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Charles III. of Naples 





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JOR the understanding of the tragic 
and somewhat remarkable history 
laid bare in the following pages, it 
is sufficient to premise that Charles, 
Duke of Durazzo (Delia Pace), was at 
this period the sole surviving direct male representa- 
tive of the three Neapolitan branches of the House 
of Anjou. That being so, he had been adopted, 
educated, and treated in all things as a possible 
successor to her throne by Queen Joanna I. 

His father, Louis, had died in the prisons of the 
Castello deir Ovo at Naples in June 1362, while 
undergoing captivity for persistent rebellion.^ It has 
often been stated that he died of poison administered 
to him by Queen Joanna ; but I find that an Inquisi- 
torial process had been opened against him during the 
last few months of his life on account of hia having 
joined and patronised the proscribed sect of the 
Fraticelli.^ He had further incurred the wrath of 
Avignon by violently laying hands on the properties 
of his niece, Joanna, Duchess of Durazzo.^ More- 

1 Chron. Vatic, 19 ; M. Villani, i. 86. He had previously given his 
eon, Charlea, a hostage to Queen Joannft, for his own good behaviour. 

' Archivio Storico per le Province Napolilane ; Lea, Hist. laquisi- 
tion, vol, iiL 158, anno xii. faac. i. pp. 39, 40. 

' BegesCo delle lettere Innocenzo VI. ; Mart^e and Durand, Thea- 
aiinu, u. 77, 


over, as formerly with Andrew of Hungary, the 
princes Robert and Philip of Taranto were not un- 
interested' in his decease,^ thinking that he might be- 
come a suitor for the Queen's hand upon the death of 
their brother King LuigL^ Hence, it is manifestly 
unnecessary to lay the charge of his death at Queen 
Joanna's door, as has usually been done, and for which 
there is not forthcoming one tittle of evidence. 

The mother of Charles, Margherita da Corigliano, 
was a daughter of Roberto San Severino, Count of 
Tricarico, and had predeceased his father. His own 
wife was destined to bear the same Christian name ; 
for Queen Joanna, having lost all her own children 
in their infancy, had already adopted Margaret, 
youngest daughter of her only sister, and prospec- 
tive heiress, Maria da Durazzo. These two children 
were therefore brought up together. It was later 
on intended by the Queen, that Margaret should 
marry Frederick HI. of Sicily. Owing, however, to 
the fact that Sicily with her Aragonese ruler was at 
this period under Papal interdict, the project was 
abandoned, and the Queen afterwards obtained a 

1369. dispensation from Urban V. for the union of Mar- 
garet with her cousin, Charles of Durazzo, which 

1370. consequently took place at Naples with very natural 

In consequence of the interested and reiterated 

* Chron. di Parthenope, iii. 40, apud Muratori, RI.S.S. 

* He died 26th May 1362. 

^ Her elder sisters, Joanna and Agnes, had in turn surrendered their 
rights to the throne on the occasions of their respective marriages, so 


overtures made him by his kinsman Louis, King of 
Hungary and Poland (perhaps the most powerful 
monarch of his day in Europe), to whom, as early 
^ 1363, Urban V. had written reconmiending him, 
the young prince obtained the reluctant consent of 
Queen Joanna to his visiting Buda, in order to 
acquaint himself with the arts of war and the exer- 
cises of chivalry.^ 

Unfortunately, a life-long jealousy and enmity had 
subsisted between the King of Hungary and his 
cousin. Queen Joanna, owing to the bitter family 
divisions which had formerly culminated in the 
assassination of his brother Andrew, her first hus- 
band, in 1345. These feelings, though necessarily 
moderated by time, and by vengeance taken, had 
been assiduously kept alive through the vindictive 
vigour of the old queen -mother, Elisabeth, who 
now governed her native Poland for her son Louis. 
Outward harmony between the respective realms was, 
nevertheless, ably preserved by the political tact of 
three successive Pontiffs — Innocent VL, Urban V., 
and Gregory XL, who continuously advised and 
favoured the unfortunate Queen of Naples. 

Acutely made aware of the antagonism nourished 
against her at the Hungarian Court, it is scarcely 
matter for wonder that Queen Joanna should have 
regarded the departure of Charles from Italy with 

that Margaret was now definitively heiress to Queen Joanna, by suc- 
cession to her mother, Maria da Durazzo, in accordance with the wiU 
of King Robert. See * Genealogy.' Chron. di Parth., 41. 
^ Theiner, Mon. Hist Hungar., torn, ii 62 ; Chron. di Parthenope, iii 40. 


the gravest misgivings. A brief interval sufficed to 
confirm, in no doubtful manner, the accuracy of her 
tristful forecast. More and more of his time was 
spent at Buda : less and less was spent at Naples. 
Louis having daughters only, succeeded in absorbing 
the Prince's affection, and trained him, during his 
ensuing wars with the Venetian Republic, for a 
military commander. 

Left alone at Naples, owing to the insane Spanish 
enterprises of her husband, James of Majorca,^ and 
later, by his death, finding herself once more a widow 
burdened with great political responsibilities, in 1376 
March 95. 1376. Queen Joanna accepted the hand of Otho, Duke of 
Brunswick, a tried and famous general, and conferred 
upon him the Principality of Taranto. There can be 
no doubt this union, ^ reasonable as it was, gave um- 
brage to both Charles and Margaret, who had been 
made, not unduly, to realise their own proximity to 
the throne, though it cannot be reputed the primal 
cause of the rupture between Charles and his well- 
intentioned foster-mother. It is probable that it 
seemed a vigorous response to the policy being pur- 
sued by the King of Hungary, who, with a view of 
dictating to Naples in case of the death of Queen 
Joanna, was then carrying on active negotiations 
with Charles V. of France.^ 

* Annales de Aragon, Q. Zurita, voL iL See excerpts translated in 
the Appendix to Queen Joanna I. Froissart's Chronicle. 

* Although Otho had in the previous yeax stood godfather to their son 
Ladislaus. ' Cujus compater idem Dux Otto erat, qui ipsum Ladislanm 
regem de sacro fonte levavit' De Niem, De Scismate, lib. L xxi 

' The Queen was now fifty-one years of age ; see p. 33, note 4 ; also 


So long as the Papacy was in the keeping of 
French Pontiffs at Avignon, the relations between it 1305-1378. 
and the throne of Naples were cordial in the ex- 
treme. To Queen Joanna herself the Holy See owed 
possession of Avignon, which, as Countess of Pro- 
vence, she had sold to it in 1 348 ; and to the Holy 
See in the first instance the House of Anjou owed 
possession of the thrones of Naples and Hungary. 
As soon, however, as in answer to the popular demand 
for an Italian Pontiff, an upstart Neapolitan prelate 
was elected to fill the throne of St. Peter in the person 
of (Bartolommeo Prignano) Urban VI. , a heavy storm- 
cloud again not only overshadowed the diplomatic 
relations of those realms with one another, but 
threatened those of every other state in Christendom. 

Almost from the day of his election, in 1378, 
this Pope openly avowed designs upon the king- 
dom of Naples for the aggrandisement of his own 
family. Not successful in bringing about a pro- 
jected union between Maria, daughter and heiress of 
Frederick III. of Sicily, and his nephew Francesco 
Prignano, he picked a quarrel with Queen Joanna 
and her husband over the matter,^ and then, taking 
advantage of the thinly veiled enmity borne her by 
King Louis, promised his Pontifical assistance to 
Charles of Durazzo if he would come from Hungary 
to snatch Naples from its ruler. Meanwhile he 

Archivio Storico per le Province Napolitane, anno xii fasc. ii 394, 
note I. 

^ See ' Queen Joanna I.,' pp. 248, 249 ; De Niem, De Scismate, 1. i, 
c vi ; Bonincontri, c 29 ; Chron. Reginens, Gazat, apud Muratori, 


gratuitously insulted the Cardinals who had elected 
him; whereupon, disgusted with his violence and 
brutality, they deserted him in a body, and elected in 
his stead, Robert, Cardinal of Geneva, styled Clement 
VII., simultaneously declaring Urban s election to be 
void. Thus commenced the Western Schism. In 
the extraordinary ferment that ensued, Louis of Hun- 
gary adhered to Urban, while Queen Joanna naturally 
sided with the French Cardinals and their patron, 
Onorato Cajetani, Lord of Fondi.^ 

Urban now pronounced the Queen excommunicate ^ 
and her throne vacant, and forthwith sent urgent 
messages to Hungary, first of all offering her king- 
dom to Louis, who refused it, and then to Charles 
of Durazzo, whom he entreated to hasten, promising 
personally to crown him at Rome ; at the same time, 
however, slily determining to exact intolerable con- 
ditions from him in the event of his success in the 
necessary campaign. Meantime, seeing no clear way 
out of the stormy straits into which these ominous 
developments were rapidly driving her. Queen Joanna 
had reluctant recourse to the only important political 
means for self-defence in her power, and summoned 
to her aid her kinsman Louis, Duke of Anjou, brother 

xviiL 88. Otho desired to marry her to his ward and kinsman, 
Giovanni, Marquis of Montfcrrat, afterwards killed in the skirmish 
with Charles of Durazzo before Naples, when Otho himself was taken 
prisoner. Chron. Vaticanum, 39. 

* Clement created him * Rector CampanijB et Maritimae,' and his 
daughter, Jacobella, married Duke Otho's brother, Balthasar, 1379. II 
Saggiatore, anno ii. voL iv. 296. 

* April 21, 138a Qol)elinus, Persona in Cosmodrom, vi. 76. 


of Charles V. of France, granting him in return for 
promise of it, letters of adoption as her absolute suc- 
cessor to the throne of Naples and the Countships of 
Provence and Forcalquier.^ 

The Duke eagerly accepted his new responsibilities, 
and, in concert with the Antipope, at once devised 
means for collecting a formidable army in order to 
counteract Charles and Urban in Italy. But fortune 
was against the Queen of Naples. Her antagonists, 
already equipped for the fray, descended upon her 
realm before the Duke of Anjou could even organise 
his forces. Consequently, in July 1 381, by the out- 
flanking of her army under command of Duke 
Otho, she found herself closely besieged by Charles 
in the Castello Nuovo, in her own capital, and vainly 
awaiting the advent of the Duke of Anjou. 

Some details of these important affairs have been 
recounted at length in a previous work, on Queen 
Joanna I., for the kind reception of which, in spite of 
its many defects and shortcomings, I am sincerely 
grateful to my reviewers. Since that was published, 
however, I have had the advantage of making a 
further considerable sojourn among the scenes where 
these events took place, and of studying the many 
valuable archivial documents brought to light in 
recent years by the admirable researches of the late 
Matteo Camera, N. Barone, Giuseppe de Blasiis, 

^ Clement confirmed her assignment, August i, 1380. Liinig, Codic. 
ItaL Diplom., ii. 1 142 ; Vita dementis, apud Baluzium ; Juvenal des 
Ursins, Hist Charles VI., 1.L 543. 


Minieri Riccio, and Dr. George Erier, to which I 
have here united the results of similar studies in 
contemporaneous Hungarian and French history. 

In this volume I have included an Essay on another 
Italian subject belonging to the fourteenth century, 
namely, "Cecco d'Ascoli, Poet, Physician, Astrologer;" 
a noted contemporary of Dante ; for a short time an 
instructor of Petrarch; and ultimately a victim of 
the Holy Inquisition. 

November 27, 1893. 

^ b 



died 1SS7. She 
died 1341. 


BOBERT, „ I ,1 

d 1343 Bbatrics, Leonora, 

m. (1) Vioiante»v 0) ^mo Este, m. Frederick, Kin« 

ofAWon Duke of Ferrara. of Sicily. He 

m. (2) 8aAcha\(2) Ber^ando del - " 

of Aragon, d. ?»fe. Connt of 

Andria and Monte- 



CuKitnt^* ^^® ®' Andria, 
^v. 1 77, 1 L-i Margaret of Taranto. 

Ai2L« if ^?9\ o' ^er brothers In 
.l2TMa%tf V'^ol «-^. ^««- 
d, 1331. He die 

, 1341. 


I of Tar- 

of Ma- 

)uke of 

^?^*i AGNES, 
**• ^h) Can Signorio 


Ij2) Oiaoomo del 
MaJuzo, Duke of 
d. Uidria. 1881, d. 
*M1) CH83. 


m. (2) } 


m. (3) P) 


d. onmarriea. 


d. 1412, 

at Salerno. 

Charles III., Louis, 
King of Naples, d. infant 

I I 

Maria, Joanna II.. 

d. 1371. Queen of Naples, 
m. a) William of 

m. (2i James, Count 
de la Marene. 
Died 1486. 


King of Naples, 


m. (1) Costanza di 

m. (2) Maria de 

m. (8) Maria d'En- 
ghien. Countess of 

Died 1404. 




Results of Victory over Queen Joanna I. — EKs other Prisoners 
— The Fate of Joanna da Durazzo and Agnes del Balzo — 
The Duke of Andria Flees to Taranto— His Death— The 
Coming Struggle with Louis of Anjou 1-18 


Louis of Anjou in France — Preparations at Naples — Escape and 
Recapture of Royal Prisoners — The Abbot of Monte-Cassino 
— Louis Reaches Aquila — Sir John Hawkwood Arrives at 
Naples 19-26 


Conduct of Charles towards Queen Joanna — Boccaccio's Opinion 
— ^A Challenge — ^A Skirmish — Arezzo Sacked — Urban's Vexa- 
tion — Punishes his Cardinals — Comes to Naples — ^Violent 
Quarrel — Reconciliation — Urban goes to Nocera — Louis 
Dies 27-45 


Renewed Quarrel betwixt Urban and Charles — Pirates — Con- 
spiracy of Cardinals — A Traitor — Tortures for the Cardinals 
—-Siege of Nocera — Relief of Nocera — Escape of Urban — He 
Kills the Bishop of Aquila — Sails for Genoa . . . 46-61 


The Situation in Hungary — The Crown offered to Charles- 
He seta out for Buda — The Ladies Dissemble and Plot his 
Assassination — His Coronation — His Death . . . 62-75 





Urban at Qenoa — Gian Qaleazzo Visconti — Fate of the Cardinals 
— News of the King's Death received at Naples — Louis II. 
of Anjou in Provence with Mary of Blois . . . 76-84 


The Remaining Career of Urban VI. — He goes to Lucca — Thence 
to Perugia — ^An Accident — Reaches Tivoli — Dies — His Char- 
acter — Some Effects of the Schism — Gian Galeazzo Visconti 
— Sir John Hawkwood — Boniface IX. — Ladislaus, King of 
Naples 85-108 


The Attitude of the Church with Regard to Inquiry — Hazy 
Boundary- lines — Superstition Within and Without the 
Church — The Arab Philosophers and their Influence — The 
Norman Invasion — Frederick 11. — Astrology and Magic — 
Heresies — The Age of Giotto and Dante — Ascoli — The 
Inquisition — Bologna — Penalties — Cecco at Florence — A 
Rival — Second Citation by the Inquisition — His Poem 
*L*Acerba' — His Burning — His Portrait at Pisa . . 109-154 

Index 155-159 


Charles of Durazzo (Bella Pace) . . Frontispiece 

Castello dell' Ovo, Naples To face page 5 

Tomb of Qiovanna da Durazzo and Robert, Count 

OF Artois, in San Lorenzo, Naples . . » » 9 

ToxB OF Agnes AND Clementia DA Durazzo . . » n 17 

Castle of the Cajetani at Fondi . . . „ „ 21 

A Tomb of the Falcone Familt at Bisceolia . „ ,,45 

Louis L, King of Naples and Count of Provence, 

AND Marie de Blois, Countess of Provence . „ „ 83 

Charles de Duras, Ejng of Jerusalem and Sicilt „ „ 83 

Tomb of King Ladislaus » » 103 



ATtJuwiaatonMpiTlePronmttXapiiitatte. Oim mlr ddPmeaiK MamUUon^ 

Toai,SliwiMdiamBadiMdiltaite-Omt*ima. Hmo. de Nwm, Ac &snitfe, 
Ckromioom SieWiOB, Imeerii AtOkarit, Kapoli, 1887. Minieri Riccio, 
Si^lgio di Oodiet Diplamatiea, 1SS2. Amimnkto, /jlorM Ji Firatst. 
Ardurio Storiea ItalitiM, Ifit Series. B. IblaTolti, Sfana di Swao, 
Ctaia.StOTiadiMila»o. Walangfaam, fliitor»« A aglieamt, adit. RDey, 
18G4. SuiiiiiODt«, £t«rM dt KmpUi. CocUniO, Man* dol H^^iw 
di yapnU. Gobelimis, Penana ut CboMxlrao. Bussi, talaria di 
Fittrio, 1742. (?Kin«^ A'spolcf., afNtd Itntalori, ILLsa Jannd 
dn Unim, BiMoirt dt Ckariet VI. Tbdaer, MaHMmaOa HiMoriam 
Hmtgana. Himlori. Jtown AafKoma f^>toriEi. L too Fesder, 
OoeliEfac mM Cmgam. Bonfiaina. BUL Hmapar. J. Tlmnicn, 
Ckrmtie. KanL Parvo. Of(«oiaviiu, AaeUdbc ifn- St«b Jto* m 
Mittd^ttr. Lea, BiHorj <tf tin /ngtttritiait. Hosbeim, SedaUt- 
tiealButMy. BMjialAiia, An»aL SeOa. BaoAB,BuUnredePrvwaier, 
Balmiiis, Filte Ptmlifie. Jondon, Zet Somvnuw Panti/a. Tbonu* 
Kbendorfieri de HMfllMLCh, CAroawon Atutria. Ciaccooiiu, Vit. tl 
ra. gat. PoaL Somam. 


JPON the sorrender of the Castelnuovo 
by Qaeen Joanna on August 25th to 
her kinsman, Charles of Durazzo, and 
his army, the victor's attention was 
drawn, perforce, simultaneously in 
three directions. First of all, he had to consider the 
immediate needs of a distracted realm ; secondly, he 


had to detennine what should be his own future 
attitude toward Urban, in regard to the bargain 
which that ambitious Pontiff had exacted of him, 
namely, that if successful in driving out Queen 
Joanna and her husband, Duke Otho of Brunswick, 
he should give up Capua, Amalfi, Salerno, Nocera, 
and Scafate to Francesco Prignano, Urban's nephew ; 
and lastly, he had to make preparations against a 
formidable invading army, headed by his kinsman, 
Louis, Duke of Anjou, which had been raised in 
France through the instrumentality of the Antipope, 
aement VIL 

In view of his success, responsibilities thus came 
thick upon him ; but the immediate needs of the 
realm pressed him closest. It was before all politic 
to commence dealing out rewards to those of his 
friends and subjects who had aided him in his re- 
cent undertakings, as by this means he would both 
fortify them in their fidelity and tempt from further 
allegiance to the captive Queen certain of their 
influential kinsmen. For the most part, these con- 
sisted in handing over to them the estates forfeited 
by their loyal adversaries. This measure was carried 
out on a large and generous scale, and it greatly 
extended the King's popularity. Those alone escaped 
the forfeiture of their property who, before it was 
too late, deserted the Queen's cause, out of fear, 
greed, or desperation. 

It was natural that, in this state of affairs, many 
of the leading families should become divided ; and it 


would be difficult, perhaps, to name any single one of 
importance that was not. Onorato Cajetani, head of 
the great house of Fondi,^ resolutely adhered to the 
Antipope, and as obstinately refused to acknow- 
ledge the King, as being at once the creature of 
Urban and the usurper of Queen Joanna's throne. 
His brother Giacomo, however, probably in the hope 
of dispossessing him, curried favour so successfully at 
Naples that he was created a Knight of the * Ship/ ^ 
an Order of Chivalry which Charles now instituted 
in emulation of King Luigi (of Taranto), and his 
Order of the ' Knot.' * The branches of the numerous 
clan of San Severino, closely related to the King 
through his mother,* were somewhat confusingly 
pitted against one another. Ugo San Severino, 
Count of Potenza, who had acted as envoy between 
Queen Joanna and Charles in the matter of her 
surrender, and had held the post of great Protono- 
tary of the kingdom, afterwards held office for a time 
under the King ; while Tommaso San Severino, who 
had proved an energetic High Constable, was now 
equally energetic in France, organising affairs in favour 
of the invader. One Count of Conversano * officiated 

1 Luigi Tosti, La Badia di Monte-Cassino, vol. iii. lib. 8. Matteo 
Camera, Elucubrazioni Diplomatidie, p. 297, note i. 

> Compagnia della Nave. In aUusion to the Argonauts. Vide 
Matteo Camera. 

' Costanzo, the Neapolitan historian, considers this Order, 'Del 
Nodo,' to have been the first Order instituted in Italy. Istoria di 
Napoli, lib. vi 

* Vide Genealogy, Table III. 

^ Giovanni di Luxemburg. 


at the coronation of Queen Margaret, while another 
was banded with the rebel Giacomo San Severino, 
in the province of Bari. Against these, Eaimondello 
Orsini, son of Niccolo, Count of Nola, was presently 
despatched with troops. The Orsini family took 
care to be on the winning side, as likewise did the 
Caraccioli. Of this Eaimondello Orsini we shall hear 
much in the ensuing narrative. The only individual 
bearing the great name of Del Balzo, who figured 
in the train of the conqueror, was the wily Giacomo, 
Duke of Andria, whose long and inherited contumacy 
was now to be recompensed, as he thought, by the 
recovery from the captive Duke Otho of Brunswick, 
of the desired principality of Taranto, his reiterated 
claims upon which, in right of his mother, Margaret,^ 
Queen Joanna had steadfastly refused to countenance.* 
There were two other actual home requirements 
especially pressing upon Charles, which shall be 
noticed here. The first was the necessity of dealing 
with his royal relatives (now his prisoners), of whom 
there were no less than seven to reckon with, namely. 
Queen Joanna, her nieces Agnes della Scala and 
Joanna of Durazzo, with the latter s husband, Robert, 
Count of Artois, both of them elder sisters of Queen 
Margaret, — the three brothers, Otho, Duke of Bruns- 
wick, husband of Queen Joanna, Balthasar, and the 
Abbot of Cava. His other need was money. 

^ See Qenealogical Table. 

« Philip 1. of Taranto, dying in Dec. 1331, had left his principality to 
the infi&nt Joanna, then presumptive heiress of King Robert, his brother. 


T I I 

■■■ ■.:■ ^i; 


»'. ■ V ■ 

. I . 


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"■ .■■'. 

f' - 



With regard to Queen Joanna herself, she had 
on the 2nd of September been removed to the 
Castello deir Ovo, upon which the King took up 
his own abode in the much-damaged Castelnuovo.^ 
There is no evidence whatever to show that he 
treated her otherwise than with indulgence. In 
the Castello dell' Ovo she remained until the end 
of January in the following year, when she was 
transferred to the Castle of Nocera, together with 
Jacopo di Capri,^ his wife, and others, who had 
shared with her the previous anxieties and distresses 
of the siege. Her husband, Otho, after his capture in 
the fierce skirmish of September ist, had been con- 
ducted before King Charles,* who was then residing 
in the palace formerly belonging to Acciajuoli, the 
Grand Seneschal He also was consigned to the Cas- 
tello dell' Ovo, where he found, likewise as captives, 
his brothers, Duke Balthasar, who had commanded a 
German garrison up at St. Elmo, and the Abbot of Cava. 
The foreign soldiers were given seven fiorini apiece, 
and sworn to keep beyond the confines of the king- 
dom for a year. Six weeks later, the Abbot of Cava, 
together with Duke Balthasar, was taken to the 

1 Chron. Siculum, p. 39. * Ibid., p. 45. 

' *Cum autem dictus dominus Otto ad presenciam ejusdem regis 
Karoli perveniret, idem Karolus incepit eum vituperare dicens, quo 
animo ipse dictum regnum Sicilie contra eum presumeret detinere. 
Cui dictus dux respondit dicens, quod nichil sibi de ipsius Karoli regis 
regno constaret, sed regnum domine sue, pront tenebatur, contra ipsius 
domine hostes pro posse fideliter defensasset, quodque nemo aliud dicere 
in veritate posset, nee caput nee genua coram ipso Karolo flexit. De 
quo ammiratus idem Karolus Hex eum in carceribus detrudi mandavit.' 
— De Scismate, xxiv., De Niem. 


Castle of Capua, while Duke Otho was removed to 

Agnes della Scala (widow of Can Signorio of 
Verona) had resided with her aunt, Queen Joanna, 
since her return to Naples.^ She was the twin- 
sister of Clementia da Durazzo, who had died un- 
married many years previously. She had shared the 
Queen s beleaguerment in Castelnuovo, and a tragic 
fate likewise awaited her. 

A more curious and not less tragic interest, 
however, attaches to Joanna, her elder sister, the 
wife of Eobert, Count of Artois. She was the 
eldest of the four daughters of Charles (I.) Duke 
of Durazzo, whom Louis of Hungary had put to 
death, and of Mary, only sister of Queen Joanna. 
In 1363 she had married Louis d*Evreux, son of 
the King of Navarre. He had died in 1376, and 
in April 1378 she was united to Robert, Count of 
Artois, nephew of the King of France. As the eldest 
daughter of her sonless parents, she was placed 
nearer the throne than her sisters, but upon her 
marriage she had surrendered her right of succes- 
sion. She had become possessed of considerable 
wealth in land and specie ; the latter of which she 
had lately hidden for security in the monastery 
of Sta. Croce.* Her husband had commanded one 
division of Otho's troops during the siege. He was 

* 1375- 

* Founded by Queen Sancia, wife of King Robert. It was named 

after that at Florence, where their infant son had been buried. Vide 
Tristan Caraccioli, Joann. vit ap. Muratori, xxiL 15. 


now a prisoner ; her palace had been looted ; while 
King Charles went in person to Sta. Croce and 
compelled the nuns to deliver up her property. 
What boded still worse for her, however, was her 
having been wedded the second time under an Anti- 
papal dispensation, so that she might, if judged 
severely, have been considered to have forfeited all 
rights whatsoever. She lost no time, therefore, in 
making terms with her brother-in-law and sister ; and 
accordingly, on the 8th of September, before Queen 
Margaret herself had arrived in Naples, she did 
homage to Charles as King of Naples, in the Chapel of 
Castelnuovo.^ The chief offence she and her husband 
were charged with was that they had written en- 
couraging letters to Louis of Anjou,* and for this they 
were consigned to strict, but at first gentle, durance. 
By a documentary agreement,* dated January of the 
following year, the Duchess makes over to the King 
her castle of Monte St. Angelo, at Gargano, with other 
lands inherited from her mother ; while, on his part. 
King Charles pardons her and her husband for their 
rebellion in favour of Queen Joanna, forgives them for 
having corresponded with Louis of Anjou. and pro- 
vides easy conditions for their honourable captivity. 
Among other terms mentioned as agreed upon, the 

1 Chron. Siculum, p. 4a Archiv. Storico NapoL, anno ziL fasc ii 
p. 403, note 4. 

' ' Specialiter de litteris missis per eos . . . Duci Andegavie et aliis 
Uteris receptis per eos a dicto Duce per manus Johannis Vo (Vaux).' — 
Saggio di Cod., DipL 2, pt 2, p. 26. 

' Given in Matteo Camera, Elucubrazioni Storico Diplomatiche, 
8U Qiovanna I., Salerno, 1889. 


Duchess is permitted to go freely whithersoever she 
will, while Queen Margaret is with her. She is to 
have day and night servants, a secretary, a chaplain, 
and a physician. Moreover, the Count, her husband, 
is permitted to keep his French cook.^ Neither hus- 
band nor wife, however, regained their freedom. 

Let me note whatever can be cleared up of their 
tragic mystery. Their beautiful tomb in San Lorenzo 
declares that they died on the same day in July 
1387: that is to say, the inscription ^ thereon expli- 
citly states such was the case. There is, however, 
ground for declaring this inscription to be at variance 
with facts. For it can be shown on reliable evidence 
that Count Robert died on the i8th June 1383 *in 
castro Ovi existens captius in compedibus ferreis, et, 
eodem sero, secunda hora noctis, fiiit delatus per 
CXXX. fratres minores cum XII. facibus accensis ad 
Sanctum Laurentium,' ^ while his wife, according to 
the same Chronicle, survived until 1393, when King 
Ladislaus invested his mother. Queen Margaret, with 
certain feudal rights possessed by Joanna, * her late 
sister.' Professor Josephus de Blasiis adduces further 
evidence which goes to shew that she died many 
years later than her husband, that her body was 
carried to Gaeta, where Margaret and Ladislaus held 
their court during the long strife betwixt the latter 

1 Archiv. Stor. Napol. Ex. Regest. Karol. HI., 1382-3, fol. 134. 

* * Hie jacent coqwra illustrium dnor dni Robert! De Artois Et Dna 
Johana ducisse Duracii conjugor Qui obiemnt anno dni m.cxxj.lxxxvit. 
die XX mensifl Julii decima Indictionis quom anime requiescant in pace.' 

' Chronicon Siculum, p. 49. Giomale del Duca. 

I > 

.- ^ - 

-* y' 

■■'■.. ' 



and Louis H. of Anjou, and that in 1399 it was 
brought back to Naples, and then for the first time 
deposited in the tomb where it now rests. ^ 

How then did the fiction about their simultaneous 
deaths arise ? Of this, the learned De Blasiis gives 
no satisfactory account ; but after personally exa- 
mining the tomb in San Lorenzo,' matters seem 
somewhat clearer to me. The sarcophagus in 
which their remains lie is supported by three smaU 
caryatid figures. One of these, with a chalice and 
host, represents Faith, and another, with a torch, 
Hope : the middle one, however, holds in one hand a 
broken scourge (?), and in the other a charger or platter 
bearing two decapitated heads. Now, like the other 
beautiful Durazzo monuments in the church, this one, 
the work of an unknown master, was made probably 
at a distance from the capital, and afterwards brought 
thither in portions and put together. Whether the 
sculptor received garbled information as to their 
deaths, and so acted upon it by introducing this 
token of their supposed execution, it is not possible 
to decide ; but I am strongly inclined to suspect this 
carven fiction has given rise to the inscribed fiction 
upon the tomb, which therefore must be of later 
date than the tomb itself. In any case, one fact 
is quite certain about this Joanna, Queen Mar- 
garet's eldest sister — namely, that she survived her 

* See Archivio Storico Napol., anno xii p. 408, note 2 ; Chron. 
Sic, p. 49, note 2 ; Giom. NapoL, 1.1. 1046. 

' See Handbook of Italian Sculpture, p. 169. C. Perkins. New 
York, 1883. 





husband, and did not die during the reign of Charles 
of Durazzo. 

To return to King Charles. As to the raising 
of money, there were three means open to him, 
of all of which he made ample use — confisca- 
tion, fresh taxation, and plunder of the native 
and foreign merchants. Towards the first, there 
was at his disposal the private wealth of all these 
royal captives and their officers, as well as that 
of the Clementist clerics. Fresh taxation was 
decreed in a general Parliament called together in 
November,^ when Niccolo Orsini, Count of Nola, pro- 
posed and carried a resolution for raising 3CX),ooo 
fiorinL This measure, however, proved far too 
exacting for the undecided loyalty of many of the 
Council, who, on retiring safely to their estates, 
either found themselves unable to pay their quota, 
or openly unfurled the standard of Louis of Anjou. 
Among those who threw off their allegiance were 
numbered Luigi d'Artois (brother of the aforesaid 
Count Robert), and Niccolo d'Enghien, Count of 

The foreign trade of Naples had by this time 

dwindled considerably, owing before all to the diffi- 

culties with Rome, naturally the chief consumer of 

, Neapolitan exports. To this depressing circumstance 

another had now to be added, namely, the absolute 
insecurity of goods sent by land or water. Over and 

I ^ See Matteo Camera, p. 297 ; Chron. SicuL, p. 14, note 4 ; Costanzo, 

» lib. viiL 



over again in the rolls of these years do we meet 
with edicts against brigands and pirates, the former 
of whom, when opportunity occurred, scrupled not 
to appropriate even the royal treasure and the mules 
conveying it; while the latter, boldly descending 
upon the coasts, looted the vessels of the Genoese 
and Pisan merchants. The knowledge that a vast 
army of invasion was on its way from France did 
not, it may be imagined, tend to improve the state 
of affairs. 

But while dealing out rewards to his deserving 
captains, and consolidating the fidelity of his capri- 
cious subjects, Charles was compelled to be mindful 
of his critical relations with Urban. 

He knew that Louis of Anjou, as the adoptive 
heir of Queen Joanna, was preparing to contest his 
throne by force of arms ; although from that struggle 
he had no reason to shrink. War, on any scale, 
was a definite contingency, which, as a trained 
and practised soldier, he was not afraid to face. 
He was now thirty-five years of age, and essentially 
a man of action. He could conmiand money and 
material enough at least to enable him to act 
on the defensive. King Louis of Hungary, who 
had prompted his enterprise, and who had been 
much beholden to him, would, if necessary, help him 
further to stand his ground. But there remained 
Urban to deal with, and the severely exacting 
bargain which that grasping Pontiff had wrung 
from him as to the handing over to his nephew, 


Francesco Prignano, the Principality of Capua, the 
Duchy of Amalfi, and the Countships of Nocera 
and Scafate. Charles realised the impossibility of 
fulfilling this bargain and at the same time of 
being able to retain his dignity as King of Naples. 
He had undergone all the heat and worry of the 
struggle, had won the day and the kingdom, and 
now he was expected to calmly dismember the 
realm of his forefathers, yield the very choicest and 
strongest portions of it to the nephew of an upstart 
Neapolitan PontiflF. Yet it behoved him, as he well 
knew, to avoid open rupture with Urban, as long 
as possible, and by so doing steady and strengthen 
himself in his dominion. One thing, however, was 
clear : come what might between them. Urban, in 
his own interest as supreme Pontiff, would be bound 
to side with Charles against Louis of Anjou and 
the Antipope. Yet another thing seemed scarcely 
less obvious. From what Charles had already experi- 
enced of the Pope's character, it was unlikely that 
Urban would abate any jot of his former pretensions. 
On the contrary, it was probable he would multiply 
his claims. Still, it would not do to break with 
him. Rather than do this, it would be wiser to 
surrender Nocera and Scafate, and this, indeed, before 
long, he felt himself compelled to do. 

Urban had already given evidence that his nepo- 
tism was of a more pronounced and bolder character 
than that of almost any of his predecessors in the 
Holy See. To some people this seemed the more 


singular, inasmuch as, unlike the families of Colonna, 
Orsini, and Cajetani, the Prignano family was not 
merely unknown in the world of Eome, but it could 
boast of no previous honours, or influence, civic or 
clerical, of any kind. In accordance, however, with 
an obscure law of human nature, the pretensions it 
displayed were in an inverse ratio to its shortcomings 
in these respects. All Papal nepotism was vice ; and 
it was unblushing in its procedure. The Holy See 
had been swayed more than once by members of each 
of the historic houses before-mentioned, and upon 
each occasion with flagrant accumulation of feudal 
advantages; but no Orsini, no Colonna, none even 
of the powerful house of Fondi, had actually dared 
to raise his relatives to regal supremacy. In this 
respect Urban was determined to outdo them all. 
Once promoted by capricious fortune to the supreme 
command in the Church, he resolved to make the 
fullest secular advantages of his position. The like 
opportunity would scarcely occur again to a Prignano. 

For the purpose, therefore, of conciliating Urban, 
and, for the time being, to dissemble his feelings 
with regard to that Pontiff's ambition, Charles felt 
it necessary to give free hand to Cardinal Gentile 
di Sangro, who had been despatched to Naples in 
order to inspire with inquisitorial terrors the open 
adherents of Clement there. 

Chief among the latter were Cardinals Leonardo 
Gifoni and Giacomo dltri,^ the former of whom had, 

1 Matteo Camera, p. 297. 


by Queen Joanna's expressed desire, been raised by 
the Antipope from the Generalship of the Franciscans 
to the tasselled hat, while the latter had arrived at 
Naples the previous June as special legate from 
Avignon, to convey to that Queen the news that 
Clement had confirmed her adoption of Louis of Anjou. 
Both had been captured at the surrender of Castel- 
nuovo, and early in September, at the Church of St. 
Chiara, in the presence of Charles and a throng of 
nobles and citizens, these two Antipapal Cardinals were 
compelled by Di Sangro to deny that Clement was the 
true Pope ; to denounce and anathematise him ; to 
seek for mercy ; and, finally, to burn their hats in a 
fire lighted for the purpose.^ Along with them, and 
for similar degradation, appeared Tommaso Brancaccio, 
Bishop of Chieti, Bishop Cosillus, and many others. 
These were afterwards taken back to prison to be 
subjected to the torture by the inquisitors Domenico 
di Afragola ^ and Leonardo di Napoli, under the in- 
fliction of which some of the lesser clergy succumbed.' 
Di Sangro reserved the Cardinals, however, for the 
personal vengeance of Urban, and they were taken in 
the following February to Benevento. In 1 393, never- 
theless, Giacomo d'ltri survived, and finally found his 
way back to Clement at Avignon.* The benefices 

1 Matteo Camera, p. 297 ; Chronicon Siculum, p. 40 ; Summon tc, 
Istoria di Napoli, vol. ii. p. 477. * Fu arso lo capcllo et li panni dello 
detto Cardinale in mezzo alia ecclesia de Saiita Chiara.' — Giom. Napol., 
1.1. 1044. 

* Archiyio Storico NapoL, anno xii fasc. i. p. 21, note 2. 

> Ciaconii Vit et Res. Gest. Pontif. £d. ab Oldoino, 1 1, 644. 

^ Chronicon Siculum, p. 40, note i. 


thus rendered vacant by the triumph of Charles were 
speedily filled with the creatures of Urban, while 
Gentile di Sangro and his family were rewarded with 
a portion of the property of Giovanna da Durazzo.^ 

On the 25th of November this blood-stained Di 
Sangro placed the crown of Naples on the brow of 
Queen Margaret in the Church of Sta. Maria dell' 
Incoronata,* in the presence of the King and Francesco 
Prignano, Urban's nephew; after which the Queen, 
mounted on a white palfrey, crowned and sceptred, 
was led through the streets of the capital, her bridle 
being held on one side by Giovanni di Luxemburg, 
Count of Conversano, and on the other by her cousin, 
Giacomo del Balzo, Duke of Andria, the citizens and 
soldiers making great jubilation. 

The honours of the house of Del Balzo were thus 
still in the ascendant ; indeed, at this very moment 
they were to be rendered yet brighter by the Queen 
consenting to give the ambitious Andria in marriage 
her elder sister, Agnes della Scala. The Duke cer- 
tainly had good reason to believe that the triumph 
of Charles and Margaret was as much due to his 
exertions against Queen Joanna as to Urban or the 
Hungarian troops. Indeed, he had acted all along as 
the wire-puller betwixt Urban and Charles. But his 
hard-won success was made yet sweeter, for it was 
not only a triumph over Queen Joanna, but it was 
tantamount to a crushing defeat of the rival San 

1 Archivio Storico NapoL, anno xiL fasc L p. 17, note. 
* Chionicon Siculum, p. 43. 


Severini, who were the King's first cousins.^ The 
X38X. marriage took place on the 4th of December, with 
royal honours and in the royal presence. 

Andria's exultation, nevertheless, like that of Car- 
dinal di Sangro, was not destined to be enduring. 
The Duke, above all things, desired actual possession 
of the Principality of Taranto, which his father, Fran- 
cesco del Balzo, had vainly claimed before him ; for 
the Princes of Taranto had lefb no legitimate offspring, 
and his mother, Margaret, had been their only sister. 
Within a short time he took the opportunity to 
solicit the King for the restitution of such Tarantine 
lands as Queen Joanna had apportioned between Otho 
of Brunswick and the Marzano family. This Charles 
professed he was unable to do, and therefore refused. 
Andria perhaps concealed his chagrin by confidently 
styling himself Emperor of Constantinople.^ The 
San Severini, however, now took their advantage, by 
pointing out to the King that Andria was the indi- 
vidual most dangerous to the peace of the kingdom, 
since, so closely allied was he to the throne by his 
marriage with the Queen's elder sister, and by de- 
scent from a senior branch of the House of Anjou ; 
moreover, being personally encouraged by Urban, 
should that grasping Pontiff resort to extreme mea- 
sures against Charles, it was upon him the crown 
might not improbably devolve. 

* Vide Genealogy. 

* At this time liis hailly, Pietro de Saperano, did actuaUy exercise. for 
him rights over Achaia, in virtue of the titular righto of Catherine Cour- 
tenay,'^hia maternal grandmother. Finlay, Hist, of Greece, iv. 223. 




■^\:-.~.A ■ '■-^'-. 



Charles saw his danger, and consequently made haste 
to secure Andria's person. Forewarned of his peril 
(probably by his wife), the Duke fled to Taranto, leaving 
his spouse to bear the displeasure of her brother-in- 
law. She was made prisoner again, and sent to the fatal 
Castle of Muro, where she died loth February 1383.^ 
Her body was afterwards brought to Naples and in- 
terred in the noble monument which still commemo- 
rates her and her sister, dementia, in St. Chiara.^ 
The Duke meanwhUe found Taranto in possession 
of Raimondello Orsini, who refused him entrance. 
Nevertheless, by compromising his claims with Orsini 
(who afterwards, in consequence, joined to his own 
the name of Del Balzo), he took up his abode there ; 
but dying in the same year, he was buried there in 
the Church of San Cataldo.' 

The year 1 38 1 , as we have seen, had closed in family 
and national festivals, and the citizens of Naples were 
pleased to think they were now subject to a native 
King and an equally native Pope, whose personal 
interests, despite their vital personal difibrences, 
must perforce unite them against the common foe. 
Nor did either of them underrate the importance 
of the coming struggle. Urban continued to press 
the King for fulfilment of the distasteful conditions 
upon acceptance of which he had formerly decreed 
the latter's coronation ; while the King in reply sent J»«»« «. »38x. 

1 Summonte, Istoria di Napoli, tom. ii p. 479. 
' Chron. Siculom, p. 121. The *Giornale del Duca' says Sept. 
5, 1382, 
' Matteo Camera, Elucubrazioni Diplomatiche, p. 314. 




benign messages, and temporised as long as was pos- 
sible. How this difference inevitably developed into 
open and dramatic rupture will be traced in the 
following chapters. 

Whatever minor troubles fretted him in the 
first year of his reign — and there were not a few 
— Charles did not permit himself to under-esti- 
mate the formidable contest about to commence, 
in which his hard-won crown was to be the stake. 
In having snatched that crown from the brows of 
Queen Joanna, he was doubtless aware of having 
taken upon himself troubles peculiar to its former 

It is not difl&cult to imagine how far from dis- 
pleasing in the eyes of the Ghibelline powers in 
Northern Italy was all this distress both from with- 
out and from within, to which the much-vaunted 
Guelfic kingdom of Naples was still subject. Ber- 
nabo Visconti himself, aiming, like Urban, at general 
sovereignty over Italy, contributed further to the 
discomfort of Charles by bringing about a betrothal 
between his daughter Lucia ^ and the second son of 
Louis of Anjou.^ 

* Corio, Storia di Milano, vol. ii. p. 296. 

* The marriage, however, did not take pkce. 


ET me now turn attention to the schemes 
of the invader, and mark how far 
affairs prospered with him and seemed 
to portend succeaa. The promised de- 
volution upon him of his kinswoman's 
crown, together with the necessity for raising a vast 
armament in order to obtain actual possession of it, 
reached Louis of Anjou while fulfilling the duties 
of Regent and President of the Royal Council for 
his nephew, Charles VI. of France. With this his 
brothers, the Dukes of Berri and Burgundy,' seeing 
in his removal &om France the promise of their own 
advancement, were not a little pleased ; while his 
Duchess, Mary of Blois,' was not behindhand in dis- 
playing her desire to wear the quadruple honours of 
Naples, Sicily, Jerusalem, and Provence. To procure 
means for his campaign, two sources lay open to him 
— his friendship with Clement at Avignon, and his 
office as Comptroller of Finances. It is not difficult 
to imagine how both these advantages were made 
use of He sold without scruple the royal jewels 
and the various treasures collected in the Castle of 
Melun; while Clement, seeing in him the best pos- 
sible instrument for triumphing over Urban, not only 

' Hiatory of Franca, vol- i p. 481. Kitehin, 3rd edition. 

■ ' Dite Ia Clope on la Boiteuse.' Bouche, Hist Provence, torn, ii. p^ 40& 


received him and his Duchess with regal honours, 
but encouraged various nobles of importance to join 
his rapidly swelling forces, and caused fleet after 
fleet of Proven9al galleys to put forth to harry 
the coasts of Naples in order to stimulate to fresh 
efforts the forlorn adherents of the still captive Queen 
Joanna. Thus we find, on September 22nd (1381), 
five Provenjal galleys effected the escape of a number 
of Germans who had fought for the Queen and Otho. 
On October 4th nine more sacked Positano and Triper- 
golL^ Others followed them, treating Castellamare 
in similar fashion, while in July of the next year 
several more eff^ected a landing on Capri, and forth- 
with unfurled there the Angevine standard. 

Charies spent the opening months of 1382 in 
reorganising the affairs of the realm and drawing 
around him men of tried character, especially befriend- 
ing among the ecclesiastics those he deemed likely to 
be of use in the inevitable contest with Urban. Chief 
among these were Bartolommeo Mezzavacca, Cardinal 
of Kieti,^ and Pietro di Tartaris, Abbot of Monte- 
Cassino. He also took care to despatch trusty 
envoys, such as Giovanni Caracciolo and Giugliotto 
de Brancardis, to distant parts of Italy, where he 
had friends, and — as one Chronicle at least reports 
— to convey a personal challenge to Louis of Anjou. 

^ Chronicon Siciilum, p. 4a 

^ On March 20, landed at Posilippo the three Cardinals, of Bieti, San 
Cyriaci in Thermis, and Luigi Donato of Venice, sent forward by Urban 
in order to press the King for the surrendering of the principality of 
Capua to Francesco Prignano. Ciacconiu8,ii.64i; Chron. SicuL, 45, 46. 


One item of interest in Art-History must be re- 
corded of this time. On account of his * right happy 
and copious industry/ and the advancement of pic- 
torial art by means of his talents, we learn the King 
appoints Koberto de Oderisio his master-painter, grant- 
ing him an annual salary of thirty ounces of gold. It 
is to this master that, with considerable probability, 
Messrs. Crowe and Cavalcaselle ^ have ascribed the fres- 
coes executed for Queen Joanna in the Church of St. 
Maria dell' Incoronata.^ His style may be described as 
Giottesque on a miniature scale, and it can claim also a 
certain naive originality ; but little of his work remains. 

On January 28th, Queen Joanna was removed from 
Naples to Nocera. Though there may have been 
some natural anxiety about the security of the royal 
prisoners, owing to the many attempts being made 
upon the coast by the aforesaid Provenjal galleys, it 
certainly was of no little importance to the King to 
hold Queen Joanna securely. Within a few days of 
this event, too, he found cause to tighten the hitherto 
easy bonds of her niece, the Duchess of Durazzo ; ' 
while between these two events I find recorded the 
escape of Balthasar of Brunswick * and the Abbot of 
Cava, from the Castle of Capua. The fugitives were, 

^ Hist of Painting in Italy. 

* 'Queen Joanna I.,' by the author, p. 112, where reproductions of 
two of them may be examined. Also, Eugler's 'Italian Schools of 
Painting.' Edit Layard. 1382. VoL i. p. 95. 

3 Chron. Siculum, p. 44. 

^ He had wedded Jacobella, daughter of Onorato Cajetani, Count 
of Fondi, in presence of Queen Joanna and the French Cardinals. 
' Queen Joanna I.,' p. 259. 


however, discovered hiding in a pine-wood three 
months later, and the former of them was cruelly 
punished by the loss of his eyes ^ and a fresh incar- 
ceration in St. Elmo. These incidents, added to the 
escape of the Duke of Andria to Taranto, sufficiently 
account for the more stringent treatment of his royal 
captives by King Charles. 

Of the Abbot of Monte-Cassino, we learn from 
Father Tosti^ that he had already governed the 
great baronial monastery of St. Benedict for many 
years with martial rigour. He had been attached 
to Queen Joanna during her later troubles, as long 
as it was safe for one in his peculiar position to be. 
He had watched the struggle with Urban, rather more 
in sympathy with the Queen, his liege, than Urban 
could have approved, and had probably received with 
sorrow and annoyance Urban's former letter announc- 
ing her excommunication. On the other hand, his 
monastery had suflFered severely from the soldiers in 
the pay of King Charles and Alberico da Barbiano, just 
as forty years before it had suffered from the Germans 
and Hungarians in the pay of King Louis of Hungary ; 
but when Charles and Margaret passed by San Ger- 
mano, at the foot of the mountain, the Abbot had 
taken advantage to make friends with them and show 
them over the historic pile. The King now appointed 
Di Tartaris, Chancellor of the realm, and gave his 
nephew, Raimondo, a valuable office at court.' 

1 Giom. del Duca. * Fe crepar Tocchi a Messer Baldassar . . . con 
un langetta de insagnar. . . .' 
' Storia della Badia di Monte-Cassino, voL iiL lib. 8. 
3 Eegistr. di Cancelleria di Carlo, iii. 338, foL 324. 


The Cardinal of Rieti ^ appears on the scene, to- 
gether with Luigi Donato, Cardinal of Venice, and 
Niccolo, Cardinal of St. Cyriaco, in March* of this 
year, as ambassador from Urban in Rome. Their 
mission was, of course, to press the former demands 
of Urban.' Eight days later Queen Joanna was 
spirited away from Nocera to Muro ; and it is not im- 
probable this move was effected with a view to giving 
up Nocera and Scafate to Francisco Prignano, so as 
somewhat to appease Urban. The Cardinal of Rieti 
seems henceforward to have remained with the King 
as Legate at Naples. In May following, the King 
gave safe-conducts to two Nuncios sent by the said 
Cardinal to Rome. Later on, we shall find that pre- 
late degraded by Urban as a consequence of his too 
pronounced partiality for the King, and still later, 
together with that monarch and the Abbot of Monte- 
Cassino, sharing Urban's vehement excommunication. 

In Provence things did not proceed quite as 
smoothly as Louis of Anjou had been led to expect. 
While many cities sent their clerics and deputies 
to do homage and proffer him assistance, others, 
— Aix, Aries, and Tarascon, — calling to mind his 
former lawless depredations, openly refused him 
support.* Unable at present to compel their 
allegiance, he punished the first-named city by 
transferring her precious archives to Marseilles. 

^ Native of Bologna. * 20th March 1382. 

' Chron. Siculom, p. 45. 

^ Bouche, Hist, de Provence, torn. ii. pp. 403, 404. See also ' Queen 
Joanna I.,' p. 229. 


For the rest, he trusted they would prove more 
tractable after he should have achieved the con- 
quest in Italy in prospect. At the close of May, 
Clement actually crowned him King of Naples, Sicily, 
and Jerusalem, at Avignon. Soon after arrived the 
May 29, X38a. ucws of thc vlolcut dcath of Queen Joanna at Muro. 

The Angevine forces, led into Italy by him, have 
been variously estimated; too often fabulously. It 
is probable they amounted to no more than i5,ocx) 
men. Conspicuous among those who held com- 
mands (or condotti) were Amadeo VL, Count of 
Savoy ; Rudolf of Luxemburg, Count of Conversano ; 
the Count of Geneva (brother of the Antipope) ; 
the Counts of St. Paul, Artois, and Soult, and not 
least, Tommaso San Severino. With these, Louis 
of Anjou crossed the Alps, and, favoured by his pro- 
jected relationship with Bernabo Visconti, halted at 
Piacenza previous to his descent, via Ancona, into 
the Abruzzi. The Chronicler of Rimini wrote that 
he himself, and others with him, well used to the 
affairs of war, had never beheld so noble an army. 
People at Forli had made similar observations, as also 
did the citizens of Ancona. Nevertheless, the germs 
of a fatal epidemic were awaiting it at the roadsides, 
and the polished French swords, shine as terribly as 
they would, were finally degraded to discharge little 
more than the menial function of spades. 

Early in September Louis reached Aquila,^ which 
had revolted in his favour under Lallo Camponesco, 

^ Minieri Riccio, Cod ice Diplom., ii. p. 25. 


Count of Montorio and Sant' Ilario, as far back as the 
previous March.* Here he remained thirteen days, re- 
ceiving homage from rebel barons, and coining money 
bearing his own effigies as King of Naples. While he 
was there, an event of signal importance to this narra- 
tive was taking place in remote Hungary. Louis the 
Great, dying, left his vast kingdoms of Poland and 
Hungary to his two daughters, Hedwig and Mary, 
and a long and successful reign came to its close. 

Charles, meanwhile, had not been idle. The 
walls and towers of Capua, Naples, and the other 
strongholds had been repaired and strengthened ; 
ships had been built and equipped; moreover, 
Alberico da Barbiano, Cione da Siena,^ and other 
experienced captains had been consulted, and a 
fleet of valiant Genoese, under command of Spinoli 
and Grimaldi, had arrived to his assistance for the 
better protection of the capital from the sea. Rai- 
mondello Orsini had now been made Captain-general 
in the eastern province of Bari, while a certain 
Villanuccio di Brunaforte, with an Italian company, 
called Deir Uncino,* had undertaken the no small 
task of suppressing certain rebellious corners of other 
Adriatic provinces of the kingdom. 

But more than upon all these forces, which 
amounted, perhaps, to about 8cx)0 men, the King 
relied on the effect upon the hardy Frenchmen of 
the torrid Neapolitan summer. He was unaware 

^ Matteo Camera, p. 306. Chron. Siculum, p. 46. 
^ Archivio Storico NapoL, anno. xii. fasc. ii. 406. 
' Ibid., anno xiL fasc. i pp. 25, 29. 


at the time that the above-mentioned pestilence was 
also destined to be of assistance. In order to further 
harass his foe, he caused the peasants to bring all the 
grain and live-stock into Capua and Naples, thereby 
leaving the country practically bare of supplies. For 
the rest, he and his captains resolved to act entirely 
on the defensive, and thus to exasperate the enemy. 

Meanwhile, though involved in quarrels with his 
Cardinals, and himself in considerable dread of Louis 
of Anjou, Urban had arranged with the Florentines 
(whom, on consideration of large sums, he had 
released from the terrible interdict of Gregory XL) 
to send Sir John Hawkwood and his English archers 
to the aid of the King of Naples. When Louis 
knew of this, he sent word to France to plunder 
the Florentine merchants there. 

Before the close of October 1382, Hawkwood, 
welcomed by Charles, arrived in time to learn that 
in a skirmish with the enemy near Caserta the 
Neapolitans had captured no less important per- 
sonages than Bernardo and Pietro de la Salle and 
Count Francesco del Balzo, all of whom had come 
with the condotta of the Count of Savoy. These 
captains, however, contrived to make good their 
escape. Not so fortunate was Luigi, brother of 
Raimondo and Jacopo Caldora,^ well-known condot- 
tieri on the Angevine side. Charles had him imme- 
diately beheaded at the Capuan Gate,^ as an example ; 
and thus the long desultory war began. 

^ Matteo Camera, p. 307. ^ Giornale del Duca. 


a'EE the close of the eventful year 1382, 
we find King Charles pardoning 
Zurulo di Napoli,' Seneschal to the 
late Queen, and his children, who 
had been taken at the surrender of 
the Castelnuovo. This was another act of forbear- 
ance exhibiting the clemency which the King habi- 
tually practised under circumstances of exceptional 
difficulty ; and I may here say boldly that the more 
the conduct of Charles of Durazzo towards Queen 
Joanna ia observed, from such evidence as the Ar- 
chives can reveal, the leas justifiable appear to be the 
sweeping charges usually brought against him, and 
which have now become as conventional and unquali- 
fied as those brought against Queen Joanna herself. 

That he dispossessed her of her realm in endea- 
vouring to secure from alien hands the crown long 
promised to him by her in right of his wife,* was not 
so much a sin as a success. Nevertheless, sympathy 
must be with Queen Joanna. She became entangled, 

' Archivio Storico NapoL, anno liL faec ii, p, 90. 

* Margaret'B elder Histen had each surrendered their rights to the 
throne on the occasions of their respective marriHges. Their mother, 
Mary of Durazzo, hy King Bobert's will had been declared heiress to 
Queen Joanna, should the latter die childless. Archivio Storico Napol., 
annoii. fasc. i. p. 151. 


through no fault of her own, in the iron meshes 
drawn round her by the almost demoniac woman- 
hating Urban and the mother of Louis of Hungary, 
her old enemy. As a consequence, she sided with 
the French Antipope, Clement VII., an act which 
had resulted in her excommunication and declared 
dethronement by Urban, had thereupon reluctantly 
called Louis of Anjou to her aid, and thus desperately 
adopted for her heir a kinsman who had hitherto 
acted as the most despicable of her many foes.^ 

Charles having become deeply indebted to Louis of 
Hungary, who had steadfastly supported Urban, and 
had from of old hated Queen Joanna, and being 
threatened with loss of his promised kingdom if he 
refused to help himself to it, had no choice left but 
to do his best to possess it. How gently he used his 
hard-won victory has been already shown. In order 
to see how recklessly he has been traduced and 
vilified for so doing, one needs only to examine any 
chronicle, ancient or modern (save that of Donato 
degli Albanzani,* which, I believe, alone rightly excul- 

^ He had a few years previously laid waste portions of Provence 
without a shadow of a justification. Peace between them had been 
made by Gregory XI. 

* * Donato degli Albanzani-Aggiunte al libro de Claris Mulieribus.' — 
Boccaccio. In contrariety to the highly -inventive chroniclers, Boccaccio 
himself writes : — * Alcuni dicono, e queste piti famosa opinione h tenuta 
vera, ch'eUa morl naturalmente come la maggior parte degli uomini, 
essendo costretta d'infermita, e forse perch6 ella non degna e non 
meritevole deUa sua infelice sorte, menossi al fine quasi come sdegna«»a 
di vivere. Altri sparlando contro al re, come h d'uzanza de rei, hanno 
avuto ardire dire ch'ella fu awelenata ; la quale opinione dee parere 
vana e falsa, s'io guardo aUa benignita di quello re contro a tutti i ^^ti 
da lui.' — De Claris Mulieribus. 


pates him for the death of Queen JoaDDa). In further 
evidence of this I shall show how he liberates Otho of 
Brunswick after but two years of captivity. 

Louis of Anjou, not succeeding in enticing his 
adversary to an open engagement, or in procuring 
sufficient supplies for his forces, soon found him- 
self embarrassed at Benevento. Moreover, being 
obliged, for the latter cause, to despatch large divi- 
sions toward Bari and Taranto, and many of the rebel 
nobles having deserted him on pretence of defending 
their own territories, ^e was left with but 8000 men. 
In these awkward circumstances, be bethought him- 
self of settling the diflBculty by sending Amadeo of 
Savoy to Naples, to convey his personal challenge 
to King Charles.' 

But the King had no &vour for this inadequate 
mode of settlement, and saw in the challenge but a 
confirmation of the rumoured embarrassment of Louis. 
He, however, commissioned the authorities of Arpaia, 
Arienzo, and Maddaloni to lodge and supply four of 
his nobles, whom he deputed to accompany Amadeo 
, and his knights in search of a befitting ground for 
the proposed duel. But, like the challenge of Charles I. 
of Anjou to Alphonso of Castile — like that of Luigi 
of Taranto to Louis of Hungary, this challenge 
resulted in no meeting of the principals, and on 
the I St of March the gallant Amadeo having fallen 

• Sagpo di Codice Diplom., Uinieri Riccio, vol. ii, pL 1, p. 28, 
where are given in full two royal orden for tlie safe-conduct of the 
Count of Savoy and hio guai-ds while chooaing a spot near Cbpua for 
the projected duel Dated respectively 39th Jan. and Sth Feb. 138J. 


ill, breathed his last at Castro San Stefano.^ Louis, 
more and more perplexed, instead of attempting the 
projected siege of Capua, now resolved to retire to 
the fertile plains around Foggia. On his way thither 
an epidemic (apparently scarlet fever ^) carried off the 
Count of Geneva and a large number of the troops. 
Charles, learning of his opportunity, fell upon the 
Angevine rearguard at Pietra-Catella, near the famous 
Caudine Forks ; but though several were slain and 
captured on both sides, he gained no important ad- 
vantage by this proceeding. Angelo Pignatello, a 
Neapolitan, fell into the hands of the enemy, and was 
taken to Louis of Anjou, at Ariano. Costunzo records 
that upon learning of the bravery displayed by 
Pignatello ^ in the action, Louis made him tempting 
offers for his services, but these, much to the royal 
chagrin, the prisoner resolutely refused. Thereupon 
Louis threatened him with death. To this cruel 
menace Pignatello replied he did not believe the 
Duke capable of perpetrating so unbecoming an act. 
Pleased with the adroit and chivalrous answer, Louis 
kept him on parole, and later on exchanged him for 
Francesco (or Raimondo) del Balzo. 

Charles now saw with increasing satisfaction the 
difficulties besetting his enemy, and he posted squad- 
rons around to threaten his main position. Crippled 
thus in all his endeavours by the ravages of an 

^ In Provincia Molisii, March i, 1383. 

* * Una infermitii estraordinaria, per la quale tutti scorticato k modo 
di serpi.' — Summonte, lib. iv. 487. 
3 Giomale del Duca. Chronicon Siculum. 


epidemic, and in dread of the threatening failure of 
his campaign, Louis now summoned to his aid the 
services of Engherand, Lord of Coucy,^ who had 
formerly distinguished himself as a valiant servitor 
of the Church in her struggles with the Visconti.^ 
Accompanied by the Bishop of Beauvais and a number 
of illustrious knights, De Coucy responded to the 
call and came to Milan. Thence, greatly to the 
anxiety of the Florentines, he descended to Lucca. 
He had mischief in hand, and his designs were upon 
Arezzo, a city which had been practically over-lorded 
by the kingdom of Naples ever since the days of 
King Robert. De Coucy contrived to scale the walls 
of Arezzo and sack the city, after which he sold it to 
the Sienese for 20,000 fiorini.® The Florentines, later 
in the year, repurchased it from Siena for nearly 
double that sum. 

All this cheap triumph and bluster, however, helped 
matters but little. The new French force poured down 
into the Abruzzi as a stream of lava destined to be lost 
in the sea. Fever and want destroyed it in a very short 
time. The crowTi of Naples, therefore, was no whit 
nearer the brows of Louis than it had been when he first 

^ Ammirato, Istoria di Firenze, lib. xv. 

* Matteo Camera, Elucubrazioni Diplom., p. 313. 

3 Ammirato, Istoria di Firenze, lib. xv. In 1381 Arezzo had given 
itself to Charles, who accordingly sent some soldiers from Home to 
represent his Seignorial powers. In consequence, however, of an out- 
break of Ghibellinism in the city, these guardians ^cacciarono tutti 
dalla citt4, mettendo a sacco la medesima, e stuprando le nobile vergini 
e maritate, . . . e poscia presidiarono la citt& in nome di Carlo.' — 
Corio., tom. ii. 292. 


crossed the Alps. He still had to content himself with 
desultory skirmishes, vainly endeavouring to engage 
a craftily impassive adversary, and with over-running 
the distracted Adriatic provinces of the kingdom. 

Let me now pass to Urban and more closely inspect 
his relations with the King. It was clear enough 
that the latter had shown himself determined not to 
fulfil his promise of yielding Capua and Amalfi ; but 
Urban had no intention whatever of foregoing his 
demands. Charles was himself feeling the heavy pres- 
sure of stagnated trade and the neighbourhood of 
a plundering foe. Urban, though he had hitherto 
assisted him so far as to obtain the services of Hawk- 
wood, had not yet chosen to employ the full powers 
of the Church by preaching a crusade against Louis. 

Urban now further perceived with extreme vexation 
the growing partiality of the Abbot of Monte-Cassino 
and the Cardinal of Rieti^ for King Charles, and 
determined to go to Naples ^ and show that he con- 
sidered himself alone master of the situation, and was 
not to be trifled with. 

The Cardinals who were around Urban, fearing both 
the hardships and dangers of the journey through the 
mountains and the possible results of the expected wrath 
of the King, pleaded various excuses for not accom- 
panying him. Some few managed to place themselves 
beyond immediate recall. Threats of actual deposition 
prevailed with the rest, to the number of seven, who, 

^ Chron. Siculum, p. 5a 

^ Fear of the plague at Rome contributed to give shape to his resolution. 


leaving Palestrina, travelled with him, wearily and in 
fear, down from Ferentino and Frosinone to Monte 
Cassino, and thence to Sessa, which they reached on 
October 6.^ No sooner had they arrived here than Ur- 
ban instituted a formal process against five of them on a 
charge of aiding and abetting the King in his so-called 
contumacy. The result of this process was that he de- 
prived the Cardinals of Rieti, Venice, Grenoa, Salerno, 
and Pietramala of their hats.* Of these, Luigi Donato, 
Cardinal of Venice (or San Marco), was destined to an 
evil fate at Urban's hands, as we shall see befell him 
later on ; while Mezzavacca, Cardinal of Rieti, had, 
fortunately for him, remained at Naples, and for that 
reason, though looked upon as the head and front of 
oflFending, was out of Urban's personal reach. 

Soon hearing of the harsh treatment of the Car- 
dinals, the Roman people, who had never loved Urban, 
wrote to him and to King Charles in favour of the 
unfortunate captives. The dogged Pontifi* at first 
refused to receive their letter. The King, however, 
opened that addressed to him, and at once caused it 
to be read all over Naples.' 

Let me note that there now arrived on the scene 
envoys from Elisabeth of Hungary, announcing that 
Mary, her second surviving daughter by Louis, had 
been crowned as ' King Mary.' * 

1 De Scifimate, lib. i. xxix. 

* Chron. Siculuni, p. 5a Ciacconius, il 641. 

* Chron. Siculum, p. 50. 

* Feb. 2, 1383. Archivio Storico Napol., anno xii. fasc. ii. p. 193. 
Caterina, his first-bom, for whom he had made a solemn contract in 



Things now looked exceedingly black between 
Urban and the King. All Naples felt thunder was in 
the air, and awaited the Pope s coming with mingled 
awe and excitement. Before long the Papal procession 
was announced to be approaching Aversa, within a few 
kilometres of the capital ; whereupon Urban resumed 
his pontifical vestments, while the townsfolk came forth 
to do homage and receive his benediction. Forewarned 
of the arrival of his enemy, the King had taken up his 
own lodging in the castle, and now, habited in simple 
black,^ he rode with Ugo San Severino through the 
vineyards to meet him. The two presently entered the 
town, silent, side by side : a meeting, as both must have 
been keenly conscious, very difierent from their last. 

Urban soon revealed his frame of mind by abruptly 
declining to lodge in the apartments prepared for him 
Not. 1383. by royal order at the Castle, and dismounted at the 
Episcopal Palace, close beside the Cathedral of St. 
I^aul. The Palace, however, being unprepared for 
his accommodation, the King amiably caused all the 
necessaries to be brought from tbe Castle, and duly 
arranged for the Pontiff's comfort. This business com- 
pleted, they partook of a repast together.^ Afterwards, 

1373-74 with Charles V. of France, in order that Louis of Orleans, that 
king's second son, should marry her and inherit the kingdom of Naples 
and Sicily, together with Provence, had died before the union could 
take place. Thus a far-reaching scheme, his and his mother's last, for 
reuniting the unrighteously severed Angevine thrones of Hungary and 
Naples, fell through, and Louis freely encouraged Charles to win Queen 
Joanna's throne. Archivio Storico NapoL, anno ii. fasc i. p. 108. 

^ VoT the deaths of two of the Queen's nearest relatives, Agnes del 
Balzo and Count Robert d'Artois. 

* Gobelini, Persona in Cosmodrom, vi yy. 


Charles courteously entreated him on behalf of the 
Cardinals — especially on behalf of his personal friend, 
the Cardinal of Rieti. Urban impatiently refused to 
listen to him, and the King went away to the Castle. 
In the evening he returned, and once more endea- 
voured to move Urban, urging, moreover, that, in 
view of the great Schism, the treatment to which he 
was subjecting his own Cardinals was scandalising the 
whole Christian world. The Pope replied that it was 
no aflFair of the King's. Charles, indignant to the last 
degree, again returned to the Castle. The next day, 
being Saturday, and the eve of All-Saints Day, Charles 
made one last eflFort, but met with similarly annoying 
result. Urban went to say Vespers in the Duomo, 
while the King retired to the Castle as before, fully 
determined to make no further concession.^ 

Late in the evening, however, being thoroughly 
aroused to a sense of his oflFended dignity, the King 
sent Antonio de Afflitto, Tommaso de Marzano, 
Enrico Burgarelli, and Luigi d'Alemannia, with 
their followers, to the Palace. Arrived there, they 
knocked at the huge portal, and taking no notice 
of protesting porters and attendants, entered the Nov. 2383. 
Pope's sleeping-chamber. Thereupon, Afflitto, on his 
bended knees, in the King's name, implored Urban 
to pardon the Cardinals and forego his severe pro- 
ceedings against them. Urban returned an ill answer, 
and declared that the King, by his conduct, was 
creating a still greater Schism. Then Marzano like- 

^ Chron. Siculum, p. 51* 



wise reiterated the entreaty, equally in vain. Seeing 
the Pope inflexible, Burgarelli and Luigi d'Alemannia 
besought Urban to come to the King. Urban replied, 
* It is contrary to custom that I should go to the King ! ' 
— to which they firmly rejoined, ' It needs then you 
miLSt come 1 ' — whereupon, whether he liked it or not, 
the one and the other lifted him on either side from 
his seat, and bodily carried him off to the Castle, where 
the King received him in a chamber with four torches 
burning at the corners, and therein he was set down. 

Here these two men angrily eyed one another under 
the glare of the torches. Of the two, the master of 
himself was certainly not Urban. A grand moment, 
doubtless— full of terror to the few beholders, full of 
conquest and firm triumph for Charles, even if it lasted 
but five minutes 1 Gobelinus, one of Urban's apostolic 
secretaries, has told us that for three days Urban, 
cut off from advice or consolation, remained there 
in the Castle, ' much against his will.' ^ When we 
remember what that will was, the words are volumes. 
Urban for once gave in, and a peace of a certain kind 
was arranged between the two. There can be little 
doubt that Charles demonstrated to Urban the impossi- 
bility of his yielding Capua and Amalfi, and that he 
also obtained some temporary grace for the Cardinals.^ 

On the following Wednesday, Charles left Aversa 
for Naples in order to make ready for Urban's recep- 
tion there, and to let the world be aware that at las 
there was peace betwixt Pope and King. 

1 Persona in Cosmodrom, vi. 77. ■ Chron. Siculum, p. 51. 


De Niem/ another of Urban's secretaries, relates 
that during the stay at Aversa, being out with several 
comrades, he fell into the hands of brigands, who 
nearly killed him, and that before his actual release 
(which, however, was a prompt one) his life was 
further endangered by the gruesome condition of his 
wounds.^ In consequence, he reached Naples before 
his master, and the citizens there, learning his per- 
sonal importance, anxiously pressed him for news as 
to the advent of Urban, informing him also it was 
rumoured the Pope was the King's prisoner. De 
Niem avers that the Cardinals had done their utmost 
to patch up the old quarrel between Charles and 
Urban. At any rate, they came to Naples, and were 
there regarded as having been received into grace. 
Their hour, indeed, was not yet come ! 

On the eighth day after his arrival at Aversa, 
Urban set out the remaining few miles to Naples. 
Finally, at the Capuan Gate he confronted King 
Charles, sitting upon his throne,® and robed as a 
deacon of the Church in a dalmatic of golden tissue, 
holding in his left hand the sceptre, and in his right 
a golden lily. Charles waited until the Pope drew 
nigh, then rose up and kissed his foot, while Urban, 
duly fulfilling customary formalities, dismounted and 
kissed him on the forehead. Thereupon, taking the 
Papal bridle, Charles led the remounted Pontiff as 

^ De Scismate, i. xxix. 

* * Jam vermiculare seu putrescere inceperunt.' — Ibid. 

3 Summonte, Istoria di Napoli, torn. 11. p. 483. 


far as the steps of San Stefano, when the Pope bade 
him likewise be remounted. Forthwith, preceded by 
nine Cardinals, they rode together to the great gate 
of Castelnuovo, the citizens all the way testifying 
their pleasure by displaying at their windows abund- 
ance of embroidered linen, tapestry, and flowers. 

The Pope, doubtless awed by the presence of the 
soldiers, though expressing his desire to lodge at the 
Archiepiscopal Palace, yielded to the command of 
the King and Queen, and accordingly lodged at the 
Castelnuovo, where, at a later hour, both of them 
visited him.^ It is certain that, although magnificently 
entertained, behind those royal towers Urban regarded 
himself a prisoner. He had learned an astonishing 
lesson, and unquestionably looked upon King Charles 
in a more respectful light. He may have, for once in 
his life, felt actually terrified by something in the un- 
shrinking audacity of Charles, which perhaps recalled 
all too vividly the traditionally calm manner of his 
ancestor, the famous executioner of Conradin. Never- 
theless, Urban did not intend to forego his old 
claims ; on the contrary, he resolved to renew them, 
though in a more tactful and reasonable manner. 

How far the King really acceded to the desires of 
Urban, in order to gain to his side the ecclesiastical 
thunderbolts, it is diflScult to determine. But Nocera 
and Scafate were certainly given up to Francesco 
Prignano, his nephew; while, in return, Urban as 
certainly promised to proclaim a crusade against 

^ Qiomale del Duca. 


Louis of Anjou. Thereupon he was permitted to 
leave the Castle and take up his abode in the palace 
of Archbishop Bozzuto.^ Dec x6, 1383 

Having, upon the whole, gained no small advantage, 
despite the changed aspect of his relations with Charles, 
Urban now fortified himself still further by contriv- 
ing that two of his nieces ^ should marry, respectively, 
Giovanni, Count of Artois, and Matteo di Celano, 
Lord of Isola, and he persuaded the King and Queen 
to grace the double ceremony with their presence. 

De Niem is our sole authority for the incident 
now to be related affecting the character of Francesco 
Prignano, the Pope's nephew, concerning the advance- 
ment of whom Urban had shown such fretful and 
energetic anxiety. But although De Niem's account 
is circumstantial enough to convince one of the pro- 
bability of his story, it should be borne in mind that 
his narrative, wherever this Francesco is referred 
to, bears the impress of acute personal animosity ; * 
moreover, familiarity with De Niem*s writing has 
convinced me of his frequent inaccuracies of date 
and statement, which give portions of his narrative 
the appearance of having been dressed up consider- 
ably after the events it deals with had taken place. 

*Butillo (otherwise, Francesco) Prignano, Prince 
of Capua, entered by force the convent (of San 
Salvatore), and abducted one of the most beautiful 

^ Giomale del Duca. Costanzo, Istoria di Napoli. 

^ Chron. Siculum, p. 54. Cizula and Cicella Prignano. 

' De SciBniate, edit. Qeorg Erler, author's note, p. 64. 


and nobly-bom of the nuns. This aflFair tlirew the 
whole city into an uproar; and the magistrates 
having complained to the King of the outrage, 
the King sent them to the Pope. But the latter, 
though he was most austere as regarded himself, 
was over-indulgent in the extreme toward his own 
relatives, and he answered them that it was no 
great matter, the Prince, his nephew, having been 
spurred on by his youth — (although the said Prince 
was already past forty years of age).' ^ 

The King is said to have pronounced the culprit 
worthy of death, and directed to have him sent for trial ; 
but Urban took occasion to inform the King that in 
such a case his own authority must be considered para- 
mount. At any rate, the culprit was set at liberty.^ 

This scandal was immediately followed by the 

marriage of the said Francesco (Butillo) to the 

niece of Carluccio EuflFo di Montalto, Chief Justiciary 

1384- of the realm ; which ceremony was likewise honoured 

by the royal presence.* 

On the first of the new year, Urban celebrated 
solemn mass in the presence of most of the notables 
of Naples, after which he declared Louis, Duke of 
Anjou, Charles, King of France, and the other 
Eoyal Dukes of that realm, rebels and heretics, 
promising plenary indulgence to all who should take 

^ As Erler points out in his edition of De S^'ismate, none of the 
other contemporary writers mention this story, the truth of which is 
certainly to be doubted. 

' De Scismate, Theo. de Nyem. Lipeise, 1890^ pp. 63, 64. 

' I st January 1384. 


up arms against them. He then proceeded to create 
King Charles Gonfalonier of the Holy Church, and 
blessed the standard which the King held. 

The following three months, therefore, were spent 
in active preparations for a fresh development of 
the struggle. But in spite of increased taxation and 
promises of financial aid from the Pope, Charles found 
himself more and more at a loss for money. Mean- 
while, Urban was quietly sapping the resources of the 
Church at Naples for his own purposes, just as he had 
formerly done at Rome— turning plate, jewels, and 
ornaments into cash. The King finally had to resort 
to the desperate measure of plundering the store- 
houses of the foreign merchants.^ In due course, 
this brought upon him the retaliation of the Genoese, 
Pisan, and Venetian Republics; the latter later on 
seizing upon Durazzo (Dyrrachium), on the Dalma- 
tian coast, from the possession of which the King's 
grandfather had first taken his ducal style and title.^ 

Early in April Charles set forth from Naples at 
the head of an army disposed in three divisions, 
under the respective banners of the Church and the 
realm. A crowd of captains held commands in it, 
while Cardinal Landolfo Marramaldo^ accompanied 

^ Matteo Camera, p. 320 ; also Costanzo and Summonte. 

* * Queen Joanna I.,' by the author, p. 1 50 ; also Buchon, Recherches 
Historiques. Finlay, Hiat of Greece. 

* Marramaldo himself later on fell into disgrace with Urban, being 
suspected of pandering to Charles. Unable, however, to lay hands 
upon him, Urban declared him deprived of his Cardinalate, the 
Archbishopric of Ban, and every other dignity held by him. After 
Urban's death in 1 389, Boniface IX. restored liim to his dignities, and 


Urban now resolved to take advantage of the 
King's absence to get himself and his following well 
out of Naples, and take up his residence at Nocera 
with his nephew. He had perhaps intended more 
important breaches of his agreement; but Charles, 
ere his departure for the seat of war, had taken the 
precaution to leave powerful garrisons in the chief 
towns. Furious on discovering the dexterous fore- 
thought of his rival, the Pope and his Cardinals made 
their way to Nocera beyond Castellamare. 

Looking upon this move as a flagrant breach of 
the compact between them. Queen Margaret promptly 
protested. Finding her protest unavailing, she issued 
an edict sternly forbidding any one under pain of 
death to supply Urban with provisions. Accord- 
ingly, De Niem tells us that salt could not be pro- 
cured at Nocera, and Urban *vehementer indoluit, 
asserens talia fieri in ejus contumeliam et despectum/ ^ 

The war dragged on through the summer months 
in contemptible languor, more distinguished even by 
cowardly raids on defenceless towns than by casual 
skirmishes. The only noteworthy episode occur- 
ring in the neighbourhood of Naples was that the 
Count of Caserta together with Bernardo de la Salle 
attacked Castello Casoria, and scoured the vicinity, 
killing, burning, and plundering. 

The condition of the French army by this time 
had become deplorable in the extreme. With the 

^ * Sal quandoque per dies aliquos nee prece nee pecunia pro condi- 
mento suorum cibariorom possent habere.' — De Scismate, p. lo. 

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heat of August, disease had broken out afresh. 
Louis of Anjou was actually reduced to wearing gar- 
ments painted merely to represent armour;^ while 
his half-naked knights could not be restrained from 
sacking even the friendly towns. King Charles him- 
self now fell ill of the epidemic, but fortunately 
recovered.* The Queen despatched a well-provisioned 
fleet to his aid at Barletta,' but eight ships out of 
the twelve were wrecked in a storm. 

It is related that Louis, while endeavouring to re- 
strain the valour of his chivalry, who were looting the 
friendly town of Bisceglia,* took fever, of which he died 
on September 2 1 st, in the forty-seventh year of his age. U84. 

The French army, now decimated by disease and 
desertion, was likewise leaderless, and forthwith did 
its best to make its way out of Italy. Juvenal des 
Ursins * narrates : ' Having placed the King in a 
leaden cofiin, with such obsequies as could be de- 
vised, nobles and knights made for France in sore 
straits, and very pitiful was it to see them, each 
one staff in hand ; and all the chivalry which Louis 
had gotten out of France was wasted — an example, 
indeed, for princes not to undertake enterprises they 
understand not to carry through.' 

^ * N'avait qii'ime cotte d'armes de toiles peinte seulement/ — Juvenal 
des Ursins. This, however, was not very unusuaL The lighter leather 
armour w^as often thus decorated. 

* De Niem, lib. i. xxxv. 

3 Archiv. Stor. Nap., anno xii. 

* Chron. di Rimini, toni. xv. R. I. Sc. 

* Hist. Charles VI. 


JJIEING restored to health, and his anxie- 
ties as to the tactics of the Duke of 
Anjou being ended by that adver- 
sary's death, Charles and his captains 
returned to Naples in time to cele- 
brate the Feast of St. Martino, and were received 
with great jubilation by the populace. 

But no sooner had the horizon on one side of 
him become clear than clouds arose upon the other. 
Learning of Urban'a defiant departure, and of his 
sojourn at Nocera, the King sent special envoys to 
remind him of their former agreement, and beg- 
ging him to return, in order that together they 
might give their attention to the very critical state 
of affairs. Feeling himself secure in Nocera, which 
his nephew had freshly fortified, Urban now allowed 
his resentment full sway, and replied through the 
envoys that if the King desired to confer with him, 
it was his place to come to Nocera, and not for 
the Sovereign-Pontiff to go to Naples ; ' moreover, 
that if Charles wished to retain his goodwill at all, 
he must, without delay, abate the taxes under wliich 
the kingdom was absolutely groaning. 

' Gionia]« del Duca, in Muratori, R. I. Sc Rayoaldus, Anna). Ecvlea. 


Fully perceiving the tenor of these replies from 
his old enemy, the King now returned him ominous 
answer, that if he should have indeed to go to Nocera, 
it would be at the head of his army ; that the king- 
dom was his by right of his Queen and by force 
of his own arms ; furthermore, that to Urban he was 
indebted for no more than the mere formal words 
of investiture. 

In the middle of December Urban created eighteen 
new cardinals, of whom no less than six were natives 
of Naples. By this measure he obviously looked for 
two very desirable results — namely, that his former 
cardinals should lose all the force or influence they 
had gained by cohesion among themselves, and that 
he himself should recover the popularity he had 
lost during his stay at Naples. 

De Niem incidentally gives us an attractive account 
of the beauty and resources of the neighbourhood of 
Nocera in those distant days, though he naively avers 
that what with the brigands and ' malandrini ' who 
haunted the mountains above it (Chiunzo and St. 
Angelo), and the Catalan pirates who infested the 
coast around, no one could be considered safe without 
a strong bodyguard. For fear of these gentry, several 
of the Cardinals on one occasion fled to Naples ; but, 
with the exception of the Cardinal of Rieti, they were 
soon persuaded to return. A party of Papal courtiers 
and servants, while on their way to Naples, were beset 
at Castellamare and actually carried off* to sea. Our 
author states that oranges, lemons, and pomegranates 

p. 32. 


throve in the gardens, and that the mountain-flanks 
were clothed with magnificent chestnut-woods, which 
sheltered innumerable boars and stags, * which, in 
former days, Duke Otho used to hunt.' ^ 

Raynaldus, the Papal historian, has hinted that 
Pietro de Tartaris, Abbot of Monte-Cassino, was an 
ambitious prelate, who, on the demise of Gregory XL, 
had himself aspired to the chair of St. Peter ; and 
further, that in the possible event of the deposi- 
tion of Urban, he now welcomed a fresh chance of his 
elevation to that supreme dignity.^ Certain it is that 
the Abbot was created Chancellor of the kingdom of 
Naples, and, together with the Cardinal of Rieti and 
a certain Naccarello Dentice, had become one of the 
most familiar advisers of the King and Queen. This 
was more than sufficient to draw upon him the wrath 
and hatred of Urban. 

Conscious of the great scandal caused by the re- 
opening of the quarrel betwixt Pope and King, the 
elder Cardinals again entreated Urban to forego his 
anger and effect a reconciliation — at any rate, until 
he should return to Rome. Their good offices were 
thrown away. Finding Urban implacable, in con- 
junction with the Cardinal of Rieti, they engaged 
the services of Bartolino da Piacenza,® a dexterous 

^ De Niem also mentions a chamber, presumably in the Castle of 
Nocei'a, in which he saw a portrait of Duke Otho. Lib. i. xxxiv. 
and De Seism., xL 

* At the period of Urban's election to the Papacy, some had called 
out that the vote had fallen on the Abbot of Monte-Cassino. 

3 De Niem, De Scismate. €k>belinu8, Persona in Cosmod., vi. 


canonical lawyer, who, under their combined and 
secret supervision, framed for them a certain signi- 
ficant interrogatory, the tenor of which went to 
show that if, by conduct unbecoming the majesty 
of his office, a reigning Pope should recklessly com- 
promise the welfare of the Church or the well-being 
of the Sacred College, it became the duty of the 
Cardinals to exercise forcible control over him, to 
give him a coadjutor, or eVen to elect another 
Pontiff in his room. 

Whether the conspiracy actually went further 
than the adoption of these measures, and whether, as 
Gobelinus declares (from evidence wrung by torture), 
the Cardinals were prepared to make Urban prisoner, 
try him in the Church of San Francesco, and what- 
ever answers he might make, take and burn him 
as a heretic, it is impossible to determine. In any 
case, a traitor was amongst them. Seeking, mayhap, 
to save himself from the terrible consequences of 
its possible failure, Tommaso Orsini, Cardinal di 
Manupello, secretly informed Urban of the con- 
spiracy contemplated against him.^ 

On the nth January 1385, Urban held a Con- 
sistory,^ in which in a tempest of wrath he 
branded the Cardinals and the Bishop of Aquila 
with treachery, degraded them, and commanding 
his guards to seize their persons, loaded them with 

1 * Accedens secrete ad ipsum Urbanum sibi haec omnia revelavit' — 
De Niem, xlii. 
* Chron. Siculum, p. 55. 



chains/ at the same time appropriating all the goods 
they had with them at Nocera. They .were forth- 
with thrown into dungeons in the keeps of the old 
castle, in some of which so limited was the space, 
the captive was unable to sit down.'* The victims 
were seven in number, namely, the truculent Gen- 
tile di Sangro, Luigi Donato, Cardinal of Venice ; 
Giovanni, Cardinal-Archbishop of Corfu ; Adam 
Aston, of Hertford, Cardinal of S. Cecilia ; the 
Cardinal of Genoa ; the Cardinal -Archbishop of 
Taranto, and Stefano Sidonio (?), Bishop of Aquila 
— all of them, remarks Muratori, conspicuous for 
their attainments in the Sacred College ; moreover, 
most of them bordering on old age, if they had not, 
like the Bishop of Aquila, already attained it. The 
now totally ruined citadel of Nocera dei Pagani, 
in which the tragedy about to be related took place, 
crowns a steep, but not abrupt, declivity close to the 
town. In it had occurred many events of historical 
importance. The young and beautiful Helena, widow 
of Manfred, died within its walls after five years 
of captivity. A little later died there Beatrice of 
Provence, first Queen of Charles of Anjou. In 
1275 was born in it Louis (afterwards canonised), 
Bishop of Toulouse. Luigi of Taranto, second hus- 
band of Queen Joanna L, was vainly besieged within 
it by Conrad Wolff*, one of the German captains of 

^ * Catenis onustis in corporibus.' — De Niem. 

2 De Niem says of the dungeon occupied by Cardinal di Sangro, 
' yix potuit extendere pedes suos.' — De Scismate, p. 83. 


Louis of Hungary. Lastly, we have seen Queen 
Joanna herself a two-months captive therein. 

Urban now commandeJ his nephew, Francesco, 
and a knight of St. John called Basilius of Genoa,^ to 
torture the Bishop of Aquila. The aged and unhappy 
martyr was dragged from his dungeon to a room, 
in which had been arranged the corda and the rack. 
He was then stripped of his shirt and placed upon 
the rack. After fainting several times from his 
torments, and being as constantly revived by the 
attendants, his moral strength gave way under the 
strain, and he is believed to have made the con- 
fession above stated, which inculpated the other 

News of this violent proceeding reaching Naples, 
Queen Margaret at once caused to be seized the 
two lately married nieces of Urban,* and imprisoned 
them in Castelnuovo. On the following day, it being 
January 14th, Basilio received the Pope's command 
to torture the Cardinals. The first of these was Gen- 
tile di Sangro, who had so distinguished himself by 
his ferocity against the Clementists at Naples after 
the downfall of Queen Joanna. De Niem (who was 
present) says the miserable man, who was corpulent, 


^ De Niem endeavours to make him out a common pirate. * Insignia 
pirata uacione Januensis.' But see Chronicon Siculum, p. 54, note 7, 
where it is shown by De Blasiis that Basilius had been made a Cavalier 
of the Order by Urban in December previous, in presence of the King 
and Queen, and with great pomp and ceremony. 

2 Chron. Siculum, p. 54. 

5 *Qui fuit vir etatis mature, corpulentus et longe stature.'— De 
Scismate, lib. i. li. 


was first stripped to his shirt,^ fastened by ropes, 
and hoisted by means of a pulley from the ground 
to a certain height, and then suddenly let fall. 
This operation was repeated three times in succes- 
sion. The same witness avers that Francesco Prig- 
nano stood by laughing^ at the agonies of the 
ungainly sufferer ; but that himself (De Niem), 
being scarce able to endure the scene, entreated 
Di Sangro to confess : — * Do you not see, father, 
that these fiends wish to have your life? For 
Christ's sake, say something, and free yourself from 
them ! ' To which the Cardinal muttered : * I have 
nothing to confess. The Lord is just. It is my 
due for having dealt so hardly with the partisans 
of Queen Joanna and Clement at Naples.' 

The next victim was Luigi Donato, the Cardinal 
of Venice.* Urban commanded Basilio to rack him 
till his cries should be heard by him as he medi- 
tated in the castle-garden beneath. He was sub- 
jected to the same process as Di Sangro had been, 
and re-tormented at intervals during the day. At 
every pang, the wretched man gasped out passion- 

1 * Femoralibus et camisia vix relictis, et Btrictissime in eisdem funi- 
bus per ipsos camefices ligabatiir.' — De Scismate, lib. i. IL 

2 * Stans immoderate ridebat.' — Ibid. ; Gobelinus, Pers. Cosm., 78. 

8 * Et dum veniremus ad locum, in quo dictus Cardinalia Venetua 
tenebatur inclusus, eum exinde dictus Basilius traxitnecnon ad quandam 
aulam dicte arcis usque perduxit, quern vestibus, quibus indutus erat, 
denudavit et in funibus in altum suspensis ad terram usque pendentibus 
satis stricte ligavit, et licet esset fractus, morbosus et senex ac valde 
debilis complexionis, tamcn de mane usque ad prandii horam in eculeo 
assidue ac crudelissime eum tormentavit.' — De Scismate, L liL 


ately : * Christ suffered for us I' — and Urban halted 
a moment in his walk, grunted satisfaction, and 
went on reading the Holy Office, 

'Then,' says our witness, 'hating to see further 
cruelties, I obtained leave from Conrad, the governor 
of the castle, to take some recreation beyond the 
walls, which, upon my promising to return soon, 
I obtained.' However, he thought little of his 
promise, and lay hiding in the town, whither, after 
a while, the confederates of Basilio were sent to 
bring him back. De Niem relates that he succeeded 
in persuading them likewise to flee. 

The rest of the Cardinals underwent similar tor- 
ments.^ On the 15th, the Pope made men bring 
materials and construct a platform over the chief 
gate of the castle, whereon his chair was to be 
placed. This being accomplished, he took his seat 
there, attended by six other Cardinals, clad in full 
pontificals. He then caused the Bishop of Florence 
to read aloud to the assembled folk below an interdict 
to be launched by him against *King Charles and 
his consort. Queen Margaret; against Orsini, Count 
of Nola ; against the Abbot of Monte-Cassino, and 
the Count of Montalto, the Chief Justiciary ; against 
Villanuccio de Brunaforte, and against all in their 
several services respectively, and against all those 
named in his interdict formerly pronounced against 
Queen Joanna.' 

This being concluded. Urban took in his hand 

^ Chron. Siculum, p. 55 ; De Scismate, liii. 


a torch, each of the Cardinals doing likewise, and 
thundered anathema and excommunication, at the 
same time granting indulgence for seven years to 
those who attended there to hear him. Whereupon 
he and they threw their torches upon the ground. 
This ceremony was afterwards daily repeated. 

On the 1 8th, Urban held- a public consistory, in 
which the Cardinal of Genoa first, and the other cap- 
tives in succession, were made to ratify all that the 
first-named had privately confessed, to the effect 
that he and they had conspired with the King and 
Queen, with the Cardinal of Rieti and Villanuccio, 
to seize the Pope's person on the 20th of the same 
month in consistorial council, to put him to death, 
and in his place elect the said Cardinal of Rieti. 
They then fell upon their knees and implored Urban 
for mercy, inasmuch as they were prepared to noise 
it abroad throughout the world that they had acted 
by the prompting of the devil. Urban was almost 
moved to pity. * His face,' says De Niem, ' up till 
that moment burned like a lamp with fury.' The 
Cardinals were, however, remitted to prison. 

On the 22nd, royal troops appeared at the gates 
of Nocera, killing every one they intercepted ; and 
ere the close of the month Count Tommaso di Mar- 
zano and Villanuccio, with the rest of the King's 
forces, arrived in order to commence the siege. The 
difficulties, however, of provisioning the troops, to- 
gether with the peculiar nature of the stronghold 
besieged, soon brought about a relaxed state of 


operations, to which perhaps the superstitious awe 
in which ordinary soldiers held excommunication in 
those days not a little contributed/ 

On the 19th February, however, twelve members 
from the University of Naples came on an embassy 
to Nocera, avowedly to bring the scandalous dead- 
lock betwixt Urban and the King to an end. 
These well-meaning persons left their horses with 
Villanuccio de Brunaforte before entering the castle. 
They then made due reverence to the Pope, who at 
once told them that if they wished to speak with 
him, they must be very careful not to mention 
Charles of Durazzo. Obtaining no concessions from 
the Pope, they left him with sorrowful countenances, 
and slept that night in the garden of the castle, 
* whither Basilio of Genoa sent them three beds.' * 

On the 2 ist, having caused the great hall to be made 
ready for celebrating mass. Urban sent for the said 
ambassadors and much other people, and then, sitting 
in pontifical state with six of his Cardinals, he caused 
the Bishop (of Florence) to celebrate ; and when the 
Gospel was finished, Urban personally related all the 
evil-doings of the King toward him, after which he 
made one bring him a document containing the con- 
fession of the deposed Cardinals, their signatures and 
seals ; but as all, save the Cardinal of Corfu, had lost 
their seals, each had made use of the one remaining 
seal. After this document had been read aloud, he 
began to have read over his indictment of the King 

* Chron. Siculum, p. 56. * Ibid. 


and Queen and the others. Then the envoys rose 
up declaring they had not come to hear indictments, 
but to endeavour to make peace. Urban responded, 
'We will, and command you to be seated, and to 
listen to the said process!' They returned him 
answer, ' Your Holiness does us wrong, and we listen 
upon compulsion.* 

Then, while the interdict was being read, the Pope 
and the six Cardinals held burning torches in their 
hands, and after it was done, they threw them upon 
the ground. Thereafter the Pope took his repast 
and the envoys retired to the garden. A little later 
Urban sent for them again, and after much talk said : 
' Charles has robbed our nephew, Francesco, of his 
patrimonies ; and we take away from him not only 
his kingdom, but all his rights whatsoever ! ' He 
spoke further in private with them, and then per- 
mitted them go forth and down into Nocera, where 
Villanuccio gave them back their horses and servants, 
and forthwith they returned to Naples. 

Three days later the King held an assembly com- 
posed of numbers of citizens from Capua and Nido, 
besides those of the capital, together with the envoys ; 
on which occasion, he caused to be shown three letters 
in the writing of the Pope, which had just fallen into 
his hands. The first to the traitor Raimondello Orsini, 
the next was to Feulo Citrolo, and the last was to 
a notorious pirate, Francesco di Lettere.^ In them 
Urban related that he had received ambassadors from 

^ Lettere is at the foot of Monte Sant' Angelo, to the rear of Gastellamare. 


the city of Naples, who had told him that if he would 
come thither with an army, they themselves were 
prepared to deliver up Naples to him; on which 
account he urges Raimondello and the others to 
hasten to his assistance with their profifered troops. 

When the reading of this letter was ended, the 
King rose and said to the assembly, 'I am certain 
that this is a lie devised by the Pope, in order to 
bring about a quarrel betwixt ourselves and our 
subjects of the State of Naples/ 

The next night (says the author of the Chroni- 
con Siculum) the port of Naples was visited by a 
Catalan and a Capriote galiot for purposes of plunder. 
Finding nothing of value among the boats there, they 
used filthy language and went oiF to Castellamare, 
where they burned a ship. Thence they set sail for 
Gaeta, meeting on the way with an armed galiot 
belonging to Amalfi, laden with grain, which they 

On the 5th of March we find Raimondello Orsini, 
Francesco de la Rath, Count of Caserta, and that 
relapsed rebel, Charles d'Artois, with four hundred 
lances, making a diversion at Afragola, on the north 
side of Naples, and falling in with the troops of the 
King under Jacobello Stendardo. A sharp skirmish 
ensued, in which many were killed and wounded. 
Satisfied with this move, only five days later, the 
said Raimondello and his colleagues, appearing behind 
Nocera, encamped at CasoUa, and so effected a junc- 
tion with Urban and his nephew. 



Next day the King sent Alberico da Barbiano and 
Villanuccio back to Sarno, near Pompeii, with orders 
to mobilise all the male inhabitants of the Duchy of 
Amalfi, to collect forage and regularly besiege Nocera. 
Collisions soon occurred, but being unable to engage 
in open fight with the royal forces, the Papal troops 
kept to the castle, and endured showers of stones 
from the enemy's slingers. In the night, however, 
Francesco Prignano effected his escape from Nocera 
and reached Scafate, four miles nearer to Castella- 
mare, and shut himself therein, while Charles d'Artois 
and the Count of Caserta went back in a semi- 
circle toward Caserta. Eaimondello, suffering from 
an arrow-wound in the foot,^ was obliged to remain 
within the castle. 

Alberico, hearing of the escape of Francesco Prig- 
nano to Scafate, moved forward so as to surround 
that little stronghold. After a fortnight's siege, 
Francesco was delivered over to him, with the town, 
for 4000 florins, by the Papal stipendiaries. On 
the 27th April, therefore, Alberico conducted his 
prisoner to Naples, where he was straightway com- 
mitted to the Castello dell' Ovo. 

Two further embassies from Naples to Nocera took 
place in the month of May, without effecting any 
improvement whatever in the situation. There now 
arrived, however, envoys from the Eepublic of Genoa, 
who obtained audiences of King Charles at Naples, 
and afterwards of the Bishop of Florence on behalf of 

^ Qobelinus, Persona Cosmod., vL 78. 


the Pope, at Castellamare. Pileus de Prato, Cardinal 
of Ravenna and legate at Corneto, likewise used his 
best endeavours to brii^g about an agreement. He 
was requited by becoming suspected of entertaining 
ill intentions toward Urban. 

Early in June preparations for a more vigorous 
attack on Nocera being completed, the King caused 
to be proclaimed at the sound of the trumpet that 
10,000 florins would be given to any who should 
deliver Urban alive into his hands, adding that 
any found abetting his escape from Nocera would 
be treated as rebels and forthwith executed. Then 
appeared upon the scene the martial Abbot of Monte- 
Cassino, who took much pains in directing the huge 
catapults erected for bombarding the castle.^ He is 
related to have captured several partisans of the Pope 
and to have put them to terrible deaths, while a 
certain spy, upon whose person was found a letter 
from Raimondello Orsini, was placed in one of the 
said catapults and slung to death into the castle. 

Early in the following month Raimondello Orsini 
and Tommaso San Severino, at the head of a band of 
Bretons and Gascons, managed to put to flight the 
Abbot ^ and his troops (perhaps by a night surprise), 
and effected entrance to the castle in order to succour 
the Pope. Urban received them with transports of 
joy, moderated later by having to pay them 10,000 

1 *Erectis ihachinis bombardis que oppositis ingentia saxa emitten- 
tibus.'— GobeL, vi. 78. 

2 * Subito f ugit de obeidione et salvavit se in Castro Mare de Stabia, 
et deinde Neapoli cum tota comitiva sua.' — Cbroo. Sicul. 



florins for their trouble, and to present Raimondello 
with the goodly town of Benevento.^ 

Setting out next day with his prisoners and secre- 
taries, Urban rode by way of Materdomini eastward 
to San Severino, and thence turned southward to 
Gifoni,^ where he rested several days. Two inci- 
dents of note occurred by the wayside. Some skir- 
mishers belonging to the enemy (or quite possibly to 
their friends) captured two of the Pontifical mules 
laden too heavily with treasure. The old Bishop of 
Aquila, by reason of the anguish of his tortured 
limbs, lingered behind the rest, for which cause 
Urban brutally ordered his attendants to despatch 
him,^ which was done there and then, and his body 
was left by the roadside for the wolves and ravens. 
The other reverend martyrs are said to have been 
conducted almost naked, tightly strapped under the 
bellies of their horses.* 

Meanwhile, Antonietto Adorno, Doge of Genoa, to 
whom Urban had previously sent urgent entreaties 
that he would furnish him ten armed galleys, having 
perceived it would be an excellent thing for the 
Republic to have the Supreme PontiflF residing in its 
midst, despatched them, and they had just arrived in 
the Bay of Naples.^ From Gifoni the Pope made a 

1 Some of the leading citizens of this town, at the period of Urban's 
election to the Pontificate, had adhered to Clement. Mem. Storia de 
Benevento v. Borgia. 

' Summonte, Istoria di Napoli, torn, ii lib. iv. p. 490. 

' De Scismate, Ivi. * Chron, SicuL, p. 61. 

^ Qiomale del Duca. 


brief visit to Benevento, and returned thither on 
August 3rd. The galleys, receiving messages from 
him, now sailed toward Sicily, and passing round the 
southern coast, made for Barletta on the Adriatic. 
Urban, led by Raimondello Orsini, now struck east- 
ward across the mountains to Lacedonia and Miner- 
bino,^ and finally was received on board in solemn August 19. 
style by the Genoese admiral. 

At midnight the galleys sailed for Messina, whence 
Urban issued a fresh interdict against the Ejuig. 
Sailing northward, they nevertheless touched at Cas- 
tellamare, and sent envoys to King Charles, begging 
him to give up to the Genoese the nieces of the 
Pope, the Papal registers left at Nocera, and the 
lately created Cardinals, who were now in Naples.* sept. 7, 1385. 

The King only surrendered the captive ladies, and 
the Papal galleys weighed for Corneto.^ 

Thus was concluded one more phase of the struggle 
of Church and State in Naples, leaving the advan- 
tage, as may be noted, decidedly with the latter. 

* Gobelin., Persona Cosmod., vi 

' Chronicon Siculum, p. 62. 

5 Gobelin., Persona Cosmod., vL 80. 


f T now becomes necessary to turn atten- 
tion to the affairs of Hungary, which, 
since the death of King Louis in 
1382, had been in a very unsettled 
state. Failing male issue, his second 
daughter, Mary, had been accepted and crowned by 
the Magyars under the style of King Mary/ Never- 
theless, an influential party among them insisted 
that the crown was hereditary in the male line only ; 
and, as had been foreseen by King Louis, this party 
now wished to offer it to Charles, King of Naples.^ 
Yet, even on this ground, Charles could show no 
actual right to the throne, seeing that his great-uncle, 
Charles Martel, had been made King of Hungary 
solely by election. The crown, therefore, could be 
considered to descend legitimately to his own descen- 
dants, but by no means to the side branches of the 
entire House of Anjou. There were special circum- 
stances, however, in the former relations between 
King Charles HI. and the kingdom of Hungary which 
made it not unnatural that a warlike people, who 

' Maria Eex, Sept. 17, 1382. 

* Geschicbte von Hungam, Ignaz. A. Fessler, vol ii. pp. 239-241 ; 
Thuriiczy, Chrgnica III. de Carolo Parvo ; BonfiiiiuB, Hi*L Hungar. 


detested the idea of female government, and with 
whom Mary's future husband, Sigismund, was by no 
means popular, should look very favourably toward 
him. He had lived among them by the pressing 
invitation of King Louis ; and while there, not only 
had he learned the arts of war, but had conspicuously 
distinguished himself both in public tournament and 
as a commander in the great Venetian war. More- 
over, in arranging the subsequent terms of peace, he 
had gained the ill-befitting sobriquet of ' Delia Pace/ 
Louis had lived to realise the danger to his heiress and 
successor likely to arise from the popularity of his 
young kinsman and quasi -adoptive son, and had 
therefore caused him to swear he would not aspire to 
the crown of Hungary in the event of his own decease. 
But when that event actually came to pass in Sep- 
tember 1382, the want of an able and energetic ruler 
was acutely felt in the realm, and in Charles of 
Durazzo the people naturally recognised by far the 
most eligible personage for king. In a thriving mili- 
tary kingdom, so powerful that its aid or alliance was 
now being continually sought both by the Popes and 
monarchs of the West in their struggles with one 
another, and by the Emperors of the East in their 
struggles against the all-prevailing Turk, it was felt 
to be a matter of absolute necessity to possess a 
military ruler. Out of mingled regret and respect for 
their great King, however, the Magyars had already 
crowned Mary, who was betrothed to Sigismund of 
Bohemia, — second son of the late Emperor Charles 


IV., and brother of the reigning Wenceslaus. Be it 
observed, also, that during the latter years of her 
father's life Mary had been governing Poland for him ; 
and the Poles, by race, language, and traditions vitally 
opposed to the Magyars, had definitely refused to be 
ruled by the acknowledged female sovereign of the 
latter people. Among other significant circumstances, 
they perceived that Mary would no longer be able to 
live among them, but would be compelled to reside 
in Hungary. The Queen -mother, Elisabeth, had 
attempted a solution of this difficulty by offering 
her elder daughter, Hedwig, to them for their Queen, 
whom, indeed, they ultimately accepted. 

During the three years that had elapsed, therefore, 
since the death of King Louis, Mary and her mother, 
by the aid of Nicholas Garay, Ban of Zara, had, in 
spite of frequent outbursts of discontent, managed to 
hold their own ; and as King Charles had been entirely 
absorbed in the critical afiairs of Naples, they saw 
little to fear from the limited opposition which 
favoured him calling him to the throne. But with 
the practical advantages now gained at home by 
the latter monarch, through the death of the Duke 
Louis I. of Anjou and the memorable siege of Nocera, 
commenced a new period, and the conspirators in 
Dalmatia, Croatia, and Bosnia, saw opportunity ripe 
for urging King Charles to return to Hungary. 
For that purpose Paul Horvathy, Bishop of Agram, 
August 1385. under pretext of a pilgrimage to Eome, had pro- 
ceeded to Naples, empowered by his party to ofier 


him the crown. Obtaining audience of the King, 
that prelate vividly sketched for him the state of aflfairs 
in Hungary, and entreated him to come without delay 
to Buda, where the throne most assuredly awaited 
him. 'Thus,' said he, * would the two realms be 
reunited, and the ancient quarrel forgotten.' 

Eemembering his promise to King Louis, Charles 
at first peremptorily refused the temptation. ' It is 
true,' replied the Bishop, * your promise forbids you to 
aspire to the throne of Hungary ; but does that prevent 
your acceptance of a gift oflfered you, for their own 
interest and for that of the Church, by the represen- 
tatives of a great nation ? ' The political sophistries 
of the Bishop found a sympathetic echo in the ambition 
of the successful soldier, and he began to look upon his 
possible acquiescence as constituting a still more com- 
plete triumph over Urban. ^ Queen Margaret, never- 
theless, tormented by Ul-bodings, tearfully besought 
her husband to content himself with the fair realm of 
Naples, reminding him that Hungary was not only 
faithful to Urban, but that it had been the chief source 
of the many violent troubles during the reign of Queen 
Joanna, from which every branch of their family had 
most cruelly suffered. Her arguments proved unavail- 
ing. Had he been begged to go as a conqueror with 
an army, it is probable he would have refused to do 
so ; but finding himself invited to come as a guest 
and hear the will of a friendly and powerful faction, he 
saw no valid reason for refusing ; and however much 

^ John Thur6cz7, Chron. EaroL Parvo, i. 20a 



some may bo inclined to reproach him, it must be 
conceded the temptation was at least an exceptional 
one. In finally acceding to the request, he resolved 
to regard it as an experiment, and to prove its worth 
in a very practical manner. 

On the 14th September 1385, accompanied by 
Alberico da Barbiano, Naccarello Dentice,^ and a 
small retinue, he left Naples with four galleys, and, 
after touching at Manfrodonia and at Corfu (which 
belonged to his dominions), landed at Fiume, whence 
he journeyed to Agram, where, on arrival, he was 
welcomed and sumptuously entertained. He was 
already upon perilous ground. Well had it been 
for him had he proceeded no further ! The Queen- 
mother, Elisabeth, learning of his coming, became 
exceedingly suspicious as to his designs, and de- 
spatched Sigismund, her son-in-law, to Prague, in 
order to bring the influence of the Emperor, his 
brother, to bear upon the King of Naples in Mary's 
favour, should it become necessary so to do. At the 
same time, she despatched envoys to Charles him- 
self, in order to gain clear information as to his 
real intentions. Charles entertained no hostility 
to the two royal ladies themselves, and therefore 
assured them in reply that he had not come as a 
conqueror, but that hearing of their many diffi- 
culties, he was there at the request of certain 
magnates of the people, to ofier them his aid. As, 
however, they were in reality under the despotism 

^ Bonincontrius, Annali, R. I. Sc. zzi. 


of Nicholas Garay, Ban of Zara, against whom the 
people now had reason to bear animosity, matters 
soon developed a more acute phase. What with native 
dissatisfaction and foreign bribery, the King's party 
daily augmented, and noble after noble openly 
favoured the election of Charles, at any rate as 
Governor or Viceroy. Meanwhile, the two Queens 
convened a Diet at Buda on November 8th, when 
Mary ratified all former privileges, and received the 
homage of the magnates. In the following month, 
Charles himself reached Buda, and prudently reject- 
ing the oflfer of lodgment in the royal castle, took up 
his abode at the palace of one of the notables. 

It began to be felt he could not long refuse the 
honour more and more ardently pressed upon him. 
Nevertheless, he managed as long as was possible 
to keep on good terms with the royal ladies. But 
the game of cunning had begun in earnest, and the 
opposing parties were now face to face : the Queens 
being represented by Nicholas Garay, Ban of Zara, 
while Charles was represented by Horvathy, Palis- 
nay, and others. The ladies certainly behaved with 
finished dissimulation. On his arrival near Buda, 
assuming him to have no vexatious intentions, but 
rather to have come to their aid and protection, they 
drove out to meet him in their state-chariot, and 
conducted him to the residence in which he elected 
to reside, where, presently, he received most friendly 
ovations from the populace. 

A few days sufficed to show him he was strong 


enough to assume the part of Regent, and there- 
upon he took up his residence in the castle, where, 
at Christmas-tide, he made bold to assemble a Diet. 
A little later, during a tumult, the demonstrations 
made against the two Queens so terrified them and 
their guards, that Charles was actually called upon 
to offer them the protection of his Italian soldiers, 
and personally to allay their terror. He soon learned, 
as also did the royal ladies themselves, that the 
people had proclaimed him King. 

Upon receiving this announcement, which in- 
volved her own deposition, Mary wrathfully declared 
she would never surrender her crown and kingdom. 
'As for you,' said she, addressing King Charles, 
'follow the path you have undertaken, but I beg 
of you, for the sake of my father Louis, your former 
benefactor, permit me to go and join my husband 
in Bohemia.' Queen Elisabeth,^ with more tact and 
dexterity, merely replied, that for her part, she was 
sensible women were incapable of controlling a people 
so impatient of rule as the Magyars, — ' I have used 
my authority over my daughter, and have now 
begged her to yield to destiny. I am, at least, 
pleased that you, who are of the blood of King 
Charles of Anjou, should receive the crown in pre- 
ference to all others. All I entreat of you, in yield- 
ing you the sceptre, is to allow us to quit the 
kingdom in safety.' There can be no doubt they de- 
sired to go. In reply, Charles expressed his grateful 

1 She was Bosnian by birth. Vide Genealogy. 


satisfaction, and vowed he would revere the widow 
of his former benefactor as a mother, and Mary as 
his sister. 

But it seems probable he felt he could only 1385. 
guarantee their personal safety so long as they 
accompanied him, and enjoyed the protection of his 
own bodyguard. At the same time, their presence at 
his approaching coronation would naturally have the 
effect of proving to the people that they willingly 
renounced their rights and sanctioned his accession. 
Meanwhile a considerable increase in the royal re- 
tinue took place from another cause, namely, the 
arrival of several more Neapolitan nobles. Their 
presence, however, did not contribute additional har- 
mony, inasmuch as several of the native magnates now 
began to evince jealous uneasiness as to the part 
these Italians might play in Hungarian affairs. 

Immediately after Christmas the King set out 
for Stuhlweissenburg (Alba Regalis), where grand 
preparations had been made for his coronation. His 
dethroned kinswomen accompanied him thither. 
On the 31st of December, the Cathedral being 
thronged with nobles and prelates of the realm, 
and Charles seated in the chair of state, the 
Archbishop of Gran thrice asked the congregation 
whether it was willing to accept King Charles of 
Naples as King of Hungary. On the first asking, 
enthusiastic plaudits greeted the question ; but on 
each of the subsequent repetitions there arose but 
feeble and feebler murmurs. This was due not so 


much to any real change of feeling toward the 
King, but to the melodramatic eflfect caused by 
the audible sobbing of the two realmless Queens, 
who presently sank down passionately weeping upon 
the sepulchre of King Louis. 

The coronation concluded, Charles, preceded by 
the banner of King Stephen, left the Cathedral in 
order to mount his attendant charger and make 
a customary progress to the castle. The bearer 
of that historical trophy, however, in passing out 
of the church, struck the arched doorway with the 
pole, which, being like tinder with age, snapped 
in twain. The incident was looked upon by many 
present as of peculiarly evil omen. A token con- 
sidered yet more inauspicious was a terrific thunder- 
storm which a few days later broke over Buda, 
just as the King was about to re-enter the castle 
there. Every mediaBval chronicler of these incidents 
lavishes on them his wealth of superstitious exaggera- 
tion. Costanzo, the Neapolitan historian, even goes 
so far as to say that tiles were blown into the air 
from the roofe, causing many of the older houses to 
collapse and bury their inmates. A Magyar writer 
declares that dense flights of ravens, dismally croak- 
ing, flapped their wings against the windows, and 
tore at one another.^ 

1 At Naples the news of his coronation was received with delight, 
both by the natives and the foreign merchants, and Queen Margaret 
on horseback paraded the streets with nine of her ladies, dressed in 
white embroidered with gold. * Nobiles Capuanad et Nidi, qui cum 
bandenis et magnis instrumentis equitando per avitatem Neapoles, 


It must be confessed that, in still keeping the 
royal ladies at his side, according them full liberty 
and outward honours, though it showed openly 
enough his chivalrous disposition and his regard 
for the promise formerly made to Elisabeth, Charles 
betrayed a want of caution bordering on insanity. 
He was well aware of the respective characters of the 
two Queens and of the perilous number of their 
sympathisers. It was impossible to suppose they 
would prove other than the most probable cause 
or centre of a future conspiracy for regaining that 
which had been so reluctantly surrendered, to say 
nothing of revenging their misfortune upon their 
favoured kinsman. He knew that the Queen-mother 
was a more than practised dissembler; he knew 
equally well that Mary was fiery and courageous; 
above all, he was aware that the Ban of Zara had 
remained the staunch confidant of both Queens all 
through. In reality, each of these three had signed 
the death-warrant of Charles with their heart's blood. 
The Ban now devised his death, and lost no time 
in putting the plot into execution. As Charles was 
sharing the castle with them, this could not have 
proved a very difficult matter. 

It was therefore planned that Queen Elisabeth, Feb. 7, 1386. 
on an appointed day, toward evening, should invite 
Charles to confer with her anent letters she professed 

iverant ad dictum castrum (Nuovo).' — Chron. Siculum, 63. See also 
Archivio Storico NapoL, anno xii 'florentini feceront maximum 
festum postquam Carolus fuit factus rex Hungaria.' — Sozomeni, Pisto- 
rienais, R. L Sc. 1129. 


to have received from Sigismund, her son-in-law, 
who had been raising forces and unlawfully mort- 
gaging certain Hungarian and other estates while 
in Bohemia. The Ban, on pretence of being about 
to start for Syrmia in order to be present at his 
daughters' wedding, was to arrive at the same hour, 
to take formal leave of the two royal ladies.^ 

At the appointed time, the King, accompanied 
by his Italian bodyguard, waited upon the Queen- 
mother ; but perceiving ajffairs of state were to be 
discussed, he dismissed his attendants into the corri- 
dors. A letter from Sigismund was then handed to 
him. While in the act of perusing it, the Ban, a 
certain Gyorgyi, and the cup-bearer, Blasius Forgach, 
entered the hall, in order, as it seemed, to take formal 
leave. The King and Naccarello Dentice, suspecting 
nothing, turned their backs upon them, and the for- 
mer continued reading. Suddenly Forgach, raising a 
battle-axe which he had concealed beneath his cloak, 
smote Charles upon the head with it, felling him to 
the floor. Dentice was also struck down. Hearing 
groans, his attendants rushed in, whereupon the 
conspirators made for the courtyard, where their 
friends were awaiting them. The Queen swooned, 
or pretended to do so, and Charles was carried by 
the terrified courtiers to his apartments. The con- 
spirators, whose adherents had been collected secretly 
in various portions of the city, now drove their oppo- 
nents before them, and Paul Horvathy, with many 

^ L Feseler, Gesch. von. Ungam, torn. ii. pp. 242, 243. 


of the Italians, quitted the city that night and fled 
into Croatia, while Forgach, the actual assassin, fear- 
ing for his life, likewise made his escape into the 

Next day the Queens sent out heralds proclaiming 
that Mary was their only legitimate sovereign, and 
granting full pardon to all who, by force or bribery, 
had been guilty of swerving from their allegiance in 
favour of the King of Naples ; whereupon the towns- 
folk, seeing their advantage, fell upon the unfortu- 
nate Italian merchants and pillaged their houses. 

Charles meanwhile was kept prisoner, and soon 
afterwards was removed to the castle of Visegrad, 
where (despite three desperate wounds), showing in- 
convenient signs of recovery, he was either poisoned Feb 24, 1386. 
or strangled.^ Being regarded as under Urban's in- 
terdict, his body was buried without rites of any kind. 
Four years later. Pope Boniface IX., another Neapoli- 
tan Pontiff, whose family (Tomacelli) had been greatly 
favoured and advanced by Charles, caused his remains 
to be taken up and re-interred becomingly in the 
Church of St. Andrew in that city.^ 

Thus perished Charles III. in the prime of his life, 
being but forty-one years of age, a victim rather to 
his want of caution than to his ambition. De Niem 
incidentally describes his person for us, and his intel- 
lectual pleasures : * Karolus erat brevis staturse, et 
rufus et pulcher aspectu necnon loquela et incessu 

^ I. Feealer, p. 244. 
« Ibid. 


placidus, poetis et historiis sufficienter instructus, in 
quibus etiam libenter post cenam et prandium cum 
doctis in illis plerumque conferre consuevit/ ^ 

By his death, it must be confessed, Hungary was 
destined to suflFer deplorably ; for that realm was on 
the eve not only of desperate struggles with the 
invading Moslem, but of civil war between the 
returning Sigismund and Mary his wife, in which 
the ability of such a commander as Charles would 
have stood the latter in good stead. 

Elisabeth did not long enjoy her triumph. By 
the advice of Nicholas of Zara, the two Queens pre- 
sently determined to proceed with a small escort to 
Croatia, believing that by their coming the rebels 
who still opposed them there would be pacified. 
Confident of success, they journeyed to Agram ; but 
Horvathy learning of their approach, collected some 
troops, and intercepted them and their escort near 
Diacovar (or Gorgan), whereupon a sanguinary en- 
. counter took place. Blasius Forgach was killed by 
a lance-thrust while defending the royal carriage, 
and his body was immediately decapitated. The 
Ban Nicholas fell beneath a shower of arrows^ and 
his son was taken prisoner by Horvathy. 

Horvathy, thus making the two Queens prisoners, 
was implored for mercy by Elisabeth, who confessed 
herself to have been the sole instigator of the murder 

1 De Seism., lib. i. xlix. See also Paris de Puteo, De Duello, cap. xiv. 
lib. 9. Minerbetti, Chron, ap. Tartini, R I. Ss. ii 1385. Matteo 
Camera, p. 331. 


of King Charles. Horvathy sent Mary to be con- 
fined in the fortress of Gomneck, whUe Elisabeth was 
taken to Novigrad, near Zara, where afterwards she 
was strangled.^ Meanwhile John of Palisnay, bear- 
ing the heads of the slaughtered Ban and Forgach, 
carried the news of the capture of the two Queens 
to Naples, and laid his gory trophies at the feet of 
the disconsolate Margaret. 

1 M. Horvath, Qeschichte von Ungarn, 194. 


fET me now observe how things had 
fared with Urban and his unfor- 
tunate Cardinala They had duly- 
arrived at Genoa toward the close 
of September 1385, and the popular 
demonstrations there had been both soothing to 
Urban's ruffled pride and very flattering to hia obsti- 
nacy. In the midst of hia discomfiture he remained 
inflexible in purpose. If, however, he enjoyed the 
cruel triumph of dragging the worn-out victims in his 
train to the Hospital of the Knights of St. John, where 
he took up his abode, he did it at the expense of his 
sudden popularity with the townfolk of Genoa. To 
their eyes a living Pontiff afforded a pleasant and 
unwonted sight ; but the news of the treatment to 
which his Cardinals had been subjected, the actual 
glimpses obtained of them, fettered and emaciated, 
as they had left the ships, and their subsequent utter 
seclusion, created profound astonishment commingled 
with intense curiosity and commiseration. Never- 
theless events fell out as agreeably as possible for 
Urban, and he found it not compulsory to listen to 
the voice of popular sympathy. 

It had happened that, with consummate craft, Gian 


Galeazzo Visconti had lately surprised his unsuspect- 
ing uncle Bemabo and his sons, and confining them 
in various prisons, had made himself master of 
Milan.^ In December Bemabo died,* it was believed 
by poison, and was honoured with a sumptuous public 
funeral by his tactful successor, just as if he had been 
reigning prince. In order to clear himself of the 
crime and obtain absolution for having married his 
uncle's daughter, Caterina, without having obtained 
Papal dispensation, Gian Galeazzo now sent splendid 
gifts' to Urban, presently visited him, and without 
difficulty obtained his desire. All this conduced to 
fortify Urban in his new position, and partly enabled 
him to repay the heavy expenses incurred in acquir- 
ing the ten Genoese galleys.* 

These things, however, did not quench the com- 
passion felt for the Cardinals. Already, while 
touching at Pisa, on the voyage to Genoa, Pietro 
Gambacorta, Lord of that city, had interceded with 
Urban for them ; but Urban had sternly replied that 
their crimes had been great, and in no wise did they 
deserve pity. At Genoa, first of all, certain of their 
kinsmen, together with the Cardinals of Ravenna 
and Pietramala, begged Urban to have pity upon 
them, but their entreaties were in vain. Finally, the 

^ Corio, Istoria di Milano, vol. ii 

* Johan. de Mussis, Chron. Placent. apud Muratori, vol. xvL * Eodem 
anno Christi mccclxxxv. dictus dominus Bemaboe decessit in Castro 
Trecii,* pp. 545, 546. Sozomeni, Pistor. ap. Muratori, voL xvL 11 83. 

3 ' Multa preciosa vasa argentea.' — De Scismate, lib. L Ivii. ; De Niem. 

^ Each of the gaUeys had carried fifty archers and one hundred and 
fifty rowers (Qobelinus, Persona Coemodrom, vi). See p. 87. 


Doge himself made endeavours to the same purpose, 
which proved equally unavailing. Presently a letter 
arrived from King Richard 11. of England, beseech- 
ing for the release of Adam Aston,^ Cardinal of St. 
Cecilia, and his subject ; in the event of refusal* by 
the Pope, possibly hinting that his people might be 
tempted to acknowledge the Anti-Pope.^ 

As Urban felt he could not aflFord to lose the so 
profitable fidelity of the English, he set the wretched 
captive free." The Cardinals of Ravenna and Pietra- 
mala, having failed in their attempts to obtain the 
release of their colleagues, now felt it necessary 
for their own safety to flee. The former went to 
Pavia, where he created some sensation by burning 
his hat in the Piazza, and the latter to Avignon, 
where, being gladly welcomed by Clement, he was 
created an Anti-Papal Cardinal.* 

Urban now grew suspicious of every one who en- 
tered the Hospital, and doubled the guards. Before 
long, however, he determined to make an end of 
the Cardinals ; though by what means he did so 
is not precisely known. The mystery preserved in 
regard to this tragedy gave rise, as was but natural 

^ His sepulchre may be seen on entering the Church of St. Cecilia, at 
Rome, bearing the arms of England — three leopards and three fleur-de- 
lis. He died 1388. 

* See Walsingham, Historia Anglicana, IL 123, 197. De Niem says, 
* Ad supplicationem eiusdem Richard! regis Angliae postea dimisit' — 
De Scismate, Ivii ; (Jobelini, Pers. Cosmod., vi. 81. 

^ *Erat inter illos unus de Anglia cardinalis magnipotens, quem 
liberavit potentum Anglorum instantia.* — Qeoi-g Stella, U. xvii. 11 27. 

^ He lived to receive a third cardinalate from Boniface IX., whence he 
became nicknamed the Cardinal of the three hats. 



in those times, to speculations quite as various as 
those disseminated in regard to the death of Queen 
Joanna. Some said that the Cardinals were tied up 
in sacks and dropped into the sea ;^ others, that 
they were strangled, and others still, that they 
were walled up alive.' Their supposed remains were 
discovered a few years back in the convent of San 
Giovanni, which possibly gives more favour to the 
latter conjecture. Each version became duly em- 
broidered with new and ingenious details, in order 
to suit the contemporary appetite for horrors.* 

Gobelinus, however, who was personally familiar 
with Urban, simply declares that the Cardinals died in 
prison, but that he is ignorant of the manner of their 
deaths. He heard in later years that they were buried 
under the stables.* That arch-fabricator, CoUenucio, 
as might be expected, vigorously out-distanced all 
competitors in detailing the unknown circumstances. 

Meantime had occurred those startling events in 
Hungary which have been already recorded, and 
which culminated in the assassination of King 

^ Baluze in his Life of Clement VII. and Bonincontrius, vol xxL 47, 
Muratori, Rer. ItaL Script 

^ ' Dicitur fecit dictos Cardinales carceratos vivos sepeliri in quadam 
staUa equorum.' — Joh. de Mussis, Chron. Placent., 539, apud Muratori, 
vol. xvi. * Selon les divers sentiments dee historiens.* — St C. B. 

De Niem writes — 'Dicebator enim a multis, quod in stabulo 
equorum dicti Urbani in quadam fossa repleta calce viva eorum cor- 
pora projecta et in eadem totaliter combusta et in cineres conversa 
fuerant' — Lib. Ix. 

3 Histor. Paduan. Andreas Qatarus, apud Muratori, voL xvii. 460. 

^ Gobelini, Pers. in Cosmod., vi. 81. 


On the first of the year had taken place a total 
eclipse of the sun ; on the 1 5th the moon had likewise 
undergone eclipse.^ In those credulous times, it may 
be accepted such events gave rise to ominous specu- 
lation ; but added afterwards to the fact of Urban's 
violent excommunication of the King and Queen, 
it is not to be wondered that the tragic death of 
the former was looked upon by many as the direct 
and special result of the Papal anathema, of which 
the eclipses were sure phenomenal foretoken. 

Ere the close of January the University of Zara 
sent letters to Naples informing the Queen of her 
husband's coronation at Alba-Regalis, and stating it 
had been performed with the consent of the Hun- 
garian Queen, the barons, and the clergy. In conse- 
quence, all Naples was illuminated, and a magnificent 
festivity commenced, which lasted for more than a 
month.* The Queen called together the nobles and 
magistrates, and conveyed to them the good news, 
which indeed was soon confirmed by letters from the 
King himself. In consequence there ensued a round of 
dances, processions, and tournaments, which Margaret 
and her son Ladislaus, and Joanna, her daughter, — 
dressed in red and azure velvet, and preceded by the 
standard bearing the arms of Hungary, — honoured 
with their presence. Adding greater glory to this ex- 
traordinary spectacle, the ambassadors of Genoa and 
Florence, with their respective suites, rode on gor- 

^ Chronicon Siculum, p. 63. Bonincontri, 0. c. 47. 
^ Chronia Siculum, p. 63. 


geously caparisoned horses through the city to make 
their respective homages to her at the Castelnuovo, 
and that done, they paraded through the city by 
night with torches burning. Nine ladies of the 
Queen's household, robed in white with armlets of 
gold/ seem also to have attracted much attention as 
they followed their royal mistress in her progresses. 

On the 15th of February, while witnessing with 
her children one of the tournaments held in the 
Strade delle Correggie,* the Florentine ambassador 
received letters from Florence containing news of the 
assassination of King Charles. Later on he went to 
the castle and took counsel with Orsini, Count of Nola, 
Tommaso Marzano, the Chief Justiciary, and others, 
showed them his letters, and, afterwards obtain- 
ing audience of the Queen, acquainted her with her 
dire misfortune. According to one account, the news 
reached her while witnessing the tournament, and 
Margaret left it at once weeping, and went to shut 
herself in the castle — 'and the crowd dispersing 
quickly, so that in an hour not a person was to be 
seen.' * 

On the following Sunday, Luigi di Gesualdo arrived 
from Hungary, bearing details of the tragedy, but 
adding that though the King was dreadfully wounded 
and had lost an eye, he was not yet dead. At 
this the Queen took some comfort, and in grati- 
tude to Heaven walked barefooted, taper in hand, 

1 Chronic. Siculum, p. 63. 
' Giomale del Duca di Montileoue. ' Ibid. 


followed by a reverent throng of her subjects, to the 
Church of S. Maria di Piedigrotta, near Posilippo, 
and there gave thanks to the Virgin.^ In a short 
time the news of his death reached her. 

In order fuUy to understand the situation at 
fTaples, it now becomes necessary to survey the poli- 
tical doings of the Angevine or Anti-Papal party, 
who, owing to Urban s art of making enemies, were 
at no loss for adherents even in Italy. 

By means of successive creations of Cardinals, the 
wily Clement had aimed directly at obtaining for 
his cause the financial resources of the wealthiest 
families in France. His efforts were well rewarded. 
One of his Cardinals, Pierre de Luxembourg, was 
but eighteen years of age.* The lower clergy were 
oppressed to the utmost with taxes and tithes. The 
collectors of the Apostolic Chamber developed into 
absolute tyrants. At the decease of any clerical 
dignitary they immediately appeared upon the scene, 
pounced upon his goods, sold the ornaments of his 
church, imprisoned his heirs if they offered resist- 
ance, and even went to the extreme of mortgaging 
the harvests years in advance ; so that oftentimes a 
newly-elevated bishop found himself obliged to tra- 
verse his diocese at the head of an armed company 
levying contributions from the penniless inhabitants. 
The writer of the Chronicle of St. Denis declares 

^ Costanzo. 

2 Les Souverains Pontifes k Avignon. J. B. Joudou, vol. ii. 
p. 247. 





^~^m ' iw« 

• A 



that the exactions of Clement VIL surpassed those 
of Boniface VIIL, and even those of John XXTL In 
addition to these resources, the kingdoms of Aragon 
and Navarre had, by means of the skilful eloquence 
of Cardinal Pedro di Luna,^ submitted to his sway, 
while in Italy, Bologna and a portion of Naples 
openly acknowledged him. 

Upon learning the death of Louis of Anjou, Cle- 
ment had lost no time in sending for his widow, 
Mary of Blois, and her son, Louis II., in order that 
they should receive at his hands the investiture to 
the kingdom of Naples and the Countship of Pro- 
vence. Mary, while in Paris, had made good use 
of her time in attaching to her cause the sympathies 
of Charles VL There Tommaso San Severino found 
her, and thence he gladly conducted her to Avignon, 
where the Anti-Pope welcomed her with entirely royal 
magnificence. Soon after her arrival she attended an 
open consistory, and went through the absurd for- 
mality of receiving at his hands the guardianship 
of her own son, after which the latter was presented 
with a standard as the sign of his investiture. 

Having thus been made Kegent during the minority April a4, 1385. 
of Louis, Mary made haste to win the goodwill of the 
various cities of Provence and their feudal masters. 
Having for this end raised a considerable army, under 
the command of the Count of Kochefort, she convened 
a meeting of the States at Apt, the chief outcome of 
which was an agreement with the people of Mar- 

^ Afterwards Pope Benedict XIII. 



seilles that they should give their allegiance, albeit 
with somewhat thorny conditions, to her son. Per- 
ceiving that no more influential means of ingratiating 
herself with the Proven9als could be devised than by 
freely showing herself and Louis, she now made a state 
progress with him. She had returned to Avignon 
at the very moment when Charles III. was starting 
on his fatal journey to Hungary ; and there learning 
that Clement was enjoying his summer at Chateau- 
neuf, she and Louis pressed forward, till at the gate 
of that town the young King dismounted, and 
taking the bridle of the Pope's mule, conducted its 
master to the castle. Baluze^ relates that the boy 
being small of stature, the Sire de Viviers raised him 
in his arms so that he might perform this dutiful 
ceremony. In December Mary gratified the people 
of Aries by making that city her principal residence. 
In the following months occurred in Hungary the 
events previously recorded, which so tragically placed 
Ladislaus upon the throne of Naples ; which there- 
fore brings us to fresh developments in the dual 
struggle between the rival heirs to the throne of 
Queen Joanna I., and in that between the rival 
Pontifis, Urban and Clement. 

1 Vita Clem. VII. 


T is not my intention to follow out the 
development of the long and desul- 
tory civil war in Naples which ensued 
upon the death of King Charles, be- 
tween Queen Mai^aret on behalf of 
their son, Ladislaus, on the one hand, and Mary of 
Blois and her son, Louis II. of Anjou, on the other, 
complicated by the factions of the rival Popes, which 
continued till quite the close of the century, and was 
vigorously renewed in the next. But it will be a 
matter of more general interest to trace the brief 
remaining career of Urban, and see what results 
followed from his turbulent ambition to possess the 
kingdom of Naples. 

The death of Kjng Charles had removed the chief 
rock of offence; and to the eyes of most people 
it appeared that by according charity, or at least, 
forbearance, to the widowed Queen and her son, 
Urban would not only be doing a Christian act of 
clemency, but would most dexterously recover his 
vanished dignity, and possibly the territorial prizes 
of which he had so entirely lost hold. But pity was 
a quality entirely foreign to Urban's nature ; more- 
over, Margaret had always hitherto identified her- 
self completely and rigidly with her late husband's 


policy. Angry with the world and with himself, it 
flattered his morbid rancour to further advertise to 
every one how remorseless he could be. 

At the very time when the King met his death in 
Hungar}% ambassadors from Margaret to Urban had 
arrived in Genoa, for the purpose of making terms 
of peace between them. The Pope, with his Car- 
dinals, thereupon celebrated mass in their presence. 
After this he ordered one of the deacons to read 
aloud the same terrible interdict he had used while 
at Nocera, he and the Cardinals meanwhile holding 
the lighted torches in their hands, which they threw 
down at the close.^ The insulted ambassadors im- 
mediately lefb the church and made their way back 
to Naples. 

Margaret, though fully occupied with dire civic 
discords at Naples, and the active intrigues of the 
Anti-Papal party, nevertheless, at the urgent request 
of her Ministers, sent another embassy to Genoa in 
the foUowing August for the same purpose. DeNiem* 
tells us that special advocates from Florence and 
other Italian States at the same time begged Urban 
to forget the offences of the father and husband, 
and to take pity upon the widow and her children.' 
Margaret, moreover, offered to liberate his nephew, 
Francesco Prignano, who was still in the Castle of 
St. Elmo. Nothing could soften him. 

* Chronicon Siculum, p. 63. * De Scismate, Ixiv. 

> ' Florentini oratores, cum Papa Urbanus esset Lucsb pluries ad eum 
iverunt, ut vellet in Regno Neapoli ponere pacem, et favere Ladislao 
filio Regis.' — Sozomeni, Pistoriensis, apud Muratoii, vol. xvi. p. 1131. 


In September a gory trophy arrived in Naples in 
the shape of the heads of the assassins of Charles, 
which were placed on pikes and stuck over the 
various gates of Naples. 

Urban's assumption that Margaret, distracted by 
her difficulties, would be weak enough to surrender her 
son's rights over Capua and Amalfi, proved entirely 
fallacious ; but he was still meditating a final elffort 
to possess himself of the kingdom. Owing, however, 
to the immense charge of 80,000 florins incurred on 
account of the armed galleys supplied him by the 
Genoese Republic, he found himself short of the 
means wherewith to undertake it. 

Nevertheless, alarmed at the renewed activity of the 
Clementists around Louis II. of Anjou, with whom 
Duke Otho of Brunswick now freely joined himself, 
he felt the urgent necessity of taking active measures. 
With this intention he had sought aid from the 
Aragonese monarch of Sicily, and was eagerly treating 
for the services of certain condottieri in Central Italy, 
who were reaping the benefit of desultory outbreaks 
between the various Tuscan republics. In December, 1386. 
having acquainted the Governor of Lucca that he 
contemplated visiting that town on his way toward 
Rome, he left Genoa, and passing by Pietra Santa 
with a numerous foUowing, presently arrived there.^ 
The Governor decreed that in honour of his visit 
the Pope should be lodged and entertained at 

^ Archivio Storico Italiano, rst Series, torn. x. lib. ii. chap. viL 
p. 265. 



the public expense. On Christmas Eve he cele- 
brated mass in the Cathedral of San Martino, and 
afterwards presented Forteguerra, the chief magis- 
trate, with the ducal cap and sword.^ So gratified 
was he with his treatment by the Lucchese, that 
instead of a merely passing visit, his stay was 
graciously extended to nine full months, during 
which time he was enabled to mature his plans 
and make various seemingly advantageous treaties. 
Further, in virtue of the yet uncompleted payment 
for the repurchase of her liberties from the late 
Emperor Charles IV., he now managed to extract 
large sums of money from the city funds. 

In August 1387, a month ere his departure from 
Lucca, Urban issued a fiery manifesto, summoning 
all who considered themselves of the faithful to join 
his crusade against the impious and contumacious 
kingdom of Naples, illustrating his remarks by adroit 
reference to the dealings of the ferocious Levites 
with Midian. 

The cities of Central Italy, feeling Urban's proxi- 
mity, at once assumed individual attitudes toward 
him. The Florentines, who had not ceased entreat- 
ing him to forget his former wrath with King Charles 
and to crown his son, Ladislaus, obtained no favour 
from him, and further, were only just able to keep 
the peace. They knew his temper well enough not 
to go too far, nor to trust him overmuch. Viterbo, 

^ * Con ornamenti d'oro e di pieti'e preziose.* — ^Arch. Stor. Ital., ist 
Series, voL xvL part i. 


under the tyranny of Francesco di Vico, defied him, 
though finally it had to yield to an attack of the Papal 
troops led by Tommaso Orsini/ Cardinal di Manu- 
pello. Spoleto and Orvieto absolutely refused to 
receive his envoys, and were placed under his inter- 
dict. Perugia, however, desirous of profiting by 
difiering from her neighbours and rivals, sent him 
a rich embassy, inviting him not only to reside in her, 
but to become her spiritual magistrate. Learning 
this, the Florentines sent to the King of France 
begging him to urge Clement to arrange a marriage 
'twixt Louis IL of Anjou and Joanna, the sister of 
Ladislaus (afterwards Queen Joanna IL), so as to 
bring this protracted warfare of the two Angevine 
families to a real and satisfactory conclusion.^ 

Urban gladly welcomed the Perugian embassy, and 
promising the city many special privileges, began to 
make active preparations for departure thither. 

On the 23rd of September, therefore, accompanied 
by his now liberated nephew, Francesco, and his wife 
(styled Count and Countess of Abruzzo), by eleven 
cardinals, and two thousand cavalry under the com- 
mands of Giovanni Beltot,* Carlo Malatesta, and 
Gentile da Camerino, he set out for Perugia by way 
of Pisa. The magnates of the latter city entertained 

1 Istoria di Viterbo (Bussi), where wiU be found related the trouble 
into which this Cardinal fell with Urban, p. 216; also De Niem, 
De Scismate, Ixvii. 

* Sozomeni, Pistoriensis, apud Muratori, voL xvL p. 1131. 

^ John Beltot, an English captain of adventure. 'Magnum capi- 
taneum in Italia et eidem Urbano fideliter adherentem/ — De Scismate, 


him in passing, and escorted him as far as Radicon- 
dolL^ Thence, journeying by Buon-Conventx) and San 
Quirico, his military cortbge augmenting continually, 
he duly reached the Porta San Pietro of that noble 
hill-city on the 2nd of October. A flattering chro- 
nicler* tells us that when the PontiflF had reached 
a certain point in the city called Trebbia di Luciano, 
a white dove settled upon his hat, which was looked 
upon as an especially auspicious omen. 

For six whole days the citizens made feasts in 
his honour, and the nights were made bright with 
bonfires. On the second Sunday after his arrival 
Urban took occasion to preach from a pulpit that 
commanded the Piazza (not the present little pulpit 
so well known to visitors at Perugia), and from it he 
declared Spoleto and Orvieto to be under his inter- 
dict. 'And it was held to be a miracle by some 
that though a strong wind was blowing at the time, 
it did not extinguish the torch he held.' * Moreover, 
finding, says this writer, the clangour of the city 
bells to be a nuisance, the magistrates gave order 
the said bells were to be less frequently sounded. 

During the ten months spent in Perugia, Urban 
ripened various designs for replenishing his treasury 
and for restoring his popularity with the Romans. 
Chief among these was the holding of a Jubilee in the 
Eternal City in 1 390, for which purpose he sent out 

1 Istoria di Siena, Bern. Malavolti, p. 158. 

' Qraziani, in Archivio Storico Italiano, lat Series, voL zvi. part L 

» Ibid, 


proclamations far and wide. As De Niem ^ remarks, 
however, * Urban sowed for Boniface to reap.' 

Well satisfied by his treatment at Perugia, the Pope 
at last decided to advance upon Naples while he could 
yet rely, as he thought, upon the mercenaries he had 
collected. He accordingly left that city on August 
8th, giving it his benediction and an indulgence 
extending to eight days after his departure. In 
company with Beltot, the commander of a portion 
of Hawkwood's English troops, he set out for TodL 
He had not advanced ten miles, however, when his 
mule stumbling, threw him heavily to the ground,^ 
shaking and bruising him so severely that he was 
unable to remount, and had to be carried the rest 
of the journey. After a rest at Todi, he proceeded 
to Narni, where, being unable to meet Beltot's 
reiterated demands for wages due to his soldiers, 
that Captain left him.* Urban managed to reach 
Tivoli, where many Eoman citizens came out to see 
him. Feeling afraid, however, of his many enemies 
in the Eternal City, he would not trust himself to 
enter it, but passed on southward to Ferentino, — 
the same place where, five years before, he had first 
quarrelled with his ill-fated Cardinals. On entering 
that quiet mountain-town, how vividly must he have 
reflected upon the extraordinary sequence of events 

1 De Scismate, Ixviii. 

> De Niem, Ixiz. Graziani, Archivio Storico Italiano, ist Series, 
vol. xvi. 

3 De Niem, Ixix. Chron. di Pisa, apad Muratori, vol. xv. p. 1086. 
Chron. di Minerbetti, anno 1 388, 1 2. Sozomeni, Pistoriensis, vol. xvL 1 1 38. 


since his previous visit ! Finding his project growing 
as hopeless as his health, he was at last persuaded 
to fall back on Rome, where, on the 1 5th of October 
1389, he breathed his last, not without suspicions, 
so usual in that age, of having been poisoned.^ The 
Chronicon Siculum and other authorities state that 
he died without receiving the sacraments. 

Unregretted by any save certain members of his 
family w^hom he had aggrandised, he was buried in 
St. Peter's, where later on he was honoured with a 
sumptuous monument, now almost destroyed, and a 
somewhat flattering epitaph, in which his deathless 
glory is assumed to be increasing the light of heaven. 

De Niem tells us that in person Urban was short 
and close-set, and of a swarthy complexion.* 

The character of Urban truly possessed few attrac- 
tions, but it was, happily for mankind, an unusual 
one. Its vices, if we except nepotism and avarice, 
were not of the class for which the Pontiffs of his 
century are chiefly, and very justly, blamed. Morally, 
he was an ascetic upon whom Nature perhaps re- 
venged herself. If he had intellectual capability, 
it was obscured by constant explosions of that un- 
governable wrath which wreaked itself in so fero- 
cious a manner on his victims. This indeed was 
the destructive element in his character, the stead- 

* Minerbetti, Chron., anno 1389, 15; Sozomeni, Pistoriensis, 1140, 
apud Muratoriy xvi : ' Et per unum mensem f uit in segrotatione. Et 
dictum fuit, quod de veneno deficit* 

' *Erat etiam brevis stature et spissus, colons lividi sive fusci, et 
sexagenarius vel circa, dum elegabatur in Papam.' — De Scismate, lib. i. i. 


fast defeater of all his plans and ambitions. He 
seems to have united in himself the toughness, the 
weight, and the endurance of iron ; but whenever 
these admirable qualities were most urgently re- 
quired for action, the metal was found to be at white 
heat, and, therefore, worse than useless. Some of 
his contemporaries not unnaturally declared him 
to be insane. Nevertheless, it cannot be said he 
exhibited disorder in his ideas, or any indistinctness 
in his aims, and certainly he showed no trace of 
indecision in his eflforts for their achievement. He 
seems, however, to have found a certain passionate 
satisfaction in raising the very storms with which 
he so vainly battled ; and it is difficult to give this 
any other name than insanity. Yet we cannot with- 
hold a sort of admiration for reckless daring when 
found coupled with such inflexible determination. 
Of the superior advantages of his adversaries Urban 
made little account. His dexterity again was well 
shown in extricating himself from Nocera. He had 
no little gift of cunning. To the austerity of the 
monk he added the pitilessness of the inquisitor, 
which his sudden elevation to autocratic power gave 
him ample means of gratifying. Without displaying 
a remarkable mind, he had yet sufficient knowledge 
of human nature to be even with all its worst 
qualities. He saw nothing lovely in life at all, 
except his own lust for power. Had Urban pos- 
sessed a portion of the tact and self-control of King 
Charles, it is quite probable the Western Schism 



would not have occurred. The mere fact of his 
being an Italian, instead of a French Pontiff, gave 
him extraordinary advantages, all of which he most 
wilfully wasted. The mischievous despotism of the 
foreign C!ondottieri, which his foreign predecessors on 
the throne of St. Peter had set themselves earnestly, 
if vainly, to check, was in consequence given fresh im- 
petus, and the affairs of Italy were still further con- 
founded. Cleavage in the Church in those days meant 
dislocation in everything, a sanguinary scramble 
throughout the land, crippling every mercantile enter- 
prise, demoralising every social effort ; and the various 
local tyrants were too shrewd to underrate their tempt- 
ing opportunities. Thus Urban left the affairs of the 
Church in Italy in a state of complete chaos.^ 

Yet, strange as it may seem, we should rather 
be grateful than otherwise that all this far-reaching 
confusion was brought about. But for the Western 
Schism, the splendid critical displeasure of Wickliffe 
and the English people with the despotic and irra- 
tional exactions of the Church might have found no 
sympathetic atmosphere wherein to flourish outside 
England, and to set reflective minds working. That 
reformer s dii-ect appeal to the suppressed germs of 
Rationalism was, by means of the Schism, enabled 
to stir them into very conscious existence. Oppor- 
tunity was at last felt to be propitious, and the 
man was not wanting. A feeble monarch, a dual 

1 Florenz, Neapel und das Piipstliclie Schisma. Von Dr. Georg 
Erler. Leipzig, 1889. 


Papacy, an island - people with strong traditions, 
exasperated by extreme and long-continued clerical 
abuses, — Europe generally smarting under the deso- 
lating extortions of a corrupt, avaricious, and divided 
priesthood, — all unconsciously contributed to encou- 
rage and fortify the audacity of that sincere and ener- 
getic thinker, until his doctrines, spreading as they 
did with healthy rapidity over a semi-sympathetic 
continent, distantly foretokened the coming of Luther 
and the emancipation of Eeason. The Schism, there- 
fore, was a direct forebear of the Reformation. 

It will be not uninteresting now to consider some 
of the more immediate results of this great crisis 
in Papal affairs. 

To begin with, the example afforded by the leaders 
of the Christian family was realistically imitated by 
the other members. The chasm widened ; and as it 
widened, it deepened. 

Nominally speaking, France was Clementist and 
Italy was Urbanist ; but virtually, the rival factions 
impinged on one another throughout Europe, whence 
mutual persecution and recrimination everywhere 
prevailed. At Metz, at Liege, at Basle, at Coire, 
and at Breslau, there were rival bishops who assailed 
each other with anathemas, which faithfully re- 
echoed the Pontifical thunders. The monastic 
Orders soon became involved in the strife, and 
the Carthusian, to which order Urban himself be- 
longed, became divided against itself. This nar- 
rative has shown that the most potent head of the 


Benedictines, the Abbot of Monte Cassino, headed 
the army which besieged Urban at Nocera. The 
great military order of St. John did not escape 
the common influence, and consequently owned 
a Grand-Master and an Anti-Grand-Master. Fra 
Giovanni-Fernandez d'Eredia, the Grand-Master by 
right, had espoused the Anti-PajDal cause ; and while 
at Palestrina in 1383 Urban declared him deprived, 
and in his stead elected Fra Riccardo Caracciolo, 
a Neapolitan, and Prior of the Hospitallers at Capua. 
In every department of Western Christianity pre- 
vailed this disruption, this anarchy; and to accen- 
tuate ecclesiastical confusion, the Schism had broken 
out in the midst of the war being w^aged by ortho- 
dox theologians against those flourishing Mendicant 
Orders, which the Roman Pontifis themselves had 
had good cause for vigorously defending. 

It was natural that dogmatical disputes already 
long carried on in high quarters should receive 
acute stimulation from the fresh division in the 
rank and file of the Church. The sects or heresies, 
which had endured more than a century of persecu- 
tion at the hands of the Inquisition, now sprang 
into fresh activity. Terror and repression had sub- 
dued, but by no means extirpated them. They had 
secretly spread over a larger area, and had found new 
centres, between which had been begotte^Q numerous 
hybrid and subordinate heresies ; whose haaders, how- 
ever, defied and even menaced their persecutors as 
daringly as any of their predecessors had done. 


Of these, the Waldenses had so widely disseminated 
their tenets, that in Austrian territories alone they 
could boast of twelve Grand-Masters or Kegents; 
and they flourished in Prussia and Poland as obsti- 
nately as in Bohemia and Bavaria, or in the vale of 
Mont Cenis. The core of their existence was nourished 
by professed abhorrence of the greed of Kome and of 
that corrupt Church, the commencement of whose 
temporary downfall they were indeed regarding. 

In theology, perhaps the most notable and im- 
portant contention (having its birth in the last 
years of the pontificate of Urban, and its parent- 
age in the doctrines of Wickliffe) was that which 
arose between the Aragonese Dominican, Juan de 
Montesono, and the University of Paris, on the 
long-fermenting subject of the Immaculate C!on- 
ception.^ The Friar afl&rmed it to be contrary to 
the Faith to aver that any save Christ Himself was 
exempt from original sin. He declared it to be a 
sin against the Faith to aver that the Virgin Mary 
was immaculately conceived. The scandal evoked 
by this bold assertion raged during five years. 
When the University of Paris condemned him, 
Montesono appealed to Avignon. Mosheim states 
that the University had clung throughout the 
century to the doctrine of the Immaculate Con- 
ception.* The Bishop of Paris approved the censure 
of the University, and threatened those who should 

^ Lea, History of the Inquisition, vol. iii. p. 596. Summa Theolog., 
T. Aquinas, iiL 27. 
> Mosheim, voL ii. p. 302. 



preach according to Montesono's opinions with ex- 
communication. However, the Friar had received 
his doctrine from his Order, and his Order was 
determined to stand by him. Presently, he re- 
paired, by command, to the Court of Clement, and 
was there confronted by four of the ablest doctors 
from Paris. Among these figured the famous Pierre 
d'Ailly, whose arguments soon prepossessing the 
Anti-Pope in favour of the University, certain of 
his Cardinals were charged to investigate the dispute 
still further and come to a decision, meanwhile for- 
bidding Montesono to leave Avignon on pain of 
being found contumacious. Fearing for his life, 
however, the Friar fled to Italy and transferred his 
allegiance to Urban, in whose favour, later on, he 
issued a treatise. In consequence of the Dominican 
Order now refusing to accept the decision of Paris, 
its members were denied access to the University; 
and, as Lea has pointed out in his admirable His- 
tory of the Inquisition,^ this contributed to the abase- 
ment of the Inquisition in France, by supplanting it 
* as an investigator of doctrine and judge of heresy.' 

The area of Italian politics faithfully reflected the 
contortionate attitudes of the Church. It was a fore- 
gone conclusion that any loosening of the ties binding 
the Angevine kingdom of Naples to the Holy See, 
which had raised it up in the previous century in 
order to counterbalance Imperial or Ghibelline des- 
potism in Northern Italy, would prove a certain 

^ VoL ii. p. 135. 



provocation to the chiefis of that fisiction, of whom 
the Visconti were at this period of leading impor- 
tance, and from whom most of the more petty tyrants 
took their cue. Even in his blinding chagrin after 
the flight to Genoa, Urban had no need to be re- 
minded of this ; and we have seen that while there 
he gladly received the Vicar-General of the Empire, 
Gian Galeazzo Visconti, and granting him absolution 
for the murder of his uncle Bemabo,^ at the same 
time. gave a dispensation for the marriage of his 
daughter Valentina with her cousin, the Duke of 
Orleans, only brother of Charles VI. of France.* 
A little later, however, Urban's eyes were further 
opened, and he perceived the intention of Visconti, 
not only to make himself master of Tuscany and 
the Papal patrimony, but to crown himself King of 
Italy. For he had taken Verona and Vicenza, had 
driven from Padua the reigning Carrara family, and 
thus had extended his frontier to within sight of 
the very domes of St. Mark's. At the same moment, 
he aimed a heavy blow at the authority of the 
Church by decreeing that no layman should be under 
necessity of obeying a summons from the ecclesias- 
tical courts. In consequence, the Pope excluded 
him from the general indulgence promised to all who 
should attend the Jubilee he intended to celebrate 
in 1390. The adversary, nevertheless, seeing himself 

^ Qian Galeazzo then began to build the Cathedral of Milan, in com- 
memoration of having made himself tyrant Vide Corio, Istoria de 
Milano, voL ii ^ 

> He himself married, first, Isabella, daughter of that King. 


master of two-thirds of entire Lombardy, could well 
afford to make light of this little want of amiability 
on the part of Urban, and accordingly he did so. 

If a dislocated Naples depressed the Italian Papacy, 
in a still more potent manner did an over-powerful 
Milan depress Florence. The position of the latter 
city was one of extraordinary difficulty. The thrift 
and industry of her citizens had accumulated un- 
rivalled wealth. Her shrewdness and enterprise had 
created a greater Florence beyond her walls, of which, 
indeed, she herself formed but the brain or luminous 
nucleus. Her bankers maintained agents in every 
European kingdom, even in many of their secondary 
towns. There was scarcely a reigning dynasty at 
the period I am speaking of but was considerably 
indebted to her, and with her ruling love of money 
was fused her somewhat peculiar love of freedom. 

The money markets of Europe throve at this 
period, as they ever will do under republican forms 
of government, and of these Venice, Genoa, and Flor- 
ence exhibited the principal examples ; but the one 
long considered the most desirable as a possession 
in the sight of the Visconti dynasty was Florence. 
Gian Galeazzo felt himself obliged to support the 
Genoese in order to spite his chronic antagonists the 
Venetians. The latter, meanwhile, used all possible 
means to stimulate his greed toward Florence. 

Again, during the exile of the Papacy at Avignon, 
and during these opening years of the Schism, many 
of the cities of Central Italy had made use of the 




opportunity thus given them to imitate the example 
of Florence, and, throwing oflF their allegiance, had 
chosen their own masters. Oppressed by the Car- 
dinal-legates, they had called in the services of 
various Free Companies and proclaimed their own in- 
dependence. Others, less fortunate, had succumbed 
to the legates after recurrent sanguinary struggles. 
None of them, however, were proof against the 
dexterous wiles of Visconti, who was aware that 
their hatred of the Papal suzerainty was almost 
counterbalanced by their envy of Florence. 

Urban, defeated in his designs on Naples, naturaUy 
had made it his next object to recover these revolted 
towns of Tuscany and Romagna ; but in this he found 
himself opposed by Gian Galeazzo, who claimed the 
lion's share. Throughout the century the possession 
of Bologna had been contested, and the Lord of Milan 
now naturally refused to surrender his pretended rights 
over her to an unpopular and a defeated PontiflF. 

Florence, therefore, at this period had three dis- 
tinct and powerful enemies variously allied against 
her, viz., the Venetians, who were jealous of her 
trade ; the Tuscan cities, who were envious of her 
wealth ; and the Visconti, who were desirous of 
entirely crushing her under their tyranny. Florence, 
made afraid of Urban, had been glad enough to give 
him the cold shoulder ; he returned the coldness by 
refusing her request that he would join her league 
against the Visconti 

Finding their desires repulsed in this direction, 


the magistrates of Florence, who had been eagerly 
listening to the urgent proposals of Francisco IL of 
Padua, and several other victims of Visconti's am- 
bition or treachery, now determined to secure the 
services of Hawkwood, Rinaldo Orsini, and those of 
a French company led by the Count of Armagnac. 
Having achieved this at immense cost, they con- 
cluded a defensive and oflfensive alliance with Bol- 
ogna, and then despatched an embassy to the insane 
Charles VI. of France, in order to win him over to 
their cause. To this they were prompted by the 
Count of Armagnac, whose daughter had become the 
second wife of the Duke of Orleans/ Their endeavour 
fortunately did not meet with success, owing probably 
to the advice of the Anti-Pope, who looked upon the 
Duke of Milan as the most powerful enemy of the 
Roman Pope — now Boniface IX. 

The Duke was not behind -hand in gathering 
strength for the struggle. His agents kept him 
informed of every turn in the development of Flor- 
entine politics. He was also aware that Florence 
had lately lost to Urban the services of certain 
desirable captains, among whom especially figured 
Hawkwood, whose wife was a natural daughter of 
his uncle Bernabo. But for the moment he mis- 
reckoned the power of Florentine gold, and thus 
made a serious miscalculation. At the summons of 
the Signoria, those renowned captains left the ailing 

^ His -Meter Beatrice had married Carlo Visconti, son of Bernabo. 
Corio, Storia di Milano, t ii. 386. 


and bankrupt Pope and returned to Florentine ser- 
vice. To them, however, Milan could oppose com- 
manders only little less skilful, Jacopo del Verme, 
Facino Cane, and, not least, the brothers Giovanni 
and Alberico da Barbiano, CJounts of Cuneo. 

Despite the death of Armagnac and the rout of juiy as. 1391. 
his Gascons by Del Verme before the walls of Ales- 
sandria, the result of the first phase of the long and 
desultory war that followed was not unfavourable 
to the Florentines. This was chiefly due both to the 
admirable strategy of Hawkwood and to the terror 
everywhere inspired by his corps of six hundred 
English archers. For, hearing of the disaster to 
Armagnac's forces, which prevented their efiecting the 
desired junction with his own, Hawkwood contrived a 
masterly retreat by fording the Adige, and presently 
blocking the enemy in his descent upon Florence.^ A 
temporary peace was brought about by the endeavours 
of the new Pope, BonifEice IX., and was duly signed 
by representatives of the respective adversaries in 
the presence of Adomo, Doge of Genoa. January X39». 

The advent of a new Italian Pontiflf, who felt the 
necessity of throwing vigour into the cause of the 
Guelfic allies of the Papacy, could not but prove a 
matter of considerable satisfaction at Florence, and 
a still greater to the House of Durazzo at Naples. 
Boniface lost no time in declaring King Ladislaus 
to be the only rightful monarch of that realm. Like 

^ CJorio justly says, ^ e veigognoao fu il yitupero dell' esercito di Qiov. 
Qaleazzo, che senza rompere una lancia, lasdasse scampare PAcuto dal 
pericolo in cui versava.' — T. iL 363. 


Urlmn, himself a Neapolitan (of the House of Toma- 
eelli), his family had been greatly favoured and 
advanced hj Charles III, He now repaid benefits 
received at that King's hands to his vv-idow, Margaret, 
and her son ; moreover, as we have seen, he caused 
his excommunicated remains in Hungary to be re- 
interred with full ecclesiastical rites. Pursuing this 
patriotic course steadfastly till the close of the cen- 
tury, he experienced the triumph, in 1399, of seeing 
Louis n. of Anjou driven out of the kingdom. 









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liHE subject of this essay takes us back 
to the latter half of the thirteenth 
century, to a period in which Christian 
InteUect, like a plain that had long 
lain blackened by partly exhausted fires, 
was commencing to put forth &esh growths. Had 
it been actually in her power to do so, the Church 
would have unquestioningly extirpated these growths. 
Nevertheless, as she was constituted, it seemed easier, 
or rather far more convenient, for her to modify and 
control their development as in turn they arose. 
She, therefore, may be said to have laid down as a 
fundamental dogma that, though obeying the natural 
law of their being, they were to be dependent for 
existence upon her permission, otherwise to be 
absolute vassals to her wUl. Speculations and in- 
quiries into phenomena were to be guided and dis- 
ciplined by scriptural text or patristic dogma alone. 
Learning, outside theology, was to be considered pro- 
tected in so far as its professors obeyed this despotic 


injunction, — heretical, in so fiEu: as they disobeyed 
it. Theology in her arrogance cried out, *I can 
explain all things. Death to those who do not 
accept my explanation I ' 

Two of the inevitable consequences of this dis- 
astrous and tyrannical limitation of the Spirit of 
Inquiry w^ere intellectual servility or hypocrisy, on 
the one hand, and perilous, occasionally fatal, auda- 
city, on the other. The growth of true learning 
was thus cruelly contorted as well as retarded. Curi- 
osity, however, in the long-run proved more enduring 
than fear ; with the result for mankind that Learning 
has swallowed up Theology, as a forest swallows up 
a deserted city. Moreover, though autocratic and 
conscrs'^ativc, the Church herself was not stagnated, 
but evolutionary, and slowly, though reluctantly, 

In order, then, to judge of the kind of restricted 
and superstitious atmosphere in which Francesco 
Stabile, Astrologer, Physician, and Poet, grew up, 
lived his day, and ultimately died at the hands of 
the Inquisition, let us at some length regard the 
development of the sciences then struggling for 

Had a definite understanding and satisfactory ex- 
planation of physical phenomena been miraculously 
within the power of the Church, there would have 
been little call upon the speculative powers of 
studious laymen. The Church, nevertheless, was 
herself so ignorant that she had thus far, however 


willing, and even eager, been able to define very little 
in respect of such things ; leaving, therefore, ample 
room for secular inquiry in every branch of observed 
phenomena. What rendered her pretended boundary 
lines still more hazy and transgressible by laymen, 
was the fact that she had adopted most of her ideas 
on such subjects from Pagan sources, and she now 
began to put forth these borrowed ideas under dis- 
guises so flimsy and vaporous, that it would have 
been exceedingly difficult to say where Pagan tradi- 
tion ended and Christian embroidering began. So 
that as long as speculators did not actually defy the 
ecclesiastical autocracy, but either openly acknow- 
ledged or humbly conceded to its judgment, they 
remained tolerably safe ; but when they showed the 
least tendency to diverge into paths of independent 
research, they, as it were, encountered angels with 
flaming swords standing in the way. The tree of 
knowledge might be perceived by the eye, the rustle 
of its leaves might be apprehended by the ear ; but 
neither blossom nor fruit might be touched, far less 
gathered. The Church was the re-embodiment of 
the old Jehovah ; a dark, jealous, and vindictive 

The beliefs of the multitude, especially outside 
the centres of learning, revealed their Pagan origin 
far less opaquely than did those of the Church, 
though it is true they had vastly degenerated. In 
out-of-the-way places men still clung to the rites 
practised by their forefathers, and the ancient deities, 


where not actually worshipped, were constantly re- 
garded as mighty demons fully worthy of the pro- 
found respect begotten by timidity. Virgil and 
Merlin were looked upon as puissant enchanters. 
Diana and Hecate were still tutelary deities.^ Dante 
shows us how Hades and Tartarus were combined 
in the Christian Hell. The air was equally full of 
saintly miracles and demonic manifestations, and it 
was difficult for the ignorant to believe that the 
Church could do more than barely hold her own 
against her all-powerful adversary. The powers of 
light and the powers of darkness were struggling for 
mastery. Universal credulity prevailed in regard to 
the miraculous or supernatural, whether of good or 
of evil ; but the superior familiarity with which men 
could regard things evil, not too secretly stimulated 
their respect for the devil. The boundaries they 
could draw for themselves between the conception 
of a vindictive Deity and a maleficent Satan must 
indeed have been extremely hazy. The manifesta- 
tions of Divine wrath and Satanic mischief natu- 
rally bore a strong family resemblance, and Satan 
doubtless often successfully contested the credit of 
the display. The same phenomena might be inter- 
preted the glorious purposes of God or the superb 
devices of the devil, and thus temptingly was opened 
the door for superstitious, but eager and persevering, 
speculation. Did not the Church herself admit that 

* Alfred Maury, La Magie et rAetrologie, p. 1 76. J. Grimm, Deutsche 
Mythologie, p. 26a 


'rains and winds, and whatsoever occurs by local 
impulse alone, can be caused by demons ' ? * It is 
a dogma of faith that the demons can produce wind 
and storm, and can rain fire from heaven.'^ Albertus 
Magnus, in his * De Potentia Daemonum,' tells how a 
certain salve dropped into a well caused a whirlwind. 
Wherefore displays which were usually attributable 
to God might nevertheless be sometimes occasioned 
by the powers of Hell. 

Here, then, was a state of semi-authorised belief 
in direct sympathy with the polytheistic tendencies 
from which Catholicism vainly declares its mission to 
have been to wean the world. If Satan could work 
marvels to impress the multitude, the Church pre- 
tended she could at least do likewise, and be even 
with him. History was, as it were, repeating the 
wonders respectively performed before Pharaoh by 
Moses and by the Chaldeans. All intellectual seed 
fell, one way or another, in superstitious furrows. 
There was warrant for fianatical intensity of faith ; 
but there was also warrant for belief in the wildest 
and darkest imaginings, especially for belief in the 
vindictive powers of the but half-subjugated ancient 
deities. In such a state of things, it was but natu- 
ral fresh questions and doubtful points of all kinds 
should crop up to tempt the dialectical acumen of 
the schoolmen or to £a,scinate the attention of the 
experimental inquirer. 

^ Thomas Aquinas, Summa TheoL I. quest Ixxx. As Maury points 
out, this was the origin of ringing the beUs during storms. See also 
Rydberg^ Magic of the Middle Ages, p. 73. 


The main standpoint of the Church was nominallj 
based upon the saying of St. Augustine — * Nothing 
is to be accepted save on the authority of Scripture, 
since greater is that authority than all the powers of 
the human mind/^ and upon his dictum as to the 
nullity of celestial influencea Nevertheless, in things 
regarded as supernatural, the authority of Scripture 
was at once peculiarly limited, and its words sub- 
jected to the most diverse interpretations. More- 
over, one interpretation, after the manner of pro- 
verbs, modified another, according as it appealed to 
variously excited imaginations. For theological or 
party purposes, texts in reference to the same subject 
could readily be utilised in opposition to one another. 
Besides, were not passages of a highly figurative 
style susceptible of exceedingly elastic renderings? 
However, to this scriptural ruling, enlarged and 
expanded as it had been by the early Fathers, the 
Church now subjected all doctrines regarding storms, 
eclipses, comets, earthquakes, planetary conjunctions, 
demoniac possessions,- epidemical visitations, &c., and 
in this apparently illimitable field of natural or super- 
natural phenomena intellectual men like Roger Bacon 
and Albertus, subject to theological censorship and 
terrifying cautions, were permitted to speculate. They 
were on no account to forget that their business in so . 
doing was to harmonise phenomena and the Fathers. 

But these men soon came to perceive that their 
personal safety lay either in extreme self-control by 

1 Augustine, De Civ. Dei, lib. v. c 1-7. 


totally avoiding certain engrossing subjects, or else 
in busying themselves with tamely and ingeniously 
reconciling Pagan speculations with the views of the 
Church, — an attitude and occupation now comfort- 
ably indulged in by so many Churchmen toward the 
scientific revelations of our own day. Nevertheless 
all did not so consult their own safety, as we see 
by the examples of Bacon himself,^ Amauld de 
Villeneuve, and Pietro d'Abano. General public 
sympathy with their trade was in their favour, 
but, unfortunately for them, there existed, as it 
were, no true ' middle class ' of intellect to take up 
at once and fertilise the bold ideas of these studi- 
ous inquirers. The Emperor Frederick was dead, 
and his line extinct. So that we are confronted in 
the history of those times with certain figures of 
entirely isolated giants, of great men, like Bacon, 
Pietro d'Abano, Ockham, &c., apparently bom out 
of their proper age, and in sympathetic touch with 
far other and later days.^ 

In any case, the inquiring observer could not but 
run continual risks. The isolation necessary to and 
begotten of the nature of his studies rendered him 
an object of awe and curiosity to the ignorant, of 
enmity to the vain or jealous, and of suspicion to the 
orthodox or bigoted. He was thus frequently in 

1 With result that he was on two separate occasions condemned hj 
the Council of his Order (the Franciscan), and was imprisoned for 
many years. 

B Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas took subtle care for their 
self-preservation, as also did Raymond Lully. 


danger of being taken for a magician, for an inter- 
mediary 'twixt the powers of darkness and mankind — 
in fact, for a direct agent of Satan. In his solitude 
he was supposed to hold communion with demons, 
and to win from them the secrets he was credited 
with possessing. He was, therefore, by some ob- 
served with suspicious dread, but consulted with 
implicit faith or flattered with abject servility by 
others. Moreover, he was continually over-watched 
by the critical and credulous eyes of the Church. 
With men of strong character, frankness and open- 
ness proved of little avail, and these qualities were 
easily misinterpreted by minds of an opposite deter- 
mination ; while with weaker men the sense of easily 
acquired power and the prospect of rapid gain could 
not but be agreeably stimulated by the perception of 
the timidity they at first quite involuntarily inspired. 
The revival of Latin in the eleventh century had 
imported into Christian theology the logic of Aris- 
totle,^ which was readily adapted and assimilated 
by countless professors ; so much so, that, the Greek 
philosopher's doctrines grew to be regarded with 
as much intellectual deference as were those of 
St. Augustine, and their respective influences thus 
became gradually dove -tailed. In the following 
century, however, the *Metaphysic' and 'Natural 
History,' which had for long formed the central 
and sacred, though not unpolluted, Zemzem of the 

^ * The logic of Aristotle seems to have been partly known in the 
eleventh century.' — Hallam, Middle Ages, iii. 426. 


flourishing Arabian philosophy at Bagdad, at Cor- 
dova, and in Morocco, were likewise imported into 
Italy through the medium of Latin translations, and 
soon became the cause of a terrible ferment in Chris- 
tendom, which lasted through several generations. 

Let us now, therefore, briefly consider the manner 
and certain peculiar results of this invasion or re- 
vival of Paganism, as it affected the atmosphere of 
European learning and philosophy. It cannot be 
denied to have shed very considerable light therein ; 
yet it was the light not as that of the sun, but as of 
a luminous haze or nebulosity, which, for the time 
being, rather deepened the mystery than irradiated 
the ways of learning. It brought with it a resusci- 
tation of the ancient mystical science of astrology, 
which the mediaeval mind,— long saturated with 
love and dread of the marvellous, and fascinated 
with the grotesqueness of its own misconceptions, — 
was only too predisposed to receive. On the other 
hand, it likewise imported a fresh and improved 
school of medicine, which was destined to modify 
many superstitious notions held in regard to the 
nature of diseases and their treatment. 

I have stated indirectly that until the twelfth 
and thirteenth centuries, although accepted as a 
ruling authority on logic and dialectic, Aristotle was 
not known in Christendom by his other and greater 
works. Had the * Physic' and 'Metaphysic' been 
to hand in those days, it is more than probable 
that the entire works of the Greek philosopher 


would have been promptly banned, and St. Augustine 
would have reigned supreme autocrat over that one 
domain of logic, dry, huge, and barren as his own 
African deserts. These important works, however, 
had been fertilising intellects far outside the com- 
munity of the Latin Church ; — among the Moors, 
or philosophised town Arabs of Bagdad and of 
Cordova, of Palermo, of Toledo, and Morocco ; — had 
indeed been kept and nursed as rare and precious 
plants in the cities of civilised Islam. During the 
darkest era of Christianity these great centres had 
been flourishing and busily developing those seeds 
of light which they had received fix)m the decadent 
Greeks and scattered Israelites. 

This brings us to one of the most remarkable 
events in mediaeval history, namely, that by means 
of which, through the agency of mere Scandinavian 
freebooters, Christianity was destined to receive en- 
lightenment from the Semitic intellect it so incon- 
sistently despised, from the Mohammedanism it so 
ignorantly cursed ; — and how Italian literature, of 
which the world has come to be so justly proud, 
like the sun himself, was to take its glorious rise. 

I am aware of no deduction in literary history 
based upon evidence more conclusive than has already 
abundantly been made known on this point. The real 
foundation of the Renaissance is to be discovered 
in the Norman occupation of Sicily, and the materials 
for that foundation in the intellectual labours of 
the Jews and Arabs of Palermo and Cordova. 


Owing to toleration for heretics on the part of the 
enlightened Moslems, there had been considerable 
intimacy between the Moors and Christians in Spain 
long previously. The former not only had permitted 
Christians to observe their own creed in the towns, 
but had admitted Christian children to Moorish 
schools and Christian adults to ofl&ces of honour in 
the Moorish Court.^ Gerbert (afterwards supreme 
head of the Church in icxxd a.d. as Sylvester II.) 
had even received his education in Andalusia, and 
undoubtedly his later reputation as a necromancer 
was gained from the unusual superiority of his 
learning thus acquired. He is believed by some to 
have been the first to introduce Arabic numerals 
into Christendom. Nevertheless, isolated instances 
of contact did not constitute chronic relationship 
or sustained influence. Gerbert was only Pope for 
four years. But the Christians in Spain evidently 
had no reason for quitting a country where they 
could enjoy the arts of learning and peace which 
more and more assimilated them with their highly 
civilised Semitic masters.^ 

^ 'The public echools and libraries of the Spanisli Arabs were 
resorted to, not only by those of their own faith at home and in the 
East, but by Chriatians from different parts of Europe.' —Ticknor, 
Hist Spanish Litt, yoL iii. p. 392. 

* * The inevitable result was that, in the course of ages, they gradu- 
ally yielded something of their national character. They came at last 
to wear the Moorish dress ; they adopted Moorish manners ; and they 
served in the Moorish armies and in places of honour at the courts of 
Cordova and Qranada.' — Ibid., p. 393. 

*In 1254, Alfonso the Wise, when, by a solemn decree dated at 
Burgos, 8th December, he was making provision for education at 


The century in which Gerbert died witnessed the 
conquest of Saracen Sicily by the Normans under 
Robert Guiscard and his son Roger, ending with the 
capture of the great Moslem metropolis, Paleima 
Now a transformation took place which in itself 
might almost be termed magical, both by reason of 
its rapidity and from its having involved the con- 
querors themselves. 

This splendid race of Northern adventurers, in 
addition to their unusual physique, possessed a 
mental elasticity that only awaited fitting oppor- 
tunity for right and rich development. Just as in the 
Mohammedan invasion of Persia (but more rapidly 
than was the case there), the uncouth victors became 
in turn subjugated by the superior culture of the de- 
feated natives, so in Sicily the triumphant Normans 
soon found themselves adopting the habits, and a 
little later the ideas, of their Saracenic subjects. So 
successfully and completely did this particular trans- 
formation take place, that in a couple of generations 
the toleration accorded the Christians at Cordova 
could be matched by the toleration accorded the 
Moslems at Palermo. It would have puzzled a 
traveller who visited Sicily in those days to declare 
whether the rulers and their Courts were more 

Seville, established Arabic schools there as well as Latin. Indeed, stiU 
later, and even down to the fourteenth century, the public Acts and 
monuments of that part of Spain were often written in Arabic, and the 
signatures to important ecclesiastical documents, though the body of 
the instrument might be in Latin or Spanish, were sometimes made in 
the Arabic character.' — Ibid., p. 395. 


Moslem or more Christian. Except in actual faith 
and physical appearance, the respective diflFerences 
were annulled. The mosque flourished side by side 
with the temple of Christ, and the latter amiably 
borrowed devices from the limited architecture of the 
former. The costume was influenced in like manner ; 
moreover, the simple Norman dialect gave way to 
the richer Semitic. Consequently, the Norman King 
of Sicily far more resembled a Moslem Kaliph than 
a Christian monarch. While his power for govern- 
ance remained steadfast to the hardy character he 
had inherited, his Court and culture were subdued 
to what they worked in. He became the patron of 
sciences unknown even at Rome or in Paris, and 
breathed an atmosphere the most intellectual the 
world could then boast. His poets, physicians, 
astrologers, merchants, and geographers were all 
Arabs or Jews, and in the chief mosque at Palermo 
were suspended the supposed bones of the prophet 
of the Moslem intellect, — even of Aristotle himself. 

The glory of the Hauteville dynasty culminated, 
after nearly two centuries of rule, in the infant son "94 a.d. 
of Constance, later the renowned Frederick H., who 
seems to have united in himself qualities as opposite 
as those which adorned our own Edward I., and 
those for which the late Emperor of Brazil was 
conspicuous among modem rulers. In him centred 
all the fine tendencies of his Norman ancestry, as 
well as a full measure of the resolution and magna- 
nimity of his Swabian grandfather, Barbarossa, and 


he carried on their best designs and traditions by 
his enlightened patronage of learning. A master of 
Arabic, we find him bringing himself under the shadow 
of Papal suspicion by according unstinted toleration 
to his Jewish^ and Moslem subjects, and still more 
by his friendly relations with Sultan Kamil, and 
his bloodless diplomatic capture of Jerusalem. One 
of his proudest and most enduring achievements was 
the foundation of the University of Naples. His 
£Eunous secretary, Pietro delle Vigne, tells us that 
his master sent letters out over all his realms 
of Apulia and Sicily, to Germany, and to lands 
beyond the seas, inviting learned men, irrespective 
of creed, to come and reside at Naples and Salerno, 
and take up professorships; and that they freely 
responded.^ When, a little later, Bologna rebelled 
from his sway, he commanded the students of the 
recalcitrant University to transfer themselves to that 
of Naples. 

These professors not only fulfilled their duties of 
teaching and conferring degrees, but occupied their 
leisure in translating the scientific works of the 
Greek and Moslem sages into Latin; and thus, 
one after another, were introduced the medical and 
philosophic works of Avenzoar, Avicenna, Averroes, 

^ Barbaroeea was himself accused of extending too great toleration 
to the Jews. Milman's History of the Jews, iiL 198 ; Von Raumer, Die 
Hohenstauffen, iii. 486, 498. 

* Among those who came were Judah Ben Solomon Cohen of Toledo 
and Jacob Ben Abba Morri. Munk, Mdlauges, p. 335 ; Vie et Com- 
spondance de Pierre de la Vigne, par A. Huillard-Breh611e8. Paris, 


and Ibn-Maimun, the &mous Babbi, including their 
versions and commentaries on the works of Aris- 
totle.^ The fresh vigour given to learning of aU 
kinds by this grand transfusion may as easily be 
imagined as, on the other hand, can be imagined 
the way in which the Church soon began to regard 
it. The herb thus implanted grew up as it were in 
a night, and shed seed on the morrow ; so that when 
the angry gardener came months later, spade in hand, 
to extirpate it, his most violent eflForts were destined 
to be baffled. In fact, the Universities of Salerno 
and Naples, being secular institutions under the 
immediate patronage of the Emperor, the ecclesi- 
astical authorities were at first unable to make head 
against them ; and though they succeeded later on, 
their success was very partial, and the foundation 
laid by Frederick, in spite of every efibrt of the 
Church to ruin and remove it, became the foundation 
of the edifice of modern science. Emulation between 
these universities quickly kindled that of similar 
institutions, and the channels of trade became the 
channels of learning. 

With this^ flood of Moslem and Israelite erudition 

1 *The principal share of glory in the great work of translation, 
which occupied the entire thirteenth century and the first quarter of the 
fourteenth, belongs to the family Tibbonides of Andalusia, which had 
settled at LuneL' — * Averro^s,' E. Renan, p. i86. 

* It was from Toledo that Michael Scott came with translations of 
Aristotle and Averrhoes, and was warmly welcomed at the court of 
Frederick. Hermannus Alemannus continued Michael's work at Toledo, 
and brought versions of other books to Manfred, who inherited his 
father's tastes.'— Lea, Hist Inquis., iii 561. 


was reintroduced a science which, after flourishing 
in Greek and Roman days, had encountered the 
anathemas of the early Popes, not only on account 
of the fatalism its cultivation involved, hut be- 
cause it obviously trespassed on the demesnes of the 
Church. This was .the science of Astrology. Although 
patronised of old by the Emperors, the Astrologers 
of Rome had proved a frequent source of political 
agitation,^ and their science was alternately favoured 
and rigorously proscribed. Nevertheless, human 
curiosity as to events in the future always survived 
momentary chagrin, and the astrologer maintained 
a place of honour at Court under most of the Caesars. 
The later Emperors, obeying the Fathers, frequently 
interdicted the science, although both of them held 
it in awe.^ Their denunciations, therefore, however 
severe, were shorn of much of their efficacy. To 
their perceptive powers its actual vanity was not 
at all apparent ; on the contrary, they timorously 
believed in what they banned. Under these circum- 
stances, Origen^ and St. Augustine might as well 
have forbidden the stars to shine, as forbid men to 
practise arts which gratified their greed and sense 
of power. Besides, did not the Old Testament 
declare the sweet influences of the Pleiades? and 

* Mainly because they often were tempted to predict the demise 
of Caesar. 

* St. Augustine, De Genes, ad Litter., ii i6, 35 ; St. Basil, HomiL vL 
in Hexamen. 

* As Milman points out, the Cabalists and Origen believed identi- 
cally in the final restoration of Satan or SamieL 


did not the New Testament verify the faith of the 
wise men in the guiding star ? ^ And did not Origen * 
himself believe comets to be possessed of souls ? 
Nevertheless, with the increasing forceful sway of 
the Church the science of astrology dwindled away, 
until it may be said to have fallen into a cataleptic 
sleep, which lasted for many centuries, when suddenly 
it felt this re-quickening breath of Greek and Moslem 
learning, and straightway leapt back to conscious life, 
evidently refreshed by the long slumber. 

Thus, rigidly banished from Christianity, astrology 
and magic had flourished under the patronage of the 
Kaliphs and among the Jewish Rabbis, as indeed 
among all Oriental rulers and races.* Faith in the 
influence of particular stars, comets, and planetary 
conjunctions had not only become an inherent in- 
stinct with Arab, Jew, and Persian, but the culti- 
vation of the supposititious science of interpreting 
by their movements individual or national life had 
developed into an absorbing intellectual passion. 
Fond of everything that appealed to the imagination, 
they gave a double portion of their love to astrology ; 

1 The Sacred Books of India relate that the births of Krishna 
and of Buddha were foreshewn by similar stars. Jewish legends speak 
of similar appearances at the birdis of Abraham and Moses. Bunsen's 
' Angel Messiah ' and Calmet's ' Fragments,' pt viii 

> De Principiis, L 7, 3. Pamphilius, Apolog., ix. 84. 

* On the banks of the Nile astronomy is still only astrology. Bur- 
ton, ' Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Mecca,' vol. ii. p. 107, note. ' The 
condition of medifioval Europe may stiU be perfectly realised by the 
traveUer in Persia, where the Shah remains for days outside the walls 
of his capital tiU the constellations allow him to enter.' — Primitive 
Culture, voL i p. 1 19 (K R Tylor). 


and it is surely not difficult to perceive the nature 
of its charms. 

First of all, astrology was necessarily the aristocrat 
of supernatural sciences, the monarch of mystic lore. 
It was likewise the plutocrat, for no other science 
could yield such rich and immediate profit to the 
professor. It appealed at once to the love of money- 
making, to the desire of controlling the actions of 
others, and especially to the gratification of private 
revenge. Yet it would be wrong to draw the con- 
clusion that the men who made it their profession 
were all tradesmen, or charlatans, or malefactors. 
On the contrary, there can be little doubt the greater 
number of astrologers implicitly believed in the 
predictions they made, and, moreover, possessed the 
courage of their opinions. Although, at all periods, 
the profession must have included many quacks, it is 
probable there was no great preponderance of these 
until far later times, when the fancied science be- 
came degraded by the low and ignorant class of men 
who made it their perilous trade, and when the 
mere pretence of possessing powers of divination had 
become a sure, though somewhat precarious, path to 

Beside (though apart from) natural astrology 
(which consisted chiefly in observation and prediction 
of the movements of heavenly bodies, — the direct 
parent of astronomy), stood the mysterious depart- 
ment of Judicial astrology, wherein were believed to 
lie the precious secrets of all mundane occurrences. 


The celestial sphere was divided into twelve sec- 
tions or houses, through which the various planets 
went their ways, — the position containing the stars 
about to rise being denominated *the ascendant/ 
These twelve 'houses' were held to represent re- 
spectively : — Life, wealth, comrades, parents, oflF- 
spring, health, marriage, death, religion, dignities, 
friends, and foes; and certain of them were con- 
sidered to belong to particular signs or planets, which 
endued them with peculiar characteristics. Each 
* house ' and * planet ' dominated some especial state, 
some particular portion of the world, and some part 
of the human body. Hence arose the necessity on 
the part of the astrologer for untiring physical 
observation of signs and appearances, in order to be 
able to discriminate the admixture of various in- 
fluences in any given case, and so be enabled to 
foretell events, either to individuals or to states. 
The possession of considerable learning was thus an 
absolute necessity for any one aspiring to pass for an 
astrologer, — at any rate, in the days of its revival. 

The astrologer, then, being regarded by the people 
as one favoured with priceless gifts of prophecy, as a 
transmitter of celestial or demonic communications, 
to whom therefore the future was an open book, 
wherein his mental skill could infallibly decipher, 
led a life of study and isolation, and was expected 
to be conspicuously honourable in his dealings. His 
vocation was one of good repute among men, and 
his abode was held in awe both by the ignorant and 


the intelligent. He was looked upon as an ency- 
clopedia of curious learning, as a real seer. He was 
credited with profound knowledge of animal functions, 
with understanding all the states of health and dis- 
ease ; likewise the nature of all herbs and of all their 
powers, the qualities of metals, and the imagined 
influence of the stars and seasons upon all of these. 
Hence, he was doubly qualified for the professions 
of prophet and physician, and the duties of these 
professions, at the period we are considering, were in 
consequence frequently combined in one individual.^ 
This manifold combination of accomplishments on 
the part of the professed astrologer may have had 
no small influence in modifying the views and actions 
of the Church with respect to him. At first the eye 
of the Church determined to regard him as the direct 
colleague of Satan, to whom doubtless he had bartered 
away his soul and the souls of his dupes. Such a 
science, however credible, could not be cultivated with- 
out denying free-will and responsibility. The future, 
which he pretended to foretell, belonged only to God 
and to Satan. If the astrologer foretold it by no 
recognised divine gift or canonical medium, it followed 
he had recourse to the Devil.* Still it sometimes hap- 

* Pietro d'Abano declares in his * Conciliator Differentium ' (i 303) that 
astrology is inseparable from medicine. 

* In the popular creed of the Middle Ages, medicine was also closely 
allied with witchcraft and the forbidden sciences.* — ^Wright, Sorcery 
and Magic, vol. i. p. 100. 

* Yet, according to Cornelius Agrippa, the ideal astrologer should 
have unfaltering belief in the Almighty, in whose name he exercised 
his celestial art De Occulta Philosophia. 


pened that the astrologer foretold things decidedly 
beneficial to the Church or to society, such as good 
seasons, victory over foes, &c., which it was im- 
possible even for ecclesiastical perversity to credit 
to Satan. This gave the churchman's credulity 
great pause. Thomas Aquinas himself urged that 
when astrology was utilised to predict rain or 
drought it was lawful.^ So also Alonzo the Wise, in 
his * Siete Partidas * extended reward and patronage 
to those who used occult art to dispel hailstorm and 
fog, or for destroying locusts and caterpillars. By 
this means, then, the Church began to fluctuate in 
her attitude towards it, now regarding its professors 
with extreme hostility, and anon with surprising 
toleration. Though in the main it was doubtless 
condemned, even the highest authorities winked at 
it, and we find the Archbishop of Ravenna, whom 
the Pope despatched on the crusade against Ezzelino 
in 1258,* captured by that tyrant together with his 
astrologer, Everard, near Brescia. Lea aptly quotes a 
letter of the Cardinal's, written in 1305, persuading 
Clement V. to leave Avignon for Rome, in which 
they remind him that * each planet is most powerful 
in its own house.' 

But let me take note that at the moment 
when the sciences of astrology and medicine had 
acquired this fresh hold upon the sunny shores of 
Southern Europe, the arm of the Church — an arm 
with very long and vengeful claws — which was 

1 Summa Theologia, sec xc. 5. ^ Hist Inquis., yoL iii. 438. 


destined so to prune and repress their development, 
had been given its terrible license. The Inquisition 
had been actually instituted by Innocent III., the 
guardian of the enlightened Emperor Frederick him- 
self; and under his successors in the pontificate, 
judicial astrology, as an occult, instead of an exact, 
science, and as a pursuit involving the doctrine of 
fatalism, together with many other Moslem teachings 
(though not the first to do so), gradually and surely 
came beneath the Papal and Inquisitorial ban. 

Hatred on the part of the Mendicant, and jealousy 
on the part of the great Benedictine Order (in 
whose orthodox hands medical science had long 
stagnated), were bitterly aroused against Frederick, 
and, taking advantage of Papal antagonism, the 
grossest charges, such as that of human vivisection, 
the practice of occult arts, &c., were eagerly circulated 
in order to calunmiate him and his friends. It was 
rumoured that he caused men to be laid open in 
order to study the digestive functions; that he 
made a habit of repeating the words attributed 
to Averroes, to the effect that three persons had 
deceived the world : Moses — the Jews ; Christ — 
the Christians; and Mohammed — the Arabs ;^ that 
he privately corresponded with the Sultan of Baby- 
lon ; that he preferred Saracen women, &c. Un- 
questionably in his steadfast patronage of Arabic 
philosophy and protection of the Jews we recognise 

^ Gregory IX. branded the Emperor with the authorship of the 
Baying, which accusation Frederick vehemently denied* 


one of the principal causes of the intense animosity 
of the Papacy towards him. Renan quotes the 
following lines from a Guelfic bard of the period : — 

* Amisit astrologos et magos et vates 
Beelzebub et Ashtaroth, proprios penates, 
Tenebrarum consuleus per suos potestates, 
Spreverat Ecclesiam et mundi magnates ; ' ^ 

which demonstrate with ironic force the intellectual 
aspect in which Frederick was latterly regarded 
by the Church, from which he was considered to 
have seduced, among others, his friend. Cardinal 

At the same time there were springing up in the 
Church manifold crops of actual heretics of the 
Manichean order, such as the Albigenses, Cathari, 
Pauliciani, Stedingers, &c., in Southern France, at 
Oldenburg, and in Northern and Central Italy, which, 
both by their geographical positions and by the 
devoted audacity of their leaders, appealed more 
practically to this vengeful and vigilant arm of the 
Church than did the far more dangerous aspirations 
of Moslem rationalism, shielded as they were by 
the Imperial beak and talons behind the mountains 
of rugged Calabria. Alas! perhaps the better to 
protect those who studied scientifically under his 
sympathetic patronage, and to maintain peace with 
the Papacy, Frederick himself seems to have made 
a compromise with the Church by permitting its 
officers to have their ruthless way with the miserable 

^ Averroes, p. 288 (Ernest Renan). 


Mendicants. This forms the ground of the famous 
charge of cruelty and inconsistency usually brought 
against the Emperor. The Inquisition possibly fore- 
saw that it could aflFord to wait for the protected 
Averroists, astrologers, &c. It is certain that it did 
so. Moreover, the Emperor had little reason for 
feeling especially interested in the fate of the per- 
secuted monks, seeing that they were continually 
assailing him with merciless rancour as an atheist 
and blasphemer, declaring him to the world a 
persecutor of his clergy, a lover of astrology, and 
above all, that, besides his lawful Empress, he kept 
a harem of Saracen concubines. Before the close 
of the century, Dante included the Emperor and 
Ubaldini in the throng of heretics who companion 
the Epicurean Farinata in the sixth circle of the 
Inferno :— 

' More than a thousand here, he thus confessed, 
I lie with ; Frederick the Second's here, 
And the Cardinal I speak not of the rest ; ' ^ 

while with a certainly tolerant, if not semi- 
sympathetic judgment, the poet places Avicenna 
and Averroes in that first circle of the great Pagan 
philosophers, in pleasant company with Orpheus, 
Seneca, Euclid, Ptolemy, and Galen, as Renan points 
out, because Dante, like Thomas Aquinas, was far 
from viewing Averroes as impious, or of indulging 
his wrath upon him, after the manner of Raymond 
Lully and Petrarch in the following generations. 

^ C. Tomlinoon's translation. 


* Averroes had not as yet been made the standard- 
bearer of unbelie£' ^ 

Yes, it was the age of Aquinas, and Dante, and 
Giotto, the culmination of Papal supremacy and the 
germination of a new spirit of learning in Christen- 
dom. The age was ripe for it ; the Church could only 
resist it up to a certain point, and then attempt to 
adapt and modify, even as she had done with Pagan 
rites and customs aforetime. 


Having thus noted some of the circumstances under 
which the studies of medicine and astrology began 
to take fresh life upon Italian soil, and the peculiar 
atmosphere of mingled persecution and toleration in 
which they were destined to thrive and bear fruit, 
let me now turn to the consideration of what is known 
of the life and death of one of the more unfortunate 
professors of these sciences, known to fame as Cecco 
d'Ascoli, and extoUed by some of his contemporaries 
as poet, physician, and astrologer. 

Since,-as I am inclined to believe, neither poetic art 
nor physical science can be said to have benefited by 
his writings, it would seem that he can have little 
personal claim to attention. Nevertheless, we are 
bound to admit that Cecco was a memorable personage 
and lived a remarkable life (little in detail as we 
know of it), in a period of exceeding interest. In our 

* Averroes, p. 246 (E. Renan). 


own time Pietro Fanfani has constructed a popular 
novel out of the few known facts of his career. There 
is legitimate doubt as to the date of his birth, which 
Alidosi has placed in 1257, and which would make 
him seventy years of age at the time of his death at 
the hands of the Inquisition in 1327; but in any 
case, the last thirty years of his life included the last 
twenty-five of the life of Dante and the first twenty- 
three of that of Petrarch. Some writers, in view of 
the bitter expressions used by Cecco, have ventured 
to state that he was personally acquainted with Dante ; 
but I have discovered no trustworthy basis for the 
statement, and I can only admit that such may have 
been the case. That he knew Petrarch is, however, 
certain ; not at Avignon, as some have averred, but at 
Bologna, in the year 1322, when the poet attended 
the University there in order to take up his civil 
rights. Cecco, as we shall see, was then holding a 
Professorship of Philosophy there, and treading upon 
very dangerous ground. 

As the traveller of to-day quits Ancona on his 
journey southward, and skirts the desolate strand of 
the Adriatic, he crosses many a small stream, bearing 
its muddy tribute to that sullen sea. After distantly 
descrying Loreto and Fermo perched on an inland 
ridge, he comes upon the mouth of a stream somewhat 
larger in volume, and the sea is seen to be discoloured 
far out by the rush of its turbid waters. This river 
is the Tronto, and has flowed some fourteen miles 
since it left Ascoli, an antique town of twenty 


thousand souls. Should he be tempted to pay it a 
visit, he will not be unrewarded for his trouble. The 
mountain scenery behind it is exceptionally grand ; 
the snowy summits display their majestic charms to 
fascinating advantage in the not uncommon fiery 
sunsets of that district. As far as the town itself is 
concerned, Ascoli contains enough to entertain him 
for at least a day. The various churches and cloisters 
exhibit interesting intermixtures of Lombard and 
Gothic styles, at once unusual and picturesque, while 
among them appear structures dating from Roman 
times, such as the noble Ponte Solesta, consisting of 
a single span arch over the Tronto, a Roman double 
gateway, and the remains of an Ionic and Corinthian 
temple. Indeed, the possession of so many architec- 
tural objects early gave fame to Asculum Picenum : — 

' Asculum, excelsos turres, pontesque valete ! ' 

To-day the town thrives by manufacturing paper, 
sealing-wax, and woollen materials, which explains the 
presence of the small and attractive fleet of coasters 
usually to be seen at the mouth of the Tronto. 

Here, then, in the latter half of the thirteenth 
century, was bom to the wife of Simone Stabile a son, 
Francesco, afterwards to be known to history as Cecco 
d' Ascoli, he whom Petrarch (before he took an intense 
and contemptuous dislike to all whom he could include 
under the banner of Averroes) deigned to reverence : — 

* Tu sei il grand Ascolan, che il mondo allume.' ^ 

^ Crescimbeni quotes tills line as tlie commencement of a sonnet of 
Petrarch. The rest of the sonnet, however, has not come down to us. 








Possibly the next mention we have connecting him 
} with his native town is contained in a statement by 

f Appiani (written, however, two hundred years later) 

* in his * Apology ' for his famous townsman.* In this 

/ work the writer declares that Cecco once devised a 

plan for conducting the waters of the Adriatic right 

up to Ascoli, but that he was prevented carrying it 

i out through the citizens deeming they would thus be 

deprived of the advantages of the rich valley of the 

Whence Cecco obtained his professional education 

should be no diflficult matter for conjecture. The 

locality of his birth, the nature of his profession, and 

his friendship with Cino da Pistoia, point to Naples 

4 or Salerno, possibly to both.* He may have there 

attended the lectures of the * enlightened Doctor,* 
Raymond Lully,' within an hour's walk of that 
reputed tomb of Virgil, which in those days had 
become the Mecca of European magicians, a spot 
then fuUy as awe-inspiring to the Italian mind as 
the Horselberg proved to the German. At any rate, 
he found himself in one of the vortices of the flood of 
Scholastic philosophy, amid the somewhat blinding 
spindrift that arose round the names of Moses, 

1 See Dom. BemiDi, Compendio di tutte TEresie, torn. iiL sec. xiv. 

^ In the kingdom of >i'aple8 any one desiring to practise as a doctor 

had to undergo five years of medical study, and two examinations for 

his license and doctorate before masters of the school of Salerno, 

and then to spend a year upon triaL Paul Lacroix, 'Science and 

I Literature in the Middle Ages.' 

^ 3 Who, however, devoted his powers expressly to combating Moslem 



Aristotle, and Averroes, in which so many intellects 
may be said to have been overwhelmed. There, 
we may take it, he absorbed the Ptolemaic mathe- 
matical treatises, those of Nemorarius, and especially 
that by Giovanni Sacrobosco* (John Holiwood), on 
the * Sphere,' the apparent significance of which, at 
a later date, induced him to write a certain fatal 
commentary upon it. There he would have wan- 
dered over the endless argumentative deserts of the 
writings of Albertus Magnus, perhaps have penetrated 
the * Arcana ' of Roger Bacon ; while in medicine he 
would have studied the great * Canon ' of Avicenna, 
together with the writings of Almansur and Rhases ; 
in order, finally, to become himself a notable pro- 
duct of the ceaseless wrangle then raging between 
Scholastic theology and metaphysic, — between the 
Scotists and the Thomists ; outwardly, therefore, con- 
forming to orthodoxy, with a strong determination 
towards infidelity : truly not an ignorant man, but 
one possibly without serious convictions ; pedantic, 
without independence; with the encouragement of 
a little success, likely perhaps, if not of a steadfast 
character, to develop into something resembling a 
solemn charlatan. Alas, poor Cecco ! keep watch on 
thy theology and thy astrology, and a strict look- 
out for the ' dogs of the Lord ! ' 

By accepting the theory of his having obtained 
his curriculum at Naples or Salerno, we are able the 

^ Of Oxford, who taught mathematics at Paris. His ' Sphesra Mundi' 
was an abridgment of the * Kosmography ' of Claudius Ptolemeus. 






more easily to account for his introduction to the 
Papal Court at Avignon, to which he is said to have 
been appointed physician in 1 3 1 6 ; for King Robert 
of Naples was Count of Provence and the most sub- 
r^\ servient tool of the Popes. Moreover, the inter- 

*''^ course between the two courts was necessarily of 

' ; the most intimate nature, Italians frequently holding 

V appointments at Avignon, and the chief officials of 

the Neapolitan Court being invariably Provencals. 
I - A native of South Italy and a man of marked attain- 

ments ran no risk of being long overlooked by a 
monarch who. distantly imitating Frederick IL and 
ij Alfonso the Wise, prided himself on his love of cul- 

ff ture and his enlightened patronage of learned men. 

I J The Pope then reigning was John XXIL, Jacques 

^) d'Euse (himself a former favourite of King Robert, 

and likewise educated at Naples), who had just been 

elected to succeed Clement V. ; while the widowed 

Queen of France was Clemenza,* niece of that King. 

} i Nothing, therefore, could have seemed more favour- 

l* able for Cecco's career as a physician. He was thus 

f backed by the patronage of his own King, and by 

' that of the head of Christendom ; both of them men 

) of considerable learning — especially the Pope, who 

^j was reputed an authority both in Canon and Civil 

Law, into which indeed he had been professionally 

inducted. John's own youthful residence in Naples 

■ I may have been considerably responsible for the depth 

|; of his superstition, which events in France at this 

} ^ Sister of Carobert, King of Hungary. 

A 1 




particular moment greatly tended to accentuate in him. 
The late French King, Louis le Hutin, was believed 
to have been done to death by the skill of sorcerers. 
Partly melted waxen images of the King and his 
brother had been discovered, and a magician and a 
witch were executed for the crime. The power of 
Satan was considered to be more than ever active. 
Heresies, terrible epidemics, and derangements, deaths 
of kings and atmospheric disturbances, were all attri- 
buted to his now especially vigorous maleficence. In 
old time had not Christ himself been caught up into an 
exceeding high mountain and tempted of the Devil ? 
Had not the Devil entered into a herd of Gada- 
rene swine ? Had he not always manifested masterly 
powers of self-transformation ? Did he not, for rea- 
sons of his own, make choice of special moments ? 
Was he not now subtly annoying the Church under 
a marvellous variety of disguises ? And above all, 
were not such men as denied his powers most evi- 
dently working in his interests ? To deny the potency 
of Satan was equal heresy with denying the omni- 
potence of God ; for had not God delegated certain 
powers to Satan. 

Only ten years before, at Padua, the Inquisitors 
had lighted a second time upon Pietro d'Abano,* a 
celebrated Averroist philosopher and physician, who 
was supposed to be keeping in durance, shut up in 

1 filoy, Diction, de la Medicine. Mazzuclielli, Race. d'OpuscoU 
Scientifici e Filologici Grasse, Bibliotheca Magica et Pneumatica. 



■ I . 


f • 
• i 







. * 




a crystal, seven familiar spirits. To him was imputed 

the convenient faculty of successfully summoning 

back to his purse the monies paid out of it. He had 

< made himself a master in the study of poisons and 

^]- their antidotes; and further, he had not only dared 

to deny the existence of demons, but had pretended to 
cast the horoscope of the Faith itselt Among other 

|l| things, he declared that the great monarchic changes 

in the world were due to the periodic conjunctions of 
Jupiter and Saturn in the head of Aries. It is true 
he escaped his sentence (perhaps by poisoning him^ 
self, for he died during his trial), but it was ordered 
his bones should be dug up, and they were burned in 

Only six years before, i3io(?), had died on his way 
to visit Clement V. at Avignon the far more famous 
Amaud de Villeneuve,* whom the same Inquisition 
had accused of sorcery and magic,' but who had 
escaped burning at their hands through the especial 
protection of King James IL of Aragon. 

^' , Truly the times were perilous, if profitable, for all 

inquiring rationalists. Fortunately for Cecco, some- 
thing (the nature of which we have no details, — 

'{i whether the displeasure of the Pope, the envy of 

* This did not prevent Padua from erecting his statue ; and, accord- 
ing to Lea (Hist. Inquis.), Federigo, Duke of Urbino, paid him the 
same tribute. 

* Amaldi, Vita. Campegius. Pierre J. Haitze, Vie d'Amauld. 
3 * He more especially investigated the mysteries of chemical science 

|t^ as bearing upon medicine. It is said he was the first who made 

! ■ : alcohol.* — P. Lacroix. Pelayo, Heteix)doxos Espanoles. 

if. '. 
I • 


rivals/ or his own longing to return to Italy) caused 
him to give up his post at Avignon, and he journeyed 
to Florence. In the following year the Pope dis- 
covered a conspiracy to poison him and certain of his 
Cardinals. The conspirators, moreover, had made 
three little waxen figures representing his Holiness, 
which they placed in magical circles and pricked with 
nails.* John wrote to the Bishop of Riez : * Les 
magiciens, Jacques, dit Braban9on, — Jean Dumant, 
m^decin, — ont pr^pard des breuvages pour nous 
empoisonner, nous et quelques cardinaux nos fr^res, 
et n'ayant pas eu la commodity de nous les faire 
prendre, ils ont fait des images de cire, sous nos 
propres noms, pour attaquer notre vie en piquant 
ces images. Mais Dieu nous a pr^serv^s, et a 
fait tomber en nos mains trois de ces images 

The conspirators, over and above the doctors, 
included Geraud, Bishop of Cahors, who being tried 
and condemned, was flayed alive, then paraded down 
the streets of Avignon, and finally hurled, still living, 

1 * Ponrsuivi par Tenvie il retouma fen Italie.' — ^De Sade, Mdmoires 
Petrarqne, Uv. i. 47. 

* * The first step in this process was to model in clay or virgin wax 
an effigy of the intended victim ; and the next was to kill a swallow, 
the heart of which was placed under the right arm of the effigy, and 
the liver under the left Then the sacrilegious operation began ; the 
body and limbs of the wax or clay figure were pricked with new 
needles to the accompaniment of the most horrible imprecations. . . . 
In other cases, the effigy was made out of earth taken from a graveyard 
and mixed with dead men's bones. An inscription in mystic characters 
completed the bewitchment and caused the death of the victim in a short 
time.' — P. Lacroix, Science and Literature in the Middle Ages, p. 228. 





. I 

« ■ 

« ■ 

on to a funeral pyre in front of the Vice-Regent's 
palace. The others experienced a similar fate ; and 
the Pope, quivering with rage and terror, forthwith 
fulminated a terrific edict against every imaginable 
form of occult science. 

Meanwhile, at Florence, Cecco was carrying on his 
two professions, writing his poems, predicting poli- 
tical events, and saying rather caustic things ; with 
considerable circumspection, doubtless, but with profit, 
and we do not hear more of him till 1322, the 
year following Dante's death, when he was called 
to fill a Chair of Philosophy at Bologna. There, 
*} presently, he and his colleagues, Giovanni Andrea 

*/ Calderini and Cino da Pistoia, numbered among 

}k. their scholars the future poet of Vaucluse and his 

'.^ brother Gerard. 

Now Bologna was a much suspected University. 
Fatalistic materialism had by this time found special 
nourishment in its learned atmosphere. The experi- 
mental spirit thrived beneath the dial-shadows cast by 
i',t\ the Garisenda and Asinelli, although hard by stood 

:( . the actual tomb and shrine of St. Dominic, repre- 

sentinor its bitterest foes.* Even ecclesiastics were 
not considered to be secure from the devices of 
the evil one there ; for we find the same Pope John 
instituting judicial proceedings against the Bishop 

4 T 


■ t 



1 Bologna University (i 1 58) is the oldest in Italy, antedating that of 
Naples and that of Padua by more than half a century. Another re- 
markable contrast is afforded in the same city and in the same Church 
of San Domenico by the juxtaposition of the tomb of King Enzius, the 
son of Frederick II., and Taddeo di Pepoli. . 


of Aix for professing and practising magical arts at 

It behoved Cecco, therefore, to be circumspect. 
It happened, nevertheless, that he now issued his 
commentary on Sacrobosco's treatise *De Sphsera 
Mundi/ It is diflficult to believe that he was un- 
aware of the extreme peril of this proceeding, 
though he may carelessly have overlooked the 
channel through which that peril would be likely 
to approach him. This work, it seems, soon fell into 
the hands of one Tommaso, son of a rival physi- 
cian, Dino del Garbo.* These two, father and son, 
having taken note of certain portions of the work, 
gladly plotted the ruin of its author, by denounc- 
ing him to the Inquisition. In consequence, Cecco 
presently received citation to appear at the Con- 
vent adjoining the Church of San Domenico, where, 
upon examination by the Inquisitor, Fra Lamberto 
del Cordiglio, he was promptly found guilty of pro- 
pagating pernicious doctrines concerning Necessity 
and the Will of God. * Egli afferito generasi nel cielo 
spiriti maUgni U quali in tempo d'alcune constella- 
zioni, potevano forzasi a scendere in terra e operano 
maravigliosi prodigi, ed essere una necessita assoluta 
negli influssi delle stelle, con la quale accordasi il voler 

^ Milman, Lat Christ, viL 343. Ammirato, Istoria di Firenze, 
Hb. xii C.D.K 

* G. Villani, Vita d'lUustri Fiorentini Ugolino Verini, De lUust. 

9 Bernini (Domen.), Storia di tutte THereeie, torn, iii sec. 14. 


146 CECCX) lyASOOU. 

D«. 16. «3a4. After having been grimly cautioned, he was ordered 
to make a general confession of his sins, was warned 
to discontinue his scientific pursuits, and was com- 
manded to repeat daily thirty aves and paternosters. 
Every Sunday he was compelled to attend a sermon 
preached by a Dominican Friar. All his astrological 
books were placed in the hands of Fra Alberto (Domi- 
nican), and finally he was condemned to pay a fine of 
seventy Bolognese pounds.^ 

Feeling himself fortunate to have thus escaped with 
his life, the atmosphere of Bologna naturally seemed 
to disagree with him ; and as soon as opportunity 
offered, Cecco resigned his professorship and returned 
to Florence. 

Crescembeni speaks of his commentary ('De 
Sphsera') as disfigured with a thousand absurdities 
and pretensions, and says that at the close Cecco de- 
clares that he has neither said nor desired to assert 
anything contrary to the doctrines of the Church.* 
That artful precaution possibly saved him from the 
stake on this occasion. 

It happened, however, that the before-mentioned 
Dino del Garbo, himself a renowned doctor, had 
likewise been a professor at Bologna ' (and by some 
has been considered also to have held the post of 
physician to Pope John XXIL), but he had been 
driven away thence to Siena through the envy or 

1 Bernini 

* Istoria della Volg. Poesia, lib. v. 

8 * BononiflB profecit et docet' — ^Anthropologia, lib. xxiL 


animosity of his colleagues, or, according to Villani 
(likewise his contemporary), through his having been 
discovered profitably teaching fix)m a treatise of 
Torrigiani's,^ to them previously unknown. His son, 
Tommaso,* in turn had held a chair at Bologna, and 
thus the professional rivaby was continued after the 
manner of a vendetta, with the result as related, so 
far as Cecco was concerned. This Dino likewise set 
up practice in Florence. 

Fortune, nevertheless, once more befriended the 
illustrious Cecco. Charles,* Duke of Calabria, only 
son of King Robert of Naples, being invited by 
the Republic of Florence to assume the supreme 
power for ten years in their capital, arrived there 
in July 1326, a year after the birth of his daughter, 
afterwards Queen Giovanna L* 

On May 31st of the following year, Cecco was 
appointed court astrologer and physician, with a 
salary of three ounces of gold per month.* 

In this honourable berth he thought himself free 
to air his opinions and forget those uncomfortable 
admonitions formerly received at Bologna. Among 
the citizens of Florence he was esteemed a vain, 
bitter, and worldly man, and a despiser of women, 
though many credited him with being a remarkable 

* Di Torrigiano, Sommo Fisico. G. Villani, Vita d'lllustre FiorentinL 

* Di Tommaso del Garbo. G. Villani, Vita d'lUustre Fiorentini. 
' Ammirato, Storia di Firenze. 

* On April 23, 1327, a son was bom to him by Mary of Valois, 
christened Carlo Martello, but who died eight days after birth, and 
was buried in Sta. Croce. 

^ Archiv. Storic. Proyinc. Napol., anno xvii fasc 2. 


astrologer, and with having accurately predicted ^ the 
death of Castruccio Castracane (the great scourge of 
the Kepublic at that period) and the advent and 
coronation at Kome of the excommunicated Emperor, 
Louis of Bavaria. Cecco further circulated there 
his dreary and feeble poem called * L'Acerba/ * and 
amused himself by writing many sonnets to Cino da 
Pistoia and others ; — just as Cino himself wrote to 
Onesto di Boncima and Cavalcanti, and had formerly 
written to Dante. 

Nevertheless, the luxurious Court of Charles of 
Calabria proved to be no bed of roses for Cecco. 
Dino del Garbo, now living and practising in 
Florence, was therefore eye to eye with his former 
rival and future victim ; with a despised native of 
Southern Italy promoted to a royal and Florentine 
practice ; with the maundering, sharp-tongued poet- 
aster who had dared in one and the same work to 
challenge Dante to dispute with him about fate and 
necessity, and to deride that great poet as a writer of 
fables ; above all, with a notorious heretic* Besides 
Dino, Cecco found a new enemy in the Franciscan 
Bishop of Aversa, who then held the post of chap- 
lain in the Duke's household. Whether, as is not 

1 The story of Cecco having here predicted evil of Queen Joanna I. 
on casting her horoscope may be dismissed as a fable, seeing that she 
was bom before Charles of Calabria came to Florence, 

» Crescimbeni, Istoria della Volgar Poesia, lib. v. 306. Tiraboachi, 
Storia della Litt, tom. v. lib. ii cap. 2. 

3 Among other perilously rash undertakings, Cecco seems to have 
made fun of Guido Cavalcanti's poem ' Donna, mi pregha,' a poem 
De Sade declares the Florentines to have idolised. 


improbable, these two combined against him (as Villani 
gives reason for believing), or whether the Bishop acted 
by himself in the matter, it is certain that Cecco, 
after but a few weeks, was dismissed from the 
Duke s service on the ground of being a fatalistic 

One morning in July of the same year, Cecco 
found himself once more arrested by two familiars 
of the Inquisition, and being led toward the Church 
of the Minor Friars (Sta. Croce ; Sta. Maria Novella 
being in course of construction). He was then 
charged before Fra Accursio, Inquisitor of Florence, 
with being a relapsed heretic. A tribunal was 
formed, which included the Cardinal-legate of Tus- 
cany and the Bishops of Arezzo and Aversa. The 
indictment proved to rest upon certain heretical^ 
statements in the before-mentioned commentary on 
*De Sphaera.* The *Acerba'* was likewise put in 
evidence, and, in order to wring full confession from 
him, Cecco was severely tortured.' On the 15th of 
September his doom was pronounced. 

He was found guilty of having declared that 
evil spirits are generated in the sky, and that at 
certain seasons they can be compelled to descend to 
earth and work wonders ; that necessity is owing to 

1 * Pieno di eresie falsita e ingane.' — Extract from the sentence. 

' * Un certo altro libretto, volgare intitolato Acerbo.* — Ibid. 

' Although the sentence naively declares, ' Senza nissiina oppressione 
di forza per sua libera e spontanea voluntk' — Extract from the sentence. 
Lea, Hist Inquis.,yol. iL p. 65 5. Given also, but with manymisreadings, 
in Fanfani's novel, ' Cecco d'Ascoli' 


stellar influences, which, however, he identifies with 
the will of God ; — that according to his horoscope, 
Christ was predestined to lead the life of misery he 
had led, and to die the death he had died ; ^ — ^finally, 
that Antichrist would come into the world very rich 
and powerful. This last declaration certainly looks 
like a hit at his former master, the Papal miser, then 
at Avignon, who died some years later worth no less 
than 18,000,000 fiorini. He also confessed that he 
had predicted by means of astrology the chief events 
in the Florentine war with Castruccio Castracane and 
the coming of the Bavarian Emperor. 

Copy of the former confession and judgment at 
Bologna in 1324 was furnished, and the miserable 
man, found guilty on all counts, as a relapsed heretic, 
was condemned to the stake, and therefore handed 
over to Jacopo da Brescia, the Ducal Vicar-Secular.* 
One appointed afternoon' (September 16, 1327), 
accordingly, all Florence thronged to the place of 
execution beyond the walls, many being anxious to 
see whether the famous astrologer would merely 
burn like any ordinary man, or whether the evil 
spirits would come down to rescue and carry him off 
from their midst/ 

1 * Che per cio doveva essere giuBta la sua morte per destinazione, e 
doveva morire di queUa morte e modo che mori.* — Extract from the 
sentence. Lea, Hist. Inquis., voL iiL p. 656. 

2 * Che lo debba punire con debita considerazione.*— Extract from the 
sentence. Lea, Hist. Inquis., voL iii pp. 655-657. 

3 Giov. Villani, Chroniche, cap. xL Ammirato, Istoria di Firenze, 
sub anno. 

* Cantti, Eretici d*Italia, i. 149-152 ; Lea, Hist. Inquis., voL iiL 
pp. 443, 444. 


De Sade passes the ironic verdict upon him — 
*S'il n'etoit pas plus sorcier que poete comme il y 
a apparence, on lui fit une grande injustice en le 
brAlant/ ' 

In reading the ' Acerba/ * one is soon made aware of 
the plentiful lack of poetical quality in its writer, and 
of the constantly recurrent spirit of caustic envy 
toward his great contemporary. The poem is divided 
into five books, and is written in stanzas of six lines 
with three rhymes, which arrangement just misses the 
continuative advantage of Dante's terza rima. The 
subject-matter pretends to be encyclopaedic, to embrace 
aU things in heaven, earth, and air— things natural 
and supernatural. In very deed it is a cabalistic 
farrago, full of gnomes, salamanders, and cockatrices. 
Ginguend wittily suggests that * L'Acerva ' = the 
heap, would have befitted its character better than 
' L' Acerba ' = the bitter. The latter term, however, 
may be rendered ' the crabbed ' or ' the inhuman ' or 
* the immature,' — each of which epithets can be well 
justified by examination of its contents. Often, 
amid the jingle of mystical nonsense, or in deserts of 
irredeemable dulness, we come upon a bitter spring, 
from which the vain and foolish author would have 
us mock our thirst ere we proceed farther. These 
saline draughts generally effervesce around the name 
of Dante or of Bologna — as might be expected — and 

1 Mem. Petrarque, liv. L p. 5a 

^ The < Acerba ' passed through no less than eighteen editions before 



sometimes are nothing more than deliberate imita- 
tions of Dante's manner or sentiment. Take this 
anent Bologna and Florence : — 

* O gente Acerba, 
Bolognese, anime di fuoco, 
A picol tempo regnerete al ponto 
Che cadeva Bologna apoco apoco. 
Hor vi ricordi come il divino archo 
Ogni peccaio con la pena ha gionto, 
£t aspectando assai piu si fa carcho 
De vol me dole ch'io spero de venire 
Al nido che f ondato in la giaccia 
De li globate stelle al mio partire ; 
Et po mi doglio e piango di Firenze 
Che lacnmando discorderasse daccia 
Facendo agli Lucchese nova offense. 
Hor piange Pisa con sospir* dolenti 
Quando triumpho di Monte Catino 
Et del Francesco sangue teramenti 
II tuo valor convien pur che si spegna.' 

Or this, headed — 

'Db la Nobilitatk.' 

' Ma qui me scrisse dubitando Dante, 
Son doi figlioli nati in uno parto 
Et piu gentil si mostra quel davante 
Et cio converso come gia vedi 
Tomo a Ravenna de li non me parto 
Dime, Esculano, quel che tu ne credi 
Rescrissi a Dante intendi tu che legi 
Fanno gli cieli per diversi aspecti 
Secundo il modo philosopho che pregi 
Per qualita li diverse mostre 
In uno concepto variati cffecti 
Secundo quelle ch'a Tanime lostre.' 

— Lib. ii. cap. 12. 



*0n Temperance,' addressed to his native Ascoli 
(lib. ii. cap. 8) : — 

' madre bella, terra Esculana 

• • • • • 

Altieri e occtQti son gli tuoi figlioli 
Et timidi in conspecto de le gente 
Invidiosi sono pur f ra lor solL 
Esculani, homini inconstanti, 
Tomato ne gli belli acti lucenti 1 ' 

And this to Dante, reprehending his doctrines :- 

* In cio peccastiy fiorentin Poeta, 
Ponendo che gli ben de la fortuna 
Necessitati sieno con lor meta. 
Non h Fortuna, cui ragion non vinca, 
Or pensa Dante, se prova nessuna 
Si pu6 piu fare che questa convinca. 

Fortuna non h altro che dLsposto 
Cielo, che dispone cosa animata ; 
Qual disponendo se trova s'opposto 
Non yien necessitate il ben f elice 
Essendo in liberta Talma creata 
Fortuna in lei non pu6 se contradice. 

Qui non si canta al modo de li rane. 
Qui non si canta al modo del poeta 
Che finge imaginando cose vane, — 
Ma qui risplende e luce ogni natura 
Che a chi intende fa la mente lieta 
Qui non si sognia per la selva scura ; 
Qui non vego Paulo ne Francesca, 
De li Manfreddi non vego Alberigo 


Che (le li amari fracti ne la dolde escha 
Dal mastino novo e vecchio da venichio 
Che fecie di montagnia qui non dicho 
Ke de franceschi lor sanguignio muchio.' 

In one book lie flatters King Robert, in another he 
presages the death of kings. 

Well indeed might Benedetto de Cesena speak of 
Cecco as — 

' Asculan, col tuo indurata core, 
De Invidia pregno, eresiarco ch'aise 
Fiorenza te per lo tuo grand' errore. 
Le rime tue bench' elle siano scarse 
Del son cha pochi Calliope concede 
Pur tra la gente sono molto sparse.' ^ 

The 'Acerba' concludes with *Laus Oninipotente 

Pietro Lorenzetti has placed Cecco among the lost 
in one of the circles of his * Last Judgment ' in the 
Campo Santo at Pisa, in company with a certain 
Guardi^ who, Vasari avers, had seized the painter's 
goods for debt ; while he has figured Dino del Garbo, 
his mortal enemy (who survived Cecco but ten days),^ 
supported by an angel, and wearing the Doctor's red 
cap lined with grey miniver, among the Blessed.* 

* De Honor. Mulier, lib. iv. epist 2. 

* Serjeant of the Florentine Commune. 
3 Vasari, voL i. art Andrea Orcagna. 

* Giov. Villani, Chroniclie, cap. xliL 


Abano, Pietxo d', 117, 141 ; his 
death, 142 

Acerba, L*, 148-153 

Adomo, A., Doge of Gtenoa, 60 ; in- 
tercedes with Urban for the car- 
dinals, ^^y 103 

Afflitto, Antonio de, 35 

Afragola, 57 

Aix, Bishop of, prosecuted, 145 

Albertns Magnus, 115, 116, 139 

Albigenses, the, 133 

Alemannia, Luigi d', lays hands on 
Urban VI., 35 

Alfonso the Wise, 121, 131-140 

Alidoei, 136 

Altamura, 6, 42 

Amadeo of Savoy dies, 29 

Amalfi, 57, 87 

Anjou, Louis, Duke of, 2, 10; 
raises an army, 19 ; crowned at 
Avignon, 24, 26 ; at Benevento, 
28 ; excommunicated, 40 ; dies, 

Appiani, 138 

Apt, 83 

Aquila, Bishop of, degraded, 49; 

tortured, 51 ; killed, 60 
Arabic numerals, 121 
Arezzo, Bishop of, 149 
Aristotle, his logic, 117, 119; his 

bones, 123, 139 
Aries, 84 

Armagnac, Count of, 102-103 
Artois, Charles d'. Count, 43, 57 
Artois, Qiovanni, Count of, 38 
Artoisi Loigi, Count of, 10 

Artois, Robert, Count of, 4; his 

story, 6-9, 34 
Ascoli, described, 136 
Aston, Adam, Cardinal, victim at 

Nocera, 50 ; released at G^oa, 78 
Astrologer, the, 129 
Astrology, 1 28-1 31 
Avenzoar, 124 
Averroes, 124-132, I34) ^39 
Aversa, 34-37 
Avicenna, 124, 134, 139 

Bacon, Roger, 116, 117, 139 

Bagdad, 119 

Balzo, Agnes del, 4, 5 ; dies at Muro, 

Balzo, Francesco del, Duke of 

Andria, 16 
Balzo, Giacomo del, Duke of Andria, 

15 ; flees to Taranto, 16 ; dies, 17 
Balzo, Margherita del, 15 
Barletta, 42, 45 ; Urban embarks at,6 1 
Bartolino of Piacenza, 48 
Basilius of G^noa, 51, 55 
Beltot, John, 89, 91 
Blois, Mary of, 19, 83 
Bologna, 124 ; Petrarch at, 136, 145, 

Boniface IX., Pope, 73, 91, 103 
Bozzuto, Abbot, 39 
Brigands, 37, 47 
Brunswick, Duke Balthasar of, 4, 

5 ; escapes and is recaptured, 21 
Buda, 67, 70 
Burgarelli, Enrico, lays hands on 

the Pope, 35 




Cahors, Bishop of, executed, 143 

Gajetani, 0., 3 

Gajetani, Onorato, 3, 21, note 

Galdorft, Jacopo, 26 

Galdorft, Luigi, executed, 26 

Galdorft, Raimondo, 26 

Camponesco, Lallo, Count, 24 

Gapri, Jacopo di, 5 

Carrara fainily, of Padua, 99, loi 

Casolla, 57 

Castellamare, sacked, 20 ; Urban 
touches there, 61 

Caterina of Hungary, 33, note 

Catliari, the, 133 

Cava, Abbot of, 4, 21 

Cavalcanti, Guido, 148, note 

Cecco d'Ascoli, 1 1 i-i 54 

Celano, Matteo, 39 

Charles III., results of victory, 1-2 ; 
deals with his prisoners, 4, 5-7 ; 
raises money, 9 ; considers his 
position, II ; endeavours to seize 
the Duke of Andria, 16 ; appoints 
Abbot of Monte-Cassino Chan- 
cellor of the kingdom, 22 ; pre- 
pares for the war, 25 ; receives 
Sir John Hawkwood, 26 ; beheads 
Luigi Caldora, 26 ; pardons Zurulo 
di Napoli, 27 ; his clemency, 28, 
29 ; receives letters from Rome, 32 ; 
at Aversa, 33 ; meets Urban, 33 ; 
quarrel, 34-35 ; leaves Aversa for 
Naples, 36 ; receives Urban, 37 ; 
created Gonfalonier, 40 ; sets out 
for Barletta, 41 ; imprisons Orsini, 
42 ; challenges Louis of Anjou, 
42 ; consults Gtho of Brunswick, 
42 ; falls ill, 44 ; sends envoys to 
Nocera, 46 ; another quarrel with 
Urban, 47-48 ; besieger Noceiu, 
54 ; holds an assembly, 56 ; cap- 
tures Urban's nephews, 58 ; offers 
reward for capture of Urban, 59 ; 
gives up the Pope's nieces, 61 ; his 
former residence in Hungary, 63 ; 

invited to return thither, 64 ; re- 
solves to go^ 65-66 ; sets oat for 
Agram by sea, 66 ; arrives at 
Buda, 67 ; crowned King of Hun- 
gary, 69 ; plot to kill him, 71 ; 
assassinated, 72 ; his personal de- 
scription, 73 ; news of his coro- 
nation received at Naples, 80; 
news of his death, 81-82; favoured 
in his children and widow by 
Boniface IX., 103 

Charles, Duke of Calabria, at Flor- 
ence, 147, 149 

Chiunzo, 47 

Gione da Siena, 25 

Clement V., 131, 140 

Cordova, 119, 121, 122 

Corfu, Cardinal of, 50, 55 

Goucy, Engherrand de, sacks Arezzo, 

Courtenay, Catherine, 16 

D*AiLLT, Pierre, 98 

Dante, 114, 134, 136, 151 

De Blasiis, Professor Giuseppe, 8 

Dell' Uncino, Company of, 25 

Dentice, Naccarello, 48; goes to 

Hungary, 66, 72 
Diacovar, 74 

Diana in the Middle Ages, 1 14 
Donato, Luigi, Cardinal of Venice, 

ambassador to Naples, 23, 32 ; 

victim at Nocera, 50 ; tortured, 52 
Duel, proposed, 29 
Durazzo, town of, seized, 41 

Elisabeth (2), 64, 68 
Enghien, Marie d', 42 
Enzius, King, 144, note 
Epidemic, 30 
Ezzelino, 131 

Facing, Cane, 102 

Ferentino, 33, 91 

Forgach, Bl&sius, 72-73 ; killed, 74 



Frederick IL, Emperor, his char- 
acter, 123, 133, 140 
Frosinone, 33 

GAMBA.CORTA, Pietro, ^^ 

Garay, Nicholas, Ban of Zara, 64, 
67, 71 ; killed, 74 

Qarbo, Dino del, 145 

Garbo, Tommaso del, 147 

Genoa, 76-77, 86, 100 

Gerbert (Sylvester 1 1.), 121 

Gesnaldo, Luigi di, 81 

Gifoni, 60 

Gifoni, Leonardo, Cardinal, 13; de- 
prived, 14 

GJobelinus, 36 

Gbmneck, 75 

Guiscard, Robert, 122 

Gyorgyi, 72 

Hawkwood, Sir John, 26, 31, 91, 
102 ; masterly tactics, 103 

Hecate in the Middle Ages, 1 14 

Hedwig of Hungary, Queen of Po- 
land, 64 

Horvathy, Paid, Bishop of Agram, 
64, 72 ; captures the two queens, 


Ibn-Maimun, 125 
Immaculate conception, 97 
Inquisition, 1 31-134, 145 
Itri, Giacomo d', Cardinal, 13, 14 

Jambs II. of Aragon, 142 

Joanna I., Queen, prisoner of war, 

1-4 ; removed to Nocera, 5, 13, 

21 ; transferred to Muro, 23 ; 

death, 24 
Joanna II., Queen, 80, 89 
Joanna da Durazzo, 4; her story, 

6-9, 21 
John XXII., Pope, 140, 143 ; his 

wealth, 150 

Kamil, Sultan, 124 

Ladislaus, King, 80, 88 
La Salle, Bernardo de, 44 
Lecce Niccolo, Count of, 10 
Lisolo (Brancaccio), 43 
Lorenzetti, P., the frescoist^ 154 
Louis I. Bu Anjou 
Louis II. of Ajijou, 83-84, 87 
Louis, King of Hungary, 10; dies, 

25, 62, 68 
Louis le Hutin, King, 141 
Lucca, Urban VL at, 88 
Lully, Raymond, 117, note, 138 
Luna, Pedro di, Cardinal, 83 

Malatbsta, Carlo, 89 

Margaret, Queen, 6, 8 ; crowned at 
Naples, 14 ; consents to her sister 
Agnes's union with Giacomo del 
Balzo, Duke of Andria, 15; at 
San Germano, 22, 38 ; governs 
Naples, 43 ; deals with Urban, 
44 ; sends a fleet to Barletta, 45 ; 
excommunicated by Urban, 53 ; 
entreats the king not to go to 
Hungary, 65, 75 ; holds festival, 
80; learns of her misfortune, 81 ; 
sends an embassy to Urban at 
Genoa, f?6 ; befriended by Boni- 
face IX., 103 

Marramaldo, Landolfo, Cardinal, 41 

Martel, Charles, 62 

Mary of Hungary, 62 ; her wrath, 
68 ; re-proclaimed queen, 73 ; 
made prisoner, 74 

Marzano, Tommaso de, 34, 81 

Materdomini, 60 

Merlin as enchanter, 114 

Mezzavacca, Cardinal of Rieti, 20, 
22 ; L^^ate at Naples^ 23, 31, 32, 

Minerbino, 60 

Monte-Cassino, Abbot of, 20, 22, 31, 

48 ; excommunicated, 53, 95 



Montesono, Juan de, 97 
Moors, the, 120, 122 
Morocco, 119 

Naples, University, 125 

Nami, 91 

Nocera, 2, 1 1, 23, 38, 43, 46, S^ 54 ; 

siege of, 59 
NormauiS the, 120 
Novigrad, 75 

OcKHAM, 117 

Oderisio, Roljerto de, painter, re- 
ceives stipend, 21 
Origen, 127 

Orsini, Count of Nola, 9, 81 
Orsini, Raimondello, 4; master of 
Taranto, 16, 25, 41, 56 ; obtains 
Benevento, 60 
Orsini, Rinaldo, 102 
Orsini, Toinmaso, Cardinal, 49, 89 
Orvieto, under interdict, 89-90 
Otho, Duke of Brunswick, captive, 
4; sent to Altamura, 5; consulted 
by King Charles and set at liberty, 
42 ; death at Foggia, 43, 87 

Palermo, 120, 122 

Palisnay, John of, a magnate, 67, 75 

Paulicians, the, 133 

Perugia, 90 ; Urlmn leaves, 91 

Petrarch, Francesco, 136, 144 

Pietra-Catella, Imttle at, 29 

Pietramala, Cardinal of, 77-78 

Pignatello, Angelo, 30 

Pistoia, Cino da, 138, 144, 148 

Positano. 20 

Prignano, Francesco, 2, 11, 14, 38- 

40 ; tortures the cardinals, 51 ; 

escapes from Xocera, 58; prisoner, 

58, S7, 89 

Ravenna, Pileus da Prato, Cardinal 

of, 59» 77 
Renan, E., 133, 134 

Roberti King, o£ Naples, 140 
Rochefort, Count of, 83 
Roger, Count, 122 

Sacrobosgo, Qiovanni (Holiwood, 

J.X 139, 145 

Salerno, University, 125 

Sancia, Queen, 6, note 

Sangro, Cardinal di, 13 ; at Naples, 

13-14 ; victim of Urban, 50, 52 
San Severino, Tommaso, 3, 24, 59, 83 
San Severino, Ugo, 3, 33 
Samo, 57 
St Augustine, on the authority of 

Scripture, 116, 120, 126 
Scafate, 2, 10, 1 1, 23, 38, 58 
Schism, the Western, 95-96 
Sessa, 32 

Sigismund of Bohemia, 63, 66, 72, 74 
Spoleto, under interdict, 89-90 
Stedingers, the, 133 
Stuhlweissenbuig, 69 

TivoLi, 91 
Todi, 91 
Tripergoli, 20 
Tronto, the, 136-137 

Ubaldini, Cardinal, 133 

Urban VI., his bargain with Charles 
IIL, 2, II ; his nepotism, 12; 
sends Di Sangro to Naples to 
terrorise, 13, 23 ; vexed, 31 ; 
makes prisoners of several cardi- 
nals the first time, 32 ; Charles 
meets him at Aversa, 33 ; laya 
forcible hands on him, 35 ; re- 
ception of Urban in Naples, 37 ; 
preaches the crusade against 
Louis of Aiijou, 40 ; quits Naples 
for Nocera, 43 ; quarrels with 
Cliarles again, 46; creates eighteen 
canlinals, 47 ; arrests his cardi- 
nals again, 49 ; orders them to be 
tortured, 51 ; lays his interdict 



on the king and queen, &c., 53 ; 
besieged, 54 ; receives envoys, 56 ; 
escapes from Nocera, 60 ; orders 
the old Bishop of AquUa to be 
killed, 60 ; reaches Messina, 61 ; 
touches at Castellamare, 61 ; ar- 
rives at Genoa, 76 ; absolves Vis- 
conti of murder, 77 ; releases the 
English cardinal, 78 ; killB the 
others, 78 ; reiterates his interdict 
on Queen Margaret, 66 ; short of 
means, 87 ; at Lucca, 88 ; fresh 
crusade, 88 ; Orvieto and Spoleto 
put under the ban, 89; Urban 
sets out for Perugia, 89 ; projects 
a jubilee, 90 ; falls from his mule 
and is hurt, 91 ; rests at Todi 
and reaches Tivoli, 91 ; dies, 92 ; 
character of, 92-93 

Yebhb, Jacopo del, 103 
Vigne (or Vinea), Pietro delle, 124 
Villanuccio di Brunaforte, 25 ; ex- 
communicated, 53, 55, 58 
Villeneuve, Amaidd de, 117, 142 
Virgil as enchanter, 1 14 ; his tomb, 

Visconti, Bemabo, 18, 24, 99 
Visconti, Qian Qdeazzo, 99-103 
Visegrad, Charles dies at, 73 ; buried 

there, 104 

Waldenses, 97 
Waxen images, 141- 143 
Wenceslaus, Emperor, 64 
Wickliflfe, 94 

ZuRULO di Napoli, 27 



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