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Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2007 with funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 


The Book of History 

H IDistou^ of all mations 




VISCOUNT BRYCE, p.c, d.c.l.. ll.d., f.r.s. 


W. M. Flinders Petrie, LL.D., F.R.S. 


Hans F. Helmolt, Ph.D. 


Stanley Lane-Poole, M.A., Litt.D. 


Robert Nisbet Bain 


Hugo Winckler, Ph.D. 


Archibald H. Sayce, D.Litt., LL.D. 


Alfred Russel Wallace, LL.D., F.R.S. 


Sir William Lee- Warner, K.C.S.L 


Holland Thompson, Ph.D. 


W. Stewart Wallace, M.A. 


Maurice Maeterlinck 


Dr. Emile J. Dilloi^ 


Arthur Mee 


Sir Harry H. Johnston, K.C.B., D.Sc 


Johannes Ranke 


K. G. Brandis, Ph.D. 


And many other Specialists 

Volume VIII 


The Roumanians . The Albanians 

The Southern and Western Slavs 

Hungary . Poland . Russia 


Emerging of the Nations 






The Struggles of the Wallachian Kingdom ....... 3051 

The Moldavian People . . . . ... . . . . . 3059 



The Southern Slav Peoples .......... 3069 

Maps of Turkey and Surrounding Countries ....... 3082 

Croatia and its Warrior Race ......... 3083 

The Servian Era of Independence . . . . . ... . . 3089 

Under the Heel of the Turk .......... 3097 

Great Dates in the History of South-eastern Europe ..... 3103 



The Magyars in the Middle Ages ......... 3113 

The Hapsburg Power in Hungary ......... 3125 

German Element in Hungary .......... 3135 


Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia ......... 3145 

Bohemia and the Reformation .......... 3159 

Bohemia's Elective Monarchy .......... 3173 



The Old Polish Empire 3193 

Lithuania to the Union with Poland ........ 321 1 

Historical Maps of Poland and Western Russia ...... 3220 

Union of Lithuania with Poland ......... 3221 

The New Dominion of Poland ......... 3229 

Poland under the Jagellons 3241 



The Decline of Poland 3255 

The Great Days of Cossack Power . . . 3263 

The Fall of Poland 3278 

Thaddeus Reyten at the Diet of Warsaw .... Plate facing 3282 


The Beginning of the Russian Nation , 3285 

Russia under the Mongols .......... 3305 

The Monarchs of Moscow .......... 3315 

Peter the Great, Founder of Modern Russia . . . . . . \ 3331 

When Women ruled in Russia .......... 3345 

Great Dates in History of Eastern Europe 3355 

Rise of the Kingdom of Russia ......... 3357 

Historical Importance of the Baltic ......... 3361 



Plan of the Third Division . . . . . . , . . . 3369 

Map of Western Europe ........... 3370 

The Moulding of the Nations .......... 3371 

The Crusades, and the Duel between Papacy and Empire .... 3385 

Passing of the Age of Chivalry . . . . . . . . . 3397 

The End of the Middle Ages , . 341 1 


Origins of the Teutons ........... 3423 

Rising Tide of Teuton Power .......... 3431 

The Great Teutonic Deluge 3447 


Italy and the Lombards ........... 34SS 

Rise of the Prankish Dominion ......... 3471 

The Empire of Charlemagne .......... 3481 

Roland, Hero of France's National Epic Plate facing 3484 









AX infinite number of different theories, 
^^^ both in scientific and in pseudo- 
scientific circles, have continually reap- 
peared until recent times concerning the 
origin of the Roumanians, a nation which 
has settled in smaller groups in the Balkan 
territories in Hungary and Transylvania, 
and in a coherent body in the modern king- 
dom of Roumania. This people is known by 
the Slavs as Wlach, Walach, which nearly 
corresponds to the Germanic " Wahl " 
(Welsh). The Roumanian shepherds of the 
mountains of Dinai were distinguished from 
the Italian townspeopile of Dalmatia as 
the " Black Vlachs." Like Italian, Spanish, 
and French, Roumanian has descended 
from popular Latin, of the kind spoken 
by the Romanised subjects of Rome 
during the first six centuries of our era 
on the Lower Danube and in ancient 
Dacia or Transylvania. Hence the name 
Daco-Roumanian, to distinguish this from 
the other Romance languages. 

'a^E*^* ^^^ *^^ period of the coloni- 
?^. *' ^ sation of Dacia by the Romans, 

IS ory ^^^ ^^^^ descriptive material 
is to be found in the bas-reliefs of the 
Dacian war decorating the pillar of Trajan. 

Early history must, on the whole, be 
regarded as having run something like the 
following course : the scanty native popu- 
lation of Daco-Thracian origin coalesced 
with numerous soldiers and colonists, 
whose popular Latin soon became indi- 
vidual in character, but in spite of all 
changes presei-ved its fundamental romance 
type. In th'^ year 697, and to some 
extent a century earlier, the Finno- 
Ugrian Bulgarians migrated into the 
country, and preserved their Turanian 
language for three centuries before they 
were absorbed by the mixed peoples of 
the Balkan Peninsula ; during that time, 
the influence which they exerted upon 
Albanian, mediaeval Greek, etc., was 
naturally also extended to early Rouman- 
ian. Side by side with, and subsequent to, 
this influence we have to take into 

account the strong and permanent 
influence of the Slav population. 

The main dialect of the Roumanian 
language is spoken by about nine millions 
of people in Moldavia and Wallachia, 
in Bessarabia and Transylvania, in the 
Banat, in part of Hungary and Bukovina, 
and it alone possesses any literature ; two 
_. subordinate dialects also exist 

„ . — the South, or Macedonian, 

jjj . Roumanian of the Kutzo 

Wallachians, or Zingars, in 
Macedonia, Albania, Thessaly, and Epirus 
— amounting to about one million people — 
and the half Slav Istro- Roumanian, which 
is spoken by about 3,000 people in the 
neighbourhood of the East coast of Istria 
and in the interior of the Karst range 
side by side with the Croatian, which is 
the dominant language. 

After the extensive settlements of Roman 
colonists by Trajan, the former land of 
Dacia for many decades occupied the 
position of a frontier territory, or outpost, 
of the Roman Empire ; as that empire 
declined to its fall, the barbarians 
caused increasing disturbances, which only 
occasionally and for short periods gave 
way to a sense of security, as under the 
Emperor Maximian (235-238). Aurelian, 
the " Restorer of the Empire " (270-275), 
was forced to abandon the further bank of 
the Danube to the Goths, to transport the 
colonists over the stream, and to form a 
new Dacia on the south. From that 
period the districts to the north of the 
. - . Lower Danube were invariably 
Q *" . . the object of the invading 
V rru wi j^Qj.(jgg q{ barbarians as they 
advanced to the south-west. 
The Huns and Gepids about 450 were 
succeeded a century later by the Avars 
— about 555 — and by the Slavs in 
different advances and attacks. Then 
in 679 came the Bulgarians (Khazars 
and Old Ziagirs), and after a hundred 
and fifty or two hundred years the 
Magyars, from about 840 to 860, whose 



settlements, in parts at least, were only 

Such fragments of Roman colonial civili- 
sation as survived those stormy times were 
hard beset by the repeated raids of the 
Pechenegs about 900, and by the 
Cumanians, or Uzes, about 1050. It will 
be obvious that, in view of the disturbed 
„. state of the country, no 

theReUi e f ^^^^^^^^^ chronology free from 
c c uge o gygpj(,JQjj j.^jj \yQ given. It can 
a lona i y ^^ observed, however, in the 
barest outline, that, apart from the 
numerous invasions of the barbarians, one 
striking exception is to be observed, con- 
sisting in certain scanty remnants of 
Germanic languages, Western Gothic and 
Gepid, while Slav and Ural Altaic, or 
North Mongolian, blood was infused into 
the Daco- Roumanian population that 
remained in the plains, Bessarabia, 
Dobrudza, and Wallachia. The pure Daco- 
Rouraanian nationality may have survived 
in a fragmentary state among the 
inaccessible wooded mountains of North- 
west Moldavia and Transylvania, also in 
Dacia during the period of Aurelian ; 
these elements may have left their high- 
lands when the country was pacified or 
passed north of the Danube, and again 
have exerted a special influence upon the 
motley complexion of the nation now 
known as Roumanian. 

During the tenth and eleventh centuries 
it is noticeable that similar principalities, 
or banats, were formed in Dacia, of which 
those advancing too far from Transylvania 
into the low lands of the Theiss fell under 
Magyar supremacy. On the other hand, 
the duchies which spread to the east and 
south of the Carpathian Mountains were 
able to maintain their ground against the 
Pechenegs, Cumanians, and Mongols. 
About the middle of the fourteenth cen- 
tury the two kingdoms of Wallachia and 
Moldavia began their existence, starting 
from the Carpathians and continuing for 
... a long time in mutual in- 

• 'th "** °°" dependence with a history 

Caroathians ^^ ^^^^^ ^^"* "^^ ^^^ OUtset 
of the thirteenth century 
Wallachia was in the hands of the Hun- 
garian kings of the house of Arpad. 
Bela IV. gave the country, in 1247, ^^ ^^e 
Knights of St. John, with the exception 
of the half Cumanian domain of the 
" Olacus " Seneslav, who was at that 
time Voivode of Great Wallachia to the 
east of the river Olt, and with the excep- 


tion also of the jurisdiction of the Voivode 
Latovoi, who was almost independent. 
When Ladislaus IV., the Cuman, ascended 
the throne of Hungary in 1272, while 
yet a minor, Litovoi and his brother 
attempted to shake off the burdensome 
obligation of yearly tribute ; but Litovoi 
was killed about 1275, and his brother 
Barbat was obliged to pay a high ransom. 
Shortly afterwards Basarab, a grand- 
son of the above-mentioned Seneslav, 
founded to the west of the Olt the princi- 
pality of " Transalpina " (Hungarian- 
Wallachia, or Wallachia Minor) with Arges 
as the capital. It should be observed that 
Moldavia, constitutionally a state of later 
date, in contrast to Wallachia or the 
" Roumanian territory " in general, is 
occasionally known as Wallachia " Minor," 
until it was overshadowed by the older 
neighbour state under Alexander the 
Good ; under Stefan the Great it is some- 
times known as Bogdania — in Moldavian, 
Mutenia. In contrast to Moldavia, which 
was formed chiefly by foreign immigrants, 
this principality is a state which developed 
from its own resources. The power of 
_ Basarab was considerably 

asara diminished by the defeat of 
« . his ally, Michael Tirnovo, at 

Velbuzd in 1330. However, the 
attempt of the Hungarian Angevin, Charles 
Robert I., to re-enforce a half -forgotten 
homage, became a total failure amid the 
wilderness of the Carpathian Mountains ; 
Basarab, who died about 1340, remained 
master of the whole of " the Roumanian 
territory," which indeed became then, for 
the first time, the nucleus of a state in the 
proper sense of the word. However, this 
Wallachia Minor, which began its history 
with much promise, was soon overshadowed 
by Wallachia Major, and falls into the 

Alexander, the son of Basarab, concluded 
an independent agreement with Lewis I. 
the Great at Kronstadt (i 342-1 382), con- 
cerning the conditions on which he held 
his position as voivode ; however, in his 
own country his rule was largely disturbed 
by dissatisfied subjects. To his period 
belongs the foundation of a new princi- 
pality in Moldavia, near Baia, by Bogdan. 
The affairs of the Balkan peninsula in his 
proximity induced Alexander to leave this 
ambitious rival in peace. In 1359 the 
Byzantine metropolitan, Hyacinthus, came 
from Vicina at the mouth of the Danube 
to Hungarian Wallachia as Exarch. By 


This fine cathedral of Arges is the subject of various legends, but it was most probably founded by Basarab^ who was 
founder of "Transalpina," with his capital at Arges, and died, in 1340, master of the whole of the "Roumanian Territory." 

his first wife, probably a Servian or Bosnian 
woman, Alexander Basarab had a son, 
Layko, or Vladislav ; afterwards, about 
1350, he married a Roman Catholic, the 
Hungarian Clara, and died on November 
i6th, 1364. 

Layko, who died in 1377 or between 1382 
and 1385, was able to maintain his position 
against King Lewis ; as early as 1369 he 
styled himself in his documents " Ladislaus 
by the Grace of God and the King of 
Hungary, Voivode of Wallachia, Ban of 
Syrmia, and Duke of Fogaras." Fogaras 
was a territory in Transylvania, afterwards 
granted as a fief to the Voivode of Wallachia 
by the kings of Hungary, as it was a secure 
refuge in the period of Turkish invasions, 
which began in 1367 and 1385. Under 
Layko, Arges became a Roman bishopric in 
1369, although the conversion desired by 
the Pope was not accepted on the side of 
the voivode. In fact, his inclination to the 
Greek Church was plainly apparent in the 
marriage of the successor Radu with 
Kallinikia, to whose influence is certainly 

due the occurrence of more extensive 
ecclesiastical gifts. 

The sons of this couple were the hostile 
brothers, Dan (ruler in October, 1385 and 
1393) and Mircea the Old, or Great (1386- 
1418). In 1390 Mircea made a conven- 
tion with the Polish king Vladislav Jagiello 
XL, which was renewed in 1411. About 
1391 he took Dobrudza and the town of 
Silistria from the Bulgarians. However) 
in 1389 he was defeated at Kossovo with 
his allies, and became a semi-vassal of the 
Ottomans in 1391 and 1394. With the 
object of protecting his country from the 
threatened advance of the Turks, Mircea 
came to Transylvania in 1395, and on 
March 7th, at Kronstadt, concluded an 
offensive and defensive alliance with King 
Sigismund, in accordance with the terms 
of which he fought with the Christian army 
in the unfortunate battle of Nicopolis, 
on September 28th, 1396. Mircea was, 
however, now forced to recognise once 
again the Turkish supremacy, to abandon 
entirely the right bank of the Danube to 



the Ottomans, and to pay the emir a yearly 
tribute of 3,000 red banes, or 300 silver 
Turkish dollars ; the defiance shown by 
Mircea in withholding the tribute for 
three years was broken down in 1417. 

In return the Porte guaranteed, in 
141 1, the free administration of the 
country under a voivode chosen by the 
inhabitants. This convention 
was to form the basis, even in 

Mtreea a 

fw II ' h* *^® nineteenthc entury, of the 
relations of Wallachia with 
Turkey, and was renewed in 1460 between 
the Voivode Vlad IV. and Mohammed II., 
according to the common account. In the 
struggles for the succession which broke 
out in 1403 upon the death of Bajazet I. 
Mircea supported Musa, and met with his 
reward when the latter was recognised as 
ruler of the Ottoman kingdom in February, 
1411. Hence the convention of 141 1 may be 
regarded as a friendly alliance. However, 
this friendly relationship between Wal- 
lachia and the Porto was not to continue 
permanently. In 1413 Musa fell fighting 
against his brother 
Mohammed. The lat- 
ter crushed the pre- 
tensions of the false 
Mustafa, who was 
also deceived by Mir- 
cea ; he also punished 
the Roumanians in 
1417 by subjugating 
their country — a pro- 
cess which even Jorga 
cannot avoid caUing 
" complete." He may 
certainly be right in 
regarding the agree- 
ment for tribute 
concluded between 
Bajazet and Mircea 
as a falsification, like 
that between Moham- 
med II. and Radu the 
Fair. Concerning the 
amount of tribute we 
have no certain infor- 
mation before 1532. 

In 1413 Mircea ap- 
pointed his son Mihail 

co-regent, and himself Turk, and had not the Ottoman power'been so°stronW he qf 
-- - '-' would have founded <■ "■"»->* -"'* "• i-:--j — "••- 

brother Dan, the prot6g6 of the Turks, 
who disappears from the scene in 1430. 
The Boyar Aldea, known as Alexander, who 
was supported by Moldavia and Turkey, 
struggled to secure the throne for four 
years, 1432-1436, and was then driven 
out by Vlad, the legitimate son of Mircea, 
who had been brought up at the court of 
the emperor Sigismund. 

During the reign of the haughty Voivode 
Vlad II., known as Drakul, or devil, a period 
of the greatest distress and poverty passed 
over the country. In 1432 he was driven 
out of his capital, Tirgoviste, while Turkish 
troops devastated the districts of Burzen 
and of the Szekler ; in 1436 he even fell 
into the hands of the Ottomans, but was 
eventually able to maintain his position in 
isolation. In the year 1438 he guided 
the army of Murad to Transylvania, and 
styled himself Duke of Fogaras and Amlas. 
After the battle of Szent-Endre in 1442, the 
leader of the Hungarian army, Janos 
Hunyadi, a Roumanian of Transylvania, 
marched into Wallachia and forced the 
Turkish vassal, Vlad 
Drakul, to submit ; 
in 1443 Vlad accom- 
panied him to Servia. 
This position of 
affairs was not, how- 
ever, of long duration. 
The statement that he 
captured Hunyadi on 
his flight from the 
disastrous battle of 
Varna on November 
loth, 1444, is ques- 
tionable. However, 
the power of Hungary 
was so weakened that 
Vlad concluded a 
fresh peace with the 
Porte in 1446. This in- 
duced the Hungarian 
general to invade Wal- 
lachia at the end of 
1446 and to confer the 
dignity of voivode on 
Vladislav, who styled 
himself Dan IV. Vlad 


Mircea, king of Wallachia, and his son are here shown in t-v i i j r x i 

an old mosaic. His life was spent largely in fighting the JJrakUl WaS defeated 

Turk, and had not the Ottoman power been so strong he nt Ppcmvicf iahe^rt 

HipH nn TVniiarvoT<it JJ'""''' ^a^^x ^""".'^f'' ^ ^^^^t and permanent kingdom, '^^ -Ttguvibl, idKCn 

Uieu on J anuary 3ISI, bemg a diplomatist as well as a warrior. He died in 1418. prisoner, and exe- 

I4l8: the twonrinces "'« *"" MihaU, who succeeded, died two years later. ^„+^^ o+ TirgSOr 

1418 ; the two princes 
are represented together in a tolerably 
well-preserved fresco in the Byzantine style 
in the monastery of Cozia. Mihail also died 
in 1420, and was succeeded by his hostile 


cuted at 
together with his son Mircea. For a long 
period the struggle for the dignity of 
prince continued between the families of 
Dan and Drakul. Partly as a consequence 


of Hungarian help and partly with 
Turkish help the voivodes succeeded one 
another rapidly. Dan IV. supported 
Hunyadi in the middle of October, 1448. 
with 8,000 men, in the battle 
on the field of Amsel, but his 
personal indifference to the 
result was punished by the 
confiscation of his fiefs situated 
beyond the Carpathians. 

From 1455 or 1456 until 
1462 reigned Vlad IV., the 
second son of Drakul ; he is 
sufficiently characterised by 
his nickname " the impaler." 
Immediately after the death 
of Hunyadi in 1456 and of 
Ladislaus Posthumus in 1457, 
Vlad made an unexpected 
invasion into Transylvania, 
reduced Kronstadt to ashes, 
and impaled all his prisoners. 
For the purpose of securing 
his rear, he concluded an 
alliance with the Porte in 1460, but in 1461 
he surprised Bulgaria from pure lust of 
plunder and slaughter, and caused some 
20,000 human beings to be impaled. 
To avenge this outrage the Turks marched 
against him in the spring of 1462 in 
conjunction with Stefan the Great of 
Moldavia, and drove him into Tran- 
sylvania. The Alibeg of the Ottoman 
Emir, Mohammed II., placed the brother 
of Vlad, Radul the Fair, on the throne in 
the autumn of 1462, on condition of his 
paying a yearly tribute of 12,000 ducats ; 
he also recognised the supremacy of the 
Hungarian king Matthias, who kept the 
hypocritical Vlad and Peter Aaron V., the 
Voivode of Moldavia, who had also been 
expelled, prisoners in Ofen. Radu was for 
the second time definitely driven out in 
the autumn of 1473 by his Moldavian 
neighbour, Stefan the Great ; in the 
period of confusion which followed he soon 
lost his life. 

His successor, Laiot, known as Basarab 
the Elder, lost the favour of Stefan 
in 1474 on account of his 
undue partiality for the 
Turks ; he, too, was driven 
out by Moldavian and Tran- 
sylvanian troops on October 20th, 1474. He 
again suffered this fate at the end of 1476. 
Vlad, the " impaler," once again took his 
place upon the throne of the voivodes with 
the help of Hungary. However, his death 
soon followed, and a family war continued 

for two years between the Basarabs ; the 
younger Basarab, the " httle impaler," 
maintained himself with increasing power 
from 1477 to 1481. An unfrocked monk 
tlien became master of Hun- 
garian Wallachia under the 
title of Vlad V. (1481-1496); 
lie was a submissive vassal of 
the Porte, showing none of 
the desire for freedom mani- 
tcsted by Stefan the Great. 
A convention of 1482 estab- 
lished the river Milkov as the 
frontier- between the two 
1 rincipalities of Moldavia 
and VVallachia. 

The son and successor of 
Vlad, Radul IV. or V. (1496- 
1508), who, in manv respects, 
VLAD THE IMPALER IS rightly stylcd the " Great " 
A bloodthirsty ruler of wauachia, attempted to relieve the 
whose lust ofpiunder gave Turkey general distrcss by rcforms 
good excuse for joining with Moi- in the administrative • and 
davia. in 1462. and dethroning him. gcclesiastical systcms, espe- 
cially directed against the encroachments 
of Nifon, the patriarch of Constanti- 
nople. Although he did personal homage 
in Constantinople in 1504, the Turks 
deprived him of the Danube customs 
receipts in 1507. Michael, or Mihnea, 
who was supposed to be the 
son of Vlad, the " impaler," 

A Bloodthirsty 


of Wallachia 

A Period of 

rie cigns reigned for two years (I'^oS 
and Lawlessness . ° , .1 i_ r j 

to 1510), until he was forced 

to abdicate by party struggles. The leader 
of the opposition party, Vladut, or Vladice 
(Little Vlad, 1510-1512), recognised the 
supremacy of Hungary, was defeated by 
the dissatisfied Boyars who were in alliance 
with Mohammed of Nicopolis, and was 
beheaded on January 25th, 1512. 

Basrab III. Neagoe (1512-1521), who 
was descended on his mother's side from a 
Boyar family of Olten, now occupied the 
throne of the voivodes ; he was a peace- 
loving ruler, and gave his generous support 
to churches and monasteries ; he dedicated, 
in 1517, the beautiful church of Curtea-de 
Arges, which was restored in 1886 under 
King Carol. His successors were from 
1525 to 1530 mere tools in the hands of the 
Turks, were generally at war with one 
another, and usually fell by the hand of 
an assassin. The consciousness of national 
existence seemed to have wholly dis- 
appeared from the people ; the nobles 
spoke Slavonic and also Greek, and 
attempted to enrich themselves in 
conjunction with the Turkish grandees. 



Towards the end of the sixteenth century 
the throne of the voivodes was secured by 
Michael II. the Bold (1593-1601), a 
brilUant soldier and a dexterous pohtician. 
Between 1599 and 1601 he also occupied 
Transylvania and Moldavia. He was a 
son of the Voivode Petrascu 
Successful (1554-1557), and in his youth 

Merchant i_ -^i ^ • j * 

„ „. had carried on an exten- 

Becomes King ■ ■ 1 u ■ 

sive commercial business. 

Through his wife Stanca he was related to 
the most powerful families, in which he 
found strong support against the preceding 
Voivode Alexander Mircea ; after an un- 
successful attempt at revolt he eventually 
secured the throne in September, 1593, 
chiefly with the help of Andronicus Canta- 
cuzenos. On November 5th, 1594, Michael 
concluded an alliance with Sigismund 
Bathori and Aaron of Moldavia, and 
shortly afterwards, on November 13th, 
massacred the Turks in J assy and Bu- 
charest. He then defeated several Turkish 
and Tartar armies in a brilliant winter 
campaign, and won a great victory at 
Kalugareni on August 23rd, 1595. The 
glorious deeds of this brave Wallachian 
resounded throughout Christian Europe 
during his lifetime. In 1598, he formed 
an alliance with the Emperor Rudolf II. 
against the Prince of Transylvania, who 
abdicated in the spring of 1599. However, 
when Cardinal Andreas ascended the 
throne, Michael, vigorously supported by 
the adventure-loving Cossacks 
of the Dnieper, invaded the 
country on October 17th, 
1599, secured the help of the 
Szeklers, besieged Hermann- 
stadt, and won a victory on 
October 28th on the heights 
of Schellenberg. Andreas 
Bathori was murdered while 
fleeing to the country of the 

Michael advanced in 
triumph to Weissenburg, 
and was appointed imperial 
governor on November 20th ; 
on May 7th, 1600, he crossed 
the frontiers of Moldavia, .^.^^'p^^^^ "^"^ ^"^° 

Ti TT • J T • ■h€ -1 Tn^ glorious exploits against the 

1 he Voivode JeremiaS Moglla Turks of this Roumanian prince 


for an invasion of Poland, but he was 
forced to return to Weissenburg in order 
to negotiate with Pezzen, the ambassador 
of the Hungarian king, about Transyl- 
vania ; on July ist he caused himself to 
be proclaimed Prince of Wallachia and 
Moldavia and also of Transylvania in the 
name of Hapsburg. 

Dangers, however, threatened him from 
another side. The Poles and the Turks 
were menacing his frontiers, and Sigismund 
Bathori was meditating an invasion of 
Moldavia. Transylvania itself was so 
entirely impoverished in consequence of 
Michael's continual military enterprises, 
that the- nobles broke into open revolt 
against him and refused to perform 
military service. After a disastrous battle 
at Mirislav on September i8th, 1600, 
Michael fled, and was again defeated in 
his own country by the Pole Jan Zamojski, 
between Buzauand Plojesti ; he could not 
even make head against Simeon Movila, 
who defeated him at Arges. Meanwhile the 
Transylvanian nobles chose the 
characterless Sigismund Bathori 
as their ruler for the third 
time, on February 3rd, t6oi. 
Michael had betaken himself to Prague 
on December 25th, 1600, and had there 
presented to the court a memorial in his 
own justification ; he obtained 80.000 
florins, and with his troops joined the 
army of the Austrian general, George 
Basta, in Transylvania. On 
August 6th, 1601, the Prince of 
Transylvania was defeated in 
the battle of Goroslau ; he fled 
to Moldavia, where he 
received a letter in which 
Michael undertook to help 
him to the throne if he would 
hand over his wife and 
children, who had been left 
as hostages in Transylvania 
after his fall. This piece of 
treachery was reported to 
Basta, who had Michael 
murdered on August 19th, 
1601, in Thorda, probably in 
fulfilment of instructions pre- 
viously received. 

After Michael the Bold the 




fled to Poland. The bold who'-uiedWaiiachia from 1593 to 

, J xjiv- uyj±\j. jgoi, aroused great enthusiasm 

ruler seemed to have con- throughout the christian world position of voivode was occu- 

ceived the idea of securing the **'•'•'""« °'*^**''P*''^''''"^""' 

throne of that country for himself ; even 
at the present day he is known by the 
Wallachians as King Michael — also Alex- 
ander — the Great. He made preparations 


pied by wholly unimportant 
personalities. The only important ruler 
was Matthias Basarab (1632 to April, 
1654). He defeated the Ottoman claimant 
Radu, the son of the Moldavian Voivode 





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sa—^. KtfcM. . : . .-.'.__. .^ 




Alexander Ilias, at Bucharest. He 
carefully protected his boundaries against 
the encroachments of the Danube Turks, 
and took particular trouble to secure the 
general increase and advancement of 
national prosperity, while suppressing 
Greek influence, which had become pre- 
dominant. In 1652 he founded the first 
printing-press, organised schools and 
monasteries, secured the composition of a 
legal code on the model of Slav and Greek 
compilations of the kind, and translated 
ecclesiastical books into Wallachian. No 
doubt his efforts in these directions were 
stimulated by the examples of the Tran- 
sylvanian prince, Gabriel Bethlen of Itkar 
(1630-1639) and George I. Rakoczy (1631- 
1648), who set up Wallachian printing- 
presses in 1640, and published many 
ecclesiastical books in Wallachian. 

His object was to spread the Reforma- 
tion among the Wallachians ; for since 
the catechisms of Hermann stadt in 
1544 and the Old Testament of 1582, 
this movement had found adherents 
among the Roumanians of South-east 
Hungary. As a matter of tact his efforts 
led to no more permanent result than 

those of John Honterus, the reformer of 
the Saxons of Transylvania. Neither the 
doctrine of Luther nor that of Calvin 
gained any lasting hold on the hearts 
of the Wallachians, but these publica- 
tions gave a considerable impulse to the 
Roumanian written language and to 
intellectual life in general. 

The proceedings of Matthias Basarab 
were successfully imitated by his con- 
temporaries and opponents and by the 
Voivode of Moldavia, Basile Lupu, and 
one of his successors, Serban H. Canta- 
cuzenos (1679 ^^ November 8th, 1688). 
The Moldavian Logosat Eustratios had 
already translated the Byzantine legal code 
into Moldavian in 1643 ; in 1688 the 
Bible in Roumanian was printed by two 
laymen, the brothers Greceanu. 

Side by side, with these ecclesiastical 
works, which consisted chiefly of trans- 
lations from Greek and Slav, chronicles 
arose by degrees, such as those of Michael 
of Miron and Nicolae Costin, of Grigore 
Ureche the " Romanist," and of Danovic, 
Neculcea and Axente. Under the influ- 
ence of ecclesiastical literature religious 
lyric poetry also flourished ; the chief 



representatives of this were the metro- voivodes appointed by the Porte ruled 

politan Dositheos of Jerusalem, Michael henceforward, who brought Wallachia 

Halitius, the high Logosat Miron Costin to the point of collapse as they had 

who was executed by Kante- 
mir the Old, and Theodore 
Corbea. However, the chief 
glory of Roumanian scholar- 
ship in that period is Dimitrie 
Kantemir (1673-1723), philos- 
opher, poet, geographer, histo- 
rian, and an intermediary : 
between Eastern and Western ! 
science and literature. 

Hard times soon put an , 
end to these promising im- 
pulses, which spread even 
more vigorously to Moldavia 
in 1680. Under the rich 
Voivode Constantine Bran- 
kovan {1688-1714), who was 
in other respects a good 

brought Moldavia, and initi- 
ated a period of total decline 
from an economic point of 
view; the tribute at that 
date amounted to more than 
140,000 dollars a year. The 
first of these foreigners, who 
were generally rich Greeks, 
was Nikolaus Mavrocordato, 
who had previously been 
prince of Moldavia on two 
occasions (1716-1730). The 
accession of this first Greek 
prince, who himself came from 
the Island of Chios and not 
from Phanar, forms an im- 
portant epoch in the literature 
of Daco-Roumania, the first 

After Michael the Bold, he was the 
_ only Wallachian ruler of note in 

ruler, disasters burst upon *^^g„S%?n &2 to S and Sd age of which, beginning about 

the country, which was trans- much for his country, founding 1550, here comes to an end. 
■formed into a military road ***« ^^^ printing-press in 1652. i^ ^^le course of the 

during the wars of Austria, Poland, and eighteenth century, Russia began to 

Russia with the Turks. Brankovan entered 
upon an alliance in 1698 and 1711 with 
the Tsar Peter the Great. Shortly before 
Easter, 1714, Brankovan was imprisoned in 
Bucharest, and executed in Constantinople 
with his four sons and his adviser. The 
same fate befell his successor, Stefan HI. 
Cantacuzenos (1714 to June, 1716). 

This^vent extinguished the last glimmer 
of Wallachian independence'; the freely 
elected voivode ceased to exist, and 

interfere in the domestic affairs of the 
country, a process which culminated in 
the occupation of Wallachia by the 
Russians during the Russo-Turkish war 
of 1770. By the peace of Kutchuk- 
Kainardji, in 1774, Wallachia again fell 
under Turkish supremacy ; but Russian 
influence kept the upper hand, and in 
178 1 the Porte agreed to set up a Hos- 
podar government under the supervision 
of the Russian general Consul. 












pOUNDED on the west by the Carpa- 
*-' thians, on the north and east by 
the Pruth and Russia, on the south-east 
by the Danube and the Dobrudza, and 
on the south by the Sereth, the moun- 
tainous country of Moldavia, the second 
division of Roumania, is especially suited 
for agriculture and cattle-rearing. The 
Roumanians and their Slavonic teachers 
seem to have fled to the rivers on the occu- 
pation of the country. The name appears 
in historical times towards the middle of 
the fourteenth century. 

As early as 1335 Bogdan, the son of 
Micul, had caused the despatch of a Hun- 
garian primate to the country, on account of 
his disobedience to King Charles Robert I. 
In 1342, when the Angevin ruler was 
dead, and his son, Lewis, had succeeded 
to the throne at the age of sixteen, Bogdan 
again revolted. Although the youthful 
king declined to acknowledge his position 
», . . . -^ , as voivode, the rebel was 
OfMhl'' supported by the Lithu- 

„ • V 1. anians of the Halitshland 
Hunganaa Yoke j 1 .i_ T~k 

and by the Roumanian 

mountaineers, and was able to maintain 
his position in the Marmaros ; in 1352 his 
submission caused but little change in his 
position. At that time this south-east 
corner of Europe was in a constant state 
of disturbance ; and on the first occasion 
of peace Bogdan followed the example of 
Basarab and shook off the Hungarian yoke 
in 1360, to which success he was aided by 
the " benevolent neutrality " of Poland. 
About 1365 Bogdan was the undisturbed 
master of Moldavia. 

After his death his eldest son, Latzko, 
ruled the country, practically in the 
position of a Polish vassal ; in 1370 he 
permitted the erection of a Catholic 
bishopric at Sereth. After this a series of 
events followed which are partly shrouded 
in obscurity, but none the less point to a 
Lithuanian Ruthenian foundation for the 
young state. As late as the fifteenth 
century the language of Little Russia pre- 
dominated as a means of communication. 


However, Moldavia definitely shut the 
door in the face of Slav influence at a 
comparatively early period, an attitude 
adopted at the present time by Roumania. 

Partly explained by the influence of 
geographical ]X)sition, this fact is also due 
to a number of occurrences, which at that 
_ ,. . time gave Moldavia a separate 
. . position apart from the three 

Ea twa d Balkan states similar to 
that occupied by the modern 
kingdom of Roumania. There is no doubt 
that a considerable number of Lithuanians 
and Ruthenians removed to the Sereth 
from the district of Marmaros, together 
with the conqueror Bogdan. Even in 
the official documents of Stefan the Great, 
in the second half of the fifteenth century, 
a large number of Ruthenian names are 
to be observed ; there, as they advanced 
eastward, they met with a number of settlers 
from Little Russia, upon whom the Walla- 
chians looked askance as strangers. After 
the death of Latzko, in 1374, the Lithuanian 
Knez or supreme judge, George Koriatovic, 
was brought into the principality of Baia ; 
he, however, soon disap])eared, and was 
probably poisoned. Equally short was the 
reign of a certain usurper known as 
Stefan L His son Peter (probably 1379- 
1388) took the oath of fidelity to the Polish 
king Vladislav H. Jagiello in Lemberg 
in 1387 ; he conquered Suczava, which he 
made his capital. His youngest brother, 
Roman, who immediately succeeded him — 
he had been co-regent from 1386 at latest 
— was carried off to Poland in 1393 by the 
orders of Vladislav, and replaced by his 
elder brother, Stefan HL 
Polish ^ jjg ^^g made a tributary 
Supremacy 10 ^^^^^j ^^ ^^^ Hungarian 
Moldavia ^^^^ Siegmund at the end of 

1394, but on January 6th, 1395, he again 
solemnly recognised the Polish supremacy. 
In the year 1400 Juga, the illegitimate son 
of Roman, enjoyed a short period as 
governor at Suczava. 

At the beginning of the fifteenth century 
the first important voivode of Moldavia 



began his government ; this was Alex- 
ander, the other son of Roman, who was 
known as the " Good " even during his 
hfetime. During his long reign (1401- 
1432) he reorganised the defences, the 
administration, and the military system, 
compiled a legal code from the " Basilika " 
of Leo VI., and improved the intellectual 
»- state of the people by founding 

I Vu 1 schools and monasteries. Upon 
p ^ three occasions he took the 

rogress ^^^^ ^^ fideUty to the King of 

Poland in 1402, 1404, and 1407, on the 
last occasion as the first " lord " of the 
Moldavian territory. He married, as his 
third wife, Ryngalla, the sister of King 
Vladislav, after sending auxiliary troops 
to Marienburg to the help of the Poles 
against the German Orders. During his 
reign numerous settlers from Lesser 
Armenia migrated into the country, most 
of whom afterwards removed to Transyl- 
vania ; at this period, also, the first 
gipsies appeared in the country. 

Under his sons EHas and Stefan V., 
the supremacy of Poland was again 
recognised in 1433. The two step-brothers 
began a severe struggle for the supremacy, 
which ended in a division by which 
Stefan obtained the south, while Elias 
secured the north of Moldavia with 
Suczava. In 1442 Stefan concluded an 
alliance with the Hungarian general 
Hunyadi to oppose the Turkish danger, 
and in the following May, 1443, he caused 
his step- brother to be blinded. However, 
Roman II., a son of Elias, put an end to 
his uncle's life in the middle of July, 1447, 
and secured the position of voivode for 
himself. But in the next year, 1448, 
Peter IV., a son of Alexander the Good, 
who had fled to Hungary to Hunyadi, 
and had married his sister, returned to 
his native land with a Hungarian army 
and drove out Roman, who fled to Podolia 
to ask help from the Polish king. Roman 
died of poison on July 2nd, 1448. Peter 

PI d "^^ ^^^^ ^^^ ^^*^ °^ fidelity 

-, . , . to King Kasimir IV., and con- 
Counterplots .- J. ^ J TT 
• M..I J J tmued to rule under Hunganan 
in Moldavia j t> i- l x-i 

and Polish supremacy until 

the year 1449. Then Bogdan II., an 

illegitimate son of Alexander the Good, 

revolted on February nth, and on July 

5th, 1450, concluded two important treaties 

with Hunyadi, but was murdered in 1451 

by the Voivode Peter V., formerly Aaron, 

an illegitimate son of Alexander the Good. 

Peter was then forced to divide the 


government of Moldavia with Alexander 
" Olechno," a son of Elias, who had 
been originally supported by Poland and 
afterwards by Hungary ; but in 1455 
Alexander was poisoned by his own 
Boyars. Peter now ruled alone until 1457, 
and was able to maintain his power only 
by a miserable and cowardly subjection to 
Poland and the Turks. From 1455 the 
Porte was able to consider the Voivode 
of Moldavia, with his tribute of 2,000 
Hungarian florins, as one of its permanent 

After this almost uninterrupted period 
of party struggles for the dignity of 
voivode, a period of unspeakable misery 
for the country, an age of rest and pros- 
perity at last dawned in the second half 
of the fifteenth century ; henceforward 
Moldavia, which had hitherto been placed 
in the background under the title of 
Wallachia Minor, or Bogdania, became of 
more importance than the older 
" Roumanian " district, which had been 
brought low by the two Vlads, the Devil and 
the Impaler. The Voivode Stefan VI. (1457 
to July 2nd, 1504), a son of Bogdan II., was 
rightly surnamed the "Great" by his people. 

m< . . . »• The miniature painting in 
Moldavia Rises ^^ ^^^ ^^ ^.^^^j^ ^^ y^^^. 

m Power . v- i ■ „„.„ 

. - . netz, which remains com- 

and Importance .• 1 ■, j u 

paratively undamaged, has 

preserved a not unpleasing portrait of this 
ruler. A brilliant general and politician, he 
not only extended his realm, but also 
removed it from the political influence of 
his two neighbouring states. He advanced 
the established church, which was depen- 
dent on the orthodox patriarch at Achrida, 
and the good order of which was in strong 
contrast to the confusion prevailing at 
Wallachia, founded a third bishopric at 
Radautz, where he also restored the old 
monastery church, and also built a great 
monastery at Putna in Bukovina. 

He incorporated a Bessarabian frontier 
district of Wallachia with his own coun- 
try, recovered Chilia in January, 1465, 
and in December, 1467, successfully repelled 
an attack of the Hungarian King Matthias, 
who was wounded by an arrow at Moldova- 
banya in the course of this campaign. 
Harassed by Tartar invasions, Stefan 
nevertheless found leisure to invade Tran- 
sylvania during the Bohemian expedition 
of King Matthias in 1469, and to expel 
Radu, the Voivode of Wallachia, in 1471- 
1473. The Hungarian king was occupied 
in the west until 1475, and overlooked this 


aggression, more particularly as Stefan, in 
alliance with the Transylvanian Szeklers 
of Udvarhely and Esik, had driven back 
a Turkish army of 120,000 men — which 
invaded Moldavia under Suleiman Pasha 
on January loth, 1475 — at Racova, and 
had by this means diverted the danger 
from Hungary. The exploit is character- 
istic of this glorious age in which Moldavia 
often formed a bulwark against the 
Ottomans on the south and against the 
assaults of neighbours on the north. 

The Sultan Mohammed II. now under- 
took in fierson a punitive campaign 
against Moldavia, and won a victory on 
July 26th, 1476, in the White Valley. 
Stefan, however, with the help of Stefan 
Bathori, who was accompanied by the 
fugitive Vlad the Impaler, eventually 
drove out the hostile army and secured 
for Vlad the position of voivode of Wal- 
lachia. However, after the death of Vlad 
at the end of 1476, the new voivode of 
Wallachia, Basarab, the Little Impaler, 
made an alliance with the Turks ; Stefan 
overthrew him on July 8th, 1481, and 
handed over the position of voivode to a 
certain Mircea. With the object of securing 
p their connection with the Tar- 

^ " " tars in the Volga districts, the 
o Turkish armies of Bajazet II. 

invaded Moldavia again in 
1484, together with Tartar and Wallachian 
allies, and stormed Chilia and Cetatea- 
Albam on July 14th and August 4th. 

Only by means of Polish help, which he 
was forced to purchase by paying a homage 
long refused, was Stefan able to save his 
country from overthrow by the enemies' 
bands in 1485. Turning to his own advan- 
tage the necessities of Poland, which 
became pressing immediately afterwards, 
Stefan occupied Pokutia in 1490, and even 
paid tribute to the Porte to secure his 
position, as formerly Peter Aaron had done. 
In 1497 the Polish King, John Albert, 
invaded Bukovina with the intention of 
incor]>orating the whole principality with 
his own empire, and besieged Suczava, 
the capital until 1550 ; by the inter- 
vention of the Voivode of Transylvania an 
armistice was secured, and the end of the 
affair was that the Polish cavalry were 
suri^rised in the forests and scattered at 
Cozmin on the day of St. Demeter. 

In 1498, Stefan appeared in person before 
Lemberg, and some one hundred thousand 
human beings were carried into captivity 
in Turkey. However, on the 12th or 

i8th of July, 1499, Stefan dissolved his 
connection with the Porte and concluded 
a convention with Poland and Hungary, 
wherein he tacitly recognised the supre- 
macy of both states over Moldavia, and 
undertook to oppose the progress of the 
Turkish armies through his country and to 
keep the neighbouring states informed of 
Th s H ' ^^y hostile movements on 
«,..". "^ the part of the Turks.' Stefan 

.. M , . . fulfilled his obligations in 

the Moldavians 1 1 ° ^ j 

1499, when he put an end 

to 'the devastations of Balibeg, a son of 
Malkoch. After the death of John Albert he 
dissolved his connection with Poland and 
stirred up the Tartars against the new 
king, Alexander ; while they devastated 
Podolia he occupied the Ruthenian 
Pokutia, and sent his Boyars and tax- 
gatherers to Sniatyn, Kolomea, and Halicz 
in 1502. This was the last success of this 
greatest of all Roumanians. 

Stefan's son and successor, Bogdan III., 
known as Orbul, the " blind," the " one- 
eyed," or the " squint-eyed " (1504-1517), 
gave up his claim to Polish Pokutia in 
return for a promise of the hand of 
Elizabeth, a sister of Alexander ; but he 
was cheated of this prize. The approach 
of the Turkish power induced him in 1504 
to promise a yearly tribute to the sultan, 
consisting of 4,000 Turkish ducats, forty 
royal falcons, and forty Moldavian horses, 
in return for which, according to later 
reports, he was guaranteed the main- 
tenance of Christianity ; the voivodes were 
to be freely elected, and the country was 
to be self-governing in domestic affairs. 
This convention, which in recent times has 
formed the basis for the constitutional 
relationship of Moldavia with the Porte, 
was renewed by Peter Rares " the Rest- 
less " (1527-1528, and for the second time 
from the end of February, 1541, to 
September, 1546) in the year 1529 ; 
according to a document of 1532, he sent 
annually 120,000 aspers or 10,000 gold 
-. . ducats to Constantinople. At 

Gold ''""' ^ ^^^^^ P^"°^ ^^'^ tribute 
f T k ^^^ considerably increased. 
ur ey ^v^j^j^ Peter Rares began the 
rule of the illegitimate branch of the house 
of Dragos, who was a natural son of Stefan 
the Great. The chief object of Peter after 
the disastrous defeat of Mohacs on August 
29th, 1526, the significance of which he 
never understood, was to turn to his own 
advantage the disputes about the succes- 
sion in Hungary, which had broken out 



between King Ferdinand and John 
Zapolya ; on several occasions he invaded 
Transylvania, inflicting appalling devasta- 
tion on the country, which, in 1529, 
declined to accept his rule. An attempt 
to recover Pokutia from Poland was 
brought to an end by the defeat of Peter 
at Obertyn on August 22nd, 1531. His 
_ faithlessness brought about the 

Oman ^^ ^£ Aloisio Gritti, who had 
• '*^''""°|* been sent by the sultan to 

in Moldavia ^ . . J . . ,, 

Transylvania m 1533. After 

the expulsion of Peter in 1538, the 
voivodes of Moldavia became ready tools 
in the hands of the Porte ; provided they 
paid the sultan a yearly tribute, they 
were allowed to govern their own territory 
precisely as they pleased. The people 
groaned under the burden of heavy taxa- 
tion and extortion of every kind, and 
attempted to secure relief by joining the 
party struggles set on foot by individual 
wealthy families, hoping also to secure 
some momentary relief by the murder of 
their masters. Thus the Voivode S»sfan 
VIII., "the Turk," or " the Locust "—so 
named after a plague of locusts in the 
year 1538 — was murdered, in 1540, after 
a reign of two years. His successor, 
Alexander III., a scion of the legitimate 
Dragos family from Poland, met with the 
same fate in the same year. The Voivode 
Elias II. (1546-1551), a son of Peter 
Rares, was ordered by the sultan to invade 
Transylvania in 1550, but transferred 
this commission to his brother Stefan, 
abdicated in May, 1551, and soon after- 
wards died as the renegade " Mohammed," 
governor of Silistria. His place was 
occupied by his brother Stefan IX., the 
last direct descendant of the illegitimate 
branch of the Dragosids, until he was 
murdered by the Boyars in 1553. 

His opponent and successor, Peter the 
Stolnic, known as Alexander IV. Lapusan 
(1553-1561), speedily made himself highly 
unpopular with the Boyars by his infliction 
Mold ■ ^^ torture and death, from the 
a Land 'of ^^^^^ ^^ which he tried to 

T— „>.j:-- cleanse his conscience by found- 
1 ragedies . , . r-i /• x 

mg a monastery at Slatma. In 

1561 the Greek sailor Jakobos Basilikos 
seized the position of voivode, under the 
title of John I. ; he founded a Latin 
school at Cotnari (East Moldavia) and a 
bishopric, which was naturally but short- 
lived. After playing the part of a tyrant for 
two years he was murdered in the course of 
a popular rising on November 5th, 1563. 

During and following upon the short rule of 
one Stefan X. Tomsa — beheaded in Poland 
,in 1564 — Alexander IV., who had fled to 
Constantinople, resumed the government 
(1563-1568), until he gradually went bUnd. 
His son Bogdan IV. (1568-1572) v 
wounded by an angry nobleman w' 
visiting his betrothed in Poland. 

The sultan then appointed as Voivodt 
Moldavia John II., a Pole of Masov 
who had accepted the Mohammec 
faith in Constantinople, where he \ 
believed to be a descendant of Stefan IX 
who had been killed in 1553. In order tc 
secure his independence, John allied him- 
self with Cossacks — hence his name of 
" rebel " — but was surrounded in Roscani, 
and executed on June nth, 1574. The 
Cossacks, who were forced tOj^c-ganise 
under Stefan Bathori in 1576, , re at 
that period a bold robber-tribt,^^ • n "'^ 
both by the Tartar and the Ol'u-, 
they devastated the districts on ,.ur 

side of the Dniester from their i' in 

that river, and after 1595 soi. to 

find opportunity for their wild 
exploits, under Michael the Bold, 
Wallachia itself. At the same 

_^ _ ,^ the ancient Vikings i 

The Sultan . , n 4 j 41 

a stop to all trade on 1' 

„. . . Sea for forty years: 
Dictator ^j^ ^^^ . J^^, , ^^ 

Mircea of Wallachia, who was a^ 
voivode by the sultan (1574-157/ 
from the first a precarious position 
was overthrown after surviving an 
from the Cossack protege, J oh 
" Curly " ; his conqueror, the <" 
John or Peter Potkova, " the bi .x 

horseshoes," in this respect a pred ssor 
of Augustus the " Strong," reigne .or ? 
few days, and was then executed 
Lemberg by the order of the Polish ' 
Stefan Bathori (1575-1586). The 
then, in 1577, again conferred the p- 
of voivode on Peter VII., whOi 
expelled in the following year, un 
restored him afterwards for the 
time (1584-1592). 

Moldavia was at that time a i . j; 

in the hands of the Ottomaii;^,' wno 
expelled and appointed voivodes as they 
pleased, while their deputies and their 1 
troops devastated the country in alt, 
4irections. Before Peter became voivod^^ 
for the third time the country had be^^vj 
governed, for a short period in 1578, by,^ 
Alexander, a brother of Potkova, airi-T 
after a constant succession of real anr* 


pretended claimants, by a certain Jankul 
the " Saxon " of Transylvania, who had 
used the wealth of his wife, a Palaeologa 
of Cyprus, to induce the authorities of 
"orstantinople to depose Peter and to 
^er the position of voivode of Moldavia 
himself in 1579. He became in- 
. jd in a quarrel with Stefan Bathori, 
i^iagh. his encroachments upon the Polish 
-^"tier, and was taken prisoner and 
' 'aded in 1582. One of his successors, 
.6n, who had formerly been a coach- 
in and then a Boyar, was driven out 
y the Cossacks in 1591, after a reign of 
one year, and fled to Constantinople. 

The Cossacks restored Peter in 1592 ; 

but he was captured by the Transylvanian 

troops of Sigismund Bathori and handed 

over to '^'■•e sultan, who executed him. 

Aaro^' aow placed for the second time 

in »sition of voivode 

'"=)5), and pursued a 

3rei^ ' ' 'Olicy of unblushing 

lup' : on November 5th, 

50 made an alliance at 

with Sigismund 

'•"d with Michael of 

' -^ gainst the Turks ; 

' * bb deserted the 

'^s, was taken as a 

D Alvincz by the 

'\ian troops, and 

^e in 1597. His 

L Stefan XI. Resvan 

'ted Sigismund Bathori 

Enterprises against the 

but was impaled at 


continued. It was not until the seven- 
teenth century that a better period began 
to dawn ; after a conspiracy of the Boyars 
against Alexander VI I. Elias, who favoured 
the Greeks, and after various other con- 
fusions the Greek Albanian Vasile Lupu 
came to the throne (1634-1653) ; he founded 
schools and benevolent institutions, and 

V "1 th ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^° improve the 
-1, * condition of the country. He 

Wolf on i-x- • J 

the Throne ^^^ ^ cunnmg pohtician, and 
began intrigues against George 
Rakoczy, the ruler of Transylvania, which 
ended, in 1654, by his being captured 
himself by the Khan of Tartary, who 
sent him to Constantinople. 

On January 8th, 1654, the Cossacks 
surrendered to the Russians. Moldavia, 
however, came under Transylvanian supre- 
macy. The voivode Stefan XIII. (1653- 
1658), after secret negotiations 
with the Russian Tsar (1654- 
1656), joined the Wallachian 
Constantine Basarab in placing 
himself under the protectorate 
of George Rakoczy II. As he 
supported this ruler in an 
; attempt to secure the crown 
of Poland in 1675, the sultan 
declared him deposed. 

The following years were a 
period of unspeakable misery 
and sorrow ; the last two 
native rulers, Sefan XIV. and 
XV., maintained their position 
with interruptions until 1680 
or 1690, but between 1658 and 


had ii 


<• 1595 by the Polish t^n^'Z fut^'be&'c'apSrld^S? ^^ the Turkish court, at its 
n Jan Zamoiski, who the Khan of Tartary he was y^[\\ ^^d pleasure, appointed 

I 1 1 nyr 1 1 dehvered to the Turks m 1654. , <• ^^ ,t * • • i 

rulers from the principal 
Albanian or Greek families. 

ded Moldavia 

1 -^gust the position of voivode was 

1 over by Jeremias Mogila, or Movila 

'' '608), a feeble character, who 

^ the country to fall entirely under 

'\ipremacy. At that time Southern 

, ^a had been driven to find room for 

Tartar settlers ; the tribute which 

the Khan of the Crim Tartars, 

who from 1475 had harassed 

« the Russians, Poles, and Rou- 

' rpanians, then subject to the 

Ottomans, had been receiving from Mol- 

ivia since 1566, "according to ancient 

•stom," as the price for his consideration 

their frontiers, was now dropped. 

1 A'ever, this remarkable branch of the 

">quering Nogais, under the " Mirzak " 

^ud.ntemir, lost their independence in 1637, 

"'Ugh their marauding raids were still 

Better Dh^i. 

A new period in the history of Moldavia 
(1712-1822) begins with the appointment 
of the Phanariot class to the position of 
voivode ; they were merchants from Con- 
stantinople, and each one of them, intent 
solely upon his own enrichment, did his 
best to reduce the country to ruin. 

The Russians occupied the country be- 
tween 1769 and 1774, and then conferred 
the dignity of voivode upon Gregor III. 
Ghika, who was murdered by the Janis- 
saries at J assy in 1777. 

After the death of Ghika the partition 
of Moldavia began. But of that process 
we have here to record only the beginning, 
when, in 1777, the province of Bukovina was 
incorporated in the Austrian dominions. 
Heinrich von Wlislocki 







Deeadeaee of 



'X'HE country known to us as Albania is 
■'■ a district about 400 miles in length and 
120 in breadth upon the average, which 
lies on the coast of the Balkan peninsula. 
Of this district, the Albanians proper, a 
strongly-marked nationality, occupy the 
north ; the south-east is pure Greek ; 
while the south-west contains both races, 
so intermingled that the children learn both 
languages simultaneously. Roumanians 
inhabit the district of Pindos, 
and Bulgarians and Serbs 
the district which borders 
their frontiers ; on the other 
hand, the Albanian race has also extended 
far beyond the frontiers of Albania. On the 
Shah Dagh Albanians have appropriated 
the whole western portion of Turkish 
Servia, extending to Bosnia, and inhabit 
the mountain region lying west and south- 
west of Novi Bazar. Large numbers of 
Albanians also dwell within the kingdom 
of Greece ; in fact, the whole of Attica, 
with the exception of Athens and the 
Piraeus, Megara, with the exception of the 
city, Boeotia, and the islands of Hydra and 
Spezzia,. together with many other dis- 
tricts, are inhabited by them. 

However, during the course of the nine- 
teenth century the Albanian nationality in 
these parts has apparently suffered a con- 
siderable decrease, owing to the fact that 
many Albanian families have adopted Greek 
manners and the Greek language, as 
Greek is considered the more distinguished 
nationality. About 80,000 Albanians are 
settled in Italy, divided among the former 
provinces of Nearer and Further Calabria, 
Basilicata, Capitanata, Terra d'Otranto, 
Abruzzo Ulteriore and Sicily. The first 
mentioned were brought over about 1460 
by Ferdinand L to Naples. Their number 
was originally considerably greater, but 
many of them have been entirely Italian- 
ised in language, dress, and manners. 
Finally, three small Albanian colonies exist 
upon Austrian soil — one on the Save, be- 
tween Shabatz and Mitrovitza, one at 


Zara, and one at Pola. The Albanians 
are divided into two main branches, 
which are also distinguished from one 
another by language — the Toskans and 
the Geges. The former inhabited the 
south, the latter the central and northern 
parts of the country. Their respective 
dialects are so different that they have 
the utmost difficulty in understanding 
one another, and members of one branch 
are obliged by degrees to learn the dialect 
of the other. In other respects, too, a 
strange divergence between the two 
branches has existed from early times. 
An attempt has been made to explain 
the difference of dialect on the supposition 
that the inhabitants of the north were the 
lUyrians of antiquity, and those of the 
south the Epirots. This hypothesis is 
scarcely defensible. It is more probable 
that both branches are Thracian, and 
that of the two dialects, Gegish is the 
Thracian language as spoken by lUyrians, 
and Toskish is that language as spoken by 
Greeks ; in other words, that the difference 
corresponds to that between Lombard and 
Tuscan Italian — namely, Latin in the 
mouth of Gauls and Latin in the mouth of 

In respect of religion the land is again 
by no means uniform. The north is 
predominantly Roman Catholic, while 
in the south Greek Catholicism holds the 
upper hand. Mohammedanism, moreover, 
-^ ^ has spread throughout almost 

y . the whole country, and the 

Q . number of its devotees is nearly 

equal to that of the Christians. 
The distinguished families, especially 
in the towns, are Mohammedans ; there 
are, moreover, isolated country districts 
which are Mohammedan. It will be under- 
stood that all of these were at one 
time Christians, and that they have gone 
over to Mohammedanism in consequence 
of the very various forms of pressure 
which the Turks were able to exert 
at different times, even within the present 


century. The only tribe which has re- 
mained pure Catholic is that of the Mirid- 
ites, in the north, from the fact that 
every apostate was immediately forced to 
leave the district. There are besides 
districts which are Mohammedan only in 
seeming, and acknowledge Christianity 
in secret, at the present day as previously. 

Although, as we have said, the Alba- 
nians are thus divided by geographical, 
religious, and linguistic differences, yet 
they form one nationality with a strongly 
marked national character, arising pri- 
marily from the conception of the family, 
which has dominated the whole life of 
this people. It is by the solidarity of 
family life that we must explain their 
tenacious observation of ancient customs, 
which accompany every detail of house- 
hold life, birth, engagement, marriage 
and death ; thus, too, is explicable that 
fearful scourge of this nation, the blood 
feud, and also the political impotence of 
the country in spite of the great bravery 
of its inhabitants. 

The strongly marked conservatism ap- 
parent in all these facts has also con- 
tributed to the maintenance of numerous 
. _ survivals of the old heathen 

range pQp^jj^j- religion side by side 
jj y V^ ° with the different religions 
which individuals have adopted 
as their official belief. As survivals of 
this nature are the belief in the Elves, a 
household spirit, three monsters known 
as Kutshreda, Siikjennesa and Ljubia, 
the Ore, Mauthi, Fatiles, Dive, Fljamea 
Kukudi, Vurvulak — known among the 
Geges as Ljuvgat and Karkancholi — the 
Shtrigea, Dramgua, and the men with 
tails. There is no reason to suppose that 
these demoniacal beings are the survivals 
of some old pure Albanian popular be- 
lief ; they probably represent, to some 
degree, remnants of early Greek, Roman, 
Slavonic,. Turkish, and perhaps gipsy 
superstition. The origin of the com- 
ponent parts of this popular belief cannot 
be pointed to with certainty. When we 
examine the appellations of these sepai"ate 
beings, it might be supposed that they 
originated from the nation from whose 
language they took their names ; but no 
reliance can be placed on this theory. 
The Albanian vocabulary for every de- 
partment of life is a motley mixture 
taken from all possible languages, so 
that it is highly probable that in myth- 
ology foreign names might often represent 

native conceptions. The Elves, known 
as the " Happy Ones," or as the " Brides 
of the Mountain," display a considerable 
resemblance to the fairies of German 
mythology, who bear the same name. 
They are generally feminine, about 
the size of twelve-year-old children, of 
great beauty, clothed in white, and of 
g -If vaporous form. They come 
A^b'"^* down in the night from the 
M th I K mountains to the homes of men, 
^ °° ^ and invite beautiful children to 
dance ; often, too, they take little children 
out of the cradles to play with them upon 
the roofs of the houses, but bring them 
back unharmed. 

Similar is the character of the Mauthi, as 
she is called in Elbassan, who is probably 
to be identified with the Southern Albanian 
" Beauty of the Earth." She, too, is a 
fairy clothed in gold, with a fez adorned 
with precious stones ; " the man who 
steals this is fortunate for the whole of 
his life." Goddesses of fate are the 
Ore and the Fatiles ; the former goes 
about the country and immediately fulfils 
all the blessings and curses which she 
hears. The Fatiles are the same as the 
ancient Greek Moirai. The Attic Albanians 
have only one of these deities, who still 
bears the ancient name of Moira ; however, 
all the gifts which are offered to her upon 
a birth in the house are tripled. 

Horrible demons are the cannibal female 
monsters Kutshedra, Siikjennesa, and 
Ljubia. Connected with them is the 
Fljamea of Elbassan, also a female demon, 
who can afflict with epilepsy. The Dif, or 
the Dive in the plural, are giants of super- 
natural size, while the household spirit, the 
Vittore, is conceived as a brightly coloured 
snake, which lives in the wall of 
the house, and is greeted with respect 
and wishes of good fortune by any one 
of the inhabitants who catches sight of it. 
The Vurvulak, known in some places 
as vampires, are sufficiently explained by 
- . , this second title. Of a similar 
l"'" nature are the Ljuvgats, 

1 crary << -pyj.|^jgjj COrpSCS with long 

Monuments ., , . , * , , • ., • 

nails, which go about in their 
grave clothes, devouring what they find, 
and strangling men," as also are the Kar- 
kantsholjes or Kukudes, the corpses of 
gipsies whose breath is poisonous. 

The literary monuments of the people 
are very few ; all that can be called 
literature is confined to translations of 
the Bible and similar ecclesiastical 



compositions, to national songs, and a few 
attempts at poetry among the Italian Alba- 
nians, and in Albania itself. Among the 
former we may mention Girolamo de 
Rada (1870), who has treated of the 
heroic period of his nation — that is to say, 
... . , the wars of Skanderbeg. The 
an as pQ^i of Albania most famous 

-. „ . amongst his compatriots is 

Famous Poet xt • * t^ r -n ^ tt 

Nezim Bey of Bremet. He 

was a scholar acquainted with Arabic and 
Persian literature, and it was under the 
influence of these Oriental literatures that 
his poems were composed, as they in- 
deed declare by their strong infusion of 
Arabic and Persian words. The spirit 
also is undeniably Oriental, and their 
similarity with the poems of Hafiz, for 
instance, is unmistakable. The national 
songs are not without a beauty which 
is strikingly foreign to our 
ideas. Our information upon 
the actual history of the 
Albanians is for the most part 
very fragmentary. Native 
historical sources there are 
none ; we are reduced to the 
references derived from the 
history of those nations with 
whom the Albanians were 
brought into connection. 
Hence our chief sources are 
the Byzantine chroniclers, 
"who trouble themselves very 
rarely about these remote 
provinces." Our earliest di- 

phorus, son of the last despot, attempted 
to seize the government of Albania, but 
was defeated by the Albanians and killed 
in battle (1357-1358). The Albanians now 
fell again partly into the hands of the 
Servian despot Simon. As, however, he 
troubled himself but little about the 
country, the Albanians founded two prac- 
tically independent provinces — a southern 
province under Gjinos Vayas, and a nor- 
thern province under Peter Ljoshas. 

Then began a period of Albanian 
migration, during which large portions of 
Macedonia, Thessalia, ^Etolia and Acar- 
nania were occupied by parties starting 
from Durazzo. Thence the Albanians 
spread further to Livadia, Boeotia, Attica, 
South Eubcea, and the Peloponnese. After 
the death of Peter Ljoshas, in 1374, John 
Spata seized the town of Arta. His rule 
was a period of long struggles 
with different opponents, 
which continued almost until 
his death in 1400. About 
this time most of the country 
was conquered by Carlo I. 
Tocco, who died on July 4th, 
1429, and bequeathed what 
he had won to his nephew 
Carlo II. Tocco of Cephallenia, 
who was obliged, however, to 
cede the town of Janina in 
1430 to Murad II., and to 
acknowledge his supremacy. 
The process of converting 

- ., . ,, o';t'^.Ts.,S?.Tnir„."s^^^hecountry,oMohammeda„- 

rect mtormation belongs to derbeg," was the great Christian hero ism then began, and has 
the year 1042 ; at that date, fJ'.M^lt^ ^ears^fn' Aiblnla^^^Hl continued till within the last 
after subjugating the Bui- began his struggle in the year i4u. century. It was chiefly the 
garian revolt, Michael Paphlago, the upper classes that embraced Mohammedan- 

governor of Dyrrhachium, gathered an 
army of 60,000 men from his province and 
advanced with it against the Serbs. When 
the Normans made their expeditions of 
conquest (1081-1101), the rule of the 
despots of Epirus from the house of the 
Comneni began, and it lasted until 1318. 

The land then fell again into the hands of 
the Byzantine emperors ; but the restless 
population repeatedly rose in revolt, and 
the most cruel coercion failed to secure a 
definite pacification. In the year 1343 
fresh disturbances broke out, of which the 
Servian king, Stefan Dusan, took advan- 
tage to conquer the whole of Albania, 
Thessalia and Macedonia, and assumed 
the corresponding title of emperor of these 
countries. Upon his death the Servian 
kingdom fell into confusion, and Nice- 


ism, and for this reason they were able to 

found native dynasties, which in some 

cases actually acquired hereditary rule. 

Of these native pashas of Janina the 

best known is Ali, who was born in 

1741 at Tepeleni, and murdered on 

February 5th, 1822, in a summer-house 

on the lake of Janina, by Khurshid Pasha. 

North Albania, which had become a Servian 

-, ^. „ , province, has a history of 
Venetian Help T a u * j.i- 

... its own. About the year 

Against •. . i •'^i 

.. n,. 1250 it went over to the 

the Ottomans /- "1, i- /-., , 

Catholic Church, as appears 

from the letters of Pope Innocent IV. 

The family legend of the Miridite chieftain 

preserves the memory of this event. The 

disruption from Servia, in which the noble 

family of the Balzen took a prominent 

part, occurred about 1368, and therefore 


after the death of Stefan Dusan in 1355. 
With the year 1383 begin the invasions 
of the Ottomans, whom the Albanians 
opposed with Venetian help. Among these 
TurcOrAlbanian struggles those of Skan- 
derbeg stand out prominently. Yban, or 
John George Kastriota, was born after 1403, 
the son of Yban or John Kastriota, the 
dynast of Mat, and of Voisava, the Servian 
princess of Polog. In 1423 he was carried 
off, with his three brothers, by the Emir 
Murad II. in the course of an incursion 
into Southern Albania, kept as a hostage 
for his father's fidelity, and employed in 
the royal Se- 
raglio. There 
he was brought 
up i n the Mo- 
ll ammedan 
faith, and given 
the name of 
Iskander or 
Alexander Bey, 
popularised as 
Conspicuous for 
his handsome 
form and intel- 
lectual powers, 
he very soon 
obtained a su- 
perior post in 
the administra- 
tion. In 1442, 
upon the death 
of his father, 
Yban, the prin- 
cipality was 
occupied by the 
emir, and his 
brothers were 
killed. The 
revolts con- 
ducted by 
Arianites Com- 
nenus, who died in 1461, Depas, or 
Thopia, and Zenempissa, were crushed by 
the Turks. 

Kastriota concealed his thirst for 
vengeance, and remained in the Turkish 
service as if nothing had occurred. WTien, 
however, at the close of 1443 the 
Hungarians defeated the Turks, George 
escaped, with 300 Albanians, from the 
Turkish camp, and seized Kruja by a trick. 
He re-adopted Christianity, inspired his 
compatriots to fight for their independence, 
and occupied the whole district in a month. 
All the chiefs placed themselves under his 


command, and paid tribute for the main- 
tenance of the revolt. Skanderbeg con- 
tinued the war with vigour, and in 1444, 
with 15,000 men, he defeated the Turkish 
army, 40,000 strong under Ali Pasha, and 
other Ottoman generals in the district of 
Dibra. In the year 1449 he attacked 
Murad with 100,000 men, but was defeated 
and forced to withdraw from Kruja, which 
he besieged. 

After the death of Murad II., in 145 1, 
he remained victorious upon the whole, 
notwithstanding disunion -among the 
chieftains and several defeats which he 

suffered ; in the 
ten years' arm- 
istice of May, 
1461, Albania 
was formally 
ceded to him. 
He showed 
great organis- 
ing abiUty, and 
made the coun- 
try a stronghold 
of Christianity, 
and his vigorous 
services to this 
faith induced 
Pope Pius II. 
to select him as 
general for his 
proposed cru- 
sade in the year 
1464. The re- 
sult of this 
movement was 
a further out- 
break of war, 
and once again 
the Turks were 
defeated. But 
on January 
17th, 1468, 
died at Alessio. His son being still a minor, 
the Turks were victorious. It cost them, 
however, ten years' fighting before they 
reconquered Kruja, on June 15th, 1478, and 
succeeded in bringing the land under their 
sway in 1479. After that date large bodies 
emigrated from North Albania, and the 
majority of the Albanian colonies in Italy 
belong to that period. Another part of 
the conquered Albanians preferred to 
remain upon the spot and accept Moham- 
medanism, while the remainder fled into 
the mountains. 

Karl Pauli 


Temple of Diocletian's palace, now Spalaro Cathedral. Courtyard of Diocletian's palace at Spalaro. 













AS the history of the German races 
■**• emerges from obscurity only upon 
their contact with the Greeks and Romans 
on the Rhine, on the Danube, and in the 
Mediterranean territories, so also the early 
history of the Slav races has been preserved 
by the Graeco- Roman civiUsation, which by 
degrees drew all peoples from darkness to 
light, and stirred them to new life as though 
by a magician's wand. It was chiefly 
with the Romans that the Germans came 
into contact by reason of their geograph- 
ical position ; for similar reasons the Slavs 
fell within the area of Greek civilisation, 
though here again by the intervention of 
the Roman Empire. Slav history is thus 
connected with Roman history. At the 
point where Slavs were the immediate 
neighbours of the Romans their annals 
reach back to the beginning of our era, 
though it was not until some 500 years 
later that the northern Slav race appeared 
, upon the scene. It was upon 
The !>iavs ^j^^ Adriatic and in the river 

First Contact , r xi. /- x 1 j 

Wth R system of the Central and 

Lower Danube that the Slavs 
first came into contact with the Roman 
Empire ; on the Adriatic and on the classi- 
cal ground of the Balkan Peninsula, which 
was saturated with Graeco-Roman civilisa- 
tion, begins our earliest genuine knowledge 
of the Slavonic peoples. 

The races which inhabited the districts 
on the Danube and southwards to the 
Peloponnesus are known in modern times 
as the Slovenians, Serbs, Croatians, and 
Bulgarians. They form collectively the 
South Slavonic group. As their origin 
is obscure, so also is their history confused ; 
it is a history the threads of which are 
lost in many provinces belonging to 
different states, and bearing even at the 
present day different names ; a history 
of tribes in which original divergences 
led in course of time to sharp distinctions 
of language, script, morals, religion and 
history, and which, even in political 
matters, are opposed as enemies. 

Of their earliest history we know little 
enough. The Slavs were not so fortunate 
as the Germans, who found a historian in 
Tacitus as early as the first century. 
Modern inquirers agree upon the fact" 
that the Slavs appeared in Europe ages 
ago, together with the other main Euro- 
pean races, the Kelts, Greeks, Romans, 
- _ and Germans, and that they 

UnVcr Other settled in Eastern Europe 
p," ^ *' some where about the spot 
where they are still to be found 
as the earliest known inhabitants. The 
Slavs and their settlements are known to 
Pliny, Tacitus and Ptolemy. More exten- 
sive accounts are given of them by the 
Gothic historian Jordanes and the Byzan- 
tine Procopius, both in the sixth century. 

From that time onwards information as 
to the Slav races becomes more copious. 
They bear different names. The Greek 
and Roman authors call them Veneti, 
while to the Germans they are known as 
Wends ; another form is Antes. Proco- 
pius also informs us that the Antes were 
anciently known as Spores, which has been 
connected with the name Serb. The second 
name for the members of this race was 
Slavus — with variants — the name espe- 
cially current among the Byzantines. 
Those tribes who settled in the old Roman 
provinces of Pannonia, Noricum, Rhaetia 
and Vindelicia were known collectively as 
Slavs or Slovenians. We hear of them 
in the sixth century as of some political 
importance, and as already waging war 
. \vith the Bavarian race. It is 

t*w"r*w*th P^^^^^^^ ^^3-* ^^"^^ S^^^ king- 
* g. "^ doms existed in the sixth 
century in the modern Hungary, 
Slavonia, Croatia, Carinthia, Styria, Car- 
ni(Ma, Gorz, Gradiska, and on the coast 

From these Slav peoples settled on each 
side of the Central Danube, on the Drave 
and Save ; many migrated southwards 
after the fifth and sixth centuries, and 
settled in the Balkan Peninsula. The 



question arises whether they were the 
first Slav colonists in that district, or 
whether they found in the Balkan terri- 
tories an older Slav population known 
under other names. On the solution of this 
question depends the problem of the 
Slav population of the Balkan Peninsula. 
Moreover, the Slavs from these districts 
« . were not the only members 
yi»n ine^ ^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ went to the 
mperors in gg^ij^g^j^ territories ; we find 
traces of Slav immigrants from 
Eastern and Northern Europe. Formerly 
the opinion was general that the immigra- 
tion of the Slavs into the Balkan terri- 
tories took place during the period between 
the fifth and seventh centuries. It is 
now believed that certain traces of a 
much earlier migration have been dis- 
covered. Evidence for this fact is to be 
found in the older Slav place-names. This 
new theory can also be harmonised with 
the earliest historical evidence before us, 
and provides a natural explanation of the 
fact that the Slavs suddenly appeared in 
these territories in such numbers that 
even the Byzantine emperors found them- 
selves obliged to take measures to prevent 
them from over-running Greece. The 
theory further explains why history has 
nothing to tell us of any great immigration 
or occupation of these countries by the 
Slavs in historical times ; only now and 
again does history speak of the settle- 
ment of new bands of colonists by the 

So long, however, as it is impossible to 
ascertain the nationality of many peoples 
living in those districts in the Roman 
period, such as Thracians, Skordiskans, 
Dacians, Illyrians, and others, so long will 
this problem remain unsolved. Hence we 
must first decide whether they are to be 
regarded as " immigrants " or as " in- 
digenous " ; only then can we discuss the 
question of earlier or later dates. It may 
be noted that the inhabitants of Bosnia 
still display certain ethnological 
n en or* peculiarities which are ascribed 

^. ... .. to the Thracians and Dacians 

Civilisation i -r-i ^i. ti. 

by Roman authors. Thus 

Pliny states that among the Dacians the 
men paint their bodies. Tattooing is at 
the present day customary among the 
Bosnian people. Other national character- 
istics also point to some relationship. 

However this may be, our first know- 
ledge of the Slavs, both in the Danube 
territories and in the Balkan Peninsula, is 


gained from the Greeks and Romans when 

they established their empire in those 

directions. After the fall of the Roman 

Empire the Slavs inherited the Roman 

civilisation. The country was covered 

with towns, trading settlements, and 

fortresses. These territories were crossed 

by admirable military roads. In Thracia 

we find roads as early as the time of Nero, 

who built post-houses along them. All the 

emperors paid special attention to the 

Balkan Peninsula, as it was from there 

that they gained the most valuable recruits 

for their legions. No Roman emperor 

however, spread his glory so widely 

throughout the countries on each side 

of the Balkans as the conqueror of 

Dacia, the great Flavian, Trajan. His 

memory was and is still preserved among 

the Slavs, and his name was even added 

to the list of Slav deities. Bulgarian songs 

still sing the praises of the " Tsar Trojan." 

Many place-names still re-echo his name. 

We constantly find a Trajan's bridge, a 

Trajan's road, a Trajan's gate, or a 

Trajan's town. Trajan is also in general 

use as a proper name. All this is evidence 

_, ,. , for the fact that Traian must 
Goths and , ■ , -" t 

„ . e t. have come into personal con- 
nuns in Search , , • ,, ,i 01 a ^ 

f PI de ^ Slavs. As early 

as the fourth century the 
provinces of the peninsula were wealthy 
and densely populated, as we are informed 
by the contemporary writer Eunapios. 
A disastrous period began for these terri- 
tories in the fourth and fifth centuries, 
when the Goths and Huns attacked and 
repeatedly devastated them in the course 
of plundering raids ; possibly these assail- 
ants included some Slavonic bands. From 
this time onwards the Slavs on the far 
side of the Danube began to grow restless, 
especially in the old province of Dacia, 
and overflooded the whole of the Balkan 
Peninsula as far as the Peloponnese ; the 
Slav language was spoken at Taygatos as 
late as the fifteenth century. 

The Byzantine emperors themselves, in 
their brilliant capital on the Bosphorus, 
were threatened with attack. At that 
time the Byzantine emperors had more 
important cares and heavier tasks than 
the protection of the Balkan Peninsula from 
these barbarians, whom they were inclined 
to despise . their faces, from the moment 
of the foundation of Constantinople, were 
turned towards the east. Hence, in spite 
of repeated defeats, the Slavs were able 
steadily to advance. Things became even 


worse after tne death of the great Justinian. 
John of Ephesus, a Syrian chronicler of the 
sixth century, relates how " in the third 
year after the death of the Emperor 
Justinian and the accession of Tiberius the 
Victorious, the accursed people of the 
Slavs entered and overran the whole of 
Hellas in the neighbourhood of Thessalonica 
and the whole of Thracia. They conquered 
many towns and fortresses, ravaged, 
burned, and devastated the country, and 
lived in it as freely as at home." 

In the year 575 the Avars, one of the 
peoples of the steppes formerly called in as 
auxiliaries by the Byzantines, began their 
invasions in the Byzantine Empire, and 
carried their plundering raids through the 
Balkan territories, alone or in alliance with 
the Slavs. The Slavs in lUyricum and the 
Alpine territories soon became restless. 
In Dalmatia, into which they had made 
incursions as early as the reign of Justinian, 
they began to advance with great energy 
about 600, and drove back the Roman 
power, which the Avars had already 
enfeebled, to the coast towns, to the 
mountains,and to the islands. 

avs a e jy^^ Graeco- Roman towns of 

Siege of 

Influence of 
Country on Slav 


the interior were for the most 

part laid waste, while such 
new towns as Spalatro and Ragusa were 
founded by the fugitive Romans. 

The Slav immigrants soon also learnt 
the art of seamanship. During the siege 
of Constantinople in 626, which they under- 
took in alliance with the Avars, they 
conducted the attack from the seaward ^ 
side in small boats. In the year 641 
certain Slavs, probably from Epirus, 
landed on the Italian coasts and plundered 
Apulia. The Slav pirates traversed the 
Ionian and ^gean seas, penetrating even 
to the Cyclades and the coast towns of 
Asia Minor. Al-Achtal, an Arabian writer 
of the seventh century, speaks of the fair- 
haired Slavs as a people well-known to his 
readers. The enterprise of the Slavs was 
further facilitated by the fact that the 
Byzantine Empire was now in difficulties 
with the Arabs, as it had formerly been 
with the Persians. Their chief attack was 
directed about 609 against Thessalonica, 
the second city in the Byzantine Empire. 
They repeatedly besieged this town by 
land and water, and on one occasion were 
encamped for two years before its gates. 
The Byzantine authorities were, however, 
iii,variably successful in saving this out- 
post. In the seventh century the Slav 

colonisation of the Balkan Peninsula was 
com])lete, and no corner remained un- 
touched by them. The Byzantine authors 
of that period refer to the Balkan territories 
simply as Slavinia. 

With regard to the influence which their 
change of domicile exercised upon the polit- 
ical development of the Slav immigrants and 
the course of their civihsa- 
tion, we are reduced to 
conjecture ; generalisation 
is easier here than detailed 
proof, but in this case the connection be- 
tween geographical position and history is 
unmistakable. The position of the Balkan 
Peninsula, which brought the southern 
Slavs nearer than any other members of 
the race to the Graeco- Roman world, was 
of great importance for their future 
development. In the course of their his- 
torical career the southern Slav tribes 
wavered for a long time between Italy and 
Byzantium, until eventually the western 
portion became incorporated with Roman 
politics and civiHsation, and the eastern 
portion with the Byzantine world. 

For other facts, however, in the life of 
the southern Slavs, deeper causes must be 
sought, originating in the configuration of 
the country. If we regard the peninsula 
of Haemus from the hydrographical and 
orographical point of view, we shall 
immediately perceive that the configuration 
of the country has determined the fate of 
its inhabitants. As the whole of the con- 
tinent is divided from west to east by a 
watershed which directs the rivers partly 
to the Baltic and partly into the Danube, 
so also this south-eastern peninsula has 
its watershed which directs the streams 
partly towards the north and partly south- 
wards. As the northern mountain range 
has divided the peoples, as well as the 
waters, which lie on each side of it, so, 
too, the same fact is apparent in the 
Balkans. The northern and the southern 
parts of the peninsula have nin a different 
_ „ _ course of development with 

anitreir'"* different results. The 
^ * • n .11 mountain range of the 
Mountain Battles t^ 1, • ■ . /i 

Balkans, nsmg to 12,140 

feet, is difficult to cross, notwithstanding its 
thirteen passes, and many of the struggles 
between the northern and southern Balkan 
races were fought out on the ridges of these 
mountains. At the same time it must be 
said that other ethnographers have drawn 
different conclusions from these same 
orographical conditions. 



Apart from these facts, the whole 
peninsula is divided by mountain ranges 
running in all directions into districts 
each of which with certain efforts might 
develop independently of others, as was 
the case in Western Europe. In ancient 
Hellas this was the fact which favoured 
the development of so many independent 
_ . territories, and during the 

^f * * * ... Slav period it also facilitated 

C/haractertstics .1 • r 1 1 • j 

„ . the rise of several kmgdoms. 

In so far as it is unjust to re- 
gard the Balkan Peninsula as part of Eastern 
Europe, in the strict sense of the term, 
it is incorrect to call it an East European 
jjeninsula. Balkan territories are in every 
respect more allied to Western Europe, 
and are somewtiat Alpine in character. 

Thus the immigrant Slavs were easily 
able to continue their separate existence 
in this district, a fact which entirely 
corresponded with their wishes. Hence 
the manifold nature of the southern Slav 
kingdoms ; for this reason, too, they were 
more easily accessible to influences which 
ran very diverse courses. Diversity of 
geographical configuration naturally pro- 
duced diversity of civilisation ;- some 
districts lay on the main lines of com- 
munication, while others, more difficult 
of access because more mountainous in 
character, were left far behind in the march 
of progress. Differences of climate must 
also be taken into account. 

Upon the whole, the magnificent posi- 
tion of the Balkan territories on the 
Mediterranean has at all periods favoured 
the development of the inhabitants. The 
fact that the Slavs here came into contact 
with the sea created new conditions 
of life and fresh needs. They learnt the 
art of seamanship, and rose to be a 
commercial nation. The southern Slavs 
show a different national type from the 
great mass of Slav nationality ; their en- 
vironment and their neighbours have given 
them a special national character. The 
Slav races which settled in the 
Balkan Peninsula were num- 
erous. Such different names 
are known as Severane, 
Brsjakes or Berzetes, Smoljanes, Sagulates, 
Welesici, Dragovici, Milinci or Milenzes, 
Ezerites or Jeserzes, etc. In spite of numer- 
ous names applied to various Slav groups, 
we have practically no guide to tribal 
identity among them. These names are, 
however, of little importance for the 
determination of nationality. Apart from 


How did the 
Slavi Get 
Their Names? 

the fact that they have often been 
transmitted to us in a corrupt form, 
their value is purely topographical and in 
no way ethnographical. They coincide 
with the names of the lakes, rivers, and 
mountains about which the tribes settled. 
The question then arises : did the tribes 
give their names to these mountains and 
rivers, or, what is more probable, did they 
themselves borrow the old names of 
these rivers, etc ? The latter is the case 
with the names Timok = Timocane, 
Rorawa = Morawana, Narenta == Naren- 
tane, etc. The opinion of the Bulgarian 
scholar Marin St. Drinov appears to be 
correct, that at different times different 
tribes of the northern and western Slavs, 
or, rather, fragments of them, made 
settlements here ; a further proof of the 
theory is the divergent dialects of the 
Bulgarian language. 

Historians state that of the Slavs in 
the western half of the Balkans the Serbs 
and Croatians were the most numerous, 
and that they alone founded kingdoms 
of their own side by side with the Bul- 
garian state. But this may mean no more 
Th K" d than that, as in the case of 
of S T^ °™' Bohemia, Poland, or Russia, 

—4 r> ^ ♦• one small tribe was enabled, 
ana Croatia 1 ^i r <■ <- 

by the force of some favour- 
able circumstance, gradually to subdue 
other tribes, and to include them under its 
own name, while itself becoming denational- 
ised by the conquered tribes. This may be 
true of the Serbs and Croatians, as we 
have seen that it was of the Bulgarians. 
The whole group thus passed into one 
political unity, and then acquired some 
meaningless name, possibly taken from a 
river, mountain, lake, or town of the 
country, from a national leader, or per- 
haps from some totally different language. 
All, then, that can be said is this — that 
side by side with the Bulgarians in the 
east of the peninsula two important 
kingdoms, the Servian and Croatian, were 
afterwards formed on the west ; though 
each of these, like the Bulgarians, included 
several tribes. 

The numerous Slav races, then, bore for 
the moment different names. Three of 
these, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Servia, 
became important ; and all others were 
included under these. The Greeks, how- 
ever, gave them all collectively the one 
name of Slaveni, and knew the whole 
country as Slavinia. The Eastern Roman 
Empire was known as Romania by the 


Slavs. This name, however, they apphed 
particularly to the Thracian plain. At 
the present day the mountain tribes on 
the borders of the Thracian plain call the 
inhabitants of the plain Romance and 
the women Romanka, although the whole 
country up to the neighbourhood of 
Constantinople was entirely under Slav 

The Slavs of that period, like most of 
the European peoples, were at a stage of 
civilisation which may be described as 
semi-nomadic. While cattle-rearing and 
hunting were their main sources of food, 
agriculture was also carried on, and, as 
among the Germans, was obligatory upon 
the women and slaves. An historian 
informs us that the Avars employed the 
Slav women for agricultural purposes and 
in place of draught-animals, which was 
no innovation on their part. Nomadic 
tribes periodically deserted the lands 
which they had ploughed, and removed to 
virgin soil. 

Social and also civic life in the Balkan 

Peninsula, and probably among all the 

Slavs, is founded upon the family group 

_, ., ^ , or household (the sadrue;a), 

Family Customs i .; i i • j .1 

:- .k- n.ii..- which has survived there, as 

in Lithuania and Russia, to 
the present day, so that it 
cannot be regarded as a consequence of a 
Byzantine or Turkish system of taxation. 
Survivals of household organisation have 
also been demonstrated to exist among the 
Germans of that particular period. The 
married children do not leave the father's 
house, but remain together under the 
government of the father or patriarch. All 
the members of such a family bear the name 
of the family chief ; thus the descendants 
of Radovan and the people of the district 
they inhabited were known as Radovanici. 
When the family had so increased as to 
make common life impossible some portion 
broke away from the union, founded a new 
settlement, took a new name, and formed 
a new sadruga, which, however, remained 
in connection with the original family 
and worshipped the same deity, who 
thus remained a common object of rever- 
ence to several branch settlements. A 
sadruga might contain from fifty to sixty 
members ; the chief was known as starosta, 
or starjesina, or gospodar, or wladyka, or 
djedo, or domakin. 

The tribe originated in the union of 
several families. The family was admin- 
istered by the elders, who apportioned the 

in the Balkan 

work, performed the service of the gods 
during the heathen period, and represented 
the family in its external relations. 
Community of property made individual 
poverty impossible ; those only who had 
been expelled from the federation of ihe 
family were abandoned. The affairs of 
the whole tribe were discussed by an 
_ - assembly of the elders. The 

f *'* district inhabited by a tribe was 
p"''**^ . known as Zupa, and its central 
' ^^ ' ^ point, which also contained 
the shrine of the gods in the heathen 
period, was a citadel or grad. One of 
the elders or patriarchs was chosen as 
governor of k Zupa., and was then known 
as the Zupan, or, among the Croatians, 
as the Ban. 

To this social organisation, which con- 
tinued longer among the Slavs than 
among the Germans, are to be ascribed all 
the defects and the excellencies of the 
Slav tribes. The families did not readily 
separate from each other, but soon 
increased to the size of tribes. Hence, 
cattle-breeding and agriculture were con- 
ducted to a considerable extent under a 
system of communal labour and reached a 
high pitch of prosperity ; consequently 
they were able easily to colonise and per- 
manently to maintain their hold of wide 
tracts of country. Other conquering 
nations, such as the Goths and Huns, 
poured over the country, leaving behind 
them only the traces of the devastation 
which they had caused, and then dis- 
appeared, whereas the Slavs settled in the 
country which they occupied. 

A further consequence was that the Slavs 

were in no need of extraneous labour for 

agricultural purposes, and therefore slavery 

was never so firmly rooted an institution 

among them as among the Germans. The 

Slavs usually made their slaves members 

of the household, as is related by the 

Emperor Mauricius. The Slavs were also 

able to carry agriculture and manufacture 

. to a higher point.. Their stand- 

'f **?.. ard of morality was higher, 
and Military 4. 4.1, ■ ^ j. 

-J owing to their close corporate 

life and strong family discipline, 

a fact which also favoured the increase of 

their population. On the other hand, the 

Germans, among whom agriculture was 

performed by slaves, devoted themselves 

entirely to hunting and military pursuits. 

Still this family organisation enables 

us to explain why the Slavs were not 

successful as the founders of states. Their 



common family life, while implying rever- 
ence for their patriarch, also produced a 
democratic spirit which was entirely 
opposed to any strict form of constitution. 
No family was willing to become subject 
to another ; all families desired to be 
equal ; one defended the freedom of 
another. No family chief was willing to 
_ _ acknowledge the supre- 

„.' . ,. macy of another, nor need 

Historians on the / i • xl i. ^i, 

csi /^v A we feel surprise that the 
Slav Character , , , , , ^ , . , 

blood feud was an mstitu- 

tion which flourished upon such soil. 

Hence, among the Slavs it was far 

easier for an individual to secure the 

supremacy over a number of families 

or tribes if he stood outside them and was 

unshackled by their discipline. 

It is, therefore, no mere chance that king- 
doms of any importance could be founded 
among the Slavs only by foreign tribes, often 
invited for that purpose. This peculiarity 
of the Slav character struck the Byzantine 
historians. " They have abundance of 
cattle and corn, chiefly millet and rye," 
says the Emperor Mauricius ; " rulers, 
however, they cannot bear," he says in 
another place, " and they live side by 
side in disunion. Independence they love 
above all things, and decline to undergo 
any form of subjection." Procopius also 
relates in the sixth century that the Slavs 
declined to submit to the rule of any one 
man, but discussed their common aifairs 
in council. The pride and honour of 
individual families was to them more 
important than all else. Only under 
pressure of direst need did the Slav tribes 
join in choosing a common leader, and for 
this reason strangers were easily able to 
secure dominion over them. 

Concerning the religion of the southern 
Slavs, our sources of information have 
little to tell us ; they were polytheists," 
their chief deities were the heaven and the 
heavenly bodies. Of Svantovit and 
Perun, the deities of the northern Slavs, no 
traces are to be found. They worshipped 
The Rel' " their gods in groves, moun- 
of the * '*"*'* tains, and rocks. Victims 

Southern Slavs ^^^^ "^^'^^ ^^ .^hem with 
song. Together with the gods 
' they reverenced other beings, such as the 
Vilen or Samovilen (in Thrajcia, Samodivy), 
Budenice, Rojenice, Judi, Vijulici, spirits 
and female wizards (brodnice). Research, 
however, has not said the last word upon 
this point, and the personalities of many 
heathen gods are doubtful. 


The districts south of the Danube and 
north of the Adriatic were under the rule 
of the Byzantine emperor, though Byzan- 
tine rulers were rarely able to exercise 
any real supremacy. Immigrant tribes 
from time to time nominally recognised 
the rights of the Byzantine emperors to 
these lands, and troubled themselves no 
further upon the matter. We may even 
question whether such immigrants always 
secured the consent of the emperor to their 
settlement upon Roman territory — a fact 
which the Byzantine historians continually 
reassert, for reasons easily intelligible. 
These peoples came into the country be- 
cause they met with no resistance, and 
were the more readily inclined to acknow- 
ledge a vague supremacy, as the\^ were 
themselves incapable of founding states. 

It is not so much through their military 
power as through their diplomatic skill 
and wealth, and also through the disunion 
of the Slavs, that the Byzantines were able 
to retain, at any rate, a formal supremacy 
over these territories during many troub- 
lous periods. Notwithstanding the great 
success of the Slav colonisation, the Slavs 
never succeeded in founding 
ih SI* ^^ independent state in the 
P .. . Balkan territories ; on this point 
both they and the Germans were 
far inferior to the Turco-Tartar races. 
Apart from the fact that these latter, by 
their introduction of cavalry service, with 
the use of the stirrup, possessed more for- 
midable forces and obtained greater mili- 
tary success, they had also the further 
advantage of possessing the ideal of a 
strong state, though in roughest outline. 

This they had learnt from the civilised 
nations of Asia. In Europe their appear- 
ance exercised some influence upon the 
military habits and constitutional or- 
ganisation of the Germanic and Slav 
world, especially of the Goths ; evidence 
of the fact is the migration of peoples, 
which was brought about by their arrival. 
It is not until this that the Germans and 
Slavs united into larger groups — that is, 
into states. It was, then, no mere chance 
that these peoples were the first to found 
kingdoms in the districts inhabited by 
the Slavs. They were the Huns, Avars, 
Bulgars, Chazars, Magyars, Patzinaks, 
Polovzes, Tartars, and Ottomans. 

We know practically nothing of the rela- 
tions of the Slavs to the state of the Huns. 
On the other hand, we learn a good deal 
of the political life of the Slavs in the sixth 


century, when the second Turkish people, 
the Avars, founded a considerable empire 
in the district occupied by the Slavs. The 
supremacy of the Avars seems to have 
extended over the whole district of modern 
Hungary, Bohemia, and Moravia, the whole 
of Austria proper, the northern districts 
of the Elbe and Saale, and also south- 
wards to the Danube over modern Dal- 
matia and Servia. As they were a people 
of giants, they were called by their neigh- 
bours simply Avars, or giants. Their rule 
was exceedingly oppressive. Fredegar's 
chronicle of the seventh century relates 
that the Slavs were forced to participate 
in every campaign of the Avars, and to 
fight, while the Avars drew up before the 
encampment. Agriculture was the sole 
work of the Slavs ; other historians inform 
us that they were often used as draught- 
animals and beasts of burden. The Avars 
were the first foreign people whose per- 
manent supremacy over the Slavs is his- 
torically established for the sixth century. 
About the beginning of the seventh 
century the position of the Slavs improved, 
in consequence of a great defeat experi- 

, . . ^ enced by the Avars in 626. 
Independent ^, . i^u ij j 

CI -CI The Avar Khan had under- 
Slavonic Slate , , 1 1 ■ ■ 1 

E t bl* h d taken a plundermg raid on 
the Byzantine Empire, ap- 
parently as early as 623, and besieged Con- 
stantinople, when the Emperor Heraclius 
began war against the Persians; the cam- 
paign must have lasted some years. At this 
time, about the year 623, the Slavs on the 
Danube in the districts of Bohemia and 
Moravia revolted and founded an indepen- 
dent kingdom under the leadership of a 
certain Samo. When the Avar bands 
before Constantinople were destroyed in 
626, the Avar power was considerably 
weakened for a whole generation. 

The Slav tribes who had been hitherto 
subdued were now able to assert them- 
selves. They joined Samo, and appointed 
him their king in 627, the more easily to 
oppose the attacks of the Langobardi, 
Bavarians, and Avars. Then was founded 
the first important independent Slav 
kingdom known to history ; it lay in 
the western part of the modern Austrian 
monarchy. Samo maintained his position 
until 662 (according to others, until 
658) — that is to say, for thirty-five years. 
After his death his empire disappears from 
the scene. We hear later of the Karantani 
as waging war with the Bavarians, and 
finally coming under Bavarian supremacy, 


and, in the eighth century, of a Slovenian 
kingdom in Moravia and of another in 
Pannonia ; whence we may conclude that 
the kingdom of Samo had undergone a 
process of disruption. 

The foundation of the Avar kingdom 
was, moreover, of importance to Slav 
history for another reason. The oppres- 

Th SI • ^^^^ ^^^^ °^ *^^ Avars induced 
.u n iL the Slavs to abandon their 
the Balkan , . , ■,■%•. 

Territories ^omes m large bodies, to 
migrate northwards or south- 
wards, and there to occupy new districts. 
It was, therefore, at that time that the 
immigration of the Slavs to the Balkan 
territories began upon a larger scale. In 
other respects also the Slavs were now 
able to assert themselves more strongly. 
The defeat of the Avars in the year 626 
had been of decisive importance both for 
the Slavs and for the Byzantines. Whole 
provinces now broke away from the Avars 
and were occupied by the Slavs. 

Thus it is no mere coincidence that at 
this period two numerous Slav tribes 
appear in the north-west of the Balkan 
Peninsula. We hear that the Croatians, 
who are said, upon evidence of the Em- 
peror Constantine Porphyrogennetos, to 
have come from the north, defeated the 
Avars about the year 626, and appeared 
as independent inhabitants of the country 
which they occupied. Their territories 
were bounded on the north by the Save 
and by a line running parallel to this 
river from the Unna to the sea, on the 
west by the Adriatic, on the south by 
the mouth of the Cettina River and by the 
Lake of Imoshi, on the south-east by a line 
of mountains running from this lake to the 
sources of the Verbas, and finally on the 
east by the Verbas itself. Their chief 
centres were Biograd — the modem Zaza 
Vecchia — and Bihac. These boundaries 
exist at the present day, though their value 
is purely ethnographical. It must also be 
remembered that the whole of the territory 
... _ ^ now occupied by the Croa- 

Sr'vrnfanlnd" *^^"^ ^"^ ''^"'^^ ^^*^'" ^^^"^ 
ovenianan i^gionprg^ formerly to the 

Croatian tribes 01 • j n j 

Slovenians, and was called 
Slovenia. In course of time the Slovenian 
and Croatian tribes coalesced. Even at the 
present day a remembrance of these con- 
ditions is preserved by the name Slavonia, 
wnich denotes part of the Croatian king- 
dom, by the name of the Slovak tribe in 
Hungar5% and by the old Pannonian- 
Slovenian kingdom. The Croatians thus 



Where Servian 
Founi Refuge 

absorbed the north-west of Bosnia and 
Dalmatia as far as Spalatro. 

The Serbs soon followed the Croatians 
across the Save, and, according to the 
Byzantine chroniclers, demanded and ob- 
tained from the emperor a 
place of settlement. They 
occupied the modern Bosnia 
with the exception of the 
Croatian portion, which is still known as 
Turco-Croatia. To them also belonged the 
greater part of Herzegovina, Southern Dal- 
matia, Northern Albania, Montenegro, Old 
Servia (Novi-Bazar), the northern districts 
of the Prizrend pashalik, and the modern 
Servia. At the present day we find the 
Serbs in these territories. Here they 
formed several larger and smaller princi- 
palities, mutually independent, known 
as Zupanates. 

To begin with the most southern,^ we 
have the principality of Zeta or Duklja — 
from Dioclea, which is named after the 
birthplace of the Emperor 
Diocletian. This was the 
original home of the ruling 
family of the Neman] ids, 
under whose supremacy 
Servia afterwards rose to 
the height of her power. 
This district was at all times 
a place of refuge for the 
champions of Servian in- 
dependence. It was here 
that Montenegro developed, 
and succeeded in maintain- 
ing her freedom until our 
own days ; it was only 
during the blood-stained 
period of Turkish supre- 
macy that she lost some 
part of her independence. 

From Cattaro to Ragusa 
extended Travunia or 
Konavlia, more or less 
corresponding with the 
area of the modern 
Trebinje in Herzegovina. 
From Ragusa to the Gulf 
of Stagno and inland as far 
as Narenta extended 
Zachluima, thus embracing 
a portion of Herzegovina 
about the Gatzko and 
Nevesinje. Neretva, o r 
Pagania, extended from the 
gulf of Stagno to the 
mouth of the Cettina. 
The inhabitants, known as 


Neretshans or Pagans, because for a long 
time they declined to accept Christianity, 
were dreaded pirates, and often fought 
victoriously against Venice. 

To the east of Zeta, Travunia, and 
Zachlumia lay Servia proper, the most 
extensive province of all, nearly corre- 
sponding to the modern Servia except for 
the fact that it included Bosnia, which 
broke away from it in course of time. 
Among the Zupanates belonging to Servia 
special mention may be made of that of 
Rasha or Rassa, the modern Novi-Bazar, 
known as Rascia in the mediaeval sources 
for the history of Western 
Europe. This Croatian and 
Servian district, the modern 
Istria, Bosnia, Servia, Dalmatia, 
Montenegro, Albania, Herzegovina — 
roughly a third of the Balkan Penmsula — 
formed the Roman province of Dalmatia, 
with Salona as a central administrative 
point ; under the Byzantine Empire 

The Slavs 
Lose Their 



these respective points bore the 
same name. The Slavs extended 
from this point over the whole 
peninsula, but were there to 
some extent deprived of their 
nationality. Only in Macedonia 
did they maintain their position, 
although the Bulgarian race 
was here again in predominance. 
The Croatian and Servian tribal 
principalities of the north-west, 
the chieftains of which were 
known as Zupans, united only 
in case of great danger under a 
highZupan. After long struggles 
the position of high Zupan be- 
came permanent, and the 
foundation of a more important 
empire was thus laid. Accurate 
information concerning the 
Croatian and Servian races is, 
however, wanting until the 
second half of the eighth 
century, and especially until the 
final destruction, of the Avar 
kinejdom by Charlemagne. 

When the Avar supremacy 
was approaching its fall, another 
Finno - Ugrian people, the 
Bulgarians, crossed the Danube, 
entered upon a series of con- 
quests among the Slavs of the 
peninsula, and even threatened 
Constantinople. Their im- 
migration is of special import- 
ance for the history of the 
Balkan Slavs and of the 
Byzantine Empire. Neither the 
Byzantines nor the Slavs were 
able to offer any resistance. The Slavs, 
who lacked any bond of union, repeatedly 
surrendered. As early as the end of the 
seventh century a Bulgarian state was 
founded in the north-east of the peninsula, 
and not only maintained its position 
against the Greeks, but also seriously 
threatened the old imperial city. Until 
627 the Persian danger had threatened 
Byzantium ; this was followed by the 
Arab danger in 750 ; and now 
the young Bulgarian kingdom 
becomes prominent among the 
enemies of the Byzantine Em- 
pire. The boundaries of the new state 
rapidly increased, and by degrees most of 
the Balkan Slavs were federated under its 
supremacy. Under Bulgarian leadership 
the Slav tribes gradually coalesced to form 
one people. The higher civilisation of the 

<U)4<A^^X<^£3<ft,^^^.«^-«4%3.a^^j^ , Pfl Kill 

A Union 
of the 


The lig^ht of religion and literature came to the Slavs from Byzantium, the 
apostles Constantine and Methodius, who went to Moravia in Hfi:i, inventing 
a script for the writing of the Slav language and translating the Gospels for 
the natives. This script is known as Glagolitic, and the above is a page 
from the beg^inning of St. Luke's Gospel in an ancient Glagolitic manuscript. 

Slavs, however, resulted eventually in 
the imposition of their nationality upon 
the Bulgarians, who were much inferior 
in numbers, amounting at most to thirty 
or fifty thousand, including women and 
children ; it was only their name that these 
warlike conquerors gave to 
the state and the people. A 
couple of centuries later there 
were no longer any distinc- 
tions between Slavs and Bulgarians ; all 
were called Bulgarians but spoke the Slav 

About the period of the Bulgarian immi- 
gration, which closes for the moment 
the migrations of peoples south of the 
Danube, the Balkan Peninsula displayed a 
most motley mixture of populations. 
Side by side with the Romans and the 
Greeks, the latter of whom proudly called 


Adopt the Slav 


themselves Romaioi, were the Slavs, 
who formed the majority, and among 
them for a considerable period remnants of 
the old inhabitants, the Thracians, from 
whom or from the lUyrians the Albanians 
are supposed to be descended. There 
are also to be found remnants of Goths 
and Gepids ; in Croatia there were rem- 
nants of the Avars, and to 


these in the seventh century 

S t*a^t e*^*"" were added the Finno-Turkish 
tribe of the Bulgarians. The 
process of unification then began. Many 
tribes were absorbed by others, with the 
result that new nationalities were formed, 
such as the Roumanians. By the found- 
ing of the Bulgarian state and the im- 
position of the Slav nationality on the 
Bulgarians, the Slavs became prepon- 
derant both politically and ethnographic- 
ally. Formerly the individual tribes 
lived in somewhat loose dependence upon 
Byzantium, and were the more easily 
able to preserve their nationality ; now 
any member of the Slav kingdom was 
forced sooner or later to accept the Slav 

The Avar people had brought disaster 
upon the southern Slav tribes, whereas the 
immigration of the Bulgarians secured 
the predominance of the Slavs in the 
peninsula. The political life of the Balkan 
Slavs novv centres round three main points 
— in the east the Bulgarian kingdom, in 
the centre the Servian, and in the west 
the Croatian principalities. Of Byzantine 
supremacy hardly a trace remained, except 
that a scanty tribute was transmitted to 
Byzantium. Only when some more power- 
ful ruler occupied the throne of Constanti- 
nople were the reins drawn tighter or did the 
flame of war blaze up. At a later period 
the dependence upon Byzantium came to 
an end. Some influence upon the political 
affairs of the north-west portion of the 
Balkan Peninsula was exercised by the ap- 
pearance of Charles the Great, who waged 
^ war with the Eastern empire 

f°Ch"*'i * ^" 7^^ concerning certain By- 
th G t zantine possessions in Italy. 
He conquered both Istria and 
Dalmatia, and the Slovenians between the 
Drave and the Save paid him. tribute until 
812, when he renounced his claims to the 
districts extending to the Drave, under a 
peace with Byzantium. At the present 
day monuments dating from the period of 
Charles' supremacy over these countries 
are to be found in the museum at Agram. 


The position of the Slav territories 
brought with it the consequence that 
Christianity was imposed upon them from 
three sides : on the one hand from Aqui- 
leia by Italian priests ; on the northern 
side from Salzburg by Germans ; and, 
finally, from Byzantium by Greek mission- 
aries. There were other isolated attempts, 
but these may be neglected. 

The original dissemination of Christian 
doctrine is here, as in other cases, wrapt 
in obscurity. Some missionaries came 
from the Frankish kingdom. Thus Colum- 
ban, according to the narrative of his 
biographer, Jonas, after his expulsion 
from Burgundy by King Theoderic about 
610, is said to have conceived the plan of 
preaching the Gospel to the Slavs in Nori- 
cum. About 630 Bishop Amandus, of 
Utrecht, entering the kingdom of Samo, 
determined to win the martyr's crown. 
He was followed about 650 by St. Em- 
meram with a priest, by name Vitalis, who 
was learned in the Slav language. 

More fruitful in result was the activity of 

Bishop Rupert, of Worms, who founded a 

bishopric and monastery in the Noric 

_ ^ Juvavia, Salzburg. Hence- 

»« 1 rn- t forward the diocese of Salz- 
Work of oishop , J ^ 1 / 1 

y. ... burg undertook the conver- 

irgi lus ^.^^ ^^ ^^^ Alpine Slavs, 

naturally under the protection of the 
Bavarian dukes. Especially good service 
was done by Bishop Virgilius, who occupied 
the see of Salzburg between 745 and 785. 
He sent out capable missionaries to 
Karantania and built churches there. The 
princes of Karantania themselves saw the 
necessity for accepting the Christian faith ; 
Chotimir invited Bishop Virgilius to his 
court, though with no result. 

The mission was energetically supported 
by Duke Tassilo II. (748-788) of Bavaria, 
the first duke to rule over Karantania. 
He cherished the idea of shaking off the 
Frankish yoke, and looked to Karantania 
for support, which he thought could best 
be gained by the dissemination of Chris- 
tianity. He founded monasteries, or gave 
leave for such foundations under the ex- 
press obligation of continuing the missions. 
Such foundations were Innichen and 
Kremsmiinster. After the subjugation of 
Tassilo by the Franks in 788, the work of 
conversion was completed under Bishop 
Arno. He received the necessary full 
powers from the emperor and Pope, and 
completed the organisation of the Church 
by appointing a local bishop, by name 


Theodoric. Once again it was a Wendish 
prince, Ingo, who supported his efforts. 

The patriarch of Aquileia suddenly 
raised an objection to these proceedings, 
alleging that those districts belonged to 
his own diocese. It is true that we know 
nothing of any missionary energy dis- 
played by Aquileia in that quarter. Yet 
missions there must have been from 
Aquileia, for in 8io Charles the Great was 
able to secure a compromise on terms 
which made the Drave a frontier line for 
the two claimants. Thus thenceforward the 
Slavs were divided between two dioceses. 

The whole position was altered in the 
course of the ninth century, when Byzan- 
tium took the work of conversion seriously 
in hand. The Slav nation had for a long 
time opposed the first Christian missions 
because these were supported by their 
princes ; when, however, they observed 
that by the acceptance of Christianity they 
had lost their freedom, tliey changed their 
opinion. If it were necessary to accept 
Christianity at all, it was better to take it 
from a quarter whence no danger of subjuga- 
tion threatened. This was only possible 
_ T. . by adherence to the Greek 

"'^.'"" Church. The East Roman 
Empire had in course of time 
fallen into enmity withRome, 
a dissension which extended to ecclesiasti- 
cal affairs. In the ninth century Byzantium 
bad resolved to act decisively against the 
West. From that period her influence 
increased and extended in a wide stream 
over the Balkan Peninsula. The Greek 
language, Greek writing and coinage, 
Greek art and literature, Greek law and 
military science, were disseminated among 
the Slavonic tribes ; and of even greater 
importance was the missionary activity of 
the East Roman Church. 

Of decisive importance for the fate of the 
Balkan Slavs and for the Slav nationality 
in general, indeed for Eastern Europe as 
a whole, was the moment when the 
patriarchal chair of Constantinople was 
occupied by Photius, one of the greatest 
scholars that the Byzantine state pro- 
duced. Apart from the fact that he strove 
with all his might to further the revival 
of Greek antiquity and brought Bj'zantine 
culture to its zenith, his ecclesiastical 
policy was actuated by hostility to the 
Roman chair, and brought about the 
official division of the Byzantine. Church 
from Rome. He won over many nations 
and vasts tracts of country for the Byzan- 

at Enmity 
With Rome 

tine Church. During the imperial period, 
the Roman Empire had been divided into 
East and West only in respect of pohtics ; 
this division was now superseded by the 
ecclesiastical separation. The whole of 
the East, with its wide northern territories, 
occupied by the Slavs henceforth recog- 
nised the predominance of the Byzantine 

»- n .. Church and sided with 

The Byzantine n 4- i.- 1 ^l 

^. . c J Constantmople m the 

Church Succeeds . . K , . , 

Where Rome Fail, P^t struggle which now 
began. Of the move- 
ments called forth in Europe at that 
time and for centuries later by the 
action of Photius, we can form but a vague 
idea in view of the scantiness of our 
records. A rivalry of unprecedented 
nature between the two worlds broke out 
along the whole line, and the great and 
vital point at issue was the question, 
which of the churches would be successful 
in winning over the yet unconverted Slavs. 

To the action of this great patriarch alone 
the Byzantine Church owes the success 
which it achieved over the Romans in this 
struggle. In vain did Rome make the 
greatest efforts to maintain her position ; 
success was possible for her only when 
German arms were at her disposal. Even 
to-day the Slavs reproach the Germans for 
attempting to secure their subjugation 
under the cloak of the Christian religion. 
But the German emperor and princes were 
only pieces upon the great chessboard, 
moved by unseen hands from Rome. At 
a later period the German princes marched 
eastward, not to convert, but to conquer. 

Almost at this time two Slav princes 
sent ambassadors to Byzantium and asked 
that the work of conversion might begin ; 
they were the Moravian Ratislav and the 
Bulgarian Boris. It is possible that the 
prince of the Khazars had done the same 
two years earlier. Photius began the work 
of conversion with great prudence. Two 
brothers from Thessalonica, learned in the 
Slav language and experienced in mission- 
ary work, were chosen to preach the Gospel 
to the Slavs. It was decided, 
Preaching jiowever, definitely to separate 

Jh* sr?s ^^^"^ ^^"'^ ^^^ nationalities 
* *'* won over to the Greek Church, 
and for this purpose Byzantium, in opix)si- 
tion to the Roman use, which allowed the 
liturgy to be recited only in Latin, laid 
down the principle that each people might 
conduct public worship in its own language. 
Thus, outside the three sacred languages, 
Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, the Slav was 



Apostles who 
Founded Slavonic 

recognised as of equal importance, as had 
been at an earlier period the Syrian, 
Coptic, and Armenian tongues. 

Constantine and Methodius, the two 
Slav apostles, went forth to their desti- 
nation, Moravia, in 863. They invented a 
special form of writing for the Slavs, that 
which is nowadays known as Glagolitic ; 
they translated the sacred 
books into the Slavonic 
tongue, and thus became 
the founders of Slavonic 
literature. They organised the Slav Church, 
founded schools, had churches built, and 
travelled over the whole country, every- 
where carrying the light of civilisation and 
of the new religion. " And full of delight 
were the Slavs when they heard the wonders 
of God in their own language," says the old 
Slav legend concerning Methodius. 

When, shortly afterwards, divine service 
was recited in the Slav language in the 
churches of Moravia and Pannonia, the 
German clergy were stricken with fear, as 
they now saw that the East, the field of 
their future missionary activity, was lost 
to them. They expostulated forthwith 
both to the German emperor and to Rome, 
enlarging upon the danger which might 
threaten both powers from this side. In 
order that their work might not be checked 
at its outset, the two apostles went to Rome 
to explain their position and to gain confir- 
mation for their work. Upon their return 
journey they entered the Pannonian 
kingdom at Lake Platten, where Kozel 
was ruler. The two brothers were able 
to win over the prince to the Gospel so 
entirely that he began to read the Slav 
books and ordered several youths to do 
the same. When the apostles of the Slavs 
had won over the Pope to their cause, and 
Methodius was made Bishop of Moravia, 
Kozel sent an embassy to Rome requesting 
that the Pope would also place his princi- 
pality under the new bishop. The Pope 
thereupon raised Methodius to the position 

^ .. .of archbishop, with a seat 

Croatians and o . ^ , ... 

the Christianity ;i; Syrmmm, and umted 
of the Slavs "^^ prmcipahty to 

the old diocese of Syrmia. 
Croatia on the Save was also placed under 
this Pannonian archbishopric. The Slav 
liturgy then extended with marvellous 
rapidity, and the prestige of the Bavarian 
clergy sank so low that their arch-priest 
was forced to return to Salzburg in 870. 

The Bulgarian prince Boris hesitated for a 
long time between Rome and Byzantium ; 


and it is doubtful whether his final 
decision in favour of Byzantium was not 
dictated by the political object which had 
influenced Ratislav, the prospect of secur- 
ing his independence of Germany. Apart 
from the advantage conferred by the Slav 
liturgy, his action was decided by the 
further fact that so many Greek Christians 
were contained among his people that the 
acceptance of Greek Christianity seemed 
inevitable. Finally, he may also have 
acted in the interests of that Bulgarian 
policy which aimed at the conquest of 
Constantinople. For the conversion of the 
Bulgarians, the advice of both missionaries 
seems to have been sought. At the same 
time the Croatians accepted the Slav form 
of Christianity. It was now impossible 
for the Servian tribes to stand aloof. We 
do not, however, know when they came 
over. Some are said to have accepted 
Christianity as early as the seventh 
century under the Emperor Heraclius ; 
but it was not until a new band of scholars 
and priests came into the country from 
Pannonia that the Slav Church became 
capable of development. After the death 
of Methodius, in 885, the Slav Church was 

_ ... no longer able to maintain its 
Period of M.- • T-> c A 

,. position in Pannonia; Svato- 

I erary pj^j^^ ^j^g successor of Ratislav, 
drove out the disciples of 
Methodius and placed his country under 
the German Church. The Slav clergy 
from Moravia found a hospitable reception 
in Bulgaria, and their activity created the 
Bulgarian Slav literature. The Bulgarian 
throne was then occupied by Symeon, the 
son of Boris (893-927), who was able to 
turn the knowledge and the powers of the 
new arrivals to the best account. He lost 
no time in commanding Bulgarian transla- 
tions of the Greek authors, ecclesiastical as 
well as secular. Thus, for instance, the 
monk Gregor translated the chronicle of 
John Malala, and added to it the Old 
Testament history and a poem upon 
Alexander ; fragments only survive of the 
Greek original, whereas the Bulgarian 
translation contains the whole work. 

The existence of a Slav literature, the 
most important of that day in Europe 
after ' the Graeco- Roman, won over the 
whole of the Slav nationality to the By- 
zantine Church and facilitated its con- 
version. The remaining. Balkan Slavs 
now gave in their adherence to Bulgarian 
literature, and Bulgaria became the middle- 
man of culture between Constantinople 


and the northern Slavs. The Balkan 
Slavs gave the watchword to the other 
members of their great nationality. The 
connection of the Slavs with Greek 
civilisation was secured by the fact that 
the above-mentioned Constantine, Bishop 
of Velica (or Bishop Clemens of Dre- 
novica), replaced the inconvenient Glago- 
Utic script by an adaptation of Greek 
writing made for the Slavs and aug- 
mented by the addition of several new 
signs representing sounds pecuhar to the 
Slav language. This was the CyrilUc writing. 
A common literature, civilisation, and 
religion brought Greeks and Slavs closer 
together, until they formed one group 
united by a common civilisation ^nd 
divided from the West. This event was 
of decisive influence upon the future of 
the whole Slav nationality. The southern 
Slavs in particular inherited all the ad- 
vantages and all the defects of the Greek 
character, nor was it politically alone 
that they shared the fate of the Byzantine 
Empire. The sloth, the indifference, the 
stagnation, and the other defects which 
characterised the Greek Church are con- 
sequently reflected in the society and 
culture of the Slavs at every turn. The 
want of organising power and of discipline 
which characterises the Greek Church 
has permanently influenced the poUtical 

life of the Slavs. For the Slavs were 
devoid of any leading political idea, and 
clung to the principles of the slowly decay- 
ing Byzantine Empire. Divided as they 
were into a number of tribes opposed to 
union, they were bound, sooner or later, 
to fall a prey to some powerful conqueror. 
The only bond of union between the 
Slav races in the Balkan Peninsula was 
Christianity and the Graeco-Slav civilisa- 
tion. The Bulgarian kingdom advanced 
with rapid strides, as it rose to power, 
towards the gates of Byzantium, until it 
entered upon a mighty struggle with 
the Emperor John Tzimisces in 971 
and was finally conquered in 1018 by 
Basil II. ; meanwhile, the history of 
the Croatian and Servian tribes comes 
but slowly into view from the historical 
background of the north-west. The part 
played by the Servian and Croatian 
Zupans is but very small. For the pur- 
pose of maintaining their independence 
they wavered between Bulgaria and By- 
zantium, ranging themselves now on one 
side, now on the other. Many Servian 
and Croatian principalities were subju- 
gated by the Bulgarians. After the con- 
quest of Bulgaria they were forced to join 
the Byzantine kingdom, and to secure 
themselves against aggression from this 
side they turned to Rome. 












'"THE history of Croatia begins at an earlier 
* date than that of Servia ; especially 
is this true of the coast land occupied by 
the Croatians, which was also known to 
the Italians as Slavonia. The year 634 
is the date generally given to the immi- 
gration of the Croatians. They were 
subdued by the Franks, and after the dis- 
ruption of the Carolingian Empire they 
submitted to the Greek Emperor Basil I. 
about 877. About the year 900 they once 
again secured their independence. Prince 
Muntimir is said to have laid the founda- 
tion of this success. Among the Croatians 
of the coast land we find an independent 
prince as early as the ninth century, by 
name Borna, who bears the title Dux 
Liburniae et Dalmatise. The central point 
of this duchy lay in the North about 
Klis, Nona, Zara Vecchia, and Knin. 
In the ninth century Christianity was 
introduced with the Slav liturgy and the 
. ^ . ^. Glagolitic script, and in 879 a 
Introduction ^^jgj^^p^.^ was founded at Nona 

^. . . . by the duke Branimir. The 
ns lani y Qjg^gQjj^jf, script was forbidden 

to the Roman clergy by the Synod of Spa- 
latro in 924, but was afterwards allowed by 
Innocent IV. in 1248, and is still in use 
in the churches in that district. In 1898 
Pope Leo XIII. issued fresh regulations 
concerning the use of Glagolitic and of the 
Slav Uturgy inDalmatia and the coast land. 

The Servian chieftain Michael did not 
secure the title of king from Gregory 
VII. until the eleventh century, whereas 
the Croatian chief Timislav was granted 
that title, also by Rome, as early as 926. 
In other respects the balance of power 
between Croatia and Servia on the frontier 
line was continually changing ; at one time 
Servian tribes were subjugated by the 
Croatians, and at other times Croatian 
districts were conquered by the Serbs. 

In the tenth century Croatia became 
a formidable power. The islands and 
coast towns occupied by the Roman popu- 
lation paid yearly tribute to the Croatian 
princes with the consent of the East 

Roman emperor, in order to secure 
immunity from attacks upon their trade ; 
the Venetians also paid tribute to the 
Croatians for the same reason, down to 
the end of the tenth century. According 
to Constantine Porphyrogennetos (about 
C ♦• ' 95*^)' *^^ Croatians, under the 
«.. . princes Kriesmir and Miroslav, 
Strong Army I, ■• r t-- • 1 

. jT the successors of Timislav, were 

*^^ able to place in the field 100,000 
infantry and 60,000 cavalry, and possessed 
180 ships of war. Soon, however, Venice 
grew so strong that the payment of 
tribute was refused by the Doge Peter 11. 
Orsello, and in the year 1000 he con- 
quered the Croatians and Narentanes and 
assumed the title of Duke of Dalmatia ; 
this was the first occasion on which 
Venice acquired possession of the Dal- 
matian coast. In order to save their 
throne the Croatian ruling family formed 
an alliance with the commercial republic. 
Kresimir, the legitimate heir to the throne, 
married Hicela, the daughter of the Doge, 
and bore the title of King of Croatia and 
Dalmatia from the year 1059. 

These events aroused anxiety and 
enmity in the Hungarian . court, which 
found itself forestalled in its attempts to 
secure a footing on the Adriatic Sea and 
to conquer the coast of Dalmatia ; the 
Hungarians also recognised that the 
Venetian republic had become a dangerous 
rival. The house of Arpad succeeded in 
negotiating a marriage between the 
daughter of King Geisa I. and the Croatian 
duke, Svonimir, who at that time, 1076, 
had been crowned king by the papal legate 
of Gregory VII., and had thus admitted 
his position as a vassal of the 
Ab**" b* d b P^P^^ chair. In 1088, when 
sor e y Svonimir died without children, 
«ngary ^^.^ widow is said to have called 
in her brother Ladislaus. He conquered 
the interior of Croatia in 1091, but was 
unable to advance to the sea, because 
Hungary was herself threatened at that 
time by the Cumanians. He entrusted 
the government of the conquered district 



'^o his nephew Almus. Croatia thus 

oecame an appanage of the Hungarian 

Empire, whose fate it henceforward shared. 

Hungary was thus necessarily forced into 

hostiHty with Venice, as it was committed 

to an attempt to conquer the Dalmatian 

coast, then in Venetian hands. From 

this time forward that part of Croatia 

. lying next the sea — Dalmatia — 

* A* 'i* formed for centuries the apple 

*f D'^^ ^ d ^^ discord between Hungary and 

Venice, li Byzantium sought 

to assert her rights, she would have had 

'to compose the quarrels of Hungary and 


While the Servian state succeeded in 
maintaining its independence until 1389, 
the excitable, military, and highly gifted 
Croatian people had been made tributary 
to their neighbours as early as the end of 
the eleventh century ; while Servia had 
been able easily to enrich herself at the 
expense of the declining power of Byzan- 
tium and Bulgaria, Croatia had to deal 
with the rising state of Hungary and with 
Venice, at that time the first commercial 
power in Europe. Notwithstanding these 
differences, Croatia would probably have 
emerged victoriously from the struggle, 
had she not been weakened by internal 
dissensions. The interior of Croatia re- 
mained united to Hungary. Venice and 
Hungary struggled for a long time and with 
varying success to secure the mastery of 
the Croatian seaboard which was known 
as Dalmatia. In the fourteenth century 
the Bosnian king, Tvrtko, had secured a 
temporary supremacy over Dalmatia and 
assumed the title of " Rex Croatiae et 
Dalmatiae." Even after his death in 1391 
Bosnia retained her hold of part of 
Southern Dalmatia, which thenceforward 
bore the name of Herzegovina. In the 
fourteenth century other claimants for 
the possession of Dalmatia appeared in 
the Angevin dynasty of Naples, until 
King Ladislaus sold the province of Zadar 
„ . to Venice for 100,000 ducats, 

eniee ^^^ ^ j^^^ decided the struggle for 
jj^j ' . Dalmatia in favour of Venice ; 
after that period many states 
voluntarily submitted to the Venetian 
rule, while Hungarian influence steadily 

The consequence was that these two 
related tribes entered upon divergent 
careers. While the Serbs came under 
Byzantine influence and accepted the 
Greek Church and civilisation, Croatia, 


united to the West, lived under 
wholly different conditions. The frontier 
between the Servian and Croatian 
settlements is, therefore, the frontier 
between the East and West of Europe, 
between the Greek and the Roman 

Different courses of development were 
also followed by the two parts of Croatia. 
While the coast line, within the area of the 
Roman world, shared in Roman culture 
and economic development, the interior 
of Croatia remained part of Hungary, 
and steadily declined in consequence. 

In religious matters also the two parts of 
the country were divided when Ladislaus 
the Saint, of Hungary, founded a bishopric 
in Agram and made it subordinate to the 
archbishopric of Gran, in 1095. In the 
year 1153 Agram was raised to the dignity 
of an independent bishopric. In the 
diocese of Agram the Slavonic ritual was 
gradually driven out by the Latin, though 
the Slavonic maintained its ground in 
Dalmatia, after Innocent IV. had recog- 
nised its equality with the Latin ritual 
in 1248. At the present day the Slav 
liturgy is allowed throughout the diocese 
-. . of Zeng, while in the rest of 

c'th 1* * Croatia only the epistles and 
Q the gospels may be read in the 

oun ry g^^^ tongue. In the Hungarian 
portion of Croatia adherents of the 
Eastern Church certainly maintained their 
existence, and even multiplied during the 
Turkish period after Suleiman II., owing 
to the influx of Bosnian and Servian 
fugitives ; at the present day there are in 
the country thirteen monasteries of the 
eastern Greek Church. Notwithstanding 
this fact, Croatia has remained a distinctly 
Catholic country. 

Among the towns, the most important, 
with the exception of the ancient Sissek, 
which dates from Roman times, was 
Kreutz, where the Hungarian king Kolo- 
man is said to hav6 concluded his pact 
with the Crocttians in 1097, and where, at 
a later period, the Croatian national 
assembly was accustomed to meet. With 
these exceptions, town life developed 
comparatively late. For example, Varas- 
din secured municipal privileges from 
Andreas II. in 1209. Bela IV. was the first 
to promote town life by granting new privi- 
leges, a step to which he was chiefly forced 
by the devastations of the Mongols in 1224. 
At the head of the Croatian government 
was a ban ; this dignitary was originally 

This, one of the most picturesque towns on the Dalmatian coast, had a long; and remarkable history in the Middle Ages 
as an independent city-state under repubUcan government Its merchants held an extensive trade throughout the east. 

equivalent to a viceroy, and has retained 
his prestige to our own days, notwithstand- 
ing all the restrictions which the office has 
undergone. In the course of time the ban 
was appointed by the king, on the proposed 
of the estates, and was solemnly inducted 
into Agram by their deputies, accom- 
panied by 1,000 riders, the " army of the 
banate." Holding in his right hand the 
sceptre as the sign of his knightly power, 
and in his left hand the 
standard as the sign of military 
power, he took his oath to the 
estates in the Church of St. 
Mark, according to the formula 
dictated by the royal plenipo- 
tentiary. The powers of the 
ban were great. He was able 
to call an assembly of the 
estates on his own initiative, 
without previously securing 
the king's consent. He pre- 
sided over the national as- 
sembly and signed its decrees. 
He was the supreme judge, from whose 
decisions appeals might be made only to 
the king ; he was the commander-in-chief 
of the collective Croatian troops, and in 
time of war led the army of the banate in 
person ; coins were even struck bearing 
his name. In view of these facts, Lewis 
the Great divided Croatia between several 
bans in 1359 ; this, however, was only 
a temporary expedient, introduced to 


provide the strong frontier government 
required to meet the Turkish danger. 

The chief legislative body of Croatia 
was from ancient times the national 
assembly, which, previous to the union 
with Hungary, was summoned by the 
king, and after that union by the ban. 
It was originally held in Dalmatia, and 
after the transference of the central power 
northwards in some one or other of the 
Croatian towns, such as Agram, 
Kreutz, Warasdin, Cakathurn, 
or Krapina. The most im- 
portant powers of the Croatian 
assembly enabled it to deal 
with questions of legislaticuij 
taxation, the levying of troops, 
the choice of officials, and 
administrative details. The 
attempts of Lewis the Great 
to unite the financial adminis- 
tration of Croatia with that 
of Hungary resulted in the 
revolt of Croatia after his 
death ; the plan was consequently aban- 
doned by his son-in-law, King Sigismund. 
Notwithstanding these privileges, 
Croatia never ran a steady course of 
development. It was a frontier land, and 
was involved, to its detriment, in every 
war. Hence it required another kind of 
supervision than that which Hungary was 
able to provide. Croatia suffered more 
particularly in the Turkish period, and it 




then became wholly obvious that Hungary 
was unequal to the task of administering 
the country. The land became utterly 
desolate, and the taxable wealth of Croatia 
steadily declined. At a former period the 
county of Kreutz contained some 12,000 
taxable houses, while in the sixteenth 
century there were hardly 3,000 to be 
found in the whole country. 
Turks Oust j^ ^^^ Venetian province 

D^matT «^ Dalmatia towns and dis- 

tricts enjoyed a certain 
measure of self-government under voivodes, 
rectors, and priors. Corporate life in the 
towns had flourished on the Adriatic since 
Roman times. Prosperity increased, and 
civilisation consequently attained a high 
stage of development. However, the 
Venetian supremacy came to an end after 
1522 ; the decisive blow was struck in 
1539, when the Ottomans seized the 
greater part of Dalmatia, while Venice 
was able to maintain her hold only of the 
islands. At that period Turkey was at 
the height of her power. Hungary herself 
was conquered, and in Pesth the crescent 
waved above the cross after 1541. Thus 
both parts of Croatia shared the same fate. 
Only one small municipality on the 
extreme south of the Dalmatian coast 
land was able to maintain a measure of 
independence. This was the commercial 
Slav republic of Ragusa. The district of 
the modern Ragusa coincides with that of 
the Greek city-state of Epidauros, the last 
mention of which occurs in the letters of 
Gregory I. During the Byzantine period 
it formed a part of the Thema of Dalmatia. 
After the immigration of the Slavs, the 
Romans, according to the account of 
Constantine VII. Porphyrogennetos, were 
driven out of the town, and founded hard 
by upon an inaccessible rock a new town, 
known in Latin as Ragusium, and in Slav 
as Dubrovnik. It was the seat of the 
Byzantine strategos, and of the bishop 
who was subordinate to the archbishop 
_ in Spalatro. In the twelfth 

_ * . ,?^ century an independent arch- 

Republic II- r J J L 

. jj bishopric was founded here. 

agusa 'pj^g << Qgj^g Ragusea " became 

more and more independent, and at the 
close of the eleventh century joined the 
Normans in fighting against Byzantium. 
At the head of this city-state of Ragusa 
there appeared in the twelfth century " con- 
sules" and "comites," although the district 
was nominally under the rule of the Byzan- 
tine " Dux Dalmatiae et Diocliae." The 


town was even forced to wage war against 
Venice, which would have been glad to 
occupy Dalmatia and Ragusa. After the 
death of the Emperor Manuel in 1180, 
the general confusion of political affairs 
enabled Stefan Neman j a of Servia to 
threaten the district ; the town then placed 
itself under the protection of the Norman 
kings of the Two Sicilies. After the 
conquest of Constantinople by the 
Crusaders in 1204 the Venetian fleet 
appeared before Ragusa, which was then 
forced to acquiesce in the supremacy of 
Venice. The people of Ragusa were left 
in possession of their old city government, 
only from this time forward a Venetian 
" comes " resided in the town. Under Vene- 
tian supremacy the relations of Ragusa and 
Servia became particularly friendly ; and 
the rulers of the latter country several 
times presented the republic with impor- 
tant grants of land. After the death of 
Dusan, in the period of the war between 
the Magyars and Venetians for Dalmatia, 
Venice was forced, in 1358, to renounce 
her claims to the whole district between 
Quarnero and Albania ; and Ragusa came 

_ , under Hungarian rule, until, 

Great ,- -i" • . -J 

_ . . in 1526, it was incorporated 

'^ with Turkey after the battle 

«»««=*» of Mohacs. The hfe of the 
town had long ago lost its national 
characteristics. Shut in between two 
Servian tribes, the Zachlumians and 
Narentanes, it was open to such strong 
Slav influence that at the beginning of 
the eleventh century the Roman element 
was whoUy in the minority. 

This Slav commercial republic was known 
throughout the East by reason of its exten- 
sive trade ; even the Arab geographer 
Edrisi mentions Ragusa. The series of 
commercial treaties concluded by the 
town begins with an agreement with Pisa in 
ii6g ; this was followed by one with the 
Ban Kulin of Bosnia in 1189, and by 
another with Bulgaria in 1230. Especially 
favourable were the privileges gi^anted 
by the rulers of Servia, in return for which 
the people of Ragusa paid a yearly 
tribute — a thousand purple cloths and 
fifty ells of scarlet cloth every year on the 
day of St. Demetrius. To Stefan Dusan 
they paid only five hundred purple cloths, 
and even this he renounced in favour of 
the monastery of Chilandar, on Mount 
Athos, a regulation which remained in force 
until \he French put an end to the republic 
in 1806. Bosnia received five hvmdred 


purple cloths, and Hungary five hundred 
ducats. Almost the whole trade of the 
Balkan Peninsula was in the hands of the 
Ragusans, who outstripped even the 
Venetians and Genoese. Colonies from 
Ragusa were to be found in many Servian 
and Bulgarian towns. The flag of Ragusa 
was to be seen on every sea, and in every 
important town of the East its factories 
and consulates were to be found. It 
was not until the period of Turkish 
supremacy that the commerce of Ragusa 
began to decay, notwithstanding the 
various charters in the Slav language 
which it received from the sultans ; it was 
forced, however, to pay a tribute of 12,500 

The prosperity of this little state 
naturally caused a considerable increase 
of culture in the fifteenth century. Mathe- 
matics and astronomy, and, later on, 
literature, and especially Slav poetry, were 
here brilliantly represented. Ragusa also 
exercised a strong influence upon the 
culture of the other Slavs in the Balkan 
Peninsula, and was known as the Slavonic 

During the Turkish period Hungarian 
Croatia suffered nearly the same fate as 
Servia; thecountry became desolate. When, 
however, the Croatians, independently 



of Hungary, raised the house of Hapsburg 
to the throne of Croatia in 1527, the 
country became of primary importance 
in Austrian politics ; Austrian rulers 
recognised its value as a bulwark against 
the Turks. The warlike Croatians soon 
became the most valuable support of the 
empire, not only against the Ottomans, 
but also against other powerful enemies 
in the west of Europe. 

The fortification of the country began 
in the sixteenth century. The castles 
and citadels of the Croatian magnates 
were transformed into fortresses, and 
other strongholds were also placed along 
the frontier at important points. Such 
of the population as still remained in 
the district were then called in for 
military service, and fugitives from the 
neighbouring Turkish countries met with 
a hearty reception in Croatia. 

Thus by degrees the deserted territory 
was repopulated. As, however, Croatia was 
not herself equal to these military burdens, 
and as, upon the other hand, neighbouring 
countries gained all the advantage from 
the military occupation of the frontier, it 
was only reasonable that Carniola, Styria, 
and Carinthia should contribute their 
share of the expense. Such was the 
beginning of the Croatian military frontier ; 



at an early period Lewis I. had created 
a *• capitanate " in Zeng, and Matthias 
Corvinus had settled fugitives upon the 

The Archduke Charles performed valu- 
able service in organising the military 
frontier of Styria. He constructed the 
_ ,. . great fortresses of Karlstadt, in 

ortiying ^^^^^ ^^^ Varasdin, in 1595. 

P . The land on the far side of the 

Kulpa to the Adriatic Sea and 
the Slavonic frontier to the Save were thus 
fortified and divided into two generalates ; 
one was the Croatian, or Karlstadt, 
frontier, the other the Slavonic, Windish, 

. or Varasdin frontier. The point chiefly 
kept in view in constructing these fortifi- 
cations was the defence of the waterways, 
especially the lines of the Save, Kulpa, 
and Drave, which had long been used by 
the Turks. Although by the Croatian 

• constitution the ban was the commander- 
in-chief of all the troops on foot in Croatia, 
yet the military organisation of the frontier 
tended to make that district immediately 
dependent upon the empire ; both frontiers 
were under the administration of the 
Council of War at Graz. 

The Croatian estates certainly objected, 
for they invariably regarded the military 
frontier as an integral part of Croatia ; they 
secured the concession that upon occasion 
the authorities upon the frontier would 
be ordered to act in concert with the ban. 
To begin with, the foreign commanders 
did not readily submit to these arrange- 
ments ; apart from the question of the 
ban, the estates of Carniola and Styria 
also supported the independence of the 
military frontier, for the reason that 
the frontier had already become a no- 
man's land, and was retained only by 
great sacrifices on the part of the monarchy, 
while Croatia had lost her right to it. 

Notwithstanding the Croatian claims, 
the military frontier became a special 
j^. crown land, and obtained rights 

- ' * .*'^ . of its own from the time of 
Q^ .. Ferdinand III. In accordance 

with these rights the peasants 
were free, and subject to the emperor 
alone From the age of eighteen every 
frontier inhabitant was liable to military 
service, and was obliged to keep himself 
ready to take up arms for defence. The 
land was divided into districts or " capi- 
tanates." Every parish chose an overseer. 

All the parishes composing a " capitanate" 
chose their common judge, who, like the 
parish overseer, was obliged to be 
confirmed in office by those under his 
command. As the Greek Church numbered 
most adherents among the population, it 
obtained equal rights with the Catholic 

Ths Croatian estates organised the 
country between the Kulpa and Unna on 
similar principles, and as the ban was here 
commander-in-chief, this frontier was 
known as the frontier of the banate. In 
the peace of Karlovitz in 1699, when the 
districts of Croatia and Slavonia, once 
occupied by the Turks, were given back, 
a third generalate was instituted in Essek 
for the newly freed Slavonia ; however, 
in 1745 three Slavonic counties were 
separated and handed over to the civil 

The independence of the military pro- 
vince of Croatia was a matter of great 
importance to the Austrian rulers, as here 
they had the entire population forming 
a standing army always ready for war. 
Hence the Emperor Charles IV. began a 
_ . reorganisation of all the Croatian 
-.'^°* ** military frontiers. The gene- 
j^ '. ralate of Essek was divided 
into three regiments, that of 
Varasdin into two, that of Karlstadt into 
four, and the frontier of the banate into 
two. In the eighteenth century military 
frontiers were organised, after the manner 
of the Croatian, along the whole Turkish 
frontier as far as Transylvania, the frontier 
of Szekl in 1764, and that of Wallachia in 
1766. In times of peace it was necessary 
only to make provision for outpost 
duty in the cardakes standing along the 
Turkish frontier. Although foreign sol- 
diers were removed from the frontier on 
principle, yet the ofiicial posts were for the 
most part occupied by foreigners, and the 
official language was entirely German. 
Every frontier inhabitant was liable to 
military service from the age of seventeen 
to sixty. The population was secure in 
the possession of their land ; and the 
military spirit of the Croatian frontier 
population grew even stronger. Their 
privileges inspired them with a decided 
prejudice against the regime of the banate, 
under which the territorial lords heavily 
oppressed their subjects, and the estab- 
lished Church was the Roman CathoHc. 









AFTER the conquest of Bulgaria by 
'**^ Byzantium and the occupation of 
Croatia by Hungary and Venice respec- 
tively, the Servian race alone of all Slav 
peoples in the Balkan Peninsula retained 
any kind of independence, although they 
were by no means as yet a united state. 
At all times and in all ])laces small nations 
have federated only when threatened by 
some external danger ; thus it was that the 
Russian and Lithuanian states arose, 
and such is the history of all the Western 
European states, and of Servia among 
them. Under the great Tsar Symeon 
Bulgaria so devastated the Servian dis- 
tricts that they had to be re-colonised by 
returning fugitives, and part of the Servian 
tribes were forced to recognise Bulgarian 

In the tenth century the Zupan 
Ceslav succeeded for the first time 
in uniting several Servian tribes for a 
common struggle against the Bulgarians. 
After the destruction of the Bulgarian 
Empire by Basil II. Byzantine supremacy 
over the whole peninsula was established 
with a vigour which had been unprece- 
dented since the time of Justinian I., 
and this state of things continued, under 
the dynasty of the Comneni, till the end 
of the twelfth century. The boundless 
oppression of the government often, how- 
ever, caused revolts among the Serbs. 
The High Zupan Michael applied to Rome 
for support, received thence the title of 
—^ -. king, and maintained his 

e agyar* independence of Bvzantium 
Take Possession r ' ,• t-v , , r 

, n . for some time. The help of 

of Bosnia xv tt i *^ . 

the Hunganans was also not 

despised. A prominent figure about 1 120 is 

Uros, or Bela Uros, the Zupan of Rassa, 

whose family belonged to Zeta ; he entered 

upon friendly relationswith the Hungarians, 

married his daughter to Bela II., and 

helped the Magyars to secure possession 

of Bosnia. From the Rama, a tributary 

of the Narenta on the south of Bosnia, 

the Arpads now took the title of " King of 

Of even more importance for Servian 
history is the rule of the son of Uros, 
the famous Stefan I. Nemanja, who was 
also bom in Zeta, the cradle of his race. 
Although the youngest of his family, he 
aimed at the principality of Rassa, and 
Th G ^^^ ^^ *^^ general supremacy, 

A bt*^* which he was able to secure 
of Stefa I ^^^ ^^ ^^^P ^^ *^^ Byzantines. 
■ Though he had been baptised 
into the Western Church, he underwent 
a repetition of the ceremony according 
to the customs of the Eastern Church when 
he had arrived in Rassa, in order to secure 
the favour of the clergy and the people. 

In the year 1165 the Emperor Manuel I. 
confirmed his position as High Zupan 
and gave him a piece of land, in return for 
which Nemanja swore fidelity to him. 
In the year 1173 Nemanja defeated his 
relations and secured the obedience of 
the refractory Zupans. In this way he 
founded one uniform hereditary and 
independent state. That process was here 
completed which was going on at the same 
time in Bohemia, Poland, and Russia. 
And in these states also families began to 
rule according to the law of seniority — 
that is to say, the eldest member of the' 
ruling family exercised a supremacy over 
the rest until the transition to hereditary 
monarchy had been completed. Princes 
of the royal family who had hitherto 
enjoyed equal rights now became officials 
of the royal power. In Servia this change 
was completed at a much earlier date than 
in other Slav countries. 

Nemanja also took in hand the organisa- 
tion of the Servian Church. Converted 
to the Greek faith, he built monasteries # 
and churches, suppressed the Roman 
faith, and cruelly persecuted the widely- 
spread Bulgarian sect of the Bogumiles, 
with the object of securing a uniform 
religion throughout his own state. The 



Eastern Church thus became established 
in Servia, and the Eastern form of worship 
became the national worship, so that 
religion and nationality formed an un- 
divided idea. At an earlier period the 
Servian churches and bishoprics had been 
subordinate to the Roman archbishopric 
of Spalaro, and afterwards to that of 

,«. _. , Antivari : now Eastern bishop- 
The First , i u • i 

_. ^ rics and an archbishopric were 
Eastern - ^ — 


founded for Servia alone. The 

king's youngest son, Rastka, 
was appointed the first Eastern archbishop 
in Servia — at the Synod of Nicaea in 1221 — 
under the name of Sava. He divided the 
land into twelve bishoprics, and bestowed 
episcopal rank on none but Servians. Zica 
was made the residence of the Servian 
archbishops ; at a later period Sava 
carried thither the remains of his imperial 
father, Neman] a, from Mount Athos ; here, 
too, Servian kings were in future to be 
crowned, and this was realised in the case 
of Peter I. on October 9th, 1904. Sava 
also founded monasteries in Servia, all 
under the " rule " of Saint Basil, which he 
had found in force at Athos. He enjoyed 
immense prestige, and was highly honoured 
as the first national saint of Servia. 
In the year 1235 'the independence of the 
Servian Church was recognised by the 

This ecclesiastical ajliance did not, 
however, prevent Nemanja from attacking 
Byzantium when the advantage of his 
own state was in question. Immediately 
after the death of the Emperor Manuel, in 
1180, he conquered, in alliance with 
the Hungarian king, Bela III., those 
Servian districts which had fallen under 
Byzantine supremacy. He then renewed 
his friendly relations with the emperor, 
and even secured the hand of the emperor's 
niece, Eudoxia, for his own son Stefan, an 
alliance which brought legitimacy and 
special prestige to his house. It seems 
that the ambitious Nemanja hoped to 

_ ^. bring Byzantium within his 
Byzantium ° -f^i. j. 

W k d P*^^<^'*- ^ "^ Circumstances were 
b Q arrels ^^^ourable to such an attempt. 
Servia was the only independent 
state in the Balkan Peninsula, while 
Byzantium was weakened by quarrels about 
the succession. Nemanja, however, did 
not feel himself sufficiently strong for the 
attempt. At that period the Emperor 
Frederick I. Barbarossa came to Nisch 
on his crusade. The Servian prince 
appeared before him, and a chronicler 


assures us that Nemanja was willing to 
accept his country from Barbarossa as a 
fief. The emperor, however, who did not 
wish to arouse the animosity of the Greeks, 
declined to entertain the proposal. 

In the year 1195 Nemanja, apparently 
with the object of securing the supremacy 
of his house, abdicated in favour of his 
eldest son Stefan, the second Nemanja, 
to whom he had already given the Byzan- 
tine title of despot. His second son, Vukan, 
received his hereditary district of Zeta. 
Nemanja himself retired into the monas- 
tery of Studenitza, a foundation of his 
own, under the title of " Symeon the 
Monk " ; afterwards he went to Mount 
Athos, and died in 1200 at the monastery 
of Chilander, which was also of his founda- 
tion. A struggle for the succession burst 
out between his sons, Vukan attempting 
to secure support in Hungary, and 
especially in Rome. Stefan also made 
applications to that quarter, and was 
crowned by the papal legate in 1217 ; 
he assumed the title " King of Servia, 
Diocletia, Travunia, Dalmatia, and 
Chlum." This step, however, cost him his 
entire popularity in the country. The 
_ . ,, . Archbishop Sava had re- 

Hu7'arian P^^^^^^y interposed in the 
unganan q^an-els of the brothers ; 
upremacy ^^efan now asked for further 
action of the kind. Sava crowned him in 
1222 with a crown sent by the Byzantine 
Empire, at a great popular assembly, at 
which he read before him the articles of 
faith of the Eastern Church. The Hun- 
garian king, Emerich, had availed himself of 
these quarrels to bring Servia under his 
supremacy. In 1202 he occupied Servia 
and assumed the title of " Rex Rasciae " ; 
but a struggle with his brother Andreas 
forced him to leave Servia. Stefan main- 
tained his position until his death, in 1224. 
Since that time no Servian ruler ventured 
to break away from the Eastern Church, 
although many entered into connection 
wfth Rome. 

Of the descendants of Nemanja, Milutin, 
otherwise named Stefan IV., or Uros II. 
(1275 or 1281 to 1320), began a career of 
ruthless conquest ; he had no hesitation 
in forwarding his plans by repeated 
marriages with Byzantine, Bulgarian, and 
Hungarian princesses, with a correspond- 
ing series of divorces. He captured Greek 
provinces and maintained his possession 
of them even after the death of the Emperor 
Michael VIII. Palaeologus in 1282. He 







advanced as far as Athos. He obtained 
Bosnia from Hungary without striking a 
blow, as the dowry of his first wife. He 
also secured the favour of the Pope, whom 
he was able to keep in hand with empty 
promises. As he had no legitimate male 
heirs, he conceived the idea of uniting his 
empire with the Byzantine, in which plan 
. , he was supported by the 

servia s ame Express Irene, his second 
Throughout mother-in-law. Naturally 

Western Europe , j ., a u 

he and no other was to have 

been emperor, and her children were to 
succeed him. Under him and under his son 
Stefan V. — Stefan IV. if we begin the series 
of Stefan kings in 1222 — Uros III., who 
bore the nickname Decanski, Servia became 
famous not only in the Balkan territories, 
but also throughout Western Europe. 

Meanwhile, however, Bulgaria had re- 
covered from her downfall at the end of 
the twelfth century, and was waging a 
successfiil war with Byzantium. The 
powerful Servian kingdom now stood in 
the way of her further development. A 
struggle between the two for supremacy 
could only be a question of time. In the 
year 1323 the Bulgarian Boyars chose the 
Despot Michael of Widdin as their tsar ; 
with him begins the supremacy of the 
Sismanides of Widdin, the last dynasty of 
Tirnovo. The new tsar began friendly 
relations with Servia, and married Anna, 
the daughter of Milutin, with the object 
of vigorously opposing the Byzantines and 
other enemies. Soon, however, the situa- 
tion was changed. Michael divorced Anna 
about 1325 and married the sister of 
Andronicus III. of Byzantium. 

It was only by the intervention of 
the Servian bishop and chronicler Daniel 
that war with Servia was avoided on this 
occasion ; however, in 1330 it broke 
out. Michael brought about a great alliance 
between the Byzantines, Bulgarians, Rou- 
manians, Tartars and Bessarabians. The 
Servian king advanced by forced marches 
_ against the allies, and suddenly 

Defeat and attacked them on June 28th at 
Plunder of -' 


Velbuzd. His army included 

300 German mercenaries in 
armour ; and Dusan, the son of Stefan, 
fought at the head of a chosen band. The 
Bulgarians were routed and their camp 
was plundered. Stefan contented himself 
with raising Stefan, the son of his sister 
Anna, who had been divorced by Michael, 
to the position of tsar, as Sisman II., and 
evacuated Bulgaria. Servia now held the 


predominant position in the Balkan 

Stefan, the conqueror of Velbuzd, met 
with a sad fate. He had been formerly 
blinded by his ^father, Milutin, and now 
came to a terrible end. His Boyars 
revolted under the leadership of Dusan 
and strangled him, at the age of sixty, 
though shortly before he had appointed 
his ungrateful son to the position of 
" younger king." Thus on September 8th, 
1331, Stefan Dusan ascended the throne 
at the age of nineteen. Of desperate 
courage on the battlefield, Dusan also 
possessed all the qualities of a statesman. 
While MUutin confined his aspirations to 
a union of the Byzantine and Servian 
kingdoms, Dusan dreamed of a larger 
Servia which should embrace all the 
Balkan territories. Turning to account the 
weakness of the Byzantine and Bulgarian 
Empires he conquered Albania, Macedonia, 
Thessaly and Epirus between 1336 and 
1340 and in 1345 ; even the Greeks, weary 
of civil war, are said to have invited his 
supremacy. In 1346 he assumed the title 
of tsar and had the youthful Uros 
crowned king, entrusting to him the 
« . . adininistration of Servia proper. 

. g . , In his documents we meet 
p^ with the title " Stefan, Tsar 

and supreme ruler of Servia 
and Greece, of Bulgaria and Albania." 
His title of emperor was also to the bene- 
fit of the Servian Church, as the previous 
dependency of the archbishopric of Servia 
upon the Byzantine patriarch was not 
wholly compatible with the existence of a 
Servian Empire. Hence in 1346 Stefan 
Dusan raised the Servian archbishop to 
the position of patriarch, notwithstanding 
the prohibition of the Byzantine Church. 
In 1352 the Servian Church was definitely 
separated from the Byzantine patriarchate. 
Henceforward twenty metropolitans and 
bishops were subordinate to the Servian 
patriarch. Servia was now at the zenith of 
her power. As Dusan was related to the 
rulers of Bessarabia and Bulgaria, he was 
able to form a confederation of these 
three kingdoms directed against Hungary 
and Byzantium. 

The reign of Dusan was the golden age 
of Servia, chiefly for the reason that he 
provided the country with better adminis- 
tration and a better judicial system, and 
did his best to advance the civilisation and 
prosperity of the people.The code — sakonik 
or zakonik — which he left behind him, a 

An episode in the life of Stefan Dusan, who is seen denouncing- a traitor. Dusan succeeded to the throne of Servia 
inl 3.'i 1 , and his name is eminent among the national heroes of his country. He is remembered especially for his success- 
ful campaigns against the Greeks, and for the code of laws which he issued in 1349, just seven years before his death. 

The battlefield of Kossovo, or the " Field of the Blackbirds," is one of unhappy memory to the Servian people, as 
twice in their history it was the scene of their defeat. Here Sultan Murad I. destroyed the Servian Empire when 
he inflicted, in 1389, a crushing defeat on King Lazar, who was killed on the battlefield. This famous fight decided 
not only the fate of Servia, but that of the races of the Balkan Peninsula. The above picture, by a Servian artist, 
commemorates the second defeat, in October, 1448, when, on the same scene. Sultan Murad U. gained a great victory 
over John Hunyadi. The remnants of the Servian army and fugitives are seen retreating from the fatal fieltt 




Stefan Dusan 
Dies on 
the March 

legal monument of the greatest importance, 
is a permanent testimony to the fame of 
Dusan. His conventions with Byzantium, 
Ragusa, and Venice proved that he also 
cared for the commercial prosperity of his 
people. The art of mining, which had been 
introduced under Neman] a, became so 
widely extended under Dusan that there 
were five gold and five silver 
mines in operation. These 
were worked chiefly by 
Saxons, whom Prince Vladi- 
mir is said to have first brought into the 
country. Almost the only political mistake 
that can be urged against Dusan is the 
fact that he did not use his power to secure 
the possession of Bosnia, which was in- 
habited by a purely Servian population. 
As the whole of Bosnia was never entirely 
united with Servia, a spirit of individualism 
flourished in that country, which resulted, 
shortly after Dusan's death, in the founda- 
tion of the Bosnian kingdom under the Ban 
Tvrtko. Dusan's main object was the con- 
quest of Byzantium, and chroniclers tell us 
of thirteen campaigns undertaken for this 
purpose. In 1355, when he was marching 
against the imperial city, he suddenly died. 
Had his son Stefan Uros IV. inherited his 
father's capacity together with his empire 
he would have been able to consolidate 
the great Servian state. Uros, however, 
was a weak, benevolent, and pious ruler, 
nicknamed by the nation " Nejaki " — that 
is to say, a man of no account. A revolt 
soon broke out. Even the first councillor 
of the tsar, the capable Vukasin, whom 
Dusan had placed at his son's side, stretched 
out his hand for the crown, and Uros was 
murdered in 1367. With him became 
extinct the main branch of the Neman j a 
dynasty, which had ruled over Servia for 
nearly 200 years. 

In the civil war which then ensued the 
Servian nobility raised Lazar Grbljanovic, 
a brave and truthful man, to the throne. 
The new ruler, however, assumed the 
simple title of Knes or Prince. 
Meanwhile the political situa- 
tion in the Balkans had under- 
gone a great change. The 
provinces formerly conquered by Dusan 
had revolted. Servia herself was too small 
and too undeveloped to become the nucleus 
of a great empire, and at the same time 
the administration of the country was in 
many respects deficient. 

At this juncture a great danger threat- 
ened from abroad. For a long time the 

3094 • 

The Turks 


Bulgarians and Serbs had been attacking 
the Byzantine Empire, hoping to aggran- 
dise themselves at her expense, without 
suspecting that they were attempting to 
sever the branch by which they themselves 
were supported. The Turks in Asia began 
their advance upon the Byzantine Empire, 
and no force could check them. In the 
fourteenth century their military fame was 
so firmly established that the Byzantine 
emperors called in their assistance against 
the Bulgarians and Serbs. Soon, however, 
it became apparent that the most serious 
danger threatened all these peoples irom 
the side of the Ottomans. In the year 
1361 Murad I. occupied Adrianople and 
made that city his capital ; Thracia 
became a Turkish province. The Byzan- 
tines were powerless to meet the danger. 
Immediately afterwards, in 1366, the Bul- 
garian Tsar, Sisman, became a Turkish 
vassal ; his sister Thamar entered the 
harem of Murad. In the year 1371 the 
Servian usurper, Vukasin, marched against 
the Turks, but was defeated in the night 
of September 25 th and 26th, and slain, 
together with his brother Johannes Ugl- 
jesa. The fatal field was known as Ssirb- 
siindighi — that is, the 

I^!!T«\n I Servian death. Servia, how- 
That Settled . , uj j 

o • . r X ever, was not yet subdued. 
Servia s Fate t^ ^ z•^ or j.\- j. 

It was not until 1306 that 

Lazar was forced to become a Turkish 
vassal, and the Turkish danger then lay 
heavily upon all men's minds. To save the 
honour of his nation, Lazar prepared for 
battle, made an alliance with Bulgaria, 
Albania, and Bosnia, and defeated the 
Turkish governor at Plocnik at the time 
when Murad was occupied in Asia. Murad, 
in anger, spent a whole year in preparation, 
both in Asia and Europe, and marched 
against Servia through Philippopolis in 
1389. On the feast-day of St. Veit (June 
15th) was fought the battle of Kossovo, or 
Amsel, the famous fight which decided not 
only the fate of Servia but that of the races 
of the Balkan Peninsula, and, indeed, of 
South-east Europe as a whole. The Servian 
army was supported by the Croatian Ban, 
Ivan Horvat, by the Bosnians under their 
Voivode Vladko Hranic, by auxiliary troops 
of the Roumanian and Bulgarian tribes, 
and by Albanians. In the dawn the Emir 
Murad was murdered in his tent, according 
to Servian tradition, by Milos Obilic, who 
thus hoped to turn from himself the suspi- 
cion of treachery, and was cruelly murdered 
in consequence. The supreme command 


was forthwith assumed by Bajazet I., the 
son of Murad. The Servians were utterly 
beaten ; Lazar himself was captured, and 
was beheaded with many others beside 
the corpse of Murad. Servia's future as a 
nation was destroyed upon that day. 

Many songs and legends deplore the 
battle of Kossovo. It was not the superior 
force of the Ottomans, so the story goes, 
that brought about that fearful overthrow, 
but the treachery of a Servian leader, the 
godless Vuk Brankovic. In the Ottoman 
army was also fighting the Servian despot, 
or " King's Son," Marko (the son of 
Vukasin) of Priljep — a man of giant 
strength. These facts were the causes of 
the bitter defeat, and the Serbs fought like 
heroes. Even at the present day these 
magnificent epics form one of the chief 
beauties both of Slav literature and of the 
literature of the world ; they have been 
admired even by Grimm and Goethe. The 
old, the blind, and the beggar sing at the 
present day in the market-place and on 
the roads the story of the famous old heroic 
legends, to the accompaniment of the gusle, 
and receive rich rewards from the people, 
who find in these songs a recompense and a 
.^ consolation for the loss of their 

cl^r P^^^ ^^°^y- ^^ ^^^ Tartars 

. °S^ . trampled upon the necks of the 
Russians, so also did the Turks 
upon the Southern Slavs. For centuries the 
Slav races have had to endure unspeakable 
barbarity at the hands of the Ottomans. 
Their development was arrested, and they 
were forced to lag behind in the march of 
civilisation, while at the same time they 
became a bulwark to the peoples of Western 
Europe. For this reason it is unjust to 
taunt them with their half-civilised condi- 
tion ; yet the injustice has been too often 

Bajazet, who was still occupied in Asia, 
placed Stefan, the son of Lazar, as 
despot on the Servian throne. Stefan 
was forced to pay tribute and to join in 
the Turkish campaigns in person at the 
head of his army ; at Angora, in 1402, 
Timur himself marvelled at the bravery 
of the Serbs. The nation never lost 
the hope of recovering its old indepen- 
dence. Stefan turned to Hungary for 
support and became a Hungarian vassal, 
following the example of other Danube 
states who looked to Hungary or to Poland 
for help. Upon his death, in 1427, he 
was succeeded by George Brankovic, a 
son of that Brankovic to whose treachery 

The Doom 



the defeat of 1389 was ascribed. He 
made his residence in Semendria on the 
Danube. Meanwhile all the states of 
the Balkans had been forced to bow 
beneath the Turkish yoke after suffering 
bloody defeats. Bulgaria fell in 1393, 
Then Zartum, Widdin, and Moldavia ; 
in 1455 Byzantium itself was conquered. 
Brankovic died on December 
24th, 1457, and was succeeded 
by his feeble son, Lazar, who 
died suddenly at the end of 
January, 1458. In 1459 Mohammed II. 
took over Servia as a Turkish province and 
divided it into pashaliks. Many of the most 
distinguished families were exterminated, 
and two hundred thousand human beings 
were carried into slavery. Thus the 
Servian state disappeared from the map of 
Europe. As once before, after their immi- 
gration, so also now, the Serbs were ruled 
from Constantinople, and it was on the 
Bosphorus that the fate of the Balkan terri- 
tories was decided. The wave of Turkish 
conquest continued to spread onward. 
Hungary and Poland were now forced to 
take up arms against it, until the turn of 
Austria arrived. To these states the 
Balkan peoples without exception now 
turned for help. Apart from Dalmatia on 
the north, which was inhabited by 
Croatians, alternately under Venetian and 
Hungarian supremacy, the Turks subju- 
gated the whole of the Balkan Peninsula, 
and ruthlessly oppressive was their rule. 
As, however, they were concerned only 
to drain the financial resources of the 
peoples they conquered, and troubled them- 
selves little about questions of religion or 
nationality, it was possible for the Balkan 
Slavs to retain their national character- 
istics until the hour of their liberation. 

The former birthplace of the Nemanjids, 
Zeta, had a happier fate. This moun- 
tainous district, which took its name from 
the river Ceta or Cetina, once formed 
part of the Roman province of Dalmatia. 
, The Emperor Diocletian had 
„ ** ? formed a special province of 
Happier pj.gevalis in Southern Dalmatia, 
with Dioclea as its centre, 
from which town the whole province 
became known as Dioclitia or Dioclea. 
However, in the period of the Slav Serbs 
it was known as Zeta, and was regarded 
as the original land and hereditary pro- 
perty of the Nemanjids. St. Sava founded 
a bishopric and built the monastery of 
St. Michael at Cattaro. Every successor 



to the throne first undertook the ad- 
ministration of Zeta. When, however, 
Dusan made his son Uros king and en- 
trusted him with the administration 
of Servia proper, another governor had 
to be found for Zeta, and he was taken 
from the house of Bals. After the death 
of Dusan the house of the Balsics 
^ consequently ruled in Zeta 

M T (1360-1421) and became in- 

on enegro volved in struggles with the 
Took its Name ,. .. • i_ 1 ? 1 r au 
distmguished family of the 

Cernojevic or Jurasevic in the Upper Zeta. 
At the outset of the fifteenth century the 
Venetians began to form settlements 
here, until eventually this Servian coast 
land fell into the hands of Venice, not- 
withstanding repeated struggles on the 
part of Servia. The family of Cernojevic, 
which had joined the side of Venice, now 
became supreme about 1455 ; Ivan 
Cernojevic became a vassal of Venice 
and received a yearly subsidy. He 
resided in Zabljak and founded the 
monastery of Cetinje in 1478 or 1485. 
His son George resided in Rjeka and Obod ; 
under him in Obod the first ecclesiastical 
Slav books were printed between 1493 
and 1495. It is at that time (first in 
1435) that this country takes the name of 
Crnagora or Montenegro. 

After the fall of the family of Cernojevic 
in 1528, or really as early as 1516, the 
country was ruled for centuries by the 
bishops, or Vladiks, of Cetinje. The bishop 
and head of the monastery of Cetinje 
was at the same time the lord of the 

It is not correct to say that the Turks 

never ruled over Montenegro and that the 

people were able to maintain their freedom 

by heroic struggles ; the fact is that the 

Ottoman supremacy in this mountainous 

district was never more than nominal, 

_ , „ ,^ chiefly from the fact that 
Provinces Revolt .1 U , . , 

. -. ,. they could not extract 

• From the ■'1 . , ,, 

««,„:.. r— :— much gam from the 
Servian Empire • u u-i. i. -o j. 

poor mhabitants. But 
Montenegro was subject to the Shand- 
shak of Skodra, and was obliged to send a 
yearly tribute thither, a fact which we learn 
from the Italian description of Mariano 
Bolizza of the year 1511. At that time 
Montenegro included ten settlements and 
8,027 m^n capable of bearing arms. 

After the death of Dusan one province 
after another — "irst Thessaly and Epirus, 
and ihan Mac ;donia and Albania — re- 
volted from the Servian Empire. Even 
Servian tribes, who had willingly or un- 
willingly gathered round the throne of the 
Neman] ids until 1355, now followed their 
individual desires. This is especially 
true of their relations, the Bosnians, whose 
country had never been entirely subject 
to Servia. In former times Bosnia, like 
Hungary and Ragusa, had been subject 
to the Roman archbishopric of Spalatro ; 
later, Bosnian rulers had expressly declared 
themselves Serbs and descendants of the 
Nemanjids. None the less they went 
their own way. Their first prince, or ban, 
of any reputation was Kuhn (i 180-1204). 
Naturally Hungary and Servia were rivals 
for the possession of Bosnia, which 
availed itself of these circumstances to 
maintain its independence. It is only on 
one occasion, however, that this little 
district secured a greater reputation ; 
this was when favourable political cir- 
- . , cumstances allowed the Ban 

Id d t ^^^^^'^t who regarded himself 


as a descendant of the Neman- 

jids, although his family 
belonged to the race of Kotromanovic, to 
secure the throne in 1376, since which date 
Bosnia has been a kingdom. This separa- 
tion resulted in the fact that Bosnian civi- 
lisation developed upon somewhat different 
lines from Servian — a fact apparent 
not only in the adoption of Roman 
ecclesiastical customs, but also in 
literature and even in writing. Under 
King Tvrtko the doctrine of the Bogumiles, 
transplanted from Bulgaria, extended so 
rapidly that it became the established 
religion. Thus Bosnia in this respect 
also displayed an individualism of its own. 
The final consequence was that under 
the Turkish supremacy the nobles, who 
were accustomed to religious indifferentism, 
went over in a body to Mohammedanism, 
in order to secure their class privileges. 
The possession of the Balkan Peninsula 
was secured to the Ottomans in 1453 in 
consequence of the overthrow of Constan- 
tinople, but it was not until 1463 that 
Bosnia was incorporated with the Turkish 
state ; many citadels of the kind numerous 
in Bosnia held out even till 1526. 


Note. — For references on Slavic history, see Appendix, 











T TNDER the Turkish supremacy the 
^ peoples of the Balkan Peninsula 
entered upon a period of death and national 
sorrow ; only the vaguest recollection of 
a better past endured. Immediately after 
the conquest of a province the Ottoman 
administration was introduced, the country 
was divided into provinces, or pashaliks, 
and these into districts, or nahias. The 
head of a pashalik was a pasha or vizir 
entitled to an ensign of three horse-tails, 
while the head of a nahia was called the 
kadi. There were pashaliks of Servia, 
Bosnia, Roumelia, Scutari, Widdin, etc., 
and the distribution of the provinces was 
often changed. The duties of the Turkish 
officials were confined to organising or 
maintaining military service, to levying 
the taxes, and to some administration of 

Side by side with the Turkish officials 
the institution of the spahis was of great 
importance. Upon Ottoman principles the 
whole country was the property of the 
sultan ; he divided the conquered land 
among individuals, who received it either 
as hereditary property {zian) or for life 
tenure (timir), and were under the obliga- 
tion of giving military service in return ; 
these individuals were known as spahis, 
or horsemen. Thus, for example, the 
pashalik of Servia was divided among 
about 900 spahis, who were masters both 
of the soil and of its inhabitants. Many 
_ . . Christian noble families became 

NobU« Turn hereditary spahis by accepting 
■^ . Mohammedanism; about the 

middle of the seventeenth 
century there were in Roumelia, not 
including Bosnia, 1,294 spahis, who had 
formerly been Christian Bulgarians, Serbs, 
Albanians, or Greeks. 

Side by side with the state administra- 
tion there also existed a kind of provincial 
administration, which was left in the hands 
of the people. Every village was adminis- 

tered by its judge and overseer (seoski-knes 
and kmet), who settled the affairs of the 
village and explained the traditional 
principles of justice, though only to those 
who had need of them and submitted to 
their decisions. They had no power to 
enforce execution, and dissatisfied litigants 
applied to the Turkish authorities. A dis- 
_ trict was also governed by the 

ys em o ^^^^ ^^^^ (upper knes), origin- 

^ * . ally appointed by the sultan. 

Government ■, •' , '^^^ ■ ■ , i- . 

Local admmistration went no 

further than this. For the most part the 

people submitted to the decisions of their 

own judges and rarely appealed to the 

Ottoman authorities ; at the same time 

the kneses and upper kneses, acting as 

intermediaries between the populace and 

the Turkish authorities, protected the 

multitude. At a later period, however, 

the upper kneses became hereditary, and 

enjoyed such high prestige that even the 

Turks were forced to respect them. 

Apart from this the Servian Church 
remained independent under the patriarch 
of Ipek. It should be observed that the 
higher clergy at that time were chiefly of 
Greek origin, and the patriarch of Con- 
stantinople hoped to bring the Slavs over 
to the Greek Church by their means. In 
the seventeenth century the independence 
of the Servian patriarchate was abolished, 
and the Church was placed under the 
patriarchate of Constantinople, as it had 
been before 1346. In the year 1766 the 
patriarchate was abolished altogether, as 
also was the Bulgarian patriarchate of 
Ochrida in 1767 ; bishops were now sent 
out from Stamboul. Only the lower 
clergy remained purely national and shared 
the sufferings of the people. 

Such were the powers which determined 
the existence of the subjugated people. 
The life of the rayahs, as subjugated 
peoples were called, was one without law 
or rights, and in every respect miserable. 



Particularly oppressive was the weight of 
taxation. First of all came the sultan's 
or the state tax. Next the male popula- 
tion were obliged to pay a poll tax of three 
piastres and two paras to the state chest for 
every person between the age of seven and 
sixty; this was known as the haraj . Even 
the priests in monasteries were not exempt 

from this tax. Three times a 

—'"^ " ^. year the Turkish olhcials ap- 

W k peared m the villages, pitched 

their tents, and levied the 
haraj. The better to control the tax, a 
register of boys and men was kept. Be- 
sides this, married men paid an undefined 
tax, known as pores, twice every year, on 
St. George's Day and St. Demeter's day, 
to cover the cost of administration. 

The kneses held a meeting in the central 
town of the nahia and estimated the yearly 
expenses of administration, which they 
then distributed among the individual in- 
habitants ; naturally the estimate varied 
from year to year. Besides this the im- 
perial exchequer collected taxes from the 
merchants for their shops and also from 
the tobacco planters ; then there were 
customs duties, duties upon fishing, upon 
river traffic, etc. Besides the state taxes 
the rayahs had also to satisfy their terri- 
torial masters, the spahis. Every married 
man paid one piastre for poll tax, two 
piastres married tax, two piastres grazing 
tax {kotar) for the use of pasturage, one 
piastre meal tax per head, two piastres 
kettle tax for every brandy still, from four 
to ten paras acorn tax for every herd of 
swine, and finally a tenth of a field or 
garden produce ; they were also liable to 
forced labour. Even the secular clergy 
were obliged to pay these taxes. 

Naturally, the population were also 
obliged to provide for the support of their 
kneses, upper kneses and clergy. In 
Servia, for instance, a bishop extracted 
twelve piastres from every house, and on 
a journey through his diocese an additional 

-, .. five piastres as well as his 

now the ■ S XI 

CI r P "d n^s-i'^tenance ; as they were 

ThVmselves °^^^^^^ *^ . ^"X ^^i'"" °^^^ 
at Constantinople, they were 

forced to recoup themselves in this way. 

The priests received tithes of agricultural 

produce, and occasionally payments for 

church services. 

More oppressive even than these various 

taxes was the administration of justice. 

In every nahia a kadi was the judge, who 

was also assisted by a musselim, as the 


executor of the judicial power. Above 
the kadi stood the chief judge, or mollah, 
of the whole province. All these officials 
supported themselves entirely upon court 
fees and fines. As they were able to 
obtain office only by bribery, the manner 
in which they exercised their powers may 
easily be imagined. Turkish law knew 
no other punishment than the monetary 
fine, except in the case of political mis- 
deeds ; even for murder the punishment 
was only the price of blood. Usually the 
officials pursued their own interests alone, 
and innocent people often suffered. The 
musselims were especially dreaded, as they 
continually came into contact with the 
people, were acquainted with their cir- 
cumstances, and consequently could easily 
satisfy their desires or their vengenance 
upon any object. Beyond all this, the 
evidence of a Christian was not admitted 
by the courts, and the Ottoman adminis- 
tration of justice thus became a sj'Stem of 
torture which could be escaped only by 

A further torment fox the Christian rayah 
was the presence of the regular Turkish 

_, -, . foot soldiers, the Janissaries; 

The Greed , , r •'..,,.' 

- . these forces were originally in 

, . . possession of no landed pro- 
perty and only obtained pay. 
When, however, they were sent out from 
Constantinople, distributed among the 
provinces, and secured the imperial power 
for themselves, they were anxious to be- 
come landowners, like the spahis, and 
seized with the strong hand all that 
pleased them. The poor rayahs had no 
protection against their greed ; they 
might console themselves with the words 
of Virgil, " Not for yourselves, ye birds, 
did ye build your nests ; not for yourselves, 
ye sheep, did ye wear your wool ; not for 
yourselves, ye bees, did ye gather honey ; 
not for yourselves, ye oxen, did ye draw 
the plough." 

Especially cruel was the levy of youths, 
which took place every five years, to supply 
men for the Janissaries, who then became 
Mohammedans. Towns only were able 
to secure immunity by the payment of 
large sums. 

Far more humiliating and intolerable 
was the treatment of the rayah at the 
hands of the Mohammedans. It was at 
this point that the differences between 
conquerors and conquered first became 
plainly obvious. It was a difference 
expressed in outward form. The clothing 


of the rayahs was simple. They were 
not allowed to wear the kaftan or gold 
or silver embroidery on their clothes. 
They were not to inhabit beautiful houses 
or to keep good horses. They were for- 
bidden to wear swords. In the town the 
rayah might go only on foot. If a 
Christian appeared before Turks, he must 
hide his pistols ; if he met them on the 
road, he must alight from his horse, and 
stand before them if they sat. Apart 
from this the Turk might call any Christian 
from the street and force him to bring 
water, look after his horse, or perform any 
other duty. Christian women were handed 
over to Mohammedans without reserve if 
they found favour in their eyes ; at 
a marriage the bride was concealed in a 
cellar with her head veiled in cloths. 

The result was that the Christians 
fled into the inaccessible mountains and 
forests, and from there defended themselves 
against their oppressors. Their numbers 
steadily increased. In the Slav provinces 
they were known as hayduks, and in 
Greece as klephts. They were robbers 
who also robbed the Christians upon 
^ , occasion. But the spirit of 

- PP""****®"* freedom remained alive among 
Ch ' f their numbers, and they were 
respected by the population 
as avengers of the people and cham- 
pions of freedom, were protected from the 
pursuing Turks, and were celebrated in 
song as heroes. As the Christians were 
forbidden to bear arms, the robber 
Christians became the only people able to 
defend themselves. 

In their misery the people found con- 
solation in their kneses and upper kneses, 
in the spahis, who generally treated them 
mildly, and particularly in the Church. 
It was the monks who were popular, 
rather than the secular clergy. The 
monasteries were at that time the centres 
of national life. They enjoyed privileges 
from the state, and were less dependent 
upon the Ottoman authorities. The monks 
alone were allowed to hear confessions 
and to celebrate the Communion. They 
were the only educated class, and preserved 
the remnants of Slav literature. The 
people swarmed to the monasteries from 
the remotest districts, and on dedication 
festivals lively scenes took place. Mer- 
chants then sold their wares ; lambs and 
pigs were roasted ; and to the sound of 
the shepherd's pipe or bagpipe the Servian 
youths danced their national dance, the 

kolo, which was also known in Bulgaria, 
and the old men sang songs of the national 

The Turkish danger and the menace of 
a common enemy formed a jwint of union 
which united the shattered fragments ol 
the Servian-Croatian races, not only in 
political, but also in literary and civilised 
Croatian ^^^^" ^^^ Croatians, at least, 
Drrams of !^^^ V^^. Possibility of satisfy- 
Revenge '"§ their feelmgs of revenge 
in battle. The Serbs, who 
were forbidden even to wear arms, were 
obliged to endure their cruel fate in 
silent submission. At the period when 
Croatia began to surround herself with 
frontier defences, and thereby became 
more capable of resistance, Turkey was 
at the height of her power, and the Servian 
race could see no gleam of hope for a better 
future. Hence many of them turned 
their backs upon their native land and 
fled across the frontier to the more for- 
tunate Croatia, that they might be able, 
at^ least from that point, to wage war 
against their oppressors. 

However, in the seventeenth century, 
when the political development of the 
Ottoman state had reached its fulness, it 
became manifest that its fundamental 
principles were suited only to military and 
political life, and not for social life or the 
advancement of culture, and that, in con- 
sequence, the Turk was unprogressive and 
wholly incompetent to rule over other 
nations. The Turkish state was founded 
upon theocratic principles ; the Koran 
formed at once its Bible and its legal code. 
If the subjugated peoples professed some 
other rehgion they could never be full 
citizens of the Ottoman Empire, but 
would be forced to remain in a position of 
subjection. Meanwhile, in Western Europe, 
civil law, as opposed to canon law, per- 
mitted members of other communions to 
become full citizens, so that subject races 
could more easily maintain their faith and 
_ . . become incorporated. In Tur- 
Christians j^^^ ^j^-^ ^^^ impossible. The 

Th ''^*T' Mohammedan alone was in pos- 
ime ggggJQj^ qI rights : the Christian 
rayah had no rights ; his only guarantee 
for a better future was the downfall of the 
existing system. We can, then, well 
understand that the Christian populations 
were ever waiting for the moment when 
they would be able to shake off the oppres- 
sive yoke of Turkey. If the burden 
became intolerable the nation emigrated 



in a body. The strength of religious 
fanaticism among the Turks, both in past 
and present times, may be judged from 
the fact that rehgion rules the whole social 
and political life and culture of Turkey 
even at the present day. 

In point of numbers the Slavs were 
superior to the Turks. The empire 
swarmed with Mohammedans 
of Slav origin, serving in the 

of Slavonic 

army as well as in the official 
bodies. According to the testi- 
mony of Paolo Giovio in 1531 and other 
competent authorities, almost the whole 
of the Janissary troops spoke Slav. 
Numeious Slavs rose to the position of 
vizir and grand vizir. Under Moham- 
med Sokolovic half the vizirs were Slavs 
in the sixteenth century. Several sultans 
were fully acquainted with the Slav 
language, and several chancellors issued 
Slav documents in Cyrillic writing. The 
Turkish Empire was, as is remarked 
by the Servian historian, on the road to 
becoming a Mohammedan-Slav empire. 

These facts, however, did not improve 
the life of the Christian rayahs. For 
almost three centuries these races had 
groaned under the Turkish yoke. Help 
was to be expected only from without. 
The first gleam appeared between 1684 
and 1686, when Austria, under Charles of 
Lorraine repeatedly defeated the Turkish 
armies and occupied several provinces. 
At that time the court of Vienna conceived 
a great plan of playing off the Balkan 
peoples against the Porte, and entered 
into relations with the patriarch of Ipek, 
Arsen Cernojevic, and with George Branko- 
vic, who professed to descend from the old 
Servian royal family. Brankovic went 
to Russia with his brother in 1688 to 
collect money for the building of the 
Servian metropolitan church and to secure 
Russia's help for the war against the 
Porte ; at the court of Vienna he was 
made viscount and then count. The 
—^ -^ Austrian commander-in-chief, 
- Ludwig Wilhelm, Margrave of 

Liberation ^^d^'^' issued an appeal to the 
Slavs of Bosnia, Albania, and 
Herzegovina, to join him in war against 
the Turks. 

The Eastern Slavs had already given 
their favour to Austria, when the Vienna 
court seized the person of George Bran- 
kovic, who had already appointed him- 
self Despot of lUyria, Servia, Syrmia, 
Moesia, and Bosnia, and imprisoned 

him first in Vienna, then in Eger, where 
he died in 171 1. This action natu- 
rally disturbed the relations between 
Servia and Austria. However, the war 
of liberation was continued. Among the 
Eastern Slavs there was an old legend 
that some day they would be freed from 
the Turkish yoke by a hero who would 
come riding upon a camel, accompanied 
with foreign animals. Utilising this 
legend, Enea Silvio Piccolomini, the 
general of the Margrave of Baden, ap- 
peared among the Servian nations with 
camels, asses and parrots, and called them 
to arms. In 1690 the Emperor Leopold I. 
again proclaimed that he would guarantee 
religious and political freedom "to all 
the Slav peoples of the whole of Albania, 
Servia, lUyria, Mysia, Bulgaria, Silistria, 
Macedonia, and Rascia," and again 
called them to arms against the Turks. 

In the same year 36,000 Servian 
and Albanian families migrated from 
Servia under the leadership of the patri- 
arch Arsen Cernojevic. From Belgrade 
they sent the bishop of Janopol, Jesaias 
Diakovic, to the court of Vienna as the 
plenipotentiary of the " Com- 
Russo- munity of Greek Raizes." The 

T k""hW emperor issued the desired 
guarantees for the whole people 
and for the three Brankovics in a special 
charter of liberties. Cernojevic received 
a guarantee of his position of metro- 
politan " for the whole of Greece, Rascia, 
Bulgaria, Dalmatia, Bosnia, Janopol, 
Herzegovina, and over all the Serbs in 
Hungary and Croatia." 

The Serbs then passed over the Save 
and settled chiefly in Slavonia, Syr- 
mia, and in some towns of Hungary ; 
Karlstadt was chosen as the seat of 
the Servian patriarch. The privileges 
of these immigrants were often enough 
disputed by the Hungarian municipal, 
ecclesiastical, and political authorities, 
but were invariably confirmed by the 
imperial court, which took the Serbs 
under its protection. Supreme successes 
against the Turks were secured when 
Prince Eugene of Savoy took the lead 
of the Austrian troops in July, 1697. 
The great victory of Zenta was the first 
indication of the fall of Turkish supremacy 
in Europe ; henceforward the little state 
of Montenegro fought successfully against 
the Ottomans. 

However, the first decisive effort was 
the Russo-Turkish war. Western Europe 


had long striven to induce Russia to take 
part in the struggle. Peter the Great 
was the first to take action in 171 1, with 
that campaign which roused great hopes 
among the Balkan Slavs. At that date 

Henceforward the Southern Slavs 
based their hopes rather upon their 
compatriots and co-religionists in Russia 
than upon Austria. However, the cam- 
paign of 171 1 was a failure ; and it 

the first Russian ambassador, Colonel was not until many years afterwards 

Miloradovic, a Herzegovinian by birth, 
of Neretva, brought to Cetinje a letter 
from Peter the Great, calling upon the 
Montenegrins to take up arms ; he 
met with an enthusiastic reception. 
Thereupon Danilo Petrovic Njegos, the 

that Russia undertook a second advance, 
under Catharine H. In 1774 Russia 
secured a protectorate over the Danube 
principalities and over all the Christians 
of the Greek Church. Catharine again 
turned her attention to the warlike state 

metropolitan and ruler of Montenegro of Montenegro and sent Geneial George 
(1697-1735), made a journey to Russia in Dolgoruki to Cetinje in 1769 ; and from 
1715, and received rich presents and 1788 to 1791 the Russian lieutenant- 
promises of future support, golonel Count Ivelic and the Austrian 



major Vukasovic were working in Monte- 
negro with similar objects. 

In the seventeenth century, when it 
became more obvious that the Turk was 
not invincible, and when enthusiasm had 
been roused by the hope of liberation, 
the Southern Slavs became more con- 
vinced than before of a relationship nearer 
than that of fate and political alliance ; 
the feeling of blood relationship grew 
strong in them, and they began to call 
themselves brothers and members ol a 
Slav race. The feeling of mutual connec- 
tion extended not merely to the Southern 
Slavs, but spread over the whole Slav world. 
They appealed to their Russian kinsmen for 
help, and authors wrote enthusiastically of 
a great Slav family. Austria gave some 
stimulus to the movement by repeatedly 
summoning all the Balkan Slavs to 
common action against the Turks. 

In the history of the Austiian Slav of 
that period there gradually arises from 
the background the outline of a new 
southern Slav Empire which was intended 
to embrace all the Southern Slav races. A 
name was invented for it, that of Illyria. 
The name was chosen to secure connection 
with past history. Illjn-icum had formerly 
been a Roman province, including Mace- 
donia and Greece, with Crete, Dardania, 
and Dacia ; in 476 it was assigned to the 
East Roman Empire. At that moment the 
phrase " the Illyrian nation " meant 
nothing more than the peoples professing 
the faith of the Greek Church, and as 

most of the Serbs were members of this, 
they also entitled themselves the " Raizes, 
or Illyrian nation." Now the name of 
Illyria was extended to include the Croatians 
and Slavonians. It was specially used in 
this sense by the Roman Church, which 
had not forgotten the old diocese of 
Illyria, and used the term to denote the 
Slavs in the west of the Balkan Peninsula. 
From this ecclesiastical use the connotation 
of the name was extended. In Hungary, 
where fugitive Serbs made common cause 
with the Croatians, the Illyrian question 
was a constant subject of discussion. 

Maria Theresa protected the Croatians 
and Serbs from the aggressions of the 
Magyars, and created for the special 
protection of the Serbs a new adminis- 
trative organ, the " Illyrian Delegacy," 
in 1746. The court of Vienna also 
regarded the Hungarian Serbs as a 
valuable counterpoise to the IMagyars. 
Under the Emperor Leopold II. the 
Illyrian national congress was held in 
Temesvar in 1790 ; demands were here 
issued for the separation of the Servian 
nation in the banat and in the bacska 
(voievodina), for an Illyrian chancery, 
for the parliamentary equality of the 
Servian bishops with the ecclesiastical 
princes of Herzegovina, and for a governor, 
who was to be one of the emperor's sons. 
How the conception of Illyria first re- 
ceived official extension in the age of 
Napoleon belongs to another period and 
a later volume. Vladimir Milkowicz 





500 TO 1792 



Anastasius emperor 

A D. 


Latin empire of Byzantium till 1261 


Justin emperor 


John Asen II. Tsar of Bulgaria 


Justinian emperor 


Golden Bull of Hungary 


The Justinian code issued 


Mongols devastate Hungary, but retire 


Overthrow of the Vandals by Belisarius 


Fall of Latin empire of Byzantium; Greek 


Narses defeats the Goths in Italy 

dynasty restored under Michael PaUxologus; 


Repulse of the Huns and Avars 

Mongol invasion of Hungary repelled by 


Justin II. emperor 

Bela IV. 


Maurice emperor 


League between Ladislaus of Hungary and 


Phocas emperor 

Rudolf of Habsburg 


Heraclius emperor 


Beginning of Ottoman power 


Advance of Persians under Khosru 


End of Arpad dynasty in Hungary. Othman 


Heraclius checks the Persian advance. The 

defeats Byzantines at Nicomedia 

Hegira : date-year of iNlam 


Charles Robert of Anjou elected king of 


Defeat of Avars before Constantinople 

H ungary 


Advance of the Saracen power 


Sismanid dynasty in Bulgaria till 1393 


Establishment of Slavs in Bosnia 


Predominance of Servia in the Balkans 


Founding of the Bulgarian kingdom 


Lewis the Great king of Hungary 


Saracens besiege Constantinople 


Servian conquests under Stefan Dusan 


Advance of Bulgarians 


John Cantacuzenos joint emperor 


Leo III. the Isaurian emperor 


Turks cross the Hellespont 


Beginning of Iconoclastic movement 


Turks occupy Adrianople 


Defeat of Saracens at Nicsea 


Turks defeat Magyars and Slavs at Marizza 


Defeat of Saracens at Acroinon 


Lewis of Hungary elected king of Poland 


Fall of Omayyad caliphate 


Sigismund king of Hungary 


Bulgarians checked 


Turkish victory at Kossova; subjugation of 


Constantine VI. emperor ; Irene regent 

Servia and Bulgaria 


Second Council of Nicaea restores image- 


Turkish victory at Nicopolis 


Irene empress [worship 


Overthrow of Bajazet by Tamerlane 


Fall of Irene ends Isaurian dynasty, Nice- 


Sigismund of Hungary becomes German 


Treaty with Charlemagne [phorus emperor 

emperor [med I. 


Leo V. defeats Bulgarians 


Recovery of Ottoman power under' Moham- 


Michael the Stammerer emperor 


Victories of H unyadi over Turks 


Boris king of Bulgaria 


Turks defeat Hungarians at Varna 


Christian mission of Constantine and Metho- 


Turks defeat Hunyadi at Kossova 

dius among the Slavs [Churches 


Scanderbeg heads Albanian revolt [empire 


Final breach between Greek and Roman 


Capture of Constantinople ; end of Byzantine 


Basil I. emperor ; Macedonian dynasty begins 


Hunyadi defends Belgrade against Turks 


Council of Constantinople 


Matthias Corvinus king of Hungary 


Leo VI. emperor 


Turks acknowledge Scanderbeg's independence 


Simeon king of Bulgarians 


Death of Scanderbeg 


Constantine Porphyrogennetos emperor 


Turks subjugate Albania 


Defeat of imperial army by Simeon of Bul- 


Turks defeated by Matthias Corvinus [tria 

garia, who takes the title of Tsar 


Invasion of Hungary by Maximilian of Aus- 


Timislav king of Croatia 


Conquest of Mamelukes by Sultan Selim 


Defeat of Russian fleet by Byzantines 


Suleiman the Magnificent takes Belgrade 


Nicephorus Phocas emperor 


Victory of Suleiman at Mohacz ; Ferdinand 


John Tzimisces emperor 

of Austria becomes king of Hungary 


Overthrow of Bulgaria by Tzimisces 


Turkish fleets commanded by Barbarossa 


Conversion of Magyars by Adetbert 


Alliance of Turks and French 


Saint Stefan duke of Hungarians 


Ferdinand of Austria pays tribute to Turks 


Saint Stefan king of Hungary 


Treaty between Suleiman and Charles V- 


Subjugation of Bulgaria by Basil II. 


Overthrow of Turkish fleet at Lepanto 


Servia established as independent 


War between Austria and Turkey 


Peter of Hungary does homage to German 


Peace of Zsitvatorok [Vizirs 



Revival of Ottoman power under the Kuprili 


Independence of Hungary recognised 


Austro-Turkish war; Turks defeated at St. 


Suppression of Roman Churches in the East 

Gothard [Khoczim 


Macedonian dynasty ends with Theodora 


John Sobieski of Poland defeits Turks at 


Normans expel Byzantine rule from Italy 


Sobieski defeats Turks at Lemberg 


Capture of Jerusalem by Seljuk Turks 


Sobieski defeats Turks before Vienna 


Saint Ladislaus king of Hungary 


Defeat of Turks at Mohacz 


Alexius Comiienus emperor 


Defeat of Turks by Prince Eugene at Zenta 


Invasion of empire by Pechenegs 


Peace ot Carlowitz 


Annexation of Croatia by Hungary 


Peter the Great, foiled by the Turks, has to 


First Crusade 

accept the treaty of Pruth 


Coloman extends Hungarian kingdom 


Final repulse of Turks by Eugene at Peter- 


Bela II. king of Hungary 



Manuel I. emperor 


Austro-Russian war with Turkey 


Fall of Edessa ; cause of Second Crusade 


Peace of Belgrade 


Manuel invades Hungary 


Hungary acclaims Maria Theresa 


Bela HI. king of Hungary 


Treaty of Kutchuk Kainardji between Turkey 


Isaac Angelus emperor 

and Russia 


Capture of Jerusalem by Saladin 


Russia annexes Crimea 


Nemanja king of Servia 


Austro-Russian war with Turkey 

1197 ' 

Asenid dynasty established in Bulgaria 


Peace of Sistova 

1203 1 

Fourth Crusade ; Crusaders take Byzantium 


Treaty of Jassy 




IT remains to give some account of one 
•^ more people, which, coming from the 
East, has never found rest for the sole of its 
foot, but has dispersed itself over Europe, 
and has even crossed the ocean, and yet 
has retained its distinctive racial character. 
For more than 500 years the Gipsy people 
have traversed East and Central Europe, 
wandering restlessly from place to place. 
In general they live at the present day 
_ among nations which have long 

y. . ago been definitely settled and 

. J, become organised, themselves 

urope ^^.jj following their peculiar 
nomadic manners and customs under in- 
dividual tribal chiefs. Even at the date 
of their first appearance in Europe 
the gipsies were able to give no adequate 
account of their origin or of their first 
home. The names which they apply to 
themselves are not without importance 
from an historical and ethnographical 
point of view. They call themselves by 
the old Indian name of an unclean caste 
"rom ' =man, " romni"=woman. Another 
self-bestowed title is " kalo " (black), the 
opposite term to which, " parno " (white), is 
applied to all non-gipsies. Finally, the 
g.psies also style themselves " manusch " 
(people), while foreigners are known as 
" gadsio " (strangers). Upon rare oc- 
casions, and generally only in the course 
of public debate, they address one another 
as " sinte " (comrades). 

More numerous are the names applied 
to the gipsies by the peoples with whom 
they came in contact. The German word 
" Zigeuner " is probably derived from the 
Phrygian-Lycaonian sect of the " Athin- 
ganoi," mentioned at the outset of the 


ninth century by such Byzantine writers 
as Theophanes. Another derivation is 
from " tsjengi " ; that is, musicians, 
dancers, etc. A third connects it with 
the Cangar tribe in the Punjab. It is, 
however, certain that the Germans re- 
ceived the name from the Czechs, who 
took it from the Magyars ; the latter 
got it from the Roumanians, who again 
borrowed it from the Bulgarians. The 
name " Zigeuner " became general only 
in Eastern Europe and Italy (zingari) ; 
other names were used by the West 
Europeans. The Modern Greek Tuphtes, 
the Spanish and Portuguese Gitano, 
the Flemish Egyptenaer, the English gipsy, 
are all forms of the title Egyptian. On 
their arrival in Central Europe the gipsies 
announced themselves to be Egyptians, 
whence their name " pharao nepe " 
(Pharaoh's people), still in use among the 
Magyars. In the Low-German speaking 
countries the gipsies were originally known 
as Suyginer, Zigoner, or even " Hun- 
garians," and afterwards as " Tatern " or 
Tartars ; in France they were called 
-,. p Bohemiens, as they came 

f fh '° **^ * from Bohemia with letters 
Bohemian King g^ . Protection from King 
bigismund of Hungary and 
Bohemia. Since the time of the appear- 
ance of the gipsies in Europe, the flood 
of theories respecting their origin and 
descent has mounted high. After the in- 
teresting linguistic essay of Andrew Boorde 
in 1542, one of the earliest dissertations 
" de Cingaris " is to be found in the work 
of the Netherland Hellenist Bonaventura 
Vulcanius, " De Hteris et lingua Getarum " 
(Leyden, 1542) ; Job Ludolf also paid some 



attention to their vocabulary in the com- 
mentary to his " Ethiopian History " 
published in 1691. The majority of 
scholars agree that the name of the sect 
of the Athinganer, the untouched, or those 
of another faith, has been transferred to 
the gipsies (cingani). Others looked for 
their origin in Zeugitana, or Carthage, a 
province formed under Diocletian and 
Constantine. Others, again, identified 
them with the Zygians, Canaanites, 
Saracens, Amorites and Jews, or regarded 
them as the descendants of Chus, the 
son of Cham (Genesis x. 6). 

The Hungarian chronicler Pray made 
a nearer guess at the truth in considering 
their first home to have been the former 
Seljuk kingdom of Rum (Iconium), as the 

In the little town of Fiirstenau was a 
gravestone, erected on the vigil of St. 
Sebastian (19th January), 1445, to the 
deceased " noble lord Sir Panuel, duke of 
Egypt Minor and lord of the stag's horn 
in that country." The coat of arms upon 
the stone displayed a golden eagle 
crowned, and above the tilting 
helmet a crown with a stag. 
Another monument with a fan- 
tastic coat of arms existed in 
the neighbourhood of Backnang in Wiirt- 
emberg dated 1453, to the " noble count 
Peter of Kleinschild." 

There is no doubt that the gipsies had 
leaders, and that those who live in tents 
have leaders at the present day ; these 
leaders have a dstinctive sign, such as an 





From an engraving" by Jacques Callot in i6o4» now in the Dresden Cabinet of Engravings. 

gipsies call themselves Rom. On their 

first appearance many assumed that they 

were pilgrims from Egypt, who were 

performing a seven years' penitential 

pilgrimage, in expiation of the refusal of 

their ancestors to receive the infant Christ 

in Egypt when he was fleeing from Herod 

, with his parents. These and 

t^^^ * J- similar legends are related at 
of Nomadic ., - j 1 j • 

-, .. the present day by wandering 

gipsy tribes in Hungary and 

in the Balkan territories. Here we have 

an explanation of the tenacious adherence 

to the belief in their Egyptian origin. 

The gipsy leaders also contributed to the 

spread of this belief ; after 1400 they 

styled themselves "kings," "dukes," or 

" counts of Egypt Minor," and appeared 

as rulers of distinction in every district. 

embroidered cloak, cloth, or goblet. The 
several tribes of the nomadic gipsies are 
also social units in so far as they are under 
the government of one voivode. In practice 
they are nowhere tolerated in large hordes, 
and have consequently broken up into 
smaller independent communities or 
societies (" mahlija," from " mahlo " = 
friend), under individual chieftains, the 
" schaibidso." In important cases these 
leaders appeal to the decision of the voivode, 
who may be spending his time with one or 
another tribe. The schaibidso is elected 
by the tribe, and the voivode confirms his 
appointment by eating bread and salt with 
him in public ; he then commands the 
mahlija in question to regard the schaibidso 
as his plenipotentiary. Among the nomadic 
gipsies the position of voivode is hereditary 



at the present day ; ii a minor should 
inherit, the position is occupied until his 
majority by one of his nearest relations. 
The installation of a voivode is a very 
simple ceremony. The voivode recites a 
form of oath, and is lifted up by his 
tribesmen while the women throw crab- 
apple seeds upon him, to keep away evil 

_. „ spirits. The voivode among 

The Home ,f j- • ■ j. j.u 

J , the nomadic gipsies at the 

^. -, present day occupies a posi- 

Gipsy Tongue f . i • u • i u 

tion which IS merely honour- 
able ; formerly every mahlija paid him a 
yearly tribute proportioned to the position 
and the number of its members. 

Various investigators have been misled 
by confusing the " Romany " tongue with 
the " thieves' Latin " of one country or 
another. It was, however, long suspected, 
and has now been definitely proved, that 
the home of the gipsy language — and 
therefore of the gipsies — is in the north- 
west of India. It belongs to the same 
group as the Dardu languages spoken in 
Kafiristan, Dardistan, Kashmir, and Little 

The science of comparative philology 
has clearly proved the gipsies to be a 
branch of the Hindu nationality ; it has 
also shown us by what route the gipsies 
left India, and in what countries their 
migrations have been interrupted for a 
longer or shorter period. The causes 
which drove the gipsies to migration, and 
the date at which their wanderings began, 
are shrouded for ever in obscurity. It is, 
however, tolerably certain that more than 
one migration took place. Possibly we 
have here the explanation of the fact that 
in many countries where they are now 
naturalised they are divided into two or 
more castes. Individual advances or dis- 
ruptions may have taken place at an early 
date, while the first great movement or 
movements did not begin before the 
Christian era. The Persian and Armenian 
elements in the European dialects clearly 
- , show that the gipsies must have 

. . made their way first through 

the Arabs '-Armenia and Persia, and have 
remained a considerable time in 
those countries. They entered Persia 
under the Sassanid dynasty, and were 
given the marshy districts on the Lower 
Euphrates as a settlement. They readily 
made common cause with the Arab con- 
querors ; but after the death of the 
Caliph Mamun in 833 they left their 
settlements, and disturbed the country b)? 


their plundering raids, until Ojeif ibn 
Ambassa was obliged to bring them to 
reason by force of arms. 

The Armenian " Bosha " — that is, 
vagabonds — the gipsies of the Armenian 
faith (the Mohammedan gipsies of Asia 
Minor are known as " Chingene," or 
" Chinghiane "), who are chiefly to be 
found at Bujbat in the vilayet of Sivas, 
when not engaged in their favourite occu- 
pation of wandering, speak a language 
which possesses an unusually sparse voca- 
bulary — about 600 words in all ; no songs 
— but undoubtedly belongs to the Indian 
branch of the Aryan family of languages ; 
their chief occupation is sieve-making. 
Neither in Turkish nor in Russian Armenia, 
whither part of them have migrated since 
1828, do they bring their disputes before 
the state tribunals, but before the council 
of their elders, presided over by the Altho- 
pakal (expressly confirmed in oihce by the 
Porte ; formerly called Jamadar) ; in 
Russian Armenia he is associated with 
an Ustadar or secular caste-chieftain. 
From Armenia members of the gipsy 
nationality may have migrated to North 
Africa through Syria, and thence, though 
-. . not before the nineteenth cen- 
j. . tury, to the centre and north- 
Q. . west of South America, where, 

following the convenient water- 
ways, they infest one republic and town 
after another ; thus they visit Guayaquil 
in Ecuador every two or three years. 
Another and stronger division entered 
Europe through Phrygia and Lycaonia 
and across the Hellespont. Greece is to 
be regarded as the first European home of 
all the gipsies who are dispersed through- 
out Europe, including the Spanish. There 
is tolerable evidence for the presence of 
gipsies in Byzantium at the outset of the 
ninth century ; and in Crete in the year 
1322 we hear of them from the Franciscan 
Simon Simeonis. 

About 1398 the Venetian governor of 
Nauplion, Ottaviano Burno, confirmed the 
privileges granted by his predecessors to 
John, chieftain of the Acingani. The 
Venetians allowed the gipsies to settle in 
the Peloponnese on payment of certain 
dues. Many ruins still known as Typhtocas- 
tron — that is, Egyptian or gipsy fortress — 
remain as evidence of their occupation. 
German travellers in the second half of the 
fifteenth century report the presence of 
these " Egyptian " settlers. In Corfu 
" Vageniti " were to be found before 


From the painting by Sir John Gilbert, by 

1346 ; about 1370- 1373 there was a 
fully organised gipsy colony, the members 
of which are mentioned as being in the 
service of the barons, Theodoros Kavasilas, 
Nicola di Donato of Altavilla, and Bernard 
de Saint-Maurice. About 1386 a " feudum 
Acinganorum " was founded from this 
colony, first conferred upon the Baron 
Gianuli di Abitabulo, then in 1540 upon 
the scholar Antonio Eparco, who carried 
on a correspondence with Melanchthon ; 
in 1563 it passed into the hands of the 
Count Theodoro Trivoli. 

In the first half of the fourteenth cen- 
tury those migrations in the Balkan Pen- 
ini>ula took place in the course of which 
the Albanians occupied Attica and the 
Peloponnese, while numerous Armenian 
families settled in Moldavia and many 
Roumanians migrated to the slopes of 
Mount Pindus ; at that moment a large 
number of the gipsies began to advance 
into Wallachia. They must have been 
settled in the country by 1370, for in 1387 
the Hospodar Mircea the Old confirmed a 
donation of forty Zalassi, or tent, gipsies 



permission of the Corporation of utancliester 

made by the last of Ills predecessors, Layko 
(Vlad I.), to the monastery of St. Maria in 
Tismana (Walladiia Minor) and to that of 
St. Antonius, " xia Vodici " and others. 
When Wallachia aftenvards became tribu- 
tary to the Turks, the gipsies may have 
begun to migrate in large numbers to 
Transylvania and Hungary. Hence they 
spread over the wholt^ of Europe. It was 
not until 1820-1830 that Alexander Ghika 
relaxed the serfdom of the gipsies in 
Wallachia, which was finally abolished on 
March 3rd, 1856. 

In the year 1417 the first gipsies 
appeared in the Hansa towns on the 
North Sea and the Baltic. They produced 
commendatory letters from the Emperor 
Sigismund, and repeated the story of their 
Egyptian origin and their seven years' 
penitential pilgrimage, and thus gained 
the support both of Church and State sis 
well as that of private individuals. In 
14 18 we find them also in Switzerland. 

However, this friendly reception was soon 
followed by persecution, in accordance 
with the somewhat barbarous spirit of the 



age. It was not so much the actual mis- 
deeds or the annoying presence of the 
strangers as their unusual customs that 
attracted the attention of the authorities. 
It was also to the prejudice of this miser- 
able and harmless race that they came 
from districts more or less in possession of 
the Turks. They were regarded as the 
_ ,^ _ . advance guard or as the 

^J^^^"•^ spies of the "hereditary 
of Christianity s ^ • r ^, • - j >> 

. enemies of Christendom. 

n e m 1 e s Xhus, the recess of 1479 of 

the German imperial diet proclaimed, 
" with regard to those who are called 
gipsies and constantly traverse the land, 
seeing that we have evidence to show 
that the said gipsies are the spies and 
scouts of the enemy of Christianity, we 
command that they are not to be suffered 
to enter or to settle in the country, and 
every authority shall take due measures 
to prevent such settlement and at the 
next assembly shall bring forward such 
further measures as may seem advisable." 
In the following year the diet of Freiburg 
declared the gipsies outlaws — that is to 
say, the murderer of a gipsy went 

However, the gipsies were steadily rein- 
forced by new arrivals from Hungary, 
and these measures produced little effect. 
In any case, it was found necessary to 
renew them in the recess of the diets of 
1500, 1544, 1548, and 1577. On September 
20th, 1701, the Emperor Leopold declared 
that on the reappearance of the gipsies 
" the most drastic measures would be taken 
against them." A worthy counterpart to 
this decree is the regulation of the Count 
of Reuss, published on Jul}' 13th, 171 1, 
and made more stringent on December 
I2th, 1713, and May 9th, 1722, to the 
effect that " all gipsies found in the 
territory of Reuss were to be shot down 
on the spot." 

Every conceivable crime was laid to the 
charge of the gipsies ; among other 
. accusations it was said that 

Q^^^^ they exhumed dead bodies 
Elecution, t« satisfy their craving for 
human flesh. In consequence 
of a charge of this nature, forty-five 
gipsies were unjustly executed in 1782 in 
the county of Hont in North-west Hun- 
gary. The accusation is based upon a 
misunderstanding of their funeral customs, 
in which the strongest characteristic of 
gipsy religious sentiment, the feeling of 
fear, is vigorously emphasised. In a 


lonely corner of the village churchyard or 
at the edge of some secluded wood the 
corpse is interred, and the spot is marked 
with a curious post, shaped like a wedge, 
the upper end of which is hardly visible 
above the surface of the ground, while 
the lower end almost touches the head of 
the corpse. 

This custom is connected with an 
older use, now disappearing, in accordance 
with which the relatives took away the 
head of the corpse after a certain time, 
buried it elsewhere and drove the post 
deep into the earth in its place — solely 
for the purpose of hastening the process 
of putrefaction. Only after complete 
putrefaction of the body, according to 
gipsy belief, can the soul enter the 
" kingdom of the dead," where it then 
lives a life analogous to that of earth. 
Gipsies may have been surprised in the 
performance of this custom, and have 
been consequently accused of eating the 

By degrees the gipsies advanced from 
Germany over the neighbouring parts of 
East and Northern Europe. They entered 
_^ , Poland and Lithuania in 

... the reign of Vladislav II. 

Gipsy ** Kings " Jagellon. In 1501 King 
Alexander I. granted a 
charter to Vasil, the "woyt cyganski." 
Th3 diet of 1557 ordered the expulsion of 
the strangers, and this decree was repeated 
in 1565, 1578, and 1618. The gipsies, 
however, found life in this country very 
tolerable. They were governed by a leader 
of their own, whose position was confirmed 
by the King of Poland and by Prince 
Radziwill in Lithuania. The last of these 
gipsy " kings " was Jan Marcinkiewicz, 
who died about 1790, and was recognised 
as " king " in 1778 by Karol Stanislaw 
Radziwill. In 1791 they were given 
settlements in Poland. 

At the outset of the sixteenth century 
the gipsies entered Finland and also the 
north of Russia. Catharine II. put an 
end to their nomadic existence by 
settling them on the crown lands, with a 
guaranteed immunity from taxation for 
four years. Many of them are living in 
Bessarabia, at Bjelgorod, and in the 
neighbourhood of Taganrog ; but these 
South Russian gipsies generally came into 
the country through Roumania, and not 
by the circuitous route through Poland. 
They met with far worse treatment in 
Sweden ; the first mention of them in that 


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country belongs to 1572. In 1662 they 

were banished by a royal decree which 

ordered the execution of any gipsy who 

returned. A Moravian decree of 1599 is 

couched in similar terms. Christian III. 

of Denmark, where the strangers had been 

known since 1420, issued a decree ordering 

them to leave the country within three 

T^t. xxr , months. After Frederick II. 

Ihe W&nderers , j •, , j .i,- j 

. r 1 J had reiterated this order in 

in England ^ ^^ i 

. c ., J I SO I, Denmark was soon 
and Scotland r'^ ^ r xi • ^ j 

freed from the intruders. 
More fortunate was the fate of those 
scattered bodies who reached England 
about 1450 and Scotland about 1492 ; in 
spite of their proscription by Henry VIII. 
in 1531, and the decrees of his daughters 
Mary and Elizabeth, their numbers in- 
creased considerably. They were subject 
to a " king " from the Lee family ; the last 
of these, King Joseph Lee, died in 1884. 
In 1827 a society was formed in England 
to improve the position of the gipsies. 

In most of the Romance countries the 
gipsies met with an unfriendly reception 
so soon as they arrived. In 1422 they 
entered Italy (Bologna), but abandoned 
the country in a few years, as the clergy 
opposed them both in word and deed. 
The band which appeared in France in 1447 
was allowed only five years of peace. 
When the gipsies plundered the little 
town of La Cheppe in the north-east of 
Chalons-sur-Mame, they were driven out 
by the peasants. In scattered bodies they 
travelled about the country until 1504. 
The first decree of banishment was then 
issued against them, and was repeated with 
greater stringency in 1539. Their exter- 
mination by fire and sword was decreed 
by the Parliament of Orleans in 1560, and 
was actually carried out by Louis XIII. 
and Louis XIV. 

Only a small proportion of the gipsies 
were able to find refuge among the 
Basques, who had been visited by 
individual gipsies as early as 1538. But 
g . , in the night of December 6th, 

Farurable ^^^^ the gipsies in that 
jj .. country were taken prisoners, 
with few exceptions, by the 
order of the prefect of the Basses Pyrenees 
and shipped to Africa. In Spain a band 
of gipsies appeared near Barcelona in 1447, 
and met with a favourable reception. They 
suffered little or no harm from the decree 
of banishment issued by Ferdinand 'the 
Catholic in 1499 and repeated in 1539, 1586, 
1619, or from the prohibition of Philip IV. 


in 1633, extended in 166 1 and 1663, against 
their use of their own language and their 
nomadic habits. Greater, from another 
point of view, was the influence of the 
.regulations of Charles III., of September 
I9th,4783. To those gipsies who renounced 
the use of their " gerigonza " (gipsy 
language), wandering habits, and dress, 
this decree granted toleration ; it threw 
open all offices to them, and allowed them 
to practise any trade, thereby furthering 
the process of denationalisation. In 
Southern Spain they continue a highly 
satisfactory existence at the present day. 

Hungary and Transylvania formed the 
second" resting-place, and in a sense the 
new home of the gipsies in Europe. They 
must have reached these countries shortly 
after 1400, for as early as 14 16 gipsies 
from Hungary are found in Moravia, 
Bohemia, and Silesia, and in the rest of 
Germany in 1417. Those who wandered 
to Germany brought letters of commenda- 
tion from the Hungarian Palatine Nicholas 
Gara to Constance, where the Emperor 
Sigismund was staying at that time ; he 
was thus induced to grant them the charter 
„ . previously mentioned — its 

^ . existence is confirmed by a 

to the Gi ■ letter of the Hungarian Count 
Thurzo of the year 16 16. The 
gipsies who were left in Hungary and 
Transylvania enjoyed certain privileges, 
like the Roumanians and Jews who pos- 
sessed no land, as " serfs of the king," in 
so far as their settlement upon private 
property was conditional upon the royal 
consent. As armourers they also enjoyed 
the special favour of the ecclesiastical and 
secular authorities. Thus, on September 
23rd, 1476, King Matthias allowed the 
town of Hermannstadt to employ the 
gipsies upon necessary works ; and on 
April 8th, 1487, he ordered the voivode to 
leave undisturbed those gipsies who had 
been conceded to the people of Hermann- 

In 1496, Vladislav II. granted a 
charter to the voivode Thomas Polgar, 
whereby he and his people were to be left 
unmolested, as they were then preparing 
munitions of war for Sigismund, Bishop of 
Fiinfkirchen. As in Poland, the dignity 
of gipsy king had been conferred upon 
nobles before 1731, so also in Transylvania 
and Hungary the ruler chose the chief 
voivode of the gipsies from the ranks of the 
nobility. In Transj'lvania the position 
was usually occupied by one nobleman, 


and at times by two. In Hungary, on the 
other hand, there were always four chief 
voivodes, whose seats were Raab, Leva, 
Szatmar, and Kaschau. The gipsies were 
under their jurisdiction, and were obUged 
to pay a poll-tax of one florin a year. 
Under Peter Vallou, who was made 
chief voivode of Transylvania by Prince 
George Rakoczy, and even allowed to 
take the oath, the position was abolished 
by law. 

From the date of their first appearance 
in the Theiss and Carpathian districts, 

[the gipsies were especially famous as 
musicians. In this capacity they found 
employment at the courts of the princes 
and magnates ; in 1525 they were even 
" installed " at the national assembly of 
Hatvan as musicians. Their yearning, 
heartrending melodies, composed, as it 
were, of passionate sighs, are played with 
incomparable purity, certainty and feel- 
ing. Soon this romantic people acquired 
a privileged position among the Hun- 
garians ; noble and citizen, peasant and 
student, alike delighted in the sound of a 
gipsy violin. These poetic nomads remain 
one of the most interesting features both 
of the Hungarian plains and 

- „ :™ .of the Transylvanian forests. 
as Poets and t^, ^ •' c , ■ 

^ . . Ihe fame of such gipsy 

Musicians t^ t-. 1 

musicians as Barna, Berkes, 

Bihari, Patikasus, Racz, Salamon, or of 

the female violinist Zinka Panna, soon 

extended far beyond the frontiers. 

Here, also in Transylvania and Hungary, 
are to be found the truest lyric poets 
among the gipsies, men living in joyful 
seclusion from the world, or considering 
the world only in the light of their own 
experience. The existence of a ballad 
poetry among the gipsies had long been 
denied, without due consideration of the 
fact that a people of such high musical 
talent could not fail to possess a store of 

It is difficult to imagine anything 
more perfect than these lyrics, which are 
to be found among th3 wandering gipsies 
of Hungary and tie Balkan territories 
by those who will take the pains to search. 
The authorship of these songs is unknown ; 
they come forth from the people, and 
remain a national possession. One poetess 
only has left 250 gipsy poems in writing, the 
Servian wandering gipsy, Gima Ranjicic, 
who died in 1891. Beauty and educa- 
tion were the curse of her life. A reader 
of her poems published in a German trans- 

lation can reconstruct a life of suffering, of 
desperate struggle, and unfulfilled hope. 
Beyond this, the intellectual achievements 
of the gipsies are few. Whether the 
Madonna painter Antonio de Solari, 
known as II Zingaro (about 1382-1455), is 
to be accounted a gipsy is a matter of 
doubt. The gipsy women earn a fair 
Money in ^"^o^"* ^^ money by the practice 
Fortune- °^ incantations, fortune-telling, 

Telling ^^^^ P^^^' ^"^ *^^ ^^^^' ^^^ enjoy 
a reputation among the villagers 
as leeches and magicians. In the beiief 
of this outcast people there are women, 
and sometimes men, in possession of 
supernatural powers, either inherited or 
acquired. Most of the female magicians 
(chohalji ; also known as " good women," 
latche romni) have been trained by their 
mothers from early childhood, and. have 
inherited the necessary prestige. They 
play a considerable part in all the family 
festivals of the wandering gipsies. 

In other countries these restless strangers 
have been forced to settle down ; but 
most of the gipsies in Hungary, in the 
Balkans (the Mohammedan Zapori), and 
in America continue their nomadic 
existence at the present day, almost 
invariably within the limits of one country 
or nationality ; hence they are able to 
maintain their ancient customs more or 
less unchanged. But in these countries the 
governments have taken a truly benevolent 
interest in the gipsies, and have done their 
best to make them a civilised race. Thus, 
by a regulation of November 13th, 1761, 
the Queen-empress Maria Theresa ordered 
the name " gipsy " to be changed to that 
of " new Hungarian " (in Magyar, «/ 
magyarok) and the gipsies to be settled 
in the Banate. The authorities built 
them huts, and gave them seed, and even 
cattle ; but as soon as the supplies were 
consumed the objects of this benevolence 
started again upon their wanderings. Only 
a small body remained and became a settled 
Tt. itr * A industrial community. On 
The Wasted N^^gj^bg^ 29th, 1767, 

Benevolence of ,, ^, ■' ■ ■,' 

^ . _,. Maria Theresa issued an- 

Maria Theresa ., , , • , 

other and more stringent 

edict, to the effect that the gipsy children 
were to be taken away and brought up by 
" Christian " people at the expense of the 
state, while the marriage of gipsies was 
absolutely prohibited. This edict pro- 
duced little or no effect in comparison with 
the trouble involved. On October gth, 
1783, Joseph II. issued a " general regula- 



tion " containing the following severe 
conditions : gipsy children were not to 
run about naked in public places, and were 
to be taken early to school and to church. 
All children above four years of age must 
be redistributed every two years among 
the neighbouring communities in order to 
secure diversity of instruction. Adults 
were strictly prohibited from wandering ; 
even the settled gipsies were only to visit 
the yearly market under special super- 
vision. They were forbidden to trade as 
horse-dealers. The use of their language 
was forbidden under a penalty of twenty 
strokes, and intermarriage was strictly 

In the first half of the nineteenth 

1870. Little effect was produced by the 
decree of the Hungarian ministry of the 
interior prohibiting vagrancy, issued on 
July 9th, 1867. The Archduke Joseph, 
who was well acquainted with the nomadic 
gipsies, settled several families, but in less 
than ten years they had all deserted their 
new home. The gipsies have a kind of 
" residence " in Debreczin, formerly a 
pure Magyar town. A few years ago the 
Hungarian Government announced their 
intention of taking the work of settlement 
in hand with greater seriousness. 

Numbers of gipsies settle down every 
year under the pressure of circumstances. 
Thus, not only in Hungary, but also in the 
other countries of Europe, with the 


From the painting by Fred Walker. 

century political confusion and attempts 
to secure freedom so entirely occupied the 
attention of the state that it was impos- 
sible to deal further with the gipsy problem. 
Attempts to settle the gipsies were made 
by private individuals. Bishop John Ham 
opened a gipsy school at Szatmar in 1857, 
and the priest, Ferdinand Farkas, founded 
an educational institution at Neuhausel ; 
both experiments speedily came to an 
end. The efforts of the Servian govern- 
ment to put an end to the wanderings of 
the Mohammedan tent gipsies, or gurbeti, 
were more successful between i86o and 

possible exception of Roumania, the 
number of gipsies is decreasing every year. 
There are now only about 12,000 in the 
whole of the British Islands. In Prussia, 
where they were left in comparative peace 
until the ordinance of 1872, there are 
hardly 11,000 ; noteworthy are the small 
colonies which have survived in Lorraine 
from the French period in the parishes of 
Barenthal, Wiesenthal, and Gotzenbruck. 
To-day there may be about nine hundred 
thousand gipsies in Europe and at least 
as many again in the other continents of 
the world. Heinrich von Wlislocki 







fHTHE district occupied by the modern 
' •'■ state of Hungai y was, long before the 
arrival of the Magyars (pronounced 
Madyars), a beaten track for immigrating 
nations and a battlefield and resting- 
place for the most different races. The 
valleys of Hungary breathed something 
of the attraction of primeval life. Power- 
ful fortresses rose at an early period in 
the frontier districts, protecting the 
main roads. Long ago Kelts and Thracians 
invaded these districts and founded a 
kind of civilisation. The Romans then 
occupied the west and south, and in the 
course of two centuries created a flourish- 
ing community. The waves of the great 
migration, however, swept away the 
Roman settlers, together with the few 
barbarians inhabiting the country, into 
other districts. The Roman legions retired 
to Italy before the advancing Huns. 

After the death of Attila, in 453 a.d., his 
kingdom fell to pieces ; the Huns were 
incorporated with other races and dis- 
appeared from the scene. Goths, Gepids 
and Langobards now maintained their 
position for a longer or shorter time upon 
the arena and destroyed what scanty 
remnants of Roman civilisation had sur- 
vived. These Teutonic hordes 
were in their turn driven out 
by the Avars, who occupied 
the eastern frontiers from 626, 
notwithstanding their defeat, until the 
Prankish Emperor Charles broke their 
power' in 803. Their deserted territory 
was occupied by Slav nomads and some 
Bulgarians, together with the remnants 
of the Avars, until the end of the ninth 
century, when it was seized by the nation, 

of Barbaric 

one of whose names it was henceforward 
to retain. The name " Hungarian " has 
no connection with the Huns. Ungari is 
is merely a variant of Ungri = Ugri, 

Probably the Magyars were originally 
settled in the south of Ingria, on the Isim, 
Irtish, Cm, and in the wooded steppes ot 
Baraba, but at an early period were 
driven into the districts between the 
Q . . Caspian and the Black Seas, 
nh"^ where they settled between the 
Ma ars ^^^ ^^^ *^^ Kuban, and be- 
came a fishing people. On this 
hypothesis they are a genuine branch of 
the Ugrian group of the Mongolian race, to 
which the Fins and the true Bulgarians 
belonged. It was the influence of their 
Hun neighbours that first induced these 
Ugrians to adopt cattle-breeding, an 
hereditary occupation of the Turkish 
nomads. The bracing effect of the dangers 
which threatened them on every side as 
they pushed forward in the vanguard of 
their race gradually changed their national 
character, with the result that they were 
eventually inferior to no Turkish nation 
in political capacity. 

For a long period the Magyars paused 
in their migrations and settled in the 
plains on the Lower Don, where they 
had their chief market town in Karch. 
Muslim ben Abu Muslim ab-Garmi (about 
830-845), and other Arabs constantly 
confused the Magyars with the Bashkirs, 
who resembled them in nationality and 
name, and were settled eastward of the 
Pechenegs in the steppes between the 
Ural and Caspian seas, bounded on the 
north by the Isgil Bulgarians on the 



Where the 
Came From 

Kama ; to this confusion is due the 
hypothesis, long vigorously supported, of 
a " Magna Hungaria " in South-east Russia 
as the first home of the Magyars. 

The truth is that their district, which 
lay upon the Maeotis, bordered that of 
the Alans, Khazars and Bul- 
garians, and extended to the 
Kuban on the north-west end of 
the Caucasus ; it was known as 
" Lebedia " to Constantine VII. Porphy- 
rogennetos. About 833 these Western 
Turkish Khazars found themselves so 
oppressed by the Magyars that they ap- 
plied for protection to the Emperor 
Theophilus. The result was the construc- 
tion of a fortified trench 
and the building of the 
brick fortress of Sarkel 
on the Don. Cut off 
in this direction by the 
Khazars, the Magyars 
removed to the Lower 
Danube in 839-840, 
where they intervened 
in the Bulgarian and 
Greek struggles. 

Soon we find them 
loosely dependent upon 
the Khazars. However, 
when these latter, in 
alliance with the Guzes 
of the Sea of Aral, 
drove the Pechenegs 
from their possessions 
between A til and Jajyk 
this movement proved 
unfavourable for the 
Magyars, for the 
Pechenegs had been 
little weakened, and 
now appeared in a 
hostile attitude upon 
the Don ; the Magyars, 
therefore, about 862, turned their backs 
upon Lebedia, which was henceforward 
closed against them, and established 
themselves to the west of the Dnieper, 
on the Bug and Dniester. This new 
home is repeatedly referred to as Atel- 
kuzu. The khan of the Khazars was 
equally hard pressed, and made a proposal 
to Lebedias, the first tribal chieftain of the 
Magyars in Chelandia, to become prince 
of the Magyars under his supremacy. 
He, however, declined the proposal. 

Although hemmed in by the Khazars 
and Magyars, the power of the Pechenegs 
grew rapidly. After the years 880-890 


Chosen by the chieftains as the leader of their race, 
by concluding a "blood-treaty," each chief making 
a wound in his own arm and drinking the blood. 

the Magyars found it impossible to con- 
tinue their marauding expeditions east- 
ward ; for this reason they abandoned 
Atelkuzu, which had lost its value for 
them, and had become absolutely unsafe 
in the east upon the Dnieper, and moved 
further westward in 889. This second 
and final forced movement of the Magyars 
from the north shore of the Black Sea is 
of importance in the history of the world ; 
driven forward by the Pechenegs, and 
also from the Balkan Peninsula, which at 
the invitation of the Byzantines they had 
devastated in 894, from the Pruth and 
Sereth, to meet with expulsion in 895 from 
the bold Bulgarian Symeon, the Magyars 
in 896 pushed their way 
like a wedge amid the 
South - east European 
Slavs ; here they re- 
mained and developed 
their civilisation, and 
for a thousand years 
continued to occupy 
this position. 

The Magyars ad- 
vanced into the dis- 
tricts of the Theiss and 
Danube, across the 
North Carpathians, 
through the pass of 
Vereczke. It is said 
that the chieftains of 
the several races — to- 
gether with Arpad and 
his son Liuntis, who 
ruled the predominant 
tribe of the Kabars, 
Kursan is also men- 
tioned — executed a 
closer form of agree- 
ment upon this journey; 
choosing Arpad as their 
leader, they concluded a 
" blood-treaty " by catching blood from 
their arms in a basin and drinking it. The 
nomadic races who had spent their pre- 
vious existence on the steppes of Hungary 
were at once attracted by the flat country 
„ . J which surrounded them in 
How Arpad was their new home in Pannonia, 

'• Bi**a t'^ " ^^^^ ^^^ great expanses, its 
00 - rea y pgjj^(.j(j atmosphere, and its 

lack of colour. Like every steppe people, 
they were accustomed to live in a state of 
warfare,and depended partly upon the booty 
which they were able to extort from their 
settled neighbours by their bold cavalry 
raids. Some time, however, before their 


appearance in the plains of the Theiss they 
had progressed beyond the savagery of a 
primitive race. 

The occupation of this new nome was 
effected without diflftcuhy ; there was, in 
fact, no one to bar the way. The scanty 
population was soon incorporated with 
the new arrivals, who first settled in the 
plains of the lowlands, where they found 
abundant pasturage for their herds of 
horses and cattle. From this base of 
operations they then extended their rule 
towards the natural frontiers of the region 
they occupied. Their only conflicts took 
place on the north-west, in the district of 
the Waag River, and finally Moravia 
Major succumbed to 
their attacks in 906. 
The several chieftains 
settled with their tribes 
in the places appointed 
to them, and built them- 
selves castles, which 
served as central points 
both for defence and 
for economic exploita- 
tion. Arpad himself 
took possession of 
Attila's castle, in the 
ruins of which, accord- 
ing to the somewhat 
unreliable Gesta Hun- 
garorum of the anony- 
mous secretary of King 
Bela, the Hungarians 
" held their daily festi- 
vals ; they sat in rows 
in the palace of Attila, 
and the sweet tones of 
harps and shawms and 

Central Europe terror-stricken for half a 
century ; then, laden with rich booty and 
slaves, they returned home The Czechs, 
who had become the neighbours of the 
Magyars after the fall of Moravia, often 
suffered from their raids. On J uly 5th, 907, 
Death *^^ Bavarians experienced a 
^j severe blow. After 924 a Magyar 

Arpad <^ivision from Venice appears to 
have joined in a piratical raid, 
conducted by the Emir Thamar of Tarsus ; 
others made their way to Galicia and An- 
dalusia about 943. Neither the death of 
Arpad, in 907, nor the defeat inflicted upon 
them in 933 by the German king Henry the 
Fowler put an end to their extensive raids ; 
in 934, in alliance with 
or under the rule of 
some hordes of Peche- 
negs, part of whom had 
been converted to 
Mohammedanism about 
915, they undertook an 
invasion of the East 
Roman Empire, upon a 
scale which reminds one 
of the typical crusade; 
they devastated the 
boundary fortress of 
Valandar and advanced 
to the walls of Con- 
stantinople. In 943 and 
948 this attempt was 
repeated upon a similar 
scale. It was not until 
955, when they suffered 
a dreadful defeat at 
Augsburg and lost the 
East Mark of Germany 
for the second time, 


the songs ot the smgers with the rule of Geza, great grandson of Arpad. that a Considerable 
sounded before them." t^^!. Magyars passed from nomadism to a settled transformation took 

nationality and his son stetan I., who reigned as • i • n 

Mmstrels sang the ex- king of Hungary from 997 till 1038, consolidated place in the intellectual 
ploits of fallen heroes '^^ "^'"^"""^ °^ ^'''"^ ^^ ^^" *^^ ^^^' ""^'°"- and social life of the 

to the accompaniment of the lute, and 
story-tellers related legends of the 
heroes of old. 

The warlike spirit of the brave Hun- 
garians found, however, little satisfaction 
in this peaceful occupation. 

in Italy ^99. 921, 924, 941-942, 947 and 
951, Saxony in 915, Central 
and even South Italy in the winter of 
921 ; in 922, 926, and 937 they raided 
Burgundy ; South-west Franconia in 924, 
937, and 951, and Suabia in 937. Advancing 
upon their hardy steeds they ravaged 
and plundered far and wide. They held 

Magyar nation. Contact with foreigners, 
even by way of enmity, and in particular 
the large immigration of foreign Slavs, who 
had amalgamated with the Hungarian 
nation, had brought about a new state 
of affairs, and convinced the upper classes 
that no nation could live by military 
power alone in the midst of peaceful 
nationalities. The great grandson of 
Arpad. "the duke" Geza (972 to 997), 
accepted Christianity. His government 
marks the point at which the Hungarians 
passed from the simple conditions of life 
in their heathen nomad state to the posi- 
tion of a settled nation. 



When Wajk, the son of Geza, who was 
baptised as Stefan I., ascended the throne 
in 997, he found the path aheady pre- 
pared ; in the course of four decades he 
was able to complete the work of civilisa- 
tion begun by his father, and to secure for 
Hungary a position among the nationalities 
of Europe. With statesmanlike insight he 
^ joined, not the Greek,but the 

_ . ^"^ „ Roman Church, and thereby 

Brings Hungary ,, ,- . / 

. P^ threw open his country to 

the new intellectual move- 
ment which was beginning to stir the West. 
His German wife, Gisela, a daughter of the 
Bavarian duke Henry H. who died in 995, 
was his faithful supporter in these labours. 
The Pope, Silvester H. (999-1003), in 
recognition of his services to Christianity, 
in 1000 conferred upon him the dignity 
of king together with extraordinary eccle- 
siastical privileges for himself and his 
successors. By the foundation of monas- 
teries and bishoprics Stefan laid a firm 
basis for the organisation of the Roman 
Church in Hungary. Many tribal chieftains 
certainly took up arms against these 
innovations, but Christianity took firm 
root after a short time. In particular, 
the worship of the Virgin Mary was rapidly 
popularised, owing to her easy identifica- 
tion with their own Nagyasszony, the 
" mother of the gods." 

King Stefan also introduced innovations 
in military, judicial, and economic insti- 
tutions. He effected nothing less than a 
revolution in the domestic and public 
hfe of his subjects. To him is due the 
division of the country into comitates or 
counties. In spite of the fact that his 
constructive activity was directed chiefly 
to works of peace, he was forced on several 
occasions to take up arms. After a vic- 
torious campaign against the Pechenegs 
and Mieczyslav II. of Poland, the suc- 
cessor of Boleslav Chabri, he was obliged 
to measure his strength, after 1030, with the 
German emperor, Conrad II., and in the 
peace of 1031 was able to ex- 
w * k ' f* ^GT^<i his kingdom westwards 

«,..»., beyond the Fischa to the 
Saint Stefan ^ <,, j -nw u t-l 

Leitha and Danube. The 

remainder of his life the great king spent in 
mourning for the loss of his son Emerich. 
On August 15th, 1038, the real creator of 
the Hungarian kingdom ended his laborious 
existence ; deeply revered by his people, 
he was canonised by the Church in 1087. 
Stefan the Saint was succeeded by 
Peter Orseolo (1038- 1041 and 1044-1046), 


Samuel Aba (1041-1044), Andreas I. 
(1046 to December, 1060), and Bela I. 
(1060-1063), whose daughter Sophie is 
regarded by the Askanians, the Hohen- 
stauffen, the Guelfs, and the Wittels- 
bachs as their common ancestor. Then 
followed Salomon from 1063 to 1074 — he 
married in 1063 Judith, or Sophie, the 
daughter of the Emperor Henry III. 
and of Agnes of Poitou — and Geza I. 
(1074-1077). During this period develop- 
ment was impeded by quarrels about 
the succession, and internal disturbances. 
The efforts of the German Empire to 
maintain the supremacy which had been 
secured over Hungary in 1044 came to 
an end in 1052 with the fruitless siege 
of Pressburg undertaken by the Emperor 
Henry III. ; the campaign of Henry IV. 
in 1074 was equaUy unproductive of 
definite result. The last efforts of 
heathendom were crushed with the sup- 
pression of a revolt begun by the heathen 
population under their tribal chieftain 
Vatha, killed 1046, and his reputed son 
Janos, who died about 1060. 

St. Ladislaus I. (1077-August 29th, 

1095) and Koloman the author (1095- 

1114) were able to continue the 

_ *1 " * reforming work of Stefan. To- 

e orms ^^j-jjg ^j^g gj^^j Qf ^-^e eleventh 

Continued . tt ■ j 

century Hungary occupied an 

important position among the independent 
states of Europe. St. Ladislaus, who 
survived in Hungarian legend as a type 
of bravery and knightly character, in- 
corporated the inland districts of Croatia 
with his kingdom, founded a bishopric 
at Agram in 1091, and divided his new 
acquisition into counties. His successor, 
Koloman, whose interests were primarily 
scholastic and ecclesiastical, though he 
also turned his attention to legislation, 
subdued the Dalmatian towns with the 
object of erecting a barrier against the 
growing power of Venice. From this time 
Croatia has remained a component part 
of the Hungarian territory. 

While the empire was extending its 
boundaries westward, the eastern frontier 
was troubled by the Cumanians. In 
1091, when the authorities were occupied 
with Croatia, this nation made a devasta- 
ting invasion into Hungary ; Ladislaus 
captured most of them in two campaigns, 
and settled them in the districts of the 
Theiss. He did his best to introduce 
security of property. In the momentous 
struggle between the Pope and the 


empire he promised to support the Roman 
Church against the Emperor Henry IV., 
but was far-sighted enough to take no 
direct part in the quarrel. In the year 1192 
he was canonised. During the govern- 
ment of Koloman, the first Crusaders, 
led by Count Emiko of Leiningen, marched 
through the land in disorderly array, and 
were for that reason driven beyond the 
frontier, while a friendly reception was 
extended to Godfrey de Bouillon. 

After the death of Koloman, his weak- 
minded and dissipated son Stefan II. 
occupied the throne from 1116 to 1131 ; 
during his government the Venetians 
recovered the 
larger part of the 
Dalmatian dis- 
trict. When he 
died without 
issue, the Hun- 
garians sub- 
mitted to Bela II. 
(1131-1141), who, 
together with his 
father, Duke 
Almos of Croatia, 
had been pre- 
viously blinded 
by King Koloman 
for participation 
in a revolt . 
Hardly had the 
blind king 
entered upon his 
when the country 
was invaded by 
Borics, the son 
of Koloman by 
a Russian wife, 
Eufemia, who 


had been The history of this peopK 
race, dates back to the six 

divorced for 

decaying Byzantine Empire, and was 
attempting to make Greek influence oncc 
more preponderantin the BalkanPeninsula. 
As Hungary stood in the way of his plans 
Byzantium's {j^ attempted to undermine 

Intrigues Against ^^' ^dependence by every 
Hungary means m his power. At the 

instigation of Borics he in- 
vaded the south of Hungary, but was driven 
back by Geza II. and forced to make peace. 
Borics afterwards met his death at the 
head of Greek troops in a conflict with the 
Cumanians. The Emperor Manuel now 
took the Dukes Stefan and Ladislaus 
under his protection ; they had sought 
refuge with him 
after revolting 
against their 
brother Geza in 
1158. Under this 
ruler took place 
the first great 
migration of the 
Germans to 
Northern H u n - 
gary and Tran- 
sylvania. On the 
death o f Geza 
the Hungarian 
throne naturally 
fell by inheritance 
to his son Stefan 
III. (1161-1172), 
but Manuel by 
means of bribery 
secured the elec- 
tion of his favour- 
ite Ladislaus II. 
in 1162. After 
his early death 
the Emperor 

said to be a branch of the Mongolian forward Stefan 
th century. They are described as posses- t\/ i-Ua ni-Vtor 
ihaoelv fitmres. black hair and eves, dark ^''•' ^"^ Oiaer 

sing- "regular features, shapely figures, black hair and eyes, dark 

adultery. Borics complexion, impulsive temperament, and intense patriotic feeling." brother of GcZa, 

was supported by the Polish Duke 
Boleslav III., who was put to flight by the 
German troops of the king. 

On the death of Bela II. his son Geza II., 
who was a minor, came to the throne (1141 
to May, 1161), and Borics then attempted 
to secure the help of the 
Crusaders, who were passing 
through Hungary. However, 
the Emperor Conrad and King 
Louis VII. declined to support this 
hazardous project. Borics now fled to 
the Byzantine Emperor Manuel. This 
ruler had inspired further life into the 



as an opposition king; Stefan, how- 
ever, was speedily abandoned by his sup- 
porters and overthrown by Stefan III. in 
1 164, in alliance with the Premyslid 
Vladislav II. Manuel concluded peace 
with Stefan III. and took his brother 
Bela to Constantinople to be educated. 

The danger which Byzantium threatened 
to the Hungarian Empire came to an end 
in 1180, with the death of the Emperor 
Manuel ; shortly before that date he had 
given Hungary a king in the person of 
Bela III. (1172 to April 20th, 1196), who 
used his Greek education solely for the 



benefit of the people. Bela III. recovered 
the Dalmatian districts and Syrmia from 
the Venetians, and occupied Galicia for 
some time. By his marriage with Mar- 
garet, the sister of Philip Augustus of 
France, French customs were introduced 
into Hungary. Andreas II., the son of 
Bela III. (1205-1235), overthrew his brother 

Emerich, who died in the middle 

"^*^ of Septembei , 1204, and also his 

I t A A ^°^ Ladislaus III., who died on 

May 7th, 1205, in Vienna, and 
undertook a crusade on his own account in 
1217. On his return home he lived in a 
continual state of dissension with his 
nobles. After a long struggle, in which 
the malcontents, under the leadership of 
Benedict Bor, otherwise Bank ban, killed 
the Queen Gertrude in 1213, Andreas II. 
issued the " Golden Bull " — a piece of 
legislation of the first importance to the 
Hungarian constitution. By this measure 
he broke the power of the counts and gave 
extensive privileges to the ecclesiastical 
and secular nobility of lower rank, secur- 
ing to the latter a permanent influence 
upon government legislation and adminis- 

Under the government of his son, Bela 
IV. (1235-1270), the Mongols of Batu 
invaded the country in March, 1241, 
and spread appalling devastation for a 
year. The Austrian duke, Frederick II. 
the Valiant, the last of the Babenbergs, 
meanwhile occupied the West and plun- 
dered the treasures of Queen Maria, who 
had taken refuge with him. After the 
departure of the invading hordes the 
king returned home from Dalmatia, and 
with the help of the Knights of St. John 
soon restored prosperity and undertook 
a campaign against the Austrian duke, 
who fell, leaving no issue, in the battle of 
Vienna Neustadt on June 15th, 1246. Bela 
IV, now occupied his valuable heritage, 
but in July, 1260, was forced to divide it 
with the Bohemian king, Premsyl Ottokar 

_ . . II., and finally to renounce it 

Bohemian a- i • xu r 

_ . entirely smce the power of 

uprcmacy m ggj^gj^jg^ extended to the 

Adriatic Sea, and in Germany 
the "dreadful period without an emperor " 
of the interregnum had begun. 

Ladislaus IV. (1272-1290), the son of 
Stefan V. (1270-1272), and a grandson 
of Bela IV., helped the Hapsburg ruler to 
win a victory for Ottokar at Diirnkrut on 
August 26th, 1278, and then wasted his 
time in dissipation and feasting with the 


Cumanians, to whom he was related 
through his mother, the daughter of a 
Cumanian chief. He was hardly able to 
expel the Tartar invaders. On August 
31st, 1290, he was murdered by a company 
of his dearest friends, the Cumanians. 
Rudolf of Hapsburg made an unjustifiable 
attempt to hand over Hungary to his son 
Albert, as a vacant fief of the empire ; 
his real object, however, was to secure 
concessions in that quarter. 

The. male line of the house of Arpad 
became extinct after Andreas III. He 
was recognised only by Dalmatia and 
Croatia (1290 to January 14th, 1301), 
being opposed by Charles Martel of Anjou, 
wl;o died in 1295, a stepson of Rudolf of 
Hapsburg and a protege of Nicholas IV. 
Under the government of the Arpads the 
Hungarian nation had imbibed the spirit 
of Christian civilisation, though without 
sacrificing their natural interests on the 
altar of religion. The general policy of 
the Arpads had been to connect the deve- 
lopment of the Hungarian nationality with 
Western civilisation, and to put down 
infidelity and barbarism with the sword. 
The country was covered with churches, 
_ • J- -J ^ monasteries, and schools, 

ris lani y an ^^ which latter the high 
Early Hungarian i i . ir 

, .. . school at Vesspnm soon 

Literature , ■ .r ^ 

became a scientific and 

artistic centre. No less obvious is the 
influence of Christianity in the most ancient 
remains of Hungarian literature. The first 
book written in the Hungarian language 
at the outset of the thirteenth century 
is the " Funeral Service with Proper 
Prayers"; this service clearly reflects 
the spirit of the nation whicfi had so 
long wandered upon the storm-lashed 
plains and only a short time before had 
buried its dead with their horses. 

Upon the extinction of the male line 
of the Arpads several members of the 
female line came forward with claims to 
the vacant throne. Charles Robert, the 
grandson of Maria, daughter of Stefan 
v., was a member of the Neapolitan Anjou 
family, and had secured a considerable 
following from 1295, even during the 
lifetime of Andreas III. ; however, the 
Hungarians, if we may believe the some- 
what questionable traditions on the point, 
elected the king, Wenzel II. (Wenceslaus) 
of Bohemia, whose mother, Kunigunde of 
Halicz, was descended from the family of 
the Arpads. He did not accept the 
election, but handed over the Hungarian 

The daughter of Louis VII., King of France, Margaret became the second wife of Bela III., and was the means of 
introducing into Hungary much of the refinement and elegance which, even at that early period, disting^uished the 
French court. After the death of Bela, in Uixi, Henry VI., Emperor of Germany, determined upon sending an army 
to aid the Crusaders in Palestine, and at the head of the troops furnished by Hungary, Margaret, the youthful widow, 
set out in person. Margaret was not destined to return from her voluntary expedition, as she died in Palestine. 

crown to his son, Wenzel III., who 
assumed the name of Ladislaus V., as 
king in 1302. 

However, the party of Charles Robert 
caused Ladislaus so much trouble during 
his stay in the country that he returned to 
Bohemia in 1304. The party of Wenzel 
now elected Otto III., Duke of Lowei 
Bavaria (1305 to 1308), whose mother, 
Elizabeth, was also a descendant of the 
house of Arpad. While upon a visit to 
Transylvania he fell into the hands of the 
Transylvanian voivode, Ladislaus Apor, in 
1307 ; after spending a year in captivity he 
secured his freedom, abdicated the crown, 
left the country, and died in 1312. 

By means of the intervention of the 
Pope, Charles Robert was chosen king ; 
he was able to secure the predominance 
of the house of Anjou in Hungary for 
nearly a century. He proved an admirable 
ruler, who not only kept the oligarchy 
. _ in check, but also improved the 

With Italian prosperity of Hungary by the 
^ . introduction of a reformed 

s^'stem of defence and of agri- 
culture ; he also brought the nation into 
immediate contact with Italian civilisa- 
tion. He secured the crown of Poland 
to his son and successor, Lewis, and the 
crown of Naples c ame under his influence 
by the marriage of his other son, Andreas. 




On the death of Charles Robert his son 
Lewis I. came to the throne (1342 to 
1382), and Hungary secured a highly 
educated and knightly ruler, to whom 
she gladly gave the title of " the Great." 
Lewis introduced a beneficial innova- 
tion by a regulation which 
obliged the territorial serfs to 
pay a ninth of the products of 
their fields and vineyards to 
the nobility, in order that these might 
the more easily be able to fulfil the heavy 
obligation of supplying troops for military 
service ; by prohibiting the alienation of 
noble lands from the families which owned 
them, this Angevin introduced the Hun- 
garian custom of aviticitas — that is, heredi- 
tary succession. To this reform Lewis the 
Great owed his brilliant military successes. 
His attention was soon claimed by the 
confusion in the kingdom of Naples, where 
his brother Andreas had been murdered 
by his own wife, Joanna I., in 1345. Lewis 
appeared in Naples with a large army at 
the close of 1347, conquered the town, and 
inflicted punishment upon the supporters 
of his sister-in-law, who fled to Provence. 
This victory of the Hungarian arms in 
Naples considerably raised the prestige 
of Lewis throughout Europe. Owing to 
the opposition of Pope Clement VI. he 
was unable to take permanent possession 



of the conquered territory, but the long 
stay which he made in Italy (1347, 1348- 
1350) had a great influence upon the 
education of his nobles. In two cam- 
paigns, 1356 and 1358, 
he humbled the republic 
of Venice, and finally re- 
conquered Dalmatia from 
Quarnero to Durazzo. 
For a short period (1365- 
1369) he also occupied 
part of Bulgaria. It was 
under his government 
that Christian Europe 
was first threatened by 
the Turkish advance into 
the Balkan Peninsula ; 
this advance he pre- 
vented in 1366 for some 
time. To secure his dy- 
nasty and extend it, he 
betrothed his daughter, 
the heiress Maria, to 
Sigismund of Luxemburg, 
a younger son by a fourth 
marriage of the German 

ever, in Hungary Maria was forced to deal 
at once with certain revolted noble 
families, who called to the throne, in 1385, 
King Charles III., the younger of Durazzo, 
from Naples. This An- 
gevin king was crowned 
as Charles II., and after 
a reign of thirty - six 
days was assassinated on 
February 24th, 1386. 
The nobles took Maria 
prisoner, and her mother 
Elizabeth they strangled. 
Maria's husband, Sigis- 
mund of Luxemburg, 
appeared at the right 
moment in Hungary with 
a Bohemian army of 
Wenzel to free his consort 
from imprisonment, and 
the regency was entrusted 
to him at the close of 
March, 1387. While these 
disturbances undermined 
the power of Hungary 
LEWIS THE GREAT from withiu, the Otto- 

Emperor Charles IV.; his j;i^-5e'?*&Tf;om""^^^^^^^ mans were continuing 

other daughter, Hedwig, besides greatly extending the power and tem- their COnnUCStS in 
, , ,, 1, TTr-ii- tory of his country, advanced its civilisation, -r-. n t-> • i 

was betrothed to William, 
Duke of Austria. Both, however, died 
without children. Lewis did not secure 
possession of the crown Of Poland until 
1370 ; his power now extended from the 
Baltic to the Adriatic, and for a time 
even to the Black Sea. These acquisi- 
tions of territory increased his prestige 
and his influence 
among the states 
of Europe, but 
contributed very 
little to the con- 
solidation of the 
Hungarian king- 
dom owing to 
the undisciplined 
nature of the 
Polish nobility 
and the favourit- 
ism of his mother 
Elizabeth. As 
Lewis I. had no 
sons, his daughter 
Maria (1^82 to 

Balkan Peninsula. In 
1389 the fate of Servia was decided. 
In 1393 the fortress of Widdin fell, the 
house of the Sismanids of Tirnovo was 
overthrown, and Bulgaria became an Otto- 
man province. Sigismund then turned 
for help to the Christian states of Western 
Em ope. However, his splendid army. 

half composed of 
Hungarians, was 
destroyed at 
Nicopoli by the 
Turks, with the 
loss of more than 
50,000 men . 
South Hungary 
soon became a 
desert. Sigis- 
mund then found 
himself entangled 
in a long and 
fruitless war with 
Venice for tne 
possession of 
Dalmatia. As 

These old woodcuts represent Maria, the daughter of Lewis the 
_ _ ascended Great, and hei husband, Sigismund of Luxemburg. The latter, who German Empcrcr 
,u~^j.T- i ri. was also German Emperor, was made regent of Hungary in 1387. , . , , ,- ^ 

the throne after his attention was 

his death, but was unable to maintain 
her position. Poland fell into the hands 
of her sister Hedwig, who had become 
the wife of Jagellon of Lithuania. How- 


long occupied, after 1410 and 141 1, by 
ecclesiastical difficulties. By the burning 
of the reformer, John Huss, the Hussite 
heresy was widely spread in Bohemia, 


and the devastating influence of the 
movement extended also to Northern 

After a reign of fifty years Sigismund 
died and left the throne to the husband 
of his daughter Elizabeth, Albert of 
Austria. Under his government (1437- 
1439), Hungary nearly fell into the hands 
of the Turks, and was saved from de- 
struction only by John or Janos Hunyadi, 
Baron of Szolnok and Count of Temesvar ; 
he was one of the most capable generals 
and noblest figures in the Magyar nation. 
After the unexpected death of Albert, 
disturbances broke out at home and 
abroad. One party of the nobles chose 
Vladislav HI. of Poland, while another 

deceived by the optimism of the papacy, 
broke the treaty, l^he result of this rash- 
ness was his total defeat at the battle 
of Varna on November loth, 1444, where 
Vladislav and Cardinal Giuliano Cesarini 
lost their lives. During the minority of 
Hunyadi ^^^ Ladislaus V. Posthumus, 
Chosca as Hunyadi was chosen regent of 
Regent empire, and ruled from 

June 5th, 1446, to Christmas, 
1452. He devoted superhuman efforts to 
checking the aggrandisement of the nobility 
and the advance of the Turks. After the 
capture of Constantinople bands of Turks 
appeared beiore Belgrade. Owing to the 
enthusiastic preaching of the Minorite, 
John of Capistrano, the people joined 


offered the crown to Ladislaus (Posthu- 
mus), the son of Albert, born after his 
death on February 22nd, 1440. These 
quarrels about the succession came to an 
end only upon the death of the queen 
widow, Elizabeth, on December iqth, 1442. 
In the end Vladislav I. secured iccognition 
J. , (1442-1444). The brilliant' 

.,.''°^*. ' \ successes which Hunyadi had 
Victories Over . , . u t- 1 ^.i. 

. ^ . gamed over the Turks on the 

occasion of their incursion 

into Transylvania and South Hungary in 

1442 inspired the king to attack the 

enemy in his own country in 1443 : he 

was defeated, and forced to conclude 

the peace of Szegedin in the middle of 

1444. A few days afterwards Vladislav, 

the army of Hunyadi in such numbers 
that he was able to relieve Belgrade 
with great rapidity (July 21st, 1456). The 
whole of Europe was delighted with this 
brilliant feat of arms. However, on 
August nth John Hunyadi ended his 
heroic life. The memory of this great man 
was but little honoured by King Ladislaus. 
Persuaded by the calumnies of the dead 
man's enemies, he executed his son Ladis- 
laus, who had murdered the influential 
Count Ulrich of Cilli in Belgrade ; the 
other son, Matthias, he took with him into 
captivity in Prague. After the sudden 
death of King Ladislaus V.,on November 
23rd, 1457, shortly before the arrival of 
his consort, Isabella of France, Matthias 



returned home, and was placed upon the 
throne by the nobility on January 24th, 
1458. Thus the short connection between 
Hungary and Bohemia again terminated 
for the moment. The thirty-two years of 
the reign of King Matthias Hunyadi (1458- 
„ , 1490), known as Corvinus, from 

Hunyadi s ^^^ ^^^^ ^f ^^^^^ ^g ^^ie second 
Able Son on pgj..^^ of prosperity and the 
the Throne ^^^^ ^^^^^ ^^ independence on 
the part of Old Hungary. With an iron 
hand Matthias secured peace at home by 
the stern punishment of the rebellious 
nobles, and by making the grant of offices 
and dignities conditional upon good 
service. His government 
is a series of military and 
political successes, ac- 
companied by a steady 
advance in intellectual 
and economic progress. 
The Hussite, John Giskra, 
who had occupied almost 
all the fortified posses- 
sions in Upper Hungary, 
recognised the power of 
the young king and came 
over to his service in 
1462. Matthias became 
entangled in the changing 
vicissitudes of a long war 
with the Emperor 
Frederick HI., who had 
been joined by the dis- 
satisfied nobles ; the 
struggle was brought to 
an end between 1485 and 
1487 by the permanent 
conquest of Vienna, of 
Austria below the Enns, 
and some parts of Styria. 
The troubles in Bohemia 
were satisfactorily 
teiminated by the con- 
ventions of Ofen and Olmiitz on September 
30th, 1478, and on July 21st. 1479 ; 
these secured to Corvinus the title 
of King of Bohemia, and gave him posses- 
sion of Moravia and the duchies of Silesia 
and Lausitz. He undertook a great 
expedition against the Turks, who marched 
triumphantly into Breslau and Vienna. 
When they invaded Transylvania he sent 
Count Paul Kinizsi of Temesvar to help the 
Voivode Stefan Bathori ; they defeated the 
enemy on the Brotfeld at Broos on October 
13th, 1479. Under the government of 
Corvinus the Turkish danger lost its 
threatening character for some time ; by 

the organisation of a standing army, the 
" Black Squadron," which maintained 
good discipline, he created a military 
power, the admirable organisation of 
which acted as a strong barrier against 
the storm advancmg from the south. 

At that period the new spirit of human- 
ism was potent at the king's palace at 
Ofen, in the castles of the bishops, and in 
the high schools. Matthias was entirely 
under its influence. The movement of the 
renaissance found an enthusiastic recep- 
tion and a ready support, not only in the 
saats of Dionys Szechy and John Vitez, 
the ecclesiastical princes of Gran and 
Grosswardein, but also at 
the king's court. Italian 
masters, including Bene- 
detto da Majono (1442- 
1497), built and decorated 
a royal palace in which 
historians, poets, and 
rhetoricians assembled. 
The prothonotary, John 
of Thurocz, continued his 
" Chronicum pictum Vin- 
dobonense " to the year 
1464, while Antonio Bon- 
fini, the " Hungarian 
Livy," who died in 1502, 
wrote the king's history, 
and Martino Galeotti, 
who died in 1478, col- 
lected his decrees. 

Among the circle of 
scholars who gathered 
round Corvinus, a Euro- 
pean reputation was won 
by Marsilio Ficino and by 
the later Bishop of Fiinf- 
HUNYADi, THE HERO OF HUNGARY kirchcn, Janus Panuouius, 

John, or Janos, Hunyadi was the saviour of ii-jf}! Hie T a fin pnirc 
hiscountry.asit was due to his military prow- ,*''! '"=* J-.d.Liii cpn-s, 
ess that Hungary was saved from the Turkish elcgieS, and epigrams, 
yoke in the middle of the fifteenth century, j^j^^^ Matthias had OUe 

of the most famous libraries of his 
time, the " Corvina," containing about 
3,000 manuscripts and 60,000 volumes; 
it was carried off by the Turks, and 
a few scanty remnants of it now existing 
weie sent back from Stam- 
boul in 1869 and 1877. The 
period which ended with the 
death of this second Hunyadi 
was indeed a brilliant age. Its influence 
was transmitted to the minds of the com- 
ing generation, and facilitated the transi- 
tion to the Reformation, which in Hungary 
found minds prepared to receive it by the 
intellectual culture of that age. 

Age of 




Death of 
the Great 

On April 6th, 1490, King Matthias died 
at Venice at the age of fifty. The creation 
of a powerful Danube kingdom, which the 
genius of the great Corvinus had brought 
to pass, proved to be of a transitory 
nature. He had married twice, but there 
were no children either by his 
first wife Katharina Podiebrad, 
or by the second, Beatrice of 
Aragon, whose praises are sung 
by Bonfini. With the consent of the 
nobles he therefore designated bis natural 
son, the Duke John Corvinus, as his suc- 
cessor. Seduced from their promises by 
the intrigues of Queen Beatrice, the 
ecclesiastical and secular dignitaries elected 
to the throne the Bohemian King Vladis- 
lav, a member of the familyof the Jagiells 
or Jagellon family; his younger brother, 
John Albert, who had been brought 
forward during his minority, gave up his 
claim on February 20th, 1491, in return 
for compensation in Silesia. 

Beatrice had supported the election 
of Vladislav in the hope that she 
would marry the king, who was still a 
bachelor, but in 
this she was en- 
tirely deceived. 
The great nobles 
were tired of the 
iron rule of Mat- 
thias, and longed 
for a weak king 
under whom the 
power of ' their 
families could be 
extended as they 
pleased. , From 
this point of 
view Vladislav 
II. (1490-1516) 
fully realised 
their hopes ; he 
lived at Ofen, a 
mere figurehead. 

Revolt of the 

owners, was secretly aiming at the throne ; 
in 1505 he induced the estates to decree 
that they would not again elect a 
foreigner in case Vladislav should die 
leaving no male heir. To secure his family 
interests Vladislav in 1515 made a con- 
vention with the Emperor Maximilian 
regarding the succession, and betrothed his 
son Lewis to the Archduchess Maria, the 
emperor's granddaughter, and his daughter 
Anna to the Archduke Ferdinand. 

A short time before — in 1514 — a terrible 
revolt of the peasants had broken out 
under the leadership of George Dozsas. 
Zapolya caused the " belliger crucife- 
rorum " (leader of the Crusaders) to be 
burnt upon a red-hot iron 
throne, and reduced the 
country to a state of apparent 
peace".; but the misery and 
distress of the common people had risen 
to a high pitch.-. 

After the death of King Vladislav, the 
throne was occupied by his son Lewis II., 
then ten years of age (1516-1526) ; during 
his minority the affairs of state were 
conducted by a 
regency of three. 
In the midst of 
the disastrous 
party struggles 
which were con- 
tinually fostered 
by Zapolya, the 
ambassador o f 
Suleiman ap- 
peared in Ofen 
and offered peace 
on condition that 
Hungary should 
pay the yearly 
tribute to the 
sultan. The de- 
mand was refused 
and the emissary 


who with his Matthias, the greatest son of John Hunyadi, died in 1690 after a thoUgh UO mca- 

nnKlpc r-nrriaA rtn brilliant reign, though he had not succeeded in creating a great cnrc^c wrf^rt^ i-oVf^n 

nODies carriea on Danube kingdom. Beatrice was his second wife, and he left no heir. SUrCb Were IdKCn 


the government 

and bought peace from foreign enemies 

at the price of disgraceful conditions. 

The Roman Emperor Maximilian recon- 
quered Vienna and the Austrian terri- 
tories. The great nobles laid heavy 
burdens upon the towns and serfs, and 
made them feel inexorably the weight 
of their recovered power and dominion, 
the same time John Zapolya, Count 
of Zips, one of the richest territorial 


to protect 
frontier. When Suleiman invaded the 
country in 1526, Lewis II. was able to 
bring only a small army against him. 
The disaster of Mohacs, on August 29th, 
cost the childless king his life and put an 
end to the unity of the Hungarian state. 
Suleiman captured Ofen, devastating the 
country far and wide, and marched home 
in October, retaining only Syrmia, to 
secure his possession of Belgrade. 



HARDLY had the Turks retired when 
disputes about the succession broke 
out. One portion of the nobihty chose 
John Zapolya as king on November loth, 
1526 ; the remainder, on the ground of the 
compact concerning the succession which 
they had conckided with Vladislav, raised 
the Archduke Ferdinand, a brother of 
Charles V. and king of Bohemia, to the 
throne on the i6th and 17th of December. 
Ferdinand appeared with an army in the 
summer of 1527, captured Ofen on August 
20th, and drove the opposition king, 
Zapolya, to Poland. However, after the 
retirement of Ferdinand, Zapolya returned 
with the help of Suleiman, conquered Ofen, 
and accompanied the sultan's advance 
to the walls of Vienna on September 21st, 
1529. The attempt of the Turk to conquer 
Vienna was unsuccessful. However, 
Zapolya was able to secure the Hungarian 
throne with his help, while Ferdinand 

retained his hold only of 
n^?n^tZtA f~- ^^^ countries bordering on 

Austria. Henceforward, for 

Battlefield for 
Two Centuries 

nearly two centuries Hun- 
gary became a battlefield and the scene of 
bloody conflicts between armies advanc- 
ing from east and west respectively. 
French policy, which was working in Ger- 
many, Italy, and Constantinople to under- 
mine the growing power of the house of 
Hapsburg, induced the sultan to undertake 
a second campaign in June, 1532, against 
Vienna. On the march, however, his 
quarter of a million soldiers were stopped 
by the seven hundred men of Nicholas, 
who held out for three weeks before the 
little fortress of Giins, so that the Turk 
was obliged to give up his project ; he 
returned home, devastating the country 
as he went. This movement eventually 
induced the two kings to come to a re- 
concihation on February 24th, 1538, at 
Grosswardein. Each ruler was to retain 
the district which he had in possession, 
and after the death of John Zapolya 
the whole country, including that beyond 
the Theiss and Transylvania, was to be 

inherited by Ferdinand ; any future son 

born to the Magyar was to receive only 

Zips as a duchy. 

This peace was, however, dissolved in 

1539 by the marriage of John Zapolya 

with the Pohsh Duchess Isabella, who 

bore him a son, John Sigismund, in 1540. 

By the help of the Croatian, George Utis- 

senich, known as Martinuzzi, 

{ tK ^^ Bishop of Grosswardein, the 

c ,» Queen Isabella, who became a 

Sultan '^.j iii 

widow m 1540, was able to 

secure the recognition of her son as king. 
The Porte promised protection. However, 
on September 2nd, 1541, the sultan treach- 
erously occupied Ofen, and incorporated 
it with his own kingdom. The little 
John Sigismund was left by the Turks in 
possession only ©f Transylvania and of 
some districts on the Theiss, while the 
northern and western counties remained 
in the hands of Ferdinand. The latter 
afterwards secured the help of Martinuzzi 
in December, 1541, under the convention 
of Gyula. The Elector Joachim II. of 
Brandenburg and the Duke Maurice of 
Saxony made an attempt to recover 
Ofen at the end of September, 1542, but 
were hindered by insufficiency of means. 
In view of the threatening aspect of the 
Turks, Martinuzzi persuaded the queen in 
1548 to surrender her territory in return 
for an indemnity. Isabella and John 
Sigismund came to an agreement in 155 1 
with the Silesian duchies of Oppeln and 
Ratibor, while John Castaldo, Ferdinand's 
field-marshal, occupied Transylvania, and 
/\ ¥ t I. " Prater Georgius " was re- 
Queen Isabella warded with a cardinal's hat. 
Surrenders a t? j- j' 

_ . As Ferdmand s army was 

ory not strong enough to dispel 
the attack, Martinuzzi attempted to gain 
time by negotiating with the Porte. This 
aroused the suspicion of Castaldo. On 
December 17th, 1551, he caused Martin- 
uzzi to be treacherously murdered in the 
castle of Alvincz by the Marchese Alphonso 
Sforza-Pallavicini and the private secretary 
Marcantonio Ferrari. In view of repeated 



attempts to accentuate the devotion of 

the Austrian hereditary territories and the 

value of the contingents offered by the 

German Empire, it is worth pointing out 

that the very dexterous pohcy of " brother 

George " was dangerous to Hungary, inas- 

. much as it served to clear 

.T*"!"' .v""' the way for the inevitable 
Under the r ii. i^ i 

ott H 1 supremacy of the Turks. 

°'^ ^ Isabellaand John Sigismund 

soon returned to Transylvania, which now 
became a permanent vassal state of Turkey, 
though it received full religious freedom in 
1557. Ferdinand, one of the best princes 
of his age, could not oppose the victorious 
advance of the Ottomans, for at that time 
the interests of the Hapsburgs extended 
over half Europe, and j. 
he could not use his 
power against the 
Porte alone. Temes- 
var fell in 1552, 
notwithstanding the 
heroic defence of 
Stefan Losonczi ; in 
Dregely, George 
Szondy died a hero's | 
death, with the whole 
of the garrison. 
Castaldo was forced 
to retire from Tran- 
sylvania in 1556, and 
peace secured the 
sultan in the receipt 
of a yearly tribute 
from Ferdinand. 

After Ferdinand's 
death, his son ' and 
successor Maximilian 


the services of the Hungarian nobility, 
who did their best to break away from the 
Hapsburgs 'and lived in constant effort to 
secure this end, a sufficient proof of their 
selfishness is their oppression of the lower 
classes, who had revolted against the 
Ottomans in 1572 from pure patriotism. 
Stefan's brother Christopher was succeeded 
in 1586 by his son Sigismund Bathori. 

Meanwhile Maximilian had died, and the 
inheritance fell to his son Rudolf {1576- 
l6o8). Hungary was devastated under 
his rule by a Turkish war, which lasted 
fifteen years (1591-1606), while Tran- 
sylvania was ravaged both by the Turks 
and by the armies of Rudolf. Sigismund 
Bathori, who had married Marie Christine 
of Styria in 1595, soon 
divorced her, and ex- 
changed his land for 
Oppeln and Ratibor in 
1597. In 1598, how- 
ever, he regretted his 
action. He returned 
home, abdicated in 
1599 in favour of his 
nephew Andreas, and 
retired to Poland. 
Rudolf, who would 
have been glad to get 
Transylvania under 
his own power, incited 
Michael, the Voivode 
of Wallachia, to make 
war against Andreas 
Bathori, who fell in 
that campaign. The 
nobles then recalled 
Sigismund Bathori in 
l6oi ; but he was 

(15^4 -^57^) became Among- the historic crowns of Europe none has bad a 

more varied history than that of Hungary, known as driven OUt in l602 bv 
the crown of St. Stefan, the lower part of it having been ^ -w^ '. ,-, <- ' , -i 

entangled in the war more varied history than that of Hi 

.,, ? , o- • 1 the crown of St. Stefan, the lower pait ui »i u<i»».i6 trccii „ rt j. j^i n ^ a 

With John Sigismund given by Pope Silvester 11. to King Stefan. Fifty kings GeorgC Basta, the field 

in the very first year ^*^« ''««" crowned with it during a period of 800 years, marshal of Rudolf, 

of his reign. The result was a fresh cam- 
paign of the Turks, in the course of which 
Nikolaus Zrinyi met his death, with the 
whole of his garrison, in the fortress of 
Szigetvar on September 7th, 1566. John 
Sigismund Zapolya now founded a princi- 
pality of Transylvania under Turkish 
supremacy, but on the condition that the 
estates should on every occasion have free 
choice of their prince. After his death, in 
1571, Stefan Bathori (1571-1575), a far- 
seeing and important man, was placed upon 
the new throne ; however, in December, 
1575, he exchanged his throne for the more 
ancient kingdom of Poland, as the husband 
of the J agellon princess Anna. As regards 


with the help of the Turks. With the 
object of definitely getting the country 
into the possession of Rudolf, Basta had 
secured the murder of the Wallachian 
voivode inThorenburg, orTorda, on August 
19th, i6oi, and exercised so inhuman a 
despotism as governor, that 
Transylvania was brought to 
the lowest point of distress. In 
exasperation and despair the 
nobles, after the suppression of a revolt 
begun by Moses Sz^kely in 1603, appointed 
the Calvinist Stefan Bocskay as prince in 
1605, and he soon occupied almost the' 
whole country, with the help of the Turks. 
Although the sultan recognised , him as 

The Peace 
of Vienna 


king, Bocskay brought about a reconcili- 
ation with Rudolf, and concluded the peace 
of Vienna in June 1606, with Rudolf's 
brother Matthias, who had been appointed 
governor in Hungary ; in accordance with 
this agreement the constitution was to be 
restored in its old form, 
and the Protestants 
were to retain their 
religious freedom undis- 
turbed by the untenable 
edicts which Rudolf had 
issued on this subject in 

After November of 
the same year the inter- 
vention of Bocskay 
brought about tht 
peace of Zsitva-Torok 
with the Turks. The 
Turks retained the 
districts which they 
possessed at that time, 
but Hungary was no 
longer to pay tributr 
after one final instal- 
ment of 200,000 florins 
Bocskay survived tlu 
conclusion of the peace 
of Vienna only for a 
short time ; he died on 


JL/tCemoer _9in, lOOO. Zapolya was chosen king by the nobles in 1526, but 

This arrangement, was ousted by the King of Bohemia. In 1529, 

" ■,,r;*-1^^,,4- -.^■^^i-.A:^^ +^ however, with the aid of Suleiman, the Turk, he 

WlinOUt prejUQlCe to restored himself, and held the throne until his death. 

appearance of Luther, performed a remark- 
able service in fostering the spirit of union. 
During the piteous strife of contrary inter- 
ests it spread so rapidly in the course of a 
century that it overran almost the whole 
nation. In the stern theology of Calvin, 
which the nation called 
the "Hungarian Faith," 
the people found the 
support which saved 
them from collapse. 
From the time of the 
liitroduction of Chris- 
tianity," says the 
Hungarian writer on 
aesthetics, Zoltan 
l^cothy, " the Protes- 
tant movement was the 
hrst great enlightening 
influence which passed 
over the whole nation. 
The apostles of the new 
faith appeared in hun- 
dreds, the messengers 
of a more penetrating 
and more national 
culture." The Protes- 
tants founded numerous 
M hools and printing- 
piesseSjWhich published 
tlie first Magyar gram- 
mars, dictionaries and 
histories. To this period 
belong the whole series 


Isabella was the wife of John Zapolya and mother of King John Sigismund, and Zrinyi was a Magyar leader who met 
his death at the hands of the Turks at Szigetvar in 1566. Bathori exchanged the throne of Transylvania for Poland. 

of translations of the Bible, among which 
that by Kaspar Karolyi obtained a reputa- 
tion which has remained undiminished 
from that psriod rght up to the present 
day. In the course of this intellectual move- 
ment, there appeared in 1565, a year after 


the Catholics," far from bringing the wars 
of religion to an end, rather tended to 
exasperate partisan feeling. 

In these difficult times of degeneration, 
Protestantism, which had made an entry 
into Hungary immediately after the 


the birth of Shakespeare, the first dramatic 
production of Hungarian hterature, under 
the title of " The Treachery of Melchior 
Balassa," probably composed by Paul 
Karadi, which, with biting satire and poetic 
vigour, described the life of a noble given 
over to the sins of that age. Literature 
was circulated through the country not 
only by the clergy, but also by wandering 
minstrels, who passed from castle to castle, 
and from place to place, and sang their 
songs to the accompaniment of the lute 
or viohn. Of them, the most highly 

Reformation. A Protestant who had been 
converted by the Jesuits, Peter Pazmany 
(1570-1637), Archbishop of Gran from 1616 
and Cardinal from 1629, was a zealot in 
the cause of conversion, and was specially 
successful among the high nobility. By 
his sermons and pamphlets, which he 
collected in his " Kalauz," or " Hodegeus " 
(" guide "), as his great work was called, 
he converted many nobles to the Roman 
Catholic faith. In 1635 he refounded the 
Jesuit University at Tyrnau, which was 
burnt down in the sixteenth century ; this 

This picture of the assault in which Nikolaus Zrinyi was killed is taken from a woodcut of the period. 

educated Wcis, perhaps, Sebastian Tinodi 
(about 1510-1557), whose historical songs 
and rhymed chronicle recount the whole 
history of those years of warfare and 
distress. The heroic and careless-minded 
knight, Valentin Balassy (1551-1594), was 
the first great Hungarian lyric poet whose 
" Blumenlieder " were to be revived two 
centuries later. Romantic poetry at that 
time entered upon a peculiar period of 
prosperity in Hungary. Under Rudolf's suc- 
cessor, Matthias, whose reign lasted from 
i6o8 till 1619, began the Catholic Counter- 


was afterwards changed into the High 
School of Budapesth. The Reformation 
in Hungary seemed doomed to collapse. 

Only in Transylvania was Protestantism 
strong enough at this period to check 
the progress of the Counter-Reformation 
and to protect the Protestants who were 
persecuted in Hungary. When the Thirty 
Years' War broke out under Ferdinand H. 
(1619-1637), the successor of Matthias, 
the throne of Transylvania was occupied 
by Gabriel Bethlen (1613-1629), the suc- 
cessor to Gabriel Bathori (1608- 1613) ; to. 


him Protestantism in Hungary and Tran- 
sylvania is indebted for its preservation. 

When the Bohemians revolted against 
Ferdinand II. in 1619, Bethlen espoused 
their cause, and brought the greater 
part of Hungary, including the crown, 
into his power. On January 
8th, 1620, he was appointed 
king in Neusohl, and was also 
recognised by the Porte at 
the price of the sacrifice of 
Waitzen on November 5th, 
1621. However, on January 
6th, 1622, he concluded peace 
with Ferdinand II. at Nikols- 
burg, for the power of the 
Hapsburgs had increased con- 
siderably since the battle of 
the White Mountain. 

Soon, however, he again 
took up arms against Ferdi- 
nand, as the ally of the 

George Rakoczy I. (1631-1648), a son of 
that Sigismund Rakoczy who had been 
prince of Transylvania from February, 
1607, to March 3rd, i6o8. After a series 
of difficulties at home and abroad he was 
forced to take up arms against King 
Ferdinand III. (1637-1657), in 
the interest of Hungarian 
Protestantism. In September, 
1645, the contending parties 
concluded peace at Linz, and 
a full measure of religious 
toleration was secured to the 
Protestants ; this agreement 
was an advance upon that of 
Nikolsburg, in so far as the 
concessions formerly made to 
the nobihty were now extended 
to the citizens and serfs. 

Rakoczy died on the day of 
the proclamation of the Peace 
of Westphaha, and was suc- 

^ KING FERDINAND II. , , , , • r- 

German Protestant prmces. This Hapsburg ruler of Bohemia ceeded by his son George 
He was induced by the victory ''^^^^^^^^,^^tt^^^lGlhr\€i Rakoczy II. (1648-1658). In 
of Tilly over the allies of the Bethien, joining with the Bohe- 1653 he secured the supre- 
" Winter King" to renew the "i*"*- =»e^"'-«d part of Hungary. ^^^^ ^^ Moldavia, and that 

of Wallachia in 1654, after the death of 
Matthias Basarab, as Constantine Basarab 
then submitted to him. On the other 
hand, he wasted his strength in 1657 in a 
fruitless war against Poland as the ally 
of Charles X. of Sweden. He was conse- 
quently deposed by the Turks, and died 
on June 6th, 1660, of the wounds he had 

received at 
Szamosfalva on 
the 22nd of May. 
The Grand Vizir 
placed Franz 
Rh6dey on the 
throne in Novem- 
ber, 1657, and, 
upon his speedy 
abdication, in- 
stalled Achatius 
Barcsay in 
November, 1658. 
The latter, how- 
ever, was ex- 
pelled by John 


peace on the 8th of May, 1624, and was 
even desirous of marrying a daughter of 
Ferdinand, in order to unite his power 
with that of the Hapsburgs against the 
Turks. Catholic influence prevented this 
project, and Bethlen married Katharina, 
a sister of the Elector George William of 
Brandenburg. In thd year 1626 he 
advanced for 
the third time 
against the brave 
Mans feld ; as, 
however, , King 
Christian IV. of 
Denmark was 
also defeated by 
Tilly, he finally 
concluded peace 
with Ferdinand 
on December 
28th, at Press- 
burg. After a 
reign of fifteen 
years, he died 

Without children Though Bethien. King of Transylvania, succeeded against Ferdinand. J^emeny. Against 

on N O V ember with the aid of Bohemia, he was, later, glad to make friends with the him the VlZir All 

Hapsburgs. George Rakoczy 1 1, ruled Transylvania from 1648 till 1658. 


X5th, 1629 ; he 
was the greatest prince of Transylvania, 
and largely forwarded the progress of 
culture, science and education. 

After Stefan Bethlen had made an un- 
successful attempt at the regency, the 
TransyLvanians chose as their prince 

set up an op- 
position prince on September 14th, 1661, 
in the person of Michael Apafi (1661-1690). 
After a rule of one year Kemeny fell, on 
January 24th, 1662, at Nagy-SzoUos, near 
Schassburg. As Transylvania grew weaker, 
Hungarian Protestantism was hard beset 




from day to day, and at the same time the 
Turks were extending their conquests and 
occupying the most important fortresses 
in Upper Hungary and in the Austrian 
territories. Under the son and suc- 
cessor of Ferdinand III., the strict 
CathoHc, Leopold I. (1658-X705), the 
distress of the country began to reach its 
zenith. In those troubled times 
the greatest figure of Hungar- 
ian Protestantism was Albert 
Szsnczi Molnar, who wrote his 
Hungarian Grammar and Dictionary at 
German universities, and translated 
psalms, which he set to French tunes, 
a setting used at the present day in 
the Calvinistic Churches of Hungary. 
In the battles of that year a conspicuous 
figure is Nikolaus Zrinyi (1616-1664), a 
great-grandson of the hero of Szigetvar ; 
he composed an epic poem, 
" The Peril of Sziget," in 
which he sang the exploits 
of his great ancestor, whose 
military capacity had long 
hindered the progress of the 
Ottomans. Leopold's field- 
marshal, Raimondo Monte- 
cuccoli, won a victory over 
the Turks on August ist, 
1664, at St. Gothard on the 
Raab ; but, in consequence 
of the danger threatened to 
his rear by the Magyars, con- 
cluded a peace at Eisenburg, 
by the terms of which the 


the Turkish frontier districts, whence, 
under the name of Kurutzen or Crusaders, 
they continually made incursions into the 
royal domains. These struggles, how- 
ever, with the mercenaries of the foreign 
government did not become important 
until 1678, when Emerich Tokoly placed 
himself at the head of the movement. 
With the exception of some few castles 
the whole of the royal district fell into 
the hands of Tokoly, who was appointed 
Prince of Hungary by the sultan, and 
chosen king in 1682 by the diet of Kaschau, 
an election confirmed by the Porte on 
August loth, 1683, The defeat of Vienna 
brought his rule to a speedy end, and 
Leopold now sent his armies into Hungary 
in conjunction with his German allies. 
On September 2nd, 1686, the citadel of 
Ofen again fell into the hands of the Chris- 
tians after one hundred and 
forty- five years of Turkish rule. 
The grateful nobles abolished 
the elective monarchy in 1687, 
and recognised the hereditary 
rights of the house of Haps- 
l>urg by primogeniture in the 
male line. 

The Turks lost one district 
after another ; and when Prince 
Eugene of Savoy had inflicted 
a fearful defeat upon them at 
Zenta, on September nth, 
1697, 'the Peace of Karlovitz 
was concluded, by the terms 
of which Hungary was freed 

Turks retained possession of who headed the movement against from the Turkish yoke with 
all their previous conquests. Hungary in 1 678 and was appointed the exception of the valley of 
This disgraceful retreat P"n<:e of Hungary by the sultan in the Temes and part of Syrmia. 
stirred up exasperation in i^^^; his speu of power was short. Xransylvania had been so 

Hungary, and a conspiracy was set on 
foot in 1667 ; the leaders, however, who 
reckoned on French and Turkish support, 
the Counts Peter Zrinyi, Franz Nadasdy, 
and Franz Christopher Frangepani were 
executed on April 30th, 1671. Franz 
Rakoczy, the son-in-law of Zrinyi, was 
spared, while Franz of Wesselenyi died a 
natural death on March 28th, 1667, before 
the discovery of the conspiracy. The 
Vienna government took advantage of this 
occasion to overthrow the constitution 
and to extirpate Protestantism. The 
property of Protestant nobles was 
confiscated, priests and teachers were 
transported in bands and served in the 
galleys of Naples, whije executions and 
condemnations were of daily occurence. 
Thousands fled to Transylvania and to 


closely conjoined with Hungary, on May 

loth, 1688, that Apafi now possessed only 

a shadow of his former power. However, 

the persecution of the Protestants and the 

oppression of the people still continued. 

Leopold's generals, including Antonio 

Caraffa, who had secured Transylvania 

„ _ for the Hapsburgs, after the 

Hungary Free ^^^^^ ^^ ^^^ -^^^ ^ ^^ -^ 

From the -; • j • i_ 

T ... V 1 IDQO, exercised so inhuman a 

Turkish Yoke , ^ , 4.1 ^ 4.1 1 

despotism, that the general 

exasperation broke out again in 1703. 

Franz Rakoczy II. (1676-1735), a son of 

the above-mentioned Franz I., took the 

lead of the malcontents. At that time 

Leopold was occupied with the War of the 

Spanish Succession, and almost the whole 

country fell into the hands of the nobles, 

and was declared independent on June 7th. 


zealo ~ 




After the death of Leopold, his son 
Joseph I. (1705-1711) undertook the 
government ; and the nobles then declared 
at the diet of Onod, in 1707, that the throne 
had passed from the Hapsburgs. An 
appeal to arms resulted in Joseph's favour 
in 1708. Rakoczy fled, and his field-mar- 
shal Karolyi concluded peace with the 
, king at Szatmar on May ist, 

Dbrr ' ^7"- ^^^^ *^^^ p^^^^ ^^^ 

„* , ? .. momentous period of inter- 
Protestantism , , ^ r u- i, i-i, 

nal struggle, for which the 

high nobility were chiefly to blame, came 
to an end. 

The fact that the Hungarian nation was 
not destroyed in the severe struggles of 
those years, but was able to preserve its 
national independence, was owing pri- 
marily to Protestantism, which preserved 


From an old wood engraving in " The Triumph of King Maximilian I." 

the old native conceptions derived from 
ancient and in part from heathen times, 
and indeed almost justified their right to 
exist side by side with new trains of 
thought. As the Roman Church at the 
introduction of Christianity interfered but 
little in family life and popular custom, 
so also Protestantism, as being in close 
sympathy with the idea of nationality, 
did its best to preserve traditional use 
and custom. In the midst of religious 
and political dissension at home and 
abroad. Protestantism placed national 
unity above rehgious uniformity. It was 
rather a conservative than a destructive 
force in its influence upon ancient family 
customs, of which many fragments have 
survived from that day to the present. 
A case in point is the survival of the old 


custom of buying and carrying off women 
in the modern Hungarian ceremonies of 
wooing and marriage ; on the other hand, 
the peculiar funeral customs of Hungary 
have been considerably modified by Chris- 
tian beliefs. 

Tenaciously clinging to these traditions, 
the nation watched the One Hundred 
Years' War, which was carried on by those 
of their number who had been exasperated 
beyond bounds by the arbitrary rule and 
the religious persecution which their king 
had directed from Vienna. The war is, 
as it were, an epitome of the national 
history ; the splendour and the sorrow 
of this period is reflected in a rich and 
brilliant ballad poetry, which was inspired 
in particular by the revolts of Tokoly and 
Rakoczy, From the events of his own 
time Stefan Gyongyosi 
(1640-1704) found material 
for those narrative poems 
which remained popular 
among the nation for over 
a century. Shortly after 
Descartes, John Apaczai 
Cseri, who had been edu- 
cated in the Netherlands, 
came forward, between 
1654 and 1655, as the re- 
presentative of rationalism, 
with his " Hungarian Ency- 
clopaedia." By this work 
he created a Magyar voca- 
bulary for philosophy some 
fifty years before Chr. 
Thomasius had done the 
same for German. At the 
same time there were a 
number of historians and 
chroniclers, such as John Szalardi, Prince 
John Kemeny, Nikolaus Bethlen (1642- 
1716), Michael Cserei (1668-1756), and also 
tht narrator of ancient customs, Peter 
Apor (1676-1752). The most distinguished 
work in the literature of that time is 
certainly the "Letters from Turkey" of 
Klemens Mikes (1690-1762), 
who shared the banishment 
to Turkey of Franz Rakoczy 
II., and clung with moving 
fidelity to his defeated master and to the 
country he had lost. 

Under the government of Charles III. 
(1711-1740) peace slowly began to gain 
ground, although the Turkish war broke 
out twice during his reign. After the 
first campaign the king not only recovered, 
in 1718, by the Peace of Passarowitz, the 


" Letters from 

Turkey " 

"■■ '"' "'^ ■'" "»» "" '"" "" '"I mi » m "■ 

A countess in tliL 

lady of rank The typical national costume of a nobleman 

A Hung-arian baron in the dress of his rank The Pi ime Minister in the costume of a noble 

"" "^^« "" iLii mi till III! it 



From a series of photographs of present-day nobles in their national dress. E. N. A. 



Turkish portion of Hungary, but also 
made acquisitions in Wallachia and Servia. 
After the death of Charles III., his 
daughter Maria Theresa (1740-1780) 
ascended the throne, but her right to the 
succession was immediately and vigorously 
disputed. The Prussian king, Frederick 
II., invaded Silesia ; the elector, Charles 
Albert of Bavaria, occupied Upper Austria 
and Bohemia with French 
help ; and the Spaniards 
attacked the Itahan pos- 
sessions. At the diet of 
Pressburg, on September 
nth, 1741, the nobles 
enthusiastically placed 
their hves and property 
at the disposal of the 
young queen. In a short 
time the Hungarian and 
Austrian troops drove the 
French and Bavarians out 
of Bohemia and occupied 
Bavaria. Only Frederick 
II. was able to deprive 
the queen of some compar- 
atively small amount of 
territory, as she was thrice 
obliged to cede to him a 
part of Silesia. During the 
years of peace the queen 
devoted her attention to franz rakoczy 

formed a Hungarian bodyguard of their 

sons, in 1760, at Vienna, who became the 

pioneers of a new culture through their 

close connection with the intellectual 

movements in the West. In the year 

1772 there appeared from the pen of 

George Bessenyei (1752-1811) " The 

Tragedy of Agis ; " in this, as in his other 

dramas and in his epic poem of King 

Matthias, the poet showed a 

masterly power of imitating 

the French, and especially 

Voltaire. He thus became 

the founder of the " French 

School," among whom 

Alexander Baroczi (1737- 

1809) and Joseph Peczeli 

became conspicuous a s 

translators of French 

works of literature. 

With the accession of 
the son of Maria Theresa, 
the humanitarian Joseph 
II. (1780-1790), the kings 
of the house of Lorraine 
and Tuscany came to the 
Hungarian throne. Joseph 
continued the work of 
reform, but without dis- 
playing his mother's tact. 
In 1784 he made German, 
instead of Latin, the official 

improving the material with whose defeat at Szatmar, in 1711, lanffuaffc of the state and 

r,r,A i«+Qn«/>+,,-il r^,-^o^^.-i+^, Hungarian internal strife came to an end. r ?i i i o i 

and intellectual prosperity 

of her subjects, and introduced beneficial 

reforms into ecclesiastical and educational 


While the national spirit was thus 
stirred to new life, literature also entered 
upon a remarkably flourishing period. 
Ful-l of gratitude, Maria Theresa sum- 
moned the chief nobility to her court, and 

of the schools ; in 1785 he 
divided the country into ten new districts, 
and placed foreigners at the head of these. 
A dangerous ferment arose in 1789 when 
Charles Augustus of Saxe-Weimar was 
nearly set up as an opposition king with 
Prussian support ; and Joseph II. shortly 
before his death on January 30th, 1790, 
was forced to repeal all his innovations. 






AFTER the overthrow of the rule of 
the Avars, the frontiers of the 
great Prankish dominion were occupied 
by German colonists ; Prankish and 
Bavarian nobles obtained extensive 
possessions, especially in the moun- 
tainous country which borders the 
frontiers of Styria, and even then bore 
some traces of Roman civilisation. When 
the Hungarians occupied the country at 
the end of the ninth century, they left the 
German settlements for the most part 
undisturbed, but prevented their increase. 
Many of the fortified frontier strongholds 
may have been overthrown in the course 
of the Magyar attacks ; but they did not 
disappear entirely. 

Priendly relations with Germany were 
secured in 995 by the marriage of Stefan 
with Gisela, the daughter of the Bavarian 
duke, Henry II., for the reason that this 
lady brought with her many clergy and 
. nobles and their retinues, who 
Culture m j^gipg^j ^o bring about the rapid 

„.""' ° extension of Christianity and 

a Princess ,, t^, • , ■•' t 

culture. Ihe immigration of 

German knights, monks, and other people 
became more rapid after the husband of 
Gisela had ascended the throne of 
Hungary ; however, among the German 
colonies proper we have certain information 
concerning only one as originating from 
that early period, that is, Deutsch-Szatmar 
on the Szamos, which was founded by 
Gisela herself. 

The apostle-king, as Stefan I., or Saint 
Stefan, has been called, organised his court 
upon German models, and throughout his 
reign displayed a consistent tendency to 
favour the noble immigrants. In his advice 
to his son Emerich, who died prematurely, 
he wrote that the introduction of foreigners 
was to be regarded as a necessary means to 
the support of the throne and to the in- 
crease of the imperial power ; " treat these 
guests well and hold them in honour." Upon 
the whole, this was the attitude adopted 
by his successors of the Arpad family. 

The counties of Eisenburg and Odenburg 

on the slopes of the Leitha mountain range, 

at the base of which lies the Lake of 

Neusiedel, and also the valleys formed 

by the spurs of the Eastern Alps of Styria 

and Austria, are inhabited by the German 

people of the Hienzes. Upon an area of 

some 400 square miles are to be found 

_^ „ . 30,000 Slavs ("Water-Croa- 

The Hemzcs, r- ,,. ^ „„„ t u 4. 

.. „ , ' tians ), 10,000 Jews, about 

p' V^'^^ 5,000 Magyars, and about 
*°'' 300,000 Germans, for the most 

part Catholics. The name Hienz, or Haenz, 
points to their German origin, for their 
neighbours would not have given this little 
people any name of German form. Pro- 
bably the name is derived from Heinz, 
Henz, or Aenz (Heinrich or Henry), and 
consequently has the meaning " Henry's 
people," meaning either the Emperor 
Henry III. or Count Henry of Giissing 
(1228 — 1274), who founded one of the 
most powerful families, was for a time 
palatine of the empire, and is often 
mentioned in the frontier wars against 
Styria and the Austrians. He founded 
numerous fortresses in these districts, 
including the castle of Ternstein and the 
town of Giins. His sons, Ivan, or John, 
Peter, Nicholas, and Henry, all occupied 
high positions, and are named in the docu- 
ments " Henry's sons " ; they all worked 
to secure the prestige of their family. 
Almost all the fortresses on the western 
frontier were in their possession. The 
garrisons of these fortresses were exclu- 
■. sively German, recruited for the 
Prosperity ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ surrounding 
Among the inhabitants, and may there- 
Bavftnans ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^j^^^ ^^^ names 

Hienzes, or Haenzes, or have received 
it from their master. 

The remnants of that Bavarian settle- 
ment founded here by Charles the Great 
to oppose the Avars — though we need not 
assume that the colonial activity of Charles 
extended beyond the east frontier into 
Pannonian territory — developed into 



flourishing Bavarian communities under 
the Prankish margraves ; Hke these, the 
settlements of the Hienzes suffered no 
doubt considerable damage from the 
occupation of the country by the Hun- 
garians, but soon received important 
reinforcements in the numerous German 
prisoners brought by the Hungarians 
ft n- t. from German countries in the 

_, .^ , course of their raids, ihis 
Fruits of ^ J. •, • 

Ind t German group of communities 

was especially strengthened in 
the first place by the neighbourhood of 
Austria and Styria, and further by the 
incorporation of German nobles. The 
wooded frontier district, which even at the 
time of the Emperor Henry HI. was so 
inhospitable that he was able to pene- 
trate into Hungary only by following the 
long windings of the Raab, was trans- 
formed by the industry, the native vigour, 
the common-sense, and the God-fearing 
work of the Hienzes into a rich agricul- 
tural, timber-growing, and vine-bearing 
district ; here these people clung tena- 
ciously in the midst of their progress to 
the manners and customs of their fore- 
fathers, and preserved their nationahty 
among a Finno-Ugrian population. 

Political circumstances were almost 
invariably favourable to the progress of 
the Germans, notwithstanding the many 
disturbances which constantly burst over 
the West. In 1440, when Eisenstadt was 
mortgaged by Queen Elizabeth to the 
Austrian duke Albert, the German nation- 
ality received a strong reinforcement. 
With the consent of the Hungarian nobility 
King Matthias Corvinus ceded consider- 
able districts to the Emperor Frederick HI. 

The neighbours of the Hienzes are the 

" Heidebauern," or heath-peasants, who 

lived upon the " heath " on the shores of 

the Lake of Neusiedel, on the Schiitt, and 

near Pressburg. This people is of Suabian 

origin ; they migrated from the district 

on the Bodensee to Hungary during the 

Reformation, to escape the 

-. **«*■ ^* * persecution of the neighbour- 
to Make Room * * a ■ ui j 
, ^ ing Austrian nobles, and 
for Germans ° i. j. j u tvt .1.1- 
were protected by Maria, the 

consort of Lewis H., about 1626. When, 
however, the Counter-Reformation in Hun- 
gary prepared to suppress Protestantism 
by more vigorous measures after 1640, 
some of the heath-peasants returned to 
the bosom of the Catholic Church. 

The neighbourhood of the Austrian 
territories brought with it the consequence 


that the settlements of the Hienzes and 
of the heath-peasants took but httle 
share in the internal disturbances or the 
foreign wars of the Hungarian kingdom ; 
for that reason they were able to preserve 
their German nationality. 

After the expulsion of the Turks, 
the ecclesiastical and secular nobles at- 
tempted, by bringing in German colonists, 
to restore the depopulated and devas- 
tated districts in the neighbourhood of 
the capital, on the heights of the Ver- 
tesgebirge and of the Bakonyer Wald, 
on the Central Danube and in the corner 
between the Danube and the Drave. 
At the end of the seventeenth century 
the Archbishops of Gran settled Suabians 
and Franks upon their property. In 
1690, in the county of Pesth, Suabian 
immigrants founded the town of Izsaszeg, 
and six years later restored the ruins 
of Duna-Haraszti. The Duke Charles 
of Lorraine and Prince Eugene also 
settled Germans on their property at 
Ofen ; their example was followed by 
the Counts Zichy, Raday, and Grassal- 
kovich. In the year 1718 Germans from 
the Rhine districts were settled 
on the property of the lords in 
the counties of Tolna and 
Baranya. The Austrian field- 
marshals, who had been rewarded with 
extensive lands in Hungary after the 
expulsion of the Turks, attempted to 
attract German colonists thither. In the 
majority of such settlements the German 
nationality has survived to the present 
day, though weakened in many respects. 
Of much greater, and sometimes of 
decisive political importance, have been 
the Germans in Northern Hungary. 
Belonging for the most part to the popula- 
tion of Lower Saxony and Central Germany 
— ^Thiiringen and Silesia — they reached 
their present home, between the last third 
of the twelfth century and the middle of 
the thirteenth, in the course of several 
advances to the slopes of the Carpathians, 
Their main calling was mining, but they 
owed much of their prosperity to their com- 
mercial activity and their manufacturing 
industry ; and they received grants of 
municipal privileges through which they 
were enabled to produce a prosperous 
burgher class. Beginning with the 
district of the heath-peasants, whose 
representatives in Germany sent a few 
offshoots over the Danube, their central 
point was Pressburg, which the Hapsburgs 

Secret of 




made, from 1642, the town for the corona- 
tion of the Hungarian kings and the seat 
of the assembly. Most of these advance 
posts have been absorbed, with a few 
scanty exceptions, by the surrounding 
Slovak- Ruthenian population. 

The most northern points of the German 
nationaUty were formerly the mining 
towns of " Lower Hungary." The first 
Germans may have settled here at the 
same date when others occupied Zips 
in the second half of the twelfth century. 
The oldest mining colony, Schemnitz, 
received corporate privileges from Bela 
IV. as early as 1244. The " municipal 
and mining code of Schemnitz," com- 
posed in two sections on the basis of that 
royal document in the thirteenth century 
by the " sworn representatives of the 
town," detailed in forty sections the 
" town rights " and in twenty the " mining 
rights," and was, in the course of the 
fourteenth century, extended to include 
most of the remaining mining towns, 
so far as they had not already charters 
of their own. 

In 1255 the men of Neusohl acquired 
the right to carry on mining 
free of taxation ; their only 

-and Orde&l 

r n ^.. obhgation was to pay a tenth 

of Battle ,° , , , , J -' J 

part of the gold and an 

eighth of the silver to the royal treasury, 
and to serve under the king's flag in 
campaigns. They, too, were allowed the 
ordeal of battle, after the old Saxon 
custom, with swords and round shields. 
It was, however. King Stefan V. who 
first gave Neusohl its charter of freedom 
in the year 1271. Kremnitz, which had 
been the seat of the imperial chamber- 
lain from 1323, was given rights hitherto 
enjoyed only by the rich Kuttenburg 
in Bohemia, by King Charles Robert, 
with the consent of the secular and 
ecclesiastical nobles. Thus the people of 
Kremnitz were able to live under judges of 
their own choice, and could be prose- 
cuted for debt by none in the whole 

In 1424, when King Sigismund handed 
over the mountain towns to his second 
wife, Barbara of CiUi, who died in 1451, the 
result was that they remained a coherent 
group in the possession of the Hungarian 
queen, and received extensive privileges 
enabling them to attain a prosperity which 
aroused the envy and the avarice of the 
lords of neighbouring castles. The castles 
which surrounded that district in a circle 


were partly in possession of the Hussite 
leader Giskra, and partly in that of the 
family of Doczy and of other nobles. In 
1497 the quarrel broke out, but soon ended 
in a compromise. Meanwhile the mining 
towns enjoyed the favour of the power- 
ful families of Thurzo and Fugger, with 
whose support they were able to emerge 
The Richest victoriously from the struggle. 
Towards the close of the fif- 
u teenth and the beginning of the 

^ sixteenth centuries the mining 
towns attained the zenith of their pros- 
perity, notwithstanding the attacks of 
the Turks and the devastations of hostile 
armies. Their export copper trade ex- 
tended beyond Cracow to Danzig and the 
Hansa towns, even to Antwerp and 
Venice. The lessee of the mines of 
Neusohl, Alexius Thurzo, chancellor of 
the imperial exchequer, was regarded in 
1523 as " the richest man in Hungary," 
while his relations in Augsburg, the 
Fuggers, were for a long time bankers of 
the Hungarian kings. 

The disturbances of the seventeenth 
century brought grievous consequences 
upon the mining towns. In 1620 Gabriel 
Bethlen caused himself to be proclaimed 
King of Hungary in Neusohl, and from 
1619 the mining towns were forced to pay 
him heavy taxes. During the disturb- 
ances in the time of Rakoczy and Tokoly, 
these towns were not only the scene of 
warfare, but also lost their prosperity in 
consequence of extortions and devasta- 
tion. Towards the end of the seventeenth 
century the mines became less productive, 
for natural reasons. As an additional 
calamity came the persecutions of the 
Counter-Reformation, to which members 
of the Lutheran doctrine were exposed. 
The impoverished mining towns were now 
occupied by Slovaks and here and there 
by Magyars. The nobility seized the 
greater part of the mines. A century, 
however, was needed to reduce the German 
nationality in this place to its 
present low ebb ; to-day only 
family names and place names 
are German, the population is 
Slovak. Passing over the ruins of German 
nationality in the north-west, we come 
to the extreme north of Hungary to the 
southern slopes of the Carpathians, where 
we find the vigorous German tribe of the 
people of Zips, who since the seventh 
century have had a settled home amid 
the romantic surroundings of the high 


in Ruins 


mountain range, and by their steady 
industry have secured prosperity and repu- 
tation among the neighbouring peoples. 
The wealth of timber, the number of moun- 
tain streams, and the nature of the natural 
products of the " Silva zepus " (in Magyar 
Szepes) hmited the agricultural possibili- 
ties of the place, and naturally turned 
the inhabitants to indus- 
e ormy ^^-^ occupations. Thus the 
, ^ „ inhabitant of Zips became a 

of Geza II. , << i^- i i_ ^ 

workman; his log huts, 

originally scattered about, gradually drew 
closer together, and from this uncouth 
nucleus developed the towering town." 

The first definite occupation of Zips by 
the Germans probably falls in the stormy 
period of Geza II., who was in alliance 
with the Welf duke, Henry the Lion. 
Tradition speaks of the Count Reinold, 
who was the king's chief justice, and led 
his brother compatriots into this district 
about 1 150. A contemporary Byzantine 
writer, Johannes Kinnamos, speaks of an 
army of Czechs and Saxons which was 
gathered by Geza in 1156, for a war 
against Constantinople. It was not until 
the end of the twelfth century, under 
Bela III., that the main reinforcement 
reached Zips ; this was drawn chiefly 
from Central Germany, especially from 
Silesia. The modern dialect of Zips is 
allied to that of Silesia. 

At the beginning of the thirteenth 
century individual stragglers followed, 
after Gertrude of Andechs-Meran, the first 
wife of Andreas II., had conferred property 
in Zips on several Tyrolese noble families ; 
from their leader, Riidiger of Deutsch- 
Matrei, the Berzeviczy derived their 
descent. The oppressive rule of the 
nobility of German extraction seems even 
then to have become so highly unpopular 
that in 1213 the national Magyar party 
began a bloody revolt against the queen 
regent, who favoured the Germans. After 
the invasion of the Mongols, which 
divides the history of Zips, like 
that of so many other districts, 
Rev It ^^^^ ^^° stages, a large influx of 
immigrants appeared in the 
fourteenth century, chiefly from Silesia 
and Thuringia. 

In a short time the German places 
in this remote mountain district became 
so prosperous that the society of the 
clergy of Zips, founded about 1232 
under their provost, and known after 1248 
as a " sodalitate," or " confraternity," 



arranged the secular or ecclesiastical affairs 
of the country. In 1274 Ladislaus IV. 
confirmed the rights of this society ; in 
129.7 Andreas III. also gave it the right 
to collect tithes. Before 1271 Stefan V, 
had given his " faithful Saxons of Zips " 
a " privilegium " as a guarantee of their 
" independence." Thereafter these " royal 
places " had to pay three hundred marks 
of silver every year, in return for which 
they were free of all other contributions, 
and in time of war had to place fifty armed 
men beneath the king's banner. They 
were allowed to choose their own count, 
who governed them according to their 
rights, and also their clergy. Hunting, 
fishing, and mining rights were also 
recognised in their charters. 

After the death of the last Arpad in 
130 1, under the leadership of the soldier 
Matthaeus of Esak, of the mountain 
fortress of Trentschin, the nobility of 
the Waag district attempted a revolt. 
The people of Zips, who had formerly 
done homage to Wenzel and Otto, 
now joined the Angevin Charles Robert, 
who with their help decisively defeated 
. the west Hungarian nobility 
King Lewis ^^ Rozgony, in the valley of 

the Friend ^u t- • t • 

f L'h theTarcza, in 1312. In recogni- 

" ^ tion of the services which they 

had " willingly done him since his youth," 

and for their " manly and faithful struggle 

against Matthaeus of Trentschin, in which 

they spared neither person nor purse," 

Charles Robert, in 1318, confirmed the 

privileges of the twenty-four royal towns. 

On the basis of this charter the chiefs, 
representatives, and elders, in 1370, drew 
up an important legal code, the " arbi- 
trium " — that is, free choice or con- 
vention — of the Saxons in Zips ; this 
was recognised in the same year by 
King Lewis, and thus became law. 
Ecclesiasticism, a love of discipline, 
a strong sense of honesty, are the 
most striking features of this code. 
Manufactures at this flourishing period 
were controlled by guilds and associations. 
Trade and industry began to develop in 
the towns and plains. Numerous 
foreigners lived here all the year round, 
for the reason that a vigorous commercial 
intercourse went on between this place 
and Poland and Silesia. 

Exactly 100 years after the confirma- 
tion of the privileges by Charles Robert, 
the first heavy blow fell upon Zips. On 
November 8th, 1412, the Emperor-king 


zoo ^ jy 


Sigismund I., who was in a constant state 
of financial embarrassment, mortgaged 
the'' thirteen settlements of Zips, together 
with the royal fiefs of Lublau, Pudlein, 
and Gnesen, to Vladislav of Poland. The 
alliance of the towns of Zips was continued 
for a time even after their alienation. 
They were handed over to Pohsh officials, 

who soon began to exercise an 

* °°°* arbitrary authority in the 

Q mortgaged district and made it 

an hereditary starosty. At the 
instance of the Hungarian Diet, Vladislav 
III. promised to give back the country 
in 1440, but in the agreement of Altenburg 
between Hungary and Poland the mort- 
gage was renewed in 1474. This agreement 
sealed the doom of the German nationality 
in the northern districts and in part of 
the southern. 

Further damage was inflicted by the 
intrusion of the Hussites and the 
supremacy of Bohemian mercenaries 
under Giskra. Political independence 
disappeared ; towns that remained 
Hungarian were deserted, and were handed 
over by the king to the noble families. 
Thus King Matthias conferred upon his 
faithful Emerich Zapolya the hereditary 
county of Zips, and also, in 1480, the 
possession of the town of Kasmark, which 
had been made a royal free town, together 
with the nine parishes attached to it. 
In 1655 Kasmark alone had been able to 
resist the intrusion of the Magyar nobility 
and of the Slavs, and secured recognition 
as a free town.' 

In the course of these distresses the 
Germans of Zips would in no long time 
have suffered an invasion of foreign 
nationalities had not the German element 
in Upper Hungary been strengthened by 
the Reformation with its German preach- 
ing and its German hymns. The close 
connection with Germany, in the high 
schools of which several pupils from Zips 
studied the sciences every year, brought 
F * a A with it the consequence that 
„ . ^ men like Martin Cziriak, 

o , *• * a pupil of Melan-chthon, 
Reformation ^, ^ r . > 

Thomas Preisner, and George 

Leutscher boldly and successfully fought 
against the Catholic clergy. The Refor- 
mation was carried out, therefore, in 
1546 throughout the country of Zips 
notwithstanding the decrees of 1523 and 
1525, in which it was declared that 
" all Lutherans with their supporters and 
adherents would be regarded as open 


heretics and enemies of the sacred Virgin 
Mary, and would be punished by execution 
and confiscation of their property." 

On the 26th of October, 154O, the entire 
clergy of Zips publicly acknowledged the 
Lutheran creed. The intellectual revival 
brought with it fresh development of 
trade and manufacture. The linen and 
cloth fabrics of Zips, and the leather and 
metal work of the country, were famous 
far and wide on the North Sea and the 
Baltic, in the midst of Russia and in Con- 
stantinople. At Whitsuntide, Greeks, 
Russians, and Serbs, even North Germans, 
were in the habit of visiting the country 
to make their purchases. The inhabitants 
were an enterprising and energetic little 
people, who kept in touch with the mother 
country in their new mountain home and 
created a civilisation which raised the 
citizens and the peasants of the time 
to a height of prosperity and intelligence 
unusual in Hungary. 

Soon, however, this revival of German 
science and art was exposed to severe 
attacks. In 1588 opposition to the new 
faith began at the instigation of Martin 
p Pethe, the provost of Zips, and 

cace o jj^ j-^Q^ Ij^g opposition de- 

n .. velopedmto a Vigorous counter- 

Persecution J. ^ ,. ^9 

reformation. Ihe government 

Catholic commissioners appeared in Zips 
and attempted to force the inhabitants to 
surrender their churches to the Catholics ; , 
but the people rose in revolt and drove out 
the commissioners. The disturbances 
under Stefan Bocskay and the peace 
of Vienna of 1606 put an end for 
some time to the persecution of the Pro- 
testants in Zips. 

But in 1632 the Jesuits, in conjunction 
with the Magyar Catholic nobles and 
with the military and civil authorities, 
began again the work of forcible 
conversion. The Protestant clergy lost 
their property and were driven out of 
the country ; their churches were taken 
from them by the soldiers and handed 
over to the CathoUcs. This work was 
continued by a process of forcibly 
denationalising the towns and parishes and 
by electing Magyar nobles as councillors 
and judges. Notwithstanding the vigorous 
support which they gave to all those 
political risings which took place in the 
interests of the new creed, during the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, 
under Bocskay, Bethlen, Tokoly, and 
Franz Rakoczy, the Germans of Zips had 


to suffer the hardest treatment from their 
own allies. Devastation, persecution, and 
oppression of every kind produced the 
result that the Germans grew steadily 
weaker through the advance of the 
Hungarians and of the productive, adapt- 
able and capable Slovaks. 

Notwithstanding the depth of this over- 
throw, wherever a hand's-breadth of 
favourable soil was to be found, the 
irrepressible vigour of the inhabitants 
brought forth new results. German in- 
dustry and economy survived the worst 
disasters, and eventually succeeded in 
producing a feeble similitude of former 
prosperity. Among the free towns, in- 
dustrial and commercial life continued to 
flourish. The German language was pre- 
dominant notwithstanding the prevalence 
of Magyar, Slav, and Low Latin, and was 
the medium of constant communication 
with foreign countries. The feeling of 
German nationality was, however, terribly 

In 1772 thirteen places mortgaged to 

Poland were reunited with Hungary, and 

" the sixteen towns of Zips " were placed 

under a special Count, as judge 

appy an ^^^^ supreme administrative 

-, oincial: the Empress - queen 

Germans ,. ~, ^ , ^ 

Maria Theresa not only con- 
firmed the previous privileges, but 
added new rights in 1775. 

It is an indisputable fact that wherever 
the German nationality in Hungary has 
devoted itself to trade and manufacture 
the lapse of time has brought annihila- 
tion, in spite of the prosperity and 
culture acquired, whereas the communities 
especially devoted to agriculture and 
cattle-breeding have been able to maintain 
their position to the present day. 

The home of the Transylvanian Saxons 
is encircled and traversed by the Car- 
pathians, with their snow-clad summits 
white under the midsummer sun, with 
their wooded valleys full of flowers, birds, 
and animals, with their rushing brooks and 
streams. Here, more than seven centuries 
ago, the Germans found the counterpart 
of their earlier home, and here they settled. 
Many a storm burst over this peaceful 
centre of German civilisation ; but inter- 
vals of rest continually recurred during 
which this offshoot of the parent stock 
put forth new growth. 

The chief settlements of tlie Germans in 
Transylvania were made under Geza II. 
for the protection of the south-east 

frontier of the empire against the Cuma- 
nians, who had established themselves in 
Moldavia and Wallachia after the sub- 
jugation of the Pechenegs, and made 
constant incursions into the neighbouring 
provinces. These immigrants came partly 
from the Lower Rhine, partly from 
Flanders, and are designated as " Teutons 

^ . -^ from beyond the forest ; " they 
Kronst&dt 11 i< t-i • r> 

n are also known as Flemmgs. 

Becomes t^, .•^, ,,0 m ° 

the C 't 1 oaxons, or 

Saxones, which afterwards 
became universal, does not appear before 
1206. Their settlements extended along 
the banks of the Alt to its confluence with 
the Homorod, and from the Maros to the 
valley of the Kokel River. The proximity 
of savage tribes forced the settlers to 
build fortified churches and castles where 
the inhabitants of the plain could take 
refuge in time of need. In course of time 
these strongholds developed into towns 
and places of greater size. A favourite 
point of entrance for marauding bands 
was upon the extreme south of the Burzen 
district ; for this reason Andreas II. 
allowed the Teutonic Order to build 
stockades and towns here in 1211 ; Kron- 
stadt then became the capital. TheOrder 
was, however, forbidden to populate the 
district of Burzen with Saxons from the 
neighbouring provinces, and new settlers 
were brought in. 

After the expulsion of the German 
knights, which took place in 1225, in 
spite of the vigorous support accorded 
to them by Pope Honorius III., Kron- 
stadt soon became prosperous and 
exercised a kind of hegemony over the 
other colonies ; the town is first md^- 
tioned in a document of 1252. The 
German colonies in the district of Nosen 
seem to be of earlier date ; in 1264 Bistritz 
seems to have been in existence for some 
time. These north-eastern Transylva- 
nians, like those of Dees, probably came 
from other parts of Hungary, and settled 
here to carry on the mining 
Huagarian industry. The chief places, 

Queens Private 11 j j.u ■ 

p which were under their own 

roper y counts in 1300, together 
with their surrounding districts, formed the 
private property of the Hungarian queens 
from an early date ; thus on July i6th, 1264, 
Pope Urban IV. orders the king's son 
Stefan (V.) to restore the towns of Bistritz, 
Rodna, Senndorf, and Baierdorf which he 
had unjustly taken from his mother, 
Maria. On December 29th, 1330, the 



" citizens and colonists of Bistritz and 
those belonging to that jurisdiction " 
received a charter from Queen Elizabeth, 
with the consent of her husband Charles, 
by the terms of which they were placed 
exclusively under the jurisdiction of 
judges elected by themselves. In a short 
time the German settlements rose to 

a prosperity and political 
e r m a n importance which secured 

res '8« * » » them the favour of the 

Hungarian kings. Thus, 
about 1 1 85, Bela II. was able to report to 
Paris, upon the occasion of his betrothal, the 
receipt of 15,000 marks from the foreign 
settlers of the king in Transylvania. The 
rapidity with which the prestige of the 
Germans increased and the height to 
which it rose is evidenced by the " An- 
dreanum " of the close of 1224 ; in this 
edict Andreas II. confirmed and increased 
all the privileges granted to the 
Germans from Broos to Draas, near Neps, 
upon their immigration ; he united the 
independent districts of the settlers 
brought in by Geza II. into one province 
governed by an elected " count " as 
supreme judge who resided in Hermann- 

The progress of prosperity was, how- 
ever, soon checked by the Mongol invasions 
of 1240-1242. The fortified towns and 
strongholds of the country could provide 
refuge for comparatively few. The 
majority fled to the mountains, where they 
perished. Under the fostering care of the 
kings the German settlements recovered 
comparatively quickly after the retreat of 
the Mongols. Such new settlements as 
Klausenburg were also founded by Stef an V. , 
before 1270, as Duke of Transylvania ; 
for the benefit of his soul he conferred this 
fief upon the Church of Weissenburg. As 
Hungarian nobles were not allowed to 
settle upon Saxon soil, and as the Germans 
of that district enjoyed the rights of 
nobles, the last of the Arpads, Andreas III., 
summoned them to partici- 

^.,. pation in the Hungarian diet 

Wilderness f ^ . j ■ a ^ 

to Garden ^" l^^y; ^^92, and m August, 
1290. In 150 years the 
" Saxons" had cleared and completely 
transformed the former wilderness. 
About 300 strongholds, forts, and fortified 
churches protected the goods and chattels 
of freemen, and guaranteed the security of 
this once doubtful Hungarian possession. 
The swamps were drained and became fruit- 
ful, arable land. Upon the mountains and in 


the lonely valleys, in the fertile lowlands 
of the Kokel River, and where the stony 
slopes of the Carpathians bring forth a 
scanty harvest, dwelt a people whose indus- 
trial and agricultural labours and peaceful 
devotion to the arts had created a flourish- 
ing country, while their representatives 
sat in the diet side by side with the barons 
and prelates of the empire. 

When the house of Arpad became 
extinct in 1301, hard times began for the 
Saxons of Transylvania. Like all the 
Germans in Hungary, they had joined 
Otto, the duke of Lower Bavaria ; he 
accepted their well-meant invitation, fell 
into the hands of the treacherous voivode 
Ladislaus, or Apor, and was soon forced to 
leave the country. The Saxons were then 
exposed to the oppression of the Bishop 
of Weissenburg, and the powerful voivode 
deprived them of the rich silver mines of 
Rodna. In 1324 they were forced to take 
up arms in defence of their rights of 1224, 
which had been again secured to them on 
May 25th, 1317, by Charles Robert, who 
had become sole ruler in the meantime. 
This period of oppression was followed 
H J T- by a time of prosperity under 
ZVthe^^ the government of Lewis I., 
„ who favoured Saxon trade in 

every possible way. From 1 369, 
Kronstadt possessed staple privileges 
against Polish, German, and other foreign 
merchants, especially cloth merchants. 
The fairs in Germany and Poland were 
visited by bands of Saxons. The trade 
route led to Germany through Prague, 
and passed to the south-west through the 
Danube territories to Dalmatia and Venice. 
Numerous schools and churches, monas- 
teries and hospitals, were founded, and ths 
citizen guilds, brotherhoods, and train- 
bands were admirably organised. 

After the death of Lewis the great 
troubles again began. Under Sigismund 
(1387-1437) internal disturbances broke 
out, in the course of which the neighbour- 
hood of Klausenburg was devastated by 
the king's opponents. But the greatest 
danger menacing Transylvania was the 
advance of the Turks. In 1420 they 
destroyed the old " Saxon town " of 
Broos, and carried the inhabitants away 
to slavery ; in the next year they over- 
whelmed Kronstadt. Previous to and 
during their invasions the first gipsies 
entered the country. In Hungary the 
struggles of the Magyar nobles with the 
German citizens were beginning, and at 


this time the three hard-pressed "peoples" 
of Transylvania, the Hungarians, the old 
Magyar Szeklers, and the Saxons, con- 
cluded the " Union " at Kapolna on 
September 28th, 1427, and swore " to 
protect one another against all and sundry 
who should attack them ; only, if the 
king should infringe the rights of one of 
the contracting peoples, the other two 
should appear before him on bended 
knees and ask his favour. For the rest, 
upon the second day following an appeal for 
help, the parties should start with all their 
forces to give aid as quickly as possible 
and should march at least twelve miles 

In the year 1438 the Turks destroyed 
the town of Miihlbach and captured 
some 75,000 slaves, after fruitlessly 
besieging Hermannstadt for forty- 
five days. On November loth, 1444, 
the banner of the Saxons waved over the 
battlefield of Varna, and in October, 1448, 
they fought_ against the hereditary enemy 
on the Ansel f eld under John Hunyadi. 
But the domestic life of the German settlers 
was shattered by these miUtary distur- 
bances. Klausenburg and Winz 

* ""^ * soon received a Magyar influx 
w * th °^ population, which speedily 

*'^'** became predominant and 

broke off connection with the other Sa;con 
districts. On the accession of Matthias 
Hunyadi, the Hungarians, Szeklers, and 
Saxons renewed the alliance of Kapolna 
at Mediasch in 1459, with a view to 
resisting any possible attacks of the king, 
The revolt was stifled by the rapidity of 
his movements. To these internal dis- 
turbances were added the invasions of the 
Turks, who continually renewed their 
harassing incursions, even after their 
defeat on the Brotfeld in October 13th, 
1479. King Matthias recognised the 
services of the Saxons and increased their 

Notwithstanding the troubles of the 
age, their close and profitable intercourse 
with the mother country had enabled the 
Saxons to surpass every other nationahty 
jwithin the empire in respect of culture. 
Every year several Saxon youths went as 
students to the German high schools at 
Wittenberg, Jena, and TUbingen, and 
brought back a knowledge of science and 
art for the benefit of their own country. 
By these channels of intercourse the great 
ecclesiastical Reformation of the sixteenth 
century reached the Saxon colonies and 

rapidly secured the general support. In 

15 19 Saxon merchants brought Luther's 

writings from the fair of Leipsic ; in 

1521-1522 the first evangelical preachers, 

the Silesian Ambrosius and Conrad Welch, 

appeared in Hermannstadt. The energy 

of a pupil of Melanchthon, the Saxon 

preacher Johannes Honter (1498-1549), 

^ . who brought a printing-press 

. jj with him, secured the suc- 

n ungary ^^^^ ^^ ^^^ Reformation in 

Break Apart ^ ... ^, 

Transylvania in 1547. The 

struggle for the throne between Zapolya 
and Ferdinand I. cost the Saxons 
heavily in life and property. After the 
death of Zapolya Suleiman II., who 
claimed the suzerainty of Transylvania, 
conferred the country upon Johann Sigis- 
mund Zapolya, who was then in his 
minority. His authority was hmited to 
the district on the further side of the 
Theiss, and the period of the separation 
of Transylvania from Hungary then begins, 
to last for 150 years. For a short time 
Transylvania came into the power of 
King Ferdinand, but after the death of 
Johann Sigismund in 1571 the sultan 
transferred it to Stefan Eathori, who 
brought in the Jesuits. In December, 
1575, he was elected King of Poland, and 
then handed over Transylvania to his 
brother Christopher, who also seconded 
the efforts of the Jesuits to bring the 
country back to Roman- Catholicism. 

At that time the Saxons were exposed 
to extortion of every kind. They found a 
supporter in Stefan Bocskay, who was 
chosen prince by the nobles and Szeklers 
on February 22nd, 1605, but died on 
September 29th, 1606. Siegmund Rako- 
czy occupied the country from February, 
1607, but abdicated on March 3rd, 1608. 
Gabriel Bathory now ascended the throne. 
He captured Hermannstadt and attempted 
to get possession of Kronstadt. But on 
October i6th, 1612, the people of 
Kronstadt inflicted a severe defeat upon 
_ him, under the leadership of 

SroLd "'' ^^^^^ burgomaster, Michael 
*d °M d d ^^^^SS' ^^^ ^ost his life in the 
battle. Shortly afterwards 
the population of Transylvania rose in a 
body against this crazy tyrant ; he was de- 
posed and murdered at Grosswardein, while 
in the act of flight, on October 27th, 1613. 
Gabriel Isethlen, the leader of the revolt, 
restored the old privileges of the Saxons. 
After his early death on November 15th, 
1629, a Saxon chronicler justly wrote: 



" God grant this famous hero peaceful 
rest and a joyous resurrection hereafter, 
for he left the country securer than he 
found it." In the age of the two George 
Rak*zys (1631-1660) Transylvania suf- 
fered from wars with Moldavia, Wallachia, 
and Poland. Recognising the situation 
as impossible, Michael Apasi broke 
.away from the Turkish 
_. * ^**°'** supremacy and placed Tran- 
*^ * . sylvania under the protection 
of Leopold I., by the Trac- 
tatus Hallerianus of 1686, the terms 
. of which he was compelled to repeat 
with greater emphasis in the con- 
vention of Blasendorf of October 27th, 
1687. The country was occupied by the 
imperial troops, and at the diet of Fogaras 
the oath of fidelity was taken to the 
Hapsburgs as the hereditary kings of 
Hungary. Some resistance was offered 
only by the lower classes of Kronstadt ; 
the town was forced to surrender to the 
general Veterani on May i6th, 1688. By 
the " Diploma of Leopold " of December 
4th, 1691, the Saxons were secured in the 
possession of their rights. The govern- 
ment of the Queen-empress Maria Theresa, 
who made Transylvania a principality in 
1765, was followed by the ill-considered 
reforms of her son Joseph IL, when the 
special constitution of the Saxons was in 
great measure sacrificed. 

Far in the south, in the Banate of Temes 
and in the Bacska, are the last and most 
recent German settlements in Himgary. 
The Banate of Temes is bounded by the 
Danube, the Theiss, the Maros, and the 
mountains of Transylvania. After 166 years 
.of Turkish rule it was restored to Hungary 
by the peace of Poscharevatz on July 21st, 
1718, which followed the victories of 
Prince Eugene of Savoy. During the 
Turkish supremacy the wide lowlands and 
hill districts of the counties of Torontal and 
Temes were transformed into a desert. 
Consequently Count Claudius Florimond 
_ Mercy, the first governor of this 

rosperi y ^g^g^g brought in colonists 

Under Wise r r^ tj. i j 

^ ^ from Germany, Italy, and 

Government <- • xi ii. t 

Spam after the year 1720. In 

1728 there were ten villages occupied by 
Suabians, one village of Italians, and one 
of Spaniards. Under Mercy's govern- 
ment, between 1722 and 1730, the town 
and fortress of Temesvar were restored, 
and numerous villages were founded 
and occupied with colonists who came 
:from Treves, Cologne, Alsace-Lorraine, 


Luxemburg, and the Black Forest. After 
the count's heroic death at Crocetta, near 
Parma, on June 29th, 1734, the settlements 
entered upon a period of distress, the 
devastation of the Turkish wars, between 
1737- 1739, thinning their numbers. 

Under Maria Theresa a special colonial 
commission was set on foot in Vienna 
on July 22nd, 1766, which brought in 
Catholic colonists from the districts of 
Havenstein, Treves, Lorraine, and the 
Breisgau. At that time more than 25,000 
Germans are said to have found a home 
in the Banate. Moreover, the Emperor 
Joseph 1 1., who made a personal visit to the 
Banate, issued an " immigration patent " 
on September 21st, 1782, in which he gave 
a special invitation to " members of the 
German Empire in the Upper Rhine 
district " to take up settlements. By the 
terms of this patent the immigrants were 
to travel free of expense, to receive 
allotments of ground for building and 
cultivation, necessary implements, and a 
certain sum of money. The Germans 
came in large numbers, built fourteen 
_^ new settlements in 1784- 

c mperor j-^g^^ ^^^ increased thirteen 

, . ,. others. The neierhbouriner 

Immigration , , ^ u- u i, j 

county of Bacs, which had 

been wrested from the Ottomans im- 
mediately after the victory of Mohacs 
in 1687, received attention at a later 
period than the Banate. In accordance 
with the " colonisation patent " of 1763 
full arrangements were made by a royal 
commission for the occupation of the 
district by Germans. The greatest in- 
flux of settlers took place between May ist, 
1784, and November 30th, 1785 ; during 
that period 2,057 families, amounting 
to 9,201 persons, entered the county of 
Bacs. Then, by the decree of April 
24th, 1786, further immigration at the 
expense of the state was stopped. As 
most of the Germans were of the agricul- 
tural class, numerous large villages arose, 
which have preserved their German charac- 
ter to the present day. The number of 
Germans here amounts to about 30 per 
cent, of the whole population. The chief 
places inhabited by Germans are Apatin 
Cservenka, Csonopla, Kula, Alt-Futak, 
Alt-Szivacz, Bajmok, Stanisics. In spite 
of the number of languages spoken upon 
this frontier district, German is at the 
present time predominant. 

Heinrich von Vlislocki 
Hans F. Helmolt 








HTHE realms of which we are accustomed 
■'■ to think to-day inclusively as Austria 
are occupied by an extraordinary com- 
posite of nationalities. Throughout the 
greater part of it the Teuton has planted 
himself, but in only a small portion of the 
whole is he the historical lord of the 
land. In fact, he is a colonist. Hungary 
is a Magyar kingdom, ethnologically of 
Mongol origin. The south-west, as we have 
also seen, is Slavonic. The north-west — 
Bohemia and Moravia — is also Slavonic. 
Yet the sceptre of the whole has passed 
to the ruhng house of the German wedge 
thrust in between the southern and the 
-western Slavs. Thus, while the house 
of Hapsburg is of the West, and throughout 
its history essentially a western power, 
the great bulk of its dominions to-day 
belongs historically to the East of Europe. 

Bohemia, with Moravia, forms 
Ki^ o'f""*'" ^^^ central district of Europe. 
_ "*5 ° . Every wave of barbarian 
Bohemia •■',. , ■ . j. 

migration surged against it, 

most of them seem at one time or another 
to have worked into it or through 
it — Kelt and Teuton, Mongol and Slav. 
Who was in occupation at any given time 
till long after Rome had ceased to be 
imperial, it is nearly impossible to deter- 
mine. It seems, however, tolerably clear 
that in the sixth century the Slavs were 
in possession; and in the seventh, the 
Mongol Avar " Empire," of which Httle 
enough is known, disappeared as the 
Huns disappeared ; leaving the Slavs to' 
work out their own future. 

The further development of the Slav 
settlement, its extension, and its political 
organisation, are hidden from us by a gap 
in tradition, extending over more than a 
century and a half. We may, however, 
conclude that the international develop- 
ment of the country progressed consider- 
ably, from the Bohemian legend as related 
by Kosmas in the beginning of the twelfth 

century, which tells of Krok, Libusha, 

and Premysl, the farmer of Staditz, who 

was called from the ploughshare to the 

throne, and became the ancestor of the 

first royal house of Bohemia. 

It is probable that political and social 

life in Moravia developed much more 

Louis the quickly and strongly during 

p:^ w. the same period ; for before 

rious a Man x^ i_ • <• .> 

of Peace Bohemia emerges from the 

obscurity of legend into the 
clear light of history, there rises on Mora- 
vian soil, quietly and without any legendary 
history, a self-contained principality known 
as the Moravian kingdom of the Moimirids, 
after the founder of the dynasty, Moimir. 
During the military period of Charles the 
Great it is unknown, and it appears in its 
full power only during the peaceful 
reign of Louis the Pious. While Moimir 
did homage to the German emperor 
and offered presents, he extended his 
power eastwards, driving out of his country 
the neighbouring Slav prince who had 
settled in Neitra. The Prankish counts 
in the East Mark and in Pannonia had 
every opportunity of watching the growth 
of the neighbouring Moravian kingdom, 
and the fact that the Slav prince took 
refuge with them upon his expulsion, and 
received their support, tends to show that 
Moimir's aspirations met with no approval 
upon this side. However, serious opposi- 
tion to the powers rising on the frontier 
of the empire formed no part of the policy 
^ . . , of Louis the Pious. After the 
JJ°;^.y ' treaty of Verdun, in 843, Lewis 
St '^"''^i ^^® German took over, with 
rugg e j^.^ districts in the east, the 
task of securing supremacy of the 
empire formerly founded by the Em- 
peror Charles over the neighbouring 
Slavs ; it was inevitable that a struggle 
between the two states should break out, 
as indeed the Franks had already expected 
on their side. Even the fragmentary 



descriptions which have come down to us 
give an idea of the fury and extent of this 
struggle, in Which the weaker side, the 
Moimirid principality, always reappears 
upon the scene, heroically maintaining its 
position in spite of repeated defeat. Moi- 
mir himself escaped into his fortified 
castles from the first attack which the 
_ German king delivered in the 

man ^^^ g^ pj.^ ^^^^ however. 
Armies in-' i_i_i- ji 

j^ . was brought to an end by a 

domestic conspiracy led by his 
own nephew Rastiz, or Rastislav. The 
second Moimirid then received the inherit- 
ance of his uncle from the hands of the 
Franks, to govern the land likewise under 
their supremacy. The struggle, however, 
soon broke out anew, because Rastislav 
followed in his predecessor's footsteps, and 
strove to secure complete independence 
of the Prankish kingdom. German armies 
repeatedly marched upon Moravia in the 
years 855, 864, 866, and 869. However, 
no decisive battle took place. At one 
time by pretended submission, and at 
another by flight into his impregnable 
castles, Rastislav forced the Franks either 
to make peace or to retire from the in- 
hospitable country. Once again domestic 
treachery placed the Moravian prince in 
the power of Lewis, in 870. The defeater 
of Rastislav, his nephew Svatopluk 
(Zwentibold), secured the supremacy over 
the whole of Moravia under the protec- 
torate of France, while his uncle was 
punished by blinding and confinement in 
a French monastery. 

The poUtical struggle for the foundation 
of a powerful Slav empire was accom- 
panied, from the outset, by a serious 
attempt to break the ecclesiastical ties 
which united these countries with 
Germany. German, Italian, and Greek 
priests were working simultaneously in the 
country, and the disastrous consequences 
to the land afforded the prince Rastislav 
a plausible excuse for appearing before 
_ „. . the Roman Pope Nicholas 

f*tK^ "»»o»««"» J with a request that he 

.. -v r -it •• should decide what priests 
" True Faith 1 1 j 1 r ^ j i. 

should henceforward be 

permitted to preach and teach in Moravia. 
The Pope, however, is said to have declined 
to consider the question, or perhaps to 
have decided it against the wishes of the 
Moravian prince, who in 863 asked for 
fresh teachers from the Greek emperor 
Michael III. to preach the true faith to the 
Moravian nation in their own language. 


The mission was entrusted to the 
brothers Constantine and Methodius of 
Thessalonica. Their spiritual work in 
Moravia began in the year 864 ; as, how-, 
ever, they possessed no high ecclesiastical 
rank, they confined themselves at first to 
the education of the children. As they 
desired to fulfil the object of their mission, 
the introduction of divine service in the 
Slavonic language, both into the Moravian 
and also into the neighbouring Slav 
kingdom of the Pannonian prince Kozel, 
the brothers, accompanied by the most 
capable of their scholars, betook them- 
selves to Rome in 867, in order to secure 
the Pope's permission for the use of the 
Slavonic liturgy. Pope Hadrian II. is 
said to have fulfilled the wish of the 
Moravians in 868. 

Feeling, however, a presentiment of 
approaching death, Constantine resolved 
not to return to Moravia ; he entered 
the monastery at Rome, took the name 
Cyril as a monk, and died shortly after- 
wards, on February 14th, 869. The 
continuation of his apostolic work was 
left to his brother Methodius, who had 
. been consecrated bishop at 

Loles His ^°"^^- Hardly, however, had 
_,. ' ' he returned to Moravia with 
the intention of resuming the 
struggle against the German clergy, so 
successfully begun, when the revolution 
took place which cost Rastislav his throne 
and freedom, and transformed Moravia 
practically into a Prankish mark. Metho- 
dius then succumbed to his opponents ; 
for two and a half years, during the 
first years of the reign of Svatopluk in 
Moravia, he remained a prisoner in a 
German monastery. 

Friendly as were the relations existing 
between the new Moravian prince and the 
neighbouring German Empire, and in 
particular with Karlmann, the count of 
the East Mark, they continued but a short 
time. So soon as Karlmann had reason 
to suspect the fidelity of Svatopluk, he 
seized his person and his property, and 
retained him at his court in honourable 
confinement, with the idea that his re- 
moval would make it easier to establish 
Prankish supremacy in Moravia. How- 
ever, the oppressed Moravian population 
began a desperate attempt to secure their 
freedom. Karlmann thought that he 
could entrust the task of crushing this 
movement to no more suitable person than 
Svatopluk, so entirely had the Slav won 


the confidence of the German. Hardly, 
however, did Svatopluk find himself 
among his own people, ere he gave rein 
to his long-repressed fury, and with one 
blow destroyed not only the army which 
had been sent to his support, but also all 
semblance of Prankish dominion in Mora- 
via. In the two following years (872 and 
873) Karlmann was unable to break down 
the resistance of Svatopluk. Not until 
the year 874 have we direct evidence of 
the conclusion of a peace at Forchheim, 
under which Svatopluk promised fidelity, 
obedience, and the usual annual tribute. 
Peace for eight years followed this act of 

During the period of this national 
rising the Moravians also remembered 
Methodius in his imprisonment abroad ; 
their representations at Rome eventually 
induced Pope John VIII. to order the 
Bavarian bishops to liberate the Moravian 
apostle. Methodius immediately pro- 
ceeded — about the outset of the year 873 — 
to Kozel, in the Pannonian principality, 
and shortly afterwards to Moravia, where 
he was received with marks of high respect 
on the part of the prince and people. 
Svatopluk, however, failed to appreciate 
the help which might have been given to 
his pohtical plans by a firm establishment 
of the Slavonic Church in the country. 
During the dogmatic quarrels between 
Methodius and the Bavarian clergy he 



maintained a position of neutrality : he 
went so far as to express the wish that 
Methodius should prove his orthodoxy 
before the Pope at Rome. The latter was 
thus for the second time obliged to journey 
thither, and in the year 880 returned to 
his diocese under full papcd protection, 
and with further recognition of the 
dignity of his position. Even now, how- 
ever, it was impossible for him to gain a 
complete victory over his opponents in 
Moravia ; the Bavarian clergy maintained 
their position in the country, and threw 
obstacles in his way. It was not until the 
last years of his hfe — he died on April 6th, 
885 — that his position in Moravia became 
more peaceful. 

Within this period (882-884) occurred 
many violent pohtical struggles between 
Svatopluk and the neighbouring Prankish 
districts. The Moravian prince then 
appeared as the protector of one of two 
families who were struggling to secure 
the position of count in the Traungau 
and in the East Mark, while Arnulf, 
or Arnolf, the son of Karlmann, who 
governed the marks of Karantania and 
Pannonia, supported the opposition party. 
The war began in 882. In 883 Svatopluk 
was raging in Pannonia " like a wolf," 
and in the following year hostilities were 
renewed. The feud was repressed only 
upon the interference of the Emperor 
Charles III. in the East Mark in August, 



884. In 885 peace was concluded 
between Svatopluk and Arnulf, and 
resulted in a mutual understanding so 
complete that, when Arnulf became can- 
didate for the crown of Germany in 
Frankfort in the year 887, Svatopluk 
zealously supported him. Under such 
circumstances the work of Cyril and 
Methodius could not flourish 
in Moravia, the more so as 

Sl&v Priests' 
Flight from 

the death of the latter had 
thrown the entire responsi- 
bility upon the feeble shoulders of a 
disciple. In the very year of the death 
of Methodius, the year of Svatopluk's 
reconciliation with the Franks, a general 
persecution of the disciples of Methodius 
began in Moravia ; only a few received 
permission from Svatopluk to leave the 
country. The Slav priests then took 
refuge in the south Slavonic countries, 
where their liturgy found a field unex- 
pectedly productive. 

Thus, politically as well as ecclesiasti- 
cally, Moravia remained in peaceful 
dependence upon the Prankish Empire 
until the year 890. At that time divergent 
conceptions concerning the relation of 
the Moravian princes to the German king 
brought forth new points of difference, 
which were to be solved only by further 
fighting. In the first campaign in 892, 
and more especially in the following year, 
the Moravians held the field ; but in the 
year 895, when the power of the Slav 
kingdom for resistance was to be tested 
for the third time, Svatopluk died a sudden 
but natural death. With him disappeared 
irrevocably the whole splendour of the 
Moravian kingdom. The violent struggle 
between the brothers, who were the 
heirs of Svatopluk, accelerated the down- 
fall, and the strength of the country was 
further weakened by the secession of both 
Bohemian and Silesian districts, over 
which the military power of Svatopluk 
had extended his dominion. Under these 
, circumstances it was im- 

oravia a s p^ggjj-jjg j^j- ^^le country to 

Wld M resist for any length of time 

agyar ^^^ fearful attacks of the 
Magyars, who advanced with barbaric 
ferocity. In the year 906 Moravia suc- 
cumbed to this enemy, whom she had hardly 
had time to observe, much less to guard 
against, after concluding, in the year 901, a 
peace with her great enemy the Franks, 
which in no way limited her constitutional 
independence. The Moimirids had eyes 


only for the limitations which hindered theii 
national development upon the west, and 
failed to see the dangers which threatened 
their unprotected eastern frontier ; this 
neglect brought about the downfall of theii* 
carefully constructed empire. 

The downfall of the old Moravian 
kingdom made room for the development 
of other Slavonic states which had existed 
under the protection and government 
of the Moimirid Empire at the time of its 
highest power ; such were the Bohemian 
duchy on the west and the Pohsh duchy 
on the north-east of Moravia. The for- 
tunes of Bohemia in particular were, 
during the ninth century, often closely 
linked with those of her more important 
neighbour on the east. The expeditions 
of the Franks were on several occasions 
directed against both countries. The 
activity of the Slav apostles in Moravia 
seems to have been not unheeded in 
Bohemia ; there is evidence for the fact 
that the Bohemian Duke Borivoi was 
baptised by Methodius. In individual 
points, however, the relations of the two 
countries in politics and religion are some- 
_ . . what obscure, for the reason 
IT /'f.-*f' J that the history of Bohemia 

Established ■ r i j t, . 

. g . . IS of a very legendary character 

until late in the ninth century. 
Borivoi, a contemporary of Svatopluk, 
is the first historical prince in Bohemia, 
and his name follows a long series of 
mythical rulers. 

However, the foundation of a uniform 
kingdom, and the definite establishment 
of the Christian faith in Bohemia, belong 
to the period of the sons of Borivoi — 
Spitignev and Wratislav — and his grand- 
sons — Wenzel the Saint and Boleslav I. 
As early as the reign of Wenzel, or Wen- 
ceslaus, took p^ace the first inevitable 
coUision between the German* Empire, 
which had gained in strength since the 
accession of Henry the Fowler and the 
Slav power, which had grown up during 
the Hungarian wars. The struggle had 
fatal effects upon German prosperity. 
Wenzel was a peace-loving prince, whose 
mind was bent more upon the salvation of 
the Church than on temporal success ; he 
readily recognised the supremacy of the 
German king, and agreed to the old tribute, 
when Henry I. appeared before Prague in 
the year 928. : When, however, Wenzel, 
in the course of domestic struggles, lost 
his life in the year 935 at the hands of 
his brothers and aUies, and Boleslav I., 

Wenzel's thoughtfulness and regard for others endeared him to his people. Of his humility and consideration a pretty 
story is told. One cold, frosty night, so runs the tale, he saw a poor man in the snow gathering fuel. His heart was 
touched, and calling on his page to " Bring me flesh and bring me wine, bring me pine-logs hither; thou and I will see 
bim dine, wbep w« b^ar them thittier," they went out "in the rude wind's wild lament" on their mis sion of mercy. 



The New 



" the fratricide," became duke, the war with 
Germany broke out afresh. The Bo- 
hemian prince held out for a long time in the 
frontier fortresses and abattis, which pro- 
tected his country against King Otto I., 
then hard pressed by enemies on many 
sides. Eventually, however, Boleslav's 
strength grew feeble, and in 950 he sub- 
mitted to the same conditions 
under which his brother and 
predecessor had recognised 
German supremacy. In the 
battle of the Lechfeld, in the year 955, a 
Bohemian auxihary force fought side by 
side with the troops of the united German 
races. Boleslav, who protected his fron- 
tiers against the impetuous Magyars, 
pursued the defeated enemy, and inflicted 
further defeat upon them. 

About this time appeared a dangerous 
rival to the rising Premyslid principality ; 
this was the Polish Empire. We first 
become acquainted with the existence of 
this new power in the lowlands between 
the Oder and the Warthe about 963 ; 
its political centre was Gnesen, and it 
extended south-west to the modern Silesia, 
where it touched the Bohemian kingdom. 
At first the two Slav principalities 
maintained friendly relations ; the Polish 
Duke Mesko I., who died in 992, married 
Dubrava, the daughter of Boleslav I. of 
Bohemia. She it was who won over both 
her husband and his people to Christianity. 
As early as the year 968 a Polish bishopric 
Wcis founded in Posen, some years before 
that of Prague. Bohemian auxiliary 
troops supported Mesko in his struggles 
against his northern neighbours. The 
Pohsh and Bohemian princes — the latter 
was the son and namesake of Boleslav I. 
— made an alhance, and joined in helping 
the Bavarian Duke Henry against the 
Emperors Otto II. and Otto III. in the 
years 976 and 983-985. 

Then, however, the bond of friendship 
between the two brothers-in-law was 

_ ^ . broken : Dubrava had died 

Bohemia t ^1. 

_ . . ^ ,^ m 977. In the year 990 our 
Rushing to its iZ i.- 1 t Ai, 

_ ... authorities speak of the 
" bitter hostility " existing be- 
tween the two, as the Pole had captured a 
considerable district from Bohemia, and 
had succeeded in maintaining his posi- 
tion in a series of battles. Accurate 
geographical information is wanting, but 
from the mention of the place Niemtsch 
it has been concluded that the scene of 
the war was Silesia. A long period of 


bitter struggle between the two neighbour- 
ing states followed, which severely tested 
the resources of the Premyslid kingdom. 
After about a century of development 
Bohemia had now arrived at a turning- 
point which is marked upon the one hand 
by a decline in political power, and on 
the other by violent domestic convul- 
sions. That period came when Adalbert, 
the second Bishop of Prague, abandoned 
" the blind nation rushing to its own 
downfall," left his country and his home, 
and in 997 sacrificed his life in missionary 
work among the savage Prussians. It 
is the period when a noble native 
family, the Slavnikings, from which 
Adalbert was sprung, was exterminated 
by Duke Boleslav II. and the nobility. 
The contagion of discord soon extended 
to the royal family, and the Prem5rsUds 
and the Bohemians were governed by 
dukes, designated by the chroniclers as 
" basilisks," or " poisonous vipers." 

Hardly had Boleslav III., the son of 
Boleslav II., assumed the government 
in the year 999 when he attempted to 
destroy his younger brothers, J aromir and 
p Udalrich, and upon the failure 

o es an ^^ ^^^ attempt drove them 
o em ans ^^^ ^^ ^^^ country with their 
mother ; they found a refuge 
at the imperial court in Germany. The 
condition of affairs naturally enabled the 
warlike Polish Duke Boleslav I. Chabri 
(992-1025) to seize Bohemia, with the 
help of dissatisfied Bohemian nobles, 
at the outset of the year 1003, after pre- 
viously conquering the German frontier 
land between the Oder and the Elbe, 
and also Moravia. He decUned, however, 
to do homage to the emperor for his new 
dominions, and Henry II. resolved to 
deprive the Pole of his latest acquisitions. 
Bohemia was reconquered at the first 
attack, in 1004, and Prince J aromir was 
invested with the Duchy of Bohemia. 
The struggle for the other conquests of 
the Pole ended in a long war between the 
German emperor, who was supported by 
the Bohemians, and Boleslav Chabri ; 
the war occupied almost the entire reign 
of this prince. 

In the course of the struggle between 
the Bohemian and Polish powers victory 
returned to the flag of the former, es- 
pecially after the death of Boleslav Chabri, 
when a period of internal confusion began 
in Poland ; while in Bohemia, after the 
short rule of J aromir, his brother 


Udalrich seized the reins of government, 
with the support of his bold son Bretislav. 
To Bretislav is in particular due the 
achievement of obtaining from Poland the 
land of Moravia in 1029. the last of the 
great conquests of the period of Boleslav 
Chabri. The union of this district with 
Bohemia materially increased the pres- 
tige and the strength of the PremysUd 

After the death of his father Udalrich. 
in 1034, Bretislav took over the sole 
government. In 1039 he undertook an 
expedition into Poland with a large army 
and made a victorious advance as far as 
Gnesen, plundering and devastating the 
land on all sides. At the point where 
the corpse of the 
Bishop of Prague, 
Adalbert, had been 
laid to rest after 
his martyrdom at 
the hands of the 
Prussians, in 997, 
Bretislav atoned 
i6t the ingratitude 
of his forefathers 
to this noble man ; 
"he made his 
Bohemian and 
Moravian subjects 
renounce at the 
martyr's grave, 
while they were 
in arms, a number 
of heathen customs 
of long standing, ^^^ ancient crown of Bohemia 

agamStWniCnAaai- This famous crown of Bohemia, often called the crown 
bert had inveighed, of St. Wenceslaus, dates from the fourteenth century, 
rp, (, r1 K r ***'^ '* kept in the treasury of St. Veit at Prague. 

den," the remains of the martyr, were 

then brought back to his native land. 
The conquests, however, of certain 

districts of Poland had to be abandoned 

when the Emperor Henry III. protested 

against them. Like Henry II. before him, 

his son was determined to prevent the crea- 
tion of a great Slav empire on 

i^ti?" the east of Germany. Bretislav 

accepted the challenge forth- 
with, and in 1040, the first year 

of the war, he secured a great success. In 

the following year, however, the course 

of the campaign was so disastrous to the 

Bohemians, owing to the treacherous de- 
sertion of certain nobles to the emperor's 

cause, that the Bohemian ruler was forced 

to sue for peace. Only two Silesian 

districts of his Polish conquests were 


of Bohemia 

left to him, and these were shortly after- 
wards perforce restored to the Polish 
prince in return for a yearly tribute. 
Henceforward Bretislav renounced all 
military operations against the German 
Empire, and, indeed, supported the 
_ emperor in his campaigns, 

the^Frield especially against Hungary. 
J p ^ Bretislav secured peace and 
quiet for the advancement of 
civilisation and economic prosperity in his 
territories. During his government in 
Bohemia and Moravia several important 
monasteries were founded. In the interior 
of his extensive empire he hoped to be 
able to secure permanent order, even 
after his death, through his heirs. He 
bequeathed to his 
first-born son, 
Spitignev, the 
government in 
Bohemia, together 
with the general 
right of supremacy; 
-Moravia he divided 
among his three 
younger sons, Wra- 
tislav, Konrad, 
and Otto. A fifth 
son, Jaromir, was 
intended for the 

Bretislav had, 
however, taken in- 
adequate measures 
to secure the per- 
formance of these 
conditions, and the 
reaction began im- 
mediately after his 
death in 1055. Spitignev deprived his 
Moravian brothers of their rule, destroyed 
the nobility of Moravia, who attempted to 
offer resistance to his aggressive measures, 
and finally, for unknown reasons, expelled 
from Bohemia the Germans, who had ac- 
quired great influence during his father's 
reign ; he also banished his mother, Judith 
von Schweinfurt, the first German princess 
who had occupied the throne of the 
Premyslids. His government, however, 
lasted scarcely six years (1055-1061). 

His brother and successor, Duke Wra- 
tislav II., reverted to his father's policy. 
Bretislav had given Moravia its first 
monastery by his foundation at Raigern 
in 1048, and Wratislav, notwithstanding 
the great difficulties raised in his path by 
his brother Jaromir-Gebhard, Bishop of 



Prague, founded the bishopric of Olmiitz 
in 1062, which afterwards became the 
ecclesiastical centre of Moravia. Of very 
considerable importance to Bohemia and 
to the German Empire are the personal 
relations upon which Duke Wratislav 
entered with the Emperor Henry IV. ; 
these endured unchanged during the whole 
„ , . _ . government of the two 
Bohemian Duke ^^^^^^^ notwithstanding the 

ssumes general secession of the 

1 It e o iBg princes from the emperor 
and the warnings of Pope Gregory VII. 
As a reward for this personal fidelity and 
for the constant military help which the 
formidable reputation of his troops was 
able to give the emperor, the Bohemian 
duke was rewarded at different times by 
neighbouring pieces of territory, though 
he was unable to maintain a permanent 
supremacy over them, and in the year 
1086 he was allowed to assume the 
dignity of king, though this was merely 
a personal concession to himself. 

So great was the reputation possessed 
by Wratislav in Germany that the 
Archbishop Wezilo of Mayence an- 
nounced the elevation of the Bohemian 
duke to the dignity of king in these 
words to the Pope : "All are agreed 
that he would have been worthy of even 
higher favour, if any such could have 
been found for him." Only in his own 
house did Wratislav fail to secure peace. 
There were continual quarrels, now with 
his brother the Bishop of Prague, now 
again with his other brothers the Moravian 
princes, and also with his son and his 
nephews. These differences often caused 
local disturbance, and sometimes forced 
him to take up arms against his opponents. 
The cause of them among the Premy- 
slids — and they were to endure for almost 
the next century and a half — consisted in 
that regulation for the succession, the 
" Justitia Bohemorum," which Duke Bre- 
tislav is said to have arranged upon his 

_. - death-bed, and according to 

Throne of i- 1 x r n - 

_ . . which supremacy was to fall to 

. p. the eldest son of the house. It 

was the Moravian princes who 

more particularly revolted against the 

power of the Duke of Bohemia in the 

attempt to establish their claim to the 

Bohemian throne. During the reign of 

the two successors of Wratislav, who died 

in 1092, his sons Bretislav II. and Borivoi, 

we have struggles with Udalrich of Briinn 

and Lutold of Znaim in iioi, and some 


years later — in 1105 and 1107 — with Duke 
S vatopluk of Olmiitz ; these produced very 
serious disturbances. At the same time the 
Premyslid power was involved in numerous 
military enterprises abroad, at one time 
against Hungary, at another against 
Poland — now upon its own initiative, and 
again as following the German kings. 

The relations of the country to the em- 
pire were by no means undisturbed by this 
internal confusion ; on the contrary, the 
emperor was often called in as arbitrator. 
This struggle increases in dramatic force 
until it reaches its highest point in the 
year 11 25. Duke Vladislav, also a son of 
Wratislav II., had died, and had been 
succeeded in the government by his 
younger brother Sobeslav ; he was op- 
posed by his cousin Prince Otto of Olmiitz, 
who found a powerful ally in King Lothar 
of Siipplingenburg. Hitherto German 
kings had offered no direct interference 
in the struggle of the Bohemian rivals, 
but Lothar led the army to Bohemia in 
person to support the cause of his protege 
Otto. The result was the fearful battle of 
Kulm on February i8th, 1126, in which 
_ . , not only the German knights 

o emia s -^^ ^j^^ king's service met with 

„ . total defeat, but the Moravian 

Succession , , ■ ^, 

prince was also slain. The 

wars of succession were, however, not 
concluded. During the government of 
Sobeslav (1125-1140) the country was in 
a continual state of internal ferment. 
However, the duke vigorously suppressed 
one conspiracy after another, and thus 
secured time to carry on his numerous 
foreign wars, whether against Poland, 
which he repeatedly devastated between 
1132 and I135, or in Germany, Italy, and 
Hungary, in the service of King Lothar, 
with whom he had made peace imme- 
diately after the battle of Kulm. 

Under the successor of Sobeslav, his 
nephew Vladislav II., the smouldering fire 
blazed up. The youthful Bohemian duke 
was opposed simultaneously by a number 
of Bohemian Premyslid princes, by the 
Moravian princes of Briinn, Olmiitz, and 
Znaim, and by a portion of the Bohemian 
nobility. Thanks, however, to his own 
determination, to the fidelity of his fol- 
lowers, including his brother Thebald and 
the Bishop of Olmiitz, and to the vigorous 
support afforded by the Emperor Conrad 
II., a half-brother of his wife Gertrude, 
he succeeded in forcing the allies to retreat. 
The struggles of the Duke of Bohemia 


with the Moravian Premyslids, especially 
with Conrad of Znaim, endured for years. 
Eventually the forces of the latter were 
exhausted, and the world-inspiring idea 
of a Second Crusade diverted men's minds 
from the monotony of domestic strife. 
The close relations of Bohemia to the 
German Empire at that time, and also the 
energy of Bishop Henry of Olmiitz, 
made the political movements felt in this 
country in full force. The summons for a 
crusade to Palestine in 1147, ^^^ ^^^ ^ 
simultaneous enterprise against the 
heathen Wends on the lower Elbe and 
Vistula, was enthusiastically received by 
Bohemia and Moravia. Under the leader- 
ship of Bishop Henry and some of the 
Premyslid princes, one party started off 
with the northern crusading army, while 
Duke Vladislav with a no less splendid 
force joined Conrad HI. and the eastern 
host, though the duke was forced to return 
from Constantinople or Nicaea by reason 
of the great hardships of the campaign. 

A few years later, on June 25th, 1150, 
death deprived the duke of his faithful 
counsellor, Bishop Henry. The bishop 
, was a personality of very 
El of * ^^^^ importance both in the 
u ogy o ecclesiastical and political 

Bishop Henry ^^^^^ p^^j^ penetrated by 

German ideas and German culture, he was 
respected both by the Emperor Conrad and 
by Pope Eugenius III., who selected him 
for important diplomatic missions, such, 
for instance, as the attempted union 
between the Greek and Roman Churches 
proposed by the Pope. The Pope's words 
to the eitiperor respecting this bishop are 
more than a mere compliment : " Though 
we should have been very glad to keep with 
us for some time in high honour and affec- 
tion this good and pious man, yet we send 
him back to your Highness, knowing as we 
do how great is your need of him." 
Between the years 1142 and 1147 we see 
Henry at least once every year at the 
German court, and in personal attendance 
upon the Emperor Conrad. 

Henry's position in the empire can be 
well inferred from the words of the emperor 
in an official document, to the effect that he 
had chosen the Bishop of Olmiitz in pre- 
ference to all the bishops in the empire, 
on account of his stainless faith as a 
teacher and mediator in all things per- 
taining to the service of God. His energy 
as regards Bohemia and Moravia was 
very considerably paralysed by the endless 

quarrels of the Premyslids among them- 
selves. The fact is, however, of import- 
ance that he was, by reason of his connec- 
tion with Germany, the first means of 
bringing the ideas of German civilisation 
into Moravia and the Premyslid countries ; 
for the church of Olmiitz, for instance, he 
secured, in full accordance with German 

„. „, .. , custom, a grant of iurisdic- 
KiBg Vladislav . • 1 -i 

_ .* p tional immunity — a pnvi- 

njoys ame j which had hitherto 

and Prosperity , *=" , • ^i • t 

been unknown in this dis- 
trict, and was soon to become of great 
importance to legal developments in Bo- 
hemia and Moravia. The reign of Vladislav 
continued long after the death of the 
bishop ; the king lived in prosperity and 
fame to his latest years. The dangers 
threatened by Moravia had been obviated 
for the moment by establishing Bohemian 
Premyslids in the divided principalities. 
It is true that many a banished Premyslid 
prince was living abroad, only waiting for 
the moment when the throne of Vladislav 
should begin to totter ; yet he was suc- 
cessful in preserving his rule for a long 
time from any shattering blow. 

An important means to this end was the 
fact that upon the accession of Frederic I. 
(Barbarossa) to the German throne in 
1152, Vladislav continued in the traditional 
path of fidelity to the emperor and empire. 
At the right moment, and by means of the 
dexterous mediation of Bishop Daniel of 
Prague, the tie between the two princes 
was drawn even closer in June, 1156. The 
Duke of Bohemia undertook to place his 
subjects at the emperor's disposal for 
miUtary expeditions, and in return for 
this he received certain small concessions 
of territory, and also the honour of king- 
ship, which, exactly seventy yeaf^ before, 
had been conferred by the Emperor Henry 
IV. upon his grandfather, Wratislav II. 

Bohemia now entered upon a military 

period. First of all the country shared 

in Barbarossa's Polish campaign of 1157, 

. crossed the Oder, and cleared 

as°a MiHtar *^^ P^^^ ^^^ *P*° ^ foreign 
as a 11 ary ^^Q^j^^j-y £qj. ^^le imperial army. 

^^'^ Though the enterprise had no 

importance for Bohemia itself, it was of 
great import to the independent prin- 
cipality of Silesia. This campaign, which 
was repeated in 1163, resulted in the recall 
of the sons of Vladislav II. of Poland by 
the Polish duke Boleslav IV. Kendzierzavy. 
In 1146 he had driven his brother Vladislav 
II. of Poland from the throne, and 



forced him to flee to his brother-in-law, 
the Emperor Conrad III. of Germany. 
His children were now reinstated in their 
father's inheritance, Breslau, Glogau, and 
Oppeln. The Polish supremacy over these 
districts was, indeed, maintained for a 
considerable period. But the three 
princes, Boleslav, Mesko, and Conrad, 
P , who had spent the whole of 

ermany s ^|^g^j. youth in Germany, were 
g . J . the first who brought Silesia 
within the area of Western 
civilisation. It is of great historical 
importance' that the Bohemian king 
co-operated in the first attempt to sunder 
Silesia from Polajid, and connect it with 
the German Empire. 

In the year following the Polish war the 
Bohemians received a summons to a 
campaign against Milan. The youthful 
Bohemian knights enthusiastically sup- 
ported the summons, though the older 
nobility regarded the new policy with 
suspicion and distrust. Vladislav, without 
consulting his nobles, had been crowned 
by the emperor on January nth, 1158, at 
an imperial diet in Regensburg, and, with- 
out their consent, had agreed to Frederic's 
conditions. Their opposition, however, 
went for nothing. The spirit and bravery 
of the Bohemian warriors contributed 
largely to secure victories for the emperor, 
both in this year, and in his later campaigns 
and conflicts in Italy in 1161, 1162, and 
1167. It must be said that their 
plundering habits procured them an evil 
reputation both abroad and in the 
emperor's countries. Successful, too, was 
an expedition which King Vladislav led to 
Hungary in 1164, in order to support his 
proteg^ Stefan III. in the struggle for the 
succession against Stefan IV., who was 
supported by the Byzantine emperor. 
The treasures of the Greek campaign 
provided a rich booty. 

Towards the end of Vladislav's reign his 
relations with Frederic Barbarossa were 
_ clouded for many reasons. 

mperor Upon his resolve to transfer 
InterfeTes*^ the government of Bohemia to 
his son Frederic without the 
consent of Barbarossa, the German 
emperor opposed this arbitary action on 
the part of the Bohemian king, and, instead 
of Frederic, made his cousin Sobeslav II. 
Duke of Bohemia. The immediate conse- 
quence was a protracted struggle for the 
throne. Frederic was obliged to give 
way at first, but at a later period he 


recovered the emperor's favour and 
reconquered the supremacy from Sobeslav 
in 1179. 

In this struggle he was supported by 
Germany, and also, in particular, by the 
Moravian prince Conrad Otto, who, in all 
probability, was sprung from a collateral 
branch of the Bohemian Premyslids, and 
had succeeded under King Vladislav II. 
to the principality of Znaim upon the 
extinction of a native line of rulers. 

From the beginning of Sobeslav's reign, 
Briinn and Olmiitz were governed by his 
younger brothers, Udalrich and Wenzel, so 
that the Moravian branchof thePremyslids 
became entirely extinct about the year 1174. 
However, the struggle between Bohemia 
and Moravia broke out once again. The 
second reign of Frederic, the " inex- 
perienced helmsman," as a contemporary 
chronicler names him, was as short as the 
first ; a popular rising forced him to flight, 
and he appUed for help to the emperor. 
The ducal throne of Bohemia seemed 
destined to fall to the Moravian prince 
Conrad Otto, who already united under 
his rule the three component kingdoms of 
. Moravia. However, Frederic 

Bohemia and g^rbarossa summoned the 

oravia ^^^ Premyslids to appear 

gam m rms j^g^^j-g j^jg cQ^-t at Ratisbon, 
and delivered his decision on September 
29th, 1182 : Frederic was to reign in 
Bohemia, as before, while Conrad Otto 
was henceforward to govern Moravia as a 
margravate, immediately depending on 
the emperor and in complete independence 
of Bohemia. 

After the death of Conrad Otto, in 1191, 
the struggle for the supremacy in Bohemia 
and Moravia broke out again between 
the two lines of the Sobeslavids and 
Vladislavids, and the emperor eventually 
decided in the favour of the latter, 
conferring Bohemia, in 1192, upon 
Premysl Ottokar and Moravia upon 
Vladislav Henry, the two younger brothers 
of the Duke Frederic, who died in 
1 189. Peace, however, was not even then 
secured. In the following year the brothers 
were driven out by their cousin Henry 
Bretislav, who was also Bishop of Prague, 
and ruled over both countries until 1197. 

His death seemed likely to become the 
occasion of a further struggle for the 
succession between the two brothers, 
Premysl Ottokar and Vladislav Henry. 
The latter, however, was a peaceable 
character, and found a solution of the 


difficulty by offering his brother an 
arrangement for the partition of the 
empire, which occurred to his mind when 
the armies were drawn up for battle on 
December 6th, 1197. The proposition 
was that Premysl Ottokar should rule 
in Bohemia and Vladislav Henry in 
Moravia, while both " were to liave one 
mind as they had one rule." Though this 
arrangement does not in the least represent 
the nature of their subsequent relations, it 
none the less remains certain that with 
it a new age begins in the history of the 
Premyslid kingdom. 

This fraternal compact of iigy brought 
to a somewhat unexpected conclusion 
the unfruitful period of Bohemian history, 
during which the domestic policy of 
the country was dominated by continual 
quarrels concerning the succession, while 
economic development and the progress 
of culture were checked, and only the 
unbridled warlike temperament of the 
people was stimulated. However, towards 
the close of the twelfth century the mili- 
tary element falls into the background of 
the history of the Bohemian territories, 

while civilisation and progress 
Peace an ^^^^ ^^^ upper hand. Feud and 
rogress qy^rrel in the royal family 
m Bohemia j. j i A 1 1 

disappear, and brotherly love 

and unity promote the bold plans con- 
ceived by the head of the family, the Duke 
of Bohemia, for the aggrandisement of his 
empire and his royal house. The Ger- 
man emperor no longer settles Bohemian 
affairs at his own will and pleasure ; on 
the contrary, the Bohemian princes 
derive considerable advantage from 
the struggles and confusion prevailing in 
the German Empire. Supported with 
unselfish devotion by his Moravian brother, 
the Margrave Vladislav Henry, who died 
in 1222, both in his diplomatic and 
military enterprise, the new Duke of 
Bohemia cleverly utilised the quarrel 
of the rival German kings, Philip of 
Swabia and Otto of Brunswick, to 
secure the recognition of Bohemia as a" 
kingdom for himself and his successors, 
first from Philip, then from Otto after 
Philip's secession to the other side, finally 
from Pope Innocent HI., in 1204. Hardly 
had the youthful Hohenstauffen Frederic 
II. appeared upon the political scene, 
when the duke induced him also to confirm 
the existence of the kingdom, first in 
the year 1212 and afterwards in 1216, to 
recognise his first- bom son as a successor 


to Bohernia, and to grant other privileges 
in addition. This event marks the 
advancement of the right of primogeni- 
ture as the principle of succession against 
the right of seniority which had previously 
been accepted. 

German colonisation gave the Slav 
territories, from a political standpoint, a 

V 11/ , new constitution for town and 
iving wenzel -ii ■, ^ . , 

Encourages tillage, and from a social 
Colonisation Standpoint a class of free 
peasants and citizens hitherto 
unknown. The prosperous beginning of 
German colonisation received a further 
impulse under King Wenzel I. (1230-1253), 
notwithstanding the numerous mihtary 
entanglements into which Bohemia 
was then drawn, chiefly with Austria, 
and in spite of the appalling danger 
threatened by the Mongol invasion of the 
year 1241. For the moment, however, 
Bohemia was spared. 

It was Moravia, and especially Silesia, 
that suffered most heavily from the bar- 
barians. The years 1157 and 1163 were, 
as regards the progress of political deve- 
lopment and civilisation, an important 
turning point in the history of Silesia, as 
the government of the three Silesian 
princes betokens an entry of Germanising 
influences upon a large scale. The figures 
most distinguished from this point of view 
are Duke Boleslav I., the Long (1157- 
1202), his son Henry the Bearded 
(1203-1238), who IS known for his parti- 
cipation in the founding of the German 
orders in Prussia, and his descendant 
Henry II. (1238-1241). The dominions 
of the latter extended far beyond the three 
original Silesian principalities. He ruled 
Cracow and part of Great Poland, which 
his father had already conquered in the 
course of wars against his Polish cousins. 

However, this brilliant development 

of the Silesian principality was shaken 

to its depths in March, 1241, by the 

invasion of the Mongols, who reduced 

Poland to a desert as they 

D t A advanced, and forced the Duke 

evas a e ^^ Silesia to oppose them, if 

y ongo s ^^ ^.^ ^^^ ^.^^ ^^ g^^ ^^^ 

destruction of the civilisation laboriously 
acquired in the course of the last hundred 
years. The bloody battle on the Wahl- 
statt at Liegnitz. on April 9th, 1241, cost 
the lives of Henry and of numerous 
knights in his following. The further 
history of the Mongol invasion, which con- 
tinued until the spring of 1242, and kept 



the neighbouring territories of Austria and 

Moravia in suspense, ran its course upon 

Hungarian soil. 

The next important event in the history 

of Bohemia was the death of Frederic II., 

Duke of Austria, and the last male 

descendant of the house of Babenberg, who 

was killed on June 15, 1246, in the battle 

^ . , on the Leitha against the 

Death of TT 'ru 

"T " Hungarians. The marriage 

B \ *b between his niece Gertrude and 
erg ^j^g gQjjgj^ia,n prince Vladislav, 
who was now also margrave of Moravia, 
was not celebrated until this time, although 
it had been arranged years before ; it 
seemed destined to bring the heritage of 
the house of Babenberg into the hands of 
the Premyslids. The most dangerous 
opponent of the Bohemian claims was the 
Emperor Frederic II., who desired to secure 
the Austrian territories, as being an 
imperial fief in abeyance. However, the 
struggle for the inheritance of Duke 
Frederic soon came to a rapid end, owing 
to the death of the Margrave Vladislav 
in 1247, 3-iid ^^ the emperor in 1250. 
The claims of inheritance and of constitu- 
tional right were now thrown into the back- 
ground ; the disputed possessions passed 
to the greater power and the greater 
diplomatic capacity of the neighbouring 
princes of Bohemia-Moravia and of Hun- 
gary, with whom Bavaria was straggling 
for the prey. The new margrave of 
Moravia, Premysl Ottokar, the grandson 
of King Wenzel I., soon defeated Otto, 
the duke of Bavaria, after a short struggle 
in Upper and Lower Austria. In the year 
125 1 he was recognised as duke by the 
nobility and the towns of that district, 
and further secured his conquests by his 
connection with Margareta, the sister of 
the last Babenberg and the widow of King 
Henry VII. ; in February, 1252, he 
married her, although she was consider- 
ably older than himself. 

For the possession of Styria a lengthy 
struggle began between King Bela IV. of 
j^ p Hungary and Premysl Otto- 

rosperous ^^^ j-j^ ^-^^ ^^^^ inherited 

the crown of Bohemia on the 
death of his father in 1253. 
At the outset, success inclined to the side 
of the Magyar, chiefly owing to the support 
of the Pope, in 1254 ; eventually, however, 
the Bohemian king proved victorious in 
this quarter after his success at the 
battle of Kroissenbrunn. In July, 1260, 
the dissolution of his marriage with 


Reign of 
King Ottokar II 

the aged Margareta, his marriage with 
Cunigunde, the young granddaughter of 
the Hungarian king, in 1261, and his 
investiture with the two duchies of Austria 
and Styria by the German king Richard, in 
1262, crowned the remarkable prosperity 
which had marked the first period of the 
reign of King Premysl Ottokar II. 

The following decade (1273) also brought 
to the Bohemian king fame and victory in 
many of his military enterprises, and an 
increase of territory through his acquisi- 
tion of Carinthia and Carniola, and of a 
certain power of protectorate over Eger 
and the surrounding district. Premysl 
Ottokar II. had then reached the zenith 
of his power. The domestic policy of his 
reign was marked by the continuation 
and the increase of the work of German 
colonisation, which his father and grand- 
father had introduced into the Premyslid 
kingdom. In this task he found a zealous 
helper in Bishop Bruno of Olmiitz, who 
was descended from the family of the 
Holstein counts of Schaumberg, and 
administered the bishopric of Moravia 
from 1245 to 1281 ; he proved the king's 
_. _. . best counsellor in all diplo- 
Three Bishops ^^^-^ ^^^ political under- 

M d H' t takings. Bishop Bruno, 
a e IS ory ^^gg^ggj. ^j^j^ Bishop Henry 

of Olmiitz and Bishop Adalbert of Prague, 
formed a spiritual constellation in the 
history of the Premyslids. They set in 
motion a religious, civilising, and poUtical 
influence which were felt far beyond the 
boundaries of their respective dioceses. 

The privileges of the German towns 
increased from that period in Bohemia and 
Moravia. This advance in civilisation is 
the permanent result of the wide activities 
of Premysl Ottokar II. ; for that vast 
political construction, the Bohemian- 
Austrian monarchy, which he seemed to 
have erected with so much cleverness, 
proved to be unstable ; it was too largely 
founded upon the weakness of the German 
Empire and upon the vacillation and 
helplessness of the nominal kings of 
Germany. Hence for Premysl Ottokar the 
choice of Rudolf of Hapsburg as emperor 
on October ist, 1273, marks the beginning 
of the decline of the Bohemian power. 

This declension was rapidly completed. 
Premysl Ottokar refused to acknowledge 
his feudal dependency upon the new 
German king, thus challenging the emperor 
and the empire to war. For almost 
two years the Bohemian king succeeded 


in staving off the threatening secession of 
Styria and Austria, for the reason that 
Rudolf's attention was fully occupied 
elsewhere, while his means were insuffi- 
cient to provide any vigorous support 
for his open and secret adherents in these 
territories. However, in the autumn of 
1276 the Hapsburg led the imperial army 
through Austria to the walls of Vienna. 
Ottokar was abandoned, both by the 
Austrian nobles and by some of his most 
powerful Bohemian nobility, with the 
result that the two opponents never met 
in conflict ; the Bohemian king preferred 
submission to the hazardous alternative 
of giving battle. The peace of Vienna 
on November 21st, 1276, deprived Premysl 
Ottokar II. of his position as a great 
power ; he was obliged to surrender 
Austria, Styria, Carinthia, and other 
districts which he had conquered and 
not inherited, and to receive Bohemia 
and Moravia as the vassal of the German 

This humiliating settlement, however, 
could not possibly be regarded by the 
proud prince as a permanent embargo on 
his schemes. Concerning the future 
. relations of Bohemia with the 
o «°"'>^ empire, and regarding certain 
■ '^ tti* ' important points in the peace 
of Vienna, more particularly the 
amnesty to the Bohemian lords who had 
deserted Premysl Ottokar, and the pro- 
posed marriage of a son and daughter of 
the two princes, misunderstandings broke 
out, which soon ended in that fresh struggle 
with Rudolf which the Bohemian king 
was anxious to provoke. In the battle of 
Diirnkrut, on the Marchfeld, on August 
26th, 1278, Premysl Ottokar was captured, 
in a condition of exhaustion, after a 
heroic struggle, and murdered by cer- 
tain knights who had a private grudge 
against him. The Premyslid territories 
now surrendered, almost without resist- 
ance, to the German king, who was 
regarded with considerable favour by 
the German population of the towns, 
by a portion of the nobility, and not 
least by Bishop Bruno. The first years 
after the death of their great king were a 
time of misery for Bohemia. When, how- 
ever, Wenzel II., who became the son-in- 
law and received the support of the 
German king, ascended the throne in 1283, 
a renewed period of prosperity seemed to 
have begun for the house of Premysl, 
facilitated both by a peaceable and 

serious government and by the riches of 
the country, especially the income from 
the silver-mines. The young king, with 
his vivid interest in art and science, 
gained a great reputation for the Bo- 
hemian court, and made it a favourite 
resort of artists and scholars. This in- 
ternal development was accompanied by 
g.j . , a successful foreign policy. 

I esia s After the struggle with the 
Greatness ,, , 01 • ° 

at aa End ■'^^o^&O'S, bilesia ceases to 
rank among the countries of 
importance in the history of the world, 
and from 1241 its history is purely local. 
Once again the country was broken into 
petty principalities, some of which were 
in continual hostility with Poland, and 
were thus driven into connection with the 
Premyslid kingdom through affinities of 
civilisation and race. In the decisive 
battle on the Marchfeld the Dukes of 
Breslau, Glogau and Oppeln acted as the 
independent allies of the Bohemian king. 
King Wenzel of Bohemia, in later troubles, 
was supported by several Silesian dukes, 
who recognised him as their feudal over- 
lord ; he succeeded in conquering Cracow 
in 1291, and assumed the crown of 
Poland in Gnesen in 1300, uniting the 
heritage of the Piasts with that of the 

Nor was this the end. In the following 
year — 1301 — the male line of the Hunga- 
rian royal house of Arpad became extinct, 
and one party in the country offered this 
crown to the Bohemian king ; he did not 
accept it himself, but transferred it to 
his young son, Wenzel III., who was 
crowned king of Hungary at Stuhl- 
weissenburg. However, this period of 
brilliant prosperity lasted but a short 
time for the Premyslids. The Hungarian 
crown could not be retained in face of the 
Angevin claims, and in the year 1304 
Wenzel III. abandoned it. At the same 
time Wenzel II. became involved in war 
with the German king Albert. In the 
_,- n . course of this struggle he died, 
If th!"""*" ^" ^305, at the age of thirty- 
p ... four. When his heir was medi- 

remys 1 s ^^^jj^g ^j^ advance upon Poland 

in the following year — 1306 — to crush the 
rising of Vladislav Lokietek, the Polish 
claimant to the throne, he was murdered 
by an assassin in the castle of Olmiitz ; 
he died at the age of seventeen, the last 
male descendant of the distinguished 
house of the PremysUds, leaving no issue, 
although married. 



This famous city owesmucli of its beauty to Charles IV., who from 1347 to 1378 greatly 
extended his capital and erected such buildings as the Cathedral of St. Veit, the Teyn 
Church, the Bridge Tower, the bridge across the Moldau and the Castle of Hrads. 







CLAIMS to the Bohemian inheritance 
were now raised from two quarters : 
Duke Henry of Carinthia rehed upon the 
claim of his wife Anna, the eldest sister of 
King Wenzel III. ; on the other hand the 
German king Aljjert regarded Bohemia 
and Moravia as escheated fiefs of the 
empire, and conferred them upon his 
eldest son, Duke Rudolf of Austria. 

After the premature death of Rudolf in 
1307, Henry of Carinthia succeeded in 
securing a majority of the votes of the 
Bohemian nobility, and it was only in 
Moravia that King Albert could secure 
recognition for his second son Frederic. 
However, when Albert fell in the following 
year, 1308, under the murderous attack of 
his nephew John (" Parricida "),' Duke 
Frederic was obliged to refrain from all 
attempts to continue the war against Henry 
"in Bohemia and also to surrender Moravia, 
with the exception of certain towns which 
remained in his possession as a pledge for 
the repayment of the expenses of the war. 
, Henry of Carinthia was, how- 

anis e difficult party questions which 

>g« troubled Bohemia. King and 
nobles, nobles and towns, were in a 
state of perpetual hostility. The result 
was seen in disturbances and acts of 
aggression which lost Henry his prestige 
in the country. A new party arose, led 
by the Abbot Conrad of Konigssaal, which 
attempted to secure a new ruler by the 
marriage of Elizabeth, the youngest 
daughter of King Wenzel II. 

Their choice fell upon John, the young 
son of the new German emperor Henry VII. 
of Luxemburg. On September ist, 1310, the 
marriage of the German prince, who was 
fourteen years of age, with the Bohemian 
princess, who was eighteen, was celebrated 
in Speyer. The German emperor had 
released the Bohemians from their oath 
to the Duke of Carinthia in the 
previous July at Frankfort, and had 
invested his son with Bohemia and 
Moravia, as escheated fiefs of the empire. 
The conquest of the country was not a 

Expelled from 

lengthy task, as King Henry, recognising 
speedily the hopelessness of resistance, 
entered upon negotiations and voluntarily 
left the country. The occupation of 
Moravia was accomplished with equal 
facility. John even assumed the title of 
King of Poland, as a sign that he proposed 
to maintain the claims of his Premyslid 
predecessors to this crown. 
The course of his government 
was soon, however, consider- 
ably disturbed, chiefly in 
consequence of the hostile feeling enter- 
tained by the high Bohemian nobility 
for Archbishop Peter of Mainz and other 
German counsellors, whom King Henry 
had sent to direct his inexperienced son. 
John found his difficulties increased in 
1313 by the death of his imperial father, 
which deprived him of the support of the 
German Empire. He was obliged to con- 
sent to the expulsion of the Germans from 
Bohemia, and to resign the government 
of the country to Henry of Lipa, the most 
powerful of the Bohemian barons. 

Peace, however, was not even theji 
secured. Financial disputes between the 
king and his chief adviser, the extra- 
ordinary connection between Lipa and 
the Dowager Queen Elizabeth, the former 
consort both of Wenzel II. and Duke 
Rudolf, who resided in Konigingratz, and 
overshadowed the court of the queen 
proper, together with other causes, led to 
the forcible removal of Lipa in 1315, where- 
upon Archbishop Peter again received the 
position of chief minister. After a rule of 
two years he was again forced to yield to 
the powerful nobles in 1317. 
Revolt King John was weary of these 

Against domestic troubles, and turned 
King John j^.^ attention to foreign affairs, 
especially to the rivalry between Lewis 
of Bavaria and Frederic the Fair of 
Austria for the German crown ; con- 
sequently the government of Bohemia 
and the work of resistance to the nobles 
devolved upon his wife Queen Elizabeth, 
who received very little support from her 
husband. The result was a general revolt 



against the king in 1318, which he was 
powerless to suppress. Finally, by the 
intervention of Lewis of Bavaria, a some- 
what degrading compromise with the 
revolted barons was effected at Tauss, and 
the king was forced to content himself 
with his title, his position, and the rich 
income of his territory. King J ohn, a rest- 
. less, cheerful, somewhat ex- 

FrIerLm travagant, but highly gifted 

the Hapsburgs 

and chivalrous character. 

secured a great extension of 

territory for Bohemia in the course of 

the numerous enterprises and intrigues 

in which he was continually involved. 

After the death of the Margrave 

Waldemar of Brandenburg, the Oberlausitz 

fell into his hands in 1319. In 1322 he 

received in pawn from Lewis of Bavaria 

the town of Eger, with its territory, 

which has ever since remained in the 

possession of Bohemia. He was able 

definitely to liberate Moravia from all the 

claims and demands which the Hapsburgs 

could make upon that province. For a 

few years (1331-1333) he even secured 

possession of part of Lombardy, the 

government of which he entrusted to his 

eldest son Charles, while his youngest son, 

John Henry, received the province of 

Tyrol, with the hand of Margareta Maul- 

tasch, in 1330 ; but John Henry was 

unable to maintain his hold of this 


The most important acquisition made 

by King John was that of Silesia, which 

gave to Bohemia an enormous increase of 

extent and power. The connection of the 

Silesian princes with Bohemia had begun 

under the last of the Premyslids, and had 

been dissolved upon the extinction of the 

race ; it was made permanent under the 

rule of King John. As early as the year 

1327, upon the occasion of an expedition 

against Poland, John received the homage 

of the dukes of Upper Silesia. In the same 

year Breslau recognised the Bohemian 

^ „ t ...i king as its feudal overlord ; 
Fall of "the ,,.^ 1 ,1, J . ' 

^ . this example was followed in 

KnIgTthood " ^328 by most of the duchies 
of Lower Silesia. In 133 1 
John, by a threat of invasion, forced 
Glogau to do homage. These acquisition 
were further secured by a treaty between 
King John and the Polish king Casimir, 
son of Vladislav Lokietek, in 1335, where- 
by John renounced the claims to the 
Polish crown, which he had hitherto 
maintained as heir of the Premyslids, 


receiving in return the cession of the 
Silesian districts under Polish government. 

When John fell, " the crown of knight- 
hood," in the battle of Crecy-en-Ponthieu 
on August 26th, 1346, the anniversary of 
the death of Premysl Ottokar II., the 
domestic resources of Bohemia had been 
greatly shaken by his extravagant and 
unsystematic government. However, his 
successful foreign and military policy, 
which secured a position for his son and 
heir, Charles, had largely counterbalanced 
these disadvantages ; for a time the 
Bohemian king ruled over a more exten- 
sive territory than any of his predecessors, 
with the exception of Premysl Ottokar II., 
had ever acquired. To this power was 
now added the dignity of the imperial 
crown. Thanks to the diplomacy of his 
father, Charles was elected as Charles IV. 
on July nth, 1346, after the deposition 
of the Emperor Lewis of Bavaria. 

On the death of his father, Charles was 

more than thirty years of age, and had 

enjoyed a wide experience in his youth. 

His father had sent him at an early age 

to complete his education at the court in 

T-i. V .1, . Paris, and his intellectual 
The Youthful j j. x,! 

_. , ... powers soon made it possible 
Charles and his i i • . j. i l ii, 

^ . ,,. . for him to take part m the 
Great Victory , . . ^ , ^ ^ 

business of government. At 

the age of fifteen he was sent to Parma to 

administer, to guide, and to defend his 

father's Italian acquisitions. In the year 

1332, at the age of sixteen, he won a Ijril- 

liant victory over his powerful adversaries 

at San Felice. However, the Italian lands 

eventually proved untenable, and were 

sold by King John in the following year. 

Ii^ 1333 Charles received the title of 

Margrave of Moravia, and took over the 

government of the hereditary dominions. 

He at once reduced the shattered resources 

of the kingdom to order. Intrigues 

among the nobles caused at times serious 

dissension between father and son. 

These quarrels reached their highest point 

in the years 1336-1337 when Charles 

was forced to resign the administration 

of Bohemia. But in 1338 a complete 

reconciliation was effected, and in 1341 

King John, of his own initiative, secured 

the recognition of Charles as his successor 

in the Bohemian kingdom, during his 

own lifetime. Of special importance to 

Charles was the year 1342, when his 

former tutor and his father's friend at the 

French Court, the Archbishop Pierre 

Roger of Rouen, ascended the papal chair 


as Clement VI. These two highly gifted 
men are said to have predicted their careers 
to one another during their intercourse 
in Paris. 

The support of the Pope enabled 
Charles in 1344 to raise the bishopric 
of Prague, which had hitherto been subject 
to the metropolitan see of Mainz, to 
the rank of an independent archbishopric 
with jurisdiction over the bishopric of 
Olmiitz in Moravia and the newly founded 
bishopric of Leitomischl in Bohemia. 
Clement VI. also took an honourable share 
in the promotion of the future king of 
Bohemia to the throne of Germany. Charles 
was spared the trouble of a struggle 
with the Emperor Lewis of Bavaria, who 
had been deposed on July nth, 1346, 
for as he was on the point of marching 
against Lewis in 1347 ^e received the 
news of his rival's death. 

Charles was therefore able 
to devote himself with 
greater vigour to the diffi- 
cult task of conducting the 
business of the empire. As 
regarded the administration 
of his hereditary territories, 
-he found a welcome sup- 
porter in his brother John 
Henry, upon whom he con- 
ferred the margraviate of 
Moravia as an hereditary 
fief on December 26th, 1349. 
So long as he lived, this 
brother was bound to Charles 
by ties of affection and 
friendship, and supported 
him zealously and unselfishly in his 
military and diplomatic enterprises. 
Their mutual relation is comparable to 
that which existed between King Premysl 
Ottokar I . and Vladislav Henry. 
Moravia being thus secured by inheritance 
to the second line of the Luxemburg 
house, the diocese of Olmiitz and the pro- 
vince of Troppau were declared fiefs of the 
crown of Bohemia and made independent 
of the margraviate of Moravia. The 

_., . „ . duchy of Troppau had been 
Silesi& Under , ^ , a 3 1 tr- 

the Crown already founded by Kmg 
of Bohemia ^'"^"^y^] Ottokar H., who had 
reserved it for the support of 
his illegitimate son Nicholas I. ; it had also 
been conferred as a fief by King John in 
1318 upon the son and namesake of 
Nicholas, so that the arrangement of 
Charles only confirmed his father's dis- 
positions. "The rest of Silesia Charles had 

already, in 1348, incorporated with the 
Bohemian crown as Emperor of Germany. 
The assertion of the Emperor Maxi- 
milian that Charles IV. was the stepfather 
of the empire and the father of Bohemia 
is justified as regards the latter part of 
The Great *^^ remark. The whole of 
Work of Charles's pohtical activity was 
Charles IV ^^^^pired by the idea of making 
his family and his country a 
great power. From the beginning of his 
independent reign to his death he exerted 
every effort to raise Bohemia to the level 
of civilisation and intellectual develop- 
ment already attained by more advanced 
countries. JFIe extended his capital of 
Prague and laid the foundation of its great 
development, increasing its beauty by 
such constructions as the Cathedral of St. 
Veit, the Castle of Hrads, the Teyn Church, 
and the bridge over the 
Moldau. He summoned 
artists of famous capacity, 
both German and Italian, 
architects and painters, brass- 
founders and sculptors, gold- 
smiths, and other miniature 
art workers. To his lively 
interest in science — he was 
himself an historical and 
theological author — the Uni- 
versity of Prague owes its 
origin, at a time when such 
THE FATHER OF BOHEMIA educational institutions were 
Charles IV. was so called by the fare ou the north ot the Alps, 

Emperor Maximilian for his im- eXCCpt in France. BologUa 
mense services to his country, -i tt* ■ j xj. 

which advanced greatly in power and PariS SCrved aS patterns 

and prosperity during his long reign, j^j. ^j^g organisation of the 

university. Charles showed an extreme 
interest in jurisprudence. He was able 
to regulate imperial affairs by ordinances 
establishing a land peace, by the " Golden 
Bull " of 1356, and other edicts ; he con- 
ceived the idea of providing a uniform 
legal code for Bohemia and Moravia in 
the " Majestas Carohna." 

However, his intentions were frustrated 
by the resistance of the native nobility. 
Further important legal work was achieved 
in Silesia during his reign, such as the land 
register for the Duchy of Breslau, " a 
magnificent work, which has been a model 
for all later surveys ; " the Silesian common 
law code, a redaction of the " Sachsen- 
spiegel," with special modifications ; and, 
finally, a special municipal code for 
Breslau. And Charles worked no less 
vigorously to secure material prosperity in 
his own dominions. Mining, forestry, 



agriculture, and cattle farming then became 
extremely productive. Prague, next to 
Breslau, which he regarded with no less 
care, became one of the most important 
commercial centres in Central Europe, and 
a meeting- place of traffic from the south 
to the north, and from the west to the east. 
The energy manifested by Charles IV. 
. . in promoting the advance of 
o emi&s ij^tellectual and material pros- 
J p. perity deserves the more 

recognition for the reason that 
severe plagues ravaged the country during 
the first years of his rule ; such were the 
black death, the Jewish plague, and the 
" flagellant " outburst. Though these 
plagues did not prove so destructive in the 
hereditary lands of Charles as elsewhere, 
they were none the less a powerful 
obstacle to the development of trade and 
intercourse, of education and art. 

It must also not be forgotten that the 
emperor's time was largely occupied by 
political business, military campaigns, and 
journeys to different parts of the empire, 
so that he was often absent from his 
hereditary territories for months at a time. 
The results of the energy which Charles 
IV. displayed through the thirty years 
of his reign, seem, in brief, to have been 
the securing of a prosperous future to the 
house of Luxemburg, which then counted 
numerous male descendants. Partly by 
bold opposition, partly by clever diplo- 
macy, he gradually overcame the in- 
fluence of the Wittelsbach family, which 
had hitherto been powerful, and finally 
secured from them the important Mark 
of Brandenburg for his own house 

in 1373- 

At the beginning of his reign he was 
opposed by the King of Poland, whose 
hostility was supported by Duke Bolko of 
Schweidnitz-Jauer, the last of the Silesian 
princes who remained independent of 
Bohemia. In the year 1348, however, 
Charles concluded an offensive and de- 
D f J J fensive alliance with the King 
Poland and ^^ poiand, while he so far 
Bohemia in j xi. j x t 

. secured the good favour of 

Bolko as to induce him to con- 
clude a pact of inheritance with Bohemia 
in 1364 ; by this agreement Charles, who 
entered upon a third marriage, in 1353, 
with Anna, daughter of the Duke of 
Schweidnitz, secured a reasonable prospect 
of acquiring the latter's principality. 
These hopes were realised in a few years 
by the death of Bolko in 1368. 

Charles had also a difficult problem to 
deal with in his relations with his stepson, 
Rudolf IV. of Austria. This prince was 
inspired by an invincible ambition for 
supremacy and power. He was anxious 
to secure an exceptional position for his 
kingdom among the German principalities, 
and when Charles opposed these ambitious 
designs, Rudolf was ready to adopt any 
and every means for their execution. He 
produced forged documents, and, what 
was more dangerous, made alliances with . 
foreign princes against the emperor, sup- 
porting especially King Lewis of Hungary, 
who caused Charles IV. serious anxiety 
on more than one occasion. However, 
the diplomatic skill of the Luxemburg 
monarch was able gradually to overcome , 
these dangers, and eventually to turn 
them to his own account. After 1363 the 
attention of Duke Rudolf was occupied 
by the acquisition of the Tyrol, and he 
began to feel the need of the emperor's 
support. In February, 1364, in the course 
of a meeting of nobles at Briinn, he con- 
cluded with Charles an important suc- 
cession treaty, whereby the Luxemburg 

«,t .« .^ and Hapsburg families were 
The Death x- ^1 5 • i. i. 

respectively to mhent one 

Ch 1 IV another's lands in case either 

house should become extinct 

in the male and female line. Charles 

considerably increased his dominions by 

purchase and by acquisition in other 

ways, especially in the Upper Palatinate 

and in Lausitz ; also he attempted to 

secure for his family the prospsct of 

succession to neighbouring thrones, 

particularly by well-considered family 

alliances. Both Rudolf IV., and his 

brother, Duke Albert III., who succeeded 

him as Duke of Austria in 1365, were 

married to daughters of Charles IV. His 

son Wenzel, born in 1361, by Anna, was 

originally betrothed to the niece, at that 

time the heiress of King Lewis of 

Hungary. When, however, in after years, 

this monarch had daughters of his own, 

the betrothal was dissolved, and in 1371 

Wenzel married Johanna, the daughter of 

Albert, Duke of Bavaria. Charles IV, 

attempted to marry his second son, 

Sigismund, to Maria, the elder daughter 

and heiress apparent of Lewis of 


Charles IV. left his family in a strong 

position when he died, at the age of 

sixty-three, on November 29th, 1378. 

Wenzel had already, in 1376, been 


appointed German Emperor by the 
Electors, and was also in possession of 
Bohemia and Silesia. The second son, 
Sigismund, received the Mark of Branden- 
burg, and the youngest, John, part of the 
Lausitz. The margraviate of Moravia 
had been governed until 1383 by Wenzel, 
the brother of Charles IV., who also ruled 
the duchy of Luxemburg. The Bohemian 
king held the feudal rights over this pro- 
vince, and after the death of the margrave 
John in 1375 the country was divided 
among his three sons, Jost, Prokop, and 
John Sobeslav. 

Rarely do grandfather, father, and 
grandson display differences of life and 
character so pro- 
found as may be 
noted in the case of 
John, Charles, and 
Wenzel. The diplo- 
matic powers of 
King John reappear 
as practical states- 
manship of a high 
order in Charles ; in 
Wenzel, however, 
scarce the humblest 
remnant of political 
capacity is dis- 
cernible ; again, the 
extravagance of the 
grandfather becomes 
remarkable economy 
in the son and avarice 
in the grandson. John 
is a fiery, impetuous, 
chivalric figure, seek 

general situation into strong relief. Two 
Popes were disputing the tiara, each with 
his own following among the princes and 
the clergy — Urban VI. at Rome and 
Clement VII. at Avignon. Wenzel, whose 
special business it should have been, as 
Wenzel's ^^'""^^^i emperor, to allay the 
Wall of schism in the Church, calmly 
Difficulties contemplated the spread of this 
disorder in every direction. 
Another difficult problem for his considera- 
tion was the position of his brother 
Sigismund in Hungary. The Luxemburg 
prince had married Maria, the elder 
daughter of King Lewis I., who had no 
male issue, and occupied the throne 
of Hungary and also, 
after 1370, that of 
Poland ; on Lewis's 
death in 1382 his 
son-in-law claimed 
the Polish and Hun- 
garian kingdoms in 
right of his wife. The 
attempt to secure 
Poland resulted in 
total failure, while 
Hungary was secured 
only after a severe 
struggle, which 
absorbed more of 
Wenzel's resources 
than he could well 
spare. Within the 
empire, again, the 
king was hard pressed 
by the struggle 
WENZEL IV KING OF BOHEMIA between the princes 

J n J- J j.\. The eldest son of Charles IV., Wenzel, or Wenceslaus, j xx. j. t"!. 

ing and imding death succeeded his father on the throne of Bohemia in 1378, in and tUe tOWnS. 1 UC 

in the press of battle : which year he was also elected Emperor of Germany His partiality which he 

.1 v»»^ ^ v^^wrv^ ^^,.y. ^ , jgjgn was one long succession of trouble and he died in 141 9. r n- , 

— 1----- ^|. ^j-g^ displayed for 

the latter was succeeded by indecision 

Charles is a more 
patriarchal character, with no preference 
for war, though far from cowardly ; 
Wenzel, as years pass by, exhibits a 
voluptuousness immoderate and even 
brutal, cowardice conjoined with cruelty, 
a blend of indolence and vacillation. 
_ _ Feeble as was his capacitv for 

Two PODCS • , 1 • ■" 

_. empire this prince was now 

th*T^"* confronted not only with the 
task of governing the realm of 
a great dynasty, but also with the admin- 
istration of the vast German Empire, 
with its various and divergent interests ; 
this, too, at a period when all the material 
for political and social conflagration had 
been collected. Shortly before the death 
of Charles IV. an event had occurred 
which threw the critical nature of the 

when his support proved inadequate to 
secure victory for the towns, and his 
diminishing interest in German affairs 
eventually lost him the sympathies of all 
parties alike. 

These various foreign complications, for 
the successful solution of which Wenzel 
did not possess the judgment, the force of 
will, or the tenacity necessary,* became 
far more dangerous on account of the rise 
of political, social, and religious diffi- 
culties, with which he was too weak to 
cope, within his own hereditary territories. 

However, these menacing dangers were 
not apparent at the outset of his govern- 
ment in Bohemia. The organisation which 
Charles IV. had set on foot continued to 



work excellently for a time, and Wenzel 
was not the man to strike out a line of 
his own. He continued the great archi- 
tectural works which his father had 
begun ; he extended the university ; 
literary work, especially in the Czech lan- 
guage, met with his zealous support. It 
was at this period that Huss altered and 
^ simplified the Bohemian ortho- 

A ** 1 th S^^P^y- ^^^ ^^^ signs of 
gams e (jjssension in the public life of 

"^^ Bohemia grew more and more 
distinct. The University of Prague in 
particular was the starting point of the 
first line of cleavage. The Bohemian 
element in the population had grown until 
it outnumbered the other nationalities — 
the Bavarians, Saxons, and Poles — 
and the result was a demand for a corre- 
sponding redistribution of votes in munici- 
pal and other corporations. Soon, again, 
the Bohemian nationahty diverged 
from the other three nations upon re- 
ligious questions, which had entirely occu- 
pied the attention of the clergy since the 
days of Charles IV. The German preacher 
Conrad Waldhauser, whom Charles had 
summoned from Austria to Prague, then 
supported the Czech Milicz of Kremsier 
in his crusade against the immorality 
of laity and clergy. They both died during 
Charles's reign, and the activity of their 
successors became rather nationalist than 
religious, and was directed on the one hand 
against the German mendicant Orders, 
— the Dominicans and Augustinians — and 
on the other against the upper clergy, the 
Archbishop of Prague and the chapter. 

Wenzel became involved in the quarrel, 
and treated the Archbishop of Prague, 
Johann von Jenstein, and his officials with 
undue severity. In the course of the con- 
flict they were taken prisoners, examined 
under torture, and severely punished ; 
one of them. Doctor Johann von Pomuk, 
otherwise Nepomuk, who had been so 
brutally mishandled as to be past all hope 
, of recovery, was drowned in 
The King s.j^g Moldau at the king's 

Punishment , t^, • , j • ^ v. 

f Off* • 1 orders. This happened m the 
year 1393. In the very next 
year the king was to discover the weakness 
of the foundations supporting the power 
which he exercised with such despotism 
in Bohemia. The most distinguished noble 
families formed a confederacy with the 
object of overthrowing the king's advisers 
and of recovering their former rights to a 
share in the administration. 


Their enterprise was especially danger- 
ous to Wenzel, for the reason that they 
had secured the support of the king's 
cousin Jost, the margrave of Moravia. 
Jost, whose personality is henceforward 
of considerable importance in the history 
of Wenzel's reign, had been margrave and 
overlord of Moravia since the death of 
his father John in 1375- Important 
estates had been bequeathed to his two 
brothers, who were independent of Jost. 
But no love was lost between them from 
the outset, and the enmity between Jost 
and Procop resulted in a furious struggle 
between the brothers in Moravia, which 
caused great suffering for a long period 
to the whole margraviate, and especially 
to the bishopric of Olmiitz. Jost, an 
ambitious and capable character, suc- 
ceeded in securing the confidence of the 
self-mistrustful King of Bohemia, and 
was allowed to assume part of his 
imperial duties in return for an adequate 

To begin with, he was appointed in 

1383 vicar of the empire for Italy, as 

Wenzel hoped that his cousin would clear 

his way for a progress to Rome. 

o" ose" ^" ^^^"™ ^°^ *^^ military and 
pposc pecuniary help which he gave 
to Wenzel and Sigismund in 
the Hungarian War, Jost obtained the 
Mark of Brandenburg on mortgage in 
1388 ; to this were soon added Luxem- 
burg and the governorship of Alsace. 
When Wenzel first — about 1387 — enter- 
tained the idea of abdicating the German 
crown, he had thoughts of transferring it 
to his Moravian cousin. Jost had serious 
hopes of securing that dignity, as is proved 
by the fact that in 1389 he concluded 
compacts with Duke Albert III., " in the 
event of his becoming king of Germany." 
The plan, however, came to nothing. 
In the year 1390 Jost was again appointed 
imperial vicar for Italy, with a view to 
the more serious consideration of the 
papal question and the crowning of 
Wenzel as emperor. 

The margrave, however, was induced 
to decline the honour by reason of the 
outbreak of disturbances in Bohemia, and 
personally took the lead of the aristocratic 
league against the king, and secured for 
this movement the support of King Sigis- 
mund of Hungary, Duke Albert of Austria, 
and the Margrave William of Meissen. 
Wenzel was able to rely only upon the 
humble resources of his cousin Procop 


of Moravia and of his youngest brother, 
John of Gorhtz. But before hostilities 
were actually begun the confederates 
succeeded in capturing the king's person 
on May 8th, 1394. His two allies attempted 
to rescue him, the sole result being that 
Wenzel was confined first in a Bohemian 
and afterwards, in an Austrian castle. 
Meanwhile Jost administered the govern- 
ment of Bohemia. Germany then began 
to menace the conspirators, who liberated 
the king. A war broke out in Bohemia 
and Moravia which seemed likely to be 
prolonged by the weakness of Wenzel 
and the mutual animosity of the several 
members of the royal family. 

At the outset Sigismund, king of 
Hungary, drove his cousin Jost out of 
he field by the conclusion of a secret 
reconcihation with his brother Wenzel, 
whereby he secured the office of Vicar 
General in Germany in March, 
1396, with the reversion of 
the German crown. About 
a year later — in February, 
1397 — Wenzel in turn made 
peace with Jost and allowed 
him to establish a kind of 
co-regency in Prague. 

Suddenly, however, he 
renounced his compact with 
Jost and summoned Procop 
to be his permanent adviser 
in 1398 ; this, too, at a time 
when the temper of the 
German electors had grown 
threatening owing to the 
weakness of Wenzel's govern- 
ment. Wenzel then betook himself to 
Germany, held a diet in Frankfort in 1398, 
and travelled thence to Charles VI. of 
France to discuss the difficult problem of 
allaying the papal schism. Meanwhile, the 
federated nobles, supported by Jost and 
Sigismund, began war in Bohemia against 
Wenzel and Procop. The struggle con- 
tinued until the end of August, 1400, when 

^i VT I. Wenzel received the news of 
The Nobles i- , •,• j r iu 

jj his own deposition and of the 

cpo^ election of Rupert of the Pala- 

ing enze ^jj^^^g j^g ].-j.^g ^j ^j^g Romans. 

Wenzel was naturally furious at the insult. 
He could not, however, summon up reso- 
lution to strike an immediate blow for the 
recovery of his position. He made a 
second attempt at reconciliation with 
Sigismund ; but the brothers again quar- 
relled concerning the conditions under 
which the King of Hungary should take up 

The leading representative of 
the Reformation among the Bohe- 
mian clergy died a martyr in 1415. 

arms against the empire on ' behalf of 
Wenzel, and Sigismund reluctantly retired 
to Bohemia. Jost seized the opportunity 
for a decisive stroke. In alliance with the 
Bohemian barons, the Archbishop of 
Prague, and the Margrave of Meissen he 
forced Wenzel to accept a regency for 
Bohemia, and again secured his possession 
of Lausitz and of the Bran- 

es ess denburg Mark in August, 1401. 
Times in ,,r -P ax 

„ Wenzel was anxious to put 

ungary ^^ ^^^ ^^ ^^^^ tutelage ; for 

this purpose he again concluded a com- 
pact with Sigismund at the beginning of 
1402, appointing him vice-regent or 
co-regent in Bohemia, and conferring on 
him the imperial vicariate for Germany. 
The King of Hungary repaid this mark of 
confidence by making Wenzel a prisoner 
in March, 1402, and by capturing shortly 
afterwards his most faithful supporter, 
the margrave Procop. Sigis- 
mund entered upon relations 
of extreme intimacy with 
the Austrian dukes, entrusted 
them with the care of the 
l)erson of the Bohemian king 
in August, 1402, and con- 
cluded with them important 
l)acts of inheritance, con- 
siderably to the disadvantage 
of Jost of Moravia, whose 
Mark of Brandenburg he 
treated as his own. 

The position was at length 
entirely changed by a rising 
in Hungary which obliged 
Sigismund to abandon 
Bohemia, and by the flight of Wenzel 
from Austria to his own country in 
November, 1403, where he was received 
with much jubilation, owing to the 
general hatred of the Austrian rule. 
Jost was reconciled to Wenzel, chiefly for 
the reason that his brother Procop, with 
whom he had been in continual hostility, 
had died in the year 1405, and the attacks 
of Sigismund and the Hapsburgs upon the 
Bohemian king were successfully repulsed. 
Southern Bohemia, Moravia, and Austria 
suffered terrible devastation between 1404 
and 1406 from the wars between the 
princes and also from the ravages of the 
dangerous robber bands which then became 
the curse of the country. 

Silesia suffered no less than Bohemia 
and Moravia under the unhappy govern- 
ment of King Wenzel. At the outset of 
his reign he interfered in a violent quarrel 



between Breslau and the local chapter, 
and espoused the cause of the town against 
the despotic aggression of its opponents 
in 1381. Shortly afterwards he involved 
this important commercial centre in a long 
feud with the dukes of Oppeln upon the 
question of a heavy guarantee for the 
king's financial necessities. In the course 
, of this struggle the travel- 

1 ^^^^^ rmces j-^^ merchants of Breslau 

„ . . -, ^ suffered heavy losses in 
Bohemian Court . , -^ o 

property and purse, home 

of the Silesian princes, in particular those 
of Teschen, remained faithful to Wenzel 
and secured high offices at the Bohemian 
court ; others, however, broke their feudal 
ties with Bohemia and formed connec- 
tions with Vladislav Jagellon, the reigning 
king of Poland. 

These numerous indications of retro- 
gression and decay in the hereditary 
Luxemburg territories would perhaps have 
been less ominous had not the religious 
and nationalist movement among the 
Bohemian nation then attained its highest 
point, declaring war with terrible deter- 
mination both against the Catholic Church 
and against German influence in general. 
The best- known representative of the 
reform movement among the Bohemian 
clergy is John Huss ; he had been a 
leading figure among the lecturers at the 
university since 1396, and as preacher 
in the Bethlehem chapel at Prague he 
enjoyed an unexampled popularity among 
all classes of the population. He and 
his followers fulminated in the Bohemian 
language against the immorality of clergy 
and laity, especially against the sale of 
ecclesiastical offices (simony), whereby 
the ranks of the clergy were filled with 
unworthy members. Livings and bene- 
fices had been multiplied to such an extent 
in Bohemia and Moravia that even small 
churches supported numerous priests in 
idleness. These and other evils formed a 
widespread social malady of the period, 
_ . . and as early as the middle of 

_ . . the fourteenth century had 
urmg e ^gen combated by Waldhauser 

Reform&tion , ,,,■ . ^ . 

and Milicz m Bohemia, and 

by John Wycliffe in England. Nowhere, 
however, did these ecclesiastical quarrels 
fall upon a soil so rich in national ani- 
mosities as in Bohemia. The war broke 
out upon the question of the condemnation 
of Wycliffe's writings, which had made 
their way into Bohemia and were 
enthusiastically received by the reform 


party among the clergy. The cathedral 
chapter requested the university to oppose 
the dissemination of Wycliffe's works and 
opinions ; they met with a refusal from 
the Bohemian " nation " in the university 
which was practically led by Huss. The 
breach existing in the university and 
within the nation was widened. 

The same opposition reappeared a few 
years later upon the question of concluding 
the papal schism. The Council of Pisa 
in 1409 proposed to settle the question 
definitely by observing an ecclesiastical 
neutrality and refusing obedience to 
either Pope. In the University of Prague 
the idea commended itself only to the 
Bohemian " nation ; " the three remaining 
nationalities in conjunction with the 
upper clergy adhered firmly to the Roman 
Pope Gregory XII. King Wenzel, in con- 
trast to Rupert, declared for ecclesiastical 
neutrality, and the Czech party induced 
him to issue that fatal decree whereby the 
Bohemian " nation," though in the minor- 
ity, was henceforward to have three votes 
in all university discussions and resolu- 
tions, while the three non-Bohemian 
nations were to have but one 
vote between them. This 
measure implied the despotic 
repression of Germans and 
foreigners. Their sole remedy was 
migration to other German universities. 

Huss, who must be regarded as the 
prime mover in this momentous trans- 
action, had shaken off his opponents with 
unusual success. He was the more em- 
boldened for the struggle with the higher 
clergy, in particular with Archbishop 
Zbynek of Prague. This ecclesiastic had 
forcibly deprived the clergy of their 
Wycliffite books, which he condemned to 
be burnt, and had also taken measures 
against the licence of the preachers in 
every direction, and was anxious to confine 
their activity to the parish churches. 
When Huss dechned to obey these regula- 
tions and continued to preach reform from 
the pulpit of the Bethlehem chapel, he 
was excommunicated. However, the bulk 
of the population, the university, the 
court, the Queen Sophie — Wenzel's second 
wife from 1389 — and the king himself, 
were on the side of Huss, while the arch- 
bishop was supported only by his clergy 
and by the new Pope, John XXIII. 

The further development of these 
divisions was largely influenced by general 
poHtical events. King Rupert had died 


Defies the 



in the year 1410. The simultaneous choice 
of the two Luxemburg princes, Jost of Mo- 
ravia and Sigismund of Hungary, was but 
a temporary danger, as the former died in 
January, 141 1. Of the many descendants 
of the house of Luxemburg there remained 
only King Wenzel of Bohemia and King 
Sigismund of Hungary, neither having 
_. . _, male issue. They agreed 
u'^'^T'"' """ without difficulty to share 
ol^Jerm^n *^^ inheritance of their 
ermany Moravian cousin, and laid 
aside all previous grounds of dispute. 
Sigismund took the Mark of Branden- 
burg, which he forthwith mortgaged to 
the Burgrave Frederic of Nuremberg ; 
Wenzel added Moravia and Lausitz to 
Bohemia. Sigismund was then unani- 
mously chosen king of Germany. Wenzel 
reserved to himself the right of acquiring 
the dignity of emperor at the hands of the 
Pope. They attempted by similar means 
to conclude the schism in the Church, 
recognising John XXHL, then resident 
in Rome, as against the other two candi- 
dates who laid claim to the papal tiara. 
Hopes of a general recognition induced 
the Pope to modify his attitude to Huss 
and to refrain from summoning him to 
Rome ; this policy was the more feasible 
because the chief opponent _„ _ 
of Huss, the Archbishop 
Zbynek, died in the year 
141 1, and his aged successor 
was a mere tool in the hands 
of King Wenzel. Huss, how- 
ever, was stimulated to 
further invective in his 
preaching against ecclesias- 
tical abuses by John XXHL's 
issue of indulgences to secure 
money for the struggle against 
his opponents, a proceeding 
which gave further ground 
for serious complaints. Once 
again the nation supported 

throughout the country with increased 
zeal, while in the capital itself the tension 
between the two parties was in no degree 

Sigismund then considered that it 
might be possible to make an end oi the 
religious disputes which shook the Bo- 
hemian hereditary lands, Bohemia itself, 
and also Moravia, to their centre, by bring- 
ing Huss before the Council of Constance, 
where the most influential representatives 
of political and ecclesiastical Europe 
had gathered to conclude the schism and 
to introduce general measures of church 
reform. Huss arrived a fortnight before 
the first sitting of the council, on Novem- 
ber 3rd, 1414, accompanied by several 
Bohemian nobles, under a safe-conduct 
from Sigismund. This fact, however, 
„ did not prevent the council from 

. '^ imprisoning Huss on November 
**^®" 28th. Sigismund and Wenzel 
*^"* made no attempt to interfere, 
in spite of their express promise 
guaranteeing a safe passage and return 
for Huss. The nobility of Bohemia 
and Moravia pressed his case with 
increasing firmness, and sent letters of 
warning to the king and the council ; but 
after more than six months' imprisonment 

. „, . in misery, Huss was deprived 

of his spiritual office as an 
arch-heretic by the council 
on July 6th, 1415, and the 
secular power then executed 
the sentence of death by 

Huss died as the result of 
his religious zeal. The firm- 
ness, the love of truth, and 
the contempt of death which 
he displayed before his 
judges at Constance, were a 
powerful incitement to his 
strong body of adherents in 
Bohemia and Moravia to 


Huss, with his pupils and j^rome, or Hieronymus, of Pragiie cling the more tenaciously to 
friends. On this occasion, was one of the Hussite reformers his doctriucs. Shortly before 
however, Wenzel resolved to ^ °*" ^""^ ®** '" eyear 4 . ^^^ death, his pupil, Jacobel 

give vigorous support, for political reasons, 
to the minority who opposed reform. The 
result was the imprisonment and execution 
of certain persons who publicly opposed 
the proceedings of the papal commis- 
sioners, while further complaints were 
made in Rome against Huss, who con- 
sequently incurred a papal sentence of 
excommunication in 1412. Huss retired 
from Prague, but continued his work 


lus of Mies, came forward with a claim, 
based upon the commands of Holy 
Scripture, for communion in both kinds. 
Huss offered no objection, and his 
followers thus gained, to their great 
advantage, a tangible symbol of their 
divergence from the Catholic Church. 

No priest was tolerated who would not 
dispense the sacrament in both kinds ; 
and since the Council of Constance 


Reproduced from an old print illustrating allegorically the triumph of the lay communion, in support of which, 

and for other heresies, Huss had been executed seventy years before the time of Luther. 

rejected this innovation as being opposed 
to the existing custom of the Church, 
occasion was given for the expulsion of. 
the Catholic clergy in every direction. 
Nobles and knights, in accordance with the 
custom of the age, soon formed a league 
for the purpose of protecting communion 
in both kinds and freedom of preaching 
in the country. They were unanimously 
resolved to regard the University of 
Prague and not the Council of Constance 
as their supreme ecclesiastical authority 
until the choice of a new Pope. 

Strong measures were taken against the 
apostates ; the fathers of the council issued 
excommunications and an interdict without 
delay. Hussite disciples were burned in 
Olmiitz when they attempted to preach 
the new doctrine in that city. A second 
magister of Prague, Hieronymus, was 
burned in Constance on May 30th, 141O. 
Bishop John of Leitomischl, who was 
regarded as chiefly responsible next to 
Sigismund for the condemnation of Huss, 
was made Bishop of Olmiitz, and showed 
great zeal for the extirpation of the heresy. 



But these measures served only to 
intensify the spirit of opposition, after 
the death of Huss, from year to year, 
and soon made the breach irremediable. 
The only measures which commended 
themselves to the new Pope, Martin V., 
were excommunication and anathema, 
which produced the smaller effect, as the 
„ Hussites themselves now began 

„ „ to break up into sects and 

. "*g ^ parties, which went far beyond 
the doctrine of the magister of 
Prague. The most numerous, and after- 
wards the most important, of these sects 
was that of the Taborites, who took their 
name from Mount Tabor, where they 
originally held their meetings. As re- 
garded religion, they professed a return to 
the . conditions of primitive Christianity, 
and adherence only to the actual letter of 
the Bible. At the same time their politi- 
cal and social views and objects were 
marked by extreme radicalism. The more 
moderate opposition among the Hussites 
were known from their symbol as Calixtins 
(chalicemen) or as Pragers, as the Prague 
school was their spiritual centre. 

King Wenzel, who had favoured the 
Hussites since the condemnation of their 
founder, was impelled by his brother Sigis- 
mund and the Pope to entertain seriously 
the idea of interference, in view of the 
dangerous and revolutionary spirit which 
animated an ever increasing circle of ad- 
herents. At the outset of the year 1419 he 
remodelled the Hussite council of the Neu- 
stadt in Prague by introducing Catholics, 
and recalled the priests who had been 
expelled. However, mutual animosities 
had risen to such a pitch that on July 30th, 
1419, when the Catholics disturbed or 
insulted a procession, the Hussites, under 
their leader Ziska, stormed the parliament 
house in the Neustadt and threw some of 
the Catholic councillors out of the windows. 
The councillors were then beaten and 
stabbed to death by the infuriated popu- 

. «. lace. The excitement in the 

Wenzel Dies •, j xi a 

. City and the country was 

in an Access • ■' j r 1 r^ 

J P mcreased a few weeks after- 

^'^ wards by the sudden death of 

King Wenzel on August 19th, 1419, the 
consequence of a fearful access of fury at 
the outbreak of the revolution. 

Sigismund, the last descendant of the 
house of Luxemburg, was now confronted 
with the difficult task of securing his acces- 
sion to the heritage of his brother — Bohe- 
mia, Moravia, and Silesia. In each of these 


three countries the political situation and 
the prospects of his recognition were 
different. In Bohemia he might expect a 
bitter opposition, as long as he maintained 
his hostility to the Hussite movement. In 
Moravia this movement had indeed ob- 
tained a firm footing among the nobility 
and the population. Here, however, "there 
was a counteracting force in the bishopric 
of Olmiitz and its numerous feudatories, 
led by Bishop John, " the man of iron," 
who strove vigorously for the suppression 
of the heresy. Further, the most impor- 
tant towns, such as Briinn, Olmiitz, Znaim, 
Iglau, and others were populated by a 
majority of Catholic and German inhabi- 
tants, and neither they nor the nobility 
had any intention of opposing the rights of 
the Luxemburg claimant. 

Finally, Sigismund could be certain of 
meeting with ready submission in Silesia, 
which was entirely Germanised, and 
regarded the struggle in Bohemia 
primarily from a nationalist point of 
view, condemning it for its anti-German 
tendency. Hence Sigismund did not 
enter Bohemia, but entrusted the govern- 
„. . ment to the Dowager-queen 

*^**th Sophie, and to some councillors 

fL" .^ from the moderates among 
the nobility ; he appeared in 
Briinn in December, 1419, where he 
summoned the provincial assembly. An 
embassy also appeared from Bohemia 
to ask for the king's recognition of the 
four articles of belief, which had been 
drawn up by the Hussite sects a short 
time previously in a general assembly at 
Prague. These were, firstly, freedom of 
preaching ; secondly, communion in both 
kinds ; thirdly, the observance of apostolic 
poverty by the clergy ; and, fourthly, the 
suppression and punishment of deadly 
sins. Sigismund, however, declined to 
declare his position, and put off the 
deputies until he should arrive in Bohemia 

He did not, however, proceed to Bo- 
hemia, but hurried immediately from 
Briinn to Breslau, into which town he 
made a formal entry on January 5th, 1420. 
Here he declared his real attitude towards 
the Hussites as his religious and political 
opponents. Towards the close of Wenzel's 
reign the artisans of Breslau had raised a 
revolt against the aristocratic council and 
the whole system of royal administration, 
following the example of the Hussites at 
Prague, who had killed councillors and 


usurped the power and authority. Sigis- 
mund did not hesitate to bring the revo- 
lutionaries to justice ; he executed twenty- 
three of them in the pubhc square on 
March 4th, 1420, condemned the nume- 
rous fugitives to death, declared their 
rights and property forfeit, and most 
strictly limited the freedom and the privi- 
leges of the guilds as a whole. 

This action was intended as a menace 
to the Bohemians, and its meaning 
became plainer on March 15th, 1420, when 
a citizen of Prague, who had ventured to 
express pubUcly in Breslau his opinion 
upon the condemnation of 
Huss, and to declare himself 
a Hussite, was burned as a 
heretic at Sigismund's orders. 
Two days afterwards he 
ordered the crusade bull 
against the Hussites which 
Pope Martin V. had issued, 
to be read from the pulpits 
of the Breslau churches. The 
embassy from Prague, which 
had also come to Breslau to 
negotiate with the king, 
naturally left the city entirely 
undeceived, and upon its 
return to Prague wisely 
advised a union of the 
moderate Calixtins and radi- 
cal Taborites, and issued an 
appeal for war upon their 
common enemy, the Luxem- 
burg ruler. 

A few weeks later Sigis- 
mund entered Bohemia with 
a strong army, composed 
chiefly of Germans and Sile- 
sians. He could calculate 

through Moravia to Hungary. On all three 
occasions the undaunted Taborite am.y 
had held the field under its general, Ziska. 
Conscious of their power, the Taborites 
now took the offensive, and conquered 
during the following months a number of 
towns and fiefs which had remained 
Cathohc. The process of transforming 
the German towns of Bohemia into Czech 
settlements went on simultaneously with 
these conquests, so far as it had not been 
already completed by earher events. A 
few towns only were able to resist the 
change. In June, 1421, the assembly of 
Caslau had already declared 
the crown to be forfeit, the 
king being " the deadly 
enemy of the Bohemian 
nation." The provisional 
government offered the Bohe- 
mian throne to the King of 

Sigismund was a restless 
and undaunted character ; in 
this and in many other good 
and bad qualities he reminds 
us of his grandfather. King 
John. Once again he resumed 
the struggle, although the 
dangers which threatened 
him in Hungary made it 
impossible for him to think 
of continuing the war in 
Bohemia without foreign 
help. Germany equipped a 
crusading army at his appeal, 
increased, it is said, to 200,000 
men by contingents from 
Meissen and Silesia. Bohemia 
was invaded in September, 
1421, but the furious attacks 

., . e A BOHEMIAN WARRIOR 7 - 1, tt * u a ■ a- t. a 

upon the support of many ,„ gfteenth-century chain armonr. of the Hussite bands mflicted 

towns which had remained 
German and Catholic — for example, 
Kuttenberg — and on the advantage 
derived from the possession of the two 
fortresses which dominated Prague — the 
Hradshin and the Wysherad. However, 
the siege of Prague from May to June, 
1420, was a failure. An attempt to relieve 
the defenders of the Wysherad was 
defeated, and in the murderous battle of 
November ist, 1420, the king's army was 
shattered, and many of the Cathohc 
nobility of Moravia who had followed him 
were included in the overthrow. In 
February, 142 1, Sigismund again made 
trial of his fortune in war against Bohemia, 
and was forced to retreat, or rather to flee, 

heavy loss, and forced the 
army to withdraw almost as soon as it 
had crossed the frontier. It was not 
for several years that the empire under- 
took any fresh mihtary enterprise against 

Most important to Sigismund were 
the support and co-operation of Duke 
Albert V. of Austria, which were continued 
from the beginning to the end of the 
war. The price paid for this help was, 
indeed, considerable. Sigismund gave 
Elizabeth, his only child and heiress, to the 
duke, in marriage, ceded certgun towns and 
castles, and afterwards gave him the 
governorship, and finally complete posses- 
sion, of the margraviate of Moravia under 


the convention of October ist to 4th, 
1423. Albert was gradually able, with the 
help of the Bishop of Olmiitz, to withdraw 
this province from Hussite influence, to 
crush the Hussite barons, and to make 
the province a base of operations against 
Moravia. These facts induced Ziska to 
turn his attention to the neighbouring 
Quarrels Province in the year 1424; 
. but at the outset of the cam- 

Hus'Sfes * P^^ *^^^ ^^^* general 
succumbed to an attack of 
some kind of plague at Pribislau, a little 
town on the frontier of Bohemia and 
Moravia, on October nth, 1424. Before 
his death bitter quarrels had broken out 
between the several Hussite sects, 
though these had hitherto been allayed 
by Ziska. However, after his death an 
irremediable disruption took place. His 
special adherents, who were known as 
the " Orphans," separated from the 
Taborites. The leadership of the latter was 
undertaken by Prokop Holy (Rasa, the 
shorn one), who took a leading position in 
the general Hussite army during the war- 
fare of the following years. He was the 
chief stimulus to the enterprises which 
the Bohemians undertook after 1424 
against all the neighbouring provinces, and 
he spread the Hussite wars to Austria and 
Hungary, to Silesia and the Lausitz, to 
Saxony and Brandenburg, to the Palatinate 
and Franconia. 

The Hussite expeditions were repeated 
annually, now in one direction, now in 
another, spreading terrible misery 
throughout the whole of Central Europe. 
In many countries, especially in Silesia, 
the Hussites were not content with mere 
raids, but left permanent garrisons in the 
conquered towns and castles, which 
incessantly harassed and devastated the 
surrounding districts. To such a height 
did the danger rise that the princes of 
the empire were induced to undertake a 
second crusade against Bohemia in the 
„ . p summer of 1427, while King 

ussi cs o Sigismund was occupied with 

German ,," , ,tf t-. i 

A Fl* M ^^^ against the lurks, 

rmy o ig Qj^qq again the enterprise 
ended with the panic and flight of the 
German army when confronted at Tachau 
by the Hussites, whom a long series of 
victories had filled with hope and con- 
fidence. It seemed absolutely impossible 
to subdue this enemy in the field, and the 
opinion was further strengthened by the 
Hussite exploits in the following years. 

The last act of this tragic period of 
Bohemian history began at the outset of 
the year 1431. Sigismund attempted to 
reach a solution of the problem at any 
cost on wholly new principles ; a council 
had begun the war, a council should end 
it. He succeeded in winning over to his 
view Pope Martin V., who summoned a 
general council of the Church at Basle, 
and entrusted the conduct of it to the 
cardinal Giuliano Cesarini, with instruc- 
tions to make the suppression of the 
Hussite movement a chief topic of debate. 
Th's expedition to Bohemia ended, hke 
its predecessors, with a terrible defeat of 
the Germans at Taus on August 14th, 1431 ; 
and negotiations were then attempted, to 
which, indeed, more moderate parties in 
Bohemia had long since manifested their 
inchnation. While the Hussite armies in 
1432 and 1433 marched plundering and 
massacring through Austria, North Hun- 
gary, Silesia, Saxony, and Brandenburg 
_ to the Baltic, an embassy from 

,** Prague appeared in Basle 

c. . . during the first months of 
Sigismund 1171 1 ■ 

1433. When no conclusion 

could be reached there, the ambassadors 
of the council betook themselves to 
Prague, and concluded, on November 
30th, 1433, the Compactata of Prague. 
The material point was the recognition 
— though under conditions and incom- 
pletely — of the four articles of Prague of 
1419 ; concerning the acceptance or 
refusal of these King Sigismund, then in 
Briinn, had declined to commit himself. 

Of decisive importance for further 
developments was the split between the 
moderate Calixtins, who included the 
majority of the Bohemian nobihty, and 
the Taborites and Orphans. The dissen- 
sion ended in a conflict at Lipan in 
Bohemia on May 30th, 1434, when the 
radicals suffered a severe defeat. The path 
was now cleared for peace, which was 
concluded on July 5th, 1436, by the 
publication of the Compactata at the 
assembly of Iglau. The reconciliation of 
the Bohemians with the Church was 
followed by a further reconciliation 
with King Sigismund, who was then 
recognised as king of Bohemia. Only 
for a year and a half did he enjoy the 
peaceful possession of this throne. On 
December gth, 1437, he died, after numer- 
ous misunderstandings and breaches of the 
terms of peace had begun to rouse strong 
feehng against him among the Hussites. 


Note. — For references see Appendix. 








Civil War 

/^N his death-bed Sigismund recom- 
^^ mended his son-in-law, Duke Albert 
of Austria, as his successor to the choice 
of the Bohemian nobles who stood round 
him. Albert II. inherited both the 
German and the Hungarian crown 
from Sigismund; his claim to Bohemia, 
Moravia, and Silesia was based upon the 
principles formulated under the Emperor 
Charles IV. to regulate the succession in 
the house of Luxemburg, and also upon 
the various succession treaties and mar- 
riage connections between the Luxemburg 
and Hapsburg families. However, the 
prince, whom the Hussite wars had made 
conspicuous in Bohemia, could secure 
recognition from only two of the parties 
then dominant in the country, the 
■Catholics, led by Baron Ulrich of Rosen- 
berg, and the Calixtins, whose spokesman 
was Meinhard of Neuhaus. The Taborites, 
who were then guided by Henry Ptacek 
of Pirkstein, offered the crown 
of Bohemi a to a Slavonic prince, 
„ , . Casimir, the brother of Vladi- 
slav, king of Poland; their 
action brought about a civil war in Bohemia 
itself, as well as a Polish invasion both of 
this country and of Silesia, which had 
already done homage to Albert. 

While this struggle was in progress, 
Albert suddenly died on October 27th, 
1439, leaving no male issue. Not until 
February, 1440, did his widow Elizabeth 
bear a son, who was named Ladislaus 
(Vladislav IV.) Posthumus. Though this 
prince enjoyed, beyond the shadow of a 
doubt, his father's justifiable claims to 
the inheritance, yet the party of Ptacek 
of Pirkstein passed over the Hapsburg 
claim and secured, by an almost unanimous 
vote in the assembly of Prague, the 
choice of Albert, Duke of Bavaria, as king 
of Bohemia ; he, however, declined the 
honour under the influence of a secret 
warning from Ulrich von Rosenberg, the 
leader of the Catholics. The Taborites 
then attempted to induce the Emperor 

Frederick, the uncle and guardian of 
Ladislaus, to accept the crown of Bohemia. 
When this plan failed, they professed 
their readiness to recognise Ladislaus 
himself, provided that he were brought 
up in Bohemia. During these endless 
party struggles Ulrich of Rosenberg kept 
the upper hand. He was the most power- 
„ . ful of the Bohemian nobles, and 
Ca tur*' ^^"^6*^ the greatest advantages 
Pra«ue* ^^^^ ^^^ confusion which pre- 
vailed during his interregnum. 
The greater part of the country and the 
capital, Prague, were in his power and in 
that of his allies, the Calixtins ; the 
Taborites were restricted to four only of the 
thirteen circles of Bohemia. 

The position was changed after the death 
of Ptacek of Pirkstein in 1444, when 
the youthful George Podiebrad and 
Kunstadt undertook the leadership of the 
advanced Hussite party. In the year 
1448 he seized Prague by a bold and 
sudden attack, and there assisted his 
party to gain a complete victory. For 
two years civil war again raged in Bohemia, 
until the close of the year 1450, when it 
was agreed at the general assembly at 
Prague to approach the emperor again 
upon the question of the surrender of the 
young king. On this occasion Frederick 
III. came to an understanding by direct 
negotiation with George Podiebrad, with- 
out consulting the other party leaders. 
In 1451 he entrusted Podiebrad with the 
regency in Bohemia during the minority of 
Th Y thf I Ladislaus. The Bohemian 
Lai estates confirmed this decision 

**v* ^ at the assembly of April 

on the Throae .1 _ n j- u j 

24th, 1452. Podiebrad, more- 
over, adhered to these conditions. 
When a revolution of the Austrian 
nobility against the emperor broke out in 
the following year, Ladislaus was released 
from his position as a minor and, in name 
at least, became king of Austria, Hungary 
and Bohemia. In October, 1453. the 
memorable year of the Turkish conquest 



of Constantinople, he came to Prague and 
was crowned king of Bohemia, after a 
progress through Moravia, where he pre- 
viously received the homage of the 
Moravian nobility, to the very considerable 

proved obstinate, trusting to the support 
of the Archduke Albert VI. of Austria, a 
brother of the Emperor Frederick III., 
until its resistance met with a bloody 
punishment. In Silesia and Lausitz a 

vexation of the Bohemians. In Bohemia revulsion in favour of George took place, 
the young prince was entirely when he succeeded, as a result of many 

King Dies 
on the Eve 
of Marriage 

dependent upon George Podie- 
brad, who was not only the 
prince's minister and political 
adviser, but also his "major-domo," as he 

tortuous intrigues, in ousting the local 
claimant to the throne, Duke Albert the 
Courageous of Saxony. 

The firmness of George's position was 

called himself, and he never allowed the largely due to the fact that, strangely 
youth to be out of his sight. He kept the enough, before his coronation in Bohemia 
prince in Bohemia for more than a year, he had promised obedience to the Catholic 
and then accompanied him to Breslau and Church, and had thereby secured the power- 
Vienna, ful support of the Pope, who expected 
Then at length the Bohemian governor that Podiebrad would bring the whole 
left Ladislaus to return home and continue of Bohemia into submission to Rome, 

the government of the 
country in the name of 
the king. George Podie- 
brad was well able to 
turn the king's favour to 
his own advantage, and 
was richly rewarded with 
fiefs from the royal do- 
mains ; none the less the 
period of his governor- 
ship in Bohemia (1451- 
1457) was a period of 
prosperity. He succeeded 
in preserving domestic 
peace, securing general 
safety and order, and 
advancing the progress 
of trade and manufac- 
ture. Then, at the age 
of barely eighteen, the 

and had therefore ordered 
the Catholics of Bohemia, 
Moravia, and Silesia to 
do homage to the new 
king. Breslau was iso- 
lated and unable to 
persist in its attitude of 
hostility to George, when 
Pope Pius II. (iEneas 
Sylvius) sent his legates 
to the city in 1459 to 
arrange a reconciliation 
with the King of Bohemia. 
On January 13th, 1460, 
the intervention of the 
Breslau city chronicler 
and historian Peter Es- 
chenloer secured the ac- 
ceptance of an important 
agreement, whereby the 


king suddenly died in S^ J^'T^ sSfs.„^nTbut ^re'd in" oftX^I cftizens of Breslau pro 
Prague on November 1439, before he had secured general recogr- miscd obcdience to King 

23rd, 1457, from an "'*'°" ^^ """^"^ of Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia. Q^^j.^^^ thoUgh the actual 

illness akin to the plague, at the moment 

when preparations were being made for 
the celebration of his marriage with the 
daughter of Charles VII. of France. 

So admirable had been the preparations 
of George Podiebrad, that on March 2nd, 
1458, a few months after the death of 
Ladislaus, he was able to secure his 
elevation to the crown of Bohemia. The 
neighbouring provinces of Moravia, 
Silesia, and in particular the powerful 
Breslau and Lausitz, at first refused 
obedience or recognition. Eventually, 
however, submission to the Hussite king 
was refused in Moravia only by the 
Catholic towns — Briinn, Olmiitz, Znaim, 
Iglau and others. When George invaded 
the country with an army, Iglau alone 


performance of homage was postponed for 
three years. 

Secure of his power in Bohemia, Moravia, 
and Silesia, on the best of terms with all 
the neighbouring states and with the 
German Emperor, designated " most be- 
loved son " by the papal chair, George was 
able to turn his attention to higher objects. 
The prospect of establish- 
ing himself upon the 
throne of Hungary in 
opposition to Matthias 
Corvinus, had been offered to him or to his 
son Henry in the year 1459. In view, how- 
ever, of the equivocal nature of the situa- 
tion in Hungary, he had hesitated, and had 
finally declined the crown, which then fell 
to Frederick III. Podiebrad found some 

Refuses the Crown 
of Hungary 


compensation in the fact that the two 
princes who were strugghng for the throne 
respectively sought alliance with him from 
this time onwards. In August, 1459, the 
emperor invested him with the Bohemian 
lands, and also made him other important 
promises ; at the same time Matthias made 
a successful effort to secure the favour of 
the Bohemian king. Not only did George 
succeed in turning the hostiUty of the two 
princes to his own advantage, but he also 
conceived the plan of entering into relations 
with the enemies of the emperor within the 
empire, and thus advancing towards the 
imperial crown without the help of foreign 
intervention. This project of the King of 
Bohemia was rendered abortive chiefly by 
the opposition of Albert 
Achilles, the Margrave of 

A short time afterwards 
occurred that breach with 
the papacy which had 
such momentous conse- 
quences for George, and 
a short period of triumph- 
ant progress was followed 
by almost a decade of 
fruitless and exhausting 
struggle. Pius II. insisted 
upon the performance of 
the undertaking which 
George had given in his 
coronation oath, to adopt 
strong measures against 
the Hussites. When nego- 
tiation produced no re- 

appealed against George Podiebrad de- 
clined to take any share in a crusade, 
partly for reasons of family relationship— 
(for example, his son-in-law, Matthias 
Corvinus of Hungary), partly for political 
reasons (for example, the King of Poland, 
The New Pope ^"^ especially the Em- 
Excommunicate* P^'"^'" Frederic III., who 

King George Yu^ ""^'^ ^^r^ P'?^^^ '"^ 

the years 1462 and 1463). 

The emperor even attempted to intervene 
with the Pope on behalf of George Podiebrad. 
In 1464 the situation changed. Paul II., 
a far more vigorous character than Pius II., 
occupied the papal chair, while the death 
of Katherina, the daughter of George 
Podiebrad, left her husband Matthias 
Corvinus free to act 
against his former father- 
in-law. In 1466 Paul 
excommunicated George 
as a heretic, and stirred 
up war against him in 
Breslau and Moravia. 
The Catholic federation 
of nobles soon made 
their hostility felt in 
Bohemia also. However, 
the king maintained the 
upper hand against his 
adversaries in his own 
country, as long as the 
rulers of the neighbouring 
territories held aloof. 
Only when Matthias of 
Hungary resolved in 1468 
to obey the papal com- 
for a crusade 


suit, tne fope sent niS OeorgePodiebrad, who was one of the leaders rnaUQ 

legates to Prague in the ofthe Hussite party, was a statesman of great against the Bohemian 

" f y rr^, ability, whose plans were so well laid that on •, v j- j /^ i 

summer of 1402. There, the death ofLadislaus he was able to secure the king, did GCOrgC lOSe 

on August 14th, a violent t'»''°"« "^ Bohemia. He died in the year 1471. almOSt 


scene took place, when King George 
publicly replied to the Pope's demands 
by asserting his refusal to recede from 
the Compactata, which Pius II. had 
already declared invalid. The legates 
accused the king of faithlessness before the 
public assembly, threatened him with 
spiritual and temporal punishment, and 
were forthwith imprisoned. 

King and 
Pope at 


By this act every tie between 
the Pope and the king was 
broken. For the moment, 
however, the struggle was confined to 
attempts to induce the Catholics in 
Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia to abandon 
the king's cause ; only in Breslau did these 
exhortations produce any appreciable 
effect. The princes to whom the Pope 

whole of 
Moravia and part of Silesia. However, 
he soon succeeded in surrounding at Wili- 
mow the Hungarian king, who had ad- 
vanced too rashly in February, 1469, and 
Matthias was forced to agree to an 
armistice with a view to arranging 
terms of peace. Peace, however, proved 
impossible in view of the terms de- 
manded by the papal legate and the 
Bohemian barons, which George could 
not possibly accept. They even induced 
Matthias Corvinus to proclaim himself 
king of Bohemia on May 3rd, 1469, and to 
receive the homage of Moravia, Silesia 
and Lausitz. 

The natural result was the continuation 
of the war. George had secured the 
support of Poland — in return for an 



acknowledgment of the Polish prince 

Vladislav as his successor — and fought 

with some success ; he did not live to 

see the conclusion of the struggle, in the 

midst of which he died of an illness on 

March 22nd, 1471. He had been one of 

the most extraordinary figures on the 

throne of Bohemia ; neither before nor 

afterwards did the country see 

**„ ** a prince of such humble origin, 

e ussi e ^^^ j.^gg from the position of 

^'^^ a simple party leader to that 

of viceroy with full powers, and thence to 
the throne. He had remarkable capacity 
for government, and found enthusiastic 
admirers and true friends among his 
contemporaries. During his reign his 
territory was in a continual state of war, 
but the administration was in strong 
hands. But the religious problem, a 
bequest from the Hussite period, thwarted 
his success and undermined the whole of 
his efforts. 

A wholly different character from George 
was his successor on the Bohemian throne, 
the Pole Vladislav, who was known as 
" King AUright," from a favourite and 
very characteristic expression of his. The 
war against King Matthias continued for 
eight years longer, partly on the soil of 
Bohemia and Moravia, partly in Silesia 
(Breslau) and partly in Hungary. Fortune 
favoured now one side and now the other, 
until financial embarrassments affecting 
both princes and parties, and the steady 
approach of the Turkish danger, paved the 
way for a temporary armistice and even- 
tually for a peace, which was concluded 
after lengthy negotiations at Olmiitz on 
July 2ist, 1479. It was agreed that 
Vladislav should remain in possession of 
the title and the kingdom of Bohemia, and 
that Matthias Corvinus should bear the 
title of King of Bohemia during his life, and 
should also remain in possession of 
Moravia, Silesia, and Lausitz ; after his 
death his provinces might be bought 
back by Vladislav for 
400,000 ducats, an exorbi- 

CathoHcs and 

_ ^ _, tant price for that period. 

Come to Terms xt r j j. 

No reference was made to 

the question of religious unity, or to the 
bringing back of the Hussites to the Cath- 
olic Church, though it was with this object 
that Rome had stirred up the struggle. 
Even before his accession King Vladislav 
had pledged himself to maintain the Com- 
pactata. Thus it was inevitable that upon 
the conclusion of the foreign war the party 


struggle between the Catholics and the 
Hussites should break out again in 
Bohemia. The movement degenerated 
into fearful confusion after the autumn of 
1483. Councillors were murdered and 
flung through windows ; churches and 
monasteries were plundered ; Germans 
and Jews were persecuted and robbed as 
a matter of course. Strangely enough, 
however, this violent outburst of passion 
resulted in less than two years in a recon- 
ciliation of the two parties (1485) ; and 
an agreement was arranged upon the 
basis of the recognition of the Compactata 
and of the full equality of the Hussites 
with the Catholics. 

From that moment the influence of the 
Hussite sect in Bohemia began to diminish. 
It lost importance the more rapidly as the 
" Bohemian Brotherhood," which was 
originally in some connection with it, 
began a vigorous period of development. 
The fact that the descendants of the 
original Hussites were able at this late 
period to develop a branch of a new doc- 
trine with such vigour, is evidence of 
the hold which the Hussite theories had 
_. J I. „ gained upon the nation ; 

Rise and Fall ^^^^^ ^^^ futihty of the 

P ,. . q many attempts, initiated by 
Rome, at union between the 
Hussites and the Catholics of Bohemia, 
notwithstanding the fact that men of such 
power as Nicholas of Cusa, John of Capis- 
trano, and ^Eneas Sylvius applied their 
energy to the task. An extraordinarily large 
number of sects rose and disappeared in the 
course of the fifteenth century, side by side 
with the main groups in Bohemia and 
Moravia. Only the Brotherhood became of 
permanent importance ; this sect began 
with a society of certain members who were 
dissatisfied with the Hussite doctrine, and 
its first settlement was made in 1457 
at Rumwald, a Bohemian village belonging 
to King George Podiebrad. The society 
incurred its share of persecution and 
martyrdom ; its most vigorous opponents 
were a relation of its founder, Gregor, 
John of Rokitzan. and the king himself. 
Nevertheless, they possessed and acquired, 
even during this period, a wide body of 
adherents both in Bohemia and Moravia, 
and the death lOf these two powerful 
oppressors, in the year 1471, relieved 
the brethren of a severe hindrance, 
especially in Bohemia. The expansion of 
the sect was never seriously checked, 
either by its internal quarrels and dissen- 


sions, or by the general decree of banish- 
ment from Moravia which its members 
incurred in 1480. 

The difference in the treatment of the 
Brotherhood in Bohemia and in Moravia 
was due to the separation of this latter 
country and also of Silesia from the 
Bohemian crown, and to the wholly 
different policy followed by Vladislav 
in Bohemia and by Matthias in Moravia 
and Silesia. The weakness and good 
nature of the former allowed the supremacy 
to fall into the hands of the nobles. Mat- 
thias, on the other hand, emphasised from 
the very outset his royal power as opposed 
to the claims of the privileged orders. The 
iron hand of Corvinus was even more 
strongly felt in 
Silesia than in 
Moravia, where 
Matthias left the 
government in 
the hands of the 
highly capable 
viceroy Ctibor of 
( iniburg, who 
had been occu- 
pant of this high 
position from 
1469, retainiri'^ it 
until 1494. long 
after the death 
of Matthias. 

It is due chiefly 
to Ctibor that the 
attempts which 
had been made 
during the past 
century to unite 
the divided prin- 
cipalities were 
now consum- 
mated by means of a definitely organised 
administration. The institution of the 
princely diets and the creation of the central 
bureaucracy belong to the age of Matthias, 
and are his work. His government did not 
enjoy the best of reputations with posterity, 
owing to the enormous increase in the 
taxes and imposts, which his continual 
financial necessities laid upon his subjects ; 
in this matter he was supported, especially 
in Silesia, by his local governor, George 
von Stein, and by other faithful servants, 
in the most irresponsible manner, at the 
expense of the people. 

On April 6th, 1490, Matthias died 
without legitimate issue, and the Bohemian 
king, Vladislav, was raised to the throne 


of Hungary. In accordance with the pre- 
vious arrangement, Moravia and Silesia 
fell into his power, although he never 
fulfilled the condition by which these lands 
were to be repurchased at the price of 
400,000 ducats, so that the title of the 
Bohemian crown to these districts was 
disputed with some show of reason. 

The reign of King Vladislav is one of 
the most unsatisfactory periods in the 
history of the Bohemian countries. The 
great economic and religious changes 
which, at the end of the fifteenth century, 
denoted the outset of a new era for 
Europe, found Bohemia and Moravia 
divided by class dissensions. The here- 
ditary monarchy had been greatly 

weakened as a 
result of events 
since the Hussite 
war, and the loss 
of the great 
crown demesnes 
of former times 
had deprived it 
of its power and 
influence. Eco- 
nomically as wpII 
as politically, the 
nobility were 
supreme in the 
country ; they 
were, however, 
filled with a 
boundless ambi- 
tion for power, 
and were ready 
to pass all limits 
in their efforts to 
weaken the mon- 
archy, to oppose 
the privileges 
and freedom of the towns, or to keep 
down the peasant class in a state of 
slavery and serfdom. 

The highest positions in the country were 
exclusively in the hands of the nobles and 
knights ; they enjoyed unlimited power in 
the provincial assemblies, and in 1500 
compiled a legal code, the " Ordinances of 
Vladislav," which was to secure their pre- 
dominance for ever. The king agreed to 
the limitations, great and small, which 
the nobility placed upon his power. The 
citizen class, however, was determined to 
oppose these encroachments upon the 
principles of justice with the more vigour 
as they found their material welfare greatly 
iniured by the arbitrary rule of the nobles. 



The nobles infringed the town monopoly of 

brewing, forbade the towns to acquire 

landed property, limited the freedom of the 

fairs, and so forth. Consequently the 

towns continually complained to the king. 

These complaints produced little effect, 

for the reason that, after his elevation to 

the throne of Hungary, Vladislav had 

-, ., , removed his capital from 
Nobles and ^ 


Prague to Ofen, and remained 

-. .,. absent from Bohemia for years 
Opposition , ,. ~, -^ 

at a time. 1 here were, more- 
over, uninterrupted hostilities between 
the citizens and nobles, who respectively 
formed federations for continuing their 
mutual strife. These conditions were in 
no way altered by the short stay which 
Vladislav made at Prague in 1502, as the 
king at once took the side of the nobles and 
decided the quarrel against the towns, 
while at a later period he withdrew his 
decision, though he could not induce the 
nobility to feel satisfied with his change 
of attitude. The outrages and aggressions 
committed by each side increased the 
bitterness of the struggle, and from year 
to year the tension grew more severe ; but 
from 1502 to 1509 the king remained in 
Hungary, and left affairs to take their 
course in Bohemia and Moravia. 

For the history of Silesia the reign of 
Vladislav was of importance, inasmuch as 
this prince, who was ever ready to bestow 
his favours, issued an important consti- 
tutional law to the Silesian orders on 
November 28th, 1498. This was sub- 
stantially a confirmation of all previous 
concessions, with certain further additions. 
The president of the province, that is to 
say, the governor and highest official in 
Silesia, was always to be a Silesian prince ; 
the estates also obtained a right of voting 
taxes, some relief from military service, 
and a high court of justice, known as the 
" Court of the Princes," which was com- 
posed of the territorial lords, and formed 
a final court of appeal for every class. 
j^. , This arrangement might have 

\i **** ' served as a starting point for 

^ * . the further development of the 

Government ■,■•.,■ o-i tt 

administration m Silesia. How- 
ever, in this country also the king's feeble 
government, which was directed from 
Ofen, gave rise to disputes of every kind. 
The bishopric of Breslau had for several 
years been carrying on a quarrel, which 
lasted till 1504, with the town of Breslau 
and some Silesian princes, owing to the 
election of an unpopular coadjutor. Some 


years previously — in 1497 — the Duke 
Nicholas of Oppeln had ended his life on the 
scaffold in consequence of an act of aggres- 
sion against the governor, Duke Casimir 
of Teschen. The town of Breslau was at 
feud, now with one and now with another 
of these princes, and marauding raids were 
of daily occurrence. The king's decree 
to secure peace and his threats of punish- 
ment proved as futile here as they did 
in the other provinces. 

Vladislav enjoyed little personal in- 
fluence unless when he came forward in 
person and secured services in return for 
new privileges. In 1509 he was anxious 
that his son Lewis, born in 1506, who was 
already king of Hungary, should be 
crowned king of Bohemia during his life ; 
he was therefore obliged, after an absence 
of seven years, to decide upon a journey 
throughout his remaining territories in 
order to. secure the completion of his 
project by his personal influence. He 
soon attained his main object. On 
February 17th, 1509, he made a state 
entry into Prague with his children and 
court ; on March nth, some delay having 
been caused by the illness of 
the young prince, the corona- 
tion of Lewis took place. 
Other difficulties, especially 
the struggle between the nobles and the 
towns, were discussed in the course of a 
series of diets, but no result was secured. 
In February, 1510, Vladislav left Bohemia 
and betook himself to Olmiitz, where the 
Moravian orders did homage to Lewis, 
upon receipt of the customary privileges ; 
thence the king went to Hungary, and in 
the winter of 1510 and 151 1 again returned 
with the youthful monarch and the rest 
of his family to Silesia, where he also 
secured from the princes and estates the 
recognition of his son as his successor. 
The confusion of legal relations which 
prevailed under King Vladislav is shown 
by the fact that he received the homage of 
the Silesians, not as King of Bohemia, but 
as King of Hungary, though at the same 
time he had expressly emphasised the fact 
that Silesia and Moravia belonged to the 
Bohemian crown, in an imperial letter to 
the Bohemians during his stay at Prague 
on January nth, 1510. 

Hardly, however, had the king returned 
to Hungary when his attention was again 
occupied by the quarrel between the Orders 
of Bohemia and Moravia, which was all 
the more dangerous, as the towns appeared 

Do Homage to 
King Lewis 


to be obstinately resolute. They formed 
a federation, and on June 20th, 1513, 
concluded an offensive and defensive 
alliance with Duke Bartholomsus of 
Miinsterberg, the grandson of King George 
Podiebrad, who was to represent their 
party at the court of King Vladislav. He 
proved successful in convincing the king 
and his advisers of the destructive influence 
upon Bohemia of the dominant party of 
nobles. Towards the end of the year 
15 13 Vladislav was persuaded to receive 
the demands of the towns with more favour 
than he had previously shown them. 

However, his want of determination and 
his vacillation delayed a definite decision, 
although after the death of Bartholomajus 
the office of mediator 
between the nobles and 
towns was undertaken 
with considerable clever- 
ness and success by his 
cousin Charles of Munster- 
berg. The struggle was 
raging with undiminished 
heat when Vladislav II. 
died on March 13th, 15 16, 
only a few months after 
he had concluded the im- 
portant marriage contract 
of July, 1515, with the 
Emperor Maximilian I., 
between his own children 
Lewis and Anna, and the 
grandchildren of the 
emperor, Ferdinand and 

robber knights, and the town? made 
reprisals upon the nobles and their asso- 
ciates, often executing them without cere- 
mony. Isolated peasant revolts in Bohemia 
are also reported by the chroniclers. The 
" Compact of St. Wenzel " of September 
The Great ^^*^' ^^i?. in which a partial 
Plague agreement between the estates 

of 15 20-1 ^^^ secured by the Moravian 
baron, William of Pernstein, 
proves the pressing need of some com- 
promise, however partial. An impor- 
tant point was the definition of the 
competency of the common law and of 
the town courts respectively. Disputes 
of an economic nature and the like were 
deferred for after consideration. Peace, 
indeed, was not finally 
secured . The weakness of 
the royal power made a 
recurrence of the struggle 
inevitable after a few 
years. However, the 
public attention was 
occupied with other 
events, such as the plague, 
which began in Prague in 
1520, and ravaged the 
whole country in 1521, 
the Lutheran movement, 
and the Turkish danger. 

In the year 1522 
King Lewis entered his 
Bohemian kingdom for 
the first time as an 
independent ruler, with 
the object of putting an 

Maria ; this contract also .pj^g last independent king 

included a federation in Lewis 11., who was a mere child when he end to the arbitrary 

which room was found LinTo\°Bo^VmiaTA"HVngaryrWrgnir^"^^^^^^^ government of the uobles, 

for King Sigismund of isio tiu io2ti, when he met his death at as Continued to their own 

Poland. '^^ ''^"'^ °^ ^°^^" ^^^'"^* '^^ '^"'■''^- advantage for years by 

King Lewis II. was no more than a 
child, though already crowned. Hence 
it was necessary to agree upon some 
form of regency for the moment. After 
long negotiation between the orders in 
Bohemia, Moravia, and Silesia, and 
also in Hungary, the task was entrusted 
to the German emperor and to the king 
of Poland. However, these 
guardians could exercise no 
immediate influence of any 
kind upon the provinces in- 
herited by Lewis, and the power of the 
nobles continued to increase. In Bohemia 
and Moravia the quarrels between the 
estates continued as before. The 
nobles oppressed the towns, travelling 
merchants and citizens were attacked by 

Lewis II. 


Boy King 

the chief burgrave of Prague, Zdenek Lev of 
Rozmital. The real motive for this journey 
was the unavoidable necessity for seeking 
help against the Turks outside of Hungary 
itself. His route first led him to Briinn, 
where he received the homage of the 
Moravian orders, and confirmed their 
rights ; he attempted to settle a number 
of class disputes, and then made his way 
to the Bohemian frontier, where he was 
met by the Bohemian ambassadors. After 
a short stay in some of the more important 
towns of Bohemia, he reached Prague on 
March 28th, 1522, and made a solemn 
entry with his young wife and his friend 
and tutor the Margrave George of Bran- 
denburg. Difficulties at once arose. 
A series of troublesome negotiations 



began forthwith with the estates of the 
kingdom in reference to the appoint- 
ment of a new chancellor of Bohemia, 
and the form of oath to observe the 
constitution which the king was to take. 
When the wording of this oath had been 
once passed, it was to remain in force in 
Bohemia for centuries. Slow progress also 
J-. , . was made with other matters 
mg^ ewis ^£ business — the queen's 
Dismisses ,. ,, ^ , r 

H- f\tf ■ I coronation, the payment of 
His Officials ,, , J 1 X • J • 

the heavy debts mcurred m 

King Vladisav's time, and the equipment 
of an auxiliary army against the Turks. 
In the summer of 1522 violent disorder 
broke out in Silesia, especially in the town 
of Schweidnitz. Finally, at the end of 
the year, relations between King Lewis 
and the ruling nobles became so strained 
that, at the diet of February 5th, 1523, 
the king secured the dismissal of all the 
existing officials of the country, in par- 
ticular of Lev of Rozmital, and introduced 
a constitutional change, chiefly intended 
to restore the royal power to its rightful 

Notwithstanding numerous embassies 
and appeals, no help was to be gained 
from Hungary or from the king ; to the 
-internal troubles of that country the 
Turkish danger was now added. When the 
Sultan Suleiman L started from Con- 
stantinople for Hungary with a vast 
army in April, 1526, the youthful monarch 
resolved to oppose him. His army, which 
included Bohemian, Moravian, and Silesian 
mercenaries, was overwhelmed by the 
superior numbers of the Turks ; in the 
Battle of Mohacs, on August 29th, 1526, 
it was annihilated, and the king was 
unfortunately drowned in a swamp of 
the Danube while in flight. The death of 
the last of the Jagellons on the throne of 
Bohemia and Hungary, at the age of 
twenty and childless, forms an event of 
importance in the world's history, in so 
far as it occasioned the foundation of the 
—^ - Austrian monarchy under the 

of the sceptre of the Hapsburgs. 

Jagellons Bohemia, the centre of that 
group of countries the historical 
development of which has been briefly 
detailed, may be regarded in 1526 as 
a kingdom a thousand years old, if we 
assume its history to begin with the 
estabUshment of the Slavs in the 
province after the Germanic emigra- 
tion. It is an era rich in examples of 
national rise and progress. From its own 


resources, and building upon foundations 
hidden in the prehistoric period, Bohemia 
evolved a constitution which enabled 
the country to secure and to maintain 
a definite position among the bodies 
politic of Central Europe. It produced a 
royal house of indigenous growth, the 
Premyslids, whose pride and power raised 
their prestige to a level with that of any 
ruling dynasty in Central Europe. Its 
territorial power increased. It is true that 
the national dynasty was restricted within 
definite limits ; calamitous failure was 
the result of the attempt of Ottokar II. to 
bring German provinces under his power. 

The extinction of the native dynasty at 
the outset of the fourteenth century and 
the accession of foreigners to the Bohemian 
throne produced a complete change in the 
situation. No obstacle prevented a 
Bohemian king of German nationality 
from rising to the height of supremacy 
within the extensive German empire ; but 
the people opposed the transformation of 
Bohemia into the most important of the 
German principaUties at the expense of the 
Slav nationality. The national feeling 
_ . of the Slavs rose in behalf of 

^'th^'xh* ^ reaction and speedily tri- 

j g . . umphed. But the attempt 

to construct a national prin- 
cipality upon the basis of home material was 
also a failure. As under the German kings, 
so also under the Polish kings, Bohemia 
found her destiny committed to the care 
of rulers who pushed her into the back- 
ground when the possibility of acquiring 
the crown of Hungary became manifest. 

Under such circumstances, and in view 
of the fact that the constitutional inde- 
pendence of the country and the main- 
tenance of its throne were repeatedly 
endangered by the secession of the subject 
provinces, especially of Moravia, it was 
fortunate for the country that after 
Lewis's death the crown fell to the 
powerful Hapsburg d\Tiasty. The result 
at which the Premyslid Ottokar II. had 
aimed upon occasion and with incomplete 
understanding, the result that the far- 
sighted diplomacy of Charles IV. had 
marked as the final object of Bohemian 
policy, the result that had been nomi- 
nally, at least, attained under Ladislaus 
Posthumus — became an accomplished fact 
in the year 1526 ; the three states of 
Bohemia, Hungary and Austria were 
united as one powerful monarchy in South- 
east Europe. Berthold Bretholz 









IF what may be called the Slavonic line 
* serves to mark a genuine division 
between Western and Eastern Europe, 
there is another division hardly less definite 
in Eastern Europe itself. Geographically, 
this is marked by an irregular line drawn 
from the Baltic to the western end of the 
Carpathian mountains, which themselves 
form the barrier till the Danube district 
is reached. In other words, the territories 
now called Poland and Russia are in some 
sense a region apart. Their peoples do 
not come into touch with the Teutonic 
west until the tenth century, though 
Eastern Byzantium becomes aware of 
them some hundred years earlier. Even 
at the outset these peoples emerge in 
definitely distinguished nationalities, 
Polish and Russian, though neither of 
them has at this stage absorbed the non- 
Slavonic population of the Baltic pro- 
vinces. Kin as they are 
to the southern and 
western Slavs, of whom 
we have already treated, 
they nevertheless appear on the scene of 
history so far separated from these and so 
far' associated with each other, that their 
origins require a single chapter to them- 
selves, before we embark upon the separate 
histories of Poland and Russia. 

Slavonic legends tell of three brothers. 
Lech, Rus, and Cech, said to have been 
the founders of three great nations, the 
Russians, Lechs (Laches, Lechites =^ Poles), 
and Czechs (the Bohemian stock). In reality, 
however, the matter stood otherwise. The 
Slavonic tribes lived independently of 
each other. In the course of time one 
tribe, as happened in the case of the 
Romans, succeeded in extending its domi- 
nion over others, which then adopted its 
name. The tribe which gave its name to 
the others need not have been entirely 
Slavonic ; thus the Bulgarians, although 
of Turkish stock, have become Slavoni- 

Difference of 
the Eastern and 
Western Slavs 

of the 
Great Rurik 

cised, and have now given their name to 
the subjugated Slavs. The same thing may 
in the end have been the case with Rus,. 
Lech, and Cech. 

What, then, is the origin of the names ? 
The point has been much discussed among 
Slavonic and German scholars. The 
"Russian Chronicle" relates 
that about the year 859 Vara- 
gians (Scandinavians) ruled 
the north Russian Slavs, but 
had been subsequently driven out. When 
quarrels broke out between the Russians, 
they sent an embassy over the sea to the 
Varagians, and asked them to rule over 
them once more. Three brothers, Rurik, 
Sineus and Truvor, of the Varagian tribe of 
the Ruotsi — that is, Swedes — came to the 
Slavs, and took up their abode in Old 
Ladoga, Isborsk, and Bjelosersk. From 
Rurik, the eldest, was descended the 
Russian princely house of the Rurikovitch, 
which is said to have ruled Russia until 
the end of the sixteenth century. 

The same Chronicle also asserts that the 
whole of Novgorod was called Rosland, or 
Russia, from this family. This " North- 
man," or "Varagian," view has found 
ardent champions among modern writers. 
Considerably more than a hundred Scandi- 
navian names are found in very early 
records ; even the names of the rapic^ 
in the Dnieper, the old Varagian way to 
Byzantium, have been declared to be 
Scandinavian. The opinion is, however, 
_ hardly tenable in all its points. 

* **?" ° Some intimate relations be- 
e ussian ^^gg^ ^he Novgorodians, who 
formed the germ of the 
Russian state, and the Scandinavians 
cannot be denied ; but it is questionable 
whether also the name " Rus " is derived 
from them. The Slavonic tribes round 
Kiev and the south of Russia, where later 
the real centre of Russia lay, bore from 
time immemorial the name of " Russians." 



Finally, and this would be the best argu- 
ment against the theory, the kingdom, 
which admittedly must have existed there 
before the Northmen were summoned, 
must have also borne a name, and a king- 
dom, except through conquest, seldom 
changes its name. The south was known 
to the Arabs as " Russia," and the Black 

. . Sea was simply termed the 

/If'^M Russian Sea — as, for instance, 
°!^^^^^Tm Nestor and Masudi— at a 
time when the Varagian princes 
were hardly yet familiar with the people of 
Kiev. We ought at all events not to forget 
that " Ros " may have been known in By- 
zantium as merchants even before 840, as 
is clear from a report of Bishop Prudentius 
of Troyes and from contemporary Arab 
accounts. The name probably had been 
transferred to the whole of Russia by 
Byzantines, who called the tribes in the 
south of Russia " Ros." Again, it is sug- 
gested that Hros is one of the names of the 
Herulians, who were once settled on the 
northern coast of the Black Sea ; some of 
whom, after the defeat of 512 inflicted by 
the Lombards, went back to Sweden. 
Thus the otherwise astonishing familiarity 
of the northern Vikings with South Russia 
and the waterway of the Volga would be 
no longer surprising. 

The meaning of the names " Pole " 
and " Lech " is equally obscure. While 
the name " Polani " may be Slavonic, the 
name " Lach," or " Lech," seems to be of 
foreign origin. Some persons have, as in 
the case of the name " Rus," looked for a 
Scandinavian etymology and understood 
northern conquerors by the Lechs. But in 
this connection they have overlooked the 
fact that Great Poland, the real mother 
country, has never been called " Lachia," 
or " Lechia," but only the Cracow district, 
and from it North Poland. The name 
" Lach," " Lech," " Lechi " seems to 
mean simply " foreigner," and is connected 
with the names " Walch," " Wlach," 
" Walach," " Walsch," applied 
°d*th ^y Slavs not only to Italians 
p - and Roumanians, but to the 

semi-Slavonic Bulgarians and 
the Croatians, as well as to the " Little " 
Poles. On the other hand, Posen and 
Gnesen, the Polish mother-country, was 
always called Polonia, which title was then 
extended to South Poland — that is to say, 
the subsequently conquered Cracow. Since 
this name was used officially, it super- 
seded all others, and throughout Europe 

the kingdom was finally called Poland. 
Other peoples — Lithuanians, Finns, 
Bulgarians, Khayars — to be presently 
described, have exercised temporary 
supremacy within what we now call 
Russian territory. But the Slavonic tribes, 
who occupied chiefly the centre of the 
East European plain, found themselves in 
the majority and unceasingly drove before 
them the heterogeneous nations, first 
by peaceful colonisation, and then by the 
sword. We may assume that all Slavs 
as a whole had the same customs, the 
same religion, the same tribal and national 
institutions. Differences will be apparent 
only where Nature prescribed other con- 
ditions of life or where foreign influence 
made itself felt. 

Thus, the Slavs on the sea-coast lived 
in one way, those on the steppes or in 
the forests in another. Although they 
originally appeared in Europe as a united 
nation with similar customs, ideas, lan- 
guage, traditions, and government, yet 
the different natural surroundings soon 
impressed a distinctive stamp on the 
principal tribes and guided social, religious, 
. . and legal life into different 

th P?' P^^^^- '^^^ nomads of the 

d F ''"'t ^"teppes can hardly have held 
the same faith as the dwellers 
on the sea-coast. Again, while the forest- 
dwellers paid their tribute in furs and 
honey, the tribes of the lowlands dis- 
charged it in horses or cattle. If the 
large clan community was the natural 
form of life among the dwellers on the 
fertile plains with their agriculture, in the 
forests the families were forced to separate 
one from another. 

Further differences were produced by 
the influence of neighbours ; thus the 
northern Slavs, who lived near the 
Teutons, had a kindred religion and 
mythology. The change of language 
was closely connected with this, since to 
express new ideas, new words had to be 
invented or borrowed from other tribes. 

An attempt has been made to draw a 
general picture of the life of all the Slavonic 
tribes, but in doing so the fact has been 
overlooked that such a picture can be 
true only of a time when the Slavs still 
formed a single united people — the time, 
that is, before the Christian era. Our 
authorities, however, dating from an era 
five hundred, or possibly a thousand years 
later, are extremely defective, and it is 
not surprising that the results of such 

A daring sea-rover, Rurik the Rodsen or Oarsman, landed, in 862, on the Russian shore of the Baltic, and, with his 
brothers, Sineus and Truvor, subjugated the country from Novgorod to the Volga. From Rurik, who died in 879, 
came the princely house of the Rurikovitch, which is said to have ruled Russia until the end of the sixteenth century. 



imperfect investigations are conflicting. 
It is asserted that all Slavs were agricul- 
turists at the period when they came into 
the light of history. Can that assertion 
hold good of the forest- dwellers or the 
inhabitants of the lakes and swamps ? 
Our authorities do not in any way cor- 
roborate it. A writer of the twelfth 
century relates in astonishment that he 
heard of a man in the Arctic regions who 
had lived all his life on fish. That would 
hardly be an isolated case. Forests, 
rivers, and swamps then covered at least 
a tenth of the surface. If the Slavs 
during their migrations kept to the river 
valleys we can hardly call this a peculiar 
characteristic of the race. 

The Slavonic pagan religion, about 
which we know very little, resembles in 
its main ideas that of India and of other 
Aryans. The Slavs had the dualism be- 
tween good and evil deities ; they had 
also their family gods, like the Greeks 
and Romans. They, too, regarded Nature 
as animated by various beings, and animals 
were held sacred by them, as in Greece 
and other places. It was merely their 
_ . ... natural environment which 
ami y i e ^g^^gj^^ j^gj^ jj^ ^^le northern 

th"°sf forests to revere the owl, the 
wolf (as were-wolf), and, on 
the plains, the horse. The Slavs, too, 
honoured the sun, moon, and stars,, 
thunder and lightning ; they were also 
fire-worshippers. But inquiry has not 
told us in what the true Slavonic element 
— that is, the innovation — really consists. ' 

The same holds good of the legal arid 
socicd conditions of the Slavs. The family 
was the foundation of their national arid 
religious life. The eldest of the family 
was the supreme lawgiver, judge, and 
priest. Since the knowledge of the laws, 
customs, and ritual could be transmitted 
only orally, this naturally fluctuating 
tradition was all important. The Slavs, 
divided into separate independent tribes, 
could not but diverge more widely from 
each other in their methods of life. The 
separate districts were called Zupas, 
Opole, or Wolost. 

We cannot decide whether the Zupa is 
genuinely Slavonic or is to be compared 
with, for example, the old Germanic Goba. 
The centre of a district was the Grad 
(gorod = borough), where the tribal sanc- 
tuary stood. The ancient places, where 
once a gorod stood, were called gorodysce. 
But it cannot be settled whether gorod 


is peculiar to the Slavs only, or whether 

it is identical with the old Gothic words 

garde (watch) g.nd garder (to watch). 

Everywhere in Slavonic countries a definite 

district was surrounded with a boundary 

fence,, while the. roads were watched and 

defended with palisades, which were called 

preseka,; .at suitable points guards were 

Th T' A ' posted on watch-towers, called 

, f. !?, "^'struza. Before the ninth cen- 

of tli» Flams , u • 1 x j j 

-p. tury a bnsk trade passed 

through Russia from the Gulf 
of Finland past the Lake of Ilmen to the 
Dwina, and then down the Dnieper over 
the Black. Sea into Greece. The oldest 
wooden towns, originally trading stations, 
lay on this celebrated route from the 
Varagian country to Byzantium. A 
frequented • trade route from the Black 
Sea to the Baltic led up the Dniester to the 
river San, then down that river and the 
Vistula. While the first became the main 
trade route of Russia, the other became 
the chief highroad to Poland ; both, 
perhaps, date from Phoenician times. The 
vessels and their cargoes were hauled up 
from one river system to the other ; for 
example, from the Dniester to the San ; 
hence the name wolok, wolocyska (haul- 
ages). The trading stations grew into 
towns, since the country people flocked 
into them for greater security. The 
public affairs of the town and the surround- 
ing district were organised in these markets 
at assemblies which were called wece. 
The meeting was summoned by the circu- 
lation of a token, or, as later, by the 
tolling of a bell. 

Differences in the administration of 
law and justice must have been noticeable 
in the various districts, while the con- 
ditions in the same tribe would naturally 
alter during the course of centuries. 
Persons who speak in general terms about 
the Slavonic laws and customs of that 
age are only deluding themselves, as 
much as if they spoke of contemporary 

universal Germanic customs. 
Savonic Distinctions must inevitably 
UnfyeMll ^^^^ prevailed. The truth is 

that hitherto it has been 
impossible to pronounce any deliberate 
opinion about the religion, mythology, 
laws, family life, or civilisation of the 
ancient pagan Slavs. It is on this most 
slippery soil of national peculiarities, where 
the inquirer oscillates between self-glorifi- 
cation and unwarranted depreciation of his 
neighbour, that a fabric has been built 


up out of most untenable assertions. 
The occasional accounts given by old 
writers are noteworthy, especially since 
Slavonic paganism lingered on for cen- 
turies after the Christian era. Jordanes, 
in 550 A.D., says of the Slavs " morasses 
and forests are their towns " ; Procopius 
tells us that they hved in dirty, scattered 

^^ _, , . huts, and easily shifted their 
The Defensive 1 j tu -c* at 

_ . abode. The Emperor Maurice 

/Ii!*^ CI relates, in the year 600, that 

of the Slavs ., i- j ■ r x 

they hved m forests, near 

rivers, marshes, and lakes, which were diffi- 
cult to approach. They made many exits 
from their houses, in order to escape any 
possible dangers. They buried all their 
property in the ground, and in order to 
frustrate any hostile attacks nothing but 
bare necessaries were left visible. Hel- 
mold of Bosau, in 1170, gives a similar 
account at the end of his Chronicle of the 
Slavs : " They take little trouble about 
building their houses ; they quickly 
plait twigs together into huts which supply 
a bare shelter against storm and rain. 
So soon as the call to arms is heard, they 
collect their stores of corn, bury them 
together with their gold, silver, and other 
vaJuables, and conduct their wives and 
children into the fortresses or the forests. 
Nothing is left for the enemy but the 
hut, whose loss is easily repaired." 

" When they go into battle," says Pro- 
copius, " they attack the enemy on foot, 
holding shield and spear in their hands. 
They do not wear armour ; they have 
neither cloaks nor shirts, but advance to 
the fight clad only in trousers." The 
wives, as among the Teutons, occupied an 
honourable position ; they held property of 
their own, although, as in other countries, 
polygamy prevailed and wives were carried 
off by force. The Russian Chronicle 
relates of the Drewljans that they lived 
like cattle, knew nothing of marriage, but 
carried off the maidens on the rivers. It 
is recorded of certain tribes that no 
marriages took place but games 
in the middle of the village. 


^ . The people assembled for the 

Customs J J J • J 1 J 

games, danced, and mdulged 

in every sort of debauchery, and each man 

carried off the woman to whom he was 

betrothed. This was the case among 

other peoples also. Bretislav 1. Achilles, 

so Cosmas of Prague records, in 1125, 

carried off his bride Judith from Schwein- 

furt. Until quite recently the ottniza, 

or capture of wives, was customstry among 

the Serbs. Many instances of the gentle 
disposition of the Slavs are mentioned by 
the old chroniclers. Procopius says : 
" covetousness and deceit are unknown 
among them." Maurice e.xtols their hospi- 
tality. Helmold records of the Ranes 
(Ruanians, or Riigen) : "Although they are 
more hostile to Christians and also more 
superstitious than the other Slavs, they 
possess many good qualities. They are 
extremely hospitable and show great 
respect to their parents. Neither beggars 
nor paupers are found among them. A 
man who is feeble through sickness or 
advanced age is entrusted to the care 
of his heir. The virtues most highly 
esteemed among the Slavs are hospitality 
and filial regard." The man who refused 
hospitality had his house burned down. 
It was permissible to steal in order to 
provide food for a traveller. 

Theophylactus Simocattes, in the first 
half of the seventh century, relates the 
following anecdote : As the emperor 
Maurice was on his way to Thrace to 
prepare for war against the Avars, the 
escort of the emperor seized three men who 
. carried zithers. When asked to 

. "" ,. what race they belonged, they 
Among the i- j i.u x lu 01 

g. replied that they were Slavs 

and lived on the western ocean ; 
the Khagan had sent envoys to the princes 
of their country, with many presents, to 
solicit help. When they heard that the 
Romans had reached the highest stage of 
power and culture, they escaped and 
reached Thrace. They carried zithers 
because they were unfamiliar with arms, 
since no iron was found in their country. 
The Arabs also testify that music was 
practised by the Slavs. 

A noteworthy account of the funeral 
customs of a Slavonic tribe is furnished 
by the ambassador of the Cahph al-Muqta- 
dir, Ahman ibn Fadlan. When a poor 
man died, they built a small boat for him, 
placed him in it, and burnt it. This was 
customary among the North Germanic 
tribes. On the death of a rich man they 
collected his possessions and divided 
them into three parts. The one part was 
reserved for his family ; with the second 
they prepared an outfit for him, and with 
the remaining part they bought intoxicat- 
ing drinks to be drunk on the day when the 
slave-girl consents to be a victim and 
is burnt with her master. " When, indeed, 
a chief dies, the family ask his bondmen 
and bondwomen : ' Which of you is willing 



to die with him ? ' Then one of them 

answers : ' I will.' Whoever has uttered 

this word is bound. But mostly it is a 

slave-girl. . . . Boat, wood, and girl 

together with the dead man were soon 

reduced to ashes. They then raised above 

the place where the boat, which had been 

dragged up out of the river, had stood, 

_^ g a sort of round hillock, erected 

Ritu I 'V^^^ in the middle of it a large 

c, „ , beech-trunk, and wrote on it 
Slav Funeral ,, r xi. j j 

the name of the dead man 

with the name of the king of the Ros." If 
we compare this with the account given 
by Herodotus of the burial of a Scythian 
king we shall find, in spite of many differ- 
ences in detail, the same fundamental 

These are our materials for estimating 
the degree of culture which the Slavs 
of that age had attained. There was not 
wanting among them a belief in the life 
after death. They are said to have been 
acquainted with writing ; and in connec- 
tion with this statement the so-called 
Runic characters must be taken into 
account. Traces of music and architec- 
ture can be found among them, though in 
a crude form, and they were lovers of 
poetry and song. It can hardly be sup- 
posed that, as many Slavonic scholars 
assert, they possessed some astronomical 
knowledge, and had a civil year with 
twelve months. The names of the months 
which are found later among various 
Slavonic tribes were indubitably first 
formed by learned priests, on the model 
of the Greek and Roman names, at that 
point in the Christian era when the Julian 
calendar with twelve instead of ten months 
was coming into general use in Europe. 
Charles the Great first proposed among the 
Franks the substituting of German names 
for the Latin names of the months. 

The independent spirit of the Slavs is 

specially mentioned by German as well 

as Byzantine writers. Widukind, the 

—. _, , historian of the first two Saxon 
The Slavs , ,, n ^i 

j^^ - emperors, says of them: The 

Friedom ^^^^^ ^^^ * dogged, laborious 
race, inured to the scantiest 
food, and they regard as a pleasure what is 
often a heavy burden to men of our time. 
They face any privations for their beloved 
liberty, and in spite of many reverses 
they are always ready to fight again. The 
Saxons fight for glory and the expansion 
of their frontiers, the Slavs for their 
freedom." Adam of Bremen records a 

century later : "I have heard the most 
truth -loving King Sven of Denmark say 
repeatedly that the Slavonic peoples could 
long ago have been converted to Chris- 
tianity if the greed of the Saxons had not 
interposed obstacles. These think more 
of exacting tribute than of converting 

There is a particular appropriateness 
in the words which the Polish historian, 
John Dlugosz, wrote about the Poles 
about 1480, although he is describing 
his contemporaries : " The Polish nobles 
thirst for glory and are bent on booty ; 
they despise dangers and death . . . 
they are devoted to agriculture and cattle- 
breeding ; they are courteous and kind 
towards strangers and guests, and more 
hospitable than any other people. The 
peasants shrink from no work or trouble, 
endure cold and hunger, and are super- 
stitious . . . they care little about the 
maintenance of their houses, being con- 
tent with few ornaments ; they are spirited 
and brave to rashness, ... of high stature, 
of strong and well proportioned build, 
with a sometimes fair, sometimes dark 
. complexion." The well-known 

ysiqoe peaceful disposition of many 
° p . Slavonic tribes, and, above all, 
the circumstance that they 
adhered to the old tribal constitution, 
which prevented any creation of a state 
on a large scale, were the causes why the 
Slavs in their pagan period played no 
important part, but were first aroused to 
a new life by their contact with the 
civilised nations. Christian Rome and 
Byzantium saw the development of 
Slavonic kingdoms in the north, after they 
had to some degree furnished the political 
germs for that growth. 

We may now turn to those non-Slavonic 
peoples already referred to : in the north, 
close to the Baltic Sea, the Lithuanians, 
and further to the north-east, the Finns ; 
on the Volga the Bulgarians ; and in the 
south the Khazars. Of the above men- 
tioned the Lithuanians and the Finns 
alone have in some degree preserved their 

History finds the Lithuanian tribes 
settled on the shore of the Baltic between 
the Vistula and Dwina, and southwards as 
far as the middle stream of the Bug. In 
one place only their frontier touches the 
Finnish Livonians, otherwise they are 
wedged between Slavonic peoples. They 
divided into the following tribes in the 



203 3187 


The Whole 
Named After 
the Part 

tenth century. The Wends were settled 
at the mouth of the Dwina, the Letts on 
th^ 4^ht bank of the Dwina, bordering 
on the Livonians ; on the left bank of 
the Dwina were the tribes of the Semgala 
and the Zelones ; the Kurland peninsula 
was occupied by the Korses or Kurones. 
The Smudinians and the Lithuanians dwelt 
on the Niemen ; west of these 
were settled the eleven Prussian 
tribes ; in the south-west the 
Yat vings. Since the duty of the 
Smudinians and Lithuanians who dwelt 
in the centre of the whole system was to 
fight for the national freedom, and first 
of all to found a larger kingdom, Lithuania, 
all these tribes were finally called Lithu- 
anians. Here, again, was an instance of 
the name of a part being transferred to 
the whole. 

These tribes, however, formed one nation 
only in the ethnographical sense ; in 
other respects they lived as separate clans. 
As early as the thirteenth century Lithu- 
anian leaders, or tribal elders, are men- 
tioned ; they exercised authority only over 
small districts, and were styled " Rikys " 
by the Prussians, and " Kunigas " by the 
Lithuanians. It was not until the danger 
of foreign subjugation threatened them all 
that they united more or less voluntarily 
into one state. 

The Lithuanians were the last of all 
the Europeans to adopt Christianity ; 
temporarily converted in 1387, they 
relapsed, and were again converted in the 
fifteenth century. Owing to this we have 
full accounts of their pagan customs. 
We find among them three chief dieties, 
similar to the Indian Trimurti and the 
later Greek Tritheism. The place of Zeus 
was taken in their creed by Perkunas 
(thunder), represented as a strong man 
holding a stone hammer or arrow in his 
hand ; Atrimpos, who was conceived in 
the shape of a sea-serpent twined into a 
circle, corresponded to Poseidon, while 
p Poklav, a grey-bearded, pale- 

g J.*. . faced old man, with his head 
Lith ■ swathed in Imen, was regarded 
as the god of the Lower World. 
Besides these, the sun, moon, stars, 
animals, birds, snakes, and even frogs were 
worshipped. The sun-god had various 
names, for example, Sotwaros ; the moon 
goddess was called Lajama'; the rain- 
deity, Letuwanis. The whole realm of 
Nature was animated by good and evil 
divine beings, on which the hfe of man was 


dependent at every turn and step. Among 
such we find the deities Lei and Lado, who 
were also known to the Slavs; Ragutis, 
the deity of joy and marriage ; Letuwa, the 
diety of happiness; also Andaj, Diweriks, 
Mjedjej, Nadjej, and Telawelda. Besides 
the sun, fire was held in great veneration. 
The eternal fire of znicz, which was under 
the protection of the goddess Praurima, 
burnt in the temple of Perkunas in front 
of his image. There were sacred lakes 
and groves, as among the Greeks and the 

The affinity of the Lithuanian with the 
Slavonic and Germanic religion proves 
that these nations formerly lived together. 
But when we discover that the Lithu- 
anians, like the Teutons, worshipped the 
god of thunder, whose sacred tree was 
the oak, and whose temples stood in oak 
groves, we realise how hard it is to single 
out the genuinely Lithuanian element. 
The chief shrine of Perkunas was situated 
somewhere near Romowo, in Prussia ; but 
when Prussia was conquered by the Poles 
it was removed into the interior, to the 
confluence of the Dubissa and Niemen, 
and further east to the Wilija, 
r"!!***!* iri the direction of Kernowo, 

Priesu '*'" and lastly to Wilna. The 
sacerdotal system was highly 
developed. The high priest, who had his 
seat at the chief sanctuary, was called 
Krywe-Krywejto. Subordinate to him 
were all the priests, male and female 
(Wajdelotes), whose principal occupation 
was to offer sacrifices. A higher grade 
among them was formed by the Krewy, to 
whom were entrusted the superintendence 
and care of the temple ; their badge was a 
stick of peculiar shape. A life of chastity 
was obligatory to them. The power of the 
head priest, Krywe-Krywejto extended 
over every tribe. High and low bowed 
before his sign, which he sent by his 
Wajdelotes. One-third part of the booty 
taken in war belonged to him. 

Ample sacrifices were made to the 
Lithuanian gods, mostly animals, occasion- 
ally prisoners of war. They were always 
burnt-offerings. The old Krywe-Krywejto 
himself, like other old men also, is said not 
infrequently to have mounted the pyre — 
so strong was the prevailing belief in the 
purifying power of fire. The priests also, 
in default of every sort of political govern- 
ment, disseminated public order and 
civilisation, the Krywe-Krywejto being as 
it were, the head chieftain of all the tribe. 


ill \ ^i'- 





A proof that the same system obtained 
among the Slavs and Teutons is afforded 
by the word kunigas (kuning = king), 
which among the Slavs denotes both prince 
and priest ; knjaz (prince), knez (czechish 
= priest), or in Polish ksiadz (priest), and 
ksiaze (prince). The priests were in posses- 
sion of a method of writing. The chronicler 
y, . . of the Teutonic Order, Peter 

of VhrNortKern °^ ^^^^"/^ ^^^ ^326), asserts 
p . that writmg was unknown 

** * to the Lithuanians ; but 

this can be true only of the common 
people. Traces of a secret writing have been 
found. The Runic characters were pro- 
bably familiar to all the northern peoples 
— Slavs, Teutons, Lithuanians, and Finns. 

If Lithuania had not encountered any 
obstacles in its expansion, a theocratic 
monarchy would probably have been 
formed there. External dangers led to 
the severance of the spiritual from the 
military power, and thus to the develop- 
ment of a secular government . The legend 
was current among the people that 
Widemut — perhaps connected with the 
lawgiver Odin, common to all Germanic 
tribes — had laid the foundation of a social 
and political organisation. Family life 
was dependent on the priests, who admin- 
istered justice according to ancient custom. 
Peter of Dusberg relates that the Lithu- 
anians held meetings in sacred places. 
They occupied their time in agriculture 
and cattle breeding, drank mare's milk, 
and were skilled in brewing beer and mead. 
Rich men drank from horns, poor men 
from wooden cups. Autumn was a season 
of mirth in the villages. Guests were 
treated with especial attention, hospitably 
entertained, and not dismissed until they 
were drunk. 

The Lithuanians learnt the art of war 

by necessity. They fought with bow 

and arrow, sword and lance, and also 

with battle-axe and sling. The oldest 

weapon was an oaken club. The gods 

Th A were consulted before every 

, * '^ • campaign. Clad in the skins of 
of War in u ^ i, mu 

... . aurochs and bears, with caps on 

their heads, they marched to 
battle amid the flare of trumpets, some- 
times on foot, sometimes mounted. On 
their military standards were depicted 
figures of deities, and men with bears' 
heads, or two wreaths, blue and yellow ; 
the galloping horseman, who first appears 
in the coat of arms of Lithuania proper, 
was ultimately adopted by the whole race. 


They contrived to cross the rivers in boats 
made of the hides of aurochs, or by holding 
on to the tails of their horses, as we are 
told the Hungarians and Tartars did. 
The home-coming warriors, if victors, were 
received by the women and girls with 
dance and song, but were treated with 
contempt after a defeat, while fugitives 
were punished by death. The Lithu- 
anians also believed in a life after death. 
They equipped the dead man with all that 
he had required on earth — weapons, 
ornaments, and clothes, horses, hawks, 
slaves, and wives. They were then all 
burnt, and their ashes laid in the grave. 
A funeral feast was held in commemora- 

The Finns of the Ugrian-Mongol stock 
occupied originally the entire north of 
modern Russia. Their various tribes were 
settled as easterly neighbours of the 
Lithuanians between the White Sea, the 
Ural, and the Volga. The river Dwina 
can be roughly regarded as the boundary 
between Lithuanians and Finns, although 
some Lithuanians were to be found on the 
right bank of the Dwina. On the shores 
of the Baltic were settled the 
Livonians and the Esthonians, 
who still survive in Livonia and 
Esthonia. Besides these chief 
tribes, Wesses or Besses, Meren, Muro- 
mians, Tcheremisses, J amen, Mordwinen, 
Tchuden, Permians, and others are men- 
tioned in the Russian chronicles ; they 
were settled more to the south, and were 
called Tchuden by the Slavs. Here once 
lay the Finnish kingdom of Biarmia, 
probably the modern Perm. 

We possess very scanty information, 
derived from the Scandinavian Vikings 
who made their way there, about this 
kingdom so famous in northern legends. 
At the time of Alfred the Great, Otter 
was the first to come into these regions : 
then Wulstan. In the days of St. Olaf 
(1026) the Vikings Karli and Torer 
Hund followed. They professed to be 
merchants, brought furs, and then 
apparently withdrew, in order to lull the 
suspicions of the inhabitants. In reality, 
however, they were preparing for a raid, 
which Torer conducted, as an expert in 
Finnish magic. Their goal was the tombs 
of. the Biarmians and the temple of their 
chief god Jumala. Marking their path 
by stripping the bark from the trees, they 
reached the meadow where the temple 
stood, surrounded by a high wooden 




wm < w t ii M im rm iin »v» mi ' mi tin iiii iiii— — 



■^1' 'K' ""' '" ' ■' ■' '^"^ 




paling ; the guardians had gone away. The 
Vikings dug up the sepulchral mounds and 
found a quantity of gold. There stood in 
the temple an image of Jumala, on whose 
knees was placed a plate filled with gold ; 
this Torer carried off. Karli, however, 
struck off the head of the idol, in order to 
geize its golden necklace. The guards rushed 
«>• D . up at the noise, blew their 
Before horns, and the Vikings escaped 

tK °&i their pursuers with difficulty. 

This is almost the only account 
w^ have of Finnish Biarmia. Its history 
is then merged in that of Novgorod. 

The Finnish tribes could not resist the 
advance of- the Slavs. The Esthonians 
alone were able to maintain their nation- 
ality. Mordvinnic princes are mentioned , 
by the Russian chroniclers even in the 
•fourteenth century. The Finns, especially 
the Permians, carried on a modest trade ; 
they were glad to take sabres from 
Mohammedan countries in exchange for 
furs. They also engaged in agriculture. 
Their religion resembled the Lithuanian. 
The Finns also were widely famed as sooth- 
Sc^yers and magicians. This ice-bound 
country was otherwise little known or ex- 
plored. Kaswini, who died in 1283, relates 
how the Bulgarians on the Kama and 
Volga traded with the Finns in dumb 
show. The Bulgarian brought his goods, 
pointed to them, and left them on the 
ground. He then came back, and found 
on the same spot such commodities as 
were used in the country. If lie was 
satisfied with them he exchanged his goods 
for those deposited by the strangers ; if he 
was dissatisfied, he took his own wares 
away again. 

We have almost as little information 
about the Bulgarians, that nation of horse- 
men on the Volga, and even that only after 
the tenth century, when their prjnce 
Almys went over to Islam shortly before 
921. We are indebted to this circumstance 
for the before-mentioned report of Ahmad 
ben Fadlan (ibn Fadhlan, 
How^They ^^ Foszlan), who entered 

With •• Witches" the capital, Bulgar, on May 
nth, 922, as the envoy of 
the Caliph. The Spanish Abu Hamid, who 
visited Great Bulgaria in the twelfth cen- 
tury, reports : " Every twenty years the 
old women of this country are suspected 
of witchcraft, and great excitement pre- 
vails among the people. The old women 
are then collected, their feet and hands 
are bound, and they are thrown into a 


great river that flows past. Those who 
swim are considered to be witches, and are 
burnt ; those who sink are regarded as 
innocent, and are rescued." Human 
sacrifices were not infrequent in those 
days. We come upon instances among 
the Herulians (Procopius and Ennodius) 
and the Ros (ibn Rusta), among the Wends 
or Sorbs (Bonifatius) and the pagan Poles 
(Thietmar), the Radimici, Wjatici, and 
Sewerane (Nestor), and even among the 
eastern Slavs. Most of the instances de- 
scribed were cases of the burning of widows. 
Some Slavonic tribes paid the Bulgarians 
a tribute in horses, furs, and other articles, 
such as an ox-hide, from every house. 

At this same era the West Turkish 
nation of the Khazars, of whom we have 
evidence after the second century a.d., 
was settled in the south of Russia between 
the Caspian and Black Seas. The most 
flourishing period of the Khazar Empire 
seems to have been in the seventh century, 
after the fall of the Hun Empire. Their 
most important towns were : Saryg-sar, on 
the west bank of the Volga (yellow town ; 
later Itil, now Astrachan), and 
en e Khamlikh, or Khazaran, which 
„, ... lay opposite ; also Samandar, 

Flourished -^ o j / n- t, I 

or Smendr (now larchu, east 

of Temirchan-Schura, on the west shore 
of the Caspian Sea), and the fortress of 
Sarkel at the mouth of the Danube, built 
under the Emperor Theophilus in 833-835 
by the Greek Petronas (in Nestor : Bela- 
weza ; destroyed by Sviatoslav) ; a second 
Khazar fortress of some temporary im- 
portance was Balangar, in the Caucasus. 

The Khazars carried on an extensive 
trade with Bulgaria, Russia, Persia, and 
Byzantium. T|ie half-nomadic popula- 
tion still lived partly in those Wojlok- 
Jurtes which we find at the present 
day among the Kirghiz. Only the richer 
men built themselves mud huts, and the 
Khagan alone had high tiled houses. The 
Khagan was the supreme head in religion, 
while a Veg stood at the head of military 
affairs. Under the Khagan Bulan — tra- 
ditionally about 740; more correctly 
shortly after 860 — the Khazars, after a 
temporary conversion to Christianity, 
partly adopted the Jewish faith. They 
were completely subjugated by Russia 
about 969. Remnants of the Khazars 
long remained in the Crimea and the 
Caucasus ; some memories of them still 
survive in the names of a few towns. 

Vladimir Milkowicz 




HTHE waves of Slavonic migration, which 
■'■ surged to and fro in the Far East of 
Europe, had from an early date come into 
contact with the peoples of Western 
Europe ; but there were as yet only tribes 
and no large empire. The tidings first 
came to Constantinople in the ninth 
century that a large Russian Empire existed 
.in the north. A hundred years later a 
powerful Polish Empire was discovered in 
the north-west. The credit of this dis- 
covery belongs to Germany. War had been 
raging between the two races since the 
middle of the eighth century, on the Une of 
the Elbe, at the point where the Slavonic 
and German tribes came into contact with 
each other. But while the Germans won 
political unity through Charles the Great, 
assimilated Roman culture and adopted 
Christianity, the Slavs were still disunited, 
and were inimical to Western views on 
politics, religion, and culture. A bitter 
contest was waged for these principles, 
and finally for freedom. In the course 
of a hundred years the Slavs between the 
Elbe and the Oder were subjugated ; the 
Slavs on the Oder also were now engaged 

_ , , . in a desperate struggle, more 
Poland in • 11 ^.u 4. 

- . . especially since they were torn 

. "w ^y internal feuds. It then 

happened that the Wend§ 
chose the Saxon Count Wichmann, who 
died in 967, and who had quarrelled with 
the German Empire, as their leader against 
the neighbouring Lisikaviki. Wichmann 
inflicted, in 962, two defeats on Misako — 
Miseko, or Mesko, a diminutive of Mstislav 
— and killed his brother ; Mesko, in con- 
sequence, submitted to the Margrave Gero, 

who was then stationed with an army on 

the Polish frontier, and agreed to pay a 

tribute for the country between the Oder 

and the Warthe. That was the first 

contact of Poland with the West. 

In 965 the Spanish Jew Ibrahim ibn- 

Jacob travelled through Germany for 

trading purposes and made his way to 

. _ Merseburg and Prague, 

T A '^^'^ where he became acqainted 

» nt\n V A with the Slavs. " There are 
1,000 Years Ago ,, , . ,, . 

now, he wrote, four 

princes among them," of whom he names 
" Mshka," i.e., Mesko, as " Prince of the 
North." " As regards the country of Mshka, 
it is the largest of the Slavonic countries. 
It is rich in corn, flesh, honey, and 
pasturage. The taxes, which he levies, are 
paid in Byzantine Mitkal ; they serve to 
maintain his people. . . . He has 3,000 
Dsra (Duzina, or bodyguard suite) . . . ; 
he gives them armour and horses, arms, 
and whatever they need. The Russians 
hve to the East of Mshka and the Prus- 
sians in the north." 

The above-named Misako, or Mesko, is. 
therefore, the first Polish prince who is 
authenticated by history. The later tra- 
dition relates that he was descended from 
the family of the Piast of Krushwitz ; it 
speaks of a dynasty of the Piasts, and 
can give some account of his ancestors. 
Piast in Pohsh means much the same 
as tutor or guardian. In connection with 
the legendary narrative it is conjectured 
that a court official of the royal family, 
who filled the post of teacher to the 
children, resembling, therefore, a Prankish 
majordomo, overthrew the old dynasty 



and obtained the throne. The Piast 
family ruled in Poland until 1370. 

Poland comes into history at the time 
whdn Germany revived the claim of the 
Roman Empire to rule over all lands and 
peoples, and showed the strength necessary 
to enforce the claim. The Slavonic tribes, 
which adjoined on the east, although 
they obstinately defended 
The Holy ^j^^j^. jj^grty, must have heard 
Roman ^^ ^j^^^^ alleged claims of 

"*'*"'* sovereignty, since they soon 
reconciled themselves to the position of 
vassals of the Holy Roman Empire. This 
empire, hke the whole West, was 
dominated then by the Christian idea. To 
disseminate it was the noblest task, and 
the Church, which put forward legal 
claims, supplied the power and authority 
for it. The heathen Slavs in the East 
thus offered a wide field to German 
missionary enterprise ; and with this 
purpose an archbishopric was founded in 
Magdeburg. The conversion of Poland to 
Christianity was, under these conditions, 
only a question of time. 

Some years after the first contact with 
Germany Mesko married the daughter 
of the Bohemian prince Boleslav I., 
by name Dubrava. At her persuasion 
he and all his nobles are said to have ac- 
cepted Christianity in 966. The political 
consideration that this was the only way 
to assert, even partially, his independence, 
must have turned the scale. He must 
have seen that Rome was the powerful head 
of the Christian world, and that upon Rome 
even Germany was, in a sense, dependent. 
In 968 a bishopric for the Polish territory 
was founded in Posen, under the juris- 
diction of the archbishopric of Magdeburg. 
Jordan was the first Bishop of Posen. 

This was the turning-point in the history 
of the Polish tribes ; they began a new 
chapter of life with their connection with 
the West. Poland first grew into a power- 
ful empire under the guidance of the 
—^ _ Christian Church. For this rea- 

F * d** f ^°^ Mesko must be regarded as 
p J - the real founder of Poland. 
He cemented more closely his 
amicable relations with the German Em- 
pire by wedding Oda, the daughter of the 
Margrave Thiedrich, after the death of his 
Bohemian consort in 977. He took part, 
however, in the conspiracy of Henry of 
Bavaria against the Emperor Otto H., in 
the year 976, and had to be reminded of 
his duties as a vassal in 979 ; nevertheless, 


on the death of Otto II., in 983, the Poles 
once more sided with the rebellious Henry. 
It was only in 985 that Mesko loyally 
shared the campaigns of Germany against 
the Wends, and actually fought, in 990, 
against Boleslav of Bohemia, the brother 
of his deceased wife. 

Mesko died in 992, and left several 
children by both wives, who, according 
to Slavonic law, were all entitled to inherit. 
Possibly he had contemplated some 
division of his inheritance. But the 
sovereignty over the whole empire 
was seized by Boleslav I., the son of the 
Bohemian mother ; later called " Chabri " 
the Valiant. A man of unusual ability, 
he anticipated in some degree the results 
that coming centuries were destined to 
effect, and to some extent himself 
attained the objects for which the nation 
subsequently struggled. Cunning and 
brave, an admirable politician and 
administrator, possessed of indefatigable 
energy, he was superior to all who had 
dealings with him. A true appreciation 
of existing needs and the forces actually 
available prevented him from ever at- 
j^ . tempting the impossible. The 
f^B'^K °°' ^^t^o" ^^ '^o^ prosper when it 
Ad lb T w^n^^ outside the circle which 
he drew round it. At the very 
beginning of his reign he marched north- 
wards and conquered Pomerania and the 
Prussian territory, and in the south 
Chrobatia with Cracow, and Moravia 
with Slovakia, as far as the Danube. 

Just at this time Bishop Adalbert, who 
had been banished from Prague, went 
northwards to preach the Gospel to the 
pagan Prussians, and died a martyr's 
death there in 997. Boleslav ransomed 
his bones from the pagans and buried them 
in Gnesen. He knew that the bones of a 
saint were necessary for the founding of 
churches, and that high respect was then 
paid to relics. Adalbert thus became the 
patron of the Polish realm. Churches were 
built in his honour. The standard of the 
corps which the prince himself com- 
manded bore as a badge the figure of 
Adalbert, and the military standard of 
the whole Polish army displayed his 
portrait. Boleslav must have already been 
negotiating with the emperor and the Pope 
on the subject of new bishoprics, for we 
find by the year 999 an organised body 
of clergy in Poland. Gaudentius, brother 
of Adalbert, was nominated to be 
Archbishop of Gnesen, distinct from 


Madgeburg ; he was given as suffragans 
the Bishop of Cracow for Chrobatia, the 
Bishop of Breslau for Silesia, and the 
Bishop of Kolberg for Pomerania. Posen 
still remained under Mainz. 

Thus an independent church of Poland 
was established as a foundation for the 
later political independence. In the 
year looo, when, according to the 
teaching of the Chiliasts the end of the 
world ought to have come, the fanatical 
Emperor Otto III. went to Gnesen, 
in order to pray at the tomb of the 
saint, to whom he was also« related. 
He had a brilliant reception ; but the 
political advantages which the Pole 
was able to obtain were not small. Otto 
approved of the ecclesiastical system of 
Poland, and promoted the prince, whom 
hitherto he had reckoned as the vassal of 
the German Empire, to be brother, friend, 
and ally under the title of Patricius. In 
his pursuit of the dream of a world- 
empire. Otto III. had lost his footing on 
the soil of fact. " May Heaven forgive the 
emperor," exclaimed Bishop Thietmar of 
Merseburg about 1018 discontentedly, " for 
_^ ^ ,, ., having made a sovereign out 
StrT^h^ns Ihe °^ the Duke of Poland, who 
n 1**5 r.*°* * hitherto was a tributary, and 
Polish Empire r v. • li. j i.- 

for havmg exalted him so 

high that he soon sought to bring beneath 
his rule and degrade to servitude those who 
were once his superiors." It was shown 
afterwards that, in the days of the civil 
wars and disintegration, the solidarity of 
the Polish Empire was safeguarded and 
strengthened only by the unity of the 

The growth of the power of Poland 
caused alarm in Germany. Matters culmi- 
nated in a war under Otto's successor, the 
Emperor Henry II., since Boleslav at the 
beginning of 1003 had annexed Bohemia 
also. Henry II. for many years waged 
war with great energy against the Duke of 
Poland, supported by Bohemia, which had 
been evacuated by Boleslav in 1004, and 
by the heathen Liutizes — an alliance which 
horrified the pious German clergy — but 
could effect nothing. Boleslav had his 
supporters everywhere, and roused up 
enemies on all sides for the emperor, even 
in Germany. The political and military 
superiority of Boleslav now showed itself 
in the clearest colours. 

In the year 1005, Henry was forced 
to conclude a disadvantageous peace at 
Bautzen, while the treaty of Madgeburg, 

in 1013, ratified the Pole's claim to all 

the conquests made in the East at the 

cost of Germany. Boleslav, indeed, 

in return did homage to the emperor at 

Merseburg, because he wished at the same 

time to turn against Russia. Being now 

recognised as an ally, he was accompanied 

on his Russian campaign by 300 German 

_,. _ warriors, but obtained little 

The B&aner y , , .,, 

^t x> 1- k success. In 1015 the war with 

of fOllSh ^ , r 1 •. 

Patriotism Germany began afresh ; it was 
not until 10 18 that a second 
peace was concluded at Bautzen. The Elbe 
once more was the western frontier of 
Poland. Boleslav took Kiev on August 
14th, ioi8, and reinstated his exiled son- 
in-law Svia-topolk. 

Although the union of Bohemia and 
Poland had not been successfully carried 
out, Boleslav had united most of the west 
Slavs, who were still independent of 
Germany, under his own sceptre, and had 
founded an empire which stretched from 
the Elster and the Elbe to the Dniester. 
He also emphasised the Slavonic as 
opposed to the Germanic features of 
national life. His name has thus become 
the banner of Polish patriotism. After so 
many successes the Polish duke solicited 
the title of king, and with this object sent 
an embassy to Rome. This was inter- 
cepted by the emperor, but after the death 
of Henry, in 1024, Boleslav placed the 
crown on his own head. He died in the 
year 1025 at the age of fifty-eight. 

Under the first successors of the greatest 
Polish king the situation was at once 
changed ; not one of the conquests of 
Boleslav could be retained. In the first 
place, the empire, according to custom, 
had to be divided between the heirs ; but 
Boleslav I. had already decided that one of 
his sons should rule over the whole realm, 
and the other petty princes should be 
subordinate to him. Mesko II. did, in 
fact, assume the government with the 
crown, while we find his brothers and 
_ , ^. ^ kinsmen as petty princes. 
Quarrels that Quarrels naturally broke out, 
p t* h P* which weakened the power of 
01s ower p^j^j^ud. The Bohemian prince 
Bretislav conquered Moravia in 1029 ; 
Stefan of Hungary, Slovakia ; Canute the 
Dane, Pomerania ; and Jaroslav of Russia, 
the eastern half of GaUcia. It was a 
more momentous matter that relations 
with Germany grew worse. Emperor 
Conrad II., who had been closely bound 
by ties of friendship with the Danish king 



since 1025, adopted Besprim, the exiled 
elder brother of Mesko. He must also 
have considered the coronation of Mesko 
an insult. Mesko, indeed, valiantly held 
his ground and ravaged Saxony and other 
districts with the utmost ferocity in 1028 
and 1030. Finally he was forced to suc- 
cumb, to resign Lusatia once more, and 

The Splendour ^" the Merseburg treaty of 
-„ , , 1033 to recognise m ex- 

of Boleslav ,• ., . ^u /- 

^ ^ ^ 1 f> plicit terms the German 
Completely Gone ^ . . 1 1.1 1 

suzeramty ; probably also 

to pay tribute. The splendour which Poland 
had reached under Boleslav I. was com- 
pletely gone. The conditions of a vassal 
state existed for centuries, and were more 
or less burdensome. We are nowhere dis- 
tinctly told what constituted the duties of 
vassals ; we may, however, consider it as 
certain that the Polish princes were bound 
to attend certain court ceremonies, to 
provide tribute or presents, and on the 
occasion of coronation journeys to Rome 
to supply an escort of 500, or, later, 300 
soldiers. So long as ambitious ideas of 
empire dominated the German kings, they 
actually claimed the feudal rights of 
suzerains over Poland. It was only about 
the end of the thirteenth century that 
Poland was once for all recognised and 
treated as an independent state. 

The political efforts of the Polish princes 
were naturally directed to shake off that 
yoke. When a favourable opportunity 
offered, they revolted, refused military 
services and tribute, seldom appeared at 
the court ceremonials, and here and there 
assumed the royal title, although in the 
German Empire they were styled merely 
" duces," or dukes. The country reached 
the zenith of independence under Bole- 
slav II. at the time of Henry IV., while it 
sank to the lowest depth during the 
rule of Frederic Barbarossa and Rudolf 
of Hapsburg. 

When Mesko II. died, in 1034, complete 
confusion ensued. Slaves rose against free- 
p . men, the semi-serfs against the 

aganism ^obles; churches and mon- 
Revives With , . 1 j j j 

Q- 'lyf asteries were plundered, and 

the bishops killed or banished. 
Richenza, Mesko's widow, a daughter of 
Hermann II. of Suabia and sister of 
the Empress Gisela, was forced to leave 
Poland with her little son Casimir, and 
went to her home to implore help from 
her brother-in-law, the Emperor Conrad. 
The old pagan faith seems then to have 
once more proudly raised its head. To 


fill up the cup of misery, the surrounding 
nations attacked and pillaged the country. 
Besides this Bretislav Achilles of Bohemia 
in 1039 carried off from Gnesen to Prague 
the bones of St. Adalbert, doubtless next 
to the booty the main object of his cam- 
paign. Boleslav I. had built up the Polish 
Church over the tomb of the Bohemian 
martyr and had deprived Bohemia of the 
glory of the martyrdom. How important 
the event was for both sides is proved by 
the lamentations of the Polish chroniclers, 
the joy with which the relics of the national 
saint were received at Prague, and the long 
trial which was held about them at Rome. 
Cosmas of Prague cannot find language 
enough to praise the prince. The holy 
Adalbert now became, equally with the 
holy Wenzel, the patron saint of Bohemia ; 
the chief military standard of the country 
bore his image. Now that he possessed 
these relics, the Bohemian duke contem- 
plated founding an archbishopric in 
Prague. It was only in the thirteenth 
century that Poland was able to acquire a 
new national saint — Stanislav. 

Casimir, meanwhile, remained in Ger- 

many. In the reign of the 

J *^" Emperor Henry III., who 

° . . gladly seized the opportunity 

of once again asserting imperial 
claims upon the East, he marched, in 
1040, with 500 men to Poland in order to 
win back his inheritance. He found the 
country ruined. Wild animals had their 
lairs where once the cathedral of Gnesen 
stood. The nobles had established in- 
dependent lordships in the provinces. 
Casimir, in order to be able to carry 
on war successfully, married a Russian 
wife and made an alUance with Hungary. 
The war against Bohemia was conducted 
with unusual energy on account of 
Moravia and Silesia, as well as of the 
plundering of the church of Gnesen. 

When, by the help of Russia Casimir had 
won back Masovia and also Silesia, he pro- 
ceeded to re-establish the decayed Pohsh 
Church. He renewed the bishoprics, and 
conferred the archbishopric upon his 
kinsman Aaron, who resided at Cracow 
so long as the road to Gnesen was blocked. 
Casimir successfully accomplished his plans 
by the help of Germany, whose suzerainty 
he acknowledged. He died in 1058. The 
distress and misery which Poland suffered 
in the first years after Mesko's death 
never occurred again down to the time 
of its overthrow. Casimir, therefore, for 


his services in the restoration of the 
empire has been given the honourable 
title of " Restaurator." 

The empire owes to him also a second 
change. Hitherto, the Polish duke had 
no permanent abode ; he journeyed from 
country to country, in order to administer 
justice personally in every place. The 
duke had his throne in the town where 
he preferred to live. 
When Casimir came to 
Poland he took up his 
quarters in Cracow, since 
other provinces were still 
to be conquered. From 
that timeCracow remained 
the residence of the duke 
and was, down to the 
sixteenth century, the 
poUtical centre. This was 
not any advantage for 
the development of the 
empire. Posen orGnesen 
would indisputably have 
better answered the pur- 
pose, since both lay nearer 
to Pomerania and the sea. 

In conformity with the order of succes- 
sion, introduced probably by Boleslav as 
king, the eldest of four sons, Boleslav II., 
subsequently called by the Chroniclers 
" the Bold," assumed the reins of govern- 
ment on the death of Casimir. His 
courage and ambitious plans recalled the 
memory of Boleslav I. The poUtical 
situation on his accession was peculiarly 

f. mmtHi ^»a» 


favourable ; the dispute 
about the right of investi- 
ture between Henry IV. 
and the Pope left a free 
hand to the Polish duke. 
Boleslav actually took the 
side of Henry's enemies, 
and had himself crowned 
at Christmas, 1076. But 
the scene of the struggle 
of the Salian with the 
rival kingdom was mostly 
the valley of the Main. 

Fraught with greater 
consequences was Bole- 
slav's attitude towards 
CRACOW CASTLE IN MEDiiEVAL TIMES Stanislav, Bishop of Cra- 

From the time of Casimir, who restored the Polish power in the middle of the COW, whom the king, for 
eleventh century, until the sixteenth century, Cracow was the political centre. r-poconS UnkuOWn to US 


to which, indeed, the future of Poland- 
pointed. With Cracow as capital, Poland 
came into the disturbing vicinity of Bo- 
hemia and Hungary, and was distracted 
from her true aims. Apart from this dis- 
advantage, the West Slavs were in this 
way more easily Germanised. The remote- 
ness from the sea was partially remedied 
by the removal of the court to W^arsa,w, 

murdered with his own hands before the 
altar. This tragedy was the theme of 
many writers. It is also said to have been 
the cause of Boleslav being forced to go 
into exile ; but the story is improbable. 
He died in 1081, but the place of his death 
is unknown. Many churches were built 
in honour of the murdered bishop, who 
was promoted in the thirteenth century 



to be the first patron saint of Poland. 
Boleslav's successor, until 1103, at first 
only in Posen, while Cracow belonged to 
Bohemia, was his brother Vladislav 
Hermann, a weakUng in brain and body. 
He was unable to take up any firm attitude 
either towards the nobles or his own 
sons, or even the Church, to which he is 

said to have granted certain 
_ *" privileges. He divided the 

T B th empire during his lifetime ; 

while he himself retained the 
supreme authority, Boleslav received Mas- 
ovia, Gnesen, and Posen, and his illegiti- 
mate son Sbignev Cracow and Silesia. 

The smouldering feud between the two 
brothers burnt the more fiercely after 
Hermann's death, until Boleslav HI. 
Krzyvousty (Crooked Mouth) had con- 
quered his brother's share. In spite of 
numerous frontier wars — for example, in 
1 1 09 the defence of Glogau against the 
Emperor Henry V. and Svatopluk of 
Olmiitz — Boleslav did not secure any 
lasting advantage. Nor does his im- 
portant place in the history of Poland 
depend upon the fact that he re- 
subjugated Pomerania and won it for 
Christianity by his missionaries, espe- 
cially Bishop Otto of Bamberg, formerly 
chaplain of Vladislav Hermann ; for by 
his very choice of a German bishop to 
evangelise Pomerania the Germanisation 
and hence the loss of Pomerania were 
hastened. But the Church paid him an 
appropriate tribute of thanks for what 
he had done. A priest, probably a 
Venetian, erroneously known by the 
name of Martinus Gallus, wrote in glorifi- 
cation of Boleslav III. the " Chronicae 
Polonorum," reaching down to 11 13 — the 
oldest chronicle of Poland, and the 
earliest literary monument belonging to 
the country. The campaigns in Pome- 
rania and the conversion of the land had 
the same value for Poland as the Crusades 
for the West. Bohemia and Poland in 

-> return for their often rather 

Cracow x li • • 1 • 

„ ^. forcible missionary work in 

Becomes the r, • j 

rut- • t e> * pagan Pomerania and 

Official Centre V» ° . , , j- 

Prussia were released from 

the obligation of sharing in the expeditions 
to Palestine. The importance of Boleslav 
III. for Poland consists chiefly in his settle- 
ment of the order of succession to the throne. 
He divided his empire before his death in 
the following way : Vladislav, the el(Jest 
son, inherited Silesia with Glatz ; Boleslav, 
Masovia and Kujavja with Dobrzyn ; 


Mesko, Gnesen and Posen with Pomerania ; 
Henry, Sandomir ; Casimir, a posthu- 
mous son, came off empty-handed. The 
eldest of the family was always to be 
Grand Duke, and reside in Cracow ; to him 
were assigned the district of Cracow with 
Lengzyca and Sieradz, besides the tribute 
from Pomerania and the region beyond 
the Oder, so that he might be superior in 
possessions to all other petty princes. 
Cracow thus became an official centre. 

It is persistently asserted that Boleslav 
introduced with this measure the custom 
of seniority, according to which the 
eldest Piast for the time being should be 
the supreme head of the whole kingdom. 
But that is hardly correct. In the old 
days there was no distinction between 
public and private law. His scheme for 
the succession was not, therefore, new. 
Further, when, in 1054. the Bohemian 
duke Bretislav Achilles and Jaroslav of 
Kiev introduced the seniority, they only 
applied to the royal power the old Slavonic 
custom of family inheritance. The Polish 
duke, therefore, made use of the experience 
which had been gained in Bohemia and 
_^ _^ Russia. The conference of 

. _ J J , Russian princes at Lubetch. in 
jj . 1097, had already declared that 

the petty principalities were 
hereditary. Boleslav now adopted this 
principle for his realm. The only new 
feature in Boleslav's scheme for the 
succession was that the district of Cracow 
remained as an appanage of the Grand 
Duke without any hereditary rights. 

The consequences of Boleslav's settle- 
ment of the succession were the same in 
Poland as in Bohemia and Russia. The 
office of Grand Duke became, it is true, 
the badge and guarantee of national unity. 
But it also became an apple of discord 
among the Piasts. The sanguinary wars, 
which lasted among the descendants of 
Boleslav almost unceasingly down to the 
year 1333, are full of petty incidents 
which possess no significance in universal 
history ; but nevertheless, like the similar 
wars in the families of the Premyslids, 
Rurikovitches, and Arpades, they supply 
a fresh proof that the rule of seniority 
was destructive to the state. When men 
notice that a law produces in different 
places the same disastrous effects, they 
must arrive at the consciousness that it 
is bad ; but they have simultaneously 
taken a step forward. But from the cir- 
cumstance that Boheniia was able to 


abolish the rule of seniority in 1216, and 
Poland and Russia only in the fourteenth 
century, it may be gathered how tena- 
ciously mankind clings to one idea, and 
how hard it is to strike out a new path. 
We also learn from it that Bohemia was 
more than a hundred years ahead of the 
above-named states in political develop- 

The oldest period of Polish history, 
when the young realm, guided mostly by 
strong hands and sound at the core, 
turned its strength toward the outside 
world, ends with Boleslav III., who had 
done homage again in ii35to the Emperor 
Lothar, and died in 1138. The course of 
events after 1138 was exactly opposite. 
While the Piasts disputed among them- 
selves for the seniority, they regarded only 
themselves, and 
lost sight of the 
common Polish in- 
terests in the 
outside world. The 
dispute among the 
sons broke out soon 
after the death of 
the father. The 
Grand Duke Vlad- 
islav II., of Cracow, 
wished once more 
to restore unity at 
the expense of his 

But the threat- 
ened princes com- 
bined and asserted 
their claims ; the 
law, indeed, spoke 


for them. Boleslav 
IV. (Curly-head), the eldest but one of 
the brothers, ascended the grand-ducal 
throne in the place of Vladislav, who 
was deprived of his share in the in- 
heritance in 1 146; and maintained his 
position until his death in 1173, notwith- 
standing that the exiled monarch sought 
to recover his sovereignty by the aid of 
Germany. After him, the third brother, 
Mesko III. (the Elder), became Grand 
_ . . Duke ; and finally, after his 

, " "^ banishment by the nobles the 

Just Comes ,, i j j /- • • 

« »i. Tk ongmally excluded Casimir 

to the Throne ,, »., t ^ / x \ 

II. the Just (1179 to 1194), 

came to the throne, since Henry of San- 

domir had already fallen. The Pope and 

the emperor had approved of this choice. 

Matters so far had gone smoothly with 

the succession to the throne. But the fruit 

of the new order of things had already been 
tasted ; thus Leszko I., the White, a son 
of Casimir, disputed the grand-ducal 
throne with his uncle Mesko III. Vlad- 
islav III., Longshanks, a son of Mesko 
The E • ^^^■' ^^° resided at Cracow, 
Loses"* "^ 1202-1206, must have equally 
Prestige recognised the evil latent in 
that law. Even the sons of 
the deposed Vladislav II — Boleslav I. the 
Tall of Breslau, Mesko of Ratibor, and 
Conrad of Glogau — came forward with 
their claims, and not without success, 
after they had previously, with the help 
of Germany, taken possession of their 

The empire, owing to this, could not 
but lose all prestige with the outside 
world. The banished or defrauded Piasts 
sought help on 
every side, espe- 
cially in Germany; 
each promised and 
performed all that 
was required of 
him in return. The 
dukes Vladislav II., 
Boleslav IV., and 
Mesko III., ap- 
peared in deepest 
submission before 
the German em- 
peror ; they paid 
tribute and fines, 
and furnished 
hostages. The Bo- 
hemian duke was, 
as it were, their 
mediator with the 
emperor, who 
usually received him with great respect. 
The conquests in the north also were 
lost. The German princes Albert the 
Bear and Henry the Lion of Saxony 
had, in alliance with the Danish king 
Waldemar I., finally subjugated the north 
and west Slavs between the Elbe and the 
Oder, and had secured their territory, 
after 1150, by the new margraviate of 
Brandenburg. Not far from the place 
where the Slavonic Brennaburg stood, 
Berlin arose at the beginning o.f the thir- 
teenth century. 

The Pomeranian princes, who were once 
tributaries of Poland, were now forced 
to acknowledge the German sovereignty. 
Bogislav II. of Stettin was raised by 
Frederic Barbarossa, in the summer of 
1 18 1, to the dignity of a prince of the 



The Great 
Power of 

empire. Only a part of Pomerania was 
still left for a time to Poland. For 
that reason also the empire would have 
required a free hand in order to be able 
to defend its interests against Russia, 
which was at a low ebb owing to civil 
wars. But thus it lost not merely the 
East Galician towns which Boleslav I, 
and Boleslav II. had once con- 
quered, but allowed a strong 
th N b'l't ^^ss^^" principality to be 
° * ' ^ formed on the Dniester. The 
events of domestic history were far 
more momentous. First and foremost the 
power of the nobility, which composed 
the fighting strength, rose to an unfore- 
seen height. The Slachta — the noblesse — 
forced even the vigorous Boleslav II. to 
leave the country, as his father Casimir had 
been obliged to do. Under Boleslav III., 
who was an able soldier, his Palatine 
Skarbimir rebelled, and was blinded as a 
punishment in 1117. In 1171 the nobihty, 
under the leadership of Jakva of Miechow, 
rose against Boleslav IV. in order to put 
his brother Casimir in his place ; this was 
the first great rebellion of the Slachta. 
Mesko the Elder fought for the princely 
rights in Poland, just as the son and 
grandson of Vladimir Monomach did in 
Susdal ; though repeatedly driven from 
the throne, he mounted it again. 

Besides the nobility, a second power 
arose in the empire — the Church. The 
storm of the Investitures Controversy had 
passed over Poland in the eleventh cen- 
tury almost without leaving a trace, so 
little power had the hierarchy in those 
parts ; Boleslav had entered the lists 
against Henry IV. merely on political 
grounds. If we assume, with the clerical 
chroniclers, that Boleslav was forced to 
go into exile for the murder of Bishop 
Stanislav, we are regarding that event 
from the standpoint of the thirteenth 
century — in the eleventh century the 
Polish Church was still too young to be 
CK ' f 't ^^P^^^^ of s^ch ^ vengeance. 
St ^k' "r' ^t ^^^ pious historian of the 
in P I d thirteenth century pictured to 
himself that the wanton crime 
must have been expiated in some way or 
other. The Christian religion only slowly 
struck root in Poland. The first prince 
who was obedient to the Church was 
Boleslav III. ; he took interest in the 
missions, and himself made pilgrimages 
to France to the tomb of St. iEgidius. 
During his reign the first papal legate came 


to Poland in 1123-1125 — from which 
period dates the oldest Polish document — 
in order to settle the boundaries of the 
dioceses there, establish the cathedral 
chapters in the sees, etc. The Polish 
clergy still recognised no rule of celibacy, 
and the prince alone nominated the bishops 
and removed them at his own discretion ; 
and this state of things continued for a 
long time. No bishop would then have 
been able to oppose the prince. It was 
only at the period of the civil wars that 
the Church acquired an increasing reputa- 
tion. Vladislav III. Longshanks, son 
of Mesko the Elder, suspecting the latent 
danger, obstinately resisted the claims of 
the clergy. 

The conviction was at last brought home 
to the Poles, as it had been to the Bo- 
hemians and the Russians, that the only 
salvation for the empire lay in a hereditary 
monarchy. Since each of the petty princes 
wished to become hereditary ruler, and 
no one of them would give way, for a 
time the evil grew only worse. The 
ablest statesman among the Piasts of 
the time was undoubtedly Casimir II, 
. . , Brought up in the German 
Ah'rt"*^ * school, he grasped the true 
St V ^ " state of affairs, and therefore 
allied himself with the newly 
arisen forces, the nobility and the clergy, 
in order to reach his goal. Immediately 
after his elevation to the Grand Dukedom, 
probably in 1179, ^^ convened an imperial 
assembly at Lenczyca, at which the clergy 
appeared as well as the nobles. 

This was the first imperial assembly of 
Poland, and at the same time its first 
synod. Here the Church obtained the 
important privilege of exemption from 
payment of imposts and taxes to the 
princes. The power of the princes was 
checked. By this policy Casimir placed 
himself in opposition to the conservative 
line of Great Poland, which would not 
hear of any concessions to the Church. 
Casimir acted here in the same way as the 
Ottos when they provided a counterpoise 
to the dukes by the creation of the im- 
perial ecclesiastical offices ; he must 
have fully understood that he was de- 
pendent on the nobility. But the result 
was that he was supported in his efforts 
by the grateful Church. 

Casimir also took the precaution of 
having his title confirmed by the Pope and 
the emperor ; in this policy he seems to have 
been the model for the Bohemian dukes. 


He was now able to think how to make 
the grand-ducal power hereditary in his 
family, an arrangement which was also 
the ambition of the Premyslids. Thus 
he and Mesko III. represented two 
opposite political schools, and friction 
was inevitable. But when Casimir died 
in 1 1 94, it was seen that matters were in 
a favourable position for his children. 

Vincentius, Bishop of Cracow — later 
sumamed Kadlubek — who voluntarily 
became a monk at Jedrzejow in 1218, and 
died in 1223, records that the clergy and 
nobility met in 1195 at Cracow in order 
to settle the question of the throne. 
Who had summoned them ? 'The Chronicle 
does not tell us. We learn 
only that the Church sided 
there with the house of 
Casimir. At the instance 
of Bishop Fulko of Cracow, 
who adroitly adduced as 
an argument the preference 
given by Pope and em- 
peror to Casimir over 
Mesko, Casimir's elder son, 
Leszko I. (the White) was 
summoned to Cracow. 

It was the first election 
of a prince in Poland ; 
though only, as in Bo- 
hemia, from among the 
members of the already 
ruling family, the Piasts, 
Henceforward, with little 
interruption, Cracow re- 
mained until 1370 — when 
the family died out — in 
the hands of the descen- 
dants of Casimir, although 
the hereditary monarchy 
■had not yet been formally 
legalised, and contests for 
the throne were frequent, 
the will of the Church and of the nobility 
of Cracow. This struggle for a satisfac- 
tory constitution progressed slowly; 
Russia and Bohemia had not escaped 
it. It is an important feature in the 
present case that it was the Church 
_ p which solved the problem ; it 

must have been already very 
. ^. . powerful in Poland in the first 

half of the thirteenth century. 
Leszko, it is true, had not been able to 
gain any success against Mesko. But 
after the latter's death, in 1202, Leszko was 
summoned by the nobles of Cracow, and 
the only condition imposed upon him was 


But it was 

that he should remove the Palatine 
Govorko of Sandomir. That, instead of 
doing so, he preferred to abdicate the 
throne in favour of the son of Mesko, 
Vladislav Longshanks, proves how well 
Conflict of designed was the policy of 

Temporal and the royal house. Vladislav, 

Spiritual Power !\°^^r'' ^^'"^ tV ^nemy of 
the Church, could not hold 
his own. Just at this time Henry KietUcz, 
a Silesian by birth, was elected Arch- 
bishop of Poland. He had formerly 
studied theology at the Sorbonne in Paris 
with Count Lothar Conti, who mounted 
the papal throne on January 8th, 1198, 
as Innocent III. ; and he had been 
steeped in the plans of this 
mighty Pope. When placed 
on the archbishop's throne 
at Gnesen, he did not de- 
mand privileges but rights 
for the Polish Church. 
Then, for the first time 
there, a conflict between 
the temporal and spiritual 
powers broke out. Kietlicz 
was obdurate, and for the 
first time in Poland, apart 
from the dubious case of 
Boleslav II., launched the 
ban at the Grand Duke. He 
was forced, indeed, to flee 
the country, but the duke 
also had to leave Cracow, 
since the nobles of Cracow, 
incited by Bishop Fulko, 
left him in the lurch. 

Leszko was then — in 
1206 — recalled. And he 
now took decisive measures 
for the succession. Since 
he first, following the 
example of many princes 
of the time — for example, Premsyl 
Ottokar I. of Bohemia, 1204 — declared 
his country to be a papal fief, and then 
gave his brother, Conrad, Masovia and 
Kujavia, he contrived, with the assent 
of the clergy and the nobihty, that 
Cracow and Sandomir should remain an 
inheritance of his family. This arrange- 
ment was confirmed by the Pope. And 
by it the law of seniority of Boleslav III. 
was formally repealed. But since this 
was not done with the approval of all the 
Piasts, the civil wars still continued. The 
result of the enactment, on the contrary, 
was that the provinces felt themselves 
independent of Cracow, and the unity of 



the empire seemed imperilled ; but this 
danger was averted by the Church. Arch- 
bishop Kietlicz soon came back from 
Rome, and summoned a synod at Gnesen. 
The rule of celibacy was here introduced ; 
and a special jurisdiction and other rights 
were conferred on the Church. Vladislav 
was therefore forced to give way. The 
remaining petty princes fol- 

Banner o*f the ^°^^^ ^^ example. But in all 
anner o e ^j^ggg events the Archbishop 
Christian Faith ^ ^ , , ■ r - 

of Gnesen played an mterior 

part to the Bishop of Cracow, for Gnesen 
was in another country. The wish, how- 
ever, of the bishops of Cracow that the 
archbishopric should be removed from 
Gnesen to their court was not gratified. 

Poland in the thirteenth century stood 
already definitely under the banner of the 
Christian faith, and the princes acknow- 
ledged the power of the Church. Casimir 
had made an alhance with it in 1180, and 
solicited Pope Alexander III. to confirm 
him in his title. Now, also, the canonisa- 
tion of Stanislaus, Bishop of Cracow, was 
completed, in order that the country 
might have its own patron saint ; with 
this object the old Chronicles had to be 
purposely falsified. Churches and monas- 
teries sprang up everywhere. The in- 
fluence of the Church was felt in every 
domain of public life. Boleslav, Leszko's 
son, practised deeds of piety and acts of 
penance. The princesses took the veil 
and won for themselves the saintly nimbus. 
It was Leszko's brother Conrad who fought 
against the pagan Prussians and sum- 
moned the order of Teutonic knights, and 
by so doing later brought great danger 
upon Poland. 

When Leszko died, in 1227, and Conrad 
of Masovia assumed the government in 
the name of his infant son Boleslav the 
Shamefaced, or Modest, the nobles con- 
spired against him. They made use of 
the Silesian Piasts, whose head at that 
time was Henry I. the Bearded, grandson of 
A rki. ♦• ^^^^ Vladislav who had been 
St^ru le expelled in 1 146 from Cracow. 

rugg e jj^^ nobihty of Cracow sup- 
for Cracow _x j tt i, • i 

ported Henry, who, m spite 

of his piety, was at variance with the 
clergy. The princes of Silesia, as well as 
of Great Poland, seem to have agreed 
together about him. Vladislav, in opposi- 
tion to whom his own son Vladislav 
Odonicz came forward as a champion of 
the Church, actually designated the 
Silesian Henry as heir to Great Poland. 


Under such circumstances Henry suc- 
ceeded in uniting in his hands the greater 
part of the Polish dominions. It would 
have been a good thing for Poland if the 
Silesian Piasts had been able permanently 
to hold Cracow. But Henry I. died early 
in 1238 ; and his son Henry II., the Pious, 
fell gloriously on the battlefield at Liegnitz, 
on April 9th, 1241, in a campaign against 
the Mongols. 

Thus once more an obstinate struggle 
for Cracow was kindled. Three lines of 
Piasts — the Silesian, the Great Polish, and 
the Casimirid — entered the lists. The 
weakest of all, Casimir's grandson, Boles- 
lav Vstydlivy, substantiated his claim ; 
the bishops, who were on his side, married 
him to a Hungarian princess, so that he 
was supported also by Hungary. On his 
death without issue the grandsons of 
Conrad of Masovia, Leszko the Black and 
Vladislav Lokietek, both of whom had 
estates only in Kujavia, came forward as 
claimants to the throne. Leszko main- 
tained his position until 1288. The in- 
ternal feuds were then at their height ; 
each province had its own prince, who, 
though himself too weak, 
S'!''°T was still at war with his 
B^tmia neighbour. After Vladislav 
emia j^Q^jg^gj^^ ^j^q reigned only 

a short time, another Silesian prince, 
Henry IV. Probus of Breslau, took posses- 
sion of Cracow (1289-1290). In the true 
spirit of patriotism he selected Przemyslav 
of Great Poland, a grandson of Odonicz, 
to inherit his dominions. But others came 
forward as rivals. The most dangerous was 
the Bohemian king Wenzel II. He married, 
in 1287, as his first wife, Jutta, a daughter 
of the German king Rudolf I. of Hapsburg ; 
perhaps the object in view was a union of 
Poland with Bohemia under the overlord- 
ship of Germany. Cracow was taken by 
Bohemia in the year 1291. Przemyslav, 
it is true, in order to notify the indepen- 
dence of the crown of all the Polands, had 
himself crowned king of Poland at Gnesen 
in 1295 ; but he died the next year, 1296. 
Wenzel conquered Great Poland, and had 
himself crowned king of Poland in 1300. 
His death, in 1305, alone saved the indepen- 
dence of Poland ; but the kings of Bo- 
hemia henceforward bore the title of 
" Rex Poloniae." The native candidates 
for the throne were finally beaten by 
Vladislav Lokietek, brother of Leszko the 
Black. When he was himself crowned at 
Gnesen, in January, 1320, with the consent 


of the Pope, the union of Poland was once 
more safeguarded, and with it the era of 
hereditary monarchy had dawned. More 
than two hundred years had elapsed before 
the PoHsh nation, by great sacrifices and 
hard struggles, had won the suitable form 
of government. 

The Polish nation, which had bled to 
gratify the ambition of her princes, while 
defiant nobles claimed a share in the 
government, had seen her most prosperous 
days irrevocably ruined through civil 
wars. We can best estimate her loss by 
her relations to her neighbours. 

The position of Poland towards Germany 
had become unfavourable. It was only 
when Germany, weakened by long wars, 
had, under Rudolf I. of Hapsburg, aban- 
doned all notions of world empire, that a 
more prosperous era dawned for Poland. 
It was only to the turn of events in other 
countries, and to the battles which had 
been fought in the West between emperor 
and Pope, and not to their own efficiency, 
that the Piasts of Poland owed their 
independence from Germany. The Bohe- 
mian relations of Poland were important, 
and, in fact, decisive for 

enace ^^^ states in friendly rela- 

ermany ^j^j^g ^^^g ^q ^j^g Other ; 

Mesko I. married a Bohemian princess. 
The common menace of Germany had 
probably brought them closer together. 
It then happened that the two princes 
quarrelled with each other because the 
Polish prince had robbed the Bohemian of 
a province (Moravia or Cracow). The 
emperor, it is true, decided in favour of 
Bohemia, but could not force Poland to 
accept his arbitration. 

This mutual hostility forms a pivot 
of the future policy of Bohemia and 
Poland. Bohemia openly joined the 
German Empire, and, relying on this, 
wished to make conquests ; the only 
place left for Poland was in the camp of 
its enemies. In the year 1003 Boleslav I. 
of Poland succeeded in making himself 
master of Bohemia. The union of these 
two kingdoms would have been of far- 
reaching importance for the whole Slavonic 
world, but Germany could not and would 
not tolerate the subjugation of her vassal. 
Poland was forced to liberate Bohemia. 

The capture of Prague only increased 
the hatred of the two nations. Bretislav 
of Bohemia then conquered Moravia, 
and carried off to Prague the bones of 


St. Adalbert. Silesia and Cracow fell for 
a time under Bohemian rule. Polish 
refugees were welcomed in Bohemia, and 
those of Bohemia in Poland. There was 
almost uninterrupted fighting in the 
forests on the Silesian frontier. The same 
jealousy was apparent in the ecclesiastical 
domain. Bohemia wished to have its 
„. , . archbishopric, like Poland. Bo- 

^f D 1 J hemia took part m Prussian 

of Poland 1 . i , • 

and Bohemia "Missionary work, but only m 
rivalry with Poland. The 
words, therefore, of the Polish Chronicle 
of the so-called Martinus Gallus, " the 
Bohemians are the worst enemies of 
Poland," have a deep significance. 

It was only in the thirteenth century 
that this hostility decreased, principally 
through the efforts of Premysl Ottokarll. 
The hatred of Germany had now brought 
the two countries together. It was Otto- 
kar who first appealed to the Slavonic 
fellow-sympathies of the Poles when he 
prepared for a decisive campaign against 
Germany. But Bohemia was too closely 
associated with the empire, and already 
too far removed from the Slavonic spirit, 
for this step to have any prospect of 
success. Poland was weaker, but since 
she was always opposed to Germany, the 
day of her independence would eventually 
dawn. While Bohemia, however, in con- 
nection with Germany, developed more 
peacefully and under able kings attained 
some importance, Poland sank deeper and 
deeper. Poland formerly had assumed the 
aggressive towards Bohemia, but now the 
two neighbours had exchanged their roles. 
Bohemia obtained Moravia and extended 
her influence over Silesia. In fact, 
Bohemia, the direction of whose plans was 
defined by the northern course of the Elbe 
and Oder, had formed still wider plans. 
If the Bohemian princes repeatedly warred 
with Prussia, and if Wenzel II. conquered 
Cracow, the incentive to such action 
must have been the Baltic. Poland 
barred the way thither. 
of p'oland ^^^ relations of Poland and 
H*° Hungary were quite different. 
ungary q^^^^ ^^^y had the sove- 
reigns of the two kingdoms faced each 
other as foes — when Boleslav I. took 
Slovacia, and at the same time contested 
with Stefan in Rome for the royal crown. 
In later times the interests of the two 
countries seldom conflicted. Hungary 
went down the Danube south-eastwards ; 
Poland struggled to reach the Baltic. 



Owing to this divergence of their aims, 
quite friendly relations were often after- 
wards developed. 

The state of things on the Baltic Sea 
became dangerous for Poland at the time 
of the civil wars. The Polish princes of 
Kujavia and Masovia were unable to 
defend themselves against the pagan 
_ Prussians. The popes, indeed, 

owero ^gj.g solicitous about their 
c agan ^.Q^ygj-gJQjj . crusades were 

Prussians i j j j r 

preached, and an order of 
knights was founded in Dobrzyn. But that 
was of little avail. Conrad of Masovia and 
Kujavia, therefore, summoned the Teu- 
tonic knights and assigned to them some 
districts in 1226. Hermann of Salza did 
not, however, content himself with the 
deed of gift of the Piast, but obtained that 
district as a fief from the Emperor 
Frederic II. and Pope Gregory IX. ; the 
latter, in fact, freed the territory of the 
Order from all except papal overlordship. 
Thus secured on all sides the Order began 
the war with the Prussians, supported by 
the knights of Western Europe, and especi- 
ally those of Germany ; the princes of 
Bohemia, Poland, and Pomerania also 
sent help. Success came rapidly ; Prussia 
was soon conquered and secured by 
fortresses. But it was soon apparent that 
the Order had its own interests, not those 
of Poland, in view. Duke Svatopluk of 
Pomerania soon confronted the Order and 
protected Prussia. The Polish princes, 
however, had claimed the help of the 
knights against Brandenburg, which 
wished to have Pomerania. But the 
Order, when once brought into Pomerania, 
was unwilling to evacuate the country. 
In the same year, 1309, the Teutonic 
knights removed their chief centre from 
Venice to Marienburg. Thus there arose 
here a dangerous neighbour, supported by 
Germany and the Pope, which threatened 
to cut off Poland from the sea. The only 
hope left was, that now Lithuania was 

, ...,., developing to the east of 

Irresponsibility ,, r^ j -. j. • 1 ^ 

of the Polish *^^ ^'■^^'■' ^* certamly lay 
g . with Poland to make the best 

use of this turn of events. 
Poland was equally unable to guard her 
interests in Russia. This position was 
now all the more dangerous, since after 
the subjugation of her eastern neighbour 
by the Tartars, the way to Poland lay open 
to the latter, and often enough have 
the Tartars ravaged Polish countries. 
Equally gloomy was the position at that 


time of the internal state of Poland, 
both in respect of legal and economic 
developments and with regard to general 
culture. The person of the prince and 
his court constituted the centre of public 
life. The prince was the supreme adminis- 
trator, judge, and general ; he was 
formally absolute and irresponsible. He 
nominated the higher officials, who re- 
presented his rights ; such were the 
court-judge and under-court-judge, the 
marshal and under-marshal, the cham- 
berlain and under-chamberlain, senesechal 
and under-seneschal, carver, etc. At their 
head stood the palatine, or wojewoda. It 
cannot now be determined which offices 
dated from the pagan times and how far 
the court may have been altered later ; 
the offices of chancellor and court secretary 
were certainly only creations of the 
Christian age. 

The administration was simple. The 
country was divided into Castellanries ; 
each Castellan exercised in his own 
division all the rights of the prince. The 
Castellanries were divided into smaller 
districts, or opola, which, probably dating 
_ . from the oldest time, con- 

rievous tinned in existence until the 
^ * ^.^ thirteenth century. But more 
important for the people were 
the treasury and the law court. It is 
difficult to distinguish accurately between 
the fiscal dues which the freemen and 
serfs, who resided on the crown lands, 
were required to pay, and those which were 
payable to the royal coffers from other 
lands. The dues required consisted of 
payments in kind and in compulsory 
services, and there was a long list. A 
plough tax, a court tax, and a peace tax 
are first mentioned ; we find also dues 
on honey, corn, cows, oxen, sheep, swine, 
etc. The subjects had to discharge public 
duties ; they were, for instance, bound 
to build and restore the castles and bridges, 
and compelled to dig moats, mount watch 
in the castles and courts, furnish the 
prince and his officials with horses and 
carriages, guides and escorts, to hunt 
down criminals and clear the forests, and 
so forth. 

Most burdensome was the obligation 
to receive and board messengers and 
officials, hunters, falconers, the keepers 
of the royal horses and hounds, their 
brewers, bakers, fishermen, etc., and supply 
food for the hounds and fodder for the 
horses. Even the butchers were bound 


to hand over to the royal falconers the 
livers of the animals which they slaugh- 
tered. Besides this the prince claimed 
all unoccupied lands, all hunting-grounds 
and fisheries, all castles and towns, tolls 
and coinage rights, mills and the sale of 
salt, markets and court fees, etc. No 
considerable deviations from the oppres- 
sive burdens of the feudal system in 
Western Europe are observable. If we 
bear in mind also that abuses in the system 
occurred, that, for instance, when horses 
were required, they were taken from any 
place, but were often not restored, we 
shall understand that the people were 
completely at the mercy of the prince and 
his officials. 

Equally unfavourable to the people was 
the judicial system. The inhabitants of 
each district, or opole, were collectively 
responsible for any crimes, and in the event 
of a murder which had been committed 
on its soil it paid the indemnity, and also 
was under the obligation of prosecuting 
the criminals. Since, with the exception 
of the death penalty or mutilation, there 
were only fines, that is to say, court dues, 
the courts themselves became 


a sort of fiscal institution. As 

ty Provincial j^^^ ^^ ^^^ kingdom was Still 

Princes undivided and large, all 

burdens were still more or less endurable. 
But the position became worse, and finally 
intolerable, when after the partition every 
prince kept up in his own province a 
court with a crowd of officials. To crown 
all, the nobles and clergy struggled more 
and more, as time went on, to free them- 
selves from these obligations, while they 
obtained the corresponding privileges. 
They released themselves from the systenl 
of the opole, and, by so doing, from its 
collective responsibility, jurisdiction, and 
taxation. In this way private lordships, 
almost tax free as regards the treasury, 
with their own jurisdiction, and their 
own system of taxation, were formed by 
the side of the opole. The whole burden 
of the kingdom was shifted on to the 
peasants. The clergy and nobility became 
rich, while the people and the peasantry 
were impoverished. 

The old Slavonic law and the earlier 
enactments were so riddled by these 
privileges that they became almost im- 
practicable. The necessary change came 
in the shape of the German colonisation. 
The circumstance that the Piasts, es- 
pecially in Silesia, married German 

princesses, who came to Poland with a 
German suite, must have contributed to 
increase the German element in Poland, 
just as in the adjoining country of Hun- 
gary. The economic distress, however, 
was the decisive cause. In order to fill 
the treasury, princes, as well as monas- 
teries and nobles, brought into the country 
g German settlers from the more 

of German ^^"^^^Y inhabited West in order 
Settlers ^^ gather the produce of the 
fields. The superiority and the 
lasting influence of the foreign colonists 
lay less in the fact that the Germans 
knew better how to cultivate the soil 
rather than in their more favourable legal 
position. The colonists, who were brought 
into the country by a contractor, received 
a plot of ground as an hereditary property, 
with certain minor rights and privileges, 
and had in return merely to pay a definite 
annual sum to the lord of the manor. 

This privileged position was bound to 
promote their prosperity and to strengthen 
in them that feeling of self-reliance which 
they had brought with them as subjects 
of the German Empire, to which Poland 
was tributary. The relation of the im- 
migrant to the native was the same in 
Bohemia and Russia. The strong political 
position of Germany benefited the settlers 
of that day as much as it benefits the 
German merchants and artisans of our 
times. Foreigners were promoted by the 
Slavonic princes to the detriment of their 
own people. The princes were too short- 
sighted to see that in this waj' they fostered 
in their own people that sense of humilia- 
tion which has been felt for centuries and 
has found its expression in legends, songs, 
and other forms of literature. 

On the other hand, the Germans, who 
had the means at their disposal, were 
always in the position to pursue further 
developments of culture. The feelings of 
the Slavonic population, mortified and 
ignored by their own princes, either 
, unburdened themselves in 

e avs j^^|-j.p(j fQj. ^i^g quite innocent 

p *^ ^ . German element and in re- 
rosperi y i^^j^j^j^g against the authorities, 

or found a vent in emigration. On the 
other hand, the people took refuge in the 
protection of the German law ; Polish 
villages and towns under the Slavonic law 
wished, in order to increase their prosperity, 
to be " promoted " to the German law. Ger- 
man customs, language, and culture would 
obviously spread rapidly under these 



conditions. The devastations of the Tartars 
and the civil wars helped on the German 
colonisation. Silesia was soon com- 
pletely Germanised, and in other pro- 
vinces the German element at any rate 
grew steadily stronger. If the Silesian 
Piasts succeeded in temporarily driving 
the Casimirids from the throne of Cracow, 
_, they owed that in no small 

owns as degree to the support of their 
N f iL'f German subjects. AGerman- 
isation of the entire Polish 
state lay already within the range of proba- 
bility. A national crisis now took the 
place of the economic crisis which had been 
partially relieved by the German colonisa- 
tion. This was the more dangerous since 
the Teutonic knights had now formed a 
third party in the country by the side of 
the Germans and the empire. 

This situation was especially gloomy for 
Poland and all Slavs, since it was no 
longer the courts and castles of the ruling 
class, but rather the towns, that formed 
the centres of political, economic, and 
social life. The Slavs had, however, 
adopted their municipal organisation 
directly from the Germans, who were far 
ahead of them in this respect, and they 
usually found that their requirements in 
culture were satisfied to a far higher 
degree among the Teutons than among 
the Latins. 

Such was the state of affairs in Poland 
when, in 1320, Vladislav Lokietek was 
crowned king in Cracow. The removal of 
all abuses in the interior of the realm, the 
improvement of the administration and 
judicature, the revision of the system of 
taxation, the establishment of equitable 
relations between the various sections of 
the people, the restraint of the German- 
ising movement, the encouragement of 
culture, and the protection of the realm 
against foreign attacks — such was the 
task of the restored monarchy. It was 
the more difficult since Poland had no 
p . . friend, or, at the most, some 
,„.^- ^ moderate support from the 

Without T-> /- • u- 1- 

P . . Roman Curia, which was aga.n 
in conflict with the empire. 
Lokietek saw clearly that the Teutonic 
Order was the most dangerous enemy of 
Poland. He therefore sued the knights in 
the Roman Curia respecting Pomerania. He 
formed an alliance with Denmark, Sweden, 
and Norway, and married his daughter 
Elizabeth to the Hungarian king, Charles 
Robert the Angevin. He also succeeded 


in gaining the friendship of Lithuanian 
princes, who were already hostile to the 
Order. In 1325 he married his son 
Casimir to Aldona, daughter of the war- 
like Lithuanian Gedymin. Thus strength- 
ened, he advanced himself against the 
Order. The first engagements proved 
favourable to him. But the results were 
temporarily unimportant ; and the Roman 
suit brought him no advantage. This was 
due partly to the hostile attitude of King 
John of Bohemia, who could not disguise 
his impulse toward the North. John so 
far accomplished his purpose between the 
years 1327 and 1331, that most of the 
Silesian princes did homage to him ; and 
he undertook a campaign against Lithu- 
ania, receiving on the way the homage of 
a Masovian prince. The Hungarian assis- 
tance, which Lokietek received, alone 
checked the Bohemian king from further 
steps. In spite of all this, the neighbour- 
ing states noticed that the position of 
Poland was strengthened when Lokietek 
died in 1333. 

Work enough was left for his son 

Casimir. Lokietek had, it is true, already 

_ . , restored to a large extent the 

asimir unity of the empire, and its 

St HA iridependence was actually 

rong an acknowledged by the Holy 
Roman Empire. But Poland, which had 
hardly been cemented together, was so 
exhausted that it could be permanently 
saved only by a strong hand. Casimir 
proved himself the wished- for strong king. 
The times had changed. The formerly des- 
potic ruler had now to share his power with 
the priests and the nobles. By the side 
of these the towns rose continuously vic- 
torious. Chivalry soon lost its pecuUar 
value ; on the one hand, firearms had 
been invented ; on the other, the ideas 
and objects of men changed with the 
growing prosperity of trades and indus- 
tries. The laws, the military system, and 
the government required reform ; they 
were to suit the conditions of a new era. 

Casimir was competent for his task ; 
with unerring eye he recognised that 
chivalry was nearing its end ; and he did 
not fritter his time away in tournaments 
as King John did, but turned his attention 
with all the greater zeal to important 
economic, pohtical, and social questions. 
Thus, in 1335, making full use of the 
favourable situation, he concluded with 
John of Bohemia the treaty of Visegrad. 
John abandoned his claims on Poland, in 


he recovered only Kujavia and Dobrzyn. 
Half voluntarily Poland thus barred her 
own access to the Baltic Sea. But in 
return there was the glimpse of hope in 
the future of pressing onwards to the East, 
The King's '^^ reaching perhaps the Black 
^.^^ ' Sea, and, finally, through the 
Guidance increase of power there ac- 
quired, of wreaking vengeance 
on her old foes, and winning back the 
provinces lost to Bohemia and the Teutonic 

Perhaps this goal hovered before 
Casimir's eyes when he concluded, in 1339, 
the settlement of 
the succession with 
Hungary ; there were 
then clear signs of 
ferment in the region 
of Halicz. At first, 
however, Casimir was 
unfortunate; the war 
with Lithuania and 
the Tartars was by 
no means easy. It 
was only towards 
1366 that be perma- 
nently secured Lem- 
berg, Halicz, and a 
part of Volhynia for 
Poland. Meanwhile 
he had also re- 
conquered a part of 
Silesia ; the Prince of 
Masovia also took the 
oath of fealty to him. 
He still, however, 
bore the title " Heir 
to Pomerania " ; a 
proof that he con- 
CASiMiR THE GREAT OF POLAND tinucd to think about 

poisoned in Halicz Casimir in. came to the Polish throne at a time when that COUUtry. 

h\r flip RnvarQ nothing but the iron hand of a strong ruler could have t>„+ ;+ «rac rinf 

oy Xlie O O y a I b, g^^^^j ^^^ country from disintegrration, and proved himself ^^^ ^"- ^^^ ""^ 

Casimir was bound the wished-for man of power. He carried forward many in his COUqUCStS and 

4. • .„„r !( 1 „ reforms, and greatly advanced his country's prosDeritv. i.- j 4. 

to interfere if he . & ^ y ym^ycuLy. j^^^ advancement 

did not wish that the Lithuanians of his realm that the true greatness 

return for which Casimir paid him 120,000 
Bohemian groschen, and recognised the 
Bohemian suzerainty over Silesia and 

Casimir's relations with the Teutonic 
Order did not turn out so favourably 
for Poland. The kings of Bohemia and 
Hungary decided in favour of the knights ; 
the Roman Curia played a double game. 
Thus Pomerania, which was lost, could be 
won back only by the sword. Casimir 
must have been resolved on this, since he 
concluded a treaty with Charles Robert 
of Hungary, in 1339, at Visegrad. Having 
no male issue, he 
promised the succes- 
sion in Poland to 
Lewis, the son of the 
latter and his own 
nephew, on 
Lewis would 
back the lost 
vinces, especially 
Pomerania, would fill 
the offices and high 
posts only with Poles, 
would impose no new 
-taxes, and would 
respect the ancient 
privileges. The pur- 
port of this here- 
ditary alUance was 
certainly hostile to 
the Order. But 
Casimir's attention 
was turned in 
another direction. 

When the child- 
less Prince Boleslav 
Troidenovicz was 



or the Tartars should seize the 

country and thus become his immediate 

neighbours. When Casimir took Halicz 

and Lemberg, in 1340, the Lithuanians 

_ ^ . occupied Volhynia; an event 
Teutonic r . ,5 - . • . r ' 

Q . .of the greatest importance for 

the K'n ^^^ Eastern Europe. Even the 

question of the Teutonic Order 

at once became less weighty and urgent 

for Poland. In 1343 Casimir concluded 

a treaty with the knights at Kalisch, by 

which he ceded to them Pomerania and 

the region of Michelau and Chelm, while 

of Casimir lay, but in his administra- 
tion and organisation. He would not 
have been able to achieve any political 
successes had he not been intent on internal 
reform. In the first place, he gave 
Poland, which had hitherto been only a 
personal union of distinct countries, a 
centralised organisation. He unified the 
administration by creating new imperial 
offices in addition to the local offices which 
had existed since the times of the petty 
principalities. He then proceeded to im- 
prove the judicial system. He first of all 




Fosters National 

ordered the customary law, which was 
preserved only in oral tradition and 
naturally was different in the different 
districts, to be written down, and then had 
a universal code prepared for all Polish 
countries. He allowed the flourishing 
towns which lived according to the code of 
Kulm or Magdeburg to retain their laws, 
but forbade any appeal to 
the mother towns outside 
the kingdom. He sub- 
stituted a superior court of 
German law in every district, which decided 
cases acccording to the principles of the 
Magdeburg Code and the Sachsenspiegel ; 
the magistrates of all the German villages 
were subordinated to this court. As the 
tribunal of highest instance for all local 
courts he estabhshed the Supreme Court 
of Justice at Cracow in 1356, at the head 
of which stood the governor of Cracow 
and a royal procurator-general, with 
seven quaUfied lawyers as assessors. 
The towns were in this way severed from 
Germany, and since they gradually lost 
any tendency to become Germanised, 
the national feeUngs of Poland were 
cautiously fostered and developed. 

It seemed as if Casimir from the same 
motives had specially favoured the nobility, 
in order to prevent the German town ele- 
ment from acquiring political importance. 
The arrogance of the slachta certainly in- 
creased from the fact of his taking the 
advice of assembhes of nobles ; indeed, 
there was actually formed among the 
nobiUty a league whose head suffered the 
death penalty by order of the king on 
account of outrages which had been com- 
mitted. The king, however, continued to 
regard the nobles as the advisers of the 
crown. This tendency was visible in the 
actions of his successors ; the national 
opposition between Poles and Germans 
was then very strong. 

The reorganisation of the military 
system was not less important. Hitherto 
p J, only the wealthy nobles had 

wi ^-i-i furnished troops, since the 

New Military , , . ' ' , 

g cost of equipment was heavy 

and the landowning clergy 
were exempt from the duty. Casimir now 
decided that for the future, in order to 
raise the sunken state of the army, the 
duty of service should be imposed upon all 
possessors of land. Thus the citizen be- 
came equally available for the army ; the 
clergy had to send substitutes. Regula- 
tions as to levying troops were also drawn 

up. In addition to this he ordered that 
stone fortresses should be constructed 
everywhere in place of wooden ; he 
transformed churches into castles — hence 
the Polish kosciol, Bohemian kostel, in the 
sense of church — and built good roads. 
The later successes of Poland were con- 
siderably influenced by these military 

He took steps no less effective to advance 
the trade of the country, since he con- 
ferred special privileges on the towns, 
guaranteed security of person and prop- 
erty to foreign merchants, and gave them 
rights, built roads and bridges, founded 
markets, multiplied the number of fairs, 
opened up trade-routes into the interior, 
extirpated brigandage, and, what was 
the most important point, introduced a 
uniform coinage. The prosperity of the 
kingdom suddenly revived, and the repu- 
tation of the king grew so greatly that he 
was chosen to arbitrate between the 
Emperor Charles IV. and King Lewis of 
Hungary. The former of these sovereigns 
married at Cracow, as his fourth wife, 
Casimir's grand- daughter Elizabeth, and 
p a daughter of Boguslav V. 

° f "^ J of Pomerania. On this 
Rich and /^ ■ • u- 

«. ... . occasion Casimir gave his 

guests, the kings of Hun- 
gary, Bohemia, Cyprus, and Denmark, a 
brilliant reception. The event is de- 
scribed in the "Chronica Cracoviae" of 
John of Czarnkov, Archdeacon of Gnesen. 

Casimir put the coping-stone on his 
labours when he founded, in 1364, a univer- 
sity at Cracow. Now, for the first time, 
Poland entered the ranks of civihsed states, 
and could now perform her duty in the 
east of Europe. He considered in this 
scheme the interests of all classes, nations, 
and creeds. He protected the peasants 
from the nobles, and was therefore called 
the Peasants' King. He granted rights 
to Armenians, Jews, and others. Himself 
a Roman Cathohc, he nevertheless in- 
structed the Byzantine patriarch to found 
bishoprics in his Russian dominions. 

When Casimir died in 1370 the formerly 
exhausted and despised Poland was a 
rich and respected civilised state. The 
old dynasty of the Piasts became extinct 
with him. And with him also closes the 
first great era of Polish history. In 
conformity with the arrangement which 
had been made respecting the succession. 
King Lewis of Hungary took over the 
government. Piasts still ruled, it is 



true, in the petty principality of Masovia, 
but Casimir had been forced to exclude 
from the succession these ultra-con- 
servative and insignificant relations, in 
the interests of the realm, which could 
attain greater importance only in alli- 
ance with a second power. The reign 
of the Angevin Lewis brought no pros- 
perity to the country of Poland, which 
was regarded merely as an appanage 
of Hungary. 

After his coronation in Cracow Lewis 
returned home with the Polish royal 
insignia, and sent his mother EUzabeth, 
the sister of Casimir, to Poland to act as 
his regent. He thought only of securing 
the crown of Poland for one of his daugh- 
ters, since he had no male heirs, who 
alone were regarded in the succession 
treaty by Casimir. The agreement with 
the Polish nobles was signed at Kaschau 
in 1374. The king, in return, pledged 
himself to reconquer the lost Pohsh 
provincies, to remit the dues of the nobility 
except the sum of two groschen from each 
plough, to confer all offices only on Poles 
of the district concerned, and to give 
special pay to the military for service 

rendered outside the borders of the 
country. He was not concerned by the 
thought that the mihtary and fiscal 
strength of Poland was thus much reduced 
and that the nobility were expressly recog- 
nised as the dominant influence ; indeed, 
he actually united Red Russia with the 
Hungarian throne, and sent his own 
governor thither. He it was, also, who 
largely promoted the Roman Catholic 
propaganda in the Russian territory, and 
thus generated a movement which not 
only cost Hungary Red Russia, but later 
proved most disastrous to Poland also. 

The arrogance of the nobihty increased 
during his reign, and with it disorders in 
the country, so much that there was no 
longer any justice. The property of the 
poor was continually plundered by the 
Captains and Burggraves. And when, after 
large payments to the Chancery, a 
petitioner came back from Hungary with 
a royal letter, the noble brigands took 
no notice of it at all. Merchants and 
travellers were continually robbed and 
plundered on the high-roads without the 
slightest interference on the part of the 








/^N the southern shores of the Baltic, 

^^ where Nature has not marked any 

sharply defined limits landwards, the Slavs, 

Finns, and Lithuanians influenced each 

other reciprocally. In the first place, the 

Slavs, who were the earliest to found states 

in those parts, ruled the others. Thus, 

Poland, following the course of the Vistula, 

turned against the Prussian Lithuanians 

in order to set foot on the Baltic. We 

find the Finnish Livonians at an early 

period of history the vassals of the Russian 

princes of Polock, who ruled the whole 

course of the Dwina as far as the sea. 

The Esthonians finally became dependent 

on the Novgorodian Slavs on the Lake 

of Ilmen, who founded there Jurjev, 

or Dorpat, and other towns. 

But when Russia became weakened by 

civil wars, and the princes of Polock could 

not, therefore, assert their authority over 

the tribes on the Dwina, other nations tried 

_ . to gain a firm footing there. 

Danes and ^ni " . 

_ The country was more acces- 

. , . . sible from the sea than from 
the interior of the continent of 
Eastern Europe, and could not escape the 
influence of those nations who navigated 
the Baltic Sea. " The Danes were the first 
to try to settle in Livonia. The Swedes 
also, who navigated the whole Baltic 
coast and estabhshed a large emporium 
at Wlsby on the island of Gotland, came 
into contact with the Finnish tribes in 
Livonia and Esthonia. But even they 
failed to achieve permanent successes. 

The situation changed only when the 
German trading towns of the North came 
into prominence. Liibeck also possessed 
an emporium and trading factories at. 
Wisby, but then tried to come into direct 
communication with the Finnish tribes 
without Swedish intervention. The Ger- 
man ship that had sailed to seek out 
these tribes was driven by a storm into 
the Gulf of Riga. The natives flocked 
together, as the older Livonian Rhymed 
Chronicle tells us, and attacked the 

Germans. But when they were beaten 
off, they proffered peace and began 
to trade by barter. The founding of 
the castle Uxkiill, usually assigned to the 
year 1143, really dates from four decades 
later. This first contact of Germans with 
_ Livonians, Lithuanians, and 

tf. ^^ f*"^ Slavs was due purely to a 

of the Great • , ,- t:> xm-jj 

n- 1. rk« commercial pohcy. But it did 

Bishop Otto , .. ^ "Vu r 

not continue so. 1 he races 01 
Western Europe were then permeated 
by a deep religious feeling. The paganism 
of the Finnish and Lithuanian tribes 
attracted attention. The awakening mis- 
sionary zeal found supporters in Germany 
the more readily since it promised to be 
remunerative both in its political and 
economic aspects. 

The first missionary of the Prussians 
was St. Adalbert, who enjoyed the pro- 
tection of Poland. Twelve years after 
him, St. Bruno of Querfurt also found a 
martyr's death there. Boleslav IIL 
Krzyvousty carried on the work of con- 
version in Pomerania- and Prussia on a 
larger scale. The man in whom he con- 
fided, Bishop Otto of Bamberg, in contrast 
to other missionaries who went barefooted 
and shabbily dressed, appeared among the 
Pomeranians as a mighty prince, with a 
briUiant suite, and supported by the 
Polish army. He gave beautiful clothes 
and other presents to the newly baptised, 
and met with great success. 

Henry Zdik, Bishop of Olmiitz, then 
resolved to preach the Gospel to the 
Prussians in the footsteps of St. Adalbert, 
and appUed to the Curia in 1140. But it 
was not until 1144, when pre- 
Converting pg^j-ations were being made for 
the Second Crusade, that Pope 
Lucius IL negotiated with 
Henry about a Prussian mission. It was 
then determined that Bohemia, Poland, 
and other northern kingdoms should 
not be obhged to join expeditions to the 
Holy Land, but should undertake the 
conversion of the Prussians instead. The 

321 1 



Moravian princes, therefore, undertook, 
with Bishop Henry, a crusade against the 
Prussians in 1147. They were joined by 
German and Polish princes. This event 
may have ripened the plans at the Bo- 
hemian court for expanding in a northerly 
direction at the cost of Poland, and 
obtaining a footing on the Baltic by 
p , , building castles, etc. The 

„ - , Prussians obstinatelv de- 

Freference for r j j .i - u j j 

Its Old Gods !?"^^^,.?T "^^nf"^' ^"^ 
their hberty. They im- 
proved their methods of warfare, and even 
ventured on invading Kuj avia and Masovia. 

During the course of these events the 
Danes turned their attention to the Wends, 
and the Swedes to Finland, Livonia and 
Esthonia. Abbot Peter of Rheims marked 
out for the Finnish mission his pupil 
Fulko, who was consecrated bishop by 
the Archbishop of Lund. Pope Alexander 
in. gave his sanction to the plan in 1169, 
and conferred indulgences on all Scan- 
dinavians who would join the war against 
the Esthonians. Fulko was not, how- 
ever, adequately supported by either 
side. The Christian propaganda of 
the Scandinavians generally met with 
no success. 

Abbot Arnold of Liibeck, who is 
generally supposed to have continued 
the Slavonic Chronicle of Helmod, relates 
that Meinhard, a priest, came with the 
Germans to Livonia, and was the first to 
try to preach the Gospel to the Livonians. 
When he found that the harvest was good, 
he applied to the Archbishop of Bremen, 
in 1 186, to inaugurate a mission on a grand 
scale ; he also asked the Prince of Polock 
to allow the mission. As a reward for his 
successful energy in building a church and 
a castle at Uxkiill, founding of convents, 
etc., the Archbishop of Bremen con- 
secrated him Bishop of Uxkiill. But when 
tithes were exacted from the Livonians, 
and they noticed their dependence on 
Bremen, they attacked Uxkiill and dived 
_ . . into the Dwina to wash off their 

aJ "a*" baptism. Meinhard, who could 

^. . .. .. not leave the castle, sent his 

Christianity T\.t.u * 

Vicar, Dietrich, as an envoy to 

Rome, and died in 1196. His successor, 

Berthold, reached Livonia with an army 

of Crusaders, but was defeated by the 

Livonians in 1198. 

All the baptised Livonians abandoned 

Christianity ; they threw into the sea a 

wooden image which they thought to be 

the German god of destruction. 


The Archbishop of Bremen now sent 
Albert of Bukshovden, in 1198, as bishop 
to Uxkiill. King Canute of Denmark, 
Pope Innocent III., and several princes 
supported him. A crusading force of 
twenty-three ships now came to Livonia. 
The Livonians assumed the defensive, but 
Albert had recourse to stratagem. After 
concluding an armistice, he invited the 
oM"st Livonians to a banquet, and did not 
let them go free until they gave their 
children as hostages, and promised 
acceptance of Christianity. The opposition 
of the Livonians was broken down, the 
children were sent to Bremen to be 
educated, and the Gospel was preached 
everywhere. In 1201, for greater security, 
he removed the bishopric from Uxkiill to 
the town of Riga, which had been newly 
fortified by him, and lay nearer to the sea. 

He then, in order to create a fighting 
force for himself, divided the land as liefs 
among such Crusaders as were willing to 
settle there. When the news of the 
founding of Riga was spread, Esthonians, 
Livonians, Courlanders, and Lithuanians 
came to conclude peace. In order to 
secure absolutely the work of conversion, 
Albert founded, in 1202, a new 
knightly order for Livonia on 
the model of the Templars. 
These jratres militicB Christi 
wore white cloaks with a red cross and 
sword on the left breast, and were there- 
fore called fratres ensiferi, or gladiferi, 
sword- wielders, the order of the sword. 
They were subject to the temporal and 
spiritual jurisdiction of the bishops of 
Riga. The master had his seat in the 
newly built Wenden. 

In the year 1207, Albert surrendered 
Livonia to the Emperor Phihp of 
Suabia as a fief. The real conquest 
now began. The Livonians first, and 
then the Letts were subjugated. The 
Russian principality of Polock, to which 
the country on the Dwina paid tribute 
(the two principalities of Kukenojs and 
Gersike belonged to it), attempted, it is 
true, to enforce its rights by help of the 
Esthonians, but it was too weak. Even 
Kukenojs and Gersike were conquered by 
the Germans, and the name of the latter 
soon disappears from history, although 
Albert agreed to the payment of a tribute 
for Livonia to Polock. 

It was now the turn of Esthonia. The 
district of Sakkala, with FeUin, was 
first conquered; then Ungaunia. Here, 







The Danes 
of Reval 

however, Novgorod, to which the Estho- 
nians paid tribute, and which had built 
Jurjev in those parts in 1030, came into 
the question. The princes also of Pskow, 
with the help of Novgorod, inflicted 
defeats on the Germans. Albert therefore 
turned, in 1218, to King Waldemar II. 
of Denmark. The Esthonians were 
beaten in 1219. The Danes 
founded then the town and 
castle of Reval, and placed a 
bishop there, who was sub- 
ordinate to the Archbishopric of Lund. 
The Danes and the Germans now vied with 
each other in the conversion of the country. 
The Livonian Order protested against the 
Danish conquest. Albert lodged charges 
against Waldemar in Rome and before 
the German Emperor, all in vain. Walde- 
mar offered Esthonia as a fief to the Pope ; 
the Emperor Frederic II. was involved in 
the preparations for a crusade. Albert 
was compelled, therefore, to recognise the 
supremacy of Denmark over Esthonia. 
But since Waldemar, his attention being 
engrossed elsewhere, abandoned the con- 
quered countries to their fate, the Germans 
were able to recover their strength. In 
the year 1224 they took Jurjev, although 
it had been obstinately defended by the 
Prince Wjatko. Albert then conquered 
the islands of Mon and Oesel. The Order 
attacked Reval and other Danish 
possessions. Even the Courlanders and 
Semgallians on the left bank of the Dwina 
were subjugated in the hfetime of Albert. 
The Order received, after the year 1207, 
a third of the conquered countries for its 
maintenance. When Albert died, in X229, 
the sovereignty of the bishopric and the 
Order extended over the whole of Cour- 
land, Livonia, and Esthonia. 

The successes of the Livonian Order 
drew the attention of all the northern 
states to it. The PoUsh prince, Conrad of 
Masovia and Kujavia, whose dominions 
had been cruelly raided by the pagan 
p Prussians and were being 

to'^"c Pasan ^'^^'"''^'^ ^Y ^^^ Lithuanians, 
Prussians formed a scheme of founding 
a similar knighthood. At 
that time Christian, a monk of the Cistercian 
monastery in Ohva, late Suffragan Bishop 
ot Mainz, was preaching the Gospel to the 
Prussians. Pope Honorius III., to whom 
he appealed for assistance, raised him to the 
Bishopric of Lithuania and recommended 
him to the Archbishop of Gnesen. On his 
return to Prussia he could not, however, 


maintain his position. Even Conrad was 
compelled to leave his principality. In his 
straits he founded an " Order of Christ," 
and cissigned to it the territory of Dobrzyn ; 
hence also the name " Dobrinian Order." 
But this Order also failed to hold its own. 

Conrad now turned to the Teutonic 
Order, which just at this time, 1225, was 
expelled from Transylvania by King 
Andreas of Hungary. The Grand Master 
Hermann of Salza accepted his offer, and 
received as territory the district of Kulm 
and the regions still to be conquered. The 
Order took all this in 1226 as a fief from 
the Emperor Frederic, and thus continued 
to make itself independent of the 
Masovian prince. 

In the year 1228 Hermann Balk, the 
first territorial master, appeared in Prussia 
with a strong force of knights under the 
banner of the Blessed Virgin. The 
heathen, who were still disunited and 
carried on the war in bands, were driven 
back step by step. Good roads were laid 
down everywhere, and castles built. Thus, 
first of all, Thorn arose, then Kulm, 
Marienwerder and Elbing. The Prussian 
children were taken away and sent to 

Th T t • ^^^"^^^y to be educated. 
Q * , " The pagans offered, indeed, 

^ . an obstinate resistance. But 

Oreat rower ,, „ 1 • i , 

the German knights were 

supported by the whole of Europe, while 
the Prussians found only here and there 
some slight help from their fellow tribes- 
men in Lithuania. 

While the Teutonic Order thus grew 
stronger, the news suddenly came from 
Livonia that the Order in that country, 
being inadequately supported by the West 
and threatened by an overwhelming force 
of Livonians, Danes and Russians, was 
on the verge of being dissolved. In order 
to save the new offshoot, it was proposed 
to combine the two foundations. The 
Knights of the Sword were incorporated 
in the Teutonic Order in 1237, adopted 
its badges and dress, and henceforward 
formed a province of the Teutonic Order, 
without, however, disowning their duties 
toward the Bishop of Riga and the Prince 
of Polock. The amalgamation was ad- 
vantageous for beth parties. A powerful 
German state was now formed on the 
southern coast of the Baltic, to which the 
Lithuanians, Finns and Slavs were sub- 
ordinated. Its superiority in culture, war- 
fare, and government soon made the Order 
a menace to the Russians and the Poles. 


Knights flocked to the territory of the 
Order from all parts of Europe. Luxury 
and magnificence, with a constant round 
of brilliant tournaments and banquets, 
were the order of the day at Marienburg, 
the seat of the Grand Master, and in 
the other castles. Possibly no royal 
court in Europe, not excepting that of the 
emperor himself, offered such pleasures and 
distractions to the knights as the court 
of Marienburg. This was the training 
college for the young knights, who natur- 
ally went there in preference to Palestine. 
Every year foreign knights assembled in 
the domains of the Order to take part 
in the campaigns. "Journeys" were made 
to Lithuania, when the lakes and morasses 
were frozen. The country was completely 
ravaged, the inhabitants were carried 
off, and the villages burnt. The Lithu- 
anians then did the same, only in larger 

up in consequence of the dissensions of the 
princely family and with the popular 
assembUes, the contending parties often 
called in the help of their neighbours, 
and in this way Lithuania was drawn 
into Russian affairs. By the first half of the 
thirteenth century Lithuanian principaU- 
ties had arisen on Russian soil. Towards 
•' Black Russia " ^^^ middle of the thir- 
the Prize teenth century Mendog, or 

of Battle Mindove, came into prom- 

inence as ruler of Lithuania. 
He appears to have been the first who, as 
" Grand Duke " treated the other petty 
princes as vassals. But his position was 
difficult. Not only did the lords of Hahcz 
and Vladimir fight against him for the 
possession of Black Russia, but his kins- 
men pressed on him still more heavily. 
Even the people, dissatisfied with his im- 
perious policy, turned against him ; the 

The history of Reval dates back to the thirteenth century, when it was founded as a Danish town. It was sold, in 1346, 
to the Teutonic knights by Denmark; it became Swedish in 1561, and in 1710 it was captured by Peter the Great. 

numbers, since the domains of the Order 
were thickly populated and studded with 
castles. The Teutonic knights succeeded 
after a time in winning a party for them- 
selves among the Lithuanians ; the 
wealthier and shrewder pagans were 
forced ultimately to acknowledge that 
Christianity was better, the culture of the 
-^ p , Order higher, and their way of 
T "b .'Y*^* ^^^^ more pleasant. At the 
Christianity moment when the danger from 
the Teutonic Order was the 
greatest, Lithuania unexpectedly found a 
new source of strength in the surrounding 
Russian territory. The adjoining district 
of Polock had severed itself earlier than 
the other Russian principalities from the 
control of Kiev. Since there also, as 
formerly in the Russia of the twelfth 
centtury, several petty principalities sprang 

more so as the prince, although still a 
pagan, was not disinchned towards the 
Christian religion, which was introduced 
there from Russia. 

The result was the formation of two 
parties in Lithuania. The one repre- 
sented the national element, and 
defended the national language, cus- 
toms, and rehgion ; the Christian, which 
was already the stronger party, incUned 
toward Russia. At the head of the 
latter party stood Mendog's son Voj- 
schelk, an enterprising character, who 
was devoted to the Greek Church with the 
full zeal of his fiery soul. He entered a 
convent, and his dearest wish was to end 
his days on Mount Athos, as many 
sovereigns of Oriental Christendom had 
done. But what Mendog wished was 
some relaxation in the struggle against the 



Livonian and Teutonic Orders ; instead 
of which both parties launched him into 
a still more obstinate war with the Orders, 
and, in addition, with Russia. Red 
Russia now entered on the scene against 
Lithuania \vith all its forces ; a better 
understanding between it and the Teutonic 
knights had been effected. Both sides 
fought for the possession of Black Russia. 
If the princes of HaUcz had succeeded in 
uniting Black Russia with their possessions, 
a new power, 
with the Little 
Russians for its 
chief supporters, 
would have been 
formed, owing 
to the internal 
dissensions of 
Lithuania and 
the disintegra- 
tion with which 
Russia was 
threatened from 
the south-east 
through the Tar- 
tar ascendancy. 

But the wily 
Lithuanian un- 
derstood how to 
cri pple all his 
foes. He first 
professed h i s 
willingness t o 
accept Christian- 
ity. Innocently, 
sent him the 
royal crown, and 
Mendog received 
it and the rite of 
baptism at Nov- 
gorod, in 1250. 
In this way a 
friendly under- 
standing was pro- 
moted between 
him and the 
Livonian Order, 
the whole region 


By ceding to the latter 
of Smud, he revenged 
himself also on that national party which 
refused to recognise his overlordship. 

Mendog also concluded a treaty with 
the Prince of Red Russia in 1255, 
and ceded Black Russia to him as a 
fief. His son Vojschelk married a 
daughter of the prince of the former. 
The people soon rose in Smud against the 
Livonian Order, and were willing now to 
accept Mendog's rule. Mendog vigorously 


supported this movement ; tne Order 
suffered a decisive defeat, and was com- 
pelled once more to cede all the Lithuanian 
provinces. In this way the power of the 
Grand Dukein Lithuania was strengthened. 
For although Mendog was murdered in 
1263, others aimed at the position of 
Grand Duke. Lithuania had now, 
therefore, to face the same struggle 
for the constitution as Russia, Poland, 
and other Slavonic countries. 

The family of 
Men dog had 
made a power out 
of Lithuania ; but 
it was the lot of 
another Lithu- 
anian family to 
raise Lithuania 
into a great power 
— the family, that 
is, whose repre- 
sentative, Gedy- 
min, was Grand 
Duke in 1316. 
The state of 
Lithuania had 
already acquired 
a quite different 
aspect. Its 
swamps and lakes 
were not its only 
fortifications, but 
the country was 
covered with 
castles and walled 
towns. An im- 
proved method 
of warfare had 
been learnt from 
the Germans. 
Russian culture 
permeated public 
and private life ; 
the Russian lan- 
guage was the 
language of the 
Church, the court, and the nobility ; 
the princely chancery used no language 
except Russian ; the Lithuanian army 
consisted to a large extent of 
Russian troops, and was often led by 

As a sort of Russian 
was able to expand 
Russian territory. Gedymin had several 
Russian principalities. His rule was 
actually greeted with joy in the re^ons 
occupied by the Tartars. 

state, Lithuania 
more easily on 



The Lithuanians defeated even the 

dreaded Mongols, who were reckoned 

invincible. Kiev itself oscillated now 

between the Lithuanian and the Tartar 

ruler. Russian districts composed with 

it the predominant part of the Lithuanian 

state, which, under Gedymin, was the first 

power of Eastern Europe. Although still 

^. _ ., a pagan, Gedymin married 

The Founding -r, • ■ ji 

, , .,. . , Russian princesses, and 

C "t 1 C't a-ilowed them to live accord- 
ing to the Christian faith and 
educate their children in it. He married 
his son Olgerd to a princess of Witebsk, his 
second son to a princess of Volhynia ; one 
daughter to Prince Symeon of Moscow, and 
another to the Prince of Tver. Aldona 
wedded Casimir of Poland ; the fourth 
daughter, Boleslav Trojdenovicz of Maso- 
via. He sent colonists into the wide deserts, 
and built towns and villages, to which he 
gave privileges of the German type. 

He founded Wilna, the future capital 
of Lithuania, transferred the pagan 
sanctuary thither in 1322, and had 
the sacred fire kindled there before 
the altar of Perkunas. At the same 
time he entered into negotiations with the 
Pope, obviously only to hold the Teutonic 
Order in check. In 1336 the Grand 
Master Dietrich of Altenburg (1335-1341) 
once more organised a great " journey " 
to Lithuania. The knights marched on 
Smud ; and Pillene, where some four 
thousand Lithuanians, with their wives 
and children, were shut in, was besieged. 
Fire decided the fate of the wooden fortress 
and its valiant defenders. 

Gedymin met his death in 1340 or 1341, 
at the fortress of Welona when it was 
besieged by the Germans, having been 
struck by a cannon-ball ; use was therefore 
made of the invention of gunpowder earlier 
than at Crecy in 1346. Following the 
precedent of Russia, Gedymin had legal- 
ised the dignity of Grand Duke, and at- 
tached it to the possession of Wilna. 

B B • . Javnut was marked out 
Pagan Burial ^^ ^^ ^^^^^ j^^j^^ ^.^ 

^t • *• ¥ J other six sons — Monvid, 

Christian Leader ^^ ^ -rr ■ 1 ^-\^ ■, 

Narymunt, Koriat,01gerd, 

Kejstut and Lubart — divided the rest of 

the kingdom between them. Olgerd and 

Kejstut stood out conspicuously among 

them. The former obtained Lithuania 

proper, with Krevo and the territory of 

Witebsk ; Kejstut, on the other hand, 

obtained Smud, with Troki as capital, 

Grodno, and Berestie in Black Russia. 


Olgerd was a strong and handsome man, 
of fine intellect and political insight, and, 
what was rare in his days, sober and ab- 
stemious. He understood several languages, 
and was not addicted to play. A crafty 
leader, he did not even inform his troops 
on the march to what goal he was leading 
them. Olgerd was the representative of 
the Christian party among the Russians. 
His wives and children were Christians. 
According to Russian authorities he was a 
Christian himself, although the foreign 
chroniclers assert that his corpse was 
burnt on a funeral pyre ; perhaps the 
pagan priests wished this to be so. 

Kejstut, an honest nature, a typical 
knight in every sense, and an impetuous 
spirit, was deified by the people as the 
representative of the national paganism. 
He unselfishly helped his brother to obtain 
the grand- ducal power, and was his most 
loyal subject, friend and guardian. Him- 
self a pagan by honest conviction, he 
was the last Lithuanian prince who was 
buried according to heathen customs. 
Both added to the greatness and fame of 
Lithuania. While Olgerd as Grand Duke 
united Russian principalities with Lithu- 
. ^ ania, conquered Kiev itself, 

„ "* and so advanced the frontiers 
K • hth a ^^ ^^^ south as the Tartar tribes 
"** ° of the Black Sea and east- 
ward beyond the Dnieper, Kejstut took 
over the protection of the western frontier 
and the war with the combined knightly 

The chroniclers record many noble 
features in the life of this great hero. 
Kejstut rescued by his intercession the 
commandant of a castle of the Order who 
was sentenced by the Lithuanians to be 
burnt ; he also forcibly expressed his 
displeasure when corpses were wantonly 
mutilated on the battlefield. H he 
planned an attack into the knights' 
country he used to announce his intention 
to their commanders, and he naturally 
expected similar chivalrous treatment 
from the Order. When Covno was sud- 
denly attacked by the knights in 1362, he 
lodged a protest against such conduct 
before the far-famed Grand Master Win- 
rich von Kniprode (1351-1382). On one 
occasion, being made prisoner and brought 
to Marienburg, he was recognised and 
secretly liberated by Alf, the servant 
assigned to him, a Lithuanian by birth. 
Kejstut was almost beloved by the Order 
on account of his chivalrous spirit. Once, 


when, after the unsuccessful siege of a 
castle, he was compelled to cross a river 
and was nearly drowned, the marshal 
Henning Schindekopf drew him out of 
the water and refused to make him 

For forty years Kejstut unweariedly 
defended Lithuania, by the people of 
which he was extolled as their first national 
hero. The Order was not able to make 
any conquests there in his time. In spite 
of his support of paganism, Christianity 
itself continued to make greater and 
greater progress in Kejstut's dominions, 
although there were naturally many 
martyrs. Roman Catholicism alonC' 
could strike no root there. Both the 
Dominican and Franciscan monasteries, 
which had existed in Wilna under Gedymin, 
were suspended under Olgerd. When, 
then, they were revived by the Boyar 
Gastold, who went over to Catholicism 
to please his wife, a band of pagans 
attacked Gastold's house and killed seven 
monks ; the others were crucified and 
thrown into the river. 

Lithuania in its victorious career was 
bound sooner or later to come into 
.... . , contact with Moscow and the 

Lithuania St^. uiujj j 

_. Tartars ; both, mdeed, aimed 

- y. at the same goal — the union of 

»c ory j^^ggjg^ j^ their hands. If 

Olgerd beat the Tartars, his success could 
find only a joyful response in the hearts 
of the Russians. It was therefore easy 
for him to subjugate one Russian district 
after another. There was no funda- 
mental distinction between Russia and 
Lithuania under Olgerd's regime. Only 
in Moscow existed any dangerous rival 
to the Lithuanian princes. Olgerd was 
able to postpone the decisive blow. 
He died, however, in 1377. 

After Olgerd, Kejstut, as the senior of 
the family, ought to have mounted the 
grand ducal throne ; but in accordance 
with a wish of his brother, he renounced his 
claim in favour of his nephew Jagiello. 
The latter was of a different disposition 
from his father, Olgerd. He dragged on 
a dull existence without lofty aspirations. 
Contrary to precedent, Jagiello allied him-, 
self with the Tartars, nominally in order to 
confront Moscow with their help. He 
then, by an equally gross breach with the 
traditions of his house, made secret over- 
tures to the Teutonic Order. He was 
assisted in this by one of his crown 
councillors named Vojdyllo, whom Kejstut 

had offended on some occasion. Jagiello 
did not concern himself about the repeated 
attacks of the knights ; in fact, he 
concluded with the Order a secret treaty 
which was aimed at Kejstut. 

Kejstut, greatly annoyed, surprised 
Wilna, took his nephew prisoner, and dis- 
covered the original text of the treaty with 
National ^^^ Order. He then mounted 
„ , the grand ducal throne himself, 

Tragic End ^^^^ Witebsk and Krevo to 
Jagiello, and then set him 
completely at hberty, with no other con- 
dition than that he should hang the traitor 
Vojdyllo. Then a second relation, Dmitri 
Korybut, rose against Kejstut. Jagiello 
brought up his forces, nominally to the aid 
of Kejstut, but led them against Wilna 
and took it. The knights of the Order, 
who were allied with Jagiello, soon ad- 
vanced. Troki, Kejstut's residence, was 
taken and sacked. Kejstut quickly 
collected forces to save his castles. J agiello 
then implored Kejstut's son Witold, a 
friend of his, to intervene, since he did not 
wish to shed blood. Kejstut and Witold 
went, on the guarantee of a third person, 
into the camp of Jagiello, and were then 
thrown into chains. Cast into a gloomy 
dungeon at Krewo, Kejstut was found 
strangled there on the fifth day, in 1382. 
His body was burnt according to pagan 

Witold, who had made good his escape, 
went to Masovia and thence to the terri- 
tory of the Order. Baptised according to 
Catholic rites, he took the name of his 
sponsor, Wigand, commander of Ragnit, 
1383. The Order, to which Witold- 
Wigand promised to cede Saimaiten, 
north of the river Memel, in the event of 
his having no issue, welcomed the new ally. 
But in the latter the old, and therefore 
more intense, hatred for the Teutonic 
knights quickly overpowered his momen- 
tary thirst for vengeance. He had barely 
concluded the treaty with the Order when 
g he sought and obtained a recon- 
LUhTaria ciUation with Jagiello. The 
1 uania j^^Qg^ sahent feature of Witold's 
and Poland , , , 

character was a pronounced 

sympathy with Lithuania. If he could not 
reach the desired goal by the straight road, 
he did not, on occasion, hesitate at dubious 
methods. Here, however, the separate 
history of Lithuania closes. In 1386 
Jagiello was baptised, and wedded Hedwig 
of Poland. The union of the crowns 
merges Lithuania into Poland. 






I Ow>e 
, ^ .-Band 


at thebe|^mini;art)ieH'\cnniry 






'K ) r 't-^re^^ V'- ten 


jfoliUer ^ _^ 

oT /t V -hie t?\-o ^ ^ r^^ 


Epericji \jji N COJvfe/,v-j; 



6> \Pt>Uam^ 




r s 


) ' 



before the Peace i 

of (Riva (1660;anrt indrus6zo\-o (16G7 ) j 0<*sel 





WHEN King Lewis L of Hungary and 
Poland died at Tyrnau, on September 
nth, 1382, according to the tenor of the 
treaty of Kashau, concluded in 1374, one 
of his daughters was to obtain the Polish 
crown. He had three daughters — Catha- 
rine, Maria, and Hedwig. Catharine was 
originally intended for Poland, Maria was 
wedded to Sigismund, Margrave of 
Brandenburg, and Hedwig was betrothed 
to Duke William of Austria. When Catha- 
rine had predeceased her father, the PoUsh 
succession was proposed for Maria. But 
this was hardly acceptable for Poland. 
Since Poland had been greatly neglected by 
Lewis, it wished to acknowledge only that 
one of his daughters who would pledge 
herself to reside with her husband in the 
country. Sigismund, the prospective king 
of Hungary, could not possibly consent to 
such an arrangement. Casimir the Great had 
wished first to strengthen 
his country economically, 
in order to be able to show 
a bolder front against the 
Teutonic Order — the most dangerous of 
Poland's foes, since it was supported by 
all Western Europe ; with this object he 
had concluded a series of treaties with his 
neighbours. When he concluded the suc- 
cession treaty with his nephew Lewis of 
Hungary, the latter had to give a pledge 
that he would reconquer the lost provinces 
of Poland with his own forces. From 
whom ? Obviously only from the Order. 
But Lewis had procrastinated ; the Polish 
atmosphere did not please him. The 
Order thus increased, and with it the 
German element. As a result of this, the 
national feehng and the hatred of the 
Germans grew so strong, both in Poland 
and Lithuania, that any candidate would 
have been more acceptable to the Poles 
and Lithuanians than the Margrave of 
Brandenburg. The Polish statesmen were 
aware that if Sigismund obtained the 
crown of Poland this would involve the 

for the 
Polish Crown 


loss of its independence. When, even in 
the hfetime of his father-in-law, he had 
come to Poland at the head of a small 
army in order to receive homage, his 
entry into Cracow was barred ; only the 
towns, where the German element pre- 
dominated, received him cordially. Sigis- 
„. . , mund was compelled, there- 

-rlf""!!!!! * ^ore, to leave Poland without 
having achieved his purpose. 
And so the matter rested, since 
he could not obtain any firm footing at 
first even in Hungary. 

The PoHsh throne was thus once more 
regarded as vacant. Prince Ziemko of 
Masovia soon came forward, supported 
by a large party and the Archbishop Bod- 
zanta of Gnesen, who actually proclaimed 
him king when the envoys of the queen 
mother Elizabeth — who died in 1387 — 
appeared, with the declaration that Hed- 
wig, who was born in 1369, and who 
was destined for the Polish throne, 
would soon come to Cracow for corona- 
tion. But after vainly waiting a long 
time for Hedwig, the Poles began to 
lose patience. The matter was not so 
simple. In the first place, the queen 
widow WcLS herself in danger. Next, Hed- 
wig, although just thirteen years old, was 
betrothed to William of Austria, whom the 
Poles could never accept, and who would 
not consent to give up Hedwig. Only after 
a declaration that the claims of Hedwig 
on the Polish crown would be regarded as 
waived if she did not appear within two 

_. . months in Poland, did Elizabeth 

. "^ ° resolve to send her daughter 

^.* -,. to Poland. Hedwig, now a child 

the Throne r 1 1 £/. ,^ - 

of barely fifteen years, came to 

Cracow at the beginning of October, 1384, 
accompanied by the Archbishop of Gran 
and the Bishop of Csanad, and was crowned 
on October 15th. The first important step 
taken by the Polish statesmen had suc- 
ceeded. The question now remained to find 
a suitable husband for the young queen. 



National and religious considerations 
led the Poles to Lithuania. Poland as 
well as Lithuania fought against the 
Teutonic Order as their common and 
deadly enemy. Only by combined efforts 
could they hope to crush it. At the same 
time the thought of a union was not new. 
Vladislav Lokietok, when pressed hard 

by the Knights, had married 
• 'tK^^G* ^^^ ^^^ Casimir to Aldona, a 
*^ G* "^ daughter of Gedymin. The 

idea then still prevailed that 
even single-handed they were a match for 
the Germans. But Lithuania was now 
torn by party feuds. New and stronger 
German castles arose on its soil and gripped 
it with iron arms. Another circumstance 
also favoured the rapprochement. Lithu- 
ania had been zealously addicted to 
paganism, but the number of the Christians 
now increased continually. Kejstut, the 
last pagan on the throne, was now dead. 
Lithuania was thus, from political and 
religious reasons, ripe for a union with 
Poland, and it is easy for two nations to 
form a sincere alhance when a great danger 
threatens both. 

We do not know from which side the 
suggestion came. But since the prospect 
of missionary work on a large scale in 
Lithuania and the whole East was thus 
opened up to the Catholic Church of 
Poland, and since Kmita, the provincial 
of the Franciscan Order, was a trusted 
friend of Jagiello, we may suppose that 
apart from the nobility of Little Poland, 
who turned the scale and zealously advo- 
cated the union of the two states — the 
Franciscans chiefly prepared the ground 
in Lithuania. The view that paganism 
could nowhere be tolerated was then very 
strong in Europe ;-.the Order owed to it 
the friendship of Western Europe. But 
if this pretext, which furnished its chief 
source of strength in the struggle against 
Lithuania, were to be cut away, Lithuania 
must inevitably accept Christianity. Then 
_ ^ . only could the power of the 

r D I °°^^^ Roman Church, which was 
of Poland s , .,, .r J • • £ 

v r. still the decisive force in 
Young Queen t^ , , , , ~, 

Europe, be made useful. The 

fact that Jagiello with his whole people 
resolved to accept Christianity shows 
that, in spite of his low moral char- 
acter, he was a far-sighted statesman, 
with a clear notion of diplomacy. 

In the early days of the year 1385 a 
Lithuanian embassy to Cracow formally 
asked Hedwig's hand for their prince 


Jagiello. No decision could be made 
without consulting Hedwig's mother ; 
and messengers were, therefore, sent to 
EUzabeth. The dishke felt by the Mag- 
yars for Sigismund and William caused a 
decision in favour of Jagiello. It was 
certainly withdrawn again, and William 
himself appeared in Cracow, where 
romantic love passages took place between 
him and the young queen. But any 
opposition was wrecked on the firmness 
of the Polish grandees. 

On February 12th, 1386, Jagiello made 
his entry into Cracow after he had ac- 
cepted all the conditions proposed. He 
promised to throw himself into the 
bosom of the Catholic Church with all 
his still unbaptised brothers and relations, 
all the nobles, and all the inhabitants 
of his country, rich or poor, and to 
devote his treasures to the use of both 
kingdoms. Further, he promised to pay 
Duke William of Austria the forfeit of 
200,000 gulden, which was entailed by 
the repudiation of the marriage contract, 
to make good at his own cost all the en- 
croachments and curtailments to which 
the PoUsh Empire had been subjected, to 
. release all Polish prisoners of 

f » "*r both sexes, and to unite for 
y. 7^ ever his Lithuanian and Rus- 

arnag s ^.^^ dominions with the PoUsh 
crown. Everything now depended on 
Hedwig. It was plainly put to her that she 
would not only serve her own country, but 
would perform a meritorious action in the 
sight of God, if a whole region was won for 
Christianity through her instrumentality. 
Besides this, the news from Hungary must 
have forced Hedwig to come to a deter- 
mination, where the royal power was 
grievously imperilled, and her mother's 
life in danger. On February 15th, Jagiello 
was baptised, together with those of his 
brothers and kinsmen who were present. 
The office of sponsor, which had been 
declined by the Grand Master Conrad of 
Rotenstein (1382-1390), fell to Vladislav 
of Oppeln, whence Jagiello received in 
baptism the name of Vladislav II. 
Then followed the marriage and the 
coronation, on March 4th, 1386. After that, 
Wigand, the king's brother, married the 
daughter of Vladislav of Oppeln, Prince 
Janusz of Ratibor married Helene, niece 
of the king, and Prince Ziemko of Masovia 
the king's sister, Alexandra. Vladislav 
II., Jagiello of Lithuania, was not at first 
hereditary monarch of Poland, biit merely 


prince consort and regent of the empire. 
The name of his dynasty is perhaps more 
famiUar in the form Jagellon. 

There is no more important event in 
the history of the Polish people, with the 
exception of the conversion to Christianity, 
than the union of Lithuania with Poland, 
which was completed in the year 1386. 
It gave a quite different aspect to the 
Eastern question, and completely changed 
the course of 
history. Poland, 
itself too small 
to play any part 
in the midst of 
powerful neigh- 
bours, had first 
leaned upon 
Hungary. But 
that policy had 
not proved to 
her advantage ; 
Polish interests, 
especially as 
against the 
Order, had been 
neglected, where- 
as Poland and 
Lithuania had 
now hardly any- 
thing more to 
fearfrom theTeu- 
tonic Knights. 
Indeed, the 
Order, when deal- 
ing with a Chris- 
tianised Lithu- 
ania, lost its 
raison d'etre. 
Soon not merely 
the emperor, 
but the Pope, 

declared publicly 

that the Order Vladislav iii. the boy king of Hungary & Poland 

had now fulfilled Brief, but stirring:, was the reign of this youthful monarch. He was 
its task. Later '•^.rely fifteen years of age when, in 1440, a Hungarian embassy 
arriving in Poland, offered him the throne of his late father, Vladislav 
II. Fighting against the Turks, the young king fell at Varna in 1444. 

Popes forbade 
the expeditions 
among the heathen and any injury to 
Lithuania ; a century had hardly elapsed 
after the baptism of Jagiello when it was 
proposed that the Knights should be 
transplanted to PodoUa, and be employed 
in the war against the Turks and Tartars. 
Besides this, the position of Poland in 
the new treaty with Lithuania was far 
more favourable than had been the case 
in the treaty with Hungary. Poland, as a 
result of these changes, now stood higher 

in every respect than Lithuania Further, 
Jagiello, a thoroughly selfish character, 
had, in return for the crown of Poland, 
formally given up his country to the Poles. 
Poland was the recipient, Lithuania the 
donor, if we disregard the free constitu- 
tion, the new reUgion, and the culture 
which the Poles had to give to the 
Lithuanians. Henceforward the will of 
the Pohsh king was all important in 

Lithuania, or 
rather, since he 
himself was of 
little conse- 
quence, the will 
of the Polish 
nobles and the 
CathoUc priest- 
hood. Lithuania, 
three times as 
large as Poland, 
sank into an 
appanage of the 
PoHsh crown. 
Hitherto there 
had been in 
Eastern Europe 
three poUtical 
centres, Poland, 
Lithuania, and 
Russia, not to 
speak of the Tar- 
tars, but now the 
largest of them, 
Lithuania, sud- 
denly ceased to 
exist. Hencefor- 
ward only Poland 
and Russia con- 
fro n t e d each 
other, and the 
time was ap- 
proaching when 
the question 
would be decided 
which of the two 
was to dominate 
Eastern Europe. 
When the first frosts came in the winter 
of 1386-1387, Jagiello, accompanied by 
princes and grandees, and by numerous 
priests and Franciscan monks as spiritual 
leaders of the undertaking, marched to his 
home in order, according to his promise, 
to baptise his subjects. At the beginning 
of January, 1387, when the ice built firm 
bridges everywhere in that country of 
rivers, lakes, and marshes, the Polish 
mission appeared at Wilna. It was just 



after tlift long autumn festivities, a time 
when the supphes of the Lithuanians 
began to fail. The missionaries, however, 
brought a quantity of corn, new white 
linen robes, and other presents for those 
about to be baptised, and appeared in 
state just as Otto, the apostle of Pomerania, 
had formerly done. The will of the prince 
had still more weight in Lithu- 
ania. Besides this, Vladislav 

The Dawn 
of a 

„ p Jagiello, in order to win over 
the nobles, conferred on all 
Catholic Boyars, as from February 20th, 
1387, the " Polish right " — that is, all the 
liberties which the Polish nobility possessed. 

This was the first charter of Lithuania. 
Concurrently, the Catholic Church was 
organised by the creation and splendid 
endowment of a bishopric at Wilna, with 
seven parish churches at Miednicki, Mes- 
zagole, Wilkomierz, Krevo, Niemerczyn, 
Hajnovo, and Obolcza. The first bishop 
was the Franciscan Vasylo, a Pole, 
formerly confessor of Queen Elizabeth, 
and then Bishop of Sereth. The wooden 
image of the god Perkunas stood on the 
highest summit of the town of Wilna. 
The flames of the unapproachable Znicz 
still darted forth on the oak-planted square 
as the missionary procession came up the 
hill, singing holy songs. The sacred oaks 
were felled, the " eternal " fire was 
quenched. A thundering Te Deum an- 
nounced to the people the dawn of a new 
era. Not a hand was raised to protect the 
old gods. Men and women were then led 
to the river, and whole companies received 
a Christian name — one to each batch. 
Distinguished Boyars had the honour 
of separate baptisn. 

The same ceremony was performed in 
the surrounding country. The number of 
those who were then baptised is put at 
30,000. By the end of July, 1387, 
Jagiello was again in Cracow, and in- 
formed the Pope that Lithuania was 
converted. " Among all kings ol the wo Id 
thou, dear son, boldest the first 
' ""'* place in our heart," answered 

Ch°''r "t Urban VL, whose sternness 
rw lani y .^ ^^^g ^^^^gg^j ^^le great schism. 

But when he further said, " Rejoice, 
my son, that thou hast been found again 
like a hidden treasure and hast escaped 
destruction," these words, transferred to 
the political world, aptly represented the 
true state of affairs. Even in Germany 
there was a prophecy that all states would 
disappear except Poland and Lithuania. 


Various petty states of Eastern Europe 
now sought support from the newly 
created empire of Poland-Lithuania ; Hun- 
gary, for example, was just then crippled 
by internal disturbances. Soon after the 
coronation the petty princes of North 
Russia, mostly vassals of Lithuania, began 
to do homage to the now powerful Grand 
Duke. While Vladislav Jagiello still re- 
mained in Lithuania, Hedwig personally 
received the homage of Red Russia, which, 
since the times of Casimir the Great, 
belonged half to the Hungarian, half to 
the Polish crown, but had received from 
Lewis the Great a Magyar Starost-General. 
In Lemberg the brothers Peter and Roman 
who, as voivodes of Moldavia, were, 
properly speaking, Hungarian vassals, did 
homage to the Lithuanian ; the Metro- 
politan Cyprian of Kiev read out the 
formula of the oath according to the 
orthodox rites. In the year 1390, a second 
Hungarian vassal, Prince Mircea the Elder 
of Wallachia, did homage. In the course 
of the next years the voivodes of Bessarabia 
and Transylvania did the same, and their 
successors renewed this oath. In the north 
thefearof theGerman-Livonian 
V ^ • '■^ Order and of Moscow, in the 

™j"^l* south the fear of the Turks, 
Wide Power , ,, n •. 

drove those small pnnces to 

seek refuge under the great ruler. The 
sphere of the influence of Poland- 
Lithuania expanded now from sea to sea. 
Meanwhile, the Teutonic Order had 
acquired more and more territory by 
purchase and treaty. It roused up opposi- 
tion against Vladislav Jagiello at Rome 
and at every European court. The situa- 
tion became especially grave, since in 
every negotiation it constantly invoked 
the intervention of the empire, and 
required actual obedience from Lithuanian 
princes. Vladislav of Oppeln submitted 
to the Grand Master of Wallenrod himself 
(1391-1393) a scheme for the partition of 
Poland. Poland-Lithuania was, however, 
not free from blame. In dire straits 
treaties were made with the Knights, and 
some territory was actually ceded ; but 
there was bitter feeling against every 
arbitrator who assigned the land in 
question to the Germans. There was no 
rupture to be feared in the lifetime of 
Hedwig, whose father, Lewis, had been a 
patron of the Order. But after her death, 
in 1399, the decision could not long be 
postponed. Witold, Jagiello's cousin, was 
especially eager for war. 


In the year 1410, Germany had three 
kings or emperors, Wenzel, Jost, and 
Sigismund, and would therefore bring no 
help to the Order. Lithuania enlisted 
Bohemian mercenaries and secured the aid 
of the Tartars. Witold incited the 
Samaiten country to revolt, although he 
had previously given 150 hostages to the 
Order. There was nothing left for these 
poor wretches except to hang themselves 
on the doors of their prisons. The 
Russian vassals of Lithuania marched 
also to their assistance. Nevertheless, the 
operations were by no means easy. 

and Zbignew Olesnicki, later Bishop of 
Cracow and first statesman of Poland, 
took part in the battle. Contemporaries 
probably realised the far-reaching effects 
of this event more than the writers of 
the present day ; John Dlugosz, soon after 
1457, urged that the spoils should be 
kept for ever in the Church, and that 
the anniversary should be commemorated 
in perpetuity. 

The Order, it is true, tried its fortune 
repeatedly afterwards, but always with- 
out success. If Vladislav IL Jagiello 
had been a true soldier he could easily have 


The Teutonic Order, then the only power 
in Europe which could mobilise its forces 
in a fortnight, had splendid artillery, excel- 
lent cavalry, and a large body of merce- 
naries at its disposal. In culture it stood 
on a distinctly higher level than Poland. 

The Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen 
anticipated Poland with a declaration of 
war. The first engagement took place in 
the territory of the Order at Griinwald 
and Tannenberg, on July 15th, 1410 ; the 
army of the Order was annihilated. The 
Polish army for the first time sang the 
Te Deum in the Polish language. The 
chief credit of the victory belongs to Witold. 
Dlugosz, father of the celebrated historian, 

made himselt master of Marienburg, for 
treachery was rife. Many of the Knights 
collected their money and goods and fled 
to Germany. The writer who completed 
the " Chronicle of the Land of Prussia," 
which had been commenced by Johann 
von Posilge, an official of Riesenburg, 
deceased in 1405, laments the fact. In 
spite of the comparatively favourable 
treaty of Thorn on February ist, 141 1, 
the fall of the Teutonic Order was inevit- 
able. The Electoral College recommended 
the protection of the Order to the 
Emperor Sigismund, and Charles VI. of 
France issued a warning to Poland; but 
such steps were of little avail. 



With the collapse of the power of 
the Order, the influence of Germany, 
both national and pohtical on Eastern 
Europe was broken. The empire lost 
its magic charm there, while Poland 
became a great European power ; the 
Hussite movement, for example, became 
possible only after 1410. The Slavonic 
. spirit grew so strong that even 

I ^ 11 **t ° 1 ^^"""^^^ culture could not hold 
p " its own. The effect of the 

rogress ^^^^ 1386, enhanced by the 
year 1410, thus signifies an important 
crisis for the Western and Northern Slavs, 
whose subjugation would certainly other- 
wise have been accomplished, as weU as a 
revival of the Slavonic movement. 

Vladislav II, Jagiello and Hedwig had 
done great services in raising the level of 
Polish civilisation. Hedwig first endowed 
a college at the University of Prague for 
such Lithuanians as studied theology 
there, and then obtained permission from 
Pope Boniface IX. to found a theological 
faculty in Cracow. Finally she left her 
fortune to the University of Cracow, so 
that in the year 1400 it was able to leave 
the hamlet of Bavol, near Cracow, and 
settle in its own buildings in the city. 
The king himself and the highest officials 
registered their names as the first' among 
200 students. Peter Wysz began with 
lectures in the presence of the king. After 
1410 it was possible to equip the university 
still better, and it soon flourished. 
Nicholas Copernicus studied theology, 
medicine, mathematics and astronomy 
there in 1491. Schools were provided, 
churches built, art studied. 

The Pomeranian duke Bogulslav, for- 
merly an ally of the Order, now did 
homage to the Polish king. Duke Ernest 
the Iron of Styria, Carinthia and Car- 
niola, a brother of that William who met 
with such humiliating treatment in 1385, 
went to Cracow in 1412, concluded a defen- 
sive and offensive alUance with Poland, 

Tu n *-r 1 ^nd married a niece of the 
The Beautiful 1 ■ ,, j 1. , 

Ancestress of ^?"g' ^he daughter of 
theHapsburgs?^^"^.'^o o^ Masovia, Cim- 
burgis, or Cecilia, who 
created a sensation by her physical 
strength, her beauty, and her " large lips." 
She became in 1415 the mother of Emperor 
Frederic III., and thus — after the here- 
ditary Countess Johanna von Pfirdt, who 
died in 1351 — the second great ancestress 
of the house of Hapsburg ; at the same 
time she attained a similarly high dignity in 

house of Wettin, since her daughter the 
Margaretha, who died in i486, was married 
to the elector Frederic II. the Clement. 
The Emperor Sigismund himself, who 
even before Tannenberg had invaded the 
Cracovian territory, concluded a truce 
with Poland, and from November 8th, 
1412, pledged the thirteen towns of the 
Zips district to Vladislav Jagiello. In 
fact, just when the Hussite movement 
was at its height, embassies appeared 
several times in Cracow to offer the crown 
of Bohemia also to the PoHsh king. 

But this 'sche^4-','K!ke the further pro- 
gress of Poland, was vvrecked on the per- 
sonality of the king. Vladislav 1 1 . J agiello, 
uneducated and sensual, without energy 
and deficient in military ability, was not 
the man who might have served a great 
empire, burdened with a difficult constitu- 
tion in critical times, although from his 
position as Grand Duke of Lithuania he 
was invaluable as a visible sign of the 
union, and was clever enough to adapt 
himself to the new situation. He was, 
besides, too indifferent in most matters. 
His nobles, especially the bishops, man- 

«r. ,. . *. aged everything. Nevertheless, 
Vladislav II. '^ , ■ -' ° • , , , 

r^ w ji * a certain progress is observable 
Culturedbut • ,■ r ^ • , ■ 1 

p„ . , in him if we picture to ourselves 
Effeminate ,1^11 ■, 

how he once had governed 

despotically as a pagan ; while he now had 
to rule a Catholic people within almost 
constitutional limits. Transplanted to 
another soil, his disposition underwent a 
change ; from a rude barbarian he be- 
came a soft-hearted and absolutely effemi- 
nate character. He towered above the 
princes of Moscow, for example, in culture. 
Illuminated by the glory of a great victory, 
and as the suzerain of many princes, he 
loved to appear in magnificent state, 
Uke his brother-in-law Sigismund, for 
whom he always showed a certain weak- 
ness. He rode with a suite of 100 knights 
and an escort of 6,000 or 8,000 horse. 
He was so generous that the story ran 
in the territory of the Order that he had 
won the Polish crown by bribery, and 
his successors completely squandered the 
crown lands. Vladislav Jagiello was 
four times married. After the death of 
Hedwig in 1399 he married the daughter 
of the Cbunt of CilH, a granddaughter of 
Casimir the Great and sister of that 
Barbara who, having married, as her 
second husband, Sigismund in 1408, died 
as empress widow in 1451 ; next, Ehza- 
beth Granovska ; and, finally, in X422, he 


espoused, through the mediation of Witold, 
the Russian princess Sofie Olfzanska 
of Kiev, who died in 1461. He died on 
May 31st, 1434, at Grodek, having almost 
attained the age of eighty-six years. 

His successors, called after him Jag- 
ellons, ruled in Poland until 1572 as elec- 
tive, not hereditary, kings. In the fifteenth 
century Poland reached the highest point 
in her poUtical history, while in the six- 
teenth her civilisation was at its zenith. 

Some years after the death of Vladislav 
II. Jagiello, who had left two sons, Vladi- 
slav (III.) and Casimir IV. (Andreas), a 
Hungarian embassy appeared in Poland 
in 1440, which offered the crown of St. 
Stefan to Vladislav III., a boy of barely 
fifteen years. Fear of the Turks had 
caused this recourse to powerful Poland. 
This time not merely the notables of the 
national party, but also the bishops, even 
Olesnicki of Cracow, the all-powerful 
leader of Polish poUcy, counselled accep- 
tance of the offer. It was worth the 
struggle against the unbehevers. Poland 
also had interests in the south. This led, 
therefore, to the first war against the Otto- 
„. mans. The young king fell 

Young King ^^ y^^.^^ ^^ November loth, 

r. J.J'* "^ 1444- The Hungarians had, 

the Ottomans -J^ -^ . u n* t*u- 

it IS true, chosen Matthias 
Corvinus king in 1458, and the Bohemians, 
George of Podiebrad. But after the 
death of the two, the Bohemians first, 
and then the Hungarians, by the choice 
of Vladimir (II.), a son of Casimir, fell 
back upon the house of the Jagellons. 
This family retained the crowns of Poland, 
Hungary, and Bohemia until 1526, when 
Lewis, son of Vladislav II., fell as the 
last of the Bohemian -Hungarian branch 
at Mohacs. 

More important for the Pohsh Empire 
than the acquisition of the crowns of 
Bohemia and Hungary was the victorious 
advance to the Baltic. The Teutonic 
Knights had often tried after 1410 to 
retrieve their losses. Poland was com- 
pelled to wage a tedious war against them 
during the years 1420- 1430 ; the cam- 
paign flagged greatly. But the dissolution 
of the Order could not be staved off. The 
estates of the country, dissatisfied with 
the rule of the Knights, took up a hostile 
attitude ; the " Lizard League " founded 
in 1397, and the Prussian League of 
1440, were openly and secretly aimed 
against the Order. Men once more took 
courage and tried to effect a rupture. 

After the Emperor Frederic III. in 1453 
had issued the command that the league 
was to be dissolved, the latter resolved to 
submit to the Polish king, Casimir IV, 
Andreas. In February, 1454, twelve mem- 
bers of the league appeared in Cracow and 
offered the Polish king the possession of 
Prussia. Cardinal Olesnicki tried to dis- 
Polish King ^uade him. But Casimir 
:« P«..-..:l- accepted it without hesi- 

in rossesston , ,■ '■ ■, ■ ,• , 

of Prussia *^*^°"' ^"^ immediately 
nominated the spokesman 
of the Knights of the Lizard, Hans von 
Baisen, to be governor, awarded to the 
Prussian estates the rights of salvage, etc., 
and freed the towns from the harbour dues 
known as poundage. The Order, defeated 
and actually driven out of Marienburg, was 
forced to accept on October 19th, 1466, 
the unpalatable second treaty of Thorn. 

The whole of Western Prussia, with 
Marienburg, Thorn, Danzig, Elbing, and 
Kulm, fell to Poland, and Ludwig von 
EhrHchshausen (1449-1469) was compelled 
to take the oath of fealty to the King 
of Poland for East Prussia. Every Grand 
Master, six months after election, was to 
swear the oath of loyalty to the king for 
himself and his followers. The Master was 
to recognise no superior — Poland excepted 
— but the Pope, and to conclude no alliances 
or treaties without the sanction of the 
king. Prussia and Poland were to remain 
united for ever. Immediately afterwards 
" suitable persons " from the subjects of 
the PoHsh kingdom were added to the 
Prussian houses of the Teutonic Order, on 
condition that they should not compose 
more than half the members of the Order, 
but should be also eUgible to half its 
offices. The Grand Master further could 
not be deprived of his office without 
the king's knowledge. A long chapter 
in PoUsh history was thus closed. " With 
reluctance I saw," said Dlugosz, " how 
Polish territory hitherto was divided 
among different nations, and I count my- 
self and my contemporaries 
Poian s happy in having been 

Lost Terntopy ^^^^^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^ %^^ ^^-^ 

Won Back territory won back again." 
Poland thus obtained a large town popula- 
tion, of which she had long and deeply felt 
the want. The possession of the mouth of 
the Vistula and a firm foothold on the Baltic 
Sea was of inestimable value to Poland, 
although she did not make full use of it 
for the development of her trade, or 
succeed in making the townsfolk PoUsh. 




|\40RE important for Poland than its 
* '-^ foreign relations was the internal de- 
velopment — that is, the development of the 
constitution in the young dual monarchy 
and the other relations between Poland 
and Lithuania. The chief task was to 
secure for all future time the union which 
had early been accompanied by such great 
successes. The solution of this and many 
other problems devolved upon Poland. 

There could be no doubt as to the foun- 
dation on which the constitution was to 
be based. The Catholic religion was 
certainly the standard by which all 
reforms must be tested. This fundamental 
idea had already been expressed in the 
document of February 20th, 1387, in which 
the Polish rights were only granted to 
Catholic Lithuanians ; a special article 
went so far as to assert that any man who 
left the Catholic faith should 

* .*.* t/>so /fldo lose all privileges. In 

° Au* *c!°? order that the Church might 
in the State • .1 r ^ • 

grow m the future, marriage 

between the Roman Catholic Lithuanians 
and members of the Greek Orthodox 
faith was forbidden ; if, however, the 
parties had secretly married, the Greek 
party was to be compelled to accept 
conversion. The non-Catholic population 
was excluded, therefore, from all privileges. 
But this policy of depressing the non- 
Catholic population, intelligible and wise 
as it was in itself, provoked bitterness in 
the Lithuanian and Russian districts and 
commotions in the adjoining states. When 
Jagiello was in Cracow in 1386 he had, in 
order to secure Lithuania, transferred the 
grand ducal office to his brother Skirgello. 
One danger threatened, however : his 
cousin Witold, who had only obtained 
Grodno, seemed eminently dissatisfied 
with the new turn of events. He entered 
into secret connections not only with the 
Order, but also with the Grand Duke 
Vassilij Dmitri] evitch of Moscow, and was 
a suitor for the hand of his sister Sophia. 

The cousin brought his Russian bride 
home in the face of the express prohibition 
of the king. 

An alliance of Lithuania with Moscow 
influenced for the first time Polish and 
Lithuanian relations. The distinction 
between 1he Roman and the 
Greek faith became the more 

Schemes and 
Schemers in 
High Places 

noticeable, since Lithuania 
definitely inclined toward the 
side of the latter. Witold wished to 
take the opportunity of his marriage to 
surprise Wilna. Jagiello, who suspected 
even his brother, who belonged to the 
Greek faith, thought it best to win over 
Witold to his plans. The latter happened 
to be in the territory of the Order when 
Bishop Henry of Plock came to him on a 
secret mission from Jagiello. Witold 
accepted the offer, effected a reconciliation 
with Jagiello and Hedwig at Ostrov in 
Volhynia, and received the grand ducal 
title, while Skirgello was sent to Kiev. 
From that day Witold remained so loyal, 
to the Catholic Church at least, that Pope 
John XXIIL conferred on him later the 
title of " Vicar of the Church." 

The case was different with his loyalty 
to the Polish crown. The subordinate 
position which his native land now took 
as regards Poland, and perhaps also the 
slight inflicted upon the Orthodox Church, 
in which he was brought up, must have 
chagrined a typical Lithuanian like WitoJd. 
The great campaign which he prepared 
against the Tartars throws a peculiar light 
on his political plans. He fed himself with 
. the thought of bringing the 
Great Campaign Russian principalities under 
th^^^T^rt ^^^ supremacy in order 

e ar ars finally to make even Poland 
dependent on Lithuania. But if he 
wished to subjugate Moscow, which was 
then growing, the Tartar power must first 
be crushed. He was defeated, however, 
on the Vorskla in 1399. His hopes, so far 
as they had travelled in that direction, 



were buried in that reverse. The battle 
on the Vorskia was therefore momentous 
not only for Poland and Lithuania, 
but also for all Eastern Europe. Above 
all, it placed Lithuania in a lower 
position towards Poland. The depressed 
Witold now resolved to tighten the bond 
with Poland, and hurried to the king at 
Cracow. Now for the first time 
the amalgamation of the two 

Poland and 



countries was seriously carried 
out. At the beginning of 
1401 Witold assembled his Boyars and 
Russian vassal princes at Wilna ; they all 
pledged themselves to help Poland with 
all their forces and take measures that, if 
Witold died, the whole dominions, in- 
herited and acquired, might devolve on 
Vladislav Jagiello. 

Witold renewed his oath of homage, 
and the other princes followed his 
lead ; Svidrigello alone appended, as 
the chronicler of the Order relates, 
"an illegal seal" to the document in 
order to testify to his reluctance. Im- 
mediately afterwards the Polish digni- 
taries held an assembly on their side at 
Radom on March nth, and equally gave 
the promise that they would support 
Lithuania, and after the death of Vladislav 
Jagiello would not elect a king without 
Witold's knowledge. If a personal union 
was concluded in 1386, a constitutional 
union of the two kingdoms was now 
effected. The advantage lay with Poland ; 
Lithuania was to be independent only 
during the lifetime of Witold, and would 
then be incorporated with the crown of 

When the common danger threatening 
from the Teutonic Order had been dis- 
pelled after the great victory of 1410, it 
seemed as if the union would break up, 
for Witold believed that he was strong 
enough single-handed. Since the Polish 
statesmen had at times almost spared the 
Order, they might nearly be suspected of 

^ .. ,. . having intentionally wished to 
Catholicism , °, , •' , ,,. 

the Religion '^^^P ^^-^^ ^"'T''^/ ""^ ?" ^ '" 
of Chivalry ?-"f ^^^ Poland contmually 
before the eyes of the Lith- 
uanians. Witold for his part valued 
Western civilisation too highly not to 
form a true estimate of its blessings. But 
if he wished to raise his country to the 
plane of a European state, it was essential 
to make his people Catholics. Catholicism 
had yet another charm for him — it was 
the religion of chivalry. Witold had 


already dubbed several of his men as 
knights ; but now a creation of knights 
on a large scale was planned. 

The Polish and Lithuanian nobles 
hurried in crowds to Horodlo on the 
Bug (1413). Each Polish clan adopted 
a Catholic Lithuanian Boyar, who then 
received the family name, the arms, and 
all rights of the members of that 
Polish family ; thus, for example, the 
palatine of Wilna, Monvid, became a 
member of the Leliva family, and bore the 
same arms as Jasko of Tarnow. Witold 
himself named forty-seven Boyars as the 
most worthy. The personal union of 1386 
and the constitutional union of 1401 were 
thus followed by the inauguration of 
brotherhood between the two nations. 
All earlier enactments were renewed, and 
the preliminaries of the impending cor- 
poration of Lithuania were so far arranged 
that it was resolved to undertake for 
administrative purposes a new partition 
of the Lithuanian territory on the Polish 

Vladislav II. Jagiello on this occasion 
increased the fundamental privileges of 
the nobility by an enactment of great 
-^ p importance for the future. 

Henceforward all nobles of 


Poland and Lithuania were to 
have the right, whenever it was 
necessary, of holding meetings and parlia- 
ments, for the benefit of the realm with 
the sanction of the king, at Lublin, Parczov, 
or some other suitable place. By this 
enactment the Polish parliament, as it is 
styled in the charter, was legally recognised, 
and the chief power in the state was placed 
in the hands of the nobility. While this 
new parliamentary constitution implied for 
Poland an enlargement of existing rights, 
it was something quite new for Lithuania, 
which had hitherto been governed by an 
absolute monarch. 

The Lithuanians, in return for their 
adoption of the Catholic religion and the 
surrender of political independence, re- 
ceived the same liberties and the same con- 
stitution as the Poles, whose arms they 
were permitted to bear as brothers. Their 
political loss was compensated by their 
newly acquired influence on the general 
affairs of the empire. The two other 
achievements of the Lithuanians, at any 
rate, proved illusive. The greatest con- 
fusion then prevailed throughout the 
whole community ; the Hussite and the 
Protestant movements soon increa,sed it. 

The gorgeous panoply of a military commander of the sixteenth century, the fantastic 
dress being made of numerous small iron scales or plates and the elaborate ornamenta- 
tion being of copper work covered with gold. From the Museum of Tsarskoe Seloe. 



Nevertheless, Christianity had not yet 
lost all its strength. But chivalry was 
waning ; it had already become unten- 
able on military, economic, and social 
grounds, and from the advance of civilisa- 
tion. Lithuania had only just laboriously 
introduced what Western Europe had 
already begun to discard. On the other 
hand, the constitution of Ho- 
Contending ^.^^j^ -^ ^j first-class import- 

•0*1°''!! ance from the standpoint of 
in Poland civilisation and history gener- 
ally. Its most prominent characteristic 
is the accentuation of Catholicity. The 
Polish statesmen tried to solve their 
main constitutional problem by the 
example of Western Europe, Did they 
succeed ? The constitutions of the West 
were equally based on a Catholic founda- 
tion ; but their success was not menaced 
by the existence of a non-Catholic element. 
Poland, on the contrary, had two strong 
religious parties side by side. That no 
account was taken of the Greek faith 
was attributable to the ideas of Western 
Europe ; but a political reason for this 
was adduced. " Difference of faith pro- 
duces difference of sympathies." But 
subsequently friction was produced by 
this, and rebellions broke out. Moscow, 
seizing on this weak spot in the armour 
of Poland, proclaimed herself the protector 
of the Orthodox faith and brought Poland 
to the ground. Through this vulnerable 
point of her constitution Poland was 
affected by the prevailing Roman Catholic 

Witold then once more showed that he 
towered above the Polish politicians in 
statesmanship. It was clear to him that 
the gulf must somehow be bridged ; he 
perceived the constitutional humiliation 
of the Orthodox population, and found the 
solution in the idea of ecclesiastical union. 
Rome, if an oppressed sovereign sought 
her aid, had formerly stipulated for a 
complete adoption of the Catholic faith, 
. even if some occasional exemp- 
Dissenstons ^-^^^ ^^^^ promised. But now 
tn the Roman ■. i j x ^ 

Ch h ^^ resolved to carry out 

the unification of the two 
Churches in such a way that the Orthodox 
population need only accept the Catholic 
articles of beUef and show obedience to the 
Pope, but in other respects should retain 
their Greek ritual. Before the spread of 
the Hussite movement men would hardly 
have ventured to lay such terms before the 
Curia. Witold energetically supported the 


prosecution of this plan. It was essential 
that the Russo- Lithuanian district with 
Kiev should, in Church matters, be 
made independent of the Metropolitan 
at Moscow. In the same year that 
JIuss was burnt at the stake at Con- 
>stance (1415), Witold convened a synod 
of the Russo - Lithuanian clergy at 
Novohorodok in Lithuania, and pro- 
claimed the independence of the Russo- 
Lithuanian Church with Kiev as its 
centre. Gregor Camblak, raised to be 
Metropolitan of Kiev, went in 141 8 with 
eighteen suffragan bishops to Constance, 
at the command of the Grand Duke, in 
order to conclude there the union with the 
Roman Church. On account of the 
dissensions in the bosom of the Roman 
Church the negotiations fell through. 

But the idea of union remained. Thus, 
the union concluded at Florence in the 
reign of Vladislav III. is, properly speak- 
ing, the sequel of those efforts. The plan 
was resumed in the year 1596 under 
Sigismund III., when a union was agreed 
upon at Berest ; and so again later. But 
there is a vast difference between the plan 
of Witold and the later unions. Witold 
contemplated only a con- 
IHie Polish stitutional equalisation of the 
Nationality Rugso-Lithuanian and Catholic 

reng ene population, in which connec- 
tion he, as a statesman, laid no special 
weight on creeds, and even protected the 
Jews ; while later the only wish was to 
promote the Roman Catholic Church and 
the spread of the Polish element. 

The second chief characteristic of the 
Polish constitution of 1413 is the stress 
laid on nationality. The Piast constitu- 
tion had taken no account of other races 
because it had no cause to do so. But 
vvhen in 1291 the Bohemian king Wenzel 
II. became King of Poland also, the 
Polish nobihty, following a precedent under 
Henry 11. of Silesia in the year 1239, drew 
up a charter that the king should confer 
offices on Poles alone. The same thing 
occurred when King Lewis of Hungary 
reigned in Poland, and again at the elec- 
tion of Jagiello. This article of the con- 
stitution raised a barrier between the 
Poles and the other nations, and thus 
strengthened the consciousness of Polish 

A third peculiar feature of the Polish 
constitution was its republican spirit. 
Since in Horodlo it was only said 
generally that nobles might rneet in suitable 


localities, but was not precisely laid 
down by whom or how often they were 
to be summoned and how many might be 
present, the republican character of the 
constitution was emphasised. Wherever 
several nobles met they had, ipso facto, 
the right to decide on affairs of state ; 
this was the source of the later Sejmiki and 
confederations. The unity of the con- 
stitution was destroyed by it. When an 
attempt was made, in 1540, in the imperial 
diet, to fix at least the. number of their 
deputies, the nobility 
did not even concede 
that point. Every noble 
was a deputy by birth 
and had a share in the 
imperial government. 
The anarchy of the 
falling empire had its 
origin at Horodlo. Two 
classes now guided the 
destinies of Poland — 
the Cathohc priesthood 
and the nobility. The 
peasant population and 
the citizens of the 
towns had no place by 
the side of these two. 
The impoverishment 
which the privileged 
orders brought upon 
the middle class had a 
most disastrous effect 
on industry and trade. 
The peasantry, how- 
ever, were bound to 
retrograde in every 
sense. The two power- 
ful parties were natur- 
ally anxious to increase 
their privileges still 
more. When Vladislav 

we will not allow any property-owning 
Pole to be imprisoned for any crime, or 
any penalty to be inflicted upon him 
before he has been assigned to and 
brought before some court ; excepting 
thieves and criminals caught red-handed, 
as well as persons who cannot or will not 
give any security. Nobody shall be 
deprived of his goods by the king, but 
only by the sentence of the barons." 
This was the Polish act of Habeas Corpus. 
In Lithuania people had long been 
discontented with the 
state of things created 
by the union with 
Poland. Chiefly belong- 
ing to the Orthodox 
communion, they felt 
their religious and po- 
litical degradation the 
more keenly, since they 
were socially and 
economically prejudiced 
by it, and their culture 
must in the long run 
inevitably be stunted. 
In fine, it was felt that 
Lithuania was in an 
inferior position as re- 
gards Poland. This was 
perceived with the 
greater bitterness, since 
before 1386 Lithuania 
contained three times 
as much territory as 
Poland. At first the 
opposition massed itself 
round Witold. The 
Poles won him over. 
Then he wished to 
equalise the differences 
in a constitutional way 
by the union. But he 
could not overcome the 

J agiello m 142:) wished casimir iv: Poland's powerful king ,..,,.-. 

to secure the succession when he ascended the throne of Poland, in 1447, pohtlCally mlenor pOSl- 

Of his sons, the StipU- Casimir attempted to curtail the excessive power of tion of Lithuania. In 

, . ' . ,' . the Catholic ecclesiastical princes, and forced i .. . in j- i 

lation was required in the Pope to renounce the exclusive right of a letter to Vladislav 

return that for the "«»i"*tingr these dignitaries. He died in 1492. jagiello he declared 

future only men of noble birth should be that the Emperor Sigismund (Poland's 

admitted to spiritual dignities. This stipu- 
lation was not granted, because it ran 
counter to the custom of the Roman 
Church itself ; but henceforward priests 
from the common people were to be 
excluded at any rate from the cathedral 
chapters at Cracow and Gnesen. Jagiello 
conferred a new favour on the nobiUty 
at Jedlno in the year 1430, and in 1433 
at Cracow : " We promise and vow that 

evil genius, in whose power it lay to break 
up the union) had suggested to him the 
idea of aiming at the royal crown for 
Lithuania. Witold, in fact, staked every- 
thing upon obtaining his coronation. He 
had already invited Jagiello and many 
neighbouring princes to Luck. The im- 
perial embassy, which was to bring him 
the crown, had reached the Pohsh frontier 
when the Poles barred the way. Sigismund 




At the Cliristmas season the Pohsh peasants go round the villages, carrying a huge lighted star, symbolising the Star 
Of Bethlehem. Three boys impersonate the three kings of the East, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. They also 
carry a little puppet-show, in which the drama of the Nativity and other Scripture incidents are performed. 


In commemoration of the legend that tells how the birds and beusts of the field came to worsliip the Infant Jesus, the 
young Polish peasants dress up as various creatures, such as the stork and the bear, and go round the houses sm^ng 
traditional carols. They are paid with gifts of cakes and sausages. The ceremony is practised also during the Carnival. 




and Jagiello were at Luck, when Witold 
died unexpectedly (October 27th, 1430). 
The danger thus disappeared. Witold 
probably did not aim at a complete 
severance of Lithuania from Poland or at 
the status (which Sigismund designed 
imposing on him) of a vassal of the German 
emperor, but rather intended to place 
D I J' V I. Lithuania on an equal foot- 
Pretses'ol ^"8 ^ith Poland, and wished 
.... to employ Germany for the 

purpose. The Pohsh yoke 
grew heavier after Witold's death. Thus, 
for example, Polish garrisons were thrown 
into Kamienec and other Podohan fort- 
resses without any warning, and Sigis- 
mund, the Grand Duke of Lithuania, was 
forced in the name of Lithuania to 
waive all claim to Podolia, and actually 
to surrender the most important fort- 
resses of Volhynia. Nor was that all. 
The Poles demanded that all fresh 
acquisitions of territory should be made 
in the name of the crown of Poland 
alone. Finally, in all negotiations and 
treaties with foreign countries Lithuania 
was almost completely ignored. The 
malcontents grouped themselves round 
the person of Svidrigello, and the opposi- 
tion found support in Moscow. Then war 
was determined upon in Poland. Svid- 
rigello, defeated in 1435 on the River 
Svienta, was forced to recognise the 
suzerainty of Poland. But the opposition 
was not yet crushed by this defeat, and 
now the Grand Duke Casimir himself, 
brother of King Vladislav IIL, put himself 
at its head. The union of Florence in 
1439, the arrangements of which were 
promoted by the Pohsh statesmen (Bishop 
Olesnicki received for his services a 
cardinal's hat), could not but make the 
more bad blood in the Russo- Lithuanian 
districts, since King Vladislav IIL at the 
suggestion of the cardinal conferred on 
the united clergy the same rights which 
the Latin clergy enjoyed. Casimir IV. 
_ . . .„ Andreas, even after he had 
nd th" become King of Poland in 
Church ^447. did not alter his Li- 
thuanian proclivities. On the 
contrary, he endeavoured to change the 
constitution, the defects of which he had 
clearly recognised. His greatest anxiety 
was due to the excessive power of the 
Catholic ecclesiastical princes, especially 
the haughty behaviour of Olesnicki, who, 
being the real originator of that constitu- 
tion, tried to overshadow the crown itself. 


Casimir, adroitly making full use of the 
schism which then divided the Roman 
Church, forced the anti-Pope Fehx V. to 
renounce the exclusive right of nominating 
the ecclesiastical dignitaries of his empire ; 
henceforward the king had for six years to 
fill ninety first places. By this plan the 
election of the chapters became invaUd, 
and only persons acceptable to the king 
could be nominated to high offices. 
Casimir IV. also passed the enactment 
that the prelates as landowners should be 
hable to mihtary service, by which means 
the mihtary constitution of Casimir the 
Great was completed. 

The king also planned to break down 
the excessive power of the nobihty. He 
was at the same time firmly resolved not 
to allow Lithuania to be overshadowed 
by Poland ; he resided by preference in 
the former country and surrounded him- 
self with Lithuanians. When we hear what 
his attitude towards Bohemia and the 
Hussites was, how in 1449, in his capacity 
as Grand Duke of Lithuania, he made an 
alhance with Grand Duke Vasilij Vasilje- 
witch against common enemies — the 
second treaty of Lithuania with Moscow, 
. made in the spirit of Witold — 
Lithuama j^^^ ^^^^ mutually secured the 

Rcv*h* guardianship of their children 
and allowed free trading facili- 
ties, and how cautious was Casimir 
in settling the frontier on the side of 
Moscow, we may fairly suppose that 
Casimir courted connections with Moscow 
in order to show a bolder front against 
the Poles, and then to be able to reform 
the constitution. 

He delayed to confirm the PoUsh 
privileges, wished to institute a trial 
for high treason against the cardinal, 
surrounded himself with younger men 
of his own views, and pubhshed pamph- 
lets on the necessity of constitutional 
reform ; in fact, he did not shrink 
from emplo5nng the headsman's axe in 
order to show the great officials that they 
were not masters of the state. He 
began by favouring the lesser nobility, in 
order to pit them against the magnates. 
This policy led later to the change in the 

There was popular talk in Lithuania of 
conquering Podolia by force of arms, and 
the bitterness between Lithuania and 
Poland soon reached such a pitch that an 
open revolt of Lithuania threatened in 1456. 
If Casimir had persevered in his action 



he would certainly have gained his end. 
But financial straits forced him to con- 
cessions. Poland was confronted with a 
war against the Order. The Slachta, 
which met at Cerekwica, refused to take 
the field before their privileges had been 
confirmed. Casimir himself required 
money, since he wished to marry Elizabeth, 
. the sister of the Hungarian 
The King m ^^^^^ Ladislaus Posthumus ; and 
since according to the laws the 


country had to furnish the 

dowry for the queen, the king was forced 

in 1453 to give way, and at the imperial 

diet at Piotrkov, in the presence of twelve 

knights and twelve barons, took the 

constitutional oath at the hands of the 

cardinal whom he detested. The regal 

power was still more restricted by the 

appointment of four councillors as assessors 

to the king, without whose consent no 

ordinance of the king should have the 

force of law. This first defeat of the 

crown was followed by others under 

Casimir's successors. 

From the time of Casimir onwards we 

can notice two currents in the national 

life of Poland : the majority of the nobles 

worked for the enlargement of their 

privileges, while the second party aimed 

at the strengthening of the royal power 

and a restriction of personal liberty. This 

division of aims was to be found in every 

state of Europe. A contemporary of 

Casimir was the Florentine Niccolo Machia- 

velU (1469-1527), who, in his " Principe," 

which was addressed to Lorenzo de' 

Medici in 1514, published a treatise for the 

guidance of princes, to whom he wished 

to communicate the art of attaining an 

unrestricted authority. And at the court 

of Poland lived a representative of this 

school, the humanist Filippo Buonaccorsi, 

better known under the Latin name 

of Callimachus Experiens, to whom, 

together with John Dlugosz, Casimir had 

entrusted the education of his children. 

. But while in many European 

ppostng countries the imperialistic 

. 1 , . party won the day, the re- 

in Poland ui- . • T^ 1 J 

publican party m Poland 

continuously gained the upper hand. 

Casimir's son and successor, John L 

Albert (1492-1501) vigorously prosecuted 

his father's plan, but in the end, like him, 

had to acknowledge failure. He is said to 

have planned nothing less than a coup 

d'etat in order to overthrow the nobles 

and strengthen the monarchical power. 


He governed without the senate. When 
the primate Olesnicki died, John Albert set 
his brother Frederic on the archiepiscopal. 
throne. He introduced greater magni- 
ficence at court and made difficulties, 
whenever possible, about the admission 
of the magnates. He concluded a 
treaty with his brother Vladislav (H.) 
of Bohemia and Hungary in which they 
pledged themselves to help each other 
" in case of any rebellion of their subjects 
or any attempt by them to restrict the 
monarchical power." 

The most certain means of increasing 
his power seemed to him to be a victorious 
war ; he proposed to conquer Moldavia 
for his youngest brother Sigismund. 
All the Jagellons, with the exception 
of Alexander of Lithuania, assembled 
at Leutschau in Hungary in 1494 to 
discuss that campaign. They had, be- 
sides, every cause to join forces, since 
the Hapsburgs had concluded an alliance 
with Moscow against Poland. Prepara- 
tions were made under pretext of a war 
against the Turks. Then the same situa- 
tion came about as under Casimir — the 
nobles would not vote any supplies, and 

«». ..» ».... Albert saw himself compelled 

The Nobility ■ ^ - • ^ 

_ 'to grant extensive concessions 

* c * *° the nobility at the diet at 

Piotrkov in 1496. Besides this, 
he suffered an overwhelming defeat in 
1497 at Cozmin in the Bukovina. 

The new, and at the same time mon- 
strous feature, of the legislation of John 
Albert, extorted in 1496 by the Slachta, 
was that it formally surrendered the 
peasant population to the nobility. The 
pressure of the Slachta must have been 
great indeed when it could be complained 
in the diet that the country-folk left 
their fields in crowds and that the villages 
were empty. On the basis of the enact- 
ments of Casimir the Great (who had 
checked emigration so far that only a 
peasant who had more than one son 
should be allowed to send one to school 
or to business in the town, and then 
only on a certificate from his lord) it 
was enacted that henceforward in every 
year only one peasant might leave 
his village. This restriction was not 
modified until 1501. In another article 
townsfolk were prohibited from acquir- 
ing and owning property according to 
provincial law. Further, the admission of 
non-nobles into the ecclesiastical hierarchy 
was restricted. Formerly, indeed, no 

4 | f-- 31 



non-nobles were admitted to the higher 
offices in the cathedrals at Gnesen, 
Cracow, Posen, and Plock, but now the 
superior posts generally, to the exclusion of 
foreigners, were reserved for natives of 
noble birth alone. These two provisions 
were ostensibly designed to increase the 
military force. If, according to the tenor 
of the military system of Casimir the 
Great, only land-owning nobles were 
under any obligations of military 
service, in the interests of public 
defence the admission of non-nobles 
to ecclesiastical offices ought to be 
prevented, and the sale of " noble " 
property to them forbidden, 
because" they were exempt from 
military service. Only certain 
benefices might be conferred upon 

The articles concerning work- 
men were equally harsh : they 
were forbidden to go to Prussia 
and Silesia to work at harvest- 
tide, in order that there might 
be no want of labour in Poland 
and that the wages might not 
need to be raised. The destitute 
were to be employed on the 
construction of fortresses on 
the Turkish or Tartar frontiers. 
The statute of 1496 significantly 
recounts that there were more 
beggars in the realm of Poland 
than anywhere else. The poor 
population, therefore, took refuge 
by hundreds in those ownerless 
districts on the Dnieper where 
freedom and a less degrading 
existence were still to be found, 
and they found a suitable em- 
ployment in campaigns against 
Ottomans and Tartars. From 
these people arose the avengers ^ 

of Polish oppression. The same sword 
characteristics are shown by polish 
the laws passed under Albert's brothers, 
Alexander I. (1501-1506), and Sigismund 
the Elder or the Great (1506-1548). The 
imperial diets were bent on further re- 
stricting the royal power. Thus we may 
call attention to the provision that the 
king had not to decide anything by him- 
self, but merely to lead the deUberations 
of the senate; for " an oligarchical govern- 
ment was better than a monarchical." 
Further, the famous statute Nihil novi 
declared that the king henceforth might 
not introduce any new measure without 


the assent of the senate and the provincial 
deputies ; this strengthened the provisions 
of 1453 and 1454. High offices were to 
be conferred according to length of service 
and not at the caprice of the monarch. 
Grave consequences ensued from the decree 
of the diet of 1504, by which the king 
might not pledge or give away crown 
lands except with the knowledge of the 
diet and the assent of the senate. The 
legislative proposals which aimed at the 
increase of the defensive powers of the 
realm are noteworthy, and they would 
doubtless haye achieved their purpose 
had they been carried out. According 
to them, not merely were the 
townsfolk who owned landed 
property liable to mihtary service, 
but every tenth man from 
the country population was to 
be drafted into the militia, 
which was intended to form the 
basis of the nation's mihtary 

The diets under Sigismund 
frequently occupied themselves 
with this question. Under him 
the Hberty of the peasants to 
leave their homes was still more 
restricted, since they were made 
solely and absolutely dependent 
on the lord, while the rights 
of private jurisdiction were ex- 
tended. In the legislative enact- 
ments of Melnik, of 1501, which, 
however, are not to be found in 
the " Volumina legum " of Jan 
Laski (John a Lasco; 1466-1531), 
it is laid down that, in case the 
king should prosecute any innocent 
person, or not conform to the 
enactments of the council, and 
act contrary to the well-being 
of the empire, the whole empire 
OF THE was released from the oath of 
KINGS loyalty and might regard the 
king as a tyrant and a foe. 

Such proceedings could not produce 
any good impression in Lithuania. When 
John Albert's brother, Alexander, became 
Grand Duke of Lithuania, this was done 
without the assent of Poland. The union, 
therefore, was formally non-existent. 
Alexander, in fact, trod in the foot- 
steps of Witold and Casimir, since 
he similarly entered into alliance with 
Moscow. Only the war against the 
Order brought both parties quickly 
together again. -^J.^SSt-J- 



"VY/HEN Sigismund, Casimir's son, 
^ mounted the throne of Poland in 1506 
Eastern Europe presented a very different 
poHtical picture from that of a hundred 
years before. The hardest task of Poland 
in the course of the three last centuries, 
the suppression, that is, of the Teutonic 
Knights in order to occupy the coast of 
the Baltic, had been performed in 1466. 
It was high time, for a few decades 
later it would hardly have been possible. 
Threatening clouds gathered in the 
east and west of Poland just at the close 
of the fifteenth century and the beginning 
of the sixteenth. On the one hand 
Moscow was arming for an attack on 
Poland-Lithuania ; on the other side the 
Ottomans were pressing with increasing 
power. Poland had long enjoyed tran- 
quillity on the side of Moscow, which, 
groaning under the Tartar rule, had been 
unable to move. But when Ivan III. 
had shaken off the Mongol 

c" ion of y°^^ ^"^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^"^^ 

«K *o*th*'d° ^^^' ^^ formed comprehen- 

e r o ox gj^^ schemes. He worked 

for the unification of Russia with skill and 
good fortune. One district after another 
was brought over to him. 

When he married in 1472 the Byzan- 
tine princess Sophia (Zoe), daughter of 
the despot Thomas of Morea, the last of 
the race of the Palaeologi, he assumed 
the Byzantine imperial arms, the double- 
headed eagle, and claimed from Rome 
the title of Emperor of Russia. He also 
laid claim to the Russian districts of 
Poland. The current of anti-PoUsh feeling 
in Lithuania was perceived by Ivan III. 
He therefore came forward as the champion 
of the Orthodox population of Poland. 
The Russian party in Lithuania was always 
strong ; and capable men, such as 
Michael GUnskij, stood at its head. Even 
in Casimir's days the poHtical condi- 
tions in Eastern Europe seemed to have 
shifted in favour of Moscow. 

Since the year 1481, after the Tartars 

had been beaten, the Lithuanian princes, 

hitherto friendly towards Poland, began 

one after the other to go over to the side 

of Moscow. Alexander, while Grand Duke 

of Lithuania, was openly pro-Russian. A 

rapprochement between him and Ivan took 

place in 1494. Alexander married the 

D t J- €s* J Princess Helene and 

Poland s Stand ■ j 1. - 1 • j. 

. . . ., waived his claim to a 

Against the . , . , 

f> tu f r-u V senes of towns in favour 

Catholic Church r i_- r ■! 1 t 
of his father-in-law. In 

the marriage contract he pledged himself 
not to force Helene to go over to the Catholic 
reHgion,and in fact not to allow her to do so 
" voluntarily." He built a chapel for her in 
Wilna,and surrounded her only with people 
of her own creed. We learn from these 
stipulations that the determined influence 
of the Roman Catholic Church on public 
poUcy, against which a stand was being 
made in Poland, was already recognised 
in Moscow. Alexander confirmed in 1499 
the old rights of the Orthodox Church. 

Ivan also knew how to stir up hostility 
on every side against Poland, and to 
organise a menacing league against it. 
He married his son VasiUj to a daughter 
of Stefan the Great of Moldavia, and 
thus drew this country into the sphere 
of his interests. He w£is allied with the 
Teutonic Order and friendly with the 
Tartar Khan Mengli Giray I. (1469- 1474 
and 1478- 15 15) ; he observed an amicable 
attitude towards Turkey, and would not 
_ J entertain any idea of a league 

Mo™ow^in ^^*^ Poland and Hungary 
oscow in aerainst Turkey. HissonVasiUi 

Agreement ° , ,, -^ ,• •" 

observed the same poucy. 
In this attitude towards Polandthe Russian 
princes were met by the German emperor 
Maximihan, who, as an opponent of the 
Jagellons in the contest for the crowns of 
Bohemia and Hungary, found a welcome 
ally in the Muscovite grand duke. This 
was the first time that Germany entered 
into relations with Moscow. 



Equally threatening was the attitude 
of the Sublime Porte. It was the zenith of 
Ottoman power. Moldavia and Wallachia 
already wavered in their loyalty as allies 
of Poland ; if they were lost, it would be 
the turn of the Dniester district. Finally, 
it lay with the Jagellons to defend the 
Hungarian crown. This state of things 
drove Poland also towards the 

eague g^y^j^ ^^^ provoked hostilities 
n^""! with Germany. The Haps- 
burgs, therefore, were eager, in 
league with Moscow and the Teutonic 
Order, to close the circle of the enemies 
of Poland ; besides these, Maximilian 
won over the Margrave of Brandenburg, 
the Duke of Saxony, and the King of 
Denmark, for the combination against 
Poland, as well as a distinct party in 
Poland itself. 

It was thus high time for Sigismund to 
act. He had concluded an alliance with 
Hungary in 1507, had renounced Moldavia 
in favour of Hungary, and married 
Barbara, sister of John Zapolya, besides 
winning over Mengli Giray, the Tartar 
Khan, by " yearly presents " of 15,000 
gulden — everything in order to show a 
bolder front to Maximilian and others — 
when he suddenly changed his views. 
Sigismund could not, of course, wage war 
with all his enemies at one and the same 
time, and was forced, therefore, to decide 
whether to turn toward the West or the 
East. But Maximilian also had cause to 
seek a peace with Poland. The great 
struggle between the Hapsburgs and 
Valois then began. The succession in 
Milan and Naples aroused this struggle, 
and both antagonists fought in every part 
of the world where they could inflict 
damage on each other. 

Sigismund decided for the contest with 
the East and fos the alliance with Maxi- 
milian. His brother Ladislaus (Vladislav) II. 
of Hungary was the intermediary. Thus, 
on July 22nd, 1515, that memorable treaty 
The World between the three monarchs 
Power of the ^^ *° *^^ succession, which 
Hapsburgs "^^^ decisive not merely for 
the history of Poland, was 
arranged in Vienna. The granddaughter of 
the emperor, Maria, was to marry Lewis, the 
son of Ladislaus, and Anna, his daughter, 
was to wed one of the two grandsons of 
the emperor, Charles or Ferdinand ; the 
emperor went through the form of 
• betrothal with Anna in the name of the 
not yet selected grandson, in the church 


of St. Stephen. It was further decided 
that, in the event of Lewis dying without 
issue, the Hungarian crown should devolve 
on his sister Anna. 

This treaty meant the renunciation by 
the Jagellons of their claims to the crowns 
of Bohemia and Hungary, and therefore to 
any power in the West, and founded the 
world power of the house of Hapsburg, just 
as it laid the foundations of the later 
empire of Austria. The day which saw the 
last Hungarian Jagellon fall at Mohics, 
August 29th, 1526, was the birthday of the 
Austrian monarchy. 

But this treaty, on the other side, 
brought advantages to Poland. The 
emperor no longer supported the Teutonic 
Order, and did not aim at an armed 
alliance with the Grand Duke of Moscow, 
but left Poland a free hand. The situation 
that had been prepared and created by the 
battle at Tanenberg was formally recognised 
and confirmed by Germany so far as such 
treaties can be binding. The year 15 15 
forms the last stage in the development of 
the conditions created by the year 1410. 
Poland thus entered upon a new chapter 
N Ch ofherhistoricaldevelopment. 

in Pol" h** ^'^ ^^^ empire, which had 
Development hitherto turned its face 
toward the west, now turned 
toward the east — namely, toward Moscow. 
The c.ntestwith this power fills the pagesof 
the history of Poland for the succeeding cen- 
turies and decides her fate. Poland, indeed, 
only gradually recognised the necessity 
of the struggle. Even Sigismund did not 
keep this goal steadily before him, though 
he wavered in his loyalty to Germany. 

The Poles, whose country lay on the 
upper courses of the Oder and the Vistula, 
must have always struggled to reach the 
Baltic. This motive, indeed, led to the 
union with Lithuania, which equally 
was drawn toward the Baltic. For this 
reason the Lithuano-Polish union was 
maintained in the face of all hindrances. 
In the second treaty of Thorn of 1466 the 
Poles had reached the goal which the 
course of their rivers clearly indicated. 
The same physical necessity caused the 
change of front in the year 15 15. Poland 
never found the partnership with Hungary 
profitable ; the connection was physically 
impossible, since a chain of mountains 
raised a barrier between them. Bohemia 
and Hungary especially had greater 
interests in common with Austria than 
with Poland, which lay on another line. 


There the Danube created out of all the 
surrounding regions a new state, Austria, 
the necessity of which was proved by the 
joint wars against the Turks, who wished 
to dispute with it the possession of the 
Danube. The influence of geography 
therefore kept Poland aloof from Hungary, 
Bohemia and Austria, and indicated to 
her that abandonment of all interests in 
Hungary which forms the one side of the 
treaty of 1515. 

But the other side of the treaty, the 
advance againsfthe East, was qualified by 
physical conditions. While Western Europe 
is divided by mountain ranges into many 
distinct and separate parts, in which 
individual states could develop apart, 
since they were protected 
from their neighbours 
by Nature, East Europe 
forms one gigantic plain 
which, in spite of its 
expanse, must have 
favoured the formation of 
a homogeneous political 
structure on its whole 
surface. The waves of 
nations continually swept 
on and broke one on the 
othrr ; the weaker tribes 
were subjugated, until at 
last only the strongest 
survived. Nowhere 
perhaps has the ethno- 
graphical picture changed 
so often as here — on the 
sea-coasts, if anywhere. 

Many centunes elapsed 

What the East 
War Meant 

dominates man. The two races, educated 
in different schools, worshipped quite 
different ideals. It was not the Poles 
that were fighting against the Russians 
there, but the Catholic Church against the 
Orthodox, republicanism against despotism. 
Hence the bitterness of this 
East European war ; it was a 
war of two conflicting prin- 
ciples. Moscow had emerged 
from the Tartar school hard and barbarised. 
An implacably stern absolutism had saved 
Russia from destruction. How, therefore, 
after this experience, was she to give up her 
own form of government and join the 
Western current of ideas ? People and 
prince alike in Russia were so convinced of 
the blessing of absolute 
monarchy that they were 
readier to go further in 
that direction rather than 
to abandon it ; especially 
since in the impending 
war all the resources of the 
country stood at the abso- 
lute disposal of the des- 
potic ruler, and the nation 
was so devoted to him 
that it hardly ventured 
to murmur under the 
heaviest oppression. A 
glance at the development 
of things in Poland could 
only strengthen Moscow 
in this conviction. 

Just when the struggle 
between these two nation- 
ahties began, the royal 
power in Poland had 

reign, from 1503 till 1548, Sigis- 

betore a homogeneous ^^^^-^^ ^^^ 

political structure? arose mund i. was "endeavouring" to"strengtiienThe gradually suuk into a 

in this gigantic basin. rweTerfwere^Tair^o^c^:^^^^^^^ 

There were countless decay which had taken root in the national soil, king and the nobiUty 
tribes there, and countless tribes were seemed to constitute two hostile, opposing 

fated to fall, until finally, on the question 
who was to ruia over the whole of East 
Europe, only two nations could come 
under consideration — the Poles and the 
Russians. And as soon as they recognised 
each other as rivals they rushed at each 
other, just as when in the desert 
one wild beast crosses the path 
of another. Properly speaking, 
the two kindred stocks, since 
similar economic, political, 
artistic, and even national interests, and 
to some degree the same enemies, could 
have quite well united, as was the case 
with Poland and Lithuania. But it was 
shown once more how powerfully an idea 

Poles and 
Russians in 

they had 

parties. The nobiUty would not under- 
take anything unless they received in return 
some concession or other from the king. 
The Slachta decided on war and peace, and 
obtained pay for the campaigns outside the 
borders of the empire. The ravages and 
losses in war had to be made good to them, 
and their prisoners of war ransomed by the 
king. The nobihty was desirous of paying 
as few taxes as possible, and of hghtening 
the burden of their other state duties, 
and naturally saw with pleasure when the 
king was freehanded. The kings bore 
the whole load of responsibility, and often 
rescued the realm from distress merely 
by the weight of their personahty and with 



their own means. These nobles, again, 
cared nothing for economy or work ; work 
was the concern of the peasants. These 
latter, therefore, and the king were the 
martyrs of the commonweal. And the class 
which possessed the most power in the 
state regarded the highest interests of the 
kingdom as something almost foreign. 
How could Poland under such 
conditions be a strong state ? 

in Battle 

These weaknesses came to light 
in all the wars which Poland 
waged in the fifteenth century. The whole 
management of the war against the 
Teutonic Order, which, after the year 1410, 
was enfeebled, was a discredit to Poland as 
a state ; and a\\ the more so since there 
were brave soldiers and competent officers 
enough in the country. Nevertheless, the 
Pohsh nobiUty was proud of its imperial 
constitution and its personal privileges. 
Its freedom appeared to it in a pecuUarly 
briUiant light when it saw how in the 
neighbouring kingdom the intellectual life 
was stunted under the oppression of the 
despotic tsar. 

We see here the strange phenomenon 
of two nations alarmed at the defects 
which each noticed in the other, and driven 
to exaggerate their own good qualities. 
The Russians enlarged the despotic power 
of the tsar to a monstrous degree ; the 
Poles strengthened the freedom of the 
individual so greatly that the unity and 
liberty of the kingdom were destroyed. 
The two countries, apart from isolated 
personaHties, who wished now and again 
to stay the evils, but could not carry their 
purpose through, did not adopt a middle 
course between the two extremes or any 
other solution of the problem. 

Let us consider other circumstances 
in order to determine what were the 
intentions of each of the two opponents 
in the impending struggle. Although 
Poland was weaker as a state, yet it was 
benefited by the higher civilisation and 
_ the support of Rome, so that it 

jj J. ^ came forward in the contest 
. *p*'!°'^ J with the East as the representa- 
tive of Europe in the interests 
of culture and rehgion. It could boast 
also of the sympathies of Europe, which 
did not, however, go beyond wordy agree- 
ments, and did not prevent the Western 
Powers from attacking Poland itself on 
a favourable occasion. Poland at first 
made great progress. But then only too 
soon the difficulty of her task was apparent. 


If Poland was resolved to carry Roman 
Catholicism to the East, she was destined 
to learn that Greek orthodoxy was being 
organised and grouped round Moscow 
as its representative. And even those 
aristocratic hberties which the Poles 
thought to disseminate in the East were 
accompanied by conditions which were 
fatal to them, since a heavy oppression 
of the country population went hand in 
hand with them. These two movements, 
the rehgious and the social, could not but 
cause widespread agitation among the 
population, which led to revolts and the 
ultimate loss of the Ukraine. The Poles 
finally became conscious that a concen- 
tration of all their energies was necessary 
in order to face the hard struggle. But 
it was at this point that the capabilities 
of the highly gifted and patriotic people 
failed. The old proverb, " Rzecz pos|:ohta 
cnota stoi " (the republic exists by virtue), 
was no longer applicable, since civic 
virtue had disappeared from Poland. 

Sigismund and his son, Sigisfnund 
Augustus, the last two J agellons, clearly per- 
ceived the root of the malady from which 
_. _. . _, the Polish nation suffered. 

E detvdr'to ^^^ P^"°^ °^ ^^^^"^ '■^'S"^. '^ 
Ch ^k^D*"^ ° therefore an unbroken series 
ccay ^j attempts to change the 
constitution, to stem the arrogance of the 
nobles, to strengthen the monarchy, and to 
pass wise laws ; and we must admit that 
they showed abundant proofs of good 
intentions, energy, perseverance, and self- 
sacrifice. We see them and their successors 
continually at war with the disorder and 
anarchy in the country, but also notice 
how uselessly they spent their efforts in 
this unequal contest and were unable, try 
as they might, to check the universal pro- 
gress of decay. Sigismund (1506-1548) 
soon showed his incapacity for the weighty 
task. Even before 1515 he was involved in 
war with Moscow, and gained some 
successes ; but the war could no longer be 
prosecuted energetically. It was the same 
in the second war, which broke out in 1533. 
Moldavia was already on the side of Mos- 
cow. Sigismund here displayed marked 
feebleness toward Germany. When, in 
1518, he married as his second wdfe 
Bona Sforza of ' Milan, the daughter 
of Giovanni Galeazzo, who died in 
1494, and thus became nephew of 
the Emperor MaximiUan, he seems to 
have let himself be influenced by 
Germany, as Jagiello once did. 


The brilliance of the imperial title induced 
him to form a friendship with Ferdinand I., 
and to ask the hand of Elizabeth, the 
emperor's daughter, for his son Sigismund 
Augustus. But he did not make full use 
of this alHance with Germany. Thus, 
he did not declare war, for example, 
against the Order, whose Grand Master 
persistently refused to do homage until 
after the death of MaximiUan in 1519. 
But even then he did not understand how 
to retain his advantage. In 1521 a truce 
for four years was concluded by the good 
services of the Emperor Charles V., who 
once more tried to play off the Teutonic 
Order against Poland. 

The Reformation made nowhere such 
rapid progress as in 
Prussia under the rule of 
the monastic knights, and 
by Luther's advice it was 
resolved to change the 
lands of the Order into a 
secular duchy. The Grand 
Master, Albert of Bran- 
denburg, a son of 
Frederic of Anspach 
and Sophia, Sigismund's 
sister, who died in 1513, 
and therefore a nephew 
of Sigismund, entered 
Cracow at the beginning 
of April, 1525, laid aside 
the dress of the Order, 
and did homage to the 
king on the great square 
at Cracow as a secular 
prince and hereditary 
duke of Prussia. The 
duke pledged himself to 
be a loyal vassal to the 
king, and to aid him in war 
with a hundred knights, and renounced his 
right of coinage. He received in return 
the first place in the Senate at the king's 
side. On the extinction of his descendants 
in the male line Prussia was to fall to 

There was little cause for Poland to 
rejoice at this conclusion of the matter. 
For now the place of a periodically elected 
Grand Master was filled by a hereditary 
German duke, and, what was a far 
weightier matter, the country, owing to 
the Reformation, assumed a thoroughly 
German character. The old enemy reap- 
peared in a form still more dangerous to 
Poland. So weak and short-sighted was 
Polish policy, that even after the death 

of Duke Albert II. Frederic on August 27th, 
1618, the fief was not resumed according 
to the meaning of the compact, but was 
transferred to the Kur-Brandenburg elder 
line of the Hohenzollerns. The complete 
severance of Prussia from the Polish crown 
could only be a question of time ; it was 
destined to take place in 1659, when Poland, 
completely surrounded by enemies, was in 
the greatest straits, and a formidable 
danger was threatening from the East. 
Even now Moscow and Prussia united 
against Poland, and their friendship soon 
became traditional. 

It was but a slight compensation that 
Sigismund united the western Masovian 
principalities with his own crown after the 
extinction of the Piasts in 
those parts. It was fortu- 
nate for Poland that with 
true discernment he main- 
tained friendly relations 
with Turkey. 

In spite of his circum- 
spection and foresight 
Sigismund, though 
personally an efficient 
ruler, who reduced to 
order the chaos of the 
imperial finances, did not 
achieve a complete 
success in any direction. 
How could the vast 
empire make a bold show 
when the nobility evinced 
no patriotism, but were 
bent on their own 
advantages and the 
increase of their privi- 
leges, and only too often 

in matters of foreign policy. Known also as prejudiced the rCSpCCt dut 
Augustus I., he reigned from 1548 till 1572. to the CrOWn ? EvCU UUdcr 

Jagiello, the Slachta. when the king had 
refused to cede some privilege, had 
hacked in pieces before his eyes the deed of 
acknowledgment intended for them. They 
had threatened Casimir, the son of 
Jagiello, with deposition. The same scenes 
were repeated now. 

Maximilian, who, even before 1515, 
stood in strained relations with Sigismund, 
succeeded in bringing over a part of the 
nobles to his side. The Slachta refused the 
king the supplies for the war against 
Moscow. Christopher Szydloviecki, one ot 
the most influential ministers of Sigismund, 
prided himself on having received from 
Maximilian 80,000 gulden, without being 
conscious that he was guilty of high treason. 


He was heir to his father's difficulties as well 
as to his father's throne, but he was an able 
ruler, and his governing genius revealed itself 


Polish Troops 



For the same reasons Sigismund was 
unable to carry on the war against the 
Order with the necessary vigour. When, 
in 1537, he summoned the nobihty to 
a campaign against Moldavia, and some 
150,000 men assembled at Lemberg, these 
masses would not march to the war, but 
became rebellious and demanded legisla- 
tive reforms. An attempt on 
the king's hfe was actually 
made in the diet of 1523. But 
when in 1538 it was proposed 
to punish severely the crimes of public out- 
rage and lese majeste recourse was had to 
Roman law, since the national code was 
deficient. It deserves to be specially noticed 
that the custom now began to develop 
of allowing no law to pass without the 
common consent. This fundamental prin- 
ciple led ultimately to the " liberum veto." 
This state of things lasted under 
Sigismund II. Augustus (also called 
Augustus I. ; 1548-1572), son of Sigis- 
mund I. He was much wiser than his 
father, so that he accomplished notable 
results, both in foreign policy and in the 
field of internal reforms. 

Sigismund Augustus was able to make 
an important conquest on the Baltic Sea. 
The Livonian section of the Teutonic 
Order was then approaching its dissolution, 
and Poland required to keep watch on the 
forthcoming negotiations as to the succes- 
sion. The Order had never reached such 
power and prosperity in Livonia as in 
Prussia. For one thing, the stream of 
immigrating Germans was less full there ; 
for another, the continual struggle between 
the Order and the archbishopric of Riga 
prevented any close amalgamation of the 
estates of the realm. The provincial 
bishops did not shrink from looking for 
outside aid. Thus the last Archbishop of 
Riga allied himself with Poland, and put 
himself formally under the protection of 
the Polish king, conduct intensely exas- 
perating to the Order, which had always 
The Balti shown a national spirit. 

Supremacy in 
the Balance 

Poland and Russia had a keen 

interest in the decision of the 
Livonian question. The pos- 
session of this rich and populated country, 
and through it of an important position 
on the Baltic, was worth the greatest 
sacrifices. The supremacy on the Baltic 
simply depended upon the sovereignty of 
the old German colony. Russia was still 
more interested, although in spite of the 
" historic " rights put forward by the 

tsars, no Russian prince ruled on these 
coasts until 1721. Russia was pressing 
forward in the sixteenth century with 
redoubled strength ; access to the ocean 
was essential for her, if she wished to 
become a great power in Europe. 

But Sweden and Denmark had an equally 
marked interest in the solution of the 
Livonian question ; the former, because 
she had planted foot on the north and east 
shores of the Gulf of Finland, and found 
the advance of Russia a menace to these 
possessions ; the latter, because since the 
days of Waldemar 11. she raised claims 
to Esthonia. If we reflect that the 
empire with which Livonia was politically 
united, and from religious reasons Rome 
also, must have had interests at stake, we 
shall comprehend how the Livonian ques- 
tion might grow into a European one. 

The prospects of Poland were the most 

favourable, and the Polish king adopted 

the most practical measures. Not only 

had Sigismund I. (who was still on the 

throne) always opportunity as patron of 

the archbishopric of Riga to interfere in the 

internal affairs of Livonia, but he had also 

Q p . a loyal ally in Duke Albert 

™ ' of Prussia, his Hohenzollern 

«-j fDi J vassal, who, as former Grand 
aide 01 roland -mr . ■ 1 

Master, exercised a great 

influence on the Order in Livonia, and was 
willing to employ it for the benefit of Poland. 
He succeeded in raising his brother 
William to be coadjutor, and in 1539 to 
be Archbishop of Riga, and thus strength- 
ened his influence in that direction. 

The Curia supported the Polish king 
in everything ; and for this reason 
Sigismund Augustus was obliged to pro- 
ceed cautiously in matters of reformation 
in his empire, and to try and hinder any 
general defection from Rome. Poland, as 
well as WilUam himself and his brother 
Albert of Prussia, entertained the idea of 
secularising the archbishopric of Riga, as 
had been the case with Prussia. Wilham 
selected as the heir to his plans his kins- 
man, the young Duke Christopher of 
Mecklenburg, formerly bishop of Ratze- 
burg, who was also nearly related to the 
King of Poland. 

Thus the most powerful princes of North- 
Eastern Germany now made common cause 
with Poland. Christopher, in spite of the 
protests of the Livonian states, was elevated 
to the post of coadjutor of the archbishop. 
Moscow also had achieved some succeess. 
In the year 1554 the Livonian Order had 


concluded a treaty with Ivan IV., in 
which it agreed never to enter into an 
alliance with Poland, and to remain 
neutral in case of war, besides parang a 
contribution from the bishopric of Dorpat 
of one mark per head. 

The outbreak of war was brought on in 
1556 by an intercepted letter from the 
bishop to his brother Albert of Prussia, 
in which there was mention of his plans 
directed against the Order. The arch- 
bishop was arrested as a traitor, his castles 
and seats were occupied, the archbishopric 
confiscated, and the management of it 
handed over to the bishops of Dorpat and 
Oesel. The outbreak of the war, which, 
in distinction from that of 1700 to 1718, is 
usually called the First Northern War, 
was accelerated, since, on the death of 
the Grand Master, Heinrich von Galen, 
Wilhelm von Fiirstenberg, a man of 
warlike propensities, was elected Master 
(1550). But it was now seen that the days 
of the Livonian Order were numbered. 

While Sigismund Augustus stood with 
100,000 men on the frontier of Courland, 
the Knights were hardly able to put 
p 10,000 men, including land- 

W " 'fh knechts and peasants, into the 
. K • ht field. Internal feuds broke up 
*"* ' the forces of the country. The 
Order was compelled, therefore, to yield 
without a struggle, to ask the Polish king 
for forgiveness, and to reinstate the arch- 
bishop with his coadjutor. The declara- 
tion of war by Moscow was made in 
November, 1557. And now the general war 
began. The Knights of the Order and 
their vassals performed many heroic feats 
in it, but confusion, discouragement, and 
treachery prevented the classes agreeing 
on united action. 

As once before in the hour of need in 
Prussia, so also here a movement was 
made against the Order, and once more the 
intrigues were due to the Polish party, 
who raised their supporter Gotthard 
Kettler to the Mastership ; Poland thus 
immediately gained a great advantage 
from the election. Kettler, it is true, 
wished to preserve his independence, and 
sought help from the Holy Roman Empire, 
the Teutonic Order, and other powers, but, 
as he himself said later, found no consola- 
tion from anyone, while the disturbances 
in the country grew worse. 

The Grand Master and the archbishop, 
weary of the disorders, soon surrendered to 
the Polish king. The treaty was signed 

on November 28th, 1561. The territory 
of the Order was secularised. Gotthard 
Kettler returned to secular rank, and 
received Courland as a fief with the title 
of the Duke of Courland and Semgallen, 
and also a seat and vote in the Polish 
Senate. Mitau, not Riga, was assigned 
him as residence. All the country be- 
Ajj-.- yond the Dwina, Riga in- 

to th eluded, was mcorporated m the 

Em Dire Po^^^h Empire, while the king 
at the same time confirmed all 
the privileges of the country, secured to it a 
German government, German language, 
and the freedom of the Augsburg Con- 
fession, and also promised to obtain the 
sanction of the German Empire to these 
treaties, by which Livonia was separated 
from the empire. The government of 
Livonia was entrusted to the Duke Kettler. 
On the basis of this Frivilegium Sigis- 
mundi Augusli the territory of the Order 
was able to maintciin its German character 
for 300 years. In the year 1562 all the 
estates of the realm, and twenty years 
later Riga, agreed to the treaty. 

Poland gained a further advantage by 
the friendly overtures of Sweden. John 
III., brother of the Swedish king, Eric 
XIV., married in 1562 Katherine, the 
daughter of the Polish king ; the son of 
this marriage became king of Poland as 
Sigismund III. in 1587. Sweden came into 
the possession of Reval and Esthonia 
with the consent of Poland. But even 
Denmark gained some advantages, for the 
Danish prince Magnus, obtained the 
bishopric of Oesel by treachery. Moscow, 
which persistently continued the war and 
made devastating inroads, was obliged 
to be content with Dorpat. But this was 
ceded to Poland in 1582. 

Attempts had been made at numerous 
imperial diets to reform the judicial 
system, the common law, the system of 
taxation, and the constitution of the 
army, but almost fruitlessly, since often 
p , what had been once accepted 
g° *^ ' was again rejected. If we cast 
, *V .* . our eyes over the legislation of 
egis a ton p^jg^j^^j irom 1500 to 1560 or 

so, we are astonished at its sterility ; so 
little was passed, so much was merely 
discussed. Sigismund Augustus only suc- 
ceeded in effecting some improvement 
towards the close of his reign. Even under 
his father, the nobles in the imperial 
diets of 1535- 1536 had demanded 
and agreed to a revision of the statute- 



book. In the course of time resolutions 
had been passed by the imperial diets 
which were contradictory to each other ; 
thus, for example, the privileges of the 
monasteries and the clergy, as well as the 
jurisdiction of the bishops and the im- 
munity from taxation enjoyed by the 
clergy, were inconsistent with the laws of 
_ . the country affecting the taxa- 

ciericai ^^^^ ^^ property, and with the 
"" ^*a nii^i^^ry constitution connected 
therewith, as well as, on the 
other hand, with the statute Neminem 
Captivahimtis and with the sovereignty 
of the nobles generally. Even under 
Casimir III. the Slachta had opposed the 
privileges of the clerics, and the king thus 
succeeded in breaking down the excessive 
power of the Church. 

The tendency everywhere was to abolish 
all privileges, whether belonging to classes 
or individuals. There was also a general 
wish to abolish the Incompatibtlia, or 
questionable concentration of several 
offices in one person. It was further 
important from the standpoint of the 
royal treasury and national taxation 
to organise and classify the crown 
lands which had been pawned or given 
away in large quantities, and were held 
on illegal titles. Their occupants were now 
forced to give them up, and thus a fund 
was created which was large enough to 
cover the most necessary outgoings of the 
kingdom, and by which the nobility could 
be relieved of their burdens. But the 
most important reform was to abolish 
the privileges of individual provinces 
and to bring them under one law, in order 
to put an end to their efforts for independ- 
ence and to the lawless state of things. 
To these belonged in the first line 
Lithuania, then Masovia, Prussia, Livonia, 
and finally Zator and Oswiecim (Ausch- 
witz in Galicia), which John Albert had 
acquired. All these legislative labours 
were comprised under the name " execu- 
—^ _ tion of the laws," and the 

e ayso jjQijjjj^y g^^ every opportunity 

p ".' noisily clamoured for their 
acceptance. The future political 
and social structure of the kingdom was 
dependent on this reform ; so was the 
solution of the religious question ; for Pro- 
testantism at that particular time had 
received a great stimulus in Poland. The 
freedom which Poland enjoyed was favour- 
able to the spread of various doctrines. 
Humanism had found a great response 


there ; and with it the Hussite movement, 
which it fostered, was so widely spread that 
the Hussites were supported in the towns 
and even among the nobles. The Lutheran 
teaching found the ground still better 
cleared, because the old Hussite doctrine 
had not yet died out, the power of the 
clergy was limited, and freedom of 
conscience was now traditional. 

Lutheran ideas were disseminated in 
Poland as early as the year 15 18. In 
Dantzic the monk Jacob Knade success- 
fully raised his voice against the abuses of 
the Church. Even in Great and Little 
Poland, and in other provinces, preachers 
came forward. Only in ultra-conservative 
Masovia did the new doctrine find no 
followers. The nobility greedily grasped 
at the new teaching, and not less greedily 
the citizens of the towns. We soon find 
followers of the Calvinistic teaching, which 
in Poland was spread perhaps still more 
successfully, besides Anti - Trinitarians, 
Socinians, Bohemian Brethren, Arians and 

Powerful noble families adopted the new 

doctrines and took them under their pro- 

tection. They raised centres 

ing an ^^ ^j^^ ^^^^ teaching on their 
ope gams gg^^^gg Many priests and 
Luther , , u- u 

monks, and even bishops, op- 
posed the Catholic Church. Religious inno- 
vations found patronage even at the royal 
court, and secret meetings were held at the 
house of the queen's confessor, a Francis- 
can. The court preacher was a friend of 
the movement. The heir to the throne, 
Sigismund Augustus, at that time still 
grand duke of Lithuania, was considered 
a supporter of the new teaching ; it was 
only towards the end of his life that he 
came forward as a zealous Catholic. 

The king, under the pressure of the 
bishops and the Curia, was at first moved to 
adopt severe measures. In the years 1520, 
1522 and 1523 he forbade the dissemination 
of Lutheran books on pain of confiscation 
of property. The synod in Len9zyca pub- 
lished in 1523 the bull of excommunica- 
tion issued by Leo X. against Luther, 
excommunicated for its own part all 
heretics, and introduced a clerical censor- 
ship by giving priests the right to institute 
searches in private houses. The king was 
petitioned to renew the old Hussite 
statute of Wielun dating from the year 
1424, according to which heresy was to 
be punished as lese majeste and to be 
subject to episcopal jurisdiction. The 



inquisition was introduced in the year 1527 ; 
in 1534, it was forbidden to attend the 
University of Wittenberg, and in 1541, on 
pain of loss of nobiUty, to keep priests who 
were independent of Rome. And later the 
episcopate, consolidated by the exclusion 
of its doubtful members, developed a 
successful energy, especially when the 
_ vigorous Bishop of Ermland, 

X ecu ion Stanislaus Hosius, took the 

Punishment , j • -u /- i.u i- i.- 

- „ lead in the Catholic reaction. 

eresy g^^ ^^ these measures 

against the new doctrines bore little fruit. 
King Sigismund had acted with severity 
only in Dantzic, when he went there in 
March, 1526, to suppress heresy, and ordered 
thirteen citizens to be executed in the 
market place without a trial ; and that 
though he had earlier sworn " by the king's 
honour, helmet and sword," and under 
letter and seal, to shed no blood, but to 
establish peace and concord. This was 
indeed of small avail ; Prussia remained the 
first country where the Lutheran doctrine 
was promoted to be the national religion. 

But then the king relaxed in his zeal. 
When Dr. Johann Eck challenged him 
to proceed in the spirit of Henry VIII., 
he answered him, in 1528 : " The times 
are changed, and with them the rulers 
and the spirit of the legislators ; sciences 
decay and others blossom. King Henry 
may write against Luther — you will 
allow me to be king of the sheep as well 
as of the goats." So he adopted mild 
measures. His son Sigismund Augustus 
did the same. One case only is known 
where Sigismund allowed the burning of 
a woman, Katharina Malcher ; otherwise 
the bishops at most let some innovators 
die in prison without a trial. So under 
Sigismund Augustus, only once was a 
woman burnt at the stake. 

The prohibition on visiting foreign 
universities was removed in 1543, since it 
was totally impossible to enforce it. 
Sigismund Augustus, who often asserted 

Nobility and ,^^ "^^"^^ ^^ "° j"^g^ ^^^^ 

Clergy in 

men's consciences, acted with 

Opposition ^q"^^' Z' P^'"*iapS' greater leni- 
ency. The bitterness between 
the nobility and the clergy meanwhile 
grew more intense, since the former would 
not recognise the episcopal jurisdiction. 
" We only wish," said Jan Tarnovski, 
" to submit to the king's court, and if 
the king merely executed the will of the 
bishops, our slavery would be worse 
than the Turkish ; for the least suspicion 


would suffice to stamp any man as a 

heretic. No injustice is done to the 

bishops, for as members of the Senate 

they will be, in some sort, judges with us 

in matters of heresy." And when the 

Bishop of Cracow, Zebrzydovski, answered 

him, " What shall I be if I am not to be 

judge over heresy — beadle or bishop ? " 

Tarnovski remarked to him, " It is better 

for you to be a beadle than for me to be a 

slave. " It is exhilarating to hear with what 

manly courage the nobles defended their 


The young Rafael Leszczynski once, 

during Mass in the cathedral, while the 

king and bishops were kneeling, put his 

cap on his head. This breach of decorum 

was aimed at the bishop, not the religion. 

In Poland, freedom was prized beyond 

everything, while earthly honours were 

despised. Things went so far that full 

Mberty of conscience was demanded for 

the serfs. The Poles showed that they 

were truly a nation of free men. The 

young Rafael was then chosen marshal 

of the imperial diet, in defiance of the 

bishops who had impeached him before 

_^ p the king. It was wished to 

.... '^ aboUsh the episcopal iurisdic- 
a Nation of .• , -^ 1 • -u 1 

P j^ tion, in order to bring the clergy 

under the laws of the country. 

This was intended to be decided at once 

as a main feature of the programme of 

legislative revision. 

The matter was not easy, and the king 
long hesitated. If he decided in favour of 
the bishops and recognised their jurisdic- 
tion, dangerous results would follow ; on 
the other hand, no right of deciding 
religious questions could be conferred with 
propriety upon the secular judges. The 
king, therefore, postponed the decision and 
resolved to temporise, although in prin- 
ciple, according to the sense of the old 
laws, he recognised the episcopal juris-i 
diction. Possibly the Livonian question 
deterred him from breaking off with the 
Curia, whose help he required. 

In spite of, or rather on account of, this 
great freedom, Protestantism could not 
strike root deeply in Poland. In Germany 
it was a reaction against the encroach- 
ments of the Church ; there it had sprung 
up out of the existing conditions, like 
a wild plant. In Poland the Church could 
not allow herself any great abuses, and 
Protestantism was accordingly regarded 
as an imported luxury. Most people 
played with it, to show that they were at 


liberty to hold different views. When, 
then, the CathoUc Church renewed her 
vigour at the Council of Trent, and clearly 
proclaimed her object, the Counter Refor- 
mation in Poland had an easy task. 
While in the West the Reformation had 
been mostly suppressed with bloodshed, 
in Poland the Counter Reformation was 
carried out almost unnoticed ; even such 
influential opponents as Stanislaus Orze- 
chovski went over again to the CathoUc 
Church. Only the anirnosity between the 
Roman Catholic Church and the Greek 
Orthodoxy grew more bitter. 

A side movement, started by the Re- 
formation, deserves our notice — the wish 
for a national church. The preachers 
employed everywhere the popular dialect 
in spreading their teaching, and thus 
revived the national languages. This 
had already been done to some degree 
in Poland by Hussitism, and Protes- 
tantism now developed the Polish lan- 
guage to higher perfection. If the Polish 
language ousted Latin in Poland in the 
sixteenth century and created a national 
literature, this golden age, as elsewhere, was 

_ . .. „ . primarily inaugurated by 
Poland s Desire f, t>j.a4. 

the Protestant move- 
ment. The dialects, now 
awakened to fresh hfe, 
forced their way into the church services. 
While in the West the opponents of the 
CathoUc Church aimed at extending the 
independence of their own national 
churches, seeking in France a Gailican 
national church and in England estab- 
lishing the Anglican national church, 
Poland also wished for the estabUshment 
of a national church with a Slavonic liturgy 
and more or less complete independence 
from Rome. And the opposition wished 
to win the king over to this plan. 

But since this would have necessarily 
brought with it a change of the constitu- 
tion, this point also formed part of the 
programme of the Revision or " Execution 
of the Laws." FinaUy the king, in 1562, 
soon after the acquisition of Livonia, 
determined in favour of the Execution. 
A start was made with the easiest part of 
the demands, namely, the crown lands 
and the Incompatibilia ; the Slachta 
understood originaUy by this the abolition 
generally of all special privileges. But by 
the influence of the queen the question of 
the confiscation of the mortgaged crown 
lands was first dealt with ; she wished by 
the multipUcation of crown lands to 

for a 

National Church 

found a dynasty, as had been done in the 
case of other royal f^miligs. 

As under Sigismund, a resolution passed 
by the imperial diet in the year 1504 was 
chosen as the starting-point, by which the 
pledging of crown property was made de- 
pendent on the sanction of the Senate. 
Some grandees under Sigismund had torn 
The King their grants of privileges in 
Sacrifkes P^^^^^ ^"^ thrown them at the 
Revenue king's feet, and there were now 
some such who resigned their 
offices if they filled two or more. But 
when a serious attempt was made to 
confiscate the crown lands, such difficulties 
cropped up that the whole scheme melted 

Sigismund Augustus himself showed the 
greatest self-sacrifice, since he agreed 
that a fourth part of the revenues of all 
the crown lands should be applied to 
cover the expenses of the army, and took 
for his share exclusively those estates 
about which it had not been decided 
whether they should be confiscated. In 
the future the management of the army 
was often assigned to this royal fourth. 
This, indeed, was estimated at so low a 
figure that it had later to be doubled. 

The question of ecclesiastical jurisdiction 
then came up. After great discussions 
the king decided in favour of a com- 
promise, which recognised the jurisdiction 
of the Church, but withdrew from it the 
secular arm. This law was so formulated in 
1565 that municipal starosts could not be 
made responsible by the ecclesiastical 
authorities for the execution of commands. 
But the party of reform demanded that the 
clergy and nobiUty should be placed on a 
precisely equal footing with regard to the 
burdens of taxation and military service. 
Only the presence of the papal legate, 
Francis Commendone, a skilled diplomat, 
who knew how to smooth the ruffled waters, 
spared the CathoUc Church in Poland new 
humiUations. He was vigorously supported 
#^ t. •• ^L V by Bishop Hosius of Erm- 
Cathohc Church land, who had represented 
Escapes Poland at the Council of 

numuiaiions ^ i. ■ i. n- x j. 1 

Trent m bnlhant style, 

and had composed a new confessto fidei 
adopted by the whole Catholic Church. 
Commendone recommended the clergy, 
in order to preserve their other rights, 
not to evade the duty of paying taxes ; 
the Church tithe was therefore a tax. 
The attempt of the legate to introduce 
into Poland the resolutions of the Council 


of Trent met with great difficulties ; a part 
of the clergy opposed several of the enact- 
ments. Thanks only to the good offices of 
the king, who declared he wished to live and 
die a Catholic, the Catholic Church finally 
conquered her opponents, who were in a 
more unfavourable position from the very 
first, since they were split up into many 
u .1 /^ ... .. parties. All the plans 
Chrrlt ^^ *^^ opposition-the 

_, !^"^ . . national church, the 

nomp e national synod, and the 

complete abolition of clerical jurisdiction — 
remained unfulfilled, although it tried to win 
over the king to its cause by meeting his 
wishes in all his private affairs. On the con- 
trary, he accepted from the hand of the 
legate the resolutions of the Council of Trent , 
gave them validity in Poland, and pub- 
lished an ordinance which banished foreign 
religious innovators from the country ; 
indeed, he even wished, in concession to 
the wishes of the legate, to allow no reli- 
gious discussions between the Catholics 
and the zealous reformers. The Catholic 
Church did not approve of disputations, 
judging correctly that they could not be 
profitable to the faith. 

The laws as to the Incompatibilia, as 
well as that touching the duty of an 
official to reside on the scene of his duties, 
were once more strictly enforced, both for 
secular office-holders, and, in the meaning 
of the resolutions of Trent, also for 
spiritual dignitaries. 

But the revision affected also the privi- 
leges of the towns, since the export of 
goods to foreign countries was prohibited 
— a prohibition which was certain to 
undermine the welfare not only of the 
towns, but also of the whole empire. The 
nobility alone were to be permitted to 
export raw materials. Since the importa- 
tion of foreign goods was still allowed, it 
will be understood how the development 
of home industries was thus sapped. 
Poland never understood how to honour 
_ sufficiently this important 

, .' . branch of human energy and 

Industries .. , ., ^y-' 

a . national prosperity. The pre- 

*'*'** judiced notion that work is un- 

worthy 01 a nobleman, and that trade and 
industrial undertakings are ignoble, has 
survived there untU modern times. 

In Poland the value of the towns and 
their importance for culture and industry 
was not recognised till it was too late. 
In a dialogue, written about this time by 
Lucas Gornicki, between a Pole and an 


Italian, the Pole will not allow himself to 
be convinced of the necessity for towns, 
which became everywhere the centres of 
political and social life and of culture, and 
points to the Tartars, who, indeed, had no 
towns. Towns and the citizen class were 
never able to develop in Poland. Owing 
to the depression in trade and industries 
which then set in, wealthy citizens began 
to have recourse to agriculture. Poland 
did not rise beyond an agrarian standpoint, 
and was therefore exploited by Italian, 
English, and Scottish traders. No sufficient 
use was made of her position on the Baltic. 
Instead of favouring the Baltic trade, the 
Poles burdened Dantzic with taxes, and 
brought matters to such a pitch that this 
busy town often looked round for other 
patrons. No one in Poland took any 
interest in commerce. 

All these enactments, by which the 
privileges of the magnates, the bishops, 
and the towns were partly limited, partly 
abolished, made the chamber of provincial 
deputies the most powerful institution in 
the state- — a circumstance which, in view 
of the low education of the Slachta and the 
. . . , one-sided representation of their 
1 uania s ^j^^^ rights, could not conduce 
plmon ^^° the national prosperity. 
In 1563 an important ordin- 
ance was passed by which the Orthodox 
Greek nobility in Lithuania were conceded 
the same rights which the Catholics pos- 
sessed ; henceforward any Boyar was 
admissible to any office. The nobility, 
incensed at the connection of the king 
with the Catholic Church, refused other 
important proposals of the king, such as 
the reform of the army and finance, the 
order of the election to the throne, and 

A complete unification of the empire in 
place of loosely compacted unions was the 
more urgently demanded ; the king, with 
the prospect of a dangerous war with 
Moscow before his eyes, was himself in 
favour of the scheme. But the Lithua- 
nians offered a stubborn resistance. Their 
embassy, with Nicholas Radziwill the 
Black at its head, after pointing to the 
independent position of Lithuania and the 
previous measures of union, declared for 
a personal union, even if a restricted one, 
demanded diets of their own, a revision of 
the frontiers of Lithuania and Poland, 
and a special coronation of the king as 
Grand Duke of Lithuania. The king 
stood on the side of the Polish crown, and 


was resolved to incorporate Lithuania 
with it. To facihtate the execution of 
this plan, he cleared away the last legal 
obstacle by waiving his hereditary rights 
in Lithuania, and thus placing both parts 
in equal relations to his person. 

When the Lithuanian deputation left the 
Polish diet, in order in this way to prevent 
the incorporation of their country, the king 
nevertheless declared his intention to 
carry it out. The entreaties of the envoys, 
who implored the king with tears to pro- 
tect them, were unavailing. On the 
Polish side there was talk of war if Lith- 
uania offered resistance. Thus in 1569, at 
the imperial diet at Lublin, the " union," 
which was in fact an incorporation of 
Lithuania, was definitely carried. Pod- 
lachia, Kiev, and Volhynia, districts 
which had originally been Lithuanian, 
and for a long time a disputed possession, 
were first united with the Polish crown 
in a special act. Only the use of the 
Russian language in law courts was 
granted them. Lithuania lost its richest 
provinces. Any man who refused to 
recognise this act was held to have for- 
feited his titles and property. 
Po an There was no idea of serious 
*^J**" opposition, since the lesser 
°^ Lithuanian nobility, who were 
jealous of the magnates, remained loyal 
to Poland, in order by the closer union with 
Poland to obtain the same rights which 
the lesser nobility in Poland possessed. 
Thus on July ist, 1569, the union was 
proclaimed, and both sides swore to it. 
Lithuania only retained its own officials, 
and therefore ceased to be an independent 
state. Both parties shed tears when the 
oaths to the treaty were administered, 
only with the distinction that in the case of 
the Lithuanians they were tears of sorrow ; 
in that of the Poles, tears of joy. What 
the first Jagellon, Vladislav IL, in 1386, 
1401, and 1413 had, so to say, merely 
promised, the last really accomplished. 

After this the union of Prussia, Livonia, 
and the other provinces was carried 
through, and the amalgamation was com- 
plete. Poland now was united. This was 
a great political and economical gain; 
Nothing now stood in the way of Polish 
colonisation in the vast Russo-Lithuanian 
regions ; and the stream of German and 
Polish colonists to the eastern provinces 
swelled from year to year. 

But the chief source of weakness to the 
empire was not thus removed. This lay 

not so much in the constitutional relations 
of individual parties as in the impotence 
of the crown — that is to say, in the Polish 
constitution, which threatened to degener- 
ate into an anarchy. This evil was bound 
to spread over every province equally. 
Nothing occurred to strengthen the central 
administration ; on the contrary, the 
The G Slachta, in view of the king 

Weakness ^^^"8 childless, of the question 
of Poland °^ succession, and of the 
election to the crown, feared to 
lose in power, and to have diminished 
rights even in the religious question. 

The future of the rehgious parties 
depended to a great extent on the attitude 
of the king towards this question; and both 
parties, the Catholic no less than the united 
non-Catholic, cherished the idea of choosing 
a king after their own heart by an elector^ 
compact. Since for the moment the non- 
Catholics were in the majority, there were 
many among the minority to whom the 
principle of a majority in the resolutions 
of the parliament seemed dangerous. 
They demanded the legal introduction of 
"unanimity." They clearly saw the 
necessity of . a strict government, but 
liberty was more valuable in their eyes 
than order. Since a general assent was 
necessary in adopting resolutions, the 
liberum veto now really existed, although 
it was first claimed as a right in 1652. 

Sigismund and Sigismund Augustus 
failed, therefore, in their efforts to 
strengthen the power of the sovereign. 
The latter, while still Grand Duke of 
Lithuania, married, after the death of his 
first wife,without the consent of the Senate, 
Barbara, the daughter of the Castellan 
Radziwill. His father and the Slachta 
disapproved ; the nation was reluctant to 
recognise Barbara as queen. In order 
that his bride might be crownea, the king 
adopted a conciliatory attitude toward 
the nobles. After the death of his deeply 
loved Barbara, he married the second 
daughter of Emperor Maxi- 
Augustus ^jjjI^ ij Katharina, a 

Succumbs to ■ , rv •/- - •£ T^i- 

w • Kt fC Sister of his first wife, Lliza- 
eig o ares^ beth. Since he had no 
issue by her, he wished to be divorced from 
her and to marry again. But Rome and 
th? clergy, whom the king tried equally 
to propitiate by concessions, were opposed 
to his wish. He thus did not face either 
one or the other Order with firmness. 
Overwhelmed ' by cares, Sigismund II. 
Augustus died on July 14th, 1572, 










A FTER the death of the hist Jagellon, 
^*' whose reign seemed in the memory 
of the nation a period of power and glory, 
a period of decay set in, which ended with 
the pohtical downfall of the country. 
The constitution was, in isolated points, 
logically completed, according to the 
principle of the most absolute authority of 
the individual, and was used to the full 
by every individual in his own interest 
without regard for the common good. 
After the extinction of the Jagellon 
dynasty, Poland was proclaimed an elective 
monarchy. The primate of the kingdom, 
the Archbishop of Gnesen, obtained thereby 
wide privileges. The conduct of state 
affairs during the interregnum — the sum- 
moning of the elective diet, the acceptance 
or rejection of candidatures, and the procla- 
mation of the name of the elected — de- 
volved upon him. Catholicism in Poland 

_. „. , was thus once more greatly 
The Pivot i iu J T^u 

. _ strengthened. There was no 

uro ean ^gg^j.|.j^ qJ candidates, and the 

ip omacy political situation might well 
be learnt from the promises of the represen- 
tatives of the European sovereigns. Above 
all,- on this occasion the hostility between 
France and Austria, the pivot on which 
the diplomacy of Europe then turned, 
cast its shadow on Poland. Both oppo- 
nents brought forward their candidates 
and fought each other with traditional 
bitterness even on Polish soil. France 
relied on her friendship with Turkey ; 
Austria offered an alliance with Spain and 
Denmark against Turkey ; both held out 
the prospect of further advantages. France 
promised the formation of a fleet and the 
organisation of the finances and army ; 
Austria, a favourable solution of the 
Livonian, Prussian, and other questions ; 
both powers threw money by handfuls 
among the senators and the Slachta. 

But the King of Sweden also announced 
his candidature as husband of Katharina, 
one of the Jagellon stock, and promised an 
alliance against Moscow. There was, how- 

ever, among the Slachta a strong party 
(that which under Sigismund Augustus 
had deserved the greatest credit for the 
reform of the legislature) which recom- 
mended the candidature of the Tsar of 
Moscow, and laid stress on the great benefit 
for Poland which would proceed from this 
-, -^, course, as formerly from the 

Su^ortedb ^^^^^ ^'^th Lithuania. But 
th''*cT * ^ Ivan the Terrible seemed de- 
void of ambition ; he sent his 
embcissy and courteously announced the 
conditions on which he would accept the 
crown of Poland. Once again native candi- 
dates, from envy and unpopularity.were in- 
sufficiently supported by their countrymen. 

Henry, Duke of Anjou, brother of the 
King of France, and his heir-presumptive, 
was elected in the middle of May, 1573, 
not merely because French diplomacy was 
clever, but because his Catholicism found 
favour with the high clergy. He was also 
supported by the papal legate, who 
henceforth intervened at every election 
of a Polish king in the interests of the 
Church, and always with success. This 
success was aided by the circumstance 
that royal elections henceforward were 
held in the fields near Warsaw, where 
many of the strictly Cathohc Masovians 
could take part. Ten thousand of them 
appeared at the election of Henry. 

The Slachta once again had an oppor- 
tunity of imposing conditions on their 
king, which were as humiliating as possible. 
The king, hitherto, could only more or less 
maintain his position by three means : he 
SI ht ^^^ ^^^ "ght, first, when con- 
„ ...*j * fronted with conflicting resolu- 
j,. „ tions of the diet, to make one 
ing enry ^^ ^J^gj^ \q^ qj- ^^q " conclude " ; 

secondly, to confer the vacant offices of 
state, with which he could reward his 
adherents and create a party for himself ; 
and, finally, to call out the mihtia, and 
therefore often practically decided upon 
war or peace. The new king, on thf- 
contrary, was no longer to possess the 



right of " conclusion " ; the Senate was to 
decide on war and peace, and the diet was 
to summon the army. The freedom of 
denominations was proclaimed, and the 
title " heir to the empire " was erased from 
the royal title. Should the king act con- 
trary to these terms, the nation was 
justified in refusing him obedience. Be- 
sides this, Henry pledged him- 

The King's 

self to build a fleet at his own 

p *f d*^**" ^°^^' *^ ^^®P ^P 4,000 soldiers, 
and to pay the debts of the 
empire. However suspicious these pacts 
were, the new king subscribed them and 
took the oath to the constitution. 

If the people did not see in the king the 
first power in the empire, but almost 
an enemy to their hberties, they still 
regarded the monarchy as a brilliant post, 
for which there were always candidates, of 
whom, indeed, nothing more could be pre- 
dicated than that they wished to gratify 
their pride. It goes without saying that 
many candidates put themselves to great 
expense, that other countries had a 
welcome plea for intervention, which 
Poland bought by her moral degradation, 
and that a contested election threw the 
land into civil war. But the Slachta was 
still lulled in the sweet dream of hberty 
and security. The connection with France 
might, perhaps, have been profitable to 
Poland ; but Henry fled on July 17th, 
1574, in order to place on his own head 
the crown of France after the death of his 
brother Charles IX. His reign left behind 
no traces beyond those of the resolutions 
adopted at his election. 

Even at the next elections the candidates 
of the Roman CathoUc party came to the 
front ; thus, Stefan Bathori, Prince of Tran- 
sylvania, who reigned from 1576 to 1586 ; 
then Sigismund Vasa of Sweden, the son of 
John III. and of Katharina the Jagellon, 
from 1587 to 1632 ; he was followed by 
his sons. Vladislav, who ruled till 1648, 
and John Casimir, who in 1668 resigned the 
C d'd crown and went to France. 

. . Then two natives (Piasts) 

n I' L 'n. were elected — Michael Wis- 
Polith Throne 1 1 n^- ^ \ r • ^ 

nioweck {1009-1673), of anch 

and respected family ; then John Sobieski. 

Next came a double election. The one 

party chose Stanislaus Lesczynski, a 

native, who was supported by Sweden and 

France in the war known as the first War 

of the Pohsh Succession ; the other, the 

Elector Frederic Augustus of Saxony, 

who held his own after many contests 


until 1733. This occasion was the first 
on which Russia actively interfered in 
the PoUsh disorders. She declared for 
Frederic Augustus, and helped him to 
drive out all enemies. After that time 
the Russian influence in Poland was 
preponderant. Frederic Augustus II., 
the son of Augustus the Strong, defeated 
Stanislaus Lesczynski for the second time, 
with the help of Russia, in the second 
War of the Polish Succession, and became 
the Pohsh king, Augustus III. ; he died in 
1763. Similarly the last Pohsh king, 
Stanislaus Poniatovski (1764-1795), was a 
candidate of Russia. 

Of this whole series two kings, Stefan 
Bathori and John Sobieski, stand out 
conspicuously, and to a lesser degree 
Vladislav. But while Sobieski, the libera- 
tor of Vienna in the year 1683, was merely 
a military hero, Bathori, a no less able 
general, distinguished himself by his 
skilful administration and his statesman- 
like insight. If anyone could have lifted 
Poland out of the political and social 
slough, it would have been Bathori. After 
he had by his manly attitude defeated the 
-. ,, rival candidate, the Lmperor 
a on s Maximilian, who had already 

„ , .. taken an oath to the constitu- 
Declaration ,. . ^t 1 1 

tion at Vienna, he waged an 

obstinate struggle with the Slachta about 
the restrictions dating from the year 1573. 
He was required to renounce the right of 
distribution, that is to say, the right to 
grant imperial offices ; these, so soon as 
they became empty, were to be filled by 
election in the respective voivodeships. 
The king then made at the diet of Thorn 
the famous declaration that he had no 
intention of being merely a king in a 

While he stiU, as elective candidate, 
waged war against the imperial party, 
but especially against Dantzic and other 
German towns, which took Maximilian's 
side, Ivan IV. the Terrible conquered 
almost all Livonia, with the exception of 
Reval and Riga. Bathori's immediate 
goal was, therefore, war against Moscow. 
After he had secured himself against the 
Turks and Tartars, and had raised a loan 
from Frederic George, Margrave of Bran- 
denburg-Anspach, he began the war in 
1579. ^^ spite of superiority of numbers 
Ivan's armies were beaten everjrwhere, and 
Polock and many other towns and for- 
tresses were captured. Ivan, hard pressed, 
looked round for help, sent an embassy 


Ivan the 
Terrible and 
the Bible 

to the emperor and the Pope, professed 

that he wished to join the Russian Church 

closely with the Roman, complained of 

Bathori's " un-Christian " procedure, and 

begged for intervention. 

Rome was not in a position to resist such 

tempting prospects. In 1581 the papal 
legate Antonio Possevino ap- 
peared in Poland and went 
forthwith to Moscow. His con- 
versation with Ivan on religious 

questions is interesting. Ivan showed him- 
self well read in the Scriptures, perhaps 

more so than may have been expected 

by the legate ; on the whole, he developed 

such amiable traits that Possevino, 

doubtless to the amazement of all, styled 

him a sweet ruler who loved his su 

The upshot of the 

legate's exertions was 

that Ivan obtained com- 
paratively favourable 

terms of peace. At 

Kiverova Horka, in 1582. 

he merely renounced his 

claim to Livonia, Polock, 

and Wielun ; he received 

back the other places 

which had been con- 
quered by the Poles. 

The favourable oppor- 
tunity of subjugating 

Moscow and proceeding 

to the conquest of all 

Eastern Europe had thus 

been let slip ; so, too, the 

advance of Rome in that 

quarter was checked. ^tefan bathori : the fearless 

/-v •■ ,1 Able alike as a g^eneral and as a statesman, 

Unce more 11 was ine Stefan Batnori stands out prominently among 

Slachta which by its the Polish kings. A man of strong will, 

shortsightedness and he left behind many traces of his energy. 

selfishness had hindered the king in the creased greatly 
execution of his plans. It haggled with the 
king over every penny, reproached him 
for showing favour to Zamojski, a general 
who had distinguished himself in the war 
with Moscow, and for his non-fulfilment 
of the electoral capitulation ; always choos- 
ing the most unfavourable moment, in 
order to compel the king the more cer- 
tainly to comply. Indeed, it forced him 
ii^to negotiations with Moscow and 
refused the supplies for the war, so that 
the king was driven to incur debts with 
foreign countries. When Ivan died in 
1584, Bathori contemplated a renewal 
of his plans against Turkey, but he 
died unexpectedly on May 2nd, 1586, at 

The reign of Stefan Bathori was in many 
respects profitable to Poland. Not merely 
was the glory of the Polish arms revived 
by his martial deeds, the Muscovite 
lust of conquest quenched for long years 
to come, and that semi-Asiatic power 
driven back from the Baltic Sea, but he 
left other noteworthy traces of his energy. 
Thus, he devoted his especial attention 
to the important religious question. It 
could not escape him that the religious 
disputes led to no union, crippled the 
power of society and the realm, and at the 
same time appreciably checked the develop- 
ment of culture and civic virtues. Start- 
ing from this practical standpoint of 
attention to the general welfare of his 
111 his subjects, he threw 
himself, though formerly 
a Protestant, definitely 
into the Catholic cause, 
and was thus the first 
who, with all the means 
standing at his command, 
was resolved to carry 
through the Counter Re- 
formation without giving 
an exclusively Catholic 
direction to his policy. 

Nevertheless, in his 
reign the Order of Jesuits 
gained great influence in 
Poland. The Jesuits had 
alread}' moved into 
Braunsberg in 1565 at 
the invitation of Car- 
dinal Stanislaus Hosius, 
the greatest Roman 
Catholic champion of 
Poland, and under Henry 
and Bathori they in- 
They founded schools 
everywhere, and won over the rising 
generation for their purposes. How- 
ever successful their pedagogic labours 
were in many respects, especially in 
the field of classical philology, they did 
much to disintegrate the structure of 
the state, as became evident 
under the weak successors 
p of Bathori. A particularly 

the Peerage f^^o^j-j^bie light is thrown on 
Bathori by his friendly feeling towards 
the peasants. He regarded the patent 
of nobility merely as a distinction for 
services to the country, and is said to have 
raised fifty-five peasants to the peerage. 
He protected the peasants everywhere; 
for example, in Livonia against the German 


Raised to 


knights, summoned them to miUtary ser- 
vice, and organised a corps of those who 
were settled on the royal estates — the first 
regular infantry. Out of every twenty 
small farmers one was chosen for military 
service. This corps was called the chosen 
or farmer corps ; it acquitted itself well. 
He introduced a better organisation into 

the imperial militia ; he im- 

a" ^'"t ih proved the artillery, and created 

gams e ^^^ himself an efficient staff. It 

was further important that 
Bathori completed the organisation of the 
Cossacks in the Ukraine. Even in the 
fifteenth century there was in the un- 
claimed regions on the Dnieper, which 
had been ravaged by the Turks, a large 
population, which, fleeing from Poland 
and Russia to escape intolerable oppres- 
sion, gradually settled in those parts, and 
soon did good service as a bulwark of 
Christianity against the Tartars. It was 
a vigorous, warlike people, which only 
needed military organisation to become a 
formidable power. Bathori now adopted 
them in the name of the empire, and 
drew up lists of the able-bodied soldiers, 
but limited their number of conscripts 
at first to 600. By this means he 
obtained new forces for the empire 
against Russia. 

It was a fresh reminder to the Slachta 
that the laws must be regarded, when 
Bathori had one of the unruly members 
beheaded. He held the reins of govern- 
ment with a firm hand. Under his direc- 
tion a much-needed reform in the judicial 
system was carried out. He abandoned, 
indeed, his old right of the last instance, 
which from various reasons was no longer 
enforceable ; law courts were thus insti- 
tuted for separate groups of provinces in 
Lublin, Piotrkov, Wilna, Grodno, and 
Lutzk. In spite of his high ideals, this king 
was the object of the meanest attacks. The 
Slachta accused him of despotic aims and 
threatened him with deposition. Stefan 
_ . ., did not allow himself to the 

o very last moment to be de- 
Successor on , -^ J r u- 1 A rx 

—^ terred from his goal. After 

the Throne ^^^ ^^^^^ ^^ Bathori the 

situation grew worse. 

The election of Sigismund III. Vasa and 
the alliance with Sweden had not proved 
beneficial to Poland, first, because this 
house subordinated the newly acquired 
state to the strict Catholic interests, and 
secondly, because it only furnished incom- 
petent rulers. Poland was at first by its 


new dynasty drawn into the vortex of 
Swedish troubles. Sigismund and his two 
sons naturally tried to retain the Swedish 
crown, their paternal inheritance. But the 
empire had not the slightest interest in this 
purely dynastic question, since Sweden had 
quite other political and economic aims; 
Protestantism, too, was the state religion 
there. But the Catholic Church, to whom 
primarily the election of Sigismund was 
due, since she thought to bring the Swedes 
back to her bosom, contrived to interest 
the realm in the dynasty by the promise 
which the king made to cede Esthonia to 
Poland. Supplies were granted to the 
king for the journey to Sweden. He was 
crowned there on February 19th, 1594, and 
subscribed, actually with the knowledge of 
the papal nuncio, a declaration which 
excluded the Catholics in Sweden from all 
offices, while he intended in Poland to 
exclude the heterodox ; such was the 
policy that was adopted and carried 

But this was all that Sigismund did 
in Sweden. His uncle Charles of Siider- 
manland placed himself at the head of the 

Protestants, drove out the 
o an on j-Qyalists step by step, and 
the Verge of -^ ui u ^u l^k^. x. 

_ ^ T. was able by the year 1004 to 
Destruction ,, ji- j^u 

to be crowned kmg under the 

title of Charles IX. The long war which 
broke out over this brought Poland, in 
spite of occasional successes and deeds of 
valour, to the verge of destruction by the 
terrible losses and humiliations which it 
sustained ; it ended finally (1660) in the 
treaty at Oliva with the resignation by the 
king, John Casimir, of all claims to the 
crown of Sweden, and with the exhaustion 
of the Polish empire, which had been 
obliged to neglect and abandon its most 
important interests. 

It was, further, of the greatest conse- 
quence to the empire that Sigismund 
became the wilhng ally of the Jesuits. 
Thus a flood of Catholicism poured into 
the country, which disregarded other 
religions ; a policy that could only create 
misfortune in Poland, where there was 
such diversity of creed. The neighbouring 
powers, shielding religious interests, took, 
as might be expected, now the Protestants 
now the Orthodox under their protection, 
merely in order to interfere in the affairs 
of the empire. The very first appearance 
of the king on the scene showed that he 
was entirely in accord with the Catholic 
party. At a hint from Rome he was 


Attempts at 
Church Union 

willing to abdicate the Polish crown in 
favour of the house of Hapsburg, and him- 
self to retire to Sweden — a proposal which 
evokedgeneral consternation and ill-feeling. 
The Jesuits in the interests of the Church 
negotiated the marriage of the king with 
Anna, and after her death with Constantia, 
daughters of the Archduke 
Charles of Styria and of Mary 
of Bavaria. The privileges 
which the Orthodox Church 
had acquired at the time of the Hussite 
and Protestant movements were removed, 
and there was a reversion to the ideas of 

The attempts at union in 1415 and the 
Florentine union of 1439 had proved 
abortive. The Hussite movement and 
then the Reformation 
strengthened the Ortho- 
dox Greek world in its 
resistance to the Roman 
Catholic Church. The 
union only split up the 
Russian society into two 
camps, which fought 
against each other more 
bitterly than the Ortho- 
dox and the Catholics. 
A union of the Greek 
Orthodox Church with 
Rome is nowadays 
usually disparaged. The 
Slavonic liturgy, which 
would not have been 
tolerated by Rome, was 
of inestimable value to 
all the Slavs; they are 
indebted to it for their 
oldest literature. 


Devoted to the Catholic Church, Sigismund 

III. Vasa of Sweden became the friend of 

the Jesuits. He was even willing, at a hint 

But on the other fro™ Rome, to abdicate the crown of Poland. 

hand, the Orthodox Church, except in 
the first centuries of its spread among 
the Slavs, was nowhere an engine of 
civilisation. It was rather the cause 
why the Slavs and other nations of the 
Greek Church remained backward. Their 
clergy felt that most deeply in places 
where they lived side by side with the 
Romans ; for this reason the Orthodox 
bishops were mostly those who first 
espoused the cause of the union. If some 
such union had been introduced, with a 
set purpose and yet in a conciliatory spirit, 
among the Russo-Polish provinces, the 
success would have been irresistible. But 
what the Roman priests now undertook 
under the spiritual guidance of the 
Jesuits and the protection of the Polish 

king met with no approval in the com» 
munity. The majority of Orthodox 
bishops and the most influential laymen, 
such as Constantin Ostrogski, were for 
the union ; at their head was Atchbishop 
Michael Rahoza of Kiev. 

But the Catholic prelates failed to 
recognize the existing conditions and to 
be influenced by them. The earlier 
champions of the union, therefore, drew 
back, among them the powerful prince 
Ostrogski. When, besides this, the Patri- 
archs of Antioch and Constantinople 
came personally to Poland in order to 
organise the resistance, only a handful 
of partisans of the union were left. Both 
parties met for a final discussion at Brest 
in 1596. They soon divided into two 
groups, and banned each 
other ; only a few 
bishops, with the Metro- 
politan Rahoza and their 
small following, declared 
for Ihe union. Two of 
them, Hypatius Potij, 
Bishop of Vladimir, and 
Cyryl Terlecki, Bishop 
of Lutzk, went to Rome 
with the charter of union, 
and took the oath of 
obedience in the name of 
the whole Russian 
Church. Thus the 
famous union of Brest 
was effected. The Uniate 
bishops were immediately 
to receive seats and votes 
in the Polish Senate. 
This union brought no 
gain to the Catholic 
Church and the Poles in 
the future, chiefly because the animosity 
between the two Russian parties increased 
and they fought against each other still 
more obstinately. 

At this same time a meeting of the 
heterodox, or Dissidents, as they were 
called in Poland, assembled at Thorn to 
T-j discuss how the swelling tide 
Swelling Tide ^^ Catholic influence might be 
stemmed. They sent a deputa- 
tion to the king, but he did 
not receive it. The union of Brest could 
not, however, hold its own ; for the king 
and the Slachta did not wish to fulfil the 
conditions of union. The Uniate bishops 
were not introduced into the Senate, 
nor were the privileges of the Church 
observed; in this way the whole work of 

of Catholic 



union was made ridiculous in the eyes 
of the non-united Orthodox. The per- 
secution of the Greek Orthodox, who 
had not joined the union, became more 
and more severe ; they were hindered in 
their performance of Divine worship ; their 
priests were pubhcly insulted and out- 
raged ; their churches were leased by 
their patrons to Jews, who then 
„ . ° °!^ demanded money payments for 

Priests m ,, t A. \. u 

-». , the openme of the churches. 

Disfavour ,, \ ° 111,1^1 

Many towns expelled the Ortho- 
dox from ihe town council, and even 
from the body of citizens. Their churches 
and church property were taken from 
them ; in a word, the oppression became 
intolerable. Hatred of Poland increased 
throughout the East, and the masses were 
stirred up by the non-united priests. 
The Cossacks in the Ukraine were especi- 
ally active, and came forward as protectors 
of the Orthodox faith. They demanded 
with threats rights for their metropolitan 
and their bishops, and for themselves equal 
rights with the Slachta ; but the old 
respect for the freedom of all had been lost 
under the influence of the reaction. 

There was no longer any place for the 
heterodox in Poland. The Orthodox, 
therefore, organised their forces and at- 
tempted to do something for the improve- 
ment of culture. Prince Ostrogski founded 
in Ostrog an academy and a printing- 
office ; presses were started in other 
places also. The gulf between the two 
camps, which cleverly strengthened them- 
selves, grew daily wider. 

All this was done by Poland in her blind 
infatuation at a time when some faint 
prospects in the East were opening out 
to her. The house of Ryrik in Russia 
was extinct, and Lithuanian magnates 
placed at that time the pseudo-Demetrius 
on the throne of the tsar. This Dmitri, 
about whose real family, in spite of 
searching investigations, nothing can with 
certainty be said, was a friend of the Poles 
Threatened ^^^ °^ European culture pos- 
Depositionof ^'^^y \ ^f^. ^H^f^"' There 
Sigismund ^^^ actually m Poland a party 
which entertained the plan of 
deposing Sigismund and offering the 
Polish crown to Dmitri. 

When this plan miscarried, Poland was 
still offered an opportunity of getting a 
footing in Russia, since after the deposition 
of the Tsar Vassili Shuski, the Privy Council 
in Moscow chose as tsar Vladislav, son of 
Sigismund. Polish troops under Sholkievski 


held Moscow in their power. An agree- 
ment was so far made that Vladislav should 
pledge himself to protect the Greek faith 
and the Greek Church, to allow the Boyars 
to retain their privileges, to grant them the 
Polish privilege of Neminem Captivabimus, 
and to conclude an alliance with Poland. 
But the narrow-mindedness of the father, 
who, probably at the instigation of the 
Church and the Jesuits, wished to acquire 
the crown of Russia for himself, and 
the rebellion of the Zebrzydovski family, 
which broke out at the most critical 
moment, frustrated all the great plans 
regarding a union with Moscow once and 
for ever. 

When Russia, therefore, was being 
consolidated at home under the new 
Romanof dynasty, Poland and Russia 
once more faced each other with the old 
hostility. Poland resolved on war in order 
to bring Vladislav to Moscow by force 
of arms ; but at the same time the folly 
was committed of binding the king even 
then to incorporate any future conquests 
with the Polish crown. Vladislav was 
forced in the year 1617 solemnly to resign 
^ , Smolensk, Starodub, and a 

Cossacks t .x^ i. • 

t th H 1 series of other countries m 

of Pol d ** favour of the Polish crown, as 

if this resignation of Russian 

provinces would be a recommendation to 

the Polish candidates in Russia. 

For The favourable peace at Deulino near 
the Troizkaja Lawra (1618), which secured 
to them Smolensk, Dorogobush, Czernigov, 
and several other towns, the Poles are 
indebted to the Cossack Hetman Konas- 
zevicz, who came to their help with 
20,000 picked troops and enabled them to 
march on Moscow, as well as to the pacific 
nature of the Tsar Michael Romanof and 
the Russian desire for tranquility. Soon 
afterwards Poland was entangled in a 
war with the famous Swedish warrior 
Gustavus Adolphus, and with Turkey, 
which cost her great sacrifices, in spite of 
the heroic deeds of the generals Stanis- 
laus Koniecpolski and Chodkievicz. The 
Cossacks, who since 1596 had already 
come forward openly as protectors of 
the Orthodox faith, now assumed a 
menacing attitude. 

The Slachta, when it met after the death 
of Sigismund in 1632 to elect his son 
Vladislav IV. Sigismund, who di§d in 
1648, restricted still more the power of the 
crown. The king was in the future not to 
be allowed to begin a war without the 



consent of the imperial diet, or to enlist 
soldiers out of his privy purse ; he was 
required to confer the vacant offices 
within six weeks after the diet, to cede to 
the country the profits of coinage, to 
build a fleet on the Baltic, and to contri- 
bute two quarters instead of one quarter 
, of the royal revenues to the 
The King s ^^,^^ ^^^^^ Moscow. Besides this, 

the old tax of two groschen 
from the hide of land was 
abolished as "a survival of the old serfdom." 

According to these provisos the king 
was more restricted in his hberty than 
the ordinary noble, since the latter 
might keep troops ; Zamojski Wisneo- 
vecki and others were able to put 10,000 
men into the field. Vladislav was com- 
pelled to accept these 
stipulations, and in the 
course of his reign had 
to submit to still further 
curtailment of his free- 
dom. As he once went 
to Baden to take the 
waters, the diet of 1639 
passed a resolution that 
the king could not leave 
the country without the 
consent of parliament. 
Later the king was pro- 
hibited, and this time 
with more justice, from 
incurring debts in im- 
perial affairs. 

Vladislav was ob- 
viously forced to try 

fortunes, and finally watched every step 
which the king took. 

Vladislav, who in May, 1624, at his 
father's instructions, had undertaken a 
long journey to several courts, and finally 
to Rome, at last ventured to take up 
a bold attitude against the predominance 
of the Church. He, hke Casimir IV. pre- 
viously, endeavoured to make the influence 
of the crown felt in the election of the 
bishops, and negotiated with Rome on the 
subject with some success. He wished 
that the papal consent to the founding of 
the Jesuit academy in Cracow should be 
recalled. He instituted in Thorn, certainly 
to the indignation of the Catholics, a dis- 
cussion between the different confessions, 
which, however, like others previously, 
remained unsuccessful. 
He protected the non- 
united, and, disregarding 
the union at Brest, left 
them their own bishoprics 
in Lemberg, Premysl, 
Lutzk, Mohilev, and the 
archbishopric of Kiev, 
without troubhng him- 
self about the protest 
of Rome ; in fact, he 
actually permitted the 
return of Uniates to 
Orthodoxy and treated 
the Greek Orthodox with 
justice. The success of 
his exertions was con- 
siderable. In consequence 
of this the eastern pro- 
vinces, and, above all, 

and improve this un- a king without liberty 

fpnahlp nodtinn nf fhp The liberty of the crown was curtailed during fUp rn«;<;ark<; thf rham- 

lenaoie position 01 me the reign of Vladislav iv. The diet of 1639 ^'}^ ^.ossacKs, me cnam- 

Crown in regard to the passed a resolution that the king could not leave pions of Orthodoxy, 

estates, and to Strengthen *'>"*=°""''"y"*'*'°"**''"""^*'"'°^P""^"""*- remained true to the 
the central power. His whole reign is king, although they were aware that they 

a covert struggle against the existing 
constitution. Above all, he wished to 
withdraw himself from the excessive 
influence of the Catholic Church, which 
he judged harmful to the welfare 01 
the country. The Church, dominated by 
Jesuits, encouraged men to enter their 
community, conceded no privileges to 
the Uniates, and thus rendered the whole 
work of the union void. The Jesuits in 
Poland, as in other countries, searched 
for Protestant and other heretical books 
and destroyed them. The schools came 
gradually into their hands ; they founded 
their own academy in Cracow, in order 
to enter into rivalry with the one already 
existing. They accumulated immense 

could not expect any just treatment 
from their enemy the Slachta. 

In an equally decisive manner he broke 
away from the foreign policy of his 
father. He strove for an alhance of 
Poland with Russia, carried on war with 
_, . great energy, and obtained 

PoiTc^of ^" ^^34 ^* Poljanovka a 
VI* «r^l° favourable peace, which 
brought to the Poles the 
possession of Sievsk, Smolensk and 
Czernigov. His intention was now to 
wage a joint war on a grand scale 
against Turkey; he therefore yielded in 
the Swedish question, and in the truce 
at Stuhmsdorf on September 12th, 1635, 
in return for the restoration of Prussia, 



in Poland 

renounced all claim to Livonia, which was 
conquered by Sweden. In his eagerness to 
attain his purpose he made overtures to the 
house of Hapsburg, and married Cecilia 
Renata, an Austrian archduchess. When 
on her death he married a French princess 
— Marie Louise of Nevers-Gonzaga — he did 
so probably in order to fit out troops 
against Turkey with her money. 
If Poland then achieved suc- 
cesses, she owed them only to 
the circumspection and self- 
sacrifice of her king. In return she was 
not even willing to pay the debts incurred 
by him in the war against Moscow, 
and after great efforts a tax was granted 
the king only as "gratitude." In one 
single point did the king allow himself 
to be carried away by the Slachta to take 
a step momentous for Poland, in the 
legislation concerning the Cossacks. 

At the close of the sixteenth century a 
great economic and social revolution had 
been completed in Poland. The colonisa- 
tion of the eastern provinces had made 
unexpected progress. Red Russia, 
Volhynia and Podolia had been long 
occupied by the Polish lords ; now the 
stream of colonists flowed into the 
Dnieper region and swept along with it 
the inhabitants of the above-named 
regions. Even nobles who, in consequence 
of the civil wars and also of the struggle 
with Russia, were at the end of their 
economic resources, marched under the 
protection of mighty lords to the eastern 
provinces, and there became Cossacks. 
Small landowners in the western pro- 
vinces could not hold their own from want 
of hands ; equally in the east the un- 
certainty and the exhausting work of 
colonisation rendered the development of 
small farms impossible. 

The consequence was that the petty 
nobility, especially in the east, became 
dependent on the large landowners ; by 
this step their influence in national life 
would naturally sink, while that of the 
magnates rose. If in the fifteenth and 
also in the sixteenth century the 
petty nobles had 
exercised such 
power in the state 
that they could 
pass even the 
great legislative 
Revision, and if 
the constitution 
had stood under 


the banner 01 democracy, the centre of 
gravity was now shifted once more to 
the Senate, which, by economic pres- 
sure, ruled the chamber of provincial 

The development of Poland from the 
close of the sixteenth century lay, there- 
fore, in the hands of the magnates; the 
oligarchs dictated to the crown ; with 
them originated the first of those revolts 
so disastrous to the state, which were 
destined to lead irresistibly to the down- 
fall of Poland. Side by side with the 
formation of the large landed estates in 
the eastern provinces went a movement 
of the population from west to east, 
which shifted the economic and also the 
political centre of gravity of the empire 
toward the eastern frontier. The great 
nobles of the east guided the state accord- 
ing to their own will. 

In addition to this a social transforma- 
tion took place. Among the Cossacks a 
party was slowly developing which aimed 
at freedom and wished to be on equality 
with the nobles. But nothing was more 
dangerous for the great landowners of the 
eastern marches than this movement, by 
which they ran the risk of losing the whole 
peasantry, the one support of their farms. 
All who were oppressed and wished to live 
a life of freedom joined the Cossacks. The 
^ peasant population could only 

v/OSSftCKS 11111 11 r c 

. be held back by force from run- 

j ning away and migrating to the 

Ukraine. The number of the 
Cossacks increased from year to year with 
great rapidity. To remedy this evil, 
measures were taken that only 600 Cos- 
sacks should be admitted, and registers 
were drawn up for inspection, while all 
others had to remain peasants. 

The threatened oligarchs now thought 
of applying an efficient remedy. At their 
instigation the diet of 1638 resolved to 
place the registered persons under a Polish 
commissary ; all who later acquired 
privileges were to forfeit their rights, liber- 
ties and incomes. Their possessions were 
confiscated by the lords, and they must 
immediately pay 
taxes on them. 
This resolution of 
the diet kindled 
a revolt of the Cos- 
sacks which was 
destined in the end 
to result in the 
loss of the Ukraine. 



■■ *u^<f 




A FTER the conquest of Kiev and the 
**• subjugation of Russia by the Tartars, 
Moscow on the one hand, and Lithuania 
on the other, had grown into new pohtical 
centres. But in Kiev all culture and 
political life were dying out. The country 
gradually' became a desert ; the survivors 
left by the sword of the Tartar were 
dragged away into captivity or emigrated, 
while a few who remained behind, living 
in perpetual danger, sank into barbarism 
and took refuge in the forests and fens. 
It was only when these districts were 
conquered by Lithuanian princes that the 
fugitives came back and the country was 
once more populated. Princes of the 
Olgerd stock received large tracts of this 
unowned land and introduced settlers. 
Their primary duty was always, however, 
to ward off Tartar attacks, and the military 
organisation had therefore first to be taken 
in hand. Thus, in course of time a kind of 
military frontier against the Tartars was 
developed. The first step was taken by 
the frontier starosties (districts governed 
by starosts) ; the resident landowners also 
fought the Tartars on their own account. 
Owing to this duty of defence, free com- 
panies were formed, which stood in very 
loose relations with their princes and 
starosts. At the beginning of the fifteenth 
century they bore the name of Cossacks. 

The whole institution, like the name, is 
of Tartar origin ; but the Slavonic Cos- 
sacks developed quite differently. In any 
case, a direct connection with the Kirghiz, 
who call themselves Kasaks, is not demon- 
_ strable. It is also better to 

Ah*' ^°^ separate them entirely from the 
^ . Casoges on the peninsula of 
Taman, and the Icherkesses m 
the Caucasus, who were subjugated in 965 
by Sviatoslav. Among the Tartars those 
persons were called Cossacks who made 
raiding expeditions without the permission 
of their chiefs. Russian and Lithuanian 
princes, such as Vasilij IV. Ivanovitch and* 
Sigismund I., made formal complaint to 
the Tartar khans that the " Cossacks " 

invaded their territories. In Russia 
people were originally called Cossacks 
who, in contrast to the settled population 
with their burden of taxes, were engaged 
in trade and commerce, exporting salt in 
particular, or served on board the shipping 
on the Volga, or were occupied with 
fisheries on the Dnieper and brought fish 

_ , n J to the market at Kiev — 
Cossack Bands 1-1.1 . 

. P , people, m short, who were not 

c e ugc fettered to the soil. But by 
of Discontents ,, 1 • • rxi_ • ^ ^u 
the beginning of the sixteenth 

century there were Cossacks whose duties 
were exclusively military, although they 
were not free, but were the subjects of 
various princes. They must have been the 
descendants of those free itinerant traders 
who must have been familiarised with 
every sort of danger on their journeys. 
Citizens and peasants who found their 
burdens intolerable flocked to them. 
These Cossack bands often bore the names 
of their lords ; thus we find " Cossacks of 
Prince Demetrius Wisnioviecki," or, ac- 
cording to the names of the starosties and 
towns, Cossacks of Kanew, Bar, Win- 
nica, Bilacerkov and Kiev, of Smolensk, 
Riasan and Putvol. Those of Czerkasy were 
so renowned that the Cossacks were later 
called generally Czerkasy. The greatest 
services in the organisation and develop- 
ment of the Cossack system were per- 
formed by the frontier starosts and by the 

Daszkovicz, Starost of Czerkasy on the 
Dnieper, went to Poland and demanded 
in the diet at Piotrkov that these free 
companies should be recognised as an 
imperial army, whose duty was to guard 
the frontier ; he showed also how import- 
ant that might be for the empire. His 
request was not granted ; and when the 
government proposed to restrict the 
Cossack right of settlement they withdrew 
behind the rapids south of Czerkasy. 
Here the free Cossack race, which recog- 
nised no sovereign, made its home. We 
find the first traces of these " Saporoska 
Sjetsch " in an edict of King Sigismund 



Augustus of 1568. They are more pre- 
cisely described to us in the documents of 
the end of the sixteenth century. Their 
strongholds were the islands in the 
Dnieper, where they had their forts. 

Their organisation was that of the orders 
of chivalry in Western Europe. ImpUcit 
obedience, piety, chastity in the camp, 
. absolute equahty — these were 
The strict ^^^ conditions of life among 
thrs^luth *h^ Sjetsch. The assembly 
■** '*^ was the only authority ; it 
elected the chief, the Ataman or Hetman, 
who held his office only for one year, and 
then was brought to account for his 
actions, and could even be punished by 
death ; the Asavul, or second in command, 
and a chancellor (pisar). The assembly 
possessed also the only judicial authority. 
Quarrels were strictly forbidden ; theft 
and the plundering of Christians were 
punishable by hanging. The Sjetsch lived 
according to the precepts of the Orthodox 
Church and strictly observed the fasts. 

Their most honourable task was war 
against the infidels. They lived in fenced 
enclosures (kurenj) which were covered 
with horse-skins, 150 in each. Married men 
could be received into the company, but 
their wives might not be brought with 
them. Their food was a sort of yeast, 
fish, and fish-soup. A new institution 
thus began to flourish in those parts ; 
indeed, it seemed as if a new state would 
spring up there, on a new non-European 
basis. While in Poland and the rest of 
Europe the freedom of individual classes 
alone was known and preserved, there the 
very lowest stratum demanded for itself 
the same freedom ; there was to be there no 
class distinction, but merely a free nation. 

Independently of the Sjetsch, free com- 
panies also were formed which, when they 
planned a raid, chose a Hetman for them- 
selves. But everything later was concen- 
trated in the Sjetsch, which formed the 
rallying point of all the Cossacks of the 
_ Ukraine. So far as we know, 

. *I°" ° . the noble John Badovskij was 
P . . . elected Hetman over all the 
airy an Cossacks for the first time under 
Sigismund Augustus in 1572. The same 
king put all the Cossacks under the juris- 
diction of one judge, who had his residence 
at Bilacerkov. After this time captains, or 
Hetmans, who were recognised by the 
Polish government appeared at their head. 
The Cossack life possessed an irresistible 
charm ; and when the news spread of 


this fairyland where every man could live 
as free as a bird, and it received a solemn 
consecration as a sworn foe to the infidels, 
it was gradually populated with fugitives 
and deserters from Poland and Russia. 
The country on both sides of the Dnieper 
round Kiev, as far as the Tartar frontier, 
became a paradise for all the poor and the 
oppressed, not less than for those who 
thirsted for glory and feats of arms. The 
Little Russian race seemed qualified to 
put into practice the idea of universal 
equality and freedom. The science of war 
was here brought to high perfection. At 
the same time a literature was produced 
which glorified the Cossack life in attrac- 
tive ballads and tales. All the Slavonic 
world might well be proud of this free 
state. Of course this people, which 
regarded war as the object of life, could 
not fairly be expected to cultivate a higher 

The Cossacks might have brought incal- 
culable advantages to the country and 
the whole empire of Poland if the Poles 
had understood how to fit this new member 
into the organism of the state. But the 
democratic spirit of the Cossacks did not 
harmonise with the aristocratic 
constitution of Poland. There 
were in Poland after the Union 
of Lublin (1569) only three 
sharply divided classes — the Slachta, the 
citizens, and the present serfs. There was 
no place for the Cossacks among these 
three classes, and, instead of any ad- 
vantages, the Cossacks therefore presented 
to Poland a social and political problem, 
as important as it was dangerous, which 
in its subsequent shape became predomi- 
nantly an economic question. 

The Cossacks exercised on the peasantry 
in Poland and Lithuania such a strong 
attraction that only the severest penalties 
could restrain the people from fleeing by 
crowds into the Ukraine. They seemed, 
therefore, to the Slachta to be a revolu- 
tionary influence which disturbed the order 
of the state, and, by encouraging the 
exodus of the labouring country popula- 
tion, threatened every farm with desola- 
tion and ruin. But the economic stability 
of the Polish state depended on the 
serfdom of the country population ; this 
had been a main object of the legislature, 
just as in the ancient world the prosperity 
of the state had depended on slavery as a 
legal institution. It is therefore intelligible 
why the Slachta persecuted with deadly 

Problem of 
the Cossacks 

1, Cossack o£Bcer; 2, 3, 4, and 5, Typical Cossacks soldiers of the Caucasus ; 6, Cossacks of tbc Don. 



hatred and deep contempt those runaway 
peasants who ventured to put themselves 
on a level with their betters. They staked 
everything on reducing the Cossacks again 
to the position of peasants. The division 
of interests was not to be healed, and war 
was inevitable. It was an almost hopeless 
task to find a means of arranging the 
dispute and solving the social problem. 

Apart from Sigismund I., who had 
quietly promoted the organisation of the 
Cossacks, Sigismund Augustus was the 
first who attempted to 
link the Cossack element 
with the organism of the 
PoHsh state, since he 
placed them under the 
authority of the starosts, 
restricted their numbers, 
and fixed their pay. 
Bathori had only taken in 
his pay 600 Cossacks, and 
those for the war against 
Moscow. It was only 
under Sigismund III. that 
the diet of 1590 deter- 
mined to pay 6,000 
Cossacks. They were en- 
tered upon a list and 
called "registered." 
Their commander-in-chief 
was the Polish Crown 
Hetman for the time 
being, so that the 
Cossacks were intended 
to compose only a part 
of the Polish army. The 
"registered" received 
grants of land, a court of 
justice of their own at 
Baturin, and the right of 
electing superior officers. 
All the others, by far 
the majority, were in- 
tended to revert to the 
status of peasants. Sigis- 
mund thus found a way 
out of the difficulty 
which only satisfied a very small pro- 
portion of the Cossacks. But the Slachta 
did not wish to admit even these 6,000 
into the state, and treated them merely as 
mercenaries. This provoked new strife. 
The " registered " combined with the non- 
registered Cossacks and rebelled against 
the government, attacked the Slachta on 
their estates, and, under leaders of their 
own choice, made raids upon Turkey 
\nd the Tartar territory. Through this 


Present-day Cossack in the armour of the past. 

state of affairs a new difficulty sprang 
up for the Polish government ; for this 
arrogance of the Cossacks threatened 
every moment to bring on their heads 
a dangerous war with the Porte, and 
injured Ottomans were continually lodging 
complaints against insolent Cossacks. 
All commands were as useless as the 
execution of several Hetmans. What 
did the free Cossacks care about the 
national interests of Poland ? They loved 
liberty and war above everything else ; 
they went as gaily to 
battle as to a dance. Often 
imitating the intrepid 
Varangians, they sailed in 
their light craft from the 
Dnieper to the Black Sea 
and plundered the suburbs 
of Constantinople or the 
towns of Kilia, Akerman, 
Ismail, Sinope and others. 
Sigismund built the for- 
tress of Kremenczug on 
the Dnieper in 1591 to 
hold 1,000 men, whose 
task it w^ould be to keep 
the Cossacks in check. 
But even these standing 
garrisons were unable to 
restore order. In the 
year 1592 the first revolt 
of the registered Cossacks 
broke out, under the 
leadership of the Hetman 
Christopher K o s i n s k i . 
Prince Constantine 
Ostrogski, himself Ortho- 
dox, suppressed it at the 
head of the Slachta. The 
Cossacks were forced to 
surrender Kosinski and 
elect another Hetman, to 
give up the booty, and to 
bind themselves not to 
undertake any raids ^vith- 
out the knowledge and 
consent of the government, 
and not to receive any deserters. But a 
second rising followed in 1596, under 
Loboda and Severin Nalivajko. 

The first revolt may have had a more 
social character, but now there was a 
religious element added, since the Cossacks 
rose to protect the Orthodox faith, which 
was threatened by the union of Brest in 
1596. Ostrogski, the antagonist of the 
union, now himself fanned the flame, 
since he wished to wreak vengeance on 


__^ -4 ^ 

208 3267 


Turkish Fleet 

Alexander Siemaszko, the castellan of 
Braclaw, and on the Bishop Cyryl Terlecki. 
The rebels assembled in his territory ; they 
were joined in Ostrog by Damian Nali- 
vajko, a brother of Severin, the chaplain 
of Ostrogski ; many nobles, even the non- 
registered, took their side. The best 
generals, Zamojski and Sholkievski, were 
sent against the insurgents 
and forced them to surrender. 

^ ^ . The two Hetmans were given 
by Cossacks , u u j j 4. 

up and were beheaded at 

Warsaw. Treated with great harshness, 
the Cossacks now fled in masses to the 
left bank of the Dnieper, to Sapo- 
roshje, where they established their head- 
quarters. Their numbers grew so rapidly 
there that they were able once more to 
undertake raids ; they surprised Varna 
in 1605, and destroyed, in 1607, Oczakov 
and Perekop. 

The Saporogi became especially formid- 
able when the Hetman Peter Konasze- 
vicz Sahajdacznyi, a bold and skilful 
strategist, placed himself at their head in 
1612. He plundered, in 1612, the coast of 
the Crimea as far as Eupatoria, took 
Kaffa, destroyed Sinope in 1613, pillaged 
in 1614 the coast of Asia Minor, and in 
1615-1616 Trebizond, and burnt the Turk- 
ish fleet. It was he who supported the 
Polish campaign against Moscow. The 
name of Saporogi was soon universally 
used for the Dnieper Cossacks. Konasze- 
vicz assumed the title " Hetman of both 
banks of the Dnieper and of the Saporogi," 
and placed himself over the " registered " ; 
in fact, he entered into alliance with the 
tsar and with Turkey. 

He was the first Hetman who openly 
protected the Church and organised it, since 
he demanded an Orthodox Metropolitan 
with suffragan bishops for Kiev, and carried 
his point. The Patriarch of Jerusalem, 
Theophan, came to Russia and conse- 
crated Jov Borecki as Metropolitan and 
six other bishops ; Konaszevicz assigned 
Th c k ^^^"^ estates. He founded 

e ossac j^g^j^y churches, renewed the 
. Q monasteries, opened schools, 

and was thus the first who laid 
stress on the improvement of culture. He 
also called upon the Polish government to 
confirm his position ; this was done when 
his help was required against the Turks. 

But he was always endeavouring to 
emphasise his independence. When 
Poland, in the treaty with Turkey of 1621, 
promised to keep the Cossacks in check, 


he immediately organised an expedition 
into the Turkish territory, by way of regis- 
tering his protest against that stipulation. 
Strangely enough, this man of iron, who, 
for instance, ordered the Hetman of the 
" registered " Borodovka to be beheaded 
in sight of the Polish camp, and seemed to 
love war and war only, retired after the 
battle of Khotin, where he was wounded 
in the hand, into a monastery, and there 
occupied himself with the composition of a 
book, to which even his enemies gave 
unstinted praise. Konaszevicz died on 
April 5th, 1622, an extraordinary character, 
bold to foolhardiness, a clever statesman, 
a patron of culture and freedom ; in short, 
one of the greatest Slavs in history. He 
founded the national independence and 
spread abroad the fame of his native 
Ukraine ; among the Cossacks themselves 
he roused a deep love for the mother- 
country. He is still celebrated in song. 

In three years after his death the Cossack 
country sank from the pinnacle to which 
it had been raised by Konaszevicz. The 
Cossacks had been welcomed everywhere 
as mercenaries ; Loboda and Nalivajko 
had fought under the emperor's banner in 
Transylvania, and others, like 
ec me o Lisovski, in Germany itself. 

. . . The Polish government now 

Independence -.iTXi tz it- 

sent the Hetman Koniecpolski 

to the Ukraine, on the right bank, under 
the pretext of preventing Cossack inroads 
into Turkish territory. The Cossacks 
were unexpectedly surrounded by his 
forces on Lake Kurakov, misled by false 
promises, and compelled to surrender. 
They were forced to accept the following 
terms on the heath of Medveshi Lozy in 
1625. Six thousand " registered " were 
to be retained, 60,000 gulden in gold paid 
to them, and the register kept in the 
imperial treasury ; the Hetman was to be 
confirmed in his appointment by the Polish 
Crown Hetman ; inroads inito Turkish 
territory were to be discontinued ; the 
boats were to be burnt and no new ones 
built. A thousand of the registered Cos- 
sacks were to be on garrison duty in the 
country of the Saporogi. 

The non-registered were to serve their 
lords and sell their goods within twelve 
weeks. Michael Doroszenko was then 
chosen Hetman, and confirmed in his post 
by Koniecpolski. Some years afterwards a 
Polish army came again into the Ukraine, 
and under its protection the Slachta in- 
dulged in acts of the greatest injustice and 


violence. Murders, outrages, and con- 
fiscation of property were the order of the 
day. If we reflect that hardly one in 
twenty could be entered on the register, 
we shall realise how great a mass of in- 
flammable material was collected there. 
There was equal danger seething among 
theSaporogi, who had their ownHetmans. 
On the election of Vladislav IV., the 
representatives of the Cossacks also ap- 
peared in the imperial diet. They asked 
for electoral rights, abolition of the 
union, increase in the numbers of the 
registered, and the confirmation of the 
privileges of the Orthodox Church. They 
received the answer that the Cossacks 
certainly formed part of the body of the 
Polish republic, but only as the hair and 
nails, which could be cut off. In order to 
emphasise his demands, Petryzcky, Het- 
man of the " registered." marched to 
Volhynia and ravaged the property of 
the Slachta. The Cossacks were not ad- 
mitted to full electoral privileges ; but 
the rights of the Orthodox Church were 
confirmed and its Metropolitan, Peter 
Mogila, was recognised. Vladislav IV. 
promised to restore the Orthodox dioceses 

and to found new dioceses for 
Cossack theUniates, and allowed them 
ea crs ^^ build some churches and 
Beheaded . . ■ ,■ 

to set up prmtmg - presses. 

But there was little talk of the freedom 
of the Cossacks; on the contrary, he 
ordered the new fortress of Kudak to be 
built on the Dnieper, which was intended 
to keep the Saporogi in check. The 
Hetman Sulyma destroyed this fortress, 
for which act he was impaled in Warsaw 
and an army was sent against the Cos- 
sacks ; these, under Pawluk, who already 
contemplated the autonomy of the Ukraine, 
were ready for a desperate resistance. The 
Cossacks fought fiercely at Kumejki and 
Borovitza, but were forced to give in. 
Pawluk, Tomilenko, and other leaders 
were beheaded. 

The Cossacks had to ask for pardon ; all 
who went to Saporoshje were to be sent 
back to their lords. The preparation of 
the register was for the future entrusted 
to the royal commissaries, and the people 
were robbed of their goods. The diet of 
1638, rendered arrogant by its last victory, 
now had recourse to the severest measures. 
The " registered " were put on a level 
with the peasants, declared to have for- 
feited all rights, and deprived of their 
goods. Henceforward the Polish commis- 

sary resided in Trechtemirov. The Polish 
armies encamped in the Ukraine and 
mercilessly wasted the country. 

But people were much deceived in 
Poland who expected that the Ukraine 
would be finally pacified by the enslave- 
ment of the Cossacks. As an answer to 
the resolutions of the diet a new revolt 
T rribi F 11 ^^oke out under Hunia,Ostrja- 

, "* * * nvcia and Filonenko. But this 
01 the f , ^ 

Cossacks ° ^^^ suppressed. In a 

camp which had surrendered 
unconditionally, every single person was 
massacred. Among the Polish magnates 
who took the greatest interest in the en- 
slavement of the Ukraine, Jeremias 
Wisnioviecki — a voivode of the Jagellon 
stock — distinguished himself by his bar- 
barity ; at the head of his own troops he 
burnt, beheaded, impaled, or blinded all 
the Cossacks who fell in to his hands. 

The rebellion was crushed by the weight 
of numbers. Many fled to Saporoshje and 
wandered about in the steppe. The 
idea of gaining support from some foreign 
power now gathered strength. Ostrjanycia 
and Filonenko went to Moscow ; some 
6,000 are said to have entered the service 
of Persia. The Slachta now ruled abso- 
lutely in the Ukraine : the Cossacks were 
forbidden even to fish and to hunt. The 
Jesuits, too, came there before long. 
Many magnates, such as Wisnioviecki, 
Konicepolski, Kalinovski, Potocki, 
acquired huge tracts of land. The 
district which Wisniovecki now possessed 
was greater in size than many a German 
principality. A deputation of the Cossacks 
— Roman Polovetz, Bogdan Chmelnicki, 
Ivan Bojaryn, Ivan Wolezenko — which 
demanded from the king the restoration 
of freedom, of the right to own property, 
and of payment for service, could not 
effect anything. There was tranquillity 
in the Ukraine only for ten years ; it 
seemed as if the country only wished to 
try to what limits the oppression of the 
Polish Slachta could go. To 
:'« !« ^^^^ period belong the meri- 
torious exertions of the 
famous Metropolitan of Kiev, 
Peter Mogila. The family of Mogila gave 
some able rulers to the principalities 
of Moldavia and Wallachia ; it was 
connected by many matrimonial ties with 
the foremost families of Poland. Peter 
received his education partly in the school 
of the Stauropigian fraternity at Lemberg, 
which was intimate with his family, and 


Ten Years' 
Tranquillity in 
the Ukraine 


partly abroad. In 1625 he entered the 
most celebrated monastery of Russia, the 
Peczerskaja Lavra at Kiev, of which he 
became abbot at the end of 1627. In 
this capacity he went in 1632, at the head 
of the Cossack deputation to Poland, to 
the Reichstag, and petitioned the king to 
grant rights to the Orthodox Church. 
The consecration of Jov Bo- 
The Famous ^^^^^ ^^ Metropolitan of Kiev 
Metropohtan ^^ ^^^ Patriarch Theophan of 
retcr Mogiia jg^usalem, at the request of 
the Hetman Konaszevicz, had taken place 
without the king's knowledge ; the office 
of metropolitan and certain bishoprics 
were now intended to be recognised by the 
state. After the death of Borecki, Peter 
Mogiia was recognised as Metropolitan in 

Mogila's first and important task was 
the improvement of secondary and ele- 
mentary schools. While the Catholic 
priests, the Jesuits in particular, founded 
and supported scientific institutions on 
every side in order to fight the Evangelicals 
with spiritual weapons, the Russian clergy 
at the period of the Tartar dominion 
had sunk very low. The majority of the 
priests were illiterate. Even the most 
bigoted supporters of Orthodoxy could not 
fail to see that, if they wished to save their 
Church, they ought not to neglect culture 
any further. Ecclesiastical brotherhoods 
were founded, and printing-presses and 
schools were set up for the protection of 
the Church in the most important sees, 
such as Lemberg, Kiev, Luck, Wilna. 

The first Orthodox school with a press 

was founded in 1580 by Prince Constantine 

Ostrogski in his town of Ostrog. A school 

with a press was next founded in 1586 at 

Lemberg by the Stauropigian fraternity ; 

another in 1588 at Wilna, when the 

Patriarch of Constantinople stayed there ; 

a third in Luck, in 1589 ; a fourth in 

Kiev. Books in defence of their Church 

now began to be published by the 

„. .. Orthodox party. The 

Education j .1 

e J . c •. danger was the greater 

Spreads in Spite rr- c- ■ j ttt 

of Persecution ^^^^^ ^/"^ ^Ig'^^^^^d IIL. 
an enthusiastic Catholic 
and patron of the Jesuits, aimed at the ex- 
tirpation of the Church and schools of the 
Orthodox party. When Theophan, the 
Patriarch of Jerusalem, appeared, he was 
announced to be a Turkish spy, and the 
bishops consecrated by him were brought 
before the courts. In spite of all this they 
held their own, and the schools increased in 


number. Mogiia was especially desirous ot 
founding in Kiev a university, like those of 
other countries, in which instruction could 
be given in Latin, Greek, and Polish, 
He sent young persons abroad for some 
years to study the higher branches of 
education, and then installed them as 
professors in his school, which bore the 
name of a " college," and was subse- 
quently raised to the rank of a university. 
He sacrificed all his property to this end. 
He was soon in a position to send exem- 
plary monks and efficient teachers to the 
Prince of Wallachia and to Moscow. 

A vigorous intellectual movement now 
began. An apologetic Orthodox literature 
appeared ; the Greeks could now vie 
successfully with the Roman Calholics. 
The school had good teachers, and it 
educated famous scholars. Mogiia himself 
was conspicuously active in the literary 
field. He wrote a series of the most 
necessary church books for the people 
and for teachers, amended the text of the 
translation of the Bible, and composed 
apologetics, especially the " Orthodox 
Confession of the Catholic and Apostolic 
Church of the East " (the Confessio 
Orthodoxa of 1643). Russia 
." ..^* °. was able for centuries to find 
sustenance in the intellectual 
products of this man and his 
school. In the year 1640, Peter Mogiia 
proposed to the Tsar Michael to found 
a monastery with a school under the 
direction of Little Russian monks, in 
which the instruction should be given in 
the Greek and Slavonic languages. Two 
of the learned Kievans, Epifanij Slavi- 
neckij, at the recommendation of the 
Patriarch Nikon, and Simeon Polockij, 
entered into closer relations with the 
Tsar Alexis. 

Polockij in particular was both a promi- 
nent preacher and a poet, whose dramas 
were produced at court ; he was also 
(after 1670) manager of the royal printing 
establishment. He it was who drafted 
the first scheme for a university in 
Moscow with faculties in Slavonic, Greek 
and Latin — a magnificent conception, 
which can be traced back to Mogiia him- 
self. The sons of Alexis, Feodor and Ivan 
were patrons of the Kievan scholars. 
Peter the Great invited the teachers of 
this school to his court, and formed out 
of them a staff of savants, to whom he 
confided the intellectual regeneration of 
Russia. The pupils of the Kievan school 







bore the torch of culture everywhere, 
and filled the highest offices in the Church. 
Mogila died in 1647, barely fifty years 
old, worn out by his restless energy. As 
Konaszevicz aroused the pride and the 
independence of the inhabitants of South- 
ern Russia, so Mogila, a kindred spirit, 
awakened the culture of the Ukraine, 
covered it with the glory of science, and 
promoted the self-consciousness of the 
Orthodox Church. It must be confessed 
that even thus the old defects of the 
Greek Church could no longer be made 
good ; the richest and most conspicuous 
families, to whom nearly half the Ukraine 
on the left bank belonged, gradually went 
over to the CathoUc Church. Almost the 
only adherents of the Orthodox faith were 
the poor, and in the towns 
the few citizens who were 
persuaded by spiritual 
brotherhood to continue 
in the Eastern Church. 
In the year of Mogila's 
death there was already 
great excitement in the 
Ukraine, and at the 
beginning of 1648 the 
Cossacks defeated a Polish 
army. This time Bogdan 
Sinovi Chmelnicki, son of 
a Sotnik from Tchigirin, 
had placed himself at the 
head of the insurgents. 
He had studied in the 
Collegium Mogilanum and 
then in the Jesuit school 
at Jaroslav, and had the 
reputation of being a well 

Bogdan Sinovi Chmelnicki revealed his quali- 

„„„j ^„„ TT„ f^,,„U+ :^ ties as a leader, overcoming the Polish forces 

read man. He lOUgnt m at Shovti and again at Korsunj. There was 
the Pohsh army at the great rejoicing -the pealing of bells and 
, ^ , , c r^ 1 the thunder of cannon — when he entered Kiev. 

battle of Cecora, where 
his father fell; he himself was taken 
prisoner and detained for two years in 
Constantinople. There he learnt the 
Turkish habits and language, a know- 
ledge which proved very useful to him. 
Returning home on the conclusion of peace 
he went, discontented, to the Cossacks, 
shared in all their revolts, and was nomi- 
nated chancellor (pisar) by them. y ' 
His was a kindly, peaceable nature ; it 
would never have occurred to him to 
stir up a rebellion had not the arrogance 
of the Polish Slachta and the prevailing 
anarchy in Poland driven him to it. 
His estate of Sobotovo was taken from 
him (he was not a noble) by the under- 
starost Czaplinsky ; his wife w£is carried 


off, his son killed, and when he demanded 
justice he, like all other injured persons 
before him, failed to find it. He then 
turned to the king. The latter had 
then received humiliation upon humiha- 
tion from \ he Slachta ; there was reluc- 
tance to pay even his war debts, and his 
personal Uberty was restricted ; as just 
at this time his only son had died, his 
sorrow knew no bounds and his temper 
was greatly excited. He is said to have 
hinted to the Cossack who now lodged his 
grievance before him that he had a sword 
with which he could procure justice for 
himself. In any case, there is little doubt 
that Vladislav gave some encouragement 
to the Cossack ; the whole subsequent 
attitude of Chmelnicki shows it. On the 
way back from Warsaw 
Chmelnicki stopped in 
every village, complained 
everywhere at the in- 
justice done to him, and 
asked if the people were 
ready to take up arms 
against the Poles ; all 
were only waiting for the 
right moment. Having 
reached the Ukraine, he 
took counsel in the forest 
with his friends who had 
grown grey in campaigns ; 
they all thought that no 
help could be looked for 
except from themselves. 
An order for his arrest 
was issued, but he escaped 
to Saporoshje (towards 
the end of 1647). After 
having secured the assist- 
ance of the Cossacks in an 
assembly, he went to the 
Tartars to ask their help. His proceeding 
got wind in Poland, and at the beginning 
of 1648 two army corps were sent to the 
Ukraine, one overland, the other down the 
Dnieper ; in the latter were embodied the 
" registered"" under the Hetman Barabasz. 
Chmelnicki advanced to meet them, and 
when they came to shore they went over 
to him. 

Chmelnicki called on them to protect their 
life and liberty, their wives and children ; 
a shout of joy greeted his words ; Barabasz 
was thrown into the river. Thus the 
Ukraine on both sides of the Dnieper was 
in a blaze. The clergy preached the war 
everywhere and encouraged the revolt. 
But the feeling was intense enough 


without this. Not merely the people in 
the Ukraine, but also those of Red Russia, 
and even the country folk in the western 
provinces of Poland, rose up and helped the 
Cossacks. If they murdered the Slachta 
and the Catholic clergy, pillaged their 
property and burnt their churches, they 
only requited them for what they them- 
selves had already suffered. Every dis- 
contented spirit hurried into Chmelnicki's 
camp, knowing well that the hour of 
reckoning was at hand. 

Chmelnicki soon defeated one Polish 
army at Shovti Wody, another at Korsunj. 
At the news of this Vladislav IV. started 
to go to the Ukraine, but died on the way, 
at Merecz, on March 20th, 1648. Another 
large army was put in the field, but this, 
being surrounded on the River Pilavka, 
took to flight under cover of darkness, 
and the whole rich camp fell into the hands 
of the Cossacks. Confusion and perplexity 
now prevailed in Poland. The Cossacks 
wished to be led to Warsaw. But Chmel- 
nicki hesitated, probably because there 
was no reliance to be placed on the Tartars. 
He only marched to Red Russia, besieged 
Lemberg, took 200,000 gulden as ransom, 
^1. »r- . ■ invested Zamosc, received 

The Victorious ,, u j 

M h f th there 20,000 gulden, and 

^ . . awaited the result of the royal 
Cossack Army , .. ^t- 1 1 j 

election. His embassy worked 

for the election of John Casimir, brother 
of Vladislav, who was eventually elected. 

Chmelnicki now began his homeward 
march ; and made his entry amid the 
pealing of bells and the thunder of cannon 
into Kiev, where he was solemnly received 
by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, by the 
metropolitan, the clergy, and the citizens. 
There how appeared in his camp am- 
bassadors of the sultan from Moldavia 
and Wallachia, from Transylvania and 
Moscow, all with offers of alliance. 
Chmelnicki played the part of an inde- 
pendent sovereign. Ambassadors also 
came from the newly elected king, at 
their head Kisiel, an Orthodox noble. But 
Chmelnicki rejected all proposals for 
peace, and marched for the second time to 
the Polish frontier, since he knew that 
only the sword could decide. 

The king in person now took the field 
against him. A battle was fought at 
Zborov. John Casimir had almost been 
taken prisoner when Chmelnicki gave 
orders for the slaughter to cease ; he 
wished, he said, to extirpate the Slachta, 
but not to fight agdnst the king. New 

terms of peace were put forward by him. 
He demanded that 40,000 should be put 
on the list of the " reserved," and that 
the voivode ships of Kiev, Tchernygov, 
Poltava, and Podolia, should be given to 
the Cossacks ; abolition of the union of 
Brest, a seat for the Orthodox Metro- 
pohtan in the Polish Senate, and the 
g . expulsion of the Jesuits and 
in the ^^^ Jews from the Ukraine. 
Ukr&ine P^'^n^ would not listen to 
these conditions, and prepara- 
tions were renewed for war. The people 
now began to mutter that Chmelnicki 
was deserting them and would not win 
freedom for them. But this time the 
Cossacks, although Chmelnicki is said 
to have had 350,000 men with him, were 
beaten at Beresteczko in Volhynia, through 
the treachery of the Tartar Khan, who, 
having made" an agreement with the king, 
left the field of battle at the decisive 
moment and carried off with him as pri- 
soner Chmelnicki, vainly urging him to 
turn back. The latter regained his liberty 
after much trouble, and when he came 
back all was lost. He still persevered, 
indeed, and even won some victories ; but 
he saw that the country could not hold its 
own without foreign aid. At the assembly 
specially convened for the purpose some 
declared for Turkey, others for Moscow ; 
there were a few voices in favour of re- 
maining with Poland. The masses were 
for Russia, with which the common faith 
formed a link. Chmelnicki himself pre- 
ferred Russia. He sent in 1653 a solemn 
embassy to the Tsar Alexis, who had 
hitherto maintained an unfriendly attitude 
toward the insurgents, and this time the 
Grand Duke decided to accept the Cos- 
sacks. In the next year Muscovite com- 
missaries appeared in the Ukraine and 
took possession of the country. An army 
under Doroszenko submitted some years 
later to Turkey. In the centuries of 
struggle between Poland and Russia for 
_ . , _ . the sovereignty in the East, 
In^to'^he"'" t^^ year 1654 forms the turn- 
B \ d ^"? pont. Poland had been 
groun driven into the background 
by her own fault, while the power of Russia 
was from year to year extended at the 
expense of Poland. It might now be said 
that the game was lost for Poland. 

But the democratic Cossack community 
was as little adapted for the arrogant 
Muscovites as for the aristocratic Polish 
republic. Absolutism cannot brook 




national forms of liberty in its own 
domain. Moscow was otherwise, with its 
rude Boyars and its low culture, little 
adapted to benefit a people like the 
Cossacks, who, accustomed to freedom, 
stood on a higher plane in politics and 
culture. The position of the Cossacks, 
however, became more endurable under 
the Muscovite sceptre, since definite laws 
were enforced there ; all subjects were 
equal, and even those outside the Boyar 
class were not treated more indulgently. 
The weight of the government was, 
therefore, felt less acutely. 

An independent existence for the Cossack 
state was impossible. The Cossacks re- 
ceived their material as well as spiritual 
requirements from Russia. They bought 
their weapons in Russian 
marts, and they owed 
their very moderate de- 
gree of intellectual de- 
velopment to the Ortho- 
dox clergy, whose patron 
the Russian Tsar was. 
Chmelnicki alone, with 
his sound common sense, 
recognised this. A bold 
and skilful soldier, he was 
hardly competent for his 
great task as a statesman ; 
he was no born ruler, but, 
always regarding himself 
as a servant of the 
trown, he only thought 
how to find out another 
master for himself. He 

at another time there were reversions to 
Moscow. But there were always the three 
parties existing in the Ukraine, the Polish, 
the Turkish, and the Russian, which fought 
each other with renewed vigour. Soon 
there was evidence of a deplorable spht 
between the Cossacks and the population 
which was excluded from the military 
service. The Cossacks, who acquired large 
estates, began to separate themselves more 
sharply as an aristocracy from the lower 
stratum, over which they wished to rule, 
like the Slachta in Poland. The demo- 
cratic spirit, which had formerly worked 
wonders in the Ukraine and had inspired 
and morally elevated the whole people, 
gradually disappeared. Soon the hate of 
the people turned against the Cossacks 
themselves, who became 
their oppressors. When 
the reorganisation of the 
government and the army 
was completed under 
Peter the Great and a 
standing army was raised, 
the Cossacks no longer 
fitted into the new politi- 
cal and military structure. 
But Peter still spared 
them. It was only when 
Hetman Ivan Mazeppa 
(the hero of Byron's poem) 
had attempted in the 
Northern War {1707) to 
emancipate the Ukraine 
with the help of the 
Swedes, and had entered 
A : HERO OF BYRONS POEM into sccrct negotiations 

showed superficiahty in 

his grip of the national in the Northern War of 1707, Hetman Ivan with CharlcS XII., that 

and the social questions. t'^ilLTma^e^an'effoTto^rerthe'uLTa^ne; Peter Struck about him 

He owed the successes with Swedish help ; this led to the abolition, with his USUal CrUClty ; 

, . , , , . J by Peter the Great, of the office of Hetman. i . i x xu 

which he achieved more he took no further con- 
sideration for the separate interests of the 

to accident and the universal hatred of 
the Slachta than to his genius. The people 
did not notice these defects in him ; 
and when he died, on August 25th, 1657, 
at the age of sixty-four years, a Cossack 
ballad sang that it was not the wind that 
groaned and howled in the trees, but the 
nation bewailing its father Chmelnicki. 

It was not long before the Muscovite 
administration in the Ukraine caused a 
bitter disappointment. The PoUsh party 
therefore grew again, especially among the 
upper classes, while the people mostly 
remained loyal to Moscow. There was still 
vacillation ; at one time there were fresh 
submissions to Poland, as, for instance, 
in the case of Jurij, Chmelnicki's own son, 

Cossacks, instituted in Moscow a special 
" Chancery for Little Russian affairs," 
and abolished the office of Hetman. 

Menschikov captured the Sjetch of the 
Saporogi on the. island of Chortiza, and 
they now emigrated to the Crimea. They 
were recalled to the Dnieper under the 
Empress Anna in 1737. They did not 
recognise their country again. Southern 
Russia had become quickly settled 
after the subjugation of the Tartar 
khanates, and was covered with towns. 
The steppe, through which the Cossacks 
had roamed like the Arabs through 
their desert, had been transformed into 
a populous land. Discontented with 


»»! ■ TTit w i v 1111 ip iii m i mm ■ »ivi ml ■ nil tiTi rr 

"" * "" ^' ■^ ^ ^*< »m tt" »m tm in t T^ 



this, they wished their old land to be 
restored to them and changed back again 
into a waste — a further proof that they, 
the knights of robbery and plunder, were 
no longer suited to the new age and an 
organised government. Once again in the 
time of Catharine II. a savage social 
and religious war against 
Poles, Jews, and Catholics 
blazed forth, when the 
Cossacks, together with 
Haidamakes and every 
sort of riffraff, wreaked 
their fury and pillaged 
whole towns like Umani. 
Gonta and Sehsnjak were 
the ringleaders ; the Greek 
clergy once more added 
fuel to the flames. At 
last, in 1775, Potemkin, 
by Catharine's orders, 
took the Sjetch and de- 
stroyed it. One part of 
the insurgents emigrated 
to Turkey ; the rest re- 
mained as Cossacks of 
the Black Sea ; they re- 
ceived the southern shore 
^of the Sea of Azov and pugatchef : a leader of revolt 

... J r T^ Cathanne II. was much alarined at the frc- 

tne island 01 r anagoria quent revolts, and at the hindered develop- 

oc tVioir Vinrnoc Ti-i+Vi a ment of her new towns in the south in conse- 

dis lllt;ir Iiomes, Wllll a quence of these outbreaks. Pugatchef, who 

the treatment of the serfs became more 
and more oppressive, only with the dis- 
tinction that it was not so much the Boyars 
here, as the state itself and the magistrates, 
who ill-treated the people with true Oriental 
brutality, and extorted from them the 
uttermost farthing. Whole districts be- 
came depopulated. Ac- 
cording to the official 
report there were in one 
region of 460 square miles 
(German) only 123 in- 
habited settlements and 
967 deserted ones ; the 
reason often given for this 
was " the tsar's taxes 
and imposts." The people 
emigrated by thousands ; 
the limitation and the 
subsequent abolition of 
the right of emigration 
proved ineffectual. All 
the pretenders to the 
Russian crown found 
supporters among the 
Cossacks or started from 
that country. Among the 
more famous chieftains 
we may mention Bolot- 
nikof , who encouraged the 
bands to murder the 

».w *.-»,«.. »»v^..»^^, .,»..»• ^ quence of these outbreaks. Pugatchef, who •^"•»*^-' >■" -..«.—>.. .,.•„ 

special constitution. This gave himself out to be Peter Til., in 1774, Boyars, to appropriate 

was the end of the free ""^^ ^ particularly dangerous revolutionary, ^j^^.^. ^^^^^^ ^^^^^ ^-^^^ 

Cossack life ; it survived only in songs. 
Catharine II., being alarmed by revolts, 
especially by that of Pugatchef (1774), 
and also indignant because her new settle- 
ments and towns in the south were 
injured in their development by a popula- 
tion of born robbers, declared, in the 
decree of May 3rd, 1783, in spite of her 
liberal views, all the crown peasants of 
Little Russia, and therefore the peasants 
among the Cossacks, to be serfs — a measure 
by which 1,500,000 peasants were presented 
to the nobles. When in the same year 
she united the Crimea (the Tartar Cos- 
sacks) with the empire, " the old life 
of those half-nomads, half-robber knights, 

„^ e r with all its romance and ad- 
The Serfs , ■, r • i.u 

U <i H K v^i^ture, ceased for ever in the 

-, . . south, and the stillness of the 
grave sank over that country 
where for centuries a noisy life had pulsed." 
A similar phenomenon came to light in 
the territory belonging to the state of 
Moscow, and to some extent in the ad- 
joining districts. The peasant population 
was no better treated there than in Poland ; 

and daughters, to plunder the warehouses of 
the merchants and divide all state offices 
among themselves ; then the dreaded 
Hetman Stenka (Stefan) Rasin in the 
time of the Tsar Alexis (1667-1671) ; 
Kondratij Bulavin under Peter the Great 
o I. * (1707-1708): Pugatchef, who 
Cossacks at himself out to be Peter 

to"or!er "^^ ' ^^^^^^^ *^° P^^^^^" 

Demetri ; they were all sup- 
ported by these bands. This was the harvest 
which the state of Moscow reaped from 
the Asiatic brutality of its poHcy. But 
among the Cossacks also arose Jarmak 
Timofejef, who became famous by the 
conquest of Siberia, and then Deschnef, 
the discoverer in 1648 of the strait between 
America and Asia which was later re- 
discovered by Behring and called after him. 
Cossacks conquered Azov and wished to 
surrender it to the tsar. Nevertheless, 
the . revolts of these Cossacks gave the 
Russian government much trouble. It was 
only after the defeat of Pugatchef under 
Catharine II. that their wide domains 
became gradually reduced to order. 








TTHE loss of the Ukraine was not the sole 
■'• disaster which befell Poland in 1654. 
The war for it with Moscow and Turkey 
was almost worse. But the Swedish 
king, Charles X. Gustavus, against whose 
accession John IL Casimir (i 648-1 668) 
raised a protest, also declared war with 
Poland. In addition to these Prince 
George Rakoczy IL of Transylvania 
attacked Poland in 1657. For many years 
Poland had not been faced by such great 
danger. Warsaw and Cracow were in the 
hands of the Swedes; the Great Elector 
of Brandenburg took Prussia ; Wilna 
and Red Russia were occupied by the 
Russians and Cossacks, and Rakoczy was 
committing the most terrible ravages. 
The king fled to Silesia. The saddest 
feature was that the Slachta joined the 
Swedes, and that there were traitors who 
roused rebellion against their own sove- 
reign. The nobler minds formed a league, 
at whose head the king placed himself ; 
and an alliance was concluded with Austria 
and Denmark. 

In spite of some successes, Poland was 
forced to submit to great sacrifices. In the 
treaty of Wehlau (September 29th, 1657) 
she renounced the suzerainty of Prussia in 
favour of the Elector Frederic William ; 
by this concession the duchy of Prussia 
was definitely lost. By the treaty with 
Sweden, concluded on May 3rd, 1660, 
in the Cistercian monastery of Oliva 
near Dantzic, Poland had to cede Elbing 
and Livonia ; besides this, John Casimir 
abandoned his rights of inherit- 
o an a ^^^^ ^^ Sweden, and was only 
oncessions a^jQ^g^j ^0 assume for his life 
o oscow ^j^^ ^^^j^ ^^ King of Sweden. 
The Polish arms were comparatively 
most successful in the Ukraine, where 
the Poles succeeded in winning over to 
their side a part of the Cossacks under 
Wyhovskij . 

Even the son of Chmelnicki submitted to 
Poland. Nevertheless, Poland was com- 
pelled by the truce of Andrussov (January 


20th, 1667) to cede to Moscow Smolensk, 
Severien, Czernigov, and the Ukraine on 
the left bank of the Dnieper for thirteen 
years, and Kiev for two years. The war 
with Turkey, which had been brought 
about by the defeat of a part of the 
Cossacks under Doroszenko, similarly 
ended v/ith a humiliating peace for Poland 
at Buczacz (Budziek), which 

-, * .. * , was concluded eventually under 
Condition of -^ 


Michael, the successor of John 
Casimir, on September i8th, 
1672. According to its terms Poland 
ceded part of the Ukraine to Doroszenko, 
PodoUa with the fortress of Kamieniec 
(Kamenez) to Turkey, and consented to 
pay an annual tribute of 22,000 ducats. 

Still more unfortunate for Poland were 
the moral degeneracy of its Slachta 
and the general corruption of public Ufe. 
Each group concluded peace on its 
owh account with the enemy ; the parties 
were hostile to each other and stirred 
up ill-will against the king ; even in- 
dividual officials carried out an independent 
policy. Many were in the pay of foreign 
powers, among them, for instance, the 
primate of the empire and John Sobieski, 
the subsequent king ; the high digni- 
taries publicly taunted each other with 

It was in the year 1652 that a single 
deputy from Troki in Lithuania, Vladislav 
Sicinski by name, dissolved the Reichstag, 
which had been summoned at a dangerous 
crisis, by interposing his veto. That the 
validity of a resolution of the Reichstag 
depended on the assent of each individual 
member — the "liberum veto" — was the 
essence of the constitution ; each individual 
was the embodiment of the majesty of 
the empire. Unanimity in all the reso- 
lutions of the Reichstag had already 
been demanded, and minorities had before 
this dissolved the Reichstag. But it was 
unprecedented that an individual should 
have dared to make the fullest use of the 
" liberum veto." Foreign interference and 


the exercise of influence on the imperial 
policy were henceforward much simphfied, 
since all that was now required was to 
win over one single individual. 

But then, as formerly, as if that was the 
obvious course, the blame was laid on 
the king. John Casimir was cautious and 
bold, but nevertheless the Slachta 
hated him. He was accused of indiffer- 
ence, no regard was paid to him, and his 
deposition was discussed. He anticipated 
this last proceeding, as he resolved to 
lay down the crown voluntarily. There 
was still much haggling about the 
annuity payable to 
him, just as he had 
formerly been torced 
from motives of 
economy to marry 
his brother's widow, 
Marie Louise, in 
order that the 
country might not 
require to keep up 
two queens. The 
abdication took place 
on September i6th, 
1668. The Senate 
and the Chamber of 
Provincial Deputies 
met in a joint ses- 
sion. With touching 
words of farewell the 
weeping king laid on 
the table of the house 
the deed of abdica- 
tion, and the whole 
assembly wept with 
him. But the whole 
state, as it were, abdi- 
cated in the person 
of the king; his 


Reigning: during a period of wars and rebellions (1648- 
1668), Casimir placed himself at the head of a league which 

the kingship of Poland in the seventeenth 
century meant little more than a super- 
fluous ornament, and this was exemplified 
in Wisnioviecki with peculiar force. 

Contemporary Polish literature, which 
is characterised by the same shallow- 
ness as the political life, is a true mirror 
of the faiults and vices of the Slachta. 
There were few exceptions. We find an 
apt criticism of it in the Respublica 
Poloniae (Leiden, 1627) : " The king can do 
just so much as he can personally effect by 
good fortune and cleverness. The nobles 
do what they like ; they associate with 
the king, not as peers, 
but as brothers." 
In the person of 
John HL Sobieski 
(elected after the 
death of Wisnio- 
viecki on May 19th, 
1674), who had dis- 
tinguished himself as 
a general against the 
Turks, Poland ob- 
tained a king who 
would have been 
capable of retrieving 
the losses of recent 
years and of winning 
fresh glory for the 
empire. He clung 
with the full force of 
his soldierly nature 
to the plan enter- 
tained by the greatest 
kings of Poland of 
opening the decisive 
campaign against 
Turkey in alliance 
with Moscow and 
Austria, since he 


rpfJrpmpnf wa<5 the succeeded in bringing about an alliance with Austria and nghtlv SaW that the 

retirement was tne Yi(ta^Sii\i. He abdicated in lees, dying in France in 1 672. J& re of Poland dc- 

most tangible proof 
of the impossible position of public affairs. 
The ex-king revisited Sokal, Cracow, 
and Czenstochau ; he learned of the election 
of his successor, the feeble Michael Thomas 
Korybut Wisnioviecki (1669-1673), and 
went to France, where he died at St. 
Germain on December i6th, 1672. 
Shortly before that. King Michael had 
been forced to conclude the shameful 
peace of Buczacz. He was the son of 
that voivode, Jeremias Wisnioviecki of 
Reussen, who had once vented his fury 
on the Ukraine Cossacks ; but he had not 
inherited the warlike abilities of his father. 
Under the prevailing repubUcan conditions 

pended on it. This idea led him in 1683 to 
Vienna, where he defeated the Ottomans. 
This brilliant victory, which made him 
celebrated in the whole Christian world, 
and further successes in Hungary, were 
the last rays of sunlight in which the 
fame of Poland shone. A thorough 
statesman, he treated also the religious 
question from the political standpoint, 
and thought he could end the disputes 
between the Roman Catholics and the 
other confessions by a synod, which 
he convened at Lublin in 1680 and then 
at Warsaw. From this higher point of 
view he organised the Ukraine, adopting 


just and lenient measures, and in this 
way he won over a large part of the 

He did not hesitate at great self-sacri- 
fices in order to attain his purpose of 
annihilating the Turks. At the beginning 
of 1656 he sent Christopher Grzymul- 
tovski to Moscow to conclude an alliance 
with the Tsaritsa Sophia. Poland ceded, 
on April 21st, in perpetuity, Smolensk, 
Czernigov, Dorogobush, Sterodab, and 
Kiev, with the whole of the Ukraine 
on the left bank of the Dnieper. Moscow 
was to pay 146,000 roubles, and to wrest 
the Crimea from the Tartars. The Polish 
hero, with tears 
in his eyes, took the 
oath to this " eternal 
peace" with Russia, 
in the hope that 
he had won this state 
for his great plans. 

But Moscow was 
then still too bar- 
barous to entertam 
such noble ideas, and 
too weak to be able 
to carry them out. 
Sobieski saw himself 
thrown on his own 
resources. But in his 
tioble efforts he, like 
his predecessors, was 
always hindered by 
that social and poli- 
tical corruption in 
his own country 
which rendered every 
great undertaking 
abortive. At the be- 
ginning of his reign 

The reign of Sobieski was the last 
flickering gleam in the life of the Polish 
state. The terrible times of John Casimir 
now seemed to have come back ; party 
feuds began afresh and with redoubled 
fury. Hitherto, individuals or parties 
had betrayed and sold their country, but 
now kings did the same ; foreign countries 
had hitherto made their influence felt in 
Poland only by residents and money, but 
now they did so directly by troops, which 
never left the borders of the realm and 
enforced the orders of their sovereigns by 
the sword. The Slachta formerly, loving 
freedom beyond all else, had refused to 
make any sacrifices 
to the dictates of 
sound policy or to 
listen to any reform ; 
but now foreign 
countries were 
eagerly desirous of 
maintaining the ex- 
isting conditions and 
admitted no reforms. 
Foreign mercenaries 
took up their 
quarters in Poland, 
established arsenals, 
fought each other, and 
traversed the terri- 
tory of the republic 
in every direction 
without asking leave. 
Even before this 
time the neighbour- 
ing powers had 
entertained no 
great respect for the 
sovereignty of the 
Polish state. In 1670 


Unlike his powerful father, the voivode Jeremais Wisnio- 

Sr'woc ff,u"^f •^'^" viecki. King Michael had but little wUl of his own, and was -f ""SXl Staie. in IO70 

ne was lUll^ 01 laeas easily influenced by those around him. He was, in fact, the Great Elcctor had 

of a coup d'etat, but Uttle more than a superfluous ornament; he died in 1 673. ordered a PrUSsiaU 

was compelled, like all the others, to nobleman to be 

give up every hope. The actions of this 
monarch furnish a proof that even capable 
men may become the slaves of circum- 
stances. Men should be accounted great 
not according to their achievement, but 
according to their endeavour. 

The Slachta did not even allow him to 
nominate his son Jacob Lewis as his 
successor ; they felt indeed a malicious 
joy when the latter did not receive the 
promised hand of an Austrian princess, 
and they tried to thwart even his marriage 
with a rich Lithuanian. Filled with morti- 
fication and weighed down by care, John 
in. sank into his grave on June 17th, 1696. 


forcibly seized from 
the very side of King Michael Wis- 
nioviecki and led away to Konigsberg. 
John Casimir himself, even in the reign of 
his brother Vladislaus, while travelling 
in the west of Europe, and driven by 
a storm on the French coast, was kept 
two years in imprisonment without any 
special feeling being caused in his country 
at the incident. Poland was now treated 
with undisguised contempt. 

In the old days, when, according to 
the ancient custom at a coronation, 
money was scattered among the crowd, 
no Pole ever stooped to pick up a coin ; 
now they all clutched with both hands at 


doles from whatever side they came. 

Formerly the Slachta had imposed harsh 

conditions on foreign candidates for the 

throne, and had 

stipulated for the 

recovery of lost 

provinces, but now 

no king could be 

elected without the 

consent of foreign 

powers, obtained by 

humiliating promises. 

National and religious 

intolerance grew in 

consequence stronger. 

Rome and the Jesuits 

had great influence, 

and indefatigably 

carried out their 

task of conversion 

and antagonism 

toward all who 

were not of their 


The Elector Frede- 
rick Augustus (the 
Strong) of Saxony, or 
as King of Poland 
Augustus II. (1697- 
1733), owed his elec- 
tion partly to the 
money which he 
distributed, but 
mostly to the circumstance that he 
had adopted the Catholic faith on 
June 1st, 1697. 
In the year 
1733 the Reich- 
stag declared he- 
terodox persons 
to have forfeited 
all political rights 
and offices, and 
by this action 
had given a new 
pretext to foreign 
powers for inter- 
ference in the 
affairs of the 
empire. The 
sudden dissolu- 
tion of the diets 
was now the 
ordinary course 
of things. Under 
.Augustus II., out 
of eighteen diets between the years 1717 
and 1733 only five brought their delibera- 
tions to a close ; under Augustus III., 

This great king came too late to avert Poland's impending 
doom. In happier circumstances he might have saved 
the empire and won for it fresh glory; as it was, he crushed 
the Ottoman power, and thus became celebrated in the 
whole Christian world. He was a thorough statesman as 
well as a brilliant general. Disappointed, he died in 1696. 


only one. Even the law courts were often 
hindered in their duties by party contests 
and were compelled to suspend their 
sittings. Smce the 
state machinery was 
stopped recourse was 
had to alliances and 
armed combinations 
which led mo e cer- 
tainly to the goal. 
But it was not diffi- 
cult even for a foreign 
power to call into life, 
to suit their own 
purposes, some such 
They grew up like 
mushrooms, fought 
against each other, 
and increased the 
confusion. Together 
with political dis- 
organisation, the im- 
poverishment of the 
Slachta made alarm- 
ing progress. Desti- 
tute nobles, who now 
lived only on the 
patronage and favour 
of the high nobility, 
crowded in masses 
round the rich 
magnates, whose 
numbers also steadily decreased. As a 
natural consequence, the peasants were 

inhumanly op- 
pressed. The 
towns, more and 
more burdened 
by the national 
needs, were 
equally i m- 
poverished, es- 
pecially since 
they never en- 
joyed the favour 
of the crown. 

The Jesuit 
schools now only 
fostered a spe- 
cious learning, 
and only edu- 
cated soldiers of 
Christ, who were 
intended to set 
up in Poland the 
Society of Jesus rather than the kingdom 
of God. Even the Piarists, an order 
established in 1607, who founded schools 




in rivalry with the Jesuits, were more 

solicitous for their own popularity than 

for the diffusion of true knowledge. 

The morality and culture of the Slachta 

were on a disgracefully low level ; and 

their condition was the more repellent since 

it bore no proportion to their ambition, 

their pretensions, or position in the realm. 

p The empire had thus 

p*!"' "'*' been engaged in a deadly 

.. ■»" i» e- " struggle for a century. If 
For Its Sins .. ^^ , , ,, j -4. * 

its neighbours allowed it to 

last so long, the only reason was that they 
were not themselves ready and strong 
enough to swallow Poland up. They 
jealously watched and counterbalanced 
each other. It was with good reason 
that the saying " Poland stands by dis- 
order " now became a current proverb. 

Frederic Augustus of Saxony and 
Poland, physically so strong that he 
could bend a thaler between his fingers, 
and a thorough man of the world, seemed 
as a Polish writer aptly puts it, to have 
been chosen by Providence to punish the 
nation for its sins. Frivolous in private 
and often also in public life, he intro- 
duced immorality and political corruption 
into his surroundings. In 1699 he had 
just reaped the fruits of the campaigns 
of his great predecessor by the treaty 
of Karlovitz, through which Poland re- 
covered from Turkey Podolia and Kam- 
ieniec, when he plunged Poland into a 
war which almost cost him the throne. 

He made friendly overtures to Peter the 
Great of Russia and planned with him a 
campaign against Sweden ; Livonia was to 
be the prize of victory. The Danish king, 
Frederic IV. was then drawn into the 
alliance, and the Saxon troops, which 
Augustus always kept in Poland, began the 
war. But the allies had grievously de- 
luded themselves in the person of the 
youthful King of Sweden. Charles XII. 
struck blow after blow with crushing effect. 
While Russia by her natural weight and 

Di L a J not by her warlike skill 
Plucky Sweden en u 1 j. 

. . was finally able to conquer 

Youthful Kins ^^^ ^^**^^ country of Sweden, 
Augustus II. and Denmark 
could not make any stand against it. 
Charles XII. demanded from the Slachta 
the deposition of the king, and ordered 
the election of Stanislaus Lesczynski as 
king on June 12th, 1704. 

Augustus II. tried in vain to win over 
Charles XII. He repeatedly offered him, 
through secret emissaries, a partition of 


Poland, but was obliged, on September 
24th, 1706, when Charles had also conquered 
Saxony, to renounce the crown of Poland 
by the treaty of Altranstadt, and did not 
recover it until Charles XII. had been 
decisively defeated by Peter the Great at 
Poltawa on July 8th, 1709. The only power 
to benefit from this second Northern War 
was Russia, finally which acquired Livonia, 
Esthonia, and Ingria, and so set foot on 
the Baltic. 

From the beginning of his reign Augus- 
tus II. entertained the idea of strengthen- 
ing the monarchical power ; he kept Saxon 
troops in Poland, and did not consult the 
Reichstag. But although he possessed 
considerable talents as a ruler, the various 
schemes which he evolved all turned out 
disastrously for Poland. The opposition 
against him daily grew stronger, and the 
followers of Lesczynski, who was deposed 
on August 8th, 1709, increased in numbers ; 
confederations were formed on both sides. 
Russia brought matters to a head. Rapidly, 
and with astonishing astuteness, Peter the 
Great found his way in the PoHsh diffi- 
culty, and knew how to act. He came 
p t tK G between the parties as a 
.. p "^ ^ '^^ mediator, but took the side 

r D I ... of Augustus as the least 
ofPoland J ^ , , ., 

dangerous ; he sent, as the 

" Protector of Poland," 18,000 men into 
the country, and negotiated an agreement 
between the rival parties in Warsaw. 

Augustus 11. promised to withdraw his 
Saxons from the country within twenty- 
five days ; all confederations were broken 
up and prohibited for the future, and the 
constitution was safeguarded. In a secret 
clause the number of troops in Poland was 
limited ; Poland was not to keep more than 
17,000, Lithuania not more than 6,000 
men. The Reichstag of 1717 was forced 
to approve of all these points without 
discussion, for which reason it was called 
the " Dumb Diet." This was a master 
move of Peter's, and all the more so since 
he succeeded in inducing Turkey to 
recognise this agreement. Since that date 
Russian troops never left Poland, a policy 
observed up to the last partition. 

Another neighbour had to be considered 
during the dispute for the Polish succes- 
sion, in the person of the Elector Frederic 
of Brandenburg. He retorted to the 
promotion of the Elector of Saxony to 
the throne of Poland by crowning himself 
as King of Prussia, on January i8th, 
1 70 1. This action of his meant that he 


withdrew from the federation of the 
German Empire with one part of his 
territory, and shifted the centre of gravity 
of power as a sovereign to Prussia, which 
was not indeed subject to the suzerainty 
of the emperor ; attention was at the same 
time called to the fact that he claimed the 
other part of Prussia, which still was 
subject to Poland. 

The far-sighted policy of the Prussian 
king and his successors is shown by 
their unwearying solicitude for the 
organisation and strengthening of their 
army. The numerical superiority of the 
Russian and other troops was intended to 
be balanced by the efficiency of the 
Prussians. Frederic I. was also approached 
by Augustus II. with the plan of parti- 
tionmg Poland. Thus he, the King of 
Poland, was the first to suggest to his 
neighbours the idea of its partition. The 
third occasion was in the year 1732, when 
he hoped by this offer to win over the 
Prussian king for the election of his son 
Frederic Augustus as King of Poland. 

The Reichstag, it is true, after the death 
of Augustus II. (February ist, 1733), 
elected with unusual unanimity Stanislaus 
Lesczynski on September nth, for the 
second time. But the Slachta forgot that 
their resolutions were meaningless against 
the will of a stronger power. Forty 

The end of the Polish Empire was in sight when, in 1764, 
Stanislaus II. Poniatovski ascended the throne. He did 
nothing to stem the rapid tide of ruin or to prevent the 
country's shameful betrayal by its aristocracy. In 1795, 
Stanislaus resigned the crown, and died three years later. 



The troubled condition of Polish affairs is reflected in the 
history of Stanislaus Lesczynski, who was elected to the 
throne in 1704. Five years later, in 1709, he was deposed 
on the return of Augustus, at whose deatli. in 1733, he 
was, for the second time, elected to the throne. But he 
bad to give way to Frederic Augustus II. of Saxony. 

thousand Russians entered Poland, and 
Russia's protege, Frederic Augustus II. 
of Saxony, was elected king on January 
17th, 1734, with the title of Augustus III. 
France was obliged to acquiesce in the 
defeat of her candidate, Lesczynski. He 
received Lorraine and Bar as a solatium 
(1735-1738). He was occupied to the day 
of his death (February 23rd, 1766) with 
the thought of his unhappy native land, 
and ultimately collected round him at 
Nancy and Luneville, the youth of Poland, 
in order to educate them as reformers. 

It was now perceived, even in Poland, 
that the catastrophe could not be long 
delayed. The voices that demanded 
reform grew more numerous. It is a 
tragic spectacle to see how the nobler 
minds in the nation exerted themselves 
vainly in carrying reforms and saving 
their country. Two great parties (at the 
head of the one was the Tsartoryski family, 
at the head of the other the Potocki) were 
bitter antagonists. The former wished to 
redeem Poland with the help of Russia ; 
the latter, with the support of France. 
Both were wrong in their calculation, for 
the salvation of Poland was not to be 
expected from any foreign power, but 
depended solely on the unanimity and self- 
devotion of the nation itself, and this 



was unattainable. The whole reign of 
Augustus III. (he died on October 5th, 
1763) is filled with these party feuds. 

The evil star of Poland willed that in 
the second half of the eighteenth century 
Prussia and Russia should possess, in the 
persons of Frederic the Great and 
Catharine II., rulers who are reckoned 
among the greatest in history, while 
Poland herself was being ruined by dis- 
union. In 1764, soon after the death of 
Augustus II., both the adjoining states 
came to an agreement as to an occupation 
of parts of Poland's territory. Stanislaus 
II. Poniatovski, a relation of the Tsar- 
toryski family, who had been elected king 
on October 7th, 1764, had lived hitherto 
in St. Petersburg, and had been, as a 

William I. of Prussia, had already inquired, 
through their representatives in Russia, 
what attitude the tsar would adopt on the 
fall of the Polish Empire. The idea of a 
partition of Prussia had already been 
dispelled by the Seven Years' War ; and 
the Prussian hero of that war, Frederic 
the Great, was quite ready to apply the 
idea to Poland. Neither England nor 
France intervened when, in February, 
1772, at the beginning of 1793, and on 
October 24th, 1795, Poland was parti- 
tioned between Russia, Prussia, and 
Austria, and the Pohsh Empire disappeared 
from the map of Europe. The people of 
Poland had also to endure the mortifica- 
tion of seeing their own diet concur in 
these outrages of the great powers. 



- 1 

favourite 01 Latnarme, mtended for the 
throne of Poland. This circumstance in 
itself gave grounds for supposing that this 
king, in spite of his amiable nature, would 
be a tool of the Russian policy. 

The Tsartoryskis, indeed, wished to use 
the opportunity and introduce useful re- 
forms, and took up a strong position against 
Russia ; but confederations were soon 
formed for the protection of the old 
liberties, and these received the support 
of Russia, whose interest it was to keep up 
the lack of central authority in Poland. 
All the European powers then showed a 
singular eagerness for expansion ; the idea 
of partition seemed to be in the air. The 
Emperor Charles VI. and Frederic 


Thus the Polish state after lasting 800 
years, ceased to be. Poland, in the search 
for the solution of the main constitutional 
question, went to excess and was choked 
by the exuberance of individucil license. 

After this date there were frequent 
rumours of efforts to be made by Polish 
patriots, especially by those who had 
emigrated to France, to recover political 
independence ; European diplomacy has 
often been occupied with the Polish 
question. But beyond friendly encourage- 
ment the Poles have found no friend who, 
with powerful hand, could and would 
have reversed the momentous events of 
the last decades of the eighteenth century. 
Vladimir Milkowicz 



HTHE birth of the Russian Empire falls in 
•*■ the period when the Scandinavian 
Vikings were at the zenith of their power. 
Just as these hardy rovers sailed over the 
Baltic, the Atlantic and the Mediter- 
ranean, until they reached Iceland and 
North America, and in their small forty- 
oared galleys went up from the mouths 
of the Elbe, the Weser, the Rhine, the 
Maas and the Seine far into the interior, 
striking terror into the inhabitants, so, 
too, in the east of Europe they followed 
the course of the rivers and discovered 
the way to the Black Sea and Constanti- 
nople. The route which led up the 
Dwina and then down the Dnieper to 
Byzantium was called the Varagian way ; 
even the rapids of the Dnieper bore, so 
it is said, Scandinavian names. The 
Norsemen, who had founded here and 
there independent empires in the west 
of Europe, could do so still more easily 
in the east. 

At the outset of Russian history we 
find here six or seven independent dis- 
tricts, which stood, perhaps, under Norse 
rule : (old) Ladoga on the Wolchow, later 
. Novgorod, Bjelosersk, Isborsk, 

^uri . e juj-Q^ jj^ ^hg region of Minsk, 

Polock, and Kiev. The core 

of Russia 

of the later Russian Empire 
was at first (about 840) in the north, 
in the Slavonic-Finnish region, but it soon 
spread toward the south and was then 
shifted to Kiev in the basin of the Dnieper. 
" Russia " absorbed the Slavonic, Finnish, 
Bulgarian and Khazar empires. Rurik, 
in Norse Hroerekr, an otherwise unknown 
semi-mythical hero of royal race [see page 

3183], was regarded in the eleventh century 

as the ancestor of the Russian dynasty. 

The soil was so favourable here for the 

growth of a large empire that the Russians 

were able, by the middle of the ninth 

century (860), to undertake a marauding 

expedition against Constantinople. Besides 

Slavs, Lithuanians, Finns, and Khazars, the 

,^ ™ . Varagians fought ; usually 
Norse Warriors -, °c j r tt 1 j 
Q^^j^^ it was Swedes from Upland, 

by the Slavs Sodermanland, and Oster- 

gotland who formed the 

picked troops and took the lead in every 

expedition. The mercenary bands had 

entered into a covenant with the prince, 

but were pledged to obey him ; they were 

not, however, his subjects and could, 

therefore, leave him at any time ; their pay 

consisted in the booty they won. The Slavs 

composed the overwhelming majority of 

the inhabitants ; they gradually replaced 

the Norse warriors and ousted them 

completely later, notwithstanding various 

reinforcements from their northern home. 

By the end of the eleventh century the 

Varagian element had almost disappeared. 

In less than 250 years the same fate befell 

them which shortly before had befallen 

the Finno-Ugrian Bulgars in the Balkan 

Peninsula. Both races were merged in 

the Slavonic. 

The first hero of the old Varagian style, 

and at the same time the first genuinely 

historical ruler, meets us in Gleg, or 

Helgi, who, in 880, became the head of 

the Russian state. He conquered (880- 

881) Smolensk, defeated the petty princes 

in Kiev in 882, and then transferred 

thither the centre of the empire. He 



Igor II. X^^^I^^P\^ Sviatopolk II., lojj 'C /i^ VC^' J ^yi- Muiiomacli, 1114 


Reproduced from a series of historic medals. 

Basil I., isji 'C /'C lr>^V ^T^ Dmitri, 1*76 


Reproduced from a series of historic medals. 



inflicted on the Khazars and the Bulgarians 

defeats from which they never recovered. 

In 900 he forced part of the Chorvats on 

the Vistula to serve in his army. In this 

way he founded a Dnieper empire, which 

reached from the North Sea to the Black 

Sea, from the Bug to the Volga. Not 

satisfied with this, Oleg planned an ex- 

_ . pedition against Byzantium, 

w***ho which, like Rome and Italy, 

^. , was always the coveted goal 
on Wheels , xt ^v. t xu 

of every Northman. In the 

year 907 he went with a mighty army of 
allies down the Dnieper ; the Russian 
Chronicle states that he had 2,000 boats 
with forty men in each. As the harbour 
in the Bosphorus was closed, he beached 
his ships, set them on wheels, bent his 
sails, and thus advanced against the town, 
to the horror of his enemies, with his 
vessels from the landside. A propitious 
moment had been chosen. The Greek 
fleet had fallen into decay, and the empire 
was hard pressed by the Bulgarians. The 
Emperor Leo VI. (the Philosopher) de- 
termined, therefore, to bribe the Russians 
to withdraw, after an ineffectual attempt 
had been made to get rid of them by 
poisoned food. The Greeks paid six 
pounds of silver for every ship, and in 
addition gave presents for the Russian 

Liberty of trading with Constantinople 
was then secured to the Russians. Their 
merchants, however, were to enter the 
city only by a certain gate and unarmed, 
under the escort of an imperial official; 
their station was near the church of St. 
Mammas. They received also the right 
to obtain for six months provisions in 
the city, to visit baths, and to demand pro- 
visions and ships' gear (anchor, cables, 
and sails) for their return voyage. This 
treaty, having been concluded by word 
of mouth, was sworn to by the Byzantines 
on the cross, and by Oleg and his vassals 
before their gods Peran and Wolas, and 
Q. , on their weapons. When the 

S ^bol of ^^ssians left the city, Oleg 
victory fastened his shield to the 
city wall, as a token that 
he had taken possession of the city. 
This treaty was reduced to writing m 
the year 911 — a noteworthy document. 
Both parties first promise love and friend- 
ship to each other, and fix the penalties to 
be incurred by any who disturb their con- 
cord through murder, theft, or indiscretion. 
Then follow agreements as to the ransom 


of prisoners of war and slaves, as to servants 
who had deserted or been enticed away, and 
as to the estates of the Russians (Varangians 
or Varagians) who had died in the service 
of the emperor. The proviso as to ship- 
wrecked men is important as a contribu- 
tion to international law. " If the storm 
drives a Greek vessel on to a foreign coast, 
and any Russians inhabit such coast, the 
latter shall place in safety the ship with 
its cargo and help it on its voyage to the 
Christian country and pilot it through any 
dangerous places. But if such ship, either 
from storm or some other hindrance, 
cannot reach home again, then we Russians 
will help the sailors and recover the goods, 
if this occurs near the Greek territory. 
Should, however, such a calamity befall 
a Greek ship (far from Greece), we are 
willing to steer it to Russia and the cargo 
may be sold. Any part of it that cannot 
be sold and the ship itself we Russians are 
willing to bring with us honestly, either 
when we go to Greece or are sent as 
ambassadors to your emperor, or when we 
come as traders to buy goods, and we will 
hand over untouched the money paid for 
the merchandise. Should a 
Russian have slain a man on 
this vessel or have plundered 
any goods, the agreed penalty 
will be inflicted on him." Oleg died in 
the year 912, from the bite of a snake, 
which, it was alleged, crept out of the 
skull of his favourite steed ; hence arose 
the legend about the marvellous fulfilment 
of a wizard's prophecy that he should 
meet his death from that horse. Nine 
hundred years later Oleg became a favourite 
hero of Catharine II., who extolled him in 
a drama bearing his name. 

His successor, Igor or Ingvar, a less 
capable ruler, carried the work of conquest 
a stage further. In the year 914 the 
Russians went with 500 ships to the 
Caspian Sea and plundered the Persian 
coasts. The Arab Mascudi has described 
this expedition, which appears to have 
been made during the minority of Igor, 
when his wife Olga (Helga) administered 
the affairs of the state. He himself took 
command of the army in 941, when he 
planned a new expedition against Con- 
stantinople ; about the same time the 
Pechenegs, at his instigation, undertook to 
plunder Bulgaria, which had been allied 
with Byzantium since 924. But on this 
occasion the Russian fleet was annihilated 
by the Greek fire, with which the Russians 

The Legend 
of a Wizard's 


now made their first acquaintance. In 
944, Igor marched once more against 
Byzantium — the fourth Russian campaign 
against the capital. Igor was induced by 
peasants to withdraw, and a new treaty 
was then concluded (945). The old trading 
privileges of the Russians were somewhat 
restricted. Certain goods, for example, 
_ . , might not be sold to them, and 

ussia s strict passports were demanded 
p* . from them. The Russians, in 
addition to this, pledged 
themselves to protect the region of the 
Chersonnese against attacks of the 
Danubian Bulgars, and to come to the aid 
of the Greek emperor in time of need. 

The treaty was once more solemnly sworn. 
" And we," so it runs in the Russian 
version of the document, " so many of us 
as are baptised, have sworn in the cathe- 
dral of St. Elias (at Kiev), on the holy 
cross lying before us and this parchment, 
to hold and observe all that is written 
thereon, and not to transgress any part 
thereof. If any man transgress this, 
whether he be the prince himself or another, 
whether Christian or unbaptised, may he 
be deprived of all help from God ; let him 
become a serf in this Hfe and in the hfe 
to come, and let him die by his own sword. 
The unbaptised Russians shall lay their 
shields, their naked swords, their gorgets, 
and other arms on the ground and swear 
to everything contained in this parchment ; 
to wit, that Igor, every Boyar, and all the 
Russians will uphold it for ever. But if 
any man, be he prince or Russian subject, 
baptised or unbaptised, act contrary to 
the tenor of this document, let him die 
deservedly by his own sword, and let him 
be accursed by God and by Perun, since 
he breaketh his oath. May the great 
Prince Igor deign to preserve his sincere 
love for us, and not weaken it, so long as 
the sun shineth and the world remaineth 
in this and all future time." On his return 
home, Igor was murdered by the Drevlanes, 

•wt r» j( f from whom he wished to 
The Dreadful x ^ u ^ j- 

j.j^j ^j exact tribute ; accordmg to 

Prince Ijror ^^^ *^^ Deacon he was bound 
to two saplings, which were 
bent to the ground, and was torn in two, 
after the manner of Sinnis in the Greek 
legend of Theseus. 

Since Igor's son Sviatoslav was a 
minor, his widow Olga held the reins of 
government. She first wreaked vengeance 
on the Drevlanes. While besieging their 
town, Korosten, she promised to make 


a peace with them in return for a tribute 
of three pigeons and three sparrows from 
every house. She then ordered balb of 
hghted tow to be fastened on the birds, 
which were let loose and set fire to the 
houses and outhouses of the Drevlanes. 
The Chronicle styles Olga the wisest of 
women. She was the first to accept 
Christianity ; in 957 she went with a large 
retinue to Constantinople, and under the 
sponsorship of the Emperor Constantine 
Porphyrogennetus and the Empress 
Helena, daughter of Romanus Lacapenus, 
received baptism and the name of Helena 
from the patriarch Theophylactus. She 
endeavoured to win her son over to the 
new doctrine; "My druzina [body-guard, 
huscarlesj would despise me," he is said 
to have replied. 

In 964 Sviatoslav himself, the greatest 
hero of old Russia, took over the govern- 
ment, although his mother (who died in 
970) still administered home affairs, since 
he was seldom in the country. He wished 
to complete the task which Oleg and 
Igor began. He turned his attention first 
against the still unconquered peoples on the 
_ . Oka and Volga, marched 

via OS av e ^^g^jj^g^ ^jjg Wiatici and then 
Greatest Hero ° ■ , ,1 t7-i_ 1. 

f Old R ■ 3-g3-i^st the Khazars, whose 
town Belaweza (Belaja Vesh 
or Sarkel) he captured ; after subjugating 
the Jases (old Russian for Alanes, or in 
Georgian Owsi = Ossetes) and the Kasoges 
(Tcherkesses) he returned to Kiev. After 
the year 966 the Wiatici paid tribute to 
Sviatoslav ; shortly afterwards (968-969) 
the Ros (apparently Baltic Vikings inde- 
pendent of Sviatoslav) laid waste Bulgaria 
as well as the Khazar towns Itil, Kha- 
zaran, and Samandar. These blows were 
so crushing that during the next fifty 
years we hear nothing more of the Khazars. 
Shortly before these events Sviatoslav, 
acceding to the request of the Emperor 
Nicephorus Phocas, backed up by a 
payment of fifteen hundredweight of gold 
(180,000 Byzantine gold pieces), had 
undertaken a campaign against the Danu- 
bian Bulgars ; they were to be attacked 
simultaneously from north and south. In 
the summer of 968 Sviatoslav crossed the 
Danube, defeated the Bulgars, captured 
numerous places, and took up his abode 
in Perejaslavetz. Sviatoslav was already 
planning to establish himself firmly in 
Bulgaria, since Peter, the Bulgarian ruler, 
died at the end of January, 969, when 
tidings cajne from Russia that the wild 


Pechenegs were besieging Kiev. They were 
induced temporarily to withdraw by the 
ruse of a false report that Sviatoslav was 
advancing with all speed against them ; 
but the people of Kiev accused Sviatoslav 
of indifference. He therefore retraced his 
steps as quickly as possible, defeated the 
Pechenegs, and restored peace. 

But his heart was still fixed on Bulgaria, 
since Perejaslavetz on the Danube was the 
centre of his country, and a place where all 
good things were collected together : " from 
the Greeks gold and precious stuffs, wine 
and fruits ; from the Bohemians and 
Hungarians silver and horses ; from Russia 
furs, wax, honey and slaves." In the end, 
Sviatoslav divided his empire among his 
three sons and marched towards the 

John Tzimisces had now come to the 
throne of the Byzantine Empire in the 
place of the murdered Nicephorus Phocas. 
His predecessor had concluded peace with 
Bulgaria so soon as he learnt the real 
plans of Sviatoslav, and Tzimisces now 
made a similar attempt, but twice with- 
out success. There remained therefore 
_ . only the arbitrament of 

m ^j^^ sword. Perejaslavetz 
and Silistria, to which 
towns the Russians had 
withdrawn, were captured by the Greeks, 
in spite of a most gallant resistance ; the 
Russian women themselves fought hand- 
to-hand in the mel^e. 

The Russians were seen during the night 
after a battle coming out of the town by 
moonlight to burn their dead. They 
sacrificed the prisoners of war over their 
ashes, and drowned fowls and little chil- 
dren in the Danube. The emperor pro- 
posed to Sviatoslav to decide the victory 
by single combat. Sviatoslav declined, 
and was the more bent on a last passage 
of arms. But when this also turned out 
disastrously to him, owing to the superior- 
ity of the Greek forces, he made overtures 
for peace (971). The terms were as 
follows : The emperor promised to provide 
provisions for the army of Sviatoslav, 
which withdrew with the honours of war, 
and not to harass them with the Greek 
fire during the retreat ; he also confirmed 
the old trading privileges of the Russian 

A meeting of Sviatoslav and Tzimisces 
took place on the right bank of the Danube 
to ratify the settlement. Leo the Deacon 
has left us a description of his person. 


Against Greeks 

Sviatoslav was of middle height, with 

blue eyes and thick eyebrows ; his nose 

was flattish, his mouth hidden by a heavy 

moustache ; his beard was scanty, and his 

head close shorn except for one lock 

hanging down on each side (a sign of his 

high birth) ; his neck rose like a column 

from his shoulders, and his limbs were 

_. well proportioned. His general 

jj . , aspect was gloomy and savage. 

D A A gold ring, set with a ruby 

P&gan Age , ,«=> , ^' , , , 

between two pearls, hung from 
one ear ; his white tunic was only distin- 
guished from those of his warriors by its 

Sviatoslav now set out on his homeward 
journey. But the Pechenegs were already 
waiting on the Dnieper. The Greek chron- 
iclers relate that Tzimisces had requested 
the Pechenegs to allow the Russian army 
to pass through without hindrance ; but 
he would probably have done the exact 
opposite. With a wearied and exhausted 
army, whose ranks were being thinned 
by hunger, Sviatoslav went slowly home- 
wards. He was slain by Kuria, the prince 
of the Pechenegs (973), who had his skull 
made into a drinking-vessel. Part only 
of Sviatoslav's army succeeded in making 
their way to Kiev. This was the end of 
the greatest hero of Old Russia. A soldier 
rather than a general or statesman, he 
was worshipped by his followers. He and 
Oleg strengthened and consolidated tlie 
Old Russian state. The Pagan age of 
Russia ends with Sviatoslav. 

Sviatoslav's three sons were still minors 
when he divided his empire among them, 
and each of them was placed under a 
guardian. Jarapolk was sovereign in 
Kiev, Oleg in the country of the Drevlanes, 
Vladimir in Novgorod. Quarrels soon 
broke out ; Oleg fell in battle ; Vladimir 
fled to Scandinavia ; Jarapolk thus re- 
mained sole ruler. But Vladimir came 
back with numerous Varagian mercenaries, 
defeated Jarapolk and besieged him in 
Rodna. When Jarapolk sur- 
The Hero rendered, at the demand of 

Vladimir j^j^ brother, and was on the 

on the Throne ^^^ ^^ Vladimir, he was 
murdered by two Varagians at the door 
of the presence-chamber. 

Vladimir thus assumed the govern- 
ment in 977. He, too, was a hero, fought 
many wars, and conquered numerous 
tribes. His importance, however, does not 
lie in this, but in the Christianising of the 
Russians, which was completed by him. 



Merchants had long since brought the 
Christian doctrines from Byzantium to 
Russia ; several churches already existed 
in Kiev and elsewhere, and the Christian 
faith in Russia was free and unmolested. 
When Olga received baptism, in 957, 
there was already a considerable Christian 
community in Kiev. Tradition relates 
... that the Jews, the Moham- 
a/ r'»k medans, the Romans, and the 
qJ^^^YJ*^ Byzantines had tried to win 
Vladimir over to their faith. 
He is said to have sent, by the advice of 
his Boyars and city elders, envoys into every 
country, who were to report f'rom their 
own experience on the value of the different 
religions. Ten men thus started out, first 
to the Bulgarians, then to the Germans, 
lastly to Byzantium. The service in 
the splendid church of St. Sophia at 
Byzantium made the best impression on 
them. This decided the adoption of the 
Greek faith. Vladimir had indeed no 
other choice. Unless he made some 
violent breach with the past, he was 
bound to establish the Byzantine re- 
ligion, which was already widely spread 
in the country, as the national religion. 

The decision was taken, as had been the 
case with the Franks or the Bulgarians, 
during a campaign. Vladimir, as an ally 
of the emperor, vowed to become a 
Christian if he should take Kherson, 
christians were already strongly repre- 
sented in his army. When, then, the 
town surrendered, he sent to the Em- 
perors Basil II. and Constant ine VI II,, and 
asked the hand of their sister Anna. His 
request was granted on the condition that 
he would consent to be baptised. 
Vladimir is said to have attributed the 
defeats of his great father to the mighty 
God of the Christians, just as the Byzan- 
tines thanked at one time St. Demetrius, at 
another St. Theodorus Stratilates, for their 
victories. Vladimir now, therefore, put 
the Christian God to the proof before 

_. ^. . ^. Kherson, just as Constantine 
The Christian j /-1 • i. j j 
-, J „ . and Clovis had done m 

God Put . ., J • -i 

to the T t Similar crises, and since the 
result was favourable, he 
decided to adopt the Christian doctrine. He 
was, therefore, baptised in 988 in Kherson. 
The Byzantines conferred on him new 
royal insignia and the title of Basileus, 
which he at once inscribed on his gold and 
silver coins. He returned to Kiev, after 
founding another church in Kherson. 
The Russian chronicle tells us what a 

marvellous change was then accom- 
plished in the character of Vladimir. 
Formerly a bloodthirsty barbarian, he had 
once wished to revive the service of the 
old gods to whom he owed his victory 
over Jarapolk. He commanded a Perun 
of wood with a silver head and golden 
beard to be erected on a hill in the vicinity 
of his palace at Kiev, and then images 
of Chors, Dashbog, Stribog, Simargla and 
Mokosh. Two Christian Varagians were 
sacrificed to Perun, since the father re- 
fused to surrender to the pagan priests his 
son, on whom the sacrificial lot had fallen. 
Vladimir had been an unbridled volup- 
tuary. Besides five lawful wives, he had 
three hundred concubines in Wyszgorod, 
300 in Belgorod, and 200 in the village of 
Berestow near Kiev. 

But after the adoption of Christianity he 
became a changed man. The idols were 
cast down, and, amid the tears of their 
worshippers, were partly hacked to pieces, 
partly burnt. He ordered the Perun, which 
was most highly revered, to be fastened 
to the tail of a horse ; twelve men then 
belaboured it with sticks and hurled it 
into the river. The spot is 
even now pointed out where 
the " downfall of the devil " 
was consummated. Men were 
posted along the shore to push back 
into the water the stranded god and 
to keep off the wailing pagans. 

Vladimir then issued a proclamation that 
any man, whether rich or poor, who did not 
come to the river bank on the next morning 
would be considered his enemy. The next 
day he went to the Dnieper accom- 
panied by the priests. The people stepped 
into the water and were baptised in 
crowds. Many followers of the old gods 
escaped into the steppes or the woods ; 
centuries elapsed before Russia was 
entirely Christian. Under the direction of 
the Greeks he started a school at Kiev. 
Even this encountered difficulties ; Vladi- 
mir, indeed, was compelled to send many 
children away from school back to their 
homes, because their parents regarded 
writing as a dangerous form of witchcraft. 
Kiev, where there was already a bishop- 
ric, was now made the see of a metro- 
politan, and several new bishoprics were 
founded. The first metropolitan, Michael, 
came from Constantinople ; even in 
later times the bishops and metropolitans 
were mostly Greeks, seventeen out of 
twenty-three, down to the Mongol invasion 

His Idols 

KJW^ ^ J^ AX Mk Ilk J:X ATk J!< J^ JK .^ J^ AK AX JX ii^ J^S^ j:^. J5. JS .IXJIV. J\M 





rA," W VV ^/ SV W VIV W NVSV VWiy SV MV^NVVTy'SV ST,^^.V%%^fy^NV Vy'SV^,^ 




of 1240. The first priests are said to 
have been Bulgarians. It was not until 
later that the schools provided for their 
own rising generation. 

Vladimir was completely changed. He 
remained loyal to his Greek wife, distri- 
buted his income to the churches and the 
poor, and no longer took pleasure in wars. 

A ^ ^ «sx In contrast to his previous 
A Great Step t. i.u 

. „ . seventy the pnnce was now 

in Russian u iT 1 a. a. r 

j.. mild; he was reluctant, from 

IS ory ^^^^ ^j ^.^^ ^^ enforce death 

penalties, and, since brigandage was largely 
on the increase, had to be urged by the 
bishops to reintroduce the old laws. In all 
probability, he, like the Emperor Otto III. 
and Duke Boleslav I. Chabis, had been 
influenced by the idea of the millennium, 
and believed that the end of the world 
would come in the year 1000. He was 
passionately fond of relics, and came back 
from Kherson with a rich store of them. 
He is worshipped in the Russian Church 
as a saint, and was named Isapostolos, or 
the Apostle-like. 

Although Christianity was only super- 
ficially grafted upon national life and 
was so adapted to Pagan customs and ideas 
that it was closely interwoven with 
the old popular religion, nevertheless the 
conversion was decisive for Russia. By 
the adoption of the Greek faith it entered 
into the communion of the Greek Church 
and into the intellectual heritage of the 
Greek world, and by so doing was distinctly 
opposed to the Roman Church and 
Western civilisation. This step decided the 
place of Russia in the history of the world. 
Henceforward Russia shares the for- 
tunes of the Oriental Church, and partly 
those of the Byzantine Empire. Byzan- 
tium had gained more by the conversion 
of Russia than it could have ever won by 
force of arms ; Russia became in culture and 
religion a colony of Byzantium without 
thereby losing political independence. We 
must not overlook the fact that Byzan- 

iiri. .. n • tium then was the foremost 
What Russia • i- j ,• r 1 ■ 1 

G • dt Civilised nation, from which 

„ . all Western Europe had much 

^ ° ' ™ to learn. Byzantine Christian- 
ity brought inestimable advantages to the 
Russian people — a language for church 
services, which was understood by all and 
enriched the vernacular with a host of 
new words ; and an independent church, 
which promoted culture and at the same 
time was considered politically as a 
common focus for all parts of Russia. 


Priests and bishops brought books from 
New Byzantium and disseminated the 
art of writing. These were followed by 
architects, builders, scholars, artists and 
teachers. Splendid edifices rapidly arose 
in Russia. Kiev with its countless churches 
was soon able to vie with Byzantium. 
Vladimir founded a school for the training 
of the priests. Monasteries were built, 
which carried culture into distant coun- 
tries. It was the national church which 
helped the Russians to impress a Slavonic 
character on alien races. 

The union with Byzantium had, it is 
true, some disadvantages ; but these 
were not apparent for centuries. After 
the thirteenth century Byzantine culture 
retrograded, and Russia suffered the same 
fate as her instructress. The hatred of the 
West, which Russia inherited from Byzan- 
tium, was transformed, at a period when 
the Western civilisation stood high, into 
a hatred of culture. .Russia was thus con- 
demned to a sort of stagnation. But it 
can hardly be asserted with justice that 
Russia suffered any detriment because 
in daj^s of danger it could not reckon on 
j^ - support from Rome. It is true 

. _ that Rome was for many cen- 

-, turies the foremost power, but 

^ was she able to save Palestine ? 

Russia shared the fate of Byzantium, 
because that was the fate of all Eastern 
Europe, which, lying on the frontier of 
Asia, suffered much from Asiatic hordes. 
Russia and Byzantium were like break- 
waters erected against the waves of 
Asiatic immigration. That was the draw- 
back of the geographical position. Even 
the line of states which lay further back, 
Poland and Hungary, had been partly 
drawn into the same vortex. Only the 
states westward of this dividing wall 
were able to develop their civilisation 

Since Russia entered fully into the 
field of Greek thought, it adopted those 
peculiar conditions which resulted as a 
consequence of the relations of Church to 
State in Byzantium. Rome aimed at 
ecclesiastical absolutism and world-sove- 
reignty. The papacy was not content with 
a position subordinate to, or even parallel 
with, the state, but insisted that the 
spiritual power ranked above the secular. 
This claim kindled in the West the 
struggle between the secular power and 
the Church, the struggle between Papacy 
and Empire. No such movement disturbed 


the East. There the Church continued 
in that subordination to the state 
which had existed from the beginning. 
Hence the omnipotence of the State in 
Russia, although the Church at all times 
exercised great influence there. The 
sovereign could appoint or depose the 
bishops. Even the ecclesiastical depend- 
ence on Byzantium was rather a matter 
of tolerance and custom than an esta- 
blished right. If the sovereign did not 
find it agreeable to receive a bishop sent 
from Byzantium, he substituted another. 
The inner change which was worked 
in Vladimir was in one respect dis- 
advantageous for the empire ; there was 
a loss of energy. In the year 992 Vladimir 
came into conflict with the Pechenegs on 
the southern frontier near Perejaslav. 
A single combat was to decide the day. 
After a fierce struggle a young Russian 
succeeded in throttling with his own 
hands the giant champion of the Peche- 
negs. In order to protect the country 
against further attacks, Vladimir esta- 
blished a line of defence. There are indica- 
tions that he entered into alliances with 
. the West, above all with Rome, 
. \ i'.™"^ Germany, Poland and Bohemia. 
... J. His son Sviatopolk married the 

daughter of Boleslav I, of 
Poland. Possibly there is some connection 
between this and the fact that Vladimir 
in 981 took possession of the Czerwenish 
towns of Halicz and Przemysl — the later 
Red Russia — and thus pushed the western 
frontier of Russia as far as the Carpa- 

In the year 1000, Bruno of Querfurt, 
styled the Archbishop of the Heathen, 
came to him, being desirous to preach the 
Gospel to the wild Pechenegs. Vladimir 
employed him to negotiate a peace with 
the Pechenegs, and accompanied him to 
the frontier. The report which Bruno 
furnished in 1008 to the Emperor Henry II. 
gives us a good picture of Vladimir's 
character. He wrote : " After I had spent 
a full year among the Hungarians to no 
purpose, I went amongst the most terrible 
of all heathen, the Pechenegs. The lord of 
the Russians (Vladimir), ruler of a wide 
territory and great riches, detained me 
for a month, tried to deter me from my 
purpose, and was solicitous about me, 
as if I was one who wantonly desired to 
rush upon destruction. . . . But since 
he could not move me from my purpose, 
and since, besides that, a vision concerning 

my unworthy self frightened him, he 
accompanied me with his army for two 
days to the furthest boundary of his 
kingdom, which he had surrounded with 
an exceedingly strong and long palisade. 
He dismounted ; I and my companions 
went ahead, while he followed with the 
chief men of his army. Thus we passed 
Mission to ^^^°"g^ t^^ g^te. He took his 
the Wild Station on one hill, we on 
Pechenegs another. I myself carried the 
cross, which I embraced with 
my arms, and sang the well-known verse, 
' Peter, if thou lovest Me, feed My sheep.' 
" When the antiphone was finished, the 
prince sent one of his nobles to us with 
the following message : ' I have escorted 
thee to th^ spot where my land ends and 
that of the enemy begins. I beseech thee 
in God's name not to grieve me by forfeit- 
ing thy young life ; I know that to-morrow 
before the third hour thou wilt have to 
taste the bitterness of death without 
cause and without gain.' I sent the 
following answer back to him : ' May 
God open paradise to thee, as thou hast 
opened to us the way to the heathen ! ' 
We then started, and went two days, and 
no one did us any harm. On th-i third 
day — it was a Friday — we were thrice, 
at daybreak, noon, and at the ninth hour, 
brought to execution with bowed neck, 
and yet each time came out from among 
the army of the enemy unscathed. On 
Sunday we reached a large tribe, and a 
respite was accorded to us until special 
messengers had summoned the whole 
tribe to a council. At the ninth hour of 
the next Sunday we were haled to the 
meeting. . . . Then a vast multitude 
rushed upon us . . . and raised a terrible 
outcry. With a thousand axes and swords 
they threatened to hew us to pieces. . . . 
The elders at length tore us forcibly from 
their hands. They listened to us, and 
recognised in their wisdom that we had 
come to them with good intentions. So 
_ we stayed for five months with 

Converts ^^^^ people, and travelled 
*° . ,. .. through three of their districts ; 
Christianity^^ did not reach the fourth, 
but envoys from their nobles came to us. 
When some thirty souls had been won 
for Christianity, we concluded for the 
acceptance of the king a peace such as 
they thought no one save we would have 
been able to conclude. ' This peace,' they 
said, ' is concluded through thee. If, as 
thou promisest, it is lasting, we are willing 



all to become Christians ; but if the 
prince does not loyally adhere to it, we 
must then think about war, not Chris- 
tianity.' With this object I went back 
again to the prince of the Russians, who 
for God's sake was contented therewith, 
and gave his son as hostage. We, however, 
consecrated one of our number to be bishop, 
. and placed him, together with 
Vladimir j^-^ ^^^^ j^ ^^le middle of the 

^^°^'^. land. Thus Christian order now 
am s pj.gyaj]s among the most cruel 
and wicked nation of heathens that 
dwells on the face of the globe." This 
important letter, which is also the only 
contemporary account of Vladimir, un- 
fortunately breaks off here. St. Bruno 
was probably master of some one Slavonic 

According to the later chroniclers, 
Vladimir was much beloved by his people. 
The tradition records with especial plea- 
sure how every week he banqueted with 
his Druzina and the elders of the city of 
Kiev. He is celebrated in historical 
ballad as a sun-god, and called the beauti- 
ful red sun of Russ a(krasnoje solnyszko). 
The Church reckoned him amongst her 

Vladimir died in 1015. Some con- 
siderable time probably before his death 
he had divided his empire among his 
sons after the following method : Sviato- 
polk received Turow ; Isjaslav, Polock ; 
Boris, Rostow ; Gleb, Murom ; Sviato- 
slav, the country of the Drevlanes ; 
Wsevolod, Volhynia ; Mstislav, Tmuto- 
rokan. Whether or how he disposed of 
Kiev we are not told. In any case, the 
quarrel about it broke out immediately 
after his death. The Druzina had wished 
for one of the sons of the Greek princess 
Anna. But Boris, like his brother Gleb, 
was absent, and the power was seized by 
Sviatopolk, the son-in-law of Boleslav of 
Poland, who happened to be on the spot, 
although an attempt was made to keep 
_ . secret the death of the 

d" *1* U d ^^ther until the arrival of 
f-*J,f.i*JL* ** *' Boris. The latter himself 
resigned the sovereignty in 
favour of his elder brother, but neverthe- 
less was assassinated together with Gleb 
and Sviatoslav. Boris and Gleb were 
worshipped as holy martyrs, and many 
churches bear their names. 

The other brothers were now seized 
with panic. Jaroslav of Novgorod 
marched at once against Sviatopolk, 


defeated the " godless " sinner atLubetch 
and forced him to fly to Poland. Jaroslav 
then remained in Kiev ; for Sviatopolk, 
although reinstated in 1017 by Boleslav 
of Poland — who took this opportunity 
to conquer Przemysl in 1018 — could not 
maintain his position. Jaroslav had yet 
another war to face with Mstivlav of 
Tmutorokon. With the help of the 
Kasoges, Khazars and Seweranes Mstislav 
insisted upon a new partition of the 
empire in 1023 ; he received the whole 
country east of the Dnieper, with a 
residence in Tchernigov. Jaroslav's rule 
was important for the development of 
Russia. We notice especially a coolness 
in the relations with the Varagians, who 
began to be troublesome and, indeed, 
dangerous to him. Between them and the 
Novgorodians there were frequent and 
sanguinary riots. Jaroslav supported the 
latter, and sent the Varagians out of the 
land, as Vladimir had tried to do in 980. 
Thus the Varagian age of Russia ends 
with Jaroslav. 

Russia already appears as a large Slavonic 
commonwealth, with a policy of its own 
„. and a consciousness of nation- 

f th"^w ^^l ^^ Byzantium had formerly 
been due merely to Varagian 
influences, the last occasion when Russia 
and the empire came into collision occurred 
under Jaroslav. The casus belli was a 
quarrel between Russian merchants and 
Byzantines. The punitory expedition 
with which Jaroslav entrusted his son 
Vladimir in 1043 ended disastrously, once 
more in consequence of the devastating 
effect of the Greek fire. Part only of the 
Russian army was able to rally and 
inflict a defeat on the pursuing Greeks. 

Jaroslav, though no hero in the style of 
Sviatoslav, still knew how to handle the 
sword. He struck the Pechenegs such a 
blow that they no longer ventured to 
attack Russia ; their name soon dis- 
appeared. Their role was taken over, 
however, by another wild people, the 
Polowzes, whom we already know as 
Kumanes. In the west, also, Jaroslav 
fought with Lithuanians, Jatvinges, and 
Masovians, and helped his son-in-law 
Casimir of Poland to win back the empire. 

Kiev reached the zenith of its grandeur 
under Jaroslav and excited the admiration 
of the West ; among its churches, which 
were said to number 400, that of St. 
Sophia with its splendid mosaics was 


conspicuous. The city with its eight 
markets was the rendezvous of merchants 
from Byzantium, Germany, Scandinavia, 
Hungary and Holland ; flotillas of mer- 
chantmen furrowed the waters of the 

Jaroslav founded monasteries, for 
instance, the Crypt Monastery at Kiev, 
which was destined to become a seminary 
of culture for Russia. Himself acquainted 
with writing, he took an interest in schools, 
and founded one in his beloved Novgorod 
for 300 boys. He had not artists enough 
to decorate all the churches, nor priests 
enough to provide for divine service. He 

Jaroslav enjoyed a high reputation 
among his contemporaries. He formed 
connections by marriage with the royal 
houses of Norway, Poland, Hungary and 
France, and was in request as an ally. 
The Russian people called him the Wise ; 
the Scandinavian sagas have much to tell 
of him. If, however, the empire was 
to be preserved in its old grandeur the 
succession must be fixed in some way. 
In old times, when the state was governed 
in patriarchal style and the sovereign 
held a paternal authority, when the royal 
treasury was also the national treasury 
and the offices at the royal court were also 

His government lasted from 1114 till 1125, and was marked by vigour and justice. 

summoned Greek choristers from Byzan- 
tium to the capital, who were to instruct 
the Russian clergy. Adam of Bremen was 
justified, therefore, in calling Kiev the rival 
of Constantinople and the fairest ornament 
of Greece. Since Russia had hitherto no 
written laws, Jaroslav ordered the custom- 
ary law to be noted down. This simple 
code contains little beyond a scale of 
penalties for various crimes, and a fixed 
table of fines ; it does not mention death 
sentences or corporal punishments. Never- 
theless, it was a promising preliminary step. 
The first ecclesiastical laws for Russia were 
also put into writing under Jaroslav. 

state offices — when, that is, the empire 
was considered the private property of the 
monarch, family law was identical with 
public law, and the sovereign had the con- 
trol of the kingdom as much as of his own 
goods and chattels. And just as, according 
to the civil law of the time, every child 
had a claim to a part of the paternal or 
family property, so every member of the 
reigning house had a claim to a share of 
the kingdom. 

Since, then, according to Germano- 
Slavonic custom, the eldest of the tribe or 
of the family administered affairs within 
the family circle, so in the empire the 



younger members were pledged to obey 
the eldest. This was the so-called ' ' right of 
seniority." Russia had long been ruled on 
this principle. The custom had grown up 
there since the days of Olga that the 
eldest should have his home in Kiev, while 
the younger sons lived elsewhere, and 
were in some sense his subjects. Sviato- 
_ , slav had divided the kingdom 

p among his sons on this prin- 

repares (.jpjg^ Only reserving for himself 
the title of grand duke. 
According to the Russian Chronicle, 
Jaroslav, foreseeing his death, made the 
following arrangements : " Isjaslav, your 
eldest brother, will represent me and reign 
in Kiev. Subject yourselves to him as 
you have subjected yourselves to your 
father. I give to Sviatoslav, Tchernigov, 
to Wsewolod, Perejaslav, to Wjatshelav, 
Smolensk. Igor, the youngest, receives 
Vladimir with Volhynia. Let each be 
content with his share ; if not, then shall 
the elder brother sit in justice over you as 
lord. He will defend the oppressed and 
punish the guilty." By this arrangement 
Jaroslav had merely acted according 
to the ancient custom. How far the privi- 
leges went which customary lav^^ gave 
to the " eldest " is shown by the expression 
current at that time ; the younger rode 
at the rein of the elder ; he had him as 
master, stood at his orders, and looked up 
to him. The grand duke, whose seat was 
in Kiev, was lord over all Russia ; he 
disposed of vacant principalities, and was 
the supreme judge and commander-in- 

The innovation introduced by Jaro- 
slav probably consisted only in clearly 
defining the order in which the younger 
princes should be promoted after the 
death of the grand duke. The territories, 
which he assigned to his sons according 
to their respective age and rank, formed 
the following scale : Kiev I., Tchernigov 
II., Perejaslav III., Smolensk IV., Vladi- 
TK St ^^^ ^' ^^^ royal throne was 

p fh °^°^^ ^"^y ^° ^^ reached by pro- 

. Th ceedingfrom V. to I. If a junior 

prince died before the elder, and 
therefore without having reached Kiev, 
his sons also remained excluded from the 
grand ducal title. Thus the son of Vladimir 
of Novgorod, Rotislav, was forced to 
abandon any prospect of reaching Kiev. 
The princes who were thus from the first 
precluded from advancing, since their 
fathers had not been grand dukes, were 


called Isgoji. But the weakness of the law 
lay in this very point ; for those who were 
set aside felt the injustice of it, and had 
recourse to arms. Parties were formed 
which were bitter foes to each other. 

The position of the grand duke at the 
same time was not strong enough to ensure 
order. His power rested on the idea of a 
paternal authority which was deficient 
in any true basis of power ; he had, in fact, 
only obtained one share, like the others. 
If he wished to enforce the right of seniority, 
he was compelled to look out for alliances. 
And since self-interest usually outweighs 
patriotism, Russia was plunged into long 
years of civil war through the increasing 
numbers of the royal house. Subsequently 
many petty principalities, which were 
unceasingly at war with each other, 
sprang up side by side in Russia, since 
the legal arrangement was broken down 
by unforeseen contingencies. The root 
of the evil is to be found in that defective 
legislation and in the large increase of 
the Rurikoviches. 

Thus the heroic age ended with Jaroslav. 
Russia, parcelled out into numerous pro- 
vinces, its strength sapped by 
prolonged civil wars, soon sank 

Heroic Age 

_ . from the pinnacle which it had 
at an End ^ -, ■ ■ , ^ e 

reached in its days of prosper- 
ity. Perhaps for this reason tradition has 
shed a flood of glory round the last prince 
and despot of the old era. 

The very first successor of Jaroslav, 
the Grand Duke Isjaslav, whom his father 
had placed on the throne at Kiev during 
his lifetime, could not maintain his posi- 
tion. The people of Kiev banished him 
and raised to the throne a prince who 
stood outside the prescribed order of 
succession. A hot dispute soon broke out 
which was destined to last for centuries. 
Not a single Russian prince was ashamed 
to invoke, in case of need, the help of 
Poles, Germans, Lithuanians, Hungarians, 
or even Polovzes. The first appeal for 
help was to the Polish duke Boleslav II. 
the Bold, who conquered Kiev in 1069, 
as Boleslav I. had once done, and for the 
first time sacked the city. Soon, however, 
the threatened Isjaslav was compelled 
once more to give way, and his renewed 
appeals to the Poles for help were futile. 
Then in 1075 he made overtures to the 
Emperor Henry IV. ; but the embassy 
of the latter failed to obtain any results 
in Kiev. Isjaslav, in order to leave no 
stone unturned, actually sent his son. 


Jaropolk, to Rome to Pope Gregory VII. 
(a course which was followed later by his 
second son, Sviatopolk, grand duke from 
1093 to 1114). 

If we reflect that the Investiture struggle 
was then at its height, and that the rift 
between Rome and the Greek Church was 
now too wide to be bridged, we must 
from the Russian standpoint condemn the 
conduct of Isjaslav in offering for sale in 
every market the honour of his country. 
He had not been able to induce Little 
Poland or Germany to lend him any help 
without some return, and he now went to 
Rome and professed himself to be a vassal 
of the papal chair. The Pope in gratitude 
nominated his son Jaropolk to be his 
successor. Had that nomination been 
accepted, a hereditary monarchy would at 
one stroke have been created in Russia, 
certainly to the country's advantage. But 
Isjaslav never came to the throne. 

Hitherto there had not been wanting a 
supply of able princes and heroes of the 
old stamp ; but they destroyed each other. 
Everyone knew that this meant the ruin 
of Russia ; but no one was willing or 
able to prevent it. Vladimir 
Monomach, the son of that 
Wsewolod to whom, accord- 
ing to the distribution made 
by Jaroslav, the district of Perejaslav was 
assigned, was a man of gentle character, 
religious and just, but at the same time 
brave and shrewd. He always endeavoured 
to settle disputes by pacific methods, and 
pointed out the great ravages caused by 
the Polovzes. The princes finally concluded 
a peaceful alliance, when they met in 1097 
at Lubetch by Tchernigov on the Dnieper. 
The source of the evil was seen to lie in 
the proviso that the princes, since they 
moved from one country to another, 
gradually approaching Kiev, never felt at 
home anywhere, but neglected their princi- 
palities. It was, therefore, decided that 
every Rurikovich should continue to hold 
his father's share. All kissed the cross 
of peace, and promised to defend the 
country, one and all, against the Polovzes. 
But the rule of succession, which had 
become in Lubetch the law of the land, 
did not put an end to the civil wars. 
David of Volhynia, the son of Igor and 
grandson of Jaroslav, was at enmity with 
Volodar of Terebowla and Vassilko of 
Przemysl, the sons of Rotislav. The princes 
had hardly separated when the Grand Duke 
Sviatopolk, in consequence of the hints of 


Kiss the Cross 

of Peace 


of Counsel 

David, enticed Vassilko to Kiev, and 

then surrendered him to David, who 

put out his eyes. The princes once more 

assembled in iioo at Uwjatyci on the 

Dnieper, and concluded a new peace ; the 

chief agent this time, also, was Vladimir 

Monomach. He was Grand Duke from 

1 114 to 1 125, and conducted the govern- 

^ .. ment with xngour and justice. 

Monomach s . , .. °,. , ^J .. . 

A letter which Vladimir 

wrote to Oleg of Tchernigov 
is still extant, as also his will, 
some of the chief sentences of which deserve 
to be quoted. " Since my end is near, I 
thank the All Highest that he has prolonged 
my days. . . . Praise the Lord, dear chil- 
dren, and love also your fellow-men. 
Neither fasting, nor solitude, nor monasti- 
cism will save you, but good deeds alone, 
. . Do not always have the name of 
God on your hps ; but if you have 
strengthened an oath by kissing the cross, 
beware of breaking it. . . . Look 
diligently yourselves after everything in 
your households, and do not trust to 
retainers and servants, or the guests will 
speak evil of your house. Be strenuous in 
war, setting a model to your voivodes. 
. . . When you travel through your 
country, suffer not your vassals to molest 
the people, but where you halt, give your 
meat and drink to your hosts. Above all, 
honour your guests, noble and lowly, mer- 
chants and ambassadors ; if ye cannot 
give them presents, make them content 
at least with food and drink. For guests 
spread good and evil report of us in 
foreign lands. . . . Love your wives, 
but be not governed by them. . . . 
Keep in mind the good which ye hear, and 
learn that which ye do not know. My father 
could speak in live languages. . . ., 
Man ought always to be occupied. When 
you are journeying on horseback, and 
have no business to transact, do not give 
way fo idle thoughts, but repeat some 
prayer which you have learnt ; if no other 

occurs to you, then the shortest 
Rules for ^^^ ^^^ . ^^^^ j^^^^ ^^^^.^^y 

^'* ^^ upon me.' Never go to sleep 
wors ip ^^.i^j^Q^t having bowed your 

head to the earth ; but if you feel ill, bow 
yourselves thrice to the earth. Let the sun 
never find you in bed ! Go early into the 
church to offer your matins to God ; my 
father did so. and so did all good men. 
. . . After doing that they sat in 
council with the Druzina, or administered 
justice or rode to the chase. But at noon 



Record of 

they lay down to sleep ; for God hath 
fixed noontide as a time of rest not only 
for men, but also for four-footed creatures 
and for birds. Thus, too, hath your 
father lived. I have always done per- 
sonally that which I might have employed 
my servants to do. ... I myself 
exercised supervision over the church and 
•ri. r- V*- divine worship, over the 
I *__/_!""* household, the tables, the 
chase, the hawks and the 
falcons. I have fought in 
eighty-three campaigns altogether, not 
reckoning the unimportant ones. I con- 
cluded nineteen treaties of peace with the 
Polovzes. I took prisoners more than a 
hundred of their noblest princes and 
afterwards released them ; more than two 
hundred I executed and drowned in the 
rivers. Who has travelled quicker than I ? 
If I started in the morning from Tcherni- 
gov, I was in Kiev before vespers. . . 
I loved the chase, and your uncle and I 
have often captured wild beasts together. 
How often have I been brought to the 
ground . . . but the Lord hath pre- 
served me. Therefore, dear children, fear 
neither death nor battle nor wild beasts. 
Be men, whatever be the destiny that 
God intends for you ! If divine provi- 
dence has destined death for us, neither 
father nor mother nor brother can save 
us. Let the hope of man be in the pro- 
tection of God alone." When Vladimir 
Monomach died, in 1125, "all the people 
wept," said his contemporary Nestor. 

The number of the princes fighting for the 
possession of Kiev grew more and more, 
and the position of Russia became more 
and more desperate. South Russia in 
particular could never regain tranquillity 
and defend itself against the wild dwellers 
in the steppe. It was a fortunate cir- 
cumstance indeed that inveterate feuds 
prevailed among these latter. The western 
tribes, the Torkes, Berendejans, and 
Pechenegs, which were called collectively 
Chornyje Klobuki (Black 
Caps), were mortal enemies 
of the Polovzes, and there- 
fore sided with Russia and 
were settled in the country. They were 
soon assimilated with the Russian people, 
and thus brought a peculiar strain into 
the national characteristics of South 
Russia. These various nations of the 
steppe fought as allies of one Russian 
prince against others, until they all became 
Slavs. But as late as the sixteenth century 


Collapse of 
South Russia 

a tribe in the district of Skvirsh near 
Kiev called itself " Polovces." 

The end of all this was the political and 
economic collapse of South Russia. A con- 
sequence of the same causes was that the 
princes who were excluded from the con- 
test for Kiev shook themselves free from 
the supremacy of the grand duke there, 
and that totally independent principalities 
were formed. This was the case with 
Polock, Novgorod, Rostov, Turov, Pskov, 
Wjatka, and in the west with Halicz. 

A powerful principality developed in the 
south-west of Russia, in the Dniester 
district. Vladimir, who had been entrusted 
by Jaroslav the Wise with the conduct of 
the campaign against Byzantium in 1043, 
and as prince of Novgorod had pre- 
deceased his father in 1052, had left a son, 
Rotislav. The latter, as the " Isgoj " [see 
above] having no claim to the throne of the 
grand duke, had to be content with Rostov. 
When, then, one of his uncles, Vjatcheslav 
of Smolensk, died, and the youngest uncle, 
Igor, advanced from Volhynia to Smo- 
lensk, Rotislav obtained Volhynia, while 
Rostov was defeated at Perejaslav. But 
when Igor also died at Smolensk 
Poison Ends .^ 1060, and Rotislav indulged 
Rotislav s . , r J • i 

. . m hopes of advancmg to 

Smolensk, and later eventually 
to Kiev, the uncles did not wish to make 
this fresh concession to him. The adven- 
turous prince, therefore, went in 1064 with 
his Druzina in an oblique line from the 
extreme west of Russia to the farthest 
eastern boundary, to Tmutorokan, and 
drove out the prince Gleb, the son of his 
uncle Sviatoslav of Tchernigov. As the 
nearest neighbour of the Byzantines, he 
aroused their alarm ; a Katapan who was 
sent to him won his confidence and 
poisoned him in 1066. 

Rurik, Volodar, and Vassilko, the sons 
of Rotislav, inherited a part of the 
Volhynian principality, Przemysl and 
Terebowla ; these " Chervenian towns," 
which had been conquered by Vladimir 
the Great in 981, and taken from him by 
Boleslav of Poland in 1018, had been won 
back by Jaroslav in 1031, at the time of 
the Polish disturbances. The Diet of 
Princes at Lubetch recognised their right 
to the towns. The efforts of the Igorid, 
David of Volhynia, to wrest this province 
from the Rotislaviches were unsuccessful. 
New bishoprics were formed here in the 
twelfth century, as, for example, in 
Przemysl (1120) and Halicz (about 1157). 


Vladimirko, the son of Volodar, after the 
death of his father, his uncles, and his 
brother Rotislav of Przemysl, united the 
whole country under his sceptre and made 
Halicz on the Dniester his capital. When 
he died in 1153 he left to his only son 
Jaroslav Osmomsyl, who reigned until 
1187, a principality stretching from the 
River San almost to the mouth of the 
Dniester. The Chronicle extols the wis- 
dom and learning of this prince, who was 
a patron of culture and possessed a re- 
markable library. The principality of 
Halicz (Galicia) threatened to eclipse 

It fell to the lot of this principality, 
from its prominent position on the western 
frontier of Russia, to repel the attacks of 
the Hungarians under Bela HI. and of the 
Poles, who were then torn by internal 
feuds. But under Vladimir, son of 
Osmomysl (about 1200), Roman of Volhynia, 
having been called in by Galician Boyars, 
won the country over to his side, and by 
this union of Volhynia with Halicz 
founded a dominion which was perhaps 
the most powerful among all the Russian 
U d' t d ^*^^^s ^"^ larger than the exist- 
^n ispu e jj^g Polish Empire. Roman had 
All R ss' *^^ throne of Kiev at his dis- 
posal, and fought with Poles, 
Lithuanians, and Hungarians. The 
Volhynian Chronicler calls him the undis- 
puted monarch of all Russia. The ex- 
pelled Vladimir sought refuge with the 
German Emperor. Innocent III., to whose 
ears the fame of Roman had come, sent 
an embassy to him, offering him the royal 
crown, and urged him to adopt Catholic- 
ism ; he received, however, an unfavour- 
able answer. The effect of the proximity 
of Hungary and Poland was that the 
Druzina of the prince, the nobility, was 
more prominent here than in other parts 
of Russia and influenced the destiny of 
the country. This tendency was sup- 
pressed by Roman. He is said to have 
ordered refractory Boyars to be quartered 
or buried alive. "In order to eat a honey- 
comb peacefully, the bees must be killed," 
was his favourite saying. 

When Roman fell in 1205, at the battle 
of Zavichost, leaving behind him two 
infant sons, Daniel and Vassilko, inter- 
minable wars for the possession of the 
country broke out, and princes were 
tortured and hanged. Poles and Hun- 
garians took advantage of these disturb- 
ances to seize the country. Koloman, a 

son of the Hungarian king Andreas II., 
having married the Polish princess Salome, 
was placed on the throne of Halicz. Daniel 
had reconquered it in 1229 by dint of great 
efforts, and did not succeed in winning 
back his whole inheritance until 1239. He 
then chose Cholm for his residence. The 
estrangement of the north-west was fraught 
The Cradle ^^^^ disastrous consequences 
of Russian J?'", Russia. The princes of 
History Polock m the region watered 
by the Niemen and the Dwina 
were too weak to protect themselves, first 
from the Swedes and Germans, and then 
from the Lithuanians. It was the weaken- 
ing of this region which rendered the rise 
of a strong Lithuanian state possible. 

Novgorod also aimed at independence, 
but had to suffer much from the wars 
about Kiev. The ruling body there was 
the assembly of citizens {wece), not prince 
or Boyars. Novgorod was an important 
industrial centre and greatly influenced 
the history of the northern Slavs and 
Finns. It was in fact the cradle of 
Russian history. The Novgorodians were 
once the first and only people to resist 
the Varagians, whom they ultimately 
drove out of Russia. When Jaroslav the 
Wise, having been defeated by his brother 
Sviatopolk and the Poles, came to Nov- 
gorod and wished to cross the sea, the 
people of Novgorod broke up his boats, 
voluntarily laid a tax on themselves for 
war purposes, and forced him once more 
to resume hostilities with Sviatopolk. 

Being victorious at their head, he held 
Novgorod in high honour, and is said to 
have granted a charter of privileges to the 
city in 1019. The people of Novgorod 
also always held his memory sacred. But 
in that busy trading town, with its hundred 
thousand or more inhabitants, no prince 
was able to exercise absolute authority, 
nor could any dynasty find a firm footing. 
The prince was obliged to take an oath 
that he would respect their rights and 
privileges. He could not pro- 
nounce any judicial sentence 
without the assistance of 
the municipal " Possadnik," 
and, above all, he could not bring a disputed 
cause before a foreign court. He could 
neither obtain any existing villages nor 
build any new ones within the municipal 
district. His revenue was accurately fixed. 
The prince had, it is true, the right 
to summon the popular assemblies, which 
met in "the court of Jaroslav " at the 


Princely Power 
in Novgorod 


sound of the tocsin. But they were more 
powerful than he was ; for with his small 
Druzina, which neither belonged to the 
body of citizens nor could live in the centre 
of the district, he was totally unable to 
keep the great city in check. If the prince 
was guilty of any misconduct, he was 
impeached. If he did not give satisfaction 
" they said farewell to him and showed 
him his way." When Prince Vsevolod- 
Gabriel, who exchanged Novgorod with 
Perejaslav, came back in 1132, the Wece 
said to him : " Thou hast forgotten thy 
oath to die with us, and hast sought a new 
princedom for thyself ; go hence whither 
thou wilt." The popular assembly also 

Far East. Independent Druzines tra- 
velled in search of adventure, subjugated 
countries, and founded colonies, as, for 
instance, the subsequently important Free 
State of Vjatka, which, like Pskov also, 
was governed by its assembly of citizens. 
The Novgorodians were esteemed good 
seamen ; their merchants formed a 
guild of their own. Novgorod played the 
principal part in Slavonicising the north 
of Eastern Europe. 

The congress of princes at Lubetch, 
which settled the hereditary provinces to 
be held by the princes, had assigned the 
Finnish territory round Rostov to the 
family of Monomach. Monomach founded 


nWL ' ^ "^ 9 


^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Bk "^R^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ET* 


summoned new princes. The princes, for 
this reason, were reluctant to go to 
Novgorod. • When an archbishopric was 
founded there in the twelfth century, the 
archbishop himself was chosen by the 
popular assembly, which naturally deposed 
him if there was anything against him. 
The Wece decided even matters of faith. 
The town, therefore, proudly styled itself 
" sovereign, mighty Novgorod." It was 
full of churches and monasteries founded 
by private individuals. Since the soil was 
sandy, the town was forced to expand, 
colonise, and trade far and wide, especially 
with Northern Europe and even with the 


there on the Kliasma a town which bore 
his name, Vladimir. The son of Mono- 
mach, George Dolgoruki, was the first 
independent prince of Rostov. He soon 
attained his object of becoming Grand 
Duke in Kiev ; yet he cared more for his 
inheritance in the north, for Vladimir and 
Susdal. He removed ttiither the discon- 
tented population from the south ; he 
founded towns there, and, according to 
tradition, Moscow also, which is mentioned 
for the first time in 1147. His son Andrew 
Bogolubski, who became ruler in 1157, 
took no further interest in the south, since 
Kiev, he thought, had no future ; its title 

■■ "" ' Ji'i '"» rvrt >viT vvv t 





of grand duke had been passed on from 
hand to hand eighteen times since 1125 ! 

In the year 11 69 he organised an 
alhance of eleven princes, at whose 
head he placed his son Mstislav. The 
latter took Kiev by storm after three days' 
siege and allowed it to be sacked merci- 
lessly. A great impression was made on 
the whole country when the city, which 
was sacred in the eyes of every Russian, 
the mother of all Russian towns and the 
goal of the ambition of their princes, was 
captured by her own sons ; many believed 
. . . that the end of Russia had come. 
Q. The glory and importance of 

of^e Kiev were ended. Andrew 

assumed, it is true, the grand 
ducal title, but sent to Kiev his brother 
Gleb, who also bore the title of grand duke. 
Other heads of the princely families — 
those of Halicz, Smolensk, Tchernigov — 
equally assumed the title of grand duke. 
There was, however, no doubt that the 
Grand Duke of Susdal-Vladimir, the con- 
queror of Kiev, was the true master of 
Russia ; Vladimir on the Kliasma was 
destined to become the centre of the 

George Dolgoruki and Andrew Bogo- 
lubski had a clear insight into the heart 
of the matter. They wished to found a 
strong princely power independent of the 
Boyars (Druzina) and the municipality, 
which in later years had often disposed of 
the crown in the south. Father and son, 
therefore, showed no mercy towards the 
Boyars. In the north there were mostly 
newcomers and colonists, who were bound 
from the outset to adapt themselves to 
the new conditions. The towns, too. were 
new, uninfluential settlements, which be- 
came exactly what their founders wished 
them to become. Andrew had for this reason 
chosen as his residence in the district of 
Susdal neither Rostov nor Susdal with their 
old citizen assemblies, but the insignificant 
market town of Vladimir. An absolute 
monarchy was able to develop there 
which was capable of rescuing Russia 
from destruction. Andrew, it is true, was 
murdered by his Boyars in 1175 ; but his 

successors resolutely carried out the 
policy of treating the Druzina merely as 

During the calamitous civil wars the 
consciousness of a common Russian mother 
country was kept alive less by the blood 
relationship of the reigning princes than 
by the Church. In the later period the 
glory of Kiev also was mainly based on the 
fact that the oldest churches were there, 
especially the famous subterranean monas- 
tery, where the bones of the saints reposed, 
and that the supreme metropolitan resided 
there. If, then, Vladimir on the Kliasma 
was to be a serious rival of Kiev, it must 
receive an archbishop and magnificent 
churches. The princes provided both these 
essentials. Vladimir soon possessed a 
golden gate, like that of Kiev, a tithe 
church, several monasteries, and beautiful 
buildings. At the sack of Kiev valuable 
images, church ornaments, books and bells 
had been carried off to Vladimir. 

But the petition to the Patriarch of 

Constantinople to found an archbishopric 

in Susdal met with no immediate success. 

Otherwise the power of Susdal grew 

stronger from year to year. Vsevolod the 

Great, brother of Andrew, was feared 

throughout Russia. But quarrels again 

arose among his sons, until Constantine 

defeated the others. After his death, in 

1217, his brother George II. became Grand 

Duke of Vladimir. He conquered the 

»^ _, J. country of the Mordvins and 
Ine Founding r j j • xt- • xt 

- M-. . founded m 1221 Niini Nov- 

of Nijni J J. { 

Novgorod go^o/' ^ro"? ^350 to 1390 
residence of the prmces of 
Susdal, at the point where the Oka flows 
into the Volga. 

In 1200 three forces in Russia were 
struggling for victory — the princes, the 
nobles, and the popular assembly (wece). 
The Boyars were victorious in Halicz, the 
citizens in Novgorod, Pskov, and Vjatka, 
and the princes in Susdal ; in Kiev alone 
the three institutions existed side by side, 
collectively powerless. As an inevitable 
consequence, instead of only one, several 
political centres were formed side by side 
in Russia. 






I ^1 




DUSSIA had already been weakened by 
*^ internal feuds, and now the greatest 
calamity that had ever befallen it burst 
on the country. In the year 1222 the 
Mongols appeared in the south, and first 
struck a blow at the Alans, who lived to the 
north of the Caucasus. Terrible tidings 
heralded their approach. Genghis Khan 
had united the Mongol tribes, had con- 
quered and plundered Northern China, 
Kharismia. Bokhara, Samarkand, and 
Northern India, and was now filled with 
the idea of subduing Europe. He styled 
himself the Scourge of God, and the 
Asiatics, with their inborn fatalism, seldom 
dared to offer resistance. 

The Alans allied themselves with the 
Polovzes ; but the Mongols brought the 
Polovzes over to their side by bribes, and 
subjugated the Alans, and after that the 
faithless Polovzes. The latter appeared as 
fugitives in Russia. The princes of 
Southern Russia united their forces, and 
the Polovzes joined them, their khan, 
Basti, having accepted Christianity. They 
determined to anticipate the enemy and 
attack him in the steppe. Tartar envoys 
then appeared in their camp, ostensibly on 
account of the detested Polovzes. The 
Russians, in their infatuation, rejected the 
offer of peace and put the envoys to death ; 
they had collected more than 80,000 men. 
A decisive battle was fought on June i6th, 
1223, on the banks of the small river 
Kalka, which flows into the Sea of Azov. 
, The Polovzes fled at the very 
Mongols outset, and thus forced the 
rucsomc Russians into a retreat which 
anq«« degenerated into a disastrous 

rout. Mstislav of Kiev defended himself 
for three days longer in his fortified camp, 
but finally, from over-confidence, fell into 
the hands of the Tartars ; six princes and 
seventy Boyars were left on the field of 
battle. Mstislav and his two sons-in-law 
were suffocated under planks, and the 
Mongols celebrated the victory by a 

banquet over their dead bodies. Hardly 
a tenth part of the army succeeded in 
escaping. " A vast host pressed on its 
heels, plundering, murdering, and sacking 
the towns," so the Arab Ibn al-Athir 
records ; " many Russian merchants 
banded together, packed up their valu- 
ables, and sailed in many ships to Moham- 
_. medan countries." Genghis 

lege an j^han Suddenly turned back 
Massacre ^ a ■ n ■ j 

.jf. to Asia ; Russia was saved. 

of Kiasan »,, . i- 1 

The great conqueror died 
in 1227, and was succeeded by his 
third son Ogdai. A resolution was 
passed by the general assembly of the 
empire at Karakorum in 1235 that Russia 
and Europe generally should be conquered, 
and the supreme command was given to 
Batu, a grandson of Genghis Khan. A 
Mongol army of 500,000 men, nominally, 
appeared in Russia in the year 1237. 
The Bulgarians on the Volga offered a 
feeble resistance, and their capital, Bulgar, 
was destroyed. The Mordvins, who were 
of Finnish stock, joined the Tartars and 
became their scouts. The enemy were 
soon before the gates of Riasan ; by the 
help of powerful siege-engines they took 
the town after five days' storming, on 
December 21st, and a terrible massacre 
ensued. The Grand Duke of Vladimir 
had gone northwards before the battle, 
but was soon overtaken and killed ; 
Vladimir, which was defended by his sons 
Vsevolod and Mstislav, had already fallen 
on February 14th, 1238. 

The whole principality of Susdal was 
plundered, and Kolomna, Moscow, Volo 
Kolamsk, Tver and Torchok were re- 
duced to ashes. Batu was now close 
to Novgorod when a thaw prevented 
any further advance of the Mongols. 
On their way back they captured Kose- 
lok after a gallant resistance of seven 
weeks. In the winter of 1239 Batu 
marched against South Russia ; the task 
of conquest was rendered easier for him 



by the persistent feuds of the Russian 
princes. Daniel of HaHcz seized Kiev, 
which he ordered his Boyar Dmitri to 
defend, but the latter's stubborn courage 
was ineffectual against the superior force. 
Kiev fell on December 6th, 1240, and was 
ruthlessly sacked ; even the tombs were not 
spared. Batu spared the life of the brave 
_ . . Dmitri, an unprecedented act 

ussia in ^j grace, and kept him by his 

the Hands of .-P .,r j •'. 

. -, Side as a military adviser. 

He then conquered Halicz ; 
Novgorod alone still held out. In the 
higher arts of war the Russians were in- 
ferior to the Mongols, who were always 
mounted ; the latter even employed a 
sort of Greek fire. Poland, Hungary, and 
other neighbouring kingdoms were filled 
with Russian fugitives. Counter measures 
were discussed everywhere, in Rome, 
Hungary, Bohemia and Germany. Men's 
thoughts turned to Gog and Magog, the 
mythical destroyers, whose appearance 
would signify the end of the world. 
Louis IX. of France made ready for a 

The Tartar storm then raged over 
Poland, Moravia and Dalmatia. Suddenly 
the Asiatic tide ebbed. Russia alone 
remained Tartar. The fugitive princes 
returned, but as Tartar vassals. Attempts 
were begun to make the pillaged towns 
once more habitable, and the ruins were 
partially rebuilt. But the country was 
depopulated ; men were required and 
they were chiefly taken from the more 
densely populated west. From this time 
dates the movement of German colonists 
towards the east. 

Batu had long since established on the 
Volga an empire, almost independent 
of the Great Khan, called Kiptchak, or 
the Golden Horde, with Sarai as capital, 
and was now occupied with its organisa- 
tion. The national code was the Yasa or 
customary law drawn up by Genghis 
Khan, which recognised only the penalty of 

.^ _ , death and corporal punish- 
1T.eJrande«r ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^ ^^^^^^ 

^c * n » was taken bareheaded, kneel- 

KAan Datu i -^i. i j • n 

mg and with loosened girdle. 
A strict ceremonial distinguished the khan 
from the people. Before any man 
approached him, he had to pass between 
two fires, since poison or other dangerous 
things, which he might have on his person, 
would thus, it was supposed, be ren- 
dered harmless. No one might speak 
with the khan except when kneeling, 


and frequently a veil was thrown over 
the visitor that he might not look on the 
face of the khan. 

John de Piano Carpini, who was 
received in audience by Batu as ambas- 
sador of Pope Innocent IV., records : 
" Batu keeps a splendid court ; his army 
numbers 600,000 men. His brothers, 
sons, and grandees sit below him on a 
bench in the middle, all others on the bare 
ground — men on the right, women on the 
left. . . . We, too, when we had delivered 
our message, seated ourselves on the left, 
as all ambassadors do ; but we were placed 
on the right. . . . Batu never drinks in 
the presence of people without singing 
and zither-playing. When he rides, an 
umbrella is held over his head, as is the 
custom of all Tartar princes and their 

The residence of the khan was called 
Orda, hence " horde." The nation was 
divided on a military system into groups 
of tens, hundreds and thousands. A tuman, 
or body of ten thousand, constituted a 
separate province. The subject peoples 
had only to pay taxes, and were not under 

_ . any other obligation. The 

Russian •' • 1 r x 

„ . ... receiver-general of taxes was 
Princes Under n j u 1 i /i * 
g . . . called baskak (later, equiva- 

lent to extortioner or op- 
pressor). Piano Carpini tells us that one 
such baskak carried off one son out of every 
family which had three ; the same thing 
occurred with the unmarried men, women 
and all beggars. A list was made of the 
remaining inhabitants, and a tax levied 
on every human being, new-born babes 
of a day old included ; from each a black 
or white bearskin, a black beaver, a sable, a 
marten, and a black fox. Those who could 
not pay were carried off into slavery. 

The Russian princes were required 
to make personal suit to the khan that 
he would confirm their rank. Thus Batu 
summoned the Grand Duke Jaroslav 
of Vladimir, who had succeeded his 
brother George II., to appear before him 
at Sarai with all his family. Jaroslav was 
further forced to go to the Great Khan at 
Karakorum ; there he met Piano Carpini. 
Jaroslav died in the desert on his way 
home, either from exhaustion or from 
poison, which he is supposed to have 
drunk at the court of the Great Khan 
(1246). The adventurous Minorite saw 
in the Kirghiz steppes the dried bones of 
the Boyars of the grand duke, who had 
perished of thirst in the desert. It was 




Tin 1«»r nm 11.11 im mi mi- iin 1 1 n - 




necessary, in order to be successful, to 
spend large sums on " presents " to 
Tartar princes, favourites and women. 
The unhappy Russian princes had also to 
face the machinations of their own people. 

Daniel of Halicz, far from paying any 
tribute, fortified his towns and sought 
an alliance with the Pope after 1246. 
- But in 1250 a message came 

eve re from the khan, that he was 

Me&sures of the . tt i- t-> ■ 

Great Khan ^^ f"^ 'J? H^^^^^" J^V^^ 
inadequately prepared lor 

resistance, he went thither and humbled 
himself by drinking the black mare's milk 
(kumiss) and prostrating himself before 
the " great princess." He was dismissed 
after twenty-five days, and received 
Halicz back again as a fief. He never- 
theless renewed his negotiations with 
Innocent IV., and promised to subordinate 
his Church to him ; he received papal 
legates, by whom he was crowned king 
in 1254. 6ut as the crusade was preached 
in vain, he once more broke off his rela- 
tions with Rome. He was then compelled 
at the command of the Great Khan to 
raze his fortresses, and from dire necessity 
he bore the Tartar yoke until his death, 
which occurred at Cholm in 1266. 

Alexander, son of Jaroslav, who had 
driven out the Germans, and in 1240 had 
conquered the Swedes on the Neva 
(hence the honourable title of Newskij) 
was then established in Novgorod. Inno- 
cent IV. sent two cardinals in 1251 to 
win him over to the Roman Church, but 
in vain. Alexander, on the other hand, 
went in 1254 to Sarai, accompanied by 
his brother Andrew, and thence to Kara- 
korum ; the journey lasted three full 
years. He must have obtained an over- 
powering impression of the Mongol power ; 
henceforward he remained loyal to the 
Tartars, and even fought with his own 
brother Andrew on their behalf. Only 
a united Russia could have resisted. 
Batu Khan died in 1256. His son 
„ Sertak, who was devoted to 

„ *, * *. Christianity, soon followed him 

Baskaks tn . ,, •' u ui 

Novgorod *° *^^ 8^^^^' probably owmg 
to poison, and Batu's brother 
Berkai (or Bereke) now mounted the 
throne (1257). He instituted a general 
census and taxation throughout Russia. 
The hated Baskaks now appeared for 
the first time in Novgorod. The popular 
assembly was convened. The Possadnik 
addressed the meeting, but when he coun- 
selled submission, the people killed him. 


Alexander's own son reproached his father 
for imposing servitude on free men. It 
was with the greatest difficulty that the 
prince induced the defiant population to 
allow themselves finally to be registered. 
In the year 1262 the towns of Vladimir, 
Susdal, and Rostov revolted against the 
Baskaks. Alexander hurried with presents 
to the khan, but was nevertheless detained 
for a year. He died on the journey home 
on November 14th, 1263, in consequence 
of his privations. 

A change was then produced in the life 
of the Tartar people. They could not 
permanently disregard the influence of a 
higher culture. Rome made great efforts 
to win them by missions, especially since 
the Mongol world, by the destruction of 
Bagdad in 1258, had proclaimed itself 
hostile to Islam. The two recently 
founded orders of Franciscans and Do- 
minicans gained a name in the Church 
history of the East, and undertook in 
particular the task of converting the 
Tartars. John de Piano Carpini the 
Minorite was not the last who sought to 
win the Tartar khan for the Roman faith. 
The Greek Church also was 
Wh* W r"* ^°* without influence. Some 
-.. ? ^. ^^^ great khans were superficially 
Christians ? „ , r-u • ^- a 

followers of Christianity. 
Kuyuk (1246-1248) had a Christian chapel 
near his palace ; Kublai (i 260-1 294) 
regularly attended the celebration of the 
feast of Easter. A Greek bishopric was 
founded in Sarai itself. The Mongol 
rulers were thoroughly tolerant. Piano 
Carpini saw, in the camp of the Great 
Khan, Christians, Greek priests, and a 
Christian church. The Franciscan William 
of Rubruquis describes how Mangu Khan 
in 1254 arranged a discussion between the 
representatives of various beliefs ; Chris- 
tians, Mohammedans, and heathen per- 
formed their acts of worship in his presence. 
Priests and monks were exempt from the 
poll-tax ; the jurisdiction of the Greek 
Church was confirmed ; sacrilege was 
punishable with death. The monasteries 
within the dominions of the formerly 
abused Mongols increased in numbers and 

An event of great significance then 
occurred ; Berkai Khan turned his atten- 
tion to Islam. The religious fanaticism 
of the Moslems then invaded Sarai, and 
prevented the fusion of the nations. It 
was one of the serious results of the 
miserable Fourth Crusade, which, by the 


From 9 series q{ historic medAl^ 



capture of Constantinople (1203) under 
conditions of revolting cruelty and by 
the partition of the empire, had crippled 
the power of the Greek Church and of 
Greek culture without aiding the West, 
that Mohammedanism was able to achieve 
so important a victory. A Byzantium o f un- 
diminished power would have all the more 

certainly won the Tartars for 
T^!-.^-* the Orthodox faith, since 

the Greek form of worship 

Adopt the 
Faith of Islam 

impressed the Asiatics, and 
since their army, to the extent, perhaps, 
of three-fifths, consisted of Oriental Chris- 
tians, owing to the thousands of prisoners 
made yearly. But a destroyed Byzan- 
tium commanded as little respect from 
the Tartars as the mutual hatred of the 
two " Christian " beliefs. The Mongols, 
therefore, adopted Islam, which from racial 
considerations at least appealed more 
closely to them and seemed to be 
politically more advantageous. The gulf 
between Europe and Russia was widened 
by the Mohammedan Tartars. Russia 
had now for the first time become a pro- 
vince of Asia in the true sense of the word. 
The three centuries which Russia had 
spent under the Tartar yoke had deter- 
mined its place in civilisation and its 
development. Hitherto it had stood, if 
not higher, at any rate not lower than 
many a Western state. But now its 
culture was so sapped and had sunk so low 
that, even at the present day, it has not 
completely recovered from the blow. 
The political situation, it is true, remained 
much in the same position ; some princes 
were confirmed in their dominions, and 
self-government conceded to them. 

But the excessive drain on the finances 
weighed so heavily on the country that 
it infallibly took from the people any 
desire to work. The humiliating treat- 
ment and the feeling of absolute im- 
potence as regards the Great Khan could 
not but corrupt the ideas of the people, 
_ . , destroy their national pride, 

ussia * g^j^(j ga^p their moral fibre. 

National Pride ^,- •'^ ,• , , 

jj , 1 his IS noticeable even 

es roye j^ ^j^^ chroniclers of the 

Tartar age. When in the fifteenth century 
one prince put out the eyes of another, 
the Chronicle did not utter a word of blame, 
as it did when Vassilko was blinded. The 
Russian people had thus become accus- 
tomed to scenes of horror. And these 
outrages were a heavier burden and lasted 
longer than the economic (iownfEUl, 


Even after half a century the widely 
spread influence of the Asiatic school 
could be felt. The son of Daniel of Hahcz 
already kept a Tartar body-guard ; the 
insubordination of the nobles cannot 
alone excuse this procedure. That same 
proud city of Novgorod, which had only 
submitted to the Baskaks with extreme 
reluctance, rejected Prince Michael in 
1304 with the words : " We elected thee, 
indeed, but only on the condition that 
thou showest us the Jarlyk " (the warrant 
from the khan). Mongols were called 
in by Russian princes just as Pechenegs 
and Polovzes had been — to help them 
against their own people. Russians took 
part in the campaigns of the Tartars, who 
honourably gave them a share of the spoils. 

The relations between Mongols and Rus- 
sians rapidly became so much closer, that 
in the first half of the fourteenth century 
Tartar princes and nobles settled in Mos- 
cow. Many distinguished Russian.families 
are of Tartar descent ; but, on the other 
hand, we must not overlook the fact that 
the later Tartar immigrants were mostly 
descendants of Russian prisoners, so that 
we ought rather to speak of 

e erms g^g^y^j^^^^ blood among the 

?, .,!*^".* Tartars than vice versa. Russia 
Unification u i j. u 4. 

would almost have got over 

the depression had not, from time to 
time, fresh outbursts of savage barbarism 
inflicted new wounds on the country. 
The keen wish for liberty was thus kept 
alive. Russia obtained some partial 
successes politically. Hostilities between 
Russian princes were forbidden, since no 
one dared to wage war without the con- 
sent of the khan. A still more important 
point was that the grand duke, as vassal of 
the dreaded Mongol, enjoyed elsewhere a 
greater reputation than had ever been the 
case. We may see in this fact the germs 
of the subsequent unification of Russia. 

Under the Tartar supremacy the place 
of Vladimir (in the principality of Susdal) 
as the residence of the grand duke and 
the capital of Russia, was taken by 
Moscow, which lay to the west of it on the 
small river Moskva. The grand dukes, 
as Nikolai M. Karamsin justly observes, 
while assuming the modest title of servants 
of the khan, became gradually powerful 
monarchs. By this policy the way was 
paved for the rise of despotic power in 
Russia, and the princely house, in Moscow 
as formerly in Vladimir, had a definite 
c^in^ before its eyes. They were responsible 

^ " ' "" ■ '" ■ "■■ '^" ■ "i r 




to the khan for the maintenance of 

pubUc order in Russia, assumed, as 

general agents of the khan, the collection 

of taxes throughout Russia in order to be 

spared the torment of Tartar tax-gatherers, 

and thus were able to act unscrupulously 

towards their own subjects and other 

princes, and showed no mercy, since 

-- _. thev received none them- 

Moscow Rises ^^^^^^ -^ g^^.^- j^^ ^^j^^^. 

in Wealth ■ , j , i , 

. D ^. mdependent princes lost 
and Prestige ^ ,. '^ , , 

m prestige, and no less 
so the popular assemblies and the 
nobility. Everyone from fear of the 
Mongol bowed before the grand dukes of 
Moscow. They drew from the farming 
of the revenue not merely financial but 
also political strength. The Tartar 
tribute was exacted by Moscow even 
when it was not necessary to pay it to the 
Tartars, and the people paid it without 
murmuring. Thanks to this circumstance, 
Moscow had always large sums of money 
at its disposal, and Russia in this way 
grew accustomed by the fourteenth cen- 
tury to see in it the capital of the country. 

These princes of Moscow of the four- 
teenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries 
were unpleasing figures, harsh, selfish, 
and shrinking from no steps which led to 
power. It is a repugnant task in these 
modern times to read the accounts of the 
degradation and meanness of most of 
them in their dealings with the Mongols. 
But it was a political necessity. Lithuania 
and afterwards Poland were willing to 
form leagues with the Tartars against 
Russia, and actually did so. Only such 
unscrupulous, unfeeling, but diplomatic 
rulers as the Muscovites were, could have 
saved Russia in its helpless and desperate 
plight from the Mongols and other neigh- 
bouring nations. 

The first known prince of Moscow was 
Michael the Bold (after 1248), younger 
brother of Alexander Nevski. The true 
founder of the princedom was Nevski's son. 
The First ^^"^^^ (1263-1303), who had 
p . . received Moscow as an appan- 
w age. He increased his territory, 

founded convents, encouraged 
trade, and made a good waterway on the 
MosKva. When he died in 1303 he left to 
his sons George, Danilovitch (1303-1325), 
and Ivan (1328-1341) a compact territory, 
which they still further enlarged. George 
was the first who, after the death of the 
Grand Duke Andrew Alexandrovitch of 
Vladimir, came forward in 1304 as a 


claimant of the grand ducal title ; but his 
second uncle, Michael of Tver, had, as 
the eldest of the family, a better claim 
to it. Both went to their over-lord at 
Sarai, and tried to defeat each other by 
bribery and intrigues. 

A civil war thus broke out between 
Moscow and Tver, which lasted almost 
thirty years, revealed starthng depths 
of baseness, and cost the Ufe of several 
princes. Moscow eventually won. George, 
who married in 1315 Kontchaka, the 
favourite sister of Uzbeg Khan, became 
grand duke. Ivan I., surnamed KaUta, 
from the purse which he wore in order 
to distribute alms, knew how to win over 
the Church, and to induce the Metro- 
politan Peter of Vladimir to settle at 
Moscow ; Theognost, Peter's successor, 
also resided in Moscow, which ranked as 
the capital after 1328, 

No Russian prince made so many 
journeys to the Horde as Kalita. He 
so completely won over the Mongols 
that they entrusted him with the 
government of the affairs of his kingdom, 
and even placed an army at his dis- 

. posal. Peace reigned for years 

eign o -^ Russia. The amalgamation 
„ . of the two nations made rapid 

strides. This wise poUcy was 
the more profitable since the mighty 
Uzbeg (1312-1340) then sat on the 
throne of Kiptchak. Kalita was himself 
a merchant prince and in favour of 
Uzbeg, and the wide expanse of the Mongol 
Empire helped the Russian trade. Ivan 
took upon himself the duty of levying 
the tribute from Russia. 

The same policy was followed by his 
sons Simeon the Proud (1341-1353) and 
Ivan II. (1353-1359). Simeon even ven- 
tured to assume the title " Grand Duke 
of all Russia." Other times had come. 
The grand duke had formerly been to 
all other princes " father " or " elder 
brother," now he was for all his relations 
" lord " (gospodin). All had to feel the 
weight of his hand. When Novgorod, 
which had become a dependency of Moscow, 
tried to gain freedom, it was punished 
with severity, and the obligation imposed 
on it that in the future the municipal 
officials should kneel barefooted before 
the assembly of the princes and entreat 
their mercy. We notice here the influence 
of Mongolian customs. But the necessity 
for this severity is shown by the reign of 
Simeon's brother Ivan II„ whose weakness 


rendered insecure all the successes that 
had been achieved. 

The position of Russia had meantime 
improved. While the Muscovite princes 
slowly united the Russian countries in 
their hands, the Mongol state began to 
break up. Some parts of the vast empire 
made themselves independent of Sarai 
under khans of their own, the same 
process which had formerly ruined Russia. 
The son of Ivan II., Dmitri Ivanovitch 
(1362-1389), was soon strong enough to 
defy the wiU of the Tartars and to govern 
in Russia as he thought best ; in 1376 
he actually made two petty Tartar 
princes his tributaries. When in the same 
year he conquered a governor of the able 
Manaj Khan, he exclaimed: "God is with 
us ; their day is over ! " But that was 
premature. Manaj collected an immense 
army, and at the same time concluded a 
treaty with the Lithuanian prince, Jagiello. 
Dmitri also rallied many princes round 
him, and strengthened himself by prayer 
in the Church of the Assumption, before 
he rode to the battlefield. All felt keenly 
that a religious war impended. Manaj 
p. „. is said to have threatened to 

. destroy all the churches and 

MonKol Yoke ^^'"§ ^^^^ Russia to Islam. 
The battle took place on 
September 8th, 1380, on the plain of Kuli- 
kovo (at the confluence of the Nepraedva 
and the Don), and was decided in favour 
of Russia. Fifteen Russian princes were 
left on the field. Dmitri received the 
surname of Donskoj, the Victor of the 
Don. On that very day Jagiello of 
Lithuania had been only a few miles 
away from the Tartars ; his junction 
with Manaj would certainly have changed 
the result. The rejoicings at this first great 
victory were immense ; Moscow, the new 
capital of Russia, thus received its baptism 
of war. Even if the Tartar yoke was 
still far from being shaken off, it was yet 
seen that the Russians in their long 
servitude had not forgotten how to draw 
the sword for freedom and honour. They 
had now learnt that the Mongols were 
not invincible ; and their courage and 
character were increased. 

Not the less important for the uni- 
fication of Russia was the enactment of 
Dmitri, by which primogeniture became 
the law of the land. The eldest son of 
the grand duke, not the eldest of the 
stock, was henceforward to succeed his 
lather. By this law, of which we have 

no details, the family disputes of the ruling 
house were not indeed completely ended, 
but, happily for Russia, were restricted. 
The son of Donskoj, Vasilij I. Dmitrije- 
vitch (1389-1425), now succeeded in 
accordance with this law of succession. 
Under Vasilij 's successor, Vasilij II. 
Vasilijevitch (1425-1462), a dispute once 
Great Prize ^lore broke out between the 
in the Contest f^PPorters of the old rule of 
of Humility Seniority and the new rule 

of " Primogeniture." George 
Dmitrijevitch was opposed to the grandson 
of Dmitri Donskoj , the uncle to the nephew. 
The ambassador sent from Moscow saved 
the cause of his master s.t Sarai by a 
speech which throws a flood of light upon 
the situation. " All powerful Tsar," so 
Vsevoloshkij in 1431 addressed Ulugh 
Mahmet, 'allow me to speak, who am the 
Grand Duke's slave. My master, the 
Grand Duke, solicits the throne of the 
Grand Duchy, which is entirely thy 
property, without any other claim thereto 
but through thy good will, thy consent, 
and thy warrant. Thou disposest of it 
as thou thinkest fit. The prince George 
Dmitrijevitch, his uncle, on the other 
hand, claims the Grand Duchy according 
to the enactment and last will of his 
father, but not as a favour of thy omni- 

The speech did its work ; the khan 
commanded that George should hence- 
forward lead his nephew's horse by 
the bridle. " Thus the prize in this 
contest of humility was assigned to the 
prince of Moscow." At VasUij's corona- 
tion (such ceremonies have always taken 
place at Moscow since that day) a Mon- 
golian Baskak was present. Vladimir, 
the old capital, now lost the last trace 
of its glory. The war between uncle and 
nephew was continued in spite of the 
decision of the khan. It was then seen 
how dependent the people were on their 
prince. When Vasilij, ousted by his uncle, 

had Kostroma assigned him as 

cpar e residence*, the Muscovites left 

„ °'y ° their city in crowds and joined 

him at Kostroma ; the uncle, 
who could not maintain his position in 
Moscow, now voluntarily withdrew. And 
when Vasilij II. entered Moscow 'or a 
second time, the people thronged round 
him "like bees round their queen," says 
a chronicler. He died, blinded in 1446 
by a son of George (hence called Temnyi), 
on March 17th, 1462. 



Fioiu a series of historic medals. 




'T'HE fall of the Tartar power rendered 
•*■ the consolidation of Russia possible. 
The unerring persistent policy of the 
Muscovite princes was destined to bear 
good fruit. Their aim was to shake off the 
Tartar yoke and to "join" all countries 
formerly Russian— i hat is to say, to re- 
unite them in one empire. Ivan III. 
(1462-1505), who now mounted the throne 
as " sole monarch," his son Vasilij III. 
(1505-1533), and his grandson Ivan IV. 
(1533-1584), surnamed the Terrible, 
effected this junction of Russia, although 
they were the reverse of heroic soldiers. 

Ivan III., the most important among 
them, was the model of a Susdalian and 
Muscovite ruler, a cold, heartless and 
calculating statesman. His policy was 
markedly influenced by his second mar- 
riage with Sophia (Zoe), a niece of the 
last Byzantine emperor, who had been 
educated in Rome at the papal court. 
Cardinal Bessarion (the humanist and 
advocate of the union of the Churches), 
had first prompted that alliance. The 
proposal in question reached the grand 
duke, then twenty years old, in 1469, 
and had been received by the Boyars 
with enthusiasm. In the year 1472 
Sophia entered Moscow accompanied by 
many of her countrymen and by the 
papal legate Antonio, and her arrival 
brought a new spirit into the Russian 
court. She it was who realised the 
humiliation of the Mongol yoke. Moscow 
regarded itself now as the heir of 
p , Byzantium, and Ivan adopted 
e ope s ^j^g double - headed Byzan- 
. U . tine eagle as the new arms 
of Russia. The outlook of 
Russian policy widened ; henceforward 
Russia was regarded as the representative 
and seat of orthodoxy. Moscow took up 
the cause of the Greek Christians in the 
East and actually waged war in the name 
of this idea, which was translated into 
deeds against the Ottomans in the 
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The 


of Ivan "The 
Awful " 

Pope, indeed, when he sent the fair 
daughter of the Palaeologi to Russia, was 
intent on the plan of winning the whole 
of Russia for Rome ; but the cunning of 
the Russian sovereign frustrated such 
intentions. Ivan derived all possible ad- 
vantages from that alliance without con- 
ferring the slightest benefits in return. 
_ J The entry of the Roman legate 

into Moscow was a humiliation 
for Rome ; he was forced to 
put aside the silver crucifix, 
which he wished to be borne in front of 
him, and to face an argument with a 
learned Russian monk, which only caused 
him annoyance. Even the young Greek 
princess, once arrived on Russian soil, 
seemed to have forgotten her Roman 
education and her papal benefactor. 

It was Sophia also who taught her 
husband " the secret of despotism." Ivan 
came forward now in a quite different 
character from the earlier grand dukes. 
He stood before the eyes of the Russians 
like an avenging deity, and was called 
not only the " Great " but the " Awful " 
(gnosnyi ; the surname of " Terrible " 
suits Ivan IV. better). He inflicted death 
penalties and martyrdoms lavishly. When 
he slept after meals, the Boyars anxiously 
kept watch by him ; women fainted at 
his gaze. He treated foreign potentates 
with almost Oriental presumption. When 
the Mongol Khan Ahmed sent envoys 
with his portrait, in order to demand the 
tribute, he stamped on the portrait, and 
ordered all the envoys to be killed except 
one who was to carry the tidings to 
Astrakhan. He communicated with the 
Mongol envoys only through officials of 
the second rank. 

In a word, the bearing of the grand 
duke testified to unbounded pride of 
sovereignty. He governed without the 
Boyars ; when one of them complained 
that the grand duke decided every point 
alone, he was beheaded. Herberstein 
asserts that no monarch in Europe was so 



implicitly obeyed by his subjects as the 
Grand Duke of Russia. This self-con- 
sciousness of the Russian court often, 
indeed, amounted to an absurdity, and 
barbarous customs considerably detracted 
from the magnificence which was displayed 
at the reception of foreign embassies. 
Ivan carried on the work of uniting Russia 
J n fc ^^ ^^^ most unscrupulous 
» 'Vt,. " * manner. He began by entering 
Ambitious • , r .J. iu 

p mto a series of contracts with 

"* his relations, in order to secure 
the supremacy to himself. He then put 
an end to the more or less independent 
petty principalities and lordships which 
existed round Moscow. Thus, in the first 
years of his reign, Tver, Vereja, Rjasan, 
and then Bjelosersk, Rostow, Jaroslav, 
were placed under the immediate govern- 
ment of Moscow. 

The union of Novgorod with Moscow 
cost much bloodshed. This once powerful 
free city on the Ilmen, the cradle of the 
Russian state, brought on its own fall 
by internal factions. The princes of 
Moscow had long been indignant that 
Novgorod barred their access to the sea, 
and also entertained the suspicion that 
it might join their enemies, Lithuania 
or Poland. Its freedom must, therefore, 
be crushed ; it was not enough that, 
having long recognised the suzerainty of 
the lords of Moscow, it paid them tribute 
without difficulty ; its self-government 
was to be taken away. 

Ivan understood how to form a political 
party out of the supporters of the Greek 
faith in Novgorod, and to play them 
off against the others, who were devoted 
to the Catholic cause, and therefore 
to Poland. The Lithuano-Polish party 
was led by the Borecki family, whose 
head was Marfa, the energetic widow of 
a former Possadnik. Ivan waited until 
Novgorod was guilty of a breach of 
faith by opening negotiations with 
Poland, in order to seek protection 
-, . «. .. there against the attacks 

Se3/ °^ ^^''^^- '^^^ Muscovite 

c ore army then entered the 

Muscovite Army . y, , ^t j j 

territory of Novgorod and 

defeated the untrained Novgorodian 

troops, who had been collected with great 

difficulty, in 1471 at the river Schelona. 

The Novgorodians submitted, recognised 

Ivan as sovereign, and actually accepted 

the jurisdiction of the courts of Moscow. 

But in 1478 Ivan took from them the rest 

of their self-government, deported the 


most famous families into the interior of 
Russia, sent his governors to Novgorod, 
and brought to Moscow the bell which for 
centuries had summoned the people to 
the popular assembly. The fall of Novgo- 
rod has often been sung by the poets and 
made the subject of drama, Marfa Borecki 
being celebrated as the heroine. But no 
one will deny that the republic outlived 
its day, that it never properly fulfilled 
its duty as a middleman between the 
merchants of the East and West, and that 
it now really stood in the way of the union 
of Russian countries. The capture of 
Novgorod and its environs gave Moscow 
an overwhelming superiority over the 
other principalities. 

Besides this, Ivan conquered Perm, 
" the land of silver beyond the Kama." 
The second free city, Viatka, was con- 
quered in 1489 ; an advance was made to 
the Petchora, the Ural was crossed, and 
the country of the Voguls and Ugrians 
made tributary. Russia thus expanded 
as far as the Arctic Ocean, and for the first 
time set foot in Asia. Vasilij III. then 
subjugated the free state of Pskov, where 
, the dissensions of the citizens 

J*^ * - had opened the ground for 
^ him ; many families were 

sent thence to other towns. 
" Alas, glorious and mighty Pskov, where- 
fore this despair and these tears ? " ex- 
claims the poetical chronicler. " How 
shall I not despair ? " answered Pskov. 
" An eagle with the claws of a lion has 
swooped down on me. . . . Our land is 
wasted, our city ruined, our marts are 
destroyed, our brethren led away whither 
neither our fathers nor grandfathers 
dwelt." But subordination to Moscow was 
for Pskov an historical necessity if the 
unification of Russia was to progress. 
When Vasilij had banished the princes 
of Rjasan and Novgorod Severskij and 
united their lands with Moscow, the union 
of European Russia under the leadership 
of Moscow would appear almost finished. 
Russia already directed her eyes toward 
newly discovered Asiatic districts, where 
the Arctic Ocean formed the frontier. 
Only the Lithuanians and the Tartars 
were still left to be conquered. 

Ivan III. had the good fortune to shake 
off the Tartar yoke. There were then 
several Tartar kingdoms — Kasan, Astra- 
khan (Sarai), the Nogai Horde, the pro- 
vince of the Crimea, and numerous smaller 
independent hordes — ^who all fought with 


each other, and thus Hghtened the task 
of the grand duke. In the year 1480 
Ivan advanced with a strong army against 
the great horde of Sarai, but could not 
make up his mind to strike ; for months 
the two armies stood opposite each other 
in inaction, until at last the Tartars with- 
drew. It was not therefore a great 
victory ; Russia had only ceased to pay 
tribute. Once again, in the year 1521, 
the Tartars of the Crimean horde united 
with their tribesmen beyond the Volga in 
the Nogai steppe and in Kasan, to attack 
Moscow. The town was so suddenly 
invested on all sides that the Grand Duke 
Vasilij hardly made good his escape. The 
citizens in their first panic promised to pay 
again the old tribute. 
Then discord broke out 
among the Tartars ; they 

From that time the 
Tartar danger was as good 
as ended. But another 
Mohammedan power, 
Turkey, threatened Rus- 
sia from the south ; in 
1475 Mohammed II. 
. brought the Crimea under 
his suzerainty. At the 
same time a growing 
danger arose in the union 
of Poland with Lithuania. 
How could Russia have 
withstood this powerful 
neighbour if she had been 
still politically divided, 
and dependent on Tartar 
hordes ? It was the merit ivan hi. 

of civilisation. Just as when formerly 
the Grand Duke Vladimir married the 
Greek princess, Anna, the art and religion 
of Byzantium were transplanted with her 
to Russia, so the second wife of Ivan and 
her Greek suite now called a new age of 
Ivan's Wif ^^^^^^^ ^^^^ ^i^^- Byzantine 
Introduces' ^^^olars brought Greek books 
Culture ^^*^ them, which formed the 
nucleus of the later libraries 
of Moscow. Ivan III. himself took plea- 
sure in distinguished foreigners. 

Artists and scholars from Western 
Europe found a brilliant reception at Ivan's 
court. In Aristotele Fioraventi of Bologna 
he acquired a distinguished architect, 
artillerist, and tutor for his children. Pietro 
Antonio built a palace for 
him. Monks from the 
famous monastery of 
Athos came to Russia ; 
amongst them a learned 
Greek, Maxim by name, 
was conspicuous. He 
is said to have been 
astonished to find such a 
mass of old manuscripts 
in the Kremlin at Moscow. 
The monks were entrusted 
by the grand duke with 
the translation of Greek 
books into Slavonic. The 
grand dukes owed their 
successes against the Tar- 
tars and petty princes 
partly to the artillery 
perfected by foreigners. 
The whole system of war- 
THE AWFUL" ^^^^ ^^^ revolutionised, 

of the grand dukes of Cow.heartiessandcaicuiating.ivan 111. stood At the Same time mineral 
Moscow that a liberated ^r/^^^^hiy^fntcTef del?h"pSfes'f„^d treasures were exploited, 
and united Russia could martyrdoms. During his reign, from i462 tm Ivau III. also dcvotcd 
not only defend itself, ^^os. the prestige of NfoscowgreaUy extended, attention to the judicial 

but could also advance victoriously against system, which in the Tartar age was often 

the menacing foe. 

The prestige of Moscow grew not only 
in all Russian districts, but also in foreign 
countries. The courts of Western Europe 
sought to win the alliance of the grand 
duke. Apart from their re- 
lations to Rome, Lithuania 
and Poland, Ivan III. and his 
son Vasilij received envoys from 
Venice, Hungary, the Emperor Frederic 
III. and his son Maximilian, Sweden and 
Denmark. From the East came envoys 
from Turkey, Georgia and Persia. Russia 
now found the leisure and also experienced 
the desire to devote time to the work 

of Russian 

a matter of caprice, and in 1497 caused 
the common law to be published in the 
new Russian code Sudebnik. 

The question of the succession, that 
open wound from which Russia so long 
bled, and to which she formerly owed her 
subjugation, was at last settled. The 
testamentary dispositions of Ivan III. 
showed his opinion on the point. After 
he had long hesitated whether to nominate 
as his successor his grandson or his 
son by his second wife, he decided in 
favour of his son Vasilij, probably because 
his mother was a Byzantine. The other 
sons received small provinces without 



monarchical rule ; they had neither the 

right of coinage, nor any higher jurisdiction, 

and were compelled to recognise the elder 

brother as their lord. If one of them died 

without issue, his lands reverted to the 

grand duke. Thus the first hereditary 

monarchy was instituted in Russia. An 

era of renaissance now began for Russia — 

-^ _ a restoration of the political 

The Dawn • j j j • r 

- mdependence and union of 

Q Q. the empire, an economic 

revival, an awakening of the 

national self-consciousness, a renewal of 

national culture and literature, the dawn 

of new and greater glory. Russia, by 

frequently sending embassies to foreign 

courts, entered by degrees into the circle 

of the civilised nations of the West. In 

short, fortune once more smiled on Russia. 

But the goal was still far away, and 
serious obstacles remained to be overcome. 
The people were now the greatest obstacle 
to themselves. In the long period of 
Tartar rule they had been warped not 
merely politically but morally. The 
Russians had emerged from the Asiatic 
school, in which they had so long been 
trained, as Asiatics accustomed to murder 
and cruelty. The Greek Church in Russia 
had suffered equally ; left to itself it 
inevitably became stagnant. It is easier 
to improve the national welfare and 
culture and to gain victories than to 
change the nature of a whole people ; 
several generations at least are requited 
for that. 

The hard fortunes of the country had 
produced a hard ruling dynasty. The 
pride and self-consciousness of the sover- 
eign, in whose person the state was bound 
up, grew with the progress which the 
union of Russia made under Moscow's 
supremacy, with the increase of the royal 
power as compared with the nobility and 
the popular assembly, and with the growth 
in the power and prestige of the nation. In 
Moscow the contest between the power of 
I ..^1^ the prince and that of the 

», ... ,,* nobility and the popular 
Terrible on A i, • u j xil i. 

(he Throne assembly, which raged through- 
out Russia, had been decided in 
favour of the former. It was a soil on which 
tyranny might flourish. The Susdalian and 
Muscovite princes had increased the strict- 
ness of their government, and while Ivan 
III. had already earned the surname of 
"Awful," this stamp of sovereign reached 
the climax in Ivan IV. History calls him 
"The Terrible." A man of unusual gifts 


and iron wijl, but of the worst education 
imaginable, he is one of the most wonderful 
phenomena in history, in which he has 
acquired a dark notoriety. It would be 
unfair to condemn him at once ; he is too 
important to be measured by conventional 

When he was only three years old his 
father died. The government during his 
minority was taken over by his mother, 
Helene Glinska, a Lithuanian, whose 
family was originally Tartar. A council of 
Boyars, in which the first place was ceded 
to her uncle Michael Glinski, was placed 
at her side. But it was soon apparent that 
this ambitious woman would not tolerate 
any other will by the side of hers. Only 
her favourite, Count Ivan Telepnev 
Obolenskij, could exercise any influence 
over her. A reign of bloodshed began. 
Her brother-in-law George, her uncle 
Michael, her second brother-in-law Andrew, 
and others who seemed dangerous to 
her, died a cruel death, while the affairs 
of the empire were not maladministered 
externally. When Helene died suddenly 
in 1538, and the Boyar council alone under- 
took the conduct of state 

'^*™* . affairs, two families, the 
an un enng g^^j^^jsi^jj g^j^jj y -^ Bielskij, 

^*" came forward, disputed for 

precedence, and fought each other. Once 
more there were scenes of blood ; no quarter 
was given by either side when it had the 
upper hand. Russia had now been so long 
accustomed to self-government that even 
in the Privy Council a member would wish 
to have unrestricted liberty of language. 
The fact that no regard was shown the suc- 
cessor to the crown in the matter, and that 
he would have been gladly ignored, shows 
how untamed the powerful Boyars then 
were. Even in later years Ivan complained 
that Ivan Schujskij had not greeted him, 
and in his bedroom had placed his feet on 
his father's bed, that the treasury of his 
father and his uncle had been plundered by 
the Boyars, and that even the royal service 
of plate had been marked with their names. 

Ivan in those days often suffered 
hunger ; even his life was threatened. The 
Schujskij attacked towns and villages, 
tormenting and extortijng without mercy. 
They jealously watched that no one else 
gained influence. One of the privy coun- 
cillors, Fedor Voronzov, who seemed to 
rejoice in the favour of the young sove- 
reign, was insulted and cuffed in the 
presence of the latter ; his clothes were 


torn, and he would have been killed had 
not the metropolitan rescued him at 
Ivan's petition. Prematurely accustomed 
to barbarity and bloodshed, the twelve- 
year old boy gloated over the agonies of 
tortured animals ; when only fifteen years 
old, he rode through the streets of Moscow 
with his young companions and cut and 
slashed all he met. 

The Orthodox Greek Church, which 
might have been expected to exercise 
a favourable influence on the lawless 
youth, had sunk into such decay under 
the Mongol yoke, that it had not the 
strength to interfere. The clergy were 
almost as addicted to gaming, drunken- 
ness, and other vices, as the laity ; the 
darkest superstition prevailed among the 
common people. Impostors, robbers, and 
fanatics roamed the land ; murder and 
brigandage were everyday occurrences. 
This was the normal condition of the 
society in which Ivan the Terrible grew up. 
At first he submitted, until, in 1543, in 
blazing fury he had Prince Andrew 
Schujskij seized in the open street, sub- 
jected to gross indignities, and murdered. 
-. From that day, says the 

Chronicle, the Boyars began to 
fear him. He was then thirteen 
years old. On February 3rd, 
1547, when barely seventeen years old, he 
married Anastasia, daughter of the 
chamberlain, Roman Sacharin. It is a 
proof of his political insight that he 
assumed the title of tsar, and that he 
obtained in 1561, personally through the 
Patriarch of Constantinople, as well as 
through a council expressly called for the 
purpose, a confirmation of his descent 
from the imperial Byzantine house and of 
his right to the imperial crown. 

Fear fell on all pagan countries, says the 
Chronicle of Novgorod. All the nations of 
the Orthodox East began to look to the 
Muscovite tsar as to the head and repre- 
sentative of their Church and their 
patron. In the year of his coronation 
three outbreaks of fire (April and June, 
1547) reduced the city of Moscow to ashes. 
The lives of the tsar and the metropolitan 
were in the greatest danger. The Schuj- 
skij princes spread the report that the 
tsar's grandmother, Anna Glinska, had 
torn the hearts out of corpses, soaked them 
in water, sprinkled the streets of Moscow 
with them, and thus caused the fire. The 
excited populace murdered the uncle of 
Ivan, George Glinska, in the church, 


marched to Vorobjovo, where the tsar was 
staying, and demanded with threats the 
surrender of his grandmother. The mob 
did not disperse until Ivan, acting on a 
bold impulse, had the spokesman executed. 
The occurrence is said to have made a 
weighty and lasting impression on the 
tsar, it was then that Ivan drew two men 
The G d *° his side, the Pope Silvester 

InfluenTe of ^"K^ \ ^^^^^^ official, Alexis 

Pope Silvester Adaschev Silvester governed 
him completely. Ivan did not 
venture on a step without Silvester ; 
he ate, drank, dressed and lived according 
to Silvester's doctrines. The influence of 
the two was very beneficial, and not less so 
that of his wife Anastasia. An honourable 
atmosphere prevailed in court circles ; in 
all state business, moral and religious 
aspects came into the foreground. Synods 
and imperial assemblies were summoned, 
in order to discuss important business. 
It was an inspiring moment when the 
young tsar, in the year 1549, asked for- 
giveness from the assembled people for all 
injustice, and humiliated himself. He 
showed universal courtesy and commanded 
men's trust and love. Much good was 
really done then. In 1556 a new code of 
civil and canon law appeared, which from 
its division into one hundred chapters was 
called Stoglaw. Its sixteenth paragraph 
contained an enactment for the erection 
of parochial schools in every town. 

At the same time the court of Moscow 
resolved to carry on war against the 
Tartars on the Volga, who still harassed 
Russia. Ivan, at Silvester's advice, though 
reluctantly, placed himself at the head of 
the army. Kasan was taken in 1552, 
not so much by the bravery as by the 
sheer numerical superiority of the Russians. 
In the year 1557, Astrakhan, the old 
Sarai, once so formidable to Russia, also 
fell. The results of this first conquest at 
the cost of the Asiatics were far-reaching. 
Not merely was the power of the Tartars 
crushed and the whole of the 
r°K*x great Volga made a Russian 

Crwhed " stream, but Russian influence 
now reached into the Caucasus 
as far as Persia. Other tribes, such as the 
Tcheremisses, Mordvins, Tchuvashes, 
Votiaks, Bashkirs, who had formerly been 
subject to the ruler of Kasan, now made 
their submission. The first step .towards 
the conquest of Asia was taken. The 
Crimean horde alone was left ; but it led 
a precarious existence and sought the 



the Tsar 

alliance of Russia. Ivan returned to 
Moscow as a hero. His confident attitude 
towards the Boyars increased. " I fear 
you no longer," he is said to have 
exclaimed to a voivode. 

He resolved at this period to disseminate 
the culture of Western Europe in Russia. 
Hans Slitte, a German from Goslar, who 
was at Moscow in 1547, ^^^ commissioned 
by him to bring scholars, artists, physicians, 
printers, artisans, etc., to Russia. And it 
was only in consequence of the hostile 
attitude of the Livonians, who saw in this 
plan a dangerous strengthening of their 
neighbour, that Slitte failed to bring to 
Russia the 123 persons whom he had 
engaged. From this moment the dislike 
Ivan felt for the Baltic Germans grew the 
more intense, since the 
Teutonic Order in T ivonia 
barred his road to the sea. 
From these reasons the 
determination to conquer 
Livonia matured in his 
mind despite the warnings 
of Silvester and Adaschev. 

When in 1553, under 
Edward VI., a British 
expedition of three ships 
was sent to explore the 
route to China and India 
by the Arctic Ocean, and 
one of the ships was cast 
away at the mouth of the 
Dwina, Ivan seized the 
opportunity of opening 
commercial negotiations 
with England. He con- ..^.^^ terrible" ivan iv. 

Ceaed to the Enghsh it was not without reason that this significant 

merchants highly advan- 
tageous trading privi- 
leges, and thus secured 

name, "The Terrible," came to be applied to 
Ivan IV. But he was the first ruler to en- 
courage British merchants to trade in Russia, 
and was thus nicknamed " The English Tsar." 

to his empire a connection with the West. 
In the war for Livonia, which broke out 
between Russia, Poland, and Sweden, 
Ivan obtained only Dorpat (1558), while 
Poland held Livonia as a province and the 
duchy of Courland as a fief. Esthonia fell 
to Sweden. These events entirely broke off 

Russia's Share J^^ ^^"^^y '^j^l^^"' ^^- 
tween Ivan and Adaschev 

and Silvester. The death of 
his virtuous queen (August 
7th, 1560) certainly contributed to this 
result. The guardianship exercised over him 
by the two men had at last become intoler- 
able. Silvester had tried to make his master 
quite dependent on him, and had even taken 
up a position of hostihty to the tsaritsa. 


When the first son of the tsar died (June, 
1553), Silvester declared to him that it 
was a punishment inflicted by heaven 
for his disobedience. But a severe illness 
of the tsar, about the end of the year 
1552-1553, had brought matters to a 
head. Awaiting his end, Ivan 
called on the Boyars to do 
homage to his son Dmitri. 
But the Boyars refused ; Sil- 
vester and Adaschev sided with the rebels. 
The noise of the disputants reached the 
sick chamber of the tsar. 

When Ivan, contrary to expectation, 
recovered, his confidence in his two coun- 
cillors was gone. Ivan was as yet moderate 
in his punishments ; but little by little the 
number of executions increased, until his 
fury against the Boyars 
knew no bounds. The 
fallen ministers had many 
partisans ; and when Ivan 
later scented treason 
everywhere, and felt him- 
self insecure in his own 
court, he was to some 
extent justified. Lithu- 
ania - Poland, the most 
dangerous enemy of 
Russia, kept up com- 
munications with the 
malcontents, and the 
party of the fallen made 
no disguise of their Polish 
proclivities. Prince 
Andrew Kurbskij inten- 
tionally brought about a 
shameful defeat in the 
Livonian campaign, and 
fled in 1564 to the Polish 
camp. Others actually 
admitted Tartars into the 
Ivan's anxiety now became a 
he believed himself to be sur- 

of the 

Spoils of War 

disease ; 
rounded by none but traitors. 

He at this time received a letter from 
the fugitive Kurbskij, in which the latter 
summoned him before a divine tribunal to 
answer for his cruelties. Ivan sent for the 
bearer of the letter, drove his iron-shod 
staff through his foot, leant with all his 
weight on it, and then had the letter read 
out. Rarely have more stinging reproaches 
been hurled in the face of a sovereign. 
The tsar thought well to answer the letter 
at length. 

Both writings belong to the most 
remarkable documents of Russian history. 
Ivan suddenly left Moscow on December 

Both for good and evil, Ivan IV., known as "The Terrible," occupies a prominent place in Russian history. Singling: 
out a series of towns and some streets in Moscow, he declared them to be his own private property. The Metro- 
politan Philip was bold enough to protest, and refused his blessing to the tsar. Ivan, in hot rage, summoned an 
ecclesiastical court, and from the steps of the altar, on November 8th, 1568, Philip was dragged oflF to a convent 
prison, where he was strangled the following year. Ivan's reign lasted for fifty-one years— from 1533 till 1584. 



3rd, 1564, in the company of his family, 
many Boyars, and an armed force, and 
went to Alexandrovskaja Sloboda. He 
took the most revered rehcs and the state 
treasure with him. Moscow was wildly 
excited. A month afterwards two missives 
from him arrived — one to the metro- 
politan, in which he said that he could no 
longer tolerate the illegalities of 
J'*'^ '. . the Boyars, especially since the 
n mics an (> hindered him from 

punishing them, and that he 
had resolved to leave the empire and go 
whither God led him ; a second was 
addressed to the Orthodox citizens of 
Moscow, in which he assured them that 
he was not angry with them. 

The impression produced by these two 
letters was overwhelming. The people, filled 
with the fear of falling again under the rule 
of the nobles, marched with lamentations 
and threats through the streets of the city, 
ready to cut down the tsar's enemies, and 
requested the metropolitan to propitiate 
the tsar ; whereupon an embassy to the 
tsar was organised. 

' Ivan came back on February 2nd, 1565. 
But a terrible change would seem to have 
taken place in him. " His mere aspect 
struck horror ; his features were distorted 
with fiiry, his sight nearly gone, his hair 
almost all fallen off. He declared before a 
great meeting that he needed a body- 
guaird." He then singled out a series of 
towns and some streets of Moscow, and 
declared that to be his private property, 
which was called Opritshina, while the rest 
of Russia as state property was called 
Semshtshina, and was left under the 
management of the council of Boyars. 
This was the first separation of crown 
property from national property, and was 
important in its consequences. 

He chose out of his own lands a body- 
guard of 6,000 men with wives and children, 
mostly people of low origin, the Opritshniki. 
An axe, a dogshead, and a besom were 
Seven Years ^^^^^ badges, signifying that 
^j traitors would be beheaded, 

Strange Events g"^^fd ^^ PJ^J^S, and 
swept away. The whole 
Semshtshina was assigned to them to 
plunder, and there was no appeal to 
justice against them. How they wreaked 
their fury is shown by the circumstance 
that even now in Russo-Polish countries a 
vagabond and robber is called "opryszok." 
Ivan meantime executed the traitors un- 
sparingly, and then retired to Alexandrovo. 

There he indulged in wild excesses, m 
brutal man-hunts, murdering, and burning. 
Strangely enough, he combined with all this 
sincere religious observances, arranging 
his court as a convent, and forming out of 
300 trustworthy myrmidons a monastic 
brotherhood, of which he was abbot. He 
performed every duty and himself rang 
the bell for service. At midnight they 
assembled in cowls and black gowns, and 
Ivan struck his forehead so hard upon the 
floor that his face was covered with bruises. 
This state of things lasted until 1572, 
for seven full years. Ivan was mean- 
time conscious of the disgracefulness of 
these proceedings, for he endeavoured to 
disguise to the outside world the existence 
of the Opritshniki, and conducted the 
affairs of state as before. The Metropolitan 
Philip finally plucked up courage to 
ask him to abolish the Opritshina. Ivan, 
however, summoned an ecclesiastical 
court and impeached the bold petitioner. 
While Philip was standing in full robes 
before the altar on November 8th, 1568, 
a troop of the bodyguard rushed in, tore 
the vestments from him, and dragged him 
off to a convent prison, where 
p"^ ." - he was strangled in 1569. The 
„ . . . public mourning for the 
metropolitan reduced Ivan to 
fury. Hundreds of persons were daily 
executed, burnt, or tortured to death, 
and whole communities were annihilated. 
Ivan lived under the delusion that for 
the sake of his own and his family's 
existence he must exterminate the 
traitors. In the year 1572, tormented by 
fear and anxiety, the monarch, who i