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BOOK XI.Vo = " ^ J 

History of the City of Rome in the Fourteenth Century, 

FROM 1305 until 1354. 


1. The Fourteenth Century— Decadence of the Papacy — Guelfs page 

and Ghibellines — The new Classic Culture — Florence 
and Rome — Rome after 1305 — The Council of the 
Thirteen — Clement V. receives the Civic Power — 
Avignon — Burning of the Lateran Basilica — Desertion 
of Rome — ^The Pope transfers the Election of his Regents 
to the People — Murder of Albert — Henry of Luxemburg, 
King of the Romans — Italy invites him to Rome — 
Robert of Naples — Dante and the Empire — His Treatise 
De Monarchia — The Ghibelline Ideal of Empire, . I 

2. Henry VII. announces his Journey to Rome — Gathering at 

Lausanne — Clement V. — Robert and Henry — The Pope 
announces the King's Visit to Rome — Henry's Departure 
— His first appearance in Lombardy — The Embassy of 
the Romans — Lewis of Savoy, Senator — Coronation in 
Milan— Fall of the Torri — Defection of the Lombard 
Cities — Brescia — Henry in Genoa — Position of A£^rs 
in Rome — Orsini and Colonna — John of Achaia — The 
League of the Guelfs— Difficult Position of Lewis of 
Savoy in Rome, • . . • • 25 


3. Henry in Pisa — He sends Envoys to Prince John and King »*agb 
Robert — March to Rome — llis Ghibelline Allies — Entry 
into Rome — Condition of the City — Defences of the 
Guel& and Ghibellines — Henry seizes several Nobles — 
Surrender of their Fortresses— Fall of the Capitol- 
Street Warfare — Henry determines to be crowned in 
the Lateran — Plebiscites— The Cardinal-legates crown 
the Emperor in the Lateran, • • . .42 


1. Henry and Frederick of Sicily — The Romans prevent their 

Emperor from leaving the City — ^Attack on the Tomb 
of Cecilia Metella — John Savigny, Captain of the Roman 
People — The Emperor in Tivoli — Arrival of the Pope's 
Letter — His demands from the Emperor — Henry pre- 
serves the Imperial Rights— Truce in Rome — Departure 
of the Emperor, ...... 62 

2. The Colonna seize the Vatican — Recall of the Imperial 

Garrison — Reconciliation between the Colonna and 
Orsini — Flight of John Savigny — The Populace over- 
throw the Aristocratic Government and make Jacopo 
Arlotti Captain — His energetic Rule — Henry VII. is 
invited by the People to make his Residence in Rome 
— Clement V. recc^ises the Democracy in Rom^— 
Velletri makes Submission to the Capitol — The Gaetani 
in the Campagna — Fall of the Arlotti — The Emperor at 
War with Florence — His Preparations at Pisa against 
Naples — Threatening Papal Bull — Henr3r*s Departure ; 
His Death and its Consequences, . . .71 

3. The Ghibelline Camp after Henry's Death — Power of King 

Robert — Clement V. declares himself Ruler of the 
vacant Empire — His Death — His Servility to France — 
The Knights Templars sacrificed — End of the Trial of 
£oni£aice VIII. — The Cardinals : their National Antag- 
onism, their interrupted Conclave at Carpentras — John 
XXII., Pope — Lewis the Bavarian and Frederick the 
Fair — King Robert governs Rome — Consequences to 
the City of the Pope's Absence, . . -93 



1. Quarrel for the German Throne — ^The Pope proclaims him- ^age 

self Regent of the Empire — Attitude of the Ghibellines in 
Italy — Battle of Miihldorf and its Consequences — Licwis 
relieves Milan — The Pope brings him to Trial — Lewis's 
protest — He is excommunicated — His Allies — Schism 
of the Minorites — The Doctrine of Poverty and its 
relation to the Church as a Temporal Power, . . ic8 

2. Beginnings of the Reformation — ^The Canonical Evidence 

in &.vour of the Universal Power of the Papacy — 
Doctrines of Thomas Aquinas concerning the Relations 
of State and Church — Reaction against the Canonists 
after Philip le Bel — Dante's De Monarchia — The School 
of the Monarchists attacks the Papacy — ^The Defensor 
Pads of Marsilius of Padua — ^The Eight Questions of 
William of Occam, and similar Treatises of the first 
Reformers, • . • . . • Ii8 

3. Lewis reconciled to Frederick of Austria — The Guelf I^eague 

— Castruccio Castracane — The Ghibellines summon 
Lewis — Parliament in Trent — Lewis takes the Iron 
Crown — He advances against Pisa — Revolution in Rome 
— Sciarra Colonna, Captain of the People — Unsuccess- 
ful attempts of the Cardinal-legates, the Neapolitans, 
and Exiles, to enter Rome — Sciarra's Victory in the 
Borgo of the Vatican — Fall of Pisa — Lewis and 
Castruccio march against Rome — ^The King's entry, . 129 

4. The People confer the Signory on Lewis and decide to crown 

him Emperor — He takes the Crown from the People in 
S. Peter's — Coronation-edicts — Castruccio, Senator — 
Sudden departure of Castruccio for Lucca — Ill-feeling 
in Rome — Marsilius and John of Jandunum seek to gain 
over the People — The Emperor's Edicts of April 14 — 
The Pope is Deposed — Audacious protest by Jacopo 
Colonna — Decree concerning the Residence of the Pope 
in Rome — ^The Monk of Corbara raised to the Papacy 
as Nicholas V., ...... 141 



1. Robert makes War on the Emperor — ^The Anti-pope meets page 

with but little Recognition — Lewis in the Campagna — 
His return from Tivoli — Ill-feeling in Rome — Departure 
of the Emperor — Restoration of Papal Rule in the City 
— Lewis's further undertakings — Death of Castruccio— 
The Emperor in Pisa ; in Lombardy — His return to 
Germany — Victory of the Pope and the Guelfs — The 
Anti-pope makes submission, . . . .162 

2. Rome makes submission to the Pope — Solemn recantation 

of the Romans and the leading Roman Ghibellines — 
The Emperor Vainly strives for a reconciliation — 
Mysterious appearance of John of Bohemia in Italy, • 175 

3. Decadence of Rome — ^War between the Colonna and Orsini 

— Revolt in the Romagna — Bologna attains freedom — 
Flight of Cardinal Beltram— The Flagellants— Fra 
Venturino in Rome — Death of John XXII. — His char- 
acter — Benedict XII. — The Romans invite him to 
Rome — War between the factions of the nobility — 
Petrarch in Capranica and Rome — The Romans confer 
the Signory on the Pope — Peace between the Colonna^ 
and Orsini — ^The Roman people institute a Republic on 
the Model of Florence — The Pope restores his authority, 184 


1. Francesco Petrarca — His friendship with the House of 

Colonna — His longing for Rome and first arrival in the 
City — Impression exercised on him by Rome — Is 
crowned as Poet on the Capitol — Diploma of the 
Senate, ....... 202 

2. Benedict XII. builds the Palace at Avignon — Unfortunate 

condition of Italy — The Pope and the Empire — Lewis 
the Bavarian's vain attempts at Reconciliation — Declara- 
tion of Independence of the Empire — Death of Benedict 
XII. — Clement VI., Pope — The Romans confer the 
Signory upon him, and invite him to return — Death of 
Robert of Naples — Revolution in Rome — First appear- 
ance of Cola di Rienzo, . . . .217 


3. Cola's Origin and Career — He becomes Notary of the page 
Civic Camera and Head of a Conspiracy — He excites 
the People by All^orical Pictures — His ingenious 
Interpretation of the Lex Regia — ^Important events in 
Naples and Florence produce an influence in Rome — 
General effort of the Guilds to obtain power in the 
Cities to the exclusion of the Nobility — Condition of 
the Populace in Rome — The Revolution of May 20, 
1347 — Cola di Rienzo Dictator and Tribune, . .231 


1. Rome does Homage to the Tribune — He Summons the 

Italians to a National Parliament — His Institutions in 
Rome ; his strict Justice, Administration of the Finances 
and Regulation of the Community — Answers to his 
Despatches — Magic Power of the Idea of Rome — 
Petrarch and Cola di Rienzo, « . . » 250 

2. Subjugation of the City Prefect — Decree ordaining that all 

Prerogatives of Majesty should revert to the City of 
Rome — Cola's National Programme — Festivals of 
August I and 2 — Cola's elevation to the Knighthood — 
Edict of August I — Cola gives Roman Citizenship to all 
Italians — Citation of the Princes of the Empire — 
Theories concerning the inalienable Majesty of Rome — 
Festival of Italian Union on August 2 — The Emperor 
Lewis and the Pope — Election of Charles IV, — His 
abasement before the Pope, .... 265 

3. The King of Hungary and Joanna of Naples appeal to 

Cola's Tribunal — The Tribune causes himself to be 
crowned on August 15 — Coronation Edicts — The 
Gaetani yield Submission — Cola puts the Heads of the 
Colonna and Orsini Factions into Prison, Condemns 
and Pardons them — The Pope takes Measures against 
him — Cola's scheme of a National Italian Empire — The 
Pope begins the Trial — Bertrand de Deus, Cardinal- 
legate — The Tribune sends his Justification to the Pope, 282 

4- The Aristocrats begin the War — Cola besides Marino— 
His meeting with the Cardinal-legate in Rome — The 
Nobles resolve to attack Rome from Palestrina — San- 


guinary defeat of the Barons on November 20 — ^Tragic page 
Fall of the House of Colonna— Triumph of the Tribune 
—Cola's altered Character — His Weakness and Despond- 
ency — He makes Submission to the Cardinal — Revolt 
in Rome — Cola retires from the Capitol, . . 299 


1. Restoration of the Papal Government and of the Nobility — 

Cola in S. Angelo, a Fugitive under the Ban — Duke 
Werner's Company — Destruction of Anagni — ^Anarchy 
in Rome — The Black Death — The Year of the Jubilee, 
1350 — Cardinal Anibaldo — Pilgrimages — Desolate con- 
dition of the City — Lewis of Hungary — Petrarch in 
Rome, ....... 314 

2. Disturbances in Rome — Consultation in Avignon on the 

best Constitution for the City — Petrarch's Views — 
Revolt of the Romans — John Cerroni, Dictator — War 
against the Prefect — Orvieto fells into his Power — 
Cerroni flies from Rome — Death of Clement VI. — 
Acquisition of Avignon — The State of the Church in 
Rebellion — Innocent VI., Pope — Egidius Albomoz, 
Legate in Italy, . . , , . .328 

3. Popular Revolt in Rome — Murder of Berthold Orsini — 

Francesco Baroncelli, second Tribune of the People — 
Fortunes of Cola after his Flight — His Sojourn in the 
Abruzzi, his Mystic Dreams and Plans — Cola in Prague 
— His intercourse with Charles IV. — Petrarch and 
Charles IV. — Cola in Raudnitz; in Avignon — His 
Trial — Innocent VI. grants him an Amnesty — Cola 
accompanies Cardinal Albomoz to Italy, . . 337 

4. Albomoz comes to Italy ; goes to Montefiascone — Fall of 

Baroncelli — Guido Jordani, Senator — Subjugation of 
the City Prefect — ^Albomoz wins success and respect — 
Cola in Perugia — Fra Monreale and his Brothers — 
Cola, Senator — His entry into Rome — His second term 
of Rule — His relations with the Nobility — ^War with 
Palestrina — Fra Monreale in Rome — His Execution — 
Cola as Tyrant — Gianni di Guccio — Fall of Cola di 
Rienzo on the Capitol, ..... 356 



FROM 1305 UNTIL 1354. 

X^ OF THI1. . 

UNIVJBHeJl"^ ^' 




I, The Fourteenth Century — Decadence of the 
Papacy — Guelfs and Ghibellines — The new 
Classic Culture — Florence and Rome — Rome 
AFTER 1305 — ^The Council of the Thirteen — 
Clement V. receives the Civic Power — Avignon. 
— Burning of the Lateran Basilica — Desertion- 
OF Rome — ^The Pope transfers the Election of 
his Regents to the People — Murder of Albert 
— Henry of Luxemburg, King of the Romans — 
Italy invites him to Rome — Robert of Naples 
— Dante and the Empire — His Treatise De 
MoNARCHiA — The Ghibelline Ideal of Empire. 

The history of the fourteenth century describes the 
decay of the feudal and hierarchical institutions of 
the Middle Ages. These two universal forms, the 
Church and the Empire — creations of the Latin idea 
of human society as a universal monarchy — now 
appear in entirely altered relations, languishing and 
threatened with ruin. The ancient German-Roman 



empire had already perished with the Hohenstaufens, 
had fallen into vassalage to the Church, and had been 
banished from Italy. But scarcely had this occurred, 
when the ancient hierarchical Church suffered a like 
fate. The popes forsook Italy in the b^inning of 
the fourteenth century. Frenchmen as they were, 
they entered the service of France and were robbed 
of their universal dominion. 

The exile to Avignon was followed first by the 
schism, then by a general Council, lastly by the 

When the gigantic struggle of the Middle Ages . 
between the s^ritual and secular powers was fought 
out, no mission of universal importance to the 
European world remained to the popes. ' The 
absolute dominion which they had acquired in the 
thirteenth century, they turned with suicidal policy 
against themselves and the Church. They corrupted 
the Church by countless abuses. Even in their 
impotence at Avignon under the protection of 
France, the popes, who acquired their great interna- 
tional position solely through opposition to the 
empire, again evoked the ancient war. But their 
challenge was answered by the reforming spirit of 
the West. Bold thinkers now disputed not only, like 
the Hohenstaufens, the secular, but also the spiritual 
jurisdiction of the pope. Heresy appeared in the 
evangelical forms of Wycliffe and Huss. Faith was 
severed from knowledge. It seemed as though the 
nations, matured by the indefatigable work of 
thought, would fall from the decayed framework of 
the Catholic Church, even as they had burst the bonds 


of the Catholic empire. The doctrines of the Ghibel- 
Hnes revived in their philosophic view of the world 
the idea of the empire and of the Imperial Monarchy. 
Germany pronounced its empire independent of the 
Roman Papacy, and the genius of Germany gave 
indications of its approaching severance from Rome 
in State and Church. 

In the fourteenth century the Ghibelline idea, 
feudal and imperialist, purified from its origin and 
given philosophic form, triumphed over the Guelf, in 
so far as the Guelf principle, identified with Latin 
citizenship, was at the same time the principle of the 
Roman Church. The Guelfs had fought for civic and 
national freedom in the first place, for the Catholic 
Church in the second, and had prevented the union 
of the spiritual and temporal power in the emperor. 
The Ghibellines now disputed the union of the two 
powers in the pope. After Dante their political 
philosophy acquired the power of critical science. 
Like an increasing torrent the Ghibelline spirit flowed 
onward with growing strength and ended in the 
German Reformation, while the Guelf, limited more 
and more by local conditions, receded into Cathol- 

The struggle of the two parties filled the history 
of Italy for a considerable space, but in such dis- 
torted form that its moral value is no longer re- 
cognisable. The mother-country of western culture 
seemed in momentary danger of becoming extinct, 
like Hellas or Byzantium. The great institutions 
of the Middle Ages had arisen upon her soil. But 
what object now remained for the Italians when the 


ancient Church and the ancient empire fell to decay 
and when popes and emperors forsook the country ? 
Nothing, it appeared, but the war of destruction of the 
two factions, the remains of the Church and empire. 
Without national constitution, a tumultuous chaos of 
struggling cities and tyrants, nobles and people, the 
dismembered land beheld the fall of the mediaeval 
system with the same dismay as she had witnessed 
the fall of the first empire, and now as then foresaw 
the rule of the foreigner as the inevitable consequence. 
Italy, the utterly exhausted field of the struggle 
between Church and empire, invoked in her 
abandonment the return of emperor and pope to 
restore peace and heal the wounds that had been 
inflicted upon her by party hatred. Neither pope 
nor emperor found the necessary balsams ; but the 
genius of the Italians discovered the means of recon- 
ciling the combatants through a higher intellectual 
medium. In the renascence of classic culture, the 
factions of Guelf and Ghibelline, of Church and 
State, were merged as distinctions unimportant to the 
world at large. 

The revival of the ancient culture was the greatest 
national work of the Italians. It saved them from 
the fate of Greece, and for the third time gave them 
intellectual supremacy over Europe. But to their 
misfortune, they were unable, along with the literary 
and artistic revival, to create a national constitution, 
and consequently for the second time Italy failed to 
escape foreign rule. 

The new classic culture made its seat in Florence, 
the first modem state, and from the fourteenth 


century onwards the true representative of the 
Italian national spirit. Florence took the place of 
Milan, the city of foremost national rank in the 
twelfth century, and of Bologna, the seat of Italian 
learning in the thirteenth. It even cast Rome into 
the shade. In the fourteenth century Rome was 
scarcely more than an honoured name and title, a 
document smothered in dust, on which was inscribed 
claims to universal supremacy. The tragic abandon- 
ment of the city during the Avignonese period made 
her once more the object of the piety of mankind, 
and her sufferings were so great as almost to have 
become mythical to the imagination of later genera- 
tions. The capital of the Christian world, from 
which the cosmopolitan ideas of the Church and the 
empire and the entire culture of the West had dis- 
appeared, saw herself in danger of sinking into 
oblivion like a temple from which the service of the 
gods and the priestiiood had vanished. It was actu- 
ally during the period of the exile in Avignon that, we 
may say in her despair, the forsaken city demanded 
the return of her eternal and universal importance, and 
rose to the conception of the boldest claims which she 
ever cherished during the Middle Ages. From the 
Capitol she desired to revive the ancient ideal of 
empire, to unite nations once again in a universal 
monarchy, and at the same time to give a political 
and national constitution to divided Jtaly. The 
idea was neither Ghibelline nor Guelf ; it was the 
Roman municipal idea. We shall see how this 
classic dream rose from the ruins of the city and 
then sank back into them for ever. 


But one success the Romans achieved during the 
absence of their popes ; they acquired a more inde- 
pendent form of municipal government and upheld 
their democratic state. As in Florence and the 
greater number of Italian free cities, so in Rome also 
the power of the old aristocracy was broken ; the 
nobles were excluded from the republic, and conse- 
quently the burgher class with its guilds reigned 
supreme. Nevertheless the fall of the aristocracy 
entailed a severe loss in military power, and in the 
arts of statecraft and agriculture upon the cities. 
The liberties of the burgher class soon perished 
under the power of the demag(^e. Tyrants became 
hereditary princes ; and the universal decay of feudal 
institutions contributed to render Italy so defence- 
less, that the country suffered a second invasion of 
barbarians, in the form of homeless errant soldiery, 
such as it had witnessed in the collapse of the 
ancient Roman empire. Florence, powerful by the 
industry of her citizens, by her intellectual life, and 
above all endowed with political genius, was long 
able to preserve her liberty before the appearance of 
her princely inheritor. But for Rome this heir had 
been ready for centuries. He reaped the fruits of 
the destruction of the noble families. When the 
pope returned from Avignon, he found the demo- 
cratic state of the popular tribune, of the Thirteen, 
and the Gonfalonieri exhausted and dying. And 
when the Roman Martin V., having quelled the 
schism, returned to Rome and permanently re- 
established the sacred chair, he found the city, but 
lately the prey of bold leaders of mercenaries, ripe 


for papal rule. The classic dreams of the sovereign 
majesty of the Roman people and Senate made way 
for the practical necessity of order and general 
prosperity, and after some spasmodic protests and 
reminiscences, the municipal independence of the 
Capitol yielded to the commands of its papal masters. 
The long vacancy of the sacred chair which 
occurred on the death of Benedict XL, the impotence 
of the city, and lastly the removal of the Papacy, 
had plunged Rome into utter anarchy. The four 
chief families fought for supreme power, while the 
Campagna was filled with the vindictive warfare 
waged by the Gaetani. In order to protect them- 
selves from noble tyrants, the citizens appointed a 
popular government of thirteen men, making the 
Bolognese John de Ygnano captain.^ At the same 
time Paganino, a member of the ruling Guelf house Paganino 
of the Torri at Milan, was elected Senator. In com- senator,"^' 
pany with the popular council of the Anziani and 1305- 
the captain he governed Rome for a whole year.^ 

^ He ratified the Statutes of the Merchants on March 15, htd, 
II Ly as m, vir. Jokes de Ygiano dei gra, sacri Rom, Pop. Capitaneus 
et XIII, Anzianiy unus vid. per quamlib. region, UrbiSj una cum ipso 
D, Capit, ad regim, urbis et reformation, reip, Romxinor, (Vendet- 
tini, Serie CronoL), The official register of the Capitol wrongly 
f^yes Jokes de Magnano alias Ugiano, The Cron, di Bologna (Mar., 
xviii. 306) writes y. de Lignano, Jok, de Ignano appears as Capitano 
del popolo of Ancona on November 10, 1302. Ccmtnemoriali della 
Hep, di Venezia^ torn. i. (1876) lib. i. n. 99. 

^ G>rio, ii. 378, says that the Roman envoys came to Milan in 
February. Turiozzi, Mem, di Tuscania, shows Paganino as Senator 
on June 18, 1305. He ratifies the Statute of the Merchants on March 
21, 1306. On September 25, 1305, he accords the reajffidaiio to 
Corgeto {Margarita Cometana). 


But the civic nobility were soon enabled to regain pos- 
session of the Senate. For scarcely had Clement V. 
become Pope when, at King Philip's command, on 
February 2, 1306, he reinstated the Colonna in all 
their former rights. He restored the purple to both 
cardinals and allowed Stephen to rebuild the ruined 
Palestrina.^ The Gaetani and all other adherents of 
Boniface VIII. were thus driven from Rome, while 
the Colonna waxed more than ever powerful. They 
made a temporary reconciliation with the Orsini, and 
the two noble houses jointly occupied the Senate.^ 

Clement V. now without difficulty obtained from 
the Senate the right enjoyed by his predecessors, 
viz., the senatorial authority for life, with the ad- 
ditional privilege of allowing himself to be repre- 
sented by deputy. The Capitoline republic thus 
returned to its former system.* The transference 

^ Lyons, February 2, 1306 (Petrini, Mm., 33). We still read on 
ARCE. A. MCCCXXXIL Clement annulled all the proceedings 
taken against the men who had ill-treated fioni£Eice VIII. (April 20, 
1 31 2, Theiner, Cod. DipL, i. n. 624). He commanded that peace 
should be made between the Gaetani and the enemies of Boniface 
(n. 625). 

' In the latter half of 1306 Gentile Orsini and Stephen Colonna 
were Senators. They ratified the Statute of the Merchants on July 
23, 1306. 

' Clement made Peter Savelli and John Stefani Normanni Senators 
on March 9, 1307 (Theiner, n. 588). According to the statute no 
Trasteverine could be Senator : this provision was, however, revoked 
by Clement V. in favour of John Normanni (n. 589). Senators, from 
November I, 1307, Ricard, ThebalH de Anniballis and Joh. de 
Columpna dns, Genazzani, confirm the Statute of the Merchants, 
February 19, 1308. On January 27, 1308, they declare hostilities 



of the Civic authority in this form to the popes was 
advantageous to Rome, since the system placed 
some check on the nobility, reduced the danger of 
a tyranny, and created at least a permanent principle 
making for civic order. The political condition of 
Rome in the\ Middle Ages, when the commune 
formed an independent republic which excluded the 
priesthood from offices oT^tate, but gave personal 
supremacy to each pope, was'the most intelligible 
and also — for the Roman people — the worthiest 
solution of the abiding contest between the secular 
and the spiritual law. This system of government, 
which had been introduced by Nicholas III. after 
the year 1278, long endured, until, to the misfortune 
of the city, it expired with the independent republic. 
The Romans still hoped to see their pope and 
bishop reappear in his lawful abode, the Lateran. 
No one as yet seriously believed in the long dura- 
tion of the papal exile. But the Gascon Clement V., 
the slave of France, never appeared in Rome. The 
King constantly threatened him with the prosecution 
of the trial against Boniface VIII., and in order to 
save the Papacy from this humiliation, Clement 

against Aspra (Archives of Aspra) ; on April 9, against Cometo ; 
they are still in office on September 16, 1308 (Vendettini). In the 
first half of 1509 : Stephanus de Comite and Ursus de filiis Francisci 
£^r««» (Wttstenfeld, n, 51), A. lyy^ijoh, Petri Stephani oilr^sr 
tevere, and Tkeob, de S. Eustachio, from June onwards (Brief, Avign., 
June 27, 1309). They renew relations with Cometo on September 
13 {Marg, Cormtana\ A.D. 1310: Forte Braccio Orsini and Gurv, 
di Riccardo of the Anibaldi ; appointed by the Pope, but deposed 
by him. Letter to the Roman people, Avignon, March 14, 13 10. 
Theiner, n. 602. 


surrendered to Philip's will. He abandoned the 
city of the apostles to his vicars, and left to his 
legates the task of tranquillising Italy, where Ferrara 
was occupied by the Venetians, where Ancona and 
other cities of the Marches rose in revolt and elected 
Poncellus Orsini as their captain. To the inde- 
scribable dismay of the Romans, in 1308 Clement 
resolved on the formal removal of the Curia to 
The Pope Avignon. This city belonged to the King of Naples 
his abode as Count of Provence, and at the same time to the 
non^^aos. cn^pire. The Pope, in making his abode there, 
placed himself under the protection of a prince who 
was a vassal of the Church. In the same neighbour- 
hood the Pope also owned the county of Venaissin, 
which Raymond of Toulouse had been obliged to 
cede to the Roman Church in 1228. The choice of 
a dwelling on the banks of the Rhone was conse- 
quently the best outside Italy that the Pope 
could make, especially since the proximity of 
Marseilles afforded him ready communication with 
the peninsula. 

The removal of the Curia, the uncertainty of 

the future, and the strife of factions, produced the 

most gloomy conditions in the city. On the night 

of May 6, 1308, by an unfortunate accident, the 

Destrttc- Lateran basilica was destroyed by fire. The beauti- 

tionofthe - , . , . , - 

Lateran ful ancient colonnades and the numerous monuments 
fir^^^i^y 6, which rendered the Church a museum of Roman 
1308. history perished in the flames.^ The ruin of the 

^ Ptol. Lucensts, Vita Clem, V,, in Baluzlus, VUas Paff, Avenunu^ 
i. 31. Letter of the Pope to Cardinal Jacopo Colonna, Piciav, III. 
Id, Au^, a. ///., Raynald, ad A. 1308, n. x. 


Ch.1.] anarchy in ROME. II 

Mother Church of Christendom seemed, as in the 
time of Stephen VI., to forbode a terrible judgment 
Processions bewailing the event made their way 
through the dismayed city ; weapons rested, enemies 
became reconciled ; men hastened in pious zeal to 
remove the ruins and contribute money. The Pope 
appointed a congregation of cardinals to provide 
for the restoration of the church. The work was 
prosecuted with energy, but was only completed 
under his successor. 

The excitement of the moment past, superstitious 
dread of the threats of heaven never leaves any moral 
trace. The Romans soon forgot their pious vows ; 
Colonna and Orsini continued in deadly enmity their 
ancestral wars. The absence of the Pope left the 
nobility more utibridled than ever ; these hereditary 
houses now regarded themselves as masters of Rome, 
left without her master. Their mercenaries encamped 
on every road ; travellers and pilgrims were robbed ; 
places of worship remained empty. The entire 
circumstances of the city were reduced to a meaner 
level. No prince, nobleman, or envoy pf a foreign 
power any longer made his appearance. Seldom 
did a cardinal arrive as temporary legate, happy to 
escape as soon as possible from the sinister city. 
Vicars replaced the cardinals absent from their 
titular churches, while the Pope himself was repre- 
sented in the Vatican, as by a shadow, by some 
bishop of the neighbourhood — Nepi, Viterbo, or 

Clement V., implored by his representative in 
spiritual affairs to relieve the distress in Rome, sent 


a Minorite brother as peacemaker in January 1310.^ 
The monk found the Senators Fortebraccio Orsini 
and John Anibaldi utterly unequal to their task, 
and the popular Council of the Thirteen at strife 
both with them and the nobility. These Anziani, 
the elected representatives of the regions, maintained 
a democratic commonweal {Populus) beside the 
aristocracy, and this rested essentially on the guilds 
with their consuls, principally on those of the 
Agriculturists and Merchants. The representatives 
of the citizens now requested the Pope to restore 
peace to the city by means of an energetic and con- 
centrated government. Clement, unacquainted with 
the conditions of Rome, left the choice of their 
government for an entire year to the citizens. He 
removed the Senators from office ; concerning the 
nobility and their privileges he vouchsafed not a 
single word. The right of the Roman people to self- 
government was consequently recognised by the 
first Avignonese pope. The French popes in the 
main favoured the democracy in Rome. They were 
foreign to, and distant from, the city, which gradually 
lost importance in their eyes. They had no ties 
with the Roman feudal families; on the contrary, they 
strove to keep the nobility, who had hitherto been 
influential in the Curia, as far off as possible. They 
filled the Cardinals' College with Frenchmen. We 
shall soon see the use that the Romans made of the 
elective right which Clement V. had accorded them,* 

^ Wadding, Annal. Minor, ^ vi, ad A. 1 310, n. 10, cites the letter 
to the l^ates, Avignon, XVIIL Kai. Febr, a, V* 
. • Letter, Aven, If, Id. Martii a. V, (Theiner, n. 602) : Con- 

Ch. l] henry of LUXEMBURG. 1 3 

Meanwhile the change on the throne in Germany 
had given rise to important events. After the death Murder of 
of Albert of Habsburg at the hands of his own Aibot, 
nephew, Philip le Bel endeavoured to acquire the ^^ '» 
empire for his ambitious and powerful family, and 
to seat, if not himself, at least his brother Charles 
of Valois, on the imperial throne. The King held 
negotiations with the Pope in Poictiers. The trans- 
ference of the imperial authority to the dynasty 
of France, within the confines of whose kingdom 
the Papacy ^ad already been forced to take up its 
abode, wouldj^ave made Philip ruler of Europe, and 
this Clement dared not allow. He strove to circum- 
vent these designs, and sincerely rejoiced when the 
German electors shattered the schemes of France. 
The electors decided in favour of Henry of Luxem- 
burg, a noble but powerless man, on whom the 
alliances of his house, education, and even ties of 
knightly vassalage to King Philip, had imprinted a 
half French character. The Count was elected in HenryVii., 
Frankfort in-November 1308, was crowned at Aachen RomaSlV*^^ 
on January 6, 1309, and as Henry VH. ascended the J*^. 6, 
German throne, which he mainly owed to the exer- 
tions of his brother Baldwin, Archbishop of Treves. 

Without difficulty Henry obtained recognition 
from the Pope, to whom, following the example of 
the Habsburgs, he at once conceded the right of 
ratification. He sent envoys from Constance to 

sulibus Bovacteriorum et Mercatorum^ Colkgiojudtcum et Notariorum^ 
Consulibus aritum, trededm bonis viris electis per singulas Regumes^ 
et Populo Urbis, The elective right of the people was to date from 
May 1 3 10. The Constitution of Nicholas III. was abolished. 


Avignon, who were actually to lay before Clement 
the decree of election, swear, in the King's name, 
devotion to the Church, promise assistance in the 
Crusade planned by Clement, and beg for the im- 
perial coronation. On July 26 the Pope, with the 
condescension of a gracious ruler, recognised Henry's 
election as King of the Romans. He agreed to the 
imperial coronation, but explained that, owing to 
the intended Council, he could not yet perform the 
ceremony, and proposed a delay of two years, dating 
from February 2, 1 309.^ The claims of Innocent 1 1 1., 
Gregory IV., and Innocent IV. were thus recognised 
as rights without opposition by the "empire; no 
German elector and no German king appeared any 
longer to doubt the pope's authority to examine and 
confirm the person of the emperor-^lect ; in short, 
to bestow the imperial crown as a fief of the Church. 
Henry held a Diet of the court at Speyer. It was 
here determined that the journey to Rome should be 
made in the autumn of 13 10. Haste such as this 
formed a contrast to the indifference shown by 
Rudolf and Albert towards the imperial crown, 
which had not adorned the head of any ruler since 
Frederick 11. Henry VII., however, possessed no 
hereditary power, consequently neither prestige nor 
influence in Germany, where, on the contrary, he 

^ Henry's letter, Cupienies ferventi desiderio^ Constance, June 2, 
Mon, Germ,^ iv. 492. The Sacramentum Regis according to the 
ancient formula. Brief, Avignon, July 26, 1309 . . . examinatione 
quoque de persona tua— per nos fctcta, in quant, te ahsenie fieri potuU 
— te — in Regent electum deputamus'^uamque personam — declaramus 
pkne sufficieniem et kabilem ad suscipiendum hujusmodi imperialis 
celsiiudinis dignitatem, Ibid,^ p. 495. 


foresaw difficulties with Habsburg-Austria, with 
Bohemia and Bavaria. He imagined that the 
imperial crown would invest him with glory and 
power ; he hoped to reunite Italy with Germany and\ 
restore the ancient empire of the HohenstaufensJ 
The ideal of the ancient Roman world-monarchy 
awoke again in the enthusiastic brain t)f a German 
king, who had not been taught by history that the 
attempt to restore the ancient empire, or even the 
political and feudal alliance of the two countries, 
could ever again have any practical success. Never- 
theless, it was Italy herself that gave inspiration and 
aim to Henry's ideas. The Ghibellines of Italy 
urgently sunimoned him, and the most distinguished 
Italians met him with an enthusiasm for the imperial 
monarchy wtiich would have deluded the most 
prudent of statesmen. 

In the beginning of the fourteenth century the 
condition of Italy had become unendurable to the 
Italians. The cities from the Alps to the Neapoli- 
tan frontier were torn asunder between Guelfs and 
Ghibellines. Everywhere anarchy, civil war, and 
exile prevailed; the independent republics were in 
constant revolt, involved in perpetual party feuds, or 
at war with cities and dynasties ; the ancient federa- 
tions of cities were dissolved ; only isolated and 
temporary alliances took their place; the feudal 
lords of the previous centuries ruled as tyrants over 
the cities, purchasing the title of vicar sometimes from 
the pope, sometimes from the empire. The country, 
in short, presented a medley of national forces, which 
to depict is a task beyond the power of the historian. 


Visconti and Torn, Scala and Este, the Polentani, 
the Scotti, Montefeltre, TorrelH, the Manfredi, Mala- 
spina, Guidoni, the Carrara, the Ordelaffi, Cavalcab6, 
the lords of Savoy, of Saluzzo and Montferrat, the 
Orsini and Colonna, and a hundred other nobles 
stood in arms, each following the dictates of ambi- 
tion or intriguing force. Over this political chaos 
hovered the two ancient demons of the Guelf and 
Ghibelline parties. Advantage, or hereditary right, 
or the accident of the moment determined the choice 
of the party watchword, and it frequently happened 
that the name of the faction itself was based on no 
political principle. The programme of the Ghibel- 
line statesmen at this time, however, was the simpler 
and more clearly marked ; their party, which owed 
its origin to the feudalism of the empire, strove to 
restore order in Italy under the authority of the 
legitimate emperor of German nationality. The 
Ghibelline idea was that of historic right On the 
other hand, the idea of national independence 
cherished by the Guelfs was not set forth in any politi- 
cal system ; the Catholic idea of a universal Italian 
confederation under the supremacy of the pope 
remained unexpressed, and beyond antagonism to 
German influence, their efforts had no common 
political aim. At the same time, the Pope, their 
natural head, was far from Italy. His removal to 
France, to which the Guelfs had leaned ever since 
the fall of the Hohenstaufens, made the ties with 
France the more lasting; nevertheless, they found 
their most powerful protector in Italy and in the 
King of Naples, in whose town of Avignon the 


Pope dwelt The alliance with France, the absence 
of the Papacy, the impotence of the empire, and 
the confusion which prevailed among the factions in 
Italy must have encouraged the designs for the 
extension of power in the peninsula cherished by 
the prince who occupied the Neapolitan throne. 

Charles II. of Naples had died on May S, 1309, 
and Robert, his second son, obtained the crown, 
setting aside the claims of Charles Robert of Hun- 
gary, son of Charles Martel, eldest son of Charles II. 
The Pope, whose favour he had acquired at Avig- 
non, bestowed' the investiture on Robert in August Robert, 

1309. Clement thus secured his adherence, and the Napfesf 
Pope, recognising in the King a desired support of '309- 
the Church in Italy, entrusted him with the defence 

of his temporal rights in the peninsula, and Robert 
remained the most grateful ally and most faithful 
advocate of the sacred chair. On his arrival in 
Italy from Avignon in the beginning of the year 

1 3 10, the Guelfs regarded him as a friend and pro- 
tector ; a fact which furnished additional grounds 
to the Ghibellines, who were without a leader, for 
desiring Henry's journey to Italy. The most illus- 
trious men of their party cherished the ardent hope 
of a political Messiah, and to this hope Dante gave 
expression in the mysterious form of the Vdtro. 
The poet, wandering in exile, was the prophet of 

the Ghibelline ideal. His appeals, and even many Dante and 
passages of his poem, are valuable a^ political docu- emplr^^*^^ 
ments concerning the spirit of this memorable time. 
In contradiction to the history of the expeditions to 
Rome, which the Italians had execrated for cen- 



turies as incursions of the barbarians, Dante saw in 
the lawful kings of the Romans of German race the 
God-given savfours of Italy, whose sacred duty it 
was to restore the empire soiith of the Alps. Noth- 
ing more clearly shows the profound despair of the 
dismembered country than the fact, that its noblest 
citizens desired the return of the German emperor 
with a military force. The Italians censured the 
desire as the exaggersLtion of Ghibelline party pas- 
sion. The poet-philosopher Dante, however, dreamed 
of a universal ideal, to which no party aims could 
reach, and to which the ancestry of the emperor 
was a matter of indifference. He was deluded by 
the Habsburgs, who never left Germany ; he ad- 
dressed angry reproaches to the shade of Rudolf, 
who had been oblivious of his duty, and to Dante 
Albert's murder seemed the judgment of heaven 
which admonished his successor to fulfil the neg- 
lected obligation. The poet's lines in the celebrated 
passage of the Purgatorio which describes the meet- 
ing between Virgil and Sordello — dithyrambs of 
patriotic sorrow rivalling the prophetic sublimity of 
an Isaiah — ^retained their force for all succeeding 
centuries, written, as it were, over Italy in characters 
of fire. He summons Henry to orphaned Rome : — 

" Come and behold thy Rome, who calls on thee, 
Desolate widow, day and night with moans, 
* My Caesar, why dost thou desert my side ?' " * 

— Car/s Translation. 

^ Vieni a veder la tua Roma^ che piagne 
Vedova^ sola^ e di e notte chiama : 
Cesare mic, perM non m^accompagne. 

— Purgatorio^ vi. 


The contemplation of centuries had made the 
ideal of the Roman empire a dogma, for which the 
unity of the ecclesiastical constitution offered the 
strongest basis. To the imagination of mankind 
empire and Church appeared as two distinct but 
inter-dependent forms, within which the Christian 
world, as a whole, was comprised. The idea of the 
empire consequently survived the fall of the Hohen- 
staufens and the long period when no German 
emperor was any longer seen. Neither the bitter 
struggle between empire and priesthood, nor the 
ever-growing national impulse among peoples 
gradually becoming independent, was able to ex- 
tinguish this Roman universal ideal, which may 
justly be called the ideal of Christian antiquity. It 
was less on the convictions of the politician than on 
those of the philosopher that Dante based his hopes 
of the restoration to his country of unity, peace, and 
the glory of past times, through the greatness of the 
emperor. Nevertheless, this universal monarch, 
even when created and crowned, was inferior in 
power to any king, and could scarcely prove for- 
midable to a tyrant of North Italy. Dante's book, Dante's 
De Monarchia^ the first political writing of impor- archia!' 
tance since Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero, was not 
originally called forth by the journey of the Luxem- 
burg prince, but, whenever written, it expresses 
those Ghibelline teachings which accorded such an 
enthusiastic welcome to Henry VII. in Italy. 

Dante's work cannot bee ailed the programme of 
a party, since it could only have been intelligible to 
highly cultivated intellects. Neither is it the work 


of a statesman^ but of a philosophical thinker, steeped 
in the abstractions of the school, and not construct- 
ing his system from given conditions, but basing it 
on dogmatic hypotheses, and explaining it from 
general conceptions. Dante does not treat of the 
State but of the ideal of the universal republic. 
With scholastic method he develops three prin- 
ciples : that the universal monarchy — that is to say, 
the empire — is necessary to the well-being of 
human society ; that the monarchical power — the 
one indivisible imperium — l^ally belongs to the 
Roman people, and through them to the emperor ; 
lastly, that the authority of the emperor is derived 
immediately from God, and not, according to the 
opinion of the priests, from the pope, the Vicar 
of Christ or God. This thoughtful work is the 
genuine expression of the convictions of the Middle 
Ages, and only as such is it intelligible to us. It 
rests especially on the dogma of the unbroken con- 
tinuity of the imperium. It is only relatively 
speaking that we can say that Dante demanded the 
restoration of the empire, since, according to his 
theory, the extinction of the empire was as utterly 
inconceivable as the extinction of human society. 
Whether the name of the emperor was Augustus, 
Trs^an, or Constantine, whether Charles, Frederick, 
or Henry, whether he was of German or of Latin 
race, affected neither the character nor the lasting- 
ness of the Roman monarchy, which, older than the 
Church, had gathered the Church within its fold.^ 

^ The universal monarchy is derived from the principle of unity. 
The weakest part of this magnificent Utopia is the second. The 


The oneness of the universe was also the fixed 
principle for the political world of the Ghibellines. 
For them the only conceivable best system of the 
world was the rule of a sole emperor, and this view 
was supported not only by the historic facts of the 
Roman empire, but also by the Christian idea. If 
the Church, the State of God, was one alone, must 
not the empire, its civic form, be one also? If 
there were only one shepherd and one flock, then 
must not the emperor be the universal shepherd of 
nations in secular affairs as the pope was in spiritual ? 
Christ Himself, who rejected all temporal jurisdic- 
tion, had been subject to the civil law, and had said, 
" Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's " ; 
thereby declaring that the emperor was the univer- 
sal head and lawgiver on earth. 

The monarchy or imperial power, therefore, became 
glorified and idealised by the Ghibellines in propor- 
tion as the Papacy had encroached on the domain 
of civil law, and, owing to its secularisation, had 
sacrificed its priestly character. In their conflict 
with the emperors the popes had tried as far as 
possible to humble the conception of imperial 
majesty; they had finally attributed the origin of 
the empire solely to human weakness or to brute 
force, limited its province only to material^ and 
transient things, and regarded as its highest aim 

third, in which the doctrine of the priests is excellently refuted, is 
good. Dante may have been provoked into writing his book by the 
decrees of Boni&ce VIII. Witte dates its appearance before the bull 
Unam Sanctamy Balbo not until the year 1314. In like manner, 
although not so strongly, Dante spades of the necessity of the 
monarchy in the Convito Tract, y iv. c. 4, 5. 


only the subservient one of preserving the liberties, 
rights, and possessions of the Church, and of main- 
taining her orthodoxy by purging her fi:;om heresy. 
The Ghibellines warmly disputed this theory ; they 
asserted that the empire was a divine institution, 
and was synonymous with the highest temporal 
good, with freedom, justice, and peace, that is to 
say, with human civilisation. The danger that the 
emperors might usurp the spiritual power had been 
averted by the energy and genius of the popes; 
men, however, feared another bondage, for the 
Church threatened to seize the empire, the pope 
the temporal power. It was the watchful Ghibel- 
lines who warned Europe of the danger, and Dante's 
De Monarchia was, the tocsin sounded in the time 
of greatest peril. Therein the imperial power 
opposed the papal, as equally unlimited in secular 
things, and with equal exaggeration. Dante, in 
fact, professed imperialist theories no less absolute 
than those of the Justinianist jurisconsults of the 
Hohenstaufens. He maintained with philosophic 
earnestness that all princes, peoples, and countries, 
that land and sea were the lawful property of the 
single Caesar, indeed that every living being was 
subject to the Roman emperor.^ The Ghibelline 

^ Henry VII. 's edict, de Crimine laes, Majest, says: adreprifnenda 
multor, fadnoray quiruptis totius dehitae fidelitcUis htibenis adv. Ront. 
Imperium^ in cujus tranquilliicUe totius orbis regularity requiescit^ 
hostili animo armati conentur nedum humana, verum etiam ditdna 
praecepta, quibus jubetur quod omnis anitna Romanor, Principi sit 
subjecta. M» Germ, Leg., ii. 554. Dante says: qui bibitis fiuentia 
ejus, ejusq. maria tuwigatis : qui calcaiis arenas littorum et Alpiutn 
summitates, quae sunt suae ; quipublicis quibuscunique gdk(feiis, et res 


doctrines were pushed thus far in opposition to the 
defiant tenets of Boniface VI I L, who had claimed 
on behalf of the fi^fM^ a similar absolute power as a 
divine right. The Dantesque idea of the empire 
was, however, by no means a programme of despot- 
ism. The universal emperor was not to be the 
tyrant of the world, who would destroy lawful 
liberty and wipe out the diversity of ranks, com- 
munities, and races with their constitutions, but 
rather a justice of the peace, raised far above all 
party passion by the possession of all things, the 
chief minister or president of the human republic, 
in short, the incarnation of the Idea of the Good.^ 
We may say that this high ideal of the perfect 
temporal monarch was ^nly the counterpart of the 
ideal of the pope, translated into the secular sphere. 
Too exalted alike for his times and for ours, it pre- 
supposes, if it is to be more than a poet's dream, 
the golden age of a universal republic, in which 
nations are only so many families enjoying unbroken 
peace, under the loving guidance of a freely elected 
father, who, according to Dante's theory, makes his 
dwelling in eternal Rome. The Ghibelline philos- 
ophy was consequently far removed from the idea 
of unlimited monarchy, such as was developed from 

privaias vinculo suae legis^ non aliter possidetis (Ep. v.). He calls 
Henry Mundi rex et Dei minister (Ep. vi.). 

^ Vegghiaie tutii, e levatevi inconiro al vostro re^ abitatorifP Italia : 
e mm solamenti serhate a lui ubbedienza^ ma come liberi il reggimento, 
Ep. y. of Dante (according to Witte). Et kujusmodi poliiiae rectae 
Ubertatem intendunt^ scil, ut homines propter se sint, Non enim cives 
propter consulesy nee gens propter regem ; sed e conoerso. Monorchia^ 
i. c. 14. 


harsh Protestantism. Nevertheless, the perfect 
ideal of the all-ruling and peace-giving emperor 
might conceal the germs of other Neros, Domitians> 
or Caracallas, and the conditions of the actual world 
might produce the crop of despotism. The philos- 
ophers and statesmen of antiquity would not have 
understood Dante's exalted Utopia, and Constantine 
would have gazed with astonishment on the form 
(glorified by the halo of religion) which the ideas of 
the empire had assumed in the Christian imagina- 
tion of mediaeval thinkers. The celebrated apotheo- 
sis, with which Dante deifies the holy empire in the 
picture of the golden eagle floating in Paradise, 
presupposes a cult of the political ideal of such 
religious fervour as only the early Fathers, Augus^ 
tine, Jerome and Cyprian, cherished for the ideal of 
the Church. There lies at the bottom of this en- 
thusiasm for the Roman empire a deep love of 
historic humanity, the life of which in all its earthly 
relations is conceived as a revelation of the divine 
spirit with no lower claims than those of the Church. 
In spite of all abstractions, the progress of human 
thought in the beginning of the fourteenth century 
consequently lay on the side of the Ghibellines, who 
soon built a philosophic and legal foundation on 
which the reformation of the Church and State was 
enabled to rise. 

Ch. I.] HENRY VII. 25 

2. Henry VII. announces his Journey to Rome — 
Gathering at Lausanne — Clement V. — Robert 
AND Henry — The Pope announces the King's 
Visit to Rome — Henry's Departure — His first 
appearance in Lombardy — The Embassy of the 
Romans — Lewis of Savoy, Senator — Coronation 
IN Milan — Fall of the Torri — Defection of 
the Lombard Cities — Brescia — Henry in Genoa 
— Position of Affairs in Rome — Orsini and 
Colonna— John of Achaia — The League of the 
GuELFs — Difficult Position of Lewis of Savoy 
IN Rome. 

Can we wonder that Henry agreed to undertake a 
glorious task as the hero of a great idea, and as law- 
giver to descend on the classic land, which had 
been trodden by no German king since the Hohen- 
staufens ? At the Diet which he held at Speyer on 
August 30, 1 3 10, many Italians appeared before him, 
many Lombards, especially Ghibelline exiles, exhort- 
ing him to come to Italy. The princes of the empire 
were in favour of the journey to Rome, to which they 
promised their vigorous support. Even the Romans 
desired it. The envoys of the King informed the 
Italian cities and nobles that he came ''to restore 
peace to the world." The expectations which 
Henry's preparations called forth at the time found 
expression in a letter written by Dante to the princes 
and peoples of Italy.^ The King of the Romans 
had bestowed the crown of Bohemia on John, his 

^ £p. y. of Dante (ed. Witte, and Op, Minor, ^ ed. Fraticelli, ii.). 
Balbo holds Uiis letter to have been an unpublished poetic effusion. 


youthful son, and left his fatherland, like so many of 

his predecessors, to sacrifice his more immediate duty 

as regent to the ideal of empire. In the autumn of 

Henry VII, 1 310 he went to Lausanne, since, according to 

smne^n arrangement, he was thence to set forth on the 

the^autumn JQu,.j^gy ^q Rome. Plenipotentiaries from almost 

every Italian city with handsome presents awaited 
his arrival The Florentines alone remained unre- 
presented ; their republic upheld the banner of the 
Guelfs with the same steadfastness that Pisa upheld 
that of the Ghibellines. Henry took the oath to act 
as Defender of the Church at the hands of the papal 
legates at Lausanne, swore to recognise all the 
imperial charters and to preserve the State of the 
Church, in which he vowed not to exercise any 

Clement V. now found himself in a contradictory 
position between inclination and disinclination, 
between hope and fear. In order to free himself 
from the fetters of Philip, who kept him in constant 
anxiety with the threat of the suit against Boniface 
VIII., demanding the condemnation of the dead 
pope, he had hastened to recognise Henry on the 
imperial throne. Was he now to allow the King 
of the Romans to rise to power in Italy, while he 
remained afar and powerless in France ? Should he 
throw himself into the arms of the German emperor, 
declare himself in favour of the Ghibellines, abandon 
the entire Guelf party and especially King Robert ? 
He had himself set this prince on the throne of 

^ Promissa, Lausanne, October li, 13 10, inDonniges, Ada Hnnr,^ 
ii. 123. Mon* Germ,, iv. 501. 


Naples ; the Guelfs rallied round him, and the 
supreme power, which the expedition to Rome 
promised the Ghibellines, might therefore be re- 
stricted through Naples. As Henry now prepared 
for the expedition, the Pope hastened to make the 
same Robert Rector of the Church in the Romagna, 
afraid that Henry might seize the power in these 
disturbed provinces, which had only lately been 
ceded by the empire.^ Before, however, Henry had 
sworn to the document at Lausanne, Clement issued 
a circular letter to the nobles and cities of Italy, in 
which he admonished them to accord a willing recep- 
tion to the King of the Romans. The Pope probably 
then believed that Henry would carry out his mission 
of peace in Italy. The expressions of joy with which 
he announced the arrival of the expected saviour 
were, however, so exaggerated that they probably 
awakened doubts of their sincerity among suspicious 
Ghibellines. The language of Dante was not more 
enthusiastic than that of the Pope, who wrote : " Let 
the people who are subject to the Roman empire 
rejoice, for see the King brings them peace; the 
prince who is exalted by the divine favour, whose 
face the whole earth desires to behold, is coming 
among them with gentleness. Seated on the throne 
of majesty he will dispel every evil by his very 

^ The appoiDtment is dated in Prior, de Grausello^ August 19, 131a 
Rayn., 19. It is beyond a doubt that the position which the Pope 
gave Robert in Italy was due to political foresight. He could not 
stand so far above parties as to survey with indifference the entire en^ 
feeblement of the Guelfs, as Robert Pohlmann seems to believe : Der 
Romertug Kaiser HeinricKs VII. und die Politik der Curie^ def 
Houses Anjou und der WelfenUga^ Nurembei^, 1875, p. 14 L 


glance, and will devise projects of peace for his 
subjects."^ No German king had ever before re- 
ceived such enthusiastic greeting from the Church ; 
the manifesto of the Pope, like the Ghibellines, 
announced him as a Messiah. The Church and 
Italy surrounded him with the ideal splendour of 
exalted theories, and the entire West and even the 
Greeks in the East looked with strained attention 
on Henry's expedition from which they expected 
great events. 

The King could not have been filled with equal 
confidence when he reviewed his forces at Lausanne. 
His army only numbered 5000 men, chiefly mer- 
cenaries and insignificant people. None of the great 
princes of the empire had come forward as on previous 
expeditions to Rome.* His brothers, Baldwin Arch- 

^ Exuliet in gloria virtutis Altissimi regni admen inclytum 
Romanor, ; exultent magnifice sibi subdiiae naiiones . • • quoniam 
ecce Rex ipsor, pacificus eis veniet mansuetuSf $U in eo suo sedens solio 
majestatis solo nutu dissipetomne mcUum^ cogitet pacts cogitationes pro 
subdiiis. — Papal Circular, September I, 13 10, Raynald, n. 9. The 
same day was issued the order to the legate Arnold of PeUagru 
commanding him to conduct the King to Rome. Theiner, i n. 

' Barthold, Romerzug Konig HeinticVs von Luxemburg^ L 392. 
No other expedition to Rome has been so minutely described by con- 
temporaries : Niccol6 of Butronto, Mussatus, Ferretus, Joh. of Cer- 
menate, and Villani. Also the Gesta BcUduini^ and die cycle of 
pictures which this brother of Henry VII. caused to be painted to 
him as a monument. Die Romfahrt Kaiser HeinricKs VII, im 
Bildercyclus des Cod, Balduini Treznrensis^ edited by the Directors of 
the Royal Prussian State Archives, Berlin, 1881. For the authorities, 
see : Donniges, Kritik der Quellen fUr die Gesch, HtinriclCs VII, ^ 
Berlin, 1841 ; Dietrich Konig, Kritische Erorterungen xu einigen 
italienischen Quellen fur die Gesch, des Romerzuges HeinricVs VII, ^ 
Gottingen, 1874; Richard Mahrenholtz, Ueber die Relation des 

Ch. l] henry VII, APPEARS IN ITALY. 29 

bishcp of Treves, and Walram Count of Lutzelburg, 
the Dauphins Hugo and Guido of Vienne, Bishop 
Theobald of Liege, Gterhard Bishop of Basle, Lupoid 
Duke of Austria, and the Duke of Brabant formed 
the most distinguished members of his train, and he 
found his most influential friend in his relative by 
marriage, the Count of Savoy.^ He hoped above all 
to collect additional forces in Italy. 

The King crossed Mont Cenis to Susa on October Henry vii. 
23, 1 3 10; on October 30 he entered Turin. Sixty fSToit 
long years- filled with civil war and turbulence, '3io. 
memorable for important changes in the empire, the 
Papacy, and in Italy, had passed since Lombardy had 
witnessed the last progress to Rome. When a King 
of the Romans now appeared again on the banks of 
the Po, to restore the ancient alliance between Italy 
and Germany, the entire country was plunged in 
disquiet. This German king, unlike his predecessors, , •, 
came almost unarmed to release peoples and cities 
from their tyrants.^ The exiles, who roamed in 

Ntcolaus von ButritUo^ Halle, 1872, in which the untrustworthlness 
of the biassed account is indicated : Ed. Heyck, Nicolai Ep, Botront, 
Rel, de H, VII, Imp. Itinere lialico, Innsbruck, 1888, edited as an 

^ Amadeus married a sister of Maria of Brabant, who had been 
married to Henry in 1292. Amadeus was raised to the rank of prince 
on November 24, 1310. Donniges, Acta Henr, VII,^ i. I. Such 
are the modest b^;inniogs of the House of Savoy, which was to effect 
the union of Italy 1 

' The Ghibellines reckoned a new era from him. Dante dates two 
letters Jaustissimi cursus Henrici Caesaris ad Italtam anno /. (Ep. 
vL , vii ). In Ep. vii. he says : ceu Titan peroptatus exoriens nova spes 
Lotto saeculi melioris effulsit. Tunc plerique vota sua praevenientes in 
jubilo^ tcmi Satumia regna^ quam Virginem redeuntem cum Marone 


every direction, now hoped for return, the Ghibellines 
for restoration ; the Guelfs alone, irresolute and dis- 
united, were filled with dread. So necessary was 
peace to Lombardy, however, so powerful was the 
spell of an emperor^s appearance, so great the hopes 
of his impartiality, that even they did not venture 
to interrupt his progress, but came to yield subjec- 
tion. Guido della Torre, the tyrant of Milan, whose 
Ghibelline opponent Matthew Visconti still lived in 
exile, held back in distrust ; but other Guelf leaders, 
Filippone of Langusco, lord of Pavia; Antonio of 
Fisiraga, tyrant of Lodi; Simon de Advocatis of 
Vercelli, the Margraves of Saluzzo and Montferrat, 
many lords and bishops of Lombard cities, hastened 
to Henry at Turin, and placed iheir forces under his 
banner. In a few days he collected 12,000 horse. 
The An embassy of the Romans creeted him on 

send en- November i. Colonna, Orsini, Anibaldi,the leaders 
S ^° ^^ *^® Roman factions, appeared with 300 horse and 
magnificent retinues. They had been sent by the 
Capitol, not only to invite Henry to his coronation, 
but also to thfe Pope to demand his return to Rome, 
where it was hoped that in person he would crown 
the new emperor. Henry likewise sent envoys to the 
Pope, his brother Baldwin and Bishop Nicholas, who, 
in case Clement himself would not come, were to 
stipulate that full powers should be granted to re- 
presentative cardinals. The Roman envoys had 
announced that they agreed with this proposal.^ 

^ Ckron, Regiense^ Mar., zviii. 20 ; Nicol, Botr^mt,, Mur., ix. 888. 
The Pope refers to this and to Henry's embassy in his brief of 
February 28, 13 11. He excuses himself on the plea of the approach^ 


During their sojourn in Turin, it had been decided 
that Lewis of Savoy was to go to Rome as Senator, 
the count having been already chosen for the mission 
before Henry departed on his journey.^ It was 
important for the King that one of his most faithful 
adherents, and a relation by marriage^ should be 
installed as regent in the Capitol. In the summer Lewis of 
of 1 3 10 Lewis went to Rome, where he was acclaimed llSr in 
as Senator for a year by the people, and received the thesummer 
ratification of the Pope.^ 

All the cities of Lombardy did homage to the 
King of the Romans, who, gentle and unsuspicious, 
gave ear to every complaint, and favoured neither 
Guelfs nor Ghibellines, but imposed peace.® Factions / 

ing G>uncil, and leaves it to the King to appoint a day after Whitsun- 
tide for the coronation. The letter is filled with . expressions of 
affection. See Bonaini, Acta Henr. VII. ^ i. 168. These important 
regesta, taken from the Pisan Archiyes, have not yet appeared in print. 
Signor Bonaini, with his accustomed generosity, sent me all the finished 

^ I showed that the Pope had deposed the Senators on May 14, 
1 310, and given the Romans liberty of election. Now Villani, viii. 
c. 120, says : (July 3, 1310) venero in Firenze tnesser Lifts de Savoia 
tletio Senaiare con dueprelcUi cherici ctAlamagna^ e m, S^mone Filippi 
da Pistoiaf ambasciadore dello ^mperadore^ to request the Florentines 
to send envoys to Lausanne. Henry had consequently already come 
to an understanding with Rome, and probably also with the Pope, 
concerning Lewis's election. 

^ Lewis, as Senator, dates an edict respecting Cometo on August 7, 
1 3 10. WUstenfeld, n. 54. He confirms the Statute of the Merchants 
on March 24, 131 1, as magmfic, %nr Ludoincus de Sabaudia dei gra, 
Alme Urbis Sen, III His assessor was the celebrated Cino of 
Pistoja; Savigny, Gesckichte des r'om, Rechts tm MUUkUter^ vi. p. 

' Henry's clemency appeared rather as weakness. Nicole Boiront,, 


became reconciled at his behest He gave orders 
that exiles should everywhere be received ; his com- 
mands were obeyed. As if in obedience to the voice 
of Dante, the cities voluntarily placed their govern* 
ment in Henry's hands and received imperial vicars. 
The King was endowed with qualities which made a 
favourable impression on both great and lowly; a 
man in the prime of his energies, forty-nine years of 
age, of agreeable exterior, a discreet speaker, magnan- 
imous and brave, honest, moderate, religious, and 
possessed with a strong love of justice. Guelfs and 
Ghibellines held him in equal esteem, until misunder- 
standings or errors, above all an unkingly poverty 
— the gravest charge against a ruler — gradually 
diminished their reverence.* The head of the 
Ghibellines made his appearance at Asti ; Matthew 
Visconti, who had been banished by the Torri, came 
in humble guise, with only one attendant, and threw 
himself at the feet of the King. Henry conducted 
him and the other exiles back to Milan on December 
Henry 23. His entry into this great city, from which he 
Milan. himself had shrunk, was the first real triumph of the 
revived imperial power; for since the Guelf Otto, 
Milan had received no emperor within her walls. 
While troops of nobles unarmed, as he himself had 
commanded, advanced to meet the King and kissed 
the feet of the Prince of Peace, Guido della Torre 

^ Henry's portrait is drawn by Mussatus, i. 13 : Homo gracilis^ 
statura propejusta^ colore capilloqve subruffis^ eminentibus supercilUs^ 
with a squint in the left eye. The Paduan Mossatus, although a 
Guelf, was a zealous adherent of the imperial ideals of Henry. See 
Toew, Albertin, Mussatus und Heinrich VII, , Greifswald, 1874, und 
J. Wychgram, Albertino Mussato^ Leipzig, 1880. 


with intentional disrespect, only came to the suburb 
to meet him. The Germans, however, soon over- 
came Guido's defiance.^ For the last time the world 
surveyed the imposing spectacle of imperial majesty 
in its mediaeval aspect. 

Henry forced the hostile houses of Torri and Vis- 
conti to reconciliation. He demanded the signory 
and Milan gave it to him. Cremona, Como, Bergamo, 
Parma, Brescia, Pavia sent their syndics to do 
homage, as Verona, Mantua, and Modena had done 
already. Henry stood, however, far above factions. 
He would allow neither Guelfs nor Ghibellines to be 
mentioned in his presence, so that the Guelfs said he 
saw only Ghibellines, and Ghibellines that he received 
only Guelfs. But his successes in Milan and the 
subjection of almost the whole of Lombardy excited 
terror among the Guelfs ; the Florentines hastened 
to fortify their city, Bologna, Lucca, Siena, and 
Perugia to form a Guelf league and to demand aid 
from King Robert.^ 

On January 6, 131 1, Henry took the Iron Crown Henry vii. 
in S. Ambrogio from the hands of Gaston della a°^- 
Torre, the Archbishop of Milan whom he had brought t^^*^' 
back. Envoys from almost all the cities of Lombardy i3"» ' 
and Italy, even from Rome, were present ; Venice, 

^ On Henry's approach all the Milanese flags were lowered except 
Guido's ; the Germans threw it in the dust. Guido dismounted and 
kissed Henry's foot. The King said : Amodo Guido pacijiais etfidelis 
sis et, quern negare nefas est^ dominum recognosce, Joh. de Cermenate, 
c. xvi. 38 (recently edited by Ferrai, Rome, 1889, Fontiper la storia 

' See documents concerning this, from December 13 10 onwards, in 
part ii. of the regesta collected by BonainL 


y ^ 



Genoa, and Florence, however, remained unrepre- 
sented The ancient kingdom of Italy was thus 
restored by Henry, who appeared to revive evay 
tradition of the empire.^ Threatening clouds, how- 
ever, showed themselves on the radiant heaven of his 
hopes. In his destitution he demanded large sums 
from Milan as contributions towards the imperial 
coronation and as provision for the vic^erent of 
the empire. People murmured also against the 
government of the useless imperial vicars. In his 
suspicion, or for the sake of peace, Henry required 
as hostages fifty sons of noble houses, under the 
pretext that they should accompany him to Rome. 
The Torri, enticed by the Visconti into the snare, 
raised a revolt on January 12; Germans and 
Lombards fought in the streets, and for the first 
time blood stained the flawless majesty of the noble 
Henry. The Torri fled from the city ; their palaces 
were burnt to the ground ; several Milanese were 
sent in exile to Pisa, Genoa, or Savoy.* 

The ideal of the Prince of Peace, which had been 
strained too far for the practical realities of life, was 

^ The Torri had pawned the ancient Iron Crown: it had dis« 
appeared. Lando of Siena made a new crown of steel in the form of 
a laurel wreath set with pearls. Villani, ix. c. 9 ; Bohmer, Regiat,^ 
p. 285. The genuine crown was only redeemed by Matthew Visconti 
in 13 19, and was placed in safe keeping at Monza. Concerning the 
Iron Crown, see Muratori in Graevius, Tlkesaur,, iv. 

* The Florentines through envoys complained of this to the Pope : 
iffftos viros quasi omnes expulit de ipsa civitate — ita quod vere diet 
potest^ quod subiicta sit serzfituti et morti. The Germans entertained 
as deadly hostility towards all Guelis as in former times the French 
towards the Ghibellines. Instructions to the embassy of April i, 
131 1. Bonaini, ii. 17. 


speedily shattered, and Henry VII., whose concep- 
tion of his authority in Italy was no lower than that 
cherished by the Hohenstaufen emperors, found 
himself in a short time on the same path and involved 
in the same labyrinth as his predecessors in the 

The sudden fall of the powerful Guelf house 
disturbed the country and destroyed the spell pro- 
duced by Henry's first appearance. Lodi, Cremona, 
Crema and Brescia renounced him. This forced 
the King, like his predecessors, to make war on First war in 
cities, by which time and energy were lost and his ^"'^^y* 
whole scheme was changed. Cremona, it is true, 
again made subjection as did Lodi and Crema. The 
inhabitants of the city appeared barefooted, with a 
cord round their necks, to sue for mercy; but the 
angry King for the first time showed himself without 
pity; he punished even the innocent by a severe 
imprisonment and caused the walls of Cremona, 
which was sacked, to be razed to the ground. This 
unexpected severity, which shook the belief in his 
gentleness and justice, drove Brescia to fiercest 
resistance. Had Henry advanced to Rome without 
delay, Bologna, Florence, Siena, Rome, and even 
Naples, would have surrendered to him, or so at 
least contemporaries believed. The Florentine exiles, 
and especially Dante, who had already visited the 
King in person, impatiently exhorted him to advance 
rapidly against Florence; he resolved, however, to 

^ The excess to which Henry pushed the claims of his imperial 
rights has been proved not only by Ficker, Forsch. zur RcUhs* u. 
Ii€cktsg€sch, JtalUns, yoI. iL, but also in Pohlmann's work. 


overcome Brescia at any cost, since the city might 
easily become the head of a Guelf league and had 
already placed itself in communication with his 
enemies in Tuscany.^ The tedious siege cost Henry 
four entire months, involved him in expenses entirely 
disproportionate to the undertaking, in the loss of 
his brother Walram and of more than half his army. 
Brescia is It presents the most appalling picture of all the 
be»i«ged horrors of war against cities, hardly less awful than 
could have been experienced in the time of Barba- 
rossa. Brescia, which had formerly heroically re- 
pulsed the attacks of Frederick II., was one of the 
most celebrated cities of Lombardy ; its free citizens 
"resembled kings," its military power was that of 
a kingdom.^ A banished Guelf, Theobald de 
Brusatis, a traitor to Henry, who had formerly loaded 
him with benefits, had made him a knight, and had 
led him back to his native city, conducted the de- 
fence with frantic energy, until he fell, mortally 
wounded, into the hands of the Germans, was 
dragged on a cowhide round the walls of Brescia 
and cut in quarters in the camp.' The indignation 

^ As early as April 1 6 Dante had entreated Henry to leave the 
cities alone and to punish hated Florence. £p. vi. Balbo is indignant 
that Dante summons a foreigner against his native city, and we 
Germans may remark, that it was the Italians themselves who as a 
rule summoned our kings to their country. 

■ Qutdplura? cives reges erant, Malvecci, Chron,, Mur., xiv. 991. 
Several cities received their rectors from Brescia at this time. After 
its capture Henry caused the number of the population to be taken 
in the city and its territory. There were 136,000 fighting men: 
admirans inquit: profecto haec Brixia non est civitasy sed Regnunu 

' Theobald, de Bruxatis was Count of the Romagna for the Church 
in 1304. On February 27, 1304, the syndics of Bologna maintained 



of the Brescians was now unbounded; but their 
desperate resistance was overcome by famine and 
pestilence. They finally yielded to the represen- 
tations of the cardinals, whom the Pope had sent 
for the imperial coronation, and laid down their 
arms.^ On September i8 the unfortunate burghers 
came like spectres, barefooted, a cord round their 
necks, to throw themselves at the feet of their ruler, 
as conquered Lombards had so often knelt to 
emperors in past centuries. Henry gave them their 
lives; he also spared the city, and on September and con- 
24 made his melancholy entry over the levelled sept! 24, 
trenches and the ruins of the destroyed walls. He ^3"- 
ordered the gates of Brescia to be carried to Rome 
as trophies of war.^ By the force of circumstances 
the gentle Henry had thus become in the eyes of 
the Guelfs a conquering tyrant such as Barbarossa 
and Frederick H. 

He had now no stronger wish than to hasten 
to Rome for the imperial coronation, which, in 
accordance with the King's own desire, the Pope 

the privileges of their city in his presence at Cesena. Archives of 
Bologna, Reg,^ g. i. 2, f. 121. 

^ The Florentines encouraged Brescia by letters and money. 
Bonaini, iL 36. The siege (which lasted from May 19 until Sep- 
tember 18, 131 1 ) has been described by chroniclers with all its horrors. 
Ventura, Chron. Astense^ p. 233 : otnnes qui capH erant a Brixianis^ 
excoriicabantur, etpellis et caput exUndebantur supermuros Civitatis, 
The King's wife carried the seeds of death whh her from Brescia 
to Genoa, where she breathed her last on December 13. Guy of 
Flanders also succumbed to the camp fever, which must have carried 
off 10,000 men of Henry's army. 

* Quod portae portarentur Homam, Nicol. Botront., 904. A remi- 
niscence of the Carrocium of Milan, sent to Rome by Frederick II. 


had fixed for August 1 5. The delay before Brescia, 
however, had rendered this date impossible. His 
complications with France, the approaching Council 
at Vienne, his chronic sufferings and other considera- 
tions prevented Clement V, performing the corona- 
tion in person ; he had, however, appointed various 
cardinals as his representatives. In their company 
Henry with his diminished forces marched by Cre- 
HenryVii. mona, Piaccnza and Pavia to Genoa, where he made 
mGCToa, i^jg ^^^^ ^^ October 21, 131 1, reconciled the hostile 

13"* factions of Doria and Spinola, and soon after 
assumed the signory of the republic. Genoa was 
to have been the meeting place for all members of 
the expedition to Rome. But the tidings which 
Henry now received informed him of obstacles that 
had arisen between him and his object during the 
siege of Brescia. 

The Senator Lewis had striven in Rome to soothe 
the party strife and to win the city to Henry's side. 
Unfortunately, being summoned by the King to 
' Brescia in the autumn, he had made over the Torre 
delle MiHzie and the Capitol to his representatives, 
Richard Orsini and John Anibaldi, under condition 
that they should retain these fortresses for Henry 
and surrender them to him on his arrival. But 
scarcely had Lewis left the city, when Orsini and 
Colonna rushed to arms, the former as enemies of 
Henry, whose coronation as emperor they hoped 
to prevent by means of Robert of Naples, the 
latter as Ghibellines. The head of the Colonna was 
Sciarra, the celebrated mortal enemy of Boniface 
Vni., while Stephen had accompanied Henry in 


his marches Jn Lombardy,^ The Orsuu immediately 
summoned Robert to come to Rome, or at least to 
send troops thither. The King of Naples dreaded 
Henry's arrival ; the Luxemburger's expedition 
seemed to Robert a continuation of Conradin's. 
He foresaw that the Emperor would revive the 
claims on Naples, and would endeavour to thrust 
the Angevin from the throne which he usurped. 
This was inevitable, although Henry had not yet 
conceived any such design; on the contrary, he 
desired a treaty with Robert.^ The King of Naples, 
however, deceived him. For while holding negotia- 
tions with him respecting an alliance between the 
families, he furthered a Guelf league between 
Bologna and the cities of Tuscany. As early as 
the spring of 13 11, he sent Catalan mercenaries 
under Diego della Ratta to Florence and the 
Romagna, of which he was vicar for the Pope. 
He drove the Ghibellines from various places. His 
troops united with Florentines and Lucchese to close 
the passes of Lunigiana against Henry.* While the 

^ The Romans, Peter de Anibalis and Stephen de Columna, were 
in Brescia with the Emperor on October i, 1311. Bohmer, acta Imp, 
selecta^ 635. 

^ This is clearly expressed in instructions which Robert gave later 
to his envoys to the Pope : dubitans Rex ipse — ne de Urbe sibi 
dictoque Regno suo offendiculum graviaris periculi perveniret, sicut 
tempore invasionis Corradini^ operante quond, dompno Henrico de 
Yspania ipsius Corradini fatUore, Archives of Siena, Parchment n, 
1387, without a date ; A.D. 13 13. 

' The Florentines had renewed the Guelf league in their parliament 
on February 20, 131 1 {Jtalia et socieias inter comunia societatit TUscie 
€t Bononie\ and had made Philip of Achaia and Tarento, brother of 
Robert, their Captain-General. Bonaini, iL 17, 19. 


Florentines used their gold at the papal court to try 
and keep Henry at a distance and bjribed the Lombard 
cities to revolt, they entreated Robert to occupy Rome, 
as he had promised. As they now learned that he 
was carrying on negotiations with Henry, they wrote 
to him in great indignation, reminded him of his pro- 
mises never to allow any family alliance to be formed 
with the German king, and threatened, in case he 
violated his compact, to recall their troops from Rome, 
whither they had already sent more than 2000 men.^ 
While in Genoa, Henry had been once more 
deceived by embassies from Robert. He was 
astounded when Sciarra Colonna appeared before 
him, informed him of what had taken place in Rome, 
urgently begged for troops and pressed him to hasten 
his coming. For Robert had responded to the re- 
quests of the Florentines and had sent his brother 
John of John, Count of Gravina, with 400 horse to Rome, 
gsSisons where he was received by the Orsini," occupied S. 
Rome. Angelo and the Trastevere, and endeavoured to 
overcome the remaining fortresses. The city was 
consequently divided into camps of Guelfs and 
Ghibellines, into imperialists and royalists, who 
"J entrenched themselves in the streets and waged 
« fierce war on one another. These tidings induced 

* Letter of the_ Florentines, June 17, 131 1. Arckiv, Flor, Stg, 
Carteggio^ i. fol. 13. On June 20 they write to Gentilis Orsini : 
Jiegia provid, pluries nob, scripsit — quad cum Rege Alam, concordiam 
aliquam non volebat, sed suum exforitum mitteret et personalUer veniret 
ad Urberrtf ad mortem dicti hostis. In October 131 1 they maltreated 
Henry's envoys, Pandulf Savelli and Bishop Nicholas. Henry cited 
them before his tribunal on November 20, and placed them under the 
ban on December 24. Mon, Germ,, iv. 521. 


Henry to send the Senator Lewis to Rome in com- 
pany with the Colonna; but he only gave him an 
escort of fifty German knights. Ignorant of the 
true importance of the occurrences, he imagined 
that everything would be tranquillised by the 
vigorous intervention of the officials, and does not 
even seem to have doubted Robert's assurance 
that Prince John had only entered Rome in order 
solemnly to attend the imperial coronation.^ When 
Lewis of Savoy, under the protection of the Counts 
of Santa Fiora and the Colonna, now entered 
Rome, he found the Orsini and the prince in pos- 
session of the greater number of the fortresses and 
unwilling to obey his own vicars. They refused to 
resign their office, and only for money would they 
surrender the Torre delle Milizie and the Capitol. 
The Senator made his dwelling in the Lateran ; he 
unsuccessfully strove to appease the Orsini and to 
induce John to return to Naples. The peaceful 
entry of his master for his coronation consequently 
seemed no longer probable.^ 

^ Job. de Cerm., xlii. 94; Ferret. Vicent., p. 1091. Villani, ix, c. 
39, says, it is true, that John of Calabria entered Rome on April 16, 
1 3 12, but the statement does not agree with John de Cermenate. We- 
must assume that John came to Rome as early as December 13 11.. 
He probably then returned to Naples and came back with fresh troops 
in April 131 2. I have, unfortunately in vain, searched the regesta of 
the dynasty of Anjou, in the State Archives of Naples, for this and the 
following periods of saec, xiv. They contain scarcely any political 

' Lewis's return to Rome and the refusal of the Florentines to let 
him pass are mentioned in the Emperor's Citation of November 20, 
131 1, and in the ban of December 24. Lewis had consequently left 
Genoa in October before Nicholas of Botronto went to Florence ; but 
his arrival in Rome was probably delayed until Febgiaqy^x^ 

s > r. 

' \ 42 ROME IN THE MIDDLE AGES. [Bk. xt. 

3. Henry in Pisa — He sends Envoys to Prince 
John and King Robert— March to Rome^His 
Ghibelunb Alues — Entry into Rome — Con- 
dition of the City — Defences of the Guelfs 


— Surrender of their Fortresses— Fall of the 
Cawtol — Street Warfare — Henry determines 
TO be crowned in the Lateran — Plebiscites — 
The Cardinal-legates crown the Emperor in the 
Lateran, ^ 

On February 16, 13 12, Henry, with an insignificant 
force and accompanied by the cardinals appointed 
to perform the coronation, embarked at Genoa. 
Storms forced him to remain thirteen days at anchor 
Henry vil at Porto Venere, and not until March 6 did he land 
Marc?'6, *^ Pisa.^ The city, the inflexibly faithful ally of the 
13"- German emperors, invariably the harbour, gathering- 
place and rallying point of the expeditions to Rome, 
received him with like rejoicings as it had received 
Conradin. It bestowed the signory upon him and 
supplied him liberally with money ; the Ghibellines 
of Tuscany and the Romagna flocked round his 
banner.* Too weak to make war on the league of 

^ We can follow his journey daj by day from the account books of 
the court. These Rendages Gik in the Pisan Archives have been 
collected by Bonaini in the Acta of Henry VII. Henry remained at 
Porto Venere from February 21 until March 5 ; item U dimence^ V 
jour de mart, que li roys se parti de ce lieu aprts magier^ quatreuingt 
iivresy XVIIl sols, II denierSy valent LXXV fioHnSy III gros. 
Such was the cost of maintenance of the court for one day. 

* Villani, ix. c. 37. At this time John Parricida, Albert's murderer, 
cast himself at the feet of the King. Henry threw him into prison at 
Pisa, where he died on December 13, 1315, and was buried in S. 
Niccol6. Bohmer, Regtst,^ 29S, with the passages quoted. 

Ch. I.] MARCH TO ROME. 43 

the Tuscan Guelfs, Henry satisfied himself with 
placing their principal centres under the ban of the 
empire ; while behind him apostate cities in Lom- 
bardy were already driving forth his vicars and 
stood defiantly at arms. Messengers from Rome 
informed him that the imperial party were reduced 
to such straits that Ponte MoUe, their only free 
access to the city, was in danger, and that fresh 
reinforcements were arriving from the Guelf league. 
Henry consequently sent Stephen Colonna to Rome ; 
he also sent envoys to Robert to conclude the 
marriage between his daughter Beatrix and Robert's 
son. At the same time he commanded Bishop 
Nicholas and the notary Pandulf Savelli to hasten 
to Rome and ask Prince John not to hinder his 
peaceful entry, since King Robert had assured him 
that his brother had only gone to attend the corona- 
tion ceremonies.^ The envoys reached Rome on 
April 30. The Prince answered them that more 
recent letters from his royal brother commanded 
him to oppose King Henry's entrance with all his 
power, that he would continue to fight the GhibeU 
lines, that he declared war on the King, but for 
strategic reasons would recall his troops from Ponte 
MoUe. The dismayed envoys left the city under 
the safe-conduct of Gentile Orsini, and hastened to 
meet the approaching King. 

On April 23 Henry left Pisa with 2000 horse Departtirc 
besides infantry, a scanty force compared to that at Ap™! 23T* 
the head of which emperors had formerly arrived, '3"- 

^ N1CC0I6 of Botronto gives aA interesting account of his mission. 
According to the Rcndages he left Pisa on April 19. 


Among his retinue were the three cardinal-legates, 
Arnold Pelagru of the Sabina, nephew of the Pope ; 
Nicholas of Ostia, a Tuscan from Prato of Ghibel- 
line sympathies, formerly legate of Benedict XI. in 
Florence, where he had wished to re-establish the 
Bianchi ; Luca Fieschi of S. Maria in Via Lata, the 
same cardinal who had formerly released Boniface 
VIII. in Anagni. His brother Baldwin, his cousin 
Theobald of Li^ge, Rudolf Duke of Bavaria, 
Amadeus of Savoy, Guido Dauphin of Vienne, the 
Marshal Henry of Flanders and his son Robert, 
Godfrey Count of Leiningen and Governor of 
Alsace, Diether Count of Katzenellnbogen, and 
Henry Abbot of Fulda accompanied the King as 
counsellors or generals. Heedless of danger the 
army marched across the Maremma ; without en- 
countering the Guelfs, crossed the Ombrone near 
Grosseto and reached Viterbo on May i.^ Through- 
out the territory between Viterbo, the lake of 
Bracciano and Sutri, the family of the Prefects of 
Vico, and the Counts Orsini-Anguillara were all 
powerful. They received the King with honour, 
since the present Prefect of the city, Manfred of 
Vico, a son of that Peter so celebrated in the time 
of King Manfred, was an avowed Ghibelline, and 
Count Anguillara a relation by marriage of Stephen 
Colonna, All these magnates, as well as the lords 

^ Rendages : on April 23 they reached Saint Savin (behind Leg- 
horn) ; on April 24, S, Vincent (S. Vincenzo) ; April 25, a CampilU 
{Campiglia)\ 26, a Karlin (Scar/ino); 27, a Castillon (Castiglimt 
delta Pescaja) ; 28, a Maillan {Magliano) ; on the 29th they rested at 
the same place ; on the 30th a Monchant (Manciano) ; from May I 
to 5 they remained a Viterbe. 

Ch. I.] MARCH TO ROME. 45 

of S. Flora and the Hohenstaufen Conrad of 
Antioch, ranged themselves under Henry's banner ; 
Todi, Amelia, Narni and Spoleto also sent troops. 
Henry marched through Sutri along the Via Claudia, 
past Baccanello as through a friendly country, un- 
prepared and almost unarmed, until at Castel Isola, 
on the ruins of Veii, messengers hurrying back from 
Rome informed him that Prince John intended to 
prevent the coronation. The astonished King 
ordered the army to halt and to encamp under 
arms in the open country.^ 

On the morning of May 6 Henry's army advanced 
to Rome in order of battle. Nowhere was an enemy 
in sight. After a short march the imperialists found 
themselves before Ponte Molle.* A year earlier the 
bridge had been occupied by the Colonna ; the 
passage was free, for John had recalled his troops 
and had only garrisoned the adjacent tower of 
Tripizon with archers.* As the imperial army 

^ Castrum de Insula (in Nicol. Botront), now Isola Famese^ the 
ancient Veji, In the remote Middle Ages a fortress arose on the soil 
of the ruined city. This fortress took its name from the so-called 
island, which was formed by two brooks. Tomassetti, '* Delia Camp. 
Rom." {Arch, d, Soc, Rotn,, v. 113 f.). In saec, x. the place was 
called Insula pontis Veneni (a corruption of Veientani)^ and came 
into possession of the Orsini in saec, xiv. It must not be confused 
with Ischia {Isola) near Famese on the Lago di Bolsena. 

■ liem^ Saniedif VI, jour de May^ a Rome a Pontmolle (Rendages) 
— Pons de Mollen^ says Niccol6 of Botronto. 

' The tower, built on an ancient monument, belonged to the 
Colonna, whose fortresses extended from the Field of Mars to Ponte 
MoUe. Joh. de Cermen. calls it Erupitio ; others Tripizon^ Tripeje ; 
Gile says TriHchon, It had a wooden platform for catapults, and it 
is possible that from these {trabuchi) the name may have been derived. 
A fanciful representation of the tower is given on a page in the series 


neared the river they saw the Neapolitan cavalry 
approach from the Vatican, but no encounter took 
place. The King rode fearlessly over the bridge; 
only some horses belonging to the rear-guard were 
struck by arrows. He encamped at night between 
Ponte MoUe and the city, on the scene of the heroic 
but now forgotten struggles of Belisarius. On the 
Henry VII. following morning he made his entry through the 
Rome, May Porta del Popolo, received by the Ghibelline nobility, 
7, 131a. by numbers of the people and the clergy. He 
avoided the Guelf quarter, and advanced through 
the Field of Mars and past S. Maria Maggiore to 
the Lateran. On his route through Rome, a route 
by which no king of the Romans had ever entered 
before, barricades, fortified towers, ruinous houses 
(destroyed in the civil war), and a defiant people 
in arms stared him everywhere in the face. The 
sight of the still half-destroyed basilica of S. John, 
and of the building materials with which it was 
surrounded, must have produced the most melan- 
choly impression. Ruins encompassed the King; 
amid ruins and clad in the habit of a canon he 
made his first prayer in the Lateran. From the 
Lateran palace, where he took up his abode, he 
gazed with wonder on the appalling labyrinth of 
the city.^ Was it not a bitter satire on all his 

of illustrations of the Codex Balduini Trevirensis, It 1$ represented 
as a column with a capital on which stand three defenders. 

^ Henry presented the Lateran with two silk Palliums {dras dg 
iarse)f and brought a lion as a gift to the Gipitol (Rendages). He 
afterwards dwelt in the <'Milizie" and at S. Sabina, while Baldwin 
of Treves made his abode in the Quatiro Coronati (Gesta Baldtwini 
in Baluz., MiscelL^ ed. Mansi, ii. 31S). According to Mussatus the 


exalted dreams that he was now obliged to force 
his way from ruin to ruin, from barricade to barri- 
cade, from tower to tower, to set the imperial crown 
on his head in S. Peter's ? The Church, which had 
disputed the crown with most of his predecessors, 
voluntarily offered it to him ; he was accompanied 
by the cardinal-legates of the Pope, but the corona- 
tion was forbidden by some Roman nobles and by 
an obscure prince who had obtained possession of 
the Vatican. And was this the Rome left orphan 
by the emperors, who had appealed to him with 
such fervent longing? "My Caesar, why art thou 
not with me?" The entire city was divided into 
two hostile and fortified districts ; the centre of the 
Ghibellines was the Lateran, the centre of the 
Guelfs the Vatican. This quarter, with S. Angelo, 
Trastevere, all the bridges, Monte Giordano, the 
Campo di Fiori, the Minerva, several other monu- 
ments and towers, in short, more than half of the 
most populous part of Rome, was in the power of 
Prince John and of the Orsini under their captains 
Gentile and Ponzello. The Ghibellines under Sciarra 
and Stephen Colonna held the quarters Monti, the 
Lateran, S. Maria Maggiore, the Pantheon, the 
Mausoleum of Augustus, the Porta del Popolo, and 
Ponte Molle. The Capitol with the Torre delle 
Milizie was still in possession of the former vicars 
of Lewis, Richard Orsini and John Anibaldi, who 

army consisted on its entry of 700 German knights ; 300 Tuscan 
Ghibellines ; 150 retainers of Count of S. Flora ; 100 of the Anguil- 
larae ; 50 of Conrad of Antioch ; these were now joined by the 
Ghibellines of Rome and the Campagna. 



with other nobles assumed an undecided attitude 
between the factions. The Conti held their gigantic 
tower, the Anibaldi the Colosseum, the Aventine, 
and the tower of S. Marco; the Frangipani the 
Palatine, the Savelli the Theatre of Marcellus. 
Barricades, in part strongly walled up, supported by- 
towers and fortified houses, formed in each camp so 
many strongholds, which were garrisoned with from 
thirty to one hundred men, and stood under captains 
appointed to command the various quarters. 

Henry's first glance over Rome caused him to 
doubt whether he would soon be able to reach S. 
Peter's. As early as May 10 he consequently 
demanded that the cardinals should procure him 
free access to the cathedral, or, were this impossible, 
crown him in the Lateran.^ Finding that he could 
only gain by force of arms that which peaceful 
negotiations would not accord him, he resolved to 
Beginning conqucr Romc step by step. The disastrous war 
ofbMTi^ which was waged by the Luxemburger for the 
^^J^ imperial crown, and filled the streets of Rome with 
blood , is circumstantially described by contemporaries, 
but the accounts are distinguished by topographic 
rather than by historic importance. The tower of 
Tripizon fell into the power of Baldwin of Treves 
and Robert of Flanders as early as May 13, and this 
first victory served to enliven the festival of Whit- 
suntide which Henry spent in the Lateran.* A 

* Donniges, Ac/a, ii. 35 ; Bohmer, ^e^., p. 30a On May 31 the 
cardinals again turned to the Orsini and John, denoanding a free 
passage to the coronation, but naturally their request was refused. 

• In pcUatio Nermiano fesHvavit: Cesia Trev, ap, Hontheim, 

ch. I.] henry's speech to the nobles. 49 

few days later envoys brought the answer of King 
Robert, which contained such extravagant conditions 
that Henry was forced to reject them.^ The ques- 
tion was now that of taking the Capitol. Soon 
after the arrival of the King, the citadel had been 
surrendered to Prince John by Lewis's vicars for a 
sum of money, and the Prince caused the great 
tower of the City Chancellor at the foot of the 
Capitol to be garrisoned.* In order to conquer it, 
it was first necessary for Henry to gain possession 
of the tower of S. Marco on one side, of the Torre 
delle Milizie on the other.^ The King, who un- 
known to himself had become the head of the 
GhibelHnes, sought safety in stratagem. Loyal 
friends and secret enemies were invited to a banquet 
in the Lateran. The meal ended, Henry rose and 
said : " My cause and my right compel me to 

827. The banquet could only take place in the Lateran palace, to 
which l^end gave the name of Nero. The expenses of the imperial 
court in Rome for the first week amounted to 1004 florins. 

^ Henry's daughter was to be conducted to Naples in September ; 

' the children of this marriage were to receive Sicily ; the Duke of 
Calabria was to be Vicar of Tuscany and Lombardy for life. Henry 
was not to be accompanied to his coronation in S. Peter's by the 
Colonna without the consent of the Orsini ; he was only to remain 
in Rome four days after the ceremony. Notarial Document of May 
18, 1 3 12, in the Lateran. Bonaini, i. 223. 

' According to Niccol6 of Botronto, who was then in Rome, the 
Capitol was surrendered to John before Henry seized the nobles* 
Niccol6 alleges the surrender as a reason for their seizure, p. 918. 
' Peter Gaetani had bought the ** Milizie" from the Anibaldi ; in 

. Henry VII;'s time it was owned by the city. When Lewis of Savoy 
made it over to his vicars, one of them, John Anibaldi, hastened to 
restore it to his family. He gave the tower to his brother Anibaldo 



Henry's addrcss you in my necessity. Astonishment, how* 
the Ronum cver, almost stops my tongfue, when I consider what 
nobles. j^j^ brought me from my own illustrious royal city 
into this Italy. Was it aught else than the longing 
to re-establish the already extinct empire ? than the 
desire, under the shield of the imperial majesty, to 
invest the Romans, who are scarcely to be dis- 
tinguished from barbarians, with the majesty of 
world-wide dominion? What did so many letters 
and so many urgent messengers ask of me ? This, 
that I should visit my faithful senate and the Roman 
people, to repair to the Capitol amid their acclama- 
tions. Did I come by force as an intruder, that I 
should be thrust back on the threshold of the 
Apostle Peter? No, here are the witnesses, three 
cardinals, my guides, the executory of the canonical 
and imperial decrees. I therefore turn again to you, 
you Romans, and ask : ' Did you call me in order 
that I might come in vain and appear as a laughing- 
stock to the world ? ' I am determined to learn at 
this table what are your avowed intentions and 
what you meditate in secret ; in short, who among 
you will help me ? And let every one openly de- 
clare the part that he has chosen."^ The answer of 

^ A vigorous speech, which, as usual, owes its style to the historians, 
Henry only spoke French. Jordani Chron,\ Murat., Antiq,^ iv. 1030 ; 
Mussatus, viii. c. 4. Quod me ex Augusta urhe Regia in hanc Italiam 
adduxerit — ^Aachen, which still bears the eagle and the legend Urbs 
Aquensis Regni sedes ptimaria on its magistrate's seal. Letters fron\ 
the French king had been received in Rome, exhorting the nobility 
not to fight in Henry's service against Rome. Niccol6 of Botronto. 
Among those invited to the banquet were also D, Hanibal et Z>. 
Theobaldus de Campo Floris, qui consilium suum juraverant in 


the nobles, which Henry caused to be put on record, 
was in the affirmative, so far as regarded their 
assistance, but was occasionally ambiguous and 
allied to conditions. Stephen Colonna loyally 
placed himself and his fortresses at the King's 
disposition, gave hostages, and was amicably dis- 
missed. Nicholas Conti explained that respect for- 
bade him to fight against Robert, from whom he 
had received the belt of knighthood. Anibaldo 
Anibaldi, John Savelli, and Tibald of the Campo di 
Fiore promised obedience, but with some reserva- 
tions. The angry King asked for security, and He takes 
finally kept the recalcitrant gentlemen in custody t^ns 
and forced them to surrender their city fortresses. P"^"^^** 
Anibaldo, brother of the Vicar John, and John him- 
self (who was still in the Capitol) surrendered the 
Torre delle Milizie, the rooms of which the King 
caused immediately to be prepared for his own use.^ 
Thus the strongest fortress of the city fell into his 
hands, and at the same time the tower of S. Marco, 
the Torre dei Conti, the Aventine and the Colos- 
seum. The Capitol was now more closely invested 
In order to prevent relief by the Orsini, the King 
forced John Savelli to barricade his own houses and 
streets. Henceforward besides Sciarra, Stephen and 
John Colonna, Peter and John Savelli, Tibaldo of 
Eustachio, Richard and Peter Anibaldi, and Stephen 

^ The "Milizie " was undoubtedly surrendered as early as May 23. 
Rendages^ 23 Mai: a cetix qui warderent ie Milisse par une nuit^ 
ancois que lirois i vents/, par le hove maistre; II florins ; on May 
25 : Item pour carpentages fais es cambres le roy^ a S, Jehan de Lateran 
fii a le Milisse^ 


Normannus Alberteschi served as captains in the 
several quarters, on barricades, towers, bridges, and 

Prince John hoped for a considerable force for the 
relief of the harassed Capitol ; for on May 21, Guelfs 
from Florence, Lucca, Siena and Perugia under John 
of Bisemo entered the Vatican — some thousand men 
excellently equipped.* Their entry forced Henry to 
haste. On May 21 and 22, the Capitol, the tower 
of the Chancellor Malabranca, and the dwelling of 
Richard Anibaldi were attacked. The Guelfs pushed 
behind the Minerva to relieve the Capitol. They 
were repulsed by the imperialists. The Bavarians 
took prisoner Peter Malabranca, nephew of the 
Chancellor, also the Count of Biserno. The con- 
quered towers and houses were burnt to the ground ; 
a part of the quarter of the Minerva was also 
destroyed by fire.* The imperialists, favoured by 

^ Niccol6 de Botronto speaks of the surrender of the Mons de 
Sabello ; this is either the Aventine or the Theatre of Marcellos. I 
place the arrest of the nobles on May 20. On June 21 the Pope 
indignantly demands that Henry shall release them. Bonaini, i. 232. 

' Villani. His date, May 21, agrees fairly well with the statement 
that Perugia sent 150 cavalry to Rome on May 4 (Graziani, Arch. 
Stor,, xvi. i. 131 2). Siena again sent troops, but too late. On July 
23, 1 3 12, the ConsiL gen, of that dty allowed the captain of the 
people, Ranuccio de Serra Farolfi^ to go to Rome with troops, in 
servizto del Re R, e della Compania de Guelfi di Toscana (Archives of 
Siena, Lib, Delib,^ Ixxxi. 52): 

• The tower Cancellarii is called turris pedis mercati in the Statute 
of the Merchants : Viljani/x. c. 6j : la bella e nobile torre ch* era sopra 
la mercatanzia appii di Campidoglio^ che si chiamava la torre del 
Cancelliere, It was stormed in vain on May 21, and attacked again 
on May 28 and June 5, Rendages, May 28 : Item pour pis t haweas^ 
et autres instrumem acAeler, ce jour et ce lieu, pour dbatre le tour d4 



the Franciscan monks, seized the convent of AraThe 
Coeli, whereupon the garrison of the Capitol sur-takoi^y 
rendered to Lewis of Savoy on May 25.^ Henry JJ^™|j 
ratified the Savoyard as Senator, and Lewis made 131a. 
Nicholas Bonsignore of Siena his vicar. 

The following day an attack was made on the 
trenches in the Field of Mars and on those in the 
regions Ponte and Parione in order to open the way 
to S. Peter's. As in the darkest days of the Middle 
Ages, mail-clad bishops and clergy fought sword in 
hand round the barricades. The great barricade of 
Laurentius Statii of the Campo di Fiore fell by 
assault The imperialists ousted the Orsini and 
sacked and burnt their palaces. They advanced with 
savage fury as far as the Bridge of S. Angelo, where Fight 
Prince John stood with the Guelf captains in^^^ 
Hadrian's Mausoleum, on the other side of the river, in Ae Field 
A sudden sortie from the fortress drove back the May 26.' 
imperialists. They retreated amid severe losses to 
the quarter of the Colonna, and the Guelfs advanced 
victorious. The bells on the Capitol sounded an 

Canceller ; VII flor, et III sols, prov. The tower was dismantled 

on August 23, 1405. The field of battle on May 22 was the district « 

between the Via Lata and Minerva, called at that time Camigliano 

from the Arch of Camillus. On May 24 this part was occupied by 

Tibaldo of S. Eustachio with twenty-five sergeants ordin4s a warder 

Ic lieu de S, Marie Minerve; whence it follows that Tibaldo was 

already in Henr/s service. 

^ The date, according to Alb. Mussat, viii. c. 4, was VIIL Kal, 
Juniu So also according to Ptol. Lucens., Vita Clem, V, : XXV, 
die Maii Rex Riwtanor, occupat Capitolium, According to the Gesta 
Baldewini thirty towers were stormed on the same day ; this fight is 
depicted in an illustration in the Codex Balduini with the inscription : 
Monasterium minor, capit vi, capitolium se reddit et XXX, turres. 


attack ; the vicar called the people to arms. Towards 
evening all became still, and both Guelfs and Ghibel- 
lines resumed their positions. Thus the intention of 
the imperialists to force a way to S. Peter's was 

The street battle of May 26 cost the lives of many 
brave nobles. Egidius of Warnsberg, Abbot of 
Weiszenburg in Alsace, Count Peter of Savoy, 
brother of the Senator, and several knights were 
slain. Theobald of Bar, the Bishop of Li6ge and 
cousin of the King, whose dignity had not prevented 
him from taking part in the bloody fray, had been 
made prisoner by a Guelf knight, who mounted him 
on his own horse and led him to Prince John. A 
Catalan struck the holy man from his horse, and he 
died soon after in S. Angelo. After the lapse of 500 
years, the German who visits the basilicas of Aracoeli 
and of S. Sabina on the Aventine can still stand by 
the grey tombstones, survey the escutcheons of the 
slain adherents of Henry VII., and read their names 
and the date of their deaths in well-preserved 

^ The imperialists retained the tower near S. Eustachio. Rend" 
ages. May 27 : it Thiebaud de S. Eustassepour les wardes deJa tour de 
la Saint Etutasse cuquise cele nuit sur U ennemis ; IV. Jlor, On 
May 24 Sciarra occupied S. Apollinare. From S. Eustachio they 
penetrated into the quarter of the Orsini (Minerva^ Campo di Fiori^ 
Monte Giordano). Ventura, Chr. Astense, p. 236, says the im- 
perialists pervenerunt usque S. Angelum, According to Ftol. 
Lucens. (Baluze, p. 47), the house of Gentile, with the surname 
Alpericif stood /n^ Minervam. 

* The gravestone of the Abbot of Weiszenbui^ lies in S. Sabina : 
Hie Reg. Egidius De Vamsberch in Regno Alem, Abbas Quond, In 
fViumburgrA Dioc. Spasensis Qui Ob. A, MCCCXIL M. Madii 


The loss of the battle had a disastrous eflfect on 
the imperial party. The City Prefect Manfred, the 
Counts of Anguillara and Santa Fiora, Conrad of 
Antioch, the forces of Spoleto, Todi, and Narni left 
Rome. A fleet, which the Pisans had equipped 
with siege-artillery, was seized by the enemy's 
admiral and brought to Naples. The wearied King 
now urged the cardinals to prepare the way for the 
i coronation by negotiation; but his request was 

unavailing.^ Prince John and the Guelfs stood 
defiantly between him and the crown, which, in their 
intention, was never again to be worn by a German 
king; they well knew that Clement V. regarded 
Henry's coronation with suspicion and gave it only 
a lukewarm encouragement. Must not the Pope 
have dreaded that the Emperor would establish his 

D. XXVL Beside him lies his chaplain: D, Egidis De Vilika 
{Rendages : Item^ IV jour de juin^ eonU par Renardin pour milk 
troUent XXXIII libres de cire^ pour f aire le service mons, de Liige 
et tabhi de Wissembourgch az freres Preceurs), Two knights lie in 
Aracoeli : A,D. MCCCXII. VII Kal. Junii Obiit D. Ekehertus 
Chreccil Miles Marescall, III, Dni, Rudolfi Cotnitis Palatini Rent 
> Et Ducts Babarie^, A.D, MCCCXII, Kal funii Die Veneris Post 

Vrbani Obiit D, Eberhardus Miles De Erlack Magister Camere III 
Dni Rudolfi Com, Pal, Reni Et Duels Bav, 

^ Urgent letter of the cardinals to John and the Orsini, Gentile, 
Romanus, Foncellus, Francesco, and Poncelletus de Monte, Rome, 
May 31, 1 312. Donniges, il 182. It was desired at all costs to 
prevent Henry from going to Naples, The longing to avenge 
Conradin was strongly felt in his army. Minabaniur etiam genies 
ipsius monasterium S, Marie de Victoria — demoHH, circa quern locum 
dictus Corradinus hostis E, fuit delictus. Que omnia gentes predicti 
regis non secrete dicebant, immo istriones ipsius inpublicas reduxerant 
cantilenas. Thus Robert said later, when excusing himself to the 
Pope for haviiig sent John to Rome. Bonaini, i« 240. 


throne in "widowed Rome"? The city, indeed, 
never offered less difficulty in the way of becoming 
the imperial residence than during the period of the 
exile in Avignon. It was consequently the Guelfs 
who, with weapons in their hands and with the Pope's 
secret consent, prevented the Emperor from taking 
the place left vacant by the Pope.^ 

The enthusiasm of the Ghibelline party waned ; 
the daily warfare in the streets, the devastation of 
the city, the privations, the incessant erection of 
barricades exhausted the patience of the Romans.^ 
Henry was now forced to appeal to the popular 
favour. He summoned a parliament, and more than 
ten thousand citizens appeared on the piazza in front 
of the Capitol. Nicholas Bonsignore addressed them 
in the name of the King ; he pronounced the ban 
on all Romans who refused to yield subjection 
within the appointed time and promised an amnesty 
to the obedient. The popular assembly ratified the 
edict and demanded an immediate renewal of war. 

^ Dante knew that Clement V. deceived Henry and wrote the line : 
PHa eke il Guasco F atto Arrigo ingannu 

' Barricades \_ in the Colonna quarter ; in the Savelli quarter from 
the Theatre of Marcellus to the tower Monzone, which was com- 
manded by Stephen Normannus Alberteschi; the Colosseum, 
commanded by the Anibaldi ; the great barricade near the Minerva, 
under Tibaldo di S. Eustachio. A barricade de Galganis^ commanded 
by Peter Savelli (the Galgani dwelt in the region of S. Angelo); 
another at the tower of the Chancellor. The costs of erecting the 
barricades are given by Gile. For example, conti par niaitre Jekan 
DoboiSf ordotU a prendre garde as barres Thiebaui *de S, Eusttisu, 
pour VII mil CCC quarreaz, bertesses faire sour les maisons, barres 
re/aire^ cordes et baustes a traire pierres^ et ce que besoin est ens es tours 
—CXIX Jlor* The pay of the guards is reckoned every ten days. 


Henry, however, delayed it. He had previously 
caused the Senate to confer upon him the right of 
exercising jurisdiction in Rome ; a right which he 
had renounced in his treaty with the Pope ; for so 
low had the imperial majesty fallen, that this right 
of judging Romans in civil and criminal cases, which 
earlier emperors had exercised as a matter of course, 
was only accorded to Henry by formal consent of 
the Senate.^ His heralds now invited the Trastev- 
erines before the imperial tribunal. Few obeyed, but 
contrary to expectation some prominent nobles 
belonging to the opposite party, such as the youthful 
Ursus, Peter of Monte Nigro, and Anibaldo, who, 
after the surrender of the Torre delle Milizie, would 
not return to his brother, responded.^ Their conduct 
revived the hopes of the Ghibellines and diminished 
the confidence of the Guelfs. 

An attack on S. Angelo failed. The last hope of 
forcing a way to S Peter's was thus shattered.' 

* Donniges, AcfUf ii. 41. Since in Henry's promise at Avignon 
occurred the formula : ef in Roma nullum placitum out ordinaiionem 
faciet de omnib, que ad Vos pertinent sive Romanos^ this act also 
added : predicta — concessio non trahatur ad ea que ad placit, et 
ordinat. s, pont, et Romanor, pertinent. That is to say, the Emperor 
received juridical but not political power. Act, Rome in palatio 
vocato les Milites . . . die XIII, Junii, 

• All this is given in F. Vicentinus, who affects the style of the 
ancient Romans, always speaks of Henry as of the Roman Emperor, 
and talks of auguries. The approach of the Renascence is evident 

' The date is unknown, nor can we accurately infer it from 
sepulchral inscriptions. An epitaph in Aracoeli says : Hie facet 
Sanctus Andree Lutii de Ccdlio Notar. Aule et Scriptor Caneellarie 
D. Henrici Roman, Mrnp, Qui Obut A.D. MCCCXII. Die VI. 
Junii, Another in the Sabina : A.D, MCCCXII, Die XVII, M, 
Junii Obiit Nob, Armiger Goto De Husbergen (Hausbergen) De 


Weary and impatient, Henry now requested to be 
crowned in the Lateran, where in similar circum- 
stances an emperor had once before received the 
diadem. The legates refused; they had been em- 
powered by the Pope to crown him in S. Peter's, 
and the formula of coronation referred solely to 
this sacred cathedral* In order to overcome the 
opposition of the cardinals, appeal was made to the 
will of the people ; for the Romans maintained that, 
according to ancient right, they had a vote in the 
coronation of the Emperor, and the difficulty in 
which Henry found himself compelled him to invoke 
The a democratic principle to his aid. Senate and people 

people" consequently passed a decree in parliament, which 
compel the proclaimed that the coronation should take place in 

cardinals * , 

to crown the Lateran, and that the cardinals should be com- 
S^ palled to yield to the will of the people.^ A deputa- 
Lateran, ^Jq^ of ten demanded the execution of the plebiscite ; 
the legates, however, explained that they must first 
consult with the Pope. A fortnight passed in daily 
warfare, until the obstinacy of the cardinals, who 
were assailed by repeated deputations, and the pro- 

Theotonia Cuj, An, Req, In Pace, The last of the inscriptions from 
Henry's time in Rome (Aracoeli) : HU Jcuet Franciscus de Imola 
Notar, Aule et Scriptor Cancellarie Dni Henrici Romanor^ Imp, Qui 
ObiitA,D. MCCCXn, NO. XL Die. 

^ It is the Ordo Coronationis of June 19, 131 1. Man. Germ,^ iv« 
529. It contains the traditional rite with modifications relating to 
the representation of the Pope by cardinals, and with the protest of 
the Pope that the alterations in the ceremonial were merely temporary. 

* Ex pUhiscitis itaque obtentum est^ Cardinales Reipublicae suasi- 
finibus precibusque coronam darey sin autemy caercendos per Tribunes^ 
Populumque Rontanum. Alb. Mussat., viii. z. 7. 

ch. I.] henry's coronation. 59 

vocation of Henry's adherents drove the people to 
revolt On June 22 they attacked the Torre delle 
Milizie and threatened the legates with death. 
Henry calmed the disturbance, and the legates 
announced their readiness to perform the coronation, 
if within eight days they received no instructions 
from the Pope.^ They waited in vain, and the 
solemn act was arranged to be performed in the 
Lateran on the festival of SS. Peter and Paul. A 
tax for the coronation which Henry demanded from 
the Romans was refused, or was only paid by the 
Jews in the city. On the eve of the ceremony the 
King betook himself to the palace of S. Sabina, 
whence the procession was to set forth, just as on 
June 4, 1 1 33, when Lothar, excluded from S. Peter's 
by the party of Anaclete H., had also been obliged 
to receive the crown in the Lateran. Mounted on a 
white horse, clad in white, his fair hair flowing down 
on his shoulders, Henry VH. proceeded from the 
Aventine to the Circus Maximus on the morning 
of June 29 ; and here at a bridge — apparently over 
the brook Marrana^ — ^swore, according to custom, to 
preserve the Roman republic and its laws. Proces- 
sions of the clergy received him on the way. The 
Jews did homage through representatives of their 

^ Many blamed the King, or at least Bonsignore, for having 
occasioned the tumult. Niccol6 says : sed credo quod Doni, rex nil 
scivit, prout audim hoc ad eo perjuram, affirtnari^ A notarial deed of 
Juie 22 contains the compact with the cardinals. Donniges, Acta^ 
ii. 48. 

* Adpontem de la Forma (Ferret. Vicent., 1104) ; ruins, perhaps, 
of the aqueduct of Nero ? The Marrana is the only brook that flows 
under the Aventine. 


synagogue and handed him the Pentateuch.^ In 
conformity with usage the chamberlains threw some 
gold and silver coins among the people, symbols 
of the poverty rather than the wealth of this im- 
potent Emperor.* The cardinals performed the 
Henry VII. coronation ceremony under protest, explaining that 
in the they were not empowered by the Pope to cele- 
june'^' brate the irregular act, but were forced thereto by 
1313. ' the people.* 

This informal ceremony could not raise the spirit 
of the Emperor. It took place not in the hallowed 
basilica of S. Peter, but amid the ruins of the Lateran, 
which was still in process of rebuilding. For the 
first time, as long as the empire existed, the Pope 
was absent from a transaction on which he alone, 
in the opinion of mankind, could bestow true sancti- 
fication. No great princes of the empire, no great 
vassals of Italy, or envoys of the cities, stood beside 
the Emperor. And when, the coronation over, he 
sat at table on the Aventine, the chastened pleasure 

^ Legem Mosaycam roiuh inscriptam sibi porrigentibus reddidit 
Judaeis : Gesta BcUduini^ Baluzius, c. ziv. Alb. Mussat., viii. c 7, 
says of the Jews trans et intra Tiberim morabantur. The picture of 
this scene in the Codex Balduini is full of character. The Jews 
wearing their costume (long robes, a pointed pileus on the head) 
advance to meet the Emperor who is on horseback. The Rabbi 
hands him a long strip of parchment written in Hebrew. 

' Item^ a mons, Thomas et a ntons, Guedeman, cambreiens, 
en plusieurs monnaies^ peur jeter jour de le coronation LXXIJ 

' Alb. Mussat, viii. p. 7. Cardinal Nicholas set the crown on 
Henry's head over the white mitre. Document of the cardinals in 
Donniges, ii. (Ji, Henry dedicated a golden chalice on his entry into 
the Lateran. Rendages^ p. 331. 


of the banquet was disturbed by the projectiles of 
mocking enemies which fell even on the summit of 
the hill.i 

^ Missi — ad scopttlum Aventini Montis fundibulaHu Mussat., c. 
7. Henry issued an edict against heretics. Donniges, ii. 51. A 
circular letter dated the day of his coronation gives notice of this. 
See his letter to the King of Cyprus {Ibid,^ p. 52), with the remark- 
able introduction concerning the necessity of the monarchy in the 
spirit of Dante. He dated a document apud S, Sabinam on June 30. 
Bohmer, Acta Imp, Sel. , 649. 



I. Henry and Frederick of Sicily — The Romans 


— Attack on the Tomb of Cecilia Metella — 
John Savigny, Captain of the Roman People — 
The Emperor in Tivoli — Arrival of the Pope's 
Letter — His demands from the Emperor — 
Henry preserves the Imperial Rights — Truce 
IN Rome — Departure of the Emperor. 

Henry VII., however, in possession of the crown, 
rose to a full consciousness of the imperial majesty, 
which after a long interval he was the first to restore. 
His theory concerning the divine origin of imperial 
authority showed the Guelfs that the restoration of 
the imperium would entail a renewal of the struggle 
that it was hoped had ended with the fall of the 
Hohenstaufens.^ There is no doubt that, with 
stronger allies, Henry VII, would have revived a 
bygone condition of things. This was involved in 
the principle of the empire which he represented. 

^ See document, Mc^gnus Dominus^ dated the day of the coronation : 
Mon, Germ,y iv. 535. Donniges, ii. 52. After the coronation Henry 
had his seal engraved with the legend: Ego Coronarum Corona 
Munidque Caput Confirtno Principi Potestatem Sibique Sttbjicio Civi* 
tales Gentiumque Nationes, Tueantur Aquilae Glortam Meam Haec 
Roma, Oelenschlager, Eriduterte Staaisgeschichte, p. 57. Barthold, 
ii. 22. 


The resistance of the Guelfs in Rome, in Tuscany, 
in the Romagna, and in apostate Lombardy, the 
true explanation of Robert's intentions, in short, the 
force of events, had transformed this well-meaning 
Emperor into the avowed head of the Ghibellines. 
Like his great predecessors, he also found himself 
obliged to fight his adversaries with the arms of 
faction, and like them, far from Germany and un- 
supported, he was forced at length to yield in the 
struggle with the Italian factions. Fate repeated 
itself with the regularity of a law of history. 

As early as July 6 Henry formed an alliance with Henry's 
the King of Sicily, that Frederick of the house of ^^jj"'''' 

Manfred^who had so successfully defended his ^!"^r*^^ 
crown against the Pope and the Kings of Naples July 6, 
and France. Even at the time when Henry was ^^^^' 
carrying on upright, and Robert treacherous, nego- 
tiations for a family alliance, Frederick, through 
Galvan Lancia, had sued in vain from Henry for the 
hand of the Princess Beatrix for his son Peter. The 
daughter of the Emperor was betrothed in Rome by 
proxy to Frederick's son, and the alliance announced 
war between the ancient allies, the Emperor, Sicily 
and Pisa on one hand, and on the other Robert 
and also the Pope.^ 

Weapons meanwhile rested in Rome, although 
the Guelfs retained their fortresses. The Emperor 
longed to depart; his nobles, who believed the 

^ On the same 6th of July is dated the ratification of the Lausanne 
privilegia for the Church : Dudum aniequam. Dot, Rome apud S. 
Sabinam //. Nan.JulHA.D. MCCCXIl, RegninriA. IK Imperii 
vero nri A, /. Mon, Germ,^ iv. 536. 


object of the expedition to Rome to have been 
attained in the coronation, were even more eager. 
Henry once again sought to achieve a compromise 
with Prince John. The Neapolitan would not even 
grant the envoys an interview. Bonsignore con- 
sequently assembled a parliament of the people ; he 
explained to the Romans that the confusion of Italy, 
the defiance of Tuscany, and finally the heat, which 
the Germans found unendurable, forced the Emperor 
to leave the city. The people raised an outcry. 
Rome must not be surrendered to the enemy ; the 
capital of the empire must first be tranquillised ; the 
Emperor could spend the summer in neighbouring 
Tivoli. The Romans desired the sojourn of the 
imperial court in the city, which they wished again 
to make the seat of empire, since the Pope was at a 
distance ; and Henry, who dreaded a revolt, declared 
himself ready to remain. His nobles protested, but 
he again took up his abode in the Torre delle 

The honour of the Emperor's presence was dearly 
paid for, since Henry levied a forced tax upon the 
people. But while his forces daily diminished, 
those of the enemy were increased by reinforce- 
ments from Tuscany. The Roman Guelfs defiantly 
scoured the country as far as the Lateran. John 
Savelli, Anibaldo, and Theobald of the Campo di 
Fiori had retired after the coronation to their 
fortresses in the country, where Theobald remained 
quiet, while the others began a petty war. Holding 
the tomb of Cecilia Metella and the fortress which 
the Gaetani had built beside it, Savelli besieged the 


adjacent Porta Appia.^ The Emperor ordered the 
mausoleum to be stormed, when the burgh of Capo 
di Bove was burnt to the ground. The palaces of 
the Savelli on the Aventine were also destroyed.^ 

The heat of summer, privation, insecurity, and the 
importunities of Germans and French meanwhile 
actually forced the Emperor to retire to TivolL He 
again cited all the rebellious nobles before him 
and placed them under the ban ; he regulated the 
government of the city, for the term of Lewis's 
senatorship had expired, and as the new investiture 
could not be made without the Pope, the Roman 
people first elected a captain. This was John 
Savigny, a Burgundian knight in the retinue of 
Henry of Flanders. The Emperor confided the 
Capitol to his care and left his marshal with 400 
knights to defend the city.^ 

^ Ec^e vir audax et nob, Janicho Romae artuSj qui Ccusari pridem 
ohnoxius ilium negarcU infidus . . . (Ferret., 1107). Janicho is John 
Savelli. Porta Datia or Accia^ a vulgar corruption of Appidy is 
written dazza in the maps of the city of the fourteenth and fifteenth 
centuries. I find these names as early as 1005 in the bull of John 
XVIII. for Cosma e Damiano in Trastevere : foris porta Appia in loco 
qui dicitur Actia ( Cod, Vat. , 793 1 ), 

* Capitis Bovis moenia, quod oppid, Bonif, P, VIII, construi 
fecerat (Ferret.). After his fell, the Gaetani lost the " Milizie " to the 
Anibaldi, the Mausoleum to the Savelli. Caput Bovis quod castrum 
eratjohis de Sabello^ says Niccol6 of Botronto, p. 918, and observes 
that John had first mortgaged (but not surrendered) this fortress to 
Henry, and that the Emperor now gave it and other property, which 
had belonged to the Savelli, to Peter, brother of John and brother- in* 
law of Stephen Colonna, for 20,000 marks. Niccol6 wrongly speaks 
of this as taking place before the coronation. The Gesta Baldewini 
also mention the capture of the Castrum Cappe de Bout after the 
coronation and before Henry's removal to Tivoli on July 21. 

^ Jokes de Savigney writes Niccol6 of Eotronto, p« 92a The 



Tivoti, which had been a public domain of the 
Romans for more than fifty years, and was entirely 
Henry yii. Ghibeiiine, received Henry within its walls on July 
from July 21.^ Never before had an emperor appeared before 
Au^^t I ^* ^^^^ ^^ scanty a retinue and in such humble guise. 
Almost abandoned to the protection of Stephen 
Colonna, who accompanied him, Henry found him- 
self daily more and more deserted. Lewis of Savoy, 
the Dauphin of Vienne, the Cardinal of Ostia, Duke 
Rudolf of Bavaria, were no longer to be detained by 
any entreaties ; they took their leave after four days 
and hastened to Viterbo and Todi with safe- 
conducts from Prince John. Other nobles and even 
lesser people followed them in secret. Only 900 
knights under Count Amadeus, John of Fores, and 
Robert of Flanders continued under the banner of 
the Emperor. Henry's sojourn in Tivoli, where he 
dwelt in the miserable episcopal palace, was like 
that of an outlaw, harassed and humiliated. 
Anibaldo and John Savelli appeared before the 
gates of the town. They challenged the Emperor of 
the Romans to battle, and the Emperor was unable 
to punish their insolence. And if Henry VH. ever 
recognised that he had only come to Italy to roll the 
stone of Sisyphus, it was now in his melancholy 
desertion at Tivoli. 

Romans had asked the Emperor to appoint a Senator, but as this 
would have been contrary to the oath which he had taken to the 
Pope, he declined ; the papal legate did likewise. 

1 Not on the 20th, as Bohmer registers it. The date XII. Kal, 
Aug, in Ferret, is confirmed by Gile : Item , . , do coronuement 
*ukes a XXI, Jour de Jul, que Vempereur eUlat ^ Tybre, So too the 
Gesta Baldewini . . , XXI, diejulii Tyberburch declinavit. 


Messengers came with the Pope's belated letters, 
in which the conditions imposed on Henry regarding 
his coronation were set forth. The cardinal-legate 
Arnald and Luca Fieschi hastened to the King 
to impart the contents of these letters, according 
to which Clement demanded that Henry should 
promise never to attack Naples, to conclude a truce 
for a year with Robert, to quit Rome the day of 
the coronation, by continued marches to leave the 
State of the Church, and never to return without 
the Pope's permission. He further required that on 
his withdrawal Henry should not molest Prince 
John or any of his party, should release all prisoners, 
and should restore all the Roman fortresses to their 
owners. He required a solemn declaration that by 
his entry into Rome, by his imprisonment of the 
Roman citizens, by his occupation of fortresses and 
by other actions, Henry had not acquired any new 
right either for himself or his successors in the 
empire, or in any way encroached on any papal right. 

The Emperor now saw before him an enemy in 
the person of Clement V. He could bring heavy 
charges against the Pope, who had made him an 
object of derision to the world. What right had 
Robert of Naples to occupy Rome and to prevent 
the coronation taking place in S. Peter's, thus in- 
flicting an insult on the cardinal-legates and even on 
the Church herself? Why had Clement never even 
uttered a threat, in order to remove from the Vati- 
can this insolent vassal of the Church? After 
having done nothing to deliver the Emperor from 
his Ignominious position, the Pope imposed on him, 


as on a vassal, a humiliating truce. Henry forth- 
with made the arrogant letter the subject of a legal 
enquiry. He summoned his councillors and Roman 
Strained jurists, heard their decision and protested against 
^w^" the view that the Pope had any right to impose an 
Henryvii. armistice on the Roman emperor, especially with 
p^pi''* regard to a vassal guilty of high treason, a king with 
whom he was not even at war. He protested finally 
against the principle that before his coronation the 
emperor was bound to take the oath of fidelity to 
the pope, and firmly defended the independence of 
the imperial authority.* Thus Church and empire 
stood confronting each other in threatening atti- 
tude. The exaggerated demands of the Pope, who 
was obeying the orders of the King of France, 
but for that very reason opposed the Emperor with 
all the greater arrogance, and under Robert's influ- 
ence wished to humiliate the imperial authority to 
the utmost, compelled the high-minded Henry to 
adopt towards Clement V. the policy of the 
Hohenstaufens.* He denied the Pope's right to 

' Deed of August i and 6, 1312, gi'en at Tibur in srto fratr. 
Minor. Donniges, ii. 54, 55, Raynald inveighs in his usual manner 
against Heniy, for bieaking his oath to the Pope. Neither the 
formula Fimenti desidtrio of Avignon (1309), nor that of July 6. 
1312 (in S. Sabina), contains a word concerning the oath of fidelity. 
The Emperor declared ; ncr sumus tt semper esse valumus defensor el 
fugit S. R. E. in oinnib. suisjurii, sed nes tton sunius aslricti aliati 
ad piram. JideHtalis, nee unquam juram. fecimus—nec scimui quod 
anlecessBres nostri Imp. Romanar. hocjuram. unquam feeentni. He 
renounced the rights in Rome, and was ready to surrender the 
fortresses and palaces. The cardinals refused to accept them. 

" Donniges, ii, 58 : Queslie an R. Pant, potuerit treugam itidicere 
prineipi Romaner., in which it is shown that the Pope's authority 


interfere in the province of secular things, asserted 
that the emperor was placed in full possession of 
his power solely by the election of the princes of 
the empire, disputed the Pope's authority to order his 
departure from Rome, which was the head of the 
empire and an imperial city, and appealed to Charles 
the Great, whose subjects the Romans had been.^ 
Henry, however, was so utterly powerless, that he 
professed himself willing for the present to renounce 
war against Robert* An armistice for a year, 
which he himself ardently desired, was agreed upon. 
On August 19 Henry consequently left Tivoli to 
march to Tuscany by way of Rome, where, even 
apart from the Pope's challenge, he would not have 
remained longer.^ Heedless of the suspicions of his 
nobles, who feared that the Romans might detain 

is only spiritual — nolens autem Christus habere temporale imp, seu 
terrenunty quale reges iemporaJes kabent, cum cognovisset quia venturi 
essenijudei ui—facerent cum regemfugit iterum in numiem, 

^ Cum Roma sit caput Imperii et de Imperio ex qua nomen accipit 
Imperator quia dicitur princeps Romanus. Donniges, ii. 64. These 
declarations were first made at Pisa in 1313 : for at Tivoli Henry 
was obliged to show himself more compliant with r^;ard to Rome. 
M. Villani, iii, i, also says : possiamo con ragione dire^ che la corona 
deir impericUe maestit e il suo regno ^ alia quale dipendea la monorchia 
delT universe, era Roma colV italiana provincia, 

' Robert afterwards protested against the validity of the coronation, 
because Henry had not fulfilled the Pope's conditions, more especially 
to refrain from attacking Naples. Instruction, in the Archives of 
Siena, Parchment n. 1387, also included in Bonaini (L 233). 

• On August 15 he stiU dates from Tivoli : Privil^um for 
Cardinal Nicholas of Ostia, to whom he promises 500 silver marks 
a year from the imperial treasury. Bonaini, i. 247. Gile says that 
Henry left Tivoli on August 19 : le XIX. jour d^aout, que Vempereur 
£ en parti. 


him by force, he paid a visit to the city, from which 
he wished to take an open and not dishonourable 
departure. Here he found his affairs going from 
bad to worse. True that John Anibaldi, Count of 
Ceccano, uncle to Stephen Colonna, had dispersed a 
body of Neapolitan troops in the Campagna ; but the 
superior power of the Guelfs had not thereby been 
diminished. Had not the armistice afforded him 
security, the Emperor could neither have entered nor 
left Rome without danger. He made his dwelling 
in the Lateran, where envoys from Sicily appeared 
bringing him pecuniary aid. Envoys from Florence 
had already presented themselves at Tivoli and had 
held out delusive hopes of a treaty with their re- 
public, Henry was thus deceived with joyous 
expectations. Above all he determined to make 
Tuscany, which still belonged to the empire, again 
subject to imperial dominion. 

The Emperor assembled the leaders of the people, 

explained to them that, owing to the operation of 

the armistice, the city would soon be at peace, that 

in any case he had left a sufficient number of troops 

for their protection, and thus took leave of Rome. 

Henry vii. He departed on August 20, detained by no one, by 

from'*^ the same way that he had come. With him were 

Au"^t2o Baldwin of Treves, Amadeus of Savoy, John of 

1312. ' Fores, Robert of Flanders, Nicholas of Botronto, 

the Marshal Henry, Joffred of Leiningen, Gerhard, 

Bishop of Constance. As he withdrew with his 

little band across the Ponte Molle, he saw the enemy 

drawn up on the neighbouring Monte Mario. They 

might easily have driven the Emperor back to Rome, 


but they contented themselves with merely shouting 
him a derisive adieu. Thus with Henry's departure 
vanished the first favourable opportunity during the 
papal exile for the empire to re-establish its seat in 
Rome, and fulfil the hope and the ideal of Dante. 

2. The Colonna seize the Vatican — Recall of the 
Imperial Garrison — Reconciliation between the 
Colonna and Orsini — Flight of John Savigny 
— The Populace overthrow the Aristocratic 
Government and make Jacopo Arlotti Captain 
— His energetic Rule — Henry VII. is invited 
BY THE People to make his Residence in Rome — 
Clement V. recognises the Democracy in Rome 
— Velletri makes Submission to the Capitol — 
The Gaetani in the Campagna — Fall of the 
Arlotti — ^The Emperor at War with Florence 
— His Preparations at Pisa against Naples — 
Threatening Papal Bull — Henry's Departure; 
his Death and its Consequences. 

The departure of the Emperor was the cause of 
great changes in Rome, The Tuscan Guelfs also 
left the city on August 20, in order to return to 
their threatened country, and Prince John, at the 
request of the papal legates, withdrew to Naples.^ 
The war of factions, however, still continued : Colonna 
and Orsini met in daily conflict, and the Ghibellines 

1 Soon after the coronation the Florentines feared that Henry would 
turn against Tuscany. As early as July 4, 13 12, they wrote to 
Robert, that in such case he should order the prince to come to 
Tuscany. Archives of Florence, Signori, CarieggiOy vol. i fol. 148. 
Chron, Sanese^ Mur., xv. 47. 




acquired the upper hand. Count Hugo of Bucheck, 
whom the Emperor had left behind with 300 men, 
and Stephen Colonna were able to force their way 
to the Vatican, to expel the Orsini, and to occupy 
S. Peter's, for which the Emperor had so long striven 
in vain, but which had now become unimportant^ 
The Pope, however, had no desire that the Ghibellines 
should acquire dominion in Rome, nor did he wish 
that a shadow of imperial authority should remain 
in the city. On the contrary, he required from Henry 
the withdrawal of his troops, after Robert on his side 
had recalled his. Henry unwillingly acquiesced ; he 
summoned Bucheck to Tuscany, and the Colonna 
thus found themselves abandoned by the Emperor, 
while the Orsini also complained that Robert had 
deserted them.* 
Recon- The recognition of the aimlessness of the war 

between the between their factions now inclined the Orsini and 
Colonna Colonna to a reconciliation. The nobles foresaw 

ana Ursini. 

their approaching fate ; they dreaded being deprived 
of their privileges by the people, who, during Henry's 
presence, had given so many proofs of their indepen- 
dent will. ^ The aristocrats agreed to renounce all 
feuds, to form alliances by intermarriage, and finally 
to return to the old system, by which two senators 
chosen from either party were elected. John of 
Savigny still sat as Senator on the Capitol, which 
was now without any protection. The Colonna did 
not prevent the expulsion of Henry's vicar by the 
Orsini, and Savigny fled to the Emperor, who was 

* Alb, Argentinens, Ckron. in Urstisius, p. I lo. 

* Instrument of Arezzo, September 10, 13 12, in Donniges, ii. (^T, 


encamped at S. Salvi near Fiesole, with the tidings 
that Rome was lost to him through the desertion of 
his adherents.^ 

Francesco Orsini, son of Matthew of Monte 
Giordano, and the brave Sciarra Colonna were now 
made Senators, and the citizens, forsaken by the 
Emperor, again found themselves in the power of 
those insolent nobles, whose only aim was their own 
advantage. They assembled in the streets, made 
peace among themselves, and, in the unanimity of 
their distress, courageously seized their weapons.^ 
It was now evident that whenever they pursued one 
common object the will of the people was irresistible. 
A deputation brought the demands of the people 
before the nobles; namely, participation in the 
government by means of magistrates (Captain and 
Anziani) elected by the people. Their proposal was 
declined, and the populace made such a furious 
attack on the Capitol that the Senators fled without 
offering any resistance. The strongest fortresses of 
the city surrendered to the same popular fury, the 
Castle of S. Angelo, the Torre delle Milizie, and the 
island of the Tiber. Jacopo, son of John Arlotti of Jacopo. 
the house of Stefaneschi in Trastevere, was pro- capt^n of 
claimed Captain of the people amid glad shouts of *^® people. 
liberty, and was led to the Capitol, where a Council 
of twenty-six representative men was appointed , 

1 Ferret. Vincent., 1 112. Henry lay between Fiesole and 
Florence from September 19 until October 31, during which 
interval Savigny's banishment and arrival took place. 

* Non sic inolevisse auctoritateni THbuniiiae potestcUis^ ut plebs 
violcUa intolerabile Jugum ferens indignis succumbai obsequiis, 
Mussat., xi. c. 12, relates these events with contempt. 


beside him. Arlotti mounted the tribunal, and 
summoned the aristocrats before him, and they 
appeared.^ The heads of the Orsini, who had 
mocked at the Emperor with impunity, stood 
trembling before a captain of the people, and no less 
submissive were the celebrated heads of the Colonna, 
who had formerly overthrown Boniface VIII. and 
led Henry VI L to Rome. Gentile, Poncellus, 
Poncelletus, the ex-Senator Francis, the illustrious 
Stephen, the dreaded ex-Senator Sciarra^ Jordan 
Colonna, John and Peter SavelH, Anibaldo Anibaldi, 
and other nobles were put in chains and thrown 
into the prisons of the Capitol as guilty of crimes 
against the people. It was only by ardent entreaties 
and upon adequate security that Arlotti was per- 
suaded to release the enemies of the public welfare, 
instead of depriving them of their heads, which 
would perhaps have been the better alternative. 
He banished them from the city to their estates 
under pain of death if they should quit their terri- 

The people rejoiced over its first victory following 
after so long and miserable an interval. Another 
Brancaleone had arisen ; and it is probable enough 

^ Vigorously described by Mussatus : Ad tribunal ergo conscendens^ 
vuUUf gestibusq, metuenduSy ad se accersiri undtque jussit insignes, 
A prototype of Cola di Rienzo. Arlotti had been podestii of Todi 
in 1305. 

^ Quos tandem paene exorabilis multis cautionibus e vinctUis ad 
municipia relegavity capitali adjecta inde degredierUibus poena. How 
full of vicissitudes was the life of a Roman citizen at this time ! 
Consider the varied fortunes that Stephen Colonna had already 
experienced, and those which still awaited this celebrated man ! 


that the new Captain of the people took the cele- 
brated Senator as his model. A cultured Ghibelline 
historian of this period laments that Arlotti revived 
the decree for the destruction of the palaces, which 
had formerly been issued by the Count of Andal6 
when he resolved to uproot the power of the despots 
in the city. The populace attacked the fortresses of 
their oppressors ; they destroyed the Torre Monzone 
at the Ponte Rotto, and nought but the solidity 
of the ancient masonry saved the Mausoleum of 
Hadrian, the property of the Orsini. Many ancient 
monuments, many ornaments of the city, now met 
with their destruction.^ 

The sudden change in Rome entirely resembled 
the revolutions which were repeated in Florence 
whenever the populace overthrew the nobility. 
Citizens and artisans now ruled on the Capitol as 
guardians of the laws. But the youthful democracy 
was conscious of its weakness, and therefore hastened 
to place itself under the protection of the very 
Emperor who was not recognised by the nobles. 
Rome was declared an imperial city by a plebiscite. The 
and Henry was summoned to return to the Capitol, declare 
and permanently to establish his seat there. It was ^!^^ 
only necessary that the Roman Emperor should city. 
recognise that he had received his power from the 

^ Uf St quid, Brancaleonem — qui Regum cu Ducum — palatia^ 
/kermas, fana^ columnas verUrat in ruirtas, ipso niemorabilior 
sup&rareti ad demolienda eminentia quaeque nova ac Vetera insur- 
rexit ; Monzonem turrim scil, secus S, Mariae pontem^ cum oppositis 
ad alter, latum valvis, uno momento sub plebis furore diripiens : 
Mussatus. If the Monzone was the building which still exists at the 
Ponte Rotto, it cannot have been wholly destroyed. 


authority of the people.^ This memorable decree 
was due not only to the despair of the burghers, 
who thought in the imperial court to obtain amends 
for the loss of the papal, and hoped also. for the 
restoration of peace; it was also inspired by the 
Ghibelline belief that Rome was the legal source of 
the imperial majesty. It pointed to events in the 
near future, when this municipal principle of law 
evoked one of the most curious revolutions. The 
Roman people, therefore, invited the Emperor to 
make his seat in Rome ; for why should he not erect 
his throne here when the Pope absented himself, 
contrary to law and duty? Henry's reply to the 
Romans is unknown. Experience had, however, 
taught him that in Rome the emperor could only 
expect the same fate as the popes, probably one 
even worse. Neither he nor any contemporary 
foresaw the long duration of the exile at Avignon ; 
it was quite certain that sooner or later the pope 
must return, since only as Bishop of Rome was he 
the head of Christendom. Henry VH, never 
seriously contemplated making Rome again the 
political head of the empire. Had he succeeded in 
becoming master of Tuscany, it is probable that he 
would instead have made Florence or Pisa his 
imperial abode. Such, in fact, appears to have 
been his intention. Nevertheless the proposals of 
the Roman people were even now of importance, 

^ Dum sola Tribunitia, exterminatis PcUribuSy potestas adolevisset 
illo sub magisiratu — omnia haec parari Caesarty ipsum evocandum in 
UrbeMf vehmdutnque triumphalUer in Capitoliumy principatum ah 
solaplebe recogniturufn, Mussatus. 

ch. ii.] clement recognises the democracy, jj 

since the restoration of his authority in Rome would 
be valuable in the highest degree in case of a warlike 
expedition against Naples. 

For the rest Clement hastened to recognise the 
Roman revolution in order that he might not irritate 
the people against himself. True, that under threat 
of penalties of the Church, he required the Captain 
of the people to restore to the Church the fortresses 
which he had occupied in the patrimony. On 
February lo, however, at the request of the envoys 
sent by the Romans, he confirmed him as Senator • — 
and Captain. He even openly expressed his satis- 
faction that, owing to the exertions of the people, 
peaceful conditions had been restored. Clement The Pope 
was shrewd and circumspect ; he did not meddle the^RjJ^n 
too deeply in the affairs of the city, and, provided pg™^^*^^' 
the principle of the supremacy of the Church was 1313- 
preserved, he recognised accomplished facts. Such, 
on the whole, remained the policy of the Avignonese 
popes, to whom the weakening of the nobility was 

Arlotti governed with exemplary energy. In 
order to keep at a distance the Neapolitans who 
had been summoned by the Orsini, he entered into 
alliance with the Ghibellines of the Campagna. 

^ First letter, January 27 : Senatori et Capit, <u Consilio et Po, 
Ro, (Theiner, i. n. 631). Second and third letters, February lo 
(n. 632, 633) : DiU fil. ttob, virojacobo q, fohis Arlocti^ Senatori et 
Capit, Urbis ; in the same form DiU fiU universis nobilib, Urbis^ et 
viginti sex bonis viris ad reform. Urbis special, deptUatis^ ac Majori 
Consilio^ Senatui et Po, Ro, The Concil, majus consisted of the 
Consules artium et centum guatuor^ videl, 8 per quamlib, region, 
urbis, as the compact with Velletri of November 13, 13 12, shows. 


The Count of Ceccano, the head of the imperial 
party in that district, conquered Ceprano, where 
Robert's troops were stationed, and waged war on 
the Guelfs, at first successfully. Velletri was re- 
ceived under the protectorate of Rome, and even 
made a public domain of the Capitol, This city, 
invariably devoted to the Church, under the pro- 
tectorate of the popes and their bishops, hitherto 
independent alike of barons and of the Capitol, now 
Velletri entered into the same relationship towards Rome 
^I^V!!?" that Tivoli had assumed in the time of Brancaleone. 

jection to 

the The inhabitants of Velletri henceforward received 

*^^ ^ their podest^ from the Capitol for six months, and 
another Roman as their voluntarily elected judge ; 
henceforward they sent representatives to the public 
games in Rome, and annually, on the day of the 
Assumption of the Virgin, one of the most solemn 
festivals in the city (called Mez^ Ago$to\ brought 
two wax candles as tribute. Like the Tivolese, 
they -finally ordained that no barons should reside 
within the territory of their city. The political 
power of the Capitol was thus increased by the 
absence of the Pope.^ 

The banished nobles now contemplated the fall 

^ Document in Z. CardiruUi Auton, di Velletri nel sec, XIV, 
{Atti d, soc. letter, Volsca, 1839, iii. 245). The podest^, a ctvis 
JRoman.f was bound to keep one notary, six btrruarics, besides a 
shield-bearer and two horsf s. Appeal was nflEide to the Capitol in 
all disputes involving upwards of twenty-five pounds Provins. Velletri 
was exempt from the Roman monopoly of salt. Item quad comune 
Velletri facial ludum testacie more solito. The Statutes of the city 
remained in force. Acta sunt hec rome in palaiio capitolii in Sala 
ante cam. Senator, sub A,D, 13 12. Ind, X, die XIII, m, nov, . . . 
Et ego Lucas q, Joannis de Fuscis de Berta etc, scriba sacri senatus. 


of the democracy, and a victory of the Guelfs lent 
them unhoped for strength. For Richard of Ceccano 
was utterly defeated by the counts palatine of the 
house of Boniface VIII. After the fall of Bonifaca — " 
the Gaetani had entirely lost their influence in Rome ; 
they had retired to their fiefs in Campania, where 
they incessantly prosecuted their vindictive war 
against the Colonna and other Ghibellines, although 
the Pope, obedient to the will of the King of France, 
had renounced all suits against the enemies of 
Boniface in Campania.^ As vassals of the crown 
of Naples, as Counts of Fundi and Caserta, the 
Gaetani served in Robert's army, and henceforward 
began to acquire great influence in Naples. The 
heads of the family were at this time Loffred, first 
Count of Fundi, and his brother Benedict, Count 
Palatine in Tuscany, where he claimed the right of 
occupation of the county of the Aldobrandeschi, but 
handed it over to the powerful city of Orvieto.^ 
After they had conquered the Counts of Ceccano, 
the whole of Latium once more recognised the 
authority of Robert, whose troops had again crossed 
the Liris. This defeat scattered the imperialists 
in the Campagna^ and produced a disastrous effect 
on Rome. With the same rapidity with which the 
democratic revolution had been accomplished, the 
opposite party again overthrew the government. 

^ By the bull from Vienne of April 20, 1312 {Reg, Clem, K, n. 
8248) ; on the same day he had made peace between Anagni, Alatri, 
and the Counts Palatine Loffred and Benedict Gaetani. Theiner, i. 

* Fumi, Cod, Dipl, di Orv,^ p. 407, Act of April i, 1313, Anagni. 


Ariotti and The aristocrats successfully executed a master 

gov«^^^ stroke ; they entered the city at dusk and invaded 

mentare the Capitol. In vain the bells rang an alarm; the 

thrown, astouished citizens arrived too late, and timidly 

Feb. 1313. returned to their houses when the mournful news 

rapidly spread through Rome that their valiant 

Senator and Captain was in chains. The Senators 

who had been expelled in October (Francesco 

Orsini and Sciarra Colonna) forthwith resumed their 

seats on the Capitol, and after a short dream of 

freedom the Roman people again fell under the 

yoke of the vindictive nobility.^ 

Thus were the hopes of the Emperor frustrated in 
Rome. Henry VII. had indeed more reason than 
many of his predecessors to denounce Fortune, who 
was ever hostile towards him. After leaving Rome 
he had withdrawn by Viterbo, Todi, and Cortona to 
Ghibelline Arezzo.2 He had there (on September 
12, 1 3 12) summoned King Robert to appear before 
his tribunal within three months on a charge of 
high treason. Waging incessant war with the Guelf 
fortresses of Tuscany, he appeared before Florence 

^ Alb. Mussat, xi. c, 12. The revolution must have taken place 
at the end of February, and consequently soon after the Pope's letter 
of the loth reached Rome. Jacobus Dni Johis de Columpna dictus 
Sciarra et Francisctis Dni Mattkei de filiis Ursi dei gr, alme urbis 
SencUores III,, confirm the Statute of the Merchants as early as 
March 8, 131 3. 

^ He came to Todi on August 27, 1312 ; on August 30 he marched 
against Perugia with troops firom Todi and Spoleto. He burnt thirty- 
six fortresses and villas and presented them to these two cities. On 
September 8 he went to Castello delU Forme, then to Cortona. 
Memoriedi Todi oi lAxosXhtrio Petti, aof ^. 1312, in the Archives of 
S. Fortunatus. 


on September 19, strengthened by reinforcements 
from Ghibelline cities, intending to conquer a 
republic whose resistance shattered all his plans. 
The beautiful and wealthy city on the Arno, more Henry 
tenacious than Milan in its hatred of the German successfuf 
imperium, stood at the head of the great Guelf league, pi^r^^"^* 
which stretched from Lombardy to Rome, and to 
which King Robert extended his hand. The firm 
demeanour of the Guelf republic, composed as it 
was of usurers, merchants, and cloth manufacturers, 
merits the highest admiration. Henceforward, 
Florence was worthy to represent Italian inde- 
pendence.^ The city was well defended, was filled 
with its own and allied troops, and had more than 
twice the strength of the enemy .^ It laughed at the 
exertions of the Emperor, who did not understand 
how to utilise his first victory, and who was soon 
prostrated by fear and depression. 

It is painful to follow the unsuccessful marches of 
Henry VII., the sieges and the hideous devastations 
of fortresses and farms. They only add to the 
series of ancient and ever-repeated scourges of the 

^ E di vera la parte guelfa ifondamento e roccaferma e stabile delta 
libertd c^ Italia^ e contraria a tutte le tiranniej says M. Villani, viii, 
c. 24. 

* According to the list of the Florentine auxiliaries (Villani, ix. c. 
47), there were 4000 cavalry and innumerable infantry in Florence. 
The Emperor had 800 German and 1000 Italian horse, besides the 
infantry of Rome, the March, Spoleto, Arezzo, the Romagna, the 
Counts Guido and S. Fiora, and the Florentine exiles ; according to 
John de Germ., 1200 horse and 8cxx) foot Dante had mocked at 
the new fortifications of FJorence : quid vallo sepsisse^uvabit, cum 
advolaverit aguila in aura terribilis ? (Ep. vi.). It did not, however, 
fly over the walls, 



kind, without being enhanced by any heroic deed of 
arms. Henry had come to Italy with exalted 
dreams of peace, and in the short space of a year 
had himself been changed beyond recognition. 
Forced to descend into the arena of party passions, 
and to exhaust his strength in petty wars within the 
narrow theatre of Tuscany, he had degenerated from 
the Messiah of peace into a ruthless destroyer, ex- 
ecrated by the unfortunate peasantry with a hatred 
equal to that which Barbarossa or Frederick II. had 
formerly provoked. In vain the banks of the Arno 
were dyed with blood, and the gardens of Tuscany 
transformed by savage warriors into a desert After 
raising the sieges of Fiesole and Florence, Henry 
remained at the neighbouring San Casciano during 
the winter months. At the beginning of 1313 he 
withdrew to Poggibonzi, a Ghibelline stronghold, 
which the Guelfs had destroyed and which he now 
caused to be rebuilt under the name of Mons 
Imperialis, No German warrior princes were any 
longer to be found in his camp ; only the Bishops 
Baldwin and Nicholas, his valiant Marshal Henry, 
Count Hugo of Bucheck, and some other nobles 
remained faithful. Among the Italians his most 
zealous adherents were Amadeus of Savoy, Frederick 
of Montefeltro, son of the celebrated Guido, and 
Uguccio, Count of Faggiola, a brave Ghibelline 
captain, who now entered on a distinguished career. 
Although strengthened by five hundred horse and 
three thousand infantry from Pisa, and by a thousand 
Genoese archers, the Emperor was unable to achieve 
anything ; his army melted away, and the privations 


caused by the devastated state of the country became 
intolerable. In the beginning of March he went to Henry vii. 
the faithful city of Pisa, where the people, exhausted from 
by taxation, no longer extended him the same March 10 
welcome as before. He remained here for months, 8, 1313. 
engaged in active preparations for war, the basis of 
which was to be the republic of Pisa, as centre of 
the whole Ghibelline league. The ban which he 
pronounced against the Guelf cities and the long 
proscription list of their citizens made as little im- 
pression as the action which he brought against 
Robert, He deposed this king by imperial decree 
as an enemy of the empire, a rebel and traitor to all 
its crowns and dignities, and sentenced him to death 
at the hands of the executioner.^ Robert protested 
in a manifesto in which he declared war as heir of the 
*' unconquered lion," Charles of Anjou, successor to 
the Hohenstaufen Frederick, Manfred, and Conradin.^ 
Henry's mind was now tortured by one single 
idea, that of punishing the king and annihilating 
the house of Anjou. Here was a page in the annals 
of the empire to be filled with a splendid act of 
justice ; here the noble Luxemburger could honour- 
ably seat himself, as the avenger of ancient blood- 
guiltiness, on the ruins of the throne of Charles of 
Anjou.^ Was this work impossible? Assuredly 

^ Document Deus judex ^ of April 26, 131 3, from Pisa, Mon. Germ.y 
iv. 545. The proceedings against Robert in Kopp, Gesck, der 
Hdgenossischsn Biincle, Kdnig und Kaiser Heinrich und seine ZeiU , 
iv. 317. The Emperor was in Pisa from March 10 until August 8, 

* Donniges, ii. 235, undated ; Kopp, p. 323. 

s Henry seriously intended to behead Robert, if the king fell into 


not ; since Pisa, Genoa, and Sicily, all the Ghibellines 

of Italy equipped their fleets and armies in order to 

make war on Naples according to a common plan. 

Friendly cities provided money, and even the 

German empire, to which Baldwin of Treves had 

been sent, with self-denial declared itself ready to 

support its Emperor. His son John of Bohemia 

was about to cross the Alps with an auxiliary army. 

Clement V., trembling at the thought that the 

dynasty of Anjou, the support of the Church in 

Italy, might be overthrown, hastened to avert the 

Clement V. ruin of King Robert. On June 12 he issued a bull, 

r^'rS. in which he threatened with excommunication all 

pnse who should enter on war with the King of Naples 

Naples, or attack this fief of the Church.^ When the docu- 

{31® "* ment was handed to the Emperor he complained 

that it was the work of his enemies, especially of the 

King of France. He summoned a Parliament ; he 

explained that his preparations had no reference to 

the property of the Church, which, on the contrary, 

he would defend, but to the rights of the empire. 

He disputed at the same time the claims of the 

Church over Naples and Sicily; the emperor was 

by right lord of the world, and consequently, this 

country also belonged to the empire.^ Thus the 

idealistic theory of the Ghibellines, which held that 

his hands. All the Germans in the imperial army desired the execu- 
tion to appease the manes of Conradin. Niccol6 of Botronto, ad fin, 

^ Bull, dat, ap, Castrum nazmm Avert* Dtoec, II, Id, Junii^ A, 
VIII, Raynald, n. 21, 

* Regnum Sicilie et specicUiter Insula Sicilie sicut et cetere provincie 
sunt de Imperio — totus enim mundus imperatoris est, Donniges, ii. 




the power of the emperor embraced the whole earth, 
found its last exponent in the high-minded but 
powerless Luxemburger, who, had life allowed him 
time, would have waged prolonged wars for the 
imperial right against the Papacy and Italy. In 
order to induce the Pope to assume a more friendly 
attitude, he sent the Bishops of Trent and Butronto 
to Avignon. His resolve to attack Naples with all 
his strength landed him, in regard to the Pope, in as 
difficult a position as that in which Otto IV. had 
formerly been placed, when the Guelf emperor 
undertook to dethrone th^ protig^ oi Innocent III. 
There was consequently no longer any way of 
reconciliation; the excommunication from which 
there was no escape hung over his head. When 
Robert now saw the preparations of the Emperor 
and the alliance of so many enemies, he recognised 
that the enterprise was more serious than Conradin's 
expedition. He was assailed by such anxiety that 
he already contemplated escaping the danger by 
flight to Avignon. Taught by his own mistakes, 
Henry determined no longer to waste his strength 
in besieging cities, but quickly to march on the 
centre of Naples. The conquest of this kingdom 
would have made him ruler of the whole of Italy. 
He had already collected 2500 horse in Pisa, chiefly 
Germans, and 1500 Italians, besides a large force 
of infantry. This fact determined him to wait no 
longer for the expected imperial army. The 
Genoese had sent sixty galleys under Lamba Doria 
to the harbour of Pisa, and twenty Pisan vessels 
accompanied them to the island of Ponza, while 


Frederick of Sicily left Messina on the appointed 
day with fifty galleys and took Reggio in Calabria. 
The Emperor sent letters to the Ghibelline towns of 
Umbria and Tuscany, informed them that he was 
advancing with strength both by sea and land 
against Rome, where he expected to arrive about 
August 15, and summoned them to send him troops.^ 
Henry VII. He sct forth on August 8, 1 313. His object was to 
Naples on^ go by way of Tuscany to Rome, where he had sent 
^313. ^* Henry of Blankenburg to collect Ghibellines and to 
prepare him a dwelling in the Vatican ; then to join 
the Sicilians and Genoese at Terracina,^ The plan 
was faultless, the success probable, since the united 
strength of the republics of Pisa and Genoa with 
Sicily and the Emperor's army formed such a 
powerful combination as had seldom been united 
before for the attack of Naples. The Ghibellines 
were consequently filled with the gladdest anticipa- 
tions. One thing, however, was unforeseen. The 
Emperor was seriously ill when he mounted his 
horse. The exertions of the campaign, the air of 

^ H, dei gr, R, /., semp, Aug, dil, dev» suis potestati et cot, inter' 
amnen. Cum jam simus inprocintu dirigendi duce deo vers, Romam 
pro magnis et arduis nris et Impii negotiis gressus nros et ibi circa 
XV^""^ diem p, m, Aug, cum exerciiu nro non solum per terram sed 
etiam per mare proponamus esse, devoiionem quam vos ad maiest, 
nram habere confidimus aitenie requirimus et rogamus, qucUenus 
armator, comitivam quam poteritis, dictis die et loco, vel saltern extunc 
sine dilcUione^ ubi nos esse audieritis ad nram celsitud, transmittatis^ 
vre dilectionis et devotionis affectum quem ad nos et Imper. kabetis^ 
hcLc vice per oper, evidentiam ostensuri, et speraturi vos a nob, exinde 
consequi gratiam et honorem, Dat, Pisis, KaJ, Aug, Regni nri A, 
V, Imp, vero II, In the City Archives of Terni, 

" Nicol., Specialis Histor, Sicula, 


the Maremma, excitement, disillusion, and accumu-* 
lated troubles had exhausted the powers of the noble 
Henry. They suddenly collapsed as he approached 
the neighbourhood of Siena, which city he blockaded. 
At the little village of Buonconvento six miles 
distant, Henry VH. lay down to die. He received 
the Communion from the hand of a Dominican 
monk, took a touching farewell of his soldiers, and 
passed away on August 24, 13 13, fifty-one years Death of 
old His end was profoundly tragic. At the head viT^^ug. 
of a great army, already on the march, at the ^» '3^3- 
beginning of a new and presumably honourable 
career, encouraged by hopes which for the first 
time seemed well founded, Henry was snatched 
away by death.^ His friends, the companions of 
his battles, nobles of Germany and Ghibellines of 
Italy, stood in deepest sorrow round the dying man. 
The restoration of the empire, the revenge of the 
Hohenstaufens, the conquest of Naples, the victory 
and power of the Ghibelline party, all was now a 
dream. The army fell a prey to wild despair. 
Rumour asserted that the Emperor had received 
poison in the host. The Germans rushed to the 
convent and stabbed the monks.^ The army began 

^ His death was a divine judgment in the eyes of Mussatus and the 
Guel£s. The Church always had the good fortune to find demonstra- 
tions ad hominem for her doctrines. 

* Ferret, p. 11 17. The belief that Henry had been poisoned by a 
monk gave rise to a prolonged dispute. Kopp, "Kadser Heinrich 
VII. ist nicht vergiftet worden," Geschichtsblatter der Schweiz^ L 
122. Nic Botront., Ferretus, Mussatus, Joh. Victoriensis, Rol. of 
Lucca, Villani, Cermenate, reject the story of death by poison. In 
1346 John of Bohemia gave the Dominicans a certificate, absolving 
them from the charge. Leibnitz, Cod,Jur, Gent,, i. 188. 


to disperse. The Ghibellines from Arezzo, the 
Marches, and the Romagna forsook the camp in 
terror; only the Pisans and Germans remained. 
Their ranks dissolved in bitterest grief under the 
guidance of the Marshal Henry. The dead Emperor 
was carried on his bier through, the Maremma back 
to Pisa. The Pisans, who had spent such vast sums, 
and had staked such lofty hopes on Henry's 
enterprise, received the dead with lamentations of 
Dismay of despair. The entire city resounded with the cries 
ihies?*^*^^^ of grief. Never had an Italian city thus bewailed 
a German emperor. The remains were interred 
in a marble sarcophagus in the cathedral, and Pisa 
has ever since regarded Henry's coffin as a sacred 
treasure. The noble Ghibelline city received 
therein the legacy of the German empire and the 
monument of its reverent loyalty. The sarcophagus 
now stands in the Campo Santo, the world-renowned 
churchyard, which the masterpieces of famous 
artists and the tombs of ancient and modern times 
have combined to render one of the most beautiful 
temples of historic memory.^ There Henry of 
Luxemburg rests as the last imperial sacrifice 
offered by the German Fatherland to the soil of 
Italy, with which it was united by centuries of a 
great though bloody history. Round his grave 
"^ are gathered the figures of many mighty emperors, 

^ Above the sarcophagus, adorned with Christian imagery in relief, y 
rests the figure of the Emperor, a work which shows a surprisingly 
sudden decay of art after Nicola Pisano. Corio, • Storia di MiUtno, 
ii. 413, asserts that the Emperor*s heart was buried in the tomb of 
his wife at Genoa, that his bones were afterwards brought to Germany. 


whom one and the same intellectual tendency 
carried across the Alps. Their expeditions from 
Germany to Rome marked the continuous path 
of those centuries; their tombs are the milestones 
in the road of one continuous history marching 
forwards with epic dignity. The appearance of the 
seventh Henry, the last representative of the all- 
embracing imperial ideal, illuminates the history 
of Italy with an electric radiance which can never 
be extinguished while Dante's poetry survives. 
The enthusiastic homage paid to him by the noblest 
spirit of the country is at the same time the strongest 
testimony to the historic necessity of the imperial 
idea in the Middle Ages, which came to a close with 
this poet and this Emperor. Dante, whose political 
hopes expired with Henry VII., dedicated to him 
a touching lament in the Paradiso^ where he saw, 
lying on the throne, the crown destined for the 
"noble Henry" in heaven.^ If to the great poet 
the Emperor's death seemed premature and a cruel 
accident, calm reflection will recognise that the goal 
of Henry's desires was practically impossible, 
because condemned by the spirit of the age and 
only an idealist dream. Not even a Charles the 

^ In quel gran seggio^ a che tu gli occki iieni 
Per la corona chegid, 1/ i suposta^ 
Prima che tu a queste nozxe ceni^ 
Sederli Palma chefu gih augusta 
Deir cUto ArrigOy ch* a dirizzare Italia 
Verrit in prima ch* ella sia disposta, 

Beatrice shows him this throne as destined for Henry, but the poet can- 
not yet speak of the Emperor's death, since the time of his wanderings 
in the under- world and heaven is placed in the year 1 300. Parad, , xxx« 


Great could have realised it now. All contempor- 
aries have extolled the Luxemburger as a prince 
of magnanimous character, and never perhaps did 
an emperor cross the Alps with equally pure and 
lofty aims. But the troubles of Italy were too 
deeply rooted for him to cure. Both contemporaries 
and after generations have, however, admitted that if 
ever those troubles could have been healed, no other 
man would have been better qualified to act as 
the saviour of Italy.^ Henry VII. died at the right 
time to save the world from an error, and himself, 
perhaps, from the world's hatred — an unsuccessful 
Italian Messiah, leaving no trace of his actions. 

Seldom has the influence exercised on human 
affairs by the fall of a prominent man been so deeply 
felt as now, when the news of Henry's death para- 
lysed some, and plunged others from the depth of 
fear into transports of joy. The Pope and King 
Gueif Robert breathed freely. The camps of the Guelfs 
rejoicings. ,.ggQyj^jgj ^j^j^ j^y^ ^jj ^j^g Quelf cities were 

illuminated. An annual festival was ordained in 
honour of S. Bartholomew, for Henry VII. had 
been removed on the anniversary of the day of 
August on which Conradin had lost his crown at 
Tagliacozzo.* Great as the joy among the Guelfs 

^ Se i mali straordinarii delT Italia erano allora capcui di ritnedio^ 
non si potea scegliere Medico pik a proposito di guesto* Muratori, 
Annal., ad A, 1313. 

^ Admirabilis haec mortalibus, et veluti fatcdis notata loci ac diet 
intervenientium identitcLS^ cui admiraiioni CorrcuHni de Stoph, 
adjiciebatur ej'usd, S. Bertholomaei memoranda festivitas^ qua et ipse 
in Italia ah Carolo rege conflictus post supplicium sustulit. Mussat, 
xvi. c. 8, and Degest, Italicor, post, Ilenr,^ i. c. i. 


was the despair in the Ghibelline camps. Frederick 
of Sicily, Robert's hereditary enemy, filled with 
hopes of victory, had brought his fleet to Gaeta, 
where he expected the Emperor. On receiving 
the appalling tidings he hastened to Pisa, accom- 
panied by the Count of Savoy, the remaining 
German nobles, and the heads of the republic. 
Manfred's grandson stood in deepest grief beside 
the coffin of the Emperor, who was to have been 
his life-long ally and his father-in-law, and with 
whose aid he had hoped to acquire the throne of 
Naples.^ He now exhorted the Germans to adhere 
faithfully to the scheme of war and with him to 
continue the great undertaking, but, hesitating and 
discouraged, they refused. They hastened home, 
where the imperial army under John of Bohemia, 
accompanied by Beatrix, the Emperor's mother, 
was already on the march, but now halted and 
dispersed in Swabia. Only a thousand men of 
Henry's forces remained in the pay of the Pisans. 
They formed — to the great misfortune of Tuscany — 
the first of those " bands " of foreign mercenaries 
which were soon to become the scourge of Italy. 
In their despair the Pisans implored Frederick of 
Sicily to assume the signory of their republic, 
Manfred's grandson put forward great demands, 
more especially in relation to Sardinia ; they were 

1 Cecidit corona capitis nostri, the Pisans cried to Frederick, ad 
hanc vocem intonuit aer plangoribus et foemineo tUulatu repletus est, 
Nicol., Specialist vii. 2. The chief source of grief was undoubtedly 
the useless expense to which Pisa had been put, and which was 
estimated at two million gold florins. Baluze, Miscell., 1. 453. 


not agreed to, and recognising that the cause of 

the Ghibellines was lost, he returned to Sicily. 

Pisa now offered the command to the Count of 

Savoy, then to the Marshal of Flanders. Both also 

Ugo deiia returned home. But a courageous man, Count Ugo 

beromes della Faggiola, accepted the offered power. The 

Ghibe°- ^^^ P^sans Summoned him from Genoa, where he had 

lines. been vicar for the Emperor. Ugo became lord of 

Pisa, leader of the German mercenaries, and soon 

the celebrated head of the Ghibellines of Tuscany, 

who saw their only salvation in this experienced 


The undertaking against Naples consequently 
came to nought. The Ghibellines, dispersed in 
flight, or irresolute within their cities, fell back 
into their former impotence, and King Robert, 
the powerful head of all the Guelfs, soon acquired — 
not by his own ability but by the gift of fortune — a 
greater influence in Italy than that which even 
Charles, his grandfather, had acquired after the 
fall of Conradin. 

* Ferret. Vicent., p. Iii8; Villani, ix. 53, 54. The Germans 
carried banners with portraits of Conradin's head : sub signo capitis 
Chunradi^ innocenter olim in illis partibus interetnpti^ saepius 
triumphant: Joh. Victor., Bohmer, /wiA, L 378, 


3. The Ghibelline Camp after Henry's Death — Power 
OF King Robert — Clement V. declares himself 
Ruler of the vacant Empire — His Death — His 
Servility to France — The Knights Templars 
SACRIFICED — End of the Trial of Boniface VIII, 

— The Cardinals: their National Antagonism, 
their interrupted Conclave at Carpentras — 
John XXII., Pope — Lewis the Bavarian and 
Frederick the Fair — King Robert governs Rome 

— Consequences to the City of the Pope's 

Henry's expedition to Rome had given fresh 
nourishment to the war of factions and rendered 
it incurable. Although the Ghibellines had fallen 
into evil plight, they still held the imperial banner 
erect in four places in Italy: in Sicily, where 
Frederick was sufficiently strong to resist Robert ; 
in Pisa, where Ugo della Faggiola vigorously 
defended himself and even speedily subjugated 
Lucca; in Lombardy, where the astute Matthew 
Visconti had been exalted by Henry on the 
ruins of the house of della Torre in Milan ; while at 
Verona, owing to the favour of the same Emperor, 
the family of the Scaligers also rose to power, and 
in the young Can della Scala, the patron of Dante, 
now acquired a celebrated head. These Ghibelline 
strongholds set a limit to the power of the King 
of Naples, and prevented him from bringing the 
whole of Italy under his sceptre. For almost all 
the Guelf cities recognised his authority ; and even 
Florence, in fear of the Emperor, had confided the 


signory to his hands in June 131 3. This republic 
consequently was also administered by royal vicars. 

Far from Italy and dependent on the King of 

France, Clement V. threw himself into the arms 

of Robert, whose ambitious views he unhesitatingly 

supported. He loaded him with dignities and 

privileges. He bestowed Ferrara upon him, and 

King in the autumn of 13 13 even made him Senator 

Senator of of Rome. Here, however, the same Orsini, who 

Romem j^^^j prepared for flight on the news of Henry's 

autumn of second expedition, were still in power. Some of 

'^^^" their adversaries had left the city, and Rome, which 

had fallen without opposition under the dominion 

of the Guelfs, now did homage to Robert and 

received Ponzello Orsini as his vicar on the Capitol. 

Rome was henceforth for some years ruled by 

representatives of the King of Naples, as in the 

time of Charles of Anjou.^ The Pope did not 

rest satisfied with these evidences of favour towards 

his serviceable vassal. As if ruler of the empire, 

he annulled by a bull issued on March 14, 13 14, 

the ban which Henry VH. had pronounced on 

Robert. With reference to the Emperor's hesitation 

to recognise his vows to the Church as an oath of 

fidelity, Clement V. had issued a declaration pro- 

^ Mussat., de gestis lialicor,^ i. c. 2 ; Mur., x. 574. Potkellus de 
fil. Ursi dei gra, Alme Urbis III* regius in Urbe Vicarius ratifies 
the Statute of the Merchants on January 11, 1 314. On March 20 
and December 27, 13 14, Guilieimus Scarrerrii miles consiliarius 
confirms the Statute as vicar of the King. On April 23, 1315, 
Gerardus Spinola de Luculo, The same man is wrongly called 
Adoardus in a letter from the Florentines to him, dated March 25, 
131 5. Archives of Florence, Class x., Dist,^ i. n. 8, 


nouncing the oath taken by the kings of Rome to 
be in fact an oath of vassalage or fidelity ; whence 
followed the theory that the pope, as the true ruler 
of the empire, had the right of assuming the govern- 
ment during the vacancy of the throne, Clement 
consequently appointed King Robert imperial vicar 
of Italy, upon condition that he would renounce the 
office two months after the confirmation of the new 
King of the Romans.^ Clement's decrees exalted Clement v. 
into a canon law views which had only been ex- h^e^ai ^ 
pressed by earlier popes since the time of Innocent au*^o"^y» 
III. They were the necessary conclusion of all 
preceding attacks on the imperial power, and thus 
the Papacy had arrived at a point which could not 
be overstepped, unless it actually nominated the 
emperor. A violent opposition arose among all 
adherents of the empire in Germany as well as in 
Italy, and awoke fresh disputes in the spheres of 
constitutional law and the political world. 

Clement V. meanwhile died on April 20, 13 14, at Death of 
Roquemaure in Languedoc, mourned by none except v.^ April 
his relatives and favourites, accused by contem- ^> ^^^^ 
poraries and posterity as a pope who had obtained 
the sacred chair by simony, who yielded himself as 
servant to the King of France, who removed the 
Papacy "from Rome, its consecrated seat, placed it 

1 Chran, Regiense, Murat., xviii. 26. For the bull Pastoralis 
cura, in which the Pope annuls Henry's sentence on Robert, see 
Ddnniges, ii. 241. For the declaration of the Pope concerning the 
oath of fidelity, see Ptol. Luc, Mur., xi. 1 241, and the decree 
Romani Principes^ Clementin., lib. ii. t. ix. Bull appointing 
Robert vicar of the empire, dot, Montiliis Carpcntor, Dioces, II, Id, 
Mariiia, IX, ^ in Raynald, ad A. 1314, n, 2. 


under bondage in France, and filled the cardinals' 
college with Frenchmen, thus sowing the seeds of 
the later schism. He had also to bear the heavier 
reproach, that by his excessive nepotism, as well as 
by the avaricious accumulation of wealth by dis- 
honourable means, he had introduced those abuses 
into the Church which have made the residence in 
Avignon so notorious. Of all the actions of this 
Gascon — an astute and dishonest politician — none 
has left a deeper impression on the minds of men 
than the decree for the suppression of the Templars, 
Suppres- issued at the Council of Vienne. Clement was 
olSer^of^^ forced to sacrifice these wealthy knights to the 
Templars, cupidity of King Philip, in order at this price to save 
the Church from the public stigma that would have 
been cast upon her in the alleged heresy of Boniface 
VI 11.^ For Philip demanded the sacrifice, and 
Clement V., who had hastened to revoke the 
notorious bull Unam Sanctam with regard to 
France, had been obliged to agree to the renewal 
of the ostentatious trial of the dead pope. It was 
admitted at the Council of Vienne that Boniface 
VIII. had died in the Catholic faith; his acts issued 
against France were, however, annulled, and the King 
scored a complete victory .^ The suppression of the 

^ The original bull for the suppression of the Templars Vox in 
excelsOf of March 22, 13 12, was brought to light in Spain in 1865, 
and was printed by Hefele in the TheoL Quarialschrtfi, Formal 
judgment was not pronounced, but the suppression took place via 
pravisionis ei ordinationis. 

* Muratori calls Clement V. ii volpino Pontefice^ A satire entitled 
pHncipium malorum^ represents him as a fox (Francis. Pipin., Mur., 
ix. 751); he is thus represented in the Vaticinium IV, of the Abbot 



order of Templars, one of the most honourable 
societies of a spiritual character, an order connected 
with the highest aristocracy in Europe, was, apart 
from the causes that provoked it and as an independ- 
ent fact, markedly significant of the spirit of the 
time. It was a breach with the hierarchic institu- 
tions of the Middle Ages and heralded a new epoch. 
It offers a close parallel to the suppression of the 
order of Jesuits decreed at a later time by the 

Three and twenty cardinals assembled in Carpen- 
tras, where Clement held his court and where con- 
sequently the conclave must necessarily take place. 
Fourteen were French, the remainder Italians, The 
namely Guglielmo Longhi of Bergamo, Nicholas |^^^^J® 
Alberti of Prato, Jacopo and Francesco Gaetani of pentras. 
Anagni, Luca Fieschi, Peter and Jacopo Colonna, 
and Napoleon Orsini.^ The last three had been 
celebrated from the time of Boniface VIII. The 
hereditary feud between their houses, and the quarrel 


concerning the trial of the pope, were shared by the 
cardinals, of whom the Colonna, from gratitude to 
King Philip as well as from hatred towards the 
Gaetani, sided with the French. But the difficult posi- 

Joadiim, Padua, 1625, Mortuus est — horribili morbo lupuliy mala 
fama multifarie subsequentCf et maxime ex infinito auro, quod habuit 
ah Hospitalariis^ quib, concessit castra et bona iempli (Chron. Astense, 
Mur., ix. 194). His disease, luptUus (fistula or cancer), had made 
him shun society : Mussatus and Pipin. Uomo simoniaco^ che ogni 
beneficio per danari iavea in sua corte^ e fu lussurioso . . • Villani, 
ix. c. 59. 

* For a comparison of the cardinals, see Carl Muller, Der Kampf 
Ludw, des Baiem mit der rom, Curie^ i. 352. 




tion in which the conclave in France placed the 
Italians, made them unanimous in their national aims. 
The Gascons desired a Gascon, the French a French 
pope, whom Philip le Bel desired to retain at any 
price in his dependent position. The Italians longed 
to atone for their error in the elevation of Clement 
V. by the election of a man who would deliver the 
Papacy from French bondage and make his dwelling 
in Rome, All the elements of a national schism 
were already forthcoming. The noble Dante now 
raised his voice as a patriot ; he exhorted the car- 
dinals unanimously to resist the Gascons and to 
restore the pope to orphaned Rome, as he had 
formerly exhorted the Italians to restore the emperor 
to the city.^ He regarded Rome as the seat destined 
by divine providence for the two powers, and 
believed it possible that emperor and pope could live 
there peaceably side by side — a view which history 
even down to present times either emphatically con- 
tradicts, or has never permitted to be realised. 

The conclave was of an importance that was 
universally recognised. It decided an entire future. 
It concealed a schism within it. Had an Italian 
become pope, he would have made his seat in Rome ; 
a Frenchman would inevitably prolong the papal 
exile. Soon after the death of Clement V., Napo- 
leon Orsini, Dean of the Sacred College, wrote 

^ Ut Vasconum opprobrium^ qui lam dira cupidine conjlagrantes^ 
Latinorum gloriam sibi usurpare contendunt, per saecula cuncta 
futura sit posteris in exemplum (Ep. ix. ; only a fragment). He 
had previously bitterly censured the cardinals for their dereliction of 
duty in electing Clement V. Villani, ix. c. 136, also mentions this 
letter in his beautiful panegyric on the dead Dante, 


a memorable letter to King Philip, in which he 
candidly explained the desperate condition of the Breach 
Italians, and their hatred of the memory of the pope ^fiSlans 
who had just died, and who had formerly so grossly ^^^^^i 
deceived them. He represented Clement V.^s one 
of the worst of popes, a man who had sold dignities 
and Church property for gold, or had given them to 
his relations, and whose fault it was that Rome, the 
State of the Church, and Italy were plunged in ruin. 
The cardinal already raised the same lament over 
the ill-usage of Italy at the hands of a French pope 
and the misrule of avaricious French rectors in the 
State of the Church, as those with which the in- 
dignant country re-echoed fifty years later.^ The 
King paid no attention to these laments ; they merely 
served to increase the national hatred of Gascons 
and French, 

The first formal conclave which was held in France 
added to the memorable history of papal elections 
scenes of the most furious violence, and exonerated 
the Romans from the reproach that only amongst, 
and owing to, them were such outrages committed. 
On July 24, 1 3 14, the nephews of Clement V., The 
Bertrand de Got and Raymond, with a swarm of c^nfrlS 
Gascons, attacked the conclave in Carpentras ; they dispersed, 
threw fire into the palace and city ; and it was only 1314. 
by hurried flight that the Italian cardinals escaped 

^ Urds tota sub eo et per eum extremae ruinae subiacuit^ et sedes B» 

Pgtri-Hiisrupta est, et paiHmonialis turn per praedones potius qttam 

rectores spoliata est et confusa, Italia tota — neglecta — dissipata — nos 

Italici, qui ipsum bonum credentes posuimus^ sicut vasa testea rejecti 

fuimus. (Baluz., Viiae Pap, Avign»^ ii., xliii.) 


the death which threatened them.^ The consequence 
of this proceeding was the dispersion of the electors 
and the long delay of. the new election. Philip le 
Bel did not in fact live to see it ; he died on Novem- 
ber 29, 1 3 14, and even his son and successor, Lewis 
X., strove in vain to bring it to an end. He himself 
died on July 5, 13 16, while after June 28 the pro- 
crastinating cardinals were forcibly detained by his 
brother Philip of Poictiers in conclave at Lyons. 

At last on August 7 another Gascon pope was 
proclaimed. This was Jacques Du^se of Cahors, a 
man belonging to the middle class, of short stature 
and plain and unpretending v^aspect, advanced in 
years, but versed in all kinds of business, unyielding, 
indefatigably active, and a pedantic schoolman. He 
was the acknowledged favourite of Robert of Naples, 
in whose father's court he had already risen to fortune 
as courtier and chancellor. By Robert's means he 
had become successively Bishop of Frdjus and 
Avignon ; he had been mainly instrumental in 
urging Philip to insist on the overthrow of the 
Templars. At the Council of Vienne, however, he 
had astutely prevented the outrage on the memory 
of Boniface Vni. Clement V., by making Jacques 
cardinal of Portus, had rewarded his zeal with the 
purple. Robert desired the elevation of this crafty 
prelate, in the expectation that he would vigorously 
oppose Frederick of Sicily, the Visconti of Milan, 
the Pisans, and the Ghibellines in general, whose 
power had meanwhile been re-established by the 

^ Epistola encydica Cardinalium Italorum de incendiourbis Carpen' 
toraimsis. Valence, September 8, 1314, in Baluz., Vitae^ ii, n. xlii. 

-■ n mn^"^^ 


glorious victory of Ugo della Faggiola over the 
united Guelfs and Neapolitans under the command 
of two royal princes at Montecatini (August 29, 
13 1 5)' The imperial party, whose eagle was vic- 
toriously borne by the bands of German mercenaries, 
threatened to become powerful once more as after 
Monteaperto in Manfred's days.^ The irresolute 
cardinals were bribed, even Napoleon Orsini was 
won over, the French party was outwitted, and 
Robert obtained his object. The cardinal (aged 
seventy-two) ascended the papal throne as John John 
XXII., and after consecration on September 5 made Pope, ' 
his dwelling at Avignon. He soon attracted the 1316-1334- 
attention of mankind by his violent quarrel with 
the new head of the empire.^ 

On Henry's death the Luxemburg party in the 
empire had hoped for the elevation of Henry's son, 
John of Bohemia j but as this had become impossible 
they invited Lewis of Bavaria to come forward as 
candidate for the crown, in order that it might not 
fall to Albert's son, Frederick the Fair of Austria. 
Lewis was proclaimed King of the Romans by five 
princes of the empire in a suburb of Frankfort on 

^ The victory of Montecatini marks an epoch in the history of Italy, 
Peter, brother of King Robert, and his nephew Charles, as well as 
several nobles and countless others, fell in the battle. Villani, ix. c. 
70. Robert's expedition against Sicily had £uled as early as 1314 ; 
he was obliged to conclude a three years' peace. 

2 Villani calls him the son of a cobbler. Recent enquiries show 
that he was bom in 1243, ^^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^^ ^ citizen, Amaud Du^se. 
Bertrandy, Recherches kistor, sur Porigine, V^kcHon et U couronne- 
ment du Pape Jean XXII, t Paris, 1854. V. Yehique, /eon XXII,, 
sa vie et ses aeuures <3taprh des docum^ in4d,, Paris^ 1883, is an 



[Bk. XI. 

Lewis of 




of Austria 


Kings of 



Oct. 1314. 

October 20, 13 14; the day previous, however, the 
two remaining electors, the Elector of Cologne and 
the Count Palatine of the Rhine, had nominated 
Frederick of Austria on the other bank of the river. 
The two candidates fought for the crown for years, 
while Robert of Naples used his influence with the 
new Pope to make him prolong the struggle, in 
order that he himself might obtain dominion over 
Italy, which was equally disunited. The King as 
well as the Guelfs requested the Pope either no 
longer to recognise an emperor at all, or only to 
ratify one who would be innocuous as regarded 
Italy. Robert explained that the Roman-German 
empire had only arisen through violence and oppres- 
sion and would perish by the same material causes. 
With these views he combated the theory of the 
Ghibellines, more especially Dante, which asserted 
that the Roman empire had been appointed not by 
earthly power, but through a process of divine pro- 
vidence, as a universal monarchy for all ages. He 
showed that the King of Germany, elected as King 
of the Romans, became the natural enemy of France 
and Naples, and only came to Italy to re-establish 
the Ghibellines ; he protested above all against the 
custom of electing kings of the Romans from among 
Germans, whose nationality and %||fonal hatred 
destined them to be the irreconcilable enemies of 
the French and Italians.^ 

^ Instniction to his envoys, Bonaini, i. 233. Since the ball of 
excommunication of June 12, 13 13, is mentioned in it, and Heniy is 
once spoken of as quond. imp,, Bonaini is wrong in attributing it to 
the year 1312. The national hatred openly appears : praeterca regcs 


John XXII, was in no haste to pronounce in 
favour of either of the German pretenders, but rather 
to declare the empire vacant, and to ratify the bull 
of his predecessor, by which Robert was appointed 
vicar in Italy .^ He exclusively favoured the Guelfs. 
The Ghibellines became divided among themselves. 
The quarrel for the German throne produced a 
disastrous effect on their power ; some recognised 
Lewis, others Frederick, and both candidates were 
summoned to Italy. The history of the peninsula 
at this period is terribly barren and confused. The 
struggles between the two parties, Robert's enter- 
prises in Sicily and Lombardy, the celebrated war 
concerning Genoa, the deeds of Matthew Visconti 
and of Can Grande, or those of Castruccio Castracane 
(who became tyrant of Lucca after the fall of Ugo 
della Faggiola, and reduced the Florentines to the 
direst extremities), exerted scarcely any influence 
on the conditions of Rome.^ The people here longed 
to throw off* Robert's rule, but even in 131 5 and 

Romanor, consueverant — eligi de lingua Germana^ quae consuevii prth 
ducere gentem acerbam et intractabilem^ que magis adhaeret barbarice 
feritatif quam christiane professiani» — Unde euni Germanici cum 
Gallicis non habeant convenienciam^ immo repugnanciam^ et cum 
Ytalicis turn conveniant — cavendum est — quod germana feritas inter 
tot reges et nacumes non producat scandaia^ et dulcedinem Ytalie in 
amaritudinem nan converted, 

' Bull, Avignon, July 16, 1317, where that of Clement V. (to 
which the seal had not been affixed at the time of his death) is 
confinned and included. Theiner, i. n. 637. 

^ Already on March 26, 1315, Lewis had invested Ugo della 
Faggiola with Fucecchio. Deed Dat, in Wimpina VII, Kai, 
April. 131 5, in Troya, Veltro Alleg.^ n. xv. On April 3, 13 16, Ugo 
was driven from Pisa and Lucca ; he died in the service of Can 
Grande on November i, 13 19. 


after the great GhibelHne victory of Montecatinf, a 
royal vicar ruled tranquilly on the Capitol.^ The 
elevation of John XXII. secured to the King the 
continuation of the senatorship, since the new Pope 
conferred the power in Rome upon him and also 
made him captain general of the State of the Church. 
And now as formerly Robert appointed his vicars 
on the Capitol, as a rule for six months. They were 
partly counsellors and knights of his court, partly, 
and it is true the majority, Roman nobles, who 
occasionally bore the title " Senator of the illustrious 
city " without being more than royal vicars. Boboni, 
Orsini, Anibaldi, Savelli, Cont'i, Stefaneschi, and 
Colonna are found among them, which shows that 
Robert avoided wounding the civic aristocracy and 
the national feelings of the Romans.^ The city 

^ Spinola de Luculo ; he ratifies the Statute of the Merchants, April 
23, 1315. 

8 Vicars : A. 1316 : Thebald, Matthei Orsini and Ricca^d. Petri 
de Anibaldis ratify the Statute of the Merchants, April 16. A. 13 17 : 
RaynaJdus de Lecto ratifies it on July 21, 131 7. A. 1318: NicoL de 
JamvillOf not FasanelJa^ as Vitale writes it (State Archives of Naples, 
Reg, 1272, E. fol. 199 : Robert's letter to him of May 27, 13 18). 
On June 24, 13 18, Robert appoints Thoniasius de Lentini. A. 1319 : 
Joh. AlkertUii Bobonis^ Deed of November 5, 13 19, Gaetani Archives, 
xxxvii. n. 5. He was appointed sole Senator on August 21 {Reg, 
Aug.^ fol. 426, in WUstenfeld, n. 70). Cuill. Scarreria^ again vicar, 
ratified the Statute December 27, 1319. A. 1320 : the same again 
on May 27 {Mscr, Vat,, Galetti, 8051, 48). Whether or not he, as 
Vendettini asserts, was succeeded by Giord, di Poncello and Stef„ 
Colonna, I cannot make out from documents. A. 1 321 : Anibald. 
Riccardi and Riccard„ Fortisbrachii Orsini ratify the Statute 
February 27, 1321. They issue an edict on May 4, 1321 [Cod, 
Angelic,, D. 8, 17) ; are still vicars on September 26 (Vitale). A. 
1322 : Joh, de SabeUo and Paul, de Comite ratify the Statute on June 
18. 1323 : Joh, de Columpna and Poncellus D, Matthei Rubi ratify 


always maintained the free institutions of the re- 
public, and consequently stood to Robert in no other 
relation than Florence, after the latter city had en- 
dowed him with the rectorial authority. 

Life in Rome-r- abandoned by the popes — is devoid 
of all historic value during these years. The nobles 
remained perpetually engaged in family feuds both 
in the city and in the provinces, while the Pope and 
King Robert vainly strove to effect a reconciliation 
between the parties.^ In the autumn of 1326 the 
vicar, Jacopo Savelli, son of the celebrated Pandulf, 
was out of favour; the syndics, Stephen Colonna and 
Poncello or Napoleon Orsini, with a body of cavalry, 
forced their way to the Capitol, prevailed on the 
vicar to resign, placed him on horseback and led him 
away.2 The populace rewarded this energetic action 
with the honour of knighthood. Both noble gentle- 
men were obliged to take the bath in rose-water in 
Ara Coeli, and were then invested with their new 

it on April 9. A. 1324, May : Anihaldo Rtcardi AnibaJdeschi and 
Joh, Petri Stephani (Wiistenfeld, n. 76). A. 1324, Oct. : Franc. Johis 
Banaventurae 9XiA Joh, de Comiie (n. 77). Until June i, 132$, Jacob 
de Sabello and Maitheus Francisci de Monte defil, UrstBie appointed. 
From June onwards Giac. Savelli alone, since Matteo di Francesco del 
Monte was declined by the Orsini. 

^ On November 6, 1320, the Pope commands a truce between the 
Gaetani and Colonna (Theiner, i. n. 659). Not until March 24, 1327, 
did Robert succeed in bringing about a peace. On April i, 1321, 
the Pope imposes an armistice between the Prefect of the city, Man- 
fredus de VicOy and the Domini de Famesio (n. 668 ; first mention of 
the Famesi in history). 

' Poncello is an abbreviation of Napoleon and Napoleoncello. 
For, as I shall show, the same Orsini was Senator with the same 
Stephen in 1329, and then ratified the Statute of the Merchants as 
d, Napuleo defil, Ursi, 


dignity by twenty-eight deputies of the republic. 
The proud aristocrat Stephen blushed for it; he 
apologised to the Pope for his vulgar dignity of 
knighthood, a dignity which, moreover, was uni- 
versally dispensed by the municipalities in almost 
all the cities of Italy. The Pope courteously re- 
plied that his new title could only increase the 
fame of his ancient house.^ Colonna, Orsini, and 
the Pope are thus seen together in friendly attitude 
in 1326, while King Robert continued to administer 
the government of the city.* But the long absence 
of the Papacy was increasingly felt in Rome. 
The sources of prosperity were dried up. The 
streets, the churches, the palaces became deserted. 
Rapacious barons seized the empty dwellings of 
the cardinals; the Pope forbade them, but ap- 
parently in vain.* Disorder was unbounded. As- 
sassination for the sake of revenge and violent 
robberies were of daily occurrence; armed bands 

^ With the &11 of Savelli b^m the Roman annals, which Muratori 
published as Fragm* Hist Rom. in torn, ill., Antiq, Curtius places 
the event in 1 320. That it belongs to 1326 is shown by the Pope's 
answer to Stephen's letter. Avign.^ October 27, 1326 (Theiner, i. 
n. 724). Since the Syndici of the Senators were thirteen in number 
(they were also csMLeA judices S» Martinae\ Curtjiis wrongly con- 
eludes that the office of the three conservators was instituted at this 
time. There were already at an earlier period Conservatores cam, 
urdis. See Olivieri, del Senato^ p. 233. 

^ According to Vitale the successors of Jacopo Savelli as Robert's 
vicars were Romano Orsini of Nola and Riccardo Frangipani ; A. 
1326, Francesco^ Count of Anguillara, and Nicolaus Petri de Anni- 
baldis, Vendettini's Serie for the year ; Wilstenfeld, n. 82. A. 1327, 
March : Pandulphtis com, Anguillare and Anibaldus de Anibaldis 

• On April 14, 132 1 (Theiner, L n. 669). 


attacked and plundered houses.^ Young priests, 
for the most part sons of patrician families, emulated 
the nobles. These ecclesiastics, in derision of their 
cloth, flaunted their swords through the streets ; they 
took part in all quarrels, and, their privileges render- 
ing them exempt from secular jurisdiction, committed 
all manner of crimes with impunity.^ The popu- 
lace longed more ardently than ever for the Pope's 
return. If his presence had frequently been irksome 
to the Romans, his absence was now a calamity. 
The supplicating appeals of widowed Rome to 
her spiritual husband, whom she sought beyond her 
gates as the Sulamite sought her bridegroom, might 
now fill the popes in distant Avignon with satisfac- 
tion, since, by their refusal to return to Rome, did 
they not themselves avenge the sufferings, the flight, 
the exile, and the death of so many of their pre- 
decessors ? 

^ On May 4, 1 321, the Roman people resolve {cum muHti varii 
enormes excessus committaniur) quod si quis^-fecerit assalimentum de 
node — €um multitudine kominum armatorum ultra XII, numero 
ad domum alicuius capUaliter puniaiur. {Cod, Angel, ^ D. 8, 17.) 
Robert's vicars are : Anihaldi Riccardi de Anibaldis and Riccardus 
Fortisbrachii defiliis Ursi, 

^ In the same Cod. is a complaint on this subject from the Romans 
to John XXII. They request the abolition of the spiritual court. 
Quod muUi in urhe solius prime tonsure privilegii clippeo communiti 
—-arribilium norma facinorum— per tabemas et loca alia inhonesta 
cum armis evaginaHs per urbem interdum se ad rixas etprelia armati 
potrahcndo, cum laycis homicidial furta, rapinas^commictunt, . , , 


I. Quarrel for the German Throne — The Pope 


Attitude of the Ghibellines in Italy — Battle 
OF Muhldorf and its Consequences — Lewis 
relieves Milan — The Pope brings him to 
Trial — Lewis's Protest — He is Excommunicated 
— His Allies — Schism of the Minorites — The 
Doctrine op Poverty and its relation to the 
Church as a Temporal Power. j 

The quarrel for the throne in Germany, where Lewis 

the Bavarian was crowned at Aachen on November 

25, 1 3 14, and Frederick of Austria at Bonn the 

same day, produced conditions resembling those 

which had prevailed in the days of Innocent III. 

John XX 1 1, bestowed the title " King-elect of the 

Romans" on both pretenders and recognised neither. i 

This was required by Robert, the protector of the 

John Church in Italy. In order to crush the Ghibellines, 

usurosthe J^^" announced in a bull on March 31, 13 17, that 

imperial the Popc, to whom, in the person of the Apostle 

on J, p^|.gj,^ QqJ j^^j entrusted power both in heaven and 

on earth, was the lawful vicar of the empire while it 
remained vacant. Under penalty of excommunica- 
tion, he therefore commanded that all such persons 
as Henry VII. had appointed imperial vicars in the 


provinces and cities of Italy should immediately 
renounce their titles.^ If this act of papal usurpation 
should become law, it would necessarily follow that 
all princes of the empire and vassals of the crown 
must take the oath of vassalage and pay tribute to 
the pope, that the distribution of dignities and fiefs 
in the empire fell to him, and more especially, that all 
secular affairs must be brought before his tribunal.^ 
The safe asylum which they found in France, and 
the support they received in the kingdom, whose 
servants they were, made the Avignonese popes 
more exacting towards the emperors than their 
greatest predecessors had been. John XXII., insti- 
gated by France and Naples, soon waxed more 
arrogant towards Lewis of Bavaria, than Boniface 
VIII. towards Philip le Bel. His bulls aroused 
violent opposition; nevertheless Matthew Visconti, 
the chief head of the Ghibellines in Lombardy, 
renounced the title of vicar, and for reasons of policy 
assumed instead the dignity of signor general in 
Milan, while Can della Scala continued to call him- 
self vicar of the empire in Verona and Vicenza for 
Frederick of Austria, to whom he had done homage. 
The claim of the Pope to the administration of 
the empire was the greater assumption in that he 

^ Bull Si frairum^ dat, Aven* J J, KaL Aprils A, i. Martene, 
Thesaur, Nov, Anecd,, ii, 641. 

^ Cum enim eodem {imperio) vacanie asserat jam dictus episcopus se 
in officio succedere — imperatori — sequitur^ ad ipsius (luctoritatem 
pertinere juramenta fidelitctHs a cunctis principibus et feodatariis 
imperialibus — exigenti — nee non^-petendi — trihuta . . . Cod, • Vat,^ 
3974, fol. 97. Celebrated pamphlet in defence of Lewis the 
Bavarian, called Defensor Pacts, 


also determined to extend it over German affairs. 
Arrogance so unjustifiable necessarily entailed fierce 
warfare with the head of the empire. At this time, 
however, Lewis was unable to oppose the Pope, since 
the quarrel for the German crown had first to be 
decided by arms. Frederick, the weaker of the 
competitors, acquired the favour of France and John. 
He even allowed Robert to induce him to appear 
with a military force in Lombardy, in return for 
which he was promised recognition as King of 
the Romans. But the Ghibelline leaders, Matthew 
Visconti, lord of Milan, Pavia and Piacenza, of 
Cremona and Bergamo, of Alessandria, Lodi, Como, 
and Tortona, a prince of regal power; Can della 
Scala, ruler of the cities of Verona and Vicenza; 
Passerino de Bonacolsi, the terrible tyrant of Modena; 
and the Margraves of Este, whom Ferrara had re- 
called on the expulsion of the papal garrison, — ^these 
in Lombardy resisted the enemy with admirable 
foresight and energy. In vain the Pope and Robert 
sent to Lombardy Philip of Valois (son of Prince 
Charles, who had been conspicuous in the time of 
Boniface VIII.) with the cardinal-legate Bertram da 
Pogetto and an army ; in vain Raymond of Cardona 
advanced against Milan a year later ; the bulls of 
excommunication against the Visconti, Can della 
Scala and Passerino met also with no success. These 
antiquated weapons no longer moved the hearts of 
the Italians. They were scoffed at, and the Ghibel- 
lines victoriously made war on the papal army.^ 

* Nic. Botront. candidly told Clement V. what the Italians thought 
of the bulls of excommunication. Cardinal Pcllagru, he says, had 


True that in May 1322 Frederick the Fair sent his 
brother Henry of Steiermark with troops to Brescia; 
the prince returned after the Milanese envoys had 
clearly given him to understand that the overthrow 
of the Ghibellines could only involve the fall of the 
empire and exalt Robert into the despot of Italy. 
The aged Matthew Visconti died in full possession Death of 
of his power (June 27, 1322) and bequeathed it to his ^tcrati^ 
vigorous son Galeazzo. The Ghibellines everywhere J"**« =7, 
triumphed, and on September 28 of the same year 
the battle of Muhldorf decided the struggle for the 
empire in favour of Lewis the Bavarian. 

Had John XXH. recognised accomplished facts in 
Germany, he would have spared Italy and himself 
terrible storms. The Pope, however, was an arrogant 
and at the same time a petty-minded man, a quarrel- 
some theologian, who desired to make the now 
Frenchified Papacy once more ruler of the world. 
The quarrel between him and the King of the 
Romans broke forth as soon as Lewis asserted 
the imperial rights in Lombardy. Summoned to the 
aid of the threatened Ghibellines, he required the 
cardinal-legates to raise the siege of Milan in April 
1323. As his request was not obeyed, he sent 800 
cavalry to the defence of Galeazzo, and these troops 
were more successful. The relieved city did homage 
to the King of the Romans on June 23 ; and as 
such Lewis now appeared in Italy. He received 
the homage of the Estes for Ferrara ; he appointed 

remarked to him : quornodo parum Italici curant de excommunica- 
Honibus alicubi — nisi gladius materialis eos ducai ratione timoris ad 
obedientiam, gladius spiritualis turn. In Bohmer, i. 91, 


Count Berthold of Neuffen vicar-general ; he entered 
into a treaty of alliance with Can Grande, his vicar 
in Verona and Vicenza, with the Estes, with Mantua 
and Modena.^ - 
John These combined circumstances roused John's 

repJiiates fiercest wrath. On Octobers, 1323, he announced 
J^»°? that Lewis the Bavarian had usurped the title and 
rights of King of the Romans, and required him to 
resign the administration of the empire within three 
months, to revoke his acts and renounce the Visconti, 
who had been excommunicated as heretics. He 
further forbade the entire empire to recognise him 
as King of the Romans.^ On receiving this declara- 
tion of war, Lewis assembled the most celebrated 
doctors, especially those of Bologna and Paris, in 
consultation, and thus summoned the independent 
spirit of learning to his aid. On December 18 he 
met the papal sentence by a counter-manifesto, in 
which he maintained his rights in the empire and 
turned the charge of ' usurpation against the Pope, 
since his own election by the princes of the empire 
and his recognition by Germany had constituted him 
King of the Romans some years before.^ The 

* Verci, Storia della Marca Trivigianay t ix. n, 966. Lewis had 
already appointed a vicar-general for Italy on January 4, 1315, John 
of Belmont, brother of the Count of Holland. Ficker, Urk, zur Gesch, 
des Romerzugs Kaiser Ludwig's des Baiem, Innsbruck, 1865, p. I. 

" Bull Attendentes quod dum. Dot, Aven, VIL Id, Oct, a, VIII, ^ 
Martene, TTiesaur, Anecd,^ ii. 641. With it begins the long series of 
reports of the celebrated trial of Lewis. Concerning this suit see W. 
Preger, Die Anf, des kirchenpolit, Kampfes unter Ludw, d, Baier, 
Ahh, d, Bayer, Akad, d, W,, xvi., 18S0; E, Miiller, Der Kampf, 
L, d, B, mit d, rom. Curie ^ i879i 1880. 

' Lewis already appeals to a general Council. For the reports from 


challenge of John XXII. was indeed astounding, for 
not even when the Church was at the zenith of her 
power had any of his predecessors ever acted with 
such precipitation. The Pope evidently desired a 
quarrel with 'the empire, in order to acquire im- 
portance for himself and to release the Church from 
the narrow bounds in which she lay imprisoned at 
Avignon. Imitating Innocent IV., he summoned 
the dull-witted Lewis to play the part of Frederick 
II. He deposed and excommunicated the King on Heexcom-. 
July 13. Lewis, now driven to extremities, pro-K?ng^^^ 
tested by a manifesto, and appealed from the Pope, Lewis, July 
the usurper of the empire, the avowed heretic and 
criminal against the rights of nations, to a general 
Council.^ But the princes of the empire made the 
King's cause their own. The publication of the bull 
of excommunication was forbidden under pain of 
outlawry ; a sentence actually enforced on the Arch- 
bishop of Salzburg. Thus Lewis the Bavarian was 
forced as the last German emperor to enter the 
antiquated lists, in order to uphold the independence 
of the temporal power with the sword, while his 
opponent — beyond his reach at Avignon — calmly 
surveyed the issue of the "trial." The intellectual 
insignificance of both John XXII. and Lewis lessens 

Nuremberg, XVi HloI, Jan, A, 1323, see Job. Georg Herwart, 
Ludovicus IV, Imp. defensus, p. 248. This apologia by the Bavarian 
chancellor (Munich, 161 8) pulverises the falsehoods of Bzovius. 

^ Ludovici IV» Imp, appellatio adfutur, Concih Gen, adv,Joann, 
P, XXII. Baluz. , Vitae, ii. n. 85. Edict of the King from Ratisbon, 
August 1324 ; Latin version of this appeal, in Rousset, SuppL au 
corps Diplom,^ ii. icx). The vehement language heralds the Re- 



our interest in the conflict. And after the long 
history of the struggles between Church and empire, 
this afterpiece would be an utterly unendurable 
caricature of a great past, were it not for the 
extremely important phenomena with which it is 
associated, and which offer an astounding testimony 
to the progress of human thought. 
Schism The representatives of the secular rights found 

Franciscan allies withiu the Church herself. The teachings of 
order. evangelical poverty created the material for violent 
ferment in the society of the Franciscans. The 
hypercritical intellect of the monks found occupation 
during hours of inactive leisure in speculations con- 
cerning the lawfulness of property, which, ridiculous 
in form though they were, yet involved a serious 
question. The celebrated controversies regarding 
the nature or will of Christ, concerning the procession 
of the Holy Spirit, the Immaculate Conception and 
other dogmas, which had formerly produced great 
movements in Christendom, had proved barren sub- 
jects for mankind. But the absurd question as to 
whether Christ and His disciples possessed coats of 
their own acquired a great and entirely practical 
importance in the midst of the actual conditions of 
the Church, invested as she was with temporal power. 
The schism among the Minorites, among whom the 
strict Spiritualists severed themselves from the com- 
munity of the order, broke out more violently than 
ever under John XX H. The sect who upheld the 
doctrine of absolute poverty rose in fury in the South 
of France, in Belgium and Germany. Their teachings 
also found a ready echo in Italy. For here the Celes- 


tines held the memory of S. Peter of Murrone in pro- 
found reverence, and bold sectarian leaders, the heads 
of the apostolic order of poverty, Gerard Segarelli of 
Parma and the heroic enthusiast Dolcino of Novara, 
had left by their life and death a profound impression 
on the mind of the people.* The Poor Brothers, 
Fraticelli, Lollards, Beghards, thoughtful mystics, 
evangelical enemies of the temporal pomp of a 
Church which sank ever deeper into the vices of the 
time, preached in squares and streets, proclaimed the 
Pope and his Church heretical, and taught that only 
such as imitated the humble life of the Saviour pre- 
served the gospel of Christ.^ John XX 1 1, condemned 
these doctrines. The Inquisition in Marseilles burnt 
men, who joyfully mounted the stake to seal their 
love of poverty with death. Their friends honoured 
them as martyrs. Everywhere voices were raised 
denouncing both the secular and spiritual power of 
the Pope as unapostolic.^ It seemed as if the party 

^ Segarelli died at the stake at Parma in 1300. Dolcino, the head 
of the republic of heretics at Vercelli, after heroic struggles, suffered 
the same fate in 1307. They taught that all the popes who owned 
temporal property from Sylvester onwards, Celestine V. excepted, 
were impostors ; they denied the spiritual authority of the pope. 
Hist, Dulctni, in Muratori, ix. 

* The bull of John XXII. of January 23, 1318 (Rajm., n. 45), says : 
Primus itaque error — duos fingit ecclesias^ unam camalem^ divitiis 
pressam^ efflttentem delitiis, sceleribus maculatam^ cui Romanum Prac 
sulem — dominari asserunt ; aliam spirittuUem — paupertate succinctam, 

• With the fourteenth century the Inquisition begins to assume a ter- 
rible character. The reports of the ecclesiastical society are filled with 
persecutions of heretics and Jews, and with trials for witchcraft. The 
march of the Pastoreaux through France, and the horrors with which 
it was allied (1320, 1 321), as well as the great trial of the ** Lepers/' 
are characteristic of the time. 


war of Guelfs and GhibelHnes had been removed into 
the Church, where in the Dominicans and Francis- 
cans, in the Scotists or Reah'sts and the Nominalists, 
these factions found their representatives on schol- 
astic soil. In 1322 a furious quarrel arose between 
the Dominicans and Minorites on the question 
whether Christ owned temporal property or not 
Synod at Under the presidency of the General of the Order, 
^rugi^' Michael of Cesena, the Provincials of the Minorites 
assembled at Perugia, and here issued a formal 
declaration, asserting that the theory that Christ and 
His Apostles owned neither personal nor common 
property was by no means heretical, but a strictly 
Catholic article of faith.^ This manifesto provoked 
a storm of scholastic enquiries, and after it had been 
condemned by John XXII. in the bull Cum tnter, 
further led to a schism which some years later drove 
the recalcitrant Minorites under their general Michael 
into the camp of the Emperor, to join him in warring 
against a Pope whom they esteemed heretical.^ 

The question as to whether Christ owned rights of 
property, or only the actual use of temporal things 
{tisus factt)y would have puzzled the Apostles them- 
selves, who would have regarded it as over refined 
and unimportant. For none of the pious disciples 
of the Saviour could anticipate that a time would 
ever come when their absolute poverty, or their 
scanty property, when even the faintest indication 
of property, the purchase of the smallest mouthful 

* Raynald, ad A, 1322, n, 55. The declaration was also signed by 
William of Occam. 
' Bull Cum inter y dot, Avig, II, Id, Nov, 1323. Raynald, n. 61. 



of bread, or the circumstance whether or not they 
wore their own clothes, would furnish material for 
eager enquiry, or when these curious problems would 
become the most important symbols of the funda- 
mental relations of the entire Church. Had the 
opinion that the Apostles owned no worldly pro- 
perty prevailed, then would the Roman Church have 
been deprived of all those foundations on which she 
had reared her temporal power during long centuries. 
The principle of her universal jurisdiction, as well as 
of the existence of her Dominium Temporale^ would 
have been removed ; and she herself would have 
appeared to have degenerated from the pure spiritual 
conception of apostolic times into a secular deformity. 
To an emperor called to wage war on a pope who 
claimed the government of the empire, nothing could 
have been more welcome than this scholastic dispute. 
Lewis the Bavarian consequently invoked Christ, 
the Apostles, S. Francis and his followers as allies 
against the Pope. And already, in his protest of the 
year 1324, he alleged the doctrine of poverty in order 
to represent John XXII. as a heretic, since the Pope 
denied not only the emperor, but also the Saviour. 
It is precisely this alliance of the Ghibelline political 
rights with the tenets of the Franciscans that invested 
the quarrel between Lewis and the Pope with such 
importance in the history of culture, and that pro- 
duced such serious consequences for the entire 
relations between Church and State.^ 

* See Lewis's protest in Baluz., ii. 494. The grounds for the 
doctrine of the Church were, the purse of Judas, the oblations of the 
pious, that Christ possessed clothes, bought victuals, and that Paul 

1 1 8 ROME IN THE MIDDLE AGES. [Bk. xi. 

2. Beginnings of the Reformation — The Canoni- 
cal evidence in favour of the universal 
Power of the Papacy — Doctrines of Thomas 
Aquinas concerning the Relations of State 
AND Church — Reaction against the Canonists 
AFTER Philip le Bel — Dante's De Monarchia — 
The School of the Monarchists attacks the 
Papacy — The Defensor Pacis of Marsiuus of 
Padua — ^The Eight Questions of William of Occam, 
and similar Treatises of the first Reformers. 

With the fourteenth century the intellect of 
Europe began to follow the path of reformation. 
The historic causes of that movement were essenti- 
ally the quarrel of Boniface VIII. with Philip le Bel, 
and that of John XXI I. with Lewis the Bavarian, 
concerning the boundaries of papal and civil power. 
Philosophical criticism, which was becoming inde- 
pendent, and constitutional law severed them- 
selves from the theocratic views, on which the 
omnipotence of the Church had rested in the Middle 
Ages, and with unexampled audacity learning now 
attacked the foundations of tjiis great hierarchical 

worked for his living. Dante also touched the question in his 
Monarchy : EccL omnino indisposiia erat ad temporalia recipienda 
per pTMceptum prohibitivum expressunif ut habemus per McUthaeum 
sic : Nolite possidere aurum, tuque argentum. It thence follows that 
the Church ought not to have accepted temporal property, even when 
it was legally offered to her by Constantine ; nor ought he to have 
offered it. The Ghibelline theory was, that the emperor could only 
confer temporal property on the Church as patrimonium^ but immoto 
semp. superiori dominio^ cujus unitas divisionem turn pcUitur. — 
M<marchia^ iii. § x. 



■J Let US review in hrict the doctrines, now become 
canonical, which the Church had formulated under 
Gregory VU. and in the times of Innocent III. and 
IV., in order to trace from them the theory of the 
liniversal power of the Papacy. These doctrines 
were a compound derived from historic and dog- 
matic sources. The jurisdiction of the popes ovei^ 
kings and peoples was traced from the " Donation j 
^ of Constantine," from the " translation of the empire/ 
from the Greeks to the Franks," which had been 
; accomplished through Leo III., and lastly from the 
\ coronation of Charles by the same pope. Still more 
(important were the dogmatic and ecclesiastical 
•grounds ; Christ had appointed Peter head of the 
• universal Church and His vicar ; had entrusted him 
. with the power to bind and to loose, and with the 
[Spiritual and temporal jurisdiction. The popes 
/^accordingly asserted that this power had been 
) transmitted to them ; for they were the successors 
. of Peter, consequently the vicars of Christ on earth, 
) therefore endowed by Him with the imperium over 
s heaven and earth, in sign of which they bore the 
/ keys. They ascribed to themselves the Plenitudo 
Potestatis^ of which every earthly power was only an 
) emanation or fief; in accordance with their theories 
( they had authority to depose and set up kings, were 
"^ the founders of the empire, bestowed the imperial 
/ crown, carried the two swords, and in short ruled with 
f absolute power as sovereigns in both spiritual and 
secular affairs. 

The Council of Lyons, which wrought the fall of 
the great Emperor Frederick, had been the historic 


event that exalted these audacious papal aspirations 
into accomplished facts, under the weight of which 
The School the Ghibelline idea foundered. At this period 
Thomists. ThoHias of Aquino established the canonical doc- 
trine that the emperor was subordinate to the 
pope ; that the royal authority, being an entirely 
material power, acquired a rational foundation solely 
by means of the spiritual power, as the corporal 
body only received impulse through the mind ; that 
all royal jurisdiction was derived from the pope, the 
representative of Christ and the visible head of the 
Christian jurisdiction.^ After the fall of the Hohen- 
staufens the prostrate empire recognised in principle 
the supremacy of the pope ; the Habsburgers con- 
firmed the theory that the pope was the light-giving 
sun, the emperor only the pallid moon or the lesser 
light. As the popes had formerly sent their decrees 
of election for examination to the emperor, so the 
emperors now sent their decrees of election to the 
popes, implored the latter to ratify them and to 

^ His work, De Regintine Principum ad Reg, Cypri {Op,, Paris, 
1656), based on the policy of Aristotle, develops the doctrine of the 
Church in matters of political science. Lib. i. c. 14. The ultimate 
end of man is eternal bliss ; the means thereto, the Church (regnum 
divinum) ; the king .of this empire is Christ. His vicar, the pope, 
cut omnes Reges populi christiani oportet esse subditos, sicut ipsi D, 
N, J, Christo, — In lege Christi Reges debent sacerdotib. esse subjecti. 
Then lib. iii. c. 10, 14, 18. Christ had instituted the Domin. sacer- 
dotale (Matt., 26, 18). The pope has \i)it plenitude omn, gratiarum ; 
on him depends also the temporal power. The Monorchia Christi 
has taken the place of the ancient Imperium, The papal jurisdiction 
was derived from the donation of Constantine and the translation of 
the empire to the Franks through the pope : quo facto satis ostenditur 
qtmliter potestas Imperii ex judicio Papae cUpendet, 


award them the crown of Charles the Great, which 
they patiently submitted to receive as a favour from 
the pope after he had examined them in person. 

The triumph of the Church was consequently 
complete. The imperial power lay at the feet of 
the popes, who, after a memorable trial of more than 
two hundred years, had scored one of the greatest 
victories known to history. But against this inde- 
fensible removal of the boundaries between Church 
and empire, a reaction naturally set in, such as 
formerly succeeded the overweening power which 
the empire had acquired under the Ottos and Henry 
III. The fall of Boniface VIII. through the in- 
fluence of the French monarchy marks the turning 
point in the beginning of the fourteenth century. 
And in the quarrel between Henry VII. and 
Clement V. as to the nature of the oath which the 
emperor should tender to the pope, the imperial 
authority again awoke to the consciousness of its 
majesty. The jurisconsults of Philip of France and 
the professors of the Sorbonne, such as John of 
Paris and William of Occam, were the first to rebel 
against the doctrines of canon law. They subjected 
the legal extent of the papal and royal power to 
scientific enquiry ; they demonstrated the independ- 
ence of the monarchy ; they denied the secular 
jurisdiction of the pope, and demanded the severance 
of the papal and regal authority.^ 

* Long treatise oijoh, de Parrhisis De Potestate regia et Papali, of 
the year 1305 : Goldast, Monarchia, ii. 108. And Disputatio super 
Potestate PraelaHs atque Principibus ierrarum cotntnissa, Ibid,^ i. pp. 
13-18. This remarkable dialogue between a knight and a priest, 


The School The conception of the " Monarchy " suddenly be- 
Monarch- Came the programme of constitutional law in the 
ists. fourteenth century and the symbol of reform for a 

new generation, which strove to break down the 
ecclesiastical barriers of the Middle Ages. The 
Monarchists again arose against the Papists. They 
were the conservatives, for they fought for the ancient 
royal authority and the ancient consecrated imperial 
power, but they were at the same time revolution- 
aries, since they attacked the system of papal power, 
which had been established for centuries, and the 
feudal hierarchy. If the champions of the rights of 
France asserted the royal crown was independent of 
the Church, the Ghibellines of Italy and Germany, 
on the other hand, confronted the same Church 
with the theory of the empire, or the ''universal 
monarchy," and sought to replace the ancient 
Roman imperium in its rights. Dante's celebrated 
book inaugurates a new epoch. With independent 
mind the admirer of Thomas Aquinas disputed the 
principles of constitutional law held by his revered 
master in scholastics and theology, whose treatise 
on the monarchy of Christ he combated in his own 
treatise De Monarchia. We have already seen 
what this great intellect understood by the mon- 
archy, and how he confronted the Guelf doctrine of 
the Church with his tenets concerning the divine 
summons of the Romans to universal supremacy 
and the inalienable integrity of the empire. The 

according to recent enquiry, has wrongly been ascribed to Occam. 
S. Riezler, Die literarischen IVicUrsacher dcr Pdpste zur Zeit Ludwig 
des BcUers^ Leipzig, 1874, p. 145. 


indestructible empire in its divine dignity as the 
Kosmos of law, of civic prosperity, of freedom, of 
peace and culture, was to be delivered from its 
fetters, and the Emperor of Rome was to re-ascend 
his throne as impartial head of the world. Dante 
maintained that the emperor, the absolute ruler of 
all temporal things, derived his authority immedi- 
ately from God; he showed that it was impossible 
that the pope could be the creator of the empire, 
which was older than the Church itself, but that 
beside Caesar he was only the paternal ruler of the 
great spiritual hospital on earth, which had heaven 
for its goal. Dante's intellectual work made a pro- 
found impression on his own and after times, 
although as regards the practical constitution of 
the world it evaporated in Utopian theories, as 
little capable of realisation as the political dreams 
of Zeno, Plato, or Plotinus.^ Its influence is 
recognised everywhere in the science of constitu- 
tional law, which, owing to the fresh quarrel between 
emperor and pope, immediately began to develop 
in Europe. Independently of Dante men were 
actively engaged in Germany, France, and Italy 
with enquiries into the essence of the monarchy and 
the origin of the empire, questions which had now 
become the most important of the time.^ The 

^ "With Henry VII. ends the history of the empire in Italy, and 
Dante's book is an epitaph instead of a prophecy " ; James Bryce, The 
Holy Roman Empire^ London, 1866, p. 291. This excellent book, 
the work of an Englishman, develops the idea of the empire and its 
operation in universal history. 

^ According to Goldast, Polittca Imperialia, Frankfort, 1614, the 
work Engelberti Abbotts Admontensis in Austria^ De ortu et fine 



attacks of John XXII. on the empire, and the 
violent discords which they engendered, partly en- 
couraged these researches, and infused a sudden 
vigour into the new science. The theologians, the 
schoolmen, the learned monks and the lawyers 
immersed themselves in the study of the essence of 
State and Church, of Monarchy and Papacy ; they 
sought their respective origins in history, to which 
they applied scientific criticism for the first time. 
They went back to Constantine, Justinian, and 
Charles the Great; they investigated all the legal 
relations of the spiritual and temporal power ; they 
traced the roots of the hierarchy to the very end, 
they severed the fictitious from the genuine, right 
from usurpation ; they studied the Gospels and the 
Fathers of the Church, and drew conclusions which 
condemned the union of the two powers in the 
pope. Above all, in well-reasoned treatises they 
refuted the important doctrine of the Canonists 
concerning the translation of the empire through 
the Pope to Charles the Great, and proved that 
the imperial authority was independent from the 

Rom. Imperii i was produced as early as 1310. Engelbert, like Dante, 
pronounces in &vour of the universal monarchy. 

^ The question of the translation gave rise to a series of writings 
which continued until long after the Reformation. Marsilii Patavini 
Tract, de iranslat. Imp, of the year 1313 (Goldast, Mon,^ ii. 147) is 
written in a critical spirit ; uncritical is the papistical treatise of 
Radulph, de Columna (Schardius, Sylloge Historico-PoliticO'Ecclesi* 
astica^ Argentor., 16 18). Goldast himself wrote against Baronius and 
Bellarmine his clear-sighted treatise de transl. Imp. Rom, a Graecis ad 
Francos^ printed in his Politica Imperialia, He shows that Leo III. 
could not transfer the empire to the Franks, since he was himself a 


Meanwhile the monarchists pushed Dante's prin- 
ciples yet further; they no longer restricted them- 
selves to demands for the independence of the 
empire, but reversed the relations ; they denied the 
supremacy of the pope over the national churches 
themselves, and made him subject to Caesar, as in 
Byzantine and Carolingian times. The teachings 
of the Minorites respecting poverty being pro- 
nounced heretical, produced within the ecclesiastical 
sphere a war against the papal authority so bitter 
as had scarcely been witnessed in Hohenstaufen 
times. This Franciscan schism still further enlarged 
the limits of the questions at issue, which now 
passed into dogmatic territory. The later doctrines 
of reform, preached by WycliflFe, Huss, and Luther, 
were already advanced with unreserved boldness by 
the Minorites and their allies in the twentieth year 
of the fourteenth century. The celebrated work of 
Marsilius of Padua, the Defensor Pacis^ dedicated Marsiiius 
to King Lewis, not only proved that all secular °^ ^*^^^ 
jurisdiction as well as all temporal property be- 
longed to the emperor, but also attacked the 
spiritual authority of the pope, which Marsilius 
above all denied. According to his view Peter had 
no greater power than the other Apostles, and Christ 
had not appointed any head of the Church as His 
representative. This brave Aristotelian asserted 
that Peter had not even been the founder of the 

subject of the Greek emperor, and had no authority to bestow the 
empire, being only a Roman like any other Roman. These views 
are represented by Dollinger : *' Das Kaisertum Carl's des Groszen und 
seiner Nachfolger," Miinchner Histor, Jahrbuchy 1865. 




Roman bishopric, since it could not be proved that 
he had ever been in Rome.^ He investigated the 
papal jurisdiction and discovered that the pope did 
not possess any authority over bishops and priests, 
since bishops and priests were all equal. From the 
Gospels and the Fathers of the Church he drew the 
conclusion that no priest had any jurisdiction what- 
ever. He denied the power of the keys ; no priest 
could bind or loose; to God alone belonged the 
power; the priest was only God's key-bearer, that 
is to say, he only expressed a condition of guilt and 
forgiveness in the spiritual economy of society ; but 
the penitent received absolution from God alone. 
The pope and the Church had no authority to 
punish {potestas coactivd) ; they received it in the 
first place from the emperor, the universal judge. 
The supreme head of the empire could even punish 
the pope, could appoint and depose him, and during 
the vacancy of the Chair took the place of head 
of the Church. The pope had no right to confirm 
the Roman king, since the king was such through 
the election of the princes of the empire, without 
intervention of priests. Finally, Marsilius explained 
that the hierarchy of priests was not the Church, 
but that on the contrary the Church consisted of the 
communion of all believers ; and he advanced the 
doctrine, which was afterwards to attain such im- 

^ Marsilius says that, according to the Acts of the Apostles, Paul 
was two years in Rome, whence it follows that he and not Peter was 
bishop there. It would be strange indeed, if Peter preached in Rome 
with Paul, suffered death, and founded the Church, that neither Luke 
nor Paul should mention him. Peter was only to be recognised as 
Bishop of Antioch. Defens, Piicis^ ii. c. 16. 

Ch. III.] OCCAM. 127 

portance, of the supreme authority of a general 
Council. The schismatic Minorites fought on his 
side in favour of this principle.^ The learned Wiiiiam of 
Englishman, William of Occam, the pupil of Duns ^^™' 
Scotus, restorer of the Nominalists, placed beside the 
Defensor Pacts a no less important work, rich in 
scholastic learning, his Eight Questions on the papal 
power. They accord in substance with the views 
of Marsilius. Like Dante he disputes the Donation 
of Constantine, since it was impossible for this 
emperor to renounce the inalienable imperial rights. 
He placed the emperor and the general Council as 
judges over the pope, and asserted that the corona- 
tion was no divine transaction, but only a ceremony 
which any bishop could perform.^ 

^ The Defensor Pacts (a MS. in the Vatican), printed by Goldast in 
Mon,f vol. ii., the chief work on the side of the Reformers in the 
beginning of saec. xiv,, illuminates the whole history of the hierarchy. 
In opposition to it John XXII. issued the bull Licet juxta^ October 
23, 1326 (Martene, Thes, Nov,, ii. 705). The sophistry employed is 
equal on both sides. In order to prove that the pope could be 
punished by the emperor, the monarchists quote the crucifixion of 
Christ by Pilate. To encounter the argument of the tribute money, 
John XXII. explained that it had not been paid by Christ, since 
kings are exempt from taxes and Christ belonged to the House of 
David. Dante had already collected all the arguments of the 
Canonists in his Monorchia, The chief doctrines of the monarchists 
are : Regn, meum non est de hoc munch ; Reddite qtuu sunt Caesaris 
Caesari ; Nemo miliians Deo impliccU se secularib, negottis. The 
main argument for the power of the pope rested on the words : Tibi 
dabo c laves regni coelor, et quodcunq, ligaveris super terram, erit 
legcUum et in coelis ; et quodcunq, sohoeris sup. terr, erit solutum et in 
coelis. Further /oj^tf oves meas and Tu es Petrus, &c. 

• Guillelmi Occam Super Potestate S. Pontijicis, octo quaestion, 
dedsiones, Goldast, Mon,^ ii. A long, scholasticj clumsy treatise of 
theses and antitheses. Important also is the work of Lupoid of 


These audacious writings thus attacked every 
foundation of the hierarchy; with an acuteness of 
criticism hitherto unknown, they investigated the 
nature of the -priestly office ; they touched the con- 
fines of heresy, to which the Church had given such 
large dimensions; they finally appealed to the 
Scriptures as the only valid authority in matters of 
faith. As ardent monarchists these theologians 
made the Church subject to the State. Their 
heretical bias announced a new era in human 
thought, in which the unity of the Catholic Church 

We must not overlook the fact that the champions 
of the cause of Lewis the Bavarian did not belong 
to one nation alone, but represented the educated 
peoples of the West, since Marsilius was an Italian, 
John of Jandun a Frenchman, William of Occam 
an Englishman, while Henry of Halem and Lupoid 
were Germans.^ 

Bamberg, Tract, de Jurib, Regni et Imp, Rom,^ of the year 1340, 
Schardius, Sylloge^ 267. 

^ A thorough account of these scholastic forerunners of the 
Reformation is given by Si^m. Riezler, Die Hterarischen Wider- 
sacker. See also Marcour, Antheil der Minoriten am Kampf 
zwischen K, Ltutmgd, B, undjokann XXIL^ Emmerich, 1874 » C. 
MttUer, Der Kampf Ludwig d, B, mit der rom, Kurie^ Tubingen, 
1879, 1880. 



3. Lewis reconciled to Frederick of Austria — The 
GuELF League — Castruccio Castracane — The 
Ghibellines summon Lewis — Parliament in Trent 
— Lewis takes the Iron Crown — He advances 
against Pisa — Revolution in Rome — Sciarra 
CoLONNA, Captain of the People — Unsuccessful 
attempts of the Cardinal-Legates, the Nea- 


Victory in the Borgo of the Vatican — Fall of 
Pisa — Lewis and Castruccio march against Rome 
— The King's entry. 

The pacification of Germany soon made it possible 
for Lewis to come to Italy, whither the Ghibellines 
invited him with increasing urgency, and desire 
impelled him to take the crown of empire in Rome 
in defiance of the Pope.^ In March 1325, by the 
treaty of Trausnitz, he became reconciled to his im- Treaty at 
prisoned rival. The Pope sought in vain to prevent Jl^^^^^' 
this work of peace in Germany. Necessity and 
prudence induced the former competitors for the 
crown to conclude the second and permanent treaty 
at Munich on September 5, and the Pope, who urged 
France, Hungary, Poland, and Bohemia to make war 
on the Bavarians, happily did not succeed in dividing 
Germany and hurling Lewis from his lawful throne, 
beside which the Austrian with sullen resignation 

^ As early as December 18, 1325, the Pope commanded Peter, 
Rector of the Patrimony, to proceed against Viterbp and Cometo, 
which had conspired to call the condemned Duke of Bavaria emperor 
and expect him as a Messiah. Preger, Auszuge aus den Urk, des 
Vatican, ArcAivs, von 1 325-1 334 {Abhandl, der Bayer, Akad, der 
Wissensch.^ vii. i. n. 258), 



had been obliged to take his place as co-regent and 
titular king. 

In Italy, on the contrary, the league of the Pope, 
Robert, the Florentines and the remaining Guelfs of 
Tuscany seemed more successful. Their alliance 
aimed above all at the overthrow of the dreaded 
Castracdo Castruccio Castracane. This celebrated tyrant, of 
c^e,1ord the Lucchese house of Interminelli, was endowed 
of Lucca, ^j^ more brilliant qualities, and favoured with 
better fortune, than Ugo della Faggiola. From the 
prison into which Ugo had thrown him, he had 
passed in 1316 to the lordship of Lucca, where 
Frederick the Fair first made him imperial vicar, 
and where after 1324 he obtained recognition from 
Lewis. He had become leader of the Ghibellines, 
subjugated Pistoja, formed an alliance with the Vis- 
conti, and by incessant war reduced Florence to the 
vei^e of ruin. The harassed Florentines offered the 
signory of their city for ten years to Robert's son, 
Charles of Calabria. This prince first sent Walter 
of Brienne, titular Duke of Athens, as his vicar, and 
then himself entered Florence with a magnificent 
escort of knights and troops on July 30, 1326. He 
also assumed the signory of Siena, while John 
Gaetano Orsini, the only Italian on whom on his 
elevation John XXII. had conferred the purple, was 
active as l^^ate of the Church and as peace-maker 
in Florence. On February 5, 1327, Bologna sur- 
rendered to Cardinal Beltram del Poggetto, nephew 
of John XXII.; Modena soon did likewise. These 
successes of the Guelfs, but more particularly the 
appearance of the Duke of Calabria in Tuscany, 


Ch. in.] PARLIAMENT IN TRENT. 1 3 1 

placed the Ghibellines in difficulties. Their envoys 
implored Lewis to come to Rome, and like Henry 
VII. he yielded. 

In February 1327 he assembled a truly illustri- GhibeiUne 
ous parliament in Trent. The brothers Visconti, ^^^* 
Galeazzo, Marco and Lucchino, Can Grande della ^®^- ^327. 
Scala, Passerino de Bonacolsis, Raynald and Obizo 
of Este, the Bishop Guido Tarlati of Arezzo, the 
envoys of Castruccio, the envoys of Frederick of 
Sicily, the plenipotentiaries of the Ghibelline cities 
of Italy, appeared before him.^ They promised to 
pay the King one hundred and fifty thousand gold 
florins as soon as he should arrive in Milan, and they 
urged him to come and take the Iron Crown with- 
out delay. Contrary to his original intention, Lewis 
swore to depart for Italy. His avowed aim was to 
wrest from the hands of foreign usurpers " the rights 
of the empire and the dominion of the world, which 
the Germans had acquired through streams of noble 
blood."^ The parliament in Trent partook of the 

^ Lewis had formed an alliance with Frederick of Sicily on March 
>7» 1325. Ficker, iii. Supplement to Bohmer's Regesia of the 
Emperor Lewis^ 356. Can della Scala appeared in Trent with 600 
cavalry, demanded Padua, which was at that time in possession of 
Henry of Carinthia, left Trent with threats, but then turned back and 
accepted an arbitration. 

* Lewis's letter to his father-in-law, William of Holland, Trent, 
March 13, 1327. Bohmer, /Jw/tfJ, i. 197. Concerning the assembly 
in Trent, see Verci, Storia della Marcha Triv,^ ix, 89, appendix. 
The expedition to Rome of Lewis the Bavarian has been frequently 
treated in our times. See, in addition to the passages concerning it in 
Riezler's Gesch, Bayems^ W. Altmann, Der Rdmerzug L, d, B,, 
1886 ; Anton Chroust, Beitrage z, Gesch, L, d, B,, 1887 ; Tresdorp, 
Der Romerzug L» d, B* 


character of a Council, since renegade bishops, 
Minorites, and theologians were present A formal 
process was instituted against the Pope, who was 
pronounced a heretic. The reforming spirit of the 
time thus accompanied Lewis the Bavarian as an 
ally on his first appearance in Italy. 
Lewis As the King, escorted by all the Italian nobles, 

foMtaiy, descended from Trent into Lombardy on March 14, 
March 14, 1327, he Came summoned like Henry VII., not, how- 
ever, expected as the Messiah of peace, but as a 
warrior prince and head of the Ghibellines, as the 
avowed enemy of the Pope, and laden with the papal 
excommunication. These facts made him indepen- 
dent of all scrupulous considerations, and enabled 
him to advance rapidly to a definite goal. He passed 
his allies in review and found them sufficiently 
numerous. Only Genoa and Pisa, on which Henry 
of Luxemburg had leant for support, were now 
Guelf, and Rome was still doubtful. But that city 
was murmuring at the continued absence of the Pope, 
and the Ghibellines were able to assure Lewis that it 
would declare in his favour.^ John XXII. was not 
able to prevent the King's march to Rome, although 
he hurled fresh excommunications across his path.^ 

^ Tanta est nobis pars in Urbe R,, quod^credimus quod in corona- 
tione nra imperiali — nullus nobis difficultates — procurare .... 
Lewis to his father-in-law, Como, April 10. Bohmer, Pontes^ i. 200. 
Already in 13 15 he had shown himself friendly to the Colonna ; on 
November 30 at Ratisbon he had conceded the right of coinage to 
Stephen, Sciarra, Jordan, and Peter. Chmel, Reg, Friedr, IV,y n. 
2834 ; Bohmer, n. 165. 

* The Bulls of April 3 and 9 are given in Liinig, Cod, It, DipL , i. 
n, 13, 14. 


The Lombard cities did homage to the King of 
the Romans, who had appeared with only 600 
knights. He proceeded by Bergamo and Como to 
Milan, where he was received with splendour by 
Galeazzo on May 16, and where the Bishop Guido Lewis 
Tarlati, excommunicated by the Pope, crowned him crown in 
and his wife Margaret on Whitsunday, 1327. JjJ^^/g 
Numerous ambassadors from the Ghibelline cities 
and envoys of the Romans were present and invited 
Lewis to be crowned emperor.^ Fortune openly 
declared in his favour. His army was strengthened 
by reinforcements from Germany. Unlike the 
Luxemburger, who had shown himself impartial to 
weakness, he terrified tyrants by his severity. In- 
stigated by their enemies, and suspicious of Galeazzo, 
he threw into prison at Monza the Visconti, who 
had opened Lombardy to him, and gave Milan a 
republican government. He thus drew upon himself 
the reproach of ingratitude, although Galeazzo by 
his tyranny had made himself utterly hated in Milan. 
Lewis avoided the errors of Henry VH. ; without 
waiting to lay siege to cities, without paying any 
heed to Beltram, the cardinal-legate in Parma, and 
Beltram's undertakings against Mantua, he advanced 
rapidly through Lombardy in August, crossed the 
Apennines and gained the neighbourhood of Lucca, 
where Castruccio Castracane reinforced the imperial 
army with his experienced troops. Siege was immedi- 
ately laid to Pisa. This city had hitherto been in- 
variably Ghibelline but had been forced to renounce 

1 Lewis's letter to William of Holland, Milan, June 20, 1327. 
Bohmer, Fontes^ i. 201. 


its principles by the revolution which had banished 
Ugo della Faggiola. 

Meanwhile important events had taken place in 
Rome. At the end of the year 1326 the Romans 
had urgently entreated the Pope to return, and had 
been answered by a refusal. As soon as Lewis 
entered Lombardy a fresh embassy was sent to 
The Avignon, to explain to the Pope that his absence 

dem^ would necessarily entail disastrous consequences, 
o^^ihe*"™ Messenger after messenger arrived at John's court. 
Pope. The city became disturbed. The ruins of streets, 
churches, and palaces still bore witness to the troubles 
of Henry VII/s time, and a fresh imperial visit 
seemed to threaten like disasters. In order to avert 
them many urged that welcome should be extended 
to Lewis. Matthew Orsini, the Roman Provincial 
of the Dominicans, brought, as envoy of the Romans, 
fresh and more urgent entreaties for the Pope's 
return. John listened with ill-humour and perplexity. 
Should he leave the security of Avignon and enter 
turbulent Rome in order to allow himself to be be- 
sieged in S. Peter's by a German king who thirsted 
for revenge? The envoys returned with empty 
words, but the impatience of the Romans did not 
await their answer. The people, so long deceived 
by the Avignonese popes, incited by Lewis's agents 
and won by Castruccio's gold, rose in April or May 
1327. They banished Robert's adherents, seized S. 
Angelo, issued a decree, ordering the city to be 
institute a closed against the King of Naples, and instituted 
popular a democratic government. On June 10 the Pope 
ment. wrote to the consuls of the Guilds and to the twenty- 


SIX popular representatives ; he lamented the innova- 
tions and implored the Romans to offer resistance 
to the enemy and to await a better time for his own 
return.^ The two syndics, Poncello Orsini and 
Stephen Colonna, knights of the Roman people, had 
excited popular suspicion, since, in contempt of the 
Romans, they had received the belt of knighthood 
from King Robert. On their return from Naples, 
they were not admitted to the city but were banished. 
On the other hand, Jacopo Colonna, called Sciarra, 
Jacopo Savelli, and Tibaldo of S. Eustachio stood 
high in the popular favour. Sciarra was appointed Sciarra 
Captain of the people and leader of the Militia, and captaln of 
a Communal Council of fifty-two popolani was in- ^® people 
stalled on the Capitol.^ 

This revolution paved Lewis's way to Rome, 
where he was already proclaimed emperor. At the 
same time, on June 6-a parliament resolved to send 
a fresh embassy to Avignon, to explain to the Pope 
that, unless he came without delay, the Roman 

^ He refers in this letter to the message they had sent him through 
M. Orsini (Preger, n. 346). 

* Die Mortis VI L Aprilis Romani — tjecerunt Steph. de CoL^ et 
Ponctll, de Ursinii factos miliies per Robertum — Castrum S, Aft^li 
eis a Romanis ablatum est — et servant urbem pro Imp. In Verci, ix. 
89. The date, however, is doubtful, since other dates in this account 
are clearly false, I cannot believe that this revolution was the work 
of a single day. Villani, x. c. 20, is better acquainted with events in 
Rome than Mussatus in his Lud, Bavarus, If the revolution had 
taken place as early as April 7, the Pope would not have waited until 
July 27 to write to the Fifty-two that : nobiles noviter sunt ejeeti 
(Raynald, n. xi.). On June 20 Lewis wrote to William of Holland, 
that the Roman people unanimously summoned him to his coronation. 
Bohmer, Font,^ i. 201. 




people would be forced to receive Lewis. The envoys 
had instructions not to wait more than three days 
for an answer ; the embassy consequently was little 
more than a form.^ It was received by the Pope on 
July 7, and dismissed with the message that he 
would send an answer to Rome through his nuncios. 
On July 27 he wrote to the Roman people, that he 
regretted the brevity of the time and the insecurity of 
the roads and of Rome which prevented his coming ; 
he bitterly lamented the revolution, the banishment 
of the nobles, the people's readiness to receive Lewis ; 
and he exhorted the Romans to remain faithful to 
King Robert.2 At the same time he sent two 
nuncios to the city, commanded his vicar Angelo de 
Tineosis, Bishop of Viterbo, to institute a public 
action against the Bavarian, and commissioned Gian- 
Gaetano Orsini, cardinal-legate in Tuscany, to hasten 
to Rome, or at least to its neighbourhood, and use 
his influence in his favour. He recommended the 
prelate to the popular government, as well as to the 
exiled nobles Poncello and Stephen, Pandulf of 
Anguillara and Anibaldo, who had retired to their 

1 The letter of the Fifty-two, dat, Romas apud Eccl. S, M, in 
Aracodidie VL m, Junii X, Ind,^ in the Chran, Aulae Regiae^ c. 19, 
and at the wrong place in the Chron, SiciL in Martene, Thes, Nov,^ 
iii. 97. The envoys were Petrus Vajani^ Petrus de Magistris Lucae 
iudiceSf and Gocius Genttiis de Insula. Nevertheless, even although 
powerless, Robert's vicars, Pandulf of Anguillara and Anibal Riccardi 
de Aniboldis, remained in oj£ce. They resume feudal relations with 
Todi on July 4, 1327 (Wiistenfeld, n. 83). Soon after they were 
banished with other nobles. 

^Joannes . . . dtl JUiis quinquaginta duobus electis viris per 
Rom, Pop, super pacifico statu Urbis^ consuHb, artium^ Pop, Rom, 
Dat, Avin, VI, Kal, Aug, a, XI, Raynald, n. 10. 


fortresses in the country.^ He also wrote to Prince 
John of Gravina, who was again to undertake in 
Rome the task which he had successfully executed 
in Henry VH.'s time. He was already at Aquila 
with a body of troops; Norcia, Rieti, the Roman 
Campagna, the passes which led into the Neapolitan 
kingdom were all occupied. 

John, who had been appointed vicar by King 
Robert, desired to enter Rome and was refused. He 
fell back on Viterbo. This free city for the first 
time had fallen under the power of native tyrants 
and was ruled by the Ghibelline family of GattL 
It refused admission to the Prince ; he laid waste 
its territory. At the same time Genoese vessels 
anchored in the mouth of the Tiber and seized Ostia 
on August 5. The Romans immediately sallied 
out to do battle and suffered a severe defeat; the 
Genoese burnt Ostia and retired. The defeat 
irritated the Romans against Robert, 'whom they 
now entirely renounced. The two Senators ap- 
pointed by the commune, Sciarra and Jacopo 
Savelli, the Chancellor Francesco Malabranca, and 
Tibaldo of S. Eustachio, organised the companies 
of the militia under twenty-five captains, appointed 
guards and barred the gates. For the legate, the 
Orsini and Stephen Colonna, who were in Narni 
with the Prince, were meditating an attack on 
Rome.2 The cardinal having vainly demanded 

' The letter to the cardinal is dated Avignon, July 20 ; the letters 
to the Romans, July 30. 

^ According to a document from S. Maria in Via LAta of August 4, 
1327, Jacob, dc Sciarra 9xA Jacob, de Sabello were actually Senators at 


that a treaty should be concluded before he was 
allowed to enter. An embassy to the King was 
agreed on. Sciarra, Tibaldo, and Jacopo Savelli, 
however, who had long come to an understanding 
with him and Castruccio, advised the King not to 
pay any attention to the embassy from the Capitol, 
but to approach without more ado. When the 
envoys now appeared and laid the conditions of the 
Roman people before him, Lewis left Castruccio to 
answer ; the Duke of Lucc^a made reply by ordering 
the trumpets; to sound the signal to march. He 
himself hastened in advance to Rome, while the 
envoys were politely detained in the camp, and the 
roads were guarded by sentinels.^ On Tuesday, 
January 5, 1328, Lewis departed. When he en- 
Lewis camped on January 7 with 5000 cavalry and 
Rome, numerous infantry on the Fields of Nero, he saw 
1328.^' no signs of resistance ; on the contrary, the citizens 
and several nobles, headed by Sciarra, accorded him 
a triumphant reception and led him to S. Peter's, 
where he made his dwelling in the papal palace.^ 
The King of the Romans entered the Vatican, which 
Henry VIL had not been able to reach, with a band 
of heretics and reformers, who intoned the Te Deum 
in the cathedral of the Apostle. He received no 
greeting from the Roman clergy; the cardinal- 

^ Villani, x. c. 54. According to the IstorU Pistolesi (Mur., xi. 
445), Castruccio preceded the others to Rome and induced the Romans 
to receive Lewis. 

' Ipsumque scientes appropinquare^ stementes viam varits vestihuSf 
aura, argento, guaemadmodum Domino factum est venienH Jerusalem^ 
exierunt obviam cum gaudio, tt leti dicebant: Vivat rex! — Vita 
Lud, IV. Imp,, Bohmer, Font., 156. 



Ch. III.] lewis's entry into ROME. I4I 

legate had imposed the interdict on the city. The 
greater number of the priests, all the Dominicans, 
even the majority of the Franciscans of Aracoeli, 
had vanished from Rome. Several churches stood 
empty. Many sacred relics, such as the handker- 
chief of Veronica, which had been conveyed to the 
Pantheon, were hidden. Nevertheless Lewis had, on 
his side, a sufficient number of clergy, even some 
bishops, who celebrated divine service in spite 
of the ban ; the Minorites and other clergy were 
also ready to defy the Pope's order. Thus the 
events of the times of the fourth and fifth Henries 
were repeated in 1328. All adherents of the Pope 
trembled before Lewis's entrance as before an in- 
vasion of heretics ; but the Ghibellines received him 
with shouts of joy in the city which the Pope 
obstinately refused to inhabit. 

4. The People confer the Signory on Lewis and 


Crown from the People in S. Peter's — Corona- 
tion-edicts — castrucao, senator — sudden de- 
PARTURE OF Castruccio for Lucca — Ill-feeling 
IN Rome — Marsilius and John of Jandunum 

SEEK to gain over THE PEOPLE — ThE EmPEROR'S 

Edicts of April 14 — The Pope is Deposed — 
AuDAaous Protest by Jacopo Colonna — Decree 
concerning the residence of the pope in rome 
—The Monk of Corbara raised to the Papacy 
as Nicholas V. 

The King soon made his dwelling in the palace 
of S. Maria Maggiore ; he was free to roam the city 


at Will, a privilege which had long been denied to 
any king of the Romans. He summoned a parlia- 
Coronation ment on the Capitol on January ii. In opposition 
^t, Jan. to the aims of the Church and from necessity, he 
"11328. appeared before the people as a candidate for the 
imperial crown. Unlike his predecessors on their 
visits to Rome, he was fettered by no vows to the 
Pope, and the fact gave him perfect freedom of action. 
The times were essentially changed; the ancient, 
exalted imperium was becoming democratic Lewis 
and his wife took their seats on two thrones before 
the assembly ; the schismatic Bishop of Aleria in 
Corsica returned thanks for the honourable reception 
accorded to the King, and in his name requested 
the imperial crown at the hands of the people. 
He was greeted with tumultuous applause; the 
assembly cried " Long live Caesar," and the Signory 
of Rome was conferred for an entire year on Lewis 
as Senator and Captain of the people. The same 
parliament awarded him the imperial crown by a 
plebiscite and fixed the imperial coronation for the 
following Sunday, for which function four syndics 
were to be appointed as representatives of the people. 
For, as the Romans explained, Charles the Great 
had obtained the crown only after the Roman people 
had bestowed the imperium upon him.^ Although 

^ Villani, x. c. 54 ; Cron. Sanese^ Mur., xv. 79. The passage 
most worthy of attention is found in Nicol. Burgundus, ad A, 1328 
(in Curtius, p. 395): {ElUranus Ep,) desidertum ejus exposuit^ ut 
S, P. Q, R. Impreii diadema petenti deferred Ad haec^ingens plaustiSy 
vivai Caesar acclamantium, Fuere^ qui dubitarent, an itvoito Pont, 
haec ita rite agerentur ; caeterum Pop, Rom, e contra contendebaty suas 
esse partes Imperium conferre, Pontificis autem consecrare^ iisdem 

Ch. in.] LEWIS SENATOR. 1 43 

the ancient elective right of the republic had been 
set aside by the popes by the ratification, coronation, 
and anointing of the candidate chosen by the 
German electors, it had never been forgotten. After 
the restoration of the Senate in 1143, the Roman 
people had asserted their rights by acclaiming the 
King of the Romans, by inviting him to his corona- 
tion, occasionally by refusing him recognition. They 
had invariably disputed the ecclesiastical view of 
the translation of the empire, and had asserted 
that the emperor received the imperium through 
the authority of the Senate and people. The con- 
sciousness of this right became stronger after the 
popes removed to Avignon and no longer officiated 
at the coronation. Their absence gave the republic 
a new relation to the empire. It was more inde- 
pendent than for a long time previous. Tivoli, 
Velletri, Cori, Civita Vecchia, Viterbo, Corneto, 
several other towns in Tuscany and the Sabina did 
homage to the Capitol. Powerful republics and 
princes, even the King of Germany, sued for the 
favour of the Roman people, while the office of 
Senator, which even the Pope assumed and which 
added lustre to the title of King of Naples, was 
regarded throughout Italy as the highest of re- 
publican dignities.^ Dante's book on the monarchy 
contributed incalculably to exalt the conception of 
the majesty and inalienable rights of the Roman 

auspiciis : Carolum enim magnum tunc demum coroncOum esse, post- 
quam Pop, Rom, eum imperare jussisset, 

^ Dante speaks of the Senators of the Illustrious City unmedlately 
after the princes of Italy in his famous letter to the latter. 


people. And had not even Henry VII., in his 
quarrel with the cardinals concerning the place of 
coronation, appealed to the will of the people ? His 
successor Lewis came accompanied by no pleni- 
potentiary of the Pope ; came even under the papal 
ban. He could, therefore, only assume the crown 
contrary to the will of the Romans, or take it 
from their hands. Without reflection he resolved, 
in defiance of the Pope, to recognise the people as 
the source of the imperium, and this act, which was 
at variance with the policy of the Hohenstaufens, 
became an event in the history of the city and 
powerfully influenced the immediate future. Lewis 
was driven to the step no less by the Ghibelline 
nobility than by his learned publicists, Marsilius and 
John of Jandunum. For in their treatises they had 
shown that the coronation at the papal hands was 
of no more value to the lawfully elected emperor, 
than . the blessing, customarily bestowed by the 
Bishop of Rheims, was to the King of France. 
They further asserted that it was only through the 
abuse of a ceremony, that the popes had appropriated 
a right that did not belong to them.^ They there- 
fore demanded the coronation by the people as an 
effective proof that would put an end to the claims 
of the pope, and Lewis with courageous resolution 
left the decision concerning the empire to the 

^ Defensor pacts i Cod. Vat., 3974, fol. 96. 

^ Concessa Populo, Flebique R. de reb, Imp» potestate consulendiy 
efficiendique, quicquid staiui Reip, pertinereU Mussatus, Lud, Bavar, , 
Mur., X. 772. The same statesman later extols Lewis as having in 



His democratic coronation was a sumptuous Lewis 
spectacle, such as Rome had never seen before. On Emperor, 
the morning of January 17, 1328, clad in white satin {^^'^' 
and mounted on a white horse, he proceeded with 
his wife in an interminable procession from S. Maria 
Maggiore to S. Peter's. The cavalcade was headed 
by fifty-two standard bearers on horseback, and 
troops of foreign knights. Before the King a judge 
carried the book containing the laws of the empire, 
and the Prefect Manfred of Vico bore the unsheathed 
sword. His horse was led by the syndics for the 
coronation, Sciarra Colonna, Jacopo SavelH, Pietro 
de Montenigro of the Anibaldi, and the Chancellor 
of the city, all clad in robes glistening with gold.^ 
They were followed by the fifty-two men, the 
corporations of Rome, the schismatic clergy, the 
barons and the envoys from the cities. The historian 
Villani, who has described the coronation procession, 

Capitolts sedissCf Senatorem^ Omsulesque etc Decuriones et Tribunos 
more Romani Imp, creasse (this is a fiction). Populi R, condone 
approbatum futsse, omnia vasto animo agressum, que viro audaciaef 
eximiaeque virtutis pertinuerint, Haec, et nomine, et re dignum 
Caesarem Romanorumque regem nuncupandum (p. 782). We re- 
cognise the new direction the imperial idea had taken, leading to its 
theoretic renascence. 

^ Minorita (Rayn., ad A, 1328) : fuit non per papam sed per quatuor 
syndicos Pop, Rom, ad hoc specicUiter constitutes — corona aurea coro- 
natus. The names of the four as in the text are given in Chron. 
Sanese^ Mur., xv. 79. Villani s iV modo come fu coronato, e chi 7 
coronib furono : Sciarra delta Colonna — Buccio di Processo, e Orsino 
degli Orsini stati sencUori, e Pietro di Montenero cavaliere di Roma, 
With them were the Fifty-two and the Prefect of the city (x. c 55). 
The Capitoline Register gives Buccius Proce and Ursus de fih Ursi^ 
ad A, 1324, as Senators, a statement which I give for what it is worth. 
These names are uncertain in Villani. 




only cursorily remarks on some of the traditional 
ceremonies in S. Peter's ; nevertheless the usual rites 
were doubtless exactly observed, and Lewis was also 
clad as canon of the cathedral. The customary form 
of prayer was recited by the clergy. According to 
the ritual the Count-Palatine of the Lateran should 
support the emperor while receiving sacred unction, 
and should take the crown in his hands ; but since 
the Count-Palatine was absent, Lewis knighted the 
Duke Castruccio, and appointed him Count-Palatine 
of the Lateran as well as Gonfalonier of the Roman 
empire.^ The unction was bestowed by Bishop 
Albert of Venice (who had joined Lewis in Pisa), and 
by Bishop Gerard of Aleria; after which, in the name 
of the people, the crown was placed on the King's 
head by a Roman noble. This was the celebrated 
Sciarra Colonna, now the foremost man in Rome. 
Amid singular vicissitudes he had been conspicuous 
in the history of the city during a whole generation 
as party leader. Senator, Captain of the people, 
podesti and general in several cities. Who was not 

^ The dignity of Lateran Count-Palatine, formerly hereditary in the 
Frangipani, was conferred on the Gaetani by Boniface VIII. The 
Count-Palatine at that time, Benedict Gaetani, was a vassal of King 
Robert, consequently was not in Rome. Lewis's diploma for Cast- 
ruccio of March 14 (Leibnitz, Cod, Jur, Gent.^ i. 129) invests him with 
the comitatus sacri Lateran, Palatii, which he declares as having 
fallen to the Fiscus of the empire, and therewith: jus assistendi 
perpetuo benedutioni^ sacrae unctioni^ et conmationi — Principum 
Romanor, — sociandi ei deducendi ipsos — ad sacram unctumein — 
tenendi et juvandi in—actu ipsius-^eos reducendi et sociandi ad 
altare et thalamum-^levandi et tenendi Imperiale diadema, de—Rom, 
Principum capite—quotiens publice ipsum diadema expiedierit elevan 
de capite—Rom, Principum et reponi. 


acquainted with this now ageing Roman of the days 
of Boniface VIII. ? Twenty-five years before he had 
stood in the burning palace of Anagni, his sword 
pointed at the pope's breast. He now held the 
crown of empire in S. Peter's, to place it on the head 
of a German king, who, for the first time in history, 
received the sacred diadem from the hands of a 
delegate of the people. During the consummation 
of the ceremony many conscientious knights in 
Lewis's retinue, and even Lewis himself, must have 
been assailed by doubts. The Emperor, however, 
soon announced with decision that he had lawfully 
received the sacred diadem and sceptre through 
the Roman people.^ "In this manner," says the 
astonished contemporary Villani, ** was Lewis the 
Bavarian crowned emperor by the people of Rome, 
to the great disgrace and offence of the Pope and 
the Holy Church. What presumption in the ac- 
cursed Bavarian ! Nowhere in history do we find 
that an emperor, however hostile to the pope he may 
have been before, or may afterwards have become, 
ever allowed himself to be crowned by anyone but 
the pope or his legates, with the single exception of 
this Bavarian ; and the fact excited great astonish- 
ment." 2 

^ In qua — urbe dtvina—provid, Caesareo diademate ac sceptro legi- 
time susceptis per nostr, Roman, peculiarem pop, , urbi et orbi Dei ac 
nostra potentia inaestimahili et immutabili praesideamus — ^Action 
brought by Lewis against John XXII. after the coronation : Glorio- 
sus et Sublimis — Chron, SiciL^ Maxtene, Thes, Nov,^ iii. 98. 

^ Villani, x. 55. Alb. Argentinensis (Urstisius, ii. 124) speaks of 
Lewis as crowned by Senator, Prefect, and Chancellor. The AnnaU 
Rebdorfi (Freher, i. 124) say that he was crowned by the Prefect ; so 


In order to prove his orthodoxy Lewis, immedi- 
ately after the coronation, caused three edicts to be 
read aloud concerning the Catholic faith, the rever- 
ence due to the clergy, and the protection of widows 
and orphans. The procession re-formed after mass, 
and proceeded not to the Lateran, but, as befitted 
an emperor elected by the people, to the Capitol. 
The Romans accompanied, with shouts of joy, the 
first emperor whom they had elected and crowned. 
Not until evening did the procession reach the 
Capitol, where a banquet was prepared in the palace 
and on the piazza for nobles and populace. The 
imperial pair spent the night in the Palace of the 
Senators. The following morning Lewis appointed 
Castrucdo, the Duke Castruccio Senator, and then advanced 
Senator, ^j^j^ great pomp to the Lateran, where he made his 

Had the Emperor immediately marched against 
Naples with the numerous army that he then pos- 
sessed, he would, in Villani's opinion, have conquered 
the country without difficulty. But the strong 

alsojoh. Victoriensis. Galvan. Flamma {dereb. ges, Azotiis Viceccm., 
Mur., xii. 998) alone says; se ipsum coronavit Imp, Decisive, how- 
ever, are the words written by John XXII. to the King of Bohemia 
on September 16, 1330 : inunctus futtf sen verius execratus a Jacobo 
dud, Ep. Castellano — coronatus — a quibusd, Romanis, ad quos non 
pertinebat Imperialis coronatioy etiam siesset coronatus dejure (Rayn., 
A. 1330, n. 27). Among these four syndics, Sciarra, the head of 
Rome, had the honour of crowning the Emperor, as S. Antonine 
(iii. 321) expressly tells us ; the Colonna consequently adopted the 
crown in their coat of arms. 

^ From January 27, 1328, onwards there are documents of Lewis 
dated Lateram or in imperiali palatio LeUeranensi ; then from 
February 12 onwards apud S, Petrum, where he remained. 


measures which he was urged by his companions to 
take against the Pope, caused him to waste precious 
time, and an unfortunate accident robbed him of his 
most energetic general. For on January 28. Pistoja 
fell into the hands of Philip of Sanguineto, who 
commanded for Charles of Calabria in Florence, 
and the news quickly drove Castruccio back to 
Lucca, He was the most important man at the 
imperial court, was loaded with honours, was Lewis's 
general and adviser, the soul of his enterprises, and 
more feared in Naples than Lewis's entire army. 
Castruccio left Rome on February i, with 500 horse 
and 1000 archers, murmuring against the Emperor 
for having caused him to leave Tuscany. His 
absence diminished Lewis's power and crippled his 
designs. He now appointed Sciarra Colonna and Sdarra 
Jacopo Savelli Senators.^ and^^opo 

After the Duke's departure the Emperor sent al^^^l^*' 

■*" •*■ Senators. 

troop of cavalry against the Guelf city of Orvieto. 
By means of the rack he extorted 3000 gold florins 
from the tyrant of Viterbo, who had welcomed him 
with open arms, and then threw him into S. Angelo. 
Penury, the inevitable accompaniment and scourge 
of every expedition to Rome, drove Lewis to violent 
measures. The Romans complained that for the 
sake of money he admitted to the city men who had 

^ Already, on February 15, 1328, the diploma which appoints 
Castruccio Duke of Lucca is signed hy Jacob, Sciarra de Columnar 
Jacob, de Sabellis^ Senatores Urbis^ Manfred, de Vico Alme Urbis 
Praef,y Thebaldus de S, Eustachio (Llinig, ii. 2215 ; Olenschlager, 
ErL Staatsgesch,^ n. 55). Lewis issued it a second time, in order to 
retain Castruccio's favour, and so also he dates his diploma as Count- 
Palatine, March 14. 


been banished for murder, and that his soldiers 
seized food in the markets without payment, for the 
distress was great. On March 4 things came to 
an open revolt ; a fierce struggle took place at the 
island bridge ; barricades were set up. Filled with 
suspicion, Lewis strengthened the garrison of S. An- 
gelo, recalled his troops from Orvieto and stationed 
them in the Borgo. Executions increased the dis- 
content. Neither were traitors lacking. The Chan- 
cellor, Angelo Malabranca, even brought Neapolitan 
soldiers to Astura, whereupon the imperialists de- 
stroyed his palaces in the city and took Astura 
itself by assault.^ The worst was that Lewis, like 
Henry VII., found himself obliged to impose a 
forced tribute; the Jews were required to raise 
10,000 gold florins, the clergy a like amount, the 
laity to provide another 10,000. The measure irri- 
tated the entire populace. 

Meanwhile John XXII. brought a number of suits 
against the Emperor, whose unparalleled audacity 
had been crowned by such unexampled success. 
He pronounced null his coronation by the people, as 
also his appointment as Senator ; he laid on him the 
anathema and preached a crusade against him. He 

^ Villani, x. 67. // cancelliere di Roma, cICere tuUo degli Orsinu 
He was, however, Angelo, son of Francis Malabranca, as is shown 
by the command issued by the Pope on February iS, 1330, to Cardinal 
John Orsini, to restore to the Chancellor Angelo Malabranca the pro- 
perty which the latter had lost through Lewis ; for by Lewis's com- 
mand Lellus Romani, a member of the Fifty-two, had destroyed all 
Malabranca's palaces ; also vassals ipsius Angeli in bello Castri 
Asture had been in Servitio Ecch interfecti (Theiner, i, n. 747). 
See also Contelori, Geneal, Fam, Comitum, p. 16, 


brought the Romans to trial, and required them to 
submit to the Church within a given date, and to 
drive the Bavarian from the city.^ The hatred in 
the two camps reached a height unknown since the 
days of Gregory IX. Since Lewis's arrival a formal 
religious persecution had begun in Rome. In con- Persecu- 
formity with the doctrines of the monarchists, Mar- cier^^!!^^ 
silius of Padua had been appointed by the Emperor ^^^^ 
spiritual vicar in the city, instead of the Bishop 
of Viterbo ; he had placed the Roman clergy under 
syndics, not only in order to compel the priests to 
celebrate divine service in the churches, but also to 
pave the way for the election of an anti-pope. The 
priests who refused to read mass were tortured ; a 
prior of Augustinians was even exposed in the den 
of lions on the Capitol.^ Marsilius and John of 

' Bull of March 31, Dudum per facti : Martene, Thes, Anecdot,^ 
ii. 727. Of the same date is the Processus against the Romans 
Quamqtiam nobis (p. 736). More practical was the league, concluded 
on March 2, 1328, between the Pope, Robert, Bologna, Florence, 
Siena, and Perugia, agreeing to place 50CX) men on the way to Florence. 
Archives of Siena, n. 1559. The Bull of Crusade, Cum Praefatus^ is 
dated as early as January 21, 1328 (Rayn., n. iv.). 

^ According to a Roman statistical account of the Avignon period 
(Papencordt, p. 53) all the churches of Rome fell into three groups : 
XII. Apostles, Cosma and Damiano, S. Thomas ; each with four 
rectors (the priests formed the FratemUas Romana^ with the syndic 
of the Roman clergy). In Region I. were 44 churches ; in II. 177 ; in 
III. 88. There were besides 5 Patriarchal churches, 27 titular, 18 
diaconal, 28 monasteries, 18 nunneries, 25 hospitals. There were 50 
Dominicans in the Minerva, 30 in S. Sabina ; 50 Franciscans in 
Aracoeli, 15 in S. Francesco ; 40 Benedictines in S. Paul. S. Peter's 
had 30 canons, 33 beneficed clergy, 20 choral chaplains. The total 
number of churches was 424 : 1 1 were in ruins, 44 without clergy, all 
the others had only one or two priests. There were 785 secular 
priests, 443 monks, 470 nuns ; 260 women immured. This would 


Jandunum posted accusations against the Pope on 
the doors of the churches. The Minorites preached 
Trial that John XXII. was a heretic, and it was not diffi- 
against* c^lt to prove the charge in the eyes of the people.^ 
XXII ^^ ^^^ reported in Rome that Robert's proUg^ had 
obtained the tiara by means of simony, that by his 
quarrelsome nature he had involved Italy in war, 
that his erroneous doctrines had occasioned a schism 
in the Church, that he remained in Avignon in 
defiance of duty and right, and that he had deter- 
mined to transfer the empire to France. It was 
necessary to put forward a pope who would restore 
peace to the Church, and the sacred chair to the city 
of Rome. Lewis himself left these matters to the 
will of the Senate and people ; and as he had recog- 
nised their right to the imperial coronation, so he 
gave them equal liberty to pronounce sentence on 
the Pope. 

In order to prepare the way for this great stroke, 
he assembled a parliament on the piazza of S. Peter's 
on April 14. He caused three edicts to be read 
aloud : All such as were found guilty of heresy or 

give a total of 2163 religious persons in a population of about 50,000 
inhabitants, which I assume for the Avignon period. In 1663, out of 
a population of 105,433, Rome had 1727 priests, 3031 monks, 3631 
nuns. In 1862, with a population of 201,161, Rome numbered 1457 
priests, 2569 monks, 2031 nuns. 

* Alb. Mussatus {Ludav, Bavar,) speaks oi Marsilius deRaynwndis 
of Padua, and Ubertinus de Casali Jatimnsis^ monachus asiutus et 
ingeniosus as leaders. On the other hand, the Pope himself designates 
Marsilius and John of Jandunum . . . dudsbestias de Abysso sathanae 
—Letter to the Bishop of Viterbo, February 16, 1328 (Raynald, n. 
7). On April 15 he orders the cardinal-legates to see that Marsilius 
and John are put in prison (n, 10). 


of lise-majesU were, without further citation, to be 
brought before the tribunal. No notarial instrument 
from which the designation of the era of the Em- 
peror Lewis was absent, was valid. All who had 
rendered aid to the rebels against the Emperor were 
to be punished with the utmost severity. Assemblies 
of clergy and laity meanwhile examined into the 
orthodoxy of John XXI L, and found the Pope a 
heretic. Resolutions were drawn up, which were 
brought to the Emperor by the syndics of both 
classes, with the urgent request that, in virtue of his 
authority as supreme judge, he would proceed 
against this heretic. Lewis consequently assembled The Pope 
a second parliament on April 18. Platforms werejnp^Kc 
erected on scaffolds over the steps of S. Peter's, and, ^^^f ^g^'^^' 
surrounded by his nobles, his clergy, his schoolmen, 1328. 
and the magistrates of the Capitol, the Emperor 
seated himself on his throne, the crown on his head, 
the orb arid sceptre in his hands. Never had any- 
thing resembling this imperial-democratic spectacle 
been seen in Rome. Heralds enforced silence on 
the seething crowd. A Franciscan monk ascended 
the platform, and in a loud voice demanded three 
times, as in a tournament, "Is there any one here 
who will defend the priest Jacques of Cahors, who 
calls himself Pope John XXII.?" All was silence. 
A German abbot then addressed a Latin speech to 
the people, and read aloud the imperial sentence, 
which pronounced Jacques of Cahors a heretic and 
antichrist and deprived him of all his dignities. 
This document, the Emperor's reply to the decree of 
the Pope which pronounced his own deposition, was 



the work of Marsilius and Ubertino of Casale. 
Lewis, an illiterate soldier, understood nothing of 
the theolc^ical questions of the Church. But he 
utilised the quarrels of the monks in order to dis- 
cover a ground for accusing John of heresy and for 
deposing him.^ For all the remaining complaints 
(and there were some with no lack of foundation, 
such as the assumption of the two powers, the denial 
of Lewis's legal election, the offence committed 
against the imperial majesty, the accumulation of 
untold treasure by the sack of churches and the sale 
of spiritual offices, the most culpable |iep otism, the 
confusion due to war in Italy, the interdict against 
Rome, the residence in Avignon) — all these could 
not furnish ground for the deposition. Lewis gave 
expression to- thejgeling of the monks when he 
explained that he haobeen besought by the syndics 
of the clergy and people to proceed against Jacques 
of Cahors as against a heretic, and following the ex- 
ample of Otto I. and other emperors, to give Rome 
a lawful pope.2 He consequently represented him- 
self as merely the executor of this sentence, and, in 
virtue of the imperial edict, without further citation, 
pronounced John XXII. deposed, as guilty of heresy 

^ Aventine asserts that Lewis was well educated, and censures the 
chroniclers for having represented him as ignorant of Roman literature. 
AnnaL Boior,^ 749. 

* The sentence of deposition, Gloriosus Deus, of April 18, extra 
basil, Ap, princ, B, Petri cuncto clero et Pop, Rom, inpiatea ibid, in 
par lam, publico\congregato in Baluz., Vitae Pap. Avert, ^ ii. n. 76. A 
second (n. 77), dated it is true the same April 18, was, however, issued 
in Pisa on December 12, It is a scholastic amplification of the first ; 
the monks therein prove the heresy of John XXII. and refute the Pope's 
rule with regard to the doctrine of poverty. 


and lese-majest^} This proceeding was the practical 
outcome of the axioms of the monarchists and 
reformers, who had laid down the principle that the- 
pope could be tried and punished, that his judges 
were the Council and the Emperor, as Defender of 
the Church and as holder of the judicial power, and 
that a pope who had deviated from the lawful faith 
could no longer have the power of the keys, and 
consequently could be deposed not merely by 
spiritual judges, but even by laymen. Earlier 
emperors had also appointed and deposed popes, 
but under the forms of law and on the ground of 
formal decrees of Council. Lewis himself some 
years earlier had appealed to a general Council 
against John XXII. But could the Capitoline 
parliament and a number of schismatic priests con- 
stitute a tribunal to jiidge the pope ? The Roman 
clergy, the canons of the great basilicas and many 
other clerics were not represented, because they had 
long since left Rome. The sentence of deposition 
consequently awoke doubt or indignation among all 
intelligent people, and rejoicings only among the 
immoderate party and the seekers after novelty. 
The populace dragged a straw figure through the 
streets of Rome and burnt the heretic John XXII. 
in eSs%y at the stake. Meanwhile it was not the 
dogma of the poverty of Christ, but another, against 
which the Pope had sinned in the eyes of the 
Romans. He remained in Avignon and despised 
Rome, the holy city, which, according to the Ghibel- 

^ Villani, x. 69. ; Chr, Senense, Mur., xv, 7gi E cost ne ft both 
sigillate di sugellocPoro^ t atUiCcate a la porta diS. Pietro, 




line theory, enclosed the chosen people of God, and in 
the midst of which the priesthood and the imperium 
ought eternally to have their seat.^ 

The bold action of a Colonna showed the Emperor 
that he would encounter resistance in Rome itself, 
and that the Guelf party among the nobility was in 
nowise crushed. Jacopo, a canon of the Lateran, 
accompanied by four men in masks, appeared on 
April 22, in front of S. Marcello, produced John 
XXII.'s bull of excommunication and read the docu- 
ment, which no one had hitherto ventured to make 
public, to an assembly of more than a thousand men. 
He protested against Lewis's sentence and the de- 
crees of the syndics, pronounced them null, offered 
to defend his assertion against any one with the 
sword, affixed the bull to the doors of the church, 
mounted his horse and rode unhindered through the 
city and back to Palestrina. The young Colonna 
was a son of Stephen, bom during the latter's exile 
in France. Like so many sons of the nobility he 
had been provided with a stall in the Chapter of the 
Lateran and was at the time chaplain to the Pope.^ 

^ Hanc sanctissimam geniem et urbem Romanam vid,^ quam 
Christus ipse in gentem sanctaniy genus electum, regale sacerdotium^ et 
popvUum acquisitionis incommutdbiliter elegit ^ suapersoncUi residentia 
tota sui vicariatus duratione privavit contra expressam Christi pro^ 
kibitionem: the legend Domine quo vadis is referred to. This was 
one of the chief reasons of John's condemnation in the sentence of 
April 18. Compare with it the theories expressed by Dant^ in his Mon- 
archia concerning the elect part reserved for Rome and the Romans. 

' On April 16, 1328, Robert, writing to him as such, told him that 
the Pope had given absolution to all who should undertake the 
Crusade against Lewis, and that he was to announce the fact in 
Campania. Ticker, Urk, zur Cesch, des Romerzugs Ludwig's^ p, 65. 



His father, formerly so zealous in Henry's service, 
had not presented himself before Lewis. While his 
brother Sciarra was the foremost man at the Em- 
peror's court, Stephen remained at his recently built 
castle of Palestrina. His prudent reserve secured a 
brilliant future to himself and his house ; he remained 
in the most friendly relations with King Robert and 
with John XXH., especially as most of his sons had 
chosen a clerical career.^ 

On April 23 the Emperor summoned the leaders 
of the people to the Vatican. The assembly passed 
the resolution that, henceforward, every popp must 
make his abode in Rome, must never absent him- 
self from the city for more than three months in the ^ 
summer, or remove further than a two days' journey, 
and never without the permission of the Romans. 
Should he violate these conditions, should he fail to 
return after having been summoned three times by 
the clergy and people, he was to forfeit his office. 
It was a foolish decree, which degraded the Head of 
the Church to the position of a podesti.^ So great 
was the irritation of the Emperor that he even passed ^ 
sentence of death on John XXH. as a heretic, and as 
guilty of high treason.^ 

* On February 28, 1328, the Pope issued letters of commenda- 
tion to Jacopo Colonna and to several Roman nobles, of clerical as 
well as secular profession (Preger, n. 415). He made Jacopo Colonna 
Bishop of Lombes near Toulouse. He was the friend of Petrarch. 
His elder brother John had become Cardinal of S. Angdo on 
December 18, 1327, and was the Maecenas of Petrarch. At this time 
the two caitUnaaS £simous during the time of Boniface VIII. were 
already dead : Jacopo died in 13 18, Peter in 1326. 

^ Raynald, ad A, 1328, n. 21. 

' NicoL Minorit, Cod. Fai,, 4008, p, 25. 



The logical sequence of these measures was the \ 

elevation of a new pope. The schismatic Minorites 
demanded in addition the election of one of their 
fraternity, a disciple of poverty such as Celestine V. ; 
and for the second time the prophetic kingdom of S. 
Francis was to be recognised in such an ideal. The 
tiara was offered to a member of the order, but he 
shrank back in terror, and fled. Another showed 
himself less scrupulous. This was Peter Rainalucci 
from Corbara, near Aquila, the former scene of the 
history of the saint of Murrone. He was a Minorite 
in the monastery of Aracoeli, and was reputed a man 
of blameless life, but his after career shows that he 
was unqualified for the difficult r61e of anti-pope. 
The simple monk was elected to the Papacy at an j 

Cort)ara assembly of priests and laymen.^ On May 12 the < 

anti-pope, Romans assembled on the Piazza of S. Peter's, where 
1328. ' the scaffolding erected for the scenes enacted earlier 
still remained above the steps of the cathedral. The 
Emperor made the pope-elect take his place under 
the baldacchino, and Fra Nicholas of Fabriano pro- 
nounced a discourse on the text, " And when Peter 
was come to himself, he said. Now I know of a 
surety that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath 
delivered me out of the hand of Herod and from all 
the expectation of the people of the Jews." The 

^ Lewis threw the responsibility of this election on the people, who 
forced him to it, as we are assured by the continuator of G. de 
Nangis (d'Achery, iii. 88). Peter of Corbara became a monk after 
five years of marriage. Wadding, Anna/, Minor,, lib. vii. p. 77, 
relates the amusing anecdote that his wife, who had never claimed 
the poor monk, claimed the wealthy pope as her husband and that 
the Bishop of Rieti recognised her right to him. 


Bishop of Venice three times demanded from the 
tribune whether they would accept Brother Peter of 
Corbara as pope. The crowd assented, although 
they had hoped for a Roman. The bishop read the 
imperial decree of ratification ; the Emperor rose, 
proclaimed Nicholas V., placed the Fisherman's 
ring on his finger, clothed him with the mantle, and 
made him sit on his right hand. And thus an 
emperor, whom they themselves had crowned, and 
a pope, whom they themselves had made, sat in 
sight of the astonished Romans. The people entered 
the cathedral, where a solemn service was celebrated. 
The Bishop of Venice anointed the anti-pope, and 
with his own hand the Emperor set the crown on his 
head. A banquet closed the tumultuous ceremony. 

Frederick II., who, according to the avowal of 
the Church, had been her most formidable enemy, 
must now have appeared as a man of moderation 
when compared with Lewis the Bavarian ; for Lewis 
ventured on a measure which no great emperor had 
ever attempted before; he harassed the Church 
with a schism such as she had not experienced for 
a hundred and fifty years. With incredible auda- 
city he gave a democratic aspect to the quarrel 
between Empire and Papacy. He denied all the 
canonical articles which the Habsburgs had ad- 
mitted concerning the supremacy of the pope. As 
the popes in earlier days had formed alliances with 
the democracy in order to make war on the emperors, 
so Lewis appealed (and for Rome the fact is one of 
the most important in her history) to the democratic 
principle of the majesty of the Roman people. He 


tcx>k the crown from the hands of the people ; he 
also restored them the right of the papal election. 
After having pronounced all the cardinals heretics, 
he caused the Pope to be elected by clergy and 
laity " according to the ancient custom," and ratified 
and crowned him of his imperial authority.^ In his 
letter of admonition to the cardinals at Avignon on 
the death of Clement V., Dante expressly recog- 
nised that they alone possessed the right of electing 
the pope, and not a single voice was then raised in 
Rome, which the popes had abandoned, to remind 
the people that the election had formerly lain in 
their hands. It was not until the revolution under 
Lewis that this recollection was awakened, and that 
too only by violence. 

This important revolution was the consequence of 
the sojourn of the popes at Avignon, the effect of the 
quarrel which John XXII. so foolishly invoked with 
the empire, and of the reforming principles of the 
monarchy, with which was associated the Franciscan 
schism. The high-handed doings of John and 
Lewis, their tedious actions at law, the extensive 
researches into the imperial and papal authority, 
formed the close of this mediaeval struggle, which 
now passed over into more intellectual regions. 
The age of the reformation began ; the ecclesiastical 
severance between Germany and Italy was percep- 

^ More antiquUus osservato una cum clero et pop. Ro, — Petrum de 
Corbaria ordinis frum minor, in summ, pont, elegerunt — nam ante 
NicoL P. II, qui primus fuit electus per cardinahs in civ. Senensi — 
ImpercUores cum cUro etpop, Ro, urH et orbide s, pontificeprovidebani^ 
Such is the noteworthy opinion of Nicolans Minorita, Cod. Vat,^ 4008, 
foL 25. 


tible in the distance, and became inevitable as soon 
as the political severance was accomplished. Both 
powers, the world-historic institutions of the Middle 
Ages which were pitted against one another for the 
last time, were, nevertheless, merely the shadows of 
their own past. The Papacy after the fall of Boni- 
face VIII., after its defeat at the hands of the French 
monarchy, after its flight to a corner of Provence, 
had sacrificed its universal majesty for ever. After 
the fall of the Hohenstaufens, after the surrender of 
the empire by the Habsburgs, and Henry VII.'s 
ill-starred expedition, the imperium also had 
vanished, and Lewis the Bavarian, who degraded it 
into an investiture by the Capitol, robbed the crown 
of Charles the Great of the last glow of its ancient 
splendour in the eyes of all who believed in the old 
imperial hierarchy. It is very remarkable that 
soon after the time when Dante glorified the Roman 
Empire in its highest idealisation, this very Empire, 
under Lewis and his successors, actually sank to its 
lowest depth of desecration. 




I. Robert makes War on the Emperor — ^The Anti- 

Restoration of Papal Rule in TtiE City — Lewis's 
FURTHER Undertakings — Death of Castruccio^ 
The Emperor in Pisa ; in Lombardy — His return 
TO Germany — Victory of the Pope and the 
Guelfs — The Anti-pope makes Submission. 

The conquest of Naples was Lewis's special task 
and the practical object of his expedition to Rome. 
It would have infallibly constituted him ruler of 
Italy and have probably established the Minorite 
monk as pope in deserted S. Peter's. The Emperor 
was actively engaged with the scheme; but the 
absence of Castruccio, the dearth of means, and the 
procrastination of his allies prevented its fulfilment. 
King Robert, by sending his troops into the Cam- 
pagna, challenged the Emperor to war immedi- 
ately after the elevation of the anti-pope. His 
galleys pushed up the Tiber as far as S. Paul's ; 
Lewis's forces were driven from Ostia, and these 
disasters produced the worst impression in the 

On May 17 the Emperor went to TivoH for four 


t — ^ 


days only and merely with the ostentatious object 
of affording the Romans a pompous coronation 
spectacle. He returned on Whitsunday, spent the 
night at S. Lorenzo, caused himself to be received 
with great solemnity, and proceeded through the 
flower-decked city to S. Peter's. Here he placed 
the tiara on his Pope's head, the Pope the crown on 
his, so that one seemed to ratify the other. Lewis 
then revived the ban which Henry VH. had hurled 
against Robert; the anti-pope also pronounced the 
excommunication against John XXH., and com- 
manded all who refused to recognise himself to 
appear before the Inquisition. He had already 
surrounded himself with a college of cardinals 
and had appointed rectors and legates for the 
ecclesiastical provinces and for Lombardy. Mean- 
while the new government met with opposition 
among the Romans and even in Lewis's camp : 
Frederick of Sicily would have nothing to do with 
Nicholas V. ; even some Ghibelline cities refused to 
acknowledge him, and if he met with recognition in 
others and sowed confusion both in Germany and 
Italy by the appointment of nuncios and bishops, 
the schism nevertheless produced less effect than 
other ecclesiastical divisions that had been evoked 
by earlier emperors. 

Lewis ly. now determined to advance against 
Naples in earnest The first task was to clear the 
ground in Latium, where Robert, with the aid of the 
Guelfs, especially the Gaetani, had seized several 
important positions. At the end of May the 
Emperor marched against Velletri, while Rainer, a 




son of Ugo della Faggiola, remained as Senator on 
Lewis's the Capitol.^ Another force had been sent to Todi, 
movements in Order thence to check the advance of the Guelfs. 
Campagna. Attacks were made from Velletri on the adjacent 
fortresses; Molara, a possession of the Anibaldi, 
was stormed by the Romans on June 11; Cisterna, 
which then belonged to a branch of the Frangipani, 
was burnt to the ground by the Germans.* Scarcity 
of supplies forced the Romans to return and the 
Emperor himself to fall back on VelletrL The 
burghers of this tiny city courageously barred their 
gates, and he was forced to encamp in the open fields. 
The temper of the unpaid troops was mutinous ; they 
quarrelled over the booty from Cisterna, and Lewis 
dismissed the Swabians to Rome and retired with 
the remainder of the army to Tivoli on June 20.^ 
Unable to proceed by the Via Latina, he hoped 
to make his way by the Valeria as Conradin had 
formerly done. The Duke of Calabria, however, 
barred the frontier, while Stephen Colonna defended 
the strong post of Palestrina in his rear. The 

^ Villani, x. 75. Sciarra and Jacopo Savelli renounced their office ; 
they accompanied the Emperor. Rainer ordered a Lombard and a 
Tuscan to be publicly burnt, because they asserted that Peter of 
Corbara was not Pope. 

' On October 12, 1338, Peter, fil, q, Riccardi Fraiapanis ex 
dominis cctstri Cisteme, sold to Ursojacobi Napohonis the fourth part 
castri Cisterne . . . cum Rocca^ turri Cassaro, et quartam part, Castri 
et Rocche Ttberie et mediet, Castellanie seu Casalis Gripta de Nocttdis^ 
tt quartam part, paiatii magni et domor, junctor, CoUiseo et prope 
CoUiseum, Act, Vicovarte (Gaetani Archives^ iii. 2i). 

' The dissensions betweeii the High and Low Germans (Villani, x. 
77 ; Annales Rebdorff,, Freher, i. 424) led to the formation of the 
first independent company of Germans in Italy. 

Ch. IV.] lewis's departure from ROME. l6S 

Emperor's position in TivoH was as utterly help- 
less as that of Henry VII. had been there. The 
loss of Anagni, to which the Neapolitan militia 
were admitted by the Gaetani, rendered Tivoli 
untenable, and Lewis returned to Rome on 
July 20. 

Nothing but gloomy faces, nothing but murmurs 
awaited the Emperor in the city. The Orsini 
already scoured the Campagna to the very gates of 
Rome, intercepted the supplies and rendered the dis- 
tress insupportable. The treasuries of the churches, 
which had been sacked by the anti-pope, were insuf- 
ficient to cover Lewis's requirements ; he demanded 
money, and money was not forthcoming. The con- 
signments promised by the Ghibellines did not 
arrive ; the troops, who were to have been sent by 
the Genoese exiles, failed to appear, and the fleet 
expected from Sicily was nowhere to be seen. 
Public feeling became increasingly hostile ; the 
people threatened to expel the Emperor, they scoffed 
at the anti-pope. The schism to which Lewis had 
wished to give a national character by utilising the 
opposition between Rome and Avignon, no longer 
found any such basis. More powerless than Henry 
VI L, he also saw himself ingloriously obliged to with- 
draw. After having sent his marshal in advance to 
Viterbo with 800 horse he himself with the anti-pope 
and anti-cardinals left the city on August 4. His The 
departure resembled a flight. The same Romans l^^^"^ 
who had applauded the Emperor and his idol, leaves 
now called after him " Death to the heretics " ; they Aug. 4, 
followed the departing company with showers of ^3^®* 



stones; their adherents who remained behind were 

Scarcely had Lewis departed, when the revolt 
which he had occasioned was entirely quelled in a 
few hours. Nowhere have the actions of rulers made 
so little impression on a people as the noisy deeds of 
the mediaeval emperors in Rome. Their brief so- 
journs only left behind the traces of siege and war; 
they themselves were derided and forgotten as soon 
as they had vanished from sight The very night 
Berthoid after Lewis's departure Berthold Orsini, nephew of 
st?h€ffl'^ the cardinal-legate, entered with Guelf troops, and 
Coionna, the following day Stephen Colonna also arrived. 
The people made both men Senators ; while Sciarra 
and Jacopo SavelH, the heads of the imperial 
democracy, fled without offering resistance. A 
persecution of the Ghibellines began the same hour : 
their palaces were destroyed, their goods were con- 
fiscated. On August 8 Cardinal John made his 
entry into the city with Napoleon Orsini, and again 
took possession of it in the name of the Church. He 
ratified the new Senators ; they summoned a popular 
parliament, which annulled all Lewis's acts, and 
ordered his edicts to be burnt by the hand of the 
executioner. The savage mob now tore the bodies 
of German soldiers from their graves, to drag them 
through the streets with shouts and to throw them 

^ Z^ ^ngrato popolo gli fece la coda romana, onde il Bavaro ebbe 
grande paura^ ed andonne in caccia e con vergpgna : Villani, z. 94, 
Quad (his banishment) ipse praeoeniens confuse recessit ab urbe, . . . 
Annates JRebdorffi^ Freher, L 424, Contin. Guillclmi de Nangis, ad 
A, 1328. 

Ch. IV.] LEWIS IN TODI. 1 67 

from the bridges into the Tibef. On August 18 
the Neapolitans also entered under Count William 
of Eboli, and the dominion of the Church and 
Robert's rule were restored without the slightest Restora- 

... , tionofthe 

Opposition.* Papacy in 

If, from the time of his crossing the Alps until ^®™®* 
his coronation in Rome, Lewis's undertakings had 
astonished the world by their courage and success, 
the end of the imperial expedition was all the more 
deplorable. He marched here and there through 
Tuscany, following the labyrinthine paths of his 
predecessors in the empire, like Henry VH., to 
tempt his fortune against Florence. He vainly 
harassed Orvieto, laying waste the country as far 
as the lake of Bolsena. On August 17 he left 
Viterbo and entered Ghibelline Todi, imposing taxes 
and collecting money, while the anti-pope plundered 
the treasury in S. Fortunatus. Todi became the 
centre of his undertakings: thence he sent the 
Count of Oettingen to Spoleto and the Romagna, 
and even resolved to direct his attacks against 
Florence.^ Meanwhile information reached him that 

^ On August 28, 1328, the Pope writes to Philip of France that 
Lewis had left Rome cum ignominia on August 4, that Stephen and 
Berthold had entered, that the people had made them Senators, and 
that the following Sunday the legate entered amid the rejoicings of 
the people. Raynald, n. 51. Whenever the party in opposition suc- 
ceeded to power in a city and changed its goyemment, this was called 
riformare la citth, 

^ John XXII. excommunicated Todi, because it had received 
Lewis and the anti-pope, had given Lewis 25,000 flor., and had ac- 
cepted his vicars, among them John, son of Sdarra. Bull Adv. Ecch 
univers,, dot. Awn. Kal, Julti A, XIV, ^ inserted in a letter of Car- 
dinal Orsini to the Bishop of Spoleto (copy in the Archives of S. 


the long expected Sicilian fleet had appeared off 
Corneto. King Peter, Frederick's son, had actually 
put to sea with eighty-seven vessels and had sailed 
to the coast of Naples ; he had burnt the unfortunate 
Astura, where the shade of Conradin still seemed to 
cry for vengeance to the Sicilians. He had thence 
entered the mouth of the Tiber, believing the 
Emperor to be still in Rome.^ He sent messengers 
after him to Todi, requesting an interview at 
Corneto. Lewis went, thither on August 31, while 
the anti-pope and the empress remained at Viterbo. 
The meeting was stormy : the Emperor accused the 
Sicilian of procrastination and demanded money. 

Fortunatus). In 1332 a vicar of Lewis, Angelus Sarazeni\ was still in 
Todi ; but on August 17, 1332, Todi appointed syndics to make sub- 
mission to the Pope. Lib, Decretal, in the Archives of Todi. Here 
also a copy of a diploma of Lewis, dot, in Urbe die XXL Maji^ R, 
nri. A, XIV* Imp, vero I, ; he appoints Bardinus de Piscia as pro- 
Q.MX9X.OX fisci Imp. camere; the copy is executed aucL m. v. Vannis de 
Susinana, nati Tani de Ubaidinis de Florentia honor, potesiatis 
Tudertif June 14, 1328. The years of John XXII. and Lewis's reign 
are recorded ; the anti-pope consequently was not at first recognised 
in Todi. 

^ Forsitan adhuc inulto, qui clamabat de terra generosi sanguine 
Corradini, says Nicol, Specialis, Mur., x. 1075. King Frederick was 
informed of King Peter's naval expedition by a member of the fleet 
who wrote from Porto Ercole on August 22 and 27. On August 
13th the fleet touched at Ischia (Isola); on the 14th at Mola di 
Gaeta ; then at Cape Circello ; then at Astura, the lord of which 
(Angelus Malabranca) capitulated ; Astura was burned, Nettuno 
(Nathone) burned ; the fleet then entered the mouth of the Tiber, then 
touched at Portus Ercolis. On August 22 the Duke of Brunswick 
sjkdjohes de Claromonte went as envoys to Lewis. On August 25 
Orbetello was taken by storm, Telamon burnt. From the Testa de 
Vita et reb, gest, Federici IL, Docum. n. 52, and Gregorio, Bibf, 
Aragon,, ii. 234, printed in Ficker, Urk, zum Romerzug Ludwig^s^ 
p. 99. 


Ch. IV.] LEWIS IN PISA. 169 

The young King, on the other hand, required Lewis 
to return to Rome, and to carry out the projected 
expedition against Naples. This being impossible, 
it was arranged that all the forces were to assemble 
at Pisa. Lewis consequently left Cometo on 
September 10, and proceeded by Montalto to 
Grosseto, which he attacked. He was there met by 
the important tidings that the Duke Castruccio was 
no more, and he hastened forthwith to Pisa, to wrest 
the city from the sons of the dead tyrant 

On his departure from Rome, Castruccio 
Castracane had repaired his losses with admirable 
genius; contrary to the will of the Emperor, he 
had seized the signory of Pisa, whence he 
banished the imperial vicar, the Count of Oettingen, 
and then re-entered Pistoja on August 3. His 
interests had estranged him from the Emperor, 
and Lewis's return to Tuscany would have in- 
evitably converted the former friends into enemies. 
The celebrated tyrant, however, suddenly died on Death of 
September 3, 1328, at Lucca, into which he had ^{"^j^*'^''' 
but just made his pompous entry. He was only 1328. 
forty-seven years old — one of the most powerful 
tyrants since Ezzelino, . and the greatest Italian 
general of his time.^ His death was a release to the 

* See his Vtia by Nicol. T^^rimus of saec, xv., Mur., xi., and by 
Manutius with documents. Macchiavelli also wrote a life of him, a 
rhetorical party-pamphlet, in which the author of the Principe prepares 
his hero. The words which the author puts into his mouth 
characterise the whole genus tyrant : che gli uomini debbono tentare 
ognicosa^ ni dialcuna sbigotiirsi, and ne maipotette vincere perfraude^ 
che cercasse di vincere per forza^ perchh diceva^ che la vittoria^ ncm il 
modo della viitoria arrecceua gloria^ Galeazzo's death followed soon 


Florentines and was not unwelcome even to the 
Emperor. True that Castruccio's sons, with a 
military force, had marched through Lucca, Pisa and 
Pistoja, in order to seize the government of these 
cities. As early as September 21, however, Lewis 
Lewis in appeared before Pisa, which willingly received him 
Se^ i^ ^nd made him its signor.^ Like his predecessor 
1330.^^ he made his quarters here, instituted preparations 
against Florence, and issued fresh suits against John 
XXII., on whom the anti-pope also made war with 
impotent bulls. A mutiny in the army meanwhile 
produced serious consequences. The Low Germans, 
who had never been tranquillised since the outbreak 
at Cistema, demanded their pay, and when it was 
refused, 800 cavalry, among whom were counts and 
knights, quitted their camp on October 28 with the 
intention of seizing Lucca. Failing in their attempt, 
they took up their position on Monte Ceruglio near 
Montechiaro, where they set up a military republic 
under constables and corporals. They held negotia- 
tions with Florence, with the object of entering the 
service of this state, and also with the Emperor 
Lewis. They compelled Marco Visconti, his envoy, 
to remain with them as their leader ; they ravished 
the surrounding country, living on its spoils, and 
soon after actually seized the city of Lucca, which 

alter Castrucdo's. At Castnicdo's entreaty, he had been set at 
liberty with the other Visconti on March 25, 1328, and passed the 
rest of his life poor and in Castrucdo's service. 

^ Correr la terra^ a drastic and customary expression at the time. 
Horsemen galloped through the streets shouting the name of the 
tyrant. Peter sailed home from Pisa as early as September 28. A 
storm scattered his fleet. The Ghxbellines were pursued by disaster. 

Ch. IV.] LEWIS IN PISA. 171 

they offered to the highest bidder. With the settle- 
ment of these German troops begins the history of 
the foreign bands or companies which for almost 
more than a century proved a terrible scourge to 
Italy, whose energies they exhausted as a parasitic 
plant exhausts those of some noble tree.^ 

Lewis remained in Pisa until April 1329, without 
achieving anything against Florence. On leaving 
Tuscany, he had no longer any definite scheme of 
action ; for all the conditions had so completely 
shifted, that his own party became in some measure 
hostile towards him. Instead of fulfilling the 
promise made in Trent, to defeat the Guelfs and 
restore the Ghibellines to power, he had nowhere 
overcome the former, and had only plundered the 
Ghibellines and ousted them from their earlier 
positions. Had he but enlisted the Visconti on the 
side of the empire, Milan, where their influence was 
all-powerful, would have afforded the strongest 
bulwark of his rule ; but, on the contrary, he had 
rendered the city useless at the very outset of his 
expedition. He had driven the house of Castruccio 
from Lucca and had everywhere destroyed the 
centres of the Ghibelline party. The confusion in 
Italy had consequently become greater than before ; 
every signor and tyrant now followed his own 
individual aims, and strove as far as he could to 
secure his own advantage by new alliances, even 

^ ViUaxd, z. c. 105. They conquered Lucca in April 1329, and sold 
the city to Gherardino Spinola of Genoa on September 2 for 30,000 
florins. The ungrateful Lewis had driven Castruccio's sons out of 
Lucca as well as Pisa, 


with the opposite party. The margraves of Este 
offered submission to the Pope, and obtained 
their city and the fief of Ferrara without 
difficulty.^ They urged the Visconti to take a 
similar step. For Azzo, who had not forgotten his 
prison in Monza, must have dreaded suffering the 
same fate as the sons of Castruccio. Although he 
had purchased the vicariate in Milan from the 
Emperor, he separated from him and held negotia- 
tions with the Pope. Lewis consequently entered 
Lombardy to lay siege to Milan ; he achieved 
nothing, but was obliged to confirm Azzo Visconti 
as vicar of the city and county in September. He 
then marched hither and thither in the district of the 
Po, forming idle schemes, such as that of seizing 
Bologna, and watching his army and prestige 
dwindle day by day. While Beltram the papal 
legate sent emissaries of peace to one town after 
another, Lewis soon found himself entirely 
abandoned. Verona and Mantua, it is true, still 
adhered to him, but in ambiguous attitude. His 
i^wis cause in Italy was lost. On December 9, 1329, he 
l?^T^T^ went from Parma to Trent whence he had come. 

Italy, Dec. "^ 

1329' He there intended to hold a parliament of the 
German states, in order to prepare with fresh means 
for a return to Italy; but the news that his 
adversaries contemplated putting forward another 
king in neglected Germany, forced him to a speedy 

^ Their envoys appeared before the Pope with a cord round their 
necks. He released Raynald and Oblzo from the ban as early as 
December 5, 1328 (Raynald, n. 55), and invested them with Ferrara 
on May 31, 1329 {tdt'd,, n. 20). 


return to the fatherland, where circumstances fortu- 
nately made his return to Italy for ever impossible.^ 
Thus ended the journey to Rome of Lewis the 
Bavarian, more deplorable than Henry VII.'s, and 
equally unsuccessful. Its actual result was the 
extinction of the last shadow of respect enjoyed by 
the empire, and the entire destruction of the dream 
of Dante and the Ghibellines, who had expected the 
salvation of Italy at the hands of the Roman emperor. 

The Guelfs, their head King Robert, the Pope at Ruin of the 
Avignon, and Florence remained victors on the field ^^^^' 
across which Lewis had marched for two years 
without leaving a single trace, beyond the ruin of 
the former Ghibelline party and unutterable chaos. 
Accident also willed that just at this time the most 
prominent heads of the Ghibelline party, Passerino 
of Mantua, Galeazzo Visconti, Castruccio, Can 
Grande and Sciarra Colonna were removed by death. 
Silvestro Gatti, the tyrant of Viterbo, was also slain 
by Faziolus de Vico, a natural son of the Prefect 
Manfred, in September 1329, when this — the greatest 
town in Roman Tuscany — surrendered to the 
cardinal-legate Orsini.^ John XXII. saw the hand 
of heaven in these various accidents, but had himself 

^ The ChronicU of Siena says of Lewis's retreat : fece qtullo eke 
nan si frmfva, che mai nissuno aUro ItnpercUore facesse: ctb fit di 
ritomare neUa Magna dope la sua Incoronatione^ delta quale cosa 
disnore n^acquistb e molto dannofece ai Ghibellini d* Italia (Mur., xv, 

* Letter of the Pope to the King of France, Avignon, October 28, 
1329 (Raynald, n. 19). ViUani, x. 143, and Nerini, del Tempio di S, 
Bonif,, p. 267. Passerino was slain in August 1329 by Lewis of 
Gonzaga, who now founded the Gonzaga dynasty in Mantua, 


to lament the death of Charles of Calabria, Robert's 
only son. The prince died on November lo, 1328, 
and as he left no male heir, his death entailed the 
gravest consequences for the kingdom of Naples. 

The restoration of the papal prestige was now the 
work of a short time. The majority of the cities 
hastened to make peace with the Church. Lucca 
and Pistoja abjured the Emperor. The Pisans 
banished his vicar Tarlatino of Pietramala, as early 
as June 1328, restored the republic, and sought 
The Anti- reconciliation with John, selling the anti-pope, whom 
rendtered^o Lewis had left behind in their city, as the price of 
Avignon, ^jjgjjp q^,j^ absolution. The monk of Corbara re- 
mained in hiding in the fortress of Bulgari near 
Piombino, under the protection of Count Boniface of 
Donoratico. The wretched man, who only a year 
earlier had launched the most violent excommunica- 
tions against the heretic priest Jacques of Cahors, 
now wrote letters of abject humility to the most 
holy Pope John XXII. He merited his fate : he 
died despised, after his prayer for pardon had been 
granted. When the count had received the assur- 
ance of pardon and a suitable provision for life for 
his prot^giy and when he had himself abjured his 
papacy in Pisa, the man who had formerly been 
known as Nicholas V. was delivered up in Avignon 
in August 1330. Here he threw himself — a cord 
round his neck — at the feet of John XXII., weeping, 
confessed his sins, was absolved and magnanimously 
detained as prisoner in Avignon, where he died 
three years later — the most despicable of all the 
anti-popes that the Church has ever seen. 


2. Rome makes Submission to the Pope — Solemn 
Recantation of the Romans and the leading 
Roman Ghibellines — The Emperor vainly 
strives for a Reconciliation — Mysterious 


If John XXII. obtained a like confession of sins 
from the Emperor and the city of Rome, then had 
he nothing more to desire. The city, as we have 
seen, had changed its front in the course of a single 
night. After the entrance of his troops, King King 
Robert, who was again recognised as Senator, had ^^^^ 
ratified the Senators elected by the people, Berthold Rome 
Orsini and Stephen Colonna, and had then appointed li^. 
as his vicars William of Eboli and Bertrand del 
Balzo, Count of Monte Scabioso (called Count 
Novello).^ Famine and the excesses committed by 
Eboli's troops, however, produced such irritation 
that the Romans attacked the Capitol on February 
4, 1329, ejected Robert's vicar and installed a new 
government Poncello Orsini and Stephen Colonna, 
the oft-named party leaders, were made syndics and 
rectors, and their measures succeeded in tranquillis- 
ing the people.* King Robert recognised them as 

^ A deed of September 7, 1328, Re-infeudation of Franc. Gaetani, 
shows Stephen and Berthold in office, and Eboli and Novello as 
designate : In nom D, congregate m. Pop. Rom, — ad parlam, pro 
ascensu m, viror, Dominor, Comitis Montis ScoHosi dicH alms comitis 
Novdli Sen, urbis et Gw'llelmi de Ebuh regit in Urbe Vicariipro 
regim, ipsius urdis , , , de mandato nobil, viror, D, Stephani de 
Colupna S, R, Pop, militis et BertoUU defil Ursi deigra, altne urbis 
Senatorum, , ., , Gaetani Archives^ xlvi. 22. 

' >^llani, X. c. 97. Poncello (Napuleo) and Stephen ratify the 



[Bk. XI. 

make sub- 
to the 

his Vicars, but soon after (in June 1329) appointed 
as their successors Berthold Roman!, Count of Nola, 
and Berthold son of Poncellus, both members of the 
Guelf house of Orsini. These men remained pro- 
senators throughout the following year.^ 

The subjugation of the city to the will of the Pope 
was soon accomplished. Under the pressure of 
Neapolitan arms, the Romans sought the pardon of 
the Church for the greatest offence of which they 
could be guilty in her eyes; for having exercised 
their two ancient rights, the papal and imperial 
election, A parliament on the Capitol in behalf of 
the people, and the nobles of the city on their own 
behalf, laid their oath of obedience to the lawful 
Pope in the hands of the cardinal-legate, professed 
themselves ready to make atonement, and elected 
syndics to bear their confessions to Avignon.^ Three 

Statute of the Merchants as die gra, alme urbis Syndici et ad ipsius 
urbis regimen deputati^ on February 1 6, 

^ Robert recognised Poncello and Stephen as his vicars. He writes 
to them on June 8, 1329, that he nominates the two Bertholdi as their 
successors. Ficker, Urk, zum Romerzug Ludwig^Sy p. 135. Both 
Senators again ratify the Statute of the Merchants on January 26, 
1330; Vendettini shows them still in office on November 15, 1330 ; 
their vicariate had consequently been prolonged. 

^ A protocol of the notary Jacopo Lelli of Amelia, Act of the 
Roman people super constitutione duor, Sindicor, mittendor, ad 
petendam veniam a papa Joke XXII, is given in abstract in Petti's 
Annals of Todi^ v. loi (Archives of S. Fortunatus). The decree is 
signed by Bertuld, D, Roniani defil, Ursi Com, PalcUinus ; Ursus et 
Francis, comites Anguillarie ; D, Riccard, D, Fortis Brachii; />. 
Joann, Dni Francisci ; Bertuld, Poncelli; Cecchus Francisci ; 
Poncellus Dni Fortisbr, ; Ursus Dni Andree (all these are Orsini) ; 
Nicol, Dni Stephani de Comite ; Angelus Maldbrance Cancellarius 
Urbis; Bucius Dni Johis de Sabello, . . . Petti wrongly assigns the 
deed to the year 1328, instead of 1329. 


priests furnished with full powers there explained in 
public consistory that the city of Rome recognised 
the rule of John XXII, for life. They abjured the 
Emperor Lewis and the anti-pope, and in a series of 
articles admitted the following principles : that the 
emperor had not the power to depose and appoint 
the pope ; that the opinion embodied in the treatise 
of Marsilius was heretical ; that not to the Roman 
people and clergy, but to the college of cardinals 
belonged the papal election ; that the Roman people 
had not the right to crown the emperor. After this 
solemn recantation on February 15, 1330, the Pope 
absolved the city, which consequently renounced all 
those rights of majesty which she had temporarily 
assumed.^ John XXII. also required the Romans 
to address a similar declaration to united Christen- 
dom and to some kings ; so important did the Pope 
consider it that the recognition by the Romans of 
the rights of the sacred chair should be brought 
to the knowledge of the world.^ Meanwhile, the 
fugitive heads of the Ghibellines in their fortresses 
had cause to tremble before the vengeance of the 
conqueror. Their celebrated leader Sciarra Colonna 
was (perhaps fortunately for himself) already dead ; 
the others, with Jacopo Savelli and Tebaldo the 
most prominent demagogues (after Sciarra), sought 

* Ahjuratio Rotnanor. in the bull Copiosay dot, XV, Kal, Martii 
Pont, A, XIV,, addressed DiLfiliis Comm, et Univ, ac Populo Urbis^ 
Printed in Bullar, Vatican,^ L 278, and in Theiner, i. n. 746. The 
three syndics were Bobo de Bonescis, Jacob. Anibaldi, PhiUpp, 

* Letter of the Pope to the Cardinal-l^ate John Orsini, dot, X, KaL 
Octob, a, XV, Raynald, ad A, 1330, n. 27. 



the Pope's pardon.^ Their procurator brought their 
recantations to Avignon, when John granted them 
absolution also; the only punishment was a year's 
exile.^ If we read the history of the charges of high 
treason after unsuccessful revolutions, we shall find 
for the most part only terrible outbreaks of revenge, 
and few examples of greater clemency than that 
offered by the Church under the passionate John 
XXII. The most radical of all the revolutions 
against the Papacy was effaced by a decree of 
pardon, a forbearance, due less to Christian prin- 
ciples than to political prudence, which redounded 
more to the advantage of the Church than any gain 
she could have acquired by force of arms. 

Avignon was the theatre of scenes which must 
have filled the Pope with satisfaction. Throughout 
the entire year (1330) envoys of Italian princes and 
cities appeared to do penance. German envoys 
also arrived, fear making the Emperor anxious for a 
reconciliation : for the Pope incited all the princes 
of the empire to elect another king. He fixed his 

^ De partib, Rotnanis narratur^ qttod Sciarra de Columna obiit his 
dieb,^ thus the Pope wrote to the King of France, October 28, 1329. 
Raynald, n. 19. 

Instrument, Avignon, October 13, 1330. The procuration of 
Jacopo Savelli was drawn up in Rocha Palumbare, that of Tebaldo 
in Castro Cantalupi on June 5, 1329 (Theiner, i. n. 754), Their 
procurator Ildebrandinus, Bishop of Padua, acknowledges that neither 
of them would admit Prince John, Senaiorem swe Vicarium R. Regts^ 
into the city ; that they thereby deprived the King and Pope of the 
Senatorship ; that they closed the city against the l^;ate, received 
Lewis, helped him to the crown and the office of Senator, and accepted 
the anti-pope. The articles to be sworn to, similar to those contained 
in the Act of the Roman people, follow. 


hopes on Otto, Duke of Austria, and on the King 
of Bohemia; but Lewis, nevertheless, succeeded in 
retaining the empire. He formed a treaty with the 
Austrian dukes and offered King John the post of 
vicar in Italy. On the ground of these treaties, he 
even determined to return to Italy in the summer of 
1330.^ At the same time he proposed an arrange- Lewis 
ment with the Pope. He offered to depose the anti- n^otia- 
pope, to renounce his appeal to a Council, to revoke jj'^p^*^^ 
all his acts against the Church, to acknowledge that who refuses 
he had invoked the ban on his own head, and to terms. * 
throw himself on the mercy of the Pope. In return 
he desired absolution and ratification as lawful 
Emperor. John XXII. might justly reply that 
Lewis had no right to pronounce the deposition of 
the anti-pope, for he had had no right to appoint him ; 
and Peter of Corbara had also already renounced the 
Papacy in Pisa. But the other grounds on which he 
refused Lewis absolution and recognition drew upon 
him the reproach of caprice. Had he accepted the 
offered treaty he would have saved Germany and 
Italy from a long period of confusion, made his in- 
fluence dominant in the empire, and prevented the 
declaration of the independence of the imperium in 
the decrees of Reuse, It was Robert of Naples who 
more especially prevented the Pope from making 
peace with the Emperor, while France, prompted by 

^ On April 23, 1330, he intimated to Luysius de Gonzaga^ his vicar 
in Mantua, that he would come with an army by June 24. Bohmer, 
Pontes y i. 206. Nevertheless, as early as April 24, at Worms he em- 
powered King John and Baldwin of Treves to effect a reconciliation 
with the Pope. Ficker, iii.. Supplement, p. 360. 


its own advantage, demanded the disruption of the 

In spite of the restoration of the papal prestige, 
Italy remained sunk in deepest anarchy. Guelfs 
and Ghibellines, cities and t}^rants, made war on one 
another with ceaseless fury. The rectors of the 
Church ruled like satraps in the provinces. The 
Italians, sinking into the utter weariness of despair, 
left their country, as after the fall of the Roman 
empire, to become the prey of the first military 
leader of ability. The mysterious appearance of 
John of John of Bohemia bears clearest evidence to this 
app^^in condition. The chivalrous son of Henry VII. came 
Italy, 1331. tQ Trent at the end of 1330. Brescia, harassed by 
the banished Ghibellines and by Mastino della Scala, 
appealed to him for aid and offered him the signory, 
Scarcely had he appeared when the despairing cities, 
as if under a spell, yielded themselves to him. 
Bergamo, Crema, Cremona, Pavia, Vercelli, Novara, 
Lucca, Parma, Reggio and Modena, torn asunder by 
parties and oppressed by tyrants, placed themselves 
one after another within a very short time under his 
rule. The son of Henry VII., a king in barbarous 
Bohemia, devoid of means, almost without an army, 
marched through the country in triumph more 
rapidly than his noble father, was greeted as saviour, 
received the homage of the republics, to which he 
was completely a stranger, and, like his father, in- 

' L«tter of refusal written by the Pope to King John, Avignon, Juty 
Vt I33<^ Martene, TJkes, Amcd.^ iL 800; Raynald, n. 29. The 
Pope was indignant that Lewis kept the schismatic monks at his 


stalled vicars in the cities, although without any 
right to do so, and suddenly found himself ruler of a 
great part of Italy .^ John was merely a. chivalrous 
knight-errant. His valour and his personality 
exercised a great influence over the Italians, but do 
not explain his success. The Guelfs marvelled. No 
one knew the meaning of his coming ; whether he 
had been sent by Lewis or the Pope, or had arrived 
on his own account. The Emperor, whose rights he 
so boldly usurped, denied all connection with him ; 
the Florentines, whom the King of Bohemia com- 
pelled by a military force to retire from Lucca, saw 
the son of their enemy beside their gates, and in 
their astonishment asked the Pope whether he had 
sent him. John XXII. replied to them, as to the 
Visconti, in the negative.^ But the mysterious 
meeting which the King of Bohemia had with 
Beltram, the cardinal-legate, at Castelfranco on April 
1 8, 1 33 1, and their close alliance, proved to the 
Guelfs that the Pope was in no sense foreign to the 
enterprise. The crafty John XXII. no sooner learnt 
of the success of the Bohemian, than he resolved to 
make him his tool. He allowed him to obtain power 
in Lombardy, in order by his means to remove the 
Visconti, the Este, and other tyrants and to secure 
the dominion in Bologna to his nephew Beltram. 

* Dubravius asserts that John came to Italy with 13,000 men, but 
the statement is very doubtful. See Book xxi. of the Histor, 
Bohemicay which deals with John's actions in Italy. 

* See Lewis's letter to Gonzaga, March 7, 133 1, Bohmer, Pontes ^ 
i. 211. John Victoriensis [jibid,^ p. 410) relates that John had 
answered the twice repeated question of the Emperor, saying that he 
wished to visit the graves of his parents. Villani, x. c. 171. 


At the same time he wished to separate John from 
Lewis the Bavarian and thus to prevent Lewis's 
proposed expedition to Italy. As soon as the 
Bohemian should have rendered these services, the 
Pope would set him aside as an adventurer. The 
power of the King, which had grown with wonderful 
rapidity, meanwhile produced such a state of con- 
fusion, that those who had hitherto been his most 
Italian violent opponents entered into alliances among them- 
league selves ; the Este, Azzo Visconti, Mastino della Scala, 

against ' ' ' ' 

John and the Gonzaga of Mantua formed a league against him 
ope. ^^j ^j^^ Pope, which the Florentines and King 
Robert also joined. The world looked with surprise 
on these contradictions, and on the intriguing Gascon 
policy at Avignon. The Bohemian had conceived 
the adventurous idea of making himself King of 
Lombardy and Tuscany, and of depriving Lewis of 
the crown of empire. The league, however, dis- 
sipated his dreams. He went to Germany in the 
summer of 1331, to France in January 1332, to 
Avignon in November, while Charles, his youthful 
son, remained behind as his vicar in Italy and took 
the field, and at first not unsuccessfully, against the 
allies. John concluded a treaty with the King of 
France, and in the beginning of the year 1333 
descended from Languedoc with French troops and 
a body of noblemen. The invasion spread terror 
through the whole of Italy.^ John fought unsuccess- 

^ Petrarch, who was then in Avignon, wrote on this occasion his 
patriotic epistle in Latin verses to Aeneas Tolomei of Siena. He 
bewails the ruin of his native country, on which a barbarian prince 
was now again descending, Ep. Poet^ i. 3. 


fully against the Visconti in Lombardy, where the 
greater number of cities had deserted him ; with his 
son Charles he vanished from Italy "like smoke" in 
the autumn of 1333, without having achieved any 
practical success. On the contrary, he disgraced 
his name among the Italians by the fact that he 
sold cities, which had confidingly given themselves 
into his hands, to tyrants for money. Above all, 
his enterprise largely contributed to weaken the 
republican spirit in the cities and to strengthen the 
power of the tyrants. Although the history of the 
city of Rome remained untouched by his expedition, 
we have nevertheless dwelt upon it, in order that 
we may not lose the sequence of events and may 
explain the general condition of affairs in Italy.* 

^ Charles, afterwards emperor, described his own and his father's 
Italian adventures : Vtta Caroli IV. Imp,^ Bdhmer, Pontes^ i. He 
was then sixteen years old, and won his spurs against the Este at S. 
Felice, November 25, 1332. On April 14, 1333, the Este defeated 
the legate Beltram at Ferrara, where Count Armagnac was taken 
prisoner with all the French knights. The Regesta of John are very 
scanty in Bohmer, and the Cod, Epistolaris Johis Regis Bohemiae of 
Theod. Jacobi (Berlin, 1849) contains nothing with reference to Italy. 
A recent work is J. Schotter's Johann Graf von Luxemburg und 
Konig von Bohmeny Luxemburg, 1865. 


3. Decadence of Rome — War between the Colonna 
AND Orsini — Revolt in the Romagna — Bologna 
ATTAINS Freedom — Flight of Cardinal Beltram 
— The Flagellants — Fra Venturing in Rome — 
Death of John XXII. — His character — Bene- 
dict XII. — The Romans invite him to Rome — 
War between the factions of the Nobility — 
Petrarch in Capranica and Rome — The 
Romans confer the Signory on the Pope — Peace 
between the Colonna and Orsini — The Roman 
People institute a Republic on the model of 
Florence — ^The Pope restores his authority. 

The city felt the absence of the Pope an ever in- 
creasing misfortune. Against the dark background 
of the sufferings of a famished and tortured popula- 
tion, such as no chronicler has adequately described, 
Rome falls we may observe the pompous processions of senators 
^^^' and magistrates, or the rude games on Monte 
Testaccio, but shall discover no trace of any life 
worthy of respect in the metropolis of Christianity. 
In poverty and obscurity she withered away, 
decayed and crushed, a rubbish heap of history, 
while the Pope, forgetful of her claims, accumulated 
gold and treasures in distant Avignon. The pro- 
found sadness, which is characteristic of Rome in the 
Middle Ages, is deepened at this period, when the 
sight of the ruins of antiquity, of deserted and 
tottering churches, heralded the overthrow of the 
grandeur of the Christian world. Human passions 
never had a theatre so overwhelmingly tragic as that 
offered by Rome at this time. Nevertheless, the 


savage feuds of the nobles, and the ambition of the 
barons, quarrelling for the shreds of the senatorial 
mantle or about a shadow or a name, raged day and 
night above its dust and ruins. The hostile houses 
of Colonna and Orsini severed Rome as the Guelfs 
and Ghibellines severed other cities. They num- 
bered equally strong adherents, owned castles and 
fortresses throughout the Roman territory and allies 
or protectors in distant places, even in Umbria and 
Tuscany. One party consequently could not over- 
power the other. 

In 1332 the feuds became so violent that the Pope Family 
sent two nuncios to Rome, Philip de Cambarlhac, Jh^^y/** 
his rector in Viterbo, and John Orsini, who still 
remained cardinal-legate of Tuscany and the Patri- 
mony. From the attitude of John XXII. it seemed 
as if he intended to come to Italy. In order to 
render the Bolognese subject to his nephew, he gave 
it to be understood that he wished to establish the 
papal chair in their city. Beltram, in fact, erected a 
fortress here, and the citizens, hoping for the arrival 
of the Pope, to whom they forthwith made over the 
signory, did not hinder its construction.^ At the 
same time John soothed the Romans by the prospect 
of his speedy return, and instructed his nuncios to 
have the Vatican palace put in order. The shades 
of deserted Rome disturbed the repose of the Pope 
in the palace at Avignon, for the conviction that 
Rome was the sole lawful head of the Christian world 
was indestructibly rooted in the human race.^ The 

* Villani, z. c. 197. 

' A courtier asked John XXII. why he did not remove the Papacj 


Romans wrote despairing letters to the Pope and 
once more entrusted him with the full civic authority. 
Since he again appointed Robert of Naples as his 
representative, it follows that the term of the King's 
senatorship must have expired in the year 1333. 
Robert made the Neapolitan Simone de Sangro his 
vicar.^ John XXII., however, did not appear in 
Rome. King Philip without difficulty still detained 
him, and it is hard to believe that the Pope was 
serious in his intention. The Avignonese popes 
tormented the French kings from time to time with 
the prospect of returning to Rome, and the threat 
of leaving France was their sole weapon against 
monarchs whose serviceable prisoners they remained. 
A new and fierce war between the Colonna and 
Orsini, moreover, showed the Pope how uninviting 

and empire to Cahors; the Pope replied with a smile that in that 
case the popes would only be the bishops of Cahors, the emperors the 
prefects of Gascony, but that the Bishop of Rome would be pope, and 
the prefect of the dty emperor. VelimuSj nolimus enim rerum caput 
Roma trit, Petrarch, Ep. situ tit^ zv. It is said that after his 
election John XXII. swore never to mount a horse until he went to 
Rome; he went by sea to Avignon and never put foot in stirrup. 
Baluz., Vita^ v. 178. 

^ Raynald, ad A, 1333, n. 24. According to Vendettini, in 1331 
the vicars were : Bttcio di Giov, SaveUi and Franc, di Paolo Petri 
Stefani; further Matteo di Napol, Orsini and Pietro di Agapito 
Colonna; according to WUstenfeld, n. 95, this is a mistake, since 
these men are found as Senators in 1339. On October 30, 1332, 
Laureniius de Villa miles et Henricus Cinthiide Tedallinis^ treasurers 
of the city, ratify the Statute of the Merchants for the absent vicars, 
Stephan. Stephani de Colonna and Nicol, Stephani de Comite, Both 
vicars were appointed on April 30, 1332 (Vitale), and ratify the Statute 
of the Guild of Woolweavers on September i, 1332. Simon de 
Sangro ratifies on November 20, 1333. 


was the state of Rome. On May 6, 1333, the heads War 
of the Orsini, Berthold and a Count of Anguillara, coionna 
marched with a strong escort across the Campagna May^sa!' 
to meet the enemy. The young Stephen Colonna 
encountered them at S. Cesario, and the two Orsini 
were left dead upon the field.^ The family immedi- 
ately flew to arms, but in spite of inferior numbers 
the Colonnas gained the victory. The Orsini 
achieved nothing in the city ; they merely strangled 
an innocent child of Agapito Colonna, who happened 
to have been brought to church by servants. The 
Cardinal-legate John Orsini, the uncle of the slain, 
was also drawn into the vindictive fray. Desire for 
revenge and family affection had completely stifled 
the voice of religion in this prelate. He summoned 
the vassals of the Church to arms, united with the 
Orsini, destroyed the Colonna fortress of Giove, and 
thirsting for revenge entered the city, where he 
attacked Stephen Colonna in his own quarter. This 
forced the Pope to take part against his legate. 
He ordered the cardinal to lay down his arms and 
restrict himself to his spiritual duties in Tuscany.^ 

^ Villani, x. 218, speaks of treason on the part of the victor Stefan" 
uccio di Sciarra, The Count of Anguillara may have been Franc. 
Orsini. In 1333 Petrarch addressed the sonnet Vinse Annibale 
{jRime, i. 81) to the younger Stephen in praise of his victory. The 
lines fifrsa rabbiosa per gli orsaccki suoi che travaron di Maggio aspra 
pastura show the correctness of the date given by Villani, and bear 
testimony to the fact itself. Petrarch at the same time encouraged 
the victors, since the cause of the Colonna was just {Ep. Famil.^ iiu 
3, 4). There is no mention of treachery here, and the possibility is 
also excluded by the attitude of the Pope. 

* Letter of severe censure from the Pope, August 20, 1333, Raynald, 
n. XXV. In his letter, Ep. 3, to the younger Stephen, Petrarch calls 

1 88 


[Bk. XI. 


against the 

away the 
March 17, 


John XXII. had more to lament than the un- 
governable disturbances in Rome. Almost the 
entire State of the Church was in open rebellion. 
The cities of the Romagna, irritated by the despotism 
of their rectors and castellans, threw off the yoke of 
the Church. During the Avignonese period the 
popes almost exclusively sent Gascons and French- 
men, mainly their relatives, as regents into the 
provinces belonging to the Church. Unacquainted 
with the Italian character, and without any love for 
the country or people, as a rule utterly unqualified 
for their important posts, these rectors, like the pro- 
consuls of ancient Rome, utilised their term of office 
merely to extort wealth and enforce their power. 
During his long government in Bologna, the Pope's 
nephew, Beltram de Poggetto, had made himself 
almost independent. The Italians hated this high- 
handed foreigner, who was believed to be a natural 
son of the Pope. Petrarch, who abhorred John XXI I. 
on account of his incessant wars in Italy, said that 
he had sent Beltram to Italy not as a priest but as 
a robber, with legions like a second HannibaU 
Bologna at length rose on March 17, 1334, with the 
cry, " People, people, death to the legate and to the 
men of Languedoc ! " All who spoke French were 
slain. The palaces of the Curia were attacked, and 
the legate besieged in his newly built fortress. 

the Cardinal ncviis Eugeniiis ex agno lupus^ tyrannus ex clerico. 
The cause of the Colonna was reputed just. 

^ Cum — unum e sacro pcUrum collegiOyfil,^ ut mtUtidixerunt^ suum 
{et secund, formam similitudo tngens morumque ferocitas adjuvabtU) 
non Apostolicttm^ sed predonis in morem — in has terras quasi alterum 
— HannibcUem destinctsset, Ep, sifu TiU^ lib. xv« 


Beltram owed his escape to the prudent intervention 
of the Florentines, who escorted the fugitive cardinal 
through the rebellious country. The fortress in 
Bologna was demolished to the last stone; the 
whole of the Romagna hoisted the standard of free- 
dom, and the formerly powerful legate appeared as 
a fugitive before the papal throne.^ 

The terrible condition of Italy at this time gave 
birth to phenomena similar to those which had been 
witnessed after the fall of Ezzelino. The Flagellants 
appeared on both sides of the Alps. At Christmas 
1333 the Dominican Fra Venturino of Bergamo 
preached repentance in Lombardy. He drew The 
thousands after him. These penitents were called ur^er^Fm^ 
" the Doves," from the sign of a white dove with an Ventunno, 
olive branch, which they wore on their breasts. 
Venturino had given them a habit like that of the 
Dominicans ; they carried the pilgrim's staff in the 
right hand, the rosary in their left. Enthusiasts and 
adventurers, innocent and guilty, readily followed 
his banner, especially since the discipline of scourg- 
ing was not too severe. The monk led his bands to 
Florence, where they were entertained for three days, 
and where many Florentines joined their ranks. 
They continued their pilgrimage by Perugia to Rome, 
to pray and institute peace at the abandoned graves 
of the apostles. Fra Venturino entered the city 
during the Lent of 1334, with an errant army of 
more than 10,000 men, who adopted the gentle 

^ Villani, xi. c. 6, and the bull of Benedict XII. in the action 
s^ainst Bologna, Avignon, January 2, 1333, Theiner, ii. n. 52. The 
revolution was mainly the work of the Gozzadini and PepoH. 


epithet of" Doves," but who traversed the land more 
like a swarm of locusts. Among them were Berga- 
maschi, Brescians, Milanese, Mantuans, Florentines, 
Viterbese, who, divided into companies of twenty-five, 
marched behind a cross, singing litanies, and shouting 
the cry, " Peace and Mercy ! " Aged men remembered 
having seen the predecessors of these penitents in 
Rome, when the castellan of Andal6 owed his 
release from prison to their means. A chronicler 
has described this phenomenon of the Flagellants 
and the attitude of their Roman contemporaries.^ 
The brethren of the Dove were men who brought 
no money to . Rome, but who claimed board and 
lodging. They were, however, willingly received, and 
Fra Venturino obtained shelter in the Dominican 
monastery of S. Sixtus on the Via Appia. His 
followers were well disciplined ; he preached to them 
by day; they sang laudes in the evening. After 
they had consecrated a banner in the Minerva, which 
depicted the Madonna between two angels playing 
the violin, the monk announced a popular meeting 
on the Capitol, where he would preach repentance. 
The Romans listened in profound silence to the 
discourse of the Bergamasco, but criticised his 
mistakes in Latin.* He extolled Rome as the city 
of the saints, whose dust ought only to be trodden 
with the naked foot; he said that their dead were 
holy, but their living godless ; at which the Romans 

^ Hist, Rom, Fragmenta^ in Murat., Antiq, Med, Aevi^ iii. c. 6. 
Villani, xi. 23. 

* Forte tenevano mente i Romania Queti stavano. Ponevano cura, 
sepeccava infalzo Latino, 


laughed.^ They shouted their approval when he The 
announced that the Pope ought to make his abode andFra 
in Rome, but when he asked them to give to religious Venturmo. 
objects the money which they had destined for the 
godless carnival diversions on the Navona, they 
pronounced him a fool. The prophet remained 
alone on the Capitol. Attempts were made to seize 
him ; he shook the dust of Rome from off his feet, 
and exclaimed that he had never seen a more corrupt 
people on the earth. He went to the Pope at 
Avignon, where he was accused of heresy. For the 
Church had already forbidden the fanatic processions 
of the Flagellants and forbade them now. These 
mystics turned from the prescribed holy places and 
sought salvation in the enthusiasm of their inward 
feelings ; their teachings were coloured with heresy, 
and their extravagant character assumed the form of 
an independent sect, which was at enmity with the 
existing Church. Fra Venturino, severely censured 
at Avignon, because he had preached that the true 
head of the Church could only be found in Rome, 
was, it is true, absolved from the charge of heresy, 
but was sentenced to detention in a remote spot^ 
Such was the result of the attempt of the preacher 
of repentance to turn corrupt Rome from her sins. 

Meanwhile John XXII. died on December 4, Death of 
1334, at Avignon, ninety years of age. He had^xii., 

^ E disse che Roma era Terra de moita santitate pe le corpora^ le j„V, 
quali in esse iaceo. Ma Romani so niala iente, AUhora li Romani se 
ne risero. 

^ Villani, xi. c. 23. The doctrines of the Flagellants had a tinge 
of Oriental Pantheism. They were condemned at Constance. 
Lenfant, Histoire du ConciU de Constance^ vol. ii. 483. 


Spent his long reign in unchristian strife and hatred, 
without any other love than that of money. In his 
ambition he had filled the world with war, and the 
aged figure, seated on the papal throne, presents a 
revolting aspect His litigious disposition, his im- 
moderate and at the same time limited mind, had 
forced the German empire into a dangerous war 
with the Papacy, and had occasioned a schism in 
the Church. In spite of his dealings with the world, 
his days and nights were occupied in scholastic 
researches into trivial subjects, for he was an inde- 
fatigable pedant in study. In his last days he 
awoke a storm in the Church by the discovery of a 
new doctrine concerning the vision of departed 
souls, of which he was pleased to assert that they 
could not enjoy a perfect sight of God before the 
day of judgment. This idle dogma about the 
heavenly state provoked such opposition on earth 
that John XXII. was in danger of becoming a 
heretic, and was threatened with a summons before 
a Council in France. A synod at Vincennes pro- 
nounced the Pope's views heretical. He must have 
recanted shortly before his death, for he in no wise 
considered himself infallible. The profound com- 
motion which his quarrel with the Franciscans 
finally engendered largely contributed to vivify and 
spread throughout Europe the germs of the Refor- 
mation, which had long been stirring in Christian 
society. In this respect his reign was more impor- 
tant for the history of the world than those of many 
celebrated popes. By their want of moderation 
Boniface VIII. and John XXII. did more to shake 


the Catholic hierarchy than any heresy had pre- 
viously done. One evoked the secular, the other 
the ecclesiastical spirit of antagonism to the Roman 
dogma. For the rest, John, by his actions, gave 
practical ratification to his theory, that Christ and 
His apostles had owned property ; for although 
himself an old man of simple habits, this Midas 
of Avignon was one of the wealthiest of popes. 
Eighteen million florins in gold, and seven millions 
in valuables, were found in his treasury, wealth 
which avarice and greed had extorted from the people 
by the reprehensible means of the newly introduced 
imposition of first fruits, and by reservations of all 
the spiritual offices in Christendom.^ 

After election on December 20, 1334, and con- Benedict 
secration on January 8, 1335, the Cardinal of 5.^35!^^^' 
Prisca ascended the sacred chair in Avignon. 
Jacques Fournier, son of a miller in Saverdun in 
Languedoc, was a Cistercian monk and a doctor 
of theology. He had been successively Bishop 
of Pamiers and Mirepoix, and had been made 
cardinal by John XXH. He was a learned man of 
strictest monastic inclination, hard and rude, but up- 
right, and in many respects the direct opposite of 

^ Villani, xi. c. 20. Galvan, Flamma de gestis Azonis Vicecom,^ 
Mar., xii. 1009 . . • nee habuit mundtis Chrtstianum dtttorem. S. 
Ahtonino, Chron,^ iii. 333. The wealth of John XXII. furnished 
Lewis with the strongest grounds for his decree of deposition : dum 
sibi de oblatis inique thesauris curris fecit ^ et equiies adv, ChrisH ac 
Sacrt Imperii fideles, Mansi (Note to Raynald, A. 1334, n. 43) 
says : ex quofactum^ ut cum — moderaia respuens conHlia pontificium 
jus nimis urgendum aggreditur^ armis caedibusque omnia replemU 
See Muratori's sentence of condemnation, Annate ad A, 1334. 



his predecessor, whose abuses in the Church he 
strove, with praiseworthy zeal, to remedy. He, too, 
hated the Minorites, and swore death to the heretics ; 
but he was free from avarice and nepotism, from 
worldly ambition, and from all desire for war or 
strife. Although despising earthly pomp, he was 
severely tenacious of the temporal rights of the 

Scarcely had Benedict XII. become Pope when 
he hastened to tranquillise Italy, which his prede- 
cessor had left in the flames of revolution, and to 
pacify Rome, where the war of factions had pro- 
duced a state of utter misery. A new Pope, a fresh 
embassy of the Romans, a fresh cry of despair from 
the aged and now unattractive spouse, who was 
still unwearied of inviting her faithless husband to 
return to her embrace. Immediately after Bene- 
dict's elevation, the Romans had solemnly invited 
him to the city, and he had sensibly recognised the 
justice of their wishes. He was sincerely inclined 
to grant their entreaties ; but scarcely had his inten- 
tion become known, when it was thwarted by the 
French King, and Benedict sighed that the sacred 
chair must remain in French bondage.^ 

No means sufficed to reconcile the hatred of the 
hostile factions in Rome. Family fought against 
family, the populace against the nobility, the pie- 
beians among themselves. A truce was occasion- 
ally agreed upon, then all sides rushed again to 

* Benedict's letter to the King of Fpmce (July 30, 1335) clearly 
reveals his state of dependence. Raynald, n. 3. Read Petrarch's 
exhortations to the Pope to return, Ep, Poet,^ i. 2 and 5. 


arms. Vain were the exhortations of Benedict XII.^ 
The factions entrenched themselves in Rome, where 
they barred one entrance after another. Stephen 
Colonna held four bridges, the remainder were 
occupied by Jacopo Savelli and his followers ; on 
September 3, 1335, the Orsini destroyed Ponte 
Molle.^ The war extended as far as Tivoli, where 
Stephen Colonna constituted himself signor. On 
January 13, 1336, a truce was arranged by the inter- 
vention of Bertrand, Archbishop of Embrun, whom 
the Romans had expressly appointed syndic and 
defensor of the republic. Napoleon and his sons, 
Jordan and the Count Palatine Berthold and his 
brothers, John of Anguillara, Angelo Malabranca 
chancellor of the city, Jacopo Savelli and the re- 
maining relatives of the house of Orsini on one side ; 
on the other, Stephen Colonna, his sons Stefanuccio 
and Henry, with the remaining scions of the house, 
met in the convent of Aracoeli. And here, curbing 
their mutual hatred, but their eyes scintillating 
anger and murder, the fierce adversaries held out 
their hands, and swore to a two years' peace.^ 

^ Letters to the Roman people of July 21, 1335. Theiner, ii. n. 

^ The date is given in a marginal gloss in the Cod. Vai,, 3762, fol. 
Ill (the Lives of the Popes by Pandulf Pisanus) : nota de ponte 
milvio tyrannice diruto per satellites crudelium Ursinorum die tertia 
mens. Sept, annis D, currentibus mi lie CCCXXXV, pont, Z>. 
Benedicti P. XI L 

' Theiner, ii. n. 20, 21, with the confirmation of March 18, 1336. 
All the bridges (the pons Milvius alone is mentioned) were to . be 
restored to the people ; the property of which the Abbot of S. Paul 
had been deprived was to be given back. Stephen was to set Tivoli 
free ; no fortress was to be restored. 


Petrarch in At the end of the same year (1336) Petrarch was 
apranica. 5QJQUj.jjjjjg qjj ^jjg estates of his friend, Count Ursus 

of Anguillara, at Capranica near Sutri. He sur- 
veyed with horror the disastrous condition of the 
beautiful country, which swarmed with hostile bands 
and robbers ; the shepherd stood in arms in the 
thicket guarding his sheep; the husbandman followed 
the plough, bearing sword and lance, and every- 
thing breathed only war and hatred.^ When he 
wished to journey from Capranica to Rome, the 
Colonna sent an escort of one hundred horse to 
guide him safely through the hostile ranks of the 
Orsini. Can we wonder that Benedict XII. turned 
a deaf ear to the fervent prayers of the Romans for 
his return ? 

The civic power of King Robert had expired with 
his accession ; a popular representative committee 
of thirteen men, captains of the regions, had been 
appointed, alternately with rectors, nominated by 
the two contending parties. So great was the 
confusion that Robert had to appoint vicars even at 
the beginning of the year 1337.^ The whole state 

^ Bellum et odta, et operibus Daenumum cuncta simillima, De Reb, 
FamiL, ii. 12, to John Colonna. 

' To Simon de Sangro succeeded in 1334 Raimondo di Loret0 2,^ 
prosenator(Vitale), in 1335 once more XIII. men. Vendettini shows 
as such in June 1335 PauL Anibaldi and Buccio Savelli ; Riccardo 
Orsini and Giac. Colonna as Senators in June and September. On 
March 4, 1337, Petrassus Count Anguillara, and Anibald, Anibaldi^ 
vicars of Robert ; Stef, Colonna and Orso deW An^illara as 
Senators in the same year (Vitale). On April 13, 1337, Andreas 
Orsini and Franc. Johis Bonaventura deputies (Vendettini). On 
May 19, 1337, the Statute of the Merchants is ratified by nos XIII, 
capita Reg, ad urbis reg, ad beneplacit, D, nri, S, /J. Depuiati* The 


of things was provisional and insecure ; a constant 
vacillation between popular and aristocratic govern- 
ment prevailed. The Pope had not yet been en- 
trusted with the dominium ; this precious gift was 
withheld until, finally, in July 1337, the afflicted 
people decreed to bestow the signory on Benedict Benedict 
in person. The Romans appointed him Senator to"*' ^^*" 
and Captain, Syndic and Defensor of the republic 
for life. They hoped thereby to prevail on him to 
return, for so highly did they value the inestimable 
privilege of their freedom, and the lordship of the 
ruins of Rome, that they seriously believed there- 
with to entice the Pope to their city. For the rest 
it is clear that the Roman republic remained per- 
fectly independent of the popes, and that in their 
capacity of signors of the city the pontiffs could 
claim no other relation to it than that of protector 
and highest official for life, a position such as that 
with which other free cities endowed princes or 
tyrants in temporarily entrusting them with the 
signory.^ Benedict gratefully accepted the offered 
authority. He did not transfer it to King Robert, 
but first nominated the rectors of the Patrimony and 
of the Campagna to administer the Senate, and then 
installed two knights from Gubbio, Jacopo Canti de 

same on December 5, with the addition Senaiorie officio ac urbis regi' 
mini per D, nr, S. F, presidentes, 

^ Bull of July 31, 1337. The Pope gives the senatorship ad interim 
to the Rectors of Campania, Maritima, and the Patrimony, and to the 
Altararius of S. Peter, Joh» Piscis. Theiner, ii. n. 42. Philipp. de 
Cambarlkaco was Rector of the Patrimony ; Rogerius de Vintrono of 
the Campania and MariUma. Almost all die offices of the administra- 
tion were filled by priests from the south of France. 


falonier of justice^ and a captain were appointed. 
But the Pope protested against these innovations, 
ordered the rectors to resign their authority, ap- 
pointed vicars, and then on March i, 1340, made 
Titeido Tibaldo of S. Eustachio and Martin Stefaneschi 
Eustachio Senators for six months.^ In order to win over the 
st(rfa^«S^*^ hungry populace he sent 5000 gold florins for dis- 
chi, Sena- tribution I and indeed the city soon showed itself 

tors, I340t 

again ready to recognise his dominion. For Bene^ 
diet XII. was a strong, upright, and peace-loving 
man, and was determined to curb the tyranny of 
the hereditary nobility. He also defended the 
oppressed provinces of the Church against the 
arbitrary depredations of their rectors.^ The new 
Senators now acted with energy against some of the 
leading men, such as Francesco de Albertescis 
of Caere and Anibaldo of Monte Compatri ; but 
Berthold Orsini and Jacopo Savelli snatched the 
guilty out of the hands of justice, forced their way 
into Rome, and seized the church of Aracoeli. 
The Senators vanished from the Capitol, when Ber* 
thold and Paul Conti proclaimed themselves captains 
of the people. But as the Pope sent a nuncio em- 

^ NapoL de Tiberlis^ Rector of the Campania and Maritima, and 
the Altararius Petrus Laurentii provisionally on December I, 1339. 
Theiner, ii. n. 89. They ratify the Statute of the Merchants on ' 
February 7, 1340. Vitale gives the epitaph placed to the memory of 
P. Laurentii who was buried in S, M, in Pttblicolis* The Altararius 
of S. Peter*s presided over the Fabbrica of the cathedral and was 
Cura PaJatiu Bull of July 23, 1325, Buliar, Vatic, ^ I 271. For 
the appointment of Theobald and Martinus, see Theiner, ii. n. 93^ 
They sign the Statute of the Merchants on April 26, 1340. 

' On May 21, 1339, he appointed y<9A. de Amelia 9srrfarmatar gen, 
rector, et officialium terror, EccL R, Theiner, ii, n. 70, 



powered to make use of spiritual censures, these 
captains were banished, and order was restored.^ 
Ursus of Anguillara and Jordan Orsini then ursus of 
assumed the senatorial authority.^ f^°dTo^ 

Such were the conditions of Rome during theOreini, 
long absence of the Pope. The unfortunate people 1340 and 
saw all their attempts to obtain peace and impose a ^^^' 
check on the barons frustrated, and sought for some 
one who would deliver them from their intolerable 
misery. A memorable festival, the coronation of a 
poet on the Capitol, took place precisely at this 
terrible period, and contributed to awake ancient 
memories, and to fashion out of them singular 

^ Letter of the Pope to the expelled Senators, June 16, 1340. 
Theiner, ii. n. 107. The Alberteschi, a branch of the Normanni| 
owned Caere. In a deed of January 26, 1323, given from Caere, a 
Normandus confers the Cas^K GuidoniSy outside Porta S. Pancrazio, 
on the widow of Albertus Andree Normandi. Archtv» Florent, 
RoccetU di Fiesole, A. 1347 the Pope writes to Sttphaiu ncOus q^ 
Normanni de Albertescis, 

^ Theobald and Martin, appointed on March I, 1340, must have 
remained in office until September (Theiner, ii. n. IC9). Ursus and 
Jordan remained till July 1341. They are found in the Statute of 
the Merchants on February I, 1341. Monaldeschi's statement (p. 
540) with regard to the five years' senatorship of the younger Stephen 
Colonna is a fiction, as, I conjecture, is the whole Chronicle that 
bears his name. How could the Pope have dared and succeeded in 
accomplishing such a stroke ? On July 23, 1341 (n. 123), the Pope 
also names Ursus and Jordan as Senators, whom he had appointed for 
six months up to that date, and in no wise speaks of them as repre- 
sentatives of Stephen. After them, on September 14, 1 341, Francise. 
de Sabcllo and Paulus Nicolai de Anibal, ratify the Statute of the 
Merchants as Alme UrHs Senatores and not until 1342 did Stephen 
ai^ar beside Berthold Orsini as Senator, 



I. Francesco Petrarca — His Friendship with the 
House of Colonna — His longing for Rome and 


ON HIM BY Rome — Is crowned as Poet on the 
Capitol — Diploma of the Senate, 

The life of Petrarch is as closely interwoven with 
the history of Italy as that of Dante before him. 
His writings and letters enlighten us as to many 
events and serve as documents of the time. Through 
Petrarch, her most gifted representative, Italy pro- 
tested against the French popes, and with Petrarch 
begins the renascance of classic learning. 
Petrarch, Like Dante he was a Florentine, though born in 
Arezzo (July 20, 1 304), whither his father, who had 
been sentenced to banishment, had been forced to 
withdraw. In 131 3 the family went to Avignon, 
where many Italians resorted at this period in search 
of fortune. The youthful Petrarch pursued his 
studies at Carpentras, at Montpellier, and then at 
Bologna, whence he returned to Avignon, after the 
death of his father, in 1326.^ He here formed a last- 

^ Besides the Mimoires pour la vie de Francois Pitrarque by De 
Sade, the reader may consult the edition of the Ep, de reb,familiarib, 
et variae of Petrarch by Jos. Fracassetti, Flor., i859) a-nd in vol. i. 
will find the chronological tables concerning the events of Petrarch's 

Ch. v.] PETRARCH IN ROME, 203 

ing friendship with some of the most respected 
members of the house of Colonna, among whom were 
John of S. Vito brother, and Jacopo and John sons, 
of the celebrated Stephen* Jacopo Colonna, the 
young priest, who had already made a name for 
himself by his courageous resistance of Lewis the 
Bavarian in Rome, was now Bishop of Lombes and 
had been Petrarch's fellow-student. He introduced 
his friend to his brother Cardinal John, a man held 
in high esteem on account of his culture, wealth, and 
family, and whose hospitable palace was the resort 
of many illustrious men. Petrarch became the cardi- 
nal's confidant, and by his means won the favour of 
the aged Stephen when the latter came to Avignon 
in 1 33 1 to confer with the Pope with a view to the 
tranquillisation of Rome.^ 

Petrarch ardently longed to visit the city. Since 
childhood its heroes, poets, and monuments had 
filled him with such enthusiastic reverence, that he 

life. The most recent writings respecting the poet are Petrarca^ by 
L. Geiger, Leipzig, 1874 ; Petrarcds Leben und Werke^ by G. 
Korting, Leipzig, 1878 ; Georg. Voigt, Die WiederbeL des class, 
Altert,, 2nd edition, 1880; Vol. i., Renaissance und Humanismus in 
Ital, und DeutsckL^ by L. Geiger, Berlin, 1882, Chap. 3. 
^ To this year belongs Petrarch's sonnet : — 

Gioriosa Colonna, in cui ^appoggia 
Nostra Sperama, ^Igran notne Latino, 

To the genealogical table in vol, v. p. 541, we may add the 
following : — 

, Stqphen Colonna — Calcaranda di Giordano de Insula. 


Stephen, John, Jacopo, Aeapitus, Jordan, Peter, Henry. 

the Cardinal, Bishop of Bishop of Bishop of Canon of 

Younger, died June Lombes, Luni, aoout Luni, the 

29, 1348. died 1341. Z344. after 2344. Lateran. 



only beheld the present clothed in the forms of 
Roman antiquity. He wrote to Jacopo of Lombes : 
" My longing to see Rome, deserted and merely the 
shadow of ancient Rome though she is, is scarcely 
to be believed. Seneca seems to me to rejoice, as he 
writes to Lucilius from the villa of Scipio Africanus, 
and to deem himself fortunate to have seen the place 
where that celebrated man lived in exile, and to 
which he bequeathed his ashes, rejected by his 
native country. If a Spaniard was capable of these 
feelings, what think you must I, an Italian, feel? 
The question is not of the villa at Linternum, but 
of the city of Rome, where Scipio was born and 
educated, of the city which never has had, and never 
His first will have, an equal."^ At last he came to Rome from 
in F^wme)^^ Capranica, the castle of Count Ursus of Anguillara, 
Jan. 1337. yj\^Q ^as married to Agnes, daughter of Stephen 
Colonna.2 Under the escort of his friends he entered 
the city in the b^inning of February 1 337. Cardinal 
' John had advised him to visit Rome, in order that 
the sight of the ruinous present might efface the 
enthusiastic picture formed by the poet's imagina- 

^ Famt'l,, ii, Ep. ^, Avignon, December 21, 1334. 

^ Stephen had six daughters : Agnes ; Agnesina, married to John 
Anibaldi of Ceccano ; Joanna, married to Dominic of Anguillara ; 
Margarita, married to John Conti; two others were nuns in S, 
Silvestro in Capite, Petrarch extolled Agnes and Joanna as the 
noblest women of their time \Fam»^ ii. 15). De Sade, i. no, asserts 
that Joanna married Peter, son of Richard Frangipane, in 1323. 
But in a document of April 3, 1343, 1 find her spoken of as the widow 
of Anguillara : Z>. Joharmam relictam j^. tn. v, Dominici Comiiis 
AnguillarU et Margaritam reUctam qd. Jokis de Comite germanas 
sorores et filias m, v. D, Stephani de Columpna, Mscr. Vatican.^ 
793i» i<A. 63. 

Ch. v.] PETRARCH IN ROME. 205 

tlon; but Petrarch was so overwhelmed by the 
impression made by the city, that he wrote to the 
cardinal that everything appeared grander than he 
had expected.^ He wandered through Rome under 
the guidance of the Colonna, who, more especially 
John of S. Vito, proud of being Romans, cherished 
a fervent love for the monuments, with whose history 
they were probably more intimately acquainted than 
their illiterate fellow citizens. Petrarch blushed at 
the gross ignorance of the Romans; he discovered 
that Rome was nowhere less known than in Rome 
itself, and observed to his friends that the city would 
never rise from her misery until she had learnt to 
know herself again.^ It is interesting to picture him 
in the company of those celebrated Romans, whose 
names are as imperishable in mediaeval history as 
those of the Scipios in antiquity, and to follow him in 
his rambles through the ruins, where, seated on the 
fragments of columns, the friends lamented the fall 
of the illustrious city. In these lonely walks, 
Petrarch's glance may have rested on a poorly clad 
young Roman, of handsome form and enthusiastic 

^ He writes in the first letter which has been preserved to us from 
Rome : Vera major fuit Roma^ rnajoresque sunt reliquiae^ quam rebar. 
Jam non orbem ad hoc wbe^domiium^ sed tarn sero domitum miror. 
Vale, Romaty Idib, Mariiis. In Capilolio, Fam,^ ii. 14. The date 
caused de Sade to believe that Petrarch dwelt on the Capitol ; he 
probably lived, however, in the Colonna palace. Stephen and Paul 
Anibaldi were not, as he supposes, Senators at this time, but Petrassus 
Anguillara and Anibald. Anibaldi, who sign an act on March 14, 1337 . 

' Qui enim hodie magis ignari rerum Romanarum sunt, quam 
Romani civesf Iwoitus dico, Nusquam minus R<mia cognosciiur^ 
quam Romae, — Quis — dubitare potest^ quin illico surrectura sity si 
coeperitse Roma cognesc6r$. FanUy vi. 2, iojoh, a S, Vito, 



mien, who, filled with patriotic fervour, roamed 
amid the ruins to decipher the inscriptions which 
they revealed. The youth at this time would scarcely 
have ventured to approach the already celebrated 
poet But only ten years later, Petrarch addressed 
him in inspired odes, and Stephen, the aged hero, 
wept the overthrow of his illustrious house at the 
hands of the same plebeian.^ 

With Petrarch's arrival the history of the city 
acquires trait^ of individual life and a completely 
modern character, in which for the first time men 
who took active part in contemporary affairs appear 
vividly before us. Petrarch's brief sojourn inspired 
him to write a poetic epistle to Benedict XII., whom 
he summoned to return to the deserted city, the 
incalculable misery of which he beheld with his own 
eyes.2 On leaving Rome previous to the summer 
of 1337, he bore with him the strengthened desire 
to make the attainment of the poet's laurels the 
highest object of his study and ambition. He also 
conceived the bold idea of emulating Virgil's renown 
by an epic poem, Scipio Africanus^ This now un-» 

^ Cola di Rienzo was at this time twenty-four years old and was 
undoubtedly in Rome. Stephen had a'presentiment of the fall of his 
house ; he said to Petrarch : filiorum meor, omnium keres ero. In his 
letter of condolence on the death of Cardinal John in 1348, Petrarch 
reminded him of this. Famil.^ viii. i. 

2 Carm,^ i. Ep. $. 

• Petrarch wrote to Cardinal John : Putahcts me grande cUiquid 
scripturum, cum Romam pervenissem, Ingens mihi forsan in 
posterum scribmcU materia oblata est : in praesens nihil est quod 
inchoare ausim^ miraculo rerum tantarum et stuporis mole obrutus. 
An entirely modern feeling which is still experienced. From the 
Capitol, March 15, 1337. Fam,^ iv. Ep. 12. 


readable and long forgotten production was begun 
in his solitude at Vaucluse in 1339, and was not 
known to the world when the highest poetic honours 
were actually conferred upon him. His lyric verses, 
his poetic letters, his talents and studies, finally, his 
extensive intercourse with the foremost men of the 
time, had rendered Petrarch celebrated in France 
and Italy as a genius of the first rank. In an age 
of passionate enthusiasm for the poetic art, belief in 
his ** divine" talent was so universal, that no one 
asked whether he really had done anything to merit 
the laurels of Virgil. If the severe judgment of 
posterity may doubt the fact, it will nevertheless 
admit that in this extraordinary man, the prince of 
the intellects of the time, the hero of the learning 
of a new age was crowned with every justification. 
On August 30, 1340, Petrarch received at Vaucluse 
invitations both from the Chancellor of the Uni- 
versity of Paris and from the Roman Senate to 
receive the laurel crown in public. The poet, in- 
toxicated with success, wavered between the cele- 
brated school of learning and the Capitol which 
mouldered in ignorance, but decided to receive the 
laurel in Rome, "over the ashes of the ancient 
singers," and Cardinal John encouraged him in his 
patriotic resolve.^ 

The honourable custom of crowning poets with 
leaves of laurel or oak had been derived by the 
Romans from the Greeks. We know that poets 
were also crowned at the games which Nero insti- 
tuted on the Capitol every five years, and which 

1 Fam,^ iv. Ep. 4, 5, 6. 


Corona^ were revived by Domitian.^ These games, the art 
poetfc of poetry itself and the laurel wreath sacred to it, 
vanished in the ruins of the Roman empire. The 
statue erected in honour of Claudian was the last 
monument dedicated to genius in Rome. But the 
ancient custom had been revived in Italian cities 
after the end of the thirteenth century. Poets were 
publicly crowned before the time of Petrarch ; 
Albertinus Mussatus, historian and poet, and Bona- 
tinus in Padua ; Convennole, Petrarch's tutor in Prato; 
and even Dante, living in exile, looked with ardent 
longing to the day when he would receive the 
supreme distinction, in the chapel of S. Giovanni in 

Petrarch, thirsting for fame, wished to impart the 
greatest lustre to his coronation by subjecting him- 

^ An inscription from Guasto in the Abruzzi shows that in A.D. io6 
L. Valerius Pudens, a boy of thirteen, was crowned as poet on the 
CapitoL Tiraboschi, iL 89. According to Martial, iv. Epig, 54, the 
Capitoline victors were crowned with oak-leaves. Nevertheless the 
laurel remained the plant of Apollo, and, quite apart from Laura, 
Petrarch would have esteemed it as such. 

* Con altra voce omai^ con aliro vello 
Ritomerb poeta^ ed in sulfonte 
Delmio bcUtesmo prenderh Ucapello, 

^^Parad,^ xxv. 
Also in Canto i. of the Paradiso : — 

Venir vedrcC mi al tuo diletto legno^ 
E coronamii allor di queste Jbglie, 

The capello shows that a hat was placed on the head of a poet as well 
as on that of a doctor. In Purgatorio^ xxvii., Virgil sets his pupil free, 
saying : Fttor s^ delP erte vie, fuor 5^ delt arte . . . • Per cK io 
te sopra te corono e mitrto. See, with reference to the coronation of 
poets, Vincenzo Lancetti, Memorie intomo ai poeti laureati^ Milan, 



self beforehand to a public test of his talents and 
attainments, and resolved to undergo it in presence 
of King Robert of Naples, the most celebrated prince 
of Italy at the time. The King enjoyed an un- 
deserved reputation as a lover of learning, and was 
himself the author of tedious lucubrations on religious 
and profane questions. Petrarch, who had already 
entered into correspondence with this spiritless and 
heartless despot, called him, in courtly flattery, the 
king of philosophers and poets. In February 1341 
he set sail for Naples, where he was received with 
honour.^ The curious examination which the poet Petrarch 
underwent in presence of the King was pedantic ^^*°^ 
and in bad taste. It nevertheless redounded to the 
honour of both,'and must have attracted the attention 
of the whole of the learned world. After an ex- 
amination lasting several days, the enemy of Henry 
VII. bestowed on the candidate for immortality a 
diploma addressed to the Roman Senate, in which 
the King pronounced him worthy of the laurel. 
Robert in vain urged the poet to receive the crown 
of honour from his own hand in Naples, where Virgil 
rested in his imaginary grave under a laurel tree. 
By force of arms Robert had prevented the corona- 

^ He wrote to the Bishop of Lombes from Avignon as late as 
February 15. As a philosopher, he admitted the vanity of the 
coronation, which he nevertheless earnestly desired — a man of 
modem temperament ; how far removed from Dante I Scientiae 
autem et virtutis sedes est animus; ihique^ non in frondosis ramis^ 
cevicularum more^ nidificant, Quorsum igitur hie frondium ap- 
paratus? Quid respondeam quaeris? Quid putas? Nisi illud 
sapientis Hebraeorum : vaniias vaniiatutn, et omnia vanitas ? Sed 
sic sunt mores hominum, Fam,y iv, 6, 



tion of an emperor in Rome, but with theatrical 
enthusiasm he encouraged the coronation of a poet 
He presented Petrarch with his own mantle to wear 
on the Capitol, and dismissed him in the company 
of two knights, his representatives at the solemnity. 
Petrarch entered the city on April 6, 1341. 
Jordan At this time the Senators were Jordan Orsini 

Ure^of 3.nd Ursus of Anguillara, a friend of the poet and 
Sen^ore^ a distinguished man, who also cultivated the muses 
1341. ' amid the din of vindictive warfare.^ Preparations 
were made in the great hall of the Senate for Easter 
day (April 8) for the most peaceful of all coronations 
which Rome ever beheld. The deserted Capitol, 
hitherto the theatre of tempestuous parliaments or 
of bloody frays, which seven years before had served 
as the tribune for Fra Venturino and his brethren 
of the Dove, was graced by a scene which, for the 
first time for more than a thousand years, was dedi- 
cated to the cult of genius. To the coronation of 
emperors and popes was added the entirely new 
spectacle of the coronation of a poet. Recollections 
of the fairest glories of antiquity awoke the liveliest 
curiosity among all, fanatical enthusiasm among 
many. Petrarch, in deciding to receive the poet's 
laurels only on the Capitol, thereby gave it to be 
understood that Rome, abandoned by history, was 
the sacred altar from which the West had lighted the 

^ In hoc ecce Caprarum {Capranice)y imtno vera leonum ac tigridum 
monte, quolibet agno mitior Ursus iste tuus hahitaty AnguillartM 
comes — inter bella securus — Pieridum familiarissimus et excellentium 
ingeniorum mircUor elegantissimus et laudator. Fam,^ il. 13, to Car- 
dinal John from Capranica, A. 1337. 


fire of her culture. The ceremonies of the festival, Petrarch 
the persons who took part in it, or were present as poet on the 
spectators, senators, magistrates, guilds, knights and ^Srii s'* 
people, beautiful women, the hero of the day, a poet 1341. 
in the mantle of a king, and the ancient hall of the 
Capitol adorned with ^tapestries and flowers, would 
have combined to form one of the most splendid 
and curious pictures of the Middle Ages had we 
been able faithfully to reproduce it^ The corona- 
tion was performed according to the ceremonial used 
in conferring the degree of magister at a university. 
Only one account — the authenticity of which is 
suspected — claims to be contemporary. The function 
opened with a procession, accompanied by the 
sound of trumpets, to the great hall of the Palace of 
the Senate. Twelve pages, clad in scarlet, sons of 
patrician families, stepped forward and declaimed 
Petrarch's verses to the glory of the Roman people. 
They were followed by six citizens attired in green, 
carrying garlands of various colours, then by the 
Senator Ursus, a laurel wreath on his head, and 
surrounded by various distinguished Romans. The 
Senator having taken his seat on the chair, Petrarch 
was summoned by a herald. The poet delivered a 
Latin address to the Roman people on a text from 
Virgil.^ He spoke of the difficulty of the poet's art, 

^ Petrarch speaks of his coronation several times in his letters, as 
in the Epistola ad Posteros ; he does not, however, describe it, 
* The lines of Virgil were from the Georgics^ iii. 291 : — 

Sed me Pamasst deseriaper ardua dulcis 

Raptat amor-^ 

Petrarch's memorable coronation address is authentically preserved to 
us ;' it was published from a Cod, Magliahech, on the occasion of the 


and of the hindrances which he himself had had to 
encounter ; he said that he was covetous of glory- 
like all high-minded men, that he had not striven 
for the laurels from ambition alone, but also that he 
might excite others by his example to the zealous 
study of learning; and although invited by other 
cities, especially by Paris, he had, out of reverence 
for ancient recollections and from patriotic motives, 
chosen to receive the poet's crown only at the hands 
of illustrious Rome. He ended his speech by an 
entreaty to the Senator to award him the wreath, 
since, according to ancient custom, the Roman people 
had conferred upon him the right to wear it. Then 
he kneeled before Count Ursus ; the noble Senator 
spoke a few words in his praise, topk the laurels from 
his own head, and crowned the poet. "Take the 
wreath," he said ; " it is the reward of virtue." 
Petrarch thanked him in a sonnet to the honour of 
the Romans, and Stephen Colonna replied in a 
panegyric on the poet. The people shouted, " Long 
live the Capitol and the poet."^ 

Petrs^rch jubilee by Attilio Hortis, Scritti Inediti di Francesco Pet-> 
rarca^ Trieste, 1874, pp. 311-328. The speech is bombastic and 
obscure : Petrarch's idol, Cicero, would have been ashamed of its 

^ Stephen's panegyric (me laudibus ampHs accumulat) is mentioned 
by Petrarch, Ep. Foet,^ ii. i (to Johes Barrili); this is the only 
account of his coronation to be found in his works. Lauream 
poeticam adhuc scholasticus rudis adeptus sum, Haec mihi laurea 
scientiae nihil, plurimum vero quaesivit invidiae^ said he in old age : 
Ep, ckd Fosteros. The above-mentioned account of the coronation 
ceremony is by Monaldeschi (Mur., xii. 540). I think it spurious, 
although its author was acquainted with Petrarch's speech. The 
sonnet which he mentions is not to be found in the works of the poet* 


Among the spectators of the imposing solemnity 
our glance discovers Cola di Rienzi, the enthusiastic 
youth intoxicated with recollections of antiquity, 
whom Petrarch then saw for the second time. The 
coronation made perhaps a deeper impression on 
him than even on Petrarch himself. Only a few 
years passed and the yet unknown Cola sat in the 
chair of the Senator in the same hall of the Capitol, 
a fantastic wreath on his head> while aristocrats 
belonging to the oldest families of Rome, berretta 
in hand, stood before him, and the people cease- 
lessly applauded him as their saviour and deliverer. 
Only a few years more and the hero Stephen paced 
the same palace in the darkness of night, expecting 
his execution, beating at the doors which he im- 
plored the officers of that youth to open for his 

The senatorial diploma, which was handed to Diploma 
the crowned poet, a valuable memento of the time, ^JfJjJl^ 
couched in the pompous rhetoric characteristic of Senate to 


the official language of the Roman republic, was 
entirely penetrated with the ancient Roman spirit, 
and was also memorable for some excellent remarks 
concerning the essence of the poet's art.^ The 

Would not Petrarch have preserved it as a treasure ? That the Sena- 
tor should take the wreath of honour from his own head is altogether 
unsuitable* As late as 1549 a description of the coronation was 
fabricated under the name Senuccio Delbene^ and long passed for 
authentic: de Sade, ii., Notes, p. 5, and Hortis, p. 37. 

1 These, as also the whole train of thought contained in the 
diploma, were, for the rest, borrowed from Petrarch's discourse, 
which the official compiler of the diploma had before him. This is 
rendered certain by a comparison of the speech published by Hortis 
and the diploma* 




gave a magnificent banquet in his honour in the 
palace beside SS. Apostoli.^ And thus ended a 
festival which, although unimportant in itself, yet, 
owing to the city where it took place, the ideas 
which it embodied and to which it gave utterance, 
left behind an enduring impression.^ The corona- 
tion of Petrarch in truth inaugurated a new century 
of culture. In the midst of the horrors of the war 
of factions, and of the melancholy abandonment of 
Rome, the day dedicated to a poet's honour shines 
with a mild and humane light From the height 
of the classic Capitol, it proclaimed to a world sunk 
in hatred and superstition that the redeeming work 
of the intellect is its eternal need, its highest calling^ 
and its greatest triumph. 

Henceforward Petrarch dedicated his enthusiasm 
to Rome, whose citizen he had become. He soon, 
however, withdrew from the homage, or the satiric 
mockery, which the Romans bestowed on all that 
was exalted. Immediately after the day on which he 
had attained the ideal of his life, he encountered sor- 
did realities at the very gates of Rome. Scarcely had 
the laurel-crowned poet left the walls of the city be- 
hind him, when he fell into the hands of armed robbers, 
who forced him hastily to return to Rome. The next 

^ Messer Stephano in S. Apostolo di^ a mangiare ad esso et a ttUti 
i Laureali Levatori, Ex Diario Gentilis Delphini (Mutat., iii. 
p. ii. 843). 

^ Petrarch himself dimly felt this when he wrote to King Robert : 
Parva res fortasse, dixerit quispianiy sedprofecto turvitate conspicua et 
populi Ro, plausu et jucunditate perceUbris. Fam,^ iv. 7, Pisa, May 
30 (1341). 


day he was given a stronger escort in order that he 
might pursue his way to Pisa in safety.^ 

2. Benedict XII. bthlds the Palace at Avignon — 
Unfortunate condition of Italy — The Pope 
AND THE Empire — Lewis the Bavarian's vain 
attempts at reconciliation — declaration of 
Independence of the Empire — Death of Bene- 
dict XII. — Clement VI., Pope — The Romans 
confer the Signory upon him, and invite him 


Revolution in Rome — First appearance of 
Cola di Rienzo. 

The decaying city at this time became more than 
ever convinced that she was the cradle of western 
culture, the source of the empire as well as of the 
Papacy, and that consequently she must exert her- 
self to recover her cosmopolitan position. But the 
bold flight of ideas to which she rose did not stir 
the soul of Pope Benedict. Instead of returning to 
Rome, to the mortification of Petrarch and of all 
Italians, he built the papal fortress at Avignon 
on such a gigantic scale as were it destined to be 

^ — vtx moenia Urbis egressi^ ego cum his qui me terra et pelago 
sectUi eranty in latronum manus incidimus, Fam.^ iv. 8, to Barbatus 
of Sulmona, Pisa, May 30. The knight and poet, John Barrili, a 
member of the Neapolitan escort of honour to the coronation, had 
&llen into the hands of robbers at Anagni, and consequently had not 
been able to reach Rome, {/did,) Petrarch might have solaced him- 
self with the thought of the emperors and their accustomed &te after 
their coronation. 


form.^ The submission of an Emperor behind whom 
stood the Hohenstaufens, Philip le Bel, Dante, the 
school of the monarchists and the progress of 
critical learning, was more humiliating than the 
penance of Henry IV. in the darkness of his age. 
It even gave the Avignonese Pope the right to 
despise such an enemy and such an empire. The 
Pope could indeed desire no more favourable con- 
ditions. The accurate judgment of Boniface XII. 
also recognised that Lewis had been driven to 
extremities by John XXII., and he himself sincerely 
desired peace. But the painful circumstances by 
which he was surrounded at Avignon made him 
regret his want of freedom. The King of France 
threatened to treat him worse than Philip had 
treated Boniface VIII.; he confiscated the property 
of the cardinals in order to compel them to oppose 
the peaceful intentions of the Pope; while Lewis 
himself could not be induced to relinquish the 
alliance with the King of England. The work of 
reconciliation desired by the Pope was thus 

Germany, however, now awoke to the conscious- 
ness of her rights and independence. The wearied 

^ Lewis's letter, Noverit Sanctitas vestra^ Nuremberg, October 28, 
1336. Raynald, n. 31. 

^ Benedict XII. said openly that the greatest obstacle to reconcilia- 
tion was : belHci apparatus ^ quos faciebat contra reg. Franciae ; 
Lewis ought to know qtiod nos et ead, eccl, eund. Regem dimittere 
non possemus, nee etiam deberemus ; maxime cum talis necessitas 
immtnereti cum Reges Franciae nunquam dimiserint ecclesiam. 
To the Archbishop of Cologne, Avignon, July I, 1338. Raynald, n. 3. 
Nevertheless, Benedict wrote several times afterwards to Lewis, invit- 
ing him to a reconciliation. 


princes of the empire finally brought the case of 
Lewis and the Pope before their own tribunal, and 
the consequence of the exaggerated ckims of the 
Avignonese popes was the declaration of the in- 
dependence of the Empire from the Papacy, The The 
celebrated constitutions concerning the law of elec-uonsor 
tion of the Roman kings and emperors, promulgated F^kforf 
at Rense near Mainz on July 15, and at Frankfort 1338. 
on August 8, 1338, gave ratification to the Ghibelline 
theory that the empire was dependent solely on 
God, not on the pope. They declared that the 
emperor or king legally chosen by the electors was 
to be regarded as lawful king and emperor in virtue 
of this election, and that his authority, recognised 
by the empire, did not require the ratification of 
the pope.^ The teachings of the monarchists thus 
acquired constitutional validity. These principles, 
as old as the Carolingian right of empire, had been 
set aside by the popes since Gregory VII. They 
had, however, been asserted with decision by Henry 
VII. at the time of his quarrel with Clement V.^ 

^ Dedaramus — quod ImperioHs dignitas et potestas est immediate d 
solo Deo : et qttod de Jure Imperii et consuetudine antiquitus appro ' 
batUi postq, aliquis eligitur in Imp, sive Regem ab EUctoribus Imp, 
concorditer, vel majori parte eorund,^ statim ex sola electione est Rex 
verus et imp* Rom, censendus — nee Papae sive Sedis Ap, aut alicuius 
alterius approbatione — indiget. Constitution Licet juris, Frankfort, 
August 8, 1338. Goldast, Const, Imp,, iii. 409; Leibnitz, Cod,Jur, 
Gent,, i. 148. 

^ Henry VII. declared : quamvis Papa non teneatur inungere 
fatuum vel hereticum in Imp, — tamen non ideo sequitur quod sola 
electio Ro, Principis eijus non tribuat imperandi ; quemadmod, enim 
solapape electio ei omnem tribuit potestatem — quia nemo est eo superior 
in spiritucdib., ita quid, et Ro, principi sola electio ejus omnem tribuit 



[Bk. XI. 

All the electors, the King of Bohemia excepted, 
announced their decision to the Pope in a letter, 
in which they bitterly lamented the continuance of 
the division between the Church and the empire, 
and explained that this unhappy quarrel could only 
be ended when both powers observed the limits 
of their rights, and each surrendered what it had 
usurped from the other. They accordingly an- 
nounced to the Pope that they had drawn these 
precise limits by this imperial decision.^ 

In the long controversy of the Church with the 

empire the Church alone had remained firm, the 

Empire in moments of weakness had surrendered 

its rights of majesty. By the elevation of the Habs- 

burg dynasty the princes of the empire had even 

acknowledged that the imperium was dependent on 

the pope alone, and even Lewis the Bavarian had 

recognised the fact. In the arrogance of their 

victory the popes had even pushed their claims so 

far that they actually united the two powers, and 

Severance proclaimed themselves the sole heads of the empire. 

empire The nccessary rebound followed; the decrees of 

from the the year 1338 finally pronounced the independence 

potesUUem quia non eo superior in temporalibus. Donniges, Acta ZT., 
iL 6i. 

^ E^, Electorum ad P, Bened, XIL super Ludovico Imp,^ Rebdorff 
in Freher, i. 427. Thus was fulfilled the sentence in the Monorchia 
of Dante, the Ghibelline who had so violently protested against the 
blending of the two powers : 

D^ oggimai che la ckiesa dt Rotna^ 
Per confondere in se duo reggimenti. 
Cade nelfangOf e si brutta e la soma. 

— Purg.^ xvi. V. 127. 


of the empire from the Papacy; in conformity with 
this principle they already severed Germany from 
Rome and Italy, and thus created a fresh ground for 
the Reformation, which was to announce the in- 
dependence of the German intellect from the Roman 
Church. The reader of this history will hail the 
constitutions of Rense, ineffective though they 
were at first, as a deed honourable to Germany; 
and if he surveys the length of time and the sacrifices 
which this world-stirring quarrel between the two 
powers cost from the time of Henry IV. to Lewis IV., 
he will wonder that the declaration of independence 
appeared so late, and at a time when the empire no 
less than the Church had long lost its ancient might 
The two powers were twin sisters ; one pre-supposed 
the existence of the other. They became great by 
one and the same theocratic conception, and through 
it lost their strength. We may assert that the defeat 
of one necessarily entailed the enfeeblement of the 
other. The political power of the Church decayed 
when the historic importance of the empire waned 
by the progress of the age. The Church in vain 
protested against the independence of the empire. 
To the writings of Occam and Marsilius the Spanish 
Minorite Alvarus Pelagius opposed his Lament of 
the Churchy in which all the divine rights of the 
Papacy were embodied in the antiquated theory that 
the pope, as the representative of Christ and God, 
was sole ruler of the earth.^ 

^ De Planctu Ecclesiae Alvari Pelagti Hispani ex ord. Minority 
Theologi libri duOy Vcnetiis, 1 561, He was Penitentiary of John 
XXII., and wrote his work in consequence of the controversy with the 


Death of Benedict XII. died, unreconciled to the empire, 
xiL, April 2it Avignon, on April 25, 1342. His enemies, the 
35, 1342. favourites of John XXII., the Minorites and patriots 
of Italy, overwhelmed him with abuse, but could not 
reverse the sentence of history, which has awarded a 
fitting recognition to this simple, rough, and upright 

Cardinal Peter of S. Nereus and Achilleus was 
elected as his successor on May 7, 1342, and was 
Clement crowned as Clement VI. on May 19. He was a 
y^l^^^t' native of Limousin from Malmont,was born in 1201, 
the son of a wealthy nobleman, Guillaume, lord of 
Rosiires, a member of the house of Roger.^ He had 
entered the Benedictine order as a boy; had later 
become professor of theology in Paris, then Bishop 
of Arras, Chancellor of King Philip, successively 
Bishop of Sens and Rouen, and was made cardinal 
by Benedict XII. in 1338. He was a learned theo- 
logian, but at the same time a man of liberal inclina- 
tions, and far removed from the monastic tastes of 
his predecessor. 

The change on the papal chair was accompanied 

Minorites. It is a compendium of all the hierarchical principles of 
the Avignonese Papacy. 

^ Almost all biographers call him Justus st durus, constans. His 
enemies made him the subject of the following pasquinade :-^ 

Illefuit NerOf laicis'morSy vipera clero^ 
Devit4S a vero^ cuppa repleta niero» 

Petrarch also hated him, partly on account of his rough character, 
partly out of patriotism : Vino madidus^ aevo grams^ ac soportfero 
rore perfusuSf Jam nutitat, • • . Ep» sine titulo^ i. 

' See the genealogical tree in M. Souchon : The papal elections 
from Boniface VIII. until Urban VIII., 1888, appendix. 



by a change in the government of Rome, of which 
the popes were only personally titular signors. The 
Roman people immediately resolved to confer the 
senatorial power on Clement VI. in the illusive hope 
of bringing him to Rome.^ This hope revived and 
disappeared with every new pontiff who ascended 
the throne in hated Avignon. The Romans hastened 
to inform each in succession that he might take 
peaceful possession of the city, where nothing was 
heard but laments for the absence of her father and 
shepherd, and longing expectations of his return. 
A solemn embassy x>f eighteen Romans, taken from The 
the three orders of the people, the great nobility, the ?^?J^g*^he 
prominent burghers, and the lower class, headed by Pope to 
Stephen Colonna, Francesco of Vico, and the syndic ^^^^^' 
of the city, Lellus de Cosecchis, went to Avignon.* 
They brought as gift to the noble Lord Pierre Roger 
the civic authority for life, and implored him to return 
to Rome as Pope. They finally prayed him, for the 
sake of the impoverished city, to fix the celebration 
of the jubilee every fifty years. He immediately 
acceded to the request; but neither the convincing 

1 In the latter half of 1341 the Senators were Francesco Savelli and 
Paul. Nicolai Anibaldi ; they ratify the Statute of the Merchants on 
September 14, 134 1. Whether or not they were still in office at the 
time of the death of Benedict XII. is uncertain. 

* Viia III, Clem, VI, in Baluzius, p. 286. Stephan, de Columna 
is here called Senator urbis» But because the Pope soon afterwards 
appointed him to this office, I do not venture to assert that he was 
Senator already. According to the second account of the embassy in 
Hist, Rom, Fragm,^ p. 343, it consisted of six laymen and six priests. 
Capo lorofo Stefano de la Colonna^ e lo Commendatore de S, Spirito 
(perhaps Francesco de Vico, who elsewhere bears the epithet vener* 
abilis). Stephen Colonna is not here designated Senator. 



arguments of the envoys, nor the verses of Petrarch, 
the Roman citizen, persuaded Clement that a return 
to Rome would be for the advantage of him.self or 
the Church.^ He appointed the younger Stephen 
Colonna and Berthold Orsini as his representatives 
in the Senate.^ 

Deatjl of The following year the death of King Robert of 
Rotert, Naples was productive of great changes. This 
Jan. 19, magnificent but at the same time feeble and ignoble 
prince, so long the head of the Guelfs, the ruler of 
Rome, and the Advocate of the Church, died on 
January 19, 1343, without male heirs, leaving the 
crown to his grand-daughter Joanna, who was 
married to the young Andrew of Hungary. Robert 
had proved incapable of uniting the kingdom of 
Naples, which had been torn asunder by the feudal 
nobility. His death consequently soon enough 
produced a state of frightful anarchy. It was also 
felt in Rome, where, in virtue of their fiefs, Orsini, 
Colonna, and Gaetani were vassals of the crown of 
Naples, whose proximity, its relation to the Church, 
and several other causes, combined to produce a 
permanent alliance between the kingdom and 
Rome. . 

Shortly before Robert's death, violent disturbances, 
which led to a revolt, had broken out in the city. 
The Senate was overthrown, the rule of the Thirteen 

^ Clement VI. rewarded Petrarch's verses (Carm,, Ep. il 91) with 
the Priory of S. Niccol6 de Miliarino near Pisa. De Sade, ii. 47. 

^ Statute of the Merchants, July 10, 1342. According to a docu- 
ment in Papencordt, Cola di Rienzo^ p. 68, they were still Senators 
on November 26, 1342. Stephen's representative was his son John. 

Ch. v.] cola DI RIENZO, envoy of ROMANS. 22/ 

was reinstated under papal supremacy.^ The regents 
of the people hastened to justify the change to 
the Pope, to ratify him in the signory of the city, 
and to lay before him the same requests as they 
had previously urged. In January 1343 the young First ap- 
notary Cola di Rienzo went with letters from the^^jl^^ 
Thirteen to Avignon as envoy of the people. The f^^^'')^ 
honourable commission of appearing as orator before 
the Pope shows that Cola, who had lately attracted 
the attention of the entire city by his antiquarian 
knowledge and gift of oratory, had already rendered 
services to the people in the revolution that had just 
taken place. The young man had long been the 
bitter enemy of the aristocrats, by whom his brother 
had been murdered ; he had long meditated emanci- 
pating the city from their rule ; he now hoped, by 
means of his representations, to gain the Pope to his 
side, and likewise to acquire fame. The charge of 
the embassy to Avignon was the first political event 
in his life, and inaugurated the career of this remark- 
able man.* 

Cola discharged his mission with ability in public He comes 
consistory, and in presence of the Pope and cardinals, as Roman'^ 
The frankness with which he depicted the sufferings c^^^^y. 
of Rome in consequence of the insolence of the 
nobility, and his rhetorical talent, won the approval 
of the Pope, who was himself reputed an excellent 

1 As early as January. The ratification of the Statute of Merchants 
is dated April i : Nas XIIL boni viri ad urbis Regimen per Rom, 
Pop, deptUaH ad beneplacitum D, N, Rape — 

* Per stto procaccio (by his management)^ in Avignone per ambas- 
ciaiore a Papa Clemente da parte de li tredici uomini di Roma, Vita di 
Cola di Rienzo^ ed. Zefirino R^, lib. i. c. i. 


Speaker. Clement VI. accepted the authority again 
offered him by the people, without paltry considera- 
tions regarding its origin; he promised, were the 
war between France and England at an end, to 
visit the city, and as early as January 27, 1343, 
issued the bull fixing the jubilee every fifty years.^ 
In a magniloquent letter. Cola informed the Romans 
of the successful result of his mission, admonished 
them to prove themselves worthy of the favour shown 
them by laying down their arms, exalted the Pope 
as the deliverer of the city above Scipio, Caesar, and 
Metellus, and exhorted the Romans to erect a statue 
to Clement VI. in the amphitheatre or on the 
Capitol. The letter was premeditated, and copies 
were assuredly circulated at Avignon. Cola di 
Rienzo therein already called himself Roman consul, 
and, moreover, the sole popular ambassador of 
orphans, widows, and the poor to the Roman Pope. 
This title, and the exaggerated style of writing, show 
the man such as he afterwards appeared in Rome 
when he trod the stage of history.^ He remained 

1 Unigenitus Deifilius, Bullar, Vatican^ i. 322. 

* The style is intentionally imitated from the Roman Curia. Tbe 
opening reminds us of the bull in which Clement V. announced 
Henry's expedition : Exultet in gloria virtutis altissimi regni culfnetty 
exultant magnifice sibi subditae nationes — quoniam Ecce rex, . . . Cola 
began : Exultent in circuito vestro monies : induantur colics gaudio 
et universe planities^ atque vestra Ko, civitas^ et vallespacem germinent 
— — - — Ecce namque coeli aperti sunt, . , . NicoL Laurencii, 
Roman, Consul, orphanor,, viduar,, et pauperum unicus popularis 
legatus ad D, N, Rom, Pont, animo, manuq, propriis. Undated, 
but written at the end of January, immediately after the promulga- 
tion of the Bull of Jubilee. From the Turin Cod. in Hobhouse, 
Hist, niustr, of the Fourth Canto of Childe Harold^ London, 1818, 


Ch. v.] cola DI RIENZO in AVIGNON. 229 

some time at the papal court, where he had occasional 
opportunities of seeing Petrarch, and exchanging his 
ideas on the restoration of the city with the equally- 
fantastic views of the poet. Clement VI. himself 
evinced such lively interest in Cola's discourse that 
he frequently sought his society. The envoy of the 
people brought forward just complaints of the crimes 
of the Roman nobility, painted the utter misery of 
the illustrious city in the most vivid colours, and 
implored the Pope to become its saviour.^ His out- 
spokenness incurred the displeasure of Cardinal John 
Colonna ; the powerful prelate defended his relatives, 
and prejudiced the Pope against Cola, who was con- 
sequently no longer received at court, and dwelt in 
the greatest poverty at Avignon. Petrarch appar- 
ently obtained the cardinal's pardon for his friend, 
and a renewal of the papal favour ; the Pope even 
received Cola among his courtiers on familiar terms ; 
—a great distinction for a plebeian, and a proof of 
the favourable impression which his talents and 
learning had made on the accomplished Clement. 

Meanwhile Cola's courageous attitude in Avignon 
had become known in Rome, and had drawn upon 

p. 510. On May 12, 1343, the XIII. notified the issue of the bull to 
Modena and Bologna. Chron» Mutin^y p. 401 ; Ghirardacd, Istorie 
di Bologna^ ii. 193, 

1 Vita of Cola, i. c. I, The Pope wrote on August 9, 1343 : Dudum 
diU fit, N, Laureniii de Urbe^ familiaris nosier^ ad sed, op, per — 
Consules Artium et alios populares urbis ejusd.y sicut asseruit, destift' 
aiuSy coram nob. et frairib, nris in eonsistorio super reformatione 
Status Urbis ejusd, et liberatione populi a potentum oppressionibus, 
prudenter et eleganter proposuit {Theiner^ ii. n. 130). We see how 
Huthful to truth is the Vita, which says : ta sua diceria fu si avanzer- 
ana e bella^ che subito ebbe inamorato Papa Ckmente. 


him the hatred of the nobih'ty there. The new 
Senators, Matthew Orsini and Paul Conti, immedi- 
ately brought suits against him ; but the Pope, who 
wished him well, put a stop to these proceedings.^ 
Clement VI. showed himself more complaisant to 
the Roman democracy than to the patrician houses. 
We are acquainted with the grounds that induced 
the Avignonese popes to adopt this policy ; they all 
strove to satisfy the Roman people, in the hope 
of pacifying the reproaches brought against them, 
on account of their absence from the seat of the 
Apostles. In Cola, Clement recognised a man that 
might be useful to him. The poor plebeian begged 
for the post of notary in the civic camera, which 
carried with it the salary of five gold florins a month, 
l^^ and the Pope sfave it, with the most flattering re- 

notaiy of cognition of his virtues and learning, on April 13, 
Smera,^ 1344- With this official appointment began Cola's 
April 1344. public career in Rome, whither he returned after 
Easter of the same year.^ 

1 Letter of the Pope to the Senators, August 3, 1343 : he wrote 
that Cola told him that his enemies had insinuated to the Senators 
that Cola had injured them in his (the Pope's) eyes : that they ought 
to suspend the suit cotttra dictum N. et bona ipsius ; he had only 
spoken for the good of the city. The XIII., who were still in office 
on May 12, were dismissed by the Pope. Math. Orsini and Paul 
Conti ratified the Statute of the Merchants on July 14, 1343. They 
remained in oflfice until July 1344. On April 13, 1344, the Pope 
appointed Jordan Orsini and John Colonna ab eisd. Kal, Julii usque 
ad 6 m, (Theiner, ii. n. 138). They sign the Statute on December 
22, 1344. 

* Cola's request, hithertoimknown. Supplicai Sanctitaii K devoL 
vester familiar* et serv» Nic, Laurentii ex consulib, urbis ac plebts 
vestre Ro, zelatoret exosus nonnullis Romanis nobilib, propter defensum* 

ch. v.] cola di rienzo. 231 

3. Cola's Origin and Career — He becomes Notary 
OF the Civic Camera and Head of a Conspiracy 
— He excites the People by Allegorical Pic- 
tures—His INGENIOUS Interpretation of the 
Lex Regia — Important events in Naples and 
Florence produce an influence in Rome — 
General effort of the Guilds to obtain power 
in the Cities to the exclusion of the Nobility • 
— Condition of the Populace in Rome — The 
Revolution of May 20, 1347 — Cola di Rienzo 
Dictator and Tribune. 

The son of Lorenzo or Rienzo had not yet Antece- 
invented the myth that he was a bastard of theyoHlhof 
Emperor Henry VII., but was known as the legiti- ^?^* *^^ 


reip., quam in Rom, curia et Romanis consiliis singulariL fecit et sub 
protect. Sanctit, prefatefacere ampliori corde disposuit^ quatin. specials 
sibi gram— facientes per quam sub tit, alicuius officii sibiper v. clemett' 
tiam conferendi vivere posset in dicta Urbe a persone ac bonor, suor, 
jactura securior unacum offictcUib, vestris vid, camerariis per Sanct, 
pref, in ipsius Urbis camera deputcUis, dignemini prefate plebis intuitu 
eid, Nicolao notario publ. providere de officio notariatus dicte Cameread 
beneplac. Sanct, pref, et donee ipsum duxerit sicut dictos Camerarios 
revocandum cum salario consueto V, florenor, auri mense quoHb, et cum 
emolumentis et honorib. consuetis et executionib, et non obstantib, et 
clausulis oportunis. Fiat, R, Dot, Aven, Id, Aprilis anno secundo, — 
Clem, VI, Reg, Supplicat,^ a. ii. p. 2, fol. 291. Copied for me by 
P. A. Munch, the celebrated Norwegian historian, who died in 
Rome. The appointment of Cola as notary of the civic camera, with 
a salary of five gold florins per month (not, as de Sade, Gibbon, and 
Papencordt hold, per day) : Dat, Avin, Id, April, A, II, : Nicolao 
Laur, de C/rbe, Notario Camere dicte Urbis^ domicello etfamil, nostro, 
, . . Meruit tue devotionis industria, ut te, cui ad actiones publicas 
exercendas vita^ mores et sciencia laudabiliter — suffragantur, , . . 
Fresh ratification, Aven, XV, Kal. Julii A. Ill, (Theiner, Cod, 
Dipl,t ii. n. 139, 140). 


mate child of a tavern keeper in the region Regola, 
where his mother Maddalena helped to earn a scanty 
livelihood by washing and carrying water.^ He was 
born about 13 14.* The poverty of his parents 
afforded him no means for the cultivation of his 
distinguished abilities. From the death of his 
mother until his twentieth year he lived with a 
relative at Anagni — "a peasant among peasants/* 
as he himself lamented.^ About 1333 or 1334 he 
returned to the city, on the death of his father, and 
had here opportunity of educating himself by study. 
The young Roman owed more to self-instruction 
and to the writings of the ancients than to the 
professors of his native city, to whose decayed 
university he may nevertheless have resorted. His 

* Suo abitaggio fu canto di Jiume fra le moKnara nelle via che va a 
la Reola^ direto di S, Tommaso sotto la tempto de li guidei, Viia^ i. 
c, I. Reola is a corruption of Arenula, The sandy shore still 
remains unchanged, and Cola's house probably stood £Eicing the river, 
at the corner of the Regola, where ancient fulling mills stand even 
now. The church is S, Tommaso dei Cenci^ which was restored by 
the infamous Francesco Cenci in 1575. The synagogue in the neigh- 
bourhood still survives. Cola himself says in a letter to Charles IV, : 
ripa flutninisy in qua domus mea pertnanet sittiota'-que tabcma erat 

^ I take this date from Cola's own assertions in 1347, that he had 
accomplished his works at the same age as Christ, namely, at 33. 

' Ubi {Anagnie) usque ad etatis mei ann, XX, tanquam rusticus 
inter rusticos sum moraitis, (Letter to Charles IV.) Cola was bom 
about i3i3or 131 4. See the Summario Chronologico in Zefirino R^, 
and his Osservazioni Storiche^ p. 175. Papencordt and R^ have 
worked out Cola's history with great accuracy. The latest work on 
the subject is: Emm. Rodocanachi, Cola di Rienzo^ Paris, 1888. 
Papencordt first collected the letters of the Tribune ; they were then 
edited by Annibale Gabrielli, Epistolario di Cola di Rienzo^ Rome, 
1890 {Fontiper la storia d Italia), 

Ch. v.] COLA DI RIENZO. 233 

letters show that he was intimately acquainted with 
the Bible and the Fathers of the Church, even with 
Canon law. He was versed in Livy, Seneca and 
Cicero, Valerius Maximus and the ancient poets; 
they formed his Latin style, endowed him with 
eloquence, nourished his intellect with magnificent 
imagery, and filled him with longings after the 
ideals of antiquity. He was often heard to exclaim, 
"Where are those good old Romans? Where is 
their lofty rectitude ? Would that I could transport 
myself back to the times when these men flourished." 
The ignorant inhabitants of the region stared at the 
youth, who was of handsome aspect, and around 
whose mouth a whimsical smile was wont to play 
as he explained ancient statues and reliefs, or read 
the inscriptions on the marble slabs scattered through 
the city.^ It was these ostentatious inscriptions — 
ghostly voices, which, in the midst of ruins, spoke of 
a great world that had completely passed away — 
that stirred his poetic imagination and incited the 
man to believe himself in the place of these heroes 
and consuls, and to adorn himself with attributes 
and titles, which, in the silence of his dreams, he 
may long before have appropriated. It was, more- 
over, the histories of antiquity, in the study of which 
he steeped himself, that in him, as in Petrarch, 
removed the barriers between past and present, and 
fired him with such enthusiasm "that he resolved 

1 Tutta la die si spfcukeoa ne Fintagii di marmo, li quali giacciono 
intomo a Roma ; non era altri eke desso^ che sapesse leggere li aniichi 
pitaffi — Era belP omo, ed in sua docca sempre riso appariva in qualche 
modo fantastico. The author of the Vila had an accurate knowledge 
of the character of his hero. 


to translate into practice that which he had learnt 
in reading."! And from the depths of his dreamy 
nature, on the soil of antiquity, in the tragic silence 
of Rome, and in the midst of the misery of an 
enslaved population, arose a marvellous genius — 
one of the most remarkable products of the Middle 

It is evident that, as he was a public notary before 
his embassy to Avignon, Cola had entered on the 
only career which, apart from the clerical profession, 
offered an honourable position to a poor plebeian. 
When he now reappeared in Rome after the Easter 
of 1 344, a favourite of the Pope, with the glory of 
having successfully executed his mission, and dis- 
tinguished by the hatred of the nobles, against whom, 
however, he was protected by the Pope and his 
office, he was already respected by the people. 
His public position gave him opportunity of be- 
coming acquainted with the frauds of the judges 
and the crimes of the barons, and of acquiring 
Coiadi influence among the citizens. He wrote with a 
no^.^ silver pen, as he said, out of respect for his high 
office ; and the insignificant fact is characteristic of 
his nature.^ Intoxicated with reflections on the 

^ Lectioni rerum Iniperialium — dedi curam^ qutbus — imbutus, 
nihil actum fore putavi siy que legendo didiceram^ non aggrederer 
exercendo. This is Don Quixote with the romances of chivalry. 
Letter to Charles IV., p. xxxiii., in Papencordt. 

^ With this penna di ariento^ Cola signed the ratification of the 

Statute of the Merchants. The handwriting is elegant. Scriptwn 

per me Nicolaum Laur, not. Cam, urb, per Dnum, papam de 

mandato praefati Dni sen, et assectamenti. Given on March 2%^ 

1346, under the senatorship of Ursus Jacobi NapoUonis and Nicoh 

ch. v.] r. orsini, n. anibaldi, senators. 23s 

grandeur of antiquity, and inspired with the mission 
of becoming the deliverer of the city, he began to 
take counsel with men who cherished the like ideas, 
to collect friends around him, and to organise a 
revolution. This revolution was the result of long 
planning and secret conspiracy. 

The confusion in the republic had at this time 
become so great that the dignity of senator appeared 
nothing but a burthen. Matthew Orsini and Paul 
Conti in 1344, and their successors, Jordan Orsini 
and John Colonna, had implored the Pope to remove 
them from office.^ After July i, 1345, Raynald Raynaid 
Orsini and Nicholas Anibaldi, lord of the fortress of Nicholas" 
S. Pietro in Formis, near Nettuno, were Senators ; g^^^^^'' 
but owing to the nobles having refused entrance 1345. 
into the city to Haymerich of S. Martin, the cardinal- 
legate, these two men also found themselves placed 
in such difficulties that they declined any longer to 
administer their office. The Pope exhorted them to 
fulfil their duties, and also wrote to the principal 

de Comite^ who was absent. On August 23, 1346, the same Statute 
is signed by Egidius Angehri notar, et dictator Cam, urbiSy whence 
it does not follow that G}la was no longer in office, since there were 
several notaries of the kind ; the Not, appellationum, or the Proto* 
notariuSy also frequently sign. E, Angelerii (sometimes written 
Angeloni) had been Cola's predecessor for many years. He first 
signs as Not, Cam, urbis in 1332, then in 1337, and from 1340 every 
year until 1349, then for the last time in 1354. So £uthful an 
official of the Capitol deserves honourable remembrance in this 

^ Theiner, ii. n. 138. The senatorship of Jordan and John ended 
on January I, 1345. They were succeeded until July i, 1345, by 
Berthold Orsini and Count Ursus AnguiUara (Brief, Nov. 26, 1344, 
Theiner, ii. n. 143). 


nobles.^ City and Campagna were in the power of 
the aristocracy. In spite of the prohibition to barons 
against becoming the podest^s of cities, the nobles 
had usurped the government of several communes. 
The Prefect John of Vico, the Savelli, and the 
Normanni seized Toscanella, Bagnorea, and Vetralla. 
The Gaetani occupied Terracina; the Orsini and 
Colonna did not lag behind. The Pope would have 
hailed with joy anyone who could bridle these 
rapacious nobles. 

Cola's animadversions before the Capitoline judges 

only brought him ill-treatment and contempt, but 

his ingenious allegories filled the citizens with 

Cola enthusiasm.* When demagogues now wish to in- 

the people fluence the crowd, they circulate their manifestos 

^^™Q^°^ through the press; in the fourteenth century they 

stirred the imagination of the people by means of 

allegorical pictures. One day the Romans beheld 

an impressive picture on the wall of the Palace of 

the Senate : a shipwreck on a stormy sea ; a widow 

in tears kneeling in prayer ; around the wreck four 

vessels which had foundered in the water, four 

drowned women, Babylon, Carthage, Troy, Jerusalem, 

which, as an inscription announced, had perished 

^ Brief of August 17, 1345) to Raynald Orsini, in which he exhorts 
him and Niccol6 de Anibaldis £uthfully to administer their office. 
The same brief contains letters to other nobles. 

' Vttay i. c. 2. Andreozzo di Normanno (allora camerlengo) once 
gave him a box on the ear; and the Scriba Senatus Tommaso 
Fortifiocca turned him into ridicule. Andreas was Camerarius of the' 
city. On August 15, 1346, the Pope appointed Leilus Tartari to 
hold office with him for three years. Theiner, ii. n. 163. I mention 
this merely to confirm the accuracy of the Vita, 

Ch. v.] cola's allegories. 2i7 

for their ^unrighteousness. On the left two islands ; 
on one a matron, Italy, seated in shame, with the 
words, " Thou didst take power from every country, 
me alone thou didst regard as sister " ; on the other, 
the four cardinal virtues as mourning women, with 
the motto, **Thou wast clothed with every virtue, 
now findest thou thy shipwreck in the sea." On the 
right, on a third island, a woman's figure, clad in 
white, kneeling, representing Faith, with hands 
uplifted to Heaven. "O great father, my duke 
and my sovereign, where shall I stand if Rome 
perish?" Above the chief painting winged beasts 
were depicted, which appeared to blow like winds 
out of shells; lions, wolves, bears, these were the 
barons, as an inscription explained; other animals, 
the evil counsellors and false judges ; others, the 
vicious plebeians. Lastly, over the whole, were Peter 
and Paul, the terrible judges of the world, two 
swords in their mouths. The people, looking on 
this apocalyptic allegory, were lost in deep astonish- 
ment^ In the fourteenth century the institution 
of police was entirely unknown, or only very 
imperfectly organised. Manifestos of this kind 
were published with perfect freedom; preachers of 
repentance and demagogues could address the 
people unhindered, as preachers or orators in free 
England to-day. 

^ A panbl of wood which Cola had had painted in secret. In the 

.Middle Ages pictures were made use of for political purposes. 

Banners on which Conradin's head was depicted were carried in 

Henry VII. 's army ; a black flag with the portrait of the strangled 

Andrew in the army of Lewis of Hungary, 


One of the most celebrated inscriptions of ancient 
Rome had not escaped the glance of the young 
antiquary: the Lex Regia, the fragment of the 
decree of the Senate which conferred th'e imperium 
on the Emperor Vespasian. Cola had discovered 
this bronze tablet in the Lateran, where it had been 
employed in the construction of an altar in the time 
He ex- of Boniface VIII. The inscription had then been 
Lex^Ri^l turned inwards/ but it was restored to light either 
by the fall of the church in consequence of the fire, 
or in process of rebuilding. The use to which Cola 
turned this monument of imperial despotism was 
singular and ingenious. He caused the tablet to be 
built into the wall behind the choir of the Lateran, 
and round it had the Senate painted in the act of 
conferring the imperial authority on Vespasian. He 
then invited nobles and people to a public conference 
in the basilica. Even great barons, such as the 
younger Stephen Colonna, his son John, and several 
jurisconsults, attended, filled with curiosity. Cola 
mounted a beautifully covered tribune, wearing a 
white garment in the form of a toga, a white hat 
with curious symbols of gold crowns and swords.^ 

1 Tabula Magna erea sculptis Uteris antiquis insignita^ quam Bonif, 
P. VIII, in odium Imperii occultavit et de ea quodd, altare constmxit 
a tergo Uteris occultatis, ego autem ante Trihunaius assumption, 
posui illam in medio Lateran. Ecce, omatam in loco vid, eminenti^ 
ut posset ab omnib, inspici ac hgi^ et sic ornata adhuc permanet et 
intacta (Doc. in Papencordt, Ivi.). The place of exhibition is given 
in the Vita^ i. c. 3. It remained there until Gregory XIII. had it 
affixed to the wall of the Sala del Fauno. 

2 Con una guamaccia e cappa alemanna e capuccio a le gote di 
fino panno bianco; such as Dante or Giotto is represented as 


ch. v.] the lex regia. 239 

"Illustrious Rome/* said this singular orator, "lies 

in the dust : she cannot even see her fall, since both 

her eyes — the emperor and pope — have been torn 

from her. Romans, behold how great was the 

splendour of the Senate, which invested the im- 

perium with authority in former days " ; and a scribe 

read the tenor of the Lex Regia to the astonished 

and ignorant listeners.^ Cola further spoke of the 

vanished majesty of the Roman people, and of their 

present misery. In view of the approaching jubilee, 

when the city would not suffer from dearth of the 

necessaries of life, he exhorted peace, and at the 

close of his discourse he defended himself from his 

detractors, who misinterpreted his words and actions. 

This memorable scene in the Lateran, with its 

curious mixture of error and truth, was one of the 

most remarkable moments in Cola's life. There 

was no one among his audience, not even among 

the rude barons, who did not testify his approval ; 

no one who did not believe in the survival of the 

sovereign rights of the Roman people, for such 

belief was a national superstition. Petrarch would 

have embraced the talented author with rapture. 

Cola di Rienzo was the talk of the entire city. 
But the barons only saw a harmless enthusiast in 
the singular notary. John Colonna satisfied himself 
with inviting Rienzi to table, and making him dis- 
course. The illustrious nobles burst into laughter, 

1 In prima^ eke Vespasiano potesse fare a suo beneplacito leggi e 
confederazziont, — ed accrescere lo giardino di Roma cioi Vltalia, 
( Vita,) Gibbon has already observed that the yfox6. pomerium in the 
inscription was wrongly turned into pomarium by Cola. Dante, 
Purg,^ vi. 105, says : Chi il giardin deW Imperio sia deserto. 


when pointing to the guests he said, " When I am 
sovereign or emperor, I shall hang these barons and 
have those beheaded." He wandei:ed about Rome 
like a lunatic ; we might say like Brutus, had Brutus 
been a man of this stamp. No one foresaw that 
this lunatic would soon possess the terrible power of 
striking the heads of the Roman nobles from their 

A second allegory appeared on the wall of S. 
Angelo in Pescheria in the Portico of Octavia : 
plebeians, kings, and a matron burning in the fire ; 
an angel issuing from a church with a naked sword, 
and on the tower SS. Peter and Paul, crying," Angel, 
angel, save our sheltering mother." ^ A dove from 
heaven offered a sparrow a wreath of myrtle, while 
some falcons flying before it fell into the flames ; and 
on the head of the matron the little bird placed the 
crown of myrtle, with the inscription, " I see the time 
of great righteousness, and do thou await the time." 
Many bystanders were of opinion that more than 
painting was necessary to improve the condition of 
Rome ; others believed that these pictures were great 
matters and symbols. One day a notice was found 
on the doors of S. Giorgio in Velabro, on which was 
written, " In a short time the Romans will return to 
their good ancient government." ^ 

While Rome was occupied with these exciting 
proclamations, Cola headed a conspiracy, in which 

^ Agnolo, agnoiOf soccori air alhergatrice nostra I 

* Ne la porta di santo Giorgio de la chiavica (cloaca massima). From 
the festival celebrated at this church, Papencordt concludes that this 
was on February 15 (1347). 

ch. v.] the conspiracy. 241 

burghers of the second estate, as well as prosperous Coia as 
merchants, eagerly took part. The conspirators met consp?ra- 
secretly on the Aventine, the already deserted hill, **'"' 
where in ancient times the flying demagogue Caius 
Gracchus had found his last resting-place.^ Cola's 
biographer has graphically described the impression 
which one of the notary's speeches had made on the 
conspirators, moving even to tears men who were 
filled with enthusiastic patriotism, but who were also 
penetrated with noble sorrow for the corruption of 
Rome. A practical plan was conceived for the over- 
throw of the barons, was sworn to, and drawn up in 
a document. The fact that Cola had appealed to the 
favour of the Pope, and could truthfully assert that 
Clement VI. was himself indignant at the crimes of 
the nobles, redounded greatly to the advantage of his 
schemes. The revolution of 1343, and its speedy 
recognition by the Pope, allowed the conspirators to 
hope for an equally rapid result. 

Important events throughout the rest of Italy 
made a deep impression on public opinion in Rome, 
and prepared the way for coming events. On Sep- 
tember 18, 1345, Andrew, the youthful husband of 
Queen Joanna, had been murdered in Aversa, and 
his brother Lewis of Hungary organised an expedi- 
tion to Naples to avenge his death. The fall of the 
Angevin monarchy was fruitful of consequences. 
The kingdom had hitherto been the basis of the tem- 
poral position^ of the Papacy in Italy, and the sup- 
port of the entire Guelf party ; the national principle 

^ Adurib qttesta genia buona e matura nel monte di Aventino in uno 
loco secreto, Vita^ i. c. 4. 



had rested on its power, as had been plainly evident 
in the time of Henry VII. and Lewis the Bavarian. 
It now fell into anarchy ; the Papacy and the Guelf 
party lost their support in Italy; a power was ex- 
tinguished which had served as a factor in the cause 
of unity and order as far as Rome and the Romagna, 
and the gates of the country were thus left open to 
attacks from outside. While Italy trembled at the 
thought of an invasion of the Hungarians, the German 
Werner had already formed his Great Company, 
which sacked and ravaged Tuscany and Lombardy. 
A time of terrible misery was at hand, and the un- 
fortunate nation sighed for a saviour as in the days 
of Dante and Henry VI I.^ A solitary and brilliant 
example of the love of freedom raised the hearts of 
Increased Patriots. This was the revolt of the Florentines, who 
promin- banished the Duke of Athens in 1343, soon after 
guilds in installed a democratic government, removed the 
tnecmes. mobility from all civic affairs, and conferred the 
authority on the guilds. The old patrician com- 
munal constitution in the cities fell to pieces about 
this time. The nobles were excluded from the 
communes, and, even in the smaller republics, the 
guilds with their priors obtained sole power. Of 
this, Todi offers a memorable example. The 

^ Prompted by the sufferings inflicted by the Great Company, in 
1344 Petrarch wrote the beautiful ode : 

Italia mia^ benche ^Iparlar sia indarno 

Che fan qui tante pelUgrine spade ? 

a poem filled with patriotic despair, which even up to September 20, 
1870, no Italian could have read without being deeply stirred« 


Umbrian city reformed its statutes on December 6, 
I337> and gave utterance to the following principles : 
" Since (owing to the work of the enemy of the 
human race, who sowed dissension among the 
citizens) the commune of Todi has in past times 
been continually troubled by civil war and by many 
expenses, and since we recognise that every city, 
every country, every place which is ruled by the 
people and men of the people and artisans, enjoys 
peace and rest, therefore we, invoking the name of 
Jesus Christ, of the glorious Virgin Mary and of S. 
Fortunatus, resolve by this just law, which shall 
endure for all time, that the city of Todi and its 
territory in general and in particular shall be ruled 
by popular institutions and by the people, by the 
popolani and the artisans, and that the people, the 
popolani, and the artisans of this city shall possess 
all government, every kind of jurisdiction, of custody 
and authority, the entire criminal and civil imperium, 
and the power of the sword/' ^ 

The collapse of feudalism produced discontent and 
a desire for novelty among the Italians. Men sought 
after new forms of government, established and 
changed them in a moment. The republican con- 

^ Quod civitas per pop. gubemetur, Ruhr, xiv. of the Statute of 
Todi, A. 1337, in the Archives of S. Fortunatus. The Constitution 
of Todi was as follows : a Podest^ and Captain ; X, men as priores 
pop,f conservatores et defensores boni et pacifid status civitatiSy elected 
in November from the consuls of the twenty guilds, who held 
office for two months, of whom five were Guelfe, five Ghibellines. The 
consilium ^en.f a great committee elected by the people. The consih 
populioi the 500 boni viri. The consil, secretum {Credenza) of 24 
sapienies. Two Banderarii or confalonerii for each region, as captains 
of the militia and the quarters. 


stitution, with its feverish activity, was a constant 
experiment with a view to an artificial equilibrium. 
In Rome also the artisans were striving, though less 
'^ successfully, for power. Since the beginning of the 
fourteenth century they had formed thirteen guilds, 
recognised by the State, under consuls, who assembled 
in council on the occasion of every important resolu- 

• tion of the republic. Several letters of the popes in 
Avignon are courteously addressed to the Consuls 

•^of the Merchants, to the Agriculturists, and to the 
remaining guilds {artes). It is possible that even at 
this time they may have had meeting-places on the 
Capitol.^ In every revolution these guilds formed 
the elements of a popular government, although the 

♦ time of the rule of the " popolani " in Rome had not 
The guilds' yet arrived. The hereditary nobility still maintained 
nobiihyin ; their exclusive right of eligibility for the Senate, and 
Rome. jthe inorganic juxtaposition of two political bodies 

( side by side was consequently seen in Rome — the 

; government of the people with the " Good Men *' on 

■^the basis of the guilds, and that of the nobility with 

vtwo senators at the head of the State. Had this 

nobility been an actual civic power, especially had it 

been a monied power, it would have thrust the 

plebeians out of the republic, as in Venice. Its 

strength, however, was crippled by the circumstance 

that its territorial possessions were partly situated in 

remote districts, by its family feuds, and finally by 

the authority of the Pope, in whom the populace 

1 We still see such places with the inscriptions of the guilds, of saec. 
xvi. , above the steps leading to the Capitol, and between the Palace 
of the Senate and that of the ConservatorL 

ch. v.] lawless condition of the city. 245 

found protection. The citizens stood in increasingly 
solid organisations opposed to the aristocracy. In 
addition to the corporations, their ancient constitution 
by regions under captains gave them a permanent 
bond ; while in their very midst the class of the 
cavalerotti — that is to say, the wealthy citizens of the 
ancient houses of the popolani, who served on horse- 
back in the civic militia — founded a new aristocracy.^ 
The time was near when in Rome, as in Florence 
and other cities, the victory of the popular party over 
the ruling families must be decided. 

When Cola di Rienzo prepared to execute his 
scheme for the overthrow of the nobility, the suffer- 
ings of the people had become insupportable. " The 
city of Rome was sunk in the deepest distress. 
There was no one to govern. Fighting was of daily 
occurrence ; robbery was rife. Nuns, even children, 
were outraged ; wives were torn from their husbands' 
beds. Labourers on their way to work were robbed 
at the very gates of the city. Pilgrims were 
plundered and strangled ; the priests were evil-doers ; 
every sin was unbridled. There was no remedy; 
universal destruction threatened. There was only 
one law — the law of the sword. There was no other 
remedy than self-defence in combination with re- 
lations and friends. Armed men assembled together 
every day." ^ 

1 The term Cavalerotti is first found in the Vita of Cola, i. c. 4, 
where it is said that he assembled on the Aventine molti romani popolani 
discreti e buoni uomini, anco fra essi furo cavallerotti e di bi4ono 
hgnaggio^ molti discreti e ricci mercattti, M. Villani, xi. c. 25, 
calls them together Principi e Getiiilttomini e cavallerotti, 

a Vita, i. c. 5. 



Robert It was the month of May 1 347. Robert Orsini and 

Peter* ^ Peter, son of Agapitus Colonna, who had previously 
EeDatore ^^^^ provost of Marseilles, and had then returned to 
1347. secular life, now ruled the Senate.^ The Roman 
militia, under Stephen Colonna, had gone to the, 
neighbourhood of Corneto, the granary of Rome, to 
procure corn, and Cola hastened to profit by the 
absence of Rome's most powerful baron. He had 
initiated Raymond, Bishop of Orvieto, the spiritual 
vicar of the Pope, into his plans, for so just appeared 
the grounds of the revolution that this prelate 
promised it his support The movement was thus 
placed beforehand under the authority of the Church. 
Revolution On May 19, heralds paraded the city and invited 
M^^i™^' the unarmed populace to a parliament on the 
1347. Capitol, when the bells should give the summons. 
Only the initiated understood the signal. At mid- 
night Cola heard mass for Whitsunday in S. Angelo 
in Pescheria, where the conspirators had assembled. 
He placed himself and his work under the protection 
of the Holy Ghost, by whose mystic power he 
believed himself inspired. On the morning of Whit- 
sunday he left the church in full armour, his head 
only uncovered, and surrounded by his fellow-con- 

^ As late as December 22, 1344, in his will made at Avignon, 
Peter calls himself praepositus Massiliensts (Colonna Archives, xiii., 
Sca£ v. n. 23). The series of Senators after Jordan Orsini and John 
Colonna (July I, 1344, until January I, 1345) is : Berthold Orsini and 
Ursus Anguillara (first half of 1345) ; Raynald Orsini and Nicholas 
de Anibaldis (second half of 1345) ; Ursus Jacobi Napoleonis and 
Nicholas Stephani de Comite (first half of 1346) ; Nicholas Anibaldi 
and Jordan Orsini (second half of 1346) ; Peter Agapiti and Robert 
Orsini (first half 1347). Taken from the Statute of Merchants. 

Ch. v.] C0LA*S edict on the CAPITOL. ^47 

spirators. Three great banners were carried before 
him : the red and gold banner of freedom, with the 
image of Rome; the white banner of justice, with S. 
Paul, the sword-bearer ; the banner of peace, with S. 
Peter; a fourth banner, that of S. George, being old 
and tattered, was carried in a coffer on a lance. The 
revolt formally began with a procession to the 
Capitol; but few armed men protected the way. 
The papal vicar walked beside Cola with uncertain 
step, and the bishop and the demagogue ascended 
together to the Palace of the Capitol. Cola mounted 
the tribune ; he spoke with fascinating eloquence of 
the servitude and redemption of Rome. He assured 
his audience that he was ready to sacrifice his life 
out of love for the Pope and for the salvation of the 
people. A thousand voices shouted applause. Here 
one of the conspirators belonging to the Mancini 
family read a series of decrees, which ordained that Cola's 
every murderer was to be punished with death ; every theCapitol 
false accuser with the penalty that had fallen on the 
accused ; that sentences must be executed in fifteen 
days ; that proscribed houses must be pulled down, 
but should revert to the camera ; that each region 
of the city should provide one hundred men on foot 
and twenty-five on horse, each of whom should 
receive a shield and a reward from the State ; that 
widows and orphans, convents and religious institu- 
tions should be supported by the State ; that a guard- 
ship on the coast should protect the merchants ; that 
the public taxes should belong to the civic camera ; ^ 

1 The popes always claimed the disposal of thp civic taxes. Cola's 
important edict transferred this right to the popular government 


that all fortresses, bridges, and gates should be de- 
fended by the rector of the people ; that no aristo- 
crat should occupy a fortress ; that all places in the 
civic territory should receive their rectors from Rome ; 
that the barons should be obliged to preserve the 
safety of the roads, to refuse shelter to any bandit, 
and to supply corn to Rome ; that a granary should 
be established in every region. The parliament 
passed these wise laws with tumultuous applause. 
It conferred the full signory of the city on Cola, with 
unlimited authority, as reformer and conservator of 
the republic, to make peace and war, to punish 
crimes, to appoint to offices, and to promulgate 
; The new dictator modestly invited the papal vicar 
; to become his companion in office, whereby the 
popular government would be assured of the Pope's 
I recognition. Rome seemed under the power of an 
I irresistible spell. The Senators fled ; many nobles 
^ left the city ; not a drop of blood was shed. The 
people met in constant deliberation. In another 
Coiadi parliament Cola assumed the title of ^* Tribune," 
Tribune of because, being a man of the people, he wished to 
the people, restore the fame of the ancient tribunate. A white 
dove hovered accidentally over the assembled crowd, 
and Cola flattered himself that this was a symbol of 
1^ the divine sanction to his appointment^ The idea 

{duofuf state). Concerning this, see Malatesta, Staiuti delk gaJbeUe di 
Roma^ Rome 1886^ p. 25. 

^ Cola's letter to Viterbo, of May 24. Hobhouse, p. 526. Letter 
of June 7 to Florence, in Gaye, Carteggio inedito (Tarttsti, L 53. 

' Papencordt, Doc, p. lii. He assumed the tiUe even before 
May 24. 

ch.v.] cola, tribune, 249 

of the tribunate had been consecrated by antiquity, ' 
and was inteUigible to all. Cola could therefore ' 
assume the title without exciting ill-will; but he 
added to it by pompous epithets, which revealed his 
fantastic mind. He called himself Nicholas, by the 
authority of our most merciful Lord Jesus Christ, the 
Severe and Clement, the Tribune of Freedom^ of 
Peace and Justice, and the Illustrious Redeemer of 
the Holy Roman republic.^ 

The news quickly spread throughout Italy and 
across the Alps that the republic of Rome was 
delivered from its tyrants, and its ancient freedom 
restored by a wondrous hero. 

^ Auctore clementisstmo D, N, J, Christo Nickolaus^ Severus et 
Clemens^ Ltberiatis^ Pacts, Justiciaeque TribunuSy et Sacre Romatu 
Reiptiblict Liberator^ He afterwards himself explained that he had 
adopted the epithet Severus in memory of Boetius Severinus, The 
armorial bearings — azure, a sun or surrounded by seven stars, argent 
— which he immediately assumed, he also explained to have been 
that of Boetius. Letter to CbsCrles IV., Papencordt, Doc, p. xxxiv. 
[where in campo aureo should probably be altered to in campo 
azurreo, — Transl.]. 



t. Rome does Homage to the Tribune — He 
Summons the Italians to a National Parlia- 
ment — His Institutions in Rome; his strict 
Justice, Administration of the Finances and 
Regulation of the Community — Answers to 
his Despatches — Magic Power of the Idea of 
Rome — Petrarch and Cola di Rienzo. 

Events in Rome took the aristocrats by surprise. 
Stephen Colonna, it is true, hastened from Corneto 
to the city, but was unable to do anything beyond 
vent his anger in words. The Tribune sent him his 
command to leave Rome ; the aged hero tore the 
document in pieces, and exclaimed, " If this fool 
provokes me further, I will throw him from the 
windows of the Capitol." The bell sounded an alarm, 
the people assembled in arms, and Stephen, accom- 
panied by a single servant, fled to Palestrina. The 
The Tribune confined all the nobles to their estates, 

nob^ garrisoned all fortresses and bridges of the city, and 
yield sub- spread terror by the strictest justice. Feeling him- 

Tnission * ^ •# c» 

to the self in full possession of power, he summoned the 

T"^-<^ nobles to do homage on the Capitol ; they came 

trembling, as they had formerly come at the bidding 

of Arlotti; the younger Stephen Colonna himself 

appeared with his sons, and even Raynald and Jordan 

Ch. VI.] cola's appeal to ITALY. 251 

Orsini, the Savelli, Anibaldi, and Conti. They swore 
to the laws of the republic, and placed themselves at 
its service. The College of Judges as well, the 
notaries and the guilds, did homage to the Tribune, 
and his rule in Rome was thus recognised by all 

In none of the other revolutions had it occurred 
to the heads of the city to send letters announcing 
their accession to government outside the sphere of 
the city itself. Cola, however, thought of Rome in 
its relation towards Italy and the world. His envoys 
carried letters to all communes, princes, and despots 
of Italy ; even to the Emperor Lewis and the King 
of France. In these letters the Tribune pointed out 
to the cities of the Roman province that Rome, 
liberated by him, had at length found peace and law ; 
he exhorted them to address thanksgivings to God, 
to seize arms for the extirpation of all tyrants, and 
at an appointed time to send two syndics and a 
judge to Rome, where a general parliament would 
take counsel concerning the well-being of the entire 
Roman province. These letters were written with 
intelligence and dignity.^ From a higher point of Cola 
view. Cola wrote to the cities of Italy, and exhorted naiyto" 
them to join in throwing off the yoke of the tyrants, ^^ ^^^ 
and to form a national brotherhood, since the deliver- 
ance of the eternal city was also that of ** the whole 
of sacred Italy." He further invited them to send 

^ The first letter, addressed to Viterbo, and dated May 24 
(Hobhouse, p. 526), is one of the best writings of the Tribune, a 
statesmanlike document, to the point, and without a trace of 


deputies and judges to a national parliament in Rome 
on August I. The great and truly ingenious scheme 
of making Italy into a confederation, with Rome as 
its head, was here expressed for the first time, and 
its novelty and boldness filled the world with admir- 
ation.^ Thus, at the very beginning of his reign. Cola 
di Rienzo displayed lofty national ideas in sight of 
his native country. It is probable that, immediately 
after the revolution, Raymond, the papal vicar, sent 
a despatch to his master, whose recognition was 
above all things necessary to Cola. As to the 
Tribune himself, not until the beginning of June 
does he seem to have notified his elevation to power 
to the Pope.^ The simple Bishop of Orvieto cut but 
a sorry figure beside the Tribune, like Lepidus beside 
Octavian : all letters are written by Cola alone, and 
not in one single political act is his colleague in 
office mentioned by a word. 

While his messengers, bearing a silver wand, 
scoured Italy, the Tribune established his govern- 
ment in the Capitol. With the exception of the 
removal of the Senators, the constitution was not 
changed ; the great and little Council, the Thirteen, 
the College of Judges continued to exist. From 
motives of prudence Cola required only a three 
months' term of office for himself, but the Romans 
scarcely heard him speak of his retirement when 

^ Despatch to Florence, given in capitolio urbis septimo m, juniiy 
ubi de celo remissa justitia recto corde vigemus (Gaye, p. 53) ; like- 
wise circular of June 7 to Perugia, Modena, and Lucca. June 7, 
to Mantua (original in the Archives of Mantua). 

f Cola's first letter to the Pope has not come down to us. 

Ch. VI.] cola's ADMINISTRATION. 253 

they swore they would rather perish than that he 
should withdraw from the government — a result that 
he had foreseen. He appointed a syndicate, however, 
for the administration of his office. He had coins 
struck immediately, and brought engravers from 
Florence for the purpose.^ He surrounded himself Cola's 
with a military, escort of devoted men — the first care fovem- 
of tyrants as well as of champions of liberty. Three ^^^^ ^^ 
hundred and ninety cavalerotti, citizens on horseback, 
splendidly equipped, and a militia of foot soldiers 
numbering thirteen banners with one hundred men 
to each, were appointed to defend his government.* 
His person, like that of Pisistratus in former days, 
was moreover protected by a body-guard formed of 
one hundred youths from his quarter Regola, who, 
armed with lances, invariably preceded the son of 
the tavern-keeper on the bank of the Tiber, as, 
mounted on a white horse, clad in vesture of white 
silk with gold fringe, and a royal banner waving over 

^ Two of his silver coins have been preserved. The first 
bears the legend, ROMA CAPVT MV; on the reverse, ALMVS 
TRIBVNATVS and VRBIS between the arms of a cross. It is in 
the Kircherian Museum, and resembles a coin in Vitale, del Senat,^ 
Tab. V. n. iv., where we read instead ALMVS RO SENAT. The 
second, ROMA CAPV MV and N. TRIBVN. AVGVST., was 
struck later, and after the month of August. They are illustrated in 
Papencordt [Vettori], il Fiorina cToro, p. 120. The silver is bad 
{di misiura). Both bear on the obverse an indistinct type (with a 
star, sun, and moon above) ; Papencordt holds it to be the carding- 
comb of Provins, and believes that these ** Provisini " of the Senate 
were imitations of the coins of that city, which owed its wealth to 
its wool manufactures. Fioravanti and R^, however, with greater 
discrimination, see the banner of the Tribune in this rude emblem. 

^ The banners were those which had long been adopted by the 
regions — e divise It confcUoni secondo U segncUi de It riont. 


his head, he rode through the city. The armed 
militia gave emphasis to his justice, and justice was 
Cola's greatest merit. He punished without respect 
of persons. A Cistercian monk found guilty of some 
crime was beheaded ; a baron of the house of Anibaldi 
suffered the same fate, and an ex-senator the 
ignominy of being hanged on the very Capitol where 
he had formerly ruled the republic in pomp and 
splendour. This was Martin Stefaneschi, lord of 
Portus, nephew of two cardinals, namely, Anibaldo 
of Ceccano and the celebrated Jacopo Stefaneschi. 
His crime was that of sacking a vessel which was on 
its way to Naples, bearing the revenues of Provence. 
The Tribune's bailiffs tore the ailing ex-senator from 
the arms of his young wife; and the despairing 
widow, looking from the loggia of her palace, might 
soon after have beheld the body of her husband 
swinging in the air.^ The execution spread mortal 
terror among the nobility. The palaces in Rome, 
like those of the foreign embassies at a later time, 
were then asylums for criminals of every kind ; the 
Tribune, however, caused a robber to be seized in 
the dwelling of the Colonna and executed. Barons 
expiated any lawlessness suffered on their estates by 
heavy fines. Several were lodged in the dungeon of 
the Capitol. Even Peter Colonna, the banished ex- 

^ She was Marda degli Alberteschi. Cola's naive biographer draws 
a rough but powerful portrait of the unfortunate, dropsical ex-senator 
(of the year 1340) ; such as Dante drew of some of the damned : 
piene le gambe^ lo collo sottile^ e la faccia macra^ e la sete grandissima ; 
liuoto da suonare parea. Concerning the stranded vessel : Fragm, 
Hist, Rom,f p. 395. From this we see that Portus was still a 

ch. VI.] cola's administration, 255 

senator, was led on foot to prison by constables. 
Corrupt judges, wearing lofty mitres on which their 
crimes were inscribed, were exposed in the pillory. 
An Augean stable of abuses, of corruption, perjury, 
fraud, of falsehood and deceit, was to be cleansed, 
and no one was better acquainted with the desperate 
condition of the Roman administration than the 
former notary of the civic camera. The beneficent 
institution of a tribunal of the peace checked the 
enmities in the city ; for judges taken from the 
people assembled in a palace, on the summit of 
which waved the banner of S. Paul, and reconciled 
the parties either by exhortations or by the barbarous 
jus talionis. Cola could boast that he had reconciled 
1800 citizens who were at deadly enmity with one 
another.^ The exiles were recalled ; the destitute 
received liberal assistance. A strict system of police 
punished adulterers and gamblers. The servile use 
of the title of Don or Dominus given to the nobility 
was prohibited ; henceforward the Pope alone was to 
be addressed as Lord.^ It was forbidden to affix the 
arms of barons to houses ; only those of the Pope 
and the Senate were allowed to remain. The pali- 
sades with which the nobles entrenched their houses 
were swept away ; it was decreed that the material^ 

^ Letter to the Archbishop of Prague, in Papencordt, p. xlvii. 

^ Quod nullus Romanus deinde auderet aliquem nisi solam S, R, 
EccL SanctitcUemque vestram in Dominum nominare. Letter of 
Cola to the Pope, in Hocsemius, Gesta Pontiff Tungrensiuniy ii. 501. 
De Sade, ii. 344, ingeniously explains this as an abolition of the title 
of Signor. The title Seigneur was likewise abolished by the French 
Revolution, and in our day the Dictator Garibaldi forbade the 
Neapolitans to use the title '* Eccellenza." 



were to be employed for the restoration of the Palace 
of the Senate, and each ex-senator was compelled to 
pay a hundred gold florins towards the new building.^ 
A well ordered administration increased the re- 
venues of the civic camera by the hearth tax 
{focaticum\ the feudal rent of subject places, by the 
annual dues which isolated towns such as Tivoli, 
Toscanella, Velletri, and Corneto had to pay in 
money or grain, by the dues on bridges, roads, 
rivers, and finally by the monopoly of the salt 
works of Ostia.2 According to an ancient state- 
ment the hearth tax for every chimney amounted 
to 26 denari, or to i carlin and 4 denari. Cola 
computed the proceeds of this tax for the whole 
civic territory, from Ceprano to the river Paglia, at 
100,000 gold florins, the revenues of the salt mono- 
poly at about the same, and finally 100,000 gold 
florins as the proceeds of the tolls and city fortresses. 
It is true that the correctness of these statements is 
doubtful in spite of the size of the civic territory.* 

^ Apparently even before this time every Senator had been pledged 
to contribute loo florins of his salary to the restoration of the Palace 
of the Senators ; so, at least, says the article, De Salario sencUoris in 
the MS. Statute of the year i363.(Camillo R^, ** 11 CampidogKo — nel 
sec. XIV.," Bull d. Comm, Arch, Com,^ 1882, p. 99). 

^ The salt works of Ostia had been worked since Roman times ; 
they were superintended by the Salinarii Urbis, The salt was kept 
in the vaults of the Tabularium. In 1392 the monks of S. Gregorio 
declared before the Senator : quod cum monasterium a temp. , cujus 
memoria non existity habuerit in camfds Hostiensib, et salinis quant 
plurafila^ in quib,filis scU per .scUinarios urbis^ &c. Mittarelli, Annal, 
Camcdd,, vi. p. 573. 

• Vita^ i. c. 4 ; Papencordt, Cola, p. 35. The sum would be large, 
since Florence only received 300,000, Pisa only 250,000 florins 


The Tribune suppressed the tolls on the roads, which 
the barons had formerly appropriated, and restricted 
the tax on articles of consumption {gabella\ which 
had produced a large sum, more especially in 
Florence. On the other hand, the hearth tax was 
rigorously imposed. All vassals of the city paid it 
readily, the Prefect John of Vico excepted. At the 
same time, Cola gained many places by his magna- 
nimity. Toscanella was allowed to commute the 
yearly tribute of 1000 pounds of gold for 100 pounds 
of wax for the church of Aracoeli, and Velletri 
received back its independence.^ Wise laws regu- 
lated market prices and filled the granaries. Com 
was also brought from Sicily, and even the desolate 
Campagna began to be cultivated under the Tribune.^ 
The roads, which were now safe, were animated by 
commerce and traffic. The peasant again cultivated 
his fields unarmed, and the pilgrim, heedless of 
danger, again wended his way to the sanctuaries of 
Rome* A religious spirit pervaded the emancipated 
people, as it pervaded the British nation in the time 
of Cromwell ; civic virtue, which had been quenched 

(ViUani, xi. c. 92). We are, however, afterwards told in the Viia of 
John XXII. that this Pope raised the revenue from the wine-tax (which 
had always yielded 80,000 florins in Rome) to 100,000 florins, and 
from this we may judge whether Cola's budget is really to be placed 
as low as Papencordt supposes. 

* Borgia, Velletrt^ p. 307. The city was torn asunder by the 
parties of the " Lupi " and the " Pecori" (wolves and sheep). 

* Et terras Romani districtus^ quorum diu inculta pars maxima 
j'acuity reduci faciens ad culturam, thus he writes to the Pope (Hob- 
house, p. 558) ; a remarkable attempt, as to which more detailed 
information b lacking. 



by crime, revived under the rays of liberty and 

The fame of the man who had achieved such great 
results in so short a time spread through the world. 
That the distant Sultan in Babylon trembled in fear 
of the Tribune was an amusing fiction narrated by 
sailors ; but it was probably no exaggeration when 
one of Cola's envoys announced on his return, " I have 
carried this wand of embassy publicly through woods 
and along roads ; countless men have knelt before it, 
and kissed it with tears of joy, because the highways 
are now free from robbers." During the first months 
of his rule Cola deserved to be the idol of Rome, 
and to inaugurate a new era of republican liberty.* 
The people saw in him a man elected by God. No 
one yet censured the vain pomp in which the Tribune 
of the people appeared whenever he traversed the 
city. On the festival of SS. Peter and Paul he rode 
to the cathedral on a powerful charger, clad in green 
and yellow velvet, carried a sceptre of glittering steel 
in his hand, and was surrounded by fifty spearmen, 
A Roman carried the banner with his coat of arms 
above his head ; another bore the Sword of Justice 
before him; a knight scattered gold among the 

^ Cola describes the change m the Romans to a friend in the Curia 
at Avignon (Hobhouse, p. 536). He says of himself: multo vivebai 
quietius Cola Laurentii quam Tribunus — noctem addimus operi et 
IdborL A sincere letter, full of noble feeling. Dot, in Capitclio^ in 
quo regnante Justitia^ recto corde vigenms^ die 1$ Juliif XV, Ind, 
libercUcte rei publicae Anno Primo, 

' In the same way the French republic altered the chronology, and 
reckoned time according to the years of Uberty. The phenomena 
of the modern revolution occasionally remind us of the days of the 
Tribune of Rome. 


people, while an imposing train of cavalerotti and 
officials of the Capitol, of popolani, and nobles either 
preceded or followed him. Trumpeters blared 
through silver tubes, and musicians played on silver 
cymbals. The dignitaries of the cathedral, ranged 
on the steps of S. Peter's, greeted the Dictator of 
Rome with the strains of the Veni Creator Spzritus. 

Meanwhile answers arrived to Cola's letters. The 
Pope, who at first had been alarmed, was tranquil- 
lised, or at least appeared to be so. True he com- 
plained that the constitution had been changed 
without his intervention ; he acquiesced, however, in 
the revolution, and confirmed Nicholas and Raymond 
as rectors of the city. The messenger returning from 
Avignon brought Cola a casket inlaid with silver, on 
the lid of which were represented the arms of Rome, 
the Tribune, and of the Pope. Clement's amiable 
letter produced great satisfaction.^ Deputies from 
the cities daily arrived to attend the national 
parliament. Their presence filled the Romans with 
self-consciousness, while it strengthened Cola in the 
belief in his mission and power. The Capitol seemed 
indeed to have become the political centre of Italy. 
True that some of the despots in Lombardy had at The itaiiaa 
first received the Tribune's letters of invitation with ^^2^^ 
contempt; they nevertheless soon declared them- to. Cola di 
selves ready to send deputies to the national parlia- 
ment. Lucchino, the tyrant of Milan, exhorted Cola 
to maintain the new constitution, but to proceed 

^ The two letters to Cola and Raymond as rectors, and to the 
Roman people, are dated June 27 (Papencordt, Doc, n. 4). The Pope 
paid no regard to the title of Tribune. 


against the barons with caution ; the Doge Andrea 
Dandolo and the Genoese offered their services in 
respectful letters ; Lucca and Florence, Siena, 
Arezzo, Todi, Terni, Pistoja and Foligno, Assisi, 
Spoleto, Rieti and Amelia called the Tribune their 
illustrious prince and father, and expressed the hope 
that the change in Rome would redound to the 
welfare of Italy.^ All the cities of the Campagna 
and Maritima, of the Sabina and Roman Tuscany 
did homage to the Capitol by solemn embassies, 
while hostile parties from a greater distance brought 
their quarrels before the Tribune, seeking his 

Nothing bears clearer witness to the power which 
the revered name of Rome still exercised than the 
recognition which Cola di Rienzo obtained from 
almost all the lords and cities of Italy, whose com- 
munes were guided not by enthusiasts but by serious 
statesmen. Far and wide the belief was clierished 
that the Roman republic would arise in its ancient 
splendour, and already there glimmered a magic ray 
of long extinct paganism, whose spirits only seemed 
to await the word of the enchanter to burst firom 
their graves. There was, moreover, no sincere 
Christian who did not regard the sojourn of the 
popes at Avignon as a crime against the sacred 
city. Its deliverance from the power of the tyrants, 
and the security now assured to the pilgrims, were 
r^arded as universal concerns^ The revohition so 

1 Loam's answer of June 23 (F^qpencordt, Doc. n. 2) is addressed, 
Sartm. firmed €il}. Alaim X9V €i 


successfully accomplished consequently appeared a 
great event, which would probably be followed by 
the return of the Papacy and the restoration of the 
empire. It is only fair to acknowledge that Cola di r 
Rienzb with genius grasped and expressed the ideas j 
of his time, f^ Dante would undoubtedly have greeted - 
the new saviour of Italy under the mystic image of 
the " Veltro." The Tribune's conception of the Lex 
Regia, of the inalienable majesty of Rome, on which 
the empire rested, entirely harmonised with the 
principles of the Monarc/iia, in which a great poet 
had explained that the Roman people, as the noblest 
on earth, had been chosen by God through won- 
ders and historic deeds for the government of the 
world. Although he never appealed to it, Cola was 
doubtlessly acquainted with Dante's treatise. But in 
Henry VII. and Lewis the Bavarian, the Ghibelline 
idea had proved impracticable; for no foreign em- 
peror had been able to heal dismembered Italy. 
A gifted man now arose in deserted Rome, restored 
the republic, and neither as Guelf nor as Ghibelline, 
but as Roman Tribune, offered the Italians the 
salvation which the Ghibellines had sought in vain 
from the German emperor, the Guelfs in vain from 
the pope. A third idea now woke to life, that of a ^ 
confederation of Italy under the guidance of Rome, j 
the sacred mother. The thought of the unity of the j 
nation was openly expressed for the first time, and I 
Italy conceived the hope of rescue and restoration I 
by her o^\ti means.^ I 

*..,«/ pleriqiie Romanam Remp, remviscere posse putaverint, 
Bonincontr. ap. Lamium, Delicicte Erudii,^ vi. 330. The modern 


t^etrarch Petraxch, who now took the place of Dante as the 
TCbuneas representative of the Italian national spirit, affords 
Saviour of the best proof of the magic influence of Cola on his 
age, and of the current of ideas of antiquity with 
which it was permeated. When this one Roman of 
the most obscure origin, he wrote afterwards, arose, 
when he ventured to take the repubh'c on his weak 
shoulders, and to support the tottering empire, Italy 
stood erect as if by a stroke of magic, and the terror 
and renown of the Roman name penetrated to the 
ends of the world.^ The crowned Roman citizen, the 
reviver of classic learning, whose mind was filled with 
dreams of Scipio and Brutus, shared with Dante the 
principles of the Monarchia^ and saw, amid the 
degenerate Roman populace, the only source of 
universal dominion ; in the ruin-heaps of Rome the 
lawful seat of both emperor and pope. These views 
were pushed to their furthest issues by the Italian 
hostility towards the continued sojourn of the popes 
in Avignon. When the wonderful Tribune arose on 
the Capitol, Petrarch greeted him as the man whom 
he had long sought and at last found, as the political 
incarnation of his own thought, as a hero who had 

catchword, V Italia farh da j<?, properly speaking, dates from Cola. 
Such was the progress of national thought beyond Dante, who was 
still fettered by Ghibellinism. 

^ Erant ego tunc in Gallia^ et scio quid audierim^ quid viderim, 
quid eorum qui fnaximi hahebantur (the Pope) in verbis ^ inque oculis 
legerim^ negarent modo forsitan — vere autem tunc omnia pavor com* 
pleverat^ adeo adhuc aliquid Roma est, — Contra — Galli calumnias^ 
Opp. Basil., pp. 1068-1085. Read Ep. sine iit,^ iii., to the Roman 
people {an Imperium Romae sit ? — si Imper, Romanum Romae non 
estf uhi queso est t). His tenet is : Roma totius humane magnificentiae 
supremum domicilium est. 


sprung armed from his own brain. From Avignon 
he addressed enthusiastic congratulations to Cola and 
the Roman people. He sacrificed his love for the 
house of Colonna to freedom and his native country. 
All the great men, from whose ranks popes, cardinals, 
senators, and generals had issued in previous centuries, 
only appeared to him as foreigners, as descendants of 
former slaves of war, as Vandals who destroyed the 
grandeur of the city, as usurpers who had appro- 
priated the monuments and rights of the republic ; in 
short, as an invading caste of robbers, who ruled in 
Rome as in a conquered city, and maltreated the 
genuine Roman citizens as their slaves.^ " Prudence 
and courage," exclaimed Petrarch, ".be with you, 
since power you will not lack, not only to maintain 

^ Ep, Hortatoria ad NicoL Lauretitii Tribun, Populumque R, 
(Opp., 535), Advenfitios et cUienigenas dominos habuisttSy decoris 
vestri f&rtunarumque raptores^ libertaHs eversares — singulor* origines 
recensete^ hunc vallis Spoletana^ ilium RhenuSy out RhodanuSy out 
aliquts ignobilis terrar, angulus misiU The Colonna traced their 
family from the Rhine, the Orsini from the valley of the Tiber near 
Spoleto. Of undoubted German origin in Rome were the Astaldi, 
Astolfi, Anibaldi, Alberini, Alberteschi, Antiochia, Bulgamini, 
Berardi, Boneschi, Benzoni, Berta, Conti, Franchi, Farulfi, Gulferani, 
Gerardi, Gottifredi, Gabrielli, Gaetani, Gandulfi, Guidoni, Ilperini, 
Normanni, Oddoni, Pandulfi, Reinerii, Roffredii Sassi, Senebaldi, 
Savelli, Stefaneschi, Tebaldi, Tedalli. The origin of the Orsini is 
obscure. The Colonna, as descendants of Alberic of Tusculum, may 
be regarded as Germans. Roman genealogies were compiled as 
early as saec, xiv. One is supposed to have been compiled by Peter, 
H notary, about 1350 (Archives of S. Croce, D. 4). In these docu- 
ments the Astalli, Caputzunchi {ex genie Hamala Gothorum), Capocci, 
Corvini, were assigned a Gothic origin ; the Santa Croce, Massimi, 
Crescentii, Buccamatii, Frangipani, Colonna, Comites, &c., were held 
to be of an ancient Roman lineage. 


freedom, but also to recover the empire.^ Every one 
must wish Rome good fortune. So just a cause is 
sure of the approval of God and the world." He 
wished Cola success, called him the new Camillus, 
Brutus, and Romulus; said that not till now were the 
Romans true citizens, and exhorted them to honour 
their deliverer as a messenger of God. 

The enthusiastic approval of a man honoured as 
a genius by the whole world inflamed Cola's 
imagination, and strengthened him in all his 
dreams. He caused Petrarch's letter to be read 
aloud in parliament, where it produced a great 
impression. He himself invited the poet to leave 
Avignon, and adorn the city with his presence, as 
a jewel adorned a ring.^ Instead of Petrarch, his- 
promised festival ode appeared. He dedicated his 
finest poem to the freedom of Rome and its new 
hero. The Roman revolution found its poet in 
Petrarch, as all subsequent revolutions have also 
found their poets of liberty.' And as he stood in 

1 • • . non modo ad libertatem tuendam, sed etiam ad imperium 
repetendum. Quantum vero confert recordatio vetustatis^ et mundo 

diUcti nominis majestasf Italia, quae cum capite aegrotante 

(Rome) iangutbatf sesejam nunc erexit in cubitum, 

^ De Sade, ii. 342 ; Pieces justificatvoeSy xxx. 

• The question, who was the hero of the ode, Spirito gentil^ has 
given rise to researches as tedious as those concerning Dante's Veltro, 
But after the studies of Zefirino R^ and Papencordt, the matter might 
have been regarded as settled. I refer to F. Torraca, ' ' Cola di Rienzo 
e F, Petrarca," Arch, di S, Rom,^ viii. (1885), p. 141 f., in which is 
found the literature of this controversy. Petrarch was the Chenier of 
the Roman Revolution ; his enthusiasm for freedom resembled that of 
Schiller, when Schiller hailed the French Revolution. Here, again« 
with Petrarch begins the man of modern times. 


splendour on the Capitol, in sight of the world, Cola 
reached the summit of his fortune. We shall now 
see the actual form which he imparted to his 
audacious schemes. 

2. Subjugation of the City Prefect— Decree ordain- 

Programme — Festivals of August i and 2 — Cola's 


— Cola gives Roman Citizenship to all Italians — 
Citation of the Princes of the Empire — Theories 
concerning the inalienable Majesty of Rome — 
Festival of Italian Union on August 2 — The 
- Emperor Lewis and the Pope — Election of 
Charles IV. — His abasement before the Pope. 

The Tribune had subjugated all the recalcitrant 
nobles ; some, more particularly those of the house 
of Orsini, even took service under the republic ; the 
City Prefect and the Gaetani alone refused to do 
homage. John of Vico, successor to his father in 
the prefecture (which was hereditary in this German 
family), having murdered his brother in 1338, had set 
up as tyrant in Viterbo, and made himself ruler in 
Tuscany.^ Cola placed him under the ban, deposed Cola 
him from the prefecture, himself assumed the title the^Prefwt 
of prefect by a decree of parliament, and prepared °^ ^^^ ^*^y- 

^ The murdered man was Faziolo, who had assassinated Silvestro 

de Gatti. A document of this Fazio/us de Prefectis^ of March 7, 

' 1334, is published by Nerini, de Templo^ p. 503. To this family 

belonged the Sancia Pupa de PrtufecttSt and the descendants of 

lM.ndulfu5 de Praef, ex dominis castri BraccianU 


for war,* John of Vico relied on his own power, 
on the secret favour of the rector of the Patrimony, 
and on the Lombard mercenaries. The Tribune 
turned for help to Florence, where his envoy, 
Francesco Baroncelli, found a ready hearing.* He 
complained to the Pope of the rectors of the 
Patrimony and Campagna, who lent their support 
not only to the Prefect but also to the Gaetani; 
nevertheless, he was soon able to give tidings of 
victory.* Although the reinforcements from 
Florence arrived too late, Perugia, Todi, Nami, 
and the Cornetans under Manfred of Vico, 
strengthened the Roman militia to the number 
of looo horse and 6000 foot soldiers. This army 
was commanded by Nicholas Orsini of S. Angelo 
as captain-general. As early as the end of June 
they besieged the fortress of Vetralla and laid 
waste the neighbourhood of Viterbo. The Prefect 
lost courage, and the Tribune was sincerely glad 
to yield to his desires. After a treaty concluded 
on July 16, John of Vico came to Rome, threw 
himself humbly before Cola, swore to observe the 
laws of the republic, and received the prefecture as 

^ On July 18 he also calls himself altne tirbis pre/, UL Letter to 
Florence, Gaye, p. 396. 

^ Letter of Cola to Florence, Gaye, Append., n. 185, 187, of July 
18. Baroncelli's speech in the Council of the Florentines on July 2, 
1547 (Giov. Villani, Florence edition, 1845, ^^* 266), contains sentences 
from Petrarch's letters and his Canzone, The other envoys were 
Math, de Beannis, Pandulfus Guidonis dt Franchis (observe the 
survival of this German &mily), and Stephanellus de Boetiis (a still 
older name). 

' Letter to Clement VI., July 7, 1347, in Hocsemius, p. 501. It is 
evident that he feared slanders. 

ch. VI.] cola's decrees. 267 

its vassal. The celebrated office, which had 
previously been bestowed by the emperor and 
then by the pope, thus became for the time a fief 
of the people.^ The sight of the powerful tyrant 
of Tuscany at his feet gave Cola a feeling of royal 
authority; like an imperator he commended the 
army, which advanced in triumph to the Capitol. 
Great were the consequences of the victory, for the 
authority of the republic now extended over the 
whole of Roman Tuscany. The results were mani- 
fested in an edict with which the Tribune, according 
to a pre-conceived design, opened the series of 
audacious decrees, by means of which he resolved 
to restore her ancient royal prerogatives to the 
Eternal City. 

On July 26, in presence of a popular assembly, Edict pro- 
he caused to be confirmed the law which restored S,emjjesty 
to the Roman people every jurisdiction, office, o^*^« 
privilege, and power that they had ever bestowed people, 
on others. Before a council of Roman jurists and 1^7.*^' 
of those judges who had been sent by the Italian 
cities on Cola's invitation, the question whether the 
Roman republic was entitled to resume those rights 
had previously been submitted, and the council had 
replied in the affirmative. The Tribune consequently 
gave the curious edict the character of a decree of 
the Italian nation, pronounced by means of juris- 
consults — its representatives. Nothing could be 

1 Treaty with the Prefect, Document, n. 5, in Papencordt.— /tf^/x 
tU Vico — victus venit — in parlam, solempnissimo nieos prostratus ad 
pedes humiliter. Letter to the Pope, July 27 (n. 6). Further, n. 9, 
letter of Cochetus ; Cola's letter to Florence, July 22. Gaye, p. 397, 



more sweeping than such a decision ; since it was 
necessarily directed not against the nobles alone, 
but against the Church and the empire. All genuine 
and spurious privilegia of the sacred chair from the 
donation of Constantine down to the time of Henry 
VI L, as well as all titles and rights of imperial 
power, were thereby declared null and void, and the 
Roman people were represented as the sole and 
permanent source of these rights and dignities.^ 
If the Romans assembled on the Capitol but looked 
down at their ruinous city and its mendicant 
inhabitants, or even themselves, we should imagine 
that they must have burst into laughter at the 
publication of this pompous decree; nevertheless, 
there was not one among them who did not, with 
solemn and serious mien, give it his assent in 

Less in consequence of this decree than owing 
to the impression made by the submission of the 

^ The edict is not forthcoming. Cola's letter to the Pope, of July 
27 (Papencordt, Doc, p. vii.), vest, Rom, Pop, omnes hujusm, con* 
cessioms, datum, y translation,, doncUion, ac cdtenation, jurisdictionum^ 
ojfUior, et rer, ad se omni tnodo et jure — revocavit, sub Aon, et rever, 
S, Matris Eccl, Cochetus writes with more decision to an Orsini in 
Avignon (on August 2, Papencordt, Doc., 9). I do not believe, he 
says, quodextendat se ad dominium Pape^ sed ad electores et Aiaman^ 
niae Imperatore% credo quod se extendat^ et opinio omnium Romatwr. 

' The revocation of all the donations of earlier emperors was 
repeated by Napoleon. Je tCaipu concilier ces grands intirits, qu*fn 
annulUutt Us donations des Empereurs Franfais^ mes pridicesseurs^ et 
en r^unissant Us Hats romains d la France, (Proclamation of 1809. 
Bryce, T%e Holy Roman Empire^ p. 396.) History shows mysterious 
connections between different ages ; what seems delusion in it is com^ 
plete reality. 

ch. VI.] cola's programme. 269 

Prefect, several Roman fortresses surrendered to 
the Tribune;^ but when distant Gaeta and Sora 
sent gifts of homage and begged for his protection, 
their conduct was due to the spell of the ancient 
name with which the world still re-echoed. A dream 
became a living power. All territories of the Roman 
duchy acknowledged themselves vassals of the 
Roman people; all communes of the Sabina 
pledged themselves to do homage to the republic 
on September i. 

August I was near at hand ; magnificent embassies 
had already arrived from twenty-five cities. When 
Cola summoned the Italians to send deputies to 
Rome, his object was to constitute a parliament for 
the whole of Italy, and to assemble it on the Capitol. 
The idea was magnificent, and worthy of a statesman 
of the first rank ; neither was it impracticable, since 
the time was sufficiently favourable for Italy to 
assume an independent form. The Pope was far 
away, the Emperor far away, the empire almost 
dissolved ; Naples in a state of anarchy, the Roman 
nobility subdued, the middle class dominant in the 
majority of the republics ; enthusiasm for freedom, 
hatred of the tyrants, the feeling of patriotism, and 
the spell of Rome prevailed in distant spheres. 
During the five centuries that followed, the Italian 
people never beheld a conjunction of historic circum- 
stances so favourable to the scheme of nationality 

1 Piglio, the fortress belonging to the son of Matthew of Anagni, 
Montelongo, and other strongholds, which had been annexed by 
Cardinal John Colonna ; Caere ; Monticelli near Tivoli ; Vitorchiano ; 
the fortress of Civita Vecchia and Porto, ^/a, i. c. 20. 


as now in the days of the Tribune. Under similar 
conditions a man of Cromwell's genius would have 
brought a great revolution to a successful issue ; to a 
gifted actor the task was impossible. Cola di Rienzo 
was endowed with fascinating talents and brilliant 
ideas, but was devoid of true creative power, and 
was formed for neither a law-giver, a statesman, nor 
a hero. He indulged in general theories; he was 
capable of forming these theories with logical 
sequence into an imposing scholastic system of 
thought ; but he was unpractical, spiritless, and weak 
when face to face with the world of realities. The 
summit of glory and splendour on which he stood 
turned his head ; vanity mastered his weak judg- 
ment, and his unrivalled imagination — an imagina- 
tion which the greatest poets of all ages might have 
envied — caused him to see the actualities of life 
through a charmed medium. Cola also as a revolu- 
tionary stood under the influence of theology, and 
therein was entirely the contemporary of Dante. 
He applied to himself all the hopes concerning the 
Messiah of Italy, all the dreams of enthusiastic 
monks concerning the reign of the Holy Ghost 
He believed that he — the obscure man so suddenly 
raised to power — was in political matters a second 
S. Francis, who would restore the tottering empire 
as the saint had restored the tottering Church. But 
the man of the people from Assisi, like every 
popular tribune of antiquity, would have rejected the 
companionship of the vain demagogue. The fear of 
opposition, nay, even of practical action, crippled 
his power of will. His national programme of 

ch. VI.] cola's programme. 271 

creating a united Italy, with Rome for its centre, was 
so audacious that he shrank before it. The question 
occupied the minds of men in Germany, Italy, and 
Avignon, although they failed to grasp its entire 
significance. Was it to the advantage of the world, 
the pope, and the emperor, of the republics and 
despots of Italy, that Rome, the cosmopolitan city, 
should be united to Italy ? Even at the papal court 
the full significance of the problem was scarcely 
better understood than in Italy ; nevertheless, 
opposition was immediately raised to Cola's 
schemes.^ Municipal hostility awoke in the cities. 
The small number of republics (twenty-five) which 
sent legates to Rome shows how strong was this 
opposition. The Florentines hesitated to despatch 
plenipotentiaries, fearing that their autonomy might 
thereby be diminished, and Cola was obliged to 
pacify them by the assurance that such was not his 
intention.* And instead of the Italian parliament 
being summoned to Rome with an exclusively 

1 Memorable letter of Petrarch to Cola {Pnncipi Rotiiano)^ Ep. sine 
Tit, , iii. Romam Italiae conjungere an utile f — Nuper — inter quosdam 
— in questionis fortnam propositum fuii : Expediretm terrarum orbi^ 
urhem Romam et Italiam esse unanimes et pacificas ? It is ridiculous, 
says Petrarch, to quarrel over it any longer. What would he say, did 
he know that even now (in 1866) the subject is discussed throughout 
the whole world ? Cola himself afterwards reproached the Pope with 
having distrusted this unity so deeply, ut fuisset in Consistario ipso 
propositum^ utrum unitas Urbis et Italie Romane Ecclesie expediretm 
Doc. in Papencordt, p. xlvii. The disunion, he said, was advantageous 
for the higher clergy, who regarded themselves as the entire Church. 

' Nam non pro alicujus jurisdictionis pretextu^ sed pro reformatione 
antique amicitie et gaudiorum principio eos {syndicos et ambaxiatores) 
duximus amicabiliter expetendos. Letter to Florence, July 22, 1347. 
Gaye, p. 398. 


national aim, he already explained, from motives 
of fear and vanity, that its primary object was his 
own elevation to the dignity of knighthood and his 
coronation as Tribune. 
The In ancient times the Feriae Augusti had been 

festival of celebrated on August i, and in the Middle Ages 
the day was (as it still is) kept as a popular festival, 
on which the chains of S» Peter were exhibited. 
The Tribune had consequently chosen it for his own 
f&te. On the eve of the solemnity the Lateran was 
the scene of a fantastic assemblage. The legates 
from the cities, the foreign knights, Cola's wife and 
mother-in-law, surrounded by a brilliant company of 
noble ladies, behind them two youths, who carried a 
gilt bridle (a symbol, perhaps, of moderation), the 
gorgeous cavalry from Perugia and Corneto, who 
twice threw their silken garments among the people, 
the Tribune himself, clad in white silk embroidered 
in gold, the papal vicar beside him, preceded by the 
sword-bearer, and followed by the standard-bearer 
and a sumptuous retinue, appeared to the strains 
of music. The curious ceremony by which Cola 
received the dignity of knighthood, in the presence 
of the highest clerical dignitaries of Rome and the 
envoys of the Italian communes, imports a character 
borrowed from the romances of Amadis and Parcival 
into the political history of the city. Nevertheless, 
we must judge the solemnity according to the 
character of the Middle Ages, when, not at courts 
only but also in republics, the honour of chivalry 
was conferred by the most curious ceremonies, so 
that we hear of knights of the banquet, of the bath. 

ch. VI.] cola's bath of knighthood. 273 

of the banner, of the battle-field, of the shield, and of Coia 
honour.^ In the evening the Tribune with his escort the™gnity 
dismounted at the Baptistery of the Lateran and^^^^^^^' 
boldly plunged into the ancient basin, where, accord- 
ing to legend, the Emperor Constantine had washed 
away his paganism and leprosy. Cola here cleansed 
himself of the stains of sin in fragrant rose-water, 
while the vicar of the Pope pensively surveyed the 
desecrated font of Christianity. Cola's bath was 
soon enough reckoned as one of his chief offences ; 
but the ingenious knight put the question, whether 
the bath which had been allowed to Constantine, a 
Pagan afflicted with leprosy, was not still more per- 
missible to a Christian who had cleansed Rome from 
the leprosy of tyranny ; whether the stone basin was 
holier than the temple trod by the foot of the 
Christian, or than the body of Christ of which he 
partook?^ The Knight of the Bath, clad in white, 
lay down to rest on a couch, which had been erected 
under the porphyry columns of the ancient Bap- 
tistery, and, although troubled by the fear of the 
collapse of his temporary bed, passed the night in 
slumber. In the morning he clothed himself in 
scarlet and mounted to the Jubilee loggia of the 

^ Cavalieri di carredo, bagnati^ handeresi^ d!*arme, di scudo^ ctonore* 
Note to G. Villani, ix. c. 276, in Dragomaxmi's edition. 

2 Cola to the Pope, October 1 1, 1347. Doc., n. 11, p. xxii., in 
Papencordt. Cochetus writes to Avignon on August 2 : in concha 
paragonis olim Constantini lavcevU seu haptizoUus fuit honorifice, ut 
esset imp,i et plus quam imp,, ad quam haptizationem omnes pred. 
ambcuscUores personal, interfueruni,, p. xviii. Vita, i. c. 25 : stupore 
^ questo a dicercy molto fece ia jente faveliare. The Vita also calls the 
basin conca — difinissimo paragone (touch-stone or basanite). It still 
stands in the Baptistery, and is of green basalt 




[Bk. XI. 

Lateran. The syndic of the people and other nobles 
here invested him with the girdle and gold spurs, 
while the solemn chaunts of the mass ascended from 
the Church. Henceforward, Cola called himself 
Candidate of the Holy Spirit, the Knight Nicholas, 
the Severe and Clement, the Deliverer of the City, 
the Zealot for Italy, the Friend of the World, the 
Tribunus Augustus. 

He combined the festival which concerned his own 
person with the political acts which he had already 
prepared. After a short address to the people he 
caused a decree to be read from the same loggia by 
Egidius Angelerii, the notary of the Capitol. In 
He cites accordance with the thoroughly theological spirit of 
^e^nnces ^j^^ Tribune, he desired that this curious edict should 
be promulgated from the same place where Boniface 
VIII. had bestowed the Jubilee blessing on the world, 
and that it should operate as a blessing of Rome on 
the universe — a strange whim 6f intellectual mad- 
ness, in which the papal benediction Urbi et Orbi 
was caricatured. The decree stated that Cola, 
having bathed in the basin of the glorious emperor 
Constantine, to the honour of God the Father, Son 
and Holy Ghost, of the Princes of the Apostles and 
S. John, to the glory of the Church and of the Pope, 
for the good of Rome, of holy Italy and the world, 
desiring that the gifts of the Holy Spirit should be 
poured out upon the city and Italy, and that he 
might emulate the magnanimity of ancient emperors, 
declared as follows : That the Roman people, accord- 
ing to the sentence already pronounced by the 
judges, were again in full possession of the juris- 

before the 
of Rome. 


diction over the whole world, as in antiquity ; that 
all privilegia, which had been granted to the pre- 
judice of this power, were already revoked ; that in 
virtue of the dictatorship conferred upon him, and 
that he might not be niggard of the gifts of grace 
bestowed by the Holy Ghost, he pronounced the 
city of Rome the head of the world, and the founda- 
tion of Christendom ; that at the same time he 
declared all the cities of Italy free, and presented 
them with the Roman citizenship ; further, that the 
imperial monarchy and the imperial election 
belonged to the city, to the Roman and Italian 
people; accordingly, he invited all prelates, the 
emperors-elect, the electors, kings, dukes, princes, 
counts, margraves, peoples and cities who claimed 
any right to the election, at the coming Whitsuntide 
to appear at the sacred Lateran before him and the 
plenipotentiary of the Pope, as well as of the Roman 
people, with the proofs of their claims. Failing which, 
he would proceed against them as the law and the 
inspiration of the Holy Ghost required. More especi- 
ally he cited Lewis Duke of Bavaria and Charles King 
of Bohemia as emperors-elect, also the Dukes of 
Austria and Saxony, the Margrave of Brandenburg, 
the Archbishops of Mainz, Treves, and Cologne.^ 

1 Proclamation of August i (frequently printed). It was the 
general opinion of the Italians that the cities had received their 
liberties from the ancient Romans. M, Villani says (1351) : Firenze^ 
Perugia^ e Siena — in segno della romana liherth^ avendo veduto per li 
tempi passati Pincostanza degV imperadori allemanni avere in Italia 
generate e accrescinte tiranesche soggezioni dipopoli^ hanno ntantenuto 
la franchigia e la liberth discesa in loro dalP antico popolo rotnano 
(Lib. iii. i, and likewise lib. iv. c 77)« 


The Romans, accustomed to all the spectacles of 
history, blunted to the distinctions between the 
sublime and the ridiculous, filled with pride of 
ancestry, imbued with the dogma of the eternal 
supremacy of Rome, living and breathing an atmos- 
phere of dogmatism, neither laughed at this edict, 
nor at the figure of the crazy Tribune, who with 
drawn sword pointed in three directions in the air 
and cried, " This is mine." They loudly shouted their 
approval.^ The absurd proclamation appeared as 
the ultimate consequence of the claims of the city 
to the imperial majesty, with which she had formerly 
confronted Conrad, the first of the Hohenstaufens. 
Not to forget was the destiny of the Romans. The 
thought of the ancient world-monarchy, which the 
writings and monuments of the past kept alive, and 
the gigantic shadow of the ancient empire, under 
which Rome lay, were esteemed realities by the later 
generation, and we may say that the history of the 
city in the Middle Ages was frequently nothing 
more than a continued funeral oration over the 
splendour of the ancient city. The errors and 
theories of Dante and Petrarch in their theological 
age explain or excuse the insane dreams of the 
Tribune. For both poets extol the Romans as the 
political people elected by God to the monarchy, as 
the Hebrews had been the religious people elected 
to monotheism ; and like the Hebrews, the Romans 
acknowledged their historic mission as not already 

^ Only the intelligent Florentines already judged c^ la detta 
itnprcsa del tribuno era un^ opera fantastica e dapoco darare. Villani, 
xii. c. 90. 


accomplished, but to be continued through all time.^ 
History had yet to perform a long task before men 
should be released from the dogmas of the past, and 
even down to latest times mankind has occasion-* 
ally returned to bathe in Constantine's mystic font.^ 

The vicar of the Pope was taken by surprise. On 
hearing the edict, the dismayed bishop stood there, 
in the words of Cola's narve biographer, like a man 
of wood. He raised a protest in the name of the 
Pope, but the voice of the notary was overwhelmed 
in a flourish of trumpets, as the speech of the 
prisoner on the scaffold is drowned by the rolling 
of drums.* 

The festival was closed by a sumptuous banquet The' 
in the Lateran, where Bishop Raymond, seated jlT^^^* 
beside the Tribune against whose folly he had just La^era"- 
protested, helped to desecrate the marble pontifical 

^ Le quoit (ragiont) mostrano quella Citth essere imperairice^ e da 
Dio aver speztal nascimento^ e da Dio avere spezial processo. Dante, 
Convito^ iv. c. 4. 

^ Napoleon's coronation by the Pope, the theatrical pomp of his 
imperial court, and his ideas concerning the restoration of the empire 
of his predecessors, are only separated from the scenes of Cola's 
tribunate by four and a half centuries. The "Consul " and ** Imper- 
ator** revived reminiscences of ancient Rome. Cola occasionally 
reappears in him, although on a colossal scale. 

' The protest is not forthcoming, but its tenor is given in 
Raymund's letter to the Pope (n. 8, in Papencordt). He therein 
speaks of himself as having been outwitted . . . obstupui et — tanta 
fui turbatione confusus^ quod vires perdidi. He now recognised that 
ordinatianes ipsae a maxima faiuitate procederettt et essent edite contra 
ecclesiasticam Ubertatem, The Vita sa]^ that Cola also cited the 
Pope and the cardinals, but this does not appear from the proclama- 
tion, unless the Pope could consider himself included in the omnibus 
ft singulis Praelatis^ 


table. The foreign envoys, the nobles and citizens, 
the women, supped at other tables, and the populace 
held their rejoicings in front of the Lateran, where 
the bronze horse of Marcus Aurelius poured streams 
of wine and water through its nostrils.^ Popular 
games and tournaments were celebrated both this 
and the following day, and since ancient times Rome 
had witnessed no similar festival. The envoys 
brought valuable gifts to the Tribune; even the 
Roman barons and citizens offered presents. The 
Colonna alone failed to appear; the Gaetani were 
declared under the ban, and Petrucius Frangipane 
was brought from Civita Lavinia and thrown into 
Festival of On August 2, Cola celebrated on the Capitol the 
oHtaay^ festival of the unity of Italy, or the fraternity of the 
August 2, cities. He presented to the envoys large and. small 
banners bearing emblems, and placed gold rings 
on their fingers as symbols of their marriage with 
Rome. To the Florentines, whom he wished to 
distinguish, he gave the banner of Italy, with the 
figure of Rome between those of Italy and Faith. 
They refused, however, to receive it, fearing lest it 
might be regarded as a sign of enfeoffment Envoys 
of other cities also only accepted the symbols under 
condition of preserving the rights of their republics. 
Pisa sent no representative at all.^ 

1 The Chron, Mutin,^ Mur., xv. 6o8, says that more than eighty 
caldrons were used to cook meat, and that there stood on the table a 
fortress made of pastry, from which the viands were produced. 

^ Perugia received the banner of Constantine, the white eagle on a 
red field, the words Asia, Africa, Europa below (Graziani, Chron, of 
Ferugia, p. 144) ; Siena the banner of freedom ; Todi the bannei 


Ideas, opinions, and forms are so deeply rooted in 
human nature that they repeat themselves at distant 
intervals, and unite the present with the past. The 
festivals of fraternity during the French Revolution 
in Paris appeared in truth an imitation of the 
August festival of the Tribune of the People in 
Rome. Cola now sent forth envoys to the Pope and 
the kings, to inform them of the great events that 
had taken place, to deliver his citations to the 
German princes, and to exhort the rulers of France 
and England, whose bitter enmity was injurious to 
Christendom, to make peace ; above all, to announce 
to all lands that the illustrious Tribune was resolved 
to institute a new and peaceful system in the world. 
Such was the curious course adopted by the un- 
successful convocation of the first national parliament 
of Italy. Nothing practical was achieved or created ; 
a political idea of the highest national importance 
was destroyed by its fantastic alliance with the idea 
of the world-monarchy, and only revealed itself in 
symbolic and theatrical scenes. 

Cola di Rienzo, however, had already done more 
than enough to challenge the Papacy, and had now 
to dread the consequences of his provocation. He 

with the arms of the Tribune and the She- wolf of Rome. The env6y» 
would not cany the flags, on which account Cola wrote to Todi ; the 
original letter of August 6, on parchment, is in the Archives of S. 
Fortunatus ; Gaye justly observes that it is of the same tenor as that 
to Florence of August 5.— After August I, Cola had a blue and gold 
panel, on which all his titles were inscribed, affixed to the tower of 
Aracoeli. {Chron, Estense,) He also caused his armorial bearings 
to be painted on the Palace of the Senators, where they remained 
until the seventeenth century. 


had also challenged the authority of the Emperor, 
but the thought of imperial opposition caused him 
no dismay. 

The audacious citation of the Emperor was merely 

^ the consequence of the humiliation of the crown of 

iCharles the Great, which Lewis the Bavarian had 

'first taken from the Roman people, and then, out of 

fear of the Pope, had not ventured to wear. And 

in truth the appearance of this democratic Emperor 

in Rome helps to explain the absurd edicts of the 

t Roman Tribune. Afraid that Clement VI. would 

revive the proceedings instituted by John XXII., 

and in spite of the decrees of Rense, Lewis had 

offered humble submission to the Pope, The 

attempt at reconciliation failed, and the Pope 

succeeded in setting up a rival king in Germany, 

: where many violations of the law had caused the 

elector-princes to renounce the Bavarian. The rival 

chosen was Charles of Moravia, son of John, King of 

^ Bohemia, and grandson of Henry VII. Before his 

election he had already promised in Avignon (April 

22, 1346) to act as the submissive creature of the 

^ Pope, without extracting any advantage from the 

declaration of the independence of the empire, 

] which, with the prospect of the imperial crown in 

, view, had not been acknowledged by the voice of 

/ Bohemia. Charles was elected by his faction, headed 

by his great-uncle, Baldwiri of Treves, at Rense, on 

July II, 1346, to the joy of his father, that restless 

King of Bohemia, the blind hero, who met his death 

on the field of Crecy on August 26 of the same year. 

Charles was crowned in Bonn on November 25, and 



was immediately after recognised by the Pope, to ChariesiV., a 
whom he renewed his vows on April 27, 1347* The Romans. / 
contempt of all great-minded men was excited by Jl^^'^' 
the utter degradation to an empty title of the 
authority of the empire by the promises of its head, 
who, before his entrance into Italy, had undertaken 
to submit his person to the sanction of the Pope, 
to remain in Rome only for the day of his corona- 
tion, to leave the city immediately after, and never 
again to enter any territory of the Church, This 
degradation also partly explains Cola's foolhardy 
actions, which appear as satires directed against 
an empire that had fallen so low. In fact, the 
Candidate of the Holy Ghost showed more courage 
than the candidate for the imperial crown, when, 
amid the deplorable decay of the empire, he ex- 
plained that all its prerogatives of majesty had 
reverted to their source, the Roman and Italian 

^ For the promises made in Avignon on April 22, 1346, see 
Theiner, ii. n. 156 ; Charles's oath as Electus^ Luxemburg, September 
19, 1346, n. 165 ; Doc. of Trent, April 27, 1347, Raynald, n. 2. 
Rudolf of Habsburg had already sworn never to assume any authority 
in the State of the Church or in Rome, but it was Charles IV. who 
first added : promitto — quod ante diem tnihi pro coroneUione-^prefi* 
gettdam non ingrediar urbeni R,^ qtiodque ipsa die^ qua coronam — 
recepero — urbem exibo cum tota — gente mea; et—coniinuatis moderatis 
dietis extra terram Rom, Ecc, me recto gressu transferam versus terras 
Imperio subjected* This condition was first proposed to Henry VII. 
(Donniges, ii. 56); in 1335 Lewis offered it of his own accord. In 
order to explain the di^ace involved in it, we may observe that it is 
almost the same formula that the Pope afterwards imposed on a 
company of mercenaries : debeant infra viginti dies — iter arripere ad 
e^eundum terras — Rom, Eccle. — et sic continuatis dietis exire teneantur 
terrcu praedictas (Theiner, ii, n. 399, A. 1365). 


3. The King of Hungary and Joanna of Naples 
APPEAL to Cola's Tribunal — The Tribune 
causes himself to be crowned on August 15 — 
Coronation Edicts — The Gaetani yield Sub- 
mission — Cola puts the Heads of the Colonna 
AND Orsini Factions into Prison, Condemns 
AND Pardons them — The Pope takes Measures 
against him — Cola's scheme of a National 
Italian Empire — The Pope begins the Trial — 
Bertrand de Deus, Cardinal-legate — The 
Tribune sends his Justification to the Pope. 

For some time longer Italy believed in the Divine 
mission of the Tribune of the People, and soon after 
the festival of August he was strengthened in his 
delusion by the homage of Arezzo and by solemn 
embassies sent by great powers. Queen Joanna, an 
accomplice in the murder of her husband, had 
married her lover, Lewis of Taranto, with indecent 
haste, and now trembled before the vengeance of 
the King of Hungary, whose army had already 
arrived at Aquila. She sought the favour of the 
Tribune, and even condescended to sue for the 
goodwill of his wife, to whom she sent presents.^ 
So high did Cola's reputation stand, that both 
parties sought his arbitration, for Lewis of Hungary 
also called on him to avenge the murder of King 
Andrew, and offered to form an alliance with him. 

1 On August 8, 1347, she wrote to the Florentines that her envoys 
would go first to the Tribune, then to Florence : instanter profecturi 
per Tridunum urbis transiium faciendo. Archives of Florence, lib, 
xvi., de CapituiiSf p. 104. 


An embassy from the Prince of Taranto, headed by 
an archbishop, came to entreat his goodwill ; the 
Duke of Durazzo in his letters even called him his 
truest friend. Cola had reason to congratulate him- 
self, since but for the anarchy which reigned over 
Naples he would never have attained the position 
which he now held in Rome. The Tribune received 
all these envoys with magnificence, but regard for 
the Pope, who protected Joanna, hindered him from 
openly declaring in favour of the King of Hungary.^ 
His biographer assures us that Lewis of Bavaria also 
frequently sent messengers to implore his inter- 
cession with Clement, and there is nothing to 
prevent our believing the assertion. Fear alone 
deterred Cola from setting up as emperor ; he had 
secretly conceived the idea, but the time did not yet 
seem favourable.^ He first enacted a prologue to 
his future imperiura on August 15, the day of the 
Assumption of the Virgin, when he caused himself 
to be solemnly crowned as Tribune. This was the 
reflex of the coronation of Petrarch, of which he had 
been an enthusiastic witness. 

His fertile imagination conceived the whim of 
having himself crowned with six crowns, since, 

^ This he did in September. He pronounced Joanna to have 
forfeited Provence, and declared this imperial territory, the ancient 
" province " of the Romans, to be a public domain of die city. Bull 
of Qem. VI., IV» Id, Oct, 1347, Raynald, n. rvi. 

^ On August 4, the first embassy of Lewis of Hungary had arrived 
in Rome. On August 5, Cola wrote with much ambiguity to the 
Pope : spes certa me confavety quod in A,D, Jubilee vesfra Sanctiias 
erit Rome, ac Imperator vobiscum^ quod unum erit ovile ei unus 
pas for. — ^Doc., p. x., Papencordt 


r Cola's according to his opinion, his predecessors, the ancient 
coronation, tribunes of the people, had also been crowned. The 

» Aug. IS. iDelief was undoubtedly due to the passage in the 
Mirabilia which treats of the various crowns of the 
ancient Caesars. The curious blending of antiquity 
with Christianity, which is everywhere evident in 
Rome, found its true personification in the Tribunus 
Augustus and Candidate of the Holy Ghost If 
Cola, standing in a church, surrounded by the most 
reverend ecclesiastics, and crowned now with one 
tiow with another wreath of flowers during the 
celebration of a solemn mass, appears to us insane, 
no less insane were the chief priests who performed 
the curious ceremony in all seriousness as a religious 
act ; no less the envoys of the republics and the 
Romans who surveyed it with equal seriousness. 
All these men, and a thousand other prominent 
persons, stood under the spell of the mysticism of 
their age, and were evidently more fascinated by the 
magic influence of an illusion than by the power of 
an individual. Cola's coronation was the fantastic 
caricature in which ended the imperium of Charles 
the Great A world where political action was 
represented in such guise was ripe for overthrow, 
or could only be saved by a great mental refor- 
mation. :t 

Cola purposely had some of the wreaths made 
from the plants that grew on the triumphal Arch of 
Constantine.^ The Prior of the Lateran handed 

^ He says so himself, but I doubt whether the myrtle grew there. 
Among the 420 different species of plants that Richard Deakin found 
growing in the Colosseum, the myrtle is not enumerated. {JFlora of the 

Ch. VI.] cola's coronation, 285 

him the first crown, made of oak leaves, and said, 
"Take this wreath of oak because thou hast 
delivered the citizens from death." The Prior of S. 
Peter gave him the crown of ivy, saying, " Take the 
ivy because thou lovest religion." The Dean of S. 
Paul gave the crown of myrtle, with the words, 
" Take the myrtle because thou has reverenced thy 
office and learning, and hast hated avarice." The 
venerable Abbot of S. Lorenzo placed the crown of 
laurel on his head with similar words.^ The fifth 
crown, formed of sprays of olive, was given by the 
Prior of S. Maria Maggiore,* who said, " Man of 
humility, take the olive wreath because thou hast 
overcome pride with humility." Words more untrue 
were never spoken to one of the mighty of the earth 
or to a fool. The sixth crown, which was of silver, 
was handed with a sceptre by the Prior of S. Spirito, 
with the words, " Illustrious Tribune, take the gifts 
of the Holy Ghost with the crown and sceptre, and 
receive also the spiritual crown." Finally, Goffredo 
Scotti, syndic of the people, holding the globe, the 
symbol of the world, said, " Illustrious Tribune, 
receive and administer justice, bestow peace and 

Colosseum of Rome, London, 1855.) Omnes corone frondee, quas 
suscepi, in arcu triumphali ejusd^ ConstatUini reperte fiure con* 
tingendo, quod cut concha militiam, arcus ejusdem coronam tribunitiam 
praebuisset. To the Pope, October 11, 1347, n. 11, in Papencordt, 

p. XXV. 

1 Suscipe /aurum, quoniam officia et sctentiam observastiy et 
avarttiam odisti ; perhaps merely a mistake of the writer, since the 
repetition of the same formula is out of place. The Abbot of S. 
Laurentius was chosen, on account of the name, to confer the laurus. 
We must recall the formulae used at the imperial coronation, in order 
to understand the caricature. 


liberty," and kissed him.^ Bishop Raymond had 
prudently absented himself from the function, but 
the vicar of the Cardinal of Ostia was present, wear- 
ing a solemn aspect as master of the ceremonies; 
while a man, clad as a beggar, the spirit of irony, 
received back the crowns of the Tribune. The 
silver he was not allowed to touch, for the Arch- 
bishop of Naples held it fast, without a smile, on 
Cola's head. Cola recollected that it had been the 
custom in antiquity to remind the triumfators by 
scorn and mockery of the vanity of all earthly 
greatness. We smile at the delusions of the Tribune, 
but the romantic character of the time explains, and 
the poetic cast of his imagination mitigates, their 
absurdity. And amid the mystic coronation cere- 
monies of lawful kings were there none more 
deserving of the smile of a philosopher than the 
innocent floral wreath of the Tribune of Rome? 
Vanity deprived Cola of reason ; he now appeared 
to his own imagination as great as a hero of 
antiquity; or, rather, he believed that he was a 

1 See the programme of the coronation, which he himself had 
drawn up. Hocsemius, p. 505. In the chapter of the Graphta our, 
urbis R,^ de cortmis impercUor,^ we read : prima corona est de kerha 
appiif de qua Hercules coronatus est, Sicut enim appium resistit 
venenis, ita Imp. de orhe venena malicie et nequitie debet expellere-^ 
Secunda de oleastro. Oleon, grece^ lattne misericordia interpretatur. 
The third of poplar leaves ; the fourth of oak ; the fifth of laurel ; the 
sixth the Mitra of Janus and the Trojan kings ; the seventh the 
Frigium ; the eighth of iron ; the ninth of peacocks' feathers ; the 
tenth of gold. Cola explained the six crowns and the imperial globe 
as the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost. He himself speaks in a letter 
to the Pope of Sex coronis^ quorum quinque fuerunt frondu^^t sexta 
fuit co'gentea ; then of the Fomum. Hobhouse, p. 552. 

ch. VI.] cola's coronation edict. 287 

saviour of the world. He did not hesitate to com- 
pare himself to Christ, since like Christ he had 
accomplished his work in thirty-three years, and 
had delivered Rome from tyrants.^ A pious monk, 1' 
listening to the impious boasting of the man whom i 
he had hitherto regarded as a messenger of heaven, 
looked mournfully at him from a corner of the, 
church and wept bitterly.^ 

As emperors issue their edicts of coronation, the Cola's 
new Tribune announced new laws to the parliament edict!*'^°^ 
gathered for his coronation. He confirmed the 
rights of Roman citizenship to all Italy ; prohibited 
emperors and princes from making an armed entry 
into the country without permission of the Pope and 
of the Roman people, and forbade the use of the 
accursed party names of Guelfs and Ghibellines.^ 
These edicts may have been irreproachable, but how 
could Cola enforce them? Had he possessed the 
art of a simple military captain instead pf the gifts 
of an orator and actor, he would have transformed 
the momentary spell of his rule into an effective 
power. He was now obliged to employ aristocrats 
practised in war as military leaders without being 
able to trust them. The Gaetani, John and his 
brother Nicholas, Count of Fundi, whom the Tribune 
had accused and placed under the ban as the three- 

^ In the French republic Danton similarly compared himself to 

^ Cola himself relates this in his letter to Amest of Prague. Doc., I 
lii., Papencordt« 

' Item quod nemo detestdbilia nomina Guelfum et Ghibellinum tanti 
jam pro dolor I Christiani sanguinis estuaria^ audeatper totam Italiam 
nominare . . • Cola to the Pope, Hobhouse, p. 554. 


fold murderer of father, brother, and wife, were still 
defiant, and it was therefore necessary to reduce them 
to obedience. Cola fittingly entrusted the war to 
John Colonna ; the Gaetani made submission, and at 
the beginning of September tendered the oath of 
vassalage, to break it soon after.^ 

The Tribune knew that the nobility conspfred 
against him, and that machinations to work his over- 
throw were also in progress at the papal court. 
He consequently formed the design of seizing the 
chief conspirators at a blow, and, ignorant of the 
Cola takes plot, they fell into the same snare that Don Arrigo 
thTR^an ^^^ Henry VH. had prepared for their fathers. On 
barons. September 14, the leading nobles came to a banquet 
to which they had been invited on the Capitol. On 
leaving the table, where Stephen Colonna had in- 
dulged in some sarcastic remarks on the magnificent 
robes of the Tribune, the guests (five Orsini and two 
Colonna) were seized and led to prison.^ The aged 
hero Stephen paced the hall in which he was con- 
fined throughout the night, knocked at the doors 

i Peter Count of Caserta, nephew of Boni&ce VIII. , 
married to Maria de Comite. 


Loffred I>, ^ Benedetto I., John, Nicholas, Nanna, married 
Count of FimdL Count Palatine, a Canon. a Canon, to Raynald of 
j I Supino. 

Nicholas. John. Bellus. Boniface II. Nicholas. Maria. Mabilia. 

According to Documents in the Colonna Archives, where several 
parchments belonging to the Gaetani family are found. 

^ Of the Colonna, Stephen and his grandson John ; of the Orsini, 
Raynald, Count Berthold, Jordan del Monte, Ursus, and Cola. The 
younger Stephen, Jordan Orsini of Marino, and Luca Savelli had not 
appeared. Cola's letter to Raynald of Li6ge in Avignon, September 
17. Hocsemius, ii. p. 496. 


and offered huge sums to the guards, but in vain. 
Monks came in the morning to prepare the prisoners 
for death. They all trembled and confessed, except 
Stephen, who refused to believe in his death at the 
hands of a plebeian. The bell tolled for the wretched 
victims. The officers of justice conducted the nobles 
into a hall draped with red and white. The excited 
populace awaited the execution of some of the chief 
nobles of the city, but circumspect burghers pre- 
vented Cola from proceeding to extremities. He 
was himself deterred by the names, the prestige, and 
the friends of his opponents, and was perhaps as 
much afraid of his own victims as they of him. The 
visionary, on whose nod the life of Colonna and 
Orsini hung, mounted the platform with a whimsical 
smile, held a discourse on the text, " Forgive us our 
trespasses,'* and explained to the assembled people 
that he had pardoned the repentant barons. They 
swore to the laws of the republic. Falling from one 
extreme into another, the Tribune in fear now loaded 
them with distinctions, appointed them consuls and 
patricians, gave each of them a banner with ears of 
com embroidered in gold and a magnificent robe, 
invited them to a banquet of reconciliation, and 
rode in procession with them through the city. On 
September 17 he took the communion with them 
at AracoelL They went to their palaces or fortresses, 
all bewildered by fear of death and shame, and long- 
ing to avenge themselves on the plebeian who had 
played such a terrible game at their expense. The 
prudent were indignant. It was said that the Tri- 
bune had lighted a fire which he could not quench. 


r The treacherous deed excited universal sensation, 
1 The Pope, who had long been irritated, was seriously 
V dismayed. From his abode in distant Avignon, 
Cola's power appeared more formidable than it really 
was. Clement himself interceded for the pardon of 
the nobles.^ Many blamed the Tribune's weakness. 
And he had indeed shown that nature had not 
fitted him to play the r61e of a tyrant among tyrants, 
Ezzelino da Romano, Galeazzo Visconti, Castruccio 
Castracane would have turned in contempt from a 
man who had entrapped his enemies into a snare, 
not in order to take their lives, but merely to inflict 
dishonour upon them. Petrarch himself, as intoxi- 
cated with ideas of freedom as any Jacobin of the 
French Revolution, would have dedicated an elegy 
to the fallen heads of the Colonna, but an enthusi- 
astic hymn to Cola, the destroyer of tyrants. Even 
in 1352 he was unable to understand the mistake 
which had been committed in allowing armed nobles 
to escape instead of getting rid of them.^ The 
Tribune had not stained himself with blood uselessly 
shed, but had theatrically played the part of Marius, 
and made himself hated on one side, despised on the 

^ On October 4, 1347, Theiner, ii. n. 177. . . . Discreiionem vram 
attente rogamus^ quatenus eos etiam si aliquid forte commiserint^ quod 
CIS hoc vice pctimus gratiose remitti^ pro nra, et Ap, Sedis revereniia 
restituas liberiati. In the same sense the Pope wrote Concilio ac Pop. 
Rom,^ and to the Tredecim super urbis negotiis deputatis^ of the same 

^ — libertaiis hostes cum opprimere simul omnes posset^ quam 
facultatem nulli unq, imp,fortuna concessercU^ dimisit artnatos» He 
would at least have rendered them harmless. Fam., xiii. 6. 

' See his letter to Raynald Orsini, Archdeacon of Li6ge, at 


Darker and darker clouds gathered over him. The Pope 
Even before the news of his coup had reached ceeSngs*" 
Avignon, the Pope had decided to proceed against ^^^ 
him. The title of Tribune, the bath of knighthood, 
the invitation to the city as to a coronation festival, 
the tribute collected from the papal territories, 
further, all the ideas concerning the union and 
fraternity of Italy and the majesty of the Roman 
people, roused the anger of Clement VI. As early 
as August 21 he wrote to Cardinal Bertrand, the 
legate for Sicily, to go to Rome, if possible.^ The 
hostile feeling at Avignon was also revealed in the 
treatment shown to one of Cola's envoys ; he was 
attacked on the banks of the Durance, his staff was 
broken, his letters were torn, and he was wounded 
and forbidden an entrance to the city. The outrage 
happened at the end of August, when Petrarch, in a 
.letter to the Tribune, expressed his indignation at 
this insult to the popular rights.^ The Pope, learn- 
ing of the events of August 15, and informed by 
Cola that almost all the cities of the Sabina and the 
Patrimony, irritated by the oppression of the rectors 
of the Church, had conferred the signory upon him 

Avignon, in which he perfidiously misrepresents and excuses his 

^ Theiner, ii. n. 175. 

* Ep, sine tit,, ii. O Rhodanus rodens omnia, sic Tyberim recog- 
noscitis, sic Romanum Dotninum honoratisf — Tu vero res nostras 
miserere, vir ill,, erige surgentem pcUriam, et gentib, incredulis, 
quidnunc etiam Roma possit, ostende. Always confusing the present 
with the past, he speaks of "our former envoys to Carthage." . . , 
Cola afterwards declared, in his letter to Raynald Orsini, that only 
reverence for the Pope prevented him from proceeding against 
Avignon and its magistrates. 


on September i, commanded the vice-rector of the 
Patrimony to oppose the usurpations of the Tribune 
and demand help from the rectors of Spoleto and 
the Campagna.^ 

Cola's actions were of a nature to make him 
appear the most dangerous of all revolutionaries in 
the eyes of his benevolent patron, the Pope. That 
Clement did not earlier proceed against him was due 
to the universal admiration that the Tribune evoked, 
and to the fear of the exalted ideas which had taken 
hold of the Roman people, also in part to the dis- 
tance of Avignon. The fulfilment of the Tribune's 
designs would not only have destroyed the Dominium 
Temporaley but would have overthrown all legal 
relations between Church and empire. He leaned 
^ on no party, was neither Guelf nor Ghibelline, but 
f^on the contrary appealed to the Italian nation. He 
I looked away from the German emperor ; he required 
the Pope to make his residence in Rome, and at the 
^ same time proclaimed Rome the capital of united 
\ Italy, to whom the rest of the republics, " the ancient 

* Theiner, iL n. 176, to Petrus de Pinu; so also to NapoL eU 
Tiberiist Rector of Campania, to Raimboldus de Montebrione, Rector 
of Spoleto, to Cardinal Bertrand. He quotes Cola's letter of 
September l, which is not extant : ncmerit—pcUemiiatis v. benignitca, 
quod hodie primo Sept, qucui omnes terre Sabine et de Patrimonio 
propter injusta gravamina^ quae ab officialib. Eccle, quod cum pudore 
referimus^-inferutUur etsd,^ et ut liberarentur a rabie Tirampnoruvi 
— per Sindicos— -nobis eor, regimen cum Icurymis supplices commiseruni. 
As early as September 15 the Pope commands Cardinal Bertrand 
to go to Rome, the Consistorium having decreed that it was necessary 
to send three cardinals immediately to Rome. Dat^ Av. 17. ICal, 
Oct, A, VI, (Clem. VI., Seer, a F/., ep, 419); copied for me by 
Andreas Munch. 

ch. VI.] cola's national programme. 293 

children " of the city, were to sacrifice their municipal 
spirit.^ He asserted that Rome and the Church 
were one, as, according to his view, so were the 
Empire and Rome. He thereby expressed the 
opinion that the city was the source and essence of 
the universal monarchy and of the two world powers, 
and openly protested against the opinion that where 
the pope was there was the Church.* After the ex- 
ample of Lewis the Bavarian, Cola — had he succeeded 
in attaining to actual power — would have restored 
the papal election to the Roman people. For the^ 
first time the voice of Rome terrified the Pope within 
the strong walls of Avignon; he now recognised 
that other matters than the reformation of civic 
government on democratic lines were discussed on 
the Tiber, that Rome's antagonism to Avignon was 
a national principle, and that the exile of the popes 
gave birth to a movement that threatened the 
Church with schism and the Papacy with the loss 
of its historic position in Italy. / 

A lofty idea was contained in Cola's curious 

^ This sounds quite modern, nevertheless they are Cola's words : 
nonne scismatica nomina GibcUne parcialitcUis et Guelfe, pro quid, 
innumerab. millia animar, et corpor, sub pastor, ocuHs perierunt, 
delere prorsus inceperam per reductionem civitaits Romans et tottus 
Italieadunam unaninum^ pacificaniy sanctam et indvoiduam unionem. 
Cola to the Archbishop of Prague, Doc., p. xlvii., Papencordt. 
This is the cry, " Italia una /" which was raised by Cola for the first 
time. It re-echoed for centuries, until in our own days it filled Italy 
with feverish enthusiasm, and in 1870 Cola's inspired dream became 
a reality. 

' Universalem Eccl, hlasphemare non metuens^ praefatam Eccl, 
civitatemque Rom, idem esse asseruii. Bull of December 3, I347i 
Theiner, ii. n. 185. 


dreams, and a logical method in his delusions. As 
was natural in his time, he sought for the legal 
foundation for the transformation of Italy in the 
dogma of the majesty of the Roman Senate and 
Cola's People. After having proclaimed this sovereignty 
pro- and the unity of Italy in his decree of August i, 

gramme. ^^^ having declared that he held all Italians as 
free Roman citizens, he resolved to summon the 
entire country to reconstitute itself in the form of a 
national Roman empire. According to his scheme 
all Italians should have the right of electing their 
emperor by a plebiscite, which was to be exercised 
in Rome by twenty-four electors appointed by 
themselves. The emperor to be elected after Whit- 
suntide of 1348 was to be an Italian patriot; thus 
the ancient unity of the nation would be restored 
by a Latin Caesar, Italy rescued from the divisions 
which tore her asunder, and delivered for ever from 
the ignominious rule of "unworthy foreigners." 
Neither was this view far removed from the Guelfs ; 
for they also maintained that the imperial election 
belonged to the Roman people, and through them 
to all the communes of Italy, who shared in the 
right of Roman citizenship and Roman freedom, 
and that only through the Church, and in the name 
of the Roman people, was it transferred to the 
German elector-princes.^ On September 19 Cola 
appointed two Doctors of Law, the Knight Paul 
Vajani of Rome, and Bernard de Possolis, a native 
of Cremona, as his envoys, and sent them with 
plenary powers to the cities and lords of Italy, in 

* M. Villani, iv. c. 72. 

ch. VI.] cola's national programme. 295 

Order to gain their adhesion to his memorable plan.^ 
The gifted Tribune hoped to reach an exalted aim, 
little thinking that only through the labyrinth of 
the sins and sufferings of another five hundred years 
was the way to be prepared for its realisation. He 
wished to inscribe the new articles of confederation 
of a free and united Italy on tables of bronze, and, 
according to ancient custom, to place them in the 
Capitol, which he fancifully called the " Holy Latin 
Palace."^ Among the friends of the Italian nation 
on whom the imperial election might fall, he un- 
doubtedly thought of himself, and already dreamed 
of transforming the title of Tribunus Augustus into 
that of Imperator Augustus. His envoys travelled 
through Italy; a great thought was propounded to 
the nation, which was not ready to receive it. It 
undoubtedly remains the imperishable glory of Cola 

1 Cola's letter to the Florentines, September 19, 1347 (Gaye, p. 
402), the best and most noteworthy document of his history. Otntus 
— cives civitatum sacre ytalie cives Roman, effecimus, et eos adtnic- 
timus ad election. Imperii ad sacr. Rom, Pop, raiionabiliter devoluti, 
— Cupimus—antiguam unionem cum omnib, magnaiib, et civitcUib, 
sacre ytaiie—firmius renovare — ipsam s. Ytaliam — ab omni sue 
abiectionis discrimine liberare, et in statum pristin, sue antique glorie 
reducere — Intendimus — cUiquem ytalicum quern ad zelum ytalie digne 
inducat unitas generis et proprietas nationis^-feliciter ad imp. pro- 
moveri. He exhorts them ut commune nostrum et totius ytalie decus — 
velitis — diligere, et honores proprios occupari—per alios pati nolle, in 
tantum nefas, tantum obprobium, quantum est proprio privari 
dominio, et alieno indebite subdere colla Jugo, eorum vid,^ qui 

sanguinem ytalicum sitiunt satis debet nostra et v. precordia 

pungere, quod Rom, Imp, indigni extranei occupent, — Dat, in Capi' 
toluy-4ie XVIIII, Sept. /. Ind, liberatae, Reipub, A, I, 

' Cola had sent to Florence the new Constitution (prdincUiones) 
which he had drawn up for Italy. This document, unfortunately, has 
not been preserved. 


de Rienzo that he ventured to express these national 
ideas in his age; as it remains a reproach to the 
Italians that at a time when the Papacy was in 
banishment, and the empire at its lowest ebb, they 
proved incapable of creating a political nation. 

Meanwhile the Pope resolved to proceed against 
the audacious demagogue. The French cardinals 
dreaded the return of the papal curia to Rome, if 
the city became free and powerful. Every prelate 
shrank from the thought of Italian unity, or the 
restoration of an Italian empire, which would have 
endangered the independence of the Papacy. All 
the cardinals, especially the relations of the Orsini 
and Colonna, demanded that proceedings should be 
The Pope instituted against Cola, who had already completely 
Cola to thrust aside his colleague in office, the papal vicar 
trial. Raymond. As early as October 7 the Pope gave 

the legate Bertrand de Deus, who was then in 
Naples, power to depose Cola and to appoint new 
Senators.^ On October 12 he sent the cardinal a 
letter, in which he enumerated all Cola's offences, 
and ordered him to leave the Tribune in office, if he 
retracted, confined himself to his jurisdiction in the 
city, and promised obedience to the Church ; other- 
wise, to depose him, and possibly bring a charge 
of heresy against him. The legate was to fix a 
period within which the Romans were to renounce 
Cola under threat of the interdict ; he was to dis- 
tribute money and com among them, though not 
in such abundance as to make them arrogant. He 
was to withhold the Bull of Jubilee, which was, 

* Three letters of October 7, Theiner, ii. n. 179, 180, i8i. 


however, to be promulgated as soon as the Romans 
should make submission. The Sabines were to be 
forbidden to obey Cola, or to form any alliance with 
Rome. And since some asserted that Cola was 
already under the ban, Clement had caused dupli- 
cates of the letter to him to be drafted, one of 
which addressed Cola as already excommunicated, 
the other as still a member of the Church, so that, 
according to circumstances, the Cardinal could give 
him one or other. These documents show the 
serious consternation of the Pope, his fear of the 
power of the Tribune or of the Romans, his extreme 
prudence.^ More than seventy Roman nobles re- 
ceived letters with the request that in any event 
they would aid the legate.* 

* Theiner, ii. n. 182. Among Cola's offences he mentions : The 
title of Tribune, the bath of Knighthood, the alliance with Hungary, 
the proceedings against the nobles and the vicar, the citation of 
Charles and the princes of the empire, the title Dux Bavarie which 
he had given to Lewis, the attacks on the rights of the Church, the 
abolition of all existing laws. The despatch of envoys to summon 
Italy to unity, and to the new imperial election, was not yet known to 
the Pope. Not until December 3 does he speak of this in his bull 
to the Romans : quibusd, civitatib, Jialie certas voces in elect, Rom. 
Imp, ohtulit : and in his letter to Charles IV. : majori tamen parte 
vocum hujusm, Rom, Populo reservata (n. 187). 

' Ep. 489-563, Clem. VI., Seer, a, VI, (copied by Munch). I 
mention the names as giving a synopsis of the hereditary nobility at 
that time. Colonna : Petrus Agapiti ; Petrus and Matheus Jordani ; 
Petrus Jacob! Sciarrae ; Frandscus Landulfi ; Jacobus Eduardi and 
Landulfiis Bartolomei of Gallicano ; Paulus Petri of Olevano ; Petrus 
Stefani of Bellovidere; ^Stephen and his son John; Johes Matthei 
and Angelus Oddonis of Tivoli. Orsini : Johes and Ursus of 
Anguillara ; Berthold, Robert, Guido, Counts Palatine ; Andreas and 
his son Orso ; Jordan and Raynald ; Johes, Jordan, and Napoleon, 
sons of Poncellus ; Nicolaus ; Matheus Frandsci ; Orso of Taglia- 


Cola, learning of the hostile feeling at Avignon, 
wrote in detail to Clement VI., enumerated all his 
services, justified his actions, and lamented that the 
Pope rewarded him with prosecutions for all the 
good that he had done, when a courier would have 
been sufficient to persuade him to retire from his 
office, had this been required.^ His enemies mean- 
while assembled on all sides, and the Tribune had 
manfully to defend himself against their attacks. 

cozzo ; Ricardus Fortisbrachii ; Frandscus ; Cecco Johis ; Johes 
Ursi. Anibaldi : Nicolaus Nicolai of Pietro in Formis ; Leo Riccardi 
of Rocca Preiura {Priora) ; Nicolaus Anibaldi of Molara ; Paulus 
Nicolai Petri ; Nicolaus Riccardi of Cave. Capocci : Johes Johis ; 
Jacopo and Paulus, sons of Processus. Savelli: Frandscus and 
Lucas. Conti: Paulus of Valmontone ; Nicolaus Nicolai of Monte- 
fortino; Nicolaus Nicolai of PolL S. Eustachio: Johes, son of 
Theobald. — Johes Nicolaus de ByxccajazxAv&oi MontenigrOf Chancellor. 
Stefatuschi: Franciscus Ste^i, Stefan. Ranerii Jacobi Johis Axlotti 
de Stephanescis. — Angelus Malahranca, Chancellor. Guido de Insula^ 
Nicolaus and Theodinus de Branchaleonibus, Andreas and Stephen 
de Montanea, John LaurenHi de S, Alberto. Stephan. Normanni 
de Albertescis. Fredo de Parione. Conradus Philippi de Antiochia, 
Andreas and Franciscus Odonis de Palumbaria, The lords of Castra 
(fortresses) were here called Dominus {Don\ their sons Domicellus 
Romanus, The title Miles Romanus is rare, most frequent among 
the Colonna and OrsinL No Frangipane, Pierleone, or Crescentius 
appears, nor any Gaetani. 

^ Cola's justifications to the Pope begin as early as August. 
Hobhouse, p. 552. Then the letter of September 17 (Hocsemius, ii« 
p. 496) to the Orsini in Avignon, also intended for the Curia. 
Lastly, the long letter of October 11 to the Pope (Doc., n. il, in 

ch. VI.] cola's war with the barons. 299 

4. The Aristocrats begin the War — Cola besieges 
Marino — His Meeting with the Cardinal-legate 
IN Rome — The Nobles resolve to attack Rome 


Barons on November 20— Tragic Fall of the 
House of Colonna — Triumph of the Tribune 
— Cola's altered Character — His Weakness 
AND Despondency — He makes Submission to the 
Cardinal — Revolt in Rome — Cola retires 
from the Capitol. 

The vindictive barons were the first to rise in Cola's war 
arms. The two. Orsini, in mockery of their oath, J^onsof 
had entrenched themselves within Marino and made ^°"*«- 
this fortress the rallying point of the reaction. The 
Tribune placed them under the ban; he caused 
Raynald and Jordan to be depicted head downwards 
as traitors on the Capitol. They answered by 
scouring the country as far as the gates of Rome, 
crossed the Tiber, seized Nepi, and laid waste the 
civic territory. In the course of the winter the 
Tribune advanced with 20,<X)0 foot soldiers and 
800 horse against Marino. The surrounding district 
was ruthlessly devastated; half the population of 
Rome lay encamped beside it and engaged in 
pillage; preparations were made for an assault. 
Meanwhile, Bertrand de Deus, the legate, arrived 
in the city, entrusted with full powers, and in the 
Pope's name summoned Cola to appear before him. 
The Tribune drowned two hounds, which he had 
baptised Raynald and Jordan, in the brook at Marino, 
raised the siege and came to Rome. He immedi- 


ately caused the Orsini palace beside S. Celso to be 
pulled down, and rode with his cavalry to the 
Vatican. Nothing could be more amusing than the 
visit of the Tribune to the cardinal. Clad in mail 
from head to foot, but at the same time wearing the 
dalmatica embroidered in gold and pearls, which the 
emperors were accustomed to wear at their corona- 
tions, and which he had put on over his armour in 
the sacristy, he ascended the steps of the palace, 
gazing fiercely round him, the silver crown of the 
Tribune on his head, the steel sceptre in his hand, 
trumpets sounding before him.^ "Thou hast sent 
for me," he said to the cardinal ; " what dost thou 
want ? " The surprised legate answered, " I have a 
message from our lord the Pope." " What message ? " 
asked the Tribune, raising his voice. The legate 
looked at him and was silent The Tribune con- 
temptuously turned his back, and left the palace with 
a curious smile, mounted his horse, and returned 
to Marino. The cardinal remained in Rome, not 
knowing how to execute the Pope's orders. His 
understanding with the Orsini and Colonna becom- 
ing notorious, he soon fled to Montefiascone, where 
the rector of the Patrimony made his abode. 

Cola invited all his allies to join him in his war 
against Marino, and demanded aid from Florence,^ 
Unfortunately he was not able to take the fortress, 

* Terribile e fantastico parea. Vita, i, c. 32. 

' Letter to Florence of November 9, Gaye, p. 407. On No- 
vember 13 the Pope wrote to the cardinal that he heard that Cola 
was besieging Marino ; that he must take measures that the Orsini 
should not be defeated, or make peace with Cola. Theiner, ii. n. 184. 


and the fact gave the Colonna courage to strike a 
blow against Rome, more especially since the people 
were exhausted by the hardships of war and losses ; 
and many " cavalerotti," who had not received their 
pay and were dissatisfied with Cola, were already 
holding negotiations with the aristocrats. The xhe 
hoary Stephen, his chivalrous sons and grandsons, Coionna ^ 
and his friends, all] assembled in the castle of Paiestrina. 
Palestrina, and collected 4000 men and 600 horse 
with which they supported the cardinal-legate from 
Montefiascone. Cola armed himself in haste against 
these formidable opponents. In conformity with 
the terms of his alliance, Lewis of Hungary sent 
him 300 horsemen ; the Prefect despatched supplies 
of com, and came to the city himself with his son 
Francesco, with fifteen of the lesser nobles of 
Tuscany, and 100 cavalry. The suspicious Tribune 
repeated his treacherous game; he caused the 
Prefect and his companions to be seized at table 
and thrown into prison. He divided their horses 
and weapons among the Romans, excusing his 
faithlessness before parliament by alleging the 
treacherous intentions of the prisoners. He was 
tortured by anxiety and impatience; he could not 
eat ; he lost his sleep.^ He had or invented fanci- 
ful visions. S. Martin, the son of a tribune, appeared 
in a dream, promising him aid ; the spirit of Boniface 
Vni. told him that he had determined to revenge 
himself on the Colonnas, his mortal enemies. The 

^ Fortemente spcmenth^ e diventh come fosse infermo e motto, Vita^ 
i. c. 32. That Cola was mentally diseased is shown by the inco- 
herency of his letters. 


ailing Tribune ordered the bells to sound an alarm ; 
he came to the popular assembly in armour, and 
declared his visions. ** The enemy," he said, ** is 
already encamped four miles from the city, at the 
place called the Monument This is a sign from 
heaven; we shall bury them in this monument"^ 
It was the morning of November 20 ; Cola disposed 
1000 horse and a large number of infantry in three 
divisions, under captains of noble birth; for CoJa 
Orsini of S. Angelo, Jordan of Monte Giordano, 
Angelo Malabranca, Matthew, son of Count Berthold, 
and several other barons, still remained in the service 
of the republic, owing to family dissensions or from 
other reasons. The watch-word given was " Spirito 
Santo CavalierL" A sortie was made at daybreak 
from the gate of S. Lorenzo, against which the 
attacks of the enemy were directed. 

The barons had left the Monument on the 19th— 
20th of November, and advanced to the monastery of 
S. Lorenzo. It rained in torrents and the air was cold. 
Stephen the younger, captain-general of the army, 
there held a council of war ; with him were his son 
John, Peter, son of Agapitus, lord of Genazzano, 
Jordan Orsini of Marino, Sciarretta, son of the cele- 

^ In un loco che si dice Monumenio, A "tenuta** near Roma 
Vecchia (where the Arco Travertine^ Sette Bassi^ Statuarium^ and 
Testa spcucata are situated). A Privilegium of Honorius III. for S. 
Thomas in Formis (a.d. 121 7) says : Turrim qui dicitur Monu- 
mentum, ubi dicitur Statuarium, {Bu/lar. Vat. , i. loa ) The bar- 
onial family de Moumento, who had received their name from the 
place, no longer appears. The Fundus Statuarium arose from the 
ruins of the celebrated Villa of the Quintilii, and took its name from 
the many statues which were found there. 


brated Sclarra, Cola di Buccia, Petruccio Frangipane, 
and two Gaetani, Counts of Fundi, They could 
distinctly hear the bells in the city sound an alarm, 
but could not agree what was to be done. The ex-» 
senator Peter Colonna, formerly a priest and un- 
skilled in arms, was terrified ; a dream, in which he 
had seen his wife in widow's dress, depressed him.^ 
He counselled a retreat to Palestrina; the other 
Colonnas opposed it. Since some " Cavalerotti " in 
Rome had promised to open the gate, Stephen rode 
thither, accompanied by a single page. He appealed 
to the guard to admit him. " I am," he said, " a Defeat and 
Roman citizen, and a friend of the republic ; I want orthe*^ *°" 
to return to my house." The guards had been ^™nf 
changed during the night. As a proof that the door Nov. 20, 
would not be opened, the captain threw the keys '^^* 
down into the street. The barons, recognising that 
they had been deceived, resolved to risk nothing, 
but to march up to the gate with drums playing and 
then beat an honourable retreat to Palestrina. Two 
battalions did so. But when the third, which num- 
bered the most celebrated knights, was about to 
follow, the eight barons who approached saw the 
gate opened. The Romans had in fact arrived, and 
had forced it open from inside in order to rush 
forth. John Colonna, Stephen's grandson, a fine 
youth of twenty, believing that the conspirators had 
opened the gate, with foolhardy courage rushed in, 
accompanied by only one German knight. The 
Roman cavalry wheeled round at the sight of the 

^ He married Francesca (Anibaldi), daughter of Thomas of 
Ceccano, in 1338. De Sade, ii. 396. 


young hero ; seeing, however, that he was not followed, 
they turned upon him. The unfortunate boy 
hastened to reach the gate, but fell with his horse 
into a pit. 

Outside, Stephen was searching for his son ; fear- 
ing the worst, he too rode through the open gate. 
The sun had risen ; the noble youth lay in a pool of 
water dyed with blood, surrounded by the frantic 
populace, who were murdering him. Silently the 
father rode back, returned, was struck by a stone, 
thrown from his horse, and killed instantaneously. 
Thus father and son, the pride of their house and of 
the entire Roman knighthood, lay dead and only 
separated from each other by the city wall. Their 
fall roused the barons to fury; they attacked the 
gate, out of which rushed the equally infuriated 
Romans. Cola's banner sank ; he cried in fear : 
" God ! hast Thou deserted me ? " The Romans, 
however triumphed, and their opponents were 
repulsed. Peter Colohna, a corpulent man, fled to a 
vineyard near the gate ; he begged for his life, but 
the ex-senator was cut down, like his cousin Peter, 
Baron of Belvedere. The aristocrats dispersed in 
terrified flight. Jordan Orsini, mortally wounded, 
reached the castle of Marino with one of the Counts 
of Fundi ; others escaped to Palestrina. The naked 
bodies of more than eighty great nobles, formerly 
the dreaded oppressors of the people, remained 
exposed to the ferocious insults of the mob until the 
afternoon. This is the black day of the Fabii in the 
history of the civic nobility of the Middle Ages. 
They never recovered ; and the power of the great 

ch. VI.] cola's triumph. 305 

families, who had so long ruled the republic, was 
broken for ever on November 20, 1347.^ 

The Tribune, who had shivered in mortal terror Triumph 
at the first glint of arms, now crowned himself with ^^ ^^ 
a wreath of olive, caused the trumpets to be sounded, CapuoL 
and led his troops in triumph to the Capitol, where 
the prisoners were placed in confinement. He 
appeared before the assembled crowd, wiped, like a 
comedian, his bloodless sword upon his dress, restored 
it to its sheath, and said, " Thou hast struck the ear 
from a head which neither emperor nor pope was 
able to cut off." He wrote fantastic accounts of his 
victory, which were borne by envoys with branches 
of olive to the cities of Italy. The whole of Rome 
was intoxicated with horror and wild joy. In the 
evening the three dead Colonna, Stephen, John, and 
Peter, were brought to the family chapel in Aracoeli. 
Their noble widows forced their way into the church, 
followed by women mourners with torn garments and 
dishevelled hair, to throw themselves on the beloved 

^ The most trustworthy account is that of the eye-witness, Vita, i« 
32. Villani, the Chron. of Pistoja, Modena, Este, Siena, Bologna, 
and Histor, Cortus,^ ix. 12, differ. Further, Cola's letter to Raynald 
Orsini of November 20 (Hocsemius, p. 506) : Haec est dies, quant 
fecit Dom, • . . Dot, in Capiiolio die victorioso pred., XX, Nov, in 
quo sex de tyrannis Columnensib. perierunt, superstUe infel, sene D, 
Stephano de Columna semimortuo ; ecce septimus ; et sic septem coranis 
et porno f quae in coronatione pro' septem donor, S, Spiritus memoria 
suscepimus, aequatus est numerus occisor. Of the same date is the 
letter to Florence (Archives, Reform,, zvi. 94) ; of like tenor, with 
the addition of the names of four Colonna (Stephen, jfohn, Peter 
Agapiti, Peter ex dominis beivedere), and of those sdready imprisoned 
in the Capitol. Papencordt is mistaken in saying that the aged 
Stephen had taken part in the battle. Among the &llen were a 
Frangipani and some lords of Lugano, Cave, and Molara (Anibaldi). 



dead.^ The insane Tribune ordered them to be 

driven away. ** If these three accursed corpses 

irritate me further/' he said, " I will have them thrown 

into the ditch of the hanged, to which as traitors 

they belong." They were removed at night to S. 

Silvestro in Capite, where the house of Colonna had 

founded a convent for its daughters, and were buried 

here by pious women without any funeral lament 

Stephen The fate of the aged Stephen was profoundly 

Mdhu* tragic, and his composure worthy of an ancient 

^^^' Roman. When the messenger of misfortune entered 

the castle of Palestrina and informed him that his 

eldest son, his valiant grandson, and his nephews 

were all dead, the proud aristocrat looked silently on 

the ground, and calmly said, "The will of the Lord 

be done; it is undoubtedly better to die than to 

endure the yoke of a boor."^ The praise which 

Petrarch bestowed on this Roman, that he was a 

phoenix, who had risen from the ashes of ancient 

heroes, may not be entirely exaggerated. Four 

years before, the poet had visited Stephen in Rome, 

and had drawn a picture of his character. ** Great 

God ! what majesty is in this old man ! What a 

voice, what a brow and countenance, what manner, 

what energy of mind and strength of body at such 

an age! I seem to see Julius Caesar or Scipio 

Africanus before me, only that he is much older than 

^ Per u/u/are di sopra It morti ( VUa^ i. c 35), to raise the lament 
for the dead {ballata) beside the bier. Concerning these laments for 
the dead the reader will find a chapter on the subject in my 

^ Petrarca, Rer, Sgni/,, ix. Ep. iv. : ad extremum dixit : fiat voluntas 
Z>gi: et eerie satiusest mori^ quam unius rustici Jttgum fati^ 


either; nevertheless, he is scarcely altered since I 
saw him in Rome for the second time seven years 
ago, or since I first met him at Avignon twelve years 
back."^ The noble veteran had foretold his destiny 
to Petrarch ; he outlived his children, for Cardinal 
John died a year after the fatal day. It happened 
that Petrarch left Avignon to return to Italy on the 
same 20th of November on which his friend and bene- 
factor met with his overthrow. He heard the news 
with dismay, and shed tears ; but his conduct proved 
the truth of his earlier assertion, namely, that Rome 
and Italy were dearer to him than the Colonna 
family, which he loved more than any other in the 
world.2 He could now reproach the Tribune for the 
same reason as Maharbal had reproached Hannibal. 
Instead of appearing at Marino and Palestrina 
immediately after his victory, Cola wasted the time 
in pompous spectacles and triumphal processions. 
The day after the battle he led his son Lorenzo out- 
3ide the gate of the same name, and to the spot 

^ FamiLy v. Ep. 3, to Cardinal John. Petrarch holds him alone 
worthy to appear beside King Robert in the Triumph of Fame. 

// buon ri Sicilian ; ck^ in ctlto intese 
E lunge vidcy efU veramenf Argo ; 
Da taltra parte ilmio gran Colonnese ; 
MagnanimOy gentil^ constante e largo, 

^ Great was the conflict in Petrarch's mind, artificial and unreal as 
his temperament was. His later letter of consolation to Cardinal 
John {Fam,f vii. 13) is heartless. Not until after John's death (he 
died of the plague at Avignon on July 3, 1348) did he write a letter 
of condolence (on September 12) to the aged Stephen (viii. i). A 
Seneca in the garb of an abbot. Complement de condoUance^ says the 
French Abb^ de Sade, 


where the heroic Colonna had fallen, and from the 
pool of blood which still remained, baptised him as 
" Knight Lorenzo of the Victory," and obliged the 
captains of cavalry to give him the stroke of knight- 
hood. The brutal deed rendered the Tribune con- 
temptible. The knights refused to serve him any 
longer ; illustrious men deserted his hitherto magni- 
ficent court ; he surrounded himself with depraved 
creatures. Incapable of enduring prosperity, the 
man of the people developed into a self-indulgent 
tyrant. The report of the altered character of the 
liberator of Rome had become known even before 
November 20. Petrarch wrote him letters from 
Genoa, bewailing the change and lamenting the ruin 
of his genius.^ His belief in the permanence of 
freedom was, however, still unshaken in September. 
When he then heard that the Hungarians were 
besieging Sulmona, he wrote excitedly to Barbatus, 
mourned the incursion of the barbarians into Ovid's 
native city, but fixed his hopes on the Roman people 
and the magnanimous Tribune, to whose protection 
he recommended his friend.^ In November, he could 
only weep tears of disillusion for the fate of disfigured 

^ Fam,, vii. 7. Genoa, November 29, when lie had not yet heard 
of the isXi of the Colonna • . . facilis descensus Avemi, — Ubi nunc 
Hie tuus scUutaris genius^ ubi — tile honor, oper, consuUor spiritus^ 
cum quo assidue colloqui piUabaris ? Tu quoque iongum vale, Roma, 
si haec vera sunt. Indos ego potius out Garamanios petam. On No- 
vember 22 he had written to Lelius (vii. Ep. 5) that he had read the 
copy of a letter of the Tribune's with surprise. He despaired of 
Rome and Italy. He had nothing left praeter lacrimas, 

' Fam., vii. Ep. I. ///. Id, Septbris, : sed absit ut lialias metuam, 
a qua rebelles poiius quod metuant hcUfebunt, dum nuper urdi ndcUta 
potestas tribunUia vi^ebit, et caput nostrum Roma non aegrotabtt. 

Ch. VI.] COLA'S FALL. 309 

Italy, and for Rome's return to her former state of 
misery. He began to be ashamed of his own lyric 

Cola feasted and extorted money ; in order to pay Cola's un- 
his troops he raised the tax on salt. The people meanou^ 
murmured; he scarcely ventured to reassemble 
them. His victory over the Colonna was the zenith 
of his fortune, but not of his power. He soon fell 
from intoxication into the extreme of weakness. 
The Orsini scoured the Campagna immediately out- 
side Rome and caused famine in the city. Luca 
Savelli and Sciarretta Colonna placed themselves 
at the head of the aristocrats in alliance with the 
cardinal, who from Montefiascone cried for aid to 
the cities of Umbria and Tuscany. Threatened by 
the legate with the ban, excommunication, and trial 
for heresy, the Tribune lost courage. He again took 
the papal vicar as his colleague in office, and pro- 
fessed his subjection to the Pope. And since one of 
the heaviest accusations against him was the homage 
which he had received from the Sabina, he wrote 
to the communes of that district on December 2, 
announcing that he resigned the office of podesti 
which they conferred upon him, recalled his repre- 
sentatives, and left the cardinal to adjust their 
relations with the Church. For the rest, they were 
not to be afraid ; he would not abandon them in case 
of need, but only wished to make peace with the 
Church.^ In this letter Cola already calls himself 

^ Despatch to the Communes, Tarani, Turrium {Torre), Asprae, 
Collisvcteris, Stimiglianiy S, Poli territorit de Sabina. Dat. in 
CapitoUo II, Dec, I, hid, , with the simple title Trib, Attiusius, I 


simply Tribunus Augustus ; he even determines to 
be known only as rector of the Pope ; he revokes all 
his decrees concerning the imperial majesty of Rome, 
also the citation to the princes of the empire. In 
order to remove the suspicion that he intended with 
the aid of Lewis of Hungary to make himself tyrant, 
with the co-operation of the papal vicar he caused 
thirty-nine popolani to be elected as an advisory 
council on December 7. But the reluctance of this 
popular council to consent to a tax on salt, and the 
election of a military captain, was already a bad 
sign.^ The quarrel which arose between Cola and 
some of the representatives resulted in the entire 
council being banished by the people, and this 
showed Cola that he had not entirely lost favour.^ 
The Romans would no longer submit to the papal 
rule. When Cola told them that he would govern 
the city according to the terms of the cardinal-legate, 
they impatiently demanded to hear the articles ; but 
Cola refused their request The vicar found himself 
in danger; he escaped to Montefiascone on December 
II, heaping denunciations on the hypocrite Cola and 
the obstinate Romans. Thus was Cola again sole 
regent. He now hoped to gain over the people, 
even to be reconciled with the aristocrats. With 
a view to this he released the Prefect from prison. 
But his prestige was already so deeply under- 
copied the original, which, written in Cola's own hand, is in the 
Archives of Aspra. It has been aheady published in Bibl, Ita/iana, 
Milan, xi, 338. 

^ PoUstore, Mur., xxiv, p. 803. 

* Chron, Estense^ Mur., xv. p. 445, 

Oh. VI.] cola's fall. 31I 

mined that the lightest shock must throw it to the 

On December 3 the Pope issued a violent bull 
against the Roman people, stigmatising Cola as a 
criminal, a pagan, and a heretic, and exhorting the 
Romans to thrust him from among them- Among 
the crimes with which the Tribune was charged was 
that of wishing to overthrow the Church and empire, 
for he had asked the cities of Italy to vote for a 
fresh imperial election. He was further accused of 
having in his delusion aimed at the imperial crown, 
untroubled by the danger to which he exposed the 
Homans, upon whom he thus invoked the wrath of 
all Germans and of the Church. He had imprisoned 
priests, had usurped the rights of the Church, had 
"by his edicts commanded all Roman prelates to 
Teturn to the city, and had even presumed to declare 
that Rome and the Church were one.^ But Cola had 
iallen even before the bull reached Rome. The 
approaching Jubilee was in sight of the greedy 
Romans ; the Pope might deprive them of it, and 
they had to choose between freedom, which only 
exacted sacrifices, and subjection, which promised 
abundance. The growing peril diminished Cola's His power 
courage day by day; he was terrified by gloomy **^*^^^*** 
dreams of the fall of the Capitol ; the hooting of an 
owl, which was heard in the ruins, and refused to be 

1 BuW' Quamvis de universorum^ Theiner, ii. n. 1S5. Similar is the 
letter of the Pope to Charles IV., February 5, 1348 (Ibid,,, n. 187), 
Nevertheless, as early as December 7, he had exhorted Charles to 
induce Lewis of Hungary not to support the Tribune. See Pelzel, 
Kaiser Karl IV, Urkundenbuch^ i. n. 2o8» 


driven away, roused his fear and horror. He suffered 
from giddiness, and frequently/ainted. An accident 
expelled him from the Capitol. 

By the terms of his treaty, Lewis of Hungary was 
permitted to raise cavalry in Rome. A Neapolitan 
baron, notorious for his crimes, John Pipin, Count of 
Minorbino, was in the city with his brothers acting 
as recruiting officers,^ Cola, who had already cited 
him before his tribunal on account of his robberies, 
detested him, but was now obliged to tolerate him 
out of regard for the King of Hungary. The count 
joined Luca Savelli in a conspiracy to which the 
cardinal-legate was not a stranger. The bailiffs of 
the Tribune attempted to post a citation against 
Savelli on the doors of the church of S. Angelo. 
The Neapolitans prevented them. Thereupon Cola 
summoned the Count of Minorbino before his 
tribunal. Pipin barricaded himself near the i:hurch 
of S. Salvator in Pensilis in the Circus Flaminius. 
He ordered the bells of S. Angelo to be rung, and 
raised the cry, " The People ! The People ! Death 
to the Tribune." At the summons of the bell of 
the Capitol only five companies rallied round Cola ; 
the populace and the Orsini belonging to his party 
remained away. He sent a German captain against 
the barricade erected by the rebels ; the captain fell. 
The Tribune believed that all was lost. The liberator 
of Italy trembled before a few Hungarian lances. His 

^ The brothers were John Pipin Count of Minorbino and Paladin 
of Altamura, Lodovico Count of Potenza, and Peter Count of Nocera 
and Vico, grandsons of a notary of Barletta, who had risen to fortune 
under Charles I. De Sade, ii. 149. 


diseased imagination beheld the entire city in revolt, 
although so far was this from being true that had he 
acted with prompt resolution he might easily have 
quelled the rebels. His heart failed him ; he no longer 
possessed the courage of a child ; he could scarcely 
speak. He renounced the insignia of his Tribunate ; 
he laid the silver wreath and the steel sceptre as votive 
offerings on the altar of the Virgin in Aracoeli. He 
took leave of his friends, lamenting that, after a good 
reign of seven months on the Capitol, he was obliged 
to abdicate, driven away by the jealousy of the 
wicked. He wept ; the bystanders, those who saw 
him descend, the populace, the better citizens wept 
But no one held him back. With drums beating, 
banners waving, accompanied by armed men, the 
Tribune of the people descended from the Capitol, 
and withdrew to the Castle of S. Angelo, where he coia di 
shut himself up.^ The whole of Rome was in con- ^"^ates 
sternation. A beautiful dream had faded into Dec, 15, ' 
nothing, after only seven months of such exaltation '^^* 
as the city had not experienced for long years. It 
was December 15, 1347, when the rule of Cola di 
Rienzo reached its noiseless end. The Tribune of 
the people had given the Romans, sunk in their deep 
abasement, a classical carnival spectacle, had dis- \ 
played the splendour of the ancient world in a 
magnificent triumphal procession before their eyes. 
Now came disillusion, and with it reality in the , 
prosaic form of the restoration of the vindictive 
nobility returning to their homes.^ 

^ Cola'? wife fled from the LaIU Palace in the dress of a Minorite. 
* Vitat i. & 38. Eight years afterwards the robber Count of 



I. Restoration of the Papal Government and of 
THE Nobility — Cola in S. Angelo, a Fugitive 


Destruction of Anagni — Anarchy in Rome — 
The Black Death — The Year of the Jubilee, 
1350 — Cardinal Anibaldo — Pilgrimages — Deso- 

— Petrarch in Rome. 

The Tribune's retirement was so little expected by 
the aristocrats that not until three days had elapsed 
did they venture into the city, now without a head. 
That he sought no vengeance on his enemies does 
honour to the heroic spirit of the aged Colonna ; 
Cola's civic institutions were allowed to stand, his 
relatives suffered no persecution, S. Angelo, where 
he remained under the protection of the Orsini, was 
not attacked.^ Immediately afterwards, Bertrand de 

Minorbino was hanged at Altamura, with a paper cap on his head, on 
which was written : messere Gianni Pipino cavaliere, di Altamura 
PaladinOf Conte di Minorbino^ Signore di Bari^ iiberatare del popolo di 
Roma, — Ibid, ViUani, xii. c. 105, has a different account, that Pipin 
barricaded himself near S. Apostoli, and raised a revolt with the 
G)lonna. According to Chr, Sanese^ Mur., xv. p. 12I1 the revolt 
began on December 13. It is improbable that the aged Stephen took 
part in it. 

^ Cola himself sa3rs of Stephen : causam populi per me defensam 
contestatus est inpublico^ et filiorum furias reprobans moriuorum^ per 


Deus made his entry into the city, of which he took 
possession in the name of the Church, He revoked 
all the decrees of the Tribune, restored the ancient 
forms of government, and made Berthold Orsini and Berthoid 
Luca Savelli Senators.^ Luca represented the party lS^* *°^ 
of the Colonna, since Stephen no longer undertook |^veUi, 

the burthen of the Senatorship. The old man, 1347, 
crushed by misfortune, stood beside the grave of his 
son and grandson. Of his honoured race, scarcely 
any remained but Stefanello, son of the slain Stephen. 
He himself disappears from the history of the city, 
in which for more than half a century he had played 
so prominent a part. He died probably in the year 

After the legate had set in order the civic govern- Restora- 
ment, he returned to Montefiascone, cited Cola as a pa^^** 
heretic and rebel before his tribunal, and placed him ^^®'* >^ 
under the ban. The Tribune's most zealous ad- 
herents, such as Cecco Mancini, his chancellor, were 
involved in the same suit. But the sudden restora- 
tion of the papal authority was not sufficient to 
tranquillise the excited city, where democratic 
passions flowed in strong currents, where Cola's 

pcLcis osculum socero tneo patenter exhibitunty omnetn meant familiam^ 
meque si afforem securavit. This, however, appears incredible. {Ad 
Guidonem — Cardinalem oratiOy Petrar., Opp,^ p. 1125.) 

^ They ratify the Statute of the Merchants as Senators and 
Captains on February 16, 134S. 

^ On August 15, 1350, Cola calls him guond, Stephanus (Doc, p. 
Iviii., in Papencordt). Ste&nello, while still a child, received a 
canonry. On account of his father's and brother's deaths (Nov. 20, 
1347), he married, had three children, and continued the line of 
Palestrina. Coppi, " Dissert, della Pontif.," Accad, Rom, diArcheol,^ 
XV. 281. 


friends were still numerous, and where only a few 
miserable remains of the nobility reappeared. Soon 
after his fall the ex-Tribune had gone to Civita 
Vecchia, the citadel of which was still commanded 
by his nephew Count Mancini ; but when the count 
deserted to the legate, Cola again retired to S. 
Angelo. It was scarcely known where he was. The 
new Senators had him depicted head downwards on 
the Capitol ; he replied in his accustomed manner 
from his hiding-place. One day a painting was dis- 
covered on the church of S. Maddalena near S. 
Angelo, representing an angel treading serpents, 
dragons, and lions under foot. But the allegory no 
longer took effect. Cola recognised that his time 
was over for the present ; he dreaded the artifices of 
the Orsini, who contemplated surrendering him to 
Avignon upon favourable conditions, as Count 
Fazio of Pisa had sold the anti-pope to John XXII. 
On learning that the King of Hungary had victoriously 
entered Naples on January 24, he escaped from Rome 
Cola in the beginning of March, and amid many dangers 
N^i^^ made his way to the Kingdom, where he hoped to 
March find protection with his allies. The Pope immediately 
demanded the surrender of the fugitive from King 
Lewis.^ But Cola's fortunes and place of abode were 
known only to report It was said that he desired 
to return to Rome with Hungarian troops, and that 
he had placed himself in alliance with the Great 

^ On May 7, 1348, through Cardinal Bertrand: Nicoiaum — capi 
faciat et captum ad nos vel ad te mittere studeat^ pro sms demeritit 
rccepiurum, Raynald, n. x. 



This dreaded horde of mercenaries was com- 
manded by Werner of Uerslingen, grandson of the 
Duke of Spoleto, and had long been the scourge of 
the Italian provinces. After having entered the 
service of Lewis of Hungary, and been dismissed 
from it in Naples, Werner had formed a company 
of 3000 men, German soldiers and other adventurers, 
and had undertaken a raid into Latium. The 
citizens of Anagni slew his envoys, who, with in- 
solent effrontery, had demanded blackmail. Werner 
forthwith appeared before the ill-fated home of 
Boniface VIII., stormed its walls, slaughtered its 
inhabitants, sacked and burnt the city.^ This crime Werner's 
inaugurates the terrible period of the errant com- 
panies of mercenaries without fatherland and without 
religion ; for their home was the temporary camp, 
their divinity Fortune, and their law the sword. 
The utterly disorganised kingdom of Naples, which 
had swarmed with brigands since ancient times, 
was the nursery of these predatory condottieri. In 
Naples were educated all the German mercenary 
leaders of renown, Werner, Conrad Wolf, the Count 
of Landau, Count Sprech, and Bongarden.^ The 
massacre at Anagni might now show the Italians 

^ Chron, di BoL^ Mur., xviii. 411. Probably in the summer of 
1348. Anagni fell so low that Count Honoratus of Fundi made 
himself lord of the place in 1358. Deed of September 21, 1358. 
Gcutani Archives ^ xliii. 31. 

> Brigands are found in Naples in every age. M. Villani (1. c. 16) 
sajTS of Lewis of Hungary : auea spente le brigate de paesani^ delle 
quail per aniica consuetudine soleano grandi congregaztoni di ladroni 
fare. In 1349, Landau, Lupo, Werner, Monreale, and John Omiqh 
seized Aversa, and divided 500,000 gold florins as booty among them 
(i. c. 50). 


that the ideas of the fugitive Tribune had been great 
and patriotic ; for the national confederation, which 
he had striven to organise, would have prevented 
the incursion of foreign mercenaries. Rome now 
trembled before Duke Werner. Had the terrible 
leader made himself master of the city, he would 
probably have fulfilled the impious motto inscribed 
on his coat of arms : " I am Duke Werner, leader of 
the Great Company, the enemy of God, of pity, and 
of mercy." But the city was this time spared the 
disgrace of falling into the hands of a band of 
mercenaries, for Werner left Latium. The Roman 
militia barred his way through Tuscany, and the 
cities here formed the first league against this 
company, a league which soon after entered the 
service of the Church. 

The hopes which Cola placed on the King of 
Hungary were vain. Rome had no value for Lewis ; 
and four months after his entry into Naples he 
returned to his native land, in fear of the pestilence 
which raged in Southern Italy. The ex-Tribune, 
wandering in the Abruzzi, was pursued by the ex- 
communications of the Church. The Pope com- 
manded his legate to form an alliance with Perugia, 
Florence, and Siena, to frustrate Cola's plans for 
return. On the recall of Bertrand at the end of 
1348, the new Cardinal-legate Anibaldo, a member 
of the family of the Counts of Ceccano, ratified all 
the sentences issued against him, and placed him 
as a heretic under the ban. The unlucky fugitive. 
Anarchy in however, cherished one satisfaction ; this was the 
Rome. state of wild anarchy to which the city had reverted, 


after having enjoyed peace and order under his 
government. Disunion prevailed among both people 
and nobility ; family wars both within and without ; 
robbery and crime in every street The new Senators 
having proved incapable, the Pope commanded a 
non-Roman to be made Senator. Whether he was 
obeyed or not is uncertain, for so great was the 
confusion that prevailed after Cola's flight that 
events in the city are veiled in obscurity for upwards 
of a year.^ The year 1348 was undoubtedly terrible, The Black 
owing to the Black Death which devastated the West *^ 
with unprecedented violence. AH contemporary 
chroniclers have described this plague, and Boccaccio 
has immortalised its memory in the introduction to 
his novels. It had been brought to Italy in the 
usual way from the East by Genoese vessels in the 
autumn of 1347, and no precautions having been 
taken against it, its devastations were unbounded. 
More than 80,000 died in Siena and its territory ; 
500 fell daily at Pisa ; in Florence three out of five, 
in Bologna two-thirds of the population were buried. 
The consequences were a complete revolution in the 
relations of property in all such places as had been 
depopulated by the plague, a rise in prices and wages, 
a deep-rooted distress, endless quarrels about property, 
immorality and debauchery, and a sudden revolu- 
tion in the forms of life. The loosening of the 

^ The historians of the Senate assupe that Otto of Milan was 
Senator in the second half of 1348, but they are only supported in 
this belief by later and uncritical authors. I cannot discover this Otto 
in any document ; nor is he mentioned in the official register in the 


hitherto recc^ised bonds of society had a disastrous 
eflfect on the civic spirit in the republics, and the 
pestilence of 1348 weakened these bonds perhaps 
even more than the tyranny and brigandage of 
which it was the ally.^ 

The silence of dironiclers shows that Rome 
suffered less than other cities. Nevertheless, she did 
not entirely escape, and the flight of marble steps to 
Aracoeli, erected in October 1348, still serves as a 
monument of the plague. It was destined to convey 
believers to the church where the image of the 
Virgin was preserved, to which the Romans ascribed 
their immunity from the pestilence, now as in 
previous centuries. Repeated earthquakes increased 
the indescribable misery in many cities of Italy. 
Earth- On September 9 and 10, Rome was so violently 
Slome/'^ shaken that the inhabitants forsook their houses 
Sept. 1348. j^j^d dwelt in tents for weeks. The basilica of the 
Twelve Apostles collapsed ; the gable of the Lateran 
fell ; S. Paul's was transformed into a heap of ruins ; 
the upper half of the celebrated Torre delle Milizie 
was overthrown; the Torre dei Conti suffered 
grievous injury ; and the Colosseum, like other 
ancient buildings, cannot have escaped.* 

1 Read the account of the chronicler of Siena (Mur., xv. 120), who 
buried his five children with his own hand. The plague {pestts 
inguinaria) returned again in 1364, 1374, 1383, 1393, 1403. 

• Annal. Rebdorff,^ p. 446 ; Mat. Vilkni, i. c. 45. Naples, 
Aversa, Sora, Monte Casino, S. Germano were' seriously injured ; 
Aquila fell to ruin. Concerning the earthquake in Rome, see 
Petrarch, /2zMr.,zi. £p. 7, in the Codex of the Angelica m Rome. 
Cecidit edtficiarum veterum negUcta civibus, stufenda fcregrinis 

Ch. VII.] THE JUBILEE OF 1350. 321 

All these horrors terrified the people and increased 
their longing for the indulgences of the Jubilee, 
which appeared to their clouded fancy as the puri- 
fication of the world from demoniacal influences. 
As compensation for the pompous spectacle of the 
temporal sovereignty of the Eternal City, which had 
just been presented by the Tribune to the Romans, 
the Pope now offered them the spectacle of the 
western pilgrimage, and this brought the greatness 
of the Church again before their eyes, while by real 
advantages it consoled them for the vanity of their 
dreams. Indeed, after Cola's fall no better method 
of securing Rome remained to the Pope. And since 
the throng of pilgrims demanded a firm government, 
safety of transit, and abundance of provisions, he 
appointed Gerald de Vehtodur from Limoges, Lord 
of Denzenat, to be Senator extraordinary for the 
entire year.^ He also entrusted Anibaldo of Ceccano 

^ Senators in 1349 : Nicolo de Zancato^ Knight of Anagni, and 
Guido Franciscif Count Palatine, perhaps an Orsini. They ratify the 
Statute of the Merchants on July 10. The formula is again signed by 
Egidius Angeleriiy previously Cola's notary, but still left in office. 
For the appointment of Gerald, de Ventodoro^ Dom, de Denzenato^ 
see Theiner, ii. n. 193. The historian of the Senate and the 
Capitoline register do not mention him ; nor is he found in the 
Statute of Merchants. If he really went to Rome, he was not at any 
rate a year in office ; for as early as July 31, 1350, Peter Colonna 
Jordani and Johes Orsini held the government. (Statute of the 
Merchants.) The formula is signed by Sdbba de Fuscis de Beria (an 
ancient and probably German feimily, which produced many notaries). 
A gravestone of saec, xiv. with . . , Fuscis de Berta in S, Pieiro in 
Montorio, The oldest mention of the Berta with which I am 
acquainted is found among the Consiliarii of the year 1188 (vol. iv.). 
There was a contrada di Foschi de Berta by the Forum of Trajan : 
Adinolfi, Roma neW eth di mezzo^ ii. 27. 



and Guido of Boulogne-sur-Mer with full powers as 
cardinals of the Jubilee.^ 
The From Christmas of 1349 onwards the roads of 

YwTjTaso. Italy were thronged with bands of pilgrims. Entire 
parties frequently bivouacked round fires during the 
frosts of night If the statement of Matthew Villani, 
that the number of pilgrims in Rome during Lent 
amounted to 1,200,000, appears incredible, the more 
moderate estimate of 5000 persons who daily entered 
and left the city must approach the truth.^ Rome 
itself was one huge inn, and every householder a 
host As always, there was a dearth of hay, straw, 
wood, fish, and vegetables, but more than abundance 
of meat. Complaints were made of the avarice of 
the Romans, who prohibited the importation of wine 
and corn in order to raise the prices. The im- 
poverished city was again enriched for several years 
by the money of the West* 

Among the pilgrims there were probably many 
who had visited Rome during the Jubilee of 1300. 
They could now survey the changes which half a 
century had wrought They had on the previous 

^ Bull of Jubilee, Unigenitus Dei^ of January 27, 1342, published in 
August 1349 (Raynald, n. xi.). Another, Cum natura humana^ was 
circulated, in which the Pope commands the angeb to receiTC the 
souls of the dead pilgrims into Paradise. Baludus, Note i. 915, 
rejects it as spurious, as S. Antonlno had previously done. To the 
pilgrimage churches of Rome in 1300 (S. Peter and S. Paul) Clement 
VI. added the X^teran. 

• Vita CletnenHs VI,, Baluz., p. 316. 

* Mat Villani (i. c 56) gives the prices at the time : stabling for 
one horse, i to 2 Tomesi grossi a day ; a loaf of bread of 12 to 18 
ounces, 12 denari ; a pintello of wine, 3 to 5 soldi ; a rubbio of 
oats as much as 5 lire. The florin at that time was worth 40 soldL 


; all-ruHng 
e loggia of 
ny pope in 
itood in a 
; and the 
■ expiation 
nade their 
y of eleven 
find them 
nd utterly 
ed by the 
tering ; the 
able traces 
wn towers, 
r marbles, 

■here stood Terrible 

ofless and l^y\ 
here goats Ka""=- 
The houses 
"round, the 
^ laws are 
;he ground, 
da without 
a roof and exposed to wind and rain- The holy 
dwellings of S. Peter and S. Paul totter, and what 
was lately the temple of the Apostles is a shapeless 
heap of ruins to excite pity in hearts of stone." 
Thus Petrarch exclaimed when he visited the city 
in the autumn of 1350.1 The spider wove its web 
over ruined Rome as in the days of S. Jerome. 
One solace, however, remained to the pilgrims — 
1 De Reb. Senil., vii. I. 


that all the places which had been hallowed by 
legend and all the relics honoured in the West still 
survived.^ Of these none was more celebrated than 
the Handkerchief of Veronica. Chroniclers are 
silent concerning the formerly world-renowned like* 
ness of the Saviour in the Lateran. They observe, 
however, that the handkerchief (// santo Sudario) was 
shown in S. Peter's every Sunday and festival ; and 
that the throng was so great that people were some- 
times suffocated at the exhibition.^ Although no 
mention is made of priests who raked up money in 
S. Paul's or S. Peter's, yet lavish offerings were 
received, one part of which was allotted to the 
churches, another to the Pope, who devoted it to 
collecting soldiers for his war in the Romagna. 
Anibaido, Anibaldo, as cardinal of the Jubilee, sat in the 
Ui^jubUee! Vatican with a swarm of prelates and secretaries 
who had set up their offices there. It is difficult to 
realise the throng of people seeking absolution, and 
to imagine the activity required for the production 
of indulgences on so vast a scale. Suppliants of 
every nation and degree assailed the Vatican at all 
hours, thousands seeking remission from the ban. 
The cardinal was the most important person in 

^ Petrarch enumerates the celebrated sanctuaries and relics; his 
list resembles the registers in the ancient books of the pilgrims. Rer, 
Fam,t ix. 13, Padua, February 15. Cod. in the Angelica. 

2 Annals Rehdorff,y Freher, i. 440 ; M. Villani, i. c. 5, 6. In saec, 
XV. the Sudarium was kept in an iron chest in S. Spirito. Six noble 
families possessed keys of this chest : Capo di Ferro, Tartar!, 
Mercatanti, Ricci, Tosetti, and Stefaneschi. When the relics were 
exposed, they were guarded by twenty' armed men. Castallus Metal- 
linus, deNob. Rom, Mscr, Vat, Ottob.^ 2570. 

Ch. VII.] THE JUBILEE OF 1350. 32$ 

Rome. He appointed and deposed officials, sold, 
promised and refused remission of sins, and by his 
high-handed demeanour offended the Romans, who 
were still intoxicated with freedom and wanton with 
excess. They jeered at the origin of the squinting 
prelate, who was descended from a Campagna family, 
and even now the foremost country nobility are 
looked down upon in Rome.^ The adherents of the 
ex-Tribune provoked disturbances. A camel, which 
the cardinal kept in a court of the Vatican, was the 
puerile cause of an attack on the palace by the mob. 
The offended legate exclaimed that the Pope could 
never be ruler in Rome, scarcely even high priest. 
He reduced the time of pilgrimage to a week, and 
this increased the irritation. The second legate left 
the city in May, frightened by the uncontrolled 
savagery of the Romans. "In order to procure 
peace in Rome," said Cardinal Guido, "the whole 
city must be pulled down and then rebuilt" The 
legate Anibaldo remained in terror and hesitation, 
threatened with death by the Romans. The sight 
of a cardinal-vicar returning from his pilgrimage 
pale with terror, his red hat pierced by the arrow 
of an assassin, better depicts the state of Rome than 
the longest account given by a historian. As 
Anibaldo made his way one day in procession to 
S. Paul's he was shot at from a window beside S. 

^ The cardinal belonged to the house of Anibaldi-Ceccano, was 
a friend of Queen Joanna, and had been legate in Naples in 1347. In 
recompense Joanna's husband, King Lewis, had given the fieis of 
Adenolf of Aquino, who had no heir, to Thomas of Ceccano, the 
cardinal's brother, on October I, 1349. Deed from Naples, Colonna 
Archives, Privily ^ Arm. i., fascic. L n. 32. 



[Bk. XI. 

and John 


Lorenzo in Piscibus. His followers rushed into the 
house, but only found the weapon, not the enemy. 
Henceforth the cardinal scarcely ventured into the 
streets and only with a helmet under his hat and 
a coat of mail below his habit He ordered all 
suspected persons to be imprisoned and tortured. 
He issued a fresh sentence of outlawry against Cola 
and his adherents, to whom he attributed the crime, 
and laid Rome under the interdict for eight days. 
In July he left the city to repair as legate to Naples, 
but died on the way, poisoned, it was said, in wine.^ 

Rome now remained under the spiritual rule of 
the vicar, Ponzio Perotti of Orvieto, and the secular 
government of the Senators Peter Colonna of Genaz- 
zano and John Orsini.* 

In the autumn the pilgrimages increased. Many 
illustrious men and women came, and King Lewis 
of Hungary, who had returned to Apulia, received 
absolution before finally leaving Italy, where he had 
concluded an armistice with his enemies.* Petrarch 

^ In the fortress of S. Giorgio in Campania. Anna/, Rebd,^ p. 440 ; 
M. Villani, i. c. 87 ; Vita di Cola^ ii. c. i, 2, 3. The author narrates 
the cardinal's end with malicious satisfaction. He informs us that 
almost at the same time two of his nephews and the whole fam^ily also 
died. Petrarch addressed the Ep, i. lib. vi., Rer. Fam,^ in which he 
scourges the avarice of the clergy, to Anibaldo. 

* On September 14, 1350, the Pope appoints Rinaldo Orsini and 
Ste^ello (son of the slain Stephen Colonna) for six months from 
the day on which John Orsini and Peter Jordani sliould retire. 
Theiner, ii. n. 201, They ratify the Statute of the Merchants on 
February 8, 1 35 1. 

' Joanna had made herself mistress of Naples as early as August 
1348. After an indecisive war it was left to the Pope to pronounce 
sentence. His judgment being given in Joanna's favour, the King 

J ^ 

Ch. vxi.] THE JUBILEE OF 135a 327 

also appeared in Rome for the fifth time. But he 
was no longer met by any of his friends belonging 
to the illustrious house of Colonna. He looked with 
grief on the deserted palace near SS. Apostoli and 
with humiliation on the Capitol, the scene of his 
coronation, the now abandoned stage where his ideal 
hero had shone with such splendour, only to descend 
so ignominiously. Where was Cola di Rienzo, the 
great Tribune, now? When inquisitive pilgrims 
asked for news of the man of whom rumour told 
such wondrous things, they were informed that he 
mourned as a hermit in the Abruzzi, or had crossed 
the sea to visit the grave of the Redeemer. Others 
spoke mysteriously of his having been seen in the 
city, which he roamed in disguise, as in former times 
had roamed Agapitus Colonna, who had been ex- 
communicated by Boniface VI 1 1, and whose un- 
fortunate son Peter had fallen in the battle so fatal 
to the nobility.^ 

of Hungary magnanimously renounced every claim. Peace was 
concluded in April ; the finvourites of the Churdi, Lewis and Joanna, 
were absolved from every charge, and were crowned in Naples by the 
l^[ates on May 27, 135a. M. Villani, ii. c. 24. 

I The assumption of Zefirino R^» that Cola was in Rome during 
the year of jubilee, is not supported by any fact. 


2. Disturbances in Rome — Consultation in Avignon 

on the best constitution for the city 

Petrarch's Views — Revolt of the Romans — 
John Cerroni, Dictator — War against the 
Prefect — Orvieto falls into his Power — 
Cerroni fues from Rome — Death of Clebient 
VI. — Acquisition of Avignon — The State of 
THE Church in Rebellion — Innocent VI., 
Pope — Egidius Albornoz, Legate in Italy. 

Scarcely was the year of jubilee ended when 
anarchy more frightful than ever broke over Rome. 
The government of the new Senators Peter Sciarra 
and Jordan, son of Poncellus, was devoid of energy. 
The nobles ignored every law, took brigands and 
bravos into their pay, and filled the city and country 
with deeds of crime. Jordan left the Capitol when 
one of his fortresses was attacked, and Luca Savelli 
seized the power, expelling Ponzio Perotto the papal 
vicar. There was no longer any government ; the 
republic seemed at an end.^ The Pope was be- 
wildered. True that on November 2, 1351, he 
appointed the Counts Palatine Berthold Orsini and 
Peter, son of Jordan Colonna, to be Senators ; but 
Gorem- soon afterwards he gave permission to the Thirteen, 
Thkt^^n?^ whom the people in their distress had made regents, 
to order the government of the city according to 

^ The Senators, Peter and Jordan, ratified the Statute of the 
Merchants on February 27, 135 1 ; nevertheless their appointment by 
the Pope is only dated March 17, 135 1 (Theiner, ii. n. 208). This 
points to violent proceedings in Rome. M. Villani, ii. c. 47. 


their pleasure.^ The Romans were wearied of the 
dual government of the senators, who, being invari-' 
ably chosen from the two factions, only aimed 
at the advantage of their parties. They had re- 
peatedly desired as senators foreigners such as had 
frequently ruled in Rome since the time of Bran- 
caleone.^ Clement VI. lent a ready ear to their 
complaints ; the questions, how to give a permanent 
constitution to the city, whether to overthrow the 
ancient system, or instead of Roman nobles to make 
foreigners senators, whether the Capitoline govern- 
ment should be an oligarchy or a democracy, were 
made subjects of strictest inquiry at Avignon. The 
Pope appointed a committee of four cardinals to 
decide on these questions of constitution. One of 
them asked advice of Petrarch, and the honorary 
citizen of Rome and friend of Cola gave his counsel 
in two letters, which may still be read. His principles 
had suffered no change by the fall of the Tribune ; 
on the contrary, he recognised the source of evil 
in the fact that the authority was permanently Petrarch's 
exercised by the ruling families, and that the only ^nfn^S^e 
remedy lay in the exclusion of the nobility from all ciyi* con- 

' ' * stituUon of 


^ Decree of November 2, 135 1. Theiner, ii. n. 212. On November 
23 the Pope wrote to the vicar and dil, XIII, probis viris per dil, 
filios Populum Rom, super dicte Urbis negociis deputcUis^ as above, and 
that they might administer the Senate for the interim (n. 215). 

^ In Prague Cola accused the Pope: cum septus ab eo fuerit pro 
parte pop, postulatum^ quod Episcopali sue Civitati Romane ruentide 
aliquo Rectore bono et extraneo tanq. Pater compatiens provtderet, 
nunq, hoc voluit consentire^ ymmo semp, contra populi postulata ponens 
gladium in manib, furiosi ipsos Romanes tyrannos constiiuere statuif 
supra populum senatores. Document, p. xliv., Papencordt. 


public offices, as was the case in Florence. He 
reminded his questioner of the wars between the 
patricians and plebeians in ancient Rome; and as 
the populace had then acquired the consulate, he 
now demanded a similar right for the Romans of 
his own time, and required that the Senate should 
be filled by men of the people. He advised the 
cardinals to give Rome democratic institutions. 
" Snatch/' he said, " all this pestilential tyranny from 
the hands of the nobles ; not only give the Plebs 
Ramana a share of the public dignities, but deprive 
the unworthy Senators of the office which they have 
so badly administered ; for were they themselves / 
good men and Roman citizens, which they are not, » 
they would not have more than half a right to its 
possession. Now, however, their actions are of such 
a nature that they are utterly unworthy not only of 
the chief magistracy, but also of the city, which 
they destroy, and of the society of citizens, whom 
they oppress,"^ Petrarch's views deserve serious 

^ Both letters Ad quatuor Card, refarmando urhane reipubh statui 
diptttatos^ November i8 and 24, 135 1, in Papencoidt, n. 29, 3a One 
of the cardinals was probably Niccol6 Capocci ; Petrarch flatters him 
by supposing that he was descended from the gens Cornelia; con- 
sequently he did not hold all nobles to be barbarians. — Htu ne igUur 
vivendo dectdimus — ut coram Christi vicario — queretur, liceaine 
Romanum civum in senatum eligi, cum tamdiu alienigtnas regnare 
— in Capitolio videamus, . . . Respondert non dudi/em, Romans 
more sencUum Rom, nonnisi ex Romanis cvuib* constar^ et extemos 
(nobility) a limine secludencbs. Both letters, which redound to 
Petrarch's honour as a patriot, are manifestos of the democratic 
principle which governed the cities at this time, . . • Petrarch, 
questioned as to the best constitution for Rome, resembles Rousseau, 
placed in a similar position with regard to the Corsicans and Poles. 

Ch. vii.] JOHN CERRONI, SENATOR. 33 1 

attention. If he considered the Roman nobles in 
the light of foreign immigrants, he simply expressed 
the historic origin of feudalism and its antagonism 
to the Latin character. It was indeed a German 
institution, which had been transplanted by invasion 
to Latin soil. The struggle of Italian citizenship 
in the republics against the feudal nobility, who 
were almost all of German origin, consequently 
arose out of a native and national contradiction, 
and these democracies still traced their freedom from 
the ancient right of Roman citizenship. About the 
time of Petrarch the victory of the Latin principle 
over German feudalism was almost everywhere 
complete, and even now Italy is an absolutely 
democratic country, where the contrast between the 
nobles and the middle class is only faintly per- 

Encouraged by the favourable attitude of the 
Pope, the Romans resumed the struggle with the 
nobility and acted for themselves. Well-meaning 
citizens assembled in S. Maria Maggiore on 
December 26, 1351, and here resolved to bestow the 
authority on a respected plebeian of advanced years. 
They proceeded in a body to the house of Giovanni 
Cerroni and led him to the Capitol.^ Luca Savelli john 
fled from the Palace of the Senators ; the bells sum- gl^tor 
moned a parliament. The citizens came unarmed, ^^c. 26, 
the barons armed. With shouts the populace de- 
manded Cerroni as rector of the city; he was 
immediately installed in the Capitol and invested 

^ The Cerroni owned several houses and a palace with a tower in 
the Rione d^ Monti: Adinolfi, Roma n. e, di Mezzo^ ii. 107, 125. 


with authority by the vicar in the name of the Pope. 
Thus was this revolution also carried through with- 
out bloodshed in a moment. Clement VI., entirely 
satisfied, congratulated the Romans and sent them 
14,000 gold florins as a gift. He ratified Cerroni as 
Senator and Captain ; he even prolonged his govern- 
ment until Christmas 1353. Never did the Romans 
stand in more friendly relation to the popes than 
when the latter were in distant Avignon.^ 

Quiet returned ; Cerroni's government even re- 
called the early days of the Tribune, deprived, 
however, of the brilliant ideas and fantastic actions 
of Rienzo's rule. It was again the Prefect who 
refused homage and occasioned a Tuscan war, for 
The Prefect after Cola's fall John of Vico had again made him- 
Scomes self tyrant of Etruria. The Florentine auxiliaries, 
powerful, the troops of the Patrimony under the papal captain 
Nicola della Serra, and the arri^re ban of the Romans 
under Jordan Orsini encamped before Viterbo. But 
they achieved nothing, and soon ingloriously dis- 
persed, and as early as August 19, 1352, the tyrant 
of Vico made his entry into Orvieto, where the 
people conferred the signory on him for life.* 

^ M. Villani, ii. c. 47. Brief of May 8, 1352 (Theiner, ii n. 223). 
On May 17 the Pope entrusts the vicar and the XIII. with fiill 
power to elect a Senator in case of the premature death of Cerroni 
(n. 224). On May 22 he confirmed Cerroni as Captain of the People, 
praising him highly (n. 225). On March 30 the Statute of the 
Merchants is ratified hy/oAgs de Cerronibus dei Gra, Alme urbis Sen, 

^ On May 24, 1352, the Pope demanded aid firom Florence against 
the Prefect Theiner, ii. n. 226. On July 9 he excommunicated 
him, Francesco Ordelaffi, and the Manfredi (n. 229). Mat. Villani, 
iii. c. 18 ; Chron, of Orvieto, Mur,, xvi. 671. 


The failure shook the prestige of Giovanni Cerroni ; 
he was surrounded by conspiracy. Luca Savelli, the 
Tribune's warmest friend, undermined his rule, and 
Cola's end awaited Cola's successor.^ Wearied and 
discouraged, he explained to parliament in the 
beginning of September that the burthen of his 
office was intolerable. The declaration produced 
tumult and disturbance, and Cerroni consequently 
hurriedly fled from Rome. The aged plebeian was c®™*" 
esteemed as one of the most upright of men, but he '^fJr 
had no hesitation in carrying off the contents of the 
public treasury. Like Cola, he went to the Abruzzi, 
the asylum for bandits and saints ; he there acquired 
a fortress in which he shut himself up.^ The popular 
government thus fell for the second time. Under 
the proviso of the papal restriction, the Count 
Palatine Berthold Orsini and Stefanello Colonna 
were proclaimed Senators ; the Pope, however, refused 
them recognition, and his vicar banished them as 
brigands from the State of the Church. The papal 
chair, moreover, fell vacant at this time.^ 

^ In August the populace demanded another Senator : see Account 
book of Angelo Tavemini, Treasurer in the Patrimony : dig X, Aug, 
solvi Johide Montepestdano misso per d, Vicarium ad Rom, Curiam 
cum litteris suis D. Pape contineniib,^ qual, Rom, Pop, nan conien- 
taiur dejok, Cerrone Senator e^ cum male regat ; et ideo dignetur D, 
N, P, de Senatore alio celeriter providere , . . pro suo viagio IX^flor, 
(Theiner, ii. n. 377). 

^ According to M. Villani, iii. c. 33, besides other money, he took 
with him 6000 florins which the Pope had lent the Roman people 
on the security of the salt-works of the city. 

' Berthold and Stephen ratify the Statute of the Merchants on 
October 10, 1352, as ad urbis regimen per Rom, Pop, deputcUi ad 
beneplacit. D, N, Pape decreto et auct, sacri Senatus, They were 


Death of Clement VI. died at Avignon on December 6, 
vl|iS:, 6, 1352, after a ten years* pontificate of princely 
'35a. splendour, famed as a generous, prodigal lord, a 
lover of art and learning, but not enjoying the 
reputation of a saint. The magnificence of his court 
at Avignon, where he enlarged the papal palace by 
extensive buildings, was regal, as was his whole 
nature; but he filled the Curia with sensual vices, 
while the grand proportions of the Papacy shrank 
under the yoke of France. Clement VI. acquired 
Avignon for the popes. They had aspired to its 
possession in order to reign there as independent 
princes. This possession was the welcome fruit of 
the confusion which prevailed in the Neapolitan 
kingdom. The cardinals, who had to sit in judg- 
ment on Queen Joanna, whom the world believed 
guilty, were conquered by the eloquent tears and 
charms of the beautiful sinner and granted her 
absolution. They violated the duty of justice and 
fulfilled that of gratitude towards the memory of 
the queen's grandfather, the warmest friend that the 
Church had ever had. Joanna, however, before 
The Pope receiving final absolution, sold Avignon to the Pope 
/S^gnon, on June 12, 1348, for the absurdly insignificant 
June 12, gyjjj Qf 80,000 gold florins, and the sale may con- 
sequently be regarded as a gift of gratitude or a 
bribe given to the judge. The characterless queen, 
it is true, when securely seated on the throne of 
Naples, repeatedly protested against her own action ; 

excommunicated by the Vicar Pontic, because they had seised the 
mortgaged salt-works for themselves. Letter of Innocent VI. to the 
vicar. May 25, 1353. Theiner, ii. n. 237. 


saying that she had been led astray by her youth, 
by the weakness of her sex, and by various intrigues. 
Her successors made similar protests, but the popes 
remained in legal possession of Avignon.^ Clement 
VI. was able to dwell as sovereign in his own city, 
and indeed he owned no other property that would 
have afforded him a secure retreat He beheld the 
entire State of the Church in revolt before his death. 
The Pepoli in Bologna, the Manfredi in Faenza, 
Francesco Ordelaffi in Forli, Giovanni Gabrielli in The State 
Gubbio stood in arms, while the City Prefect was church 
all powerful between Orvieto and Rome. Pepoli, "^^9^^ ^ 

^ JT ' against the 

cunningly taken in an ambuscade by the papal Pope. 
Count .Astorgius da Duraforte, sold Bologna in his 
necessity and out of revenge to the Archbishop of 
Milan, the same John Visconti who had previously 
accepted the cardinal's purple from the anti-pope 
of John XXn. Lombardy and a great part of 
Piedmont obeyed the ambitious despot, and from 
Bologna (which on October 28, 1350, was garrisoned 
by his nephew Galeazzo in his name) he could now 
cast his longing gaze over Tuscany, especially as 
Clement VI. had been forced to transform his bull 
of excommunication into an investiture, and to sell 

^ On December 21, 1334, Robert had declared that Provence was 
inalienable property, and on February 19, 1348, Joanna had sworn 
before the p&rliament at Aiz never to sell the smallest fraction of it. 
In 1350, 1365, and 1368 she protested against all her sales. Her 
successors did likewise, and after 148 1 the French kings repeatedly 
claimed Avignon. See the Acts in Reckerches historiq, concemant Us 
droits du Pape sur la ville et VEtat d? Avignon, 1768. The compiler 
of the Vita II, CUm, VI, (in Baluz., p. 271), speaking of this transac- 
tion, calls the Pope circumspectus et providus velut Argus, 


the vicariate of Bologna to the Visconti for a yearly 
rent This took place at Avignon on April 27, 

So stood things in Italy and the State of the 

Church when the Cardinal of Ostia, Stephen 

d'Albret, a Limousin from Mont near Beyssac, 

Innocent ascended the sacred chair after his election in 

VI Pope 

1352-1362! Avignon between December 18 and 30, 1352. 
Innocent VI. was again the reverse of his pre- 
decessor, a just and strong man of monastic disposi- 
tion. He immediately purged the vicious Curia 
of its extravagant luxury, revoked many of the 
investitures conceded by his predecessor, sent the 
undisciplined prelates back to their sees, and re- 
formed the administration of the Church. With 
great discrimination he selected an extraordinary 
man to tranquillise Italy and restore the papal 
rights in the Church, for on June 30, 1353, he 
appointed Cardinal Albornoz with full powers to 
be vicar-general in Italy and the State of the 

Gil Egidius or Gil d' Albornoz, a Castilian grandee, 

had first served as a brave soldier under the banner 
of Alfonso of Castile, and had obtained honourable 
mention in the war with the Moors before Tarifa 
and Algesiras ; afterwards, becoming a priest, he 
was made Archbishop of Toledo, and was the 
most highly esteemed prelate in the whole of Spain. 
Chivalrous energy and a fervent faith, which de- 
generated neither into weak pietism nor into fanati- 

1 Bulls of July 30, 1353, from Villanova. Theiner, ii. n. 242, 



cism, were united in the compatriot of S. Dominic. 
When, on the death of his father Alfonso, Pedro the 
Cruel ascended the throne, Egidius fled to Avignon, 
where Clement VI. received him with honour 
(December 18, 1350), made him Cardinal of S. 
Clemente, and soon after Bishop of the Sabina. 
His influence at the papal court was great, and his 
judgment decisive in favour of Innocent VI., one of 
whose electors he had been in the Conclave, and 
whose most faithful counsellor he now became. 
This was the man who was to tranquillise Italy, and 
to restore the State of the Church. But before ac- 
companying him in his labours, we must return to 
Rome itself, where a revolution broke out shortly 
after the accession of the new Pope, when the 
interrupted work of Cola was resumed, and a new 
career was opened to the banished Tribune. 

3. Popular Revolt in Rome — Murder of Berthold 
Orsini — Francesco Baroncelli, second Tribune 
OF THE People — Fortunes of Cola after his 
Flight — His Sojourn in the Abruzzi, his 
Mystic Dreams and Plans — Cola in Prague — 
His communications with Charles IV. — 
Petrarch and Charles IV. — Cola in Raudnitz ; 
in Avignon — His Trial — Innocent VI. grants 
him an Amnesty — Cola accompanies Cardinal 
Albornoz to Italy. 

Berthold Orsini and Stefanello Colonna, unratified 
by the Pope, ruled Rome amid continual dis- 
turbances. The dearth was great. The people 



accused the Senators of having in their avarice 
allowed the inhabitants of Corneto to export grain. 
This Etruscan city was throughout the entire 
Middle Ages the granary of Rome, as Africa and 
Gaul had been in ancient times. In the market 
below the Capitol, where on February 15, 1353, 
the people assembled, the. supply of corn was 
scanty and dear. The cry of revolt was raised: 
"The people, the people!" and the Senate house 
was immediately attacked. The youthful Stephen 
lowered himself from a window in disguise and 
escaped, but the haughty Count Palatine Berthold 
issued armed from the portal to mount his horse. 
The He was received by a hail of stones ; he tottered to 


Berthold the statue of the Virgin at the bottom of the stairs 

Stoned to l^^iding to the Capitol, and in a few minutes nothing 

death, Feb. was to be seen but a heap of stones, two ells in 

' height, under which a dead Senator lay buried. 

After this event the people, says Matteo Villani with 

naive calm, endured the famine much more patiently.^ 

The Romans were, for the rest, so terrified by their 

own action that they made no innovation. The 

factions again divided the Senate without resistance, 

for John Orsini and Peter Sciarra ascended the 

John Orsini Capitol as Senators.^ The historian's patience almost 

Sciarra ^^ fails him in trying to depict these confused conditions.^ 


^ III. c 57. Allapidandolo came cane^ says the eye-witness, Vita di 
Cola^ ii. c. 4. 

' They ratified the Statute of the Merchants on March 14, 1353. 

• M. Villani, iii. c. 78, says of the history of Rome at the time : U 
nevith che occorrono in queW antica madre e donna del mando non 
paiono degm di mentoriaper i Ueifi e vili movimenti diquclla^ tuttavia 


Nowhere anything but strife and warfare ; the shout 
of " The people " and the party cries of " Orsini " and 
" Colonna " in every street. Luca Savelli assembled - 
the followers of the Colonna and a number of the 
Orsini in order to drive the remainder of the family 
from Rome ; the fortresses both inside and outside 
the city were attacked ; in their despair the people 
thought of summoning the Prefect to Rome.^ They 
now recalled with ardent longing the brilliant period 
of Cola's rule, and the cry for " a tribune " was again 
heard. In August the entire city was fortified. 
Orsini and Colonna fought at the barricades. As in 
May 1347, the better-minded citizens again united 
to work the fall of the nobility. A Roman, Francesco 
Baroncelli, formerly Cola's envoy in Florence, and 
now Secretary to the Senate, was chosen as saviour 
of the republic. The populace rose on September 14, Francesco 
1353, drove the barons from the Capitol, and Baron- Baronceiu, 
celli seized the dictatorial power, with the title of Tribune, 
second Tribune. i3^; ^^ 

His government was a feeble imitation of Cola's. 
He also notified his elevation to the Florentines, and 
begged them to give him an accomplished jurist as 
counsellor.^ He readjusted the State after the model 

per antica reverenza di quel nome non perdoneremo ora alia nostra 
penna — and I shall do the same. 

^ In the letter of August 25, in which the Pope informs the Romans 
of the departure of Egidius as legate, he says that John of Vico had 
formed an alliance with the Roman nobles to reduce the remains of 
the city to ashes. Raynald, A.D. I353i n. 4 ; Theiner, ii. n. 254, 255. 

' The letter in capitolio penult. Sep^, bears the signature Francischus 
de Baroncellis scriba Senatus deigra, Alme Urbis Tribunus secund, et 
Ro, Consul, III, ; even in its phrases it is a weak copy of Cola's style. 
Archives, Reform, Flor,y lib. zvi. p. 95. Two other short letters to 


of Florence, and at the same time caused the members 
of the Council to be elected by ballot. He exercised 
the strictest justice, ordered the finances, conceded 
amnesties, and ruled for some months with fortune 
and success.^ But the Pope did not recognise him ; 
what was more, the first Tribune was to drive the 
second from the Capitol. 

Cola had led a strange life after his flight from 
Rome. He had retired to the fastnesses of Monte 
Majella, a majestic height in the Abruzzi near Rocca 
Morice and Sulmona. Here dwelt hermits belonging 
to the sect of the Fraticelli, the fanatic spiritual 
children of Celestine V., the genuine sons of S. 
Coiadi Francis as they called themselves. They were 
amo^ the Steeped in mystic ecstasy, which the events of the 
hermits, time, pestilence, earthquakes, the disorganisation of 
Italy, the absence of the pope, and the Jubilee had 
served to heighten. The doctrine of the poverty of 
Christ, which had been condemned by the Church, 
was their dogma ; the prophecies of Merlin, of Cyril, 
of Gilbert the Great, of the Abbot Joachim de Flore 
served as oracles for these saints, who regarded 
Avignon with horror, and expected the return of S. 

Florence of October 7 and 15. Florence sent him Bencivieni Turino, 
and he accredited Peter Raynerii as envoy. He ratified the Statute of 
the Arte della Lana on October 9 {Mscr, Chigi^ G. iii. 7^)» ^1^^ of 
the Merchants on November 4. Villani, iii. c 78, calls him lo Sckiavo 
Baroncelli, I believe the Baroncelli to be the ancient fiunily of 
Barundi which is found as early as the beginning of 5€iec, xii. (vol. 
iv. ). A Baroncellus in A. D. 1 204 (v. 44). In 1 335 a notary BaronceUus 
de Baroncellis (Vendettini, Serie), 

^ Some of his edicts, like those of Cerroni, have been incorporated 
in the Statutes of the city. Editio princeps, A.D. 147 1, lib. ii. n. 25, 
n. 133, n. 250. 

Ch. VII.] COLA, A HERMIT. 34 1 

Francis or of a Messiah to reform the degenerate 
Church, build a new Jerusalem, and realise the king- 
dom of the Holy Ghost. A bond of secret affinity 
brought the Candidate of the Holy Ghost among 
these mystics ; the Tribune of the people was easily 
transformed into a theologian. Cola di Rienzo on 
Mount Majella in his fallen greatness resembled 
Celestine V., who after five months of splendour 
returned to the solitude of Murrone. He remained 
there two years, clad in a penitential garment, a 
genuine son of the Middle Ages, doing penance 
among anchorites for the sins of his splendid past^ 
A hermit, Fra Angelo, came to him one day, called 
him by name and gave him secret intelligence, 
according to which a saint elect of heaven was to 
achieve the restoration of the world. The monk 
designated Cola as the instrument and summoned 
him to fetch Charles, King of the Romans, to Rome 
to be crowned as emperor ; for not only the Papacy 
but the Empire must be restored amid signs and 
wonders to the Eternal City, since forty years of 
exile had already passed. 

The gifted dreamer and the mystic saint sat in the Coia^s 
mountain solitude, steeped in profound meditation ^^^^ 
over the new age that was to dawn for the world, and 
the weather-beaten anchorite unfolded rolls of parch- 
ment which contained Merlin's prophecies. They 
clearly referred to Cola, his past, and his future 
career. He recognised the fact with rapture and be- 

^ In his letter to Charles IV. (Papencordt, Doc, n. ii), Cola says 
that he remained more than thirty months among the anchorites, whose 
life he describes. 


lieved that his exile was merely the fore-ordained 
period of trial, and that he was still the envoy of the 
Holy Ghost, and called to the redemption of the 
world.^ Profound ecclesiastical chimeras and political 
schemes mingled in his brain. The thought of 
again sitting on the Capitol as ruler of Rome, his 
purple-shod feet planted on the necks of barons, was 
veiled in a cloud of religious ideas, the fixed point 
in which remained, however, his return to Rome. He 
had proposed to himself to reappear in the city on 
September 1 5, 1 350, to be made a knight of Jerusalem 
in S. Croce in Gerusalemme. But the world was not 
to witness this pompous spectacle. Cola's audacious 
projects were not utterly devoid of reason. Repudi- 
ated by the Pope, he now wished to approach the 
Emperor, and to try whether he could make any im- 
pression on him by his ideas of the monarchy. And 
between him and the Emperor the Spiritualists seemed 
to offer themselves as intercessors. It was their doc- 
trine that had just lately allied itself with the 
GhibelHne principles in favour of Lewis the Bavarian 
and had made good the theories of the Roman 
imperium against the Pope. Fear of being surren- 
dered, the intense confusion reigning in Naples, the 
insecurity of every other abode, and finally his 
own plans, induced Cola to cross the Alps in dis- 
guise and repair to the court of the King of the 
Romans, although he had cause to dread not only 
his wrath but that also of the princes of the empire.^ 

^ In the same marvellous letter. 

' Papencordt assumes that Cola passed through Rome, where he 
received the indulgence, but the passage in the letter to the Arch- 
bishop of Prague (Doc, 21) does not justify the assumption. 


Had Lewis the Bavarian been living at the time, Death of 
the Roman fugitive would have been certain of a Bawian^ 
favourable reception, but the Emperor who had ^^ '^» 
received his crown from the people died on October 
II, 1347, in consequence of a fall when hunting. 
Lewis was the last emperor who descended to the 
grave under the ban of the Church, and the last 
German king in whom the ancient tradition of the 
empire still survived. We might also call him its 
last victim, although unfortunately he did not close 
the ancient imperial struggle with a grandeur and 
steadfastness worthy of his predecessors.^ Charles 
IV. now ruled undisputed in Germany, a man of 
strong Catholic convictions, of calm intellect and 
learned tastes, devoid of ambition and ideas, utterly 
unlike his grandfather. When Cola, with somecoiadi 
companions, ventured to appear in Prague in July^^ 
1350, first in disguise and then openly, Charles was Charles iv. 
curious to see the Roman of whom the whole world JLiyl^a 
had spoken and by whom he himself had been 
summoned to trial.^ The ex-Tribune was received in 
audience ; he preserved a calm demeanour and his 
confidence should have earned impunity and security.^ 

^ Schmidt, Gesck, der Deutschen, viL c. 8. " Of the emperors who 
were excommunicated, he was the last, and at the same time the one 
who whined more abjectly and showed less spirit than any other in 
the circumstances." Lewis was handsome and affable, but devoid of 
character. He adopted the two-headed eagle in his coat of arms, 
following the example of Byzantium. 

^ There were several rumours concerning his first appearance in 
Prague, Pelzel, Gesch, CarPs IF,, i. 291 ; Ckron, Estense^ Mur., xv. 

' The Vtta^ ii. c. 11, places in his mouth a speech to Charles IV., 
which is very appropriate to the occasion. 


The King repeatedly listened with surprise to his 
strange discourses, on one occasion in an assembly 
of clergy, and desired him to write down his ideas. 
The fugitive exhorted him to go to Rome, but 
instead of the means with which German kings had 
hitherto been induced to cross the Alps, Cola only 
offered him prophetic dreams. The ex-Tribune was 
the strangest emissary from Italy that had ever 
appeared before a king of the Romans. He had 
once charmed the Italians with the thought of 
national independence, and, in contradiction to 
Dante, had expressed contempt for the usurpa- 
tion of the Roman empire by barbarians; he now 
excused the edict of August, asserting that he had 
never seriously intended to deprive the Germans of 
the empire, Which had " lawfully become theirs." He 
professed Ghibelline principles, disputed the temporal 
claims of the Pope, declared that he wished to snatch 
the sword from the hands of the priests, and promised 
by his influence to open Italy to the German King, 
since no other Italian possessed sufficient power.^ 
He exhorts He now represented himself as the forerunner of the 
toundei^' ^^P^^^^> ^s John the Baptist had been the fore- 
take the runner of Christ, and only desired to conduct the 
Rome7 government of Rome as imperial vicar. As Dante 
had addressed the grandfather Henry VII., so Cola 
now addressed the gprandson Charles IV. 

An after-glow of the "exalted" Henry's ideal 

^ First letter to Charles, Prague, July (or August) 1350, in Papen- 
cordt, Doc., II. Then the Libellus Tribuni ad Caesar^ compiled 
somewhat later (Doc., 13) and the following letters to Archbishop 
Ernest. See EpistolariOy n. 30 f. 


dreams still rested upon Italy, but the circumspect 
grandson was not dazzled by it. The heretical 
opinions of the Tribune terrified the forefathers of 
Huss, Jerome of Prague, and Ziska ; the King feared 
to irritate the Pope by allowing such a man to go 
free. He consequently ordered him to be imprisoned 
and informed the Pope of the fact; whereupon 
Innocent, with exaggerated expressions of thanks, 
directed the Archbishop of Prague to detain Cola in 
strictest custody.^ The prisoner addressed to the 
King a curious justification, full of high-flown 
mysticism and imagery. He even invented the 
audacious fiction that he was the illegitimate son of 
Henry VII., who, during his sojourn in Rome, had 
visited his mother in disguise and honoured her with 
his embrace.^ 

Cola's imagination wove in his mind a curious web 
of inventive deceit and actual conviction. According 
to his or Fra Angelo's revelations, the Pope and 
several of the cardinals were to die; another S. 
Francis was to arise, and, in alliance with the 
Emperor, reform the universe and the Church, was 
to deprive the clergy of their wealth, and with the 
means thus provided build a sumptuous temple to 
the Holy Ghost, to which even Pagans from Egypt 
would resort in devotion. The new Pope would 
crown Charles IV. with the gold crown as Emperor, 
the Tribune with the silver as Duke of Rome ; Pope, 
Emperor, and Tribune were to represent the Trinity 
on earth. Soon the cosmopolitan Cola saw himself 

^ On August 17, 1350. Theiner, ii, n. 200. 
^ Libellus Tribuni ad Caesarem, 


in imagination ruler over the East, Charles IV. as 
ruler over the West He drew up exhaustive letters 
to the Archbishop of Prague, Ernest of Pardubitz. 
Cola's They contain incontrovertible truths concerning the 
Scm! condition of Italy and Rome, the period of Cola's 
own rule, the bad government of the legates, the 
secularisation, avarice, and quarrelsomeness of the 
clergy, the imperial rights which had been usurped 
by the Pope ; but they reveal also in equal degree 
the fantastic conceits of a diseased brain.^ Neither 
Dante, Marsilius, nor William of Occam ever raised 
stronger protest against the pernicious blending of 
the two powers in the Pope than the imprisoned 
Cola did now. He accused him and the Curia to 
the Emperor, not only because they had left Rome, 
but because to their impotence, love of power and 
intrigues were due the dismemberment of Italy, its 
subjection to tyrants, and the disruption of the 
empire. The case which Cola put before the King 
was repeated at a later time by MacchiavellL The 
Tribune in chains at Prague was more dangerous to 
the Papacy than he had been when at the height of 
his power on the Capitol. He now expressed, like 
the Monarchists, the necessity of mankind for a 
reformation, and this constitutes the serious impor- 
tance of this extraordinary Roman, and secures him 

^ These letters are given in Pelzel, vol i., and in Papencordt. 
Cola spoke as strongly as Dante concerning the severance of the two 
powers. He said that the worst governed provinces were those which 
were ruled by priests. The Pope prevented the unity of the city and 
Italy, and fostered the division between Guelfs and Ghibellines. He 
sold cities to tyrants. The letter of August 15, 1350, to the Arch- 
bishop of Prague is an important manifesto of the time. 

Ch. vil] cola, a GHIBELLINE. 347 

a place in history. But Charles IV. was not the man 
before whose tribunal such important questions could 
be decided. 

The King and the Archbishop replied to Cola's 
letters, so great was the reverence for the name of 
Rome and so deep the impression made by the fame 
of the Tribune, whose talents and learning, astonished 
the Bohemian nobles. A feeling of humanism was 
already stirring in barbarous Prague. Charles had 
just founded the university there ; there were learned 
men, or men eager for learning, at his court, such as 
the respected Archbishop Ernest, who had spent 
fourteen years in study in Italy, and John of 
Neumarkt, afterwards Charles's chancellor. Petrarch 
was held in honour, and his style and fashion of 
speech, nay, even those of Cola, were imitated.^ 

Charles IV. wrote to the ex-Tribune in a strongly 
Catholic spirit, blamed his errors and his attacks on 
the Pope and the clergy, declined with irony his 
offers and also the honour of his relationship, and 
exhorted him to repent of his vanity and renounce 
his "fantastic" dreams.^ Several truths contained 
in Cola's justification had made an impression on the 
King. He wished to spare the life of this remark- 
able man and to save him from the stake, which 
appeared inevitably to await him at Avignon. In 
spite of the repeated demands of the Pope for his 

^ ConcerniDg the interest in learning shown at this time in Prague, 
see H. Friedjung, Kaiser Karl, IV. und sein Anteil am geistigen 
Leben seiner Zeit^ Vienna, 1876. 

* Answer of Charles IV. in Papencordt, Doc, n. 14. . , , hortamur 
ut dimittas fantastica. 


surrender, Charles detained him for an entire year in 
the fortress of Raudnitz on the Elbe. The ex-Tribune 
was always a piece in his hands which he could play 
against the Pope, if he himself should go to Italy to 
take the imperial crown. But Charles IV. had 
already received other invitations to Italy. The 
autonomy of the Guelf republics of Florence, Siena, 
and Perugia, the only cities which still resisted 
tyranny with manly independence, was every day 
increasingly menaced by the power of John Visconti. 
They despaired of rescue at the hands of the Pope, 
at whose court Milanese gold was irresistible. 
Florence turned in secret to Charles IV., and the 
bitter enemy of Henry VI I. soon found herself 
obliged to summon his grandson to her aid.^ 

Nothing more clearly expresses the irony of the 
eternal fate which held Italy fixed within the same 
orbit than the first letter which the f§ted Petrarch 
wrote on February 24, 1351, from Padua to Charles 
IV. The friend of Cola summoned the King as 
"the God-sent saviour and liberator" to come to 
Italy, the seat of the monarchy. He told him what 
Dante had told the grandfather and what Cola had 
explained to the grandson, that the arrival of the 
monarch had never been more ardently expected. 
Entirely like the Ghibellines, who did not regard 
the German-Roman emperor as a foreigner, Petrarch 
flatteringly told the Bohemian Charles, " the Germans 
may call thee theirs, we hold thee for an Italian ; 
therefore hasten; thee alone do we summon, that 

^ These circumstances are dealt with by Conrad Palm, ItaUcnische 
Ereignisse in den erstenjahren CarTs /K, Gottingen, 1873. 


thy glance may shine on us like a star." He de- 
scribed aged Rome to the King in the now well- 
worn simile of a sorrowing widow with torn garments 
and dishevelled grey hair ; he recalled to his memory 
the centuries of glory of the illustrious city and the 
depth of her fall, and showed him more especially 
that no one else was qualified by such favouriable 
circumstances to become the saviour of Rome and 
of Italy; finally, he exhorted him by the example 
of his grandfather, whose glorious work, inter- 
rupted by death, ought to be completed by his 

Thus the two idealists, Petrarch and Cola, agreed 
in the same views, not only on the Capitol, but before 
the throne at Prague. 

Meanwhile the liberator of Rome dwelt in the 
fortress of Raudnitz, suffering from the effects of a 
foreign climate and detained in strict though not 
inhuman custody.* His imprisonment in Bohemia, 
where his mystic enthusiasm found no response, 
sobered him ; he may even have reproached himself 
with many follies ; he alleged as an excuse his 

1 Exhortatio ad transit, in Ital, Rer, Fam.f x. Ep. i. i, celer, 
Roma sponsum sospitatorem suum vocat, Italia enim tuts pedibus 
tangi cupit, . . . F/, Kal, Martias Paiam, This first letter of 
Petrarch to Charles IV. b attributed by Fracassetti to the year 1350, 
but Palm (p. 59) and Friedjung (p. 300) place it more correctly 
in 1 35 1, a conclusion to which G. Voigt {Die Wiederbeleb,^ i, 67) 

* He once begs the Archbishop to allow him to light a fire ; he 
suffered from vertigo, being accustomed to the climate of Italy. Doc., 
n. 22. He wrote letters to Rome, to the Abbot of S. Alessio, to the 
Chancellor of the city, to his son, to Fra Michele of S. Angelo. 
Appendix to Papencordt, and in the Epistolario, ^ 


difficult position in Rome, which forced him to wear 
many masks, sometimes that of simplicity, zgain that 
of enthusiasm, or of folly ; to play the part of the 
comedian, the coward, the hypocrite. His mind, 
with its lack of ingenuousness, was easily convinced 
of this, and his extraordinary talent for discovering 
parallels caused him to compare himself to David 
dancing in his folly, to Brutus, to the disguised 
Judith, and to the cunning Jacob,^ Cola had much 
to expiate, but his conscience was not burthened with 
any of the crimes which stained all the celebrated 
rulers and tyrants of the day. The enthusiast for 
liberty calmly awaited his sentence of death. On 
the strength of the minutes of trial sent from Avignon, 
the Archbishop announced in the cathedral of 
Prague that Cola was guilty of heresy and that 
Charles IV. must consequently surrender him to the 
papal plenipotentiary in July 1352.* The prisoner 
himself desired to be conducted to Avignon, where 
he would defend his Catholic faith before the Pope, 
and where he still hoped to discover friends. His 
demeanour in chains was more manly than on the 
Capitol ; his letters of defence from Prague are his 

^ Doc. in Papencordt, p. xlix. Cola's ingenious character fisiscinated 
aU who surrounded him : faceva stordire quelli tedeschi^ quelH hoemi^ 
quelli schiavoni ; abbair fea ogni persona, Vita^ iL c 12. 

' Chron* Prag,^ ii. lib. iii. 317, in Dobner, Man, Histor, Boem.^'n. 
On February i, 1351, the Pope wrote to Charles IV. that he must not 
delay Cola's surrender. Theiner, ii. n. 204. On February 24, I35^) 
he commands the Bohemian prelates to publish the sentences <n. %V]\ 
On March 24 he writes to Charles to surrender Cola, who had been 
condemned as a heretic, to the nuncios (n. 218). These dates refute 
Papencordt's belief that Cola was given up in July 1351. 


noblest monument, for they show a man of frank 
and steadfast ideas, convinced of his mission.^ 

On his journey to the papal court, the people Cola a 
everywhere flocked in crowds to behold the cele- Avi^on/'' 
brated Roman. Knights offered to effect his rescue, '352- 
as Luther s was effected in later times. When he 
appeared in the " Babel" of Avignon, on August lo, 
1352, in miserable guise and between the bailiffs of 
the tribunal, he excited compassion throughout the 
whole city.^ He asked for Petrarch. The poet was 
at Vaucluse. Not powerful enough to rescue his 
friend from the Inquisitors, he was sufficiently 
noble openly to lament his fate. If he was irritated 
at the weakness of his hero, and could not forgive 
the fact that he had not fallen with the greatness 
of an ancient Roman amid the ruins of freedom on 
the Capitol, he was still more indignant with the 
Curia, who wished to punish that which in the eyes 
of all noble-minded men must appear splendid virtue 
instead of a crime. He regretted the unworthy end 
of Cola's rule, but never ceased extolling its glorious 
beginning.* He regarded the Tribune as a martyr 

1 See especially Nicolai Tribuni Romani ad Guidonem Bolon, 
Cardin, Oratio^ Opp. Petrarch, ed. Basil, 1581, pp. 1123-1128. 

' Venit ad Curiam nuper — sed captizms ductus est Nicol, Laurentius^ 
olim late formidatus tribun, urbis R,, nunc omnium hominum 
miserrimus — ut aiunt^ duob. hie illic stipatus satellitib. ibat infelix 
plebe obvia videndique avida faciem ejus^ cujus modo tarn clarum 
nomen audierat, Petrarch to Francesco di Nello, Prior at Florence, 
Vaucluse, August I2, 1352, in Papencordt, Doc., n. 28. That Cola came 
to Avignon about August 10 is shown from Arch, Vatican, Reg, Camer. , 
263, ad A. 1352, by Maurice Faucon (icole Fr, Mil.^ 1887, p. 56). 

' QucUiscunquA sitfinis^ adhuc non possum principium non mirari. 


to freedom, whose only fault in the sight of the 
Church was his high-minded scheme of redeeming his 
native country and restoring the splendour of the 
Roman republic A tribunal of three cardinals was 
appointed to judge Cola. He was refused the assist- 
ance of counsel, but nevertheless a definitive judg- 
ment was not pronounced against him.^ Meanwhile 
Petrarch exhorted the Romans to demand the 
surrender of their fellow citizen from the Pope. In 
his memorable letter, an eloquent justification of the 
Tribune's ideas, he maintained that the Roman 
empire belonged to the city of Rome, that although 
the imperial authority in the changes of fortune had 
actually passed into the hands of Spaniards, Africans, 
Greeks, Gauls, and Germans, it nevertheless remained 
lawfully bound to Rome, even if nothing were left 
of the illustrious city but the bare rock of the 
Petrarch Capitol. He exhorted the Romans to demand Cola's 
RomaM to deliverance by solemn embassy, " since," he said, 
rei^the "even if they dare to deprive you of the title of 
empire, arrogant folly has not risen to such a pitch 
that they can venture to deny that you possess a 
right over your own citizens. If in the eyes of all 
honourable men your Tribune deserves not punish- 
ment but reward, then can he receive it nowhere 

^ In his letter to the Romans of September i6, 1353 (Theiner, 
ii. n. 257), the Pope only mentions ctHquos processus contra 
eutn of the Cardinals Bertrand and Anibaldi. This contradicts 
the statement of Papencordt (p. 259), that Cola had been sen- 
tenced to death in Avignon. Since Cola came there in August 
1352 {;venit nuper, writes Petrarch on August 10), it is possible 
that the trial was not ended at the time of Clement VJ.'s death on 
December 6. 


more fittingly than in the place where he won it by 
his energetic deeds/* ^ 

The Romans, to whom the Tribune also wrote 
reproachfur letters from Avignon, repeatedly desired 
Cola's return to the city.^ Meanwhile his life was 
protected by public opinion, which spoke ever more 
loudly in his favour, by the fear which the Curia had 
of wounding it or the Romans too deeply, and prob- 
ably also by the intercession of Charles IV., who 
apparently did not repeat all the aggravating state- 
ments of the prisoner. The admired liberator of 
Rome before the tribunal of cardinals awoke more 
compassion among mankind than Queen Joanna 
before the same college of judges. After the absolu- 
tion of the royal sinner, the sight of the lofty-minded 
Roman at the stake would have evoked the deepest 
hostility. His death would have created a greater 
sensation than that of Arnold of Brescia in former 
days, and would inevitably have rekindled the 
dangerous attacks of the Monarchists on the Papacy. 
Cola's magnanimous ideas were undoubtedly his 
best allies in the public opinion of the time, and the 
fact that their spell was sufficient to open the prisons 
of Prague, Raudnitz, and Avignon, shows more than 
aught else the power exercised by the genius of this 
extraordinary man. It was rumoured that he owed 
his life to the report that he was a great poet, and 
that in Avignon, where every one wrote verses, they 

^ Populo Romano^ Ep. iii., sine titulo, 

2 Cola's letters to the Roman people from Avignon (Epistolarto, ed. 
Gabrielli, n. 47, 48). In his letter to the Romans of September 16 
Innocent VI. says qttem tanto desiderio expetistis, 



could not endure the thought of quenching a God- 
given talent by the hand of the executioner. We 
do not know that Cola ever wrote verse, but his 
whole life was a poem, and although he had strayed 
into politics, he was himself the greatest poet of his 
time.^ The nerves of the judges of the Inquisition 
have never indeed been shaken by aesthetic argu- 
ments, and in previous generations many a genius 
had been burnt at the stake. But the Pope, who 
had formerly been Cola's loyal protector, and who 
was a man of liberal disposition, did not desire his 
death, and the ex-Tribune remained in honourable 
custody, though with sentence of death hanging over 
his head. He consoled himself in his gloomy soli- 
tude with the books of Livy and Holy Writ, and 
would thus have passed the remainder of his life in 
the tower of Avignon or of Villeneuve, had the 
caprice of fate not suddenly brought him again into 
the light of day. 

Clement VI. died and Innocent VI. ascended the 
sacred chair. Resolved to restore the State of the 
Church, the new Pope, as we have seen, confided 
the difficult task to Cardinal Albornbz. His glance 
also fell on Cola. The prisoner greeted the change 
on the throne as a turning-point in his own fortunes, 
and may therein have recognised the fulfilment of 
Fra Angelo's prophecies. His noble intellect, inde- 
fatigable in invention, immediately formulated new 
ideas ; he now became a Guelf ; he addressed suppli- 

^ In the letter to Franc di Nello quoted above, Petrarch himself 
speaks of the rumour, but says that he had never seen any verses by 


cations to the new Pope, and offered himself as his 
instrument to deliver Italy from all tyrants, and 
restore her natural unity under the authority of the 
sacred chair.^ Innocent VI. believed that Cola 
could be of use to the Church; he absolved him 
from all its censures, gave him an amnesty, released 
him from prison, and handed him over to Cardinal 
Albomoz, that the cardinal might profit by his 
experience in Italian affairs and his influence over 
the Romans. Thus a great statesman and a gifted Coia di 
dreamer left Avignon for Italy to quell the tyrants.^ ^omp'^ntes 

Albomoz to 
^ In Cola's justification it must be said, that originally lie had been Italy, 1353. 
of Guelf sympathies. Even in a letter to Charles IV. he had explained 
that the more practical expedient would be to unite Italy under the 
protection of the Pope rather than under that of the Emperor. 
Papencordt, p. 232, according to Responsoria oroHo Tribuni ad 
Caesarem super ehquio carttatis, 

^ The cardinal went to Italy, accompanied by his nephew, Captain 
Gomez Albomoz, and by other relatives, Fernan Blasco and Garcia 
Albomoz. According to Faucon, /. ^., p. 58, Cola (to whom the 
Pope had given 200 florins for his journey) left Avignon with 
Albomoz on September 24, 1353. Since, however, the cardinal 
entered Florence on October 2, it follows that he must have started 
from Avignon much earlier. Weranski, Ital, Polit. Inn. VI, und 
CarVs /K, p. 79, is probably right in placing Albomoz' departure 
from Avignon in the first half of August. 




K. XI. 

4. Albornoz comes to Italy ; goes to Montefiascone 
— Fall of Baroncelli — Gxhdo Jordani, Senator — 
Subjugation of the City Prefect — Albornoz 


Fra Monreale and his Brothers — Cola, Senator 
—His entry into Rome — His second term of 
Rule — His relations with the Nobility — ^War 
WITH Palestrina — Fra Monreale in Rome — His 
Execution — Cola as Tyrant — Gianni di Guccio — 
Fall of Cola di Rienzo on the Capitol. 

as legate 
in Monte- 

John Visconti received the cardinal in Milan with 
honour but with proud reserve. Bologna closed her 
gates against him, but Florence admitted him on 
October 2, 1353, in solemn procession, to the sound 
of bells, and gave him troops and money. The 
legate went to Montefiascone, almost the only place 
in the State of the Church which still recognised the 
authority of the Pope. From this place Jordan 
Orsini, papal captain in the Patrimony, had already 
made war on the Prefect, and had employed against 
him Fra Monreale of Albarnc, a Provencal and an 
errant prior of the Knights of S. John, who had 
served in Naples under the banner of the King of 
Hungary.! Dissatisfied with his pay, Monreale had 
then joined the camp of the Prefect and with him 
had attacked Todi. The cardinal entered Monte- 
fiascone precisely as the siege was raised. The 

^ He appears in the service of the Church as Z). Frat, MonrecUis 
capitan, gturre et vexilifer Eccl, in June and August (Theiner, ii. p. 
378) ; on September 4 in the service of the exiles from Todi (p. 379). 
His Proven9al name is Montreal d'Aubagne. 


retreat weakened John of Vico, from whom Monreale 
separated, in order to raise a company on his gwn 
account It now fell to Albornoz to collect forces 
and overthrow the Prefect by a rapid blow. This 
could only be done with the aid of Rome, and here 
the influence of the ex-Tribune was all important 

Innocent VI. wrote to the Romans on September 
16. He knew that they eagerly awaited Cola's 
return; he had amnestied their fellow-citizen and 
sent him to Rome, to heal, as he hoped, the wounds 
of the city, and to subdue its tyrants ; the people 
ought, therefore, to accord him a good reception.^ 
Nevertheless Cola dared not yet go to Rome ; not 
only because the cardinal, in whose retinue he was, 
did not hold it fitting, but also because Francesco 
Baroncelli was still master of the city. The brief 
rule and the fall of the second Tribune are obscure, 
the historians of the period having scarcely thought 
him worthy of their attention. At open enmity 
with the Pope, Baroncelli strove to support himself 
by means of the Ghibelline parties and by an 
understanding with the Prefect Owing to stress 
of circumstances, he fell into the errors or difficul- 
ties of his predecessor, and the appearance of this 
predecessor by the side of the legate in Montefias- 
cone, whither many discontented Romans repaired, 

^ On September !$» I353> ^^ wrote to Hugo Harpaion, the nuncio 
in Rome, that he had set Cola at liberty (Raynald, ad A, 1353, n. 5). 
The letter of the i6th is given in Theiner, ii. n. 257. Even before 
Cola's arrival in Italy, Ponzio Perotto, Rector of the Patrimony in 
Tuscany, knew that he would come to Rome, for he asked Monreale 
in August, si voJehai esse executor Triduni, in casu quo ascenderet ad 
regimen urbis, Theiner, ii. p. 378. 


FaUof hastened his fall. Baroncelli was driven from the 
in Rome, Capitol in a revolt, of which Cola can hardly have 
at the end \yQQXi unaware, and apparently was even murdered, 
at the end of 1353.^ The Romans now offered the 
signory to the cardinal for the Pope, whom they 
appointed Senator for life, with power of nominating 
his representative.* But they were deceived in their 
expectations, for Albornoz paid no regard to Cola, 
but made Guido Giordani de Patriciis Senator; 
neither did the Pope bestow a word on the former 

After the subjugation of Rome the cardinal was 

able to prosecute the war against the Prefect with 

Aibomoz increased energy. The Romans furnished him with 

the^Sect, 10,000 men, under John Conti of Valmontone ; the 

^co toe ^^^S^^ ^f Florence, Siena, and Perugia united with 

'354- 1 Ameyden (MS. History of the Roman families, Bid/, Minerua) 

gives a furious epitaph on Baroncelli, which is supposed to have 
been placed in Stefano del TruUo. As late as November 4, 1353, 
Baroncelli ratifies the Statute of the Merchants — the last date on 
which he is mentioned. A MS. Hist, dellifcUH di Fr. Baroncelli of 
saec, xvii. is in the Chigiana. It is an imitation of the Vita of Cola ; 
it has been used as authentic by Bzovius, A. 1353, L, but it is 
apocryphal, as Papencordt has already observed. 

^ M, Villani, iii. c. 91. The Vita of Cola is defective and contains 
no mention of Baroncelli. The Pope writes to Albornoz on March 
21, 1354 : Pop. Rom, — dominium — SenatuSj Capitaneatus . . , 
officia nobis ad vitam — noviter concesserunt, Aibomoz has permission 
to confer this office on suitable persons from Easter 1354, for six 
months. (Theiner, iL n. 264.) On March 31 he summons the 
Romans to make war upon the Prefect. Baluz., MiscelL^ ed. 
Mansi, vol. iii. 137. 

* Guido Jordani de Patriciis alme urb. Senator, ill, per S. J?. E. 
constitutus ratifies the Statute of the Merchants on March 21, 1354, 
and that of the Arte delta Lana on July 1 1 (Chigi Archives, G. iii« 
78). First mention of the Patrizi fiunily. 


the papal army, and John of Vico was driven to 
extremities. After severe losses and repeated 
negotiations, he made submission ; he renounced 
his conquests at Montefiascone on June 5, 1354, and 
Albornoz was able ta make his entry into Orvieto 
with the banished Monaldeschi on June 9. Here, 
as the powerful tyrant threw himself before the 
cardinal, swore obedience, and received absolution 
for the excommunications which three successive 
popes had hurled upon his head. Cola, looking on, 
may have dreamily remembered how he had formerly 
seen the same John of Vico at his own feet.^ Albor- 
noz allowed the tyrant to retain his hereditary 
property, and even made him vicar of the Church 
in Cometo ; but the appointment was not ratified by 
the Pope. The Ghibellines of Orvieto, the small 
but liberal-minded city, where the cathedral already 
shone like a glittering shield on its lofty hill, unwill- 
ingly rendered submission to the Pope. The com- 
mune did homage to him and the cardinal on June 
24, but only gave them dominion on condition that 
the city should recover its full liberty on the deaths 
of Innocent VL and Albornoz.^ 

* Chron. (VOrvteio^ Mur., xv, 679. Weninski gives a detailed 
account of the war against the Prefect in his Ital, Poltt, Innoc. VI. 
undKonig CarPs IV, in den Jahren 1353-1354, Wien, 1878. For 
the treaties with the Prefect, see Theiner, ii« n. 267-269. The 
Prefect therein is only called nobilis et potens vir Jokes de Vtca 
domicellus Viterbiensis. 

* CAroH, dt Orvieto^ p. 682. The deed, which the chronicler had 
before him, is absent from Theiner's Cod, Dipl,, which, on the other 
hand, contains the report of July 14, 1354, of the taking possession of 
Viterbo* The City Archives of Orvieto contain several parchments 
of the time of John of Vico, who there calls himself Ulustris chntatis 


He renders The success of the legate changed the conditions 
JlJ^ces of Italy in favour of the Church. Umbria, the 
Se (^urch- Sabina, Tuscany, Rome, obeyed her ; the exiled 
Guelfs everywhere returned, while the wise cardinal 
allowed the communes to be governed by popular 
institutions under consuls and podestits. Viterbo 
again received a papal garrison, and Albomoz built 
a strong fortress there. The tyrants of the Romagna 
feared him, and Italy resounded with the fame of a 
cardinal who delivered the cities from their despots, 
and united in himself all the qualifications of a 
general and statesman, which, had they been given 
to the Tribune Cola, would have made him the 
man of the century. 

The Romans who had served in the army before 
Viterbo and Orvieto, had sought out Cola, greeted 
him with joy, invited him to Rome, and requested 
that the cardinal would appoint him Senator. With 
Albornoz' sanction he went to Perugia. Here he 
strove to induce the citizens to furnish him with 
money. The wealthy merchants hesitated, but in- 
stead turned to the Pope, asking that Cola should be 
allowed to return to the city; and Innocent VL 
finally charged Albornoz to appoint him Senator, if 
he considered it desirable.^ The cardinal left it to 

comitatus <u districius Urhis veteris liberator et dom, generalis. We 
see how tyrant conquerors already possessed the art of confusing 
the meanings of terms. There are also several parchments be- 
longing to the time of Albomoz in Orvieto ; I found this valuable 
material in irremediable condition, crammed together like rags into 

^ On March 26, 1354, the Pope wrote to the inhabitants of Perugia, 
that he granted their request in regard to Cola. On the same day he 


Cola to procure money and troops, and the ex- 
Tribune found means of doing so. He knew that in 
the banks of Perugia lay large sums, which the 
dreaded Monreale had extorted from the cities of 
Italy, and he reckoned upon them. After his sepa- 
ration from the Prefect, the Prior of S. John had 
formed a band of his own, and hungry mercenaries, 
Burgundians, Italians, Hungarians, Germans, but 
more especially Swiss, had eagerly followed his 
recruiting drum. From this swarm he had formed 
on Werner's model, " the Great Company,** a nomad 
brigand state of some thousand splendidly equipped 
soldiers, on horseback and on foot. By means of 
gold and promises, Albornoz had secured that Fra 
Monreale should form no further alliance with the 
Prefect, and was well pleased when the robber- 
knight led his troops into Tuscany and the March. 
Fermo, Perugia, even Florence, Siena, Arezzo, and 
Pisa, had shamefully purchased indemnity from siege 
and sack. In July 1354 Monreale had lent his He forms 

1 %T .• r ti«« an alliance 

company to the Venetians for 150,000 gold florins with Mon- 
in order to serve against the Visconti. They were ^^^s. 
commanded by his lieutenant, the Count of Landau. 
He himself remained behind, meditating how to 
obtain permanent dominion in Italy. Two of his 
brothers dwelt in Perugia, the Knight Brettone of 
Narba, and Arimbald, Doctor of Law. The ex- 
Tribune fired the brains of the young Proven9als 
with pictures of his future deeds in Rome, of the 
splendour of the restored republic, and the honours 

wrote to Albornoz. Theiner, ii. n. 298, 299, where both letters are 
wrongly placed in the year 1355. 


that awaited them if they furthered his undertakiiig.^ 
They lent him several thousand gold florins, and 
informed their brother of the fact Fra Monreale 
gave his consent not without reluctance, but pro- 
mised his support in case Cola's scheme failed. The 
fortunate ex-Tribune now acquired a few hundred 
mercenaries, Italians, Burgundians, and Germans,^ 
He again donned a scarlet robe, and went to Monte- 
fiascone to the l^ate, who, in the name of the Pope, 
made him Senator of Rome, and wished him a pros- 
perous journey. 
Coia*spro- Cola's march through Tuscany, at the head of 
gressto fjve hundred lansquenets of various nations, and 
surrounded by adventurers, who mentally saw them- 
selves seated as Roman consuls on the Capitol, is a 
perfect parody of an imperial progress to Rome. 
On his arrival at Orte, on the Tiber, the report was 
spread of his approach, and Rome erected triumphal 
arches. Recollections and dreams revived on the 
instant. The cavalerotti, bearing olive branches, 
came to meet Cola at Monte Mario; the people 
streamed from the gates to greet their former 
deliverer, and to see the extraordinary man who 
had quitted the Capitol seven years before, and had 
since suffered such strange fortunes as a fugitive 

^ Here Cola reminds us of King Theodore of Corsica. 

^ Vitaf ii. c. 15 : a valuable picture of the customs of the life of 
mercenaries of those days. The Germans at first regarded the under- 
taking as uncertain, and the chronicler sa3rs : sono It tedeschi come 
discendon dalP Alemagna^ semplici^ puri^ senza fraude; come si 
allocano fra italianiy diventano mastri coduti, visziosi^ che sentano 
qgni malizia, Papencordt quotes the proverb which still holds good ; 
Tedesco iialianizzato diavolo incamato. 


and excommunicate, as a hermit, a prisoner in 
distant Prague and in Avignon, under the Emperor 
and Pope, and who now returned with honour as 
Senator in the name of the Church* Not even Con- 
radin on Monte Mario had been received with like 
rejoicings. On August i, 1354, the anniversary of His entry 
his knighthood, Cola advanced through the gate of Xig.^i^"*^ 
the fortress across the bridge of S. Angelo into the 1354- 
city, gaily decorated with draperies and flower^, 
through the densely packed streets, the houses of 
which were thronged to the very roof with rejoicing 
crowds. He was received with honour at the steps 
of the Capitol by the magistrates, and Guido, who 
had hitherto been Senator, handed him over the 
sceptre of government.^ Cola made a clever speech 
to the people, in which he compared himself to 
Nebuchadnezzar, who had remained exiled and 
insane for seven years ; the Romans applauded him, 
but found their hero greatly altered. Instead of 
the Elected of the people, the youthful Tribune of 
Liberty, a middle-aged corpulent official of the 
French Pope stood before them, nor had experience 
either strengthened his will or enlightened his intel- 

He organised his government ; he created the coia, 
brothers Brettone and Arimbald captains of the l^^^^^^^j^^ 
Militia, and entrusted them with the banner of the name of 

the Pope. 

^ Albomoz, writing to the Pope from Viterbo on August $> tells 
him that Guido dell* Isola had been Senator up to this time. 
Fragment in Papencordt, Doc, n. 33. Guido de Insula can be no 
other than the above named Guido Jordani de Patriciis. The Insula 
is the Island in the Tiber. 


Rome; Cecco of Perugia was made a knight and 
his counsellor. He informed all cities far and near 
of his return and elevation ; but his letters and brain 
lacked their former verve, and betrayed none of that 
exaltation of thought with which he had formerly 
charmed the Italians. The ideas of the papal 
Senator remained restricted to the narrow limits 
of the city government.^ If the populace greeted 
Cola's return with joy, the aristocrats held aloof in 
indignation. They were still headed by the Orsini 
of Marino and Stefanello in Palestrina, the last 
member of that branch of the Colonna. On August 
5, Cola invited the nobility to do homage on the 
Capitol, but except the Orsini of S. Angelo, his 
former friends, scarcely any appeared. Stefanello 
replied to the invitation by maltreating the envoys 
Buccio di Giubileo and Gianni Caifarello, and by 
extending his raids to the very gates of Rome.* 
Thus were the ancient conditions restored, and after 
seven years of absence, Cola resumed his government 
at the very point where it had been interrupted, as 
if nothing had happened meanwhile. 
Hebe- He proceeded against Palestrina with a military 

Pate^trina ^*^^^®» ^^ repair his former negligence and finally to 
destroy this stronghold of the aristocrats. His 
troops impatiently demanded their pay, which was 
in arrears. "I find in ancient histories," said the 

^ Cola's letter to Florence, August 5, 1354. The republic 
answered in a short official letter, congratulating him and exhorting 
him to maintain a wise and just goyemment, August 22, Doc., n. 34, 
35, in Papencordt. 

^ The mediaeval castle on the site of the ancient Fldenae derives 
its name from the Giubileo femily. 


Senator, who was never at a loss for a word, to his 
captains, ''that in similar financial difficulties the 
consul assembled the barons of Rome and said, 
* We who fill the offices of honour should be the 
first to give money to pay the soldiers.'" Fra 
Monreale's young brothers each gave 500 gold 
florins with a sigh, and the troops were paid what 
was absolutely necessary. The arriere-ban of the 
Campagna and 1000 Romans now advanced under 
Cola from Castiglione di S. Prassede, where Gabii 
had formerly stood, against Palestrina. The army, 
however, served with reluctance; there were daily 
quarrels, and traitors were not lacking. The country 
and the lower city were laid waste, but the Cyclopean 
fortress defied siege, and abundant supplies were 
carried in before the eyes of the worst of all 

The sudden arrival of Fra Monreale summoned 
Cola back to Rome in August. He might with 
advantage have made use of the talents of this 
celebrated captain, but such was not his intention, 
nor did the Prior of S. John contemplate offering 
him his sword. On the contrary, the great brigand 
had come to Rome with forty of his captains from 
Perugia, which he had captured with honour, on 
account of his brothers, who had lent the Senator 
large sums and had received nothing in return. He 
foresaw the speedy fall of the fanatic, and wished to 
see what he could gain for himself. Apparently, 
like a later leader of mercenaries from the same 
Perugia, Monreale had formed the bold idea on 
the return of his Great Company of setting up as 


Signor in Rome, which was without a head. He 
spoke unguardedly and contemptuously of Cola ; it 
was rumoured that he had been summoned by the 
Colonna to work the Senator's fall. The Senator 
sent him a friendly invitation to the Capitol, the 
usual trap for the unsuspicious, and scarcely had 
Monreale appeared, when he and his captains were 
loaded with chains and he was thrown into the 
Capitoline dungeon beside his brothers. Cola 
brought him to trial as a public robber, who had 
filled Italy with unspeakable misery ; but in reality 
his object was to seize the wealth of the prior, 
which he required for his own maintenance. 
Monreale's trial, his conduct in prison, the final 
scene, ending with his death, form a remarkable 
chapter in Cola's biography, and are so vividly de- 
scribed that the reader feels all the excitement of 
an eye-witness. The dreaded soldier of fortune 
betrayed no trace of repentance for his crimes, 
which, according to the spirit of the age, he esteemed 
as the glorious deeds of a warrior, justified in carv- 
ing a career for himself with the sword through the 
false and miserable world. He only took shame for 
having been entrapped in the snare of a fool, and 
his pride as a knight shrank from the humiliation of 
torture or an ignominious death. He spoke of the 
worthlessness of life like a Cato or a Seneca. He 
looked with contempt on the Romans, who had 
collected on the piazza of the Capitol at the sound 
of the death-bell, and proudly recollected that people 
and cities had trembled before him. ** Romans," 
said the blood-stained robber, " I die unjustly ; your 


poverty and my wealth are responsible for my death. 
I wished to save your city from ruin." He was led Execution 
to the staircase of the Palace of the Senators. The ?Lkon the 
cage of the lions and an image of the Virgin stood Capitoi, 
there, where wretched criminals heard their sentence 1354. 
before execution.^ He was magnificently dressed in 
brown velvet embroidered with gold ; he breathed 
freely when he was told that he was to die by the 
sword. He knelt and rose several times before the 
block, the better to adjust his position. His surgeon 
showed the executioner the place to strike, and the 
head of Monreale fell at one blow. He was buried 
by the Minorites (it was August 29) in Aracoeli, 
where under some nameless stone lie the remains of 
this dreaded soldier, whose fame was such that 
contemporaries likened him to Caesar.^ 

A sinner had met with his just fate ; his crimes, 
devastation of lands, the burning and sack of cities, 
the deaths of unnumbered men had deserved 
this disgraceful end, brought about by disgraceful 
treachery. Cola had formerly shrunk from taking 
the life of aristocrats, who had been deceitfully 
entrapped ; he had now found a tyrant's courage to 
behead a Monreale, and according to the judgment 
of contemporaries his action was as praiseworthy as 
if it had been dictated by feelings of justice. But 
the baseness of his motives showed it in the light of 

1 Vita, c. ii. 22. 

* Thus the Vi^a. More appropriately Innocent VI. compares him 
with Holofemes, and inappropriately with the noble Totila: ^tdost 
alter Holofemes — ut impium ilium et flagellum Dei Totilam in 
Christiano populo dehachantem — superarit, Avignon, October 20, 
1354, to Raymond, Intemunzio in Venice. Raynald, n. 4. 


cowardly treachery towards Monreale's brothers, his 
own benefactors. He seized the wealth which the 
Knight of S. John had brought with him, or had 
previously deposited in Rome; it amounted to 
100,000 gold florins, with which he was enabled to 
pay the troops.^ Cola henceforward became a hated 
tynnt The nobles avoided him as a traitor to his 
friends. The Pope and Albornoz, however, were 
content that the terrible scourge of Italy had been 
removed. On September 9, Innocent wrote to the 
cardinal, that for the welfare of the city and Italy, 
and in order that Cola's activity should not be 
relaxed, he held it necessary that he should prolong 
his senatorial power. He exhorted Cola himself 
to gratitude towards God, who had raised him from 
a lowly position to such a height, who had so 
mercifully saved him from many dangers, and urged 
him to exercise his office in humble knowledge of 
himself with compassion towards the weak, with 
severity towards the wicked.* 

^ The Pope ordered Monreale's treasures to be sequestrated in order 
to indemnify the people he had robbed. He had 60,000 gold florins 
taken from the banks of Padua. With the same pretext, the 
Florentines sequestrated the deposits in the banks of Perugia. 
Albornoz demanded the surrender of Arimbald ; Brettone remained 
in prison. 

' Theiner, iL 273, 274. The second letter is beautiful and worthy 
of a priest. £>eus te multis dotavit ahunde mrtutibus : Ipse te huniili 
loco natum muUis preesse majoribus benigne concessit — cetstigans 
castigmnl te — cum beato Augustine deum, ut ipsum et te naueris^ 
suppiex ores. Dot, ap. Villamnovam III, Id. Sept, An. //. On 
September 16, 1354, Cola issued a privil^um of immunity for the 
hospital of S. Spirito ; in this occurs the style de niandcUo excell, viri 
dom. Nicolaip, R, militis per sed, ap, cUme Urbis Senatoris iilustris 


Cola raised new troops, made Riccardo Impren- 
dente of the house of Anibaldi, Lord of Monte 
Compatri, his captain-general, and caused Palestrina 
to be again invested. All went well. The- Colonna 
were reduced to extremities, and their fall seemed 
certain. Had Cola acted with moderation, he would 
probably have ruled for years as Senator, but the 
demon of ambition and want of money drove him to 
dangerous measures. He imposed a tax on articles 
of consumption. In his tyrannical jealousy he Cola's 
caused (and this was his most wicked deed) a noble JS^'^ 
and beloved citizen, Pandolfuccio, son of Guido, 
formerly his envoy in Florence, to be beheaded. He 
seized now one man, now another, and sold them 
their freedom for the sake of the ransom. No one 
dared any longer open his mouth in council. Cola 
himself was unnaturally excited. He laughed and 
wept at the same moment. The temper of the 
people showed him that a conspiracy was formed 
against his life. He raised a bodyguard, fifty men 
from each region, to be at hand at the first summons 
of the bell. The army before Palestrina demanded 
pay, and murmured that it had not received it ; in 
his distrust he deposed Imprendente and appointed 
new captains. This conduct estranged Imprendente 
also, and his followers. It must have been at this 
juncture that a man who afterwards became famous 
in Europe appeared before Cola, Gianni di Guccio, 
a spurious French prince and a pretender to the 
crown of France, whose fortunes constitute one of 

capitanei syndici et defensoris {Statuti delle gabelle di Roma, ed. Sig, 
Malatesta, Rome, 1885, p. 122). 

VOL. VI. 2 A 


the most remarkable romances of the Middle Ages, 
and are interwoven with Cola's last days. When 
Gianni, whose cause the Senator seems to have 
espoused, took leave of him on October 4, to bear his 
letter of introduction to the l^^te at Montefiascone, 
he was warned at the Porta del Popolo by a Siennese 
soldier to get away quickly, for the Senator's life 
was in danger. The spurious prince immediately 
returned to inform Cola, who dismissed him with 
letters in which he conjured Albornoz to send him 
aid, for a storm threatened to break over him. The 
cardinal forthwith ordered the cavalry to horse, but 
it was already too late. Such at least is the tradition, 
although no contemporary document exists to con- 
firm the statement^ 

On October 8 Cola was wakened by the cry, 
" Popolo, Popolo ! " The regions of S. Angelo, Ripa, 
Colonna, and Trevi, where the Savelli and Colonna 
dwelt, hurried to the Capitol. Its bell was silent. 
Cola at first did not recognise the importance of the 
revolt, but when he heard the cry, "Death to the 
traitor who has imposed the taxes,'* he understood 
the danger. He called his people to him ; they fled ; 
judges, notaries, guards, friends, all sought safety in 
flight ; only two persons and his kinsman Luciolo, a 
furrier, remained with him. Fully armed, the banner 

^ The adventures of Gianni, the reputed posthumous son of Lewis 
X. (the King died in 13 16), I pass by as a romantic episode which 
does not concern Rome. He ended his career in a prison in Ptovence 
in 1362 ; his descendants were still living as heirs of the Giannino in 
Siena in 1530. See Papencordt at the end of his history of Cola* I 
cannot recognise as genuine Cola's document of October 4 (n. 36). 

Ch. vn.] END OF COLA DI RIENZO. 37 1 

of Rome in his hand, Cola stepped on to the balcony 
of the upper hall of the palace to address the people.^ 
He made a sign for silence; the people cried him 
down, in fear of the spell of his voice. Stones and 
missiles were thrown at him ; an arrow pierced his 
hand. He unfolded the banner of Rome, and pointed 
silently to the gold letters, " Senatus populusque 
RomanusI* that they might speak for him — a trait of 
true greatness, the finest perhaps in the life of the 
Tribune. He was answered with the shout, " Death 
to the Traitor !" While the populace set fire to the 
wooden fortifications, which surrounded the palace 
like palisades, and strove to enter, Cola let himself 
down from the hall into the court under the prison.* 
Luciolo from above made treacherous signals to the 
people.' All was not yet lost ; the hall was in 
flames, the staircase fell in, the assailants conse- 
quently could not easily force their way inside ; the 
forces of the Regola might have had time to come 
up, and the temper of the people might have 
changed. The first door was on fire, the roof of the 
loggia fell in. Had Cola with high courage but 

^ Si affaccib alii dalconi della sola di sopra maggiore. This, the 
highest room, in which the Senator dwelt, had three balconies looking 
on to the Piazza di Mercato, Camillo R^, " II Gimpidoglio," &c. 
{Bull, d. Comm. Arch., x. 107). 

^ This mediaeval prison (Cancellaria) had been built in the ruins 
of the Tabularium and is still to be seen there. It served as a salt 
magazine in the fifteenth century. 

* Locciolo lo uccise, Locciolo Pellicciaro confuse la liherth dielpopolo^ 
il quale tnai non irovb capo, e solo per quell* uomo potea trovare 
lihertade : thus exclaims the author of the Vila here, still believing in 
the mission of his hera The account of M. Villani, iv. 26, agrees 
with the Vila in its main features. 


Stepped among the raging multitude to receive death 
at the hands of his Romans on the Capitol, he would 
have ended his life in a manner worthy of an ancient 
hero. The piteous way in which he staggered out 
of the Capitol shamed even his contemporaries as 
even now it shames every one possessed of manly 
feeling. The Tribune threw aside his armour and 
official dress, cut off his beard and blackened his 
face ; he put on a shepherd's cloak, placed a pillow 
on his head, and thus hoped to steal through the 
crowd.^ To all whom he met he shouted in a 
feigned voice, " Up 1 at the traitor." As he reached 
the last gate one of the people laid hold of him, 
saying, " This is the Tribune ! " His gold bracelets 
betrayed him. He was led to the steps of the 
palace below the lion's cage and the image of the 
Madonna, where the Senator Berthold had formerly 
been stoned, and where Fra Monreale, Pandolfuccio, 
End and and Others had received their death sentence. There 
CoU^d^^ ' stood the Tribune surrounded by the people. All 
Rienzo, were silent. None ventured to lay hands on the 
^ ' '^^ ' man who had formerly delivered Rome, and moved 
the world to admiration. His arms crossed on his 
breast, he looked about him and was silent.^ Cecco 

^ Dolore i a ricordarsene ! exclaims the author of the Vita^ 
ashamed. Read his magnificent last chapter, where he recalls the 
aged Papirius, who smote a Gaul with his staff, because he had 
plucked him disrespectfully by the beard : Lo buono romano non Dolse 
morire con la coltre in capo^ come Cola di Rienzo morio, 

' The Vita says that he thus stood for an hour, but this we can 
scarcely believe. It describes his disfigurement ; he still had some 
pieces of his splendid dress of grey silk with gold trimmings, and 
purple stockings a modo di barone. 


del Vecchio thrust his sword into his body. The 
mangled and headless corpse was dragged from the 
Capitol to the Colonna quarter, and was hanged out- 
side a house close to S. Marcello. Two days the 
appalling figure remained ; once in life the idol of 
Rome, now the target for the stones of street boys. 
By command of Jugurtha and Sciarretta Colonna, 
the remains of the Tribunus Augustus were burnt 
by Jews on the third day, on a heap of dry thistles 
in the Mausoleum of Augustus. The scene of the 
last act of this curious tragedy had been specially 
chosen in mockery of Cola's pompous ideas concern- 
ing antiquity. His ashes were scattered like those 
of Arnold of Brescia.^ 

The long series of men who, dominated by the 
spell of the Eternal City and by the dogma of the 
Roman monarchy, fought for the restoration of a 
past ideal, closes with Cola di Rienzo. The history 
of the city has shown the connected succession of 
these men and the ideas of the time have explained 
the necessity for the existence of the last Tribune. 
On the confines of two ages, in the excitement of 
the dawn which preceded the renascence of classic 
antiquity. Cola di Rienzo stands as the historic off- 
spring of the ants^onism of Rome to herself and to 
the time, a contradiction which drove him insane. 

^ The author of the Vita describes the scene with terrible truthful- 
ness, as an eye-witness. Z^ (cU campo deir Austa) si adunaronc tutti 
a giudei in grande moltitudine — era grasso — ardeva volentieri—fu 
ridotto in polvere^ e non ne rimase cica. Cola was burnt as a heretic 
by the despised Jews, for so the Colonna willed it. The fiction that 
Cola's ashes were buried in S. Bonosa has been refuted by Domenica 
Tordi, lapretesa tomba di Cola di Rienzo^ Rome, 1887. 



His fellow sinners are in fact Rome, Dante, Petrarch, 
Heniy VII., the Emperors, the Popes in Avignon, 
and the century itself.^ His fantastic scheme of once 
more gathering the peoples in the absence of the 
pope round the ancient Capitol, and of re-erecting 
the Latin empire of the world, awoke for a moment 
the enthusiastic belief in the idea of universal Roman 
citizenship. It was also the farewell of mankind to 
these ancient traditions. A life-giving reality took 
the place of this delusion : the spirit which, by means 
of Romano-Greek learning and art, effected its 
own deliverance from mediaevalism. Herein lies the 
serious importance of the friendship between Petrarch 
and Cola di Rienzo. The former awoke classic 
antiquity in the intellectual kingdom after its restora- 
tion in the political sphere had vanished with Rienzo 
as a dream. In the world of history as in that of 
nature there are mirages from distant zones of the 
past; such and the most curious of all was the 
appearance of the Tribune of the people. The com- 
bination of thoughtfulness and folly, of truth and 
falsehood, of knowledge and ignorance of the time, 
of grandeur of imagination and pusillanimity in 
action makes Cola di Rienzo, the heroic player in 
the tattered purple of antiquity, the true representa- 
tive and image of Rome in her deepest decay. His 

^ The phenomenon of Cola di Rienzo is, more than that of any 
other character in history, to be explained essentially by the creative 
poetic force which every age possesses in its imagination, gfi i« in 
any case the living form which the Roman imagination necessarily 
brought into being. The reading of the Divina Commedia contributed 
in great measure to produce the intellectual temper of this strange 


story has endowed forsaken Rome with an imperish- 
able glamour of fantastic poetry, and his successes 
appeared so enigmatical that they were ascribed to 
the aid of a demon. Even Raynaldus, the annalist 
of the Church, believed in the diabolical arts of the 
Tribune, but every intelligent person who believes 
in the power of ideas among men, is able by that 
power to explain Cola's influence.^ His personality 
was sufficient to draw the first men of the time with- 
in its spell. The Pope himself and the Emperor, 
kings, populace, cities and Rome all fell under his 
magic charm. \The fascination by which some men 
take the world captive is due to the fact that they 
understand the mystic secret of the age. A dark 
delusion cannot of itself exert this fascination. 
There must be concealed within it some real thought, 
which suddenly shines forth and, striking on a re- 
ceptiv^e mind, awakes enthusiasm, which again 
perforce shrouds itself in the old delusion. 

The time in which Cola di Rienzo appeared was 
filled with the fervent desire of liberty and the hope 
of a Messiah, and bore the germ of a new spirit in 
its bosom. No wonder that Italy held the gifted 

^ Petrarch speaks of Cola's good demon, and the populace believed 
that he held the spirit Fiorone enclosed in a steel mirror, adorned 
with engraved characters. After his death this mirror was found 
with a proscription list of citizens who were to be laid under contribu- 
tion. ( Vita, ii. c. 24.) Etruscan mirrors were greatly used in saec. 
ziii. From the word Phleres engraved upon them, Florus, Fiore, 
and Fiorone may (as Orioli supposes) have arisen. See Zefirino R^'s 
note to this chapter of the Vita, Raynald quite seriously calls Cola 
magorum et dcietnonum societaie inquinatus and believes in the 
existence of the spirit Fiorone. (Ada. 1347, n. xiii.) 


Roman for her hero and saviour, when he boldly 
unfolded his flag on the Capitol. He was indeed the 
prophet of the Latin renascence. , j. . * 

The strange appearance of Cola has such distant 
perspectives both in the past and the future and 
presents such stem traits of tragic necessity, that it 
offe^ more material for the contemplation of the 
philosopher than the long and noisy reigiis ot a 
hundred kings. His magnificent ideas of the inde. 
pendence and unity of Italy, of the reform of the 
Church and of the human race, are sufficient to out- 
shine his political follies and to save his memory 
from obscurity.! No century will ever forget that 
the plebeian, crowned with flowers on the ruins ot 
Rome, was the first to shed a ray of freedom on the ^ 
darkness of hi5 time, and; with prophetic glance, to 
show his native country the goal which she was not 
to attain until five hundred years had passed.^ 

* Soon after Cola's death an anonymous author bewailed his fell m 

two letters, which he represented as the products of Cola's own pen ; 

they are outpourings of the heart of a classic scholar belonging to the 

school of Petrarch and are full of poetic fire. Nunquam siygias ftrtur 

ad umbreu incfyta zfirius. They are at the same time invectives 

agaiost the fickle Romans. These letters can scarcely have been 

known to Lord Byron when he dedicated his beaulifiil verses to 

Cola's memory. Baluz., AfisceH., iii. 136, ed. Mansi. 

* As I have shown. Cola's political programme concerning the 
national unity of Italy was as follows : A confederation, with Rome 
for its head, under a Latin em]>eror elected by the people. He after- 
wards returned to the Guelf idea : an Italian confederation under the 
protectorate of the pope — this w as still the senseless project of the 
Peace of Zurich in 1859. ^^^ — 





\ ) 


/ ^ 





This book is due on ttic lasf ijate stamped below, OJ 

on the date to wliicli reaeweti. 

Renewed boolts are subjea to immediate recall. 

j ijApr '57TS 

H^t 1 1982 





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