugurii continens.' Tugurii seems to be a corrupt reading for tegorii; tegorium, according to Ducange, is nearly equivalent to ciborium.

13 'Fuit autem corpore praevalidus, audaciâ primus, calvo capite, barbâ prominenti, non minus consilio quam viribus decoratus' (Paulus, H. L. V.33).

14 About a quarter of a bushel.

15 We get the story of this embassy from the life of St. Wilfrid, whose enemies sought to draw King Perctarit into their schemes against him when he was travelling in Italy many years after the events with which we are now dealing. King Perctarit himself tells the story. 'Fui aliquando in die juventutis meae exul de patriâ expulsus sub pagano quodam rege Hunnorum degens, qui iniit mecum foedus in deo suo idolo, ut nunquam me inimicis prodidisset vel dedisset. Et post spatium temporis venerunt ad regem paganum sermone inimicorum meorum nuncii, promittentes sibi dare sub jurejurando solidorum aureorum modium plenum, si me illis ad internecionem dedisset. Quibus non consentiens dixit "Sine dubio dii vitam succidant, si hoc piaculum facio irritans pactum deorum meorum" ' (Life of St. Wilfrid by Eddius, quoted by Waitz in his edition of the Historia Langobardorum).

16 Probably this was the case. The revolt of the Bulgarians against the Avars must have considerably weakened their power. (See Bury, History of the Later Roman Empire, II.333.)

17 Vestiarius.

18 The same which Alaric besieged unsuccessfully in 401; see vol. I p284 (713, 2nd edition).

19 Or perhaps bestowed upon him the property of Perctarit. 'At ille cum ei ex ordine retulisset, rex ejus fidem et prudentiam conlaudans, omnes ejus (?) facultates et quicquid habere poterat eidem clementer concessit' (H. L. V.3).

20 'Qui omnia sua secundum benignitatem regis sufficienter tollentes, cum ejusdem regis adjutoris Francorum in patriam ad suum dilectum Perctarit sunt profecti' (H. L. V.4).

21 'Qui locus, ubi hoc gestum est proelium, Francorum usque hodie Rivus appellatur, nec longe distat ab Astensis civitatulae moenibus' (H. L. V.5). The fact that the battle was fought near Asti looks as if that place were still holding out for Perctarit.

22 Constantine III.

23 Heracleonas.

24 διὸ παρακαλῶ ὑμᾶς ἔχειν συμβούλους καὶ γνώμονας τῆς κοινῆς τῶν ὑπηκόων σωτηρίας (Theophanes, A. M. 6134).

25 With the exception of Honorius I (625‑638), the champion of the weak-brained Lombard, King Adalwald (see p158), who in his letter to Sergius the Patriarch of Constantinople (634) gave what seems like a hesitating assent to Monothelete doctrine, and whose memory was anathematised accordingly at the Sixth General Council (680‑681), though to modern feeling any alleged slip which he may have made may have on an abstruse point of technical theology is more than compensated by this Pope's obvious desire to silence vain debate on a subject so inconceivable by man, and so absolutely without relation to practical Christian life.

26 This profane act was perpetrated by Pope Theodore (648) in reference to the excommunication of Pyrrhus, twice Patriarch of Constantinople (Theophanes, A. M. 6121). Under this year Theophanes gives a summary view of the whole Monotheletic controversy, from which, however, he strangely omits all mention of the Type of Constans. Baronius doubts the story of the pen dipped in sacramental wine, which is not mentioned by any other writer than Theophanes.

27 Acts of St. Audoenus, Bishop of Rouen (quoted by Baronius, s. a. 649.4).


Note as to the succession of Exarchs at this period.

Our information on this point is very meagre, and chiefly derived from the Liber Pontificalis, but this seems to be at any rate an approximation to the truth: —

A. D.
Isaac the Armenian 626‑644
Theodore Calliopas 644‑646
Plato 646‑649
Olympius 649‑652
Theodore Calliopas (restored) 653‑664

We know nothing about the first administration of Theodore, and we only hear of Plato in the Emperor's letter to his successor as a strong Monothelete, who induced Pyrrhus, ex‑Patriarch of Constantinople, to recant his recantation, and return into the Monothelete fold (Martini Epistola ap. Baronium, 645.17 and 651.19).

29 We only know the tenour of the instructions given to Olympius through the hostile Papal biographer, who certainly misrepresents them in part, for he makes the Emperor Constans call the adherents of the Type 'hujus haeresis professores.'

30 'Mariae ad Praesepe.'

Thayer's Note: VII.173, note.

31 Down to the Norman Conquest of Sicily, 1090.

Thayer's Note: A readable overview of the history of the Saracen conquest and domination of Sicily is given by Crawford, The Rulers of the South, II.70‑124.

32 We get this date, or rather the date of the day following the Exarch's arrival, from the Pope's letter to a friend of his who was also named Theodore: 'Ego vero ipse graviter infirmus eram ab Octobrio mense usque ad predictum tempus, id est usque ad decimum sextum Kalendas Julias' (apud Baronium 650.14). Observe that the Pope still reckons by Kalends.

33 In 537. See vol. IV p225.º

34 'Ego aliquando ad Sarracenos nec litteras misi nec quem dicunt tomum' (Ep. Martini, u. s. 8). What can the suggested tomus have been?

35 The Lateran church is sometimes called by Pope Martin the Constantinian, sometimes the church of the Saviour. His companion, who continues the story of his captivity, calls it the church of St. John. Apparently, therefore, we are here at the precise period of the change in the dedication of the patriarchal basilica, which, according to Gregorovius (I.84), took place 'erst nach dem sechsten Jahrhundert.'

36 On Monday, the 17th of June.

37 'Eadem ergo nocte, quae illucescit in feriâ quartâ, quae erat decimo tertio Kalendas Julius, circa horam quasi sextam noctis.'

38 'Non autem Miseni tantum, sed in Terrâ Laboris, et non tantum in Terrâ Laboris quae subdita est magnae urbi Romanorum . . . . parata (?) impedierunt' (Ep. Martini, 15).

39 'Near [the palaces of] Euphemia and Arcadia.' I cannot discover the situation of these palaces.

40 I suspect also that he had been in negotiation with the Saracen Emir as to the redemption of captives, but this is not stated.

41 At the time of the Fourth Crusade, 1204.

42 This is supposed to be the meaning of the word used by the Pope's friend, 'psachmon.'

43 Throughout the description of these scenes there is an evident attempt to seek for analogies with the treatment of Christ in the Praetorium.

44 August 10 (?) 654. Curiously enough, the last Pope Martin, he who was elected at the end of the great schism by the Council of Constance, was also succeeded by an Eugenius (IV), 1431.

45 'Naviculae quae veniunt ex partibus Romaniae (ut hi qui hic sunt nuncupantur'); an interesting instance of the early use of Romania for the Eastern Empire (Commemoratio, &c., ap. Baron. 652.5).

46 Or 96 shillings a quarter; a very high price, and not calling for Baronius' arbitrary alteration of the text, which would make it sixteen times as much (four solidi the peck).

47 See Bury, II.303‑4, for an admirable estimate of the character of Constans II.

48 Cedrenus, a monk of the eleventh century.

Thayer's Note: I.762, Bonn ed.

49 B.C. 281.

Thayer's Note: Thus 943 years before, not 944. There was no "Year 0". A common error.

50 Paulus, H. L. V.6.

51 The boundary was probably still made by the two rivers Aufidus and Bradanus.

52 Ode III.4.14.

53 This is perhaps the best translation that can be offered of nutricius, which gives us a blended idea of foster-father, instructor, and, in the case of a young prince, regent or chief counsellor. It is used in this sense occasionally by Gregory of Tours. See Waitz, Verfassungsgeschichte, II.434 and 437: and compare what has been already said of the relation of Arichis to the young princes of Friuli.

54 I.e. about fifty miles from Benevento.

55 The narrative of these events in Paulus is rather confused. I have adopted Waitz's suggestion, and slightly transposed them.

56 Can this Saburrus be the same person as the Saborius, of Persian descent, who, as we learn from Theophanes (A. M. 6159), revolted against Constans, and eventually lost his life at Adrianople by an accident on horseback?

57 'Unus de regio exercitu, nomine Amalongus qui regium contum, quem vulgo vandum regis dicimus, ferre erat solitus' (Paulus, H. L. V.10).

58 'Quendam Graeculum eodem contulo utrisque manibus fortiter percutiens, de sellâ super quam equitabat sustulit, eumque in aera super caput suum levavit' (Paulus, u. s.).

59 See vol. IV p120.

60 I have no express authority for this detail. The words of the Papal biographer are simply 'Iterum Sabbato die venit Imperator ad Lateranas et lavit se.' But considering the importance which already began to be attached to the legend of Constantine's baptism at the Lateran, I think we may fairly assume that this was the meaning of his successor's ablutions.

61 Near the apartment of Pope Gregory the Great (Joannes Diaconus, II.25, quoted by Duchesne).

62 We got the history of the Emperor Constans' visits to the churches from the Liber Pontificalis in Vitâ Vitaliani.

63 This is the conjecture of Gregorovius (II.155), but neither Constans II nor his subjects seem to me to have been likely to care much for literary plunder.

64 See vol. II p284.

65 'Per indictionem septimam.'

66 If the chronology of Theophanes be correct, there had been an invasion of Sicily by the Saracens in the same year in which Constans crossed over into the island. He says, 'In this year [663] a great part of Sicily was carried captive, and they [the captives] were by their own desire planted as settlers in Damascus' (καὶ ᾠκίσθησαν ἐν Δαμασκῷ θελήσει αὐτῶν). A mysterious entry, but one which must point to an invasion of Sicily by the Saracens.

67 The Liber Pontificalis gives us the names of these imposts — diagrapha, capita, nauticationes. None of these names occur in the terrible list of tax‑gatherers' demands given us by Joannes Lydus (De Magistratibus, III.70). Capita are, of course, the 'heads' of taxation with which we have already made acquaintance in the verses of Sidonius (vol. II p419, 414 second edition). Nauticationes are perhaps some forced service on shipboard, like the work of the English press-gangs. I cannot explain diagrapha.

68 'Nam et vasa sacrata vel cimilia (κειμήλια) sanctarum Dei ecclesiarum imperiali jussu et Graecorum avariciâ sublata sunt' (Paulus, H. L. V.11: copying the Liber Pontificalis).

69 It is true that Theophanes, from whom alone we get the account of the murder of Constans, uses the word ἐδολοφονήθη concerning it, but I think it will be evident from the rest of the story that there was no 'malice aforethought' in the case. A conspirator intending to kill the Emperor would surely have provided himself with some more effectual weapon than a soap‑box. In fact, Andreas would seem to have been as much surprised as any one at the fatal effect of his blow. It is interesting to see that soap still, in the seventh century, bore the name of Gallicum. Pliny, writing in the first century, in speaking of the remedies for swellings in the face, says (H. N. XXVIII.12), 'Prodest et sapo: Gallorum hoc inventum rutilandis capillis ex sevo [suet] et cinere: optimus fagino (cinere) et caprino (sevo); duobus modis, spissus ac liquidus: uterque apud Germanos majore in usu viris, quam foeminis. It certainly seems that, as far as the use of soap was concerned, the Mediterranean peoples received civilisation from the regions north of the Alps rather than imparted it to them.

70 On the 15th of July of the 12th Indiction, says the Liber Pontificalis; but Duchesne agrees that we must correct the figures 12 to 11, thus making the year 668.

71 'Mecetius' in Paulus.

72 There is a slight divergence between Theophanes and Paulus as to the agents in the suppression of the revolt of Mizizius. I follow in the main the version of Paulus. His sentence, 'Multique ex judicibus ejus detruncati Constantinopolim perducti sunt,' is, I think, important as an indication that the rebellion of Mizizius was an abortive attempt of the civil servants of the Empire to free themselves and the provincials from the yoke of the military governors and the soldiers under them. This view of the matter explains the alacrity of the Imperial soldiers in Italy in suppressing the revolt.

73 See Bury's History of the Later Roman Empire, II.333, for some interesting remarks on this Bulgarian migration. The words of Paulus are remarkable: 'Per haec tempora Vulgarum dux Alzeco nomine, incertum quam ob causam, a suâ gente digressus, Italiam pacifice introiens, cum omni sui ducatus exercitu ad regem Grimwald venit, ei se serviturum atque in ejus patriâ habitaturum promittens. Quem ille ad Romualdum filium Beneventum dirigens, ut ei cum suo populo loca ad habitandum concedere deberet praecepit. Quos Romualdus gratanter excipiens, eisdem spatiosa ad habitandum loca quae usque ad illud tempus deserta erant, contribuit, scilicet Sepinum, Bovianum et Iserniam (sic) et alias cum suis territoriis civitates ipsumque Alzeconem, mutato dignitatis nomine de duce gastaldium vocitari praecepit. Qui usque hodie in his ut diximus locis habitantes, quamquam et Latiné loquantur, linguae tamen propriae usum minimé amiserunt.' It seems probable that this settlement of the Bulgarians was partly a measure of precaution against attack from Rome or Naples. All the three towns named are on the back‑way leading from the Via Latina across the mountains to Benevento.

74 Our dates here are extremely vague. 'Circa haec tempora' (that is apparently about the time of the accession of Constans, 642), 'mortuo aput Forojulii Grasulfo duce, Forojulensem ducatum Ago regendum suscepit' (Paulus, H. L. IV.50). 'Siquidem ut superius praemiseramus, Grasulfo Forojulanorum duce defuncto, successor ei in ducato Ago datus, de cujus nomine usque hodie domus quaedam intra Forojuli constituta domus Agonis appellatur. Quo Agone mortuo, Forojulanorum ductor Lupus efficitur' (Ibid. V.17). As a mere random guess, I would put the accession of Ago about 645, and that of Lupus about 660. De Rubeis, following Sigonius, puts the former in 661, and the latter in 663.

75 'In loco qui Flovius dicitur.' Bethmann understands this to mean 'Fluvius Frigidus in valle Wipbach provinciâ Krain.' See vol. I p160 (p570 in second edition).

76 This name reminds us of that of the father of Paulus, Warnefrid.

77 'Sed metuens Grimualdi regis vires, fugiit ad Sclavorum gentem in Carnuntum quod corrupté vocitant Carantanum' (Paulus, H. L. V.22). Of course Paulus is wrong in dragging in Carnuntum (the modern Presburg), which would be in the midst of the Avar territory. The 'Carantanum,' which he blames, is the right name for the country now called Carinthia. Ankershofen (Geschichte des Herzogthumes Kärnten, II.31, 32) fixes the settlement of the Sclovenes as an advanced guard of the Avars in Carinthia about 596. 'Their neighbours in the plains of Pannonia and on the sea‑coast called their new home, surrounded as it was and traversed by mountains, Goratan, the mountain land, from which, in course of time, and by foreign chroniclers was formed the Latin 'Carantanum' and the German 'Kärnten.' Whether this derivation be approved or not, in any case Paulus' reference to Carnuntum is quite beside the mark.

78 'Vir benignus et populum suaviter regens.'

79 De Rubeis says (p305), 'It is a place in the district of S. Giovanni-in‑Antro at the fourth milestone from Cividale. The gate on that side of the city is still called Broxana.'

Thayer's Note: The gate gave its name to one of the neighborhoods of Cividale in the Middle Ages, which in turn has led to the name still commanding local loyalties in the city's annual Palio di San Donato: see Borgo Brossana's interesting page.

80 'Erat quidem Grimualdo contra Romanos non mediocre odium, pro eo quod ejus quondam germanos Tasonem et Caceonem in suâ fide decepissent' (Paulus, H. L. V.28).

81 See p168.

82 Forlimpopoli.

83 I think we must infer this, as Forum Populi was far within the Imperial frontier, and in time of war that section of the Emilian Way would be closed to the Lombards.

84 'Quadragesimorum tempore per Alpem Bardonis Tusciam ingressus, nescientibus omnino Romanis, in ipso sacratissimo sabbato Paschali super eandem civitatem eâ horâ quâ baptismum fiebat (sic), inopinaté inruit, tantamque occisorum stragem fecit, ut etiam diacones ipsos qui infantulos baptizabant, in ipso sacro fonte perimeret. Sicque eandem urbem dejecit, ut usque hodie paucissimi in ea commaneant habitatores' (Paulus, H. L. V.27). I cannot explain 'per Alpem Bardonis.' Waitz's reference to Bardi near Parma does not seem to help us, as that throws the scene of action far too much to the west. It is probably some pass through the Apennines yet to be identified. And we seem to want 'e Tusciâ egressus' rather than 'Tusciam ingressus.' There must, it seems to me, be something wrong with the text.

Thayer's Notes:

a J. B. Bury revised and considerably expanded the work in a second edition (1923), which is onsite.

b de VI Consulatu Honorii, 203.

c A seaport on the SE corner of the Black Sea, Poti has kept its name. It is in today's Georgia.

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